Handlebar Chords – A Roll for the Soul compilation.

Handlebar Chords – A Roll for the Soul compilation.

In little more than a year, Roll for The Soul has become a key venue to watch the next wave of musical talent, be it from Bristol or simply passing through. It is fitting then, that this lovely location has issued a CD featuring 15 of the bands that have made so many evenings, such fun.

Roll for the Soul sprang into life as a café to furnish the needs of the ever-expanding Bristol cycling community in July 2013. As well as equipment, advice and workshops for those folk, it also provides excellent veggie and vegan food, great tea and coffee and has a licensed bar that everyone, even people like me that don’t ride a bike, can enjoy. So far, so good.

Towards the end of 2013 they hosted their first gig and they haven’t really looked back since. The capacity is only around 60, there is no stage, and the large glass windows onto the busy road outside provide lots of amusement as folk outside stop to gawp at the bands. To reach the downstairs toilet you may need to duck under a guitar whilst the band is playing, perfect!

The DIY music scene in Bristol is very healthy at the moment and this excellent CD brilliantly captures a lot of the burgeoning talent that regularly gigs in the city. Some older readers may remember the excitement that the Avon Calling album caused when it was released in 1979; well over 35 years later we have a compelling companion piece.

Highlights for me include the excellent dreamy surf pop of Hallie and the Annies (pictured above at Roll for the Soul). Two White Cranes, which is the beautifully bold yet tender solo project from Roxy. Trust Fund who recently launched their excellent debut album on Turnstile Records with two sold out gigs at this venue. Motes with a beautifully languid guitar based instrumental. Acres with a classic melodic indie sound. Whitebelt with a beautiful slice of 70’s metronomic Krautrock. Carriages and their delicious contrast of jaunty guitar and downbeat stuttering vocals. That’s just part of it though, there is so much to enjoy here.

The people at Roll for the Soul obviously love what they do. They have created a place that offers a perfect space for bands to push their way into the world. You can pick up a copy of the CD for just £3 if you pop into the café. Of course whilst you are there, you may as well enjoy some food and a drink, hey maybe there will be a gig to enjoy as well. The band that you see there for the first time, may well go onto become your favourite band, it’s that sort of place.