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Music writer Laura Barton takes a close listen to music created in Bristol and finds a city where music is made with the roguishness of pirates and agitators.

The music writer Laura Barton heads west to listen to the music of Bristol. Surrounded by hills and divided by the River Avon, she finds a city where music is made with the roguishness of pirates and agitators.

In the south of the city, Laura's invited into the tranquil new home of Invada Records, the studio of music producer and Portishead instrumentalist Geoff Barrow. Down on the Harbourside, neo-soul singer China Bowls busks with the band Snazzback and talks to Laura about the sense of freedom moving back to Bristol has given her music. Japanese-born artist Yoshino Shigihara has similarly found a home there, drawing energy for her band Yama Warashi from the nearby M32 motorway and late night reggae sessions in St Paul's. Laura finds Tom Friend leafing through the Bristol section in his record shop, Friendly Records, on North Street. Together they try to put their finger on the source of the "Bristol sound". And Joe Talbot, the singer in post punk band IDLES, muses on how the city's lines, tunnels and hills have led to a more accepting place to live and make music today.

Produced by Andrea Rangecroft
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Snazzback

    How Does it Feel (live)

  • Tricky


  • Massive Attack

    Safe From Harm



  • Yama Warashi

    Kofun No Uta (Radio Edit)

  • Zun Zun Egui

    The Sweetest Part of Life

  • The Pop Group

    Forces of Oppression

  • Portishead

    Half day Closing

  • The Specials

    Stupid Marriage

  • The Specials

    Too Much too Young

  • Young Echo

    Bigger Heads

  • China Bowls

    Too Belong


    Stendahl Syndrome

  • Yama Warashi

    Half Moon Bamboo


  • Tue 24 Jul 2018 11:30
  • Sat 28 Jul 2018 15:30