Circadia at the Jam Jar

Posted on: 2024-04-14

Our rating:

"A good idea well executed"

Circadia is the sort of event you – surprisingly – don’t see often.

A mix of inspiring climate activism and music, the idea behind Circadia (named for the way circadian rhythms represent being in tune with nature) is to raise money for climate charities, host a rally of activism, and deliver a night of excellent music all in one.

The third aim got off to a good start with Jakabol – an eclectic five-piece who felt immediately appropriate against The Jam Jar’s psychedelic stage backdrop. Jakabol felt like two very different bands had accidentally got on stage together – and then decided to just make it work.

The amorphous sound of the electric violin and the dreamlike, mesmerising harp were pleasingly completed by the pulsing drums and complex, psych-rocky guitar – it was like the Doom Slayer had wandered into a magical forest glade. It was a little questionable whether you could hear the keyboard at all – and it would have been nice to have more moments spotlighting Emmy the Harp’s fantastic playing – but overall, Jakabol were far more engaging and raw than any support has the right to be.

In between the two bands was the activism portion of the evening – a talk by Dominique Palmer, a prolific activist and representative for Climate Live, a charity that partners with musicians to engage and educate the public on climate issues. Despite her obviously impressive activism credentials, Palmer’s talk initially relied a little too heavily on generalist ideas and well-trod ground – however, it soon opened up to more specific and engaging ideas.

In particular, her message that there’s “no ideal activist” and that there are roles for people of all skills and personalities in activism felt like an important thing to communicate. Near the end, Palmer also provided resources and organisations to get involved with – a crucial call to action that bears repeating here: Her own charity Climate Live, anti-oil campaigners Stop Cambo, fast-fashion fighters Fashion Revolution Week, and the book Get Guerilla Gardening.

Then it was time for the main course – visceral genre-fluid jazz explosion Run Logan Run. This particular edition of the shapeshifting band saw a lineup including band founder Andrew Hayes on sax, Joe Kelly on the double bass, as well as the legendary Dan Johnson on drums and the mythical Annie Gardiner delivering vocals and modulation.


From the start, RLR were bold – Hayes introduced the band first thing, claiming that “once we get going, we won’t stop” – immediately then launching into a mournful, tunnelling sax solo with naught but some ambient synth for backing. Lasting for what felt like about 10 minutes, it was arresting, firmly fixing my attention on the rest of the bewildering but excellent set.

The infinite monkey theorem states that infinite monkeys, given infinite typewriters, and infinite time, would eventually be able to write any text, including the work of Shakespeare. Run Logan Run are sort of like if you gave the monkeys instruments instead – and then they started a cult.

Their near-monastic dedication to their shifting, pulsating performance is almost terrifying to behold – in particular, Dan Johnson’s athletic performance was delightfully unpredictable: flipping between intimate tapping that saw Johnson almost cuddling his drum set, and unhinged athletic percussion that caused him to fly and leap out of his seat like salmon fighting its way upstream.

Circadia was, in short, a good idea well-executed – with surprisingly prolific names from both activism and music for a first edition. I was told by organiser Ollie that there’s a hope to deliver more events like Circadia in the future – I hope so too.

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at