What Bristol's music venues are listening to under lockdown: Trinity CentrePosted on: 22 May 2020
The Trinity team are working hard to celebrate Bristol artists with their online output.
As the COVID-19 crisis wears on we're all missing Bristol's vibrant live music schedule, with the doors of our favourite venues set to remain firmly closed for the foreseeable future.
Despite closures, though, venues and event spaces across the city have stepped up their online offerings to keep people entertained during tough times, shining a light on local music and artists through live streams, Spotify playlists, interviews and more.
In this series, we're finding out what music Bristol's favourite venues are listening to during lockdown. Previously, we've chatted with The Louisiana's Artist Booker Lor Noverraz, The Exchange Venue Manager Iwan Best, and James Koch of The Gallimaufry.
This time around, we catch up with Events Production Coordinator Aysha Tailor-Whyte and Duty Manager Joe Sawdon to find out what the Trinity Centre team have had on rotation in the past few weeks.
The Trinity Centre team, pre-lockdown.
A major part of both Bristol's live music scene and the surrounding community in BS2, the Trinity Centre is one of the city's longest-running and best-loved events spaces.
Since becoming a deconsecrated church in the late 1970s, Trinity has seen and nurtured the emergence of a wide range of musical movements and genres, from reggae and ska in the early 80s to contemporary electronic music, hip-hop, jazz and much more.
Speaking to LOUD Magazine in February, Edson Burton, Trinity's Heritage & Engagement Coordinator, explained that a combination of history, community and infectious positivity gives the venue a totally unique feel:
"Because of the eclectic nature of people who come here, the pricing and where it’s situated, there’s a good vibe here. When people feel safe they also tend to have a good time, and a band get to enjoy that and feel that energy.
"There’s an alchemy between artist and audience, and that alchemy, I feel here, is really quite unique.”
Benjamin Zephaniah on stage at the Trinity Centre. Photo: Khali Ackford
So what have the Trinity team been listening to during lockdown?
A lot of energy has been focussed on building Trinity Presents, an online programme that features artists and performers who've worked with Trinity in the past or have working relationships with the venue.
Trinity recently received a huge boost in the form of a £35,000 grant from Arts Council England, allowing them to commit more funds to compensating artists for their work on the Trinity Presents series.
The team have also been working on their brand-new Throwback Highlights Spotify playlist, a collection of music from some of the world-renowned artists to have performed at the Trinity Centre over the years.
"If an artist brings us a powerful live show, the kind of show people never stop talking about, then they're guaranteed a spot on the playlist," Aysha explains.
As for home listening, Aysha and Joe tell me they've each had a range of Bristol artists on rotation during lockdown. "Dizraeli has got to be the one that stands out for me right now," Aysha says. "He's just got such a refreshing take with what he does."
Joe, meanwhile, has been checking out "some of Bristol's amazing female-fronted rock bands," such as Soeur, No Violet and Slagheap. "If you're looking for energetic performers, look no further."
Following Trinity's live stream of her single launch, Aysha points to Nuala Hanon's eagerly-awaited second album, Head Undone, as an upcoming release to watch out for.
With the Trinity Centre's doors set to remain closed for weeks and months to come, Aysha and Joe stress the importance of engaging with artists online and doing what you can to support their work until they're able to return to the stage.
"I think it's important not to take live streams for granted," Aysha explains. "So many artists rely on live shows to support themselves and they can't do that to the same extent through live streams, as many of them aren't getting paid.
"If you can afford it, donating the price of a gig ticket or a pint for streams, or checking out their Bandcamp and merch, is a great way to help. Now is a perfect time to discover more local artists so you can get more involved with the Bristol music scene once we return to normality."
"If you can afford to, buy records," Joe adds. "Without the income musicians would normally make from live shows they're more dependent on record sales. Buy records, check out the brilliant live projects happening on social media and get behind your favourite artists."
For more information on the Trinity Centre, or to follow their online schedule in the coming weeks, head to their Facebook page.
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Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt graduated from UWE with a degree in Journalism in 2018. He's keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends gigs and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.