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19 amazing images of 1980s Bristol by Beezer

The birth of Bristol’s music and street art history, captured forever in these fascinating images from the 1980s
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Virgin Records & Tapes

Virgin Records & Tapes, Broadmead

Watchin' The Day Go By, Campbell Street, 1985

Watchin' The Day Go By, Campbell Street, 1985

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3D and Brim, Arnofini Graffiti Exhibition, 1985

3D and Brim, Arnofini Graffiti Exhibition, 1985

3D Jamaica St

3D, Jamaica Street

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3D Spray, St. Paul's 1985

3D Spray, St Pauls 1985

Anarchy Freedom Respect

Anarchy, Freedom, Respect!

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Anti-Apartheid Demo, The Bearpit, Bristol, 1985

Anti-Apartheid Demo, The Bearpit, Bristol, 1985

Wall Posse B-Girl, St Paul's Carnival, 1986

Wall Posse B-Girl, St Pauls Carnival, 1986

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Carnival Wall Posse

Carnival Wall Posse

End Of The Longest Day, Mini-Mark, Campbell Street, St. Paul's 1985

End Of The Longest Day, Mini-Mark, Campbell Street, St Pauls 1985

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Enter The Dugout, The Dug Out Club, Bristol, 1983

Enter The Dugout, The Dug Out Club, Bristol, 1983

Enterprise Sound System, St Paul's Carnival

Enterprise Sound System, St Pauls Carnival

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London VS Bristol, Nelle on the deck, Red House, Portland Square, Bristol, 1984

London VS Bristol, Nellee on the decks, Red House, Portland Square, Bristol, 1984

Nellee Is My Selecta, Wild Bunch at St Paul's Carnival

Nellee Is My Selecta, Wild Bunch at St Pauls Carnival

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Roots Vendors, St Paul's Carnival

Roots Vendors, St Pauls Carnival

Start Of The Longest Day, Campbell Street, Bristol, 1985

Start Of The Longest Day, Campbell Street, Bristol, 1985

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Take The Train

Take The Train

The Day The Law Died_Jamaica Street_For 3D

The Day The Law Died, Jamaica Street, 3D

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Ultimate Wild Bunch, Dug Out, 1984 - Milo, Daddy G, Nellee, Willie Wee, 3D

The Ultimate Wild Bunch, Dug Out, 1984 - Milo, Daddy G, Nellee, Willie Wee, 3D

Camera

1980s Bristol. A time of Thatcher, poll tax, strikes, riots… and a time of cultural explosion in what was, until then, considered one of Britain’s most boring cities.

Influenced by the burgeoning hip hop culture across the Atlantic and the dub/reggae sound-system scene found closer to home, a handful of pioneers combined to ignite a movement that would go on to define Bristol to many across the world.

Whether playing records at house or street parties in St Pauls, or painting the walls at the youth centre in Barton Hill, the likes of Smith & Mighty, Nellee Hooper, graff artist 3D and his crew the Wild Bunch (who later became Massive Attack) embraced their creativity to escape the tensions of life in 1980s inner-city Britain.

Without this moment in history, Bristol would be a very, very different city to the one you find yourself in today. And without an individual called Beezer, who grew up with the Wild Bunch and had the unique foresight to grab a camera, build a darkroom at home and set about documenting what was happening around him, it’s a moment that would have been consigned to hearsay forever.

Previously exhibited at Bristol Museum and published in the book Wild Dayz, the images in this slideshow make for captivating viewing for anyone with an interest in our city’s rich musical and social history.

www.beezerphotos.com

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