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10 Bristol events to enjoy in January

By Jess Hardiman

January is always grim. It’s all detoxes, kale, festive guilt, empty gig calendars and significantly less booze than the month before.

But that’s not to say there’s no hope, for this January in Bristol there’s plenty of life post Christmas – and we’ve compiled a list of ten things to do to prove it:

The Light Princess

The Light Princess

One of the few good things about January is that the Christmas shows are often still loitering around, such as the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s festive offering ‘The Light Princess’.

This follows an extraordinary princess who lives in a kingdom far, far away (as many do), and more importantly has no gravity. Inspired by George MacDonald’s beautiful original fairy tale, the enchanting story has been brought to life by an immersive set design, theatrical magic and original music.

The Light Princess. Until Sunday January 10. Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road, Bristol, BS3 1TF. More details here.

Craig Charles Funk and Soul New Year's Day

Having hosted his own radio show on BBC Radio 6 and thrown his Funk and Soul parties across the nation, Craig Charles is an undeniable music maestro, whose passion behind the decks is certainly a sight to behold.

No greater time, then, than New Year’s Day, where the 'King of Funk' will help you ensure you start the year as you mean to go on. Craig will be joined by special guests The Allergies, DJ Cheeba and Sir Funk.

Craig Charles Funk and Soul NYD. Friday January 1. The Lanes, 22 Nelson Street, Bristol, BS1 2LD. More details here.

New Year / New Noise 3


Howling Owl Records return to the Arnolfini this January for their third New Year / New Noise bash, which celebrates forward-thinking noise and art. This year welcomes noise rockers Spectres, one year on from the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Dying’, as well as Blood Music, Rhain, Chrononautz, Repo Man and art collective Champ.

New Year / New Noise 3. January 15-16. Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA. More info here.

The Making of ‘The Hunt’ 

The Hunt

St George's hosts an evening of filming revelations from the BBC One series ‘The Hunt’. The event will explore how the show has become renowned for its state-of-the-art technology, as well as its depiction of the sophisticated relationships between predators and prey.

Covering everything from filming breakthroughs and personal dramas to scientific and aerial discoveries, all proceeds for this event also go to The Avon Wildlife Trust.

The Making of ‘The Hunt’. Wednesday January 20. St George's, Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RR. More details here.

Slapstick Festival

Slapstick Festival

Bristol's Slapstick Festival is an annual festival that began life back in 2005. Its aim is to help keep silent, visual and classic onscreen comedy alive for generations to come. Predominantly showcasing films from the silent era, the festival also welcomes more recent and contemporary visual comedy film.

Highlights for 2016 include Marcus Brigstocke in conversation with the team behind Aaardman’s ‘Shaun The Sheep Movie’, an evening with Stephen Merchant, a special screening of 1927’s ‘Chicago’, and a silent comedy gala hosted featuring a screening of Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Slapstick Festival, Wednesday January 20–Monday January 25. Various venues. More details here.  

Royal Philharmonia Orchestra: Planet Earth in Concert

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Yep, THAT ‘ Planet Earth’. The BBC series narrated by national treasure Attenborough gets given a suitably epic makeover with a live concert from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra this January.

With a score by Emmy award-winning British composer George Fenton – who’ll also be conducting on the night – the evening will see stirring live orchestral music accompany reworked HD footage from the series, along with special guest vocalist Haley Glennie-Smith.

The Royal Philharmonia Orchestra: Planet Earth in Concert. Friday January 26, 7.30pm. Colston Hall, Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR. More details here

Beach Slang

Beach Slang

Shake off those January cobwebs with Beach Slang, a three piece pop punk outfit from Pennsylvania promising to bring the noise to the sleepiest month of the year.

Made up of frontman and writer James Alex, drummer JP Flexner and bassist Ed McNulty, together their sound is one that’s ‘part punk, part pop and all catharsis’, which they'll be bringing to Bristol's Exchange

Beach Slang. January 28, 7pm. Exchange, 72-73 Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0EJ. More information here

Rebirth Brass Band

Enjoy some brassy oomph this January as the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band make their way to Thekla.

Formed in the early eighties by the Frazier brothers, the band has become an undoubted New Orleans institution, playing stages and festivals all over the globe. Expect the classic sounds of a traditional brass band fused with funk and hip hop for the harmless, fun-loving party potential that we’ll need to take us well into 2016.

Rebirth Brass Band. Thursday January 28. Thekla, The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol, BS1 4RB.  More details here

Rodigan’s Ram Jam 

Rodigan's Ram Jam

If you’ve managed to make it through the bleakness that is January, reward yourself with a big end-of-month blowout courtesy of reggae maestro David Rodigan at Motion. Rodigan will be joined by special guest Stormzy, as well as Breakage, Randall, Cadenza, Jaydrop, Unkey, Fireman Sam, TS2W and more, along with hosts SPMC, Koast and Remidy.

Rodigan’s Ram Jam. Saturday January 30, 10pm. Motion,74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX. More info here

Free For All Festival

Free For All Festival

No doubt the Christmas season took its toll on your purse strings, and it’s for this reason – along with a usually-sparse January gig scene – that Free For All Festival is so great.

Taking place each year across Bristol and Cardiff, as the name suggests entry is free to absolutely every gig on the bill. For 2016, there will be 150 bands playing, including the likes of Cassette Culture, Oxygen Thief, Super Secret Club, Polar Maps, We Were Once Actors and many more. 

Free For All Festival. Throughout January. Stag and Hounds, Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0EJ & The Mother’s Ruin, 7-9 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1UE. More info here

Looking for a way to ring in the New Year in Bristol? Here are a few suggestions

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