Friday 20 August 2010

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Grammatics

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Last week I was in Bristol for the Balloon Fiesta. We walked up to Ashton Court Estate on Thursday to see the Night Glow, which was pretty fantastic. I have to say that I think my photos taken during the walk up were more inspiring, though. We found a skip with an assortment of oddments in and Josh got out a pair of scales. Alex and I spotted a photo opportunity!

Here's a balloon picture:

More here.

Unfortunately the balloon flights were cancelled on a few occassions, but we didn't actually intend to head up to Ashton Court again since it was an hour long walk as Clifton Suspension Bridge is closed during at certain times during the festival.

Grammatics + The Heartbreaks + Kill Cassidy
On Saturday we headed to Start the Bus as Lis wanted to see Grammatics, since it was their farewell tour. I hadn't really listened to Grammatics before so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Kill Cassidy were really excellent; the whole band had a cohesive energy that was infectious. The violent nature of their music worked well in the small venue. Definitely a band to check out live.

As I was expecting more heavy punk-pop, The Heartbreaks were fairly disappointing. Generic, hipster indie rockers, The Heartbreaks' performance was mediocre at best. The drummer was incredibly over the top; it was as if he'd sucked all the energy out of the other band members, as they limply plodded through some uninspiring tracks. At one point the guitarist remarked it was a "tough crowd", which didn't help the atmosphere.

Finally, Grammatics took to the stage with a large dose of disillusionment. The bassist often made pessimistic comments, a detriment to those trying to enjoy the music. Some of the songs were phenomenal, while others weren't nearly as enjoyable. The cello seemed superfluous on a few tracks, but really added a lot to the performance on some of the songs. Vocalist Owen Brinley's somewhat theatrical demeanour added extra zeal to his delivery, which was hampered by the fact the band were crammed onto a tiny stage while the support acts had performed on the dance floor. Grammatics were really quite phenomenal at times, and a more discerning view when choosing the set list would have helped.

Overall ratings:
Kill Cassidy - 7/10
The Heartbreaks - 4/10
Grammatics - 7/10

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