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River Town: Todd's Top 5

Man playing harmonica and woman singing in background

Too many gigs, too little time! We know what it’s like trying to decide what to go to. Sometimes being a music lover is daunting.

But don’t worry, we’ve asked Bristol Beacon Artistic Director Todd Wills what his top 5 acts to see in River Town 2022 are to help you narrow your choice down. (It was hard…initially he said everything).

1. Richard Hawley

Wed 6 Jul, Bath Forum

“Richard is a renowned songwriter and fantastic guitar player. His influences are quite broad, he doesn’t always sit within the Americana tradition, and I think that’s what makes him so interesting.

I remember the last show we did before Bristol Beacon closed in 2015. I shouldn’t say this, but we were both amazed we sold every seat in the main hall – so many people from Bristol came out to listen to him, and Richard was very humble with that level of support.

Bath Forum will be a beautiful setting for his emotive songs.”

Book Tickets

2. The War and Treaty

Mon 13 Jun, Thekla

“As a promoter I love the feeling of discovering new music. When I first saw The War and Treaty in Nashville in 2018 at one of my favourite venues on Cannery Row at Americana Fest, they were relatively unknown.

Very quickly the room filled up, word had got out that this is a band to see, and by the next day hype had spread like wildfire and everyone was talking about how amazing The War and Treaty are.

Audiences and promoters both loved their show. It was definitely the best thing I saw all week during Americana Fest.”

Book Tickets

3. St Paul & The Broken Bones

Fri 29 Jul, O2 Academy

“Bristol Beacon has a long relationship with St Paul and the Broken Bones – and so has Bristol. When we first put them on at The Trinity Centre in 2016 they made such an impression that it wasn’t long before they sold out the main auditorium at Bristol Beacon. They built an audience so quickly in the city.

Since that gig in 2016, in my opinion they haven’t put a foot wrong in terms of their artistic output. They’re excellent to see live. Paul Janeway’s voice is astonishing.

They’ll certainly be looking forward to returning and I cannot wait to see them perform again.

Book Tickets

4. Yasmin Williams & Gwenifer Raymond

Wed 15 Jun, The Wardrobe Theatre

“This is 100% a gig for guitar lovers. It’s great to see two exceptional female guitarists performing with quite different styles.

Yasmin Williams has a remarkable playing technique that will just blow people away. Gwenifer Raymond is more earthy blues with a big influence from early Appalachian styles. As a double bill it’s going to work incredibly well.”

Book Tickets

5. The Dead South

Fri 24 Jun, Marble Factory

“Ok this one you have to see. They’re a great live band, and really, really lively. The Dead South interact with their audiences so well you can’t help but love them. As a night out, it’s hard to beat.

Once again, Bristol has a great relationship with this band. There’s so much love for The Dead South in this city that the first time we put them on, we had to upgrade the venue! I think it will be a wonderful night.”

Book Tickets

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