heroes and sheroes (st. paul's, bs2)
gone half past five in the afternoon as i make a belated trip to the st. paul’s carnival, having already missed the processions. up station rd and through montpellier station; the nearing growl could be a train but today is a baseline. i head into st. paul’s itself via brigstocke.
to my left an ice cream van, the road behind it appears to be blockaded. looking closer i see a big rig, speakers piled high. dub reggae ripples, reverbs.
onto wilder st and past a balloon seller, then the wilder art gallery: a new spot for contemporary bristol artists. i see art all around me: rows of beautiful georgian houses; murals; colourful, happy people; even the piles of mans’ excesses gathering on street corners. i wonder how many of the artists that exhibit there are from st. paul’s, or the art itself influenced by it.
into the square and the air is thick. barbecued jerk chicken, marijuana, music, laughter.
i’m aware of myself more than i’d like. i feel mildly agoraphobic. i’m not used to taking photos in such a crowded environment.
i funnel into grosvenor and check out the vendors on the side of the street selling their wears. all sorts of food, drink, music, paraphernalia. the unmistakable voice, image of MJ is all around.
i detour onto a side street, towards another soundsystem playing a selection of old skool garage grooves. it’s a trap for the last of sun and is a popular spot. i lean against a window ledge and start chatting to a guy next to me who’s interested in my camera. turns out he’s come down from birmingham with six of his mates. it’s his first time; he tells me he can’t believe the number of “dreads” he’s seen. “my mama wouldn’t let me in the house!”
i suppose dreaded locks are linked to the rastafari movement and the rastafarians typically smoke ganja (as a spiritual experience), but i don’t know if this was the root cause of this mans’ mammas’ ire… either way, the fella was bald as a coot, and having rolled an amply sized spliff moved closer to the action with his friends.
the sun becomes lost behind cloud and cement. i’ve hardly taken any shots, but enjoyed the vibe for the hour or two i’ve been here.
i walk home to put my camera to bed and return to the festival for the nights entertainment.
thank you for reading don’t forget the sun. take care, k x