SongSmith runs, books and promotes singer / songwriter gigs in Bristol and South West. Our nights are mostly grass roots, entry level events with local and touring acts looking to establish a following in Bristol, though we have also organised and promoted gigs at The Colston Hall (Lantern), weekend festivals (Louisiana) and booked artists such as B.J. Cole (Elton John/Beck/R.E.M.) and Spooky Ghost (Gerry Leonard - David Bowie/Suzanne Vega)
Our main night has been running at Mr Wolf's (nearly) every Monday for (nearly) the last 10 years and we believe is the longest single regular night run by one organisation in Bristol (not open mics .... ok!) We also run events from time to time at other venues including The Thunderbolt, Louisiana and at one time the legendary St. Bonaventures).
We are planning a series of gigs to celebrate our 10th anniversary in November.
- a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of promoters / bookers (Mike Weston – Every Thread / Goodnight Berlin www.everythread.co.uk
SongSmith is the brand name for the musical activities of Jumping Joint aimed specifically at singer / songwriters in whatever form that may take.and at a various times has included a range of services including a recording studio and production, a songwriters club. Set up in 2007 by Bristol musicians Helen Ditchburn & Quentin Burton (aka QJB) Jumping Joint has also released two compilations of Bristol songwriters, one as a benefit for musicians in New Orleans following the Hurricane there in 2005 called Songs of Katrina and another as part of promotions for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 called ‘Feel The Rush’ which included the single Run Like the Wind by local singer / songwriter Nicole featuring guitarist Angelo Bruschini (Massive Attack / Blue Aeroplanes). Nicole performed live at the Bristol game at the Memorial Ground between USA and Cooke Islands with guitarist Mike Youe.
SongSmith at Mr Wolf’s has the following features
Focused band nights on the first Monday of each month with acoustic / unplugged nights on the other Mondays
• A regular Thursday once a quarter to give selected acts wider exposure and access to better paid opportunities
• More targeted marketing taking advantage of the features provided by selected social media and more emphasis on visual media for gig advertising
• The same high quality of local grass roots acts and touring acts with full set times and our laidback atmosphere for acoustic performers
Feedback on the night regularly mentions the chilled atmosphere and the supportive nature of the venue as well as our hosting. We are keen to build on that and increase the exposure for the night as well as wanting to increase the repeat visits. There is a lot of positive feedback from guests for the night and we have been successful in building some small groups of people, often musicians, who visit the night and support each other on an informal but reasonably regular basis. We know that the majority of people came to see a specific act, often someone they know personally. It is a challenging time for live music, there is a lot of competition from other entertainment and leisure activity however music is still an important, almost vital factor in the lives of many people.
One thing we have prided ourselves on is having an inclusive policy for people at mostly the grass roots level to build experience of playing longer sets with a great sound system and a much-respected sound engineer. The quality of the acts we put on is incredibly high for the area in much we operate and we have also been very successful in attracting professional standard touring acts looking to break into a new geographic area. We are also an important opportunity for full bands to ply their originals at this level with a payment policy that is the match (at least) of similar nights and the only one we know of we a no minimum guest/ticket policy for payment.
We aim to build on all the factors above and have a very supportive relationship with Mr Wolf’s which we value greatly. We are the longest running regular grass roots night that we know of in the city (and some way beyond).
From September 2017 we are running focused band nights at Mr Wolf’s on the first Monday of each month. This means that people will know what to expect and will simplify the kit share for some bands who are travelling or struggling to provide backline. The other Mondays will be acoustic/unplugged nights only to build on our chilled supportive atmosphere for guests. In addition we will be running the 5th Thursday in each quarter as an extra night which is pay on the door and historically has a greater footfall. There will also be more regular posts about the nights targeting Thursday-Monday to increase the exposure of our booked acts.
For booking enquires please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This year in November we will have been running for 10 years and plan to have a month long series of gigs featuring some of our favourite acts mainly at Mr Wolf’s but also we hope to be adding other venues.
Previously we have offered more supporting services for acts and we are looking at ways to do that again and are talking to a number of other organisations about how we can do that.