The glory days of Bristol's musical counterculture is being celebrated with a new exhibition - Features - Mixmag

The glory days of Bristol's musical counterculture is being celebrated with a new exhibition

Photographer Mark Simmons captured the likes of Roni Size, Massive Attack and Respec Radio

  • Words: Gemma Ross | Photographer: Mark Simmons
  • 17 October 2021

A new exhibition is celebrating the early days of Bristol’s jungle, drum ’n’ bass, and industrial scenes is heading up the city’s month-long photo festival.

From September 23 until October 30, Mark Simmons’ collection of photos profiling the heyday of Bristol’s glorious counterculture movements in the 80s and 90s has now been compiled into one series - many of which have never been seen before.

Read this next: Why you should be excited about Bristol's music scene

Alongside the photography series at Bristol Photo Festival, studio portraits of artists will be displayed including artists by the likes of Massive Attack, Dr Jam, Sub Love, Phantom Limb, and Moonflowers.

“When taking photos you’ve got to be in the eye of the storm to really capture that moment and Mark has always been that guy,” said Massive Attack’s Daddy G on Simmons’ new photography series.

The photojournalist captured all elements of Bristol’s seminal sounds, including the soundsystem culture that popped up during the late 80s, right through to Easton Community Centre’s renowned dance competitions that tailgated in the 90s.

Read this next: New photography series documents London's empty clubs during lockdown

By immersing himself in every part of Bristol’s vibrant music culture, Simmons has captured some of the most generative scenes for the city’s current dynamic.

You can check out High Volume: Bristol Sounds: Mark Simmons at Strange Brew, Bristol until October 30. For more information on Bristol Photo Festival, head here.

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