Gossington Music Festival – sketches

A few months ago, I was at Colston Hall in Bristol watching 4 men set fire to the air with fierce gypsy tunes hailing from Django Rheinhardt era; the more familiar modern tunes that have been ‘gypsified’ (my favourite perhaps being a piece I recognised from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack); and even classical pieces played with more speed than thought humanly possible.  These musicians form Gypsy Fire and I thorougly recommend you check them out.

I had a quick chat with them over the merch stall at the end of the gig and they recommended if I liked gypsy jazz, then I should come to Gossington Festival (which is run by one of the guys in Gypsy Fire).  I adore gypsy jazz, so fast forward a few months and I find myself in Gossington.

leon hunt n-tet - one of the band members in dungarees at gossington festival.  And man playing guitar during a jam session

The Friday and Saturday comprised of music that was a bit more mainstream folk/gypsy, headlined by Bristol’s own Phantom Limb on Friday and Seth Lakeman the following day.  Sunday was for the hardcore gypsy jazz fans.  The audience were treated to gypsy jazz royalty including Tchavolo Schmitt who I particularly enjoyed watching – he didn’t bother with a sound check and went straight into the set (with no set list), leaving the bass player and rhythm guitarist to just catch up.   It was fab watching random jamming sessions strike up throughout the day as well (the guitar player on the left in the above picture is from a jam).

gossington festival - trio rosbif pencil sketch

During the weekend I had a new appreciation for double bass.  I mean, look how sexy that double bass neck is:

gossington festival - sketch double bass and christiaan van hemert

It’s sexy right!?  Those curves are gorgeous!

I had such a great time and really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere which helped the creative sketching juices.  I particularly enjoyed drawing people performing and the instruments they clearly loved.

Sandeep Raval at St. Georges

I went to a concert at St. Georges the other day with sketchbook in tow.  The music was an interesting blend of traditional Indian music and a more contemporary jazz style.  I found both the building and the evening’s music inspiring so armed with a pencil and paper – got drawing.

When I first entered the concert hall, I was hit with an intricate wall design in an otherwise muted room.

After drawing so many halos, they started to look a bit like space helmets to me...

Upon completion of the above drawing, the band struck up and I was delved into a world of hypnotic sounds transporting my ears to strange new lands.  The musicians all clearly loved their instruments and the sounds they crafted.

This percussion instrument made the most amazing sounds. I also loved how it looked like a roasting tin too.

One of the songs the band played was called Lunar Breathing and it inspired me to draw this:

I liked the idea that the moon would play with clouds like a child might play with soap bubbles, making beards and ridiculous hairstyles.

I also spent a moment during the interval to draw a row of houses across from the concert hall.  I particularly liked the wibbly lined tops of the houses.