We talk to our favourite bands about all things Brizzle, this month: Neil Sutherland of The Earth & Me.
“Folk that have only ever lived here, or have only lived in satellite towns can never really empathise with this, but…”
When did you first move to Bristol?
I’m a relative newby here – I moved from Essex/London in August 2013 when I started working at one of the universities. I’m normally the kind of person who only makes decisions when I have all possible information, but the move to Bristol was definitely a spur of the moment decision. I’d played at the Croft once before, but had absolutely no recollection of what the city was like, other than the bare bones. Still, three years on, I couldn’t be happier – a perfect home.
What was the last gig you went to here?
Brian Fallon and the Crowes at the O2 Academy. Strangely enough, it was the first time I’d been to the venue since moving, and I felt pretty ambivalent toward it. I’m normally not against bigger venues, but it didn’t feel quite right when I’m used to the Exchange and Stag & Hounds. It’s either (a) me turning into an old boy or (b) recycling hipster rhetoric, but I’m definitely more of a fan of the smaller venues here. The Earth & Me finished a mini-tour at the Stag & Hounds with Tellison and the Muncie Girls, and I love the atmosphere of playing – and watching – on the floor.
Who’s your top Bristol band / artist at the moment?
I used to play acoustic folk/punk a few years ago, and from time-to-time would be billed with a chap called Clayton Blizzard who played a mesmerising mix of acoustic hip-hop and punk. I didn’t realise he played so regularly in Bristol and I don’t catch him as much as I should do. Needless to say, he is one of the best DIY artists in the country. I always have the conflicting emotions of elation and frustration when I watch him play; the former because everything he puts his name to is flawless and the latter because everything he puts his name to is flawless!
How would you describe the music scene here?
Coming from London, there’s a very different atmosphere here. In London, scenes tend to be split quite cleanly – the folk who go to hardcore shows, the pop-punks, the street-punks… Here, it’s more integrated. Dissimilar bands play on the same bill, and there’s a core unit of people who support a whole gamut of DIY music. I wouldn’t count myself as one of that core though – I’m far too much of a hermit!
What’s your favourite thing about the city?
The peace and pace of life. Folk that have only ever lived here, or have only lived in satellite towns can never really empathise with this, but Bristol is a very relaxed city and I never feel rushed or that I’m surrounded by people. I’ll always love London, but I’m not sure that I’m well suited to living there permanently. There are also way more dogs here, which gets a big thumbs up.
And your least favourite?
I feel like Bristol is a city that you rarely hear a bad word about. I’m yet to find much to complain about in the grand scheme of things. Although I wouldn’t be integrating well if I didn’t complain about the buses and resident parking schemes at some point.
Where are the best eats around town?
VX has recently opened an outlet in Bedminster. It’s a vegan ‘junk food’ café and, if it’s anything like the VX in Central London, it will be smashing. It’s always busy in there, and I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to sit down myself. Otherwise, I am a man of simple pleasures – but I’m still waiting to find a really good burrito in Bristol. The search continues…
The Earth & Me’s self-titled debut LP is out now on 12” splatter vinyl; just over 30 minutes of DIY, punk-infused post rock.
Stream/buy the record: