Books about Bristol

To buy, depending on book format/edition, you will be directed to Amazon, Lulu or the Bristol Folk PayPal site. To buy books from Lulu you will need to set up an account the first time you buy (the same as with Amazon); paperbacks available via Lulu are only printed when you order so helping just a bit to help save our planet's resources.

Tabitha Miggins: Ship's Cat (On The Pill Ferry)

Tabitha Miggins is a special kind of heroine, possibly unique in the annals of literary fiction. Brave, furry, resolute, bushy-tailed, adventurous and bewhiskered, her hobbies include knitting and Milk Stout and she certainly does not let I dare wait upon I would.
Marvel to fur-raising adventures with pirates, smugglers and cannibals on the magical island of Brindle Holm - or relax in the snug of The Duke on the North Somerset bank of the River Avon in sleepiest Pill with friends both big and small. Tabitha's friends include the Ferry Captain, Willard the well-hard mallard, Nutter Slater, Clarence the cross-eyed badger, Whitebeard the pirate, Rat-a-Tat Ginger, Sticky Paws O'Grady and her childhood chum, Lavinia (better-known to many the world over as "here comes old tail-up-for-the-lads").
Amongst Tabitha's shortlist of mortal enemies (not counting an island-full of cannibal cats) are the Meider Bahnhof Group, the most violent trainspotters in the history of trainspotting, and the evil-minded Smuckle. Baddies don't come much badder! Well, they do, but this is supposed to be a children's book. Well, sort of. Apart from the dirty jokes, obviously. Well, it's for anyone with a bit of child in their make-up to be honest. That's right, it's for ogres!
Since this was published under the far more fluffy name of Philippa Perry, it has come to light that there is a more famous Philippa Perry out there with books to her name, so we've had to admit that this rather silly set of half-witted adventures is really the product of award-nominated author, Mark Jones. I mean, all the clues were there - who else would include Bristolian folk music, real ale, trainspotting, real ale, database administration and real ale in their stories?

Further Adventures of Tabitha Miggins, Ship's Cat on the Pill Ferry

Here we go; here's another set of half-witted adventures and reminiscences from that most furry of all heroines, Tabitha Miggins. She's still brave, furry, resolute, bushy-tailed, adventurous and bewhiskered and she certainly does not match "the cat i' the adage" (one for Shakespeare fans there).
In this (eminently bushy) tail, she manages to change the course of history thanks to a slight faux pas. It gets better, though, thanks to Tabitha going to have a chinwag with her future self, so as to find out how she saved the world from the radical, new history that she'd caused.
As it turns out, saving the world involves passing Warp speed and knitting at Weft speed, even though this means Tabitha knitting herself out of history altogether. Some days a cat just has to do what a cat has to do; that's what duty's all about.
If all this wasn't enough, Tabitha meets up again with the dastardly Smuckle and we find out how he managed to survive throwing himself in the sea whilst bound in heavy, iron chains back in the last book. We also get to find out how the decorating in his hideout on Lundy went.
And if that wasn't enough, there lots more knitting, not to mention gallons of Pill Brewery Milk Stout, and we even get to hear about Nutter Slater's not-so-secret life as leader of The Pill Morris, the most feared Morris Team in the civilized world...and let's just mention now that their 'Obby 'Oss is the stuff of nightmare - and it's no good just sticking your head under the covers; it knows where you are...and what you've done. Sleep tight, now, little ones, sleep tight.


Bristol Folk: A Discographical History Of Bristol Folk Music In The 1960s and 1970s

Bristol Folk jacket image
Bristol Folk
features painstakingly researched profiles of all the artists known to have recorded in and around Bristol’s vibrant folk scene in the 1960s and 1970s: from Ian Anderson’s country blues to the manic 1920s jug-based jazz of the Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra; from Adge Cutler & the Wurzels’ novelty rural folk to the sophisticated bedsit images of Shelagh McDonald; from the rustic rock of Stackridge to the finely-crafted ‘psych blues’ of Al Jones; from the magical ballads of Bob Stewart to ethereal pop hits by Sally Oldfield; from the inspired, original guitar work of Dave Evans to the ‘acid folk’ of Keith Christmas – and much more.
Amongst those who contributed specially-written pieces are Ian Anderson, Andy Leggett, Rodney Matthews (yes, the world-famous fantasy artist started out designing LP sleeves and gig posters for Bristol’s folk set), Steve Tilston and the late and much lamented Fred Wedlock, all of whose diverse careers either started in Bristol or were shaped by their time on Bristol’s folk scene. The book also looks at the local labels that released many now highly-collectable folk records, as well as at Bristol’s numerous folk clubs – from the Troubadour, which put Bristol firmly on the national folk map between 1966 and 1971, and the Stonehouse, to the now less well-remembered, but equally-missed clubs, such as Bristol Ballads & Blues, White On Black, Folk Blues Bristol & West and many more.
Included are numerous pictures*, many published here for the first time, along with images of most of the record sleeves discussed within.
*Note that the Kindle and ePub/iBook editions do not include illustrations, though they do include a new section on Shortwaveband, who were missed out of the paperback based on the erroneous belief that they were based in Bath. Wrong! Bristol all along!

The Saydisc And Village Thing Discography

The Saydisc & Village Thing Discography jacket image
The Saydisc & Village Thing Discography provides an in-depth look at the wonderfully-eclectic Saydisc label and at the UK’s original “alternative folk label”, Village Thing. Also included are Saydisc's Matchbox, Amon Ra and Ahura Mazda labels as well as the legendary Roots label, which was distributed by Saydisc in the UK. The book includes over 50 pages of illustrations, including sleeves for almost every record listed.
Saydisc started life in Bristol, and set about recording all aspects of Bristolian musical life, such as folk, jazz, church bells, organs and mechanical music from cylinders and music boxes. However, in 1968 the label began a policy of releasing contemporary British and classic American blues on the Matchbox imprint. This policy was extended with the pressing and distribution of Johnny Parth’s legendary Roots label.
If this wasn't enough to ensure future collectability for the label, 1970 saw the formation of the Village Thing label, which concentrated on the emergent post-blues, home-grown British folk scene. Village Thing is now considered the classic acid/psych folk label, with the majority of records on the label having risen sharply in value over the last few years.
In 1973, the Amon Ra label was formed to release chamber music on authentic instruments, long before this became fashionable. Added to this, Saydisc also produced contract pressings for others, often with woefully-short pressing runs. Many of the records released are now highly collectable. Saydisc also released records licensed from quality American labels such as Rounder, Ahura Mazda and Kanawha to present contemporary American roots music alongside its expanding catalogue of classic jazz and blues. Added to this were releases covering barbershop, world music, choirs, handbells, British dialect, brass bands, carillons, church bells and railway recordings. This has ensured that Saydisc is now considered an absolute one-off. A truly classic British record label.