Bristol Spotlight: Noods Radio


There are plenty of music promoters in Bristol. Many with large overlaps in terms of the artists they book, the “aesthetic” they go for (a nice round logo that fits on a t-shirt) and even, with the people who run them. What stands Noods out however is that their leanings dabble into sounds that many up-starts do not. You’ll often find Jack and Leon topless upstairs at the Surrey Vaults regardless of whether its punk, drone, house or something more abstract, and if you stay up with them, you will certainly not be the last one to bow out. Their parties are rowdy and populated by large groups of long time friends, coupled with their radio station they make up a rugged but thoughtful collective that reflects Bristol’s many musical faces. We chatted to co-founders Jack and Leon about the radio’s origins and how their first year in business has gone. They’ve also done a 100 minute mix for us to accompany.

Noods x Stamp The Wax present The Pilotwings in Bristol on 17th March. For info and tickets check Facebook.

Where do you guys hail from, how long have you been based in Bristol? How did you meet?

Leon: We’re both from pretty remote areas, I’m from a small town on the Isle Of Wight and Jack’s from the outback of Shrewsbury. We both studied at Bath Spa but didn’t actually meet until we had both graduated. We got chatting on the sofa of our living room in our squat-like house when Jack moved in two years back. The beauty of shared accommodation ey?

When did Noods first get started? You guys and the station seem to have a broad range of tastes, ranging from house, techno and more hardcore/punk stuff. Where did it start musically for you? Could you break down each of your individual tastes?

Leon: Like many others my initial exposure to music was my older brother blasting all sorts through the wall of our bedrooms. At college I fell in love with jazz and moved onto playing in punk bands at uni.

Jack: I’m the youngest brother of three so they also had a big influence on my taste growing up. Overall I’m just a huge lover of funky grooves!

Leon: That sofa we mentioned went on to become the birthplace of Noods. We would chill out and share music, usually carrying on with couple of bevs from the night before. At Bestival last year we toyed with the idea of broadcasting our drunken, groove-filled Sundays. Bruce (a good mate of ours) loved the idea and joined us for the first show and here we are now.

Which started first, the desire to do nights or have a radio station?

The radio station for sure. But the need to make it physical quickly followed. I’m glad we did, because other wise I think we would have failed to connect with the amazing community in Bristol in the way we have.

Given how many lock in nights you’ve put on there, you seem to have a relationship with the Surrey Vaults – a well-known pub run and patronised by Bristol skaters, when and how did that link come about?

We met Jack, one of the bar staff at an afterparty we did with EC Ryder & Amos. After hooking us up with a few parties there it’s been our home. We’re really close with the guys that work there; they’ve got their own show and it’s where you’ll find a lot the Noodle-heads (residents) getting loose on the regular! In fact, we’ve just started to move the studio in upstairs – so you’ll be seeing us down there even more!

Is there anything you would say you’re trying to implement at your nights that other promoters may not? Something synonymous with your aesthetic perhaps?

As we mentioned, we’re in to all sorts and we’re pretty chill about it. Whilst being careful not to re-appropriate and respect different genre’s relevant contexts, we believe that music should be enjoyed by all without prejudice. Whilst everyone enjoys the inclusive nature of music in the digital age, when it comes to experiencing it in real life, we have often come across an unjustified and irrelevant sense of elitism in certain scenes. So through supporting the music we love with our parties, our aim is to present each musical style for all the things that make them great, within a safe space and without snobbish pretence. But above all, we just want everyone to get loose and stuck in! You may even find us rolling around on the floor with DJ at the end of the night…

You recently hosted Tasker at Basement 45, what other bookings would you love to be doing in the future?

We really wanna get Show Me The Body next time they’re in the UK. It was a shame that last time they were about, the only date they could do clashed with something we already had on. Mount Liberation Unlimited would also be sick; Max Greaf, Sassy J, Lakuti; the list goes on!

Do you think Bristol is best suited to an outfit like yours? Do you at all feel restrained by its size/lack of venues, or is it the perfect size for you to be a big fish in a small pond?

I think Bristol’s perfect for us – it fits our vibe, yo! It’s a loose city with a tight community, which is amazing because we like to keep things playful. Sure it would be cool to have more venues, but I guess it’s just about hunting down the spots and making them your own. A perfect example are Dirtytalk who pull this off time and time again.

Where do you see the brand heading? What would you like to develop into?

A full time radio station is the dream! Oh and with breakfast shows – so important I think.

Development into the events side is something we’ve been trying to focus on and save money for too. We wanna focus on putting on more bands at the Surrey and finding some obscure venues to have parties at. If it represented the many faces of Bristol and acted as a hub for people to discover more local artists, that’d be sweet!

Also we want to branch into talks and workshops at some point the future. So if there’s anyone out there, GIVE US A BELL!

Noods x Stamp The Wax present The Pilotwings in Bristol on 17th March. For info and tickets check Facebook.

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