Photo: Ania Shrimpton
When did you move to Bristol?
I moved to Bristol in September 2012.
Who’s your top Bristol artist at the moment?
National Treasure is the new band from Millie Phipps, ex-Jemima Surrender. I’m delighted she’s making more music and very excited to hear it. I’ve also had a sneaky listen to Emily Breeze’s album (out in September) and it’s the best thing I’ve heard in years. I like it almost as much as I like my own new songs.
What are your go-to places to eat and drink?
I love a good café – my favourites are Ruby Jeans in Shirehampton, Society Café (Harbourside), Tin Can (North Street), Little Victories (Wapping Wharf) and Girls Who Grind @ Glitch (Old Market). For the past few months I’ve been spending a LOT of time alone in my studio producing my next record, so escaping regularly to mix with the three-dimensional people helps keep me on an even keel. Foodwise I am a woman of simple pleasures – my most regular favourites are Pizza Workshop in Clifton, Tin Can for the best French toast I’ve had in any country and Bambalam for quick, hearty dishes. I alternate between The Louisiana and The Punchbowl for Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
What’s the perfect way to spend a day here?
Mooching about in nature, for sure. There are so many hidden green spaces and I have two bouncy dogs who love exploring. I also love wandering along the river, whether that’s around the Harbourside or further east out at Conham River Park. After dropping the dogs off at home for a nap, I’d spend the evening at Watershed watching a film.
What’s your favourite thing about the city?
Its size – having moved from a sprawling metropolis, I really appreciate being able to get around easily, and Bristol certainly punches above its weight in terms of entertainment, food and drink. Having the countryside a few minutes’ drive away is brilliant, too.
And your least favourite?
I don’t think you can call yourself a developed city when some people don’t have a roof over their head. When people feel safer sleeping in a shop doorway than a homeless shelter, something has gone very wrong. I’ve been disappointed with statements made by the Mayor on the issue of homelessness this year – I hope he and the Council can do better in future.
Any top venues?
I love playing at Crofters Rights, which is handy as I’m playing a super-intimate, short-notice show there on 31st August, which also happens to be my first wedding anniversary! My husband and I both had a hand in confirming that show, so are equally responsible for forgetting to keep the date free… I’d love some help from the audience to make that gig an extra-special night to remember – the promoters, Punka, have curated a really excellent line-up, not to be missed.
What’s next for She Makes War?
I’ve nearly finished writing my fifth album, which will be out next year, so I’ll be hunkering down to record that shortly, nipping out of the studio for festival slots in August at Siren Calling (London) and Greenbelt (Kettering). I’ll be announcing some September tour dates soon and will spend October travelling around Germany, France and the UK with US “ugly pop” band, Skating Polly, including a slot at Sŵn Festival in Cardiff on 19th October.
I also have two more instalments of this year’s Supersub Club to create – I share new music and extra audio treats plus a full-colour zine every quarter for members. It’s a much more satisfying way of sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the new album than fleeting social media posts, and I just love making things and keeping busy!
See the video for ‘Devastate Me’ here: