In praise of Pollen

We’ve always been a bit picky when it comes to dishing out praise for events in our home city, but there are a few parties we’ll happily wax lyrical about. Previously, we’ve said good things about Alfresco Disco, Dirtytalk and, of course, UFO (but then I’m biased, of course). You can add to that list Pollen, a Thursday night session at fast-rising Stokes Croft institution The Bank of Stokes Croft.

Pollen is the work of DJ-around-town and former Nottingham resident EFA. Often seen lurking at the Idle Hands shop, EFA is one of the best DJs in Bristol. He has a vast knowledge of electronic music and is just as likely to be heard playing classic, little-known house or broken beat as the latest hip-hop, Detroit techno or cutting-edge bass music. He rarely fails to bring the party, could mix perfectly with his eyes closed and fearlessly believes in mixing it up. It’s no wonder he holds numerous residencies in the city and is a frequent guest at the nights that matter – whether they’re deep house sessions, garage rinse-outs of experimental events. For the record, Pollen is also a digital label, and has released some excellent cutting-edge material over the years.

Pollen’s Thursday night sessions are usually worth breaking the ‘no going out on a school night’ rule for. Taking place on three Thursdays a month, they see EFA mix it up with a variety of guests – both from Bristol (The Kelly Twins, Behling and Simpson, OPR8, the similarly-minded Falling Up DJs etc) and beyond. Musically they’re usually adventurous but party-minded, but they often get a little rowdy. The Bank of Stokes Croft may be a bar, but that doesn’t stop people throwing shapes.

I was understandably rather chuffed, then, when EFA asked me to make my Pollen debut this Thursday (10 November). I rarely get overexcited about gigs these days – it’s one of the issues that faces veteran DJs with a chip on their shoulder and an unfounded sense of self-worth -but I’ll admit to being quite excited by this one. It’s not a particularly big or high profile event, but it’s fast becoming a ‘must attend’. EFA knows his stuff and tends to be rather choosy about his guests. His musical open-mindedness offers a good opportunity to guests to take it in any direction they like (within reason, of course). If someone tells me to “play what I like” I tend to spend the week before the gig ruthlessly digging through the crates to find great music that’s not had an airing in a while – records that I may have played a while back but overlooked recently. I’ll certainly be doing that for my Pollen appearance on Thursday. I still have no idea what I’ll play, but hopefully it will be worth hearing. And it won’t just consist of a bunch of disco and boogie jams.

Entrance on Thursday night is free, so do come down and join in the fun. It should be a cracking night.

Sell By Dave guests at Pollen at The Bank of Stokes Croft on Thursday, November 10

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