What’s my Weekend Bristol: DJ Chris Farrell

As The Red Bull Academy Tour moves to Bristol, the record store owner shares his favourite local hangouts




After finishing work at my record shop, Idle Hands (74 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY, 0117 914 7493),  I head to my local, The Bell, below (18 Hillgrove Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS2 8JT, 01179 096612),  a superb pub run by the brilliant Marion.


When hunger hits, I head over the road to Bristol institution Pieminster, below  (24 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3PR, 0117 942 3322) for some classy pie and mash. The food is fantastic and it’s where I always take DJs from abroad to show them the British way of doing things.

After lining  stomachs, we might head to Cosies, in St Paul's (34 Portland Square, Bristol BS2 8RG, 0117 942 4110), one of the best underground music venues in Bristol. I run a monthly night there with Shanti Celeste and Rhythmic Theory called BRSTL, where we play house and techno. It is one of the places I cut my teeth as a DJ many moons ago. It is always a relaxed friendly vibe and very 'Bristol'.



I always work on Saturdays at Idle Hands, above  (74 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY, 0117 914 7493).  We get most of the work done in the week,  so it is usually a good social day with DJs passing through from other parts of the country, or even further afield, discussing the various club nights on that weekend. For lunch, my co-worker Frankie Dread and I are quite partial to Pepenero's (22 Bond Street, Bristol BS1 3LU, 0117 926 8057),  our favourite pizza spot. It is run and staffed by Italians, and the pizza tastes exactly as it does over there. After work I might have a couple of pints at The Bell and then head to Mathilda’s (8A Haymarket Walk, Bristol, BS1 3LN, 0117 3292 626, mathildaschili.com), a recently opened chilli restaurant. The menu is stripped back to about three options but that ‘s fine as they are all good, and they do  deep fried gherkins  - a favourite of mine.

As it’s a Saturday night, I’ll head out of our local area to Easton to The Plough (223 Eastpn Road, Bristol, 0117 955 8556) a great community- spirited boozer with a strong musical emphasis. They have a sound system that in theory should be too big for a pub but this being Bristol, is just right. Reggae and dub sound fantastic on it. 


For something healthy to eat, it has to be award -wining Maitreya, above (89 Saint Mark’s Road, Bristol, BS5 6HY, 0117 951 0100),  one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. I'm a carnivore but the entire menu is delicious, espeically the nut roasts. On Sunday nights, my friend Andy Payback and I regularly have an event called 'Under Heavy Manners' at The Bell. It's usually a relaxed affair where we get to play weird records for our mates. By closing time we are just about ready for the week ahead, hangovers permitting.

Chris Farrell is a Bristol-based DJ who runs the Idle Hands label and shop. A  focus on house, techno, bass and dub has seen the shop gain international recognition as the first port of call for DJs and collectors.

Chris Farell will be performing as part of the ‘Red Bull Music Academy UK Tour’, which hits Bristol on 2nd April, before moving on to London and Manchester for two more consecutive weekends. Other acts  include; A$AP Rocky, Julio Bashmore, Seth Troxler and Danny Brown.

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