By Lucas Arthur, Music Editor
While the rest of us were languishing in the final weeks of lockdown, FUZE have been conjuring up another performance showcase.
You’ll likely know of the 200-strong Bristol collective: since its formation in 2003, they’ve hosted an annual calendar of social events, culminating in an extravagant night of fashion, music and dance in aid of local charities.
Now FUZE has unveiled their Sofa Sessions, to be uploaded weekly from the 28th April. Each video features a set from one of their accomplished musicians, performing covers and original songs, shot against the charming backdrop of Stokes Croft Vintage Market. From start to finish, it’s a student-made affair, showcasing the boundless creativity that Bristol artists have to offer.
‘It was so much fun to make!’ says singer Max Fieshbach – in her set, she performs a soulful, laid-back version of Mahalia’s ‘I Wish I Missed My Ex’. ‘It was properly recorded, with professional lighting, make-up, costumes… kind of a Tiny Desk vibe.’
Filming took place in Collector Cave, nestled at the back of Stokes Croft Vintage Market. The marketplace, found opposite the old site of Blue Mountain club, has struggled while closed over lockdown. Damage to the roof led to extensive flooding, the surviving antiques and furniture slowly gathering dust. With a twist of ingenuity, its shelves of CDs and worn sofas create the perfect setting.
Lebo performs his own stirring, plaintive compositions. He became involved with FUZE after auditioning at Lakota and stresses how much it has become a part of his university life. It’s a shared sentiment among the artists - during months of enforced separation, the FUZE team kept in touch though Zoom socials and a buzzing groupchat. Doubtless, such a strong community makes for spirited performances.
Laura and Alessia recount singing at FUZE’s annual show in 2020, hosted at the Loko Klub. ‘It was an immersive, diverse, comfortable environment – the artistry of each individual was respected and granted a stage to share with the world.’ ‘Performing with FUZE has been a highlight of university, especially during COVID-19 – We’re so excited to do it again with such a talented team!’
Tickets are on sale now for the first event of the FUZE 2021 calendar, kicking off with a Noughties-themed night out at Lakota Gardens, featuring performances from many of the artists, on April 29th.
FUZE Sofa Sessions will be avaliable online from the 28th April
Will you be tuning in to the Sofa Sessions?