Sambistas women at Celebrating Suffrage March Bristol

Bristol suffrage lantern paradeby Lucy Burkin.

In darkest January we were approached by the Burning Brass Band, a collective of female brass players who had started rehearsing for a lantern parade to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage. A few of us (Emma, Kate, Lucy, Martha and Pickle) decided it would be fun to go along and play something significantly out of our samba comfort zone.

After not being sure exactly what to expect, we were thrown into the thick of it adding our bass and jingles (tam) to classics such as ‘Hit the Road Jack’, ‘Push It’, These Boots are Made for Walking’, ‘Seven Nation Army’ and ‘All about that Bass’. We had great fun practising in such a different environment and having the wonderful opportunity to play with such talented musicians.

The evening of Tuesday 6th February was a cold, snowy one but that didn’t put us off.  We made our way to the city hall on College Green and donned our drums and fairy lights in purple, green and white (a break from our Sambistas blue to embrace the colours associated with the Suffragettes).  From our starting point near the top of Park St we lead the way playing Seven Nation Army. As we paraded around the Triangle, the Wills Memorial building and back down Park St it dawned on us just how huge the parade was. Nearing our start point, the crowds were still coming out from Berkley square and that’s when the pride really kicked in.

Bristol suffrage marchAs we played more of the songs we felt really amazing and it all came to a head as we built the crowd up with our rendition of ‘these boots are made for walking’. When we ended the crowd erupted and an almighty cheer went out behind us. Even a counter protest couldn’t dampen our spirits! The march continued down to college green and we finished on a real high in time for the crowds to listen to an all girls choir and various speeches from influential women.

What an honour to be part of something so important and historical. Burning Brass led the strong women of our city to remember those gone before us and we couldn’t be more proud. We were certainly all buzzing whilst enjoying our celebratory pint afterward! *watch this space for more collaborations.

Bristol post report, Facebook video, photos on Zimbio. The parade was organised by Bristol Women’s Voice.

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