The Three Tuns

78 Saint George’s Road, Bristol, Bristol, England

Seven comments

The Three Tuns, Hotwells, Bristol

Session organisers are Dave Rowlands and Mike Edwards of local band Gipsy’s Kiss.

This session was formerly at the Grapes Bar, Clifton.

“The Grapes” recently came under new management, who did not wish the session to continue. The transfer was made to the Three Tuns on Monday 7th December 2009.

Ideal session pub, with ample playing space, good acoustics and a nice selection of real ales. Lots of spontaneous applause from friendly and appreciative locals. Smokers will appreciate the palatial covered (and heated!) area which leads off from the bar.

At the time of writing, the session consisted of about 50% Irish tunesets and about 50% songs (some modern).

The landlord is very enthusiastic, and it would be good to see plenty of support for this session from local musicians.


Don’t let anyone suggest any different - this is a GREAT session and a fine venue. IMHO sessions should embrace all flavours of traditional music not just Irish stuff otherwise it becomes boring and predictable. A varied tuneset including all types of celtic and celtic influences, songs and poetry appeals to a wider audience and a wider gene-pool of musicians.
Great stuff and though this visitor may struggle to get to Bristol again soon, it will be on my radar for definite if I do!

The Three Tuns, Bristol - further info

The Three Tuns is an old Bristol pub in the Hotwells area of Bristol by the harbour. “Tun” is an old English/Celtic word meaning “cask” or “vat”. The pub is run by a friendly Irish landlord who is not tied to a brewery, with a changing selection of real ales, at Hotwells prices. The old decor, layout and general Irish background of the pub can remind the visitor of similar village pubs in Ireland. One thing it is definitely not - it is not an Irish “theme” pub!
The session is for English and Celtic folk music. Many of the songs are English traditional folk songs, some of them local to the area, while most of the instrumental music is Irish.
The session is hosted by the benevolent Dave Rowlands and Mike Edwards of the band Gypsy’s Kiss. New musicians are welcomed as ever, but experience says there has to be a real policy of NO spoon-players.
The session (which commences 8.30pm) goes on till late.
Regular musicians are:
2 flutes (sometimes 3)
1 melodeon.
1 concertina
fiddle (or 2 or 3)
1 guitar (sometimes 2)
1 or 2 bodhran.
We often have visiting musicians, including a uillean piper, from further afield, such as Bath.
On an average night we would estimate in terms of time that instrumental music is about 60% and good singing is about 40%.

Re: The Three Tuns

This session is still going strong. Great venue, great musicians and a very warm, welcoming, friendly atmosphere. As a newcomer to Bristol I am so happy to have found this weekly session!!

Re: The Three Tuns

Is this session still going?

Re: The Three Tuns

Answering my own question, yes - this is still happening Mondays at 7:30. Very friendly, welcoming group 🙂

Re: The Three Tuns

Management of the pub now only supporting this on the 1st Monday rather than weekly as has been the case.