Bass guitarist 'who lost everything' opens Bristol café

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Lianna Lee Davies with band members from Turbowolf

image copyrightLianna Lee Davis

A bass guitarist turned pop-up cafe owner says she will solely employ musicians that have been affected by the pandemic.

Bristol musician Lianna Lee Davies opened LD’s Café for takeaways after she and her partner lost their livelihoods due to Covid restrictions.

Music creators like Miss Davies have faced losses of up to two-thirds of their income during the outbreak.

She said the cafe had helped her to “take back control” of her finances.

Lianna Lee Davies

image copyrightLianna Lee Davies

After “falling through the cracks”, unable to get Covid-related financial aid from the government, she began teaching online music courses.

She started doing that to supplement her loss of income when Turbowolf, the psychedelic-rock band she plays in, had to stop performing because of Covid-related restrictions on live gigs.

However the bass guitarist said she found it “stressful” and had to stop that too, leaving her, her partner and her child without any funds coming in.

Brexit impact

She said: “We couldn’t get furlough or a government self-employment grant so we slipped through the cracks and lost everything.

“I just felt that there’s no point in sitting around and waiting for the government to decide on what I can and can’t do, so I took control of the situation for my family and it luckily worked.

Lianna Lee Davies

image copyrightLianna Lee Davies

“Because of Brexit, the likelihood of musicians being able to sustainably make money and tour is getting lower and lower.”

“I want to be an employer where musicians have a job to come back to in between gigs and touring when everything starts up again,” she added.

‘Like-minded people’

Musician Blake Davies is a drummer from Bristol who said when the pandemic hit he took temporary jobs with Amazon and Tesco but was not getting paid “anywhere near” what he was earning when he was performing.

He said working at the café with other musicians has been a “lifeline” for him.

He said: “Now that I’m around like-minded people throughout the day it has definitely helped my mental health.

“At the start of the pandemic, I had completely written-off being able to play music again for a while so instead I wanted to help on the frontline but things just started getting harder and harder for me, it’s definitely been a struggle.”

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