Gig Review: Molotov Jukebox – Thekla, Bristol – Saturday 5th April

Molotov Jukebox, Thekla

Somewhere there is a record for the hottest gig venue. For Molotov Jukebox’s set, the record has been absolutely smashed as the crowd drips aboard Bristol’s floating Thekla venue. Still the gypsy-step outfit aren’t satisfied – vocalist Sam Apley tells the crowd he wants to “see more gleam” before musing that his violin “isn’t supposed to be this wet” and removing his soaked shirt.

Molotov Jukebox make it clear that they are in town to party, and, despite starting their set surprisingly early, they manage this magnificently. The band seem to have one gear for their live sets, and it is a high one. Often bands need to implore a crowd to dance, but for Molotov the music does this for them, and a symbiotic relationship develops between audience and musicians, keeping the tempo up. There are few, if any, dud tracks. While none in particular stand out as memorable, when played together they create a fantastic fiesta atmosphere.

The easy reference for a band of this ilk is Gogol Bordello, the US gypsy punk band, but Molotov’s sound is more influenced by mariachi brass, ska-punk riffs and samba rhythms, and is less aggressive than other gypsy outfits. It is clear that the driving force behind the band is frontwoman, vocalist and accordion player Natalia Tena, whose sideline in acting (most famously in the Harry Potter films and Game of Thrones TV series) led to this gig being postponed first time around. Her vocals manage to cut through the bombast of the band.

Molotov have a strong fanbase following some innovative online antics. Their Youtube video for “I Need It” features the band attempting to play 1000 live shows in a single day through relentlessly performing to users on ChatRoulette. On the evidence of tonight, it is a fanbase that will stay loyal and surely only grow. Molotov Jukebox came to Bristol to party, and party they did.

Conal Dougan

Review: Spiderman - Homecoming

Read more

Review: Forever Pure

Read more

Preview: Cinema Rediscovered Festival at The Watershed

Read more

Review: Liberation Day (out on iTunes 17th July)

Read more

Review: Baby Driver

Read more

Review: A pre-Glasto treat from Lisa Hannigan at Marble Factory

Read more

Review: The return of Manic Street Preachers at Bristol Sounds

Read more

Review: Bonobo's blistering show to open Bristol Sounds

Read more

Review: Bristol Comedy Garden's third night shows this year could be it's best

Read more

Review: Bristol Comedy Garden continues with impressive second night

Read more

Review: A superb opening of Bristol Comedy Garden

Read more

Review: Alien: Covenant

Read more

Preview: Bristol Comedy Garden 2017

Read more

Photo Gallery: Love Saves the Day 2017

Read more

Review: Wonder Woman

Read more

Review: Yet another live music bonanza for Dot To Dot '17

Read more

Review: Ron Sexsmith's songwriting showcase warmly received at St. George's

Read more

Dot To Dot 2017 Preview: Our Top 5 Festival Picks

Read more

Gallery: Declan McKenna at Thekla

Read more

Review: Declan McKenna - a youthful artist-audience love in at Thekla

Read more