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: Echo & The Bunnymen top nostalgic bill for opening Skyline Series show

Read more

Review: Bristol Comedy Garden '18 is in full bloom on final day

Read more

Review: The laughs return to Queen Square as Bristol Comedy Garden '18 opens

Read more

Review: Cracking into the live music monster at Dot To Dot '18

Read more

Preview: Dot To Dot 2018 - Our Top 5 Picks

Read more

Review: Undersong at Barton Hill Settlement, Mayfest

Read more

Doug Hream Blunt brings his unique funk to Mayfest @ The Cube with some new friends

Read more

Review: Drenge host boisterous Grand Reopening at The Lantern

Read more

Review: Czech National Orchestra deliver Jaws in Concert at Colston Hall

Read more

Review: Score - an enjoyable celebration of Hollywood's unsung heroes

Read more

Review: Fredo's post-snowpocalyptic sell-out at Marble Factory

Read more

Review: The Mavericks' kick off European tour with sparkling Colston Hall performance

Read more

Review: 'I am Heath Ledger'

Read more

Review: Shed Seven at O2 Academey

Read more

Review: Mac Demarco and a night of introspective hedonism at O2 Academy

Read more

Review: 'The Work' - uncompromising account of gruelling Folsom Prison rehabilitation

Read more

Review: Bad Sounds = Good Times at Thekla

Read more

Review: Richard Thompson's folk tunes and guitar wizardry master Colston Hall

Read more

Review: Party for Pete - fundraising spectacular bids farewell at The Fleece

Read more

Preview: Party for Pete Fundraiser Returns to The Fleece

Read more