Gig Reviews

Review: Shed Seven at O2 Academey

14th December 2017

To be alive in the UK in the 90’s was fun.
The second “love generation” knew how to party and weren’t afraid to embrace hedonism.
This after all was an era that produced the countries last generation of prototypical rock stars, before filters (be it Instagram or oth…

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

26th November 2017

When a deep, robotic voiceover jokingly introduces Mac Demarco as “45% a giant and riddled with disease” as he enters the stage carrying a three can stack of Stella Artois, it’s very much in keeping with the Canadian singer-songwriter’s appealing goofball persona. Howev…

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Review: Bad Sounds = Good Times at Thekla

8th November 2017

In addition to selling out tonight’s show, the pre-gig sighting of several of the band’s T-shirts among the crowd– including those consecutively adorned by five teenage friends in the front row – is further testament to Bad Sounds’ thriving Bristolian fan-base. On this e…

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

14th October 2017


A full fifty years have passed since singer-songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson made his debut as a recording artist with folk rock juggernaut Fairport Convention in 1967. Since then Thompson has – via marriage and divorce to ex-wife Linda Thompson, a ‘70…

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Review: Alvvays' world class indie pop thrills Thekla

9th September 2017

After their 2014 self-titled debut album revealed a highly promising act armed with a considerable knack for melodic, reverb drenched indie-pop gems, it seemed to take an age – a perception ultimately exacerbated by a seemingly interminable gestation period in …

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Review: Despite technical issues Holy Fuck storm Colston Hall

22nd August 2017

Despite challenging technical issues throughout, Canada’s Holy Fuck pull off a remarkable show that showcases the very best of their extensive back catalogue, with a welcome sprinkling of fresh new tunes for good measure.
It’s been a good while since we last saw them in Bristo…

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

24th June 2017

Already boasting a well-regarded music scene, one further advantage held by the city of Bristol is that – either right before or during the frolics of the Glastonbury Festival – a coincidence of geography places it as a natural pit-stop for artists imminently bound for Wort…

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Review: The return of Manic Street Preachers at Bristol Sounds

22nd June 2017  

For the second evening of Bristol Sounds, fans gathered for a perfect summer’s night on the harbourside; ciders in hand. The Amphitheatre buzzed with a sense of intent from a crowd who were there for one reason only; to reunite with the Welsh trio, Manic Street Preachers,…

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Review: Bonobo's blistering show to open Bristol Sounds

21st June 2017

After several sweltering days of British Sunshine, this year’s Bristol Sounds – the rebranded form of its erstwhile incarnation as Bristol Summer Series – kicked off just a matter of hours after the met office confirmed that the UK had been basking in its hottest June day i…

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

21st May 2017

“I don’t have any hits per se but there are certain songs that I’m expected to play.” Ron Sexsmith’s mid-set introduction to his 1997 song ‘Strawberry Blonde’ serves as a fairly accurate summation of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s unassuming career. While forever in the commerci…

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

15th May 2017

The sea of adolescent faces singing and swaying along to a succession of cheesy pre-show pop hits (‘Like A Prayer’, ‘It Wasn’t Me’), and the palpable sense of a giddy teenage adulation, give the impression that one has wandered into a dystopian hybrid of sixth form disco and One Di…

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Review: Happyness Impress at The Louisiana

19th April 2017

With availability of tickets at a minimum in the hours leading up to this evening’s performance, an annotated scrawl on the chalkboard at the foot of the staircase to The Louisiana’s gig room denotes that Happyness’ Wednesday night show has achieved sold out status. Further endo…

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Review: Samantha Crain Sparkles at The Louisiana

2nd April 2017

Considering that Samantha Crain is currently touring on the back of derisively titled album You Had Me at Goodbye and the fact she kicks off tonight’s show with her sardonic ode to “resting bitch face” – the gorgeous folk-pop of ‘Antiseptic Greeting’ – one could be forgiven for j…

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Review: Laura Marling's sell out return to Colston Hall

9th March 2017

It’s a fraction over a year since Laura Marling last appeared at Colston Hall with a typically assured performance to close 2016’s BBC 6 Music Festival. On the back of that appearance and with a reputation that ostensibly grows more favourable as her output expands, the precociou…

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Review: Glastonbury Calling 2017

The vision was simple – one ticket giving music loving punters access to six venues in Glastonbury where they could enjoy wall to wall performances from leading talent from across the south west. In only its second year, just having Laid Blak on the bill was a huge stamp of approval and a tip of t…

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Review: The Orwells enthusiastically received despite technical mishaps at Thekla

4th March 2017

“There’s always one show every tour where nothing works and you’re at that right now” says guitarist Matt O’Keefe towards the end of an evening fraught with technical difficulties. However, this being a night equally filled with audience pandemonium and a boisterous Saturday even…

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Review: Neon Waltz - Purveyors of Indie Promise at The Louisiana

                                  26th February 2017

It was early in 2015 when Neon Waltz’s hitherto best tune ‘Bare Wood Aisles’ achieved the endorsement of indie rock royalty with the song appearing on a Noel Gallagher curated playlist on Spotify. Though later that year the Caithness six-pie…

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Review: Cabbage with a side of saturday night chaos at Thekla

18th February 2017

With attention-grabbing garage-punk tunes laden with lyrics of glib juvenilia and political nihilism, and certainly the most ingenious vegetable based anti-name in modern music, a sold out nationwide tour is considerable evidence of the growing buzz surrounding Manchester fiv…

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Review: Billy Bragg and Joe Henry - Political Punch and Railroad Romance at St George's

17th January 2017

During a five day, 2,700 mile train voyage between Chicago and Los Angeles embarked upon by Billy Bragg and Joe Henry in March last year, the two friends of over thirty years recorded Shine A Light, an album of covers steeped in rootsy Americana and reconnecting with the lost …

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Review: The Bootleg Beatles - pre-Christmas fun with the faux fab four

19th December 2016

After slow beginnings in the 1980s, it was after a popularity boom in the 90s – courtesy of support slots for Oasis at the height of their powers at both Earls Court and the Britpop equinox of Knebworth in ’96 – that The Bootleg Beatles became the premier tribute band of the …

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Review: Teenage Fanclub's warm indie pop charms Anson Rooms

29th November 2016

It’s been twenty or so years since enduring indie pop outfit Teenage Fanclub enjoyed their finest commercial moments in the 1990s. Praise arrived from such nineties rock alumni as Kurt Cobain who called them “the best band in the world” while a more measured Liam Gallagher  –…

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Review: A nostalgic happening at The Fleece courtesy of The Wedding Present

24th November 2016

 Whether inspired by the political malaise of our current times, or more likely just for the sake of pre-show dramaturgy, it’s a soundscape of violins and doomy voiceovers of a dystopian future that intros tonight’s set by cult post punk act The Wedding Present. Feeling slig…

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Review: Dynamic Wave Pictures Show at Renamed Hy Brasil

20th November 2016On the road once again in promotion of their sixteenth studio album – released last week and boasting the characteristically quirky title Bamboo Diner in the Rain – the Leicestershire trio have seemingly become one of the most prolific and tour intensive bands in the country. The i…

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Review: Regina Spektor Spellbinds at Colston Hall Show

12th November 2016

 As the diminutive frame of Regina Spektor breezes on to the Colston Hall stage, the broad smile emanating from the Russian born singer-songwriter sets an unmistakably salubrious tone that effortlessly sustains for the duration of a highly enjoyable Saturday night performance…

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Review: The magical mystery of Goat is maintained at SWX

20th October 2016In many ways Goat are a band of anti-modernism. The mystery surrounding them – their identities are unknown, and their faces covered by masks – provides the perfect antithesis to a music entertainment industry that sells itself through maximum exposure. For Goat there are no hourly …

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Index Gig Reviews:
 Of Monsters and Men (O2 Academy Bristol – Feb’13) Walk The Moon (Thekla, Bristol – Feb’13) Heaven’s Basement (The Croft, Bristol – Feb’13) Kraftwerk (Tate Modern, London – Feb’13) Cosmo Jarvis (Louisiana, Bristol – Feb’13) Jake Bugg (Westlands, Yeovil – Feb’13) Ellie Goulding (O2 Academy Bristol – Dec’12) The Hives (O2 Academy Bristol – Dec’12) The Black Keys (NIA, Birmingham – Dec’12) Reverend and the Makers (O2 Academy Bristol – Oct’12) Marina and the Diamonds (O2 Academy Bristol – Oct’12)