Gig Reviews

Review: Skunk Anansie's storming, crowd surfing sell out at O2 Academy

19th August 2019

Having experienced their commercial pomp somewhere within the slightly bloated jubilance of Britpop and Cool Britannia, it’s perhaps easy for memories of Skunk Anansie’s politically-tinged hard rock to be somewhat lost within a retrospective haze of New Labour, contrived …

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Review: The Specials raise spirits at soggy harbourside show

19 July 2019

Twenty-four hours ago within this very amphitheatre, Bernard Sumner was predicting that it was going to “piss down” for tonight’s Specials performance. Last night’s New Order gig was in the context of a sun-baked Bristol harbourside but, after a day of torrential rain, Sumn…

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Review: Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - loquacious anti-tunes and comic book charm at The Exchange

25th June 2019
The fact that he responded personally from his own email account to arrange my +1 guestlist slot for tonight’s show highlights something rather unique about Jeffrey Lewis. While also not adverse to stewarding his own merch stand and sleeping in fans’ houses during tours, it’s…

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Review: Stella Donnelly's infectiously engaged performance graces Thekla

24th April 2019
“I’ve been here before; I played The Louisiana and there were about four people there” says sprightly Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly as she expresses her gratitude for the significantly larger crowd she’s drawn this evening. If one combines the reality of recen…

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Review: Results of a misspent youth - Cherry Glazerr at Thekla

4th April 2019

There is a cool glaze of music rock heads crowding towards the stage at Thekla to see the rock band Cherry Glazerr. With an inflatable cherry being blown up I expected that Cherry Glazerr would not be the typical rock band. Formed in 2013 by front woman Clementine Creevy,…

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Review: Guitar wizards bolster blues element of Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival '19

Kirk Fletcher – Saturday 23rd March, 3:30-5pm at Anson Rooms

“The thing about festivals like this is that they attract some of the best in the world”. This statement – uttered in introduction to Kirk Fletcher’s Saturday afternoon performance on day two of this year’s Bristol Internati…

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Review: The Orielles' mixed brand of indie pop delights at The Fleece

24th February 2019

After securing a deal with Heavenly Records last year and now a little over a week on since the release of debut album Silver Dollar Moment – a record praised as “a garage rock masterclasss” in a four star Guardian review – it must be an exciting time to be a member of …

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Review: Cult 90s alternative rockers The Lemonheads' catalogue spanning SWX show

18th February 2019

It’s been two and half decades since The Lemonheads enjoyed the pinnacle of their albeit rather modest commercial success in the 1990s – a time when frontman Evan Dando formed a hefty crack habit, befriended and collaborated with Noel Gallagher and was labelled amongst …

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Review: White Denim - a rare breed of airtight live performance at O2 Academy

12th February 2019

It’s a surprising start to the evening as the sound of 1997’s ‘Encore Une Fois’ by Sash! rings out over the speaker system as the introductory interlude for Texas rock four-piece White Denim to stroll on to the stage. It’s a desultory choice for sure; the Austin…

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Review: The Wave Pictures' faultless musical engine purrs at The Exchange

29th January 2019

Having hovered amidst the live music circuit for close to two decades, it seems that a relentless touring schedule and a hectic spree of album releases has, over the last couple of years, finally seen the Loughborough rock group emerge more visibly from their ‘cult’ st…

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Review: Alela Diane concludes European tour with polished St George's performance

20th November 2018 

Having played London’s Union Chapel the previous evening, it’s the similarly ecclesiastical setting of St George’s that plays host to Oregan-based performer Alela Diane’s final show of a 15 date European tour. There’s even a brief moment of synchronicity when, …

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Review: Snail Mail at Thekla - earnest indie rock for a new generation

31st October 2018

Having read the near universal praise heaped upon this summer’s debut album Lush, the impression holds that Snail Mail – the vehicle for 19 year old Baltimore based singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan – occupies a space somewhere between indie-rock prodigy and even the nasc…

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

22nd July 2018

It’s a pure case of balmy Friday night splendour as the first instalment of the newly introduced Skyline Series plays host to a nostalgia inducing triumvirate of Peter Hook & The Light, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Echo & the Bunnymen. The fact that tonight’s orig…

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

26th May 2018

En route to Bristol city Centre, it’s rather concerning for one to note that the callow revellers – clad in glittery festival garb and clutching cans of alcohol – bound for Love Saves The Day at Eastville Park are surely getting younger every year. It has the vibe of a sligh…

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

12th May 2018

Musical success came later in life to Doug Hream Blunt than most.
But then this is a performer who only started playing in bands when he was 35.
His is a story that has become ever more common in more recent years. The late bloomer plucked from obscurity with a full back catalogue…

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Review: Drenge host boisterous Grand Reopening at The Lantern

27th April 2018

Rather than making reference to their touring an album of new material, Sheffield rock outfit Drenge’s ‘Grand Reopening Tour’ alludes to a three year hiatus – both in terms of a headline UK tour and the release of a new record – and emergence from a brief stay in the musical wil…

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

3rd March 2018


Hailing from the notoriously rough and tough Mozart Estate in North West London, profligate drug peddler come successful grime artist Fredo – after a forced cancellation in Birmingham an evening earlier – braved the snowpocalypse and arrived in Bristol to resume h…

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

2nd February 2018

Considering that their 1998 single ‘Dance The Night Away’ peaked at number 4 in the UK while experiencing an enduring chart presence of 18 weeks, The Mavericks hold the misfortune that British audiences, by and large, would bestow upon them that most ignominious of epithets: t…

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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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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)