Love is in the air – especially for your Bristol music scene. I have no doubt. We demonstrate it week in, week out. As we reel from the loss of another venue in The Bierkeller, scene of many a past glory, let’s embrace the present, our great venues and promoters, embrace new bands and embrace the person next to us in the crowd (perhaps weigh that last one up on a case-by-case basis).

So many venues. So many blinding shows. One pair of ears. Is life unfair? Here are our Gigs of the Week.

Thursday 8th February

Peach Pit

Peach Pit + wych elm – Louisiana

If you’ve seen the dancing in the video to ‘Seventeen’ and the ‘face in the popcorn box’ on ‘Sweet FA’, you’ll know that Canadian ‘chewed bubblegum’ popsters, Peach Pit have a fine, dry sense of humour. 2017’s Being So Normal LP was as lively as it was introspective. More here…

Watercolours + MAUWE + Joe Probert – Mr Wolf’s

There’s a simmering bass and a shimmering synth to Watercolours’ sound. ‘Feel Tomorrow’ has vocals reminiscent of the lighter and gauzier indie of bands like The Beloved from circa 1990. They are as their name suggests, vibrant, engaging and sometimes a touch ethereal. More here…

Friday 9th February

Elea Calvet

Elea Calvet + Youth + Poisonous Birds – Crofters Rights

Enviably young, Elea Calvet’s talent also ought to make you delighted and yet insanely jealous in equal measures. French-Canadian by birth, she’s firmly Bristol-based, her urban grungy blues making her akin to a millennial Patti Smith. More here…

Himalayas + The Velvet Hands + Dead Royalties + We Are Parkas – Mothers Ruin 

‘Thank God I’m Not You,’ sing Cardiff garage-rockers, Himalayas. There’s a devilish charm to their confrontational songs, easily narky but likeably sarky. Imagine The Arctic Monkeys’ first album, with a bit of Weezer thrown in. More here…

GoGo Penguin + Jens Kuross – Trinity

If you’ve caught Badbadnotgood recently, you’ll surely be in possession of GoGo Penguin tickets now. This Manchester trio was Mercury-nominated in 2014, and in terms of their 2018 sound, they remain beguilingly atmospheric. Recent track, ‘Bardo’ is a fascinating trip-hop/jazz/ambient piece, like Orbital gone off-beat and experimental. More here…

Haus + Paris Youth Foundation- Hy-Brasil 

Alt-rock meets hip-hop to make this five-piece from Tottenham. Lyrically they are as honest as they come. ‘Say What You Say’ is a prime example, almost using that classic catchphrase from whatever that ITV programme about catchphrases was called. High-rises are described as ‘like middle-fingers.’ Expect plenty of bristle, Bristol. More here…

Saturday 10th February

Hookworms
Hookworms

Hookworms – Rough Trade

Gracing the Live Room at Rough Trade, before signing copies of their latest album, Microshift, Hookworms are in unusual territory and in exemplary form. MJ’s vocals have been given greater prominence in the mix and the arrangement of new songs is more clean-cut and sharply synth-driven. Expect earworms. More here…

The Gnarwhals + Leeches + Radiators – Exchange

This bill, labelled as Breakfast vs Owl, brings together talents of two fine local labels. Jamie Cruickshank, featured in Gigs of the Week recently in his own right, returns as part of The Gnarwhals. You’ll not get much of his folky, Totterdown-spotting persona. The Gnarwhals thump you with a raucous slab of slacker/skate/six-pints-later/sweary punk. More here…

Firewoodisland + Haytor + Hum Fuzz + Pompadour – Thunderbolt

Heading to the Thunderbolt is worth it for Firewoodisland’s mellifluous vocals alone, as you can hear on ‘Dearest Brother’ from Chaos Is The State Of Heart. Think Bon Iver, without the sonic weirdiness, or the harmonic beauty evoked by Darlingside. Make this band your warm winter refuge. More here…

Way Out West – Thekla

Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff are back with their fourth album in twenty years, We Love Machine. When the electronic music boom hit in the late 90s, and labels like Perfecto were king, they were up there with acts like Goldie, Massive Attack and Robert Miles. So it’s definitely ‘in with the new’, but will they give us a bit of that early Balearic Bristol sound too? More here…

Tuesday 13th February

Hollie Cook + General Roots – Thekla

When your Dad was in the Sex Pistols, your Mum sang with Culture Club and your step-dad is Boy George, you’re probably not likely to become a loss adjuster or a traffic warden. Hollie Cook, once a member of The Slits, is making waves on her own, with her ‘tropical pop’, giving reggae a mass-appeal, modern makeover. More here…

Wednesday 14th February

Bas Jan

Bas Jan + Pup Tent – Old England

This London experimental post-punk trio was formed after Serafina Steer ditched playing the harp for a bit, in favour of playing something a bit more portable and band-friendly. It’s eccentric art pop, taking its lead from their near-namesake, Dutch conceptual and performance artist, Bas Jan Ader. Their Bob The Builder/Obama-inspired album, Yes I Jan is out on the 9th. More here…

Cassels + Youth Man – Hy-Brasil

Jim and Loz Beck are from Chipping Norton. That’s not fundamental to their sound, or their identity. ‘Chipping’ is certainly a part of their game, though, as is blasting, searing and scouring. They deconstruct modern living, tracks from 2017’s Epithet containing punchy spoken-poetry lyrics. Not a gig for a second date, unless your other half loves great new music, that is. More here…

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You want more? We’ve got more. Check out our full listings here.

Can’t quite get out of the house? Listen to BLM in Session here.