13th December | Mothers Ruin

With the usual pre-Christmas party spirit having been dampened somewhat by some post-election blues, Bristol feels ready for a pick-me-up tonight. For those who have made the choice to come to the Mother’s Ruin, they will have definitely found what they needed.

The night gets off to a good start, with local punk two-piece Spunking Octochoke performing a feisty set, closing by wandering through the crowd shouting “POWER! PUSSY!” at random people, before collapsing in a heap on the ground. Keeping the energy going are Los Grebos, who perform a lively sixties psych and garage set, with a particularly enjoyable Doors cover among them, aided by some excellent sax work.

Proceedings are ramped up considerably, though, with the arrival of A Void. Originally from Paris, but now based in London, the grunge trio have built a strong reputation for themselves around their dark songwriting and a live show that occasionally dispenses with the human instinct for self-preservation.

Tonight, the band are clearly in a very political mood, and perform a set that is very much at the fast-and-punky end of their spectrum. This is exemplified by their performance of ‘Let’s Go To The Future’, an old track that they haven’t performed for some time, but with its “make a revolution” refrain, clearly one that they saw as appropriate for this night.

By the time they roll through live staples, ‘Compainte’ and ‘She Threw Her Baby From The 7th Floor’, A Void have got the crowd fired right up. Singer, Camille Alexander shows her immense talent, and her great chemistry with bassist Aaron Hartmann, and doesn’t appear to break herself or any of the Mothers Ruin’s fixtures or fittings in the process. Win-win all round.

If A Void are here to release some political angst, though, headliners Brasher are here to bring the party – and boy, do they bring it with some aplomb. Opening with ‘Fuck Shades’, Brasher win the crowd over immediately with their fast, rowdy brand of southern-tinged punk/garage rock, notably with the bruising-but-groovy ‘Six Foot Biscuit’. Although their debut album Everything has only been released on the day of this show, the songs are so strong that they immediately feel familiar.

Singer Max may look like a World War II airman, but he absolutely tears this place up with his fierce, gravelly vocals. Behind him, Mel and Stu interplay brilliantly on guitar and bass, and Lea absolutely pounds the drumkit. Musically, they probably sound most like The Bronx, but with a much more positive energy. As a live act, they are all about the fun, with their flamboyant movements and crowd-pleasing sensibilities almost being reminiscent of 80s hair metal, in a good way.

Everything really is ridiculously good for a debut record, and it is absolutely mind-boggling that this is only Brasher’s third ever show. They have so much charisma, and they are tighter than a duck’s arse on stage; you would think they had been touring together for years. No band has the right to be this good, this quickly.

In a city that knows its punk rock like Bristol does, Brasher are going to become local favourites in no time at all, absolutely guaranteed.

Listen to ‘Eagles’ here: