Touring season is drawing to a close, but it’s going out with a bang. You’ll have to fit in your office shenanigans around this little lot, otherwise Christmas will be a party popper and a paper hat, rather than fizz-induced fuzziness, halls decked with holly and a gutful of spuds. Very much like any cracker you’ve ever pulled at Christmas time, you know exactly what you’re going to get out of Bristol’s live music scene – varied delight. This week is no exception. Happy listening and thanks again for supporting your local venues.
Thursday 7th December
Low Chimes – Louisiana
Stroud makes its first, but not last appearance on this week’s GOTW. Low Chimes were called Hot Feet, up to the point at which they were swamped by foot fetishist sites on t’Internet and needed a less kinky identity. Their indie-folk has been showcased by Marc Riley and Guy Garvey on 6Music, and their 2017 debut album, Illumine will enlighten you.
Moulettes – Trinity
Moulettes use the versatility of Hannah Miller and Raevennan Husbandes’ vocals, plus their armoury of instrumentals skills, including electric five-string cello, to create an enthralling art-rock, electro-acoustic, prog melée. On ‘Coral,’ they sing, “We are the force of nature you cannot control.” True dat.
Mammal Hands – Fleece
You may need to add a saxophone, a piano and drums to your Christmas list after listening to the meditative jazz-but-not-quite-jazz of Mammal Hands. You might just want their recent album, Shadow Work. Hailing from Norwich, they’ll bring relief to the end of your busy week, very much like the Norfolk ring road or the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre.
Friday 8th December
Benjamin Clementine – Colston Hall
He’s won a Mercury Music Prize. He sings and the world seems to stand still for a short while. He’s named after a citrus fruit. How can one man fill a huge space? Get along and find out.
Musicians Against Homelessness Fundraiser: Chinese Burn + The Setbacks + Laymans Terms + Kearney’s Jig – Mothers Ruin
You don’t really have to read past the title of this to work out why to go. However, you’ll get a headline set from loud-and-proud, not-following-the-crowd punky growlers from Stroud, Chinese Burn. If you haven’t been given a Chinese burn since you were seven, you’re long overdue.
Audiophiles: ARNI + Goyataxi + Amy Yon + Joe from IDLES DJ set – Hy-Brasil
Árni, bassist of The Vaccines, headlines this Audiophiles line-up. Don’t expect him to sound like The Vaccines. Solo, he sounds as much like them as Steps would. In his own words, “Everything I write sounds like the soundtrack to an early-morning, space-age pool party.” Dress code for the evening is ‘astronaut in Speedos,’ I believe.
Saturday 9th December
Ho99o9 – Fiddlers
Pronounced ‘Horror’, Ho99o9 take the sound of riotous and righteous anger, and give it a bit of extra ‘999’ treatment. But will you need the police, the fire service or an ambulance after a sonic scouring at Fiddlers? All three, most likely.
Beans on Toast + Skinny Lister – SWX
If you’re not up for having the bejesus scared out of you at Fiddlers, then you can indulge in some gentler strumming and fiddling with this double-headline billing at SWX. Beans on Toast ought to be suitably warming (and counts as one of your five a day). Skinny Lister will fill you with folk-punk merriment with their current festive Pogues-y, drinkalong track, ‘Christmas Cheer.’
Rainmaker – Mothers Ruin
Launching their new EP, Rainmaker bring their post-punk energy to the Mothers Ruin. Formed only last year in Exeter, they have adopted our fine city as their home, so the least we can do is make them feel at home.
Sunday 10th December
GNOD + Massimo and Thighpaulsandra – Exchange
This is a stripped-back version of GNOD, officially appended with (R&D) to let fans know that they’re giving something different from the furious frenzy of the last ten years. The set will consist of co-founders, Paddy Shine and Chris Haslam, experimenting with different sounds, as well as inviting members of the audience to get onstage and get involved. And their name is amusing if you read it backwards.
Dote – Hy-Brasil
If you think what it is like to dote on someone, you’ll know how it’ll feel to be smitten by hooky German indie blokes, Dote. With the Bowie-meets-Robert-Smith vocals of Jonah Lemm and the insistent bass groove that renders you incapable of staying still, you’ll be forgiven for pushing to the front and developing a monumental crush.
Monday 11th December
Cloud Nothings – Thekla
Interviewees in December’s edition of BLM, Cloud Nothings are back at Thekla for the second time this year. They’ll be mainlining on their recent album Life Without Sound. As lead man, Dylan Baldi told us, “It just sounds stronger and we’ve gotten a bit tighter. All of the songs sound better and they’re a little dirtier than they are on the record.”
John MOuse – Crofters Rights
Working with Sweet Baboo, the lovably-eccentric John MOuse (not to be confused with John Maus) has recently wrapped up his new album, Replica Figures, due out in February. With the insightful absurdity of a Welsh Half Man Half Biscuit, channelling Mark E. Smith, Pulp and The Manics, John MOuse brings the kind of cerebral infestation of thoughtful mirth from which you’re not guaranteed to recover.
Tuesday 12th December
Green Gartside and Alexis Taylor – St George’s
Scritti Politti meets Hot Chip, and the 80s meet the noughties, as Green Gartside and Alexis Taylor bring their like-minded recipes to the table. Expect a large helping of beautiful melancholia, washed down with a glass or two of something refreshingly bitter.
Jordan Allen – Crofters Rights
Richly steeped in the legacy of bands like The Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats and the short-lived glories of Little Man Tate, Bolton’s Jordan Allen bring their geezer-guided melodies to the Crofters Rights. Check out their recent track, ‘R.O.S.I.E’ for a thoroughly infectious dose that is bound to make you clap.
Wednesday 13th December
Ardyn – Thekla
They’re back and it’s still free. Playing the final date of their short Thekla residency, Ardyn will make the Thekla’s top deck the toppermost deck imaginable.
Emma Ruth Rundle – Louisiana
It’s hard to encapsulate how atmospheric Emma Ruth Rundle’s post-country ambience is. Fans of Mazzy Starr, or devotees of the slower, moodier Waxahatchee tunes may well have a sense straightaway of where I’m coming from. Someone who cites two big influences as Kate Bush and David Lynch frankly can’t be anything but supremely intriguing.
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.