Chloe Ward, UK Director of Independent Venue Week (IVW) shares her favourites picks for January. IVW takes place on 29th January to 4th February.

Chiverin Showcase: Fenne Lily, Oro Swimming Hour, Scalping, The Gnarwhals and more – The Louisiana, 3rd Feb

Music community and record label, Chiverin, grew from the bowels of The Louisiana, one of the city’s prime breeding grounds for cutting edge music. It’s there that they’ve put on shows with the likes of Blossoms, Sinkane, Phaeleh, Champs and many more, but it’s IVW that’s been the opportunity for both us and them to showcase local talent and invite people into our home-from-home for a mini festival once a year.

Four years ago, Fenne Lily opened the first ever IVW showcase in the cellar (that same year Bad Sounds played in the bar) and it seems more fitting than ever that she should headline this year’s event – on the eve of her highly-anticipated debut album. The show will see an array of acts across three stages, with the fantastic Oro Swimming Hour (one half of which is Bristol fave Oliver Wilde), Scalping and the never-disappointing Gnarwhals all announced so far.

Gigs of the Week

Big Jeff and IVW present: Jesuits, Iceman Furness Quartet, Emily Underwood and Big Jeff (DJ Set) – Exchange, 31st Jan

Big Jeff returns to the Exchange for a second year, with a specially-curated show in collaboration with IVW. Jesuits headline, blurring genres to utilise a blend of gothic rock, trap, shoegaze and experimental electronics. Joining them are The Iceman Furness Quartet. Centred around cornet player Harry Furniss, he forges ahead with some of the most interesting musicians in Bristol to produce fully-improvised, uncompromising and soulful punk-art-jazz.

Described as powerful, personal and profound, Emily Isherwood – also known as Nugget and Ema Sierra – rounds off the live lineup. Emily’s debut demo tape, put out by Breakfast Records, holds four enigmatic acoustic folk offerings best experienced live.

We Broke Free on Tour: Leeches, San. Marlo, Lyra and Sad Love – Hy-Brasil, 1st Feb

South Coast-based promoters We Broke Free are taking four bands from Bournemouth on tour during IVW. Leeches (prev. released on Bristol’s Leisure Records) bring infectious pop hooks to fuzzed-out rock, while San. Marlo have quickly made their mark on the UK with their brand new UN EP, upon which inspiration from both the chilled out seaside and its darker, watery depths can be heard.

Next, Lyra blend distressing sounds with relaxed riffs, in songs indebted as much to the The Cure as they are 90s shoegaze. Finally, Sad Love complete the tour lineup with dream pop which is somehow simultaneously sad (obviously) and uplifting.