4th May | Thekla

I don’t know about you, but I know the name Laid Blak from Sunday afternoons in big, unrecognisable green fields, staring longingly at the blue sky and seeing double as I turn my head towards the sound of my name being called. The faint chant “My eyes are red” is ingrained into my teen-to-adulthood memories for eternity.

Laid Blak have, over the years, trodden a path very unique to the underground music jungle, navigating digestible dancehall and roots that caught the eye of Ed Sheeran, through forests of ska, hip-hop and vast bhangra and soul deserts. Their sound, unlike the name may suggest, is usually far from laid back but enjoys straddling genres, postcodes and time zones.

On Saturday night the Bristol heavyweights are taking the helm at Thekla to celebrate its 35th birthday. Formerly opened under the name ‘The Old Profanity Showboat’ back in 1984, Laid Blak will be bringing danceable festival vibes to Thekla – kicking off the first May bank holiday in true Bristolian fashion. Their lyrics have been co-opted by big pop names and the outfit are pioneers of party starting, after many a season playing across stages at Glastonbury, Boomtown and sessions at BBC’s Maida Vale, Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Warming up the crowd will be master reggae spinners, Fat Stash and further support from Dr Meaker. This is the start of the bank holiday baby, so get ready for a storm of groovy reggae beats, up-tempo drums and enough bass to knock your going-out pants straight off.

See the video for ‘A Little Bit of This’ here: