Amanda Nicholls rounds up the cream of this month’s Bristol dates
Once the nights draw in, our default mode is gig-hunter; avidly Googling for news on which hot acts will warm us up as winter approaches. In addition to the brimming local concert offering, the Doc’n Roll Bristol premiere of Where Does a Body End? has caught our eye this month. Over at Rough Trade on 7 November, it’s part of Doc’n Roll Film Festival supported by the British Film Institute and offers an intimate portrait of the band SWANS, going back to their roots as a confrontational post-punk band that emerged from the early 1980s. Meanwhile on the live show front…
Portico Quartet, Trinity Centre, 7 November
The Mercury Prize-nominees, who have crafted a unique soundscape over the course of their critically acclaimed discography, are back to showcase songs from new album Memory Streams. The London four-piece blend jazz and electronica to create ambient minimalism and push their cinematic sound to mesmerising heights.
The Heavy, SWX, 8 November
This Bath-born band defy the old pigeonhole, drawing on soul, funk, hip-hop, rock and more. Still going strong over a decade into their career, The Heavy are now giving fans a new fix of their infectious sound with the uplifting Sons. Remember breakthrough single How You Like Me Now? and What Makes A Good Man? (It featured in the Guinness ad with the sharp-dressed Congolese ‘sapeurs’.) Even if not, they’re well worth a punt.
Elles Bailey, Thekla, 8 November
Singer-songwriter Elles Bailey hails from Bristol and weaves rootsy blues, country and rock together, giving them a contemporary edge. Join her for the hometown date on her Road I Call Home tour – the album, demonstrating a deeper musical maturity, was recorded in Nashville, naturally, with some of Music City’s top players.
RE:IMAGINE Daft Punk, O2 Academy, 12 November
This 16-piece orchestral rendition of Daft Punk’s signature house, electro, funk, rock and synthpop fusion has become a sought-after musical experience, with immersive visuals and an elaborate light show – get yourself a piece of the action at the O2.
Heavy Lungs, Thekla, 16 November
Formed in 2017 in Bristol, Heavy Lungs have gone from packed shows at Crofters Rights, and recording an EP in three days, to a raucous set at Simple Things and support slots for best pals Idles’ sold-out UK tour. Looks like this is just the beginning – support the homeboys while there’s still just enough room to wiggle to the front.
Cass McCombs, St George’s Bristol, 18 November
Californian Cass has become renowned for his soulful, contemporary Americana and astute lyricism over his eight albums. He’s back this month with his idiosyncratic ninth, Tip of the Sphere, plus a newfound confidence, fervent rock songs and beautiful ballads.
Hawkwind, Anson Rooms, 19 November
A 50th anniversary tour to accompany the space-rock pioneers’ Royal Albert Hall gig in November and follow on from 2018’s sell-out tour of groundbreaking production In Search of Utopia.
Happy Mondays, O2 Academy, 23 November
The legendary Manchester band is back in Bristol as part of a marathon headline tour, performing a variety of hits from across their hugely influential career. Hallelujah! What a way to round up 2019.
Quantic, Marble Factory, 29 November
The forward-thinking electronic music of Quantic crosses borders and embraces Will Holland’s love of bridging gaps across cultures and genres. Best enjoyed, we think, with a full live band – head to Marble Factory for exactly this at the end of the month.