Adrian Dutt, at the newly installed Rough Trade on Nelson Street, picks out his top local musical moments of the past 12 months
While I’ve only lived in Bristol for seven years, every single one of them has been soundtracked musically and visually by a burgeoning Bristol creative scene. 2017 was no different so, below, I’ve put together some favourite Bristol moments of the past year.
How could we write anything about this year without mentioning the current bastions of political post-punk, Idles? Their acerbic barrage of noise, with lashings of tongue-in-cheek wit, has seen them rise from hometown heroes to international noiseniks, quicker than Bowen (on guitar) loses his clothes on stage. They are flying the Bristol music scene flag far and wide, and we were lucky enough to have them christen our live space for their last show of the the year, laying waste to our walls and leaving a sweaty mass of embracing fans on the floor. You’ll struggle to meet a nicer, more grounded bunch of human beings. Next year holds bigger and better things for them, and we can’t wait to see what happens. We have a special Rough Trade edition of their debut album Brutalism in store now, but stocks won’t last too much longer. #DGG
Simple Things Festival
Always a highlight on our calendar, Simple Things festival delivered yet another day of amazing attention-to-detail programming. Highlights included Japanese Breakfast, Traams, Marie Davidson, Nadine Shah and the aforementioned Idles. To have a city festival of this standard on our doorstep is pretty damn spectacular.
Despite the horrendous weather, ArcTanGent festival delivered a stellar line-up in a field just outside Bristol. Left-field music fans come from every part of the world to join in on the three-day alternative/noise/metal/math rock melee, and the atmosphere is always one of unbridled glee. We caught the headline set from Converge – their only UK festival show – and it was a chaotic and decimating success. Their new album The Dusk In Us is out now and appears on a few of our staff ‘albums of the year’ lists.
The brainchild of Joe Bligh (Thorny) and Joe Hatt (Howling Owl), Coil is always a mind altering, inspirational and sense destroying affair. They manage to turn the Brunswick Club in Portland Square into a multi-tiered playground where art and music collide, writhing together in a throbbing strobe-lit mess. Always a safe space, the shows feel like a community coming together to immerse itself in something special. Bligh’s ‘Thorny’ nights should equally always be on your calendar.
We love meeting and becoming friends with the bands and artists based in Bristol – please do come and say hello. It would be impossible to mention them all, but here are some names you should all check out as soon as possible:
Oro Swimming Hour
The Karma Repair Kit
…And all the offshoots/collectives based around these bands. Bristol is alive with some of the most exciting bands and artists around right now.
Rough Trade Bristol!
We are so excited to finally be open and meeting new music fans in Bristol. Our whole team has migrated over from Rise, where we’ve worked together for the past few years so we shouldn’t be strangers to some of you. Our new live space really is something special, and we have already started curating some great events in its intimate surroundings. We have Django Django, The Go! Team, Field Music, Hookworms and Shame all already booked in, alongside a host of book talks and film screenings. We really want Rough Trade to be a destination where you can see amazing bands in a tiny venue and experience our passion for music and the arts. If you speak to any of our team, they will always recommend you a record you may not have heard of, and we are always out and about at Bristol shows so say hello. We hope to see you all soon!