Live Review: FORWARDS Festival 2023
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by Eloise Kirton
3M ago
Words by Eloise Kirton. Photography by Beth Whelan, Ciara Hillyer, Gulia, Khali Photography & Tom Whitson. Hosting approximately 30,000 people at one of Bristol’s most scenic green spaces, the Clifton Downs, FORWARDS Festival returns for its second year running. The team behind the festival describe the event as ‘a new inner city music festival’ that aims to bring the ‘biggest names in international music’ to The Downs each September. The aim of FORWARDS is to host well-established and greatly loved acts alongside some of the best new talent from Bristol and elsewhere. Not only does the fe ..read more
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Live Review: The Walkmen – SWX
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by Elliott Simpson
3M ago
Words by Elliott Simpson. Photography by SWX. Birthed out of the same early 2000s New York music scene as acts like The Strokes, Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Walkmen are a band that have always slipped under the radar slightly. They’ve never had a song quite as ubiquitous as ‘Last Nite’ or ‘Maps’, and while this may have prevented them from rising to headliner status, it has also helped them to cultivate a passionate, devoted fanbase. When the band finally called it quits in 2013, they left behind an incredibly strong and diverse discography – ranging from scuzzy rockers to gentle, te ..read more
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Live Review: Men I Trust – SWX
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by Elliott Simpson
4M ago
Words by Elliott Simpson. In a way, it feels like Men I Trust came out of nowhere – as if the Montreal trio suddenly materialised out of thin air one day with a hundred or so dream-pop songs under their belt. But really, they’ve been working hard for a long time. Now, nine years and four albums deep into their career, the band have slowly built up a following through online word of mouth; though they’ve never been reviewed by, say, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone or NME, Men I Trust managed to sell-out their show at SWX months in advance, as well as most of the other dates on their UK tour. Part of t ..read more
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Live Review: MIKA – Bristol Sounds
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by Oliver Evans
5M ago
Words by Oliver Evans. Photography by Ania Shrimpton. Nobody emanates joy like Michael Holbrook. His debut album Life in Cartoon Motion was a technicolour escapist daydream laced with dopamine and propelled by empowering queer anthems, these hit singles made the record quadruple platinum based on sales across Europe. As far as Bristol Sounds headliners go, booking Mika for Pride Month was a masterful stroke of genius – his biggest single ‘Grace Kelly’ was inspired by a record label who didn’t sign him because they wanted a more conventional and streamlined Robbie Williams type. This bigoted su ..read more
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Live Review: Circa Waves – O2 Academy Bristol
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by Jon Kean
5M ago
Words by Jon Kean. Top of anyone’s list of ‘generally poor ideas on possibly the warmest night of the year’ would be to assemble in a confined space and jump up and down to hi-tempo, high-energy guitar music. Circa Waves had to postpone the original date in more temperate times earlier in the year due to the significant and (at the time) concerning illness of frontman, Kieran Shudall and reschedule in June. Heading, as we are, into festival season, Tuesday night’s show (13th June) was their own veritable SweatFest. It’s worth getting the ‘t-shirt weather’ reference in early here. Strictly spea ..read more
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Live Review: Love Saves The Day 2023
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by Oliver Evans
6M ago
Words by Oliver Evans. Photos by Plaster PR. Late May marked the long-awaited return of Love Saves The Day to kickstart the summer. The sparkly soiree was created by Team Love, the production company behind the biggest local events such as multi-venue festival Simple Things and the famous giant spider stage Arcadia. Saturday brought scorching temperatures and a lively set from Kelis. The genre-hopping singer infused ‘Milkshake’ using Wu Tang Clan classic ‘Gravel Pit’ as the backing track and cooly breezed through ‘Trick Me’. The thumping club banger ‘Acapella’ delivered the final blow, shaking ..read more
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Live Review: The Beths – SWX
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by Elliott Simpson
6M ago
Words by Elliott Simpson. When it comes to writing fizzy, catchy hooks, The Beths have it down to a science. It’s this, combined with the emotional honesty of Elizabeth Stokes’ lyrics, that’s allowed the New Zealand quartet to sell out Bristol’s SWX despite hailing from the other side of the world. There’s something universally appealing about the way they write songs; accessible enough that you can get away with just dipping your toe in, but with enough depth available if you want to wade in much further. The band enter the stage to a stripped-down synth cover of ‘Future Me Hates Me’, before ..read more
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Live Review: Cloud Nothings – Dareshack
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by Oliver Evans
6M ago
Words by Olly Evans. You could consider Cloud Nothings as mavericks of their genre at this stage of their career, towering over their peers based on the sheer amount of output they have released in the last ten years. What began as recording in their parents basement in the MySpace era has evolved into nine albums worth of lo-fi scuzz charting their rocky road of existentialism and self-discovery. This isn’t even counting their Bandcamp subscription that offers a new song every month for die-hard fans. Reflecting on their breakthrough album Attack on Memory, frontman Dylan Baldi recently told ..read more
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Live Review: Nova Twins – Trinity Centre
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by Oliver Evans
7M ago
Words by Oliver Evans. It has been a long time coming, but you could say the success of Nova Twins was written in the stars. When Amy Love met Georgia South through dating South’s brother, despite the break-up that followed they quickly became firm friends – so making music together seemed like a natural evolution for them. The punk duo recently released their second album Supernova which catapulted them to stardom and attracted nominations for the Mercury Prize 2022 and the BRIT Awards. Critical accolades flooded in praising the pairs’ knack for genre-splicing, mixing R&B, punk and electr ..read more
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Live Review: Florist – Strange Brew
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by Elliott Simpson
7M ago
Words by Elliott Simpson. “Please make yourself comfortable throughout,” Florist frontwoman Emily Sprague says early on during their performance. It sounds like she’s speaking to a couple of house guests rather than a filled-out room full of fans, but the word comfortable sums up the mood of the evening perfectly. Intimacy has always been a key descriptor of Florist’s music. Centred around Sprague’s finger-picked guitar and confessional lyrics, the band have never been one for bombast. It’s something that could easily backfire on them in a live setting; the spell of their music only works if e ..read more
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