Bristol's Live Picks: 16th-22nd JanuaryPosted on: 16 Jan 2017
Our pick of this week's live offerings finds a balance between fine, socially-conscious guitar music, made by both perservering legends and uncompromising upstarts, and groove-laden, movable house. With a bit of LA trap thrown in for good measure. Feast your ears.
Billy Bragg and Joe Henry - St George’s, 17.01
Billy Bragg has continued to justify his reputation as the gobbiest man in music ever since his emergence as the leader of the anti-folk movement of the ‘80s. Combining the social consciousness of guitar-toting songwriters like Dylan and Guthrie with the irreverent punk spirit that had shot up in the decade previous, the Essex-born upstart made a constant nuisance of himself at gigs and festivals with his left-wing rhetoric spilling over into inter-song anti-establishment soliloquys. The political tremors that have formed a radically new England over the last 12 months are unlikely to have blunted his tongue, so expect Bragg’s gig at St George’s to be typically insurgent - yet also packed full of the warmth and wit which has allowed him to write some of the finest love songs that this country has ever heard. Here he plays with friend Joe Henry, with whom he sculpted last year's Shine A Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad.
Addison Groove - The Love Inn, 19.01
Central to the ethos of Bristol residents Team Love is the mantra of ‘work hard, play hard’. The diligent set of party-throwers naturally need a place to unwind after a long day of planning a whole host of bashes, including Love Saves The Day and Love International, which is where their HQ, The Love Inn, comes in. Nothing but the sweetest of sountracks would be good enough for this joint, which is why it is regularly visited by DJs like Addison Groove, who, on Thursday, is dropping in to ply a typically grooving blend of afro, latin, boogie and disco at the launch of his new Tropical Discos night. The Bristol-born genre-straddler (née Anthony Johnson) has been knocking around for years, with a wide-ranging pool of fans including the likes of Radio 1 DJ Benji B, who had him in for a guest mix on his show last week.
Boogie Nights & Odo - Motion, 20.01
At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I can actually remember the first ever Boogie Nights. On a cold night in early 2015, Blue Mountain was saturated with shapes thrown to pumping groove-laden disco put out by local selectors picked by curators Methods. Bolstered by the success of that and other early nights, the event has gone from strength to strength and has a carved out a firm spot in the Bristol calendar with a series of stand-out parties at their adopted home of the Old Crown Courts. Their first of 2017, which sees them team up with Odo, is a marker of intent for much bigger things this year, with their takeover of the Motion skate park headed up by house legend and Man Make Music boss George FitzGerald (pictured), with the likes of Tom Trago, Jasper James and Dan Shake all stepping into the mixer too.
Howling Owl Presents: Girl Band - Arnolfini, 21.01
Girl Band is comprised of four men from Dublin. Post-ironic, post-modern, post-punk, they represent a fastidiously self-aware arm of the revivalist movement headed up by Ought, Savages and Preoccupations, with their cover of Blawan’s techno masterpiece ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ garnering attention for the bloody mess created by the tongue-shaped holes ripped through their cheeks. Noisy, conscious and completely visceral, the quartet's sound is at odds the altogether more peaceful venue of the Arnolfini, where they are the guests of Bristol-based record label Howling Owl for the fourth instalment of their New Year / New Noise series, which therefore represents an intriguing live proposal. Also on the bill are Silver Waves, johnsmith, ASDA, Yama Warashi and CLAY-TON-LAW-SON.
Rae Sremmurd - O2 Academy, 21.01
The unusually-named Rae Sremmurd take their moniker from an inverse of the EarDrummers syndicate owned by producer Mike WiLL Made It, who, in featuring their debut single ‘We’ on his 2013 mixtape, gave the duo a break. The tight relationship with their backwards namesake continued as WiLL took on production duties for the two studio albums which have since arrived in the from of Sremmlife Vols. I and II. The star-spangled guestlist on these reads like a who’s who of trappy hip-hop, with Gucci Mane, Young Thug and Nicki Minaj all helping out. Expect both records to receive healthy airings at their O2 show on Saturday night.
An ardent Geordie minus the accent, Sam seemingly strove to get as far away from the Toon as possible, as soon as university beckoned. Three undergraduate years at UoB were more than ample time for Bristol (as it inevitably does) to get under his skin, and so here he remains: reporting, as Assistant Editor, on the cultural happenings which so infatuated him with the city. Catch him at firstname.lastname@example.org.