Bristol Live Music Highlights - December 2018

Bristol Live Music Highlights - December 2018

Posted on: 29 Nov 2018

Here at 365Bristol, we're committed to making you aware of the best Bristol has to offer in terms of live music, great food and drink, days out and more. With the Live Music Highlights series, we'll be providing you with a list of the top live events at the beginning of every month, taking into account some of the city's favourite acts and venues as well as some you might never have heard of. December 2018 gets off to a flyer with three huge gigs taking place on Saturday 1st before Bristol welcomes indie veteran Miles Kane, Aussie up-and-comers DMA's, pioneering electronic duo Orbital and more before Christmas rolls around.


The Mouse Outfit @ Trinity Centre, Saturday 1st December

The Mouse Outfit live at Trinity Centre.

Manchester collective The Mouse Outfit are one of the UK's best hip-hop exports in recent years. They've performed live in cities across the country and beyond - on three continents so far - and have racked up online views and streams in the tens of millions. Their style takes influence from a number of genres as well as hip-hop including jazz, funk and soul, and their first two albums were released to widespread acclaim. Catch them at Trinity Centre on their first return to Bristol since a support slot for Wu-Tang OG GZA back in September.


Friendly Fires @ Anson Rooms, Saturday 1st December

St Albans trio Friendly Fires made their comeback in 2018 following a year-long hiatus, and will be welcomed to the Anson Rooms this month as part of the 2018 In:Motion series. The band have enjoyed a busy and successful summer during which they sold out the 5,000-capacity Brixton Academy and appeared at numerous high-profile festivals, and are embarking on a short UK tour to promote their new single, 'Heaven Let Me In', produced alongside renowned electronic duo Disclosure.


808 State @ SWX, Saturday 1st December

808 State live at SWX Bristol.

808 State are often credited as being one of the originating acts of the entire UK dance music scene, with their first project 'Newbuild' dating back to 1988. The pioneering acid house found commercial notoriety when their track 'Pacific State' was picked up by Radio 1 in 1989 (it has since become immortalised among UK dance music aficionados of any and all underground genres), and they're marking their 30th anniversary this year with a huge UK tour. Don't miss them at SWX at the start of the month.


Miles Kane @ O2 Academy Bristol, Monday 3rd December

Miles Kane has transformed himself into a successful solo act since his days performing alongside Alex Turner as The Last Shadow Puppters, kicking off with his well-received solo debut, Colour Of The Trap, in 2011. His latest project, titled Coup de Grace and released in August 2018, has been a commercial success and has led to an extensive UK tour for November and December 2018 - having already performed in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Norwich, Leeds and Hull in November, Kane is set to arrive in Bristol on Monday 3rd December for a show at The O2 Academy.


DMA's @ Anson Rooms, Wednesday 5th December

DMA's live at Anson Rooms.

Aussie three-piece DMA's have been making waves in the UK in the last two or three years thanks to their Manchester-influenced indie sound. Two critically-acclaimed albums - Hill's End in 2016 and For Now in April this year - have led to comparisons with legendary UK acts like Oasis and The Stone Roses, and have landed the band an endorsement from Liam Gallagher himself. Having gone from playing to 100 at the old Start The Bus in 2015 to a headline show at the O2 Academy earlier this year the band's stock is clearly on the rise - make sure you catch DMA's at a small venue while you still can.


Etta Bond & Mercy's Cartel @ Rough Trade Records, Thursday 6th December

Not concerned with the ordinary, Etta Bond has no interest in sitting down and fitting in. As passionate about feminist expression as she is about creative gratification, Bond is opinionated, forceful and has a point to make. Her unique brand of soul music has seen her work with the likes of Skepta and Wretch 32 in the past, and the opportunity to catch her perform an intimate live show at Rough Trade shouldn't be passed up. Watch out for Bristol locals Mercy's Cartel and Chikaya on supporting duty, both of whom featured in the first edition of our brand-new Bristol Focus Spotify playlist.


Cousin Kula @ The Louisiana, Thursday 6th December

Cousin Kula at The Louisiana.

Cousin Kula are quickly winning over more and more fans outside their native Bristol, where they've already established a firm fan base. Their brand of quintessentially British-sounding psych-pop blends strong vocals, rich synths and accomplished production, and the band has already supported the likes of The Kooks and Dutch Uncles. Catch them headlining The Louisiana this month.


Mabel @ O2 Academy Bristol, Monday 10th December

At just 22 years old, up-and-coming pop queen Mabel has gone from strength to strength with her soulful vocals and playful, pop-printed accents and platinum-selling singles. Forging a candid identity, her breakthrough sound has gauged critical acclaim for its exploration of current issues, alongside its unmistaken sun-kissed beats. The fact that Mabel's O2 Academy Bristol Facebook event is accompanied with a singular fire emoji in the description box says it all - point proven with a slew of well-received releases, Mabel is ready to perform on the big stages and show the UK what she's made of.


Waldo's Gift Reworks Bonobo @ The Gallimaufry, Wednesday 12th December

Made up of acclaimed Cousin Kula drummer James Vine, Route2Roots bassist Harry Stoneham and Alun Elliott-Williams on guitar, Waldo's Gift have made a name for themselves with weekly performances at The Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road. They'll be presenting their regular show on Wednesday 12th December with an intriguing twist, paying tribute to all-encompassing British producer Bonobo by performing his brilliant Black Sands album in its entirety. Free-to-attend midweek jams don't get much better than this so get yourself down.


London African Gospel Choir presents Paul Simon's Graceland @ O2 Academy Bristol, Saturday 15th December

London African Gospel Choir presents Graceland live at O2 Academy Bristol.

London African Gospel Choir are making their return to Bristol this month to bring their much-loved performance of Paul Simon's seminal album, Graceland, to the O2 Academy. The Bristol show marks the last leg of the choir's UK tour before going on to America in February where they'll visit New York, Conneticut and Boston among others. The show is also taking place at the end of a year that saw famed American singer-songwriter Paul Simon perform his farewell UK shows - the upcoming LAGC performance will include all the songs from the Graceland album and more.


Orbital @ O2 Academy Bristol, Sunday 16th December

Legendary electronic duo Orbital are one of the first acts that come to mind when you think of original British dance music, with an immortal discography that includes seminal singles like 'Belfast' and 'Halcyon and On and On'. Having just finished work on their first new album in six years the pair are embarking on a live UK tour that includes a Bristol show at the O2 Academy on Sunday 16th December, making this one a perfect way to bring your weekend to a close. 


Ticket availability and information for the above events is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change. For more information on each event or to see what else is on at their respective venues, follow the links in the headings.

Article by:

Matt Robson

Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt recently completed a degree in Journalism at UWE. He is keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends live music and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at