We’re officially into touring season. It’s cold, summer is well and truly over, and the shops are already preparing for Christmas (they start earlier every year, right?). A few of you might be a bit sad about this, but some of the best artists and bands are on the road to turn your frowns upside down. Plus, jumping around at a gig might be just the trick to warm yourselves up. Here’s some recommendations on who to catch in Bristol this month – a lot of gigs are selling out so if you wanna see someone, make sure you’re quick to buy your tickets!
Sasami – Rough Trade – 3rd November
Sasami has been making music in Los Angeles for a long time now and has got herself a reputation as a bit of a “musical badass”. She’s an all-rounder when it comes to instruments, playing the French horn, keys, bass, guitar, contributing to both string and vocal arrangements, and becoming the “Synth Queen” whilst on tour with Cherry Glazerr. Her debut album is coming soon, and you can get a first listen to the material she’s working on at her Rough Trade show. Supported by BIMM Bristol student Herbal Tea, who recently had her festival debut at Simple Things, and Swallow Cave, it’s going to be a night of female-fronted music to inspire you. Find your ticket here.
RAYE – Thekla – 5th November
After many successful singles and her ‘SECOND’ EP, RAYE’s latest record ‘Side Tape’ dropped this year, as well as the single ‘Friends’ which has over 9 million streams. But, that’s nothing in comparison to her song ‘Decline’, which has over 39 million listens on Spotify – that’s more than the population of Canada… just think about that. Clearly RAYE has something to say and people are listening up. Check her out and see what all the fuss is about by going to her headline Thekla gig. Tickets available here.
Parcels – SWX – 6th November
If you like to move and groove, look no further than Parcels. Having just released their self-titled debut album, this Aussie funk-pop group are bringing the waves from their hometown of Byron Bay all the way to Bristol. The band have been going from strength to strength since the release of their 2017 EP ‘Hideout’, named as the ‘soundtrack of the year’ by many respected names such as Clash, Noisey, Wonderland and The Guardian. These guys are full of toe-tapping, head-bopping beats and they will turn SWX into the worthy dance floor it’s always had the potential to be. They’ve got the funk, and you’ve gotta have that funk… buy a ticket here while there’s still some left.
Sam Fender – Thekla – 7th November – SOLD OUT
Sam Fender is definitely one to watch. With a performance on Jools Holland now ticked off his bucket list, he’s aiming high and is certainly on his way to getting there. Every single he releases is bigger and better than the last, and he’s just announced his EP is coming out on November 20th, so expect to hear a lot of new material at this show. This Northern lad is a talented one, and he’s using his music for good: one of his recent songs, ‘Dead Boys’, talks about male suicide and challenges the stigma around mental health. An important topic, presented in the form of a beautiful song. Unfortunately, this show looks like it is sold out but, keep an ear out, as you might be able to get a last-minute ticket. But don’t buy from touts or pay over the odds – no one wants to be that person.
RAT BOY – O2 Academy – 13th November
RAT BOY has joined forces with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong for his upcoming album ‘Internationally Unknown’, which is to be released on January 25th next year. This is RAT BOY’s second full-length record, his follow up to 2017’s ‘SCUM’ which landed him praise from both the mainstream industry and fans alike. RAT BOY has a knack for making music on the topics that young people really are worried about – not just what songwriters think the youth of today will want to hear. This authenticity has gained him a loyal fan-base, so he must be doing something right. He released a few tracks from the new album already, and you can hear plenty more of them if you go to this show. Tickets are still available, but won’t be for long:
Tricot – The Fleece – 13th November
This band are Japanese math rockers – yup, you heard right. Known to “create tightly controlled chaos”, this band sing entirely in Japanese, which is a rarity in bands that manage to cross over to a Western audience. They’ve released three albums, the second one championed by NME, and also toured with the Pixies. The last time they were in the area was at ArcTanGent festival 2017, which is run by BIMM Bristol tutor James Scarlett. This time however, it’s a headline at The Fleece, where they’ll be supported by BIMM Bristol alumni No Violet and experimental group a-tota-so. Tickets available here.
Elea Calvet – Rough Trade – 17th November
In celebration of her latest single, Elea Calvet is holding a launch party that you won’t want to miss. ‘Sacrifice’ was released on October 19th, an enchanting and dreamlike piece that highlights Elea’s emotive and unique voice. With support from BBC Introducing, Bristol Live and The Line of Best Fit, she’s coming out of the dark and into the limelight with her creative and original sound. Tickets still available here.
The Japanese House – Thekla – 22nd November
“Lush dream pop and brooding electronica” describes Amber Bain’s (aka The Japanese House) sound perfectly. She’s got a few EPs out already and her debut album is due soon, but no date announced yet. To tide us over, last month she released ‘Lilo’, a track about how she is “good at falling in love” and “can survive falling out of it”. It’ll be featured on the new album and is a sign of exciting things to come. See her play Thekla, and get lost in the world of The Japanese House. Tickets available here.
Farebrother – Rough Trade – 29th November
This indie-rock quartet from Bath are headlining Bristol’s Rough Trade for the first time this November, and you better get your dancing shoes ready. Farebrother have had a busy couple of years, releasing some high-quality singles and playing shows with great bands such as The Amazons, Baby Strange, The Sherlocks and Flyte. Their single ‘Rewind’ has over 90,000 streams on Spotify, a number not to be sniffed at considering the band are unsigned. Their latest artwork used to promote the gig show the band donned in 70s white jumpsuits, posed underneath a giant shimmering disco ball… If their music doesn’t temp you, those pictures sure will. Tickets are already selling fast so you better be quick.
Matt Maltese – Thekla – 30th November
A rising star in the eyes of many, Matt Maltese is coming to Thekla and you’ll want to be in the audience. He describes himself as ‘Brexit pop’, not only unique and highly relevant, but also a bit sad… however, unlike Brexit, you’ll leave with a smile and get what you bought into – a great performance. Matt’s take on negative topics and situations capture your attention with ease. Watching him perform will cause more joy than he ever expected, considering he has songs entitled ‘Misery’ and ‘As the World Caves In’ (that last one is particularly good). His 2018 album ‘Bad Contestant’ is doing extremely well, so grab a ticket and see what he’s all about for yourself.