What's On in Bristol
Gig guide & event listings
Bristol's local and trusted what's on guide.
Events in Bristol
Headfirst is Bristol's leading gig guide with a freshly launched online ticket shop. We work directly with the city's promoters to provide the most up-to-date guide what's on in Bristol you'll find. The events calendar includes all events happening in Bristol tonight and for the forthcoming weekend. If you're a musician, band member or club night organiser be sure to add your event to the Headfirst Bristol calendar.
Made famous by the legendary Lakota, Bristol's warehouse events are the keystone to the city's clubbing culture. These no-frills venues are the place to see Bristol's house and techno at it's best. If you need addmission to forthcoming warehouse parties, you can buy Blue Mountain tickets here.
Bristol has always had it's fair share of what's on resources. While paper-based listings magazines like Venue and forums like Hijack Bristol favoured certain musical niches, Headfirst was Bristol's first truely comprehensive what's on resource. Our listings not only go far into the future (click on a date in the calendar) but also provide some great last minute resources. If you're planning a night out at short notice please see our list of live music tonight and events listings for this weekend.
Venues like Colston Hall and Thekla usually get most of the attention when Bristol's gigs are discussed online. Headfirst aims to put the focus on Bristols smaller live music venues. Here, you can buy tickets for concerts at Bristol's Louisiana and Exchange or browse our entire Bristol gig list.
UNDERGROUND TECHNO W/ SOLAR –– Since the early 90s, Solar has been a cornerstone of San Francisco's underground club scene. Through seminal parties Sunset Sound System and No Way Back, he has enthusiastically pushed techno, EBM, electro and house to Bay Area dancers - a role that has steadily gained him a glowing reputation on the universal circuit. Dirtybird founder Justin Martin calls him the best DJ in the world - see for yourself at The Loco Klub, where he plays alongside Viscera and Continuous Movement residents. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E41796 Listen: soundcloud.com/solarsf/bis-radio-show-721-with-solar
NEW YEAR / NEW NOISE –––– Howling Owl Records’s annual celebration of ‘Art/Noise/Reaction’ climaxes over 3 nights at The Brunswick Club. Proceedings are topped by Philadelphia’s Moor Mother, her seething ‘hardcore poetry/blk girl blues’ rising to the forefront of experimental circles in ‘17. Bristol-boys-done-good Giant Swan are sure to brew up a cathartic blow-out, after a relentless ascent this year, becoming one of the most talked about live techno duos in Europe. S4U add a spectral quality to their 90s RnB romanticism, whilst Nervous Conditions are a promising young art-rock/post-punk gang. Plus expect more exploratory electronics from Vessel, E B U and many more. Tickets:
Following RuPaul's Drag Race and her recent film release, Lipstick City, Shea Couleé is in her element. Performing at a secret central location for Eat Sleep Drag Repeat, Coulee rides the wave of Drag events across Bristol ( Sasha Velour / Drag Queen Story Time, UK). Taking cues from 90s Supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, she is all about the spectacular. Donning incredible costumes and her signature paint, Coulee appeals to fans of Peaches and Grace Jones alike. Tickets:
EDITOR’S PICK: NOODS BIRTHDAY WEEKENDER –– Fri 1st - Sun 3rd December Nobody embodies Bristol’s enduring DIY spirit better than the Noods Radio crew. Over the last two years the team have hosted countless live-streams, pop-ups, parties and pub sessions, all with a sense of fun and creativity unrivalled in this city. Join them for a weekend of parties celebrating two years in the business. On the Friday, Klasse Recordings / Klasse Wrecks co-head Mr. Ho Music Page takes over The Black Swan for a night of tripping house, bleep techno and Japanese disco. On the Saturday, the crew open up their studios for a day of open-invite live streams. Finally, on Sunday, they return to their spiritual home at The Surrey Vaults for a day of pints and post-punk. Just remember to book the Monday off work. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E42066 Listen: soundcloud.com/the-ransom-note/mr-ho-the-ransom-note-mix
METALHEADZ –– More a full blown movement than just a label, Goldie's Metalheadz train rolls into Lakota - Bristol with a lineup of exceptional drum'n'bass mechanics. Expect clinical halfstep from fan-favourites Commix (who made a much welcome return to the scene last year); jungle-not-jungle from Cosmic Bridge labelhead Om Unit; plus darkside techstep from Moving Shadow legend Dom & Roland. Support comes from fresh Metalheadz signing Benny L. An unannounced special guest completes the bill - given the label's pedigree this might be worth the entrance fee alone. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E41872
FILM: THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS The story of Shirley Collins is itself the stuff of folk songs. Hugely influential: lauded by Billy Bragg, Graham Coxon, Sam Amidon and more, Collins returns following a decades long hiatus. After losing her voice to heartbreak, Collins ceased performing live in 1979. The film details her 1959 US expedition with Alan Lomax, collecting field recordings, which inspired O Brother Where art Thou? This Cube Microplex screening includes Q&A with Alasdair Roberts Tickets:
With all the praise and applause that has surrounded the incredible new Special Request LP, it’s easy to forget that, under his own name, its author is also one of the biggest and most in-demand house DJs on the planet. Since the turn of the millennium, Paul Woolford has been releasing stunning, big-room house and techno on labels as diverse as Hotflush Recordings, Aus Music, Cocoon and 20/20 Vision Recordings. Catch him for a midweek session at Lakota - Bristol courtesy of Two Faced and One Two Five Events. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E41630
140 RINSE-OUT: SUBSIST & HOLD TIGHT Two of Bristol’s most reliable dubstep crews team up to deliver a bumper session at Blue Mountain Club. AMAR label-head AMIT tops the bill with a techy blend of dubstep and halftime drum and bass. Meanwhile, dub-referencing 140 comes courtesy of French veteran Von D and newcomers Halcyonic & G Roots. The bill is topped by an impressive crew of local talent: Ickle, Roots Agenda, Tenor Steppa and more. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E41108 Promoters: SUBSIST, Hold Tight Records
Buy Bristol Gig Tickets
Headfirst is the most objective Bristol gig guide on the internet. With no editorial to write, bands to interview or advertisers to please, we can focus on creating the best music listings & ticket shop this side of the Avon. From Bristol University’s music graduates playing a concert at St Georges Hall to an intimate gig at The Louisiana - we believe these events are what make Bristol special.
Bristol Nightlife & Nightclubs
Electronic music produced in Bristol has a knack of rewriting the rules and penetrating the international club scene. From Tectonic to Apple Pips to Eats Everything & Arkist - Headfirst has seen Bristol’s music scene grow and evolve since our humble beginnings in 2008. Now Headfirst is working with Bristol’s best dance music promoters and providing a secure place to buy tickets for Bristol club nights. While Motion may catch most of the attention, Headfirst is the place to buy tickets for all Bristol's clubnights and maybe even the next Alfresco Disco party. Over the coming months we'll be adding buy tickets buttons to many of our what's on listings.
SCANDINAVIAN GARAGE ROCK / FREE JAZZ ––– Having collaborated with Thurston Moore, Nenah Cherry and Jim O'Rourke, as well as the cream of the world's elite jazz players, The Thing's influence has surpassed all expectations. Formed in 1999 as a tribute to Don Cherry, they've since gone on to re-contextualise pieces by PJ Harvey, Albert Ayler and The White Stripes. The Thing play Exchange on Thursday 23rd November thanks to Cacophonous Sarcophagus and Colston Hall. Support comes from Istanbul's incredible KONSTRUKT, who mix traditional Turkish music with experimental jazz and electronics. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E39310 £14 + 70p.
Autobahn bring the northern post-industrial landscape with them in the form of thundering post-punk. Traces of Gold Class and The Cure can be picked out of brooding refrains. This atmosphere is maintained in their new material, but they shift gears, becoming more energetic and percussive, like an up-tempo version of fellow Leeds band The Sisters of Mercy. Brought to The Louisiana by Gravy Train, with special guests Drahla, Luke Brooks (Scarlet Rascal) Tickets:
Having previously torn The Marble Factory to shreds, Bristol’s house and disco heads have been positively beaming since Dropout Disco first announced the return of Maurice Fulton - this time to the Old Crown Court. Rhythmically complex but effortlessly intuitive, Fulton’s ability to create oddball techno that sweats soul and wayward disco licks is unparalleled and it is no surprise he’s become an early-hours favourite for Dimensions Festival and Farr Festival. Analogue house heavyweights Dungeon Meat and Pondlife complete Friday’s line-up. Last tickets: Track: -IkFiwvI
Rephlex Records veteran Aleksi Perala has always been a prolific artist - but in the last few years his output has surged into overdrive. Since 2014, the Finnish producer has penned no fewer than 20 full-length albums - his secret being the discovery of a clandestine, non-standard tuning system dubbed the Colundi sequence. Using this spiritually derived set of frequencies, Perälä makes pure, looping techno built solely from sine waves and percussive pulses. The results sit somewhere between the hypnotic techno of Sleeparchive and the abstract minimalism of Steve Reich. Experience the power of Colundi in person at Arnolfini courtesy of Room 237 Bristol. Support from Broken English Club, Giant Swan, Damian Licht. Tickets: hdfst.uk/E41196
ALASDAIR ROBERTS Kicking off his residency at Cube Microplex, folk singer & guitarist Alasdair Roberts( The Furrow Collective) initiates an ambitious project: recording a live album with a troupe of guest musicians. Solo, Roberts has a delicate Incredible String Band style. A serial collaborator, this performance brings together musicians with enthusiasm for the mid-century folk revival. Traditional Scottish fiddler Neil McDermott, and three-part harmonies in French from Tartine de Clous. Tickets: