Buy tickets for Bristol's best gigs and live music.
Bristol’s best gigs
Every week, the Headfirst editors trawl through all of the live music listings on the website and pick the best gigs for you to go to. Our event selections range from classical music concerts at St George’s Hall to smaller, local musician’s gigs at The Canteen or the Exchange.
Check out this week’s Bristol gig selections over on the Headfirst Facebook page and don’t forget to like us for ticket alerts and announcements about interesting bands coming to Bristol.
Tickets for Bristol gigs
In 2016, Headfirst Bristol launched an online ticket shop for live music events. Inspired by local cooperatives and community interest companies like the Bristol Cable and The Island, Headfirst provides an ethical and respectful place to buy tickets for gigs in Bristol. Our booking fees are low (usually 50p per ticket) and we strive to help support independent live music events as much as large concerts at venues like Colston Hall or Marble Factory.
Avant-garde art-punk group The Imbeciles arise out of the ashes of Wartoad.
Live music venues in Bristol
Bristol’s gig venues play an essential and often overlooked role in the city’s music scene. A spectrum of venues provides a ladder for new bands and musical talent to ascend. DIY spaces like The Old England and The Surrey Vaults provide a testbed for the screaming synthesisers and and guitars that will undoubtedly become part of Bristol’s future. Check out Headfirst’s Bristol venues page to discover which kind of performances and concerts you can expect from each gig venue.
Celebrating the more obscure, dissenting sounds from our local scene, Gravy Train's Triptych day festival on Saturday boasts a formidable wealth of Bristol acts (as well as experimental royalty Justin K Broadrick, Hey Colossus and Mai Mai Mai to name just a few).
Our Avon highlights are the spectral, hypnotic soundscapes of Orryx; brooding darkwave courtesy of Fever 103o; oscillating, psychedelic techno from Rainbow Slicer and the eccentric decadence of a certain Lazarus Kane. And if you’ve not yet witnessed the sheer, unadulterated sensory onslaught of Bad Tracking or the abrasive industrial trap of Kinlaw & Franco Franco then prepare for a cathartic sonic onslaught as they play consecutively at The Elmer's Arms.
? Final Release Tickets: hdfst.uk/E50252
Harvey Sutherland and Tornado Wallace fans will have noticed the cosmic shift of Australian dance music in recent years, driven largely by Melbourne quartet Mildlife. Like Nu Guinea, London's Rhythm Section and Brownswood jazz revivalists, Mildlife's warm, psychedelic live soundscapes are bound by the inescapable pulse of house and disco, layered with vintage synth lines, fuzzy Hammond solos and wailing wahs that belie the strong influence of Lonnie Liston Smith, Alice Coltrane and The Alan Parsons Project.
As much for the jazz fiends as it is for Tame Impala and BADBADNOTGOOD listeners, Mildlife bring their expansive live show to The Lanes on Thursday, hosted by Erratic Batting.
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E51256
One of the leading lights of the contemporary psych-rock realm, Kikagaku Moyo / 幾何学模様 return to Bristol thanks to Astral Festival and The Grey Area.
After bursting onto the scene in 2013 with a string of free-flowing, sitar-led ragas akin to Newcastle dronestars BONG - Band UK or Taj Mahal Travellers, they’ve since refined and reigned in the jams. In place of improvisation, there’s a greater focus on songwriting and melody, with jazz licks inspired by placid, watery solos. They play The Lanes on Monday.
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E51202
Electrolyte is a multi-award-winning piece of gig theatre that will powerfully explore mental health for a contemporary audience at The Loco Klub. Written in spoken word poetry and underscored by original music, this explosive production is performed by six multi-instrumentalists who seamlessly integrate live music with expert storytelling.
? Tickets (7th May): hdfst.uk/E52029
? Tickets (8th May): hdfst.uk/E52032
? Tickets (9th May): hdfst.uk/E52033
A concert from the Windborne Singers, featuring polyphony from around the world
Gigs in Bristol today
Most of Headfirst’s visitors come to discover new bands and live music in Bristol. We’re proud to be Bristol’s most complete gig listings resource, complete with a full breakdown of gigs in Bristol today and tour dates for the next six months. A sterling selection of open mic nights (particularly along Gloucester Road), provide ample midweek entertainment for would-be talent scouts.
Gravy Train invite London's Housewives to join them at The Crofters Rights on Saturday. The quintet are pushing post-punk forward into 21st century, injecting radiant electronics and manipulated saxophone (Ben Vince) into their monochromatic no-wave din.
Crucial for fans of Girl Band, Gang Of Four Official and Raime’s Albini-esque take on the hardcore continuum.
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E50606
Before Death Grips, before Ho99o9, before Clipping. there was dälek - and the years have only been good to them. Their abrasive and evolving fusion of noise, shoegaze and hip-hop tunneled into the harsher side of Definitive Jux Records peers like Cannibal Ox and NY's Wordsound crew (The Bug, Spectre, SENSATIONAL). While their hookups with avant-krautrockers Faust, Techno Animal and Kid606 secured them a home in 00s underground hearts.
They'll join a string of frankly huge bookings at The Lanes (Boy Harsher, James Chance Official, Etuk ubong.....). Gravy Train and BLG Promotions spoil us this time with support from Headfirst-approved mathy post-hardcore heroes SANS, MXLX and ANTA.
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E50515
James Chance Official’s vision of funk improvisation delivered with punk attack can hardly be rivaled. A leading figure of the downtown New York scene in the late 70s, with his groups Teenage Jesus & The Jerks (alongside Lydia Lunch) and with The Contortions, creating arguably the most essential punk-funk hybrid.
Don’t miss this extremely rare chance to see them in the UK at The Lanes on March 13th (courtesy of Lysergic Limes and BLG Promotions).
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E49976
RAKTA and DEAF KIDS return to Bristol after both playing separate killer shows last year. This time sharing a bill at Rough Trade Bristol highlighting their different approaches to fusing extreme metal and hardcore with psychedelia and rhythmic ritualism.
Crucial for fans of Gnod’s heaviest slabs or experimental punk/metal in general.
? Tickets: hdfst.uk/E49976
Local musicians are the lifeblood and new energy that constantly rejuvenates Bristol’s venues and performance spaces. Graduates from Bristol University’s Music course and BIMM provide regular injections of talent ranging from electronic music producers to classically trained pianists and orchestral musicians. Some of Bristol’s most successful bands are the first to point out that their inspiration comes from other local bands and gigs they’ve attended; with this in mind Headfirst is careful to include as much local talent as possible in it’s gig guide.
In addition to attending gigs you can also support Bristol’s musicians by buying their records from independent stores like Rise Records and Christmas Steps Records.