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.
Raucous blend of stomping swing, ska and Balkan-style folk
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.
BAS JAN is the latest outfit from acclaimed harpist Serafina Steer, also featuring members of TRASH KIT and elysian quartet. They take cues from the post-punk greats such as The Slits! and The Raincoats, with a strong emphasis on earworm hooks.
Receiving heavy rotation from Marc Riley BBC 6 music, they’re due to release their debut LP for Lost Map. Don't miss them at The Old England, courtesy of Pop Or Not Promotions
EDITOR'S PICK: UUUU
––– World-debut at Exchange. The industrial/krautrock supergroup is formed by members of post-punk icons Wire, with Coil/Spiritualized synth-maestro Thighpaulsandra, lead by the peerless Valentina Magaletti, percussionist for Tomaga, Raime etc. Support from the Salford post-industrial outfit Errant Monks and local ambient-whiz Microdeform, plus Schwet DJs.
Poster: Niall Greaves
SNAILS/EDWARD PENFOLD/EUGENE CAPPER & RHODRI BROOKS
Snails supply that Kinks combination of lively guitar pop fused with sorrow. Evoking Syd Barrett or The Pastels Snails mix of the familiar and the unexpected appeals to fans of Euros Childs, Sweet Baboo and The Vaselines.
Support from Edward Penfold of TAOS HUMM providing the antidote for a grey January. Joined at Cube Microplex by lo-fi/surf/psych duo Eugene Capper and Rhodri Brookes. Tickets:
SOLD OUT: NYNN W/ GIANT SWAN
––– Giant Swan were one of Bristol’s breakthrough acts in 2017, decimating clubs and festivals across Europe with their brand of blown-out techno, as well as releasing their best 12” yet on Timedance.
Their first show of the year is this Saturday at the unique converted working mans' club The Brunswick Club, as part Howling Owl Records fifth & final 'New Year/New Noise' weekender. Last tickets
AUTOBAHN - SPECTRES - BABA NAGA - BIG LAD - MEATRAFFLE - SILVER WAVES - AJA - SWEDISH DEATH CANDY - JESUITS - SCALPING - MXLX
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.
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.
?– THE BUG
A wild highlight from Simple Things - The Bug's signature brand of leftfield dancehall sonics is not to be missed.
Psyched sees him renew his partnership with UK grime royalty, Roll Deep member and 'Skeng' vocalist KILLA P. Dark garage pioneer El-B, ruffneck roots/dubstep giants Radikal Guru and dnb heads Hybrid Minds complete the billing (with more to be announced).
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.
EDITOR'S PICK: BLOOD SPORT / JANKA NABAY
–––– After a string of memorable/sweaty shows in Bristol, this is literally your last chance to dance with Sheffield’s aggro-beat pioneers, as they sign off with a final jaunt around the UK.
Qu Junktions have pitted them against Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang, from Sierra Leone via Brooklyn, catch them on their debut European tour. With releases on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop, this one’s crucial for fans of KING AYISOBA and Shangaan Electro.
Tickets: £8 + 50p.
Take a voyage down memory lane and revisit the icons of pop as you've never seen them before, in this full-length cabaret
Local bands and musicians
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.