Various unsurprising things happened this week: bickering people with opposing perspectives talked conflicting Brexcrement about leaving the EU; we found out that Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves; and wouldn’t you know, the NHS is financially ‘perilous.’

Similarly unsurprising was the clocks changing (unless that did catch you out) and I believe that the imminent advent of Easter has been on the calendar for a wee while. On top of celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus by hunting for chocolate ovoids in your garden that were brought by a mythical rabbit, why not be pleasantly surprised by discovering a new favourite from the following Gigs of the Week?

Thursday 29th March

No Age

No Age + Heavy Lungs – Exchange
Considering the time-defying connotations of their name, to recognise that No Age have been around for a decade now seems a bit rude. If you’ve heard their 2018 album, Snares Like a Haircut, you’ll know that their sound has come full circle, back towards the punk-peppered, lo-fi, indie rock fuzzfest that they emerged with in 2008 with Nouns. More here…

High Focus Records 8th Birthday Party – SWX
8th birthday parties are quite a competitive business nowadays. High Focus considered hiring one of those big trampolining barns, then briefly considered a Frozen princess party, before settling on SWX as their preferred venue, and some top UK hip-hop acts as their preferred music for party games. More here…

Guili Guili Goulag + Futuroscope – Old England
Two adjectives – ‘experimental’ and ‘Belgian.’ Sold already? What if I said they’re a trio of bass, drums and harp? Positively palpitating? Guili Guili Goulag take influences of African music, Krautrock, psych and punk and make tracks like ‘Héloise Tranchée’ from Saint-Arnoult 3018, that sounds like Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ gone hallucinogenic and prog. They are, by their own admission, harpcore. More here…

Friday 30th March

Stagfest – Mothers Ruin (Also 29/3, 31/3 & 1/4)
Stagfest extends over four quality-stuffed days at The Mothers Ruin from Thursday to Sunday. On Friday, Sœur top the bill, with Nicholson Heal the highlight of the undercard. Headlining on the other nights are White Trash, Leeches and Big Lad, the latter returning to Bristol to ensure that we manage to take in our recommended weekly intake of breakcore on the Sunday. More here…

Saturday 31st March

Goan Dogs

Goan Dogs + Harvey Causon – Thekla
The day after their EP, Roll The Dice is let loose, recent BLM In Session guests, Goan Dogs play their hometown launch show at Thekla. It’s their biggest Bristol gig to date, with a new sound, as signposted by recent release, ‘Passing Through’ (like psychedelic funk in a Moroccan medina). Need any more persuading? As Mrs Doyle would say in Father Ted, “Go-an, Go-an, Go-an, Go-an, Go-an.” More here…

Fishstock Punk All-Dayer – Exchange
Last year’s Fishstock was a sell-out and this year’s looks like an equally-attractive catch. It’s punk in the most diverse sense, from the bolshy Bristolian anarcho-banjo-punk of Cistem Failure, through the indie punk of Austeros, to the riot grrl insensibilities of Kiss Me, Killer. Headlining is Dublin’s most excellent Chewing on Tinfoil, who sing, “there’s no point in writing gospel truth to a room full of pricks on their phones,” on ‘Charlene.’ You have been warned. More here…

Heaven and Hell All-Dayer – Stag and Hounds
Imagine That and Waxslax team up for a two-stage, nine-act, free one-dayer at The Stag and Hounds. You can flit from act to act between the Heaven and Hell stages from 7pm, but you are, on balance, likely to have more sounds that’d light Lucifer’s fire, as opposed to making the big JC shake his sandals. It all culminates in Hell with Witch Fever’s wondrously infernal noise. More here…

Wasuremono – Rough Trade
Their debut album, Something Left Behind came out on the last day of January to well-deserved praise, quickly followed by a 6Music Introducing session for Steve Lamacq. Now that the gatefold vinyl is out there and doing the rounds of any self-respecting turntable, Bradford on Avon’s Wasuremono are launching it good and proper at Rough Trade. More here…

Monday 2nd April

Interrobang‽ + The Flux Capacitors UK + Rita Lynch – Louisiana
Any band that is 50% ex-Chumbawamba is 100% fine by me. An interrobang is a hybrid punctuation mark, melding the question and exclamation marks. Interrobang‽’s lyrics have precisely that inquisitive and energetic combination. Growing old disgracefully, never has “a grumpy curmudgeon in a state of high dudgeon” sounded so appealing. More here…

Tuesday 3rd April

Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean + Sorry – Thekla
If you heard Julia Cumming singing on Sunflower Bean’s ‘I Was A Fool’ and you had a pleasant frisson of Fleetwood Mac throwback, then you’ll be surprised to hear the more strident defiance on their latest single, ‘Twentytwo’ about not going quietly into the night. They’re sounding less hazy round the edges, less sun-blessed and a tiny bit burnt by recent events in their American homeland. More here…

Wednesday 4th April

Slow Riot + Wet Bath – Thunderbolt
Riots are often a bit frenetic and rioters are bloody inconsiderate. They run around, smashing stuff up. You can’t get a decent, calm view of all the best bits, with all the sound and fury. I like a good slow riot. Limerick’s post-punk quartet of that name will make their sound, a mixture of Joy Division, Television and The Cure, wreak gradual havoc on your senses. More here…

KnowMads + Nick Brewer + KREEA – Exchange
Tom Pepe and Tom Wilson made their debut album when they were still in high school in Seattle in 2009. A decade on, their hip-hop is older, yet still fresh and compassionate. On ‘Reunion’ from their 2016 release, Knew School, they “see so much potential in these strangers as they[‘re] walking by.” On 2018’s ‘Lost Generation,’ we’re told “The world won’t change, ‘less you change yourself.” These KnowMads make the Exchange their home on Wednesday. More here…

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