This time of the year starts to qualify as research for the festival season. The current edition of Gigs of the Week ought to give you plenty of inspiration and fill you with aspiration towards how to spend those long summer days of music-related perspiration.

One-third of the year in music may have passed, but our glass is still far more than two-thirds full by the evidence below. Happy listening.

Gigs of the Week
The Spook School play The Lanes on Wednesday 9th

Thursday 3rd May

wych elm – Friendly Records
Arguably the hardest-working band on the local scene, it’s entirely likely that if you haven’t taken the wise and deliberate move to see wych elm, you’ve come across them supporting one or more of your favourite bands. They get the whole of the limelight at Friendly Records on Thursday evening, with a special acoustic set, where their emotional raw slacker rock will feel even more bare-boned and stark than ever. More here…

Friday 4th May

Protomartyr

Protomartyr + Rattle – Thekla
If you weren’t spending a disproportionate amount of time listening to and enthusing about Relatives in Descent in 2017, then I’m not really sure what you were doing. Alt-rock and beat poetry riff off each other, making songs like ‘A Private Understanding’ sound like Charles Bukowski fronting The Hold Steady and turns ‘My Children’ into a tense Ginsberg/Joy Division infusion. Protomartyr have an uncanny knack of highlighting how thoroughly shite the modern world is, whilst making you feel thoroughly uplifted. More here…

Vacations + Sad Love + Spang Sisters – The Lanes
T’Internet isn’t half bad sometimes. Yes, we can call strangers ‘libtards’ and ‘snowflakes,’ whilst arguing over things that we know perilously little about. But sometimes, trawling that world-wide net can help you catch a new band like Australian quartet, Vacations. All it took was a fan posting their EP, Vibes on YouTube, and after 100,000 hits in three months, Human Sounds records came calling, giving rise to their first album, Changes, in March this year. Catch their perfect sun-blessed indie guitar pop at The Lanes on Friday night. More here…

Saturday 5th May

Dolls

Dolls + Third Match + Joee Johnson – Mr Wolf’s
Blues-rock duo, Dolls, combine Bel Conde’s drums and Jade Ellins’ guitar to create a looming, minimalist rock & roll sound. If you like the sass and bite of Honeyblood, or the ‘volume to eleven’ belt of Rews, then Dolls’ noirish twist ought to give you an alternative take on the fashionable guitar/drums combo. 2017’s ‘Armchair Psychiatrist’ talks about “Feeling good,/ Just worried about everyone else.” For a brief while you can forget everyone else, forget yourself, and simply enjoy Dolls. More here…

Llamageddon – Exchange/Stag and Hounds (continues on Sunday 6th)
Llamageddon sounds like one of those films, you wish you hadn’t seen, but find you always end up talking about, like Sharknado. With three stages, over two days, what it actually constitutes is Bristol’s top-notch DIY-punk festival – a festival you’ll be glad you’ve seen and you find you always end up talking about. Highlights include Crywank, False Advertising, Happy Accidents, Thom Weeks (Gnarwolves), Lucinda Livingstone (Kamikaze Girls), Austeros, Toodles & the Hectic Pity and Springbreak. Bring your own llama. More here…

Vessels + Warm Digits – Lantern
Calling your own album The Great Distraction shows a tremendous self-awareness as to what your music can do to the listener. Five-piece electronica outfit, Vessels, construct layered, beat-driven tunes that will give you no choice but to stop what you are doing and pay attention to them. Think of an exquisite blend of Underworld and Four Tet. Then add in the idea of being supported by some Warm Digits. What a prospect. More here…

Monday 7th May

Bloxx

Bloxx + Dame Jean + Kalpa – Louisiana
Bloxx were last in town as part of DIY’s Class of 2018 tour. Now they get their own well-deserved headline slot at the Louisiana. Three of the Uxbridge four-piece met whilst serving behind the bar for a well-known nationwide chain of reasonably-priced pubs. Much as they began serving people up a good old raucous night out with intoxicating liquors, they have taken that element of public service into music venues up and down the country in support of acts like INHEAVEN, Sundara Karma and Pale Waves. More here…

Yo No Se + Iceman Furniss Quartet + Mutant-Thoughts + Ocean Floor + Big Jeff (DJ) – Old England
When The Old England throws you a birthday bash, you know that you have made friends in high places. With Bristol’s own prog-meets-grunge bulldozer rock of Yo No Se topping the bill, birthday boy Richard Howarth ought to be flattered by this tribute, as well as potentially flattened by the headliners. It’s a night of genre-bending innovation, with the Iceman Furniss Quartet’s improvisational flair, Mutant-Thoughts’ experimental synths and the ambient, post-rock leanings of Ocean Floor. More here…

Tuesday 8th May

Pinkshinyultrablast + TVAM + Insomnichord – Thekla
The little-appreciated Saint Petersburg shoegaze scene gave us Pinkshinyultrablast back in 2007. With moments of ethereal Cocteau Twins trill from Lyubov Soloveva, mixed with the infernally thunderous joys of My Bloody Valentine, they can simultaneously exhilarate mind and body at the same time. Take a listen to 2016’s album, Grandfeathered and you will undoubtedly hear where the ‘shiny’ and the ‘ultrablast’ come from in an instant. More here…

Wednesday 9th May

Eyre Llew

Eyre Llew + Poisonous Birds + Emma Shoosmith (full band) + In The Endless Zanhyang We Are – Mother’s Ruin
Ambient-rock three-piece, Eyre Llew make the kind of music that is the equivalent of epic geography. By that I don’t mean some teacher in corduroy, talking in a monotone about sedimentary rocks, I mean glaciers, ravines and waterfalls, the kind of dramatic landscape that is in your bones if, like them, you’re from, er…Nottingham. Check out ‘Havoc’ or the title track from their 2017 album, Atelo for a blast of this elemental sound. More here…

Jungle + Rae Morris – O2 Academy
As M Beat and General Levy told us many years ago, “Jungle is massive.” And so it was, in 2014, when Jungle‘s self-titled debut album, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Every significant indication was that Jungle were to be huge and somewhat unavoidable, with lauded sets at Glastonbury and Reading. And then it all went quiet. Four years on, they’re back with new track, ‘House in LA’ and a string of dates in May. We’re going to go all General Levy on you and shout, “wicked, wicked” to those developments. More here…

The Spook School + Radiator Hospital + Peaness + Dogeyed – The Lanes
And this is just one ordinary gig? Not the top four bands from a rather pleasing mini-festival? And it’s in a bowling alley? Sign me up. Topping this diverse bill are champions of diversity, Edinburgh indie-pop punks, The Spook School. With their 2018 album asking Could It Be Different? their songs pose many a question to the listener that is pertinent to the modern psyche. They’ll shake up your thinking, while you rattle your bones. More here…

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You want more? We’ve got more. Check out our full listings here.

Can’t quite get out of the house? Listen to BLM in Session here.