The six best local Bristol bands


Zac Richardson, Second Year Philosophy

Beyond Idles, Bristol is host to an array of homegrown talent. Here are some of the most thrilling acts.

1: Football FC

Football FC are a self described “spunk band”. They play spitty, rowdy post-punk reminiscent of Shame or Husker Dü, but with long crescendos and cathartic climaxes akin to a post-rock band. Since forming in January 2018, the band has gigged extensively across the UK, released three head-splitting singles, and signed to Permanent Creeps Records. Their live show is aggressive, chaotic, and absolutely wonderful. Past shows have featured the band lobbing pints at each other midsong, inviting members of the audience to play bass, and engaging in general hooliganry. Their next Bristol show is Mother’s Ruin on November 23rd, supporting Sapphire Blues.

2. Gork

Gork may be the silliest band in the world right now. To celebrate the release of their first single of 2019, ‘Spoons’, they held a secret gig in a sea scout hut on the ruddy banks of the river Avon. The gig saw the band donning homemade hats made out of chickpea tins, lobbing Cadbury mini-eggs at the crowd, and literally swinging from the rafters. Despite all the antics, the band’s music is up to the high standard of their Breakfast Records labelmates. Their silly, floppy garage rock is perfect for fans of bands like Devo or the Murlocs. Catch them at their EP release show on at Crofter’s Rights November 16th with support from Grandma’s House and Twisted Ankle.

3: Scalping

Scalping is in many ways the most unique band on this list, blurring the line between rock band and techno producers’ collective; Scalping’s music blends the sound of the hardest Detroit techno with sampled and manipulated hard rock guitars. The result is sticky grooves and jaw-locking buildups. The most immediate analogues that come to mind are Underworld and Tricky, but Scalping are undoubtedly doing their own thing. Releasing three singles with Council Records in 2019, the group has been kept busy with a EU/UK touring circuit, and prolific output.

4: Lazarus Kane

Like many of Bristol’s best bands, Lazarus Kane has loads of personality, deeply catchy hooks, and a great live show. Playing a brand of synth pop that brings LCD Soundsystem fronted by Elvis Presley straight to mind, Lazarus Kane has begun touring the UK extensively. Frontman, Lazarus Kane, dons a thick American accent and takes audiences on an insane synth driven roller coaster. With only one single released thus far under Speedy Wunderground Records, they are undeniably ones to watch. Their next Bristol show is November 4th at The Fleece supporting Warmdusher.

5: Jamie Cruickshank

The second Breakfast Records band on this list, Jamie Cruickshank makes some of the UK’s most sublime folk music. His most recent EP and first with Breakfast Records, Worn Through, is warm and ragged as the title suggests. Having spent the last few years playing in fuzzed up pop-punk band Gnarwals, Cruickshank’s solo project features only stripped back acoustic instrumentals that would instantly capture any fan of the likes of Nick Drake or Sufjian Stevens. The group’s most recent release is their cover of Emily Isherwood’s Dormant as part of Breakfast Records’s covers compilation Devilled Eggs. Their next gig is November 23rd at The Louisiana in support of Robi Mitch.

6: Cousin Kula

Cousin Kula was formed by a group of Bristol’s most active jazz heads in order to summon up some of the city’s deepest grooves and glitteriest vibes. Their music is as wholesome as their lifestyles: all six of the band’s members live together in which they grow their own vegetables and decorate with their friends’ artwork. Full of smooth, jazzy synth leads and digitally manipulated vocals, Cousin Kula’s music is reminiscent of Tame Impala and BADBADNOTGOOD. Following the release of their 2017 EP with Chiverin Records, Oodles, they’ve continued to sharpen their sound by touring the UK relentlessly.  Their next show is November 20th at Crofter’s Rights, and is not to be missed.

*Featured image credit: Football FC (left) & Jamie Cruickshank (right)
What are your favourite Bristol bands?