Coming to a new city as a fresher, it can be easy to get sucked into a never-ending series of cheese nights… and hey, if the Spice Girls and Westlife are your thing, that’s ok. But if you’ve got a love for another, less mainstream kind of music, don’t give up!Bristol has plenty to offer: you just need to know where to look. Read on for an overview of the nightlife in your new city, conveniently arranged by genre…
What with being a student city and all, pop and cheese are two genres you’re definitely not going to be short on. Pretty much every major club has at a student night where they play chart music or golden oldies, along with all the associated drinks deals. These nights are so widespread that you really don’t need help finding them, but a few of the most popular are Pop Confessional (the Thekla), Phat Friday (Panache) and Hanky Panky (Syndicate).
There are several good, regular Indie nights on, including the incredibly popular Propaganda (at Syndicate), which unites young locals and students every Wednesday. Similar and similarly successful regulars include Ramshackle (o2 Academy) and Pressure (the Thekla). If live bands are more your bag, you’re in luck: there’s heaps going on Indie-wise almost every night in various venues. Check out Headfirst Bristol for what’s coming up in the next few weeks.
In all honesty, Bristol is surprisingly quiet on the hip-hop front. There aren’t any particularly hip-hop focused clubs and the city is seriously lacking in dedicated nights. With the introduction of the new In:Motion nights at Motion, however, there are some reasonably well-known artists coming to Bristol soon: check out their website for line-ups and prices.
Drum and Bass and Jungle
Fed rather than diminished by the rise of dubstep, drum and bass is still hugely popular in Bristol. There aren’t many solely “drum and bass” nights, though – instead most clubs seem to mix it up with similar genres (such as breaks, dubstep and jungle) a couple of nights a week. Having said that, Native hosts Run every Tuesday (discounts for NUS holders) and Hospitality – the nationwide drum and bass night – comes to Bristol every month for a huge blowout: see here for up-to-date listings.
Jungle is harder to find on a weekly basis, instead offered closer to monthly (if that) at various clubs by certain specialist promoters. Champion Sound (Lakota) and Jungle Syndicate are well-established in the city, and often host big names such as Congo Natty, Top Cat, Aphrodite and Nicky Blackmarket.
Dubstep is everywhere in Bristol, which can make it hard to separate the very good from the truly awful. The Croft, Thekla, Dojo’s and Basement 45 (amongst others) run semi-regular dubstep nights including the hugely popular Dubloaded, and bigger clubs Motion and Lakota host the biggest names in the genre (especially those from Bristol such as Pinch, Joker and Peverelist), though on a less regular basis.
House and techno
Bristol isn’t particularly known for its house or techno scene, but things have taken off a bit recently. Fruity Antics is a long-standing favourite amongst locals, with Timbuk2 and Dojo’s also hosting the occasional dedicated night. Once again, the new In:Motion nights are the place to look: if you’re not sure where to begin check out the Futureboogie one with Bristol-born Julio Bashmore in November.
Written by Lucy, Bristol.