February 15th, 2013 | Tags: Bristol, music scene in Bristol,

The banging Bristol music scene

The Bristol music scene came into national prominence in the late 1990s with the Bristol's trip-hop scene  when Portishead, Massive Attack, Roni Size and Tricky broke through into the mainstream. The so-called “Bristol Sound” may not be quite as infamous as the ‘Madchester sound” of the same era, but it spawned an eclectic group of musicians and artists that came to represent urban culture in the UK and put Bristol firmly on the music map. The “Bristol Sound” is also renowned for spawning the internationally famous (and for some infamous) graffitti artist, Banksy. There has always been a strong link between music and art in Bristol. Trip-hop, drum & bass and graffiti art have been around since the 1990s.

The present day music scene is as thriving as ever with people travelling from all around the UK and further beyond to enjoy the many clubs and music venues Bristol has to offer. The clubs and live music venues in Bristol are unrivalled due to their inimitable vibe and style. It’s impossible to imagine The Island's Invisible Circus, Cosies' reggae Sundays or even the Lakota Club thriving in any other city than Bristol.

There are lots of great venues in Bristol to see emerging as well as more established bands. The O2 Academy Bristol on Frogmore Street is the place to see the more popular artists. Other great venues include The Fleece on Saint Thomas Street; Colston Hall on Colston Street; Thekla on the East Mud Dock; The Old Duck on King Street; The Croft on Stokes Croft; Mr Wolf’s on Saint Stephen’s Street; and the Bristol Folk House on Park Street. New venues are popping up all the time: recent additions include The Old Firestation (aka The Island or Boneyard Bar) and The Canteen on Gloucester Road.

The club venues in Bristol seem to be much more transient. New clubs open as quickly as old ones close, but this is the nature of the club scene as trends in dance music tend to shift as fast as the River Avon’s current as it weaves its way through the heart of Bristol. However, there are a few stalwart clubs, such as Lakota, Timbuk2 and the new Oceana, a £5 million venue, which contains five themed bars, two small clubs and a restaurant. There’s also The Syndicate Superclub, a legend on the Bristol club circuit. These clubs offer seriously banging nights spinning tunes from dubstep to house to drum & bass.

Bristol's music scene has a reputation for innovation, experimentation and quality, making it a great place to enjoy great music. It has a fantastic array of venues, from small intimate venues like Mr Wolfs providing the opportunity for new bands and new DJs; to mid-size venues like The Croft providing up and coming bands with support slots alongside national talent; to the larger venues supporting international artists. It's no wonder Bristol is a great place to go to enjoy banging music.

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