The Louisiana is an iconic music venue based in Bristol’s centre, on the edge of Southville. We have been putting on local and international bands since 1996! The family run venue has capacity for 140 with around 85% female staff while approximately 60% of customers are male.
Although The Louisiana has always been a safe place, we’ve had several racist comments made to our Italian and Polish members of staff. We promote tolerance and almost none of our staff are British! Needless to say some customers have been kicked out.
For The Louisiana, it has always been a matter of tolerance in any situation: sexism, racism, gender identity. We want to be a part of a city where it’s safe to go out, enjoy your time, get drunk (if you want to!), and have a good time. There is no space for violence and hate! Bristol has always been a pioneer on many topics. It’s great to see that Bristol is progressing in becoming a tolerant city where people, from everywhere and anywhere, feel safe.
We are signing the Bristol Zero Tolerance pledge because we want to show our audiences that The Louisiana is interested in topics that go beyond music. We want our customers to feel safe and welcome. As we say: everybody’s welcome, as long as they behave! There are still so many problems to fight and overcome, but we’re all in this together, and we can always make the world better by creating safer spaces. It needs to start somewhere and hopefully this will spread to every venue, event, street…
We’re proud to have our venue as a safe environment. Therefore, we teamed up with Safe Gigs For Women, an association we love and support, to celebrate The Louisiana joining the Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative with a gig on 22nd June 2017. We’ll invite local bands that have the same vision as us and want to spread the word on music venues being open minded, and safe, friendly places for any ethnicity and gender. We really hope this event on 22nd June will raise awareness on these subjects that matter. We’d love to make regular events that will promote Zero Tolerance. We want to make a statement about Bristol’s music venues being a respectable environment for everybody.
“Margaret Glaspy‘s voice is a revelation. Already impressive on her debut album Emotions and Math, it reaches new heights and new depths, tapping into ever-emotive renditions of songs that were already a little gut-wrenching.” – Full review by Sammy Maine here
The indie genre is currently in danger. This danger derives from a wave of bands who believe in style over substance, and whilst this convention can’t possibly last forever, it seems to be lingering for a disturbingly long time. I expected BRONCHO to be one such band. I anticipated a superfluous brashness, harbouring a sound that would be both unmemorable and hyped without justification. Fortunately however, I was wrong.
“The Invisible are a band I’ve been a huge fan of for years now. From their Mercury-nominated debut album, to 2012’s ‘Rispah’, and this year’s ‘Patience’, the three-piece have built up a growing and dedicated following. ‘Patience’, arguably their best album to date, with collaborations with the likes of Jessie Ware and Connan Mockasin, has seen them continue to grow, so it was with some excitement that I awaited their arrival on stage at the Bristol leg of their tour, the first time I’d seen them since their first album was out.”
Read full review here
Few musicians have to endure a stage invasion by their own grandchildren. But while not being quite as old as the expanding universe itself, veteran space rocker Nik Turner turns 75 today. Naturally, everybody sings Happy Birthday as he’s presented with a small cake and an intentionally shoddy card by his smirking band. The aging Thunder Rider seems quite moved and remarks that he wouldn’t be here without us. “We wouldn’t be here without you too!” shouts a punter, which may be literally true given how many members of the Turner family appear to be in attendance.
First up are ICU guitarist and all-round man of the match Steve Pond’s other band, Krankschaft. Wrongfooted by their name, the unwary might expect some kind of Cope-approved hypnotic motorik groove. But with barefoot former Enid bassist Alex Tsentides on board, the trio trade in an appealing psych/prog hybrid. It’s all deceptively well-drilled while pretending to be shambolic. Apparently, there’s some kind of overarching time-travelling theme to the stuff from their new album – a concept work, obviously – but knowledge of this is no pre-requisite for enjoying their epic wig-outs.
It’s clear that many in this packed audience have been waiting patiently for 30 years for an Inner City Unit gig. The band kept Turner occupied during periods when he’d been booted out of Hawkwind – primarily, it is alleged, for excessive parping – by broadening his appeal to the punk/free festival crowd. Now they make an unexpected, very welcome return as one of myriad projects undertaken by the busy septuagenarian saxophonist. He’s less nimble on his feet these days – who wouldn’t be? – and has to squint at the set list between songs, but still plays the hell out of his sax and flute. A big mistake, however, is taking the lead vocals on most of the songs. Never the greatest of singers, his wavering voice now has only a passing acquaintance with the concept of being in tune during thrashy space-punk opener Watching the Grass Grow. Things only improve when he shifts to a lower register for the likes of ICU’s Brand New Cadillac cover or droll guitarist Pond joins in to add some vital vocal welly.
Still, there’s plenty of nostalgic fun on offer with a diverse set list that more than lives up to the billing of “a rock’n’roll spectacular evening of spaceyprog acid punk”. And on this last date of the tour, the rhythm section of Nazar Ali Khan and Kevin Walker are on particularly excellent form. Punk? Take your pick from Skinheads in Leningrad, Sid’s Song (about Sid James rather than Sid Vicious, alleges Pond, who insists that the cackling Carry On star’s punk credibility has been overlooked) and Blue Rinse Haggard Robot – composed to honour a previous “lady prime minister” and featuring those immortal lines: “Little girls are pretty/Robot, you’re not/You’re a cunt!” Rock’n’roll? Here’s the preposterous Fungus Among Us and aformentioned Brand New Cadillac. Space rock? Turner’s signature Hawkwind songs Brainstorm and Master of the Universe, obviously. There’s even a dash of reggae (Remember Margate Beach) and Bonzo Dog Band-style surrealism (that cover of the Nightcrawlers’ Little Black Egg). Oh, and ICU’s greatest song, Bones of Elvis, during which Turner dons a ridiculous Elvis wig.
He also contributes much entertaining between-song anecdotage, with Pond on standby to launch into another song whenever things threaten to get too rambling. Solitary Astrid (also known as Solitary Ashtray) prompts a reminiscence about being raided by the Special Patrol Group back in the ’70s after coming out in support of Baader-Meinhof gang member Astrid Proll. It also emerges that Two Worlds was inspired by the roaring in his head after experiencing his old pal Lemmy’s Motorhead at the Hammersmith Odeon, during which he failed to recognise Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt. That autobiography really can’t come soon enough.
Thanks to Pond’s impressive ringmastering skills, the gig finishes ten minutes early, permitting the hasty addition of two short songs: Raj Neesh, ICU’s hilarious pisstake of orange-clad Bhagwan cultists (they were big-ish in Bristol in the ’80s, y’know) and a hyperspeed romp through Glenn Miller’s In the Mood, which gets hippies old and young dancing like fools. [Robin Askew]
“Going into a gig with a set of preconceived expectations is almost a given, especially when you’ve been spinning the band’s album near incessantly for the months prior to the show. So when a band not only exceeds, but also confounds those expectations, it’s something of a shock to the system.
Mothers, whose fantastic debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, has become a firm favourite for this reviewer since it arrived out of nowhere earlier this year, performed such a feat on a balmy Bank Holiday Monday in the intimate surrounds of The Louisiana.”
Read full review by Jim Summers on Bristol Live Magazine’s website
Jonathon Kardasz , November 9, 2015
Some Bristolians chose to enjoy fireworks in the rain on a soggy Friday night; others chose to enjoy aural fireworks with Howlin’ Rain headlining a three band bill at the marvellous Louisiana.
The evening started with We Are Strangers Minds, a solo act featuring acoustic guitar filtered through gizmos (technical term) to create loops. The sound is best described as John Martyn headlining Bloodstock – delicate frills & picking, with hefty riffs and jagged solos splashed around at will. The vocals worked well when semi-spoken and soft (complementing the sonic attack of the guitar loops) but the primal scream vocals distracted from the music – nonetheless, an act to add to the “check out again” list.
Next up, the hard-working Ulysses, direct from that Bath and more than familiar to regular gig goers. The great thing about the band is that they can’t make their mind up whether or not they want to be a psychedelic beat group or a riff stomping 70s glam monster. So happily they do both, with the addition of exquisite harmonies. Over half the set was new material, with stand out cut “How Long?” closing the set, preceded by a barn storming rendition of “Eye on You”: a stomping ear worm of epic proportions. Oh, and special mention to Bath’s answer to Bill Ward on drums – Mr.Shane Aloysius Brimble, pounding the skins and keeping the groove funky.
Headliners Howlin’ Rain spent five hours getting to the venue and missed their sound check, but a good sound engineer, a talented band and a five minute tune up meant the band were firing on all four from the first tune. The four piece line-up blasted out seven cuts over the set, which sounds parsimonious but given that the songs were extended into blistering jams the crowd were more than satisfied. Ethan Miller opened proceedings with guitar in hand, but then abandoned the six string in order to testify with the fervor of fallen preacher: the stage unable to contain him as he joined the crowd on the floor. It was probably down to B24/7’s position stage front, but the mix did lose some of the ragged glory of Miller’s voice, but then the crowd was word perfect on the majority of tunes, easily heard over the guitar maelstrom.
Daniel Cervantes played scorching solos, complemented by Jeff McElroy who spent most of the show with a twin neck bass / guitar that he’d built himself (finishing touches made almost as the band walked on stage). Between them the guys whipped up a guitar frenzy of epic yet soulful proportions (with bonkers shape throwing from both). Not to be outdone Richard Bradley battered his kit to provide a thunderous foundation, his efforts resulting in a broken snare drum aborting “Big Red Moon” but a spare appeared from the crowd allowing the band to complete their set at full pelt. Difficult to pick out a stand out moment, but “Self Made Man” was probably the set’s peak.
It’s a brief few dates for the band this time, but let’s hope they’re back soon – and if you fancy a night of cosmic blues riffology jammed out with gleeful passion you’ll be there.
Photo credit: Timothy Ellis
Thanks Drunken Werewolf and Bristol Live for some great press for the stunning Lyla Foy gig from a week or so ago…