The Louisiana in Bristol is one of those venues that supports bands before they become to big for their own good. The venue has previously supported bands like Coldplay, The Strokes and Mogwai before they got famous. It’s one of the most intimate of experiences for any music lover as you stand in a room not much bigger than the average house lounge. It allows for bands to gain more fans as you can truly experience the effort that goes into putting together their music.
Sunday night’s (February 22nd) acts were all female fronted bands, all with very distinct and different approaches to their music. The first act of the night, the trio Wyldest, started the night off visibly nervous. The audience clung onto the walls as the first song began to play, but by the end of it people were slowly starting to trickle into the centre. Wyldest make reverb soaked dream-pop that’s hellbent on sounding as pretty as it can. Angelic synths, vocal harmonies and the occasional synthetic beat manages to swindle its way into their live sets. All of these elements are played over the top of some tight grooves that can sometimes turn into more frantic drumming as they build to some fantastic crescendos. Although they were nervous, they did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd for what was to come.
Post Louis (pronounced post, as in posting a letter and Louis, as in King Louis) were the second band to take the stage, with a front-woman who’s vocals aren’t far off from Annie Clark’s when singing in her more sweet tone of voice. There’s rarely a moment where this band stands still as they constantly to make every second on stage count. They’re frequently using subtle effects or vocal manipulations in a plea for the audience’s attention and it works. The guitars weave around each other as all five members play together with the sort of chemistry that only a band who’s as small as they are and who’re untainted by the cruel music industry do. They truly captured the hearts of many of the people in the audience purely on the musicianship alone.
After being blown away by Post-Louis set of idiosyncratic brilliance, leather jacket wearing rockers is what you’d think would be the last thing to feed your appetite. Three out of the four members sport this look with long hair and mild beards. But then there’s their lead singer; a small blonde/pink haired girl who stands adjacent to them in complete contrast as they tower over her. She’s got a blue shirt on buttoned to the top and as it so happens she’s an absolute joy to watch perform. She’s easily the most menacing member of the band as she manages to master both the wooziness of Lana Del Rey and the ferocity of a punk band. The band goes through their grunge influenced songs with her passion carrying them the whole way through.
Without the support of venues like this, bands like these would never have any sort of platform to show their true colours. It’s fair to say that all three of these bands sound more raw live than on record. Going to your local venues and supporting bands that you’ve never heard of before is as important in the internet age as ever. Having an intimate experience with an artist’s music is never easier than in these places. Being in a tiny little room having a drink and appreciating up and coming music is the best possible thing there is.