Sunday night gigs are always a good kick-start to the new week. This Kill the Ideal / Echoic headline set was no exception, especially as it came at the end of a snowy and quiet weekend in Bristol. In store on this particular evening was a musical journey from metal to indie with quite a few stops in between. I just wish more people had come out to experience it.
Profiler, the first band of the evening to take The Exchange’s stage were an unexpected treat. The local Bristol three-piece’s unique blend of rap / metal was impressive and right up my street, combining great vocals with punchy beats. They also found time for a couple of slower moments in their set which were equally impressive. They play regularly on the Bristol scene so I’ll definitely be checking them out again; their track Burn is a recent addition on Spotify. Give it a listen!
Next up was Future Lives, the solo project from Ross Smithwick of Lonely the Brave. Despite their more melodic rock sound they kept up the energy Profiler had injected into the small crowd. Aside from a minor keyboard issue which amusingly led to it getting stuck on some funky settings, their set passed without hitch and was solid throughout.
I’d spoken to the first headliner Kill the Ideal ahead of the gig and found out that the first few dates of their tour had been cancelled as the band were snowed in at home in Lincolnshire. Any stored up frustration only made their first performance in Bristol all the more energised as their anthemic rock filled the room. They opened with the catchy Higher from their first EP, with guitar and vocals then drums building up to a banging chorus. They followed this with most of the tracks from their new self titled EP, with highlights for me being My Life and the single Dangerous!. The slower Spotlight allowed singer Ash Wilson’s vocals to shine and the emotion behind their charged lyrics had a chance to really stand out.
Last up were co-headliners Echoic. I was expecting a change of pace from this alt-rock group, and there was, but Kera Stewart’s drum rhythms and some polished guitar led to a tight and upbeat set. Connor Turner’s vocals were excellent, at times soft and at other times soaring and he utilises his range throughout their tracks to great effect. For me the highlight of their set was Next To You, a midtempo yet haunting track with playful guitar leading up to a catchy chorus of heartfelt lyrics and relentless chords. Blame was also great live, and it you haven’t heard them before is definitely one to check out.
Overall this was a quality night of live music. It was great to head out and see four bands that I hadn’t heard of before in one evening and be truly impressed from start to finish. The only thing missing on the night was a few more people watching… but I’m definitely glad I was one of the people there.