A club with lots of character, the Thekla is a boat and consists of two floors and a heated deck. Brilliant food is served all day and in the evening it turns into a live venue, which is often followed by a club night. Whether the performers are well-known or up and coming, the Thekla always seems to get it just right.
East Mud Dock
Bristol BS1 4RB
0117 929 3301
Someone had a genius idea of making an old boat into a club. The acoustics are great - equipped for both DJs and bands who can pump out their tunes to a resonating effect within the boat's hull. It offers a triple decker sandwich of floors, the top being a bar and (lucky for smokers) a large outside deck complete with heaters! Straight down to the bottom, the hull becomes the main dance floor including a second bar. The selection of bands that play ranges from local to large, alternative to just plain awesome. Thursday is club night, Friday and Saturday if you want the next step up for music!
The Grove, East Mud Dock, BS1 4RB
next to River station restaurant.
Cosies is a great little underground (both literally and figuratively!) bar. By day it's decent food and drinks suitable for the many office workers based nearby, by night it's more for the clubbing community who fancy some breakbeats, MCs, DJs, live acts.
Go on a Friday or a Saturday night and someone will generally start making some noise from 10ish. Otherwise, Martin can sort you out with another drink while you wait.
34 Portland Square
Bristol, BS2 8RG
0117 942 4110
The Thekla is a bar/club and a boat. It is moored on the river and hosts amazing gigs along with regular club nights. I reccommend it because of the intimate setting, unrivalled sound system and the quirkiness of raving away on a boat which manifests itself as unnerving swaying while dancing away. The bar staff are friendly and it attracts an eclectic mix of patrons.
Thekla, mud dock, Bristol....nearest station Bristol Temple Meads.
The Trinity Arts Centre is a beautiful old church that is now used as a gig venue and even holds a retro and flea market every few months. The combination of the lovely surroundings and the great artists who play there (including Public Enemy, Patrick Wolf, Devendra Banhart, Dreadzone and The Maccabees to name but a few) make it one of the most exciting live venues in Bristol.
Trinity Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS2 0NW
This is a great venue, it's a boat in the central Bristol docks, has a great booking policy, has a lot of secret gigs, there's various bars on the boat so I've never had to spend half the gig queueing up for a drink and it has a club after the bands so no rushing off afterwards. Relaxed and perfect, wish more venues were like it.
East Mud Dock
The Old Duke is a music venue situated on the cobbled King Street in the heart of Bristol. Named after Duke Ellington, the pub has become world famous for its live traditional, New Orleans inspired jazz music.
More recently the pub has added blues and more modern jazz bands to its program and now has live music on every night of the week and on Sunday lunch times.
Good real ale, and outdoor seating makes for a cracking summer evening spot
A lounge club with good drinks and live music. It's in the heart of Clifton so the crowd can be a little stuffy on occasion. However, Thursday nights are a more laid back affair as the club is set aside for live jazz and latin music.
15 Richmond Terrace, BS8 1AA;
tel: 0117 973 0986
Late night bar with a combination of Chinese and Mexican on the menu. There's live music every night and open mic evenings. It's a place where Bristol bands from across the music spectrum come to play. Just beware the absinthe.
33 St Stephens Street, BS1 1JX;
tel: 0117 927 3221;
Tucked away down an old cobbled Bedminster backstreet is this excellent live music venue. It's in a converted building that started life as a jail in 1740. The music policy mixes rock, jazz and world music gigs. Well worth seeking out.
Willway Street, Bedminster BS3 4BG;
tel: 0117 987 3403;
Beautiful former church turned concert hall with near perfect acoustics. The likes of Björk, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Terry Callier have played at St George's down the years. The music policy is a mixture of classical, jazz and world music. The BBC do the odd broadcast of classical concerts from here on Radio 3.
Great George Street, off Park Street, BS1 5RR;
tel: 0117 929 4929;
Many an up and coming band, including Coldplay, The White Stripes and The Libertines, have played a live gig at The Louisiana. Downstairs is a pub and upstairs is the small function room and stage. Cosy.
Bathurst Terrace BS1 6UA
Friday nights see the back room at The Bear in Hotwells transformed into a first rate chin-stroking, riff-applauding jazz club. The venue is intimate so if you're sat at the front you're pretty much sat with the band. Proper.
The Bear, 261 Hotwell Road;
tel: 0117 987 7796
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