5 Classic Albums Influenced by Bristol Bands

Bristol bands (Strangelove)Once in a while, the country stops to pay homage to the rich tapestry of music that has flowed out of Bristol over the decades. Ah, yes! London says, clapping its hands together as its collective eyes begin to moisten: I love Bristol bands! Who could forget dear old Massive Attack, and of course Portishead, and I suppose Tricky, and technically, ah, didn't Beth Gibbons do a solo album once?

We'll have you know that Bristol's alternative musical legacy stretches way beyond trip-hop (and student house parties), including a pretty substantial spell of post-punk pioneering in the 80s. Below, we present five examples of legendary albums from around the world that claim to have been touched by the spirit of the city.

In spite of his claims, we regret to inform there is no room for Kanye West.


5// Metallica - Kill 'Em All


The Bristol influence: Jaguar

'Tallica! Before transforming into a sanitised parody of themselves in the 00s, the band was - and, let's be honest, still are - revered as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. It all started with 1983's Kill 'Em All, beginning their career as every 14 year old's favourite band for a month. And where did they find inspiration for this genre-defining sound? Well, lots of places obviously, but a 19-year-old Lars Ulrich was watching Bristol's own Jaguar with a particular interest in 1982, the year before Metallica released their seminal debut. Jaguar was playing heavy metal faster than most bands of that era, and Ulrich was impressed - so much so that, years later, the band were included on the Metallica-sanctioned compilation Full Metal Garage: The Songs That Drove Metallica.


4// Siouxsie and the Banshees - Peepshow


The Bristol influence: Europeans

In 1977, England was spinning on its heels as London and Manchester began churning out a succession of groundbreaking punk bands. Bristol bands weren't to be excluded: while Europeans didn't stick around long enough to rival any of them, the pair of blistering singles they put out proved how ahead of their time they were, incorporating electronic and krautrock elements into the three-chord punk sound of the day. More than that, their lead guitarist Jon Klein went on to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, contributing to their critically lauded 1988 record Peepshow.


3// Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - From Her to Eternity


The Bristol influence: The Pop Group

More than any other, The Pop Group deserve to be recognised as a pioneer among Bristol bands - aforementioned 90s legends aside, perhaps. Watch the above clip, and realise that Nick Cave's entire career was effectively kick-started by this band. "It was one of those moments where you just feel the cogs of your mind shift," he explains. "And your life is kind of irreversibly changed."


2// The Bug - London Zoo


The Bristol influence: Tarzan the High Priest, Enterprise Imperial Hi-Fi, Froggy’s Excalibur...

We could go on. Tarzan (AKA Hector Thaws) is perhaps remembered best today due to being Tricky's grandfather - though amazingly, Tricky himself was supposedly unaware of his relative's legendary status, remembering him primarily as a great cook. But there were tonnes of acts at that time that basically created the reggae sound system scene, later even becoming known as "the Bristol sound".

We've chosen The Bug's modern, reggae-tinged classic London Zoo, but really, you'd be hard-pressed to find a recent example of the genre that doesn't owe something to that incredible part of Bristol's musical history.


1// Radiohead - The Bends



The Bristol influence: Strangelove

"Radiohead are definitely post-Strangelove," Ed O'Brien once remarked. "We toured with them for "Pop Is Dead" and we changed quite a lot after that. They were inspirational. Apart from their trousers. Patrick had an awful pair of baggy trackie bottoms." 

Despite most of their material sounding closer to Pablo Honey - in reality, the band were more comfortable bedfellows with the likes of Britpop cult favourites Gene and Marion - Strangelove's weirder output clearly rubbed off on Radiohead's guitarists. "Living With The Human Machines" bears all the hallmarks of a classic Johnny Greenwood rock-out, though it came out a year after The Bends. But listen to 1992's "Zoo'd Out", and feel free to sing "Paranoid Android" over the top. You're welcome.

Did we miss anything? Any Bristol bands secretly influencing Drake these days or something? Let us know in the comments!


One Response to “5 Classic Albums Influenced by Bristol Bands”


    1. 5 Classic Albums Influenced by Bristol Bands – Live List - 09/07/2017

      […] post 5 Classic Albums Influenced by Bristol Bands appeared first on […]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *