This Bank Holiday Weekend sees the festival get into full swing. Amongst the handful of events on offer, there is Bristol’s Booze Cruise. The festival is making its UK debut after its successful launch in Hamburg, Germany. Since then, it has become one of Europe’s premiere DIY punk festivals.
The inaugural Bristol leg of Booze Cruise will bring together some of the best underground bands from the UK’s and Europe’s punk scene. It will see 50 bands from 9 countries, performing on 3 stages between The Exchange and The Stag And Hounds, over 3 days. In short, a must-attend for all fans of punk rock.
With so much on offer, we didn’t know where to start when picking out the “must-see” bands and artists to catch at Bristol’s Booze Cruise. Thankfully, many bands on the bill are as hyped about it as we are. So we asked members of Hora Douse, Forever Unclean, Fights and Fires, and Brightr to do the honours.
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): We’ll be on tour with them [so a little biased here], but we’re stoked to see these Canadian punks again. We did a few shows around FEST last year with them. They absolutely crush it live as a two-piece. They’ve been recording a new album before coming out and we’re excited to hear some of those new songs!
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 8:30pm
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): Some of the loveliest, most talented people I know; who happen to write incredible and life-affirming songs. They have a new album out soon, and I can confirm: it’s incredible! One of my AOTY’s, for sure. I’ve spent a bunch of time with these, and it’s impossible to see them play without breaking a smile or having a blast.
Leo (Forever Unclean): We’ve never managed to catch Fresh live before and this will be the 3rd time this year that we will miss them again due to logistics. Their fantastic easy going melodies are the perfect soundtrack to a lazy noon board sesh.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 7:30pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): These boys have been working insanely hard for years; solid graft that is paying dividends at last, especially with the whole Green Day video press chaos, excellent! Definitely one not to be missed. FFO Grungey, lovely, huge sounding, pop-punkey singalong bangers.
Where & When: Friday, May 24th – The Stag and Hounds – 9:00pm
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): A running theme, but also sweet pals with a new album on the way. I’ve heard fun things from their time in the studio, so I’m stoked to see their progress/shift in musical direction since the new moniker.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Exchange – 9:45pm
The Winter Passing
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): Another bunch of lovely, lovely humans who make great songs. I missed them at Manchester Punk Festival ‘cause I was volunteering & running errands, but I’m excited to catch them as I haven’t seen them play in a long while. Always, a killer rock show.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Exchange – 4:45pm
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): Released one of my favourite records from this year. Also, as a fellow three-piece, definitely a band to aspire to be, their live shows are energetic & fun & tight as hell. Saw them in London recently for one of their album release shows and it blew my face off with joy!
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): Ever since I heard the sweet jangly tunes of their debut I’ve been hooked on Woahnows. They just keep evolving; getting somehow better and better. Their new album ‘Young and Cool’ is vital listening, as is seeing them on the Saturday of Boozey Bristol. FFO energetic drums, perfect lyrical content, jangly way-too-good-at-playing guitars & beautiful basslines.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Exchange – 2:45pm
Tom Lee (Hora Douse): Longtime good human & fellow-prolific-emo-songwriting-stalwart. There are few in the DIY scene I respect more, and I’m excited to catch Marty play, as I don’t often get the chance to!
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 2:30pm
The Run Up
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): Somehow this brilliant band eluded me for years, but not any more. Another insanely hard-working bunch of humans, forever on tour in a clapped out vehicle but spreading the best tunes/vibes with gruff singalongs aplenty. FFO shouting along to brilliant songs with your friends and having a bunch of beers.
Where & When: Friday, May 24th – The Stag and Hounds – 9:45pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): Ok, I am completely biased here, but Chris & James aka H_ngm_n are the hidden/hiding/soon to be not so secret treasures of the UK music scene. Incredible songwriting, flawless live performances and possibly the best release of last year in ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’. It’s one show I won’t be missing a second of at Booze Cruise, get down early!
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Exchange – 1:45pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): This affable trio are making waves right now across the UK/Europe, thanks to constant touring and a seemingly endless conveyor of brilliant music videos. They have hooks that’ll stay wedged in your brain for days/weeks/months.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 4:30pm
Fights and Fires
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): I first became aware of Fights and Fires forever ago, when an old band of mine played alongside them and the wonders that were Our Time Down Here. I fell in love with their brilliant hardcore then, and the love has never died. Lockjaw Records’ finest bunch of brilliant noisemakers.
Leo (Forever Unclean): Imagine this; the setting is the sunny Bavarian countryside in a remote forest. The finest beer is sold by the gallon. Fights And Fires are playing their groovy hardcore at full bore and the show peaks when a massive hug pit erupts, consisting of 100 people hugging in one big pile of loving, drunk bodies in front of the stage.
Where & When: Saturday May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 5:30pm
The Burnt Tapes
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): I’ve heard a lot of incredible things about this band from my friends at Lockjaw Records. I’m now hooked on their tunes so this will be a moment of discovery and excitement seeing them live for the first time.
Leo (Forever Unclean): Everyone probably knows (or should know), Burn Tapes are one of the fastest up-and-coming gruff-emo bands from south England. 50% sadness + 50% ouzo = 100% Tips of Olympus!
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Exchange – 4:15pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): These dudes have been working bloody hard for years, popping up all over the UK to wow crowds with their supercharged pop-punk flavours. They have epic energy-ridden songs, that blow up in your face like a firework in a crowded car park.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Stag and Hounds (Downstairs) – 5:00pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): They’ve been brilliant ever since the early solo years when it was just Mark-er. This band has grown from strength to strength, blowing away audiences all over the world. The new record is a masterpiece and testament to what hard work can achieve. They have fuzzy punk and catchy tunes that everyone else wishes they’d written.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Stag and Hounds (Downstairs) – 6:00pm
Laurie Cottingham (Brightr): This incredible bunch of Frenchman blew me away last October at Pre-FEST in Ybor, Florida. I’m certain the weather won’t be as intense, but they are sure to bring the heat to Booze Cruise Bristol. Fast and rowdy punk in the French tongue, with heart and fist-pumping brilliance.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Exchange – 7:15pm
Phil (Fights and Fires): I fell in love with this band whilst planning a trip to NYC for Lee, our drummer’s, wedding. I found a punk show happening minutes from our Airbnb, so started researching the bands and instantly Bong Mountain‘s punk melodies and playful, yet meaningful, lyrics resonated with me. Sadly I ended up missing the show that day but now I get to make up for it.
Where & When: Friday, May 24th – The Stag and Hounds – 10:00pm | Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Downstairs) – 9:00pm
Leo (Forever Unclean): Our tour buddies and life long friends from Denmark and, most definitely, THE best melodic skate punk band from our capital city. Fast, tight and catchy as! Do not miss out by coming out late on Friday.
Where & When: Friday, May 24th – The Stag and Hounds – 7:00pm
Phil (Fights and Fires): Ryan, our guitar player knows these guys really well from driving tours for them. They’re top lads that always play with a smile and passion. Think the glory days of Green Day, mixed with a more contemporary sound like Gnarwolves.
Where & When: Saturday, May 25th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 6:30pm | Saturday, May 25th – The Exchange – 10:30pm (Green Day covers set)
Leo (Forever Unclean): The French have long had the ability to spectacularly but perfectly blend aesthetically pleasing songwriting and sound production. These fine monsieurs are no exception! Seasoned but modest, they are most definitely going to deliver a memorable showcase.
Phil (Fights and Fires): Traverse are fantastic French punk rock band, that we had the pleasure of playing with on tour last year. Very strong choruses mixed with super solid musicianship and just a splash of French flare. We will be hosting the Worcester leg of their tour and can’t wait to see them both times.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Exchange – 5:15pm
Phil (Fights and Fires): We shared a stage at Washed Out festival recently and found a mutual respect in the power of the riff. Brilliant band and excellent people. Big rock sound with a nod to all the chaos and mayhem of British post-hardcore scene of the 2000’s.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 6:30pm
Phil (Fights and Fires): We crossed paths many moons ago and it will be nice to do it again. If you need a break from the noisier side of the festival, allow Brightr to soothe your soul with some fantastic melodies.
Where & When: Sunday, May 26th – The Stag and Hounds (Upstairs) – 3:30pm
Bristol’s Booze Cruise Festival takes place from 24th – 26th May 2019.
Tickets are on sale now priced at just £55 for a weekend pass, with individual day tickets also available. Tickets can be purchased here.
Bristol’s Booze Cruise is a socially aware organisation and is proud to support a number of causes. This year will see a portion of profits donated to Sea Watch, a not-for-profit organisation that helps to rescue refugees stranded in the Mediterranean Sea.