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Top 5: Underground Clubs in Bristol

15 July 2017 | London Calling

Bristol is renowned for its vibrant underground music scene with party-goers from far and wide flocking to the city to experience the high-calibre uniqueness of its nightlife. Artists from around the world perform across Bristol’s stages and the city has been the birthplace of numerous DJs who create some of the best dance music the UK has to offer. The clubs in Bristol are truly diverse with something to suit any taste, but forget the bleary lights of the pop-infused Triangle for a moment – the highlights of Bristol’s nightlife are the clubs that are a little more under the radar.

Cosies

Cosies is truly a jack of all trades, as it a lovely spot for a morning coffee, a celebrated wine bar in the evenings and on certain nights is transformed into one of Bristol’s smallest yet most prestigious dancefloors. Cosies aims to host a variety of acts for all who love good dance music, meaning there is a range of great nights to choose from – they recommend their legendary Reggae Sundays as a good place to start. The club has a reputation for celebrating the best of dub and drum and bass, meaning the tiny venue often reverberates with heavy beats that keep pulling revellers back.


Image Credit: Cosies, Nightlife Magazine

34 Portland Square, Bristol BS2 8RG. Check listings.  

Basement 45

Situated under the Banksy on Park Street, Basement 45 takes its name from the premises previously used as cellars which give the club its interesting layout of intimate, vaulted rooms. Perhaps not what you would expect to be hidden away amongst gay bars and the blare of pop music, this club is a haven for underground music lovers and often hosts some of Bristol’s best DJ’s. The club holds the frequent drum and bass nights for which it gained its reputation as well as a range of house and grime events to keep any raver happy.

8 Frogmore St, Bristol BS1 5NA. Check listings.

Lakota

If you enjoy chart toppers and donning a pair of heels on a night out then Lakota is not the club for you. Visitors should expect to get sweaty as the crowd busts their best moves on the teeming dancefloor, where trainers are an absolute must. A true veteran of the underground club scene in Stokes Croft, Lakota attracts some of biggest names in reggae, garage, and drum and bass. Occupying a warren of interconnected rooms across three floors, the club plays host to a range of themed nights where the place can be transformed from an exotic jungle one night into a psychedelic wonderland on the next. Make sure to book tickets in advance as the queue of music lovers often snakes down the street.


Image Credit: Lakota

Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN. Check listings.

Blue Mountain Club

Another of Stokes Croft’s gems, Blue Mountain Club maintains a formidable listing of underground nights throughout the year. The interior of this club is full of character – and more than a little grimy – as the club focuses on the great music and buzzing atmosphere it generates . It doesn’t pretend to be the place to visit for anything more than a proper, old school rave and is often filled to capacity with people looking for just that. Again, this is a club that exists because of the talented DJs it attracts, so check listings for events before you visit.

2 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PR. Check listings.

Motion

Saving the best till last, Motion is a magnet for some of the best DJs from around to world who perform on its huge main stage, largely due to its reputation as being the crown jewel of Bristol’s underground music destinations and one of the best nightclubs in the world. Previous acts have included DJ EZ and Andy C as well as ever-popular nights from resident collective The Blast. The club’s interior remains simple and industrial, still very much resembling the factory space which it once was. The main stage is held inside a shell of a huge warehouse that is often filled with incredible light-shows entertaining the enthusiastic crowd of up to 2,500. Top tip: bring your sunglasses along for when you stumble into the early morning light after a night of non-stop dancing.


Image Credit: Motion

74-78 Avon Street, BS2 0PX Bristol, United Kingdom. Check listings.
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