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If there’s anywhere that can do a kick ass multi-band midweek gig, the Croft in Bristol can. And here, they did. With six bands on the bill this sure was value for money (£1 a band, get in). Things started off in the smaller, brighter front room with local favourites comprising Archimedes, Travis Waltons, Hello Laz and Daylight Fireworks. But the real party was in the main room with Bristol’s Attika State and the headliners Tellison.

The Attika State are motley bunch of skillful musicians, each of whom could probably hold a show in their own right, but each working together to create an obscenely tight performance. Their energetic, wonderfully catchy pop rock was exemplified in the blinder of a song, Celebration. And when lead singer Rudi said they were playing a slow one next, he merely meant they were toning it down to 9 instead of 11. But the real star of this show was bass player Chrish, whose jaw-droppingly impeccable bass playing would put even Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) to shame. A great mood setter for the Tellison gig.

The Bristol gig was the penultimate night of this Tellison tour and what a way to end a tour. The packed main room of The Croft was buzzing with anticipation by the time Tellison took to the stage. There broad spectrum of ages represented in the crowd was pretty refreshing – it wasn’t just a bunch of Inbetweeners kids. It was also refreshing to see scores of folk singing along to material from the new album, including Edith and Vermont. But it was the old faves which really nailed the mood – songs like Gallery and Henry and none more so than the soaring belter Wasp’s Nest. It’s a simple but effective formula employed by this half London half Cambridge band, infectious tunes, intelligent lyrics and sound musicianship all wrapped up in a big blanket of empathy.

Tellison could quite easily slip into the tired old trend for Americanisms, after all they do have sniffs of Blink 182 and co about them but thankfully they maintain their British quirks and embrace the odd stripped bare, tender moment in the shape of some of the slower numbers such as Freud Links The Teeth And The Heart. Think a slightly less slushy Idlewild Bronze Medal. There’s also more understated beauty to be found when guitarist Peter takes over on lead vocals for Collarbone. These boys clearly enjoy what they do, and we enjoy them enjoying what they do so long may this fruitful relationship continue!

Words, photo and video: Laura Williams