Marika Hackman. Thekla, Bristol.

I’d heard Marika on 6 Music but only knew a couple of her tracks. Venue that I love, on a boat on the floating harbour.

Marika is played on reasonably heavy rotation on 6 so I’d come to really like her singles and given that the ticket for tonight was a whopping £11 I thought she would be worth the chance. Clearly the rest of Bristol thought so too (it is a listener hotspot after all) as tonight’s gig was a sell out. Thekla is one of Bristol’s brilliant little venues. Onboard a moored ship on the floating harbour they put on excellent gigs and club nights so you can dance the night away in the bowels of a boat. It is quirky, fun, hot and sticky. Just what you want a venue to be.

I decided to head up to the balcony tonight, rather than risk the front row as I knew it would be a busy one and my experience last time at this venue of being at the front had shaken my confidence a little. Other than getting lost finding the balcony (hey, its dark and I’ve not been up there for a while) it proved a perfect move. There was a spot, just big enough for one in the middle and the view and sound were excellent from there.

Support came from Our Girl who were really good and worth checking out. 2/3 female (I do love it when there is a token bloke in a band, just evens the score that tiny bit), playing decent tunes that did the perfect job of warming the crowd up. Their music fitted nicely alongside that of Marika’s and to be honest I’d have happily paid the £11 just for them. I think they are playing a headline show in Bristol next March, I hope it is on a date I can get to.

Marika came on stage to the Sex & The City theme music so I already adored her before she picked up her guitar and started to play. She is charismatic and talented with a great voice. She also had a token bloke in her band (she even made him wiggle his arse for us. Feminist rock is freaking awesome).  Female drummer and bass player (yassss) made up the rest of the band and as a rhythm section they were really good. Despite being almost at the end of the tour and singing with a “voice that sounds like a mouse” making her lose her place early on (the crowd helped out and sang on for her) she was in fine form. I wish I could squeak half as well as that at my best, let alone with tired vocal chords. I’ve no idea what most of the songs were called, only that I liked them all. There were a couple of quieter ones, some sad ones, some really rocky ones, all of them worth listening too. Get her album.

It was loud.  There were guitars, drums and a bass. Sometimes that is all you need for a good time and tonight was one of those times.

Thank you Marika and band.

40+6 was full of rocking women and I liked it.


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