Ohmme – The Louisina, Bristol

Wednesday 20th February, 2019

I wasn’t planning on this taking nearly a week to write, but there was work, other gigs, a daytrip to London and a migraine that all got in the way.

The Louie is a much-loved Bristol venue but one I swore off after an uncomfortable evening there when it was crowded. It’s the upstairs room of a pub, nothing grand or glamorous, but they do make the most of the sound and they have a wide range of acts playing on a very regular basis. The pub downstairs also does a pretty good Sunday lunch I’m told and the location, right on the edge of the harbour, lends it some history. I have felt uncomfortable in there due to the low ceiling and shape of the room. Being that the only way in or out is a narrow staircase and you can see why I’m not the happiest in there.

Yet I found myself willing to give it another try. The fault lies with Colston Hall, who put this gig on and that Ohmme sounded too good a prospect to miss. That plus the ticket, thanks to the culture flash sale, being only £5.72. I knew it wouldn’t be a sold out, crowded gig and that therefore I could feel safe(r). After realising just how few women I saw in either of the past 2 years of gigging, I am making concerted efforts to see female bands, Ohmme included.

I arrived just after the support band, local outfit Malarkey, had taken to the stage. They were young and pretty good. Aptly named, their look was pretty strong too. The coolest member by far was the bass player (obviously). If you like lads bashing out noisy guitar tunes then have a listen. It was nothing original, but they played well and sounded like a decent live outfit.

The small crowd all disappeared down to the bar, leaving me alone to perch on a speaker waiting for Ohmme. They came on earlier than billed, so the crowd was reasonably sparse, but that suited me. More people did join, including one annoying dude who kept being slightly too close behind me.

Here is a little tip for blokes; when a woman moves away from you and deliberately angles her body so that she is no longer stood directly in front of you, then you need to back away as you have made her uncomfortable. Quite possibly she has had this happen before at a gig, on the tube, bus, anywhere else and been groped. Happens all the fucking time in crowded environments and us gals have no way to tell if you are a decent bloke who just  wants to be close to the stage or is going to put his hands all over us ok? So, please and especially when the venue is not sold out, give women a little more room. I was on my own, making me feel that little bit more vulnerable. That’s also why I didn’t say something to him at the time, I’m five foot nothing and he wasn’t. I was alone. He wasn’t.

Him aside (and thankfully he went off to the bar a couple of times) I was a lot more comfortable at the Louie this evening. It wasn’t busy and I had clear line of sight to the door, as well as the stage.

Ohmme helped this enormously. They can both play the shit out of a guitar and their voices, one jazz low and full of smoke, the other higher in register, complimented perfectly. The songs were long, experimental in places and constantly went off in directions I wasn’t expecting. When they announced they were to play a Bowie cover, I thought, that takes some balls, then when they said it was from Black Star I was seriously impressed. They did it well. In the encore they did a B52’s number I’m not familiar with and that sounded pretty awesome too. As did all of their original stuff. If you like edgy rock music then I think you would like Ohmme.

Seeing two talented women wig out on the guitar was such a pleasure. I enjoyed the gig and had a good time. I shall happily venture back to The Louisiana again, just as long as it’s not for a sold out gig.

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