I've been to a lot of gigs over the years but I have never managed to get to one on my birthday. It was a bit of a bucket list thing for me to accomplish and finally the opportunity arrived. I'd known that my favourite French punks Quitters were planning a UK tour for January for a few months so had been keeping my eyes peeled for the official announcement. When it was finally announced, the first thing I noticed was that Bristol punks The Run Up would also be on the tour - which excited me greatly. Then I scanned the dates and two really stood out to me. First the London show was on Thursday 25th January at The Windmill in Brixton so I wouldn't need to book time off work for that one - bonus! Then I noticed the Bristol night of the tour at The Exchange fell on the night of my 32nd birthday, the 21st of January. Without putting too much thought into it Emma and I hastily sorted out time of work, booked trains and a hotel and eagerly awaited the day to arrive.
This would be our first time visiting The Exchange in Bristol having only previously visited The Fleece on our punk rock trips. Before it was time for the gig we popped into the Exchange which by days is a coffee shop downstairs and the excellent Specialist Subject record store is based upstairs. £70 later we came out with some great purchases and prepared for the gig in the evening. Returning to the venue, we found that the gig would actually be taking place in the café section of the Exchange so would be super intimate. After a quick chat with Daniel and Charlie from The Run Up (two really nice guys) we claimed a spot and got ready for the first band of the evening.
The third band of the night were Quitters. The Montpellier based indie punk band were playing only their second ever show in the UK. Their album Good Night Memories was one of my favourites of 2017 so I was really looking forward to seeing the four piece live. Starting out with the introduction from Good Night Memories, it was immediately clear what a talented bunch of musicians the four gentlemen in Quitters are. Then they launched into the actual songs and I was just blown away from start to finish. Unfortunately there was a bit of a problem with the volume of the vocals but, it's a punk show after all, it's not supposed to sound perfect. This didn't stop my enjoyment of Quitters one bit and neither did it of anyone else in the Exchange. At one point the gentlemen stood next to me pulled a harmonica out of his pocket and began to jam - he was enjoying himself so much. That's not something you see at every gig. The two biggest highlights of the set for me were The Brighter Shades Of Time and Why Should We Burn Our Lives? but in truth everything was absolutely golden. What a great band Quitters are.
This gig review was written by Colin Clark. Photos by Emma Prew.