As part of our Myspace Musical Maze series and following on from our jaunt through the Ulster scene, R13 visit's Bristol and furrows deep among the live music scene for those hidden secret gems.

Bristol has always possessed an interesting and diverse music scene, known in particular for it's originality and fusion of genres. The most famous exports in recent times have emerged from the electro and trip-hop roots deep within the scene, with Massive Attack and Portishead breaking into the mainstream and experiencing great success. Even today, years after their breakthrough, these two bands are regularly citied as major influences on many new artists in today's industry.

Despite the success of Massive Attack and Portishead thrusting the Bristol scene into the limelight, there has been little to shout about over the last few years with regards to mainstream breakthroughs. However, this is not to say the scene is any less diverse or talented, far from it. In fact, at this moment in time, there are some fantastic bands gracing local venues week in week out, and it's only a matter of time until they are discovered, nurtured, and unleashed on the wider world. Until this time arises, R13 will take you through the Bristol scene and reveal all the rough diamonds that provide the jewels in the crown of Bristol music.

Heralding from slightly north of Bristol, the Worcestershire quintet are well known around the Bristol and West live circuit for their energetic shows and fantastic vocals of front woman Lydia Papaphilippopoulos. With a tight rock sound and a beautifully layered rhythm section to support the strong vocals, this band deserve far more coverage than they have received up to this point.
Recommended track: 'Somewhere New' (on iTunes), 'Headrush'.

Showing Off To Thieves
Having acquired a notable feather in the cap by becoming winning the European winners of EA Games' Burnout Bandslam competition, voted for by over 2.5 million MySpace users, the Bristol boys' stock has risen considerably with the release of debut 'Everyone Has Their Secrets'. With a distinctly British rock sound akin to the likes of Hell Is For Heroes and a knack of writing songs with a discreet balance between melody and power, the Thieves could go far indeed.
Recommended Track: 'Everyone Has Their Secrets'

Fortune Drive
One of the leading lights of the Bristol scene, Fortune Drive have a very strong following and are on the rise with the imminent release of debut album A Modern Question in September this year, supported by a UK tour. Having honed their sound around Bristol over the last couple of years, comprising of straight up rock'n'roll with an edgy swagger, the stage is set for these lads to make a serious impression and receive the plaudits they blatantly deserve.
Recommended Track: 'My Girlfriend's An Arsonist'

Having only been together since the end of 2006, Medallist have enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks culminating in their recent signing to Gut Records. Widely thought of as the next act to break through from the Bristol scene, their perfect fusion of rock and electro with distorted guitars, synths and clear vocals create a sound that is solely their own.
Recommended Track: 'Sleep When You're Dead'

Indie-electro pop exporters Subline recently graced the Myspace Top 10 Unsigned chart and have built a strong following in Bristol and the surrounding area, and recently made their London debut. With clear nods to Bristol legends Massive Attack and Portishead, Subline update the ambient sound with sublime beats and chilled out instrumentals, combined with Colleen Quinn's velvety smooth vocals. A must for any electro/chill out fans.
Recommended Track: 'Dive In'

The Bristol quartet of HiFlyer represent a different sub-genre from the other bands mentioned thus far. Perhaps best described as a sweeter, female-fronted version of Coldplay, the band have recently released second album Freedom Land, a record that it's hoped will launch them into the mainstream. The tunes are certainly there, with recent single Chasing Rainbows an absolute beauty.
Recommended Track: 'Chasing Rainbows'

The Bristolian five-piece have a huge local following and have toured with Orson on their last UK tour. Their sound is stomping British rock with attitude, and is certainly fit to grace the larger stages. Recent album '96 Hours' could push these guys into the glare of the media.
Recommended Track: 'Bit of Education'

Having checked out some of the bands above, it's understandable that you now want to visit Bristol and take in some of the auditory delights. So, we at R13 thought what better than a list of all the main music venues along with their myspace addresses, so that our lovely readers can check for directions/listings and the like? Alas, here be the list:

The Croft
Carling Academy
Anson Rooms
Mr Wolfs
The Cooler
Colston Hall