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Calva Louise @ Marble Factory, Bristol

By Roxann Yus | 02/08/2022

What makes the best British band? Well, if you’ve caught one of Calva Louise’s fun and creative sets you’ll likely agree that Venezuela, France, and New Zealand are the answer.

Calva Louise are a UK-based rock band that infuse culture into their work, specifically Spanish lyrics. Lead singer, Jess, made the point that she can cuss, swear, and say things that aren’t so nice in her native language, but to us in the UK, the lyrics sound sweet and beautiful. She even suggests saying these not-so-nice-but-pretty-sounding-phrases to people we don’t particularly like. I’ll have to write up a list.

Their charisma shines through their songwriting and performances, even though they claim they’re fairly shy people. The first time I caught Calva Louise, Jess encouraged us to sing some of her Spanish lyrics and then praised us all for being bilingual. The kindness of the band is contagious, creating a very kind atmosphere in every room they step into. And that was particularly important during the emergence of live music again after COVID-19. They were the first band I was able to see since the pandemic, and their warmth has lingered with me ever since.

This particular performance on the 4th of July at Marble Factory in Bristol was in support of New York powerhouse Highly Suspect. Calva Louise played tracks from their new and beloved album Euphoric, again – some of the first songs I heard post-pandemic, so they hold a very special place in my heart. This is likely when Jess would tell me that I’m storing Spanish insults in my heart…

But maybe that’s just the fire needed for creativity? From Jess’ power poses on stage to her titanium screams, the outfit which is Calva Louise showcases time and time again the fire and passion they harness. Also strikingly evident is the amount of fun they have on stage: jamming with one another, laughing, and smiling throughout their set. It’s this level of enthusiasm and overall joy for life that causes such a contagion effect to bounce off from the stage all the way to fans and observers in the crowd. Yet, I don’t believe that they require a contagion effect from the crowd to perform, create, and enjoy music just as much as they do. Their size and reach as a band has not limited them and what they’ve achieved.

They’ve created a card game, comic book, movie, two albums, singles, and collabs. They’ve made awesome merch and designed an aesthetic that is strictly theirs. Am I missing anything? They even previewed large discs designed for live performances that would play their animations behind them. They strive to feed the fantasy, one that serves them more than anyone. They need no validation: they are their own validation. Their work has been delicately carved into their perfect vision.

More attention must be paid to this trio. With all that they’ve achieved one would expect decades of experience behind them. Already, one can expect a multi-faceted experience from a Calva Louise performance, withstanding their trials of live animation and consistent confidence, hope, and kindness. I look forward to catching Calva Louise again sometime soon; one part for their musical performance, another for their expansion with technology, and the final part to hear another iconic joke about bilingualism and/or culture from Jess.

Check out Calva Louise's newest collaboration Throne with Mazare.


Edited by: Roxann Yus

Photographs by: Ben Massey

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