“I’ll meet you there!”, “I’m front left but leaving in 5!”, “Might grab another drink then head across a bit later!”
These are all texts you could conceivably receive across the course of a multi-venue one-day festival with an awful lot going on. Simple Things Festival is that very festival. Back for 2017 this Saturday (21 October), some of our favourite artists will be playing across some of Bristol’s best venues – kicking off at midday and wrapping up at 7am Sunday.
It’s never easy to plan these days so we thought we’d help. We’ve taken on the role of a superhero who never needs to eat, relieve themselves, get another pint or have a little rest. If we were that person – and we’re going to try our best to become them on Saturday – then here’s how our day would play out.
If you think this plan, or any scaled-down version of it, is possible then buy a ticket here.
PINK KINKSportmans, 13.30-14.00
Eager to get stuck in early? Head down the the Sportmans pub to check out the glitter-smothered five-piece Pink Kink, who’ve earned a reputation for their live shows in Liverpool and have recently dropped their debut single – the raucous dance-punk stomper bubblebut.
NADINE SHAHColston Hall, 14.30-15.30
It won’t surprise us if, when end-of-year lists start emerging in a couple of month’s time, the third studio album from South Tyneside’s Nadine Shah fares very well. On the album, Shah’s bristly post-punk and haunting atmospheric production sounds more refined and developed than it ever has. And her live show reportedly does it justice. Keep 2pm free and tell your mates you thought this was your album of the year the first time you heard it and you definitely didn’t discover her through this list.
Having generated a buzz around Bristol with her connection to the Howling Owl label, this London-based experimentalist has since collaborated with Laurel Halo and signed to Hyperdub. Always hard to know what to expect with Klein, but prepare yourself for undefinable noise with RnB flourishes.
Kraftwerk performed by The British ParaorchestraColston Hall, 17.00-18.00
From the experimental excursions of Klein, hotfoot it over to the majestic Colston Hall main room for something completely different. Last year, the British Paraorchestra performed Terry Riley’s In C as part of the festival’s extended event programme and it was totally hypnotising. This year, the 39-piece ensemble will take on another iconic work. Introducing kraftwerk:rewerk, a new experiment by the British Paraorchestra and Army Of Generals, who will be performing a version Kraftwerk’s iconic 1977 album Trans-Europe Express. This is absolutely worth checking out.
John MausO2 Academy, 17:30-18:30
The British Paraorchestra’s performance is going to be pretty amazing, but if you can, try and catch a bit of cult musician John Maus. The alternative music world collectively lost their shit when it was announced that Maus is about to release his first album in six years, and he’s known for going extremely hard when he plays live.
(Sandy) Alex GThe Lantern, 18:00-19:00
Once indie rock’s best-kept secret, the Philadelphian bedroom artist has signed to Domino and worked with Frank Ocean. One day, if there’s any justice, his 2014 album DSU will be recognised as an overlooked classic.
Wild BeastsColston Hall, 19.00-20.30
Before the sad news dropped that they’d be disbanding in the new year, we were already extremely excited about Wild Beasts’ headline set. Their five-album catalogue is packed with moments of radiant, theatrical genius – from the subtle shades of Smother to the gorgeously stirring synth-pop of Present Tense. If you’re a fan of the band already, you’ll know how masterfully they can fill a room when they play live. If you aren’t a fan yet, here’s a final chance to catch one of the country’s smartest and finest guitar bands.
Clark Presents Death Peak LiveO2 Academy, 20.30-21.30
Earlier this year, Clark unleashed Death Peak – his eighth studio album and a thrilling joyride through floor-facing IDM and tough, alien techno sounds. As a mainstay at Warp Records, he’s a British electronic artist who manages to celebrate the DNA of UK rave music without ever dealing in mere nostalgia. To bring the record to life, Clark’s got an impressive light show and a cast of dancers ready to beguile and mesmerise (check out the trailer for more!). Plus, we love Wild Beasts but it’ll be nearing midnight and it might be time to start thinking about getting loose. Death Peak Live is the spot for you. Maybe try and eat on the way?
IDLESColston Hall, 21:00-22:00
This one’s going to be wild. For too long, Bristol gig goers had been confused as to why the rest of the world hasn’t noticed that IDLES are one of the best live bands in the UK. But the high-octane punk five-piece stuck it out during years of little success outside their home city, and off the back of their debut 2017 album Brutalism they’ve finally broken through – playing SXSW alongside festivals across the world, chatting about grime with Julie Adenuga on Beats 1 Radio and supporting Foo Fighters on an arena tour. This peak time, main stage set is will see them recognised as the massive band they deserve to be. Salute.
The courtyard is always a popular spot. Situated outside The Firestation stage, it’s an outdoor setting perfectly suited to easing you into the adventures of the night’s programme. Club Der Visionaere staple Binh will be bringing his famed minimal mastery for an epic three-hour set. Remember that this isn’t an endurance test. Feel free to pop out and get a smoothie or whatever but your mates might think less of you.
Shanti CelesteColston Hall Terrace, 22:00-23:00
The Colston Hall’s outdoor Terrace offers a gorgeous view of Bristol, and the Simple Things programming makes sure there’s plenty of incentive to hang out there other than for a smoke or some fresh air. Shanti Celeste earned her stripes as a stalwart of the Bristol scene and, now based in Berlin, she’s become a massive artist on the European house circuit while staying supportive of Bristol artists. If you miss her Terrace set, you can always catch her 4pm-6pm slot in Coroners Court 1.
Marie DavidsonColston Hall Foyer, 22:30-23:30
Get hooked on the distinctive combo of arpeggio-driven live techno and spoken word from this fast-rising French-Canadian artist.
POWER HALF HOUR! Jet out of the Colston Hall and get over to the Firestation for 30-minutes of deep cuts and moody atmospherics from the celebrated collector and pioneer.
Omar SouleymanColston Hall Foyer, 01:00-02:00
Possibly Crack Magazine’s top recommendation for the whole festival – prepare to totally lose yourself in the joyous intensity of the Syrian artist’s heartfelt vocals and danceable rhythms.
GramrcyLakota 1, 00.30-03.00
Part of the Housework crew alongside Shanti Celeste, Daisy Moon and Golseworthy, we’re expecting the Berlin-based artist to sneak some weirder sounds into a hard-hitting techno template when the Lakota/Coroners Court rave vibes are in full flow.
FlorentinoCrown Court, 02.00-04.00
The Manchester-based producer and DJ is affiliated with the Swing Ting collective and has signed with Brooklyn’s Mixpak label. With sets spanning reggaeton, dancehall and booty-shaking bass, this is the perfect late night energy booster for you and the crew.
The perfect continuation of your Omar Souleyman contact high and the infectious pulse of Florentino. A chief architect of Detroit techno, Juan Atkins pioneer status is uncontested. But the proof of his continued relevance over three decades into his career lies in his DJ sets: vital, energising machine soul from one of the very best.
Roi PerezCoroners Court 2, 03.30-07.00
It’s 3:30am. You’ve paced yourself and you’ve made it this far – now, time to let go. As the newest resident of Berlin’s storied Panorama Bar, Israeli-born DJ Roi Perez is accustomed to channelling hypnotic, charged energy late into the night – and quite a bit beyond. Plotting an exuberant through-line between jacking house, cosmic techno and libidinal disco there’s few better qualified to preside over the final, celebratory blowout… Just don’t forget to go home.