We provide a hustler’s guide to the next big things you can catch at Bristol’s best festival

Ever wandered through a festival and stumbled on something fantastic? Something that’s made you stop in your tracks although you have no idea what it is? Something that’s made you stick around, unplanned, although you’re almost dying of fatigue (and maybe trenchfoot)?

This is our guide to those sorts of acts: the completely excellent artists on the bill that maybe aren’t as big as the headliners and may have passed you by, but are 100% worth your precious festival minutes.

Read on to find out more about each, and how to chat as if you’re more than au fait with every artist. You music boff, you.

If you’ve not got a ticket to Simple Things yet, 1) get your life together, 2) here’s the link. Thank us later.



Irish DJ and producer SAOIRSE has been busy establishing herself as a mainstay of the electronic scene. Having honed her skills by sharing the decks with the likes of Villalobos, Omar S and Fred P, she’s quickly become a welcome addition to many a wild night around Europe. Expect deep bass cuts, danceable grooves and happy crowds.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– her name correctly. It’s pronounced “Seer-shah”
– “Did you know ‘SAOIRSE’ means freedom in Gaelic, the national language of Ireland?”
– “Her show on Rinse was deaaad good.”

Chastity Belt

Seattle four-piece Chastity Belt have all the stuff of live set dreams: sad songs, uplifting songs, and that rare beast – the actually funny song. First album No Regerts [sic] is packed with party tunes about pussy, weed, beer and more, and while latest album Time To Go Home is still slightly tipsy, it’s deeper and more thoughtful. Something for everyone, then.

We spoke to frontperson Julia Shapiro in our feature here.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:

– “The lead singer and guitarist, Julia, is also lead vocals in Seattle supergroup Childbirth. Their new album, Women’s Rights, is excellent and hilarious.”

…and wear a official Chastity Belt bucket hat. All the cool kids will be doing it.

Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan is part of both Rub-n-Tug and DFA’s Still Going, and has been exciting clubfuls of people with disco sleaze since the 90s. He’s also a tip-top remixer, taking the likes of Grace Jones, The Beastie Boys and LCD Soundsystem and scuffing them with his signature sordid sound. A rightfully big deal since forever.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– “This guy was in legendary duo Rub-n-Tug with Thomas Bullock. Their parties were peeeak.”
– “Did you catch Rub-n-Tug’s six-week curation of the White Columns Gallery in NYC a while back? Wonderful work.”
– “He’s from L.A. but he sounds way more NYC, don’t you think?”


Though Gramrcy’s sound can fall into the darker side of electronic, he never has the heart to take himself too seriously. His Berceuse Heroique sublabel Ancient Monarchy Ruffian is a case in point. A banger in the truest sense of the word, it’s a fantastic preview of what his Simple Things might hold: a sweaty, swaggering set full of curiosities and strange turns. Exciting to say the least.

Read more about him in our New Music column here.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– “I used to see him around Bristol on Gloucester Road all the time. And in Idle Hands.”
– “I’ve heard this guy on NTS filling in for fellow Bristol native Shanti Celeste.”


“Transcendental black metal” might sound too obtuse for some of you but we must insist you try Liturgy. Latest LP The Ark Work is a controversial departure from their previous works, and some have found it too pretentious, too verbose and too weird for words. We, however, think it’s some of the most interesting stuff you’re likely to witness, and we can’t even begin to imagine how the live set might materialise. Gripping.

We spoke to frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix in our feature here.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:

– “The lead singer raps on the most recent album.”
– “It also draws on psychoanalysis, German idealism and Christian mysticism.”
– “He also suggests that its part of a three-part ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, or ‘total artwork’.”


Slime’s sound is created in deep and opaque solitude, so how the live show might emerge is anyone’s guess. Ultra-critical and eagle-eyed, he’s recently spent a good long while sifting through 400 unreleased tracks to collect together Company, his recent LP release on Weird World. The result is a hypnotic gem – and we bet the live show will be similarly mesmerising.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– “Despite being a multi-instrumentalist, he first picked up the drums.”
– “He’s a Newcastle native but he moved to London to get a degree in Sound Design.”
– “Mary Anne Hobbs rates him.”

Maximum Joy

Station MXJY, the one and only Maximum Joy album, is a slept-on post-punk classic. Recorded during the reign of Thatcher, the political unrest can be clearly felt on record, and rings right through to our Tory-ruled 2015. Simple Things marks their reunion, and it’s going to be bloody special. We know this is cheesy, but this’ll be truly once in a lifetime.

We spoke to the band on punk politics in our newest issue. See it here.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– “Andrew Weatherall and Optimo have both remixed their tracks.”
– “This is their first gig in over 25 years.”
– “They’ve only ever released one album but it’s utterly exquisite.”

Blanck Mass

Benjamin John Power has a really cool name, and he also makes very cool music. His second release as a solo project, Dumb Flesh, was released in May and is experimental but accessible and scored positively with reviewers across the board. You might know him in another guise, however – he’s a Fuck Buttons founder. Well worth a watch.

We spoke to him in an in-depth interview earlier in the year here.

Sound like you know what you’re on about by saying:
– “This guy is one half of drone duo Fuck Buttons. They actually met in Bristol, the very city you’re in right now. Imagine.”
– “You can actually dance to some of his newer stuff which was a nice surprise.”
– “He’s got a cat called Darwin. Don’t ask me how I know that.”

Now you can talk the talk, walk the walk. Get your ticket to Simple Things here or live forever in regret. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


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