Simple Thing Festival 2017
Where: Various venues across Bristol
When: 21st October
Who: Metronomy, Leftfield, Daphni, Clark, IDLES, Wild Beasts
How much: £40 (last release price)
Simple Things Festival is a day-long metropolitan festival loyally held across various venues in Bristol, with an opening concert hosted at Motion on the Friday night. Throughout its seven-year history, Simple Things has comfortably asserted itself as one of the most innovative offerings of music in the festival circuit, previously giving platforms for up-and-coming artists to breakthrough to the mainstream consumer. Past examples ofwhich have included Jamie xx and Jon Hopkins back in 2011, Hudson Mohawke and Ghostpoet back in 2012, or more recently, Glass Animals and Loyle Carner.
Past editions of Simple Things have been hosted as early as the May Bank Holiday, but perhaps with the similar timing of Love Saves The Day, this year’s event has relocated to late October, the 21st to be exact.
Opening up the event with a sole set at Motion, were electro indie favourites Metronomy, who churned through their catalogue of hits to a sold-out crowd. An incredible 5 o’clock outing from the British Paraorchestra took Kraftwerk’s groundbreaking album Trans-Europe Express to another level thanks to support from a 36-piece orchestra, while Nadine Shah serenaded Colston Hall with a eloquent belt of her soaring vocals. Elsewhere, IDLES played a long-awaited homecoming hour of off-punk, which was met with a huge reception since their much-overdue breakthrough earlier this year.
In what could easily be called the set of the festival, Clark brought his acclaimed Death Peaks live show to the O2 Academy, whose production in both light and sound, was more than up to the task. Shortly after, Leftfield proved that their groundbreaking debut album Leftism is still as influential and seminal as it was when it was first released back in 1995, welcoming on the LP’s array of guest vocalists, bar Lydon of course, to a bursting Colston Hall, that also proved once again to be one of Bristol’s finest venues.
Thanks to Omar Souleyman’s rapidly expanding following, the makeshift Foyer stage quickly filled up, which not only stands as a testament to Souleyman, but also of the event’s clientele. Daphni’s experimental four-hour offering took us all around the world of electronic music, before it was off to Lakota for closing sets from Dekmantel Soundsystem and Juan Atkins, who brought the festival to a triumphant close at around 7am. The short walk to Stoke’s Croft gave an air of after-party, following the festival’s aforementioned headline sets.
Simple Things is a really tidy, rewarding, and well-orchesrated event. With the event’s two main venues, the O2 and Colston Hall, less than a stone’s throw away from eachother, as well as the late-night offerings of Lakota just around the corner, not to mention the Friday night nod at Motion, Simple Things eloquently captures the platform Bristol can give young or new musicians. What Simple Things nails to a tee, is a diverse offering of music, one that refuses to conform to the conveyer belt of predictable lineups out there at the moment, it makes great use of its surroundings, and drapes it all in an off-the-cuff casualness, one that reflects the easy-going, creative sound of the city. The simplest thing about this event, should be your attendance in 2018.