FEATURE: 10 TO SEE – SIMPLE THINGS FESTIVAL 2014

Across the weekend of 24th and 25th October, Bristol is lending the keys to the city to the thriving DIY promotors, publications and labels that have blossomed over the years in the South-West’s most eclectic, creative city for the two-day inter-city festival, Simple Things. Taking place in a host of Bristol’s familiar venues, the line-up is a proverbial mixed bag of Internationally renowned names and local noise-creators, whether in an Electronica or fuzz-conducting Garage Rock sense. With more than sixty acts playing across fourteen stages, here is just ten of the sets that you need to see on the Saturday of the festival.

BLACK LIPS – ACADEMY 1

Although displaying a more mature approach to their live set in recent years, there is nothing more explosive and care-free for suppression than a Black Lips show. Their early days have become infamous and synonymous for creation of unfiltered noise, flashes of nudity and occurrences of projectile vomiting. Now on their 7th record, 2014’s ‘Underneath The Rainbow‘, the cult-influential Atlanta, Georgia group have retained all that exuberance whilst developing a tighter, effective live understanding. If there is one set you do not want to miss, it’s from this garage-rock four piece. – RJ

MENACE BEACH – COLSTON HALL FOYER

The famed Leeds based, pseudo super-group, Menace Beach, are a vehicle for all things revolving around cacophony and DIY on-a-shoestring indie, and have had a great year at purveying their amalgamation of the slacker, psych and garage rock sound. Their appearance at this years Simple Things should be set to be an explosive experience as the band are riding the crest of the hype wave after their recent announcement of the their debut LP, ‘Ratworld’, out in January the 15th. Expect a band who will put on a show as schizophrenic as their recorded music, all with a hint of determination to prove that they live up to the respect they’ve gathered through this years stint of gigging and successful release after release. – DB

BAD BREEDING – ACADEMY 2 

Following their clamorous and venom-spitting sets supporting Eagulls this past Month, Stevenage based four-piece Bad Breeding have made us all aware of who they are and how little they care. Their vengeful sound takes the damaged, buzz-saw rhythm of 80s US Hardcore and administers a British-sense of inconsolable despondency and anger, influenced Politically and Socially by their all-to-familiar surroundings. Feeling immediate and pivotal, their bruising set will be another impassioned and equally engaging sight to witness. – RJ

EUGENE QUELL – THE CABIN (START THE BUS)

The London no-fi artist Eugene Quell is certainly one who has fully submersed himself in every angle of rock that a musician would want to delve into. From strung out rock n’ roll, garage to self-lacerating and lamenting grunge, Eugene has you covered for every mood of unsettled and rowdy angst available. The fizz of his music will no doubt translate well over the course of the weekend as the music he conveys is hard to resist and easy to lock on to, and will have you dancing uncontrollably come the end of his ragged and speaker-torn sounding set. – DB

IDLES – ACADEMY 1 

One of Bristol’s own, this four-piece conjure a contemporary Post-Punk sound that is unrivalled in it’s intensity and evokes a feeling of requisite necessity in today’s vastly saturated and over-focused media age, much like The Fall and Wire at their most prolific. Their most recent release, ‘Queens‘, is rasping and breathes a clenched fury, finger-bleeding rhythm courses through curdling screams and Joe Talbot’s distaste for socialism. Their live set will no doubt be a no-holds barred circus of potency. – RJ

SOMETHING ANORAK – THE CABIN (START THE BUS)

With Howling Owl fast-tracking the release of their LP ‘Tiny Island‘, Bristol duo Something Anorak will be creating experimental lo-fi sonics to tear and soothe your ear-drums in a constant cycle.  They develop impressively on the loud-quiet dynamic, melding high-pitched coos and vocalist Chris Barrett’s shy tone with slender guitar-lines that wash a bright polish over coursing pedals of fuzz. If like their label mates in Oliver Wilde and Spectres, then we should expect to hear some material from their forthcoming record, and even from a record planned after that, such is the prolificness of each band in this community. – RJ

THOUGHT FORMS THE LANTERN

Joining the Simple Things bill at The Lantern, which this year has been curated by their label Invada Records, Wiltshire three-piece Thought Forms delve into a haunting, atmospheric aspect of 80s US Alternative. Each drum-hit and wave of distortion from the pedals are meticulously considered in their approach, their recent Split with Esben & The Witch a dark, enveloping listen that escapes it’s own restrictions and entangles you in a mix of rough-edged chords and hallucinogenic vocals. – RJ

GRUBS – THE CABIN (START THE BUS)

Lo-fi-pop three-piece Grubs come from a variety of locations and other bands, something that is consistently picked-up on and perhaps leaves their music untouched and not given acclaim it warrants as it’s own project. Owen Williams, Roxy Brennan and Jake May have together produced two instantly infectious, fine-crafted tracks in ‘Dec 15th / Gym Shame‘, and in a live setting we can expect these and the rest of their set to be scrappy, unrestrained affairs. Expect them to retain all the melodic nous that is hidden underneath their penchant for angular chord-progressions and shout-aloud vocals. – RJ

EAGULLS  – THE LANTERN

Wrapped up in a tight aesthetic of urban decay and anarchy at every turn, the noise rock/punk band Eagulls bask amid a sense of unpredictability and rawness that many others have failed to capture. From the flailing, chorus soaked lead guitars supporting George Mitchell’s lairy, antagonistic bark of vocals, to the gruffness of the other band members, mean that in a live situation, Eagulls may just well cause of a wave of raucous tyranny as they preach through their post-punk spectacles the problems with society and the ill state that Britain is in. – DB

SPECTRES – ACADEMY 2

Like Sonic Youth from the bowels of a haunted well” reads the doom-laden noise of shoegaze Bristol band, Spectres‘  Bandcamp bio. Writhing about in elements that will bombard you with ear shattering noise with melodies and hooks that will keep you coming back for more, the Bristolian four piece present a sound that is totally uncompromising to their cut- throat vision. Their live sound has been applauded for it’s monstrous levels of commotion, delivering with sharp, destructive effect that will leave you feeling experienced. – DB

 

Words by Dan Brown and Ross Jones

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