Before we lose dear Max to three days of partying, he kindly let us know what he's most looking forward to.
We in Bristol have been treated to an impressively long stint of summer, giving us luxuriously hot days far beyond the dates we deserved them. But even now, as the cold pushes over, clouds bring darkness, and the U.K.'s official snugglebuddy the rain comes back from its hiatus, Bristol's vibrant music culture points a finger at the skies and stares it down. You won't get us inside just yet, it says. We have a yearly multi-venue event full of exciting cross-genre music to do, still. It says.
The end of October brings us Simple Things Festival, dedicated to showcasing a peculiarity of bands and electronic artists in the form of 14 stages, located in various venues across Bristol's city centre. The festival's official opening party starts on Friday 24th, in local skate-park-slash-mega-rave-blowout-arena Motion, headlined by Caribou, and supported by Liars, Actress, Nightmares on Wax, DVS1, The Fauns, Dark Sky, and many others. Saturday the 25th, however, brings the main crunch of the festival to multiple arenas across town, such as Lakota, Colston Hall and The Academy. With that in mind, let's have a closer look at some of the acts that have really set off my personal excitement glands.
2014 has been a popular year for beloved musicians on decade plus long breaks to suddenly come back out of nowhere and drop a new album on their slobbering fans, and Death From Above 1979 have jumped to the opportunity gladly. Despite the ten year gap between albums, the bassist and drummer duo have committed cleanly to their output of distorted chugging riffs and pounding rhythmic beats, overlaid with haunting (but catchy) singing stretched over the music. With their recorded output being something to go by, their live show should be a ridiculously energetic blast.
Until my preparation for the upcoming review of this festival, I had completely forgotten to keep up with Mogwai's recent output. Not long through listening to their most recent release, Rave Tapes, I'd realised what a grave mistake I had made. 21 years this band has existed and they have lost nothing of what made them great, and yet progressed and changed enough within their own style and production as to not seem stale. Mogwai have always been powerhouses as a live act, and for those eager to submerge themselves under the waves of lush and interestingly complex waves of post-rock ambience and driving rhythms will almost certainly be in for a real treat.
The newest and most exciting discovery on my list, The Haxan Cloak is an act that sits (un?)easily in that crack between bass music and drone. Creating an ambience of nightmarish horror through broken percussive vocal and drums loops, drones, and sudden, long sub bass movement, their recordings invoke the sensation of dark, cultish tantric meditation. The live act will likely be slow, discombobulating, trance-like, oppressive, and of such intensity that it will leave a mark of amazement and appreciation for how this music just affected you.
On top of these three particular big hitters, you'll be able to catch other quality acts dotted around town, such as Black Lips, Zomby, DJ Harvey, SOPHIE, Rejjie Snow, Kode 9, and Turbowolf. If any of these artists grab your attention, and/ or you feel like exploring a whole day (or two)'s worth of quality worldwide music scrunched up and jammed into the heart of Bristol, come right on down to Simple Things festival! Purchase some of your favourite locally brewed cider and... other... West Country themed... local treat... ...and weave and jab your way through Bristol's last grab at enjoying loud music and the great outdoors!