We all love the simple things in life don’t we? A lie-in on a rainy day, throwing on some clean bed sheets, or a smattering of DJs and bands providing musical and visual gratification for 18 hours. OK, the latter ain’t so simple, but it goes by the same name - Simple Things Festival, a celebration of music scattered around Bristol’s city centre.
In it's fifth year, this one day wonder will be taking over various venues across the city, and with a diverse roster of artists on the agenda, you can thrash about to some post-punk before you go stomping to some full throttle techno.
In fact, Simple Things have guaranteed a shed load of talent all over the shop with BBK’ers JME and Skepta heading up the Carhartt Stage, Factory Floor bringing post-industrial vibes to the Firestation, and Hodge and Randomer will be taking no prisoners when they play back to back on the Elevator Sound stage.
Heading down this weekend? Here’s my pick of the bunch:
Lee Scratch Perry - The Carhartt WIP stage at The Academy
His name precedes him and it’s a legendary name at that, so you probably don’t need much persuading on this one. Lee Scratch Perry has been doing his thang since way way before the majority of us were even a thought. A champion of dub music and a production wizard; he has produced musicians like Bob Marley and the Wailers, fetched himself a Grammy and has got one insane back catalogue. Need I say more, you’d be a fool not to catch this one!
Hunee – Playing the Studio 89 stage at Coroners Court
Sure to bring the disco vibes to the West Country is German producer Hunee. He’ll take you on a musical voyage, from African rhythms to 80’s italo disco, his expert selections have revellers' feet moving and hands waving from the get go. His knowledge knows no bounds, and his ability to judge an audience and lay down back to back crowd pleasers is on 100. He killed it at Dekmantel this year with a set full of ‘I need an ID right now’ tracks, so if you want to twirl to the sounds of a true musical buff then hustle yourself down. Hear me out on this one, you won’t be disappointed.
Ron Trent – Playing the Futureboogie Recordings stage at the Coroners Court
House aficionado Ron Trent will be schooling the troops on the Futureboogie stage this year. And what a booking this one is. Hailing from Chicago, his productions are filled with warmth and feeling; the perfect ingredients for a dance floor session. Since experimenting with drum machines from the age of 14 led to the conception of seminal techno track “Altered States”, Trent has honed his craft. A student of the late Frankie Knuckles, Trent cites him as one of the most influential people in the development of his music. And it’s this 11 minute symphony, a tribute to Frankie after his passing, that’s going to acquaint you with the euphony of Mr Ron Trent.
Galcher Lustwerk – Playing the SF stage at Lakota
Smooth techno floatation coming from Galcher. The Brooklyn producer has made a pretty big impact this year, with releases “Parlay” and “I Never Seen” on his own Lustwerk Music label transporting listeners to a celestial headspace. His productions are dreamy and minimal, and narrated by his deep sleepy tones - this makes for some pretty hypnotic and memorable tracks. You better buckle up and get your Lucozade at the ready because he’s treating us to a hefty 3 hour set, and believe me you won’t be leaving ‘til that last track fades.
Avalon Emerson – Playing the Shapes stage in the Courtyard, The Island Complex
Making serious waves - Berlin via San Francisco’s Avalon Emerson. Taking over the Shapes stage, dubbed one of the most energetic spaces last year, she will bring a playful plethora of tracks ready to blow that sound system. By day a software developer, by night an electronic music marvel, Avalon’s productions definitely can't be boiled down to one genre. From stomping house made for the club, to vocal tracks with depth and texture in abundance, she’s really pioneering her own sound and producing experimental music expressionistic of herself. Her recent EP on Dresden’s shtum records is full of tracks waiting to tear the roof off da club and get a crowd suitably sweaty - make sure you’re involved.
And Friday night sees a special opening concert from Montreal post-rock masters Godspeed You! Black Emperor. So if you are looking for an appetiser prior to Saturday’s frivolities, check it out.