Simple Things Festival, Bristol
Bo Ningen, Male Bonding and a surprisingly winning turn from Dead Wolf Club are among the simple things in store for Richard S Jones as he hits up the Bristol festie. Photos: Chris Cooper of Shot Away
So this is the second year around for Bristol’s Simple Things, and like other festivals of this ilk on paper it makes for an impressive sounding affair. “Striking, innovative and fun!” reads the blurb, and given that it’s more or less on my doorstep (give or take a river) to have skipped this one would’ve been tantamount to racism on my part. Especially since a friend had offered to pay for the bridge tolls on the way home. Simple things, I thought to myself.
Figuring that everyone has waxed on, or in my case off enough already about Grimes and faced with the infinitely more exciting prospect of seeing Brighton’s Gross Magic at the Fleece, like a geek possessed I fly upstream against Bristol traffic. Sam McGarrigle and Co’s sham glam provides the perfect remedy to Grimes’ sterile indie soul and in 'Sweetest Touch' a near faultless pop dirge to rave about for the remainder of the day.
Only Bo Ningen, who emerge as the missing link between MC5 and Speed, Glue & Shinki sound better and quickly become the undisputed kings of Simple Things. A living, breathing psychedelic happening with multiple limbs and unreal hair, they are a sight and sound to behold, and an almost impossible act to follow.
However Male Bonding do so industriously, even if that tried and tested offhand punk formula they’ve been peddling these past few years has changed little, like Idles at the Thekla and The Naturals at the Academy, the festival’s success for me personally is largely attributed to that this kind of sort of unbridled noise.
Dashing back from a workmanlike set from Death in Vegas at the Academy, a belated appearance from Dead Wolf Club keeps us out for a few songs more. After apparently suffering car troubles en route they arrive onstage at 12:45am to a crowd unworthy of the effort they must have exerted getting. While we are awkwardly appreciative at first, by the end we’re diehard Wolf Clubbers and knocked out by their flawless mix of Blood Brothers cool and intelligent early Mogwai-esque approach.
On the 4am journey home, reflecting back on a day where everyone who attended tailored their own highs with memorable shows that it all came from one day and a collective effort of so many people was a reassuring thought. One that more than pleased my simple mind anyway.ght="239" />