Tag Archives: Bristol

5 Artists To See At Simple Things Festival 2014

Just got our passes confirmed for Simple Things Festival this Saturday. The festival looks set to be its biggest one yet with the mother of all comebacks Montreal garage rock gods Death From Above 1979 headlining along with Mogwai and DJ Harvey – the festival’s opening party taking place on Friday 24th see’s a full headline show from Caribou with main support from acclaimed Hyperdub artist Jessy Lanza. But with 60 acts across 12 stages including some of Bristol finest there’s plenty to choose from so here are our top 5 artists that you can’t afford to miss at the festival.

Something Anorak

Venue: Start The Bus


Kicking off the festival over at Start The Bus is Howling Owls new bunch Something Anorak. Having join the owls in the summer, they released their debut single I Am A Doctor, introducing us to their flustering soundscapes and scraping songwriting. You’ll be immediately drawn in by the rumbling strings, distortions and Chris Barretts flowing vocals, leaving you exposed to some of the most rawest music around. Their debut LP Tiny Island is set for release on 3rd November, produced by fellow artist Oliver Wilde and it promises to be a treat! Catch them at 12.45pm.

The Slow Revolt

Venue: Red Ball Stage (Music Academy Firestation)


We recently caught Joe Mirza and his enticing music project The Slow Revolt at Electric Harmony’s Basement Sessions, dazzling us with his soul slick electronica music. Having released his EP All Your Own, showcasing his tight delivery and beat driven tunes, Mirza is ready to wrap up 2014 with a bang so be sure to catch him supporting Futureboogie over at the Music Academy Firestation.

The Fauns

Venue: Colston Hall Main Room


Opening up Colston Hall‘s main room is the emotive, textured shoe gaze music of The Fauns. Long term friends of the festival, backed by their growing success over the past year – signed to Invada Records, coverage on BBC 6music  (Lauren Laverne), Q Magazine (Song of The Week) and played alongside the likes of The Telescopes, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Savages. The band’s critically acclaimed second album Lights (co produced by Jim Barr and Tim Allen) is one for your collection, shimmering instrumentals and shoe gazing atmospherics reminiscent of the XX, all beautifully layered by Alison Garner’s soothing vocals. No doubt a colourful performance awaits so be sure to catch them at 2.00pm.

Oliver Wilde

Venue: The Line Of Best Fit Stage (The Foyer)

Oliver Wilde

Another Howling Owl artist and one we’re all familiar with. Since the  release of his critically acclaimed debut A Brief Introduction To Unnatural Light Years Oliver Wilde has become one of the most highly anticipated artists in the music scene, his organic songwriting and soundscapes that are undeniably striking, dark and beautiful as we enter into the surrealist world of the Bristol songsmith. His second full length LP Red Tide Opal In The Loose End Womb brought upon another flawless presentation to his work and one that continues to turn people’s heads. Oliver opened up Simple Things last year with a stunning performance and he’s set to do that again over at The Foyer – stage time 5.15pm, don’t miss out!


Venue: Clash Magazine Stage (Acadamy 1)


Last on our list and one band that’s compulsory to see at Simple Things is Bristol post punk rockers Idles. We all love Idles and the guys are certainly packing the punch with their new songs. Queens has rattled many ears and gained love from the likes of BBC Introducing In The West, The Line of Best Fit and Killing Moon. The official music video has kept people talking for weeks as their new EP Meat draws near. There’s a lot of excitement in the air and we can’t wait for Idles to smash it up on stage so get your asses down to O2 Academy and watch some Bristol post punk madness!

Get down to Simple Things and have a great one folks! All info with stage break downs and times can be accessed here.

Live Review: She Makes War + Forgery Lit + James Brute @ The Louisiana (09/10/14)

Kicking off her UK/European tour with 36 dates across England, Germany and Brussels, first stop Bristol! The Louisiana the perfect choice of venue for top music nights and another spectacular in the My Big Sister Presents Series, it’s Laura Kidd’s 13th in her series of empowering non stop work ethic showcases in introducing new music to the audiences – from dazzling electro pop to full blown post punk goodness, there’s always something for everyone. Tonight was no exception, an eclectic line up range with the She Makes War leading the front line with an exclusive appearance of her band, joining Laura were Bristol trio rocker Forgery Lit and London singer/songwriter James Brute, marking his return to Bristol with new material and a new band.

Taking the stage first was James Brute, charismatic acoustic instrumentals alongside his fellow guitarist Mat Martin and drummer Fin Brown. Blue toned and shaded stage lights befitting to the rhythmic sounds of folk Americana – dynamic positions, twist and turns through gritty guitar strings, intertwining of electric and bass strings, scratching and raffling amongst James husky vocals. Fin’s toned drumming providing the backbone, slick guitar work and haunting harmonic melodies as James shares his folky tales. The most noteworthy however was the performance of his new single Bury Yourself, the acapella piece that has captivated previous shows and it was the case here, a backdrop of harmonic thrumming and rhythmic hand claps which brought the audience to a stand still – a cracking start the show.

Forgery Lit‘s reputation is well known in the Bristol scene so an exciting set was anticipated. Adrenaline fuelled rock ‘n’ roll lead by drummer Ami Amp’s empowering vocals, slick basslines from Gareth Jones and artistic rhythmic work from Nico Mar. Their set was indeed explosive, Ami’s drumming and melodic vocals bringing the firepower, stylishly layered by Gareth tremendous work on the bass and Nico’s dynamic rhythms and rapid solos; a set that could not be faulted, one that was oozing with rock ‘n’ roll confidence.

The stage was set for She Make War, Bristol’s ‘Gloom Pop’ artist but this time we were treated with an exclusive appearance of her full band (Chris Nicholls, Ami Amp and Joan Patrick), making this a one of a kind live performance. There was the usual instrumental range of electric guitar, vocal loops, ukelele, marching drum and signature megaphone but with Laura’s live band all this truly evolved into something more broader, unique and dynamic. This was Laura’s punk rock spirit and DIY work ethic at full force, amplified by ten fold with Amp’s solid drum presence, Joan’s exquisite violin and Chris’s tight guitar work. Kidd’s rumbling basslines then switching to ukelele, foot percussion, bells and sonic loops; keeping the audience on their toes throughout. From old tracks such as Olympian and NIMN to new ones like Stargazing and The Best, offering us an enticing glimpse into her forthcoming album Direction Of Travel. Delete is always a stand out at Laura’s shows, sonic loops and sirens effects captivating the crowd with Kidd marching onwards with the megaphone but the band’s performance of Drown Me Out completely stole the show – utterly brilliant and explosive!

Live review and photography by Mustafa Mirreh

Live Review: Woman’s Hour @ The Exchange

The Womans Hour “Experience” – 14th October 2014 – The Exchange

Standing in the darkness, in disordered/ordered rows, figures stare at a stage, like a row of ravens at sharpened neon props, a new romantic mountain range.

Air dense with turgid, keyboard spewings of Bladerunner echoing, film score harking, the retro embryo of snyth pop beckoning – skinny jeans, black t-shirt wearing, gothic tiara sporting, unlikely heroes, who filed into place.

A barrage of 80’s over/undertones, music video gestures, emphatic “Wuthering Heights”, fluttering waves of chords, sweeping shoulders all around, but for the keyboardist absurdly hyper active with his Vangelis grinding, stylised powdering, a telescopic view, down a musing tunnel, leaves me looking out for Flash Gordons’ Ming.

A loop much like a heart beat, a laboured male harmony has gravitas reserved for all this theatricality, there is an emo rationing, as the wispy central voice, not misplaced in a love montage, washes over observers, eyes fixated by Gary Numans Mellon Collie, his infinite sadness, their pupils most dilated.

Brief break in drawn out frequencies with surfacing lyrical intonation, a sparse hand clap, a sombre “Japan”, a slowly stepping, first gear disco, a fine tuned melody, bubbles below, it rises above, instrumental internal titillation as the string of notes gently fashioned, pop in air-borne fruition.

Carefully fashioned caricatures, rose-tinted nostalgia, you must agree will either have you roll your eyes at tireless rear window peering, or swallowing lumps of lo fi languishing and smiling with glee.

A Blunderbuss Press Distribution

Review by Roger Ravencroft

Photography by Mustafa Mirreh