Review: Simple Things Festival 2017

The morning of Simple Things always has a strange, almost daunting atmosphere. You are preparing yourself for the unknown, going into battle, as no matter how much you plan your day around seeing the artists you have actually heard of you can almost guarantee you will miss most of them. Nevertheless this is no bad thing in fact this is the joy of the festival, the freedom to roam and shake off the shackles of that one guy who has structured his day with military precision is liberating.

This year Colston Hall felt far more of an epicentre, the line up in The Foyer brought the crowds creating an amphitheatre feel with people lining the stairs looking down on proceedings. A personal favourite here was HMLTD, a band which had the aesthetic of the love child between Bowie and the attendee at COMIC-CON, with an almost terrifyingly captivating stage presence coupled with their unique sound got the masses moving and the day was warming up.

Moving from venue to venue this year was made all the more of an event by what only can be described as the after birth of Storm Ophelia assaulting you as soon as you made a move anywhere. At least however, the shit weather gave you a talking point when you got stuck at the back of a group walking somewhere with the friend of a friend you don’t really know, finding solace in the common ground of how bleak England is. Making the not so wise decision of going to Crown Courts (a predominantly outdoor venue) at one point really emphasised this, yet it did inspire the crowds to get dancing if for no other reason than to ward off first stage hypothermia.

Despite the occasional trickle of cold rain down the neck, Simple Things yet again delivered an eclectic combination of musical delights, the range of genres is truly wonderful, the fact you can stay in the same room and listen to the politically charged tunes of Nadine Shah then wait a few hours and experience the eerie sounds of electronic music outfit Leftfield is rare to find in this day and age. A real highlight for me however is the crowd Simple Things attracts, where else within the space of an hour can you go from seeing your mates dad strolling through Colston Hall sipping a well-deserved ale to observing a weary-looking undergrad clutching a water bottle in the Old Fire Station getting almost too stuck in for how early it is.

George Mumford