Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The traditional ATP roundup thing. Okay?


The horrible pub in Taunton: was actually brilliant, festively decorated, randomly friendly - good stuff, probably a lot more fun than watching Mark Linkous fall over, which is primarily what we missed.

Thurston Moore: Really nice, actually, I love his solo album Trees Outside The Academy, but it does teeter on the edge of prog, so I'd sort of assumed he'd wank it up outrageously, but he kept his metaphorical schlong away from his actual hand: no SY stuff, just the album played with feeling, and the biggest 'awww' of weekend when he dedicated Fri/End to 'Kim G'

Chrome Hoof: Um. Very odd. Lots of silver clothes and fun masks. No goat demi-god (as I'd been led to believe there might be, pah). I enjoyed it, and I was dancing, but on one level it's basically ludicrously byzantine prog, which being pissed as I was (i.e. really quite) I wasn't so much in the mood for at whatever the fuck time in the morning it was.

Silver Apples: Yeah, I know they invented music or electricity of something, but they seemed a tad shit to me. Though again, see the above comments about drinking.

Later: We fell in with the very drunk children two doors down from us. They did few favours for our impressons of the youth of today, insofar as they were complete and utter n00bs. Their greatest hits could probably be summed up thusly:

1. They had blithely trashed their room, content in the knowledge that one of their number had a magic credit card that would sort everything out. This included drawing on the TV in magic marker (who takes a marker to a festival?), stacking all their beds in precipitous fashion in order to clear the floor for a party they forgot to invite anyone to, and then on the second night somehow smashing their bathroom window from the inside out (with the ceiling fan I think, though fuck knows how), narrowly avoiding inflicting death by glass on me, and I was just walking past at the time.

2. One of them told us he really admired people our age going to festivals. Me and Laura are 26. He was 21. What did he realistically think was going to happen in the next five years?

3. Another of them was too paralytic to do anything but lie of the grass and sort of quietly scream. He may have been my favourite...


Malcolm Middleton: I wonder if the whole We're All Gonna Die Christmas thing might be counterproductive in the long run, but akshuly that song didn't exactly get chanting in the terraces, while a completely new one, Blue Plastic Bags, completely won everyone over by dint of being the most anthemic tribute to British shitness since something or other by Pulp. Not exactly convinced he's an ATP act, but hey ho, it was fun (for us, dunno about him)

GZA: A room full of white people acting all hip hop is pretty funny. Highpoints included the repeated exhortation to 'put your dubyas up in the air' (an endorsement of the Wu Tang rather than George Bush, one suspects), the obligatory fat guy from the posse (he's probably really famous, I'm demonstrating my ignorance again) informing us 'I can smell some cheese', and the fact they were to only act of the weekend to refer to us as 'Minehead' as if it was some sort of magical seaside community full of rabid musos. Oh yeah, it was pretty good, the beats registered more with me than the rapping, maybe I am a racist.

A Hawk And A Hacksaw: It's amazing what a great contrast precision tooled hip hop beats and an old Hungarian dude soloing on a hammered dulcimer can make. Very nice indeed, I'd recommend to anyone.

Glen Branca & The Paranoid Critical Revolution: Despite having the world's most interesting looking guitar (it had a second body in lieu of a head), Branca was a sore disappointment, an old man making shrill tinkling noises. TPCR enlivened the end of the set, but they were excellent on their awn, real driving, rhythic, gutbucket noise. Laura and Tams hated it.

Julian Cope: Horrible prog metal drivvel, is this what having a festish for monoliths does to you? Though I heard an amusing story about why he dislikes a member of Plan B staff, which was nice. Though it didn't encourage me to believe he wasn't a dick.

Portishead: I've repeated this story so many times that even I'm bored of it (that takes a lot) but I was so completely bemused by the very fact they were there that I completely failed to register what was going on for the first three songs and just sort of stared dementedly into space. But then the fourth song was this really beautful, expansive ballad, and then they went straight into Glory Box and it all just clicked - sounding very strong (and not afraid of their past at all, as it had been rumoured...) and at least two of the four new songs tip top - bit faster, bringing a few more influences in that just one gal and some samples. Genuinely quite enthusiastic for the new record.

Jerry Sadowitz: I would call myself a milqetoast liberal for my response if I haven't actually been there, and I totally think comedy should push a few buttons, but this was basically just Sadowitz telling really vile racist jokes for about half an hour and a white middle class predominantly male audience laughing along heartily. Well, actually it was more like ten minutes, because that's when we walked out. And the only thing I've ever walked out of before was a talk by Christine Hamilton. Kiss that, Sadowitz.

Aphex Twin: (technically we saw the end of Om, er, seemed quite nice, which means our righteous ire at Sadowitz must have been running at gigawatt strength, seeing as how their bass frequencies were apparently enough to fell an elephant. Well, two of my mate's friends). Yes. Well, he was very good, was initially slightly worried that sectors of the audience were actually just going to stand there for the entire set stroking their chins and looking like they were doing something important, but it was frenzied as you like by about the hour mark. It would be fairly accurate to say that from about half an hour in me and McLaura were so refreshed that objective comment is quite difficult, but yeah - no mental noise experiments, more electroey than one might have thought (good thing), actually recognised a couple of things from Selected Ambient Works in there... well done, Mr Twin. Only slightly mystifying moment was when two very South West-looking gentlemen took positions on either side of the stage - the levels of irony required for that to be construed as anything other than utterly mystifying were in short supply at a set that started at 1.30am and more or less called for at least a semi-divorce from reality.

Later: Hmm. In retrospect we'd in no way peaked during Aphex himself, and hence the next few hours are fairly confusing, and that's even being pretty sure I remembered what happened.

1. We resolved to go back to the chalet, or possibly to watch to drink in the same room as the Ricky Hatton fight while not actually watching the fight. Either way, they wouldn't let us in to the sports bar because it was too full, which was awkward, because Holly had the only keycard and she was in the sports bar.

2. Me, Laura and Tams stood around in a phone booth out the back while me and Holly formulated a plan on the phone. I don't really know why we had to stand in the phone booth, but hey ho, body heat etc.

3. Holly's plan actually worked, in that there was some sort of anonymous storeroom out the back of the sports bar where we could have a secret rendezvous. Future ATP-goers should note this.
4. Went back to chalet, Tams passed out, me and Laura lay on the bed high as the proverbial kites listening to of Montreal. This confirms my suspicion that there is literally no situation where of Montreal is not appropriate.

5. Went back in to the main area, where I saw the only boxing match I've ever properly watching in my life. Only we turned up so far into round ten that my first question of 'why is Hatton sitting down' was met with the reply 'he's thrown in the towel.' Boxing is weak. Fortunately I was so gone that I was actually dancing to this.

6. Got chucked out for standing on the giant hot air balloon. However, I had managed to score a high visibility jacket by this stage, so nothing could shoot me down. Went back to chalet and shared my opinions on stuff for several hours, only my memory was so shot that my anecdotes all trailed off after ten seconds. That's like krypotonite to me.


John Cooper Clarke: Aside from being generally brilliant, witty, etc, there was a palpable air of informal matiness that made it feel like you were just hanging out with your cool uncle or summat. Well, maybe, I have no idea what that would literally be like, but this was mondo fun; alos very heartening to see a large roomful of festival goers going apeshit over poetry.

Boris: I don't care what anyone says, it's basically Spinal Tap as done by three endearingly enthusiastic Japanese chaps. Very funny, though they blew it at the end slightly by having an ostentatiously massive gong that was completely inaudible. Which is very Spinal Tap, of course.

Black Mountain: The last time I saw Black Mountain they fucked the AC/DC malarkey up so badly that even the quiet songs merely came out as a sort of excruciating vibration. Here, on the hige Pavillion stage they sounded note perfect. The new album is fantastic, shamelessly retro but done by people who belt it out like a slightly nervy indie band, and thus somehow it doesn't seem gratuitous; they did complete justice to it - they closed with Bright Lights, which is the best track on the alb, but also 16-minutes-long and not commercially available yet; nonetheless worked a treat, everyone went apeshit, day won, woo.

Mad Lib Medicine Show: Probably shouldn't have been in an arena. Definitely not an arena full of nerds there to stare rather than dance. Though me and Mark kept it real with a dance off, oh yes.

Team Brick: Basically a special guy being noisy, with about a third of the noise good and the rest special. Naturally he's a Bristol hero.

Fuck Buttons: Ended up playing the slot that had been billed as TBC right up to the Sunday, thus we were getting into a frenzied panic that they might be either My Bloody Valentine or Radiohead. They were very definitely in fact Fuck Buttons, a band who I've accidentally missed on two seperate occasions, which therefore had made me assume they were overrated, as why else would I accidentally miss them. In actual fact brilliant, I can't be arsed to go all journalist, but check 'em out, they're the U2 of noise and may actually become quite popular if people can cope with the daft name (Holy Fuck = correct name for the band; Fuck Buttons = silly hipsterisation)

Aphex Twin (again): The experience of dancing to frenzied gabba while still relatively with it is quite an unusual one... um, I dunno, it was like being in some sort of mental excercise video at three in the morning. I enjoyed it.

And with that we went to bed and dreamt dreams of Pitchfork and Primavera. The end.


arike said...

One of them told us he really admired people our age going to festivals. Me and Laura are 26. He was 21. What did he realistically think was going to happen in the next five years?

haaaahhaaaaa I did a full and long l0l at this... I'm even older than you. Granted... I didn't make it to ATP. Maybe that's what happens wen you get old. Life beomes more unweildly?!

arike said...

... and one's spelling gets worse.

MrLukowski said...

If these guys had just been in New York... well, they'd probably have missed the flight to New York, but if not they'd almost certainly have been shot and/or arrested. So I wouldn't blame the age so much. Just general lameness. Chortle.