Sunday at ATP was, as previously experienced, the aftermath of a messy affair. I wish I could have kept the thought in my mind what a fantastic night I had the night before but alas, I was in despair – I woke up too late and missed the Boredoms! It felt like I had stabbed god in the heart. I think this is a crime against my own sanity and ATP festival should provide Boredom alarm clocks. I resorted to hair of the dog – some wine with my breakfast to commiserate my sorrow to help me hop back on the festival horse.
Sun Ra Arkestra – helped bring some sunshine into my day, they had sequined brightly coloured costumes and sang with love and happiness. It was a spectacularly funky, smooth jazz performance with some electronic extras to the traditional big band instruments, helped by the space-age-meets-Egyptian theme they had going on. They really cheered me up after missing my beloved Boredoms. The icing on the cake was when one of the saxophonist starting doing break dancing, he really did look 60+ – wow, some cool dudes. These guys are more than just a band, you can read their story on the official Sun Ra Arkestra website.
Versus – were more of a traditional indie band, they had a nice sound with a very down to earth demeanour. I heard they have a new album after a long break, maybe worth a listen when in an indie mood. Anyone heard of these and got an album suggestion I should start with? A talented band by the looks of it, I am sure they have a lot to offer. I did like the hint of downbeat and grunge in the sounds, deep and dark is always fun.
The Magnetic Fields – had a big and pretty sound which filled centre stage. I had done the pre-festival listen to these and they had not caught my imagination. I tried out their very well-received album 69 Love Songs and while I loved the concept, the reality did nothing for me. I can understand why people would love them, it is very sweet and evocative with two singers of very different tones.
Tall Firs – have just been signed to the ATP record label so as a fan of the festivals thought I should check them out. Two nice boys playing acoustic guitars, singing songs about depression and suicide. Say no more. I hope they are well and jolly on the inside.
A film by Harry Smith – was a great way to have a chill out on a Sunday early evening. The first short films I watched were from his series of films called Early Abstractions, minimalist animations which were roughly drawn, printed, manipulated or painted by hand. I love the simple inventiveness that has been captured. It helps me appreciate the historical side of the artform and sparked my desire to do some more animating again myself.
I did attempt to see Jeff Mangum – but so did everyone else it seemed. Here is a photo of the queue running all the way from the centre stage to the main pavilion. I love the openness of Butlins, it is like outside inside and has cool decorations and sparkly lights.
Group Doueh – are a family band from North Africa who make big, fun and funky beats with captivating singing and dancing. A great mix of traditional music with a new electronic twist, you could tell that two or more generations made this music happen. I would have loved to know what the songs were about, they sing in Hassania which I have learned is a dialect of Arabic, the regional language they speak. The guitar playing was very impressive, I think Jimi Hendrix certainly influenced them. You can check out some of their tunes on Group Doueh’s LastFM page.
Sebadoh – had a pure simple style of indie rock that fitted well as a relaxing band to see off the live music of the festival. They were nice, but nice in music is something I often avoid. I find I like to be invigorated, inspired or relaxed by music – and they did not quite hit the spot for me. I am sure many fans of Jeff Mangum and other big bands of the weekend loved this show, it blended seamlessly into the festival’s overall atmosphere.
DJ Declan Allen – played a fresh mix of music to have a final festival boogie. A great blend of classics and funky tunes which we danced to until the sound got switched off. During the festival there was also a CD mix swap and I happened to swap one of my home made mix CD with DJ Declan Allen. I really enjoyed the mix he made me, a good blend of chilled indie electro all the way to Napalm Death as the final track. Thanks Declan for some groovy tunes and a cool soundtrack on our drive home.