How come ATP get it so right? Sponsorship free, friendly and helpful, smooth organisation and a great fan-base - and the music. Imagine, a festival where the music is the important thing - not the TV exposure or the availability of drugs to make you dance - a place where the crowd will listen patiently to new music instead of baying for a chart-topper. Well, that's ATP. For the 10 year anniversary, the organisers invited back the bands who had curated past festivals (plus some ATP favourites) to come and play together for the fans. There is so much to see and hear at this event, you just couldn't pack it all into one weekend, so there are some tough choices to be made from time to time. I've seen so many bands this weekend, that in order to keep things to a reasonable length and in tribute to the 10 year thing,
I'll say just 10 words about each band I saw -
Bardo Pond - psychedlic washes of strange yet beautiful noise, flute 'n all
Battles - Didn't really gel on the night. Somewhat of a disappointment
Beak> - Amazing when they're being Can, but boring when playing dirge
Deerhoof - If you fail to enjoy them, your mind is broken
The Drones - All the attitude, proper angry rock music - Aussies done good
Edan - Edan shows how to DJ - choose great records, mix well
Growing - stuttering sheets of broken distortion, almost certainly good on drugs
The Magic Band - Fast and Bulbous, Drumbo and Rockette do it all justice
The Mars Volta - Omar seemed subdued, Cedric lively, and what? another new drummer?
Melvins - You don't mess with Jared - Jared only plays for keeps
MuM - (pronounced Moom) Icelandic dreamscapes - first brilliant set of the weekend
Om - That's a huge evil noise right there (overlooking the vocals)
Papa M - Pajo stunning with drumless trio - sublime and understated - beautiful music
Shellac - Highlight of the weekend, both sets superb. A real band.
Tortoise - Suitably late night slot in the best sounding room. Sweet.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - brashly rocked a restless crowd after keeping them waiting ages
Special mention to Butlins staff also - the security are friendly and everyone is helpful. The accomodation is more than 1000 times better than sleeping in a tent on a lumpy field, but you'd do well to take your own pillow. Long live ATP.