When Jenny Jet and I ventured to Pontins to experience Shellac’s Nightmare Before Christmas (an All tomorrow’s Parties festival) we did not anticipate that Pontins itself would be a real nightmare. So much so it actually makes Butlins look classy. Anyroad, we are rocking middle aged Mums and enjoyed a fabtastic weekend of rock and roll despite the severely lacking facilities, accommodation and blood stained duvets.
This month’s Buffet (broadcast on 1st December) was a combination of ATP tribute and twisted Christmas tunes, for it is that time of year. You can listen to the show here
And this is what we played:
1. Theme from Ski Sunday
2. RED FANG – Number 13
3. WIRE – Ex Lion Tamer
4. GRUFF RHYS – Slashed Wrists This Christmas
5. NINA NASTASIA – Ugly Face
6. GAY WITCH ABORTION – Prison Charm
7. MELT BANANA – White Christmas
8. SUFJAN STEVENS – Christmas Woman
9. PRINZHORN DANCE SCHOOL – You are The Space Invader
10. MONO – Follow The Map
11. MY BLOODY VALENTINE – Map Ref 41 North 93 West
12. SHANNON WRIGHT – With Closed Eyes
13. BONNIE PRINCE BILLY with DAWN McCARTHY- Christmas Eve Can Kill You
14. Â MISSON OF BURMA – Second Television
15. TEITUR – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
So the Buffet Belles had a fabulous time at All Tomorrowâ€™s Partiesâ€™ Bowlie 2, curated by Belle and Sebastian; but we are far too busy to write up a proper blog â€“ so here are our tweets from the event instead.
(And please tune in for our next show on New Yearâ€™s Day at 5pm, and listen out for a buffet special over the holiday period!)
I was 15 when I attended my first festival â€“ U2 at Milton Keynes Bowl, with support from The Ramones, REM, Spear of Destiny and Billy Bragg (who performed at pretty much every festival in the mid to late 1980s). Bono was less pompous then, I was in love with Larry Mullen Jnr, and Iâ€™d never seen 50,000 people in one space before – it was quite a big deal for little teenage me. I also got hideously sun-burned and learned my first festival lesson â€“ sun-block.
I havenâ€™t been to that many festivals since, as I decided I actually donâ€™t enjoy them that much. Iâ€™ll get excited by a line-up, pay a huge sum of money for maybe three or four bands, then feel disappointed because I canâ€™t see a thing, the sound quality is rubbish, and there are too many drunk people invading my personal space. Iâ€™ve often come away from a festival saying â€œ(insert band) were great, but Iâ€™d love to see them properlyâ€¦â€
Then I had my first All Tomorrowâ€™s Parties experience. No tents. No portaloos. No sun-block. Amazing bands, decent stages and sound quality â€“ a festival that gives you a proper, intimate gig experience for each band you choose to see. And do you know what else I like? Seats. Standing around all day takes itâ€™s toll, and I am officially middle aged, you know.
Tonight, to mark the fact that The Duke & The King are playing in Leeds at The Wardrobe tomorrow with Wilful Missing I repeated the session of theirs, first broadcast in Laura’s BCB Sessions back on 12th May.Â You can also listen to their session again here on Untitled Noise if you so wish.
The Duke And The King at BCB, April 2010
Amid all the excitement of the fact that we were running a competition to give away tickets to the above mentioned gig, and the fact that I was looking forward to The Twilight Sad in session in Laura’s show tonight, I forgot to wax lyrical about the fact that Animal Collective have been announced as curators of the ATP Festival next May.Â This is absolutely brilliant news.Â I had in my head 4 potential candidates for curating it, of which they were one.Â The others, if you are interested, would have been Super Furry Animals, Polly Jean Harvey or Dangermouse.
In Phil Cope’s recent review of the ATP Festival we attended, he expressed an aversion to the modern trend of artists performing a seminal album in its entirety at a gig. Phil’s objection was prompted by Spiritualized performing their 1997 album Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space at the festival. I would like to defend this increasingly popular phenomenon.
J Spaceman at the ATP Festival: "which song shall we do next, band?"
Matt Groening introducing Daniel Johnston as his "favourite songwriter"
Sunday dawns and Jim becomes my hero twice in ten minutes by making me a fried egg sandwich and telling me he once saw Spike Milligan in a pub in Manchester. Simon rather coyly reveals his affection for Spear of Destiny and I resolve to play the excellent “Do You Believe in the Westworld” on the radio for him, only to forget later and feel like a dick for doing so.
We race to the Centre Stage to see Boredoms again, just to reassure ourselves that we weren’t victim to some kind of mass hallucination yesterday and they are once again, amazing. We then decamp to Reds, the smallest of the Butlins venues to see Viv Albertine’s Limerice who are excellent. Continue reading →
The first thing that hits you when you walk in to the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival is the contrast between the ultra mainstream surroundings of Butlins and the heartening array of freaks who attend. This is demonstrated in microcosm within 5 minutes by a painfully thin young Japanese man wearing a surgical mask and lime green leggings draping himself with impressive languor against a wall featuring a poster for “The Peter Andre Weekend” – three nights at Butlins and a concert featuring the impressively pectoralled housewives’ favourite for a mere Â£98.
Broadcast - noise, or music?
We will return to bare chested doyens of entertainment in a moment, but our first foray was to see Broadcast, a male/female duo beloved of the hip and the trying-to-be, who amble shyly onto the stage and proceed to stand at two elevated box like contraptions and wrestle out half an hour’s worth of whirrs, drones and howls whist having experimental films “broadcast” (did you see what I did there? ) on top of them. The result is very much an ATP archetype: challenging, startling and beautiful at the same time. The effect is only diluted mid-way through the set when they resort to boring old actual songs. That’s not noise, that’s just music.
And with that beautifully arch putdown overheard by our mate Jim from one of the security guards at Butlins Minehead over the weekend (during The Residents, if you’re intrested) I welcome you to our All Tomorrow’s Parties Special programme featuring mostly tracks from artists who performed at Matt Groening‘s ATP festival last weekend.
[Before I begin, please note, I'm no expert on Park Hill Flats and until this week I knew nothing about them, so forgive me if you know more than I do and I have got any facts wrong.Â I think the following is fairly accurate though...]
Park Hill Flats, Sheffield
Park Hill Flats were built in the late 1950s to re-house entire streets of people from one of Sheffield’s poorest slums into “streets in the sky”.Â The scheme attracted a lot of attention, both nationally and internationally and was considered a pioneering project. However, within 15-years or so the level of poverty had not improved, and the high concentration of people meant that the level of crime and overall living conditions were if anything worse than the days when the slums were at ground level.Â Many of England’s (visually, at least) similar high rise residential blocks have since been pulled down, but those in the Park Hill area were given Grade II listed status in 1998.Â Since then there has been a move to renovate the flats, but at present they are in a curious state.
Now in 2009, while some of the neighbouring blocks of flats have been gutted with a view to renovation, the bulk of Park Hill estate is mostly unpopulated, and boarded up, with just one wing still being occupied by tenants.Â This wing, and three unpopulated wings, form a horseshoe with a grassy embankment sloping down into the curve.Â This accidental amphitheatre was chosen by Warp Records for a cinematic event as part of the label’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Continue reading →
There are some fantastic things coming out of the All Tomorrow’s Parties record label at the moment, what with great new releases by APSE and F*ck Buttons this month.Â To be honest, this is not a rare treat, as ATP have consistently been releasing top notch music for a goodÂ few years.Â And their releases tend to be worth owning physically too, because as with 4AD you can usually be sure of a nicely put together artifact.Â The new F*ck Buttons single is coming out (5th October, I believe) on a nice 7″ picture disc.Â And to top it all, this weekend I’ll be in Sheffield on Saturday for the Warp20 event at Park Hill Flats where among a selection of Warp Records videos, and the UK premiere of The Living Room, the new All Tomorrow’s Parties film will also be shown.
Anyway, below are the tunes I’ve played on BCB over the past few days, and it’s a bumper list.Â As well as my usual show last night, on Sunday morning I was a guest on Ben Mussanzi’s Peace Music programme, and this morning I filled in for Mary Dowson on About Bradford, BCB’s morning magazine show. Continue reading →