Hope you enjoyed the Buffet Christmas special, which had nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever. Instead we dedicated a whole hour to our recent All Tomorrowâ€™s Parties road-trip to Bowlie 2, curated by Belle and Sebastian. We saw bands we love and have featured before on our show, as well as loads of new (to us) music. Hereâ€™s what we played:
The New Pornographers â€“ Mass Romantic
School of Language â€“ Rockist part 4 (as performed by Field Music)
The Vaselines â€“ Son of a Gun
Silver Columns â€“ Always On
The Beatles â€“ Helter Skelter (as not performed by Them Beatles)
Dirty Projectors â€“ Stillness is the Move
Foals â€“ Spanish Sahara
Jenny and Johnny â€“ Big Wave
Phenomenal Handclap Band â€“ 15 to 20
Mulatu Astatke â€“ Mulatu
P J Harvey â€“ 50ft Queenie (Jennyâ€™s fantasy-festival curator)
Belle and Sebastian â€“ Write About Love
Franz Ferdinand â€“ Jaqueline
Our next â€˜normalâ€™ Buffet is on New Yearâ€™s Day at 5pm. Join us for a 2010 review (of sorts).
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 →
Saturday begins with two hours of 70’s kids cartoon Hong Kong Phooey on the excellent ATP TV channel provided for the weekend. Refreshed by the antics of the titular kung fu practicing canine, we venture forth into the unknown. [I ventured forth a little earlier than the others and caught Hello Saferide, in Reds. I was rather impressed by her Swedish knack of finding a good tune, and sentimental lyrics. Ed]
Hello Saferide - melodic romanticism
Between the four of us (me, Albert, Simon and Jim) we can conjure up little previous knowledge of Boredoms despite the fact that they appear to have been going since about 1942 and have released about half a million records. The notes about them printed in the frankly beautiful programmes (coming with 4 different covers featuring Matt Groening penned caricatures of Iggy, Joanna Newsome, Daniel Johnston and someone we didn’t recognise [either She & Him or Lightning Dust, the jury is still out â€“ ed]) weren’t much help either. In this we simply read a breathless treatise about Boredoms being Japanese, having a penchant for using lots of drummers, and being a bit ace.
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.
Tonight I’m rather excited by the news that Pavement are curating the ATP Festival next May, from 14th-16th May. Might get tickets on Friday, as soon they’re released. Or…. I might wait a week and find out who’s curating the other weekend, a week before. I imagine the one from 7th-9th May will either be a ATP vs The Fans type affair, or another 10th anniversary type affair. Anyone got any opinions?
[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 →