Thursday, 30 December 2010

All Tomorrows Parties – Bowlie 2 - Saturday 11/12/10

So as Saturday rolled round with the blink of an eye, the Boop team had already been on site for two heavy days and were all pretty excited as a few people who were with us were popping their ATP cherries and we had spent a long while convincing them that Saturday was the big one. It didn’t disappoint. We started out with a solid Pizza Hut buffet (which was finally open!), surely the only way to get over a sizeable hangover at ATP? I suppose you could always go swimming but I must admit, even though I do blow the dust off my trunks optimistically every time I head down to Minehead, I know somewhere deep down they will never get used.

Ok, onto the music. Saturday was by far the most jam packed day for music so sure enough I got to see a lot of fantastic bands and what better way to start than with a beautiful set from Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan? Their blend of dirty, atmospheric blues was a perfect way to ease into the day after quite a serious two day hangover. Creeping through their set with a very quiet start building up to some of the noisier tracks from Sunday At Devil Dirt , ‘Come On Over (Turn Me On)’ a sounding incredible with two minutes of scuzzy guitar solos . Having seen Lanegan play Bubblegum a number of years ago without properly appreciating it at the time, he stunned fans by finishing the set with the mesmerising ‘Methamphetamine Blues.’

Pretty much straight after Lanegan I dragged some mates down to the pavilion to watch Frightened Rabbit, one of my guilty pleasures but surely one of the bands of the weekend. We got down there just in time two see the Selkirk five piece meander on stage to one of the smallest crowds I’ve ever seen on the Pavillion stage. Thankfully within two minutes of the opener ‘Things’ blaring out, people started arriving and soon enough the pavilion was packed out. Lead singer Scott Hutchison was a fantastic frontman, showing his passion and energy throughout each track and sharing a nice amount of banter between himself and the crowd. The set was truly stunning, it’s been a far cry from seeing them play to a few hundred people as a three piece at the Lexington and they have a lot to celebrate having recently signed a contract with Columbia. Finishing with the breathtaking ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ was the perfect way to end a set of this calibre.

Nipping back up to the centre stage we were able to catch one half of Mr. Edwyn Collins, who is certainly back with a vengeance. Playing through his 30 year back catalogue with songs from his solo career and some Orange Juice tracks thrown in for good measure. With the help of backing band Teenage Fanclub, as well as guest appearances from The Cribs' Ryan Jarman and Nick McCarthy & Alex Kapranos from ‘secret band’ Franz Ferdinand it proved for really inspiring watching and finishing with 90’s pop hit ‘Never Met A Girl,’ a song that reminds me of being about six years old and actually visiting Butlins in Minehead purely for a ‘day out’ with the parents.

Missing Wild Beasts in favour of a lengthy drink and snooker session, I was able to nip back to the pavilion via Burger King to check out Dirty Projectors. We were big supporters of Bitte Orca last year on the site so I was pretty excited about seeing them live and they did pull off a pretty good show. They’re a really talented bunch and that came across well but halfway through the set they started to do my head in a little. Maybe it was all the crazy time signatures or the fact that two days worth of doing my body absolutely no good really started to set in, but either way, when the three girls started screaming on ‘Useful Chamber’ I had to leave. That aside, ‘No Intention’ and the groovy-as-hell ‘Stillness Is The Move’ did sound great.

Next for a bit more ‘fun time’ indie pop courtesy of the New Pornographers. Having only really known of them from their latest album ‘Together’ released earlier this year I was impressed. The crowd were very receptive and the music got anyone who was starting to succumb to the ‘not drunk enough at a festival’ state of aches and moans out of that grooving along. ‘Crash Years’ and ‘Up In The Dark’ were particular highlights.

Leaving a little early so as to get a good spot for the curators Belle & Sebastian, we headed back to the pavilion. Having been a huge fan for a number of years I may be a little biased but I thought they were fantastic. Really entertaining with a setlist that crammed in such favourites as ‘I’m A Cuckoo,’ ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap,’ and ‘Like Dylan In The Movies’ to which I’m not ashamed to admit I was singing along to at full pelt. Stuart Murdoch had the crowd eating out of his palm as he danced around and got a load of people on stage to dance around and even gave them a medal each at the end.

Opting out of seeing Jenny and Johnny basically to go back to the chalet and refuel we prepared ourselves for the evenings tales of mischief and woe, starting with catching the end of an electric set by none other than Franz Ferdinand. Say what you want about them (and believe me people over the weekend did) they took a massive pay cut to play the gig and have often voiced a real desire to come down and play here so hats off to them, playing with a ferocity that wouldn’t be visible in some of their larger shows they wizzed through a number of hits and newbies finishing with ‘Jacqueline.’

On seemingly straight after were Crystal Castles. By this point it was about 1.30 in the morning and I was too far gone, which I reckon is the only way to actually enjoy their music. Big lights and heavy beats certainly served a purpose but lead singer ‘Alice Glass’ was driving me crazy, maybe it was more due to the soundman than her but either way it just sounded like a very high pitched whine for an hour so we hastily vacated the Centre Stage in favour of a session at Crazy Horse involving plenty of drinking, dancing like a maniac to so many classics and avoiding some truly awful ATP groupies...Less said about that the better.

Words : Gordon Reid

Photos : Linz Smith and Gordon Reid

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