Tag Archive: minehead


After the trippiness of Roll the Dice I went to see The Junior Boys at the centre stage. I had a neck massage while listening to them and it really helped to get me back down to earth. I kinda undid all the good work by going into see Omar Souleyman. The place was jumping to a relentless drum pulse and Souleyman worked the crowd up into a frenzy. Bloody brilliant.

Factory Floor are another band I’ve seen before but this time they were feckin’ brutal. There was no let up as you were pounded with gallumphing drum patterns and unforgiving sour acid burps. Nik Kolk’s disembodied moans and sighs added to the disorientation. It was pretty full on – I was bouncing away when there was a commotion behind me. People were grimacing and their appeared to be a soiled pair of long johns or diapers on the floor. Oh and a strong smell of faeces. Classy.

Once Factory Floor finished I was too. I shambled back to my pit and started decompression back to reality.

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I regret making the decision to ditch my video camera. AT this stage in the festival there was a great party atmosphere. I was feeling relaxed and buzzing off the music from the last three days. I’d had some mild visual synaesthesia while watching Nissenenmondai the night before but I wasn’t expecting what happened when I went to see Roll the Dice.
They were two Swedes hunched over a modular synth set up. They played behind a gauzy back cloth which had images and shadows projected over it. I’d say there music is more hypnotic than danceable but I found myself swaying to it as it built up to a climax. The music was slow moving and eerie. Before long I started to feel little electric shocks coursing through my muscles. I found myself being really drawn into the music and felt my heart pounding as tingling waves rippled up my legs into my chest. If I was religious I would have said I had a spiritual experience. Someone asked me if I was ok cuz I guess I must of looked like I was tripping out, fair enough I probably was in a very altered state. I found it really difficult to verbalise just how awesome the music was I probably came across as some acid casualty. Needless to say this was my highlight of the festival – apologies to anyone who was weirded out by the sight of a middle aged beardy bloke apparently off his tits on something illegal.
I don’t have any footage of Roll The Dice from that night but here’s a clip from another show to give you an idea of what they are like.

(edit: I thought I would play RTD’s last record in the car as I went out for a drive. That was a big mistake. When “way out” came on I started feeling body waves again, my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my mouth and I felt weirdly euphoric. I definitely need to be careful playing this in the car.)

I had a very late start to the day so missed some of the earlier acts. First one I saw was Orchestra of Spheres. They shambled on wearing a variety of LED adorned headwear and commenced a tribal freakout. I really enjoyed it but my colleague Spooky Fruit though I was having an EAR PWR moment. (He has a theory that as a music festival progresses, my musical faculties disintegrate, the proof of this is my stated enjoyment of EAR PWR at Animal Collective’s ATP). For the record I think OOTS were good, here’s a short clip so you can see for yourself.

We left early to catch Sun Ra Arkestra. It’s not really fair for me to comment on them as I have a strong aversion to jazz, needless to say it didn’t flick my switch. We had a short break before seeing Roll The Dice and that’s when things started to go really strange.

Day 2 Part 2 : Freaky Dancing

I saw the Psychic Paramount next and they played a swirly psychedelic blues fug. Bitch Magnet were moody and unsettling but the highlight of the night was Underground Resistance. Apologies for the crappy footage but I was bouncing up and down to Mirage, personal favourite of mine. Techno Techno Techno 🙂

Due to us having to spend the first couple of hours tring to sort out our accommodation, we missed Les Savy Fav opening the event. They were due to play again at the end of the night so we were not too worried. The first band we saw was Total Control. They reminded me a little bit of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. I only saw the first 3 songs as we wanted to see The Budos Band.

Total Control

Earlier we were speeding down the M5 listening to the Budos Band III on the stereo and their 70’s afro funk wigouts makes excellent driving music. Live they were an assorted bunch of New York hairies funkin’ the joint up. They blasted out a fantastic brew of rude parping brass, sinous bass, Hammond and relentless percussion. Excellent stuff, I hope I get a chance to see them again.

The Budos Band



Future Islands were next on the list. They consisted of a synth player, a bass player (Who looked like Guy Garvey with a ‘tash) and a singer with a very distinctive voice and performance style. He would grimace, mime pulling his face off, beating his chest and throwing himself around in anguish. Voice wise he sounds a little like Vic Reeves’s Club Singer. I guess he has a marmite effect on people. I loved it but I saw a few people shaking their heads. I would rather watch an emotional and impassioned performance like Future Islands’s than another glum techie nodding behind a laptop screen. Anyhow, here’s some clips of them pulling their still beating hearts out 🙂

Future Islands

After that we tried to see Holy Fuck but the queues were a bit off putting, so we ended the night with Les Savy Fav’s show………


I’ve just returned from the latest Nightmare Before Christmas ATP event and I have to say that it was the best one I’ve been to so far.

I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t go ahead as the Jeff Mangum event which was scheduled for the weekend before was cancelled. There is an interview with David Yow on emusic.com where he says that ATP had made a loss at the I’ll Be Your Mirror event and were advised by their accountants to postpone the event till March. It would be a shame if ATP winds up bankrupt, there really is no festival like it. If you’ve not been then go! goddamit. Tickets are still available for the March event.

Les Savy Fav, Battles and Caribou curated a night each and this led to a varied mix of music. Maybe I was lucky in the bands I chose to see but there was no filler and all put in good performaces. I’m pretty sure I spotted William Bennet of Cut Hands and Whitehouse at some of the shows.

Unfortunately the curse of Butlin’s ever diminishing standard of accommodation  struck again. After a long drive to Minehead we got to our room to discover a tiny box room with one [supposedly] double bed. However, after getting no help from the Butlin’s staff the very nice ATP staff upgraded our room to a four berth apartment with a kitchen.

I will post up some video clips as the day goes on but apologies in advance, they are a bit ropey, partly because I was trying to dance and film at the same time. Also by day three I was very very “refreshed” so in the end couldn’t be arsed to try and film and just danced like a chimp with an itchy arse.

 

 

I’m uploading half a dozen or so video clips from last weekend. I’ll also very quickly go over some of thne acts I saw on the final day. There wont be much detail because at this point in the festival my critical faculties had been somewhat compromised. I now realise that chewing gum and haribo are not foodstuffs conducive to optimal mental functioning. So….he here goes.

Oneohtrix Point Never – another static laptop performance, a bit meh to be honest. I didn’t really have the patience to see how it unfolded.

Atlas Sound – I was quite suprised when I played back the clip because it didn’t look like how I remembered the gig. I remember seeing Atlas Sound completely sillhouetted against beams of bright red light while he teased out beautiful songs from his guitar and loops.

Micachu and the Shapes – wonky guitar pop somewhat reminiscent of Elastica, Wire or The Raincoats. accompanied by toytown keyboard noises. Micachu’s guitar was ran through some sort of effects which pitched it down into a skronky tone. Interesting.

Ear PWR – at this point I freely admit that I was worse for wear. I enjoyed Ear PWR despite their lead singers flat, nasal vocals and awfully naff and twee lyrics. Even the sight of Dylan Booze and his ginger afro, pounding out of time rhythms on his drum kit like a kid peaking on tartrazine didn’t alert me to the fact I was watching a sherbet fuelled ADHD carcrash. My colleague Spooky Fruit dragged me protesting out of the gig before the end because he feared that I had lost my mind. Since the gig I’ve read reviews of Ear PWR which are mostly vitriol – that’s only made them more endearing to me. They’re crap and they know it but evenso I enjoyed their awful vision.

Ear PWR

I caught the last half hour of Gang Gang Dance’s Set and have been kicking myself ever since that I didn’t see the whole set. They were blisteringly good – their last song kept crescendoing to ever high levels of insane funkiness.

Before calling it a day I saw Animal Collective who pretty much repeated the set from the night before. They were fantastic and set me to bed with a fuzzy glow and tinnitus.

Lee Scratch Perry

The Brothers Unconnected

The Brother’s Unconnected played on Saturday. They’re the surviving members of the Sun City girls, so I think that means they also play in The Master Musicians of Bukkake. They interspersed songs about infanticide and racial stereotypes with banter where they castigated the audience for clapping cot death and told unspeakable anecdotes about Henry Kissinger’s sex chimps. I recorded some footage but my iPhone is shit so you can see pock all, it’s orientated wrong but the sound is good.

The next act I saw was Vladislav Delay. He played moody textures with ominous, slowly shifting percussion. Unfortunately I was in the mood for something more energising so I couldn’t warm to it.

I watched Ariel Pink  next – didn’t really warm to his act. He also seemed a little off key and static. Spectrum in Reds was much better – it started off with some theremin spookiness and in common with a lot of acts this weekend relied on riff repetition, but still managed to keep one’s attention. I suppose having a front man and band to focus on helped. It had an element of Johnny Cash country noir to it which was more interesting than watching a guy behind a laptop.

At some point between acts we checked out the “history of sound art” installation in the cinema. We were greeted with the sight of a dozen or so people either sleeping or monging out to random soundeffects while a digital counter ticked away on the screen.

I mentioned earlier that I was not a fan of Animal Collective, I hadn’t much liked the little I’d heard. However, after having seen them live (twice) this weekend I am converted. I know they opened with a song called “changes” (is this a new song or is it off an album, where can I get it) which is still playing on a loop inside my head. I liked the soaring proggy vocals and the harmonies, I liked the deft use of samples and electronics, I liked the feeling of joy and celebration that their songs evoked. I was impressed and glad I took time to check them out.

Ariel Pink played later in the day.

First band I saw on Friday was Black Dice. I’ve seen them before and enjoyed their racket at the GYBE event last year. This time around they didn’t really do much for me, not sure why because the material this time didn’t sound appreciably different from before.

Lee Scratch Perry was the next act I saw. I’d seen Scratch before at the Custard Factory and so I knew that he has a tendency to play looooooong sets, which is even more impressive when you realise the guy is in his seventies.Because of the strict timetable he had to play a truncated set. He came on after a cheesy call and response skit, dressed in a napoleonic tunic with brocade and gold epaulettes. He wasn’t happy with having nto keep to a timetable and kept muttering about having the shorten things. He did a cover of “Pappa was a Rolling Stone” which morphed into dread chanting about the banks. Towards the end he blessed his children like some amiable schizophrenic shamanic uncle. A legend who should have been give more time to play. Thinking about it, I think if Scratch were to be invited to curate an ATP that would be very interesting.

Mr Perry Specifies the Minimum Length of his Rollups

Next up The Actress.  To begin with it sounded like a mix of murky loops and noise, but the patterns would morph very gradually and lock into a trancey, syncopated vibe. Interesting to listen to but it suffered from the difficulty in making a laptop performance interesting. A bloke came up to me and asked when The Actress was coming on. I had to point out that the bloke in the hoody who’d been standing behind a Macbook for the last half hour was the act.

I think this was the last act I saw on Friday, things get a little hazy after this so bear with me 🙂

I seemed to have survived the last spring ATP hosted at Butlins Minehead. It’s a shame that they will just be offering the “Nightmare Before Christmas”  events in Winter, as the bright sunshine we had over the weekend made me feel very bright and healthy despite the diet of potnoodle and haribo. I would have posted some pics and videos, unfortunately I didn’t realise what a piss poor camera the iPhone has, so sorry.

I’m not a fan of Animal Collective (who were curating this year) but that’s not important as there is always a good variety of acts so it’s hard not to find something interesting. I was a little pissed of with the accomodation this year, we had a basic room, no shower just a bath and sink but no plug. Obviously Butlins were trying to imbue a little festival spirit by removing the option to wash, or maybe they were trying the Ryan air business model and are gonna start charging for toilet paper next. My chalet’s seem to be getting progressively crapper with each visit, I’m worried that next time I’ll book I’ll be given a wheelie bin and an empty milk bottle to piss in.

This year seemed to be a little quieter than previous one’s I’ve attended, I can’t remember queuing for any acts for the whole time I was there. For some reason the Main Stage wasn’t used at all, a shame really because having an extra venue may have allowed some of the acts (Lee Scratch Perry for example) to play a full set rather than the truncated one.

Before I talk about the acts I’d like to give a big shout out to Captain Underpants (whoever he may be). He was housed 5 – 6 chalets down from mine and he peaked far too early into the festival. For most of the festival he lay on his bed, windows and door open playing the same Revolting Cocks cd on repeat again and again and again. Most of the time he was comatose and dead to the world but once (late at night) I saw him sitting up on his bed in just his underpants (door and curtain open of course), glassy eyed and slack jawed.

Maybe it was actually some sort of performance art or Butlin’s budget version of  Big Brother. Or maybe he was lonely and just needed a hug.

"Yeh, the room's fine but any chance of a plug for the bath?"