My experience of the legendary ATP festival is limited to two, both of which were erm, this year. I spent a crazy 24 hours watching Oneida, TV On The Radio, Celebration and curators Yeah Yeah Yeahs (all good), the sunrise on the beach (beautiful) and the clock (boring) so we could get the first morning train back on Saturday looking like shadows of our former selves.
One week later I was back again watching Joanna Newsom, The Decemberists and Teenage Fanclub. For the most part though, my memories are obscured by afternoon cocktails in Chalet 61 and avoiding the outside in general for fear of drowning in the torrential rain. I did have a fantastic weekend even if the joy came purely from the novelty of sleeping in a proper bed and having a shower, flushing toilet, television and tea-making facilities within close proximity to the aforementioned bed. So nothing to do with the music then...
Next year's proposition looks set to be even better than its predecessor. For one thing, the festival is re-locating from the beautiful Camber Sands in Rye, East Sussex to the even more lovely Butlins resort in Minehead, Somerset. I have been informed by an ex-pat that Minehead is nothing more than a glorified disused quarry but I'm sure he's lying. I mean, there's a huge wave pool with slides, ten-pin bowling, fencing and outdoor bowls on-site. Surely nowhere with that calibre of facilities can be that bad.
Obviously, what everyone wants to know if who's playing...
First up is The Dirty Three-curated ATP. Here's who will be appearing so far:
Nick Cave (solo)
The Dirty Three (naturally)
Tara Jane O'Neill
Magnolia Electric Company
A Silver Mount Zion
Bill Callahan (of Smog fame)
As with most ATP line-ups I think I have only heard of half of these people. Oh well.
Despite this, I am in an infinite state of euphoria about the prospect of seeing the wonderful A Silver Mount Zion [pictured left in usual live pose]. Comprising Godspeed members Ephrim, Sophie and Thierry (plus some other like-minded musicians picked up along the way), ASMZ have released some beautiful records through Constellation including my personal favourite '"This Is Our Punk Rock", Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing'. Just like Godspeed, they have done away with time-keeping, taking their time and pleasure to create chilling post-modern choral and orchestral pieces that meanders effortlessly, never once traversing into tragic prog-rock territory.
I saw them play an awesome show at the Scala a couple of years ago. I spent the whole set utterly transfixed by the semi-circular form of individuals harmonising over layers of sweeping strings and guitar feedback. My (male) friend was so overcome by the experience he cried through most of it. It was, quite simply, beautiful. One of those gigs that you remember so fondly that recalling the experience is like reliving it all over again.
Now this is the one that has got some work people and I quite excited. Who's playing? Here's who:
Built To SpillSparklehorse
Echo and The Bunnymen
Do Make Say Think
Brightblack Morning Light
Small line-up, I hear you say. That's because the nice people at ATP are leaving it up to us - the fans - to cherry-pick our most-wanted, much-desired bands to fill the rest of the line-up. How exciting. Voting begins here on 24th November. That's this Friday so put the date in your diary.
Some bands I'd like to see playing:
Download: Pavement - Drunks With Guns
Download: Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak (pretty much a dead cert I reckon)
Download: Portishead - Roads (please please please let them play)
Download: Bat For Lashes - Prescilla
Download: Fugazi - Cashout
Buy these off the Rough Trade Online Shop or better yet, try their brand new digital store. How lovely.
[I've lynched those ATP logos off the website. Sorry if I'm not supposed to do that.]