All Tomorrow’s Parties December 2009 – 10 Years of ATP – Part 1

More from the ‘Better Late Than Never (Maybe) files, this time the Ten Years of ATP festival at Butlins Minhead, otherwise known as Days 8 to 10 of my 2009 ATP Butlins Minehead experience, the final leg after the three day MBV Nightmare Before Xmas weekend and the four days of In Between Days.

With another day of checking out from one lot of accommodation and checking back in with another set of random people from the internet that I’d bought my tickets from, it was another day of waiting around for things to happen.  Although I’d applied, due to over-subscription I don’t have a photo pass for the weekend.   So I don’t set out to photograph everything over the weekend but just carry my camera around with me, have my bag checked every time I go through the security checks and no one seems to mind me taking a few shots from the other side of the barrier.  Maybe security had just gotten used to me over the previous eight days I’d been on site.  The only time I’m told not to take photos is during the Dirty Three’s set on the Saturday, when the main security guy in the pit at the time is sending people out into the crowd to stop them photographing, irrespective of the type of camera they had.

Malkmus makes a great start with Black Book from his eponymous, first and very good solo album but then descends into the jazz-style guitar noodling that he loves and which bores the majority of the crowd watching him, something that is obvious from the increasing chatter levels and decreasing numbers watching him during his set.

As well as the usual bingo and music quiz, the weekend has a knitting session hosted by the Breeders’ Kelly Deal and a Mick Turner exhibition that I keep popping into over the course of the weekend.  One of my favourite paintings in the exhibition is also the cheapest and so I spend most of the weekend working out if I can justify buying a painting, as well as how I might get it back to Australia.  In the end I decide if it’s still there on the Sunday I’ll buy it.  And amazingly it is still there.  However, as I want to pay by card/Paypal they tell me to come back later and sort out the details with Mick and when I go back I find that it was sold 10 minutes earlier.  Why I didn’t just put a holding deposit on it I’ll never know.  Six months later I buy a print from him but it’s not the same as having an original; one day I’ll have to make up for that.

The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Fever To Tell is getting the Don’t Look Back treatment tonight.  The stage is dressed up for them as the time for them to start approaches and then passes.  More than 40 minutes after they were due to start the band walk out onto the stage to a chorus of boos, with Karen O being less than impressed, calling us “fucking assholes”, telling us that their van broke down and that they had only just arrived.  It wouldn’t have been too much effort for someone to have communicated this to the large crowd that had assembled to watch them and saved the band from the initial reception they receive.  With the Pavilion stage crowd being one of the largest, if not the largest, of the two weekends, I watch from way back, and although I’m near the sound desk, from where I’m stood the much-talked-about poor Pavilion stage sound is evident; Fever To Tell is screeched rather than sung and it’s really disappointing.

Afterwards I go and see a bit of múm but then find that there’s a massive queue to get back into the Centre Stage for Fuck Buttons, decide I can’t be bothered to hang around to see if it empties enough to see Tortoise’s 1am set and call it a night.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.