All Tomorrow’s Parties December 2009 – 10 Years of ATP – Part 2

The line-up for the Saturday of Ten Years of ATP is the high point of the weekend, the pinnacle of the ten days I will have spent at Butlins Minehead on this trip, the ultimate in ATP-ness, boasting a Pavilion stage line-up of Afrirampo, Dirty Three, Battles and The Breeders, interspersed with the likes of Papa M, Shellac, Melvins, Modest Mouse, The Drones and Sunn O)) on the Centre Stage.

Afrirampo get things underway on the Pavilion stage and it’s even better than their performances at ATP Mt Buller and their ATP Brisbane show.  After their set you can’t get anywhere near their section of the merch table due to the throng of middle-aged, balding, bearded men, stocking up on CDs and t-shirts.  Sadly it’s the last time I get to see them, with the band splitting up during 2010.

I can’t recall many specifics about the Dirty Three’s set this weekend (other than being told by security not to photograph them).  Although it’s the third time I’ve seen them in a week, I could never tire of seeing them, it’s just that everything pales away into insignificance after their In Between Days show a few days earlier.

I’d seen Battles once before, a sold-out January sweatfest at The Zoo on a night where I rushed across town after photographing The Police at Suncorp Stadium to find that it was too late to get anywhere near the stage and so had to photograph from way back, but luckily getting a few good shots.  They sound really on form tonight, the Pavilion stage sound being so much better today than it was for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs the day before, and as well as cuts from Mirrored, we get to hear a few new songs, which sound really good.  The future looked bright after tonight’s showing, but as with Afrirampo, Battles don’t survive to the end of 2010, at least not with this line-up, with Tyondai Braxton leaving the band in the middle of the year.   However, the good news as of mid-February 2010, is that the new album has been recorded and is expected to be released in mid-2011.

The Breeders are a shambles tonight, so shambolic that Kim and Kelley actually start playing two different songs at one point.  But they’re so endearingly shambolic that you can’t hold it against them.  Kim sings so sweetly tonight, as she always has done, that it makes me reconsider going to see The Pixies when they play Brisbane, although in the end I just end up photographing them and they’re so heartbreakingly disappointing, as with when they played at V Festival, that I don’t end up buying a ticket to see their second show.  They play at Splendour later in the year but once again don’t come anywhere close to being the band they were when I first saw them, back when they were putting out new albums.  Maybe next time? Or maybe not?

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