All Tomorrow’s Parties December 2009 – 10 Years of ATP – Part 3

And so to The Drones, who get some favourable time-tabling by being the first band on the Centre Stage after proceedings have finished on the Pavilion Stage for the day.  However, disappointingly the turnout for them is one of the smallest of the weekend, although this makes it easier to get to the barrier and watch them from the front row and get some good photos of them at the same time.  The obligatory drunk Australians are in attendance, which makes for some amusing moments: “Shark Fin Blues. The best Australian song of all times. Sarah Blasko said so”, calls for Jezebel, which they opened with, being met with a curt “We already played that” by Gareth Liddiard and calls of “Sixteen Straws” receiving a blunt “This is England, mate” in reply.

But this was a Drones set as not seen in Australia for a long time.  They only played The Minotaur from Havilah and only Jezebel from Gala Mill; other than that it was an absolutely brutal and utterly mesmerising noise-fest of their earlier songs, just in case anyone was worried they might be going soft in their old age and becoming too ballad-y and too country.

There’s nothing wrong with The For Carnation other than they’re not really a band that should be playing a 12:30 to 1:30am festival slot on the Saturday night; more a band that should be playing a mid-afternoon set.  Something harder/faster/louder would have been better, rather than something so gentle that’s it’s making people think about sleep.

I stick it out though as I had heard a lot about Sunn O))), had never seen them but wanted to, even though I’m not a ‘noise’ person.  In the end I only stay for maybe 10 minutes, mainly because other than something that sounds like the rumble of thunder and so much dry ice that it can’t be good for the health of the band if they’re doing it night-after-night when on tour, nothing has happened.  Despite all that dry ice I end up with some nice photos of them that I really like.  Noise seems to be a very male genre, maybe the most male, but doesn’t seem to do anything for me, and so I call it a night.

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