All Tomorrow’s Parties December 2009 – 10 Years of ATP – Part 4

Sunday. Day three of Ten Days of ATP. Day 10 and the last day of the ATP adventure.  However, after nine days of eating crap and drinking more that I’ve probably drunk since I was 18 and was just starting university, my body gives up.

I finally get to see Shellac and it was worth the wait, even just for the stage banter and in-set Q&A session.  I see a bit of The Magic Band.  Then I decide I need to go and have a lie down and a quick power nap, but wake up about 3 hours later, having missed Deerhoof, Devendra Banhart, Mudhoney (who were fantastic by all accounts) and most of Explosions In The Sky.

But I’m back in time for Sunn O)))’s second performance of the weekend, this time playing Monoliths & Dimensions.  If their set the previous night was a snorefest of noise, tonight’s set is anything but; it’s totally hilarious, although I’m not sure if it’s intentional.  Tonight they’re playing with a singer (apparently a Hungarian black metal singer called Attila), with lasers coming out of his fingers growling in what sounds an awful lot like Latin (although I guess it might be Hungarian) and it’s amazing, pure theatre, even if it sounds like how the end of the world might sound.  Having seen Sunn O))) play twice over the weekend, I’m not sure when people actually listen to them.  My guess is that people stick some Sunn O))) on the turntable when they feel like going out and murdering someone.  When it comes to mood music, you can’t get any more extreme.

I catch the end of Mars Volta, who, as always, make me wish they would just reform At The Drive-In and stop making such awful prog rock, and then see Sleepy Sun again, and like them more the second time around.   For the final band of the weekend and off the whole ATP trip, I go and see Lightning Bolt in Reds Bar to see if it makes a difference seeing them play to a huge crowd than it did seeing them play to 100 people earlier in the week.  Other than the fact that there’s a room full of people going nuts for them, it doesn’t, and my initial impressions of emperor’s new clothes don’t change.

Maybe it’s an age thing, but festivals become hard work the older you get, even more so if there’s camping involved.  ATP is definitely the more civilised way to enjoy a music festival and anyone who went to Mt Buller is still wishing for the day that they bring it back to Australia, although it seems unlikely to happen, at least in the near future.  If it doesn’t, then there are a lot worse things than spending 10 days at Butlins in Minehead in the middle of winter in the UK.

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