ATP Mt Buller: Part 4

All the exertion of the previous day as taken it’s toll as I wake to a world of pain, with extremely sore knees and back.  Things are taken more leisurely than at Splendour, when the alarm was set for 6am on both days, so editing the first days photos starts at a more reasonable hour, with the usual photo-editing brain food of Tim Tams and accompanied by bad 80s music on Rage in the background.  The world outside is looking very grey and like there might be rain but the sky is a bit brighter by the time the second day officially starts at 12:30pm.

There are no truer words than “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know“, and Hunter Dienna, in being related to one of the Bad Seeds, (although I can’t remember which one, possibly Mick Harvey as he’s one of their top Myspace friends and plays on their debut EP…) obviously know the right people to get on the ATP bill.  But whilst nepotism might be alive and well in the music industry in 2009, they are more than worthy of their place on the bill, with deliciously deep and dark vocals provided by singer Xanthe and an overall sound somewhere between The Bad Seeds, Mazzy Star and The Tindersticks.

There’s a bit of time to kill before The Stabs are due to play so I’m persuaded to go and join the others for the music trivia in the ABOM for a quick half-hour guest-spot appearance on the team. Having put my camera bag on the floor with my camera on top of it, I decide to have a quick look at the day’s photos but have hand-eye coordination issues and manage to knock the camera off the bag onto the iron base of the table. Where it makes a really unhealthy sound. Somewhat luckily everything still works, although at the expense of the lens hood, which obviously took the force of the impact and is cracked all the way through.  That’ll teach me for entering into the frivolity of such timewasting follies as music trivia competetions instead of the much more serious business of taking photos… 

Despite not knowing many of the answers, the team still manages to be in third place when I head off at half-time and also has a spot-prize Drones 7” and $25 drink voucher to its name. Unfortunately they go from third place to nowhere in the second half, missing out on possible ATP gig tickets for shows back in Brisbane.

After all that, The Stabs are, despite all the rave reviews I’ve heard, not that exciting. Another Melbourne band, that whilst not being terrible or anything, just aren’t that memorable. Maybe another case of the wrong band at the wrong time. Maybe lunchtime at relaxed outdoors festivals just isn’t the right time for loud guitars and feedback.

I had always dismissed Bridezilla as a bit of a Sydney hype band; they seemed to have oversaturated coverage in the Australian music press a year or two ago but what I heard at the time didn’t really excite me, but in giving them more attention via the ATP Mt Buller radio I had started to really enjoy and look forward to their songs being played. Holiday Sidewinder might not have the strongest of voices but it has a unmistakable charm and for a young band, they have a very mature sound and more than hold their own with the rest of the festival’s bill. Plus in the flesh they are a fairly photogenic bunch, especially the aformentioned Ms Sidewinder…


The Small Knives. I stick around for three songs and take some photos but it’s a bit of a chore; photographing bands that don’t excite you and you can’t get into or don’t give you much to work with visually are always the hardest to photograph.

More ATP photos on flickr.

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