Wednesday, 13 May 2009

ATP vs The Fans - Minehead 8-10/5/09

All Tomorrow's Parties again. An odd line-up all in all but that's what you get when half the bands are chosen by the fans. Still, having Jesus Lizard, Sleep, Harvey Milk, Electric Wizard and DEVO all on the same bill makes me happy enough that they could flesh the rest of it out with utter crap and I'd still be more than up for it. It turns out they did pretty much fill the rest of it up with utter crap.

Well whatever, Beirut and Spiritualised just aren't my bag. And Liam Finn is a bag of shite. Frankly, I'd seen a lot of acts before and didn't want to see them ever again. There were some exceptions though, well, one exception that I can recall, and that was Nico Muhly. He was one of those acts I really had to drag my ass out of the chalet to go and see during the day. Turns out that a tired ass on a comedown is a great thing to sit on whilst listening to this guy. Sounding like some strange avant-garde ambient folk music, all the parts adrift on a calm sea, slowly washing in and out of sync, it's genuinely soothing music and a real contrast to everything else I was into this weekend. He was my new discovery, of which there is always one (and only one) at each and every ATP.

The rest went as planned, pretty much, I saw all the bands I wanted to see and all of them were amazing, especially Sleep, who closed my weekend with one of the greatest sets I've seen from any band, ever. Heavy fucking riffs. David Yow was everything you'd hope for with Jesus Lizard, stage diving before he'd even spit his first acerbic line and repeat offending to the extent that he probably spent more time on the crowd than in front of it. I should give a mention to Killing Joke, not because they were any good, but because their hilarious rants about supermarkets intentionally poisoning our food really tickled me, the crazy old shitters. Other than that, my band played and got shut down, then played again, didn't get shut down and were awarded the accolade of "best moment of ATP" by whoever wrote the review for Dazed and Confused. Oh and, perhaps - in retrospect - inspired by DEVO's urge to devolve, I stripped down to my pants and ran into the sea.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

USA is a Monster/Shigeru Ishihara - Bardens Boudoir 03/05/09

Shige is aka DJ Scotch Egg and he plays tonight with Horacio Pollard and a couple of other guys, jamming with synths and guitars, Shige conducting by way of the mixing desk. It's a cosmic happening you know, it swells and freaks out. I could hear it through my skin, like a spilt liquid narcotic. It's hip, babe, and I can dig it with a space shovel..

I didn't know anything about USA is a Monster other than LOAD record affiliations and a general murmur that they are supposed to be the hot shit. They come out looking like four schools made a band out of their number one least popular kids. The drummer looks like Robert Crumb's self portrait got tied and dyed, the guitarist looks like a big wodge of cake someone trod into the carpet, and the other guys... I don't remember. One was a girl, actually. But whatever, they get going and it's like what. Never has something looked so wrong and sounded so right. Fucking insane drum licks, shifting time, and everyone keeping up, the trodden cake's terrible dreads flailing around as he frantically fingers his guitar like a mum watching Manilow. It goes all over the place too, from exceptional grooves to stuff that sounds like American college chants at sports matches. Only about half of it actually sounds appealing, but the whole thing is absolutely enjoyable purely for its sheer imagination and the wonder of it all. Like how much practice that must take. And how does that drummer's brain work?

We went to a house party after with Shige and the trodden cake and got kicked out straight away which was cool because the party was terrible. We stood and drank outside for a while hoping people would fall out of the window, but no-one did.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Eugene S Robinson - The Old Blue Last 30/04/09

Eugene is a big fucker. Anyone who's seen him on stage with Oxbow will attest to that. He is a hulking man, and not only that but he enjoys his size. He enjoys the theatrics of it all. He enjoys being imposing, appearing powerful. He doesn't enjoy violence though, he's just interested in it. Well that's his official stance on the subject anyway.

He's promoting a book he's written called 'Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You'd Get Your Ass Kicked For Asking' which is a compendium of stories about his youth, interviews with various fighting types from pro's to bar room brawlers, and illustrated tips on how to beat the shit out of people. Sat downstairs at the Old Blue Last he relays stories of violence over the general noise of the pub. He's a decent enough raconteur and the stories split evenly between him getting beaten up and him doing the beating. They're all pretty nasty. He maintains that his interest lies in investigating the nature of evil and the red mist that takes over when a violent man gets violent. Apparently he talked to Charles Manson about it and he didn't know what Eugene was going on about.

It's entertaining enough, if a little worrying being sat close enough to see how his eyes kind of crazily wander off when he starts talking about kicking people in. I'm not convinced by his motives though. It seems to me he's attached this ponderous human psyche angle to what is essentially a love of violence. It's odd because actually behind all the fighting talk he seems like a really nice guy, and certainly an interesting character, and his stories stand up without this unconvincing justification he's attached to them. But you know, whatever, I'm not gonna argue with the guy, he's a big fucker.