All Tomorrow’s Parties, Camber Sands, Rye, May 2006
A weekend by the sea, down Sussex way? Nice. With nights curated by Mudhoney and Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Even better. ATP was an awesome concept: pick a band to organise a festival, so they play and invite their musical friends & idol to play as well. Venue? Easy… choose an ex-Butlins Holiday Camp with all the accommodation and facilities on site… swimming pools, pubs, ball rooms, amusement arcades. Mad. Four of us lads drove down to drink a lot of beer, vodka, and some absinthe too while we watched all the edgy, alternative bands on offer. No room for The Kooks here. This was only for existing legends, and up & comers. And forget your big stadiums or arenas, this was all in a mid-sized ball room or the fun arcade downstairs, so even better for being up close like Recall? Well, Mudhoney were awesome. Anything would be after the aforementioned absinthe was imbibed, but yes, Mudhoney killed it again. Yeah Yeah Yeahs were stonking. Television On The Radio were phenomenal. Oneida were bizarre & slightly potty. The Drones intense (man, I’m pissed off I could not see them in Wellington few months back). Blood Brothers were very raw rock n roll. On the flipside, I do remember a band called Magick Markers who we thought were terrible - so sadly art school that we laughed and walked out, from about the fourth row. They might have heard us. But for me the standout act was Liars; they utterly blew me away and I had never heard the before. The ideas they were cramming in on stage made Radiohead look like a Stock, Aitken & Waterman band. All swapping drums, guitars, synths, mad spooky vocals, with a zeal & zest to utterly nail this performance in front of what was probably a pretty discerning crowd. Stunned. Take note Magick Markers - Liars are the real deal. Seriously, if you have never heard Liars, listen to them. Pretty sure they played ‘A Visit From Drum’ off Drums Not Dead because I remember them all drumming at some stage. It was quite wow. Even more so when they got Blood Brothers back on stage for a finalé of Nirvana’s ‘Territoirial Pissings’. I was standing there mesmerised when the drummer hurled a can of Fosters out into the crowd, right into my chest. It bounced, leaked some beer, but retained some volume. I took a swig, then thought ‘fuck it’ and lobbed it back at him (we were that close). It hit him, he didn’t seem to mind. And there was no reaction frmom any security. Not many gigs that last bit would happen at. Seriously, Liars are probably one of the few bands that get more & more interesting with each record. Awesome thinking back on that weekend. It even included the FA Cup final on Saturday which we all watched, West Ham only minutes from glory until Steven Gerard ruined it all! I should have gone to more than one ATP, they organised numerous events. Such a great concept.