All Tomorrow's Parties. Review
The big question: would the velvet underground and nico (who cares about the white haired old guy who produced that album) have enjoyed it?
they would've turned up late on friday night for sure. but probably not because of ww3 breaking out in the car as we headed towards the the north circular and some motorway or another that was going to take us to Rye
we arrrived at around midnight having missed sun ra arkestra and just in time for the final 3 tracks from tortoise. they were good. perhaps real good but something was missing. they came back on for an encore as well. Perhaps they shouldn't have bothered, there was something not happening.
We got to have a look around. Camber Sands Holiday Camp... the words "hi-di-hi" spring to mind. rows and rows of holiday units. We were in the VIP area.. i.e we got to look at various hip hop and punk types meandering about and we got a shower and microwave. (very potent microwave, nuked my coffee into a soft ball of brown melted milk goo in 8.6 seconds)
There were two venues upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs held around 3 thousand people... downstairs about a thousand... downstairs smelt of old socks and jacket potatoes. Upstairs was more beer breath and old carpet. The sound systems were excellent, if a little quiet. Maybe I am going deaf.
Having missed Tortoise we went downstairs and checked out a bad dj. Maybe he was ironically DJ'ing just like the people who have 'ironic' mullet hair cuts. (i don't think so)
BY that time the two triple whiskeys I had inhaled upon arrival were kicking in nicely and my legs were starting a cold melt. We returned back to the cabin.
Saturday morning dawned and we headed off to the beach. It was good to be outta London and see that blue thing above the earth and below outer space(oh yeh it's called the sky) Each of the locals have about 4 dogs each and they all run about friendly like chasing kites and frisbees and soccer balls. There was a dead badger on the beach. I thought the goth kids might be poking it with sticks. But then i realised that there are no goth kids. (not even ironic ones... hmm, give it 2 years)
That night was Calexico upstairs, (not quite country enuf, not quite noisey enuf, not quite much of anything... i.e fairly bland... but i'm sure they're loverly people) Downstairs is Derek Bailey. older than I thought. But I didn't really think so it's not a big surprise. Hes playing free over various electronic soundscapes. The best one is the cut up jazz record glitch fest. The guy has amazing control over his guitar. Harmonics and madness. screams and jabs. Nice. It gets intense and my thought process is starting to go out of phase. Wow. About 15 mins in the middle he drifts around a bit and isn't really talking to us anymore. He pulls it back at the end. PLaying stuff over the sounds of a storm. Good guy. I'm surprised how many people are there. I think Derek Bailey is bemused. It takes him 7 mins to change a broken string in the middle of one track. Its not on purpose i'm thinking.
The Sea and the Cake on after Derek (nice pop songs.. american so they're not indie ,, but they're older and not got that nerd rock thing ala Nada Surf/Pavement/Weezer etc. They're a little swinging organ drones and loungish bits tempered with nice overdriven chords and vocals like a gentle sea breeze... they don't really try to rock out and get intense.. cause lets face it, they're not. But they're gentle and kind and the world doesn't seem so dark anymore. It still smells like old socks and jacket potatoes though.) After their set we noodle upstairs to catch Boards of Canada. The place is rammed. Boards of Canada have surfed a wave of cool for a while now. That wave is gonna crash pretty soon. They wander on stage in complete darkness. They have specifically requested that no-one take photos or film the show. I realise why 3 mins into the gig. They're not doing anything. Their new stuff sounds tired, oh so tired. The older stuff sounds nice, real nice (but then they're just playing the cd anyways) People cheer and sway, but there isn't really a vibe. The intensity never builds, I'm more interested in drinking beer. The visuals are nice, organic and blurred. They finish up after 45 mins.
Sunday. Well it's Sunday. Alethea and I head off to the beach early and catch some sun. GLorious. More dogs and locals (it's too early for the kids to be up,,, but we do encounter some people who obviously haven't been to bed yet) That night we check Broadcast. We arrive 15 mins late and instantly regret our tardiness. They're taking the stage apart. They are velvet underground and jefferson airplane reformed. Or perhaps we been put in a time machine and transported back to aplace where music felt like something. The singer has a voice like iron on ice. The keyboard and guitarist look like the could have been in a ABBA tribute band but they're playing like demons and the sound is both pulverising and mesmorising. 60's spookiness (the theme tune to star trek!) and indie guitar washes (drool drool) bass and drums not completely locked,, but a groove of sufficient depth that we can sway about in a deep daze. Amazing really. One track is a organ drone over a beautiful vocal harmony. It ends and then a slow wash of noise builds up and over 10 mins engulfes the audience as the bass and drums lock over a vaugue 60's style march type rythm. wow... they finish and I'm quite sad.
Stumbling downstairs for Prefuse 73 the room is almost empty and Alethea and I get up real close to watch Scott and DJ mucking about. Scott has an MPC and Mac laptop DJ has one deck and fader. THey kick off at 9.30 exactly (the whole event runs completely to schedule.. freakY) In 30mins prefuse funks out and plays most of the new album plus the EP on Warp. Nice and f***ing tight. Concise and fat. An MC spouts stream of consciousness about how he's missed chatting up a chick at the bar (a woman soon appproaches the side of the stage and beckons him over) Scott bops about and bangs out scatch samples on his MPC in time with the grooves. His music is clear and kind. Digital glitches are part of the groove, he knows some nice chords too. He's the new Boards of Canada.
Whipping back upstairs we get to catch some Yo La Tengo... we only have 20 mins to spare before Autechre startdownstairs and it's gonna be a tight fit down there. Yo La tengo are a three piece and they're suffereing from a lack of sound really. THe one track we see drones on and on. It's a typical type post rock simple progression but the guitarist goes awol and drifts into noise-ville and he needs some f***ing valium, injected anally perhaps, if there's room. Hes playing like he really wants to be Neil Young. Dunno if he's really listening tho. I get bored and write a song in my head. They're still wanking on.. well the bass player is doggedly holding up the droove like a piece of damp string and the drummer is belting away but she is drowned underneath the stream of urine as the guitarist is pissing all over the groove. bummer.
Autechre downstairs. The trainspotters have arrived. THe boys, the potatoes heads. the german tourists. They're tall and they're amped. Autechre has a pile of gear like they're about to launch into space. Unfortunately they fail to leave the ground for me. They open up with a driving indutrial-electro rythym that pumps on and on and on ,, a while later some dry melodics fade into the mix, it's all sounds very crisp, bassey and clear but that's all we've got to go on. The punters don't get it... they're whopping and yelling and jumping about like human washing machines. Alethea's getting pummeled a little, but she's a tough chick and has elbows. I'm behind the germans. they're not moving an inch but enjoying it every bit as much as the louts english. I'm rapidly losing hope. 10 mins after I start begging for a new track a new track begins. It is a live show and all, so full credit to the lads for this. It's just so minimal and dull... and the grooves are so forced and melodics so drowned. I'm not a happy camper. Yo La tengo upstairs have finished so it's quickly becoming like a sauna in there. We decide to leave.
Television... i stay for 3 chords.
HMm,, cool idea and event. music just didn't have the right flow. Crowd vary from the desparately trying to be cool kids (one we spotted was wearing a KKK white triangular hat ,, i kid u not) to the smelly post rock 20 somethings to people like us I guess. Lots of not washing and vague hints of blue hair dye. 75% guys (surprised?). No tatoos. we'll see what happens next year!
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