Hi De Hi Campers! ATP Festival review, curated by Pavement
The last time I went to All Tomorrow's Parties, I nearly froze. There were gale force winter winds and the rattling prefab walls were no match. In many ways it was the nightmare before Christmas.
Recently migrated to just across the pond from the cliffs of The Vale, the location in Minehead, Somerset near to north Devon is already pretty pleasing, and the chalet looks rather more robust.
There was no time to stand on ceremony as two of the best new bands that I've been trying to see for ages kicked off the weekend. Avi Buffalo's lush sounds were emanating around the upstairs stage, which rather resembles a large lounge on a cruise ship. It's strangely comfortable.
They were swiftly followed by Surfer Blood, who played on the cavernous stage in the main Pavilion building, and seemed rather shocked by it. They are young, very young, preppy, jaunty, and it felt like a couple of the Vampire Weekend gigs I saw on their first visits over to the UK.
The rest of the evenings highlights included Wildbirds & Peacedrums (pictured) performing with a Swedish choir, a very spooky experience, the sonorous trumpet call of Calexico, and the swirling stoner rock of Wooden Shjips.
On Saturday I made the most of the visit to Devon with a trip along the coast to sample pasties, clotted cream ice cream, and Lynmouth's incredible water-powered funicular railway.
I was back in time but had no patience for Fiery Furnaces, despite the big band line up, and had a fabulously long nap just before heading in for the big two-hour Pavement show. It was absolutely breath-taking, the power these 20 year old songs still have. The show was comfortable, funny, energetic, and Stephen Malkmus' voice was in fine form.
Halfway through I suddenly remembered seeing them play a small Reading Festival warm up gig in Clwb Ifor Bach, back in the early 90s, and I've been trying to recollect more about this show too... Do help if you can.
In elation my ATP ended there really. Pavement were perhaps better at playing than curating a line up, but it was a great old fashioned British Butlins weekend all the same!
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