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atp 2004: the nightmare before xmas
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Collective takes a trip to the seaside.The latest curators of the esteemed All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, took over for a few days in December. Re-titling the festival The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ghoulish siblings played curators, nay, puppeteers to a host of experimental rock and electronic talent.
And Collective was there. Arriving at Camber Sands Pontins on Friday 03, we ignore the eerie atmosphere of the out-of-season holiday resort and head straight for the bands. First up to twist our noodles is Destroy All Monsters – art rockers from Detroit. This isn’t art rock of the nice haircuts and skinny trousers variety, though - more wailing feedback and jabbered voicebox nonsense. It takes a good hour of Peaches’ pantomime electro for us to realign our heads.
Friday’s highlight is undoubtedly headliners Throbbing Gristle, returning to live performance with huge slabs of pulsing electronic noise. A disgruntled teen at the bar pronounces rather pithily, “Throbbing Gristle? Throbbing rubbish.” Her view isn’t shared by the crowd of very serious young men, staring in lovestruck awe at the fat dude in drag onstage.
Saturday, and after filming a hugely entertaining and largely unbroadcastable interview with Jason and Conrad of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, we watch them tear the main room apart with a tenacity bordering on the demonic. They have two drummers, which must mean something. It means they trash two drum kits.
Hood’s beautifully constructed rocktronica is the perfect tonic for a groggy Sunday. Their set consists largely of material from their forthcoming Outside Closer album. Next up is Sunn0))), a gang of hooded droogs playing droning rock who are frankly terrifying. As the cameraman has it, “Like Lord Of The Rings on ketamine.” Nice. A remarkably diverse weekend then, completed by a gloriously ramshackle finale from The Fall. Now, which one’s our chalet?
The next ATP, curated by Slint, will be at Camber Sands, 25-27 February 05.
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