I know this review that I promised in my last post is quite late (seeing as I went to this place last week) but I have been busy (cough) in the world of Haydn. Here is my review of ATP's 'I'll Be Your Mirror' last week, enjoy it.
The Festival Itself
When I went through the entrance gates of ATP, the venue itself was very odd, set in Ally Pally. It was weird for me to think that so many of my favourite indie bands were playing at such a grand venue. The security were very friendly, as were the people, who were all utterly obsessed with the bands that they were going to see that day. I started off my day by grabbing some food in the "Food Court" (note that I put food court in quotation marks, as the choice of food was absolutely abysmal). There were only 5 food stands in the whole place, all in the same concrete place too. Another thing as well was the lack of bins, but this wasn't that much of a problem however, as the site itself was very clean. After I ate my chips, I went to watch a documentary about Bob Dylan in the cinema, which was very good indeed, then I headed to West Hall, to catch my first band of the day, Demdike Stare.
Having been heavily drinking the night before, watching Demdike Stare was an incredibly bad choice. I had one of the best views though, front middle, and this luck would continue throughout the day, but I also had an extremely bad hangover, and I was right near the speakers. Demdike Stare walked on, 2 guys stooped over a laptop blasted the audience with this wall of sound backed by colourful visuals, which my bad headache really didn't like. I decided enough was enough so I had to leave to get myself a pint, which cured my hangover immediately. I then headed to the Panorama Room to sit down and watch a more headache friendly band, Tall Firs.
The Panorama Room is one of the strangest gig venues I've ever been in, everybody was sitting down, and it was an extremely relaxed atmosphere, which was quite the juxtaposition to the noisy racket going on in the room opposite (Where Demdike Stare was still playing). Tall Firs walked on the stage holding their guitars, you probably couldn't tell that they were in a band if they didn't have their guitars. They then sat down and started playing some of the most beautiful and depressing music I've ever heard. Their set was really great and they both managed to charm the audience which made up for their incredibly depressing music. They were another great hangover cure, although when my hangover ended during their set, I needed to watch a more lively band so I left them to it and headed back into West Hall, where Thee Oh Sees were finishing what looked like a blinder of a set. I bought another pint and headed to the front of the stage to wait for the next band that I was going to see that day, Archers Of Loaf.
Archers Of Loaf
Archers Of Loaf was my surprise of the day, I was in a great position yet again but I was quite sceptical about watching them seeing as they are quite an old band. However, my poor expectations had completely vanished when they came on and pulled off a full throttle rock set. Song after song and cracking jokes to the crowd. They seemed extremely relaxed and it looked like they really knew what they were doing. The bassist was the highlight of the set, going absolutely mental and leaping about the place like a mad man. It was a very entertaining set to watch and they played all of the songs that I really wanted to hear too! After they finished I had a massive grin on my face, a grin that would be gone by the time the next band had finished.
Yuck is probably this year's most disappointing live band. Every single time I've seen them (apart from the first time) they have always been too nervous to play. This was the fourth time I've seen Yuck play live, and to be quite frank, it made up my mind that they were in fact an extremely dull live band to watch. They made no attempt to interact with the crowd whatsoever and it looked like they didn't want to be there at all. In between songs they blasted the audience with this pointless feedback. It was really disappointing to watch because they have such good potential as a band, their songs are really great, it's just live they need to get their act together and sort it out. Saying all that however, their last song was a highlight, and not just because it was their last song. After their set, it was only 3 hours till Afghan Whigs would be on, so I headed to the cinema again to kill some time and watched the most mental documentary about Pete Doherty. After that, I headed back to West Hall to watch The Afghan Whigs.
The Afghan Whigs
The anticipation and atmosphere in the room before The Afghan Whigs came on was incredible. Then when they did come on, everyone went mental. This gig was literally one of the best gigs I've ever been to. They played their hearts out on the stage and Greg Dulli is one of the most charismatic front men alive. They played hit after hit after hit and the pure energy that they fed off each other was breathtaking. The only disappointing thing about the set list is that they didn't play My Curse, my favourite song of theirs. But that aside, they were still really really great, and I left the festival with a huge smile on my face after having a brilliant day.
There needs to be more festivals like ATP.