scenesters by the sea / all tomorrow’s parties day one

27 04 2007

Woke up in Woking. Pile in the car. Soundtrack: Paul’s ’90s tapes. Me: Who’s this again? every song, remembering every word. I sleep through the worst.

Skinny jeans are everywhere in Tesco. How much beer can we carry? Actually quite a bit, as it turns out.

Butlins, Minehead. Lacks the faded seaside glamour of Camber Sands, spiritual home of ATP. The stages are in the Pavilion, a bizarre cross between a big top and a motorway services. Can’t get our heads round it. There’s an Irish pub. We beer up. ATP!

Ian Wadley opens the festival, although it’s hard to tell when he stopped tuning up and actually started playing. “Is this what the music will be like?” asks a bemused Butlins barmaid. Ain’t heard nothing yet love. ATP!

Then Wadley gets going, pull back to reveal it’s the end of the world, Ry Cooder wailing atop a mountain of skulls. Wadley turns his back on the crowd to rock out, then it’s back to stage front, down on one knee, things briefly go a bit Cairo. I get out.

Fuck me, Nick Cave is standing right there! As close as I am to you… Nobody believes me.

It all starts to make sense when we hit the centre stage for The Only Ones. They’re late. We forgive them. It has been 26 years.

The contrast couldn’t be more marked between Peter Perrett’s emaciated frame and the muscular sound the Only Ones belt out. Perrett’s scuttling vocals sound great, and they’re so tight. Bit weird seeing them in what feels like a shopping centre. Hairs on the back of the neck time.

Meticulous timetabling goes out the window as beers get sunk.

Art of Fighting? Art of Pillow Fighting maybe. They only seem to remember they have an audience halfway through eachsong only to then forget again. Magnolia Electric Company are a bit country and that’s it.

Snapshots: Dancing to My Bloody Valentine in a room that feels like a wedding reception. Trying to get into our chalet without a keycard. Buying another pint. Where the fuck am I? Autopilot on. All goes black…

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