Thursday, 21 April 2016

Stewart Lee's All Tomorrow’s Parties April 2016

“No fun beyond this point” read a sign near my chalet. It seemed an appropriate motto for a weekend that might end up being the last event like this, considering all the behind the scenes financial problems. It could also describe only too well how everything that happens for the rest of the year will pale in comparison, it really was such a wonderful weekend. Some witty punter had actually taped over the word “bikes” in “fun bikes” on the sign. If I describe everything I enjoyed it’ll take up about a third of this zine, so here are just some snapshots of my fondest moments.

The new BARDO POND song that had a chorus where Isobel Sollenberger channelled the “Day in the Life” McCartney when he went into a dream that could be their best song yet. I cried tears of joy during their set including some older surprises and at least three, maybe four new songs.

The moment of the first drum beat in BOREDOMS set. They began with a very long subdued drone that slowly increased in volume and the tension grew…that first beat made one guy whoop and that made everyone down the front laugh. They then sounded like they’d never done before and also made me cry tears of joy, despite only having two drummers now.

Terrie Ex grabbing my hat and having a short tug of war with me towards the end of his hilarious set with brilliant drummer Han Bennink. It was Han’s seventieth birthday. What a fantastic celebration!

Needing full on rock action after a pleasant mellow Saturday afternoon and getting it in spades from THE HEADS. Just like curator Stewart Lee it was the first time I’d seen them play and they were even better than I’d hoped.

The moment the mighty MISSION OF BURMA played “Max Ernst” and people started going wild down the front. Afterwards I bought Roger Miller’s new single by his new band Trinary System and he signed it and I can happily report that it is excellent. I’d met Clint Conley outside earlier in the day and during our conversation he told me that “Slow Death” by the Flamin’ Groovies is one of his all time favourite songs.

Roky Erickson having his shit together despite disgruntlement over money and going on with the show to play a blinding “Rollercoaster” even if the bass was cranked way too high for the whole set and the electric jug was inaudible.

Meeting my beautiful friend Annie Davey who I maybe hadn’t seen since the very first Shellac curated ATP.

My excellent chalet sharer Markus Moises, a photographer from Nuremberg.

THE EX. They always bring the party. The fact that John Cale pulled out shifted them to the perfect time slot later in the evening. I didn’t give a shit that Cale didn’t play. It was also nice that Andy Moor of The Ex was selling improv CDs from his Unsounds label for a mere fiver after his excellent set with abstract saxophonist John Butcher.

Saving Stewart Lee from a mithering critic near the start of THE NIGHTINGALES’ sadly under-populated set and making him laugh with the first thing I said to him. This guy was saying, “I like your early work but blah blah blah…” and I jumped in with, “I don’t like any work. I’m a lazy sod!” Mr Lee laughed and walked off.

Richard Youngs playing the very song a lady called Leonie asked me to request at the end of his second set of the weekend. It turned out to be the best song he played, although the one his seven year old son sang the day before with Damon Krukowski was the most entertaining.

EX-EASTER ISLAND HEAD packing out the small room upstairs with their Branca meets Reich precision guitar percussion just after THE NECKS expanded our heads downstairs with piano, double bass and drum improv; a perfect sequence of performances and a great way to start a Friday evening after a little bit of John Cage's indeterminacy.

SUN RA ARKESTRA taking us all on a golden suited trip to Saturn last thing Sunday. Joining their ecstatic conga line with Miriam, Martin and Lou and dancing from one side of the room to the other. Could this be the last time?

No comments:

Post a Comment