Reflections on ATP vs. The Fans (take 1)

Ever since the new Chunklet site has gone live, I’ve not gone so long without an update, so I’m going to begin by apologizing for that. Moreover, I’m still kinda fatigued from the last week which saw me fly to London, go to Minehead (over on the Wales-y side of England), back to London, to Amsterdam, back to Southend in England and then to London back to Atlanta. Whew.

Me and Pete on the English shore, Minehead ’07. Photo by Iain H.

Going to All Tomorrow’s Parties is old hat to me and my buddy Pete by now, but it doesn’t eliminate any of the joy I get in going to it. For those who haven’t been, ATP is a festival for those who hate festivals. They appoint a band to curate an entire weekend’s worth of performers and then put the whole shindig on at an English holiday resort. For $300 (or thereabouts) it’s the best deal out there for a weekend of seeing bands and catching up with friends.

This ATP was my first one at the new facility in Minehead. Past ATPs were at Camber which was near Dover and was much smaller and low budget than this new locale. However, all things being equal, Butlins is far better in some ways than Pontin’s in Camber. First off, they’re better chalets. Better food options. Bigger stages. Easier to get around to all three stages. However, with the compliments come a few concerns. The "main stage" (aka The Burger King Stage) is like stepping into a mall where Tiffany is about to perform and with equally horrible sound to boot. The trivia and bingo "activities" during the day seemed a bit of a wash and the room could’ve been better suited as a "chill out" room for people to, I don’t know, watch stupid schlocky movies or maybe even have DJs that weren’t playing "semi-ironic" irony rock as was de rigeur the rest of the weekend.

However, given those mild criticisms, I do really like the new facility even with its perceived flaws. I’m just adapting to it right now is all….

A “good” view of Shellac on the main stage at ATP…

A few things that I’ll always remember about this ATP: Getting to introduce Mogwai and Isis (video courtesy of Iain H.) and squeezing in comments about Baby Madeline along the way, pretend-fellating Tim from Les Savy Fav in the photo pit and then having Syd from Les Savy Fav riding on my shoulders during their last song, selling enough goods to pay for my flight over thanks to Rough Trade, eating kebabs with the guys in Mogwai and their Mogwifes (their term, not mine), eating this crazy, delightful curried chicken cup five times in two days (thank you, Bob Weston!) and then, of course, seeing friends from all over like Kris K, Carrie Weston, Myk Guanci, Joe Plummer, Manish, Phil McM, that endearingly crazy dude from Subtitle, and of course, spending copious amounts of QT with Iain Hinchliffe and Pete.

I’d also like to personally thank Barry, Helen, Karin and everybody else from ATP for making me feel like I mattered at their ridiculously fantastic festival.

Oh, and I’m listening to the new Queens of The Stone Age right now. God damn. What a promising nominee for Best of 2007. And it’s only May!

….and my buddy “Ducky”