Looking suspiciously like Portlandia’s feminist bookstore owner Candace, blessed relic of grunge J Mascis swooped down with a great primordial thud for Dinosaur Jr’s juggernaut-packed set, which included evergreen favourites and newer tracks like ‘Watch The Corners’.
Written by April Clare Welsh
With a slightly more sober edge cutting through All Tomorrow’s Parties’ usual hijinks, the festival saw the likes of Television, Les Savy Fav, Dinosaur Jr and more perform to veterans and first-timers – plus an insurmountable number of hirsute men in combat trousers – who made the pilgrimage to the place it all began back in 1999, for last weekend’s penultimate send-off. Dedicated to ATP’s nominative inspiration and unofficial spiritual guide, Lou Reed, it was both painful and poignant to think that he had been laid to rest just a week before. But this was still a celebration – a wake, if you like – and a chance to raise a glass to arguably one of the best entertainment concepts ever conceived. Barry Hogan and Deborah Kee Higgins’ decision to marry leftfield bands with the classic British holiday park experience was well-informed 13 years ago, and still makes perfect sense today.
With a stoner-heavy line-up conducive to introspection, karaoke and pub DJs ripe for dubious disco dancing, as well as alternative amusements such as a cinema, mixtape-swap and pop quiz, the flashing lights of Pontin’s arcade barely got a look in. Friday night saw former ATP curator Dinos Chapman rattle off a spine-tingling display of jittery clamour, convincing us that his gift for artistic creation extends to the audio as well as the visual. And although the shock factor associated with The Chapman Brothers’ artworks was absent, the face-melting industrial electronics were still suitably unswerving.Television performed their epochal 1977 album ‘Marquee Moon’ in full on the Saturday evening and effortlessly recreated the magic of their debut to an audience predominantly too young to have seen it first time around. Les Savy Fav brought Saturday night to life with frontman Tim Harrington lolloping on stage like some sort of strange human-kangaroo hybrid and throwing himself to the lions (*audience) in a pillarbox red Furby costume, complete with eyeball-stocked marsupial pouch to chuck at his acolytes.
As Sunday night reared its head and the realisation that the end was nigh, an unholy trinity of Forest Swords, The Haxan Cloak and Pharmakon scratched their brooding, throbbing soundscapes into sponge-y brains. And then it was off to the Queen Vic again to dance like we’ve never danced before.