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Archive for April, 2002


Posted: April 29th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

So, Sunday then. First stop of the day was the Glasgow Film Theatre to see the Cinematic Orchestra playing a live soundtrack to the film Man With A Movie Camera, a silent black and white documentary filmed in the 1920s. It’s certainly something that should be done more often as I found it really exciting having a band playing right in front of me with odd shadows of equipment poking into the corners of the film. The film started up silent showing the opening of a cinema and the people streaming in and sitting down with the orchestra preparing to play and when the onscreen orchestra started (silently, obviously) the real Cinematic Orchestra started playing. That was my favourite bit really. Not that the rest of it was a letdown, the band managing to compliment the images without ever trying to outdo them. Advertised as a jazz collective and playing for the most part jazz, they did also have a dj/electronic element which I particularly enjoyed, bringing in samples of strings and the odd bit of scratching. The film was a marvel though and a real document of its time [1920s Russia]. It was almost as if they’d attempted to document absolutely everything that ever happens around them so we got the whole scope of local people at work and play, marriage, death, birth, accident, sleep, travel, holidays but most interestngly for me all the workings of the factories and the trams and buses. It also had two different viewpoints: one man filming stuff and another one filming him dragging his camera around the most precarious places. Watching someone set up their camera on the outside of a very tall tower or in the depths of a mine was certainly fun. I don’t imagine I’ll ever need to see the film again but I hope to see this kind of event being repeated.

Intellectual culture fix over (only kidding) I went to see Arab Strap and Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai in a very nice church in the east end. I’d arranged to meet Chris in the old 13th Note and was struck with horror the minute I walked through the door. Gone were the scruffy locals with their sticky pints and spicy chips listening to unlistenable music on badly recorded cassettes. Instead it was full of trendy overenthusiastic girls holding drinks with straws while their boyfriends drank american branded beer. There was a fruit machine in the corner! The noticeboard promised a ‘new menu’, no doubt free of pesky vegan politics. That was the longest ten minutes of my life as I mourned the death of a place I loved more than any other. Look after your local venues people before you lose them. Once I manage to work out where the hell they’ve set up the new West 13th venture I shall be going to give them any spare money I have in return for sticky pints and badly recorded music.

But anyway, foul-mouthed scots performing in a church. How did they get that one past the vicar? At least they were all being relatively quiet, this being an acoustic show. Wee Stuart was up first, just him with his guitar and orange amp. He started with a cover and then worked his way beautifully through Mogwai’s vocal moments: Cody sounding lovely as always and Tuner bringing the usual tear to my eye. They should bring it back into the Mogwai live set now. Stuart was in his usual chuckling mood, slagging sponsors Tennants and giggling to himself. He attempted to sing a song by The Cure but gave up and shouted for Aidan Strap to come onstage and sing it with him which he did rather well. Then we got a medley of Take Me Somewhere Nice and Secret Pint with Stuart’s vocals sounding really confident and strong before he finished on a rather apt cover of Lord Can You Hear Me by Spacemen 3. Go the wee man.

I’ve now seen Arab Strap live three times, once as a fantastic rowdy bunch of fools, once as a rather dull keyboards and rant thing and now in a church with acoustic guitar, violin and cello, the odd battering from a drum machine and Aidan’s rueful tales of life. They were really rather stupendous, managing to be downbeat, funny, ramshackle and heartfelt all at the same time. They played lots of songs, most of which I didn’t recognise due to the fact that I appear to have never bought a single record by Arab Strap. I think I might rectify that soon. Free exclusive 5 track cd as well, available at an eBay near you soon.

Trail of Dead / Smog

Posted: April 28th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

Oh dear, I can’t keep up with myself. I’m trying to extend my rock escapades into a third week and managing quite successfully. Just as my ATP hangover was beginning to fade I met up with my boys from Trail of Dead and went to party. Well, first we went to have a very nice dinner in a west end pub and then Trail of Dead played their rock in the QMU. They were preceded by two support bands though – Sunshine were a rather ace hardcore plus electronics noise rock band with numerous keyboards and pedals littering the stage while The Vue were really really dull garage rock. Bet the NME loves them. Also the singer looks like the guy from Starsailor- nooooo!

I stood at the back of the stage for Trail of Dead and took lots of rather good photos as they showed off what months of touring has done for them. Needless to say they were utterly fantastic with the stagediving antics never getting in the way of a damn good tune. I was supposed to leave half way through to go and see The New Year but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. If I had I would have missed the fun of Jason kicking the drumkit across the stage and Neil flinging a mic stand skywards before they all ran to each other and wrestled on the floor until Neil’s amp toppled and their weak little arms struggled to prevent it crushing them to death. Then they collapsed on the floor and eventually dragged themselves off stage, Kevin jauntily collecting his undamaged glasses on the way. The long walk back to the dressing room was barred by hundreds of people wanting a piece of Conrad’s ass so I skipped up in the lift and drank half their bourbon – hoho. Then it was off to the 13th Note to party although that nearly didn’t happen when the doorman advised me he wasn’t going to let Neil in ‘cos he was drinking in the streets [again]. All worked out though once we bribed him with $100 [nah, only kidding]. Um, I can’t remember much about the partying except for people continually buying me drinks, even when I was already holding one! There was some arm wrestling going on as I made my goodbyes and stumbled off to find the night bus. I miss those guys already. Still a couple of dates left on their tour – go see!

Last night I went to see Smog as an apology for missing The New Year but went with some trepidation as the general consensus on his set at ATP was that he was rubbish. I didn’t see him there myself apart from that running gag every time we stepped outside into the fog on Saturday (“Is Smog still playing?” etc.). I missed the support because, um, I was too lazy to leave the house earlier. Anyway, Smog for tonight was just Bill Callahan with an electric guitar and his superbly mournful voice. And, hmm, I don’t know what to say about it all really. There’s no denying that’s he’s got some great songs but there was something not quite right going on here. He seemed exceptionally tired, spending a good five minutes between songs sighing and yawning and forming chords on his guitar before dropping his hands heavily to his sides. He did strike up a bit of a rapport with the crowd though, chatting to hecklers and caling for requests. I dunno, I think I just felt he wasn’t bothered enough, that he’d rather not be playing and at one point it really seemed like he was singing his songs over random guitar chordage. I’d definitely go and see him again but I wouldn’t make any huge effort over it in case he wasn’t feeling like putting in any effort either.

Cinematic Orchestra, wee Stuart Braithwaite and Arab Strap today. Most exciting Sunday I’ve had in ages [well, apart from last Sunday…]


Posted: April 24th, 2002, by Simon Minter

I arrived in time to walk through the door and see OXES rocking out, with a high PVC element and an even higher ‘set the tone for a perfect weekend’ element. Truly this was a weekend to remember. Criticisms of ATP I’ve seen so far seem to be based around the premise that this small, independent community thing is in some way inferior to ‘major’ festivals, but everybody – and I mean EVERYBODY – who I spoke to over the weekend, left me thinking “I like this person”. I don’t want to get all emotional, like, and I’m hoping that everyone I spoke to over the weekend wasn’t left thinking “drunken halfwit”, as the weekend for me was equally about the people as well as the music.

That aside, Shellac, huh? One of the best live bands I’ve ever seen – seriously – especially on their Sunday performance which was laser-sharp, super-super-tight and surprisingly humorous. I always imagined Steve Albini to be kind of a nasty guy, but now I think differently. And when, uh, I met him (thanks Marcy, for dragging me over to him) he was FRIENDLY! Even though I must’ve been the fiftieth drunk idiot to want to shake his hand of the hour!

Other highlights: OXES. OXES. OXES. But I don’t want to go on. You can all contact me personally for individualised highlights. Rest assured there were a lot of them.

ATP day by day

Posted: April 24th, 2002, by Adrian Errol


– arrived in plenty of time to see Shellac. They were ok, but kept slowing down songs which was a bit frustrating. Was pretty drunk by the time Oxes started but again they disappointed a little. Entertaining but a bit crap musically. Was completely twatted by the time Dianogah started and got distrated by talking to big shouldered man from Jullander and Luke Younger. Still managed to see most of them though and they were great, very humble too, singer guy said he couldn’t believe so many people turned up to a festival with the bands on the bill. Then upstairs for more beer and Blonde Redhead which didn’t inspire me but I have to admit my attention span was beginning to be affected by the alcohol. So downstairs quick smart for Shipping News who were the best thing I saw all weekend. They were incredible and sounded very little like anything on their two LPs. Like I said they were just damn lovely. In all honesty we couldn’t be arsed about going up stairs for the Breeders in our condition so we just headed for the pub before catching some of Low. Got bored during them and so went back to pub. Now I think I remember seeing Dave, Ady, Paul Ackroyd and some others and even buying them all a drink before deciding I should really go and talk to Marcy and co. So off I went chalet number in hand. Now the chalet ended up being just opposite ours but you’d not have gussed that considering I wandered about for ages trying to find it and ended up in a field at one point. Anyhow found them in the end and drunkenly greated ’em all. Now it wasn’t me who broke that stereo by the way. I think anyway:)


– Feeling a little (read as utterly) atrocious the following morning I felt shellac came too early for me. So I lurked in the chalet for a few extra hours eating pasta. I did see High Dependency Unit and was impressed. So ended up buying most of their stuff. Missed everyone else that afternoon as thought it would be a good idea to drink again. It wasn’t. Did see smog though, well two songs until we decided he wasn’t going to play with his band and also that it was crap, so we left. But still somehow missed the rachels. Did meet mister summerlin in the mechandise stall though which was some consolation. Do Make Say think I thought were excellant and I also got bored with Godspeed. Had to leave early though because I had the chalet key and two of my mates were dead drunk and I had to go let them in. One of ’em was at one point trying to kick the chalet door in and cut his foot pretty badly. So was sitting in chalet at 3am on Sunday morning cleaning his foot up and improvising a bandage until the morning. Fun. Did get a Sunnyvale demo though and the contract isn’t binding. I asked our label legal council Gunther the Badger, you forgot to make me sign it.


– Again I didn’t see many bands but this time it was mostly because I was on a stall selling me records to lots and lots of lovely lovely people. We had to put up with some friendly heckling from mister summerlin about being up at 11am to sell records but it went great. I actually sold everything I took. Met some other lovely people too. It was the whole community/firendly feeling about the afternoon, swopping stuff with the other labels and talking to people like Efrim Godspeed and stuff. Anyhow this was when I turned down the pie. Now I was offered what looked like a slice of very lovely if a little burnt cherry pie. Very kind and everything but hating cherries whether in a pie or out meant that there was no blinking way I was gunna eat that pie. Steak and Kindey? Different story. I did turn it down very nicely though I thought. Anyhow sorry for not eating the pie. I would not have enjoyed it, it would have been wasted and wasting pie should not happen, like, ever. Did see Mission of Burma who I liked lots and also Cheap Trick who I just damn loved. They were so funny and also oddly proud that their bassist had invented the 12 string bass. Plus the plectrum tricks were worth it alone. They were taped all over the mic stands and at one point the guitarist played a chord, threw the plectrum in the air and caught it in his mouth, while taking a new plectrum and playing a bit more before throwing that one into the crowd, spitting the one in his mouth in the air, catching it and playing with that one for a few chords. It was shall we say damn great to watch. plus the whole stadium rock stuff has always made me smile. The Upper Crust were sooooooooo bad it wasn’t funny. As were Silkworm earlier on but they barely even deserve a mention. Anyway the last band were the fall and they sucked by any serious consideration. But I just thought it was entertaining tht it seemed like he’d just asked the three band members the other day if they’d play the gig and then basically ignored them when on the stage. Entertaining overall I suppose. Was only an hour however so didn’t last too long anyway.

Good things I’ve not mentioned:

– the absolutely amazing general atmosphere. So friendly and open.

– meeting tons of random people and getting demos like that one off Marcy I nicked.

– the sunday record stall. I loved those 6 hours. Yes loved. Best thing all weekend.

– amazing situation of diskant and errol chalets with all the waving fun that ensued. Didn’t speak much though:(

Bad things I’ve not mentioned:

– sun burning neck on sunday afternoon

– not meeting people like Greg Kitten, Rob Strong, Kirstie, Neph etc etc

– Lack of oven gloves. Cooking stuff in grill very dangerous without them and I have the burnt fingers to prove it.

– only seeing Shellac play once and on the worst day, the friday.

Basically however I’m not sure how you could fail to have a great time. So many lovely people. So much to do. I loved it, every minute apart from first thing saturday morning when I realised that so much Kronenburg is not meant to be consumed. I did not feel too chipper shall we say. Anyhow GREAT weekend.


Posted: April 24th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

– introducing Steve Albini to Simon Minter
Shellac on Saturday and getting to sit at Albini’s feet and use up an entire film on them
– watching Ian Scanlon force down our gift of pie under our insistent eyes
– Professor Minter’s Saturday night balcony lecture on the subject of boxes
– waving, especially at Adrian Errol’s chalet
OXES vandalising david’s shoes
Rachel’s, Blonde Redhead, Dianogah, The Breeders and Zeni Geva for being great
Todd Trainer. just generally
– Stu making me sandwiches
security man in the pub asking us if we’d been burning paper. not sure if this was due to my flaming shoes and flaming belt and Stu’s flaming shirt or because we’d been burning paper

– not being able to get photographic evidence of the twin Albinis
– Stu taking multiple photos of Simon Minter with ‘celebrities’ and forgetting to use the flash
– Adrian Errol refusing our pie. sob…
– Greg Kitten HIDING AGAIN
– missing most of OXES due to picking up photo pass
Arcwelder and Mission of Burma for not managing to hold my attention. Cheap Trick for being crap and probably getting paid more than all the rest
of the bands put together
– falling asleep during Wire even though they were great
– being too lazy to go to Leeds and see Trail of Dead
– very little fighting action and no swords
– everyone leaving really early on Monday. place was deserted before we even got up.

So, is it next year yet?


Posted: April 24th, 2002, by Stuart Fowkes

good things:

shellac. should be frozen right now and thawed out in thirty years to show people how to make perfect rock music. also, discussions on stage about band members’ beards are a good thing.
six minutes into blonde redhead‘s set, playing ‘bipolar’, warm feeling
simon albini demanding that everyone at atp listen to sonic youth and no other bands
giving ian scanlon pie
discovering that zeni geva are bluddy grate
jack daniel’s
meeting lots and lots of people who are nice and being in a proper ROCK gang
booking one of the bands who were at atp to play audioscope02

bad things:

being ill from too much alcohol, and this being directly responsible for my not meeting steve albini
adrian errol refusing pie
not seeing enough bands
ot being able to get in to see the fall
no sword fights or crazy golf, boo
cheap trick. rubbish trick, more like. also, arcwelder were disappointing, like a rubbish husker du.


Posted: April 23rd, 2002, by Chris H

Hoho. Everyone else must be dealing still with all yesterdays hangovers.

Apart from the stuff I’ve seen before (Low, Godspeed…), I was most impressed by:
The beach. Proper good sand dunes.
Zeni Geva, proper immense metal works and more than 3 people in a band is trying too hard.
PW Long, bloke with acoustic guitar who made Smog look lazy. Yeeha. On tour now but I didn’t catch the name of his band. Whoops.
And that off-kilter instrumental group I can’t remember the name of. You know who I mean.

And I owe apologies to:
anyone I made coffee for over the weekend
anyone who tried to speak to me in the mornings
everyone I didn’t see much because I was looking at bands or dossing in my chalet too much

Blectum From Blechdom, Sleazys, Glasgow

Posted: April 17th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

I braved the Blectum From Blechdom vs Dianogah dilemma last night and went for the girls playing electronics since there is very little of that at ATP and lots of Dianogah. Well, some Dianogah anyway. Seemed like everyone was having traumas though as the venue was pretty quiet and meant my only choice of company was to foist myself on wee stuart Mogwai and his lovely wife who was promoting the gig. So big yay to them. Great band choices too. First up were The Magnificents who I had seen supporting Mogwai but sounded wrong that night apparently. I remember being quite bemused by them at Mogwai and they were certainly much more enjoyable this time. Helped on by John Cummings’ excellent soundman choice of turning everything to ‘FUCKING LOUD’ they ended up coming across like Joy Division fed through an electronic frenzy machine. Doom electro racket or something. It was funny as well, the main singer guy batting his microphone about the place like some slapstick master and barking super vocoder nonsense [‘HELP…HELP….HELP……MEEEEE’]. Fools.

Blectum From Blechdom are two cute american girls with three laptops, a keyboard on a strap, a banjo and a girlish sense of humour. They kind of alternated between crouching beside their laptops pulling off glitchy electronica breaks and some punk rock girl shouting. The best bits were when they were both singing away in front of those booming crunching beats I like so much. The bad bits were when it all got a bit too much on the funny lyrics and you started thinking Moldy Peaches. Kind of hard to describe really but they were fun fun fun. Girls are much more fun than boys, it’s the truth! I should have bought one of their records, duh. They ended up staying at my house as well due to cat fear and were very nice. Even left me a bottle of vodka. Rock!

hirameka hi-fi & electro group, colchester

Posted: April 15th, 2002, by Greg Kitten


i saw hirameka hi-fi and electro group in colchester on saturday. i got drunk but i remember electro group being great and an excellent soundtrack for drinking. some rilly drunk guy liked them so much he threw beer at them and got thrown out. hawhaw! hirameka were fantastic, playing mostly new tunes and pulling out guest guitarist Chris Baldwin for a chaotic version of the Formalists. can’t wait for the new album.


Posted: April 14th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

Simon just mentioned The Internet Archive which is a website that archives past versions of websites. Sniggering at early basic HTML Amazon was all very amusing until we both had the same idea of looking for diskant. Simon’s not been here that long though so wasn’t able to dig as far back as I was and here we have diskant as it was in October 1999!! Note our catchy address of diskant.future.easyspace.com, classy banner ads and boasting of ‘Over 100 Links’. Awww. For me, this is somewhat like stumbling across some high school essays – I’m cringing over my awful web design skills and remembering the trauma of Website of the Month. Dear oh dear. I’m just grateful there’s no evidence of the very first incarnation of diskant which was similar but all the text was in size 4 and we only had three websites.

But what strikes me more now is actually how little diskant has changed in those two years. We’re still yellow, we still have a very similar logo [though it’s not showing up], the diskant icon at the bottom of the page hasn’t changed a pixel and we still cover the same themes. Yet it seems like forever ago.

Haha. Remember when the Mogwai website used to look like this? Sadly I couldn’t find any examples of the icky fleshy pink version.