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All Tomorrow’s Parties 2004

Sonic Youth by Jill

Ahhh, ATP. Every year we get completely overexcited about going and every other year we actually manage to organise ourselves to buy tickets. And then we have the best time of our lives watching too many bands, drinking way too much alcohol and missing amazing bands because there was something good on the telly or we were busy making toast. ATP2000 and ATP2002 were the defining ATPs (or maybe just the good ones) and ATP2004 was described as a reprise, a director’s cut if you will featuring the curating skillz of Mogwai, Tortoise, Shellac, Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus and Foundation. And so, in honour of this, EVERYONE we know turned up. We hassled rather a lot of them in the aftermath to try and remember things about their weekend and most of them managed it. You’ll also be able to spot the smart arses/lazy sods who sent their answers in after the curators of ATP2005 had been announced rendering the final question slightly irrelevant.

Your panel consists of Tom Coogan, Jason Graham, Chris Summerlin, Simon Minter, Marceline Smith, Dave Stockwell, Adrian Willcox, John Coburn, Luke Younger, Hugues Mouton, Chris Haikney, Ady Foley and Stuart Fowkes. Enjoy!

Band of the weekend

Tom: Arthur Lee and Love. Because he delivered with style and grace.

Jason: Shellac for that new song about being on the radio and for being the only band who I was able to make it through an entire set of (barely).

Chris: Lungfish. I’ve never seen them before and they’re one of my favourite bands. They owned the stage and I was just the right side of drunk for them to be like a warm blanket.

Simon: Lightning Bolt! I was eager to see them after hearing great things about them for months – then, when the time came, I didn’t see them at all! Even a huge crowd of people blocking my view of the awkwardly-placed band couldn’t stop me loving the crazy, intense, manic noise being produced by just two – two! – loons who I have still yet to ever see.

Marceline: I want to say Lightning Bolt but my brain is shouting SHELLAC! Lighting Bolt sounded amazing even from the bar, Shellac sounded amazing even from outside the venue. And Shellac played the best set ever at my birthday party the day before ATP.

Dave: Boredoms. Performing as 3 drummers conducted by synthsman Eye, they were an astonishing musical force. The really bizarre slot of 2:30 in the afternoon only made their music seem all the trippier as you went from being outside in the fresh air and warmth to a dank dark room to see these guys freak out. At its best, the music sounded like Glenn Branca composing trance music for drums. Breathtaking.

Adrian: Mogwai – best I’ve seen them in ages. I was also extremely drunk and happy by this point which helped.

John: Trans Am were amazing and were the first band of the weekend to suit the big stage. The same goes for Lungfish, who were an absolute tonic. And Uzeda were good because they rocked hard while I was shitfaced.

Luke: Lungfish: Totally hypnotic and trance like. Topped off by the unique presence of vocalist Dan Higgs makes the whole thing a totally intense experience. Wolf Eyes: Total fucking power. Triumphant as fuck!

Hugues: Uzeda, because I knew they would rock, I wanted them to rock, and they rocked. And it’s like watching my uncle giving Albini guitar lessons.

ChrisH: Boredoms. Take that, hungover hipsters.

Ady: Weekend 1: Boredoms, for being so spot on. Weekend 2: Sonic Youth, they were well on form.

Stu: Medals to Boredoms and Lungfish for being rather super, but I’m going to break with what I assume is convention and go for Cat Power, since I was one of the few dozen people who could actually hear her, and it was the first time I’d seen her live after falling in love with her records. She was by turns infuriating and wonderful, and nothing else quite made the hairs on the back o f my neck stand up like her set.

Your “I don’t get it” award for most disappointing band.

Tom: Cat Power. And I saw it coming but went along twice. Sucker.

Jason: Lungfish. It was just slow and fucking silly to me. The singer looked like the guy from the Smurfs and the kids lapped it up. I’m a jerk.

Chris: Vincent Gallo. We have a joke band that sounds like his set called Philip John Welding’s Bad Jam.

Simon: Turbonegro. Well, was it really a disappointment? I’d never heard them before, but I’d heard of them. But really, totally, what the heck was this? Awful, awful macho heavy metal nonsense which I’m sure was deeply ironic and deeply amusing – but if I’d wanted The Darkness I would’ve gone to another

Marceline: Isis. It’s just noise! and IT HURTS. Give me Part Chimp any day.

Dave: Converge sounded atrocious, like a bag of old piss or something. I did leave after less than one song. All the other crap bands I wasn’t expecting too much of anyway.

Adrian: Papa M

John: Mike Watt and The Second Men were pretty abysmal. And that Icelandic band on Sunday were worse than bad.

Luke: Vincent Gallo/The Shins/Modest Mouse

Hugues: Mike Watt and the Secondmen. There was worse bands, but those never played in the Minutemen.

ChrisH: All the slow rock ones. Sludgey riffs are b o r i n g. Why put Acid Mothers Temple on when I ‘m just arriving as well?

Ady: The Dishes

Stu: Nobukazu Takemura was disappointingly boring, but not so bad as to warrant a ‘worst band’ slur – just fairly inconsequential. I think I was expecting some more interesting electronica, that’s all. Mike Watt’s covers band was also shit.

Cat Power by Jill

Most pleasantly surprising good band of the weekend

Tom: Har Mar Superstar. Consumate entertainer. And nice man.

Jason: Boring choice but Lightning Bolt. Never heard them before the weekend. Chan Marshall deserves a mention for being the most beautiful lady I have seen in 2004.

Chris: Charalambides.

Simon: Lungfish. After many ‘well, they’re okay…’ thoughts in my mind after hearing various snippets of their music here and there, I was surprised by the intensity of the performance. And the lead singer’s Allen Ginsberg-turned-aggressive-tramp turn was a treat.

Marceline: Boredoms for being utterly brilliant and not just cleverly arty.

Dave: Trans Am. In the past, their records always annoyed me intensely. Onstage, a good majority of their set was actually really rather fantastic. I may be forced to rethink my opinion of them at this rate.

Adrian: Philip Roebuck

John: I didn’t expect a great deal from Uzeda, actually. A real gaff…

Luke: Black Dice, only because last time they were rubbish and OOIOO.

Hugues: The Boredoms. Didn’t think that much of them before.

ChrisH: Prefuse 73

Ady: Arcwelder, ES

Stu: I would say Uzeda, for being a superb melange of lots of other good bands, but we saw them supporting Shellac in London a few days before, which removes the ‘suprising’ part. I hadn’t heard Boredoms before, but I was expecting them to be as skull-obliteratingly great as they were. Probably one of the bands I didn’t see. For me, there was a real lack of bands I hadn’t heard (of) before who blew me away as there have been in previous years.

How long were you sober for?

Tom: Too long

Jason: Upon arrival at Camber Sands, about thirty minutes? BUT all Sunday, no alcohol but way too much grass (like walking on pillows and feeling like I’m going to be sick off a cloud)

Chris: I don’t know. Not long.

Simon: Longer than at ATP 2002 (my first one) – prolonged illness and ‘funny feelings’ precluded me from the alcoholocaust of the previous time. In a way, I’m as pleased about that as I am disappointed.

Marceline: I was neither sober nor drunk at any point but somewhere in the middle thanks to severe throat damage. I am never shouting through an entire Tortoise gig again.

Dave: Oh, for a good hour or two after I got there. Then I bumped into some old friends…

Adrian: None of Friday, about half of Saturday and til about 8pm on the Sunday.

John: Can’t remember.

Luke: I’m not too sure.

Hugues: Can’t remember.

ChrisH: All of it

Ady: Quite a lot. A bit less

Stu: I wasn’t drunk until Mogwai, but ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ was the trigger for a whole cement mixer-load of Jack Daniel’s.

Most famous person you met and most stupid thing said to famous person

Tom: Chan Marshall/John Slade. I argued with Chan Marshall about fruit. She was pretending she thought a damson was a strawberry (tssss!)

Jason: Avoided famouses (and people in general really sadly) but came closest to saying “hi” to Mike Watt, I just stood face to face to him smiling for about ten seconds, which admittedly is pretty stupid in itself. Oh, Tom did coax John Mogwai into our chalet on the Sunday but I don’t think I said anything stupid to him (just stuff that was boring)

Chris: I said to Todd Trainer that I couldn’t stop to talk because I was missing Shellac.

Simon: Wee Stuart Braithwaite. Well, I say “met”, when I actually mean “sat next to Marceline like a plum whilst she carries on a nice chat with him for several minutes” – thanks for the introduction Marcy!

Marceline: Umm, wee Stuart Mogwai. Entire conversation:
SB: Hi Marceline!
MS: Hey
SB: You just sitting out here?
MS: Aye
SB: …
MS …
SB: See you later, then!
MS: bye!
I also shoved past Steve Albini completely unnecessarily to pre-empt any ‘first person to touch Albini’ competitions.

Dave: I couldn’t bring myself to talk to Vincent Gallo because he was just too disgustingly handsome. I did almost knock Chan Marshall over in the dark of the downstairs stage one night though.
Adrian: William E. Whitmore, banjo wielding solo man. Honestly can’t remember but he did manage to sleep across the entire double sofa bed using up the double quilt, 4 pillows and a sleeping bag. 8 people slept in that chalet, many of them cold as a result.

John: I only spoke to one famous-ish person, the bassist out of Uzeda. Whilst 3000% shitfaced, I tried to speak to him while he was filming something on his digital camera, and probably ruined his film as a consequence.

Luke: Probably Thurston Moore, although I was totally raped by that point so I can’t remember.

Hugues: John Coburn. I asked him if he wanted a bite of my pizza slice. He ate the full bloody thing.

ChrisH: Famous people are boring.

Ady: I didn’t

Stu: I didn’t meet anyone famous, I don’t think. Much happier chatting away to people I knew but hadn’t seen for ages.

Most fun thing you did when you could have been watching bands

Tom: Hanging out with my friends watching the Goonies and eating stuff you shouldn’t eat.

Jason: Told the sickest joke in history and couldn’t stop myself laughing for about an hour.

Chris: Sold records

Simon: Lay on my back on a sand dune whilst Boredoms were on, experiencing a very very strange sensation akin to the feeling of being on top of a very tall, very precarious mountaintop and not being able to move without falling hundreds of feet.

Marceline: Read an atrociously bad fanzine while watching the pre-race coverage of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race on TV. Oh, hang on, that was really boring. Gambling, then.

Dave: Got some fresh air, caught up with a lot of people I hadn’t seen in too long.

Adrian: Sell records, although no where as well as Mister Alan Bearos

John: Playing football with John Peel. And by that I mean he watched me and my friends play football. And by that I mean he walked past us when we played football.

Luke: There were a few!

Hugues: Play football on the beach, which is how I lost my glasses and missed the Tom and Jerry show, which I understand was waaaay better than the Secondmen. But still, it was fun.

ChrisH: Swim

Ady: Pub/chalet

Stu: I think we spent Kid606’s DJ set inventing the greatest footballing manoeuvre known to mankind – the Ultimate Stepover.

Your chalet’s catchphrase of the weekend

Tom: ‘Have you seen Boogie Nights?’
(In Al Pacino voice) ‘Fuuuuuuuuck you!’ and ‘Whatcha gonna do aboudit….asshole?!’

Jason: One of a number of Al Pacino quotes (Mr Tom Coogan’s fault). My personal favourite one being “why don’t you buy a pack of gum, I’ll teach you how to chew it”. That and “turn the fucking smoke alarm off”

Chris: Wake up Dave

Simon: YOU FUCKIN MOOK!, I expect.

Marceline: COUGHCOUGHCOUGH. And ‘When are we scheduling dinner?’

Dave: “That shower is pure fucking evil”

Adrian: ‘That’s like putting hub caps on a tractor’.

John: “Who wants to pop over to the shop to get a card for the electricty meter so I can have a shower and then maybe eat some food?”

Luke: “C-Y-B-O-R-G” after the Bryan May song of the same name.

Hugues: Abandon all hope, nooo!!!

Stu: MOOK. That and the bodily movement of the weekend, the Ultimate Stepover.

Most fun thing you did at the beach

Tom: Sat in the fucking freezing cold drinking beer with Chris, Chris and Gareth at 4 am (the photo’s funny).

Jason: Walked back to the safety of our chalet.

Chris: Got philosophical with Steve Malley

Simon: Watched indie kids trying to climb the sand dunes and falling over repeatedly. I, on the hand, strode confidently across the scene like a hero.

Marceline: Watched Simon and Stu defacing some twee indie boy’s sand drawings on Monday morning.

Dave: Breathed in. Didn’t fall over.

Adrian: Didn’t make it again. Too drunk on the Friday and couldn’t be arsed after that.

John: Heckled a kiteboarder.

Luke: Walked around and ate a Twister.

Hugues: Play cricket. Not.

ChrisH: Breakfast the morning after.

Ady: Wkd 1: the only thing we did was to eat breakfast at the Kit Kat Cafe on the Monday morning, not really fun though. Wkd 2: didn’t get as far as the beach, the weather was crap.

Stu: ‘Enhanced’ other people’s meticulously drawn sand sculptures.


Best thing you bought

Tom: Vod-ka!

Jason: A Chuckles key ring for the lady I love

Chris: Bombay Bad Boy

Simon: Well, the best thing I could’ve bought was one of a wide selection of merchandise in the Pontins shop which was basically pure abuse: keyrings stating “Spurs fan? I FUCKING HATE YOU!” and so on.

Marceline: The Lightning Bolt DVD. Except I still haven’t actually watched it…

Dave: I only bought a packet of crisps, but at least they were Space Invaders.

Adrian: Toothbrush with an approximation of my name on it! I think it was Adam.

John: Didn’t buy anything.

Luke: Probably the Wolf Eyes lathe cut 7″ that was glued to a techno 12″ that had the back of it scratched to fuck by a guitar string.

Hugues: Nothing, but I’ve been offered a magnificent key ring that reads “souvenir from Camber Sands” without any drawing or picture or actual souvenir in/on it, as well as a sugar candy that says “suck on this”. It was my birthday.

ChrisH: The Boredoms hieroglyphics Tshirt and loads of records this year.

Ady: Vibracathedral Orchestra and Nina Nastasia stuff.

Stu: Stuffed hamster in a paper bag.

Who booked the best bands?

Tom: Tortoise, oddly.

Jason: Tortoise then Mogwai then a long way back Shellac (bad picks)

Chris: Tortoise. And Sonic Youth 2nd weekend

Simon: Mogwai.

Marceline: Mogwai for their symmetrical LOUD/QUIET split between the stages.

Dave: Tortoise.

Adrian: Mogwai, except for Lungfish though who were GREAT!

John: Tortoise.

Luke: Sonic Youth

Hugues: I’d say Tortoise

Ady: Close call between Tortoise and Mogwai. sonic Youth but the Foundation day was great too.

Stu: I’d go for Tortoise – I think their day had the greatest variety of different, interesting things to be seen, which in a way is the point of ATP. And they had BOREDOMS and LUNGFISH, who were two highlights for me.

Where are Lightning Bolt playing next?

Tom: Shea stadium

Jason: On a stage for a change hopefully.

Chris: Not ATP.

Simon: In a cupboard underneath somebody’s stairs, I expect.

Marceline: The MOON.

Dave: Atop Mount Olympus.

Adrian: Chalet 355

John: A locked cupboard in the middle of boarded up house on a desert island underneath the ocean which is in space.

Luke: Probably in America.

Hugues: Providence USA, probably. That or my arse. Of course.

Ady: Somewhere fucking stupid

Stu: In a little spaceship in my EYES, like in Inner Space. Little sods. I can’t sleep now.

Who do you think will curate next year, and who would you like it to be?

Tom: I heard a rumour that it’s Jason Graham. Friday is headlined by Mr T, Saturday by Henry Rollins and Sunday by Millwall FC (and Jason).

Jason: Aphex Twin (time for another boring electronica year?) but I think Mike Watt would do a good job or obviously FUGAZI or MUDHONEY would be most fun of all.

Chris: I reckon it’ll be The Fall but I think it should be me.

Simon: I think it will be Jake & Dinos Chapman, Vincent Gallo and Throbbing Gristle. I’d like it to be Stereolab, or Chris Summerlin.

Marceline: We decided on Stereolab. Also good would be Trail of Dead, Optimo or Nintendo.

Dave: I’d say Le Tigre, but haven’t they just signed to Universal? Maybe Sleater Kinney should get the call-up instead. Personally, I’d like to see a little diversification: The Def Jux boys, Fennesz, Birchville Cat Motel, or maybe just Khanate. Or Andrew WK.

Adrian: well since the 2005 curators have been announced this is a little late. At least the curators look a little different. Have to wait until the line ups are announced before buying tickets though I think. For me personally I really don’t know. I’m pleased I think though that they’ve thrown open the doors to new types of people. Might end up being terrible though!

John: Haven’t they already decided? I think I’d be quite a good curator.

Luke: I bet they extend it to three weekends, and I bet RE-TG gets cancelled because of poor ticket sales. So I think it will be Throbbing Gristle, the Chapman brothers and Vincent Gallo. Am I right?

Hugues: I don’t know, whoever won’t invite Arcwelder I guess.

ChrisH: It should be Bjork.

Ady: I thought maybe PJ Harvey or Nick Cave would be involved and there were rumours of Vincent Gallo and the Chapman Brothers that since proved true. I’d like to see Captain Beefheart or John Peel.

Stu: I think it will be Jake & Dinos Chapman, Vincent Gallo and Craig Charles. I’d like Kathleen Hanna to do it, so she could put on loads of cool girl bands and Kill Rock Stars types, and I’m sure she’d have a few brilliant surprise too (reforming Bikini Kill for a one off would be a start). Wire would do a good job, I reckon – loads of cool bands along with all that electronica Colin Newman seems to be involved with on Swim.

ATP Website

Sonic Youth/Cat Power photos by Jill at www.nunuworldmusic.co.uk
Shellac photo from here