Friday, 4 May 2007

Live Review: All Tomorrow’s Parties – Day 3

Cameraman assisted by scrumpy

The great thing about music is that everyone has a different opinion. The greater thing about Galactic Mystery Solvers is that it has two. Without further ado.

Papa M: Day Three begins with a solo set from Dave Pajo, who seems to turn up at every ATP and to do something completely different each time. This time he shows some judgement by treating the hung-over Sunday afternoon crowd to a hushed solo set.

(1) Pajo’s no Will Oldham or Bill Callahan, and is better as a team-player. His shy, folky tales of relationships gone awry are sometimes reductively simple.

(2) Through quiet humility and determination, plus a brilliant cover of ‘Mary of the Wild Moor’, he’s the only act this weekend to completely silence the festival crowd.

Dirty Three

(1) Warren Ellis banters, karate-kicks and reels around the stage. Between Ellis’ enthusiasm and Jim White’s commitment to playing jazz drums during every performance across the weekend, the Dirty Three encapsulate all that is inspiring about this festival.

(2) Three middle-aged men playing difficult post-rock in a glorified shopping mall.

A Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra

( (1) Band of the weekend by a stretch. The beefed up ASMtZO has ditched its watery Godspeed approach in favour of howled vocals and towering riffs. Not a million miles from Lift to Experience, Josh Pearson’s old band (I wish the festival guide had mentioned that…), but altogether more focused and impassioned. The only act of the weekend, apart from Nick Cave, to adequately fill the ridiculous Millennium Dome style tent. Also, perfect music for bungee jumping.

(2) I’m not wrong: A Silver Mt. Zion, Live in Lyon, April 2007-05-04 and in particular ‘One Million Died To Make This Sound’

Cat Power and the Dirty Delta Blues Band (who are: Judah Bauer (“Mister Judah Bauer!”) of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jim White (durr), one of the Dalta 72 (looks ill) and a bass dude™).

(1) The last time Cat Power played ATP, she was drunk, giggling, tuned up for 15 minutes, played half of a song, stopped, giggled, turned on the house lights, tuned up, crowd left. Today she sashays around the stage, toying with the crowd, flirting with Bauer, singing the strongest songs off ‘The Greatest’, plus crowd-pleasing covers of ‘New York New York’, ‘The Dark End of the Street’, ‘Tracks of My Tears’ and mashing up Gnarls Barkley and Patsy Cline on ‘Crazy’, all of which suggests great things for her second covers record, continuing the country-soul-big-band theme.

(2) Joss Stone.

Bill Callahan:

(1) This guy used to step out with Chan Marshall. Now he has Joanna Newsom on his arm. He wears nipple-high white slacks and a button-down shirt, and sings about how he doesn’t like women all that much. What’s the big secret?

(2) Callahan is playing second fiddle in indie-gossip hell, sandwiched between his his current girlfriend, whose arrival means his set gets cut short, and his ex, who upstages him by playing the main stage with a supergroup.

None of this matters. Callahan’s set is brilliant.

Good posture goes a long way with indie sirens

Joanna Newsom

(1) Otherworldly genius and fetching indie pixie woman

(2) Isn’t all this adoration a bit creepy? Would this crowd be snaking around the venue for an ugly bloke who played fussy 15-minute harp songs about elves?

The fanboys win: Newsom’s set, half ‘Milk Eyed Mender’, half ‘Ys’, rearranged (yet again) for a four piece band, is, uh, “spellbinding”, and “charming”, and “bewitching”, and Newsom is “a delight”, and is wearing “a dress”.

"Rolling down the street, smoking indo..."

Time to get that out of the system. Time, indeed, for Grinderman. Strange things afoot: Grinderman are joined onstage by Bobby Gillespie. Bobby Gillespie used to play drums in the Jesus and Mary Chain. The Jesus and Mary Chain have just reunited and are, simultaneously (if you ignore the time difference), headlining Coachella. There, they are joined onstage by Scarlett Johanssen. I can’t quite fathom the cosmic significance of all this. Maybe, somewhere in Russia, Thora Birch just played guest keyboards for My Bloody Valentine? Anyway, Grinderman are a perfect closing act: Gillespie only adds to the dumb noise quotient, looking gormless and waving a tambourine while the band, erm, grind out nasty, deafening blues.

(1) excellent beards

(2) Nick, that moustache.

1 comment:

c-uniq said...

Word! Little to add, other than that I reckon cat power was a snatch lamer than you made out, and that "exhibited artist" Tara Jane O'Neil, who closed the whole thing for me, was bang-awesome, with her start-quiet-end-loud thing except she took everyone with her and no-one objected to the "comforting dissonance" (pitchfork), whereas they perhaps might not have done so had she gone off like that from the off. She threw some shaky percussion shakers into the crowd and the ensuing squabbles were broken up by the first active security i saw all festival. Big bald men in polo shirts with maglites. They calmed the whole place down alrighty.

Oh and Faun Fables were shite and Digital Primitivs funked the place out briefly with their shouty.