All Tomorrow’s Parties

Last weekend, I was at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead. It’s unusual as music festivals go: it’s held in a holiday camp, which is great for those who, like me, find that the pleasures of actual tent-in-a-field camping are no match for those of beds and indoor plumbing.

This ATP was curated by The Breeders, who do, of course, rock quite hard. And, hey, it was their party, so they got to do a lot.

The Breeders playing on the main stage
Kim Deal
Kim again
And one last shot of Kim

Annoyingly, I didn’t get as many usable shots of Kelley at the gig.

Kelley Deal
Kelley playing No Aloha

Kelley also did two “Knitting with Kelley” sessions.

Kelley teaching people how to knit

I’m told Kelley sang a number with the Frogs at their show, but I didn’t see it. However, I did see both Kim and Kelley sing Regálame Esta Noche with Mariachi El Bronx. I really wish I’d taken my camera to the MEB show. I hadn’t heard of them before (or, in fact, of most of the bands playing the festival). They turn out to be an all-mariachi-music side project of punk band The Bronx, whose regular show I also didn’t manage to see. But I thought MEB were probably the best band I saw that I hadn’t heard of before.

Also particularly good were Blood Red Shoes. An astonishingly rich sound for just guitar and drums. These pictures completely fail to capture how good they were:

Laura-Mary Carter of Blood Red Shoes
… and Simon Ansell likewise

Tricky’s show seemed good; he was busily playing tracks from his forthcoming album Knowle West Boy, and they seemed pretty good. Annoyingly, though, he was scheduled opposite the Breeders, so we only caught the end of his set. Getting in late meant we couldn’t find a good place to stand, so all my pictures were lousy. Except for this one, where the motion blur somehow makes it all work:

Tricky dancing manically

Some other acts I liked but didn’t get any usable pictures of:

  • Kimya Dawson. I went in expecting to thoroughly dislike her show, so I’m particularly impressed she overcame my preconceptions. I commented to a friend that a collaboration between Ms Dawson and John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) would be worth listening to. Fanboys both, we cheered when she mentioned that she’d already worked with him.

  • Holy Fuck. (I have to assume that these guys want to piss off radio stations. Note also that their second album was called LP.) A lot bleepier than anything else I saw, but that’s not a bad thing in my book.

  • Foals. I think these guys are just in the process of making it really big — I knew one of their songs (Electric Bloom) despite not having heard of the band. They probably deserve it, too; the live show was really impressive.

  • And, of course, the Throwing Muses. I’m not as big a Kristin Hersh fanboy as some people I could name, but this was a great show even for those who aren’t.