ATP: A Review

Last weekend I went to ATP Versus The Fans 2: The Fans Strike Back. For convenience, I shall refer to it as ATP for the rest of this post. But don’t be expecting some long insightful review from me, because there won’t be one. Not because I was too busy partying too hard to remember anything, as I wasn’t, but simply because my memory has failed me and I can’t remember what any of bands were like. Before I go any further, I would like to mention that although my introduction didn’t win, it was posted on a board along with some of the other entries. Which was nice.

At some point in the weekend I decided to employ the ‘watch twenty minutes of as many bands as possible’ technique, which is never a good idea. So here’s run down of everything I saw. 

The following bands I saw twenty minutes or less of, and felt that they were either boring, un-engaging, shit, or all three:

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, The Acorn, Beruit (who I was looking forward to seeing, but was so dull I went for a terrible Pizza Hut buffet instead), Parts And Labor, Grails, School Of Seven Bells, Killing Joke, Young Marble Giants (more like Old Shit Giants amiright?), Shearwater, Jeffery Lewis.

The following bands were good:

HEALTH – I’d not seen them before and they didn’t disappoint. Though they come across as a tad contrived at times, they were still very enjoyable. Plus their drummer plays loud, which is always good.

Fuck Buttons – last year I thought they were very boring. This year they seemed a lot better. Partly because I was fairly drunk (OMGZ!!) and partly because with their new material they seem to have become comfortable with the fact that they’re more of an electro band than a noise band.

Future Of The Left – easily the best stage patter of the weekend (“FESTIVAL OF FLANNEL SHIRTS AND BEARDS”), but they suffered from playing on the atmosphere killing main stage.

Qui – I caught the last half of these and they were pretty good. Kind of blues meets Fugazi vibe. A nice surprise.

The Mae Shi – good not great. They’re a bit yappy at times. They got their sheet out. That’s it.

This Will Destroy You – post-rock that didn’t suck. I was as surprised as anyone.

Errors – like Holy Fuck but Scottish. An enjoyable twenty minutes.

!!! – they got a bit jam band at times, but still good for a dance.

Antipop Consortium – pretty cool it was too late for me to pay proper attention. Not as back pack hip hop as I thought they might be.

These bands were better than good:

Lords – not only was it very refreshing to see a good British DIY band play on a very American bill, but they were also very good. Like ZZ Top meet Fugazi or something. 

Harvey Milk – for reason I can’t recall, I only caught the last twenty minutes of these (it’s a theme) but what I saw was pretty damn good. I believe they were missing a guitarist. I didn’t notice. One of the best bands I saw all weekend. I’m a bit gutted I missed the beginning of their set.

Bands that were awesome but were not as good as The Jesus Lizard:

Devo – goes without saying really. One of the two reasons I bought a ticket. Probably the only band that worked well on the main stage. 

Andrew WK – the most bizarre set I think I’ve ever seen. It featured a guy named Bad Brilliance who had a large balloon for a head. All he did was yell “HOLY SHIT! BAD BRILLIANCE! HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT! BAD BRILLIANCE!”. Andrew WK said “you can do whatever you want” at least twice. He said “party” a million times. Yes it would have been better with a full band. But it was still the third best thing I saw all weekend.

Bands that were as good as The Jesus Lizard:

The Jesus Lizard – you could see their families watching from the side of the stage. Imagine if when you were thirteen, your parents took you to a music festival because your dad’s old band were playing a reunion gig and then it turned out he was in The Jesus Lizard. What would you do? You’d be pretty fucking stoked. They played twice. They were awesome both nights. If you didn’t see them, you missed out.

Bands who I missed, but wanted to see:

Marnie Stern – she clashed with The Jesus Lizard on Saturday night. I choose to watch David Yow crowd-surf to the opening bars of ‘Puss’. A wise decision I think.

Sleep – technically I actually saw about ten minutes of these, but I was way to tired to pay proper attention so I gave up. You win some, you lose some.


And that was my weekend. Not bad, apart from when some guy called me a cunt because I didn’t have any beer. I hate festivals.


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