Author Archives: Ed Sprake

ArcTanGent 2015 – Friday– The Middle

After day one of ArcTanGent and an awesome line up, I woke up to a slow but steady influx of new campers, those that either couldn’t get the Thursday off, or weren’t prepared to stump up the extra tenner for an awesome Thursday line-up. Their loss really. Still, they were up for a pretty damned stunning 2 day line-up for the Friday and Saturday, so they made a fine choice coming along!

Here’s my Friday for you; First up were…

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster – Arc Stage

A suitably riffy start to the day, distinctly suitable for starting the day off and was also one of the first outings for their new album.

Quadrupède – Yokhai Stage

Wonderful math rock from this duo, uplifting, soring sounds played with grace and ease. Beautifully and listenably complex.

Trojan Horse – Arc Stage

Back to the Arc for a band that I have seen many times before, I love Trojan Horse’s ridiculously varied palate from proggy hammond to flat out hard and nasty. An incredible mix of style and substance that translated really well to the big stage.

The Fierce And The Dead – Yokhai Stage

Complex, compelling and intelligent interplay of guitars and bass from Matt Stevens & Steve Cleaton with a driven baground of bass and drums from Kev Feazy and Stuart Marshall. An excellent performance as per usual from these guys, a tight yet relaxed performance of some amazing tunes.

Pocket Apocalypse – PX3 Stage

My first outing to the smaller stage on the Friday for an earnest and incredibly intense performance of their particular brand of math tinged post rock.

Body Hound – Arc Stage

A bit gutted that I missed the vast majority of these guys, the last 5 minutes that I saw was really daftly energetic top notch stuff. Hence only the one photo… I really need to catch these guys live properly at some point!

Valerian Swing – Bixler Stage

I bought the last album by this band befor I knew they were playing and they are excellent. Energetic twiddly mat rock with a good back end crunch. Well worth a watch!

Ohhms – Arc Stage

The heaviest act that I’d seen by far at this point at the weekend. Barking mad. They put on a fantastic show!

PSOTY – Bixler Stage

Another packed tent at Bixler for this band.

That Fucking Tank – Arc Stage

Saw these guys before and they usually put on an amazing show, it seemed to be missing a little of their usual dynamism this time around for me though. Still they create some amazing sounds for a 2 piece.

OBE – PX3 Stage

Rifftastic mathy goodness from that London, including Knopfler style headbands and an amazing guitar contortionist. Brilliant.

Delta Sleep – Bixler

A well attended expert performance from Delta Sleep, showcasing some new material along with a good mix of old favourites that the crowd reacted to very well indeed.

Sonance – PX3 Stage

Angry, abraisive and heavy as mountains. Almost precisely who I would expect tectonic plates grinding against one another to sound, but maybe louder.

Helms Alee – Bixler Stage

Quite simply one of my stand out performances of the weekend, excellent riffy, heavy rock. played with finesse. Stunning.

The Fall Of Troy – Arc Stage

I have to confess that I’d not heard of this band before they announced for ATG, but it certainly seemed that the vast majority of the crowd weren’t in the same boat, there were an awful lot of people who were very up for this, and they did not disappoint, covering every inch of the stage, many times over and bringing new levels of energy and mayhem to the evening.

Blanck Mass – Bixler Stage

The distinct curve ball of the evening. very electronic and exceptionally different to almost every other act here, Blanck Mass started off with a drone, turned up to full volume, just to play with our minds, slowly evolving into something with a distinct pulse, driving the audience into a different headspace.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Arc Stage

The headliner of the evening. Distinctly the storm after the calm, in the darkness after the day had passed. Unfortunatley I missed Greg’s leap from the Arc Stage scaffolding, but what I did see was a perfectly timed chaos. Intense and relentless, a fantastic show.

Emma Ruth Rundle – PX3 Stage

And the perfect way to finish off the evening before heading to the fire and then to an exhausted and happy bed.
Emma Ruth Rundle was the complete antithesis to TDEP, calm, measured, beautiful with a dark and twisted edge. Almost fragile and incredibly compelling.

Posted in Blog, Festivals

ArcTanGent 2015 – Thursday – The Beginning

If you’ve read my meagre ramblings about ArcTanGent festival now, you might know that it’s the third incarnation of this beast and also my third time there. What you might not know is I don’t get out to fields full of music much these days and this is the only festival I’ve been to since Supernormal in 2011 (which was also awesome by the way…). This is also the first year that I’ve had a proper press pass, thanks to the lovely Echoes and Dust.

The past two years were practically my perfect festival experience, summed up, basically three days of some very oddly beautiful music played by a right bunch of talented musicians and frequented by people there to listen, not (just) to get wasted and (in the overwhelmingly vast majority) not to behave like eedjits. Consequently, I was rather hopeful that this would be more of the same, but different none-the-less.

I was not disappointed in any way shape or form and while I may not personally have liked every band that played, I can certainly appreciate the talent, effort and energy put into each and every performance I saw over the weekend. Considering that I saw at least part of 45 bands’ sets at ArcTanGent this year, I figured that I’d split this up into a few posts so it didn’t get too much all at once…

Thursday: Returning Spectacles and Introducing Newcomers.

The Thursday at ATG is an extra, you’ll pay about a tenner extra to get in above the very reasonably priced weekend ticket. In my eyes, this is more than worth it. There was only a single stage running on the Thursday at the previous two ATGs, but this year a BBC Introducing stage was added in the smallest stage, so we had the PX3 stage with some new bands as well as Yokhai with favourites from previous years up and running from about 3pm onwards.

 Alpha Male Tea Party – Yokhai

Seen this bunch of nutcases many times before, and will likely see them many times again. Fantastic catchy, mathy, energetic awesomeness with some of the best bass face in the world. Love these guys to bits. They’re also good friends with Cleft and played a rather awesome riff medley together as their set came to an end and Cleft’s set started. You can even watch it in all it’s rifftastic glory here!

Cleft – Yokhai

How do one guitarist and one drummer make this much awesome noise? Beats the life out of me, but I’m baffled in an entirely positive way. Brilliant band (and two of the nicest people you’ll meet to boot…).

Memory Of Elephants – BBC Introducing (PX3)

Not a band that I’d heard before, so they were a very pleasant discovery for me, leanings towards post rock in places and mathy in others, nice and heavy indeed. They share a bass player with Leg who I found out about afterwards and are also awesome.

Mylets – Yokhai

One from the venerable and excellent Sargent House label. One young guy and an awful lot of pedals, electronics and raw talent. I’m very much in two minds though, I really want to like it, it think the music is fantastic, innovative, clever and incredibly well put together. His voice , however, is a little too much for me. Absolutely incredible talent though.

Iran Iran – BBC Introducing (PX3)

These guys played last year at ATG, good to see them back as well. Complicated poly-rhythmic mathy goodness which comes across beautifully live.

Mutiny On The Bounty – Yokhai

One of the most energetic live bands I’ve ever seen. Saw them touring in Manchester earlier this year so I knew what to expect and wasn’t disappointed, they put on a fantastic show here as well. Instrumental, riffy math for those of you like that kind of thing.

Hysterical Injury – BBC Introducing (PX3)

Decribing themselves as alternative, grunge and noisepop, I’m genuinely not sure whether they are any of these things. They are a two piece consisting of bass, drums and vocal, and they do make a mighty and very entertaining noise. I really enjoyed their set. Some images from around the tent and general shenanigans in this lot as well…

LITE – Yokhai

Japanese, bubbly, enthusiastic, forward looking and exuberant math rock. A welcome return after last year’s performance, got the crowd bouncing in a welcome warm up for what was to come…

Oxygen Thief – BBC Introducing (PX3)

Played at the first ATG as a solo set with acoustic guitar, back this year as a full band, headlining the BBC Introducing stage to a fully packed and overflowing tent, much more raucous than the last time, somewhat more matured and eased into their material. A great performance.

65daysofstatic – Yokhai

65daysodstatic. What more can I say, they did what they do and they do it very well indeed. There were a couple of technical hitches in the set, and with the amount of electronics they employ, I’m surprised there weren’t more, any gaps were deftly and somewhat bizarrely filled by a politically charged tirade against the tory goverment. It seemed to go down OK though, and the music that surrounded their words was done with their usual aplomb. A great way to round off a fantastic start to another year of ArcTanGent.

 

So, the only band that I missed (at least all bar their last song) were AK/DK, I had to get some lunch at some point after all. They sounded fantastic from where I was eating my pizza anyhow, I just don’t have any photographic evidence… Do check them out though if you’re into two drummers and a boatload of home-made analogue synthy goodness. Excellent stuff all round really!

Posted in Blog, Digital Photography, Events, Festivals Tagged , , |

Poor, neglected blog… (And a new album cover!)

So, the last proper post on here was in October 2014.

That means roughly 11 months of being a tiny little bit rubbish about keeping the blog side of this site going. Life does tend to get in the way at times, not bad things, I hasten to add…

I’ve actually had another album cover with my photography on it, commissioned by the ever charming Charlie Barnes for his album More Stately Mansions which, by all accounts is a beautiful piece of work. Highly, highly recommended if you like that big morbid death pop kinda thing… Also, you’ll notice a few more of mine being used as his press shots and for an upcoming single as well.

 

In other news, I seem to have been doing a rather significant number of gig shoots for the rather wonderful Echoes and Dust. If you’re at all into the weird and wonderful ends of the various musical spectra, it would be more than worth your while to drop across there and check them out for reviews, features, gig suggestions, and photos. If you’re interested, you can find the last 15 or so of my contributions to them here, or just all of the E&D photos here

It’s also reached that time of year again when the annual pilgrimage to ArcTanGent has now happened, photos of mine are starting to appear on Echoes and Dust, and a full run down will appear on here in time. Watch this space, it’s going to be worth it…

Posted in Blog, Digital Photography Tagged , , , , |

A present from the boy – 2015-05-07 17:27:38

A present from the boy #daisy #picnictable #present #VSCOcam
A present from the boy #daisy #picnictable #present #VSCOcam

Posted in Instagram Photos Tagged , , , , |

Rather bloody chuffed that this turned up today! – 2015-03-10 18:54:47

Rather bloody chuffed that this turned up today! #Polymath #handdrawn #cover #12inch #ep #mathrock #AWESOME #VSCOcam
Rather bloody chuffed that this turned up today! #Polymath #handdrawn #cover #12inch #ep #mathrock #AWESOME #VSCOcam

Posted in Instagram Photos Tagged , , , , , , , , |

So in honour of the return of in Nov, tonight’s bed time listening for the kids has been a bit of – 2015-03-15 20:13:30

So in honour of the return of #megadog in Nov, tonight's bed time listening for the kids has been a bit of #salttank #ST7 #ScienceAndNature #classic #lp #3x12inch #VSCOcam
So in honour of the return of #megadog in Nov, tonight’s bed time listening for the kids has been a bit of #salttank #ST7 #ScienceAndNature #classic #lp #3x12inch #VSCOcam

Posted in Instagram Photos Tagged , , , , , , , , |

And following on from the theme of ’90’s classics, a little before bedtime. – 2015-03-16 19:00:31

And following on from the theme of '90's classics, a little #TBResuscitation before bedtime. #vinyl #vinyljunkie #hardfloor #90s #techno #lp #album #12inch #VSCOcam
And following on from the theme of ’90’s classics, a little #TBResuscitation before bedtime. #vinyl #vinyljunkie #hardfloor #90s #techno #lp #album #12inch #VSCOcam

Posted in Instagram Photos Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

And the result of is… ! – 2015-03-16 19:21:54

And the result of #TBResuscitation is... #kickydancing! #hardfloor
And the result of #TBResuscitation is… #kickydancing! #hardfloor

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Tonight’s bedtime listening; the not quite released God Unknown series number 4 – 2015-03-17 19:35:32

Tonight's bedtime listening; the not quite released God Unknown #7inch series number 4 #vinyl #vinyljunkie #single #VSCOcam
Tonight’s bedtime listening; the not quite released God Unknown #7inch series number 4 #vinyl #vinyljunkie #single #VSCOcam

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Tonight’s bedtime musical education for the kids is yesterday by the band. An absolutely gorgeous album! – 2015-03-18 20:02:49

Tonight's bedtime musical education for the kids is #sleepmakeswaves #InTodayAlreadyWalksTomorrow #signed yesterday by the band. An absolutely gorgeous album! #12inch #vinyl #vinyljunkie #blackwax #lp #VSCOcam #bandbotherer
Tonight’s bedtime musical education for the kids is #sleepmakeswaves #InTodayAlreadyWalksTomorrow #signed yesterday by the band. An absolutely gorgeous album! #12inch #vinyl #vinyljunkie #blackwax #lp #VSCOcam #bandbotherer

Posted in Instagram Photos Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |