Tag Archives: Festival

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!

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ArcTanGent Festival – The best fun you can have in a field!

Been a little while since my last proper post, been a rather hectic summer with work and photos and school holidays and everything. I know, no excuse at all! Still…

So…

Last weekend it was the first incarnation of a wonderful little festival called ArcTanGent, run by the same people that do the 2000 Trees Festival. Myself and a group of randoms went down to listen to many bands that I like, and many that I’d heard good things about (often through the Echoes and Dust blog), but for me, mainly to celebrate a good friend’s 40th year on this planet 🙂

Particularly due to the last mentioned point, I fully expected to get somewhat messy during some points of the weekend, and so I decided to leave the beloved DSLR at home (mainly for the fear of losing it in a field somewhere near Bristol…) and take a couple of film cameras with me instead. My reasoning being that if I broke them/lost them/submerged them/gave them away while drunk I’d only have to pay about £50 to get some fairly decent replacements.

So, I boldly strode into the breach armed only with my trusty Olympus OM 10 and Pentax P30, one roll of Fuji Velvia 50, one roll of Pan F 50, one roll of XP2 Super 400 and a random roll of Boots Gold ISO 200. So a rather mixed bag, just the way I like it!

Suffice to say that the Festival was a storming success! I think that during the whole weekend there was only one or two bands that didn’t catch my imagination. The vast and overwhelming majority were absolutely stunning! The stand out acts for me personally were And So I Watch You From Afar who blew both my brain and my eardrums to bits, Future of the Left, who were incredibly noisily brilliant, Manchester’s own Cleft and Charlie Barnes, Bristol’s awesome ANTA, and the rather unexpected and leftfield brilliance of SJ Esau.

If you want to hear more about the music, I’ll leave most of that wordy goodness to those folks at Echoes and Dust who are far more competent wordsmiths than I, so click this link if you want to hear all about it…

What I will do though, is leave you with the best of the photos from those four films that I want through from Thursday to Saturday. Do go listen to some of that music if you’re interested in noisy guitars and intricately played excellence. You might even like it so much you want to buy some!

P.S. The  people wrestling were doing it for fun, not fight… just to be clear…

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