ATP on Saturday is a tale of two Battles

ATP - Nightmare Before Christmas 2011 review

published: Thu 22nd Dec 2011

Battles

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
£170 per person, £180 per person self catering (room or chalet bookings)
daily capacity: 6000
last updated: Fri 4th Nov 2011

ATP is famous for the often all-nighter chalet parties that are held. On this occasion I stayed in what seemed to be chalet-party-central, surrounded by them on all sides as it turned out. Surfacing at midday the place was now spookily quiet, unsurprisingly.

Battles
Saturdays' curators Battles opened the day on Centre with a typically solid, tight set. This despite admitting to not feeling their best (see above), their bleary eyes matching the bulk of the audience. They did lose it on a few occasions and things were a little out of synch compared to their usual high standards and precision. Their chosen line-up for the day was suitably diverse.

Tokyo based experimental instrumental trio Nisennenmondai proved a welcome unexpected highlight to follow, showcasing their post-punk/psychedelic/krautrock instrumentals and guitar grooves. Repetitive beats with driving bass and lots of snare/cymbals in the layers of sound. Special mention to an apparently untiring Sayaka Himeno on drums, proving more than worthy of sharing a stage with the likes of highly-respected drummers Janet Weiss (Wild Flag) and John Stanier (Battles) over the course of the weekend.

Elsewhere, a 'Pretentious CD Mixtape Swap' idea suggested by a fan proved to be a big hit. Many turned out to swap a compilation CD of their making with a complete stranger. In fact so desperate were some to force their superior music tastes on others that they brought multiple copies.

Gary Numan
Gary Numan might have seemed a surprise choice on the line-up, were it not for his vocal contribution to Battles 'My Machine' this year. An unexpectedly good set for me, 'Are Friends Electric?' and 'Cars' predictably getting the best audience response. Numan seems to have aged gracefully. Elsewhere, the art-rock trio Thank You announced that it would be their last ever gig, just as I was discovering them on Crazy Horse stage. I saw Cults performing earlier in the year at Primavera Sound, though their set here this time seemed much more accomplished, a young band beginning to find their stride perhaps.

Standing near the speakers for the serious bass of Flying Lotus turned out to be a bad idea, even with earplugs. A deafeningly loud set was delivered to a fairly rapturous crowd, enjoyed even by those of us that have a general aversion to all things DJ and laptops. Smiling and laughing frequently, he obviously enjoyed performing (as is his way) and this transmitted itself to the audience. The Radiohead remix he did a set highlight.

A newly reformed Bitch Magnet was one of the more anticipated sets for some of us. Their highly influential post-hardcore/grungey sounds transformed us back to the late '80s and early '90s, a good place to travel. Some heavy guitars on a day when these were largely lacking compared to the previous night. The major clash of the weekend meant missing out on what sounded like an enjoyably rowdy 2nd Battles set, apparently nailing it this time at the second attempt. Matias Aguayo played the small hours out on Reds Stage.

around the festival site
review by: Jason Wood

photos by: Jason Wood

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December 2011
Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH, England MAP
£170 per person, £180 per person self catering (room or chalet bookings)
daily capacity: 6000
last updated: Fri 4th Nov 2011


latest on this festival

All Tomorrows Parties 2.0 2016
festival details
last updated: Mon 11th Apr 2016