Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photos/Review: ATP I'll Be Your Mirror (London, UK) Day Two

Mark Arm of Mudhoney
All Tomorrow's Parties I'll Be Your Mirror (London UK) Day Two - May 26, 2012
Photos/Review: Rhona "Wiglet Bill" Aquilina

Arriving at London’s Alexandra Palace for day two of IBYM 2012, it is immediately apparent that it is much quieter than day one. Obviously there aren’t many things louder than Slayer yesterday, but there are many fewer people around today. As I gaze at the time card for today’s shows I notice that the Great Hall where Melvins, Sleep and Slayer played yesterday isn’t being used today. Rather, yesterday’s ‘B venue’ The West Hall is now the main stage and a second stage has been set up in the Panorama Room.
As there is a small wait before the bands begin, we decided to locate the Panorama Room since we had no idea where it was. When we found the room we were relieved that no one we really wanted to see was playing in there. The clue is most definitely in the title “Panorama Room”: It was a long narrow room, with one long side made up almost entirely of windows, looking out over the park. Whilst it was a lovely view, it was incredibly bright in there, especially since London was undergoing a heat-wave.

We left the Panorama room and crossed over into West Hall to check out Umberto, billed as ‘horror score creep-scapes for the digital age’. I must admit it didn’t float my boat, perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood. Aware that there were extra curricular activities to be enjoyed in the park we decided to take a look at the boating lake (which was lovely) and vowed to return for Floor.

IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens


IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens

IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens

IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens

IBYM London 2012 Alexandra palace & Gardens

After a relax by the lake with an ice cream we headed back for Floor and unfortunately missed the start as we were under the misconception that we could walk around the Palace to get to the show, only to find we were forced to turn back three quarters of the way around. I had never seen Floor before as they are recently reformed and I must admit I was unfamiliar with them. However, I had been reliably informed by trusted sources that they were more than worth investigating and boy were they right. A great show, from a surprisingly heavy band and the perfect transition from the likes of Slayer to today’s less metal acts.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Floor
Floor
When Floor left the stage we headed back to the Panorama Room for The Music of Can. This consisted of Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore playing selections from over 30 hours of music from master tapes found when the legendary Can Studio was sold to the German Rock N Pop Museum. Rather than the usual outtakes from bands, that surface on master tapes decades later, these tapes were full of complete tracks that had, for one reason or another, been shelved at the time (1968-1977). Fascinating as it was, the one door in, one door out policy meant that there was a constant stream of people walking across the front of the very small and low down stage, the floor strewn with people lying or sitting down, most of them chatting to each other oblivious to those around them. I decided to leave before I got annoyed enough to tell anyone to shut up and anyway it was time for Harvey Milk across the hall.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) The Music Of Can

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) The Music Of Can

Harvey Milk is one of those bands I’ve heard a lot of good things about but never investigated myself. So despite my lack of knowledge about them, I was optimistic and expecting great things. Sadly I found myself disappointed, perhaps my expectations were too high, or there were issues with the sound or levels, or I just don’t get it. But I found the performance lacked energy and Creston Spiers’ voice hard to listen too.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Harvey Milk

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Harvey Milk

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Harvey Milk

Next up were ‘multi-award winning’ Chavez, but don’t let that put you off; there is no stench of ego here. This is Chavez’s first London show in 17 years and I feel privileged to bear witness to it. They were talkative and engaging with the crowd, Matt Sweeney even took a moment to refer to the assembled patrons as “fucking intense”. They played a storming set including "You Faded," "Nailed To The Blank Spot," “You Must Be Stopped,” “Pentagram Ring,” “The Ghost By The Sea,” “Peeled Out Too Late,” “Laugh Track,” “Unreal Is Here,” “New Room,” “Break Up Your Band,” “Top Pocket Man” and show closer “Repeat The Ending” which Matt Sweeney told us was the first song Chavez wrote together.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Chavez

Now came the time for a performance twelve years in the making. Taking the stage Stephen Immerwahr says simply “We’re Codeine, from New York City” before beginning the set with “D”. When Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai curated the first ATP twelve years ago, he attempted to get Codeine to join the bill. He was unsuccessful until today. Immerwahr acknowledges this from the stage saying "Thanks to Mogwai for not taking no for an answer," stepping away from the mic briefly only to return milliseconds later and add/mutter “a couple of times.” I for one am glad that Codeine finally made it to ATP and thoroughly enjoyed the set which included "Pick Up Song," “Cave In” and “Pea”.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Codeine

My excitement is peaking now as we await one of my favourite bands, Mudhoney. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the band and unlike many acts I’ve seen on repeated occasions, I have never been to a bad Mudhoney show. As I expected this show was to be no exception. Taking the stage to riotous applause, they open with “Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme,” followed by a personal favourite “Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More)” and then the obligatory (but still awesome) “Touch Me I’m Sick.” As usual the band is energetic and brings a sense of fun and humour to proceedings. Complete with funny faces, exuberant dancing and drumming so fierce that at one point the high hat departed the rest of the drum-kit. The near perfect set also included “Slipping Away,” “You Got It,” “Poisoned Water,” “Tomorrow Hit Today,” “In N Out Of Grace,” “I’m Now,” “Chardonnay,” “The Open Mind,” “Widow Of Nain” and “Tales Of Terror.”

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mudhoney

Up next are the mighty Dirty Three. Warren Ellis approaches the microphone and not so reliably informs us that their first song is called “I was a teenage haemorrhoid on Bono Vox’s anus” which garners a hearty chuckle from the assembled crowd. The band then begins with “Furnace Skies.” The performance is intense and powerful, the band at times forming a tight circle of collaboration seemingly oblivious to the crowd, Ellis in particular playing many of his violin parts with his back to the audience. In reference to the band’s recent release of Toward The Low Sun, their first album in five years, Ellis asks “Are any of you guys the guys from End Of The Road Festival? We asked you to send us some new material and no one did. So we did it all on our own without your help.” The fantastic set is mainly made up of tracks from the Toward The Low Sun record including “Sometimes I Forget You’re Gone”, “The Pier” and “Ashen Snow”. The show is thoroughly entertaining complete with ungainly dancing and cymbal kicking and the set is made complete by the editions of the classics “Some Summers They Drop Like Flies” and “The Restless Waves.”

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two)

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Dirty Three

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) 

The day drawing to a close it is finally time for curator/headliners Mogwai. As they take to the stage they are greeted affectionately by the waiting crowd. Twelve years after curating the first ATP festival, this is a home coming of sorts and it feels like one. The adoring audience swell and ebb along with the band through a terrific set including “Autorock,” the excellent “Mogwai Fear Satan,” “Mexican Grand Prix,” “How To Be A Werewolf,” “Sine Wave,” “Ithica 27 9” and “Rano Pano.” Content and a little worse for wear, we file out of the Palace through the park and onward to bed.

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mogwai

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mogwai

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mogwai

IBYM London 2012 (Day Two) Mogwai

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Rhona unfortunately could not attend the third day of ATP IBYM. Take a look at her coverage of part one that was posted yesterday, and be sure to check out curators Mogwai here in New York City on June 14 and 15 at Webster Hall. Both shows are the rescheduled dates that were cancelled twice. Tickets are still available.

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