APtBS! SoSB! EPMD! TPoBPaH! MBV! TBC! BBML! We are excited for Day 3 of ATP NB4X MBV, a day which promises many bands who excite us but have names that are too long and then sensibly brief but fussily punctuated múm!
NB: A key to the acronym madness may be found below the story.
The assault on reasonable volume levels carries over from Day 2. Feel-good tunesters Lilys disarm and deafen with confidently quirky frontman Kurt Heasley giving sound commands after every song, culminating in “Everything louder!!!” Despite Lilys' valiant efforts, APtBS's Oliver Ackerman trumps all by delivering the loudest and possibly our favourite set of the weekend. More ambiance-creating performance art than mere dark and smoky concert, the set contains no crowd banter, as Ackerman has probably already paid off the sound booth for the levels Heasley had to coax out onstage. APtBS take no prisoners in this ATP's volume war--a war of attrition fomented by bands paying homage to curators MBV's legacy of disintegrating earplugs. We'd call ourselves victims of the aural aggression but we're actually really liking it.
We give our ears and feet a break during the dismissible set by Th' Faith Healers by sitting as far away from the main stage as possible, nursing the strongest ale we can find. Some cute indie kids are playing frisbee inside the Pavilion, and we want in! ATP spirits are soaring higher than we can throw their dinky little disc. Riding on good festie momentum, Strangeglue sweethearts múm reward those who have weathered two reschedulings and a 15-minute delay with an exuberant and on-point traipse over songs old and new.
Knowing that we'll see múm again at ATP's 10-Year Anniversary next weekend, we cut out to witness hip-hop stalwarts EPMD create a smash hit on the second stage. We catch glimpses of Bob Mould and Dirty Three doing their things and doing them well, then rush to the third stage for new kids on the block TPoBPaH. An indie kid swoonfest ensues, and we start for weekend headliners MBV, but already a giant queue is snaking outside the third stage entrance for TBC.
As we suspect, TBC is Lightning Bolt (oh what they hey - let's call 'em LB) again. With no regrets, we opt out of seeing the MBV's full set in favour of catching LB's energy disease again. Rescheduled from an earlier main stage time, SoSB play their odd and awesome melodies with such conviction and prowess that we are happy to call it a weekend, allowing festival effervescence to wash over us. Due to these reschedulings (noise complaints, mayhaps?), the brilliant BBML is relegated to a 2am set for a dwindling crowd that has come full circle to the moral of ATP Day 1: Music recedes into the background as general fun takes the forefront once more.
A Key to the Acronym Madness:
APtBS: A Place to Bury Strangers
SoSB: School of Seven Bells
EPMD: Erick and Parrish Making Dollars. Okay, so they actually go by EPMD, but it's still an acronym.
TPoBPaH: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
MBV: my bloody valentine
TBC: To Be Confirmed. It's not a band, it's a surprise. Surprises excite us.
BBML: Brightblack Morning Light
ATP: All Tomorrow's Parties
NB4X: Nightmare Before Xmas
Photos: Tom Moriarty