This weekend we went to the All Tomorrow's Parties festival 2006 and it was very possibly the best yet. Some of the highlights were:
- The cape guy! A Japanese-looking bloke who wore a cape and basketball shorts for the entire weekend and ran around dancing the entire time. He was extremely good value, and he once even berated a whole crowd: "English people don't move, they just sit there and read poems!"
- Lightning Bolt's mind-blowingly loud set which opened the festival (the drummer wore ear-defenders!). They actually played four sets throughout the weekend, partly because the amount of people allowed to see them at any one time was being limited for safety...
- The band Big Business, not so much for their music but for the way they filled in while their drums were being fixed - the bassist jumped into the audience and forced people to play bass solos, before performing a special whistling set.
- The karaoke, when the sound system cut out during the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" and the crowd all sang it together to make up for it.
- The Decemberists, for a brilliant set but especially for making the whole crowd (and band) sit down on the floor during the last song, before everyone stood up in a massive mexican wave when the music kicked back in.
- The dancing machine in the arcade room. Cor it's fun.
- A completely unexpected spontaneous group chant moment on Sunday night. I came out of the chalet to find a mass of people stood outside all "Ahhhhhhhh"ing a single note. This went on for a long time and I joined in - it alternated between the "Ahhhhhhhh" and some "ATP! ATP!" chants, and eventually (and bizarrely) got broken up by some of the security people - why???
- R Kelly's film In The Closet. It's basically an R'n'B opera/soap-opera, although it also defies description and you really have to see it. We watched it a few times, it was that mind-blowing.
Some of the bad points were: the ugly moment when some fuckers in the crowd shouted down comedian David Cross, who ended up having to cut his set short; failing to sign up for the pub quiz; and the ants in the chalet!
But other than that it was great. Our chalet was very good despite the ants, with a perfect view of the cape guy dancing around in the children's play area. Props to my 6 chalet mates - we had a great time.
Ruth has written about it too (with videos!).
And so has Toby.
And so has Hannah.