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Build your own festival

Next year the All Tomorrow's Parties festival is taking the unprecedented and frankly foolish step of getting the punters involved in choosing the bands they want to appear. Each of us has to come up with a list of bands they want, and the organisers will do their best to get the most requested bands to play.

I'm writing my "long list" of bands, which I'll have to (agonisingly) pare down to only 10 artists in the end. I'm trying to avoid asking for bands that have already played ATP, as well as avoiding bands that are too big/expensive/etc for the festival; plus there are bands that do really good music but aren't necessarily worth dragging over to play live. Plus there are loads of great bands that have fallen by the wayside so I have to discount them because they no longer exist (McClusky, Data Panik/Bis, Geraldine Fibbers).

Even so, it's really difficult to choose. Ideally I'd like a proper good mixture of technological madness and guitar madness. And preferably plenty of British stuff, there's been far too much American focus at ATP really. Here's the list so far, roughly in descending order:

  • Man or Astro-man?
  • The only manic surf-rock band from actual outer space. When I saw them live they had a supercomputer on vocals and played a flaming theremin. Therefore: absolutely crucial.
  • Charlotte Hatherley
  • Too tuneful/well-known for ATP? No way, get her in there!
  • Björk
  • Björk can do really special gigs so it could be good. Plus, her music's amazing. Hopefully she's not too big to be asked to ATP.
  • The Cardiacs
  • My new favourite old band.
  • Paul the Girl
  • Bearsuit
  • Shitmat
  • "Seminal breakcore artist" yes yes yes. ATP needs more breakcore.
  • Einstürzende Neubauten
  • The ATP crowd is the ideal crowd to appreciate a band that makes music by attacking shopping trolleys with buzzsaws, or by blasting compressed air into their mouths. Neubauten invented industrial music by actually using industrial equipment to make music.
  • Help She Can't Swim
  • Botnleðja
  • OK, so it was actually at a previous ATP that I saw them play live. But they're a manic post-pixies rock band from Iceland and I don't think I'm going to get many chances to see them ever, so it's worth asking for them again.
  • nullsleep
  • how many people can rock a gig using only two Nintendo Gameboys? And I mean actually rock a place. There are quite a few Gameboy musicians but you'd be surprised, quite a few of them are dull.
  • Matthew Herbert Big Band
  • He's an experimental genius of many varieties. I think his big band jazz would be the most entertaining but it'd be good to have him along for any purpose.
  • goto80
  • Another 8-bit/16-bit musician who actually rocks rather than not rocking.
  • Swci Boscawen
  • They're so brilliant - disco indie pop, kind of like Welsh inheritors of Kenickie's shiny brilliance.
  • Carla Bozulich
  • She's doing more freeform textural stuff than she used to (with the Geraldine Fibbers etc) but her singing is still amazing.
  • Kid Carpet
  • Everyone should see Kid Carpet at least once.
  • The ZX Spectrum Orchestra
  • A real spectacle, a handful of old ZX Spectrums magically coerced into making bleepcore techno.
  • The Research
  • Lovely indie. Almost too tuneful and winsome for my own tastes, but good enough to win me over.
  • The Evolution Control Committee
  • Plunderphonic madness that's entertaining and actually worth seeing live. You have to see the thimbletron in action. Some of the recent stuff downloadable from the website is less interesting, unfortunately.
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