And I suppose I should say a little bit about the curators, My Bloody Valentine. They were playing three sets, with people being allocated a night to see them but being able to bunk into see them on others. So I saw the whole of their set once, on the last night, and the trail end (from the back) on the Saturday. And they were… alright. Once you got over how ear-splittingly loud they were, it was hard not to think that they are actually a bit dull as a live band. Don't get me wrong, I still love them on record, but they are too static and uncharismatic on stage to really work in that context. The whole loudness thing – it really is just a gimmick. Why play so loud that you have to give earplugs to the audience? Why not just play more quietly? Because then, perhaps, people would notice how dull you are? Maybe so.
Even the Holocaust – the extended section from the middle of 'You Made Me Realise' where they all play one note over and over and over as loudly as possible – seemed a bit less than totally exciting. It did have a certain power to it, but it also seemed a bit formulaic. There may well have been a time when audiences were shocked by the Holocaust, but now it is all a bit expected.
One final thing to mention about this ATP is the plague of flatulence that seemed to have descended on the festival. This was particularly noticeable when we were packed into the throng up the front waiting for MBV to come on, but it was a general feature of the whole weekend. I think this might be one the downsides of having so much real ale available.
This ends my discussion of this festival. One interesting thing I note from the pages of Frank's APA and elsewhere is that a lot of people really loved the MBV live performances, so maybe their sonic attack did not quite penetrate my ears of cloth.