Belle & Sebastian largely created the ATP-style festival with the 1998 Bowlie Weekender in Camber Sands. Then in December 2010 they brought us Bowlie 2, this time in Minehead. Read on while I talk about whom I saw there on Friday. People who played at the original have their names italicised.
Best Coast featured a former member of Pocahaunted who has left behind the hypnagogic sound for a simulacrum of indiepop music. Not recommended.
Teenage Fanclub played (badly) at the first Bowlie. This time they delivered a more typically high quality performance that reminded us all of why we loved them. Their songwriting skills remain intact, with recent tune 'The Past' tempting me towards buying their latest album.
Saint Etienne started late because heavy traffic (from a funeral, so no booing) had delayed Sarah Cracknell. We therefore got a show with more music and less yap. The set was rather focussed on their first couple of albums, but these are some of the most enjoyable pop tunes ever and left me wondering why I listen to their music so rarely. They also had some nice visuals, especially of some Northern Soul dancing.
I saw and liked The Go! Team some years ago. In the meantime I started wondering if maybe they were not actually that good, but seeing them again reminds me that no, they storm. Their thing is combining samples of brassy stuff and the like with their own playing of instruments and a lady rapper called Ninja (her real name, your honour) shouting over the top. It makes for dance-tastic music. I like it.
The Phenomenal Handclap Band were not doing any handclapping. We filed a complaint under the Trade Descriptions Act.
The last thing I saw on Friday was Steve Mason. He turns out to be the singer from the Beta Band, and he plays music that sounds not unlike that of his former outfit – languid, percussive, daring, inventive, and so on. But I was a bit puppy tired after a long day of travelling and rocking out, so I retired to the chalet rather than force myself to stay up late and wreck myself for the rest of the festival. I hope to investigate Mr Mason's music further in the future.
An inuit panda production