My massive ATP review

It’s the start of festival season and where better to spend it than at a Butlins!

Well look at the advantages:
Instead of a tent – a chalet with actual walls, running water, indoor loo and cooking facilities
Instead of festival portaloos – indoor loos with loo roll
Having to sit through bands you don’t like – crazy golf, a swimming pool, Minehead, the beach, arcades
Mouldy smelling sleeping bag – an actual BED with PILLOWS
Standing knee deep in mud in the rain – indoor stages with tables and chairs and staggered seating so you can SEE!

There really is no bad here.

Day One
The day didn’t start off particularly well, with wind and rain as we set out and some torrential rain on the motorway. It really didn’t bode well for the weekend. However the travelling was really speedy and t only took us about 3 hours to get down, which was nice.

Met up with our chalet-mates for the weekend, donned our wristbands and headed off to the on-site Irish Pub for some liquid refreshment while we waited for the chalets to open so we can go unpack.

Butlins have redecorated a bit since last year too. Strange decorative butterflies that change colour and stuff.

Day One – Friday
Were the first band up. They weren’t bad but I didn’t love them as much as His Lordship did. Big, loud Rock
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Probably not

Then we ran back for pizza, mmmmmmmmmmmlovelylovelypizza

Sunset Rubdown

A four piece from Montreal who are really not kind to their guitars, what with the lead singer breaking two strings in two songs. Really liked them and their songs though.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Yes

Explosions in the Sky
The Curators of this weekend’s ATP (they picked all the bands). Their music is all instrumental with a mixture of loud rocky tracks and quieter more thoughtful pieces. The crowd went crazy for them. I thought they were alright.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Some of their songs, maybe

Sat on the floor by the bar afterwards we had two members of the Octopus Project walk past us with bin bags full of something that lit up. Couldn’t work out what it was though.

And then as we were waiting for the Octopus Project to begin none other than Paul Smith from Maximo Park walked past us. Well if it wasn’t him, it was his absolute double.

The Octopus Project

Part of their set is giant bunnies with lights inside and when they started they threw out loads and loads of balloons with LED lights inside so the audience could join in. That was what was in the bags. And they had a Theremin which gives them loads and loads of extra points in my book. Because Theremins are made of win AND awesome.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Yes, definitely

Starting to flag a bit now. Well, I had been driving all day and was up early to feed the cat before we left.

One man and his guitar. According to the ATP band guide he is southern-Gothic influenced. I didn’t like it much.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Nope. But I have been ordered to listen to him to see if I’d change my mind.

Then it was off to lovely lovely bed. Mmmmmm bed.

Day Two – Saturday
After making everyone the Best Breakfast in the WorldTM we decided to take a walk into town via the beach. The boys wanted to go to the pub with the 30ft screen to watch the football. They are so transparent. I went for a wonder around the shops and ohhed and aahed at all the pretty jewellery, but stopped myself from buying anything.

Walk on beach – very windy.

Waved at Wales. (it’s Llantwit Major you can see over the water btw). His Lordship had some trouble negotiating the steps (which were so sandy that it was practically a Gladiators-style travelator).

Crazy golf – ten over par (and yes it was all my fault. I couldn’t get the little ball through the crazy bit to the hole and then couldn’t get it into the hole either)


FA Cup final – a rubbish. Cardiff should have won.

A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Sort of Russiany folk. A bit like a calmer Gogol Bordello.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? maybe

Okkervil River

Really liked them. Loved some of the lyrics too. Very melodic
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Yes

…And you Will Know us By the Trail of Dead

inners of the longest band name of the weekend competition. They were very loud, very rocky.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Probably not
The chocolate pancake I ate after them a yummy 7/10
The National

Another band who rocked the place out. I think everyone pretty much came to see them. The place as absolutely rammed. I thought they were quite brilliant.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Yes, definitely

His Lordship left us a message on the message board so we could find him:


british lad, looks a bit like David Cross (from Arrested Development)
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Sounds like a wannabe Sufjan Stevens. OK.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Nope

There as no one else we wanted to see that night apart from Battles and there were on at 2am. So we headed back to the chalet for a cheese and pineapple night. His Lordship took a trolley. (I have a brilliant video of him scooting along on it too)

(Sideways picture is sideways :/)

Not just any cheese, oh no, mine and [info]th_easaurus’s favourite, tesco’s Applewood smoked Cheddar. Mmmmmm.

Isn’t that just the arty-ist picture of cheese and pineapple you have ever seen?

We couldn’t be bothered to put them on sticks. It’s better for the environment too. Everyone has a cocktail stick each:

Day Three – Sunday
Went for Sunday lunch at the pub with the massive tv screen. It was bosters changers. On the way back I stopped off for a deep-fried battered Mars Bar. And lo it was good. So good in fact that I had a second. I don’t care what it’s doing to my insides, it is yum.

(Least attractive photo of me, EVER!)
Don’t jump Barney!

He was very high up:

Even the pigeons were enjoying the music:

Jens Lekman
Swedish, sang in Swedish. Was very good. Catchy melodic pop.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? Yes, definitely

While we were watching him Battles walked past us on their way to Burger King and Dinosaur Jr stood in front of us. Cool, eh?

Now the sun came out so did the Threadless t-shirts. I spotted, Paper Tiger, Communist Party, Permafrost Solution, Electrical Jellyfish, Spoilt, Voyage of Discovery and many, many more. In fact I’m really tempted t put together an I=Spy Threadless t-Shirts book for the next ATP so we can score all the t-shirts we see. Look out for that in a future journal post.
Sitting out in the sun with a hot chocolate, reading the News of the World – 8/10 (for the sitting and the sun, not the paper)

Arty Photoshot ahoy!

And for [info]spiralsheep here are the stilts I mentioned, modelled today by Pauline and her lovely Converse.

Baby Geese outside our chalet!

De la Soul
Played half hour longer than they were meant to. The crowd loved them. And they all had their rap-dancing on too.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? No

Broken Social Scene

had pretty much everyone else paying that weekend join them on stage at one point or another.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? No

One song – lasted forty-five minutes. I didn’t like it much. One man and this synth, pretty much.
Would I have them on my MP3 player?

Then the bastard security guards threw us all out of the room and made us queue again. Really not impressd at all. So instead of going to the back, we pushed in near the front. One of our group tried to incite a riot, but no one else was that bothered.

Battles are very popular (so they played two nights), the first night people were turned away because the stage was filled to capacity so all these people were given blue wristbands to ensure they could get in the following night. Unfortunately it appeared that the security people were banging on chalet doors to make sure they got all the blue wristbanded people for the second night. This meant we were waiting for half an hour the band started over half an hour late and it was crappy crap crap.

Top make it worse, when we FINALLY got back in I got the exact same table we were sitting at before and the place was probably only ¾’s full. Rubbish.


Still brilliant. Everyone was jumping around for Atlas (the one that was in Torchwood). It wa a really good, very loud set.
Would I have them on my MP3 player? I already do

His Lordship and friends went to watch Envy (Japanese Metal combo) and I headed back to bed for sleep. As I had a long drive ahead tomorrow.

Day Four – Monday
Back to reality. Boo.

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