ATP Pavement Festival: Day 3

After a dip in the swimming pool complex with its incredible cool water slides, (with rather long queues and dramatic names like The Black Hole & The Master Blaster) then having watched the Monaco GP we were ready for day 3.

It started quite slow really with Pierced Arrows, who were devoid of life and energy. They played basic bluesy riffs with weak vocals that failed on most levels to captivate the audience.

Arriving at the ‘normal’ Wax Fang I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t always wear afros and 70’s style glam wear. Their set was a mix of tight riffs melded together with huge sound that really worked here on the Main Stage. They played with a lively spring in their steps and had the backing of the crowd, most I expect were here (like me) on the back of their stunning Prince show. The only down side was their material wasn’t particularly memorable post-performance, but this did not dampen their spirited performance.

Boris

After yesterdays gargantuan effort, we thought we’d check out the weekends second performance from Boris, this time performing their so called ‘classic’ album, Feedbacker. Given an album title like that and Boris’s sound you can imagine what it sounded like.

In fact I have to imagine also, as I fell fast asleep during the first song after sitting down for a rest (As it turns out 3 out of the 4 recharged our batteries during this show).  45 Minutes later I awoke to find a desolate and empty arena. I promptly headed out to find the rest of the DiR team who were busy putting a huge hole in the Pizza Hut buffet selection, much to the annoyance of other customers.

We didn’t really see anything for a while after this, brief sweeps past The Clean weren’t attractive enough to warrant our full attention, neither was the uber-northern song smith Terry Reid (Who looked like a cross between Pat Butcher and Jack Duckworth ). We returned to the fold to see the outspoken legend that is Mark E. Smith and his iconic band The Fall.

The Fall

Never one to shy away from controversy, Mark decided to pull the majority of his set from his latest album which despite its decent standard was somewhat of a disappointment. Very few popular songs were played as even Mr. Flowers (a self confessed Fall freak) didn’t recognise a single tune!Still the set they did perform was typical Fall. Musically tight and vocally shocking with Mark’s grumbles coming across as clearly as radio Belgium in a electrical storm. Nothing he did made much sense. From wandering around aimlessly on stage, twiddling dials he should never be let near, pulling out his band member’s amps or erratically attacking their instruments. Still it made for good comedy value at least.

We all wondered if we would hear a song we knew in the encore. Not surprisingly the answer was no! The crowd shuffled away in dismay while we stood and pondered what to do next, which turned out to be a master stroke as The Fall unexpectedly returned for a 2nd encore! This time they got it spot on, playing a song we knew…We Are Spata F.C.. From being quite a way back, we were suddenly right down the front for this cool tune. But as quickly as they returned they buggered off again. This wasn’t a bad show, I’d just expected more…a lot more.

After flitting back and forwards between Enablers and The Raincoats, chilling outside in the cool air enjoying relative peace was the most engaging option. After all I was waiting for the old school punk attitude of The Authorities.

The Authorities

These guys looked every one of their aging years but don’t let that fool you into thinking they are past it. They invoke the sound of punks early days of three chord wonders, crunching melodies, male dominated thinking and tracks of no more than 3 minutes long. They were on top form and blasted their way through some top punk numbers. Showing no signs of nostalgia, they clearly felt it was still 1972 and we were all willing to peek inside the time warp which had opened up onstage. A 30 second guitar rattle brought about the end to a high octane set as they powered down the final amp of ATP Pavement 2010.

ATP have the right idea when it comes to festivals! Civilised, laid back and comfortable, things not normally associated with festivals. I guess that’s why it this weekend was such a success despite a lineup which was barely got us excited before arrival. A long drive awaited us in the morning, but we all knew we’d be back soon for another installment of ATP genius!

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