All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands, East Sussex

5.00

Treasures from the left-field

One weekend in, the fifth All Tomorrow's Parties festival is shaping up to be that rare thing: a genuinely fresh Director's Cut - more
Blade Runner than
Apocalypse Now Redux. It's longer than before, but far from being indulgent or unwieldy, it's turning out to be lean, slick, full of surprises and very distinctively flavoured.

One weekend in, the fifth All Tomorrow's Parties festival is shaping up to be that rare thing: a genuinely fresh Director's Cut - more Blade Runner than Apocalypse Now Redux. It's longer than before, but far from being indulgent or unwieldy, it's turning out to be lean, slick, full of surprises and very distinctively flavoured.

Indeed, ATP is in a field - well, holiday camp - of its own as festivals go. It's like the anti-V or anti-Carling. There's no backstage area for schmoozers, and punters aren't assailed by stalls flogging mobile phones, branded beers or useless herbal highs. As for the bands, it's testimony to the audience's faith in the event that it almost sold out before most were announced. And we're not talking Glastonbury-type surprises here: with Botnledja, Uzeda and Lungfish among them, it's fair to say that a good proportion of the audience were taking a leap of faith on an adventurous bill.

It's being duly rewarded, too, by the headliners, made up of curators from four previous ATPs (Mogwai, Tortoise, Sonic Youth and Shellac), one guest curator (Stephen Malkmus) and, for the closing day, the festival's organisers, Foundation. With ATP requesting that curators didn't pick bands from their previous stints at the festival, each band managed to cast their day in their own image while digging out plenty of treasures.

In part, Glaswegian noiseniks Mogwai used their day to showcase the bands on their Rock Action label, which ranged from the spectacularly intense Envy to the nicely delicate James Orr Complex. No less in keeping with their image, too, they split the two stages into a quiet and a loud one, a contrast that gave you the option of catching exquisite sets from Papa M and an on-form Cat Power, or the hyper-pop pastichery of Trans Am and schlock-rock Norwegians TurboNegro, who comically struggled to get the audience singing along to "I got erection!" Come the close, Mogwai pulled these contrasts into one peerlessly dynamic package, playing to a packed hall and a heroes' welcome.

Any suspicion that Chicago's neo-jazz rockers Tortoise would be a beard-stroking affair were soon scuppered. The Boredoms opened the day with their percussive, electronica-flavoured bustle, a rousing physicality making up for what they lacked in subtlety. The rest of the day was nicely wide-ranging, from Supersilent cranking out electronica glitch-bombs to wee Bobby Conn's glam-pop, falsetto-driven frivolities. There was plenty to turn your head, literally so in the case of the weekend's talking point: Lightning Bolt, a duo from Providence who dished out their agit-techno-cum-avant-punk while in the thick of a duly captivated audience.

Lightning struck again on Sunday, waking up the campers with a set outside their chalet that was swiftly curtailed by security. "Best alarm clock I've ever had," quipped Shellac's Steve Albini, perhaps miffed that another band had swiped the thunder from his opening slot. Much of the rest of the day was given to hardcore fare, from Arcwelder to the biker post-rock of Stinking Lisaveta, but unlikely discoveries emerged from left field. The six-piece A Whisper in the Noise proved gorgeously cinematic, playing lullabies with a hint of burlesque that sounded not unlike Black Heart Procession crossed with Godspeed You Black Emperor!

At the other extreme, Phillip Roebuck put an invigorating twist on the one-man-band set-up. With a mean banjo, and bass drum strapped to his back, he swept away any day-three cobwebs in a terrifically energetic punk-folk style. It's the kind of unexpected treat you get at ATP, and after three days of such, makes the second round (next weekend) seem mouth-watering already. As for 2005, what'll that be? A Special Edition, with extras? Roll on weekend two.

www.atpfestival.com

Arts and Entertainment
When he was king: Muhammad Ali training in 'I Am Ali'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
TV
News
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
art
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

music
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game