I went to Butlins for the weekend. Don't worry, it was all very ironic and clever and smug. All Tomorrows Parties took over the poor, thick people's one and only joy in life outside of drugs and having babies for the entire weekend it and filled it with lots of middle-class white people who walked around wearing their Nan's clothes and laughed at the preposterousness of ACTUALLY being there. It was all very dignified.
All Tomorrow's Parties do this a lot. A few times a year they take over Butlins in Minehead and hold a three-day indie music festival that is curated by someone you've never heard of. That said, the previous weekend was curated by Matt Groening who is uncharacteristically actually famous but the weekend that I went to was all organised by 90's indie also-rans Pavement.
I missed the first day because I had to be up early to join Andrew Collins on 6music and that was lovely. You can judge the loveliness for yourself on iPlayer for the next few days (http://bit.ly/dBqdcu). There's also a podcast but it leaves out "Braile dog-poo" and my extended shouting and you don't want to miss that, do you? So after all that I arrived at Butlins a day and a half late but just in time to see Mark Eitzel who I absolutely love. His voice is just so broken and beautiful and his songs are horrible and gorgeous. On stage he appears like a cross between a homeless Frank Sinatra and a dying Paul Foot. How could you not love him? Plus, his pianist was Rory from Doctor Who (it really was). Sadly, a couple of people beside me didn't quite love Mark as much as I did. They shouted loudly throughout the show and generally behaved in a ridiculous, obnoxious manner. They even looked as bad as they sounded. One man was 5ft tall and wore a cravat and a Victorian moustache. Even if he was mute I'd want to punch him. We asked several times for them to be quiet but they didn't give a fuck. So I glared at the dwarf in cunt's clothing and mouthed "That's your last chance". The thing about indie people is they don't expect violence. They live in a twee, we-make-our-own-clothes-out-of-fuzzy-felt, lovely-skippy little world and think that everyone else at an indie festival will be the same. But I am clever. I know that he doesn't know that I am too cowardly to hit him and that is all I need. They shut up pretty soon after that.
Eitzel couldn't be ruined, of course. He is superb and it would take much more than a short-arsed twat in a boater to stop his majesty. But what after Eitzel? To be honest, I hadn't heard of any of these bands. Pavement passed me by and no way was I ever going to be intrigued by bands with names like Camera Obscura (slappable indie wets) or Atlas Sound (I didn't bother). I'd have to wait a full 24 hours before I'd see another band I liked. The Fall closed the main stage on Sunday but that was ages away. Fuck it, I'll give Boris a go.
Boris are my favourite band.
Boris are Japanese and play the intro's to Black Sabbath songs. For an hour. They are so bassy and growly and dirty and thick and loud surely only whales could like their low, low music. It must be killing these indie picnic-ers. I stayed to watch in case they made any of the fey bunch cry but I just ended up loving them and their "music". In fact, they had me right from the start. They walked on, none of their instruments worked, they fucked off. Without a word. WHAT AN INTRO! Take that, Freddie Mercury! Boris are showmen.
I loved them so much that I went back to see them the next day. This time they performed their album Feedbacker in it's entirety. Feedbacker is as it sounds. FOR AN HOUR. Charming.
So much better than the big mistake of the weekend: Still Flyin'. Yes, I saw a band that chose to call itself Still Flyin'. The 11-piece happy-clappy bunch of embarrassing 30-something children were amazing only for one thing. Every member of the band was the band's Bez. Their songs were called things like Sunny Day Hug or Rainbow Pepsi-Cola Prom Panda. CUNTS! They all dressed from their big, fun dressing up box and jumped up and down and invited their friends on stage and got people to draw them and told everyone how much fun they all are and just FORCED people into going along with it in the same way that a tired and embarrassed parent has to be interested in it's talentless child's awful painting. I would send you a YouTube link but you deserve better. Kickable pricks.
So The Fall were excellent (seeing Stewart Lee "mosh" will take some time to get over) and Pavement were too, even though I know none of their songs and I insulted Stephen Malkmus. Tell you about that later. But it's the scale of the thing that impressed me most. Butlins is HUGE. All these streets made of little houses that go on for miles and the amount of activities and the state-of-the-art sound equipment in their huge venues...How come Butlins aims so low? Why does it want tedious entertainment for the Sky+ers to just veg out to? That's the only thing that's wrong with it. If there were pop Pub Quizzes and Boris on all year round I'd happily go there for a June fortnight. I like Butlins. Is that so wrong?
Thanks to James & Sarah for organising it (for me, not for everyone).