When you get a text stating ‘Charlotte Church is actually better than The Fall’ from one of your most devoutly indie friends, you know something interesting has just happened. And it turns out it did. Current concerns over the awkward future of the financially beleaguered ATP Festival aside, this weekend Charlotte Church apparently turned in one of the most downright entertaining sets at the Stewart Lee-curated edition of the festival, blowing the likes of Sleaford Mods and the aforementioned Fall off the stage.
Listed in the programme as Charlotte Church’s ‘Late Night Pop Dungeon’, it turns out that her set wasn’t just a run of the mill karaoke session of chart hits, but something much, much more fun. Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’, Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’, ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ and David Bowie’s ‘Girl Loves Me’ – that’s the one from his last album with the immortal lyric “where the fuck did Monday go” – all got the Church treatment, along with songs by Super Furry Animals.
She gulped from a big bottle of fizzy booze throughout, and wore a sequin-festooned circusmaster outfit that matched her backing group’s gear. “Her and her band were all dressed up like a proper post punk band,” commented My Indie Friend, “but the actual post-punk bands playing the festival were dressed like poor quality postmen.”
Another observation from My Indie Friend, who later found himself chatting to obscurist folk singer Richard Dawson: “Two people came up to and said ‘Erm, you know I told you that you’d been the highlight of the weekend, well, Charlotte Church just topped you’. Then I said, ‘Yeah, she did, sorry’ and he laughed a lot and grudgingly accepted it. He was right down the front when she was on anyway.”
Don’t believe me and My Indie Friend? Here are some more ATP goers who also thought Charlotte Church was the best thing at the festival.