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All Tomorrow's Parties: Camber Sands Pontins Holiday Centre

The third annual All Tomorrow's Parties festival finds Television</strong reclaiming their new wave punk crown...

All Tomorrow's Parties: Camber Sands Pontins Holiday Centre

For the first Pontins indie weekender back in '99 Belle And Sebastian urged us to don Duffel Coats and hair slides. Last year the mighty Mogwai instructed us to aim our hyper drives at the heart of the sun. This year Chicago's post-rock-jazz pioneers [url=/artists/116392.htm
Friday night and it's raining. But that's OK because we have roofs. And drainage. And plumbing. And it's a slightly uncertain Sun Ra Arkestra that take to the main stage at what Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips once described as a "er, resort", but they have brought some New Orleans magic with them. Swinging from straight jazz like your dad likes towards proper oboe-led Louisiana funeral music, it's a mellow vibe with the voodoo of the great man himself tingeing the air. And the anticipated freakout barely occurs. Downstairs, Friday becomes polemic with a raging set from Mike Ladd displaying fiery flow and attacking George W. Shifting down a gear, upstairs curators [url=/artists/116392.htm
Saturday's here and the sun has got his hat on. The Camber massive wake late, scratch their beards, hike on the Carharts and head for the beach. Top detoxing pastimes include kite flying (indie kids), beach cricket (twentynothing jazz heads ) and ice cream at the Kit Kat Cafe (everyone else).

The sun sets and mariachi desperados Calexico play a cool hand of poker. Next up, Lambchop charm and sprinkle happy dust over us with a set of mostly new material. Unfortunately no 'Up With People' (which might have been the song of the weekend) but instead they cover The Sisters Of Mercy's 'This Corrosion'. Kurt Wagner then spends the rest of the evening individually telling the 2000 people who watched the show that he really is a Sisters fan.

Midnight and Sunday comes along again (as Sonic Youth sang on the strike of midnight here last year ) and the rest of the night belongs to the amazing Boards Of Canada. The name Mike Oldfield is heard whispered in some quarters but this is truly beautiful new music. Boards have a new aesthetic and a new vocabulary. A rural and re-curved Godspeed. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Midday Sunday finds many in the Sands restaurant attempting to rearrange their molecules back into shape with egg and bacon sarnies. Failing miserably they then all head to the Queen Vic pub for strong lager like everyone else. There is of course a main event tonight but first up is Broadcast making our ears bleed excellently. Next, Yo La Tengo display the wisdom of their years with a part rocking and part aching set of classics and covers. Downstairs there's a riot going on for Autechre. The nearest most can get to the stage is somewhere near the burger bar in the next corridor. Even there it sounded amazing.

But the main men are finally here:New York's finest Televison. They tune up for 20 minutes. Then they play some of the greatest music ever recorded. One song after another for 2 hours. It's beyond music and into the realm of true artistic greatness. Verlaine says nothing between songs, not even breaking a smile with the raptorous reception of 'Marquee Moon'. Until the end where he looks us straight in the eye and with an icy stare states "This case is closed". Women faint and men think about how they might look in leather trousers. Genius.

The last froth from a few thousand barrels of beer is consumed. Happy, tired and a bit emotional, it's over for another year. Immediately the talk is of next year. AC/DC, Slint and Cheap Trick... See you on the other side.

Neil Thomson

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