US indie rockers Deerhunter played three of their albums in full over three nights as part of their self-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival.
The bash, which takes place at Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands saw the band play their LPs – Cryptograms (2007), Microcastle (2008) and Halcyon Digest (2010) over the weekend. Opening the event on Friday was Atlas Sound, Deerhunter founder, singer and guitarist, Bradford Cox’s solo project. He later played a secret gig with Tom Tom Club featuring Talking Heads members, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, called ‘Talking Cox’.
At 9.15pm, The Breeders promptly began their performance of their second album, ‘Last Splash’, to mark its 20th anniversary. Introducing ‘Roi’, lead singer and Pixies member, Kim Deal, remarked: “Josephine [Wiggs] played drums on this track in ’93 so she’s gonna play them today, and we’re even using the same mini moog we recorded with in San Fransico!”
Next, in the smaller performance venue, was LA’s noise punk duo, No Age, who played a mixture of old and new songs from their forthcoming fourth album, ‘An Object’.
Saturday’s dinnertime choice was Atlanta’s The Black Lips, performing a selection of tunes from their west coast garage punk influenced albums, ‘Good Bad, Not Evil’, ‘200 Million Thousand’ and ‘Arabia Mountain’. Mid-set, guitarist and singer Jared Swilley, introduced an unnamed new song, featuring Chicago blues-infused riffs.
ATP’s second day featured drone duo Body/Head, which comprises of Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon and artist Bill Nace, who were joined by No Wave percussionist, Ikue Mori. Following this, Animal Collective’s Panda Bear AKA Noah Benjamin Lennox stood in front a pair of CD decks and samplers for an hour and a quarter, creating strange breakbeat, hip-hop and dub that his tour manager later confirmed was entirely new material.
On Sunday evening, Baltimore’s riotous electronic artist Dan Deacon played a set notable for its group participation. Before his opener, ‘Of The Mountain’, he asked the crowd to kneel down and visualise the cause of their anxiety. Later, he called for the audience to part ways around the column in front of the stage, and for two men to come up to imitate the actions of the men in the centre.
However, the weekend belonged to Deerhunter. Friday night’s rendition of ‘Cryptograms’ was given with little commentary from the singer until the encore, during which he said: “We first tried to record this album in 2004, so it’s almost 10 years-old. Not legacy material, not reissue worthy yet, but maybe we’ll do a reunion tour next year.”
Arriving onstage 20 minutes late on Saturday due to a broken effects pedal, the band’s rendition of ‘Microcastle’ was further beset by technical difficulty when the band’s amp blew half way through the show. Undeterred, they ploughed on, playing versions of ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ and closer, ‘Circulation’ (from their 2009 EP ‘Rainwater Cassette Exchange’) which saw Cox and guitarist Lockit Pundit and bassist Josh Mckay crowd surfing.
The final night (June 23) Cox declared the weekend to be “the greatest of my life” during the ‘Halcyon Digest’ encore, before thanking all of the bands that had played as well as all of ATP’s staff.
The festival was the first of the final three ATPs to be held in Camber, the East Sussex village that has hosted the event since 1999. The festival organiser’s decision was announced in April, with founder, Barry Hogan, commenting: “The support from the artists and festivalgoers alike has been incredible but it’s time to move on and look towards the future, it may also be time to let Camber Sands rest in peace!”