After Sonic Youth‘s exercise in audience alienation last night, it would be safe to assume that their drummer Steve Shelley will be feeling perhaps a little more accesible as Two Dollar Guitar. Less of the jazz-noise faffing here, and more country shuffles and urban cynicism.
Bardo Pond, meanwhile, blow Shelley and co’s angsty tumbleweed from the stage with a bilious and frankly dull display of epic FX-pedal flexing.
It’s nothing that Sigur Ros can’t dissipate though, with their slow motion reverb opera, a sonic storm blowing itself out and leaving us feeling good about the guitar again.
Aerial M, meanwhile, play a coruscating instrumental version of ‘Turn Turn Turn’ to finish their set, making up for the previous half hour of that particular brand of post-rock arsing about that only a band that includes an ex-member of Slint would deem worth pursuing.
Wire explain everything. Most of the bands who’ve played this weekend owe something to these post-punk pensioners. They took half the day to soundcheck, pushing our timetable back by an hour, but you can’t hurry Wire.Once they get on stage, though, they compress time, with their hyper speed abstract new wave, and fully justify their status as the grandads of post-rock.
And finally it’s Mogwai‘s moment. Their perverse, melancholy, dark, skyscraping tastes were all over ATP, and now they find full expression in a set which shifts from rigid rhythmic guitar riots to the gentlest of brushed drums. And yes, you can hear Wire in their songs, but in some ways Mogwai are Wir distended, with all the muscle and sinew of post punk open and oozing. A new number they debut tonight sees them joined onstage by a string quartet, allowing the creak and clang of their rhythm section to be pinned to an ebbing violin lament, but really it’s the cacophanous walls of electric noise which really pull the crowd in, and sees Stuart Braithwaite playing his guitar like he’s taming a bull. King curators and king bastard punk rock types too.