I’m on the bus on my way to All Tomorrow’s Parties. I almost missed it. Ten minutes before the bus left I was having a drink at Boston with the Dead Skeletons. When I arrived in front of the bus station my phone rang. I didn’t know the number but I answered anyway. It was one of the Grapevine’s interns asking where I was.
On the bus a nice man gave me a beer, which was great since I am completely broke. A bag of Psilocybin semilanceata is waiting for me at the base. This is my first time attending ATP. I have always wanted to go. They always book amazing bands. Melvins, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Dirty Three, GZA, Raekwon, Suicide, Bardo Pond, GY!BE, etc. There is a special ATP playlist on the bus. Suicide and some other bands that have performed at the festival.
I arrived to see Apparat Organ Quartet play to small group of people.
The venue didn’t have water on tap available. Instead they sold it bottled for 300 ISK. Couldn’t even wash your hands. Isn’t that a human rights violation? Apparently they didn’t sell a lot of weekend passes, but the day passes for Saturday were sold out. After Apparat I went to the merch room. There was Jim Jarmusch and he bought the Lady Boy Records compilation cassette that me and Nicolas Kunysz released a few months ago. The people in charge of the merch were happy to sell some issues of Skeleton Horse and the cassette. They only took 10%.
Afterwards I went to Andrews Theatre and Snorri Helgason was playing to an almost empty room. I went back to the main venue and saw the first minutes of múm‘s set but I didn’t have the patience for it at the time. So I went back to the theatre to watch a couple of minutes of Our Man Flint. Then I went back to the main venue to wait for The Fall. I saw them a couple years ago in London and it was one of the best shows I had ever seen. They are fucking fantastic.
Outside some of the foreign bands asked me where they could score some dope. They were waiting for someone from Reykjavík to bring them some but it never happened. They were upset that the organisers didn’t provide them with any. Any.
The Fall’s set was fucking amazing. They played so many of my favourite songs including Bury, Strychnine, Mr. Pharmacist, Blindness, Reformation and Sparta F.C. Half the show Mark E. Smith would go behind the guitarist’s amp, put on his reading glasses and go over the lyrics. Fucking genius! A lot of people don’t get it. They think it’s just some old drunk sabotaging his band. It was a great set.
Afterwards I saw some of Botnleðja‘s set. It was fucking terrible. Really ‘90s but not even good ‘90s. Then I saw Thee Oh Sees. I hadn’t listened to a lot of their music but I was a big fan of John Dwyer’s old project Pink & Brown. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully the local bands will learn something from the foreign bands playing.
HAM was next but I had seen them so many times that I didn’t bother. Ghostigital played to a less than half empty room. Most of the people had left before their set. I think most of the bands playing on this night aren’t suited for such a large venue. You want Einar Örn in your face and not on a huge stage several metres away.
The next day I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing at 16:30. I had overslept. I had to run from the west side of town to the bus station. On the way there I found an unopened candy bar on the ground. Score!
I got to the bus as it was about to leave. There was supposed to be a bands versus fans football game but I heard that the only person that showed up was the guitarist of Deerhoof.
I took the mushrooms before SQÜRL‘s psychedelic set and they kicked in just in time for Pink Dust. Afterwards I met Tilda Swinton at the merch table and gave her some issues of Skeleton Horse and she like them a lot. I was so fucked that I forgot to take a photo.
Right before Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds played a shit load of people showed up which was really uncomfortable. I didn’t have time to adjust. The show was fucking amazing and there was a hot lady with blue dreads. I might have been hallucinating. Nick fell off the stage during the beginning of the set. They had a really big sound. One of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Afterwards he was rushed to the hospital coughing blood and the doctors refused to help him because he didn’t have any ID. So the person that drove him to the hospital had to go back and get his passport.
Outside I waited for Deerhoof to start. They were great as well. A lot of fun to watch. Then it was Chelsea Light Moving. I liked it a lot, but a lot of people didn’t agree. They wanted Sonic Youth. Jim wanted to take me backstage but the security wouldn’t let him because I didn’t have a pass. But I handed him some issues of Skeleton Horse to give to Thurston. He said that he very carefully put it in his bag and was gonna put it in his archive when he got home.
I was really looking forward to see Dead Skeletons. It was their first time playing in Iceland. Backstage they didn’t have a fridge or an ice bucket for their beers. They had to get their friends to drive them to the venue for the sound check and were stuck there for 13 hours. The festival organisers refused to provide them with transportation because they considered them a local band since half of the members are Icelandic. Most of the people had already left before their set. Everybody came to see Nick Cave.
Even though it was cold and grey it was a lot of fun. I hope they do it again next year. My friend who has a girlfriend got to make out with Tilda. Apparently he has permission to do so as long as it’s Tilda Swinton or Stephen Fry.
Oh Say Can Oh Sees
Pre-Saturday Night Party Party
Seen & Heard At Iceland’s All Tomorrow’s Parties
Bus trip to ATP festival provided by Reykjavík Excursions