All Tomorrow’s Parties 2010 Recap

<p> <a href="features/all_tomorrows_parties_2010_recap/"><img src="" alt="All Tomorrow's Parties 2010 Recap" /></a> </p> <p> In May, Butlin’s Holiday Centre in Minehead, U.K. hosts two weekends of alternative music festival All Tomorrow’s...
All Tomorrow's Parties 2010 Recap

All Tomorrow's Parties 2010 Recap

In May, Butlin’s Holiday Centre in Minehead, U.K. hosts two weekends of alternative music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties, curated by an acclaimed artist.  The first 2010 weekend, May 7th to 9th, was curated by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons (and original-episodes-coming-back-this-summer Futurama) – and if you’re going to get a non-musician to curate your music festival, the creator of the greatest television show of all time is a pretty good pick.


[note: QRO was only able to cover the first two days of the three-day festival, and so missed ladies like Joanna Newsom, Hope Sandoval, CocoRosie, Juana Molina & Viv Albertine]

butterflies on the ceiling

All Tomorrow's fansArriving at Butlin’s, the weather was damp, and the smell of the local burger bar filled the air.  Rain poured down outside, but there was a huge party going on inside.  Even the seagulls were joining in.

Walking into the building, an American-style diner is placed to the left.  The audience ate as they watched the bands that were on stage over towards the back of the room.  Over the hall were arcade games; giant butterflies were suspended to the ceiling.  This was also where the entrance to the smaller stage was.

The line-up Matt Groening chose for his All Tomorrow’s Parties was fantastic, and the choices were hard to make at times.
burgers in the bar
man & the machines


Friday, May 7th

Iggy & The Stooges, Pavilion, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Iggy & The Stooges

Click image for full gallery

Iggy spitIggy PopThe car park was almost full at 8:30 PM, with mice and rabbits running across the car park.  Not a sight that is often seen.  But arrived just in time to watch Iggy & The Stooges, on in the Pavilion (the main arena style stage).

Iggy Pop paraded all in black leather with a waistcoat, which he threw off immediately.  He frequently sipped water and then spat it disgracefully across the stage.

Pop has energy on stage, and his performance was flawless.  He contorted his body and threw himself to the floor, beginning to crawl on his hands and knees as he sang “Like a Dog” to the audience.  He then told the audience he is about to perform a song about a bitch, a girl he once knew, “Joanna”.

Towards the end of the performance Pop invited the audience on stage to dance; the crowd went wild.  Security had to throw people out of the pit, including delicately handling sweaty young women that have taken their tops off.  Their bras still remained, thank goodness!!!!
Iggy & the crowd



Toumani Diabate, Centre Stage, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Toumani Diabate

a koraClick image for full gallery

The stage was filled with a huge presence, and the colours were intense.  The band was dressed in their traditional clothes, faces beaming with pride as they worked the stage with African American music.

Toumani Diabate is a Malian kora player who has gained international acclaim for his music.  He is a versatile performer, being equally at home with the traditional music of Mali, and was a character on stage, smiling throughout the performance.

Toumani Diabate live at 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, U.K.:



Shonen Knife, Centre Stage, 11:30 PM – 12:25 AM
Shonen Knife

Shonen KnifeClick image for full gallery

Osaka’s Shonen Knife are well known for playing with Nirvana & Sonic Youth, and gained a huge amount of interest as they entered the stage.  The three petite Japanese girls were visually stunning on stage and very photogenic, and filled the stage with pop-rock tunes.  The audience was well into “Sushi Bar” in particular.

Shonen Knife live at 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, U.K.:



Liars, Centre Stage, 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Angus AndrewsClick image for full gallery

The New York act filled the stage with a diverse range of genres.  Lead singer Angus Andrew messed with pedals to create obscure sounds and voice distortion.

Annoyingly, they were pretty hidden on a very darkly lit stage – a photographer’s nightmare!




Saturday, May 8th

Danielson, Pavilion

DanielsonClick image for full gallery

Danielson is an American band from Clarksboro, New Jersey who play indie-pop/gospel music.  They played on the main stage in the Pavilion.  At this point in the day, the crowd was a little low, which was a shame as Danielson had obviously put a lot of effort into not only their act, but also their costume design.
a Danieldaughter


Deerhunter, Pavilion, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Bradford CoxClick image for full gallery

Singer/guitarist Bradley Cox (QRO solo live review) had a huge presence on stage.  He often had a break from the music to chat to the crowd.  Throughout the show he kept asking the time.  They went a little over but no one was complaining.

The band was interesting to watch as a group.  Bassist Josh Fauver consistently swayed from side to side in the centre.  He constantly had a smile on his face and kept Josh Fauverlaughing to himself.

Lockett PundtTo left of the stage, Cox seemed to frequently implode on stage.  This came across visually as his body flung back and forth while he played the chords a little more violently.  He also shared the fact that his mic was full of slime as he spat towards the floor then wiped his face over with a small white towel.

The sounds were big.  In the far right hand corner stood Lockett Pundt.  He played placidly with much concentration on his face.  Barely moving, his presence on stage was very mysterious.

Deerhunter played explosive sounds, ending the show with experimental guitar loops.  The whole band left the stage, with which Cox sat himself down and continued to create further distorted sounds from his subconscious.


She & Him, Pavilion, 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
She & Him

Click image for full gallery

She & Him is an American indie folk band consisting of Zooey Deschanel (vocals, piano, banjo) and M. Ward (guitar, production).  They’re still best known for being the combination of an alt-folk star in Ward (QRO solo album review) and celebrity actress in Deschanel (500 Days of Summer, Elf), but are no side or vanity project – though everyone knew who they were there to see…
She outta be in pictures
She & Him



Boredoms, Centre Stage

hairClick image for full gallery

another drummerA massive band.

The drummer entered on stage from the crowd, and hovered over the crowd on some kind of contraption, making his way to the stage to accompany the rest of the drummers.  You’ve never seen so many drummers on stage at one time before.  The sound was huge!

There is someone in centre of the stage who seemed to orchestrate the Japanese band, as they played their fourth annual Boadrum.  He stood in front of a wall of guitars, with his hair braid almost taking over his head!

Noise-rock can be inaccessible, but the crowd seemed to be very into this diverse act!



Shonen Knife at merch table

Late in the afternoon, Matt Groening was found, sat in the Pavilion, next door to Shonen Knife.  Shonen Knife were selling t-shirts while Matt signed and drew cartoons for fans.

Matt Groening:

Later he had his photo taken with Shonen Knife.  Groening behaved very gentlemanly and made time to speak with everyone that wished to make conversation with him.


The Residents, Centre Stage, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM
The Residents

The ResidentsClick image for full gallery

The Residents are an American avant-garde band has been around for over thirty years.  They seem to prefer to conceal their identities from the public.  They appeared on stage with a man dressed in a white string vest, boxer shorts and a long tie standing boldly in the centre of the stage, wearing a balding facemask.  The set design was surreal, a retro living room where the old man seemed to reside as he told David Lynch-style stories of torment/suicide and indifference.

The tales were very visual and very dark, with the character told his stories in retrospect of how he killed his mother and how he tortured his sister.

The Residents playing “Six More Miles” live at 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, U.K.:

He then moved on to telling the audience of an elderly person ostracized by society in their neighborhood, of how he feels alone.
The Residents

The ResidentsThe anonymous mans voice was uncomfortably soothing.  He swayed his hands delicately through the air as he spoke… he seemed to hypnotize the crowd with these hand gestures.  His voice echoes and sound delays were used to gain a sense of panic and anxiety in sections.

Two men in identical masks were placed at each side of the stage as they added sounds to the performance and gave off a symmetrical look to the stage.  Flash torches and mirrors were used as props to interact with audience.

A very interesting show, highly recommended to audiences interested in visual arts/concept performances/surreal films and diverse music.  Matt Groening had a front row seat in the pit; he looked intrigued.
The Residents



Ponytail, Centre Stage, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Click image for full gallery

Very experimental.  The lead singer seemed to roll her eyes towards the back of her head in an uneasy manner.  She then violently threw her head up and down as she created unrecognizable vocal sounds.

A very experimental band!…


Panda Bear, Centre Stage, 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Panda Bear

Click image for full gallery

Panda Bear stood very quietly on a darkly lit stage, almost hidden by his gadgets.  Directly behind him were projections of naked people fornicating and exploding.  Visuals of a giant penis ejaculating fire were put there to distract the audience.  However, the audience seemed more mesmerized by checking out Panda Bear as plays new set of tunes.
Panda Bear


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