Disclaimer: I forgot to take my notepad with me so this is all written after the fact. Hopefully it should give you all a flavour of the weekend though. I’d also like to apologise for the lack of pictures. Friday It’s been over a year since my last ATP and too say I’m excited would be a massive understatement. I awake at 7 o’clock and despite not having to be up till 9, I can’t force myself back to sleep, instead I lay in bed and think about all the bands I’ll be watching shortly and the new friends I hope to be making. I manage to arrive at the train station with the minimum of fuss, last time I went I got there just as my train was pulling out of the station and had to fork out an extra £50 to get the next one. We arrive at the Butlins resort at 2 and are told we can’t enter our chalets till 4. Fortunately the weather is very pleasant so we sit on the grass and enjoy the sun until we can get into our home for the next three days. Once we do this we settle in with a few drinks it’s time to head out and see the first band of the weekend, HEALTH. HEALTH: The electrifying LA quartet get things started off with an intense set, showcasing a lot of new material which sees them graft their usual walls of noise, powerful bursts of drumming and frantic shrieking with the more dancier elements that they had started to incorporate on their DISCO re-mix album. After picking my jaw up off the floor I head downstairs to the Pavillion Stage to meet up with my brother and together we go and watch M83, I like what I hear but am not paying my full attention to the band as I’ve not seen my brother for a while and we spend most of their set chatting. M83 are followed by Andrew W.K. who’s set is part motivational speech, part solo piano playing, and part circus show. After giving out some life affirming advice he welcomes some ‘friends’ onto the stage. One of which is a man in a huge suit with an orange balloon for a head with ‘the bad brilliance’ written across it. It’s ridiculously fun. With my spirits raised I head back downstairs in order to watch DEVO who, after an amusing intro on the projector screen, march on stage in their matching hats and outfits and proceed to play a highly enjoyable set. Particular highlights are singing along to the “yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah” chorus of Uncontrollable Urge and a rousing rendition of Whip It which gets my feet moving. I wander around the site trying to find people and satisfy my thirst before Jesu begin. By this point I have had more than few ales so this task is made particularly difficult. I keep nipping in and out of the Reds stage during Jesu but I’m not quite in the right frame of mind for his ambient, doom, drone pop. Instead I go and check out Fuck Buttons who play a set of almost all new material which is more immediate and danceable than anything on Street Horrrsing. After this I head into the Crazy Horse to find my friends and dance myself silly during Edan’s DJ set. I can’t remember anything of what he played but I know I enjoyed the hell out of it. After that it was time to head home for some noodles before passing out in front of Tim and Eric on the sofa. Saturday I wake up with the sun in my face at 8.30. Deciding that this time should be spent productively I go out for supplies for an almighty fry-up to give everyone the energy to face the day ahead. After consuming our own weight in Fried Meat we head for the swimming pool. Past experience has been that a dip in the pool more than helps chase away a hangover, and it works a trick. After sailing around the lazy river for an hour or so we all get ready to go and watch more bands. Lords are the first band on today and they’re a little disappointing. I’d seen them late last year and they’d really impressed me but I think that their heavy riffing rock doesn’t quite work on such a big stage. At the last Vs. the Fans I didn’t check out Grizzly Bear because I thought they sounded like a limp wristed indie band. After being made to listen to Yellow House by my flatmate I realised that they were actually fucking great so was rather excited to be seeing them. Unfortunately my excitement is short lived this is partly because the band sound incredibly flat on the Pavillion stage, and partly because they look like they want to be anywhere but Butlins. However this made my earlier dilemma of whether I should stay and watch all of them and miss the start of Harvey Milk or do the opposite. My friend and I are just getting a drink when Harvey Milk open up, and the get my attention straight away. They’ve sped up the songs slightly for their live appearance but they are still a heavy rocking outfit that have me banging my head along in sheer delight. Next up is Errors. I manage to push my way to the middle of the crowd, despite a few protestations and am in the perfect position to watch/dance along to the most energetic performance I’ve seen so far. Errors seem to step it up a notch with each subsequent song they play. By the end they have the crowd in the palm of their hand with a huge section of us dancing our socks off and generally having the time of our lives. One of the best British bands around at the moment for sure. I have to scramble off on my own quickly in order to get a good spot for The Jesus Lizard, the band I am most looking forward to seeing. After managing to secure a space two rows from the front I am prepared to witness the best band of the weekend. Three men stride onto stage and begin playing, before they’ve even go to into the first few bars of the opening song live-wire frontman David Yow has already torn his shirt off and leapt into the crowd. Everyone goes nuts and what follows is an hour of some of the tightest, most intense music it’s been my pleasure to see. You’d never guess that they haven’t played a live show in 11 years if you hadn’t been told. They tear through songs from all their albums and EP’s and leave me to wander off with a huge smile on my face which is only made bigger when I return to my chalet to find my flatmates dancing around the living room and chanting my name. The rest of the night is a blur but I know it involved a lot of dancing and high-fiving. Sunday After a night of reasonably fitful sleep I awaken and head to the pool again. The Lazy River is closed today so I swim some laps to try and squeeze some of the booze out of my system and make myself feel a little bit better. The first band I want to see today, Grails, aren’t on till 4.45 which leaves me plenty of time to laze about and get a stomach full of food in readiness for another day of boozing and watching bands. I head in to see Grails. On paper they’re just the sort of band that I’d enjoy, slowed down doom with lots of heaving riffing, but they’re don’t quite manage to pull it off. Just as it seems that they lock into a decent groove they move onto something else. There’s a lot of build up with no release so I wander off before they finish. I get to the Pavillion stage just as Future of the Left begin and they sound great. Lots of attitude, meaty bass lines and eviscerating guitar work, not to mention banter. Few bands are able to pull off On Stage Banter but Andy Falkous and Kelson Mathias seem to have it down to a fine art. Whether it’s reffering to ATP as “an alternate festival of beards and flannel shirts” or mocking some poor lad who was silly enough to try and heckle them they are never anything less than entertaining. I’m curious to see what Killing Joke are like as someone has told me that they were a big influence on Nirvana. They’re a pretty decent band, and as someone points out behind me “they’re the most stupidly enjoyable band I’ve seen all weekend”. There’s nothing on for a couple of hours so I head back to a friends chalet and watch as they go adventuring in the loft, we then consume a bizarre cocktail named ‘death drink’ and head back into the arena. I get dragged into the mosh pit during The Mae Shi’s spirited set. They constantly swap instruments, throw a parachute into the crowd and generally look like they’re having the time of their lives. The Jesus Lizard aren’t quite as fun as they were the night before but they’re still pretty special. I decided to pop downstairs and give This Will Destroy You, but my initial opinion of them as being a poor mans version of Explosions in the Sky who are themselves a watered down Mogwai are merely confirmed so I head off to pump about £3 worth of coppers into one of the amusements. Having been told by everyone that saw them the night before that Sleep are ‘utterly amazing’ I put aside my doubts and head upstairs for the last band of the weekend. Boy am I glad that I did it. I had initially been put off Sleep when I saw the utterly dull OM at Release the Bats last year, because one of their members plays in both bands. My worries were unfounded though. Sleep ROCK, they rock so hard that at points I’m worried I’m going to nod my head off my shoulders. However a friend put it far more succinctly than I could “watching Sleep wasn’t like being at a gig, it was like a religious experience where you are bowing down at the altar of the almighty riff”. All that’s left to do after that is head into the Crazy Horse to dance the night away. It’s the most enjoyable night in there as Atlas by Battles is followed by The Last Big Weekend of the Summer by Arab Strap and sees a group of people attempting to make a pyramid in the middle of the dance floor. The evening comes to an end sooner than I would have liked but everyone has to be out of their chalets by 10 am the next day so we all head back to our chalets after another successful All Tomorrows Parties. Did anyone else go? Who did you like most? Where there any bands you hated, or discovered that you loved? Anyone other amusing non music related anecdotes to impart?