Hurray for All Tomorrow's Parties! I wasn't too excited about the Breeders lineup this year I must say, I kind of wished I had been to the vs the Fans one. But hey, sometimes it's nice not to have pressure to watch tons of bands. You can just hang out and get binned on red wine in the chalet playing Kate Bush very loudly, which may or may not have happened. Anyway, here is a little run down of what we did when we weren't doing Kate Bush dancing Friday Giant Sand were the soundtrack to my dinner, which consisted of chips and deep fried Quorn sausage. At this point I made a mental note to get to Tesco and never eat at Butlins again. I also noted that as lovely as Howe Gelb's dulcet tones are, Giant Sand are really a bit boring and I wasn't drawn to go and watch them. Throwing Muses on the other hand were instantly more interesting and we rushed along to hear them belt out some oldies and some newies. All good, and I think I was temporarily gay for Kristen Hersh. Some friends arrived just in time for Bon Iver which they were all pretty excited about. Now I saw them last year at the End of the Road festival and they were just amazing. I just knew they wouldn't cut it in the food court that is is pavilion stage at Minehead. To me that stage just saps all the atmosphere out of something that's supposed to be delicate and beautiful. They played their little hearts out, but it definitely wasn't spell binding. Next on the list is Mr. Lif busting out some old school hip hop. As always when I watch Hip Hop at ATP I feel like I'm in the whitest audience in the world and so middle class it hurts. By the end of it though, all my embarrassment is washed away and I'm dancing like a complete dick. The highlight was Washitup – a song about the importance of personal hygiene so you don’t get funky. Demonstrated with towels and video clips of old people showering in swimsuits. A very good lesson to all. Saturday We spend the morning with more chalet hanging out, managing to cook an amazing breakfast (I love this bit of ATP), amusement arcade fun and air hockey championships. I actually didn't watch anything properly until Teenage Fanclub who are cockle warming, jingly jangly and lovely. The new stuff is really good - according to my compadre, a long time Fannies fan. I was too busy listening to Pavement when they were around in the 90's but I may well get some of their stuff now. I think I saw Shellac after this. They have a very amusing and entertaining presence and put on a great show, they even played my favourite song with lots of swears in it. Back to the food court stage for the The Breeders, who play a greatest hits style set and I who do indeed still rock. In a 90's indie disco classic type way. Now then, I was intrigued to see what Tricky would be like after all these years. I hadn't really heard anything of his this side of 2000 but I remember how much his debut was played to death on my stereo back in 1995 (yes I am that old) From the outset I was completely transfixed. His new songs are even darker and more brooding than earlier work. He has another young breathy singer and a full band and he commands your attention in a big way. Especially when he takes his shirt off - Phew! He does a marvellous stage dive at the encore and we walk away feeling suitably exhilarated and impressed. Unfortunately this dissipates later in the faux Irish pub where I look up after hearing a kerfuffle and notice him trying to have a fight with some very sheepish festival goers. Naughty Tricky! We heard a rumour that he was lactose intolerant and that perhaps he'd had a celebratory Dairy Milk after the show. We may have just made this up. After a bit of calming down after Trickygate it's time for the festival highlight - Mariachi El Bronx. Now you may know the hardcore band the Bronx who like to play ear bleedingly loud and energetic music. I saw them at the Concorde a wee while back and actually got punched! This set couldn't be any more different. The band are kitted out in Mexican costumes and play a surreal set of proper mariachi style songs of their own composition. They have trumpets! I love them more than life itself at this moment, and they love us all back. My pal Owe who has been drinking since 10am fell asleep at about 8 and missed them, he will regret this until the day he dies. Well for at least a few months. Sunday Today is the day I've been looking forward to most. Deerhunter day. I think my friends are getting sick of me banging on about them all the time. After a refreshing swim (with members of Shellac of course) The first band I catch is Times New Viking who are an impressive shambolic threesome from Ohio. They were loud and catchy enough to be enjoyable, but I couldn't help thinking they were a poor person's No Age. Then it's time for the marvellous Deerhunter. From the start you can see Bradford Cox is excitable and giggly and very happy to be there. Unfortunately they were on the atmosphere-sapping main stage but they have the power to fight this. Playing the magical catchy Dreampop they are loved so much for, they play songs from the excellent latest album Microcastles and some earlier stuff. Kim and Kelley Deal join them on stage for a cover of 'Bragging Party', an old Amps song. It was phenomenal. But then maybe I'm just biased because in my eyes they can do no wrong. I wandered on a Deerhunter shaped cloud to catch the end of Kimya Dawson who has invited three audience members on stage to do dancing and singing. One guy is particularly sweet and announces he is having the time of his life as he's not talented at anything. Kimya is her normal sweet and bizarre self. I particularly like the song about her not shaving her body hair because she is an animal. Yeah! I nip off to see the legendary Gang of Four with my gang of four, or maybe five I can't remember. I've been really looking forward to the godfathers of Post Punk and they didn't disappoint me. Lead singer Jon King has more energy than about 5 normal men and he does strange frog dancing around the stage alongside guitarist Andy Gill who looks incredibly still in comparison but still ROCKS. The most bizarre bit is when King bashes a microwave with a baseball bat. It's probably some kind of political statement but I'm not sure what. I caught a bit of Foals but I must say I've probably seen them too many times and wasn't really in the mood. Also I know I should get kicked out of any kind of club for not seeing Melt Banana but these things happen, that's just the way the festival cookie crumbles sometimes. We end the evening at Crazy Horse with Fuck Buttons DJ set which is both brilliant and horrific. We bring the pony dance to the people, and someone teaches us the elephant dance. In summary - FUN!