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ATP Nightmare before Christmas

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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby sleepkid on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:03 pm

steve wrote:The lineup isn't complete, but not having a bunch of English bands on a festival in England ought to be a cause for celebration.


Sort of like having a culinary festival in Chicago without a single chef or dish from Chicago being represented would be a cause for celebration. Because, you know, why recognise Chicago's culinary achievements in any way? Is there anything good in Chicago? Do all Chicago people know about the good things that might be in Chicago?

Actually, I met a guy from Chicago the other day who had never heard of Hot Dougs. And he claimed he loved hot dogs. He's all the way over here in Japan doing the tourist thing only to have some jerk who has never resided in Chicago tell him about what is probably Chicago's best hot dog. It's not like it's a secret, but some people just don't know.

Now, having said that, and possibly irritated you, I see your point. Fair enough.

And as you said, the lineup isn't complete yet either, so who knows what might happen. I have no stake in it either way.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Ptommydski on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:28 pm

The 2002 ATP was incredible and this one already looks fantastic. Still, like I said - the people who will come out to this mostly don't come out for equally great British bands and it's a real shame. Sad but true.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby happyandbored on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:44 pm

Damn foreigners coming over here and stealing our gigs!
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby tallchris on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:55 pm

happyandbored wrote:Damn foreigners coming over here and stealing our gigs!
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby mattgringo on Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:52 pm

steve wrote:Lucky you, living in England you'll probably have a number of opportunities to hear them. Unlike the bands we're inviting to ATP, who are much less likely to play in England without the opportunity ATP affords them.


I do get opportunities to see most of the great bands in Britain (I feel more British than English, ta) because... I promote gigs for them and bands from all over the world. I've probably done about 250 gigs now, including some friends of yours: Arcwelder, PW Long, Brick Layer Cake, Bellini, The Evens, Melt Banana, Oxes, Dead Meadow, French Toast. Always on a non-profit basis, trying to show good hospitaility and doing my best for the bands.

That doesn't mean that everyone who attends ATP knows about every great band in the UK (I certainly don't, there is always the opportunity for surprise). Even then, I would love to see the bands I see regularly over here, who casually blow the touring bands off stage when they are given support slots in our northern cities. Rarely do they get the chance in London - Shellac actually being an honourable exception here.

Bands like Joeyfat (to pick just one, who I am in no way associated with) never get to play at events such as ATP. I doubt they get to play to more than 100 people outside of Tunbridge Wells, on the very very rare occasions they make it out. I would be absolutely fucking delighted if they played ATP, in front of probably the largest crowd they have ever performed to, who would be predisposed to them.

steve wrote:The lineup isn't complete, but not having a bunch of English bands on a festival in England ought to be a cause for celebration.


This is why it would not be a cause for celebration:

- it perpetuates a view, which Mr Damnably ably demonstrates earlier in this thread, that British music is not worthy of comparison to peers from the US - citing some utter bollocks about John Peel holding the same opinion. With respect, you have not experienced the impact that ill informed horseshit such as this has had in dimishing the standing of British artists of a similar ilk to the ones you are bringing to the UK. Supersonic Festival has the balance right in my view, ATP ands its curators do not. Which is why I, and many other people I know, no longer attend the festival. It may also go some way to explaining why ATP is downsizing back to Camber Sands and why ATP Concerts Limited have had to voluntary liquidate themselves and have phoenixed a new company.

It would be cause for celebration if an ATP curator, or Willwall Limited themselves, started to support British artists, many of whom supported the festival from its inception but have now deserted it. Look at the representation of British artists at ATP's overseas festivals - it is virtually non-existent. ATP and their curators in the US do not take the view of "Lucky Americans, living in the USA they'll probably have a number of opportunities to hear American bands. Unlike the British bands we're inviting to ATP, who are much less likely to play in the USA without the opportunity ATP affords them."

Of course, part of the reason that British (and other overseas artists) do not get invited to play ATP in the US and cannot tour is the blatant unfairness of the US work visa system. It is relatively easy and cheap for overseas touring artists to get a UK work visa, but incredibly difficult and expensive for overseas artists to get a US work visa. When an artist on my label played a one off gig in the US in 2007, the cost of a work visa was over £1000. The only way we could afford it was by being lucky enough to get a grant. The costs will be higher now. When the US bands we promote ask why UK bands don't make it to the US, they are shocked at the costs we would face. One of the gentleman you have invited to play ATP, John Robb of the Membranes, is currently campaigning against the high costs of US work visas for British artists. It amounts to a restraint of trade but much more importantly hinders cross-pollination, love and respect between the music communities of our respective countries.

Perhaps John Robb's campaign is something you could get behind as an alternative to finding out about some great bands from the UK? I am sure he would value your support.
Last edited by mattgringo on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby bogusaurus on Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:17 pm

But sure where is Bono on this list? Nary a sop for the paddies among us?
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby 154 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:19 pm

It's interesting that how for the Chicago/Mpls Anniversary shows, no one here mentioned lesser-known bands that play to 30 people regularly weren't asked to play vs. bands that, you know, they've actually been friends with and have been playing with for 20 years (the one exception of 'unknown band' being STNNNG, as Dead Rider and Bellini stemmed from bands they played with in the 90s).

It's hard to see these posts as anything other than pouting.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby sleepkid on Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:53 pm

mattgringo wrote:It would be cause for celebration if an ATP curator, or Willwall Limited themselves, started to support British artists, many of whom supported the festival from its inception but have now deserted it. Look at the representation of British artists at ATP's overseas festivals - it is virtually non-existent. ATP and their curators in the US do not take the view of "Lucky Americans, living in the USA they'll probably have a number of opportunities to hear American bands. Unlike the British bands we're inviting to ATP, who are much less likely to play in the USA without the opportunity ATP affords them."


Which is good, but isn't really the concept behind the festival.

Wikipedia wrote: The idea is that it is akin to dipping into the curator's record collection, or as founder Barry Hogan described it, "ATP is like an excellent mix tape".


So, ultimately, of course, it's Shellac's mix tape. It's possible that their record collections don't contain much up and coming music from the UK. Maybe because they just haven't found/been exposed to any bands from the U.K. that they think are worth listening to (which is a shame, because as mentioned, there are plenty of good ones there - I think Napalm Death would have been better than Slayer for example... and I'm not even wild about either of those bands - but that was Mogwai's preference, so...) That may just be the way the ball bounces.

I'll also take a moment to point out that Belle & Sebastian's curated event was heavily U.K. oriented and featured relatively few artists (though some) from the USA.


154 wrote:It's hard to see these posts as anything other than pouting.


Not pouting on my part. As I have zero investment in this ATP since I don't live anywhere near it and won't be able to attend it. I was just trying to point out the flip side of the coin.
Last edited by sleepkid on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby stian on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:09 pm

I'm definitely considering booking up for the Shellac ATP, but I'm a bit nervous about it considering the financial status and all. Do these usually sell out months in advance, or am I safe waiting it out a bit longer?
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Bill Swansea on Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:22 am

It'll be sold out before the majority of the line is announced at this rate.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby gjhardwick on Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:18 am

I more surprised over the fact that ATP have managed to milk this particular cash-cow for so long with ever diminishing returns (or maybe not, based on their current liquidation/rebirth), rather than American curators choosing American centric line-ups...
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby The Canadian on Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:11 am

Just re-posting that I still have 2 spaces available in a 4-berth room for the Shellac ATP. If you're interested in bunking with a couple of Canadians send me a PM.

Edit: Tickets are now gone.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Ptommydski on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:22 pm

I think the Shellac ATP is defensible because it's sort of an anniversary of the great 2002 event, which was probably the best music event I've ever been to.

There's no denying that most of the ATP events have good line-ups but it's still a shame that maybe a couple of newer UK independent bands aren't featured. The sort of bands I mean are the type of acts who have a lot in common with the US bands who usually play and/or curate ATP events. Of course, the people curating should be able to pick who they like but if anybody chose to include one or two UK bands who aren't typically exposed to this kind of audience, that would be a class act. When I became interested in independent music and punk rock, it seemed like this kind of thoughtfulness was relatively common.

On the one hand, you can definitely say that UK audiences should already be familiar with UK bands but sadly it doesn't work like that any more. As you can see from this thread, people from the UK and abroad have this odd notion that there are no good bands in their own country - largely because other folks reinforce this with idle comments about the perceived superiority of any/all US bands. Thus, all of these great UK bands (who are often involved with promoting, housing and sometimes writing about the US bands who come over here) quite often have a really hard time convincing anybody that they are worthy of attention. A huge chunk of people who will go to this Shellac ATP will never even consider seeing The Unit Ama or Bilge Pump - exactly the sort of acts who would fit perfectly into this kind of event.

To be frank, I'm confused and worried about ATP. It's a common sentiment amongst Brits, it seems. The events are becoming more expensive, less inclusive and the rosters are becoming increasingly, possibly unhealthily, focused on nostalgia. It seems like ATP is gradually alienating its core audience and I don't know if it's a sustainable approach. Most of the bands who play and/or curate became popular before the internet permanently changed the game and established themselves at least partially through college (or state-subsidised) radio and music journalism (both of which were massively important, especially in the UK). The kids who grew up reading about the great independent music of yore are now being told that they're not good enough and not welcome by some of the artists who inspired them to take up music.

If things aren't going all so well for ATP (which it seems might well be the case), I feel like it's because they're not listening to their own demographic. Some people in this thread and elsewhere are the exact people who they should be listening to - the people actually involved in the independent music community in the UK on a day-to-day basis. There's this weird disconnect between the older bands who commonly play these events and the younger, newer bands who used to make up part of their audience. Nobody will ever reach the level of Shellac or Fugazi ever again - the infrastructure which allowed them to build global audiences is gone. As soon as the bands who are trotted out each time are retired, this type of event is going to disappear completely. If some new blood was allowed to find a wider audience, it would actually add a new dimension which would probably be beneficial to ATP in the long run.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby 154 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Of course, the people curating should be able to pick who they like but if anybody chose to include one or two UK bands who aren't typically exposed to this kind of audience, that would be a class act. When I became interested in independent music and punk rock, it seemed like this kind of thoughtfulness was relatively common.


This kind of Thurston Moore-ish, 'finger on the pulse of the younger active scene' thing would strike me as transparent and phony. I don't know why any band curating a special gig or festival would not want to invite their closest friends, bands they've toured with, recorded with, and genuinely like versus combing Bandcamp sites looking for something more 'representative of the region'.

I also jaded enough to think it wouldn't work. If the local bands go on at noon, most people will just show up at 4pm..
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Snowblinder on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:41 pm

This happens literally two weeks after our European tour is scheduled to end. I'm seriously considering e-mailing our booking guy and seeing if he can tack on two more weeks of tour just so that I can go to this at the end of the trip, haha. 60 days of tour overseas capped off with going to ATP would be pretty sweet.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Ptommydski on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:01 pm

154 wrote:This kind of Thurston Moore-ish, 'finger on the pulse of the younger active scene' thing would strike me as transparent and phony. I don't know why any band curating a special gig or festival would not want to invite their closest friends, bands they've toured with, recorded with, and genuinely like versus combing Bandcamp sites looking for something more 'representative of the region'.

I also jaded enough to think it wouldn't work. If the local bands go on at noon, most people will just show up at 4pm..

I think this is a fair point, especially the latter part. There's of course a chance that people would still ignore the UK bands but again, that's partially because of this odd notion that the UK has no great bands. There was definitely a period whereby it seemed like they were few and far between but lo and behold, the Our Band Could Be Your Life reading generation ended up forming a lot of really good bands.

Still (just to use the Shellac ATP as an example because it's the closest), I can think of a handful of UK bands who have recorded at Electrical Audio who would probably play - Avenging Force, Future Of The Left, Electrelane etc.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby 154 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:19 pm

..Future Of The Left


Funny, as I specifically recall a thread on here where people were complaining about McLusky/FoTL getting all of the stateside recognition while their friends' 'better' bands weren't getting any attention.

Certain fractions of the UK scene have developed a bit of a reputation around here for being a bit touchy/resentful, more than any other region I've noticed. It's kind of intriguing.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby Ptommydski on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:35 pm

I'm not being funny but could it at least partially be because US bands are welcomed over here, despite festivals where the curators come over and call all the UK bands shit? Would that not rankle you just a little if you spent quite a lot of time putting on shows and promoting US acts?
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby 154 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:48 pm

The first point: possibly, though there may be more useful ways to channel that negativity.

The second point: if even a small part of you is into it looking to get something in return down the line, maybe you shouldn't do it. We all do it all the time and often the favors are not returned. Just enjoy the moments for what they are and be surprised and delighted about any of the opportunities that eventually come your way.
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Re: ATP Nightmare before Christmas

Postby gjhardwick on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:50 pm

Ptommydski wrote:I think the Shellac ATP is defensible because it's sort of an anniversary of the great 2002 event, which was probably the best music event I've ever been to.

There's no denying that most of the ATP events have good line-ups but it's still a shame that maybe a couple of newer UK independent bands aren't featured. The sort of bands I mean are the type of acts who have a lot in common with the US bands who usually play and/or curate ATP events. Of course, the people curating should be able to pick who they like but if anybody chose to include one or two UK bands who aren't typically exposed to this kind of audience, that would be a class act. When I became interested in independent music and punk rock, it seemed like this kind of thoughtfulness was relatively common.

On the one hand, you can definitely say that UK audiences should already be familiar with UK bands but sadly it doesn't work like that any more. As you can see from this thread, people from the UK and abroad have this odd notion that there are no good bands in their own country - largely because other folks reinforce this with idle comments about the perceived superiority of any/all US bands. Thus, all of these great UK bands (who are often involved with promoting, housing and sometimes writing about the US bands who come over here) quite often have a really hard time convincing anybody that they are worthy of attention. A huge chunk of people who will go to this Shellac ATP will never even consider seeing The Unit Ama or Bilge Pump - exactly the sort of acts who would fit perfectly into this kind of event.

To be frank, I'm confused and worried about ATP. It's a common sentiment amongst Brits, it seems. The events are becoming more expensive, less inclusive and the rosters are becoming increasingly, possibly unhealthily, focused on nostalgia. It seems like ATP is gradually alienating its core audience and I don't know if it's a sustainable approach. Most of the bands who play and/or curate became popular before the internet permanently changed the game and established themselves at least partially through college (or state-subsidised) radio and music journalism (both of which were massively important, especially in the UK). The kids who grew up reading about the great independent music of yore are now being told that they're not good enough and not welcome by some of the artists who inspired them to take up music.

If things aren't going all so well for ATP (which it seems might well be the case), I feel like it's because they're not listening to their own demographic. Some people in this thread and elsewhere are the exact people who they should be listening to - the people actually involved in the independent music community in the UK on a day-to-day basis. There's this weird disconnect between the older bands who commonly play these events and the younger, newer bands who used to make up part of their audience. Nobody will ever reach the level of Shellac or Fugazi ever again - the infrastructure which allowed them to build global audiences is gone. As soon as the bands who are trotted out each time are retired, this type of event is going to disappear completely. If some new blood was allowed to find a wider audience, it would actually add a new dimension which would probably be beneficial to ATP in the long run.


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