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.