Wednesday, 15 December 2010

ATP In Between Days - Day 2

After a hearty brunch day 2 started with a talk given by long time friend, fellow ATP explorer, and all round photographic genius, Jason Evans.

I've know Jason (man in furry hat) for about 20 years and he still never ceases to amuse and inspire me. I check his Daily Nice site everyday and have many LPs in my collection sporting covers with artwork composed of his photos. His recent work with Four Tet is some of my favourite.

We invited him to give a talk on his work within the music industry and he chose to discuss how it was music that actually got him into photography in the first place.

Once again we suffered from slight technical problems. Despite spending the early morning successfully working out a way around the lack of Apple compatibility with the projector in the cinema venue, we arrived five minutes before the talk to find no projector at all. After a frantic 20 minutes or so we found the thing, Jason began his talk, and I struggled to cue his images at the right time as I kept missing the laptop key in the dark and strained to hear his words over the hum of the projector. He talked for over an hour and easily kept the attention of everyone in the room. His work and the processes he uses are fascinating. I think he inspired us all.

Next up was Rollapaluza. James invited these guys to bring their roadshow to the festival. They have two parallel bikes connected to rollers that drive a large dial. Individuals race head to head, on the spot, over a distance of 500 meters.

Clearly James was in his element and it wasn't long before he set the time to beat. Willing volunteers stepped up, but all failed to meet his mark. Even keen cyclist Kris (who co-runs seminal Birmingham Skate shop Ideal) could not match him on a head to head.

Granted he was two pints and a few smokes worse for wear so it was a brave attempt. I like to believe that on a clean day he may have given JJ a shock.

Check the sheer (but blurred) concentration on the face of the Bikemaster as he tries to squeeze one out to make his mark.

I was determined to see James humbled at his own game and there was a rumour that one of the New York contingent, among the ATP festival runners, used to compete in long distance bike races. I managed to collar him and persuade him that his real work duty of the day was to beat JJ (who by now had left the building triumphantly). I was looking forward to going back and telling James his time was beaten and he had a real challenger. But, alas, despite his age advantage, the guy had also been caning it for the previous few days and was woefully out of shape.

JJs supremacy continued into the evening. Amos even put up £50 prize money for the best male and female times in race offs between the evening's band performances. James said he wouldn't ride but as soon as a young pretender threatened to beat his afternoon time he stepped up to show him who was boss, and save Amos 50 quid.

And where was I during all this? I didn't even get on a bike having watched the dire state that the mere 500 meters left many of the competitors. Indeed, right at the beginning I had seen Will Sweeney preparing to race, left him to go back to my chalet for a smoke, and then 10 minutes later answered the door to a very pale and ill looking Will desperate for the bathroom. It took him a good hour to recover. I refused all offers to ride in fear of the mother of all whiteys. I know my limits.

The evening's entertainment was kicked off by former work colleague and Amos fan, Gabe Gurnsey and his band, Factory Floor. I've seen them on a number of occasions and this was the best. Gabe is a moody bastard on the drums.

There were at least a couple of times when I thought he was going to walk off during the set. But his compatriots Nik and Dom kept playing and he eventually came back.

Their set was being filmed by Vice TV but was unfortunately cut short by a fire alarm, probably set off by dry ice. I once saw Sunn O))) perform and start by filling the room with dry ice which set off all the building's alarms so summoning a disgruntled looking fire brigade (and not some demented demon as I'm sure they would prefer). Silly boys.

This was some how less comical and much more tense. It really fit the atmosphere Factory Floor managed to create during their set.

After, keyboard player Dom was hell bent on thieving some of the site posters we had created for the event. Although he did politely, and kindly, ask permission first.

These posters had been going up since the start of the first weekend and seemed popular with festival goers. More on these soon.

The other bands that performed on day 2 were Autolux, Caribou and Holy Fuck. All the bands were awesome. I've seen the latter two on a number of occasions but I can honestly say that their performances that night were the best I have seen. I heard others say the same of Caribou and there were people loving them who I would never have imagined. Another great night.

And of course there was a 'zine for day 2.

All the 'zines included new work from Will Sweeney relating to his Greenfuzz series (issue 4 soon... perhaps...). He did a series of Curious Facts, one for each issue. Click on the image to enlarge.

Other curious bits...

Again, click on the image to enlarge.

More soon...

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