Ever since I was brought into the 'fold', my owner has always waxed lyrical about All Tomorrow's Parties. So much so that when "ATP" announced they were bringing their I’ll Be Your Mirror series over to Australia and more specifically, Melbourne, he insisted I join him and his better half (for all intents and purposes I guess you could call her my mother) for the ride. I was scared, as planes really aren't my thing. I thought to myself, this shit better be worth it.
It doesn't start off too bright, I must say. The guy doesn't even declare me in the hand luggage! Talk about more front than Myer! I'm made to stick it out in the main luggage amid knickers and socks! Poor form on his behalf and let me tell you, if I could use one of those Iphone things, RSPCA would be straight on the case. I'm a forgiving kind of girl, though.
Once we check into the motel (again, I'm ‘concealed’) and settle, we make our way out for breakfast. The leftovers my "dad" gives me after breakfast on Brunswick St. sure do hit the spot. It beat that Science Diet nosh they've been serving me for the last six months. Hash browns and bacon; my sort of combination!
So here we are. The big moment; it’s onward ho to the venue in Altona. As we line-up, they’re searching people’s bags and whatnot. I’m quite worried, considering my old man went all subhuman and tossed me in with his underwear and socks on the plane journey. Plus I'd heard him say that these security guards have a tendency to be quite aggressive in the form of failing anger management and what have you. The only comfort I have is that the ‘rents don’t seem too bothered and seem prepared to play a straight bat with me as the third wheel.
So I stick my head up out of my mum's handbag to see what's going on and the security guard's eyes meet mine. Uh Oh, I thought. He gives a smile and a little stroke and ushers us all through, no problems whatsoever. I guess ATP class themselves as advocates for Animal Rights. I wish they'd educate my old man in that arena. No, seriously, he's not so bad (he feeds me Fancy Feast sometimes!).
The main arena is kind of cool. There’s plenty of room to roam about for a girl like me; however I'm still a bit apprehensive as to whether I'm supposed to be here. The security guard sure did seem nice, though! I do remember my mum saying that I would be subject to her handbag for the festival's duration. I don't mind. As long as I hear some My Bloody Valentine, I'll be happy. I do like those guys!
So out of the two stages we hit what apparently is the smaller one first. I don’t really like dark places but having ‘the ‘rents’ beside me makes it bearable. The sound adds comfort to the scene, too. Strangers From Now On. Not a bad band name, I must say. They deliver a sound that I know the old man would dig and I did hear him wittering on to my mum about comparisons such PJ Harvey jamming with Godflesh. He’s forever doing that, drawing comparisons. I liked the girl’s vocals in this case, so I guess I’ll give him a tap on the shoulder when we get home to get some more PJ on the decks and even find some of this band’s catalogue. I wish I could use Soulseek!
We hit the main arena and God damn, it’s hot! Like almost as hot as that house fire I was in back in the day (that's why I really like my dad, he rescued me, along with my mum, but that's another story for another day).
Sleepy Sun are first up on the big stage (although judging by this heat, there ain't no sun sleeping!). I like their sound, the old man needs to play more of this on a Saturday morning when we’re chilling downstairs in the music room. I like psychedelic music, and sometimes I wish I was shooting the breeze in the ‘60s. Never mind. If this is the standard of music on display this weekend, then I’ll be happy just chilling in mum’s handbag, stifling heat or not!
Thee Oh Sees are next. Quite rocking by the sounds of it, too. I stick my head out and the main man was going pretty mental on guitar. I liked his tattoos, too. I wish my dad would get some ink. I kind of like people with tattoos. Just an observation, which is all I’ve got other than a few different ‘meows’. Sorry, I’m starting to digress. Where were we? Oh yes, Thee Oh Sees. Not bad. I don’t think these sounds fill my living space though. Again, I must bring this up with the old man when we get home. Dude needs to stop playing Neurosis records and start broadening his horizons, methinks.
With all the hot air and lack of air conditioning, I really feel like a snooze. Mum buys me a cold bottle of water which I lick the outside of just to keep the fluids up, but man, the waves of tiredness are really setting in. I guess it was that infamous dreadful flight, huh?
Anyway, I’m almost asleep when this cacophony of noise startles me, kind of like when my dad gets out the cat box to take me to the God damn Vet! The sound is relentless. The end of the world is coming! I take a peak out of mum’s handbag bag and see six guys on stage who all look like they’ve just escaped from prison! It's quite scary sight for a defenseless soul such as me. I’m pretty sure my old man would have them covered if worst comes to worse. Hmm, maybe not. They might the nicest guys in the world? I also have a peep to my right and there is no other than Tex Perkins standing next to us. You're going to ask "how do I know Tex?" Good question: I stumbled across his photo on some linear notes my old man had lying around. "Black Milk", I do believe. Tex's still got it, hasn't he?
Again, digressing. Sorry. Okay. Swans. This is 90 minutes of pure relentless guitar music. I start getting a little woozy after about 45 minutes. I see my dad sporting ear plugs and that he can't take his eyes off the stage. He’s mesmerized. He’s been playing Swans albums all week in anticipation for this so I knew some of the stuff (well two out of the six songs which were released anyway, so I'm told). He was telling me how they were going to be loud (he does talk to me; he probably thinks I don’t know what he’s on about. Same with mum, too). I’m pretty sure Swans are his highlight of ATP so far. They’ll probably be the last band I can hear for the rest of my life. I think my ears have suffered damage as a result.
So Godspeed! You Black Emperor is another band my old man’s been gibbering on about for the best part of three months. Man, they seem like a nursery rhyme compared to Swans. Still, my dad’s been hitting the discography pretty hard so I’m quite familiar with the sounds. He keeps telling me that ‘Moya’ is one of the best representations of post rock and I’m pretty sure they play this song judging by his little bitch squeals. He does that sometimes when he’s excited. My mum was digging, too. A beautiful moment, I’d say. At this stage, I’m getting a bit peckish, though. I can smell the cheesy chips all the way from the other side of the building. A feline’s prerogative.
My old man must read my mind because that’s exactly what he bought himself! I get the leftovers and I have to say, they are the business, especially the left over cheese at the bottom of the box. A bit hard get a hold of with my teeth but patience is a virtue. I was getting a whiff of nicotine through the air, too. Some of my parents’ mates are smoking. I think that’s what it is. Each to their own, though, right?
When we venture back into the main arena the inspiring sounds from the second stage draw a pale look on my old man’s face. He seems genuinely disgruntled then he starts mumbling profanities about missing The Dead C. Food over sounds. I guess he regrets the cheesy chips. Just quietly, I don't. My mum is probably somewhere in between.
She is looking forward to My Bloody Valentine the most. I am, too. Like I said earlier, they are certainly my cup of tea. They don’t disappoint. I’ve never heard anything sound so rocking and beautiful at the same time. I’m glad my dad gives them a good deal of airspace back at home. I think he knows I like them as much as he does! He's always saying to my mum how ‘To Here Knows When’ is one of the best songs ever written. After hearing it (or I assume I hear the song he’s talking about judging again by his little bitch yelps), I’d agree with him, despite my tenure as a music enthusiast being quite short.
It was a good end to the day, MBV. The taxi ride home’s interesting. There’s an “animals strictly prohibited” sign on the window of the taxi. I have to keep quiet until we arrive back to the motel where my bed awaits. I can't wait for tomorrow. Hopefully I dream about Tex.
By B "BB" K-M
Day 2 to follow.