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All Tomorrow’s Parties: End Of An Era Part 2 (live at Pontin’s)

Fuck Buttons at ATP 2013Camber Sands, Sussex 29 November-1 December 2013

So it came, as the subtitle says, to the very end of an era for All Tomorrow’s Parties on the English coast. Returning full circle to Pontin’s at Camber Sands where it all kicked off 13 years ago (barring the festival’s origins with Belle and Sebastian‘s Bowlie Weekender a year earlier in 1999 at the same spot), ATP brought out its glad rags and old friends to take rock and roll and variations thereof on a musical jaunt to the seaside one last time.

With recent line-ups often being somewhat less enticing than the earlier events and with declining numbers apparently attending, it’s not such a surprise that the time when holding an off-season indoor festival four times a

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Michael Rother presents the music of Neu! and Harmonia (live at Central Station, Wrexham)

27 April 2013

Out here on the periphery, the phrase ‘sole UK appearance’ instinctively elicits grumpy mutterings about ‘privileged Londoners’… after all, nobody ever does ‘sole UK appearances’ in north Wales!’ But what’s this?… Michael Rother presents the music of Neu! and Harmonia at Helsinki… Tilburg… Krems… St. Petersburg… Wrexham… Wrexham!?!… surely not THAT Wrexham?

It turns out to be true – the recently established Focus Wales festival have eccentrically booked Mr. Rother and Charlotte Church as joint headliners for this year’s festival – I’d wager a decent sum that it’s the first time the two have shared a bill.

Rother’s foray into revisiting his back catalogue a couple of years back as Hallogallo featured an all-star line-up that included Sonic Youth‘s Steve Shelley. I only experienced that via YouTube – it seemed very good stuff, but not exactly Neu! This time around, Rother is touring with a young Berlin

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Rother & Moebius/White Noise/Alquimia/Waveworld (live)

The Third Millennium Festival Union Chapel, London 14th October 2000

Generally I would say that if you want to see a gig in London, there are not many more beautiful places than Union Chapel. I would also add to try for summer. This cavernous gothic spired chapel all of stone and wood and beautiful doorways into maze-like passages provides an atmosphere of spooky tranquility and usually gorgeous acoustic quality. Unfortunately, the cold could not be kept out this night, even with the radiation of a dozen or more electric heaters, and according to some of the artists, the sound system was more than a little off. Putting an audience on hard pews in a cold stone room and expecting them to stay awake for hours on end of quiet dreamy music proved to be too much, so what should have been a promising bunch of performances did eventually become tedious

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Michael Rother & Dieter Moebius/Dead Voices On Air (live)

The Underworld, London 28th January 2000

Dead Voices On Air are conducting a bit of an experiment on the London leg of their tour, starting off loud, noisy and danceable and trailing down into ambient passages of extended mood workouts. Mark Spybey and Darren Phillips man the keyboards, sequencers, samplers, digital technology; Darryl Neudorf is behind a bare drumkit (complete with fluffy liner on one drum). So they kick off into a post-Industrial Dance groove, and instantly several key signifiers make links to everyone from Coil (arpeggiating keyboard weirdnesses, atmosphere), Psychic TV (the stripped analogue beats, the moments of ecstatic upness) and of course fellow Vancouverians and fellow-travellers Download (that digital Techno-noise, the earnest need for cathartic harshness). Largely instrumental, the only moment of vocal outpouring comes during a heavy-skanking Techno Dub, when the words “I hate who you are” become the mantra of the minute and the atmosphere becomes

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