Some bits off the ATP festival

So, as you guys already know, John played at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival on Saturday 23rd April. Some lucky fans with enough money and abilities were there, the rest of us were anxiously waiting for any news, reviews or pics. The most of the people are travelling back home as the world is not a small place and those who live close to Camber Sands and who had already returned were nice enough to share some experiences:)

For now, I can only show you one review and three pics, thanks to Michelle aka Moosha from the Ramparts forum. If you have anything else to contribute: video clips, photos, reviews or just random bits, please tell me and we’ll sort something out:)

Pics are available here and the beautifully-written raw review follows here.

Well I just got back from ATP….a day early, but I kind of ran out of stamina this afternoon after watching The Tints. What an amazing weekend!

So John performed last night (Saturday) and it was amazing, the best live show I have ever seen and one of the most special hours of my life

He was due to come on stage at 8.30 and perform for an hour on the ‘downstairs’ stage. There were two venues – the larger upstairs one with a big stage and loads of space in the room, and the more intimate (and pretty tiny) room downstairs which was used for most of the acoustic acts. I guess John chose the smaller venue because of its cosy and intimate feel, and there was less pressure on him with a smaller crowd. On before him was Vincent Gallo and Sean Lennon and at that time the room was packed. They went down well but the crowd were really hot and squashed, and they were running late because of problems with set up. So John actually came on nearly an hour late by which time the room was about half empty because his set now clashed with PJ Harvey performing upstairs. I think this worked out really well for John because it meant he played to a really appreciative crowd consisting of his fans and people who were generally really interested to find out what he was about

He got a great reception as he walked on stage and took his seat to play Time Runs Out – I think that was his first song but I’m rubbish at remembering songs played and in which order. At the end of the song he got up again as his setlist had not been brought on stage for him but he seemed really chilled and was in high spirits. He seemed generally moved by the crowd’s reaction and after the first two or three songs, he told how he hadn’t gone out and performed all these songs when he made the records and he would never do that again as the songs mean so much more once they’ve been performed. He said he was ‘connecting the songs’ with us and that we were ‘the other half of the songs’

I don’t remember all of the songs he played or in which order, but he definitely played:

Carvel – great reaction from the crowd
Time Tonight – absolutely beautiful
Song To Sing When I’m Lonely
I’m Around
Usually Just A T Shirt – great reaction
The Will To Death – one of the last songs he played, and the highlight for me. Just so beautiful, really emotional
He played another one from Niandra but I can’t remember which

He also did a cream cover (I’m sure someone else will confirm which one) and said he wanted to watch a Cream show over here in a couple of weeks but as they’re recording the new RHCP album now, he could only come over for these shows. He said we should go see Cream or buy one of their old records

He also peformed a song from the Brown Bunny soundtrack, saying it was a great movie. The song was beautiful – I have to get that soundtrack!

He did Havana Affair as someone had requested a Ramones track – John gave us a choice of two for him to perform

A couple of other things he said / did:

When he was setting up his echo machine and practicing with ‘uh uh uh’, some of the audience were giggling so John said ‘don’t make fun’ but not in an annoyed way

Towards the beginning of the set his microphone squeaked (the technical people / equipment were not the best during most of the festival) and I thought John – being such a professional – would be annoyed, but he just laughed

He seemed to be enjoying himself so much and I think did a slightly longer set than he had planned so at one point he asked ‘you guys have anywhere else you need to be?’- so considerate

Towards the end he said something like ‘I would do requests but I only rehearsed the songs on the setlist and remembering my other songs is questionable.’ He said he had been rehearsing the new Chili Peppers songs right up until he left LA so he could only remember those

He looked so happy and healthy – for those who want to know, his hair was neck length and he seems to have ended up with shorter bangs at the front. It really suited him, and he looked lovely. He was so at ease with the performance, the songs and the crowd and it was pretty much note perfect

It made me feel so emotional to see him looking so completely happy with his place in the world and he just seems to constantly improve as a musician. Hearing some of the songs from the Record Collection albums live last night was amazing. Imo in some cases the performances were better than the CDs. The only live solo video performance of John I have is a bootleg of a show at the Roxy in 2001 which I bought from the fanclub. It’s great, but compared with how he was last night I feel he has just improved by about 100%, musically and in confidence

I can’t wait for some of the others to come back and confirm set lists and post photos (the ones I took are really crap and blurred.) There’s probably loads of other stuff to tell as the show went by in a blur so I’ll let the others fill in the gaps

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