I soloed ArcTanGent this year. It was a very different experience to previous years but it's definitely something I'd do again. The main points are:
- Don't drink. This is obviously a personal one but I had a drink on the Thursday and did not enjoy the feeling of being there with no-one looking out for me, so no drinking
- Bring something to do. Not having people with you is great for getting around and seeing everything you want to see, but it's so boring during downtime. Fortunately, I had a book to read on my phone, otherwise I'd have been pretty bored.
One thing I was able to do was get everywhere super quickly and get to the front, which meant lots more photos. I can't really explain why I like taking pictures of bands so much.
- Bonnacons of Doom 👍 I don't think I'd listen to this on headphones but it was cool to see live
- Pijn ❤️ Pijn are the best
- Vasa 😒 found them boring and samey live. Shame because I love their record
- InTechnicolour 👍 I love these guys - they were added as a cancellation but they stepped up and were so good
- One of the photographers was using a Frii lens holder. Looks cool
- Imperial Triumphant 👍 super fun live show but so much of the performance was on a sample track. They could've done with keys and an extra guitar at least. So many bands played against a track, and for some reason this just doesn't sit with me. I know it's not cheating but it feels like cheating.
- Perturbator was so full I couldn't see and had a headache so went back to the tent for a nap. Sounded good from the tent though
- Bossk ❤️ are just so good. The guy stood next to me at the front said "it's not ArcTanGent until Bossk plays" and I can't disagree
- Caught the end of maybeshewill whilst WNLTL were sound checking. Maybeshewill are pioneers of playing over a track and they make it work but I'm not a huge fan of theirs
- Last ever We Never Learned to Live ❤️ show. They're always so good. Was a bit emotional at this one - they're one of my favourite bands and I'm still pretty sad that I won't see them play again
- Last Hyena 👍 I was up and mooching around so caught these guys. They played well and would definitely check them out. The guitarist I think was super nervous as his hands were full-tilt shaking but you wouldn't have known just by listening to them
- Heisa 👍 another nice surprise. Good live production and some interesting songs
- Bumped into Paddy and watched Heisa with him
- Had a bit of downtime to sat down and read whilst Hippotraktor were on. They sounded good but it's hardly fair to judge a band under those conditions
- Still 👍 nice, heavy, fun
- Møl ❤️ had wanted to see these guys forever and it was worth the wait. Absolutely amazing
- I'm really enjoying Project Hail Mary. Andy Weir obviously has a formula that works
- Blanket ❤️ I knew they'd be excellent and they are
- Bruit≤ ❤️ another I knew would be great and they were. They had an absolute nightmare of a soundcheck and they were clearly in no mood for it by the time they actually got to play, but they still sounded beautiful
- Rivers of Nihil ❤️ wow. My father-in-law recommended them and he normally doesn't like screamy/growly vocals so I was really surprised by this. Thought I was going to get crushed or kicked in the head. Absolutely wild, and amazing musicianship
- Overheard Stake - worth looking into
- Palm Reader ❤️ ending an incredible run of music, Palm Reader were perfect. Played every song I would've asked them to, including one I didn't think would even be doable live.
- The food selection for vegetarians and vegans was lacking, compared to previous years. I decided to find a supermarket to grab some snacks, and I hadn't realised how close I was to Cheddar Gorge. Never been before and was cool to drive through it. Would've taken more photos but it was littered with campers, camper-vans, and people taking photos!
- Diesel was 182.9p a litre. A relative bargain! 😒
- Seims 😒 didn't like them sorry
- Thumper Monkey 😒 songs felt really disjointed and the sound was horrendous. Seem like nice guys though
- Ithaca ❤️ I will always love Ithaca
- Conjurer ❤️ absolutely packed. Sounded unreal as well - these guys keep growing and getting better and better.
- Frontierer 😒 disappointed. The sound was absolutely dreadful
- The Armed ❤️ genuinely the most chaotic show I've ever been to. One of the guitarists' straps broke so he just chucked his guitar into the crowd. They were all over the stage and crowd - absolutely terrorised security and the sound guys. They must have gone through at least 4 guitars each, countless mic stands, cables everywhere (someone needs to buy these guys some radios). Normally I find this sort of thing completely tacky but they're so convincing that it was just fun.
- Lightning Bolt 🙂 I sat outside and read whilst they played (old man, old back) but they sounded great
- Leprous ❤️ unreal. I had put my camera back in the car because I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to get close to the front for Leprous and The Armed, and then of course I got right up close and should've kept my camera with me. Learn from my mistakes, kids.
- Pupil Slicer 👍 nice, chaotic way to get amped up about the drive home. Chainy climbed up the marquee supports and jumped into the crowd. I love that guy
- Drive home 👍 nice, clear roads. Got 64mpg out of the Golf. Was 68 at one point but Chichester made light work of that
I really want to do this with a photographer's pass next year. If you know how to make that happen, please give me a shout. I don't want to be paid, I just want to take pictures and listen to music without getting kicked in the head or slammed into barriers (I'm aware that can still happen - I saw it a couple of times!).