slayer, faster, codeine, slower, mogwai, more

slayer night was, like slayer themselves, equal parts excellent, hilarious, silly and a bit of hard work. as it was the biggest band atp has ever booked they used the main hall - which means melvins and sleep got to play to thousands of dedicated metallers. despite the fact that almost the entire crowd was made up of rulebreaking slayer tee wearing hardcore thrash fans these bands were given a good deal of respect and melvins in particular shone...sleep? i honestly didnt love it - like lewie peckham (london hardcore legend) said - 'underwhelming'.

wolves in the throne room? now this is a band im excited about seeing more of in the next couple of weeks. they scared the shit out of me and got me in the locked-trance by the close of the set. genuinely excellent.

we watched slayer do their thing (the only band of the weekend so far to bring their own backdrop - but also the only band of the weekend to charge 25 for a tee, 55 for a hoodie. yes, that says '55') from half way back - like ian owen said (yeah he arrived eventually) 'they look exactly the same as they did when we loved them as long as you watch from the back'. couldn't have put it better.
it took hours to get back to SE (well, two of them) but arriving back to lucysureoffoot (italian art hound)'s place and watching cm punk vs daniel bryan from last week's ppv was a great capper to the night. bannon and amy and i sat out the back telling unspeakable 'jokes' and offending one another until the wee small hours. nicely.

saturday morning found me, happily, filled with unease and dread. despite the beautiful gleam of the day i'm all kinds of anxious and finding that two pieces of work i really wanted set before i left for spain will, for reasons entirely out of my hands, not be done in time, put me, quite frankly, in a cunt of a mood. missing harvey milk didnt help. neither did getting lost on the way to the show.

chavez settle my soul a little. better than i've ever seen them, more impactful, more soaring, sadder and more beautiful - a great set with a truly enthusiastic response. the heat and chatter of the outside pen gets to me and i'm hiding in the bathroom. classy.

codeine do something special on the west hall stage. they do something so achingly touching, so powerful and empowering, simultaneously heavy as fists, gentle as leaves they play their first show in 16 years to a crowd who repay them with an overwhelmingly loving response. you know when you've seen something genuinely important, actually special - and this was one of those times. while scotty (scottish cyclist and lager enthusiast) details how exactly he came to lose his phone and his jeans (jeans) in the slayer mosh pit i'm still kinds entranced by the slow burn of codeine. it buoys me for a while, thats for sure.

aidan moffat pulls me to the panorama room for the first time (panorama room be fucked - it's the cloak room normally) and he then pulls a blinder - unbearably sad, jazzy sinatra meets bukowski numbers with sucker punch payoff lines and a neat line in throwaway, pitch black humour. 'i'd rather be across the way watching mudhoney' he deadpans. well, we fucking wouldn't. when a tiny child toddles in just in tiome for moffat to deliver the line 'kiss my cock goodbye' the set is made, set in amber, drenched in moffat's endless little bottles o' stella. a proper legend.

i have a mini-breakdown of anxiety and stress and heat and general downbeat bullshit through dirty three so i appreciate them not. a chat with my old schoolfriend dafydd (journo-man) lightens me and later while he and i and ian watch mogwai together i remember us doing the same thing, maybe not for mogwai but ya know, similar, nearly twenty years ago. it's a little moment of reflection and i revel in it briefly.

mogwai, no matter how many times you see them, over how many years, never get old. they are alchemists dealing in turning sound into deep-delving sonic glory. as the strobes hit, the guitars cry and my arms reach out to the ornate ally pally ceiling we are transported, transformed, made wondrous. mogwaid.

as they soar into rano pano any doubts as to why we're here (and i mean that in the most pretentious sense imaginable) are crushed. life is about passing, beautiful moments that you can reach for as high as you like but o' course, ya can't grab time. this is perfection, however fleeting and it's heart-filling.

now, let's get some fuckin' whigs on the stereo, yo.