Live Review

ArcTanGent 2013

”They finally made a festival for all the weird ones!”

It’s a struggle to find a band on this inaugural ArcTanGent line-up that could be categorised without at least a couple of prefixes. Post-, math- and noise-rock all make frequent appearances.

A swarm of vocal-free bands flood the Bristol festival’s four stages, though - despite awe-inspiring sets from 65daysofstatic and ASIWYFA - the instrumental crown sits firmly on Brontide’s head. Showcasing riff-heavy material from their upcoming sophomore, the band’s third stage billing proves to be a poor decision as the crowd spills out into the surrounding campsite.

However, it is recently renamed math-rock heroes TTNG who epitomise the irregular nature of ArcTanGent’s ethos. Somehow managing to combine pop musicality with time signatures seemingly plucked out of a hat, the sunny afternoon set feels like a homecoming party under the beautiful canopy of the Arc Stage.

That same stage also plays host to a Friday night farewell party for Rolo Tomassi, who are disappearing for a while to write the sequel to last year’s ‘Astrea’. Undoubtedly the kind of bash the neighbours would shut down, the sea of flying and flailing bodies is a perfect send-off. Ultimately though, the award for the definitive festivity of the weekend goes to Tall Ships’ Saturday night destruction of the Yohkai Stage. The exultant atmosphere in the tent is seen on the grins of every member of its crowdsurf-heavy mob of inhabitants – and said grins are revealed once more when the band later celebrate with a delightfully loony silent disco DJ set. Jurassic Park Theme, anyone?

During their triumphant Saturday afternoon set, noise trio Three Trapped Tigers perfectly sum up Fernhill Farm’s weekend ambience – “They finally made a festival for all the weird ones!” The smattering of laughter that greets the excited outburst needn’t be so nervous. ArcTanGent’s debut year perfectly fulfilled its aim – it was weird, and it was wonderful. Here’s to 2014.

Records, etc at Rough Trade logo

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