August 29th-31st 2013 saw the first ever ArcTanGent festival take place. A sister festival to 2000 Trees, ArcTanGent seemed to focus a lot more on mathy bands and was a tremendous success. I had such a fun weekend last year; getting to see some fucking great bands and experience the joy of a grass roots festival. I was delighted to see ArcTanGent would be making a return in 2014, and got myself a ticket as soon as possible (money allowing…)
Whilst it’s main focus is music, there’s also a heap of other great stuff on offer – Merch from the likes of Big Scary Monsters and Alcopop! Records and top quality scran (I will likely be spending a lot of dosh on both…)
This year’s festival sees some acts from last year dotted throughout the three days, as well as exciting new acts too! Taking a look through the lineup, I thought I’d put the Birthday Cake For Breakfast stamp of approval on a few of these bands and give you an idea of who you should check out whilst you’re at ArcTanGent. Starting with…
Alpha Male Tea Party
I’ve been following Alpha Male Tea Party for a while now. I first caught them at Manchester’s A Carefully Planned Festival, and they blew me away. I threw a five pound note at guitarist Tom afterward in exchange for a copy of their first record, and I played that thing to death! Since then I’ve seen them loads and they’re seemingly getting better and better with each new record. They’ve just released new album ‘Droids‘ to much fanfare, and it’s totally deserved – there are some absolute belters on there. I’m made up for them making the lineup for this year’s ArcTanGent festival. They’re playing the main stage a.k.a ARC on the Friday – quite the feather in their Liverpudlian caps! You will definitely see me there, and will likely hear me shouting for ‘BORIS BIKE BRIEFCASE MAN‘ after every tune…
Another band that made a huge impression on me the same year Alpha Male Tea Party played A Carefully Planned Festival, mighty two piece Cleft also made a huge impression at last year’s ArcTanGent festival. The Manchester based heartthrobs are back again this year, headlining the PX3 stage on Friday night! Incredibly creative and incredibly tight, Cleft will likely be making an even bigger impression this year. They also had a new record out this year, the fantastically titled ‘BOSH!‘ – If you’ve not heard it yet, you really must. BUY BUY BUY!
One of the main highlights from last year’s festival was seeing Tall Ships. I’ve been a fan for a while anyhoo and they never disappoint in a live setting, but this performance was just brilliant. They pretty much had the crowd captivated throughout and looked like a million quid in the process.
They were one of the band’s I was most looking forward to at this year’s 2000 Trees festival, and whilst they were great, I was a little underwhelmed. Considering they’ve not played a whole lot of shows in a while, hopefully that was just the band shaking off the cobwebs and they kill it two year’s running at ArcTanGent. Who am I kidding, of course they will! I LOVE Tall Ships!
They’ve also expanded on their lineup, and are now rocking it as a five piece. As well as that, the group have also been working on some new material, so expect to experience all that when they take to the ARC stage on the Saturday night.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Maybeshewill the first time I saw them (which was at last year’s ArcTanGent) I mean, I was a mess – absolutely steaming from caning a hip flask full of cherry whiskey, so maybe my judgement wasn’t quite spot on… The idea that they weren’t very good was put to rest when I caught them at 2000 Trees last month. Putting on a stellar show, they were pretty darn great and lived up to the hype I’d heard about them. With a new record out this year, expect to hear some new stuff when they headline the Yohkai stage on Friday night.
Mutiny On The Bounty
Straight outta Luxembourg(ish), Mutiny On The Bounty are a four piece Math rock powerhouse and they are fucking rad! That’s all you need to know, but I will go on…The first (and only time) I saw MOTB, they absolutely killed it in the incredibly small (for a gig) Trof in Fallowfield. I’m pretty sure it was the middle of summer too, so there was the hilarious image of vocalist/drummer Sacha going for it so hard that it looked like his head was about to explode. So if you want to see A MAN’S HEAD EXPLODE, you can catch Mutiny On The Bounty at the Arc stage on Saturday. I can’t bloody wait. Listen to this bastard:
The Physics House Band
If you can get past the uncanny likeness between the drummer and former Dr Who actor Matt Smith, you’ll discover a terrific mathy experience in The Physics House Band. Just an awesome live band who really push the boat out. They’ll be blowing minds on the main stage, Thursday night.
One of my favourite live bands, Baby Godzilla are a true force to be reckoned with. You would be daft to miss them at ArcTanGent. Although in saying that, you’ll be lucky to find them… As soon as they take to the stage, the two guitarists are out climbing the stage supports and riffing like mad men in amongst the crowd. Blisteringly fast and heavy, their live shows are just mayhem. A lot of people stood up and took notice when they played last year’s ArcTanGent Festival, and they were one of my highlights from last month’s 2000 Trees Festival (read all about it here).
Make sure you catch them when they play the Thursday.
A slight break from the mayhem of Baby Godzilla, TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) are a delightful bunch. Intricate math at its finest, they too are a must see at this year’s ArcTanGent festival. A change of pace from some of the heavier bands, TTNG are still a great live band and a great band, period. Terrific players who make it look effortless. They’ll also be playing the Thursday.
The St Pierre Snake Invasion
My first taste of TSPSI was at this year’s 2000 Trees Festival, and their blend of heaviness along with hilarity totally won me over. With such great sing-alongs as “I wish I was as good as Razorlight” and songs dedicated to David Carradine and other geezers who wanked themselves to death, I expect you’ll be won over too. But it’s not just about the hilarity, they’re a fucking great band and they’ve got a great lead singer – patter that’s not forced and is genuinely funny (amazing, I know) I’m thoroughly looking forward to catching them on the Thursday.
One of the nicest geezers you could meet, Paul Russell of AXES fame has turned his hand to a new project – conducting a huge band under the name of Human Pyramids. Let me tell you this – they’re a delight, man. Uplifting and feel good, you’ll find it hard to not leave their set without a huge grin on your face. If they can all fit on there, you’ll be able to catch Human Pyramids on the Arc stage on Friday.
There’s also a load of bands I don’t know too much about that I’m looking forward to seeing, the likes of Tangled Hair, And So I Watch You From Afar, Jamie Lenman, Tera Melos, Bats, Tellison and more! It’s gonna be such a rad festival and I truly can’t wait. Getting fucked on whiskey, eating pizza and watching some great music – Heaven.