The only festival to have a mathematical equation to determine how rad it is, ArcTanGent Festival is bigger than birthdays, bigger than Christmas, bigger than your Wedding Anniversary. The three-day festival in late August is THE social event of the year for music nerds, YASS QUEENS, rad-ladz, fringe-freaks and everyone in-between. A joyous occasion, it’s been a must for Birthday Cake For Breakfast these past four years, and with its bumper fifth year incoming, we’re as giddy as can be.
The big question though: What’re you having on your Raclette hot dog?
Once you’ve figured that out, have a read of our top picks of ArcTanGent 2017 – we’ll see you in the pit (after we’ve had our Raclette hot dog…)
There’s probably no point in putting together a paragraph or two of praise for Brighton trio The Physics House Band. These days, they leave tasks like the penning of their biography to the likes of Stewart Lee – that funny bloke off the telly. On their latest record, the stunning ‘Mercury Fountain’, he had this to say:
“…a super-dense sci-fi mindfuck of a thing, music scholarship charity case keyboards in combat with squally spacerock guitars, dub boom bass and multi-time-sig clatter; a territory staked out over mushrooms at break-time, on the top floor of the multi-story car park, overlooking the ‘70s Bauhaus shopping centre concrete functional fountain square, but now gone all Escher in the aftermath, like a black and white architectural schematic drawing dipped in tie-dye.”
Unsurprisingly, they’re shit hot live too. Be sure to keep an eye out for them – they play the Arc stage on Saturday afternoon!
Read our review of ‘Mercury Fountain!
Described on these very pages as “…the most underrated band in UK math-rock”, the alarmingly good Wot Gorilla? recently put out one of the gnarliest releases of the year in five-track EP ‘Angel Numbers’.
Prone to their raucous, darker moments, you’ll need your plugs in when this trio make their Yohkai arrival on Friday afternoon.
Read our review of Angel Numbers!
We’ve been banging on about Tricot for a good while now. We’re still super stoked to be one of the first Western interviews conducted with the Japanese math-rock wonder trio, and we were also seemingly the first to inform the trio about the festival itself – how’s that action!
So when you’re standing in a field with your jaw dropped to the floor, you can thank us for letting you know about these YASS QUEENS. Witness Tricot’s ridiculously fun math-rock stylings with J-Pop flourishes when they play the Yohkai in the early evening on Saturday.
Read our review of their latest record ‘3’!
ArcTanGent veterans will know that Thursday’s are not to be sniffed at on Fernhill Farm. For the past four years, weekend warriors have missed out on all the fun by side-stepping Thursday. This year, the puppeteers behind this whole ArcTanGent business have gone all out to put together a stonker of a line-up.
With bricks of noise-rock, post-rock, math-rock and everything in-between, Thursday delicately builds up the day like a tremendous Jenga tower. The arris-kicking of Chiyoda Ku and the twiddly loveliness of Waking Aida/Vasudeva is set to get people in the mood as they crack open their first tins. A highlight from last year came from Vasudeva beautifully soundtracking our late morning coffee in the rain. Change of pace this year in the afternoon (hopefully).
Elsewhere, there’s joyful math-rock from France’s Totorro, cinematic brilliance from Nordic Giants, the second coming of Tall Ships and then the potential MVP’s of the weekend, Future Of The Left. Then Russian Circles come on and things really pick up. Fantastic.
I’m not crying that Vasco Da Gama aren’t a thing any more, you are!
When I first moved to Manchester and learned of bands like Alpha Male Tea Party and Cleft (through the wonders of A Carefully Planned Festival), there was a quartet of young lads from Liverpool playing the most brilliant stuff every other month on similar bills. Then they disappeared.
Thankfully, three quarters of the band made a triumphant return years later and we have been more than happy to welcome them back with open arms. Older, wiser, a little more chilled out but just as wonderful as those heady days of Vasco Da Gama, Real Terms are a total joy!
They play early on Saturday afternoon – don’t be a prat, go and get taken in by their Liverpudlian loveliness.
ArcTanGent 2017 kicks off on August 17th and carries on through to the 19th! Ticket information can be found here!