Yes, this was my first return to Camber Sands since 2008’s ATP versus Pitchfork. I’m not sure if time had played tricks on my minds, but all I could remember about the surroundings were mutant seagulls the size of Alsatians and chalets where the word basic would be a strong complement. My worst fears were not realised, as the seagulls were no bigger than usual and the chalet had (mostly) been modernised, other than our Virgin Mary blue bath suite. There was no sign of a shower in this bathroom straight from the 60’s, but it could be worse, right? It was a festival after all.
So, on to the music, the first of the End of an Era festivals was curated by ATP and Primavera, and was a mix bag of indie/ guitar bands, with a couple of Sonic Youth off shoots thrown in for good measure.
The first band/ performer on stage was Scout Niblett and her cohorts. I’ve watched Scout for a few years now, and she becomes more adept each time I see her. Initially it was just dazzling to watch this woman with wild eyes on stage, but over the years her musical skills have increased considerably, and it was a lovely set.
Next up it was Mum, who were one of the reasons I went to the festival, as I have fond memories of the other times I’d seen them. They played a short set, which was slightly disappointing, mostly due to the length which was little more than half and hour. It was perfectly formed though, and they look great on stage.
Lee Ranaldo and the Dust played next, and they seemed to be a surprisingly average indie band, for a man that spent as many years breaking boundaries in Sonic Youth as Lee did. Still, they were enjoyable and a band I hadn’t seen perform previously, so another notch for the bed post.
After a quick investigation of what Dinos Chapman had to offer on stage two (loud beats and interesting visuals) I returned for a lovely set from Low. If I were to pick a band least likely to headline a night in a festival, it could possibly be Low, but I’m a fan, so happy to hear them regardless of where and how. At this point, all that was left was to return to the chalet and to try and get the couch to fold out into my bed for the evening, a task easier said than done!