ATP – I’ll Be Your Mirror: Alexandra Palace, London

There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of ‘there’s nowt as queer as folk’, this certainly rings true when it comes to ATP festivals. This year’s I’ll Be Your Mirror festival saw a monster line-up at Ally Pally. As always when it comes to ATP there’s an eclectic line up, but this one, curated by ATP and Mogwai, was sure to shake the Palaces foundations.

In soaring temperatures in and outside the venue, the heat was certainly rising when it came to day one of the festival. Friday saw a variety of beards, a mass of metal t-shirts and hell of a lot of pink bits all courtesy of a crowd ready for headliners, the mighty Slayer. Though there was a bit of a wait with several acts pitched over two stages and paving the way for our headliners were Yob, followed by the Melvins embracing their sludge metal ways, the evening continued with Wolves In The Throne Room playing in almost complete darkness and then tinnitus producing Sleep. The obvious highlight of the evening was, the mighty, Slayer. Performing Reign in Blood in full they rocked, shocked and managed to shake the palace with a mighty mosh. As expected Slayer simply did what they set out to do, which to all the fans expectations was pure magic, dark metal magic.

Saturday brought about a slight lull in the proceedings, maybe it was due to a slight deafness from the previous night. The day curated by headliners Mogwai, brought about a less beardy crowd who appeared sporadic in what they watched, perhaps that was due to the blazing sunshine outside?

Although rather downbeat, in a post college rock fashion, highlights of the day for many included Codeine and Mudhoney. It was the narratives and secular performance from Bill Wells and Aiden Moffat that grabbed the attention of many. A performance that was relaxed and open from start to finish. Moffat discussed, in poetic form the joys and harshness of live within his lyrics with added humour. Magnetising and transfixing the duo captivated the audience from start to finish.

Headliners Mogwai embarked on a more subtle performance that the previous night. They appeared to bring a tone of comfort in their music whilst providing an air of relaxation to many watching. Mogwai seemingly humble in their approach to their performance and the co-curation of the weekend’s events provided one of the focal points of the weekend.

ATP’s final day brought about a mixed bag of musical delights. From the electro occult sounds of Demdike Stare, mad as a box of spanners instrumental threesome the Dirty Three to shoegazers Yuck, there were plenty more added to the mix including Sleepy Sun, Tall Firs and the off-kilter ways of post-punk The Make-Up. Though once again it was the headliners that drew the attention of the majority to the festival goers, after a 10 year absence Afghan Whigs were reunited. Bringing about melodies and harmonies, I’ll Be Your Mirror ended on somewhat of an emotional high after a seemingly crazy weekend.

ATP create events for music fans by music fans, there’s chance to see old favourites and find what could be new music loves. Alongside the music there’s a ‘mix tape’ swap, music based pub quiz as well as the legendary ATP cinema showing pretty much everything you’ve never seen before and some you have in a cultish fashion.

The second I’ll Be Your Mirror festival in London, drew a seemingly thirty-something crowd, who got to relive part of their youth. A mesmerising and diverse festival in a stunning location, what’s not to love?!

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