Somewhere in the South West, just outside Bristol ArcTanGent Festival is rising up for its annual showcase of the best of math, post, and punk-rock sounds. We don’t like to throw around words like “legendary” willy-nilly but this year’s lineup includes the likes of American Football and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, so what other word is there? We’ve put together a little sonic selection to highlight some of our favourite bands; but if you want a ticket (and you really, really do), you can get them from the festival website.
American Football made one album and then split up ages ago without really touring it properly. Without them, most of your favourite tappy, twinkly emo bands wouldn’t exist. Half the lineup of this festival wouldn’t exist. Anyway, they’re back, but they’re only doing one UK festival this year: this one.
It always feels a bit silly to call gigs “concerts,” because it brings to mind classical orchestras and stuff, but Godspeed You! Black Emperor records have movements rather than songs, so it’s probably totally fine. They’ll be laying waste with cuts from their latest LP, last year’s Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress.
Meet Me In St Louis, not unlike American Football, made an incredible album in Variations on Swing and then split up immediately after its release. They got back together earlier this year after ten years apart to play just four gigs. This is their fourth and, so far, final outing. Their breathtaking post-hardcore is unmissable.
They’re not the only band to be playing their final gig, but Cleft have a history of riotous ATG performances. This show promises to be something special for fans of laser guided turbo prog riffs, i.e. everyone on site.
Wrexham’s finest weirdo electronic wonk rockers Gallops are another set of recently reformed heroes who unfortunately seem to clash with Meet Me In St Louis, which is sure to trigger hundreds of tossed coins across the festival. It’s a tricky one, just like every tune they’ve ever written.
If you don’t know Rolo Tomassi‘s terrifying blend of screaming and crooning by now, where have you been? It seems strange to think of them as veterans but, unbelievably, they’re ten years old and still going strong.
They’re joined on the Thursday by Three Trapped Tigers, hot on the heels of their killer album Silent Earthling, which is more of the manic mix of electronics and pummelling noise rock that we’ve come to expect of them, and one of the best records of the year so far.
In a similar, but slightly more relaxed, vein is GIITTV favourites Errors. Their more recent stuff has been more laid back than their propulsive early work which should provide some welcome respite from the guitar onslaught of the rest of the weekend.
This is just a small slice of the lineup though. Have a look at the website, it’s jampacked with gems. See you down the front.