Photo (c) Laure Noverraz
Cleft probably set themselves apart as the festival’s most dynamic, entertaining act.
The build up to ArcTanGent this year was nothing short of exhilarating; with a tantalising line up that shamed the majority of its major league competitors and a promising reputation built from two highly successful years previous. But would ATG live up to expectations?
Arriving on the Thursday, the familiar surroundings were certainly pleasant to behold. Pitching our tent somewhere in the general vicinity of the Bixlers tent – a cautious distance from the portaloos – the monstrous sound of Alpha Male Tea Party echoed out across from a distant Yokhai stage; a harbinger of all things to come.
Armed with a steamed soya beverage, Cleft were first on the agenda at mid-afternoon. Drawing a more than sizeable crowd, Cleft probably set themselves apart as the festival’s most dynamic, entertaining act. If tracks from their excellent debut ‘BOSH!’ didn’t satisfy, then a surprising riff medley between the duo and Alpha Male Tea Party left everyone picking their brains off the floor.
This year, Yokhai was not the only tent in action on the Thursday, as BX3 showcased a selection of BBC Introducing acts, including Bath-based Hysterical Injury. Their set was, for the most part, what you’d expect from the brother-sister duo, but a guest vocal spot on the final couple of tracks left a lot to be desired, sounding messy and badly improvised.
Returning to Yokhai in the evening, Japanese math rock luminaries LITE took to the stage for what must simply be regarded as an extremely dull set. It’s a pity that, for a math rock band, their set just dragged on aimlessly and repetitively. There was no direction to it, just the same tired notes called upon for a matter of minutes before a brief respite of audience applause. I can only assume that the positive response was from a steady free flow of alcohol and other substances that had taken their full effect by this point of the day.
Finally, our Thursday headliners, the one and only 65daysofstatic brought us some much-needed quality. Despite a few technical hitches that sadly meant a few songs could not be played, the band truly gave us a spectacular show and a few very important thoughts to carry back with us to our tents – it’s just a shame that most people won’t remember it all through the fog.
Have a listen to ‘Weak4’ below: