Creative Review New Music
The beautiful thing about the I‘ll Be Your Mirror festival, curated by Mogwai and ATP, is the completely different vibe across all three days. The theme that ties them all together seems to be loudness but we have everything from thrash metal, dark electro DJs to glorious soul tinged rock so there really was something for everyone.
Whatever style it is, it was guaranteed to be loud, and as far as we’re concerned… the louder the better.
Friday was a predominantly a metal crowd with everyone here to see Slayer rip their way through Reign in Blood, but before that we got masterful sets from Yob, Washington loonbags The Melvins who are loud AND obnoxious (in a good way) their double barrelled drum set up sounding fantastic in particular, and Sleep, who will give you nightmares. They played a huge set, simple yet powerful and heavy as a heavy thing with extra heavy things gaffer taped to it.
Everybody here though, bar a few clueless fashionistas, had gathered in the main hall to welcome Slayer with their customary rabid chanting.
After a couple of songs to get the blood flowing they pummelled through the album from Angel of Death to, half an hour later, Raining Blood without saying a word. Just heads down pure power.
Tom’s only interaction with the crowd is to ask if they were feeling romantic, before launching into Dead Skin Mask.
Exodus guitarist Gary Holt did an amazing job filling in for Hanneman and nobody left disappointed after an encore of South of Heaven and War Ensemble. Phenomenal.
Day 2 and after a mindblowing set by sludgy/doom pop legends Floor and a great yet sombre set from the sub pop old guard Codeine, it’s Mudhoney who are the highlight with a raucous set including Touch Me I’m Sick. An hour and a half in the presence of Irmin Schmidt playing lost Can tracks was thoroughly enjoyable too.
Dirty Three led by the crazy ball of hair that is Warren Ellis were gnarly, Ellis really is a dude, a funny dude to boot, and it shows as he flails a leg in the air and an hour of instrumental insanity ensues.
Curators and headliners Mogwai got off to a bit of a slow start but built a set of epicness from the ground up. Stuart Braithwaite leading the multi instrumental geniuses in a soundscape of dramatic proportions.
Although there were considerably less people than the previous night for Slayer, the atmosphere was just as good.
It was their festival, their choice of bands, and they did themselves proud again.
Other than the hunt to track down Louis Theroux, here to curate the cinema, Sunday was always going to be about two bands for us, Sleepy Sun and Afghan Whigs.
Sleepy Sun played a massive set of groove riddled Sabbathy spaced out rock. Just amazing, plain and simple.
They were the first band all weekend to get anybody in the Panorama room to stand up while the bands on and had the room been darker the trippy vibe would have made for a next-level kind of show, but we’ll settle with awesome.
Luckily we met Louis Theroux stood at the back watching Thee Oh Sees. It’s lucky because trying to get into the cinema later for his new film would have been impossible.
They were operating a one in one out rule, which is quite apt for a documentary about porn. We’re not sure if any body was allowed in the back way though ;0)
So, as our time at ATP came to an end it was time for a band we’ve been wanting to see back together for ages to take the stage.
The mirrorball radiating light high above the stage set the tone for the night and it was time for …THE AFGHAN WHIGS ladies and gentlemen.
Greg Dulli took us all to church as they perform the set of the weekend. You would not think they’d been on a 13 year ‘hiatus’.
The ‘sexiest band of the nineties’ played an astonishing set of tunes that built towards a euphoric close to the festival with a brilliant Miles Iz Ded.
Greg summed the feeling in the room up beautifully by responding to the crowds cheers by saying ‘We love you too’, and left the stage wishing us a fantastic summer, and thanks to them, Mogwai and ATP we had the best possible start to the summer we could have hoped for.
Upon reflection I’ll Be Your Mirror was a roaring success, and we are already looking forward to the next one. See you there.
words and pictures by Frank Ralph