As I mentioned earlier, just as I was preparing to head out for Release the Bats, an email came in advertising a once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-repeated, world-exclusive, miss-it-at-your-peril set of performances by a reformed Sleep, at one of next May's ATP weekenders.
Now I'm old and cynical enough to realise that very few things are truly never-to-be-repeated one-off exclusive shows in the world of Rock n' Roll, but I am keen on Sleep, and ATP surely know how to run a memorable event. I've always been intrigued by the idea of one of their Minehead weekends, it seems eminently possible that it's a great deal more civilised than the more traditional tents, rain, and cider circuit. It didn't take me that long to make the plunge and book a chalet for two. Team Strickland are going to Butlins!
Aside from Sleep on the bill, we have long-time house favourites Spiritualized, crazy art-rockers Devo, experimental hip-hoppists AntiPop consortium, post-punk legends Young Marble Giants, and several others I don't yet know adjectives for. The more interesting thing about the lineup is the fact that 50% of the lineup will be chosen by popular vote by the ticket purchasers. That means me!
There's a cunning twist. No doubt intended to mix things up, and keep it fresh. You're not permitted to vote for acts that have played an ATP UK festival before, at least not initially. This makes life decidedly more tricky. Lots of my no-brainer instant first choices are on the exclusion list. I shall have to work a little harder.
dEUS and A.C. Newman have to be definite votes. St. Vincent would be good. Angels of Light, Midlake, Wolf Parade, Swan Lake ? Ratatat ? Sufjan might be a populist choice. I'd love to see Morton Valence again. Black Affair or the Aliens? Maybe I could gamble a vote on a reformed Beta Band. Decisions, decisions…