Milton Keynes is a well designed town with plenty of roundabouts and sensible junctions. Our first port of call was The Garden of Earthly Delights, a radio show which we were honoured to be recording a session for. After some music and a lot of chatter with Shane, the Gardens DJ, about neolithic sites we wandered into the shopping area to refresh the in-car CD selection at HMV, making sure to purchase Shane's recommendation of Caravan, plus some Current 93, Lou Reed and EMA. We then journeyed to the campsite where we were the only guests aside from some sheep and some rare species of waterfowl.
At the venue we were greeted by Simon and his impressive moustache. The venue room felt like a warehouse space with a high ceiling, concrete walls and large area to fill with sound. The first act was Wormhole Stings who improvised Nate Young esq electronic drones and shrieks using a 50 year old synth. Next was Muh-he-con, a duo utilizing a stack of keyboards, electronics and a guitar to create a kraut/space rock infused electronica that moved from ambient lows to soaring, pumping highs. There was a lot of head banging by keyboardist Aleksandr throughout his set.
After the gig we retired to the nearby Slug & Lettuce pub for a few rounds of cheap lager. Emma got her jive on to Prince whilst I propped the bar up discussing past ATP experiences with the sound-man for that evenings event.
The next day we spent a few hours exploring Milton Keynes which gave us the opportunity to check out the Milton Keynes Gallery itself and the Melanie Smith exhibition. The film Fordlandia caught my eye, an exploration of the attempt at obtaining a rubber empire by Henry Ford, the film guides us through the decaying, jungle filled ruins of the rubber plantation and city built for the purpose of providing his burgeoning car factories with rubber for tires.
The next show was in Birmingham, another city I had never visited apart from a brief excursion to the NEC centre many years prior. More about our trip there in the next blog post.