2003 – All Tomorrow’s Parties

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At All Tomorrow’s Parties in Camber

06th April 2003 – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Camber Sands, Camber, UK

Set List

  1. Triple Sun Introduction
  2. Snow Falls Into Military Temples
  3. A Slip in the Marylebone Road
  4. Triple Sons and the One You Bury
  5. The Dreamer is Still Asleep – The Somnambulist in an Ambulance

Touring Background

This gig was first announced on July 25, 2002.

On March 31, 2003, Brainwashed reported: “According to the website of IBD, COIL’s primary booking agency, they will be making several festival appearances this Spring and Summer. Dates announced so far include the following:

April 6: All Tomorrows Parties – Camber, East Sussex, England
May 29: Mutek2003 – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
June 21: Casa da Música Festival – Porto, Portugal
July 12: Supersonic Festival – Birmingham, England”

Over this year, the numbered Live series were all individually announced and released by Coil, along with the Live Box (aka The Beast Box).

Concert Background

Feeling: Shrouded

Exclusive gig. Only performances of all songs except “Snow Falls Into Military Temples” and “Triple Sons and the One You Bury”

According to Greg Reason: “It’s worth pointing out that Autechre curated this festival…They performed a DJ set as Gescom which included ‘Dark River’. This has shown up incorrectly labelled as an Autechre remix of ‘Dark River’ but really it’s just Coil’s track snipped from out of the Gescom set.” Autechre handpicked Coil.

Other performers: Beefheart’s Magic Band, Bernard Parmegiani, zK, Public Enemy, Bola, O.S.T., LFO, etc.

Merchandise sold at this gig: ANS (Single-CD Edition) (2003).

According to Thighpaulsandra, he and Peter were worried John wouldn’t show up to the gig at all, let alone come up with anything lyrically. It was only because Ian designed the dress he chose to wear and walked him up the stage by hand did he actually perform. Peter spent most of the concert barely paying attention to John, imposing a similar remoteness between the two not felt since the Megalithomania gig the previous year. John was mentally aided by the fact that the band were performing all new material and thus he would not have to live up to any kind of standard, but he still spent the show wide-eyed and spaced out. Perhaps in part because of those things, he was also particularly talkative at this gig, his voice quivering shyly.

The stage setup was odd. From audience perspective, the projector screen stood offstage to the left. Thighpaulsandra and Peter played back to back, with Thighpaulsandra’s Fenix synthesizer as a kind of wall between him and John, forcing John to walk a distance around the stage to speak to Peter periodically.

Coil debuted three brand new primary backing video projections at this show, which Peter recycled for most of the following Coil concerts.

Triple Sun Introduction

This is a short instrumental based on “Triple Sons and the One You Bury.” The audience applauds as Peter comes onstage and starts the backing track, then again as the other members arrive.

Snow Falls Into Military Temples

It takes John a few minutes into the song to begin his strange and esoteric incantations. Eventually, he sings proper lyrics.

Snow/Slow falls [repeated]
Into military temples [repeated]

Snow falls into military temples
With the light pauses
We’re the light forces

Oh, no…
Temples, temples…

John (after the song): “We’re doing a quiet set, today. We’ve had too much…shouting over the last year.”
Audience member: “Louder!”
John: “You want it louder? I’m not doing louder, louder, louder,” referencing “Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil.”
Audience member: “Louder! Volume!”
John: “You want this whole louder in the, in the room?”
Matt Carthum: “Volume!”
John: “Yeah? Can we arrange to have more volume in the room, please?”
Matt Carthum: “Lots more!”
John: “Okay, l-let’s have lots more, if we can. Why not? Excess makes the heart grow fonder.”

The volume does intensify, which might explain why SBD #1 peaks a bit in a few places from this point on.

A Slip in the Marylebone Road

Ra, bai, be, om, uyi, ucha, beyom, om [repeated]

A slip was made on Marylebone Road
A slit was made on the Marylebone Road
A slit was made on Marylebone Road
A slip was made in the middle of the road
I sat down in the middle of the road
My bags were too heavy
They were full of medication I didn’t wanna take
They were full of medication I didn’t wanna take
And I left them in the middle of the road
In the middle of the road, in the middle of the road

And a precious green notebook
And a precious green notebook
And a precious green notebook
In the middle of the road
A slit opened; I fell
And a palatable kiss from your angel
Your angel, your angel, an angel, an angel

And two people came up to me
Two people came up to me
And they asked, “Was I all right?”
And they asked me, “Was I all right?”
I said, “No, I was all wrong, and you were wrong for asking me”

Oh, and a slit opened, a slit opened
A chink, a chink opened, a whole slit
And I slipped inside of it
I slipped inside of it

And a slit opened on the Marylebone Road
The Marylebone Road, the marrowbone road
And a slit opened up the Marylebone Road
And I left my bags there
Slit, cut, slit, cut, open, cut, slit, slit, slit, slit

And somewhere, nowhere, in a hospital was a horse, ill
And somewhere, in a hospital was a horse that was ill
And I tried to find my way there
And I tried to find my way there
And somewhere, in a wood
There were two friends waiting, two friends waiting
And I tried to find my way there
In air…

And I got lost in the wood
And I got lost in the wood
So someone left a biscuit trail
No one left a biscuit trail
No one left a list of betrayals
Someone left a list of betrayals
Has someone left a list of betrayals?
Someone left a list of betrayals

And a fracture occurred in a fracture
A dislocation, a dislocation appeared, a fraction
A fraction of what I should have had happen to me
A fraction of what is in my handbag
A fraction of what should have happened to me
A fraction of what should have happened to me as I lost it
I was all tied up in a green valuable notebook
On the Marylebone Road

This song utilizes manipulated samples of Peter singing Tibetan Buddhist chants. The same vocals were later used on “Radio Weston / Wraiths and Strays.”

John’s trippy lyrics detail a true occasion where he and some of his friends were robbed on a London street of the same name, where he lost a green notebook, which contained numerous lyrics and other ideas. Him and Peter were devastated by the loss and even offered a reward for it on the Coil Mailing Lists, but it was never recovered.

The “Horse Hospital” is a famous arts exhibition venue in London, and Ian exhibited there around the time of this gig.

Triple Sons and the One You Bury

Triple sons
Triple suns

Triple stones
As they skiff across the water
As they skiff across the water
As they skiff across the water
Triple stones

Necrodisiac, necrodisiac
Some are in love with the dead things in their lives
And you’re gonna bring them home
And you’re gonna bring them home
Ooh, are you gonna bring them home?
Are you gonna bring them home
With a triple son?
With a triple son?
With a triple son?

I look into whatever I look into
It just confuses the issues
The desert venom in a pool
In a black pool of desert venom

There’s triple sons [repeated]
Your triple sons
And how are you gonna bring them home?
And how are you gonna bring them home?
And how are you gonna bring them home?

In the shape of a melted gun
In the shape of a melted gun
In the shape of a melted gun!
Triple sons, triple suns [repeated]
Triple sons with a resonance to rub against the delinquent
With a resonance to rub against the delinquent
With a resonance to rub against the delinquents
Oh, those triple sons

The one you bury; the one bright red yew berry
If you’re gonna bury them, bring them home first
If you’re gonna bury it, bring it home first
If you’re gonna marry it, bring it home first

And we swallow each new red berry
And we swallow each red yew berry
And we swallow each dead you bury
And we swallow each red you buried
The one you bury, the one yew berry
The single one yew berry

And I drank a cup of mercury this morning [repeated]
I took a sip from a cup of mercury
And a sip from a cup of mercury
I took a sip from a cup of mercury [repeated]
I took a cup from a sip of mercury
I took a cup from a sip of mercury
And then I gave one to you
I took a sip from a cup of mercury [repeated]

And I swallowed one new red berry
And I swallowed the one you bury
And then I swallowed the one yew berry
Then I swallowed the one you bury
I swallowed the one you bury
I swallowed the one yew berry
Then I took a sip from a cup of mercury
I took a sip from a cup of mercury
And I swallowed the one you bury
I swallowed the one yew berry

John’s vocals during the ending section were later used and looped on the studio version of the song entitled “Triple Sun” found on 2005’s The Ape of Naples. The “desert venom” and “with a resonance to rub against the delinquent” lyrics were later incorporated into “Sex With Sun Ra.”

John explains the meaning of the song after playing it: “Thank you. Oh, thank you. You know you can eat, uh, yew berries, but don’t do this unless you’re with an expert. You can eat the red bit, you know. It’s the only bit you can eat of the yew tree, is the actually red bit around the berry. Victorian children used to make jam from it.”
Audience member: “There’s too much blood in my alcohol,” referencing the infamous lyric from the song “Heartworms” off of 1998’s benefit compilation Foxtrot.
John (not hearing them): “It’s a good trick if you want to make your friends think you just poisoned yourself.”
Audience member: “There’s too much blood in my alcohol.”
John: “There’s no alcohol in my blood at the moment at all.”
Audience member: “Liar!”
John (chuckling): “I’m not a liar. Well, I am a liar, but I’m not lying about that. I’ve got a diazepam up my bum.”
(Audience laughter)
John: “And I’ve got some horse tranquilizer for later. In fact, I’ve got a horse tranquilized for later. That’s a good thing about having a chalet, you can sneak a tranquilized horse in there.”
Audience member: “Liar!”

By the time of this gig, Foxtrot had been out for five years. This funds raised went towards sending John to a proper alcohol rehabilitation center, meaning his alcoholism was very well-known by fans such as these audience members.

The Dreamer is Still Asleep – The Somnambulist in an Ambulance

John: “Hush. This is a piece of musick to play in the dark. ‘The Dreamer is Still Asleep,’ or ‘The Dreamer is Still Dreaming,’ or ‘The Dreamer is Still Asleep.'”

This was the only time the track was performed live, and it’s notable for its first half where John namely sings a new line, “The Somnambulist in an Ambulance,” resulting in the new subtitle to the song.

Now the dreamer is still dreaming
The dreamer is still asleep
The dreamer is still asleep
The dreamer is somnambulising

Somnambulist in an ambulance [repeated]
Pissed a somnambulist…
Pissed a somnambulist…
Kissed a somnambulist in an ambulance, in an ambulance
I kissed a somnambulist in an ambulance, in an ambulance…
I kissed an ambulance
I kissed an ambulance, I pissed an ambulance
I killed an ambulance, I killed an ambulance
I killed an ambulance, I killed an ambulance

Then I killed my doctor
I said, “Physician, heal thyself
You’re in no position to heal thyself
You’re no position to kill yourself”

The somnambulist in an ambulance [repeated]
I kissed and killed an ambulance
Somnambulist in an ambulance [repeated]

I, I, I, I…
I kissed and killed an ambulance [repeated]

Hush, may I ask you all for silence?
The dreamer is still asleep
May the goddess keep us from single visions
And beauty sleep

The dreamer is still asleep
The dreamer is still asleep
He’s inventing landscapes in their magnetic fields
Working out a means of escape
He says, “We’ll cut across the crop circles”
The seer says, “No
There’s not much time left for these escape attempts”
Look at it this way
In ten years’ time
Who’ll even remember? Who’ll care?
Who’ll even remember, or care?
One dies like that, deep within it
Almost inside it
It’s there for a reason

I’ll cut out my old address
Attack the little book
To tear and cut the paper
To care and touch the paper
The beginning is also the end
Time defines it
Time unwinds it
It will end
Like close friendships
Nothing could be further

We forget the space between people and places is empty
We forget, and don’t notice the loss
And don’t notice the loss [repeated]

Crossing into venerable degenerations
Such radiant pollution
The god with the silver hand surveys this vast,
Surveys these vast contaminations
In the heart of your heart
Your eye remains

Is the hurt you? Is the blister you call loveless?
Your whole life is a cold slow shock
Your whole life is a cold slow shock
Take a, take a time
Take a little time to track the shabby shadow down
The pissy mists of history
Down the pissy mists of history
Take a little time to track the shabby shadows down
The pissy mists of history

The dreamer is still dreaming
The dreamer is still dreaming
Hush; may I ask you all for silence?
The dreamer is still asleep
May I ask you all for silence?
The dreamer is still dreaming [repeated]
The dreamer is still asleep

John’s closing words: “Thank you very much. Thank you very much, indeed. Indeed, we hope you enjoyed our quite, quite, quite, quite quiet musick. Thank you all for coming out to see us, and enjoy the rest of the day. Thank you, goodnight.”

John’s Retreat from Performing Live

This was John Balance’s only public performance in 2003. There’s been some debate concerning his mental state over the course of the year, how much his alcoholism intensified and how productive he was during this time. We know for sure that Coil released two studio albums that year – ANS and The Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, both released in May and both of which John contributed musically to. The rest of their releases were all live albums, primarily the numbered Live series (Four-One).

John never formally moved out of Weston Super-Mare into his then-boyfriend Ian Johnstone’s place. Ian usually wasn’t around, forcing Peter to watch over him whenever he was home, at the expense of his own relaxation or music-making. By Peter’s word, he had to “babysit” John whenever he got drunk. When Peter would go on business trips or vacation in Thailand, Marilyn, their housekeeper, would take care of him. According to Cosey Fanni Tutti, John would sometimes get so drunk he could barely stand, leading him to falling down the stairs a few times. On the worst occasion, he lay at the foot of the stairs for days, his and Peter’s two dogs, Pan and Moon, standing over him waiting to be fed. Marilyn eventually found him, bandaged him up, and fed the dogs.

Cosey and Chris Carter visited Weston Super-Mare a few times over the course of the year to work on material in preparation for Throbbing Gristle’s ensuing reunion. Cosey remembers how Peter put Pan’s aggressive behavior and unwillingness to go upstairs down to John’s drunken binges. It’s unclear to what extent the duo visited with John, or whether he was even lucid enough to notice when they were there. This didn’t stop them from having fun, though.

Rather than pull out of the three other scheduled Coil performances in 2003, risking substantial financial loss and difficulties in scheduling gigs in the future, Peter and Thighpaulsandra worked together the rest of April and through May to create a new set of live material which wouldn’t require John’s vocals, to be debuted in Montreal, Canada. Threshold House bore the official bad news on May 28, 2003: “Coil’s official mail order website, Threshold House, has been updated with the news that Jhon Balance will not be appearing at the upcoming live performances in Montreal (May 29th), Porto (June 21st) and Birmingham (July 12th). The shows will instead “feature a ‘leaner’ and largely instrumental line up with Peter Christopherson & Thighpaulsandra performing a more intimate set than the full-on 6 piece Coil performances of last year.” Following these three festival appearances, Coil have no further live dates planned, and it is unlikely that they will perform live again until Summer, 2004 at the earliest.”

Coil’s last official release of the year, the much-beloved Megalithomania!, came in July. The group would be relatively quiet for the rest of the year.

Line-up

John Balance – vocals
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson – Ableton sequence, video projections, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer
Thighpaulsandra – Fenix Synthesizer, Kurzweil Synthesizer
Tom Edwards – marimba

Advertisements, Backstage or Related Promo Material

Ticket Stubs

Please contact us if you have any ticket stubs from this event: info@live-coil-archive.com

Venue

Camber Sands
Old Lydd Rd
Camber
Rye TN31 7RH
UK

Gallery

Notes on Video Footage of This Show

2019-06-06 UPDATE: Anthony Child gave his mostly complete own recording (which we have labeled AMT #2) to LCA for public sharing. He filmed it from behind and to the right of the stage with permission from Peter. This was the same footage considered for CSO. During “The Dreamer is Still Asleep,” you can see two more video cameras in the audience, as seen below.

Allegedly, three camera angles run by the event curators filmed the set (as they did with Throbbing Gristle’s the following year) and at least two audience members brought additional cameras. There is photographic evidence definitively showing one person with long hair and a beanie right in front of the stage filming. According to Antonio Delgado, the person in those pictures might be his ex-girlfriend, since he recognizes the beanie, and states that her camera was unfortunately stolen right after the show. Craig Earp also claims he made a DV recording at the front of the house; I guess it’s possible it’s him in the photo instead, or maybe he was off to the side somewhere.

Mysteriously, there is a posting on archive.org titled “Coil live at ATP, UK. 6th April 2003.” The post includes a file called “CoilATP_part1,” which is dated September 18, 2006. The file is unfortunately corrupted, but some sleuthing by Benji and some others leads us to believe it was a file that had a link to a video stream. The video stream is most likely long gone by now, but it’s an interesting thing to note nonetheless. Find the original post here: https://archive.org/details/Coil_live_at_ATP_6th_April_2003

It was thought for the longest time that Peter lacked footage of ATP, since no footage was included on Colour Sound Oblivion. However, according to Matt Carthum, “Peter did have a recording of ATP. Though, it didn’t turn out too great…[I]t wasn’t complete which is why it wasn’t in CSO…He emailed me and said he was going to send me the footage as a thank you (I’m credited for the cover pic of the ambulance album). However, he passed away before that could happen…So, it’s on some hard drive somewhere…I don’t know the details at all. I’ll dig up the email though. Happy to send you all the pics from ATP though…Fun fact. I’m the one shouting ‘lot’s more volume’ on the live recording. I’m still waiting for my royalties.” Youtube user schreineinAV attests to that fact and adds: “I recall reading somewhere sleazy saying he found the editing of ATP technically too difficult as he had sync issues….. he said no matter what he tried it didn’t look or feel right! Subsequently it was left out of CSO…..”

AMT #1 – Brief Clips of “Triple Sons and the One You Bury”

AMT #2 – Nearly Complete, Shot from Behind and Right of Stage

Attendee Recollections

Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, and Carter Tutti wrote her recollections of this show in her memoir Art Sex Music, reproduced here to give further historical insight: “The date of the TG-curated ATP had been changed. Paul Smith, me, and Chris all went to check out Camber Sands for RE~TG and see Coil play there. It seemed well organised and we met up with Sleazy backstage after his soundcheck…which never materialized because the Magic Band seemed to think a soundcheck was as long as they felt like playing for. Geff was nowhere in sight and Sleazy was grateful for that small mercy. He said he wasn’t even sure Geff would turn up to go on stage and it could be the last Coil gig. He’d had enough, saying that nothing could compensate him for the grief he had to go through with Geff. He’d lightened up by the time we left him. Coil did an introspective and dark set, which was to be expected, interrupted at one point by Geff’s interesting audience banter. Someone accused him of being drunk…Meanwhile Sleazy and the other three band memebers played on. We went backstage afterwards and Sleazy’s face lit up when he saw us. With Geff on one side of the dressing room and Sleazy on the other, we didn’t know which way to go. Chris went to Sleazy and they had a big hug, and I went to Geff, then we both sat with Sleazy for his post-show wind-down.”

Jonathan Dean attended this gig and reviewed it for Brainwashed.com: “Jhon Balance came out wearing an 19th Century white flower-pattern dress, with his hair combed sharply to the side, and a big DH Lawrence beard which made him look like a Victorian madman in the throes of space dementia. As soon as I saw him I started laughing uncontrollable and the acid even made me shout “Oh, Mary…”. Jhon looked shocked that I though[t] his outfit amusing. Coil did a “quiet” set of material, basically three long improvisations. The first was a narrative and an invocation for the return of Jhon Balance’s green marbleized notebook of lyrics and notes, which was stolen somewhere near the Marlyebone tube station while he was under the influence of Rohypnal. At one point during the song, he made eye contact with me and I immediately vomited three times into the crowd. Then the acid finally kicked in. The second song was about snow falling in military winters, a wandering, buzzing, surround-sound melody with green light and green milky visuals on screen. The third song was a long version of “The Dreamer in Still Asleep” with Jhon recounting his recent breakdown “a somnambulist in an ambulance/I killed my doctor/I said ‘physician, heal thyself'”…creepy, disturbing, insane but altogether human, refined, amazing.”

Terv Terran attended this gig. He remembers: “All Tomorrow’s Parties at Camber Sands in 2003 was an absolute monster of a performance sat within a very special weekend. Coil’s internal strife was at fever pitch, just at the point where the pain can be channeled into Art to stultifying effect. Jhon wore a pretty dress and had an Oliver Reed beard going. The ambulance died in Jhon’s arms and his precious notebook was lost too.”

Pete Windle attended this gig and remembers: “I also caught the ATP Camber Sands performance which was stunning, although it had been quite a long weekend already and I was very very tired. Of course we also had tickets for the Seed Records Aldwych gig that never happened, and I got refunds on RE:TG because it wouldn’t have made any sense without COIL.”

Anthony Child recorded AMT #2 and remembers: “I saw Coil’s performance at Camber Sands in 2003. It was a really strange and sad show. I’d met Jhon and Sleazy a few times while touring with Autechre, but hadn’t seen them for a year or 2 and I knew Jhon was in a bad way. I assumed that they were going to perform without him and didn’t even realise that was him until he spoke on the microphone. He walked past me backstage and I didn’t recognise him at all, his appearance had changed so much since I’d last met him. It was really shocking. Sleazy gave me permission to film their performance from the side of the stage with a DV camera. Almost the whole concert was recorded, only missing first song ‘Triple Sun Introduction’ and the beginning of ‘A Slip In The Marylebone Road.’ I sent a copy to Sleazy…”

Known Recordings

Tapes owners/taper:

AMT #2 – Anthony Child
AMT #3 – Craig Earp
AMT #4 – Antonio Delgado’s then-girlfriend

Concert Recording Downloads

AUD #1Recording download link (archive.org).
SBD #1 – (…And an the Ambulance Died in His Arms) Recording download link (archive.org).
AMT #1Recording link on Youtube.
AMT #2 – Recording download link (archive.org).
Suspected Video Stream (corrupted) – Recording download link (archive.org).

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