At All Tomorrow’s Parties – Camber Sands, UK
06th April 2003 – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Camber Sands, Camber, UK
- Triple Sun Introduction
- Snow Falls Into Military Temples
- A Slip in the Marylebone Road
- Triple Sons and the One You Bury
- The Dreamer is Still Asleep – The Somnambulist in an Ambulance
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”
Exclusive gig. Only performances of all songs except “Snow Falls Into Military Temples” and “Triple Sons and the One You Bury”
This gig was first announced on July 25, 2002. According to Greg Reason, “It’s worth pointing out that Autechre curated this festival and they not only selected Coil but also Beefheart’s Magic Band, Bernard Parmegiani, zK, Public Enemy, Bola, O.S.T., LFO, etc. 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.”
Over this year, the Live number series were all individually announced and released by Coil, along with the Live Box.
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 literally walked John up the stage by hand wearing the dress Ian had designed for him that John ended up performing. 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. Perhaps in part because of that, he was also particularly talkative at this gig, his voice quivering with nervousness and shyness.
“Triple Sun Introduction” is a short instrumental of “Triple Sons and the One You Bury,” which plays as each member of the band enters onto the stage. It segways right into “Snow Falls Into Military Temples,” wherein John spends the first several minutes making strange incantations and vocalized noises before singing.
Before “A Slip in the Marylebone Road,” John says, “We’re doing a quiet set, today. We’ve had too much…shouting over the last year,” likely referencing his psychotic episodes exacerbated by live performing. Someone in the audience screams, “Louder!” John responds, “You want it louder? I’m not doing louder, louder, louder,” referencing “Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil.” The audience refers to volume. “You want this whole louder in the, in the room?” “Volume!” “Yeah? Can we arrange to have more volume in the room, please?” “Lots more!” “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 the soundboard recording peaks in a few places from this point on.
The song “A Slip in the Marylebone Road” utilizes manipulated samples of Peter saying “Ra, bai, be, om, uyi, ucha, beyom, om,” which are Tibetan Buddhist chants. The same samples were later used on “Radio Weston / Wraiths and Strays.” The trippy lyrics detail a true occasion where John and some of his friends were robbed on an actual street called the Marylebone Road, in London, where he lost a green notebook, which contained numerous lyrics and other ideas, which he was very torn up about. The “Horse Hospital” is a famous arts exhibition venue in London and Balance had started a relationship with artist Ian Johnstone at this time (who has exhibited at the Horse Hospital).
John’s vocals during the ending section to “Triple Sons and the One You Bury” were later used on the studio version of the song entitled “Triple Sun” found on The Ape of Naples. The song concerns what to do with dead sons and the ingesting yew berries and mercury, which are both poisonous to humans. The “desert venom” and “with a resonance to rub against the delinquent” lyrics were later incorporated into “Sex With Sun Ra.” Furthermore, John’s alcohol addiction was well known to everyone, by the time of this gig, thanks in part to 1998’s Foxtrot release helping to fund his rehab treatments. 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.” Someone in the audience says, “There’s too much blood in my alcohol,” referencing the infamous lyric from the “Heartworms” off of Foxtrot. John doesn’t hear them at first, though: “It’s a good trick if you want to make your friends think you just poisoned yourself.” The audience member repeats the lyric. John responds, “There’s no alcohol in my blood at the moment at all.” Another person shouts, “Liar!” John laughs and says, “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. 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.” Another person in the audience says, “Liar!” Really, this whole exchange speaks for itself.
To introduce the last song, John says, “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 the first half where John namely says a new line, “The Somnambulist in an Ambulance,” resulting in the new subtitle to the song. Some of the studio version’s lyrics used for this version are altered slightly throughout. After the song, John concludes, “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.”
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson.
Tom Edwards – marimba.
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Notes on Video Footage of This Show
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, which is why it never got in the box set. 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. 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.” 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”
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.”
AMT #2 – Craig Earp
AMT #3 – Antonio Delgado’s then-girlfriend