Sunn O))) - Portishead ATP 2007: What actually happened.

Alot of people have asked me about Sunn’s little tiff at atp the other week, and the nearest thing I could find to it was here http://discover.drownedinsound.com/articles/2681967 so i figured i’d write it up for people to google.

The room was nice and quiet and the stage guys turned all the smoke machines onto full in preparation for the all senses experiences that is a Sunn gig… The first hiccup of the evening was that the right hand stage smoke machine was knackered, and with the air con blowing the other ones smoke straight off stage as soon as it got out the nozzle the performance area was left someone smoke free which i’m sure infuriated steven o’malley, whose tech spec almost certainly reads ‘… and the audience should not be even able to see their hand in front of their face at any time during the show.’

After 20 mins of an impressive but ultimately fruitless uphill struggle by the left hand smoke machine, Oren Arawatshisface came on stage in his outfit and started to press some buttons over the doomy soundtrack that had been playing out the PA for about 10 mins. A cutting three note C major run then made itself known to the room from above… Surround sound??? surely not???.. Ding, dong, dong….. ‘Will all staff please report to HQ’…….Ding, dong, dong…’Ladies and Gentlemen, Your attention please. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must ask you to evacuate the building. Please make your way to the nearest exit, or as advised by staff’…..

They’d set the smoke alarm off…..

Steve must have been pissed by this point, in both senses of the word (he’d been glugging wine since well before boris came on stage).

Once the whole band were on stage, and started to get into it, steve began conducting the band, pointing to different frets on his guitar and expecting everyone to follow. I’ve never seen them do this before, and it sounded shit. I’m pretty sure he was just pissing about. When Greg Anderson started to lead up to the big…. ‘Slowly everyone.. plectrum in the air…… 1……….2………3……. DOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!!’ bits, steve was just doing scratchy shit up round the 17th fret, with no interest in playing the doom game. he didn’t even have his hood on.
After 40 minutes of bollocksing around, he put his guitar down and just walked off, and could only be seen from the side waving his arms in a ‘calm it down now. manner. He did a few funny faces, did alot of thumbs down genstures, came back on stage, wispered to everyone, did a few more thumbs down and started doing scratchy bollocks again.

Then… the best thing I have seen… ever.

Greg, suddernly, after being almost motionless for an hour snapped, ran at steve, hit him with his guitar, gave him a good whack and pushed him into two of those enormous full stage, his legs and stupid rode flying up in the air like frier tuch being thrown down a well. As soon as the amps hit the floor, the sound cut out, greg walked round the back, said sorry to the crowd, bollocked steve once more for good measure, gave him what looked like a kick and stormed off to the dressing room.

brilliant.

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