Fountains of Europe – an apt farewell to Alright the Captain

In 2008 Alright the Captain set off on the road. This video is a document to 8 years spent in unfamiliar places.

Alright the Captain are a much loved local band, in the East Midlands. Stalwarts of the local scene, they have been relentlessly touring since their formation, alongside putting on DIY shows which support other bands and fledgling musicians. So when news broke they were having a ‘hiatus’, it felt appropriate that they ought to be given a good send off in more ways than one. Their final local shows played out to packed audiences, many of whom had likely seen them play many many times before, captivated by their mathy, edgy, genre-defying noise which feels experimental, yet without the pretension or self-indulgence that so often hampers music of this sphere.

Fountains of Europe feels like an aptly unpretentious goodbye (for now) to ATC. Their bassist, Todd, has been photographing the many wonderful and horrible toilets they have visited in the past 8 years. A testament to the hours spent on the road, sleeping on floors and sofas, the late late nights spent drinking with locals. Friend and filmmaker, Phil Formby, who previously made the music video for ‘Ben and Barbara’ (a soap opera about the glass head ATC have lit up on stage each show), found out about this enormous collection of pictures and wanted to put them together in video form.

As you may know, Phil is one of the founders of Bees Make Honey, and also my housemate. So, I was witness to the hours he spent driving himself more than a bit mad staring at strobing toilets, trying to get the snares and kicks to correlate artistically with shades of shitters and ensure a repetitive video stayed rewarding to the end for those voyaging down to the very bottom of the bog hole. He would go to bed eyes wired and hair wild, finding fresh ways to suffer for his art like the tortured artists of yore.

So here it is for your delectation. Is it a nod to Duchamp’s ‘The Fountain’, or a homage to Trainspotting’s notorious toilet scene? Or is it just a document to the many pissholes of Europe and the industriousness of the DIY bands who frequent them? You decide.

Kirsty Fox, writer, social entrepreneur, toilet user.

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