You’ve spent the week reading about everybody’s best moments at ATP: making fart jokes on the Internet, being photographed while in the Lightning Bolt pit, eating a pot brownie with Steve Albini. What about the worst?
Ours took place about 90 minutes before the Monday-am finale to ATP New York, whereupon My Bloody Valentine would change our sonic lives irrevocably. In the merch-table corral, where Conrad Keely was selling his own shirts, a panicked girl ran in. “Something’s wrong with Martin!” she whispered frantically. “He’s in his room—they had to call the paramedics.” The Mogwai merch guy took off.
“Martin” was Mogwai drummer Martin Bulloch. Bulloch has a history of heart problems and once even auctioned off an old pacemaker on eBay for charity. Less than an hour before, the 34-year-old had been onstage banging out beats befitting Old Testament judgments. But now, his band mates Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison were now racing across the lobby, faces full of fear, with ATP organizer Barry Hogan. And Braithwaite was crying.
I was taken into hospital last night almost immediately after the show at ATP. I’ve been having some problems with my pacemaker for the duration of the tour and it unfortunately culminated in me being sent to the emergency room. The doctors there initially thought i would have to have corrective surgery at a larger hospital nearer NYC but i have been given the all clear to travel home on the understanding that i go straight to my cardiologist on arrival back in Scotland.
Tbh, i’m really bummed about having to go home and feel for the folk who had bought tickets for our upcoming shows but i can honestly say it would be almost impossible for me to carry on at this point as my pacemaker has broken skin and the surrounding area has become infected.
Mogwai had to cancel the remainder of their North American tour—understandably no word yet about rescheduling those missed shows. Fortunately, Bulloch’s back in Scotland, being treated, and “everything’s going well,” the label confirms. Genuinely thrilled to hear.