And today we're joined by London's delightful Pocketbooks. This five-piece has been charming audiences up and down the country ever since meeting on the dancefloors of London's indiepop and northern soul clubs back in 2006. Their debut 7" ‘Cross The Line’ and EP 'Waking Up' combine melodic boy/girl harmonies, spiralling guitars and delicate pianos, alongside lyrical tales of modern life and love. Having headlined the first Indietracks event in April 2007 and hosted a chaotic singalong on a steam train at last year's festival, they're no strangers to the joys of the Midland Railway. We're very pleased to be joined by the band's guitarists, Ian and Dan...
Hi Ian and Dan, how do you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands?
Dan: I reckon that music's in fightin' form at the moment, there are new labels and nights popping up left, right and centre. It's great to finally see some indiepop in Newcastle in the shape of Popklubb. I think Ian'll confirm that there was naff all up there in days gone by. From the current crop of bands it's almost impossible to choose a favourite, there are so many fab acts, some harking back to the so-called 'golden era' and others really forward looking. Personally I'm all for the looker-backers and I'll leave it up to everyone else to decide which ones are which.
Ian: I feel really optimistic about the current indiepop scene but then I always have done. The difference for me now is that its really happening in the UK whilst before I'd always be looking to Sweden or the US for most of my indiepop fix. Like Dan said, it's great to see things like Popklubb happening and this feeling of community around the country in Stoke, Sheffield, Nottingham etc. It's great to see people putting on bands and having a sense of belief in the music and not being scared of failure.
Any exciting plans for the rest of the year?
Ian: Yeah! We're playing at the Rip It Up festival in Sweden which is going to be amazing. I've been to festivals in Sweden before and the location, people and music has always been amazing. So I can't wait for that! Other than that we just want to write more songs and try to record an album after the summer.
Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?
Dan: I can rip a Yellow Pages clean in half, as some previous Indietracks visitors will undoubtedly recall, much to my shame.
Ian: I was once an extra in a Faithless video which seems quite funny to anyone who's ever met me.
What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?
Ian: Well, i'm super excited about seeing The Wedding Present so I'll be playing their Seamonsters' album on repeat the whole way - it's my favourite record of all time. I've still got a playlist on my ipod I made for Indietracks last year, that'll get a nostalgic spin as well I reckon. The journey home from last years Indietracks festival was so sad because the weekend was over so quickly. So, it's important to have a happy mixtape for the travel home to keep the spirits up.
Dan: My Walkman's bust, so it'll have to be an i-pod playlist (very futuristic, I know). It'll probably feature my favourite discovery of last year - The Felt Tips, along with the obligatory Fall and Captain Beefheart tracks.
And finally, what attracted you to play at the Indietracks festival?
Dan: The general aceness. Along with Stuart's belief that he could make it happen and the fact that it was a nice antidote to the usual summer boredomfests. It'll be nice to see Slow Down Tallahassee and Tottie back to round up the classic, vintage Indietracks line-up and I'm dead excited about the Wedding Present.
Ian: Because I still can't quite believe this Festival exists and I'd do anything to be a part of it. Popfests just haven't really been much of fixture in the UK, you never thought there'd be much interest - especially not outside London. But Stuart Indietracks proved it can happen and on a much bigger scale than anyone thought and I'm eternally grateful to him for that. I'll finally get to see The Smittens which I'm really looking forward to. Milky Wimpshake, Ballboy and The Weddoes are amongst my all time favourite bands so I can't wait for them. And I'm completely in love with Liechtenstein.
Thanks Ian and Dan. And the band have left us with an exclusive new song!
Free MP3 dowload: Pocketbooks - Summertime
Next up: Pent-up weirdness from The Kabeedies!