Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Indietracks in seven minutes!

Phew! Does you feel as tired as we do? How can just two days of jangly indiepop and sunshine frolicing leave you feeling so exhausted? If anyone knows the answer do let us know, 'cos frankly we're baffled!

Anyway, in between catching up on naps, we've been hunting down the best photos and videos from the weekend and this short film, made by Chris Gilmour from Last Night from Glasgow Indie EyeSpy, is frankly ACE. It tells the story of Indietracks 2008 in seven minutes - see how many bands you can spot and give yourself a prize of some sleep and/or a healthy snack! (You'll need those vitamins after the weekend burger-fest!. You'll probably have to click through to YouTube to hear it with sound....

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Thanks everyone - see you next year!

Photo: Lostmusic
Hello everyone! Wasn't it FANTASTIC?

Phew! We'd been in such a high state of over-excitement for so long we just couldn't see how it was going to live up to all our expectations......but it did, and much, much more besides! From MJ Hibbett's hilarious My Exciting Life in Rock in the tea tent on Friday, to Los Campesinos' storming performance on Sunday evening, the whole weekend was just a perfect concoction of wonderful new music, glorious weather, steam train fun, friendly faces, enthusiastic dancing, impromptu singalongs and fruity real ale!

Congratulations to Stuart for organising such a perfect festival, and thanks to all the bands, volunteers, railway staff and everyone else who's helped with the organisation and helped spread the word. And most importantly, thanks to everyone for coming along and helping make Indietracks one of the most friendly and welcoming festivals around.

No doubt you're itching to upload your photos, videos and reviews from the festival, so here's a few things which might be handy:

Anorak forum: there's a special area where you can discuss your favourite highlights from the festival:Anorak Indietracks discussions

Indietracks Flickr group: share your photos with other Indietracks festival-goers here:

Videos: if you made any videos, it would be wonderful if you could send them, or your YouTube link,

Reviews: no doubt many of you will be writing for your own fanzines, but for those who would like to write for a piece for our blog, e-mail us at

We'll be posting up reviews, photos and videos over the next few days, but in the meantime here are a few of our favourite photos posted up so far........

Ballboy on the outdoor stage. Photo: Emmlpop

The crowd at the Church stage dancing along to Darren Hayman. Photo: Smith of Smiths

Over-excited KateGoes fans go POP! Photo: Sweeping the Nation

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Greetings from Indietracks!

Hello there pop kids! By the time you read this, we'll be on our first train journey of the weekend, travelling up to Nottingham clutching our dancing shoes, train whistles and festival survival kits! If you're anything like us and you've left everything to the last-minute, here's a few final pieces of info to help you on your way:

Quick guide: If you're looking for information on accommodation, tickets, transport, food and Friday night's MJ Hibbett show, there's a handy last minute guide on the official Indietracks website.

Weather: According to the BBC 5-day forecast, it should be pretty fine, so don't forget to pack your suntan lotion and sunglasses as well as maybe an umbrella, just in case. With its indoor and outdoor stages, and of course the train rides, the festival is perfect for all weathers!

Merchandise stall: If you have any CDs, t-shirts, mugs or anything for any of the bands playing at the festival, please pop over and say 'hi' at the merchandise stand, by the main stage, and they'll be happy to help. Please sticker the stuff with the price though, so the volunteers know how much to sell it for!

Anorak forum: if you have any last-minute questions, want to share a lift or need emergency fashion advice for the festival, the Anorak forum is a good place to start.

Warm-up gigs: You've a choice of three warm-up gigs on Thursday 24th:
- Leeds: Rosie Taylor Project @ Holy Trinity Church
- Nottingham: Airport Girl + The Zebras + Pocketbooks + Fists @ Junktion 7
- London: Even As We Speak + Mexican Kids At Home + Hong Kong in the 60s + The Give It Ups @ Jamm in Brixton

And a couple on Friday 25th:
- Indietracks: MJ Hibbett's "My Exciting Life In Rock" + Penny Broadhurst + HDIF DJs @ Midland Railway Butterley
- Leicester: Punk TV + Mai 68s @ The Charlotte, Leicester

Tickets: there's still weekend and day tickets available - you can buy them on the door, through We Got Tickets or by calling the railway direct on 01773 747674 (9am-5pm, 7 days a week).

We'll be back after the festival with all the gossip, reviews, photos, videos etc. We'd love to hear from you, so please send your fave youtube links, embarassing pictures and everything else to

See you in the disco carriage!

Indietracks interview #29: Ballboy

Ballboy’s love affair with independent music began in 1999 with the release of their first EP ‘Silver Suits for Astronauts’ on SL Records. Since then, four further albums have followed - ‘Club Anthems 2001’ (An EP compilation,) ‘A Guide for the Daylight Hours,’ ‘The Sash My Father Wore and Other Stories’ and ‘The Royal Theatre.’ A fifth album is now in the pipeline. They have toured the UK umpteen times as well as the USA and Sweden. John Peel was a huge fan and they recorded four Peel sessions, including a live Christmas broadcast from John’s house, the ultimate honour.

Hello Ballboy! Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourselves....

Gordon: We are 3 boys and a girl from Edinburgh, Scotland. We make music, but not the kind you have to write down with squiggles on fancy paper (apart from Pete the Cello Genius).
Alexa: Two girls if you count Veronica the melodica.

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past

Gordon: Nothing springs to mind from the last year, but the most unusual one ever was either by the side of a primary school swimming pool or on a makeshift stage on a front lawn in Sweden.
Alexa: Birmingham ;-)

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Gordon: We have a new album "I worked on the ships" out in August and I have a play with music that I have cowritten opening in November.
Alexa: I need to get 2 more rabies boosters

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

Gordon: I can juggle, Nick can cure headaches, Gary can make whole new worlds out of PVC glue and old hair, and Alexa has rabies.
Nick: I can also cure hiccups.
Alexa: I would like to point out that I don't have rabies in case they don't let me in at the English border. But I can make puffin noises.

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Gordon: iPod on shuffle so it could be anything really, but the new Wave Pictures album will be on there at some point.
Alexa: Roxette - which may mean I get kicked out of the van before Newcastle.

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

Gordon: Any surprises will probably be a surprise to us too.
Alexa: for health and safety shouldn't we mention that Nick is planning on jumping off a crane onto a car bonnet?

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Gordon: Independent the the summer...with trains!
Alexa: Two words - steam train

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?

Gordon: The Wave Pictures because they are the best new band (ie new to me) that I've heard in the last few years.
Alexa: The Smittens

Thanks everyone! We'll look forward to catching you on the main stage on Saturday....

Indietracks interview #28: The Candy Twins

Hello everyone! Hope you've been enjoying our regular updates! We're off to Nottingham tomorrow for festival fun and a preview gig with Airport Girl, Pocketbooks and The Zebras, but, in the meantime, here's an interview with late Indietracks bill addition The Candy Twins....The Candy Twins - hmm ... there seem to be more than two of you and you don't look very similar!

Why don’t you tell us a bit more about yourselves?

Yes, we started as a duo - the Ear Candy Twins. But we're not twins, or related, and we couldn't keep time to the backing tracks so decided to become a band, and cut our 'ear' off. But I guess The Candy Twins works ok for indiepop which is what we seem to have been labelled as. We're from the London area and we mostly gig round there though we did tour Germany earlier this year. Our bassist Mat Durrance is possibly the best known of our number - Wedding Present fans may know him from his acoustic covers of Weddoes songs on YouTube. Mat met David our lead singer and songwriter after being lured along to a Candy Twins gig by others who said we sounded a bit like the Wedding Present, who David - to his shame - had at that point never heard of. Since then he's become a Take Fountain addict.

How do you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands?

We're pretty much virgins in the indiepop world. We played a warm up gig at Gramaphone in London recently where St Christopher were headlining - that was fun. But we're looking forward to catching up with more bands at the festival. Indietracks is held at a steam railway.

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past.

Our gig in Leipzig on our German tour was bizarre. It was basically an apartment above a cafe - Noch Besser Leben - in one of the city's suburbs. It was like playing in someone's back room. It WAS someone's back room. The organiser was very apologetic before we went off to our accommodation to tune up because only two people had turned up. We came back in a few minutes later to start and the room - a big room - was packed out. For the sound check they just wanted it quieter and quieter so as not to annoy the neighbours. It started off as our worst gig on the tour. David broke a string (as usual), didn't have a spare guitar and it was all going belly up. But at the end the crowd asked us back to do an acoustic set, requesting songs, and giving us a great reception. That was sweet and such a turn-round!

Gosh – that all sounds really exciting! Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

We're completing our second album (again it's likely to be a self-release) bit by bit. Sad-Glad Songs is its working title. It will include our download single A Younger Crowd which The Sun (no less!) gave a 4/5 rating to in their hot tracks of the week when it came out. And then all the German venues we played earlier this year invited us back so we hope to repeat that tour either later this year or next. It would be nice to do some more British out of London gigs too.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

As previously mentioned, Mat our bassist is a Wedding Present addict. He'll be at their set on Saturday night. He's probably lost count of the number of Weddoes gigs he's been to. David is a big (fair weather) Hull City fan so looking forward to their debut premier league season in August. Mat once appeared on Master Chef. David once wee-ed in Hannah Hawkswell's barn. It was a two-storey barn. He didn't realise Hannah was underneath milking the cows and therefore got a surprise golden shower. And our tribute song 'Edwyn Collins Is Back' is a big YouTube hit - Edwyn loved it and put us on his guest list for his first comeback gig, but we were too shy to go and say hello afterwards. We've tried to blag a support slot with him but failed so far.

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

El Rey I guess for Mat! The rest of the band are borrowing a Scout minibus that doesn't have a music system.

And what attracted you to playing Indietracks?

We got a lovely review on the Indie-MP3 blog run by Lost Music and spotted the banner on their site and decided that was where we wanted to be, and we are thoroughly looking forward to it.

As ever, we have a free MP3 to give away, click on the link below to hear it!

Free MP3 Download: Start to Believe

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Bubblegumkillers guide to festivals...

What? It’s Wednesday already? That means Indietracks is in three days time… We’re so not ready…

We hope this last-minute panic-attack of an article might be of some help to all Indietracks goers. Welcome to the BubblegumKillers DJ Team guide to festivals (well, this one) and that…

PETE GREEN IS WRONG! (about one little thing)

Now, while we absolutely, genuinely, completely and utterly adore the “everything is going to be sparkly” song-smith, it must be pointed out that myspace really doesn’t suck. It’s how we first heard the brilliant TOWN BIKE, and many of the other bands on the bill. Why not have a flick around the myspace pages of all the artists you’ve not heard of. You might discover the genius of a band with a slightly rubbish name, that you weren’t gonna bother with, all because a so-called friend of yours said they were crap, and they’re the first band on. We missed so many great bands at festivals in the dark pre-internet days that we really regret now (Kenickie in ’96 being the worst example), so check them out before you kick yourself in years to come…


We’ll forgive The Wedding Present if they don’t play all the hits, what with them having had 12 Top 40 singles in one year, lest we forget. But as for the rest of you, please play all the singles, ‘cos that’s what festivals are about, huge bombastic greatest hits sets. Blow us away with your 7” pop lasers please!


A notebook; for writing down all the bands you see. Then divide the cost of the ticket by the number of bands you’ve watched and you’ll see how much value for money IndieTracks is for you. Challenge your friends!
A cigarette lighter; sellotaped securely to a length of string, affixed to the belt-loop on you corduroy flares. No more of those “scrabbling-around-and-emptying-all-your-pockets-and-getting-all-stressed-cos-you’re-sure-you-had-it-earlier-but-did-you-lend-it-to-that-bloke-with-the-hat-during-Pocketbooks?” moments guaranteed! Even if you don’t smoke, you will have a valuable tool to make new friends.
A Musical Instrument; especially if you can play one. This is even more important if you’re in one of the bands playing. Please note, that the bongos, or variations thereof, are not musical instruments. Kazoos, however, most definitely are.


An MP3 digital music walkman thing. Why would you? The Parallelograms are on RIGHT NOW!
Too much money. You’ll only spend it all on doughnuts and pin badges on the first night and end up scrounging off your mates for the rest of the weekend.
A set of bongos. Not a musical instrument.


We’re DJing on the S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y… NITE! and we’re not bringing our combined record collections with us. And not any vinyl at all. So if there’s a song you want us to play, please send your request to bubblegumkillers AT – then we can find it and make it go on a CD if it’s on a record. Or send us MP3’s (completely legally like…).

Normal Terms & Conditions apply.

Helen Love’s BubbleumKillers Attack Squad DJ Team Formation reserve the right not to play any songs that a: aren’t pop enough, b: we don’t have, and c: aren’t by the Ramones.
See you there (for giggles and that watch us run between Town Bike, Silence At Sea and Slow Down Tallahasee, while still bleary eyed from the magical Penny Braodhurst and the ace MJ Hibbett the night before). And do say hello. We’re quite nice…

Indietracks interview #27: Roadside Poppies

We're just about to fly back from Stockholm, but there's still time to post another pre-prepared interview for your enjoyment. There's lots to squeeze in over the next few days before the festival begins, so keep popping back!

Roadside Poppies play slapdash jangly pop songs. They started as a one-man project by Matloob but blossomed into something far greater. Currently a six piece, split between the UK and Denmark, they play songs about “summer, flowers, cycling, falling in and out of love and murderous neighbours- the usual indiepop fare!”

Their first official CD release was the now sold out ‘Cycling and Crying’ EP on WeePOP! Records, the first release on the label. They also recorded an entire album in 28 days as past of the RPM challenge and this is available for free download from their website.
After a smattering of gig across the UK, they headed off to Denmark and Sweden in September 2007 on their first European tour.

Hi Matloob, we’re big fans of t’Poppies over the Indietracks blog, but for the uninitiated - tell us a little bit about yourselves!

Roadside Poppies started as a bedroom recording project in Cambridge but became a band once Martin and Duncan joined. After seeing bands like the Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Sambassadeur sounding great with mp3 backing tracks, we decided to ditch the idea of a drummer in favour of being able to travel to gigs by bike or public transport. We've played a few gigs in Oxford, Cambridge and London and also in Denmark and Sweden. I ended up moving to Copenhagen this year so we're now an Anglo-Danish band. Indietracks will be the first gig we'll be doing with members from both countries so it should be jangly, poppy fun.

You mentioned Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Sambassadeur - how do you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands?

There is some great music around at the moment, it's good to see the British scene catching up with Swedish and American bands. There are a couple of great indiepop bands in Copenhagen and I can heartily recommend all popkids check out Ampel, De Agtige and Northern Portrait.

You’re about to play at a steam railway - tell us about an unusual place where you've played a gig in the past.

Well, if it counts, we did an extended pop jam at Jarn Torget (Iron Square) in Gothenburg to try and work off a hangover before playing a gig at a nearby bar. It was great fun playing to a mixture of amused teenagers, bemused passers-by and sarcastic drunks. Oh, and we've got a plan to play a tree gig in Copenhagen in August. We've checked out a tree in Norrerbro that we think we can climb and play in.

Now that is surprising! Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

We'll be fielding our new full line-up of British and Danish musicians and playing some completely new super-poppy songs. We'll also have a very limited number of exclusive and completely unique CDs for sale. The band has members representing all three sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and there will sweets for anyone who can identify all the band scientists (and their discipline) on stage.

Hee, sounds like fun! Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Pocketbooks, the songs just keep getting catchier and more moving as time goes on. We're on the church stage just before they play so we'll be running from straight from the church stage clutching our instruments to catch their set.

Free MP3 Download: Roadside Poppies - Erosion

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Indietracks interview #26: The Smittens

Less than a week to go, and we're still on holiday in Sweden. Today we strolled around Stockholm's beautiful Gamla Stan district, visited the Skansen heritage site and tried to go to a trendy bar with a table tennis table and French boules. Which was shut. We haven't forgotten about you though, so here's an interview we prepared earlier...

The Smittens are a DIY pop explosion!! Half of the Smittens couldn’t play their instruments when they first formed their band in 2002 but they didn’t let that worry them. They grew from their name, which existed before the musicians did, and a desire to fill the twee void in their home town of Burlington, Vermont, New England, USA.

The Smittens bring a warm fuzzi-wuzziness to the stage and like to emphasise the importance of all being friends. The sentence “Being nice is a political act” has featured in the notes of their first two albums. They are made up of The Dashing Smitten, The Charming Smitten, The Lady Smitten, The Littlest Smitten and The Greek One.

Their first album ‘Gentlefication Now!’ was released in 2004 on Dangerfive Records. Its follow up, ‘A Little Revolution!’ followed 18 months later on Dangerfive/North of January. The next album should be released in 2008. They have shared the stage at previous shows with the likes of Kimya Dawson, The Mountain Goats, Stars, Boyracer, The Besties and Bunnygrunt. Today, we're joined by Colin!

Hello Colin, great name for a band – the names seem to be getting better and better! Tell us how you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands.

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be making indiepop music! There are so many fantastic new bands and labels popping up everywhere and our entire community seems to be rallying together – especially in the UK! That’s why we’re coming over – and we’re thrilled that folks have been so nice already with helping us to line up shows and share gear and stuff like that – the pre-arrival hospitality has already made us feel more than welcome! After reading up on many of the new bands (and older ones, too) and seeing flyers for past shows online, it will be so fun to see so many of them live! Indietracks should be extra fab because we’ll have the opportunity to hang out and meet new folks over the course of two days – a nice lil’ holiday in the middle of our tour!

Tell us about an unusual place you’ve played a gig in the past.

Well, this year we played at a Junior Iron Chef competition! It was a local eccentric event, in a huge indoor space with us playing in the corner and pausing between songs for the MC to make announcements about the goings-on. We even got to goof around with Champ – the mascot for our local minor league baseball team the Vermont Lake Monsters! It was pretty surreal! Hee – indiepop and sport combined – that sounds like so much fun!

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Well, our new album, The Coolest Thing About Love, is coming out here on July 29 so, after our UK tour (which may be the most exciting thing we’ve ever done!), we are heading down to Athens, Georgia for the Happy Happy Birthday To Me/Athens Popfest 2008. Happy Happy Birthday To Me is releasing the album and we’ll be celebrating the release with a Saturday show at the famous 40 Watt club during the festival there. After that, we are doing a hometown album celebration in Burlington and then in the fall we are planning to head out to the west coast for some dates. If we are lucky we will be able to coordinate some shows with Tullycraft and some of our other long-distance penpals – we’ve never done any shows on the West Coast before and we are going to make it happen this year on the heels of the new album release! It’s definitely gonna be a pretty busy year for us all-around.

Phew! With all this activity going on, have you had time to plan any surprises for the festival?

Well, we’ve been getting together and working on our festival set, and I think there will be a few surprises in there – it depends on what constitutes a surprise, but we are hopefully going to play some new material and we have a couple tricky tricks up our sleeves, too! David proposed one awesome surprise that we are going to try and pull off and Max and Dana have a couple other ideas as well, so at this point almost anything could happen! In general, though, our goal is to come out and play well and enjoy the other bands and people there – it’s like we’re heading into indiepop shangri-la or something! I bet we spend some late-night time singing and playing and taking turns trading songs with other folks there. If anyone wants us to play or sing anything - well, if it doesn’t happen during our set, well, we’ll sing it round a campfire! Full festival immersion – I think that’s our plan, but it’s not really a surprise, I guess.

The Smittens have very kindly donated Half My Heart Beats, a lovely tracks from their new album – click on the link below to hear it!

Next up: Matloob from the Roadside Poppies chats about Anglo-Danish relations, playing gigs in trees and his love for new Copenhagen indiepop! Unfortunately there’s no mentions of plans to hide in booze in bushes!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Darren vs Dave: The Indietracks Interview!

Hi kids, we're currently on location (and stuffed full of Plopp bars) in Sweden after enjoying the wonderful Rip It Up festival in Saffle, where new Indietracks addition Darren Hanlon put in a particularly fine performance for a friendly crowd of Swedish indiepoppers. We love this little festival and, with less than week to go now, we couldn`t be any more in the mood for Indietracks. We`re know you`re excited too, and so this week we`ll be cramming in more last minute fun than you can shake a llama`s tail at! Coming up, we`ve got interviews with The Smittens, Silverdrop and Roadside Poppies as well as Helen Love's guide to festivals, crucial information about merchandise and last-minute weather predictions - who says we don't treat you well?

But, in the meantime, we thought you might like to check out this rather fab interview on Drowned in Sound, where indiepop legends Darren Hayman and Dave Gedge met for a head-to-head interview. Part love-in, part Spanish inquisition, these two sure know how to chat! Here`s hoping for a duet come Indietracks time!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Indietracks interview #25: A Classic Education

Well, today we're off to Sweden for the Rip It Up festival - just to check out the indiepop festival competition, like! It sounds amazing, although we can't help but notice that they won't have any steam trains there. Anyway, sadly we won't be able to update this blog until we get back after the weekend. But don't panic, we're leaving you with a lovely interview and song from A Classic Education. And if that's not enough, please feel free to skip back and read some classic posts from the Indietracks Festival blog archive (who could forget the accommodation quiz or picture bingo?), and maybe download all the free MP3s while you still can!

But before you trawl through the blog archives, please let us introduce
A Classic Education, all the way from Italy. Jonathan, Paul and Luca recorded the band's first songs over four nights around Christmas 2006 in the middle of the mountains in northern Italy. They recorded mostly at night, with the wind blowing and dogs howling in the distance, using a myriad of instruments to adding layers over layers, ending up with the dense orchestral sound you can hear today.

The band recently released a one-sided 12" - First EP - with five of their early recordings and they've played shows with Arcade Fire and Lightspeed Champion among others. You can find them playing on the Church Stage on Sunday afternoon at Indietracks.

A Classic Education sounds like a very posh name! Why don’t you tell us a bit more about yourselves?

Well, we've been around for a short time, we are based in Bologna in Italy, but all six members live scattered across the country, and one member is Canadian. I guess we have a nice mix of people. It's crazy in terms of the way we organise our practices! It seems like we are always planning nice weekends together to play and have some good, proper meals.

How do you feel about music at the moment and the new crop of indiepop bands?

I feel like it's a really nice time to be playing music. There is a bunch of real exciting bands playing the festival. We’re really keen on seeing The Wave Pictures, Liechtenstein, Pocketbooks and Darren Hayman, as well as Comet Gain and The Wedding Present - that will just about make our day! In general though I think it's been a good two years for releases, not only in the indiepop "world".

Indietracks is held at a steam railway. Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past.

Well, we have just played this self-organised festival in the Italian countryside, which was in an old converted farm house. The crazy thing is the people that run it are hugely into design and house furnishing, so it was like playing in the old countryside with a neat Berlin twist to it. Last year we brought Fanfarlo on tour in Italy and we did play one really, really strange place way up north called Bus Del Colvera. I think they couldn't quite grasp why on earth we would be playing there but the show turned out really well. While Fanfarlo were playing, the local mayor jumped on the stage and danced away on a few songs. I also forgot to mention it's a grappa drinking area! So there you go...

Gosh – that all sounds really exciting! Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Well, it's basically playing and playing. We're self releasing a 12" that puts together all our first things. We just also recorded a few new things with Jeremy Warmsley and hope to have those out on a 7" after the summer.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

One of us does not have a name. He is only called the "Maestro". Giulia is an ace photographer. The rest of us are avid film, book and record collectors!

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

I know we are going to be fighting about this one...I would say there will definitely be some old Motown and soul going on, and some of us are in quite a Phil Spector mood lately. Maybe some Dylan, a little Minutemen, definitely some Jesus & Mary Chain, Felt, and if our pal Enzo is coming along I'm sure there will be a ton of Swedish pop.

You seem to like surprises – do you have any planned for the Indietracks festival?

I think we would like to play some surprise acoustic sets!

And what attracted you to playing Indietracks?

Just the fact of being simply able to play with so many good bands. When we heard about the "church" stage it seemed so appropriate!

Thank you! Wow, we really can’t wait to see you guys now – we’ll have make sure they’re stocking grappa in the loco shed bar!

Free MP3 Download: A Classic Education - Stay, Son

Next up: Messing about with baseball mascots, indiepop penpals and plans for “full festival immersion” – it can only be The Smittens!

And don't forget: The Indietracks warm-up gigs continue with The Smittens, The Parallelograms and The Seven Inches in Sheffield on Monday (21 July). You can read more on this
Anorak forum thread.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Indietracks interview #24: Allo, Darlin

Just over a week to go! Even as we speak, the indiepop collective is already swinging into gear in anticipation. The Indietracks warm-up gigs kicked off in earnest last week: from Sparklemotion in Sheffield to Lostmusic in London; from The Gentle Invasion in Edinburgh to The Autumn Store in Birmingham. Things are happening everywhere. You could call it a scene, but that makes it sound a bit trendy. After all, it's just fun and exciting! Come and grab a tambourine and join in!

But first, pop over and say hell to Allo, Darlin. They play beautiful acoustic girl-pop with an alt-country tinge. They formed in the back of a cab in 2006 and released now sold out EP ‘Photos’ in 2007 on WeePOP! Records. They'll be playing on a steam train on Saturday afternoon, as it glides through the Derbyshire countryside.

Hello Allo, Darlin – we love your name – it’s ace! You have an unusual name and Indietracks is an unusual festival. Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past.

Hmm, well I've recently started having gigs on my rooftop, which has the best view of London I've seen. Does it count as a gig if there are only two people there? I think so! The last time I did it, my boyfriend filmed it and I put it on MySpace. It's definitely something I'd like to do more of. I'm really happy playing anywhere – the laundromat, Hampstead Heath, in friend's kitchens! We've had some awesome gigs in London the last year or so but my favourite ones are in the really tiny spaces, where the audience are literally in your face and it feels more like a party than a show. We played at the Betsey Trotwood recently just as a two piece, and the stage was so tiny that there was no room for us on there, so we just played in the crowd. I love that. Sounds great!

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Yes! I'm going to record another EP which I'm really excited about. This time we'll go to a proper studio, rather than a church, which is where we did the first one. I'm doing some of the arrangements for the songs at the moment, which is really fun. I can't wait to record the samba drums – or at least to see what they sound like anyway. It may all fall over when we realize we can't play in time when we do polyrhythm…

We’re sure you’ll do just fine! You mentioned using samba drums….will that influence what is going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Hmm, I've been listening to a lot of surf music recently, which is quite summery and festival-ly. Beat Happening and the Surfaris - that'll be it!

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks Festival, and why?

I can't wait to see all of them! If I had to pick a few, I'd say Esiotrot because I've never seen them, and they're friends of friends and are really, really good. Also The Occasional Flickers because my friend Bart from Eagleowl is playing guitar with them and they're great, and The Zebras because they're from Brisbane aren't they? Like me, almost. Oh and of course The Wave Pictures. Scoop – Dave Tattersall's dad - really likes Allo, Darlin. I don't know if that's cool or not though! It makes me feel a bit funny. We're Dad Pop!

Thanks for your time Elizabeth, we can’t wait to hear what Dad Pop with a indiepop tinge sounds like!

Free MP3 download: Allo, Darlin - Henry Rollins Don't Dance

Next up: A Classic Education tell us about making music to make Italian mayors dance to!

And don't forget: If you're in London tomorrow (17 July), there's an Indietracks related gig taking place at the Miller, near London Bridge station. It's a WeePOP! Records night featuring today's interviewees Allo, Darlin, Let's Whisper (Dana and Colin from The Smittens) and Electrophonvintage. There's more details on this Anorak thread.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Indie Eyespy: Memories of Indietracks 2007!

As regular blog readers will know, we’ve had a whole host of ‘Tracks “experts” reminisce on their favourite experiences from past Indietracks events, including MJ Hibbett, Sam Metcalf of Tasty Fanzine, Kris from Heaven Is Above Your Head, Emma from Pocketbooks and Pete Green.

Next up, we hear from avid gig goer and all-round music obsessive Chris Gilmour, who writes the ever popular Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy music blog – a must read for indie-poppers everywhere! Read on to find out why Indietracks 2007 was such a memorable experience for him…..

Hi, my name's Chris I go to gigs in London and Glasgow, whilst awkwardly avoiding eye contact with people I've seen at other gigs, I scribble about them in a notebook for a website called Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy. Indietracks summer '07 was the first 'tracks I went to...

Indietracks, Indietracks. I'd heard the name before, or read it online, on music messageboards. A one day gig/festival thing, something to do with trains. But summer '07 was different, it was bigger, two days, there was a vibe, there were rumours. Maybe it was just the same forum post I glanced at several times over several weeks, or I read the same thing in lots of places, but what I heard was that the chap organising it had become unstoppable in his quest to book bands.

Every band I'd heard of or read about was being snapped up to play at Indietracks. Dozens of them, maybe hundreds. Friends were going, acquaintances, people off of the internet, everyone was going. I didn't know where I was going to be, I was unemployed and homeless, but I knew I had to be there.

Thinking back, I can't remember, I had all my possessions in the back of my car, I was driving round motorways under blazing sunshine. Road signs said Alton Towers, but I said no, there were far more interesting delights and trains to be found. I'd glanced at a map on a website, something to do with having to get a train to the festival site. My car lay abandoned in a supermarket car park, my rucksack full of clothes and vodka, then there was this wee train station, with a real stream train, and one or two indiekids stood on the platform. They wore coloured clothes and had quirky hair, there were children running about too.

In one carriage of the train was a small drum kit, a gentleman accompanying a girl with a guitar and duck whistles. Hang on, I'd read about there being bands on the train, but this wasn't any band. I recognised the girl, I recognised the accent. I'd seen her play in Glasgow years before - Angelika, Teenage Girl Crush. And here she was, playing to me and a pair of indiekids in a steam train.

A four song set and we arrived at our destination, a dusty sunbleached station in the middle of the wilds with not a cloud in the sky, and there were people, all heading to the big diesel shed where something was happening, there was music. Not just any people, not like the usual cannon fodder zombies you get in the street - at Indietracks everyone is like a real, proper person. MJ Hibbett spotted me, I'd last seen him playing an acoustic show in a Glasgow tea room in 2006 and he gave a me a manly hug. A few yards away was Waz from The Gresham Flyers, I'd last seen him playing at The Pleasure Unit in Bethnal Green in 2004.

A queue was forming at the diesel shed, inside it was dark and cool, the folk in front in the queue I recognised from the iconic photos of the How Does It Feel club night. Inside were folk I'd seen in Glasgow the night before at the National Pop League. There were even folk there I didn't recognise, but they were probably from some band, or a fanzine, or that website, or just those guys who always go to that club.

I got really drunk. After it was dark, bands were still playing on the diesel shed stage or the church stage. Me and Robbie were wandering. There were still trains arriving and leaving the station, big steam trains, driven by enthusiasts, passengers not required. We got on anyway. I'd bought a secondhand train drivers jacket for a pound from the shop, and the driver of the train seemed happy enough for us to ride in the cab.

“Hey, who are we missing on stage?”
“You've seen them before.”
“It doesn't matter anyway, we're driving a steam train!”
“Choo! Chooooooooooooooo!”

Thanks Chris! We’ll be expecting to see you proudly wearing that £1 stationmaster’s jacket this year then!

Next up: Allo, Darlin talk about playing rooftop gigs, samba drums and why they’re re-inventing Dad Pop!

And don’t forget: Tonight (14 July) is the press launch of MJ Hibbett’s Exciting Life In Rock show. It’s at the Cross Kings in that London, and he’s supported by indiepop troubadour Pete Green (details).

Indietracks interview #23: The Good Natured

Less than two weeks to go now and we've been keenly examining the final list of stage times on the Indietracks website - we've got farm visits and stationwear shop perusing to schedule! Today we catch up with Sarah from The Good Natured for a brief chat. Although the band is mainly made up of Sarah, she is also joined by friend Hamish for live perfomances. Combining warm, electro-acoustic disco beats with tales of love, loss and spaceships, the band featured on a Huw Stephens Introducing podcast in January. Apparently they are a band who "love to dance" - we're sure they won't be the only ones having a little shimmy in the loco shed this year!

Hello The Good Natured – nice to meet you! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Sarah, I am 17 years of age and I like to make up little songs on my grandmother’s old keyboard

Do you/any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

I saw Alan Titchmarsh on a ferry once!

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

The Cure's greatest hits, Gang of Four, Strange Idols, Love is All, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Napoleon IIIrd

Thanks for popping in to say hello Sarah! We’ll look forward to seeing your grandmother’s keyboard on display at the festival!

As ever, we’re giving away a free song – do be sure to check out The Good Natured’s Our Very Last as you’re doing your last minute packing! The file is actually an MP4, so you will need to convert it before you upload it to your iPod.

FREE MP4 Download:
Our Very Last

Next up: Glasgow Indie Eye Spy’s Chris Gilmour reminisces on his highlights from Indietracks 2007.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Indietracks maps and programme!

It’s only about two weeks until the festival, so today, instead of rambling on about llamas, sing-alongs, popstar celebrity spotting or essential fashion items, we’re hitting you with some useful factual information. Firstly, we can (semi-exclusively) reveal that The Parallelograms and The Kick Inside have been added to the bill for the Saturday main stage. For full details of who’s playing when, please visit the Stage Times page on the Indietracks website.
And when you’ve done that, you’ll probably be wondering how you can walk briskly (don’t run kids!) between stages so you don’t miss your favourite bands. Fortunately help is at hand, as Emma’s designed this rather fetching map:

Firstly, don’t panic, there’s also a ‘fully-stocked’ bar inside the main stage building, as well as another inside a train next to the main stage. Also, you might like to know that a map will also be included in the official Indietracks festival guide, which you can pick up at the festival for a small price. The guide will include:

Performance/stage times
Steam train timetable
Bands biogs
Details about the discos
Details of the open-mic acoustic stage
Where to eat
Local transport links
Things to do after the festival (e.g. where to upload photos, chat on messageboards etc)

And if you’re wondering how to find Ripley station, the Travelodge, the campsite, the nearest supermarket, or the bus stop, you might find this Indietracks Google map useful. And, as always, if you’re missing any information, try this Anorak Indietracks Questions thread, or drop us a comment.

See you at the festival!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Indietracks interview #22: Lardpony

Just when we didn't think Indietracks excitement could get any more exciting, we wake up not only to discover that that our Sunday headliners Los Campesinos! are on the cover of this month's Plan B magazine (hurray!), but also to find out that the festival even got a mention in the Easyjet inflight magazine. The word is now spreading around Europe at some pretty high speeds and altitudes. Look up to the skies, and there's someone on a flight reading about the festival right now!

And they're just in time to find out about Lardpony, who are possibly the most local Indietracks band. Well, them or the Deirdres, we're not sure. The band are made up of Tom, Mandy, Kristian and Nathan, and they've been playing pop music together since 2003, influenced by the likes of Hefner, Pulp and Grandaddy.

Jaunty keyboard tunes drive the sound, complimented by light-hearted and thoroughly entertaining lyrics. Their first album ‘This Is Lardcore’ on their own Cowboy Democracy label has been followed up by the second, ‘The Greatest Invention Ever’ which is available for free download from (Radiohead style donations are gratefully received!)

Having taken time off in recent months through the production of a Lardpony baby (aw…), many will be hungrily anticipating Lardpony’s Indietracks debut. We caught up with the band for a few questions...

Hiya, please tell us a bit about yourselves?

We're Lardpony, from Derby - just down the road from the Indietracks site. We got together in 2003 after Tom booked a gig despite not having any other band members. After a frenzied recruiting spell and a mere two practices, we debuted with an incredibly shambolic gig that went down surprisingly well. We slowly evolved into a real band, writing songs together, practicing every week and EVERYTHING, and managed two albums and a tour before we were forced onto hiatus by the impending family-hood of two of the band. Now that they've adjusted to being parents a bit, we are BACK! Whenever we can get a babysitter, anyway!

I guess that doesn't say anything about what we sound like - one review said "like a more-straightforward Bearsuit or a more-manic Pulp, depending on how you look at them." We were pleased.

Have you played any gigs to rival Indietracks for uniqueness?

We accepted a request to play a birthday party for a man who would later become Nathan's boss. It was his 50th, with full family in attendance, and he asked for a 45 minute set... I think we only had about 30 minutes of material at the time so we were forced to flesh it out with dodgy covers and songs we had dropped from our set (with good reason)... It was a bit of a nightmare, the highlight was looking out over the audience during 'Zombie Bride' to see one of his elderly relatives stuffing her fingers into her ears. The other band were an incredibly professional cover band, needless to say they went down a bit better.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Apart from trying to fit in gigs and practices around childcare, we were asked AGES ago to submit some songs for a Cloudberry Records single - unfortunately we didn't manage to get them finished before we took a break, but hopefully if Roque is still interested then we'll manage to get that sorted this year! Also there's this indie pop festival in July that we're all quite excited about :)

And who are you looking forward to seeing at Indietracks?

Darren Hayman for me - Hefner were one of my favourite bands of all time, and Darren's solo gigs are a brilliant mix of new and old songs that always make me smile. I'll be setting up camp in front of the Church stage to make sure I get a good spot!

Thanks Lardpony! And here's a free MP3 from the band:

Free MP3 Download: Lardpony - Teenwolf

Next up: The Good Natured talk Alan Titchmarsh and more...

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Indietracks picture bingo!

We know there’s around a thousand bands playing Indietracks at the last count, and you won’t probably won’t even have time to force out a little “eeeeeeep” in between sets, but we reckon even the most hardcore indie-poppers amongst you might need a bit of a sit down occasionally. And, as you sink your Real Railway Ale, soak up the sunset and keep an eye out for any rogue llamas on the loose, do have a stab at our Indietracks Picture Bingo game. Don’t let all those minor indiepop-celeb spottings and icky tent experiences go to waste - start totting up your points…..they could come in handy in months to come! What for exactly, we’re not sure, but points are always good - that’s all we know.
Erm, at this point we should probably confess that this game is not actually bingo as such, we couldn’t work out how to do the cards (!), but the game is easy enough to follow. Just accumulate points as you spot or do the things on our list. We’ve made allowances for bonus points, but do feel free to add your own spottages! And, if you want to shout “bingo!” at random moments anyway, well………..I guess we’ll see you down at the acoustic gazebo along with all the other over-excited, hyper-ventilating indiepop kids! Enjoy…

1 point – You spot someone wearing an aged Belle and Sebastian tee-shirt. And an extra five bonus points if it’s too difficult to read from far away because it’s so faded.

5 points – You see organiser Stuart Mackay walking around looking a bit stressed, phones tightly clamped to each ear. Take a bonus point for every non-essential phone he’s using.

10 points – You spot and accurately identify at least two members of Red Pony Clock – there’s just so flippin’ many of them! No points if you’re just guessing names like Dave though.

50 points – You manage to swipe Jimmy from Bobby McGees’ hat – don’t let the llama anywhere near it though, or you’ll never get it back. In fact, halve your points if the hat is later spotted on a llama's head.
100 points – You persuade Pete Green to lead a campsite sing-along (Did we mention we’re obsessed with this? If it happens and someone captures it on camera, please, please send it to us!) Subtract 10 points if he goes all shy mid-sing-along.

500 points - You find a random stash of booze in a roadside bush and manage to drink it before Matloob from the Roadside Poppies catches up with you. Deduct one point for every can unopened by the time he finds you.

750 points - You manage to locate and bring along a bouncy castle for the festival. We've heard there isn't going to be one this year, and our Indietracks fantasies have been slightly less bouncy as a result...

1000 points - If you manage to find Santa's secret grotto aboard one of the steam trains, complete with full on Christmas decorations and children's fancy dress angel outfits. However, be warned - every single one of your points will be deducted if you try to half-inch any of the goodies - that kind of behaviour is definitely frowned upon and the station-mistress will be after you quicker than you shout "But I just love choo-choos!"

10,000 points – If you see Dave Gedge in conversation with a llama. Take a bonus point (and maybe a couple of hours of sleep) if the llama appears to be talking back.

50,000 points – If you spot Stuart Murdoch serenading Stuart from the acoustic gazebo/ grassy knoll, whilst simultaneously declaring Indietracks to be “better than bread”. Take about a billion points and declare yourself the winner if you convince him to come and perform every year.

Ooh, and multiply all of your points by three if you have any llama-related anecdote by the end of the festival, no matter how dull.

Good luck! And do let us know if you have any other point-spotting ideas, cos we're just about exhausted from thinking up things we'd like to see! All this Indietracks-visualising is making us see imaginary llamas everywhere...can you tell?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Indietracks interview #21: Colliding Lemons

Over at Indietracks Towers we've been mightily busy promoting and sending out the shiny new Indietracks compilation CD, flyering everywhere we can think of and at the same time trying to squeeze in some much-needed festival shopping! Despite all this activity, a couple of us found time to decamp to Glastonbury last weekend, where we caught Indietracks faves The Kabeedies and Los Campesinos! playing on the BBC Introducing and Other Stage respectively, and on the way home we caught up with BBC Radio One DJ Steve Lamacq at Castle Cary station, who told us how much he had enjoyed The Kabeedies' set. Both bands were on tip top form, and we just can't wait to see them do their thing for all the Indietrackers - we just know they're going to be brilliant!

But, as well as the more established bands, there's tons and tons of brand new groups playing - including glamorous girl-poppers the Colliding Lemons. Reminiscent of cutie-era Primal Scream and the Dolly Mixtures, they're sure to bring handclaps and swoons a-plenty, and we already can't wait to shimmy along to their summery melodies...

Hello there Colliding Lemons! Tell us a little bit about yourselves..

Well, we're just five girls from Bristol, who started a band to get out of tutor lessons at college! We never realised how much we would enjoy it, and after three years we have played gigs both locally and further afield, and have recorded some of our songs- something we never thought would happen!

Indietracks is held on a steam railway. Tell us about an unusual place where you've played a gig in the past.

We played in a truck for our first gig at college, it was cool but we couldn't hear a thing we were playing!

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Three of the Lemons are in Australia for three months, travelling and generally enjoying themselves! Four of us are off to university in September, but we plan to have a summer full of gigs, recording and song writing first!

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

It varies- we love everything from Michael Jackson and Nirvana to The Pipettes- so we may have to create a few CDs to keep us happy!

And...finally, do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

If we tell you it would no longer be a surprise......

Thanks for your time girlies! We'll look forward to catching up with you in three weeks' time!

Next up: Excitable scamps Lardpony talk about babies, scaring elderly relatives and their love for Hefner!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Indietracks interview #20: Punk TV

We're nearly there! Only a couple of weeks to go, so hopefully you've picked up your tickets, found somewhere to sleep and are just settling down to listen to some of the overwhelming choice of bands Indietracks is serving up. And to offer a helping hand, please sit back and let us introduce the latest in our series of Indietracks interviews!

Punk TV were apparently one of the most-talked-about independent bands in Russia last year. Originally from Siberia, Alex, Volodya and Kostya, formed the band in early 2004 and then headed to Moscow two years later. With two full-length releases, a 2005 debut ("Punk TV") and a follow-up in 2007 ("Music For The Broken Keys"), Punk TV grabbed people's attention with their romantic electronic melodies, crashing guitars and infectious vocals. They've been compared to My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Joy Division, as well as being dubbed the Russian Chemical Brothers" after appearing at several major Russian and European festivals. They've even played shows alongside The Rapture and Happy Mondays at huge shows in Moscow. We're delighted to have them at the festival!

Hi there, Punk TV! You'll be playing on the Church Stage by the steam railway - it's a pretty unique place to play! Have you played anywhere unusual in the past?

We played at an open air festival in the valley in Gornii Altai in Russia, It's near the Mongolian border and there were nomads on horses in the audience.

After the festival, do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

We are very excited about recording and mixing our new album in the second half of the year.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

Alex is a great ice-hockey fan, Konstantin is crazy about cats and beer and Vladimir likes to sleep and watch old movies :-)

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Electronic, The Charlatans, Death in Vegas, The Ravonettes, Roy Orbison...

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Some of our friends told us many good words about last year's festival. We know that some Russians are looking to come to the festival this year and at the same time, it's a good reason to visit Derbyshire - we've never been there before. We're hoping to see lots of great new bands for us, and of course, The Wedding Present - our school-day heroes!

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

We're going to play several new and as yet unreleased tracks, but surely having a band from Siberia is a good surprise in itself isn't it? :-)

Thanks very much. And, as always, here's a free MP3 from the band:

Free MP3 download: Punk TV - Every Minute Is OK

Next Up: Skipping lessons at college for your musical enjoyment - Colliding Lemons!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Indietracks warm-up gigs!

Less than four weeks to go now, and we just know you’re all itching to see all this weird and wonderful music, but did you know that many of the Indietracks bands are also playing warm-up gigs up and down the UK between now and then? You don’t have to sit at home every night staring at the countdown on the website willing time to speed up you know – instead, why not have a look at our round-up below or, better still, visit the gigs page at, where new shows are being added all the time!

On the other hand, if you are an Indietracks band looking for a show, or a keen promoter looking for bands to put on or even hosting a show that we don’t know about, then this is also the page for everyone to come together. Just follow the email link and your details will be added in just two shakes of a llama’s tail.

Thursday 10th July
St Christopher + The Social Services + The Candy Twins + The Lieutenant's Mistress @ The Gramaphone, London

Saturday 12th July
The Bobby McGees + tbc @ The Macbeth, London

Saturday 12th July
The Starlets + tbc @ Sunflower Lounge, BirminghamSaturday 12th July - Amida + The Just Joans + The Occasional Flickers @ Henry's Cellar, Edinburgh

Monday 14th July
MJ Hibbett + Pete Green: Press Launch for "My Exciting Life In ROCK" @ The Cross Kings, 126 York Way, London

Tuesday 22nd July
The Smittens + The Zebras + Red Pony Clock @ Sunflower Lounge, BirmimghamWednesday 23rd July - Airport Girl + The Zebras + Pocketbooks @ The Buffalo Bar, London

Thursday 24th July
Even As We Speak + Mexican Kids At Home + Hong Kong In The 60s + The Give It Ups @ Jamm, London

Thursday 24th July
Airport Girl + The Zebras + Pocketbooks @ Junktion7, Nottingham

And, if you’re anything like us and need group therapy when it’s all over, you’ll probably be looking for somewhere to get together and blow your choo-choo whistles in an attempt to re-live the weekend, so here’s more gigs providing the perfect solution!

Monday 28th July
Ballboy + Lime Chalks @ The Flapper, Birmingham

Tuesday 29th July
Ballboy + The Bobby McGees + The Smittens + Red Pony Clock @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Wednesday 30th July
The Zebras + Still Corners + Hush Arbors @ The Gramaphone, London

Thursday 31st July
Ballboy + The Smittens + Pocketbooks @ The Luminaire, London

Friday 1st August
The Smittens + more tbc @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Friday 1st August
Ballboy + The Zebras @ Exeter Hall, Oxford