Thursday, 30 June 2011

Question Time! How would you describe Indietracks?

Now, obviously we at Team Indietracks love the festival and everything about it. So we're bound to tell you it's brilliant every time. But what do your regular Indietracks-goers make of the event? We've gathered a few kind folk to answer some questions about it for the blog.

So, question 1: How would you explain Indietracks to someone who doesn't get indiepop? Check out what everyone said, and post your own answer as a comment if you like...

It's an awesome party in a great location full of amazing people who like some music that you don't like. You're welcome to join us anyway.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

With great difficulty usually! I generally just end up saying that it's a load of bands that I really like and that there's also steam trains!
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

Gosh! Tell them it's like being kissed on the brain by the one that got away.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

Take indie music and suck all of the pretentious posturing and pretence out of it with a giant hoover, dress it in corduroy trousers and a band T-shirt and enjoy!
Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Um... utopia for a weekend? You don't have to like indiepop to get it, I think. The bands are a big part of it, but I think you can have an awesome time there even if you're not into the music – there's just so much love goin' around everywhere!
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

It's a beer festival, with steam trains. Whoops, sorry. A music festival with steam trains.
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

It's a festival where the music, people and atmosphere just make you want to smile.
Jane, London (pop fan)

It's too difficult to explain without saying the obvious jangly guitar, handclaps, cardigan twee thing. It's much more than that. They'd have to come along and see for themselves.
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

"Don’t worry," I’d say... "It’s not all twee." I think it’s difficult to go to a festival like this and not enjoy it. If afterwards you still don’t want to admit you like indiepop that’s fine. You can just pretend you’re Louis Theroux, you’re Louis Theroux and his wry smile.
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

It really is difficult to convey the specialness of Indietracks to someone who doesn’t get indiepop. You can share its general details: it’s a three-day festival of indiepop bands in the countryside with the added attraction of steam train rides, defunct carriages and railway history peppering the site. It’s not Glastonbury or Reading festival; it’s small and perfectly formed, created and run by volunteers with a love for DIY ethics and indiepop. That’s about as far as I go with co-workers who don’t share my passion.
Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

Great company, lots of old trains and the occasional mad Spanish band. You don't get any of that at V.
Simon Tyers, Leicester (Sweeping The Nation blog and gigs, occasional reviewer/writer)

I'm forever telling people how Indietracks is a fun way to discover loads of ace new bands, but without a lot of the stress and hassle of bigger festivals. One of the things I love most about Indietracks is the friendly, DIY atmosphere, and I think that's definitely something that's starting to appeal to an increasing number of people.
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

A bunch of great people having the time of their lives in a beautiful location with steam trains.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

I would tell them that it’s just like a normal festival but everyone is lovely, even the staff, and you get to watch bands on a moving steam train.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

As someone who doesn't get most indiepop, my attitude to Indietracks is that it's a chance to sit outside drinking, have a go on trains, catch up with and meet lovely people and indulge in outfit envy while maybe discovering some brilliant bands. Also if it gets too much you can always sit on a train with your headphones in for a bit. I tend to go for a bit of Jethro Tull on those occasions.
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

It's this festival, right, where everyone's dead nice to each other. And some of the bands are slick as fuck and some can't play. Some are cutesy and quiet and look like they don't know what to do in front of other people, and some look like they're having the time of their lives. Some are awesome and life-affirming, and some are a bit more morose. You might know some of them but you won't have heard of most of them. Anyway, it all works. And seriously, everyone's DEAD NICE. If you don't have a good time at Indietracks, you're doing it wrong.
The beer's not bad either.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

Fun. That is the best way to describe indiepop. It doesn't mean sugary and twee, though some indiepop bands are. Think of bands who look like they are having an amazing time playing, making music that they really want too, for people who just want to hear them playing it and have a dance. I can recall the terror in some kids' faces the year that Art Brut were booked, but we always knew they would be perfect as they are a great indiepop band. They make music which makes it almost impossible not to enjoy yourself, especially when Eddie Argos is bounding through the crowd shouting about how much he loves comic books.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

The truth is, I'd probably keep them in the dark about it.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

The word 'festival' doesn't do Indietracks any justice really because it's nothing like other festivals. Not that I've been to any, but I hear they're ghastly. It's a world of beauty and surprise and kindness and endless sparkliness, and dancing 'til you don't feel your feet. The real world is a massive disappointment compared to it but most people won't know those heights of joy ever, so I guess it's lucky to have ever been there and lived it.
Marianthi Makra (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

It's a festival in steam train museum with gigs on trains and fun music. What's not to like?
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

If you've been to Indietracks before, how would you explain it to someone who hasn't? Post your answer in the comments below – and look out for question 2, coming soon on the Indietracks blog...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Frances McKee added to Indietracks bill and campsite DJs confirmed!

We are super excited to announce that Frances McKee of The Vaselines has been added to the Indietracks bill.

Frances, who will headline the Church Stage on Sunday night, released her first solo album, Sunny Moon, in April 2006 and has been performing as a solo artist since then, as well as playing with The Vaselines. She will also be leading a yoga class at Indietracks, as part of the workshops.

Frances was originally in The Pretty Flowers with Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub before forming The Vaselines with Eugene Kelly in 1986. The band released their first album, Dum-Dum, in 1989 but broke up shortly after its release. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain once described Kelly and McKee as his "most favorite songwriters in the whole world, and with their songs "Son of a Gun" and "Molly's Lips" covered on Nirvana's album Incesticide and "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" covered on MTV Unplugged, the band gained a new audience. In 1992, Sub Pop released The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History, a compilation that contained The Vaselines' entire body of work.

The Vaselines then reformed in 2008 for a charity concert, and in 2009 they played their first London date in 20 years at the London Forum. The band released their second studio album, Sex With an X, in September 2010 and also played the second Bowlie Weekender festival shortly afterwards.

Campsite DJs
In other news, the campsite DJs have now also been confirmed. They are Twisted By Design (Friday), Pull Yourself Together and Underachievers Please Try Harder (Saturday) and Pop-o-matic (Sunday). These discos will take place at the Golden Valley campsite after the main festival finishes each night, and are only open to people who have booked accommodation at the campsite.

Indietracks tickets
Indietracks tickets are £65 (weekend) and £35 (day – Saturday or Sunday) for adults. Children's tickets are just £10 (weekend) and £6 (day). Under 5s can come for free! Tickets are available by phoning the Midland Railway on 01773 747674 or by visiting:

Monday, 27 June 2011

Help Stamp Out Loneliness's Guide to Indietracks!

Hello everyone? Can you believe it's less than five weeks until Indietracks now? If you're anything like us, you'll already dreaming about real ale, cheesy chips and the delights of the steam trains. And, if you've not been before, today's featured band and Indietracks stalwarts Help Stamp Out Loneliness have written their own handy guide to the festival - hope you find it useful!

(Please note: all musical opinions expressed in this guide belong to HSOL, not us!)

Getting there

If you're lucky and live in Manchester you just tell your drummer to drive down the A6 until it runs out of tarmac. If you live in the home counties just ask your dad to pay for a taxi 'UP NORTH'.


You probably won't do too much sleeping but if you're like us and can't abide other human beings we'd recommend you get involved with the local hotel situation. Hotels offer you a plethora of optional extras that you just don't get with a £9.99 tent from Asda. In a hotel you can have a shower, look at yourself in the mirror, tap on a window pane, press your trousers, make a tea or a coffee with electricity, have a shite and wipe your arse without getting funny looks, watch Sky News, brush your teeth with running water, etc - we presume the majority of you know what a hotel is so we don't need to carry on listing the PROS. CONS: well it costs you about £80 a night.

In 2009 Colm and Bentley tried a room share but it all went awry after they argued and had a fight ... apparently Bentley smashed Colm's "fucking ginger head into the telly" (or radiator) he can't really remember. So beware - tents don't have tellies (or radiators)!


It's not Glastonbury and you're not a farmer - green wellies make you look like a racist. On the flipside don't wear white Converse either. Ben's came back blue after he fell over in the chemical toilet.

Hand-knitted woolly hats and waterproof jackets - what? - you're in the Midlands - it's not Manchester.


If you're camping try to pitch up as close as possible to the 'Heroes of the Mexican Independence Movement' - they are proper connoisseurs of the Booze (or 'Bowz' as they like to call it). Any trinkets of Mad Dog 20/20 or Thunderbirds that they callously discard or half-baked plakky pint-glasses of home-made Blastaways they've left in their wake ... well ... they are yours ... Finders-Keepers. Down sides to camping it up so close to HotMIM are getting Hi-5'd every 3 minutes and waking up with a indelible marker tattoo that screams the legend 'I (HEART) Freddy Mercury' on your forehead. Even if you do (HEART) Freddy Mercury it's a bad look to sport in Derbyshire. Trust us!

If you can't get anywhere near Ground Beero (sorry - that was crap) - you aught to bring booze that tastes ok at room temperature - red wine, sake and hot (AKA luke warm) toddies. Apart from The Smittens there's nothing worse than warm lager.

If you're not camping and you've splashed out on an 'otel just head down to your local Tesco's or Saino's and shack up 6 bottles of their store's own brand 'Gin' (probably about £6 a pop) - now you can make use of that bath when you store them in your plush suite. If you eat a packet of Flamin' 'ot Monster Munch and nail 1 x bottle GIN + 2 x cans of IRN BRU before you leave your room in the morning it should roughly keep your false sense of well being ticking over 'til dinnertime. (NOW SEE BELOW).


Don't do what Bentley did last year and not eat for 3 days (apart from Monster Munch's Flamin' Hot crisps). If your gonna survive Indietracks you're gonna have to expand your delectable itinerary - so try Pickled Onio' Monster Much as well. If you rely solely on bowz you'll end up with a big portion of "Impending Doom" and a forehead that smells like Brasso on Tuesday morning when you're back at work. Fücken sie thät.

If you're veggie please don't take the festival's one vegetarian outlet for granted as they usually run out of beanburgers by Saturday teatime. Do what SHRAG do and live off raw crumpets and margarine. Cheap and cheerful - just like their music.

Actually, remember when you were at university and they had them cans of drink called Nurishment - we reckon one of them might do the trick. Or chips.


Johnson's baby wet wipes are a laugh (we all know that) but don't go silly.


Just Handshakes.

Getting home

Jesus, if you don't know how to get home you're probably not gonna enjoy this festival - it's very high brow - people even pretend to read the Graun here. Just do what you did when you came - but in reverse.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Indietracks interview #15: Moustache of Insanity

It's just five weeks until Indietracks! Today we've an interview with Nik and Bill from Moustache of Insanity. Well it's kind of an interview. It's definitely worth reading... we'll explain shortly.

Moustache of Insanity play messy pop songs about the important things in life - cheese, mix tapes, freckles, ninjas, horror movies, love, Chuck Norris and sending postcards to strangers. Bill is on singing, electric guitar, iPod and moustache duties, while Nik sings and attempts to play the keyboard. They've played all over the UK, as well as places further afield including Berlin, Copenhagen, the New York Popfest and the Cosy Den Festival in Stockholm.

In 2009, the duo released two EPs 'Knock Knock...Who's There?' and 'Postcards To Strangers' as well as a self-titled mini-album on WeePOP! After a quiet 2010, Moustache of Insanity kicked off 2011 with a cassette EP on Fika Recordings, and this summer will see the release of their first proper album, called 'Album Of Death', to be released on PYT Records (CD) and Fika (vinyl), which will hopefully be ready in time for Indietracks!

We asked the band if they wanted to do something creative for their Indietracks interview, and they responded with a hilarious and slightly silly quick-fire instant messenger exchange during their lunch hour. Here it is in its entirety - thanks for sending this over guys!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Indietracks interview #14: Jonny

We're super chuffed to be joined today by Euros Childs from Jonny, who are playing the Outdoor Stage on Friday night at this year's Indietracks. Jonny is made up of Euros, formerly of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. The pair first collaborated on Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s “How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart” in 2001 before meeting up in 2006 at Norman’s house in Glasgow to record some songs. Their self-titled debut album, which was released earlier this year, finds the perfect balance between Childs’ whimsical wit and Blake’s exquisite harmonies.

Hello Euros! Tell us a little bit more about how Jonny came to be, and the two of you ended up collaborating.

I first met Norman when the band I was in Gorky's Zygotic Mynci supported Teenage Fanclub on tour in 1997. Norman also played guitar with Gorky's for a tour in 2000 and played on an album. In 2006 I started going up to Glasgow to stay with Norman. We'd write and play covers and do a few gigs.

You write about a range of diverse topics, including bread and Gloria Estefan! How does the songwriting process work, and what inspirations have you been drawing on recently for your lyrics?

A lot of the album was written with two of us in a room bouncing ideas off each other and gradually creating a song.

We've recently been inspired by the cake gateaux. We have a new song called Re-Gateaux. The lyrics are basically the recipe for black forest gateaux. It's incredible to think that no one's thought of doing this before.

You've played with each others' bands previously, but how does playing in a duo compare with playing with your respective bands?

The duo set up is much less complicated than playing with a band. There's no sitting around for two hours listening to drum soundchecks. Also, you can fit the equipment in the back of a car and the stage is set up in 10 minutes. When we toured Britain it was only the two of us.

You're currently touring across the world - how is the tour going, and what have been your favourite shows so far?

The Jonny world tour has been cut short unfortunately, the American dates had to be pulled because of low ticket sales. We played in Japan though and that was fantastic.

We've seen a couple of shows now where you've played Spanish Dance Troupe and I Don't Want Control of You - have you been playing any other Gorky's and TFC songs during your tour?

In Japan we did a Teenage Fanclub song called Some People Try To **** With You and When I Still Have Thee. We did the Gorky's songs Let Those Blue Skies and Lady Fair.

Are there any plans for a second album?

There's a strong possibility that the second album will be a tribute album to Joe Meek called Jonny Remember Him.

What attracted you to playing Indietracks?

Norman recommended it.

Indietracks is held in the grounds of a steam railway - tell us about any other unusual places you've played gigs in the past.

Gorky's played a cave in Spain once and I did a gig a few years ago in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the venue was a converted court house. It still looked like a functioning court.

And on that note.......thanks Euros - we look forward to seeing you at Indietracks!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Day line-ups and more bands announced!

Today we’re delighted to announce which bands will be playing on which days and on which stages at Indietracks this year. In total over 50 bands will be playing at the festival, as well as a host of DJs, and craft workshops.

We’ve provided a quick summary of the day line-ups below, and there’s a full line-up with stage details and times available at:

Friday 29 July:
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Jonny (Norman Blake and Euros Childs), Pocketbooks + DJs

Saturday 30 July:
Edwyn Collins, The Hidden Cameras, Help Stamp Out Loneliness, Butcher Boy, Milky Wimpshake, Math and Physics Club, History of Apple Pie, Amor de Dias, Chris T-T, plus 15 other artists, DJs and craft workshops.

Sunday 31 July:
Herman Dune, Crystal Stilts, Jeffrey Lewis, Withered Hand, Very Truly Yours, Berlin Brides, The Sweet Nothings, A Little Orchestra, Band a Part plus 15 other artists, DJs and craft workshops.

The updated line-up includes five additions to the bill: Berlin Brides (the winners of a prize awarded by Velvet Magazine in Greece), Model Village, The Fireworks, Apple Eyes and Tiny Fireflies.

Weekend and day tickets
Tickets are £65 (weekend) and £35 (day – Saturday or Sunday) for adults. Children's tickets are just £10 (weekend) and £6 (day). Under 5s can come for free! Tickets are available by phoning the Midland Railway on 01773 747674 or by visiting:

Hope to see you in July!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Indietracks interview #13: Horowitz

It's less than six weeks until Indietracks! Today's we're interviewing the Stoke-on-Trent punk pop duo Horowitz. Since forming in 2004 as a three-piece, the band has released a full-length LP ‘Frosty Cat Songs’ and numerous singles, memorably coining the slogan ‘Popkids of the World Unite!’ on the b-side of their 2007 debut 'Tracyanne'. Practically bleeding DIY ethics, the band have taken their infectious brand of noise pop to the US, Germany, Sweden, and Spain.

In December 2010, Thee SPC released 'Popkids of the World Unite!', a 17 track compilation collecting together the output of Horowitz between 2004 and 2009. This year the band released an EP 'The Knitwear Generation' on cassette on Fika Recordings, and appeared on the first release in the Odd Box 7" singles club alongside The Blanche Hudson Weekend. They return to Indietracks for the first time since their rousing performances at the summer festival in 2007 and the Christmas special in 2008.

Hi Pete and Ian, tell us a little bit about Horowitz...

Pete: We're a compact two-piece guitar band but don't tell our drum machine and phantom bass player! We live in different cities and have been together for a number of years.

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

Ian: I’m on an Eels binge at the moment. Beautiful Freak, Electro-Shock Blues and Souljacker are my favourites. I really like the diversity of sounds and beats and the contrast between the loud fuzzy bits and E’s more reflective acoustic stuff. And there’s some great pop songs in there, like ‘Fresh Feeling’ and ‘Susan’s House’. Also been listening to some early Byrds and Elliot Smith’s Either/Or LP a fair bit. American stuff, essentially

Pete: The Sweet Nothings, The Wendy Darlings, Los Ingenieros Alemanes, Ace Bushy Striptease and One Fathom Down have been recent choices. The Sweeties' Subterranean Moseley Blues, She's An Accountant and Peace, Love And International Socialism are constantly in my head and a good dose of One Fathom Down's surf n punk n rock n roll is always a healthy tonic. Los Ingenieros Alemanes' 3" single (Memoria Historica and Lampan) is a great mix of indiepop and shoegaze; The Wendy Darlings' pure pop and the Ace Bushy slacker-indiepop are also near the top of the listening pile.

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

Pete: We played in a flat in Gothenburg a couple of years ago, as part of a tour organised by our friend Pierre.

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

Ian: My claim to fame is that I used to play football at school with somebody who has played at the World Cup finals, Christopher Birchall of Trinidad and Tobago.

Pete: My sister recently contacted me to say that she spotted me on television, in the audience at a Suede gig in Stafford in the early 90s. Does that count as a claim to fame?

Yep, especially as it's early Suede! What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Pete: The Lost Summer Kitten and Lisa Bouvier tapes will probably get an airing in the car cassette player along with some punky/indiepop compilations.

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

Ian: The Hidden Cameras! I think they are the perfect choice of headliner. Imagine the utter joy that will surely erupt if/when they play ‘Ban Marriage’. They played in Nottingham a couple of times maybe five years ago and were brilliant. The first two albums in particular are genius pop records I keep going back to time and time again.

Pete: Lots of friends and a whole heap of ace bands. It's difficult to separate seeing bands from the communal Indietracks atmosphere, where being wrapped up in conversation can be equally as memorable as the listening to the music. It's hard to choose one band in particular but the thought of seeing Ace Bushy Striptease, The Garlands, Guatafan, Haiku Salut, History Of Apple Pie, Pocketbooks, Milky Wimpshake, The Sweet Nothings, Very Truly Yours, Remi, Zipper and The Wendy Darlings over one weekend is just brilliant.

Brilliant - thanks Ian and Pete!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Indietracks interview #12: Milky Wimpshake

Today Sam Metcalf from A Layer of Chips interviews Pete Dale from Milky Wimpshake. Referred to by some as punk folk and twee skiffle, the Newcastle Upon Tyne based band have released numerous singles and four full albums since forming in 1993. They last played at Indietracks in 2008 and we're looking forward to welcoming them back this year...

Hello there Pete! What did you enjoy about Indietracks when you played last?

Good weather, great atmosphere, unique place to for a fest, all good really! Like a lot of people, I imagine, I could use a bit more musical variety because, well, I like all kinds of stuff, but hell, Indietracks really does cover the stuff it covers in immaculate detail, one has to admit that! And all the people I've dealt with and met at the fest have been lovely so, y'know, I well enjoyed it basically!

Which other festivals have you played in the past?

We played a good one in Sweden in, um, 2004 or 2005? Can't remember the name now, out in the countryside, I got to hang out with Vic Godard which was like, um, I can die now! I also played these London Pop Fests, always cool, and, y'know, played Piao fest back in 1994, that was good! Played lots of fests really - not Glastonbury yet, though!

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at Indietracks?

Edwyn Collins, Jeff Lewis, Next Time Passions, and, y'know, lots of bands I haven't heard so that's always good!

Will you be hanging around for the entire weekend?


What do you make of the big festivals in the UK?

Last time I went to a big festival, Nirvana were headlining! That's not my scene, mate! But I guess they're exciting when you're 18...

Will your be a greatest hits set?

Nope; but we'll play some old faves, and about half the set will be new songs, including four brand new unreleased numbers!

Which stage would you play on if you had a choice?

The big shed needs soundproofing, just some sheets draped across the back wall would help (Ed: We've added these in now Pete!
And can you name you dream festival headliners? Three choices, please.

How about Fugazi, Hendrix and Talulah Gosh?

Milky Wimpshake are playing a Which Way is Up! show tonight at the Wilmington Arms, alongside The Wind Up Birds and The Kick Inside. Tickets cost £5 from We Got Tickets.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Updated Indietracks flyers and posters!

Even the cast of Glee have got into the spirit!

Hello! Thanks to everyone who has been helping us distribute Indietracks flyers and posters over the past couple of weeks. We really appreciate your help, and it's great to know that our flyers are popping up all over the place, from Manchester and Glasgows, to Berlin and Madrid!

We've now updated all of our materials following the last set of band announcements, and you can download the most up-to-date version of our publicity pack online. As before, the pack includes:

- An A4 poster
- Small flyers
- E-banners for your website

It would be really fantastic if some of you could print a few out and stick them up in places such as your local record shop, office, library, charity shop, community notice board or music venue.
As before, we're also giving out a special Indietracks prize for the person who can stick up a poster in the most impressive place, so do send us a photo if you put up a photo somewhere particularly interesting. Please ask permission first of course!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Indietracks 2011 compilation: out now!

To celebrate this year’s festival, Make Do And Mend Records are releasing a download album featuring some of the most exciting bands around! The album is available from today.

The download-only release features 40 fantastic tracks from artists playing at the festival, including a number of bands who have been creating a buzz on national and international radio and across this year’s summer festivals, such as Help Stamp Out Loneliness, Withered Hand and Papa Topo. They’re joined on the compilation by four of this year’s headliners; The Hidden Cameras, Jeffrey Lewis, Crystal Stilts and Herman Dune.

The album includes an exclusive previously unreleased version of a song by The Hidden Cameras, brand new songs by Frankie Machine, Graeme Elston and The Proctors, plus previously unreleased tracks by Help Stamp Out Loneliness, Victoria and Jacob, Jeffrey Lewis, The Sweet Nothings, and Zipper.

The compilation is available to download from today at:

You can set your own price for the compilation, 100% of which will go directly to the Midland Railway charity who host the festival and without whom it wouldn’t exist! We'd like to encourage everyone to donate as much as you can – even the smallest amount helps keep the railway running, and therefore the festival!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Hidden Cameras: video round-up

Here’s the next in our slightly random series of our favourite videos from some Indietracks 2011 bands. Today, we’re featuring one of our Saturday night Indietracks headliners, The Hidden Cameras! There was a bundle of ace videos to choose from, so this is by no means definitive, but here’s just three of our favourites.

First up, here’s the spooky video for the song AWOO from the 2006 album of the same name:

Ever fancied ditching the city office buildings and setting up work in the countryside? Maybe it would be a bit like the video for In The NA, a single from the band’s 2009 album Origin:Orphan

And finally, here’s the animated video for A Miracle, which appears on the 2003 album The Smell Of Our Own.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Indietracks 2011 compilation - released 13 June!

Next Monday, Make Do And Mend Records will be releasing a download album featuring 40 fantastic tracks from artists playing at this year's Indietracks festival.

You'll be able to set your own price for the compilation, 100% of which will go directly to the Midland Railway charity.

The compilation includes several previously-unreleased songs, as well as tracks from four of this year’s headliners; The Hidden Cameras, Jeffrey Lewis, Crystal Stilts and Herman Dune. There's also some amazing songs from upcoming indiepop sensations such as Help Stamp Out Loneliness, Withered Hand and Papa Topo.
The compilation will be available to download from Monday 13 June from:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Indietracks interview #11: Sloppy Joe

Today’s interview comes all the way from Japan! Sloppy Joe are an 80s influenced indiepop band from Tokyo. They released their second single "Portrait" in 2010 on their own label "Cubbyhole Fabrication", and their first full album "With Kisses Four" on Japan's White Lily Label in March. Their sound can be compared to mid 80s bands like Orange Juice, The Jazz Butcher, The Chesterfields, and The Smiths. They play with brilliant guitar, groovy rhythm and sing melancholic melodies. In Japan, they've supported some great bands like The Monochrome Set, Friends, Television Personalities, The Lotus Eaters, The Pearlfishers, and The Starlets. We’re joined by Hitoshi from the group...

Hi, tell us a little bit about Sloppy Joe...

Sloppy Joe formed in 2003 in Japan. We’re based in Tokyo where I used to be in another band with Riichiro (our guitarist) called My Coffee Moment, who released a single on Firestation Records in Germany. Sloppy Joe have released two singles and a mini album, and our first full album was released on the Japanese label White Lily in March 2011. We’ve played as support act for Television Personalities, The Monochrome Set and more foreign bands before. Please check out more info about us on Myspace:

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

Today I'm listening to Beach Fossils, Kisses, Minks, Brave Irene. And I've recently been listening to releases by Phil Wilson and Edwyn Collins. I especially love 80s and early 90s sounds, for example, Orange Juice, The June Brides, The Monochrome Set, Felt, The Orchids, Another Sunny Day, St.Christopher etc... Next Time Passions is another favourite too. Our sound is influenced by these sort of groups.

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

My compilation tapes for Indietracks will be full of indie-pop songs!! The first song has already been decided, "Blue Boy" by Orange Juice.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

I'm so excited! I went to Indietracks 2010 to see my favourite bands, The Orchids, The Pooh Sticks and others. And I thought I wanted to perform at this great indiepop festival. I'm really glad that my wish is fulfilled.

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

I'm looking forward to seeing Edwyn Collins. I'm a big fan of him. Orange Juice has been best band for me ever. And I want to see Graeme Elston. Our second single, Portrait, came with a fanzine last year, and we interviewed Graeme Elston for the fanzine. In Japan, most indiepop fans love his band Love Parade.

Thanks Hitoshi!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Indietracks interview #10: Butcher Boy

Today our interviews for 2011 reach double figures, which means that the festival is getting ever closer! We're delighted to be chatting to Basil from Butcher Boy ahead of the release of their much-anticipated new album Helping Hands later this summer. Butcher Boy are from Glasgow in Scotland and have been performing since 1997. Their debut album ‘Profit in Your Poetry’ was released in 2007 on London-based label How Does It Feel To Be Loved?. Their second album, ‘React or Die’ was then released in April 2009 and received ecstatic reviews, including glowing five star reviews in the Times and Sunday Telegraph.

This summer, their latest album ‘Helping Hands’ will be released (hopefully in time for Indietracks!) on Damaged Goods. And as Basil mentions, the forthcoming Indietracks 2011 compilation (available from next Monday!) will be the first chance to hear one of the new Butcher Boy songs!

Hi Basil, Tell us a bit about the new album Helping Hands. Which are your favourite songs from the new record?

Wow - straight in with the hard questions! There's lots of changes of tempo and feel and three instrumental tracks on the album, so it's hard to choose. But as we're giving the Indietracks compilation a download of 'I Am the Butcher' I'll go for that as my favourite for today. This is the first track from the new Butcher Boy album Helping Hands available anywhere! It's a weird wee song that sounds Scottish and vaguely Spanish at the same time and swings along with what the old folks refer to a 'a good beat'. The title references the band's name of course, and one of John's favourite French films 'Le Boucher', so thematically there's a lot going on even before you get your ears around the lyric. I also got to make a nice twangy sound with my Guild Duane Eddy guitar and a plate reverb - and if the kids don't like that then there's no hope (these opinions and observations may not necessarily reflect those of the band, or anyone else for that matter...).

Butcher Boy seem to play live very rarely. Would you like to play more shows or go on tour?

I think we'd all like to be making music full-time but with the exception of our string players we make our livings doing other things. If we were younger (specifically me!), or doing less demanding jobs, or had fewer commitments then we'd probably try and play more shows. However, I think that because we don't play live that often, when we do it means more to the band than if we played regularly. We're not about to become blase or jaded any time soon!

We want to do more shows around the album launch (hopefully July, definitely through Damaged Goods). We actually enjoy touring, we treat it as a holiday where you go out every night in a different town and meet old pals.

You've played in bowling clubs, libraries and film theatres in the past. What do you think makes a perfect venue for a Butcher Boy show?

Anywhere that isn't a regular 'rock' venue works well for us - we try to make each show special and memorable for everyone involved and on a pragmatic level there's too many of us to fit on most stages. Having said that, some of our best shows have been at the likes of the Luminaire and Metro (it has been a long time between tours...). I fancy doing a tour of arthouse cinemas or community centres in the Scottish highlands.

What are your favourite memories from playing Indietracks in 2009?

Oh, we had a blast in 2009! Indietracks is a real gem of an event, like a church fete without the religion and better music. It's the only time we've played a festival and it was a lot of fun. In fact it was the first time most of the band had even been to a festival...So there's no-one more surprised than us that playing in the daylight worked and that we enjoyed it.

My favourite memory was seeing Cats on Fire play in the engine shed - they were on magnificent form. I'd promoted a show in Glasgow for them a couple of days before and had the pleasure of their company as houseguests so I was rooting for them anyway, but it felt like my team won!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at this year's festival?

We did a day trip in 2009 but we'll be there on the Saturday for the duration this time. I'm hoping to catch Edwyn Collins as he's as close to a hero as I have these days. The Hidden Cameras are insanely good live so I'm looking forward to seeing them and singing along. We haven't seen the running order yet so I'm hoping to avoid a clash (hint, hint). Also, our John is doing some National Pop League style dj-ing and that, along with real ale, is a cast iron guarantee of a good time! I'm also looking forward to having time to see some new bands and hopefully take a train ride.

Thanks Basil - can't wait to see Butcher Boy at the festival!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jonny: video round-up

In what is quickly becoming a new regular feature on this blog, we've decided to compile a few of our favourite videos from one of the Indietracks Friday night headliners. Jonny are made up of Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci), finding a perfect balance between Childs’ whimsical wit and Blake’s exquisite harmonies.

Here's the band's debut single, Candyfloss, featuring Norman and Euros chomping through plate after plate of the fluffy confectionary.

And here's their second single, You Was Me, featuring some beautiful, picturesque countryside scenary.

And finally, here's Norman and Euros playing an unreleased (we think) song called Ursula's Crow live at Celtic Connections in 2009.