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!)
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.
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.