Monday, 11 July 2011

Question Time 2: which has been your favourite Indietracks so far?

Welcome back to Indietracks Question Time! And thanks for all your comments in response to part 1, where we asked how you'd describe the festival to someone who doesn't 'get' indiepop.

This time we're asking the panel: which has been the best Indietracks so far, and why? See what they reckon, think about your own answer, and then post it as a comment below...

Hard, because they've all been ace for different reasons. I'm going for 2008 due to the gorgeous weather (and mini tornados), and because it's where I first heard The Smittens.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

2009 was pretty special as it was my first and I couldn't believe such a wonderful thing actually existed. Last year was great too, mind. I'll always remember moshing (!) to Talulah Gosh's 'My Best Friend' when Tender Trap played it as an encore on the Saturday night.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

Every year I am grateful and surprised that Indietracks is still there, so I'll say 2010 because I spent the entire weekend in a state of complete amazement. Also, The Orchids played all my favourite songs with the biggest smiles on their faces. My love knew no bounds then.
Marianthi Makra (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

I think the commune of 2008 was just about perfect. The weather was incredible, the mini-tornadoes, The Deirdres on the main stage, Ballboy as the sun went down, hungover Winston Echo on the train, Milky Wimpshake! I think I'll always remember Darren Hanlon saying how perfect the day was and pointing out to the crowd the firemen lolling about eating ice-creams. The line-up for this year looks unbeatable, though, and it's always great to meet friends old and new in Butterley.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

I wasn't there for the first year but every year since then seems to have been better than the last. The one I’ve enjoyed most was probably 2009. A few niggles had been ironed out from the previous year (like better food stalls), it seemed like even more people were there and having a great time and I had started putting on clubs nights at gigs so I felt like a part of it for the first time, rather than an outsider who had come along for a look out of curiosity.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

2010 holds a special place in my heart. The Give It Ups got to play, we got to see our Danish friends we'd met the year before, and Betty and the Werewolves played. Magical.
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

My personal favourite was 2008 because it was my first and because the little acoustic singalongs that happened on the platform every night were so incredibly joyous.
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

I’ve only been to the last two Indietracks so out of those two, I would say 2009 slightly tips it for me. This could be because I was so excited that I was finally able to attend Indietracks and witness this beautiful coming together of friends and pop fans from all over the UK, Europe and beyond. But this was also the year that Elefant hosted the outdoor stage. The festival was chock full of lively Spaniards and we were treated to a selection of Spanish bands outside, many of whom I’d not heard of or seen before. It was thrilling to see some of my favourite modern indiepop bands – like Cats on Fire and Northern Portrait – play to such large audiences. And it was joyous to see fantastic bands I’d never seen before, like Butcher Boy and Kevin McGrother. Oh, I can’t forget the fabulous DJs that year too, particularly my brilliant Berlin comrades from P!O!P Kombinat in Berlin and the handsome sign-wielding couple of Songs For Children. Absolute fun.
Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

Please don't make me choose between my children. 2007 showed that something great was stirring, 2008 was a glorious vindication of those hopes, 2009 was a line-up that I thought couldn't be matched, then 2010 pretty much matched it.
Simon Tyers, Leicester (Sweeping The Nation blog and gigs, occasional reviewer/writer)

Oh man, this is hard. But for me, it was the first ever one-day one that was back in... was it April 2006? I think that was the best one for me, because it was the first time I'd ever experienced anything like that, there were only a handful of people there but the sheer glee and excitement were really apparent and the atmosphere on the platform felt electric. You could actually feel it! I did a lot of dancing and I also got to pull the chain on the train that makes the big choo choo noise, which was pretty darn amazing.
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

It's really difficult to choose, but I really enjoyed the year that we partnered with Elefant. It was just such a fantastic atmosphere, and ever since then it's really has felt like Indietracks is a truly international festival. We love hearing about and meeting people who have travelled crazy distances just to be there!
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

Deffo the one with Los Camp and Wedding Present. The weather was HOT! Too hot if anything, but a great weekend. Some great bands playing and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. And a dog weed on Gemma's foot (for those who don’t know Gemma, she deserves it).
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

Which one was the really sunny one? 2008? I think that was the same year I got emotional about The Starlets in the church. I knew far more people last year, which made it even better though.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

For me 2009. The year the organisation seemed to come together without losing its spirit and the unexpected joy of dancing to La Casa Azul's cover of 'Love is in the Air' with my best friend was definitely a highlight for me.
Jane, London (pop fan)

Due to circumstances I've only been able to go a couple of times, but I enjoyed the hell out of Indietracks 2008 and 2010. Don't make me choose! I've made too many friends and seen too many great bands at both to decide.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

I think my favourite Indietracks so far was 2009. I had a ridiculous time. I was up dancing at the campsite 'til 7am on the Monday morning. I'd drunk far too much sparkling wine, I made disappointed faces at a girl as she couldn't foxtrot, failed to recognise some of my favourite songs, but danced and sang terribly until the sun came up. Putting it like that sounds horrific! If you did meet a guy wearing a 90s German football shirt with the name Bierhoff on that night, I am dreadfully sorry, but I was having mad crazy fun.
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

2008, which was our first, I think it was because it was like no other festival I'd ever been to! Going onto trains to see bands, seeing the (now sadly departed) llamas and watching bands in the sun playing in a hollowed-out truck! Smashing!Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Indietracks 2008, because it was my first one, I'd just moved to Nottingham and met so many lovely people who I am still good friends with to this very day, the weather was beautiful and I saw loads of good bands who I'd never heard of and didn't think I'd like but did. 
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

I think I'm going to say that our first Indietracks was the best one, because it was such a brand new experience to be at a festival with so many lovely people, most of whom we didn't know at the time but became very close friends with over the following year. Oh, and the fact that the Midland Railway is an amazing venue. And the llamas were still there that year. We first went in 2008, and discovered so many amazing bands for the first time, like Allo Darlin' (who we invited to come and play in Manchester pretty much straight away after seeing Elizabeth playing on the train), A Classic Education, The Just Joans (or as we like to know them, THE Indietracks singalong band), Liechtenstein, and The Smittens. Then of course there was the small matter of seeing friends playing too, and Los Campesinos! absolutely stole the show. It was such a great weekend, and we've been going ever since.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

The first one, because it wasn't like any other festival I'd been to before. Most of the audience seemed to be in the bands that played. It was a tiny festival, with my favourite sort of music, and it was about 15 miles from where I live. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

So who's right? If you've been to Indietracks before, which one do you think was the best? Join the debate – post a comment below and let us know!


  1. Impossible to say which was my favourite.

    2008: my first Indietracks, the novelty factor, the sun, the Wedding Present, and an introduction to my now favourite band The Wave Pictures

    2009: superb Spanish bands and I was there with a wider and beerier circle of friends

    2010: the triumphant Pooh Sticks reunion, and a million bands I'd never heard of before and loved: Felt Tips, Internet Forever, Just Joans, La La Love You

    Long may it continue

  2. Been for the past two years and it's definitely a difficult decision.

    2009 had many a highlight - finally seeing Teenage Fanclub, one of the best Art Brut gigs in a while, and plenty of new discoveries (Help Stamp Out Loneliness and The Specific Heats). Also meeting lots of new indiepop people (an amusing moment where I asked Ian from HDIF whether he enjoyed one of his own bands).

    2010 probably clinches it for me personally - I knew a lot more of the bands playing and people there, felt like a really comfortable and friendly place. Of course, that's why indietracks is so great - it's a lovely atmosphere. The bands.. are pretty good too? Great to see the Felt Tips with their new album, Allo Darlin' get a wider audience, and The Pains looking like.. well, rock stars!

  3. They're all good, obviously the first one was dead special, 2008 had a (not at all) secret little bit from Hayman in a tea tent and 2010 I slept in a car; but it's 2009 (the Spanish indietracks), that stands out. Unexpected crowdsurfing to La Casa Azul has to be a memory that will last forever. Great sets that year too; Specific Heats blowing up something at the beginning of their set in the church..

  4. Have got to the last three and 2008 probably trumps them from a point of view of having seen the most acts I've adored. KateGoes, Darren Hanlon, Harvey Williams, Liechtenstein, The Manhattan Love Suicides, St Christopher, Mexican Kids At Home, Red Pony Clock, The Rosie Taylor Project, The Wave Pictures, Voluntary Butler Scheme, Winston Echo... so it went on.

    From a social point of view, though, I think the 2011 renewal will widdle all over 2008. So many wonderful and cherished people I've met during or as a consequence of Indietracks (and / or a certain forum most of here know :-) ), and I can't wait to meet them all again and many more besides.

    Yep, it's that sort of an event. Friendly and kind to the Nth degree. Hold it close, people.