Monday, 18 July 2011

Question Time 3: your favourite performance at Indietracks?

(La Casa Azul on the outdoor stage at Indietracks 2009. Photo: _light )

Here we are again! Previously on Indietracks Question Time our panel couldn't agree on which was the best Indietracks so far. Let's see if they can find any common ground on the issue of which artist gave the best performance you've seen at Indietracks so far, and why? Check out their responses and add your own...

Tough question! Not necessarily my official answer but I recently discovered some footage of The Deirdres playing Indietracks and it reminded me of how excited I had been to finally get to see them and just how bloody great they were.
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

Allo Darlin' last year felt like a moment, the enthusiasm onstage reflected by the crowd's willingness to share in the glory of Elizabeth's melodic greatness.
Simon Tyers, Leicester (Sweeping The Nation blog and gigs, occasional reviewer/writer)

La Casa Azul – because it was a headline act that wasn't meant to headline. Seeing so many people just dancing to the craziness of it all to the background of space invaders on a big screen in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside.
Linda Chapman, Washington, Tyne & Wear (dressmaker and pop fan)

Pocketbooks playing on the train in 2008. This is a ridiculously hard question to answer! But yes, I think that's it, because it was unexpected and brilliant and it encapsulated everything I knew to be sparkly.
Marianthi Makra, London (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

The Specific Heats in the church in 2009, because even though it was boiling and a bit of their kit blew up, they were relentlessly cheery and sounded AWESOME. They put a huge grin on my face that lasted beyond the weekend.
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

Oh man, another really hard one! I guess this wasn't an 'official' performance... but The Just Joans played on the platform in 2008 and it was just beautiful. Probably because it was sort of impromptu and everyone gathered around like you would at school (I mean that in a good way!). I was mesmerised and that's when I think I became a proper Just Joans fan. Ballboy playing last year with the sun setting was also pretty special; they covered 'Indian Summer' by Beat Happening and to hear that and watch them with the sun setting felt like a really perfect moment.
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

Betty and the Werewolves, undoubtedly.
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

La Casa Azul, 2009. Guille made a lot of new friends that weekend and even won an award (I think) for the performance. I don't think many of the non-Spanish punters really knew what to expect, but my heart is all of a flutter just typing about that performace. If I'm allowed to post a link, this 18 seconds pretty much sums it all up for me.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

I’d have to say The Middle Ones in 2008 (I think). I’d heard some of their songs and was looking forward to seeing them but they really blew me away (albeit in a really understated, gentle way). They were giggly and probably nervous but their amazing harmonies and beautiful songs made my hair stand on end. What’s left of it, anyway.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

Probably Allo Darlin' last year, in showing that songs many might have thought would only work in a small venue could work on a big stage by sweeping the Friday night. POBPAH (again last year) run a close second though.
Gareth Ware, Anglesey (pop fan)

So many to choose from! Ballboy last year, The Bobby McGees in 2008, Stereo Total in 2009, who were amazingly filthy, are all distinguished nominations, but for the sake of how unexpectedly fantastic it was, La Casa Azul. I can sing along to pretty much all of those songs now, and a big chunk of the music I listen to nowadays is Spanish.
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

I really liked the Weddies and Los Camp BUT I think The Bobby McGees were great fun. There is something magical about a bearded Scottish man dressed as a jester; maybe it’s just me.
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

This is too hard! Probably La Casa Azul, who gave an absolutely amazing performance. I just remember dancing like a mad woman alongside some of my Team Indietracks friends, and then being incredibly moved by the whole scene. We had all worked so hard that year – seeing it all come to fruition was the best feeling ever.
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

My personal favourite performance was by Ballboy in 2008. They were just fantastic. A particular highlight was them singing 'Something's Going to Happen Soon' close to sunset, or just after. That song has a lot of meaning to me and my fiancée as it'll be our first song at our wedding next year! I think it's mostly because it's such a beautiful song live!
Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Ummmmm... Allo Darlin' on the Friday night last year... Town Bike's 'earmuffs' moment followed by a B*Witched/Nirvana mash-up in '08... Shrag on the main stage last year... La La Love You tearing shit up... plus so many bands that you wander in during the last song and think "fuuuuck, what have i missed?!?" (Be Like Pablo, Brontosaurus Chorus, etc etc). But I think The Middle Ones charming the hell out of all present on a too-packed train will live long in the memory.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

La Casa Azul's headline slot from '09. Most of the non-Spanish people there wouldn't have heard of him (I think), but everyone was smiling and dancing anyway, so for me it sums up the essence of Indietracks. Plus when he did his cover of 'Love is in The Air' it was a proper festival 'moment'.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

Ohhhh, Camera Obscura were wonderful in 2009. And The Pooh Sticks were amazing fun for all involved last year.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

I can't name just one... possibly Art Brut. I rushed into the train shed just after they had started and the whole place had already become one giant moshpit. I'm surprised that the shed roof didn't come off when we all shouted along to "DC comics make me want to rock out". But then there was also La Casa Azul. I would never have expected to see a spaceman playing disco pop on the main stage. But there he was. It was very surreal and everybody seemed to love it. Apart from Pete Bee [from Horowitz]. Who looked very baffled.
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

Allo Darlin' last year on the Friday night. Our first experience of the band was on the train at 2008's festival, and having closely followed their progress over the intervening two years their set last year was just so perfect, showing how far they've come and knocking everyone's socks off! There were so many people in that crowd with good reason to feel proud of Allo Darlin', and it made for the best atmosphere.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

Goodness gracious, how can one select the best performance at Indietracks?! I would say when bands play Indietracks, they put so much practice and effort into playing that it is probably their best performance of their career! But the first performance that comes to mind is La Casa Azul’s joyous multimedia extravaganza in 2009. He is only one person but he had a band of stylish bandmates projected onto a screen, a dazzling light show, fascinating video projections and enough boundless energy to turn the most dour-faced misanthrope into a bouncing, sparkling electro-pop convert. Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

There are so many. I wouldn't like to single one out. Some truly amazing memories.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

So, so many. The Just Joans, the Felt Tips, Allo Darlin', Cats on Fire, the Pooh Sticks and Mighty Mighty all deserve a mention. However, I think the best perfomance will be this year when Edwyn takes the stage.
Jane, London (pop fan)

Who do you agree with? Or have they all forgotten the best Indietracks act of all? If you've been to the festival before, post a comment below to let us know your favourite performance so far...


  1. Laura (pop fan)18 July 2011 at 13:13

    The Rocky Nest hi-fiving kids in the church!

  2. 'Stars of Aviation' in the church last year, simply beautiful.

  3. The Wimpshake in the shed. The Orchids on the big outdoor stage. Pocketbooks EVERY CHUFFING TIME!

    Also, probably a Lifetime Achievement Award for MJ Hibbett & the Validators.

  4. Either MJ Hibbett opening the main stage on the Sunday last year and giving it EVERYTHING, or Art Brut the year before. I think it was the year before. They gave a masterclass of stage craft and in the heroic transcendental possibilities of rock n roll*.

    *TM Rolling Stone magazine circa 1975, probably