Sunday, 31 May 2009

Indietracks interview #9: Cooper

Well, by the time you read this, June will probably have arrived, which means that the festival is next month! So we’ve only a short space of time to bring you all the important news, silly quizzes, fun interviews and other random offerings we have planned for the blog between now and the start of the festival. Let’s crack on sharpish then, starting with one of the fantastic collection of Spanish bands that will be performing on the Elefant Records stage in July.

Cooper is the solo project of Alex Diez, who previously led Spain’s premier mod-beat band, Los Flechazos, during the 1990s. The band released six LPs, including two on the Elefant label, made sixty television appearances and played concerts and festivals across Europe. They achieved huge popularity in Spain with their mixture of 60s pop and American soul complete with Spanish lyrics.

Since the band split, Alex has continued to make music, releasing two albums and eight singles on Elefant under the name Cooper. A third album, Aeropuerto, will be released this year.

Hi Alex, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Leon, Spain, and in the 80s/90s I was in a mod/sixties band called Los Flechazos (we even released two 7”s on the Detour label). In 2000, I started this solo project, Cooper, with my friends. We play powerpop with a strong sixties feel and lots of vocal harmonies, but with a contemporary sound, I guess. To make things a bit clearer, when we toured Germany the owner of a club in Ulm told us: “You are great, you sound so English, well… Scottish actually!”. I play guitar, Mario is the other guitar player, Dani plays bass and Nacho is the drummer. We all sing. We’ve released records on Elefant - mostly EPs and singles - and we’ll be coming to Indietracks with a new album, called Aeropuerto.

What music are you enjoying at the moment?
Ben Kweller, Panic at the Disco, Brendan Benson, Last Shadow Puppets, Josh Rosue, Jellybricks… and we also love older records from Mayflies USA, Teenage Fanclub, Velvet Crush, Lemonheads, The Lolas…

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past
We have played in open air festivals, clubs, TV and radio sets, theatres and discos, but probably the most unusual place is an old church in the beautiful city of Toledo.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?
2009 is the 20th anniversary of Elefant, the 10th anniversary of Cooper and my personal anniversary of 25 years playing in bands. We are doing all the pop summer festivals in Spain plus Indietracks, which will be a highlight for sure. We are also planning a crazy “virtual” tour - a web tour of eight dates with special videos shown on music websites -and releasing our first DVD for Christmas.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?
Well, Mario can dance northern soul with a pint of beer ON his head, and Dani is able to travel more than four hours in the van without saying a word. Nacho spends at least 40 minutes arranging his hairdo (and sideburns!!). I am a dull and simple lad, cannot tell water from champagne.

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?
Badfinger, Small Faces, Belle and Sebastian, The Action, The Delgados, Buzzcocks, Fountains of Wayne, Gigolo Aunts, Primary Five, Rubinoos, Whiteout….

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?
As our set is completely in Spanish, we will play two or three songs in English for your audience.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?
First of all the festival itself, and it will be a very special celebration for Luis and Montse from Elefant, we are very happy for them. And it will be an adventure, a kaleidoscopic trip from the sun to the fun.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?
We always love to play with our friends Cola Jet Set, who are great, and La Casa Azul, another terrific act from Barcelona. And we love Lucky Soul and Camera Obscura. We will check the other bands on Myspace to have more information in advance, so we can enjoy ourselves 100%.

Great, thanks Alex. Look forward to seeing you at the festival!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Indietracks interview #8: Friends

Some of you may even been lucky enough to start the festival season early last weekend at the inaugural San Francisco PopFest, which our Stuart is involved in organising when he’s not on Indietracks duty. The Popfest was a weekend of indiepop fun taking place across San Francisco, playing host to several past and future Indietracks bands, including Ballboy, The Smittens, Northern Portrait, Gregory Webster, Eux Autres and Pocketbooks. Sadly we didn’t make it but from all the excited messageboard posts it sounds like it was a fantastic weekend with a very warm and friendly atmosphere, and it’s just made us look forward to Indietracks even more now. Still, it’s less than two months away now, so not long to wait!

In the meantime, here’s a chance to get better acquainted with another of this summer’s Indietracks bands. Friends were formed in 1986 by singer/guitarist/songwriter William Jones . Drummer and percussionist Martin Parker joined in 1992 and these two form the nucleus of the London-based band today. The band excel in classic English romantic pop, with lyrics that range from incurable optimism to the darkest miserablism. Think Teardrop Explodes, The Chameleons, and 70s acoustic music such as Nick Drake and Renaissance.Friends have released a series of albums and singles on the Summerhouse label, all of which are still available. Their latest album, Spangleland, was released in May 2007.

Hi, please tell us a little bit about yourselves

We are Friends (not THOSE Friends, they nicked our name well after we'd started). We formed in Stockton-on-Tees in 1986 and we're still here, writing and playing and recording. We've done nine albums and six singles on Summerhouse Records, and now live mostly in London . There are six of us, the line-up has changed a bit since the beginning but William Jones and Martin Parker have been a constant presence since the early days, and everyone else has been involved since the mid 90s too.

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

We've played in a cemetery - yes, really. It was a rather strange festival in Sheffield some time in the early 90s and the acoustic version of our band was booked to play there (just William and Martin ). There are obvious opportunities for jokes about the responsiveness of the audience etc, and as it happened, on the day there were far more people under the ground than above it. Also the PA system was extremely dodgy and I remember being terrified that I'd be buried there too after the electric shocks I was getting.

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

William, our singer and guitarist, runs marathons and has done seven so far, in New York , London and Edinburgh . Martin , our drummer, is a graphic designer. Edwin , our bass player, is a father (twice). Richard , our other guitarist, is a brilliant impressionist and regularly completes the Guardian cryptic crossword. Kath, our backing singer, is an actress and you'll have seen her on the telly. [Wow, Kath was Sally Hunter in Hollyoaks!]

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

What attracted us to play at Indietracks was many things. First, we were asked, and it would be rude to say no! Second, in all our years it's our first festival appearance and it would be good to experience that at least once. Lastly, it's a great opportunity to play to people who like our kind of music, and many who don't know us, in a great setting.

Thanks William . And Friends have kindly left us with a free MP3 download:
This is the Start

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Indietracks accommodation quiz returns!

(Picture: Golden Valley Caravan and Camping Park)

As the Swiss novelist and playwright Max Frisch once wrote, “Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.” Well, for those of you who took our accommodation quiz last year, here’s a chance to find out if your identity has unfolded since last year’s festival. Have you recently discovered the joy of camping? Have you subconsciously developed a longing for the traditional comforts of a bed and breakfast? Here’s your opportunity to find out.

We’ve subtly updated the quiz from last year to ensure the cultural reference points remain accessible for a 2009 audience (that Menswear bit will be okay for a few years though, right?). However, to ensure the quiz remains valid and robust in relation to last year’s benchmark – and for no other reason - we have kept the questions almost exactly the same as last year.

Of course, if you didn’t take the quiz last year, please dive in and pretend this quiz is brand new! Good luck!

Still trying to decide where to stay for Indietracks? Torn between casting caution (and your hair straighteners) to the wind at the campsite, or living it up in the (comparative) glamour of a Travelodge? Wondering whether you’d prefer the cosy home comforts of a Bed and Breakfast or… fact…...home? Well, worry thee no more, for you’ve come to the right place my friend! A quick squiz at our shambolic Cosmo-style mini-questionnaire and you’ll soon be taking care of all those niggling accommodation woes….just remember to be honest!

1. The one thing that makes a festival perfect for you is:

a) Being able to fix your make-up and/or hair under PROPER LIGHTS every day
b) A late night Camera Obscura sing-along with ukeleles, guitars and tins of tomatoes for drums
c) Meeting all the local characters who live near to the festival site and listening to them reminisce about when "it were all fields round here", even though it still is
d) Getting away from it all at the end of the day, in time for late-night Big Brother

2. Your perfect “festival look” is:

a) Immaculate hair and perfectly pressed clothes, you've got a style reputation to maintain
b) A floppy hat, all-weather/terrain shoes and a guitar strapped across your back; an acoustic appearance on the grassy knoll could beckon at any time
c) Clean clothes and smelling fresh, even if your ‘The School’ t-shirt smells of mothballs after hanging in the antique wardrobe
d) Travelling light, no sleeping bags to weigh you down!

3. Your idea of creature comforts for a festival is:

a) A late-opening bar and a room big enough to party in (and rip Yellow Pages in half)
b) An inflatable mattress and a portable stove - the caff is cheap as chips but you're enjoying your reputation as an outdoorsy expert
c) Finding quaint little pubs nearby where you can sink a pint in peace until your next favourite band comes on
d) Someone there to welcome you home at the end of the day, and to tell you what you missed in Coronation Street

4. Duglas T. Stewart of BMX Bandits tells you he’s got nowhere to stay for the night and begs your help. Do you:

a) Say “We’ve got a family room and you’re part of the family, Duglas!”, as long as he promises to bring booze
b) Invite him to share your abode as long as he agrees to play Teenage Fanclub covers in the sing-along
c) Blush at the thought of how you’re going to explain away a strange man in your room to the landlady, when you’ve already got a partner in tow
d) Call home and tell them to make up an extra bed, you've got an indie legend coming home

5. It’s 1.00am on Saturday, you’re merry on indiepop and cider (but mainly cider) and you need your bed – FAST! Do you:

a) Fumble for that cab number in your bag, you know you had it somewhere? You really want to crash in someone's tent but can't bear the thought of kinky hair in the morning
b) Magically produce an X Files-style torchlight from your rucksack and start looking for that trail of stones you left somewhere, as well as the stash of booze you hid in a bush for late-night sing-alongs
c) Stumble towards the exit with a map in one hand, and mobile phone in another, trying to sober up so you don’t make too much noise when you get in
d) Phone home and leave a tipsy message on the answerphone for someone to come and get you

6. You decide to fix yourself a snack. Do you:

a) Reach for the free shortbread biscuits next to the complimentary tea and tiny kettle
b) Place a can of beans over a cigarette lighter and wait for half an hour
c) Run downstairs and ask nicely if they can rustle up some cheese on toast
d) Raid the fridge and hope someone hasn’t snaffled all your vegetarian sausages.

7. When you wake up in the morning, you write down all your dreams. Were you:

a) Wandering down an endless nondescript corridor knocking on infinite identical doors looking for a party that sounds close by, but never gets any nearer
b) Running free in the wildness under the stars to the soundtrack of owl twoots and soft metal acoustica
c) Transported back to the 1950s drinking multiple cups of tea and eating Digestive biscuits as a Gramaphone plays Cliff Richard tunes
d) Back at school, watching that time when you tripped and fell during the school play over and over again.

8. You feel the need for some entertainment. Do you:

a) Stick on the cable TV and feel guilty watching Hollyoaks, before considering paying for wi-fi
b) Fashion a rudimentary ukulele from some branches and stray twine and lead a Jonathan Richman singalong
c) Challenge a fellow guest to a game of chess or draughts
d) Browse through your entire CD and DVD collection or pick a book from your bookshelf

9. The Indietracks genie appears and grants you a wish. Do you wish:

a) That the party next door will stop playing “French Navy” on repeat and go to bed
b) That the stray cow that’s appeared two feet from where you’re sleeping will get distracted and leave
c) That the random guest you’re chatting to will stop trying to get you to explain what an indiepop festival is. “It’s a kinda like The Beatles, okay?”
d) That you were coming back for the next day of the festival and joining the overnight fun!

10. You meet someone special at the festival. What are you most worried about when they get back to your accommodation?

a) That the romance will fade when they find an aspiring Scandinavian indiepop band sleeping on the pull-out sofa
b) That the appeal of sitting out under the stars will drop sharply if it starts to rain
c) That there was actually a curfew, and the landlady is up waiting for you with a stern look on her face
d) That they don’t stumble across the framed photos from your Britpop phase, when you tried to look like Jonny from Menswear

Wondering how you got on? In true Cosmo style it should be fairly flippin’ obvious but, if you need your scores, here they are.

Mostly As: Yup, you’re a Travelodger alright. You know the campsite has showers, but it’s just not the same, right? You need to be able to sit down properly to fix your hair and, anyway, you quite fancy late night drinking shenanigans in a family room with no wet grass to bother you. Rooms in Nottingham, Derby and Alfreton are getting booked up quickly, so visit the Travelodge website soon!

Mostly Bs: Hello campers! For you, festivals just aren’t the same unless you’ve got a tin o’ beans on the go, and a campsite sing-along to look forward to. You might want to check out the wonderful Golden Valley Caravan Park campsite.

Mostly Cs: You consider yourself a discerning festival-goer, fancying the unique, ramshackle charm of a nearby Bed and Breakfast. You like nothing more than meeting the locals and sampling real ale in nearby pubs, and so Moss Cottage in Ripley might be ideal for you.

Mostly Ds: ‘Cos you’re a daaaaaay-tripper, etc etc. You’ve got a day ticket and you’re not afraid to use it. You’re there for a while, but you’re looking forward to curling up in your own bed while everyone else is remembering that vital bit of kit they left at home. Erm, there’s not really a website I can point you to, but it's probably wise to check the festival site location on the Indietracks website before you sort out travel arrangements.

If you still can't make up your mind, don't forget to check out the accommodation page of the Indietracks website for more details... see you there!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Indietracks interview #7: Roy Moller

What's happened to the weather recently, eh? One minute it's blazing sunshine, the next we're frantically digging out our brollies and galoshes. Still, this Bank Holiday weekend looks set to be a scorcher, so let's hope the predicted good weather stays with us til Indietracks time! It just won't be the same without sweltering performances in the church and lazing on the grass as the suns sets behind the Outdoor Stage ...

Bringing a ray of sunshine to the Indietracks blog today is Scottish singer-songwriter Roy Moller. Well respected in indie pop circles, he writes 1960s-influenced guitar pop and has collaborated on numerous occasions with Belle & Sebastian guitarist Stevie Jackson. Earning comparisons to The Kinks' singer Ray Davies, Roy's music has also been described by Glasgow's premier indie disco The Winchester Club as "Shameless genius songwriting....killer melodies, proper choruses and hooks to make you wet yourself. Twice." Great quote!

Hello Roy! Tell us a little bit about yourself....

I'm a Scottish singer-songwriter born in Edinburgh in the same hospital as most of the Bay City Rollers and am proud of being born on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Mallard setting the record for the world's fastest ever steam locomotive run. After many musical adventures in a number of bands, I helped formed instrumental guitar band The Wow Kafé whose 2001 Over Kansas EP featured a rare lead guitar outing from me on Who Shall Apologise To The Emperor, a song the NME described as "utterly ace". After the well-received solo single, Maximum Smile single (Felicité, 2003), I left The Wow Kafe to pursue a solo career. In 2004 Heliotone released Second City Firsts, a six-song e.p. on lathe-cut polycabonate. The following year produced the Fermez La Bouche maxi-single on Pickled Egg and my debut album. Speak When I'm Spoken To, was released in December 2006 on Book Club Records. Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson co-produced a number of tracks, while Ulric Kennedy produced two songs. Ulric is mainman in The Catalysts, of whom I’m an occasional live member. He used to be in a band called The Golden Dawn on Sarah Records whose lead singer was Rob Smith, my musical partner in a band called Meth O.D.

I’ve collaborated quite a bit over the years with Stevie, having co-written songs including Seymour Stein, Chickfactor, Roy Walker, (I Believe In) Travellin' Light, I Took A Long Hard Look and Portland, Oregon (one of many as-yet unreleased collaborations). I also briefly appear in the video for Belle & Sebastian's The Wrong Girl. Since 2006, I’ve been collaborating with former Astrid drummer/songwriter Gary Thom and Stevie as The Company. So far, we have written a wide array of songs and released a number of tracks including Join The Dots, (a split single on Slumberland) and, exclusive to this year’s Indietracks compilation CD, Brother Love. In 2005, I was diagnosed with dyspraxia. I co-founded formed Adult Dyspraxia Scotland (later Scottish Dyspraxion) and became Executive Musical Director of Dyspraxia USA for which I wrote and recorded the theme song, I'm Wired. I also work with disabled pop group The Hotliners, having taken over their stewardship in 2008. I'm hoping to register the Scottish Dyspraxion as a charity later this year.

Phew, you sound incredibly busy! You must have lots of exciting plans on the horizon...

I have been working on an album with my friend Sporting Hero, who played with me at Indietracks 2007. I enjoy making music with him and am excited by the prospect of having a record that really sustains a mood and feel, rather than being a collection of songs. We don’t have a record label for it yet, so if anybody out there would be interested in potentially releasing it, please get in touch.

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

I’ll be coming with my fiancée, by then wife, who is a big Camera Obscura fan, so we’ll have a quality quota of their tracks sprinkled throughout our compilations. Their records – and indeed their live shows - always sound fresh and clear and uncluttered. Ideal traveling music. I’d also like The Poacher by Ronnie Lane, Sparky’s Dream by Teenage Fanclub, and September Gurls by Big Star. Also some stuff by (Only) Joe Kane, a super-talented Glasgow-based artist. We’ll have been to Stockholm in early June so will probably have some Scandanavian treats such as Hello Saferide on there. I saw Brian Wilson play live in Stockholm once and we couldn’t venture anywhere in summer without some Beach Boys to hand. I think our baby son, Peter, will provide some of our soundtrack, too. I may take the opportunity to introduce him to an early favourite or two of mine: I believed in the Morningtown Ride the Seekers took me on over the airwaves of Junior Choice. Of course I still do. Indietracks is a holiday, and on holiday every morning is new.

Sounds fantastic! Indietracks is indeed a holiday - but what else attracted you to play the festival?

I first came across Indietracks while surfing MySpace and thought it was a great idea that appealed to me in so many ways. When I played Indietracks it was everything I had hoped for. The bands sounded good and those I met in person were friendly and receptive to the unique environment.I've been a fan of trains since I was a wee lad so Indietracks was very much a railway as well as music buff’s experience for me. The way the carriages smelled of summers present and past – cut grass wafting through the opened window, and the warm tang of the upholstered seats transported me back to my younger years. Until the late nineties, Glasgow's local diesel lines reverberated with rolling stock of 1960 vintage – built in Derby appropriately enough, and refurbished over the years, but still with doors with windows that you pulled down when you arrived at your destination for you to lean and reach and pull open the handle outside the door. It was a treat to do that again at Butterley. I used to work in the suburb of Bishopbriggs, and on leaving the office - adjacent to a steamroller firm whose vehicles lay lazily, hazily parked in the melting Tarmacadam summer road - I'd saunter down to the station and catch one of the local trains, now painted gaudy orange but still retaining their elegantly utilitarian character. I loved how they cut and scraped their way under ripe summer branches that rocked benignly over the line to Queen Street station. The trees stretched out like arms extending over revellers in the Scottish country dance of Dashing White Sergeant. Under them passed the dusty curved roofs of the Diesel Multiple Units, dappled in flickering, filtered sunlight. I know Stuart Mackay is a big fan of such railcars and their appearance on the Midland Railway at Indietracks brought that all back to me – along with the sights, the sounds, the satisfying scrunches of gravel under foot, the rusting bolts whose russet hue would soon be shared by Autumn leaves in the marshalling yards.

Spoken like a true train lover - we couldn't have put it better ourselves! Roy's also very kindly given us an exclusive free mp3 to download: Unreleased mix of Great Wall of China.

Next up: Simon from The Loves remembers his first ever Indietracks....

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Indietracks interview #6: Butcher Boy

Phew, it's been a busy few weeks at Indietracks towers. You'll hopefully have seen the recent additions to the line-up and we've also announced which bands are playing on which days. And, we've announced the details of this year's Indietracks compilation CD (44 tracks for just £6!). It's just ten weeks to the festival now, and we've lots more interviews, quizzes, announcements and features to bring you on the blog before then, so do stay around!

Today we're joined by Basil, guitarist from ornate orchestral octet Butcher Boy. The band has existed in its current form since early 2005, but lead singer John Blain Hunt has played in various incarnations of the band since the late 1990s. In 2006, the band recorded their debut album at CaVa Sound in Glasgow with Geoff Allan, and the band were signed to London label How Does It Feel To Be Loved? in the same year. They appeared on the 2006 HDIF compliation, 'The Kids At The Club', and their debut album, 'Profit In Your Poetry', followed in March that year. Earlier this year, the band released their second album “React Or Die” in April to genuine acclaim - not least the 5/5 reviews in the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph!

Hi Basil, tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past

Butcher Boy kind of specialise in playing unusual places as getting away from regular music venues can make the experience better for everyone involved – hence the attraction of Indietracks. One of the favourite places we’ve played is the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in Glasgow. Opened in the 1880s the music hall lay derelict from 1937 until the mid 1990s when a trust was set up to restore it to use. In it’s heyday it ran variety bills and was one of the first theatres in Glasgow to show movies – it wasn’t the most genteel of places and the audiences were notorious for being extremely boisterous. Today you enter the Panopticon via an amusement arcade at street level, like a seaside pier stranded in the middle of town, and that journey from the street, through the arcade and up the staircase to the theatre quickly re-sets your perceptions and prepares you for a world of other possibilities….

It’s wonderfully atmospheric place and even in its partially-restored state you can still get a sense of what it must have been like in its heyday. The house piano is a haunted pianola named George that slams it’s lid on the fingers of people it doesn’t like. Our Alison got on fine with George… We filmed the end sequence of the video to our song ‘A Better Ghost’ there – it felt really special to have the theatre to ourselves that day. You can just see in the video that we were blindfolded while ‘playing’ for the dancing couple, like some elaborate knife throwing act.

There’s always something worth seeing at the Panopticon, in particular the regular Laurel & Hardy film nights – Stan Laurel famously made his stage debut there, so check it out if you’re in town!

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

We haven’t thought much beyond Indietracks this summer, but before then we have a very special event booked. Our John is a real cineaste and on June 14th we combine his two great interests when we play a live score to the movie ‘Chick’s Day’* at the Glasgow Film Theatre Chick’s Day is the work of the largely forgotten Scots/Italian amateur film maker Enrico Cocozza. Cocozza made around sixty short films in the late 1950s/early 1960s that were self funded, with performers and technicians drawn from his home town of Wishaw. All the films were silent, although occasionally dialogue was dubbed on later. Many of the films were comic; however Chick’s Day is a seriously adult-themed piece that reminds me of elements of the film adaptations of Allan Sillitoe’s novels, but with a touch of surrealism. The score is being specially written for the film and we’ll play a set of songs afterwards. Being able to do this is a real treat as the GFT is a great favourite of the band. Tickets available now… just go to June 14th here:

*Chick is a common Scottish diminution of Charles – nothing to do with the ladies…although guys that get called Chick do tend to be a bit on the wide side.

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

Special Indietracks railway-related Butcher Boy facts:

1. Basil once worked for British Rail in the signal & telegraph stores at Irvine and that job paid for his Guild Duane Eddy guitar.
2. The Glasgow subway runs directly under Alison’s house, and she often dreams about it. Once, she dreamed that she got to ride in the cab of a subway train, and to see the mysterious depot... which turned out to be a gigantic subterranean funfair, all decorated in the standard
beige-and-brown. Once they got to the depot, the trains turned into rollercoasters, corkscrewing and looping-the-loop over the heads of the drivers who were on their lunch breaks below. And then the trains would slow down, go back into the tunnels and roll along to Govan station as if were the most boring thing in the world.
3. Findlay is a railway poster nut and subscribes to Railwayana Magazine to feed his addiction.
4. Fraser was born in Milngavie to the North of Glasgow, the home of the George Bennie Railplane – a crazy-looking prototype propeller-driven monorail built in 1930. It never took off (in the metaphorical sense).
5. John is hopelessly romantic about train travel and insisted that Butcher Boy travelled to their first two London shows by train.
6. Aoife’s viola predates the invention of the steam train (tenuous)
7. Robert gets the train to work (struggling now)
8. Maya can whistle the tune Casey Jones backwards (ok, I made up that one)

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

We needed to get out more. And our Fraser played Indietracks last year with The Just Joans and said we’d enjoy it, that it was our kind of thing - a bit quirky, honest fun - so when the call came we couldn’t say no. And name another festival that puts on steam train rides?

Thanks Basil. And the band have kindly given us a free song for you to download: Carve A Pattern

Next up: Roy Moller

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

New bands added to Indietracks line-up

Former Pipettes chanteuse Rose Elinor Dougall has been added to the line-up for this year’s Indietracks.

The singer is one of six new acts - other bands recently added to the Indietracks line-up from around the world include Cats on Fire (Finland), Sucrette (Japan), Modular (Argentina), Labrador (Denmark) and The Specific Heats (USA).

Indietracks is this year headlined by Camera Obscura, Emmy the Great and Au Revoir Simone, with the final headline act due to be announced shortly. They will be joined by hotly-tipped Butcher Boy, scuzzy guitar-lovers The Manhattan Love Suicides and sophisticated popsters Help Stamp Out Loneliness. Other bands playing Indietracks include BMX Bandits, Lucky Soul, Frank and Walters and The School.
The schedule for the festival has also just been announced. Single, Rose Elinor Dougall and Au Revoir Simone will play on Friday evening. The following bands will play on Saturday and Sunday:

Camera Obscura, Emmy the Great, Wake the President, La Casa Azul, Cats on Fire, Kevin McGrother, Manhattan Love Suicides, Fitness Forever, Butcher Boy, Alaska, King of Cats, Speedmarket Avenue, Mighty Mighty, The Lovely Eggs, Poppy & Friends, One Happy Island, Pete Green and the Corporate Juggernaut, Sucrette, Friends, Labrador, The Frank and Walters, Little My, Ray Rumours and The No-Ideas, Modular, Downdime and The Rocky Nest.

Gordon McIntyre, MJ Hibbett, BMX Bandits, Disasteradio, Le Man Avec Les Lunettes, Roy Moller, Nick Garrie, Zipper, Ste McCabe, Moustache of Insanity, Pocketbooks, Hong Kong in the 60s, Cola Jet Set, The Smittens, Loyal Trooper, Countryside, Let’s Whisper, Lucky Soul, Northern Portrait, The Specific Heats, Tender Trap, Help Stamp Out Loneliness, The Marshmallow Kisses, The School, Eux Autres, Bonne Idee and The Understudies.

Weekend tickets cost £55, day tickets cost £30 and both are available to buy from Ticketweb or by calling the railway direct on 01773 747 674. Remember, buying the tickets direct from the railway ensures that more money goes towards the festival.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Indietracks 2009 - an indiepop compilation

To celebrate this year’s Indietracks Festival, Make Do And Mend Records are releasing a double CD featuring 44 fantastic tracks from bands playing at the festival.

The CD includes tracks by bands on the Elefant label, who are co-hosting this year's festival, as well as never-before-released tracks by both Mighty Mighty and Poppy & Friends. They are joined by one of this year's headliners Emmy The Great, not to mention some of the most exciting indiepop bands around who are already creating a buzz on national and international radio and across this year’s summer festivals.


01 Friends - You’ll Never See That Summertime Again
02 Downdime - Lessons
03 Emmy The Great - Short Country Song
04 Speedmarket Avenue - Don’t Fall In Love
05 Loyal Trooper - The Doctor (Single Version)
06 Alaska - She Was A Rockstar
07 Bonne Idée - Glassbåten
08 Help Stamp Out Loneliness - Parma Violet (Swizzels Matlow Mix)
09 Ray Rumours and the No-Eyed Dears - Puddles And Rain
10 Disasteradio - Awesome Feelings
11 Countryside - Summer Is Here
12 Mighty Mighty - Kiss For The Crowd
13 Butcher Boy - Carve A Pattern
14 Pocketbooks - Fleeting Moments
15 Fitness Forever - Vacanze a Settembre
16 Money Can’t Buy Music - Slow Days
17 The Understudies - Chip Pan Glam
18 Nick Garrie - Twilight
19 Pete Green - Best British Band Supported By Shockwaves
20 Hong Kong In The 60s - Disintegration
21 King Of Cats - Ducks
22 Cooper - Canción de viernes

01 Cola Jet Set - El sueño de mi vida
02 Poppy And Friends - There’s An Alien At The Bottom Of The Bath
03 Northern Portrait - In An Empty Hotel
04 The School - All I Wanna Do
05 Eux Autres - When I’m Up
06 The Smittens - One Hundred Roses
07 Wake The President - Miss Tierney
08 MJ Hibbett - It Only Works Because You’re Here
09 The Rocky Nest - Lenny And Jenny Had One Too Many
10 The Company Presents Roy Moller - Brother Love
11 Modula - Playa Biquini
12 Little My - Ruining Things Like Everything
13 Moustache Of Insanity - Living Room Picnic
14 The Lovely Eggs - Mices
15 Zipper - Former Friends
16 Kevin McGrother - Haircut Of The Century
17 Single - Llévame a dormir
18 The Marshmallow Kisses - Alapati
19 Ste McCabe - Public Debate
20 One Happy Island - Texas Toast
21 Le Man Avec Les Lunettes - The Happy Birth Of You And Me
22 La Casa Azul - Esta noche sólo cantan para mí

The CD will be available to buy for just £6.00 from 1st June 2009 from, or you can pick up your copy at the festival.

Happy listening!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Indietracks interview #5: Ste McCabe

May has now arrived, and hopefully you’ve all had a fantastic bank holiday weekend. We spent Sunday in the park catching up with the papers, and were pleased to see one of our Indietracks headliners Au Revoir Simone getting high praise from the NME and single of the week in the Guardian. (Actually, we saw the NME item when browsing the shelves of the local library. And by library, we actually mean Tesco Local. But, hey, it still counts!). Au Revior Simone are playing at Bush Hall on Wednesday, so keep your peepers peeled for the Indietracks flyering team!

Today, our series of interviews continues with Ste McCabe. Ste blends big punk guitars and retro-style beats/electro with a sarcastic, angry, and often hilarious view of the world. His debut album Hate Mail wowed musos and audiences around the country, full to the brim with homophobe-baiting, pro-feminist, anti-church, fun and angry pop music.

Hi Ste, tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a one-man, political queer-feminist drum machine/distorted guitar/musical terrorist from Liverpool, based in Manchester. I sing songs about racist chavs, murderous religious folk and anyone else of a narrow-minded, homophobic, sexist persuasion in the hope of making them cry, and I am proud to say that I have, hooray!

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past
I played Homotopia gay arts festival in Liverpool last year with two drag queens, one who was dressed as a cabbage singing Shirley Basset songs and another one who's head was on fire. Needless to say I was the odd one out.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?
My second album called "Murder Music" is coming out on Cherryade in September. I am sure the politically correct will accuse me of religious ignorance on this record, but I figure if Christians can claim that discriminating against gay people is a basic human right and Islamic states can legalise my throat being cut for being queer then I have the right to respond. I plan some very fetching dressing up in religious clothing with Hitler moustaches on the record sleeve, and I can't wait for the Daily Mail to review it.

And finally, who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?
That has got to be The Lovely Eggs. I've seen them lots of times and played with them once or twice, but they are one of the few bands I know who are truly original and so much fun live. They're lovely people too, what more could you want?

Thanks very much! And Ste’s kindly provided a free MP3 which you can download from the following link: Huyton Scum

Next up: Butcher Boy