Friday, 9 April 2010

Indietracks interview #2: David Tattersall

We're expecting to announce a couple more bands for the festival next week! In the meantime, here's the second in our series of interviews with this year's Indietracks artists.

David Tattersall is the lead vocalist/guitarist of The Wave Pictures, who you'll hopefully remember from their fantastic set in the sunshine on the outdoor stage at Indietracks in 2008. At that point, The Wave Pictures had just set everyone's world's alight with their poetic indie-pop-folk-rock masterpiece 'Instant Coffee Baby', which still remains a firm favourite here at Indietracks Towers, along with its follow-up 'If You Leave It Alone'.

David's debut solo album 'Happy For A While', was written and recorded in Berlin during the spring of 2009 with the assistance of Clemence Freschard and Stanley Brinks. It's due for release in April 2010 on Where It’s At Is Where You Are Records, with eleven brand new songs, not available anywhere else. The label released a free, digital download single of the album’s title track on 1 January 2010, which is still available.

Hi David, what music are you enjoying at the moment?

I have been enjoying the songs of Allen Ginsberg. There is a double cd avaliable of his songs, called ''First Blues''. It isn't all good but the best bits are so great, that's been my favourite discovery in ages. There's three he did at a session in the 60s I guess, with Bob Dylan in the backing band that are fantastic, particularly one called ''Vomit Express'' which is about travelling to Puerto Rico. I have also recently been enjoying Otis Redding. A great compilation I picked up on vinyl called ''Dock of the Bay'', which contains that amazing song. Little known Chuck Berry albums from the 1970s, ''San Francisco Dues'' and ''Bio'' have also been on my turntable a lot lately. No one ever mentions these but they are great, if you ever see one, pick up a copy. And I just discovered Jimmie Rodgers, the 1930s country singer, and I know I'm going to be listening to that a lot.

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

I just played a very unusual gig with my band The Wave Pictures in a country and western bar in Orlando, Florida. We played our songs for fifteen or so guys in cowboy hats, who seemed completely indifferent. The next act was a Hank Williams covers band, who kind of shouted. Now, I love Hank Williams, but these guys were not so hot. Anyway, we bombed, and we didn't get paid. It was pretty dispiriting. But funny. Everyone was very friendly, but it did remind me somewhat of that scene in The Blues Brothers movie where they try to play a country and western bar and end up having to play ''Stand By Your Man'' to not get bottled off. People were pretty kind to us in contrast, but I think they felt a bit sorry for us or thought we were weird or something.

What exciting plans do you have for the rest of this year?

Exciting plans... I am excited that my solo album ''Happy For A While'' is going to be released on vinyl. Getting anything on vinyl makes me happy (for a while) and I'm particularly pleased with this album and glad it is coming out.

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

Well, I'll be coming to Indietracks on my own, and my closest brush with real superstardom was when I met Timmy Mallet as a child. He hit me with his mallet. My main hobby, without wishing to sound like I'm writing a lonely hearts column, is probably reading, or listening to records. I am generally lazy when it comes to hobbies.

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

I have some tapes to listen to with some friends on them. Something really great, if you can ever get to hear it, is Adam Cotton and Howard Hughes. They just made an album called ''The English Are Leaving'' that I like a lot. They don't have a label, but maybe people can still find that music on the internet. I don't know. But I made a tape of those guys. I also listen to a lot of old rock and roll, blues and country. I like making tapes of vinyls. I made a good tape of The Rolling Stones the other day, I guess I could take that to Indietracks.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Well, I played before and I really liked the atmosphere, the small size of it and the location. I liked a lot how peaceful it was. I don't like festivals generally, the queues and the crowds and the noise, I find it pretty stressful, but not Indietracks, that's a nice one.

Do you have any surprises planned for Indietracks?

Well, I'm playing on my own for the very first time. Completely solo, no band. And I really don't know how to do that. So, it will be a surprise for me. I have no idea whether it will be boring and I imagine I might be very nervous. For me, it's quite an exciting thing to try to do. We'll see what happens. But at least the people who come to my show will see someone have a go at something new.

Thanks David!

If you'd like to see David play solo before the festival, he's playing a Club Fandango / Fortuna Pop! night with Allo Darlin' (stars of year's Indietracks!) and Darren Hayman (star of Indietracks 2007 and 2008!) at the Borderline in London on Thursday 15 April.



  1. Oh no, why is there a song called 'Vomit Express' about travelling to Puerto Rico? Haha. (It's where my mom is from)

    And it is quite unusual that his band played in Orlando! I can't imagine where...I guess there is a bit of a 'downtown' Orlando removed from all the crazy massive suburban sprawl that is Disney World and company. Wow!

  2. Yeah, I tried to find pictures online from the Orlando gig, so we could post one with the interview. If anyone has any, please send 'em over!

    When I first read the sentence "We played our songs for fifteen or so guys in cowboy hats...", I thought David meant the band wearing the hats. On reflection, I guess he probably means the audience were wearing the hats...