Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Times and stages announced!

(Teenage Fanclub on the outdoor stage in 2009. Photo:
bellefox rendezvous)

The festival is now just over three weeks away, and today we’re announcing the times and stages for all the bands and DJs!

Lots of you have been asking what time your favourite bands are playing and on which stages. We’ve now posted all the entire schedule on the Indietracks website, so you can start to plan out your weekends!

The details are available at:

And of course, having plotted out your weekend in fine detail, please don’t forget to pick up a ticket! Weekend tickets are £60 and day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are £32.50. Tickets are available from

Hope to see you in a few weeks!


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Indietracks interview #20: Urbantramper

For today's interview, we're joined by Urbantramper, a five piece ‘future folk’ band from New Zealand. They'll be playing Indietracks on the Saturday afternoon, and you can expect beautiful boy/girl harmonies, well-structured pop songs, psychedelic jams, soulful ballads and driving beats!

Currently based in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, Urbantramper have been performing and recording for eight years. They are: Lake (vocals, acoustic guitar, melodica, harmonica), Eli (vocals, tambourine, glockenspiel), Tristan (bass, backing vocals), Ben (drums/percussion) and Maz (trombone, backing vocals, percussion).

The band have released four albums, and the release of their fourth album, ‘Rise & Ride Toward’ was celebrated with a sold out tour of New Zealand last November. The band have also recently released a new EP, ‘The Workers Album’, which is available on a ‘pay what you want’ basis. Their appearance at the Indietracks festival is part of their summer 2010 tour of Europe.

Hi, tell us a little bit about yourselves

We're a 'future folk' band from New Zealand. We play, write, perform and record music... We try and capture emotions/experiences, that are felt or perceived, and present them in a digestible, aesthetically pleasing format. Our goal is to stimulate feeling in our listeners; be it that of concurrence with the emotion we attempt to convey, or of reaching a place hitherto not explored. To play, write, perform and record with ardour and respect for our subject, ourselves, our listeners and the artform itself; we acknowledge our responsibility to all...

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

The Mountain Goats, Phoenix Foundation (NZ), Seth Frightening (NZ), The Creaky Drawers (NZ), Jeffrey Lewis.

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

We're touring Europe, then going to live in France.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

A fellow Wellington musician 'Disasteradio' recently played at Indietracks.

Thanks guys. We’ll leave you with the band’s most recent video, Ode To The Public Servant.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Workshop interview #2: Recycle Yo' Face!

Hello everyone! Despite us losing that little game of football, we're all very happy about the el scorchio weather over at Indietracks Towers, even if some of us are nursing sunburn - ow! More importantly, we are super chuffed because today is the official release of the Indietracks compilation CD. It's a fantastic record, full of top-notch songs from all of our indiepop faves, including some exclusively written for Indietracks. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, pop over to Make Do and Mend Records and order one now. The CD costs just £7 and is sure to sell out super-fast...

Today we're interviewing Recycle Yo' Face, otherwise known as Bex and Erin. Their children's workshop, held on Saturday at 2pm, involves making your own mask using recycled materials - sounds like fun to us!

Hello Recycle Yo' Face! Tell us a little bit about yourselves....
We're Bex and Erin, applied drama facilitators with an eco conscience, so combining our two passions! We hail from London and California. We love our indie pop too...and we love an indie barndance!

Can you give us a quick description of your workshop?

Children aged 4-11 create original masks out of reused materials and use their masks and their bodies to explore new characters using drama!

Sounds exciting! Apart from mask-making, what are you looking forward to the most at Indietracks?

Trains and music and buddies and masks!

And do you have any camping tips?

Don't forget your headlamp!

Thanks guys! Don't forget - you can see details of all of the Indietracks workshops on our website.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Indietracks interview #19: The Primitives

Today we're interviewing our Saturday night headliners The Primitives! And it's exactly a month until they'll take to our outdoor stage! However, before we get to the interview, here's a few quick Indietracks announcements:

  • we're really pleased to say that Red Shoe Diaries and Cowtown have been added to the line-up!
  • we can also reveal that Pic'n'mixx will be hosting the campsite disco on the Saturday night. Pic'n'mixx are also running a compilation CD swap during the festival in which you are all extremely welcome to participate. More details here.
  • we're sorry to say that Printed Circuit are no longer able to play at the festival.
Okay, you're all cosily familiar with The Primitives, we're sure. The band emerged from the independent scene of the mid-80s, alongside The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine. With the distinctive singing and blonde bombshell looks of singer Tracy Tracy, they combine 60s melodies, the buzzsaw guitars of the Ramones and the pop sensibilities of Orange Juice. The band became household names across the world for their hit single ‘Crash’, which made the top five in the UK charts.

The band reunited at the end of 2009 and have played some ace UK shows recently, and we can’t wait to see them at the festival! We're joined today by Paul from the band.

Hi Paul, The Primitives returned last year for some live shows, followed by a tour this year. Are you enjoying being back?

It was strange going on tour again...took about a week to reacquaint ourselves with it all, but after that we could have just kept on going. We didn’t think there’d be that many people interested in coming to see us when a tour was first mentioned, but we were proved wrong. Overall it was a blast, and as we weren’t promoting anything in particular we got to cherry pick from seven years of tunes, so it was great to be able to play some of the early faves.

Is this a fleeting comeback or a permanent reunion?

We haven’t completely closed the lid on it. We’ll do the odd thing here and there if it suits. There are a couple of ideas in the pipeline... so for now it’s a kind of semi permanent, part time arrangement.

We understand you’ve been in the studio working on a covers project of lesser-known female-fronted songs. Is that correct, and if so, how’s it going and when can we expect to hear it?

We recorded a couple of tracks last year... haven’t decided what to do with them yet. There are a couple of new songs too, which have a similar vibe to the covers - fuzzed up, psychedelicized, 60s girl group type tunes, so I guess we should think about some more recording soon and maybe see about releasing something. A series of 7 inch singles was one idea. Perhaps a Primitives singles club with different bands on the b-sides.

Video: The Primitives - Need All The Help I Can Get (cover cover of a Lee Hazlewood song, originally sung by Suzi Jane Hokom).

You’re often listed alongside a string of mid-eighties indie bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, The Wedding Present. How much connection do you think you share with these bands and how much was this apparent at the time?

We rubbed shoulders to varying degrees with each of those bands. The Mary Chain were already pretty massive by the time we started to get recognition... they used to come and see us in small pubs, which was nice of them. The other bands were at a pretty similar level and all went on to bigger things and I suppose we all had an influence on stuff that came after... especially Shoegaze and Britpop.

Were you prepared to have an international hit single with Crash (watch the video), and what’s the craziest thing (weird TV appearances, promo gigs, crazy fans) that happened as a result?

Not really. It was a bit like winning the pools. I was still living in this rented slum and we had limos turning up to take us to the airport. I remember us getting the train down to London from Coventry with our guitars to do Top Of The Pops for the first time...felt like we were in a Beatles film. We did a TV show in Holland where they wanted us to mime to Crash in a kind of Temptations instruments, just the four of us standing in a line, moving in unison. It was very cheesy, but we gave it a go anyway. We were pretty awful...can’t imagine it ever got used.

How do you think independent pop music has changed since the mid-80s? Do things like fine-sharing and social networking make things easier or harder for new bands?

Well a couple of years ago, if you had a guitar and a pair of tight trousers from Topman you were indie, but recently it seems to have been reclaimed by bands with a bit more of a grasp of what the whole thing was originally about. There’s also a renewed interest in 80s indie bands and all sorts of other stuff, that I guess people find out about on the internet. For the musically curious the net is like having a thousand John Peels sat on your lab...which is a good thing, but I think the nothingness of mp3s and the fact that they can be shared or nicked so easily has devalued’s great to be able to hear so much stuff, but there’s no real commitment involved. I use Spotify and all the rest of it, but nothing will replace the ceremony of putting on a vinyl record. The bottom line is there’s no emotional attachment to an mp3.

Indietracks takes place on a 1950s railway with steam trains lovingly-restored by enthusiasts. Do any of the band have any trainspotter-style hobbies or unusual interests that they would care to share?

I bought a Lomo camera about 10 years ago and have now got about five shoe boxes full of not very good photos. Tracy collects small hats.

Brilliant, we're hoping to see more photos of people in hats at Indietracks this year!
Thanks Paul - see you in a month!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Indietracks podcast #2 with Camera Obscura

Today it's exactly a month until the festival starts! Choo-choo! Hopefully you've already booked your tickets, and can now settle down and have a listen to the second in a series of Indietracks 2009 podcasts.

The podcasts have been put together by Josh Morris of Radio Cardiff, who may have accosted you with his microphone at some point last year and, by all accounts had an, ahem, interesting Sunday night (you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out what he was getting up to!) This second podcast features exclusive interviews with Camera Obscura, Stereo Total and Pocketbooks, and really, really makes us get all nostalgic and misty-eyed about last year. Aw.

You can stream it right to your house-bound computer or freewheeling portable internet device from this Soundcloud link or you can download it forever for future consumption from this Mediafire link.

Josh is going to be out and about with his microphone again at this year's Indietracks, so if you're interested in being interviewed, or have any ideas for his podcast, just drop him a line on

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Indietracks interview #18: Betty and the Werewolves

Today we're taking a break from firing questions at your favourite indiepop stars, and have handed over the mircophone to Paul Richards from the London club night Scared To Dance. The interview below is an extract from Paul's full interview with Betty and the Werewolves, which you can find in the brand new Scared To Dance summer fanzine! The fanzine also has interviews with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Allo Darlin’, Darren Hayman, Standard Fare and an exclusive free EP by The Understudies.

The best way to pick up the fanzine is to head over to the next Scared To Dance night, which takes place this Saturday 26 June at the King's Cross Social Club in London. They'll be playing an ace mix of indiepop and the guest DJs are Emma and Ian from Pocketbooks. You'll also be able to pick up the fanzine at Indietracks. If you'd like to find out more about Scared To Dance, there's a website , a Facebook group  and a Twitter page. Over to you Paul...

Hello Betty and the Werewolves! Tell us about your forthcoming debut album 'Teatime Favourites'.

Hello! Well, we wanted the album to sound a bit like a tea party with a mad aunt who serves teacups of gin in her loveliest china set whilst surrounded by cats, books and cakes.

Will the album feature your two past singles 'Euston Station' and 'David Cassidy' or will it be all new material?

Yes, the two singles will be on it, and our new 7" “Paper Thin”, then eleven other songs - some that we've played at gigs a lot already, and some which are completely new, so new that we've only learnt to play them properly since recording the album...!

You seem to be following in a long line of female dominated groups like The Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh. Were they influences?

Yes, definitely, as well as bands like Delta 5, Dolly Mixture, Marine Girls. We're influenced a lot by stories and poetry too - Emily Brontë, Keats and T.S. Eliot appear in our songs, and some of our favourite writers pop up in the video for “Paper Thin” as well.

You've got a new single "Paper Thin" out in June on Damaged Goods. There's been a real lack of indie pop videos recently but thankfully you've made one. How much fun did you have shooting it?

A ridiculous amount of fun. Our friend Charlie Phillips made the video and got a group of our friends to dress up like authors. We filmed most of it outside - in the cemetery and the park - but then it got too cold (it was January) and so we smuggled werewolves and authors into Stoke Newington Library for the rest of the filming. We had to pretend that we were there just to borrow books! It was very daring!

Speaking of being on camera, you appeared in the film 1-2-3-4. How did that come about?

The director Giles Borg was looking for a band for one particular scene and got in touch with us through Damaged Goods. We knew that Giles had made some Talulah Gosh videos in the past and so got very excited about it all, and had our fringes trimmed especially.

What does the rest of 2010 have in store for you?

So “Paper Thin” is out in June and our album Teatime Favourites is out in July. As well as Indietracks, we have some fun gigs coming up in London, Cambridge and Nottingham. We'll also be doing a live session for Marc Riley on 6 Music on 5th July.

Great! We'll leave you with the video for Paper Thin.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Indietracks 2010 - indiepop compilation CD

To celebrate this year’s Indietracks Festival, Make Do And Mend Records are releasing a double CD featuring lots and lots of the bands playing at this year's festival.

The compilation will be released on 28 June, but you can pre-order it from today at:

The CD features 44 fantastic tracks, ranging from punk pop assaults to the summery sound of ukuleles. It includes a host of this year's most exciting indiepop bands such as Veronica Falls, Allo Darlin’, Betty & The Werewolves and Standard Fare. They’re joined on the compilation by three of our headliners, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The Pooh Sticks, and Love Is All.

The CD also includes tracks written or mixed exclusively for Indietracks by White Town, Ballboy, The Just Joans, and The Orchids.

The full tracklisting is:


01 The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Higher Than The Stars
02 Yokoko - Sally Doesn’t Care
03 Paisley And Charlie - Stone Lions
04 Onward Chariots - War Hero
05 Ballboy - There Is More To Life Than Sleeping And Eating
06 The Felt Tips - Silver Spoon
07 Internet Forever - Pages Of Books
08 Allo, Darlin’ - Kiss Your Lips
09 Boy Genius - Ramona Saves The Day
10 The Give It Ups - Alison Awesome
11 Stars In Coma - Peacebloom
12 Secret Shine - It’s Killing Me
13 Sarandon - Searching For The Now
14 Betty And The Werewolves - Good As Gold
15 The Callas - The Wrong Song
16 Be Like Pablo - Without The Pain
17 White Town - I Don’t Want To Fall In Love Again
18 MJ Hibbett And The Validators - We Are The Giant Robots
19 Cineplexx - Para Mi
20 The Sunny Street - Into A Poem
21 The Orchids - She’s My Girl (Indietracks Mix)
22 Shrag - Ghosts Before Breakfast


01 La La Love You - Sólo Tú
02 This Many Boyfriends - That's What Diaries Are For
03 Love Is All - Kungen
04 Veronica Falls - Found Love In A Graveyard
05 Standard Fare - Dancing
06 The Smittens - Summer Sunshine
07 The Specific Heats - End Of An Error
08 The Blanche Hudson Weekend - Grip Of Fear
09 The Middle Ones - Young Explorers
10 Foxes! - Alex Badamchi
11 Mexican Kids At Home - Animal Shells
12 Urbantramper - My Grand Plan
13 The Hillfields - Canvey Island Queen
14 The Cannanes - Foundering
15 The Loves - I Lost My Doll To Rock & Roll
16 The Millipedes - Hey Boy
17 The Pooh Sticks - Roll Over Easy
18 The Just Joans - Stuart’s Got A Dirty Book
19 Stars Of Aviation - Herman Düne Slept On My Floor
20 Jam On Bread - It's Always Sunny Inside
21 Linda Guilala - Nadie se Dara Cuenta
22 Pale Sunday - Shooting Star

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Indietracks interview #17: The Felt Tips

Today we're joined by Andrew and Neil from Indietracks veterans The Felt Tips. According to the band, they formed in summer 2006 when two kites became entangled with each other on Largs Beach just outside Glasgow. We can't wait to welcome them back to Indietracks this year!

Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourselves...

Andrew: We've been playing as The Felt Tips for 4 years now. In late 2005 I had given up hope of forming a band in Glasgow and had become a bit of a hermit, recording songs in my bedroom and putting them online for everybody and nobody to hear. Then one day some Spanish guy (Miguel) phoned me after finding an old advert I had left in a music shop. He had recently moved from Spain partly because Glasgow was one of his favourite cities for music. I said I wasn't interested in starting a band any more.

I'm now very grateful that he persevered and managed to convince me to meet up to play some music together. Turns out that we clicked and soon we were planning forming a band. I got my childhood swee... I mean friend (!) Neil to play bass for us, and then drummers came and went until we found Kev two years ago. Now we all get along terrifically and (touch wood) we seem to have mastered the art of endlessly arguing without falling out with each other.

We were actually the first ever band to play Indietracks. It was in the church and we didn't have a drummer so the gig had an 'unplugged' feel about it, especially since the congregation were listening so attentively. In a way, getting to play Indietracks launched our international indiepop career. Being on the bill brought us to the attention of Cloudberry Records and La Merienda (a brilliant Spanish indiepop radio programme), two of our greatest supporters over the years. After a slight blip when we had no regular drummer for a year we are about to release our debut album. We absolutely love the record ourselves and can't wait to share it. Hopefully it will be out very soon. Anyway, we are genuinely dead excited about returning to play Indietracks. If you live near Cardiff or London you may also want to catch us at the Indietracks warm up shows in those cities.

Tell us something unusual about yourselves..

Neil: Kev has the same name as an infamous local Glasgow gangster which can cause a bit if confusion (especially when he was shot dead a few months ago). Miguel often plays with Sebastian of Cineplexx (although we think they should form a B&S covers band called Miguel and Sebastian). Neil has a fine collection of retro NHS glasses (one of which is believed to have been owned by Morrissey). Andrew has a tongue that is so long and mobile he can swallow it and pick his nose with it, and even play some guitar solos with it!

Hmm, sounds interesting! Ahem. So...what's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Andrew: It'll probably be some jangly guitar bands from the past won't it? Maybe one of the band will surprise the others and bring along the newest Kelis record.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?

Andrew: All the bands we have never listened to before.

Thanks Andrew and Neil! Look forward to seeing you in about, ooh....eight weeks time!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Workshop interview #1: Stop Motion Commotion!

Hello everyone! Apparently there's some little football match or other going on tonight, but today we're pretty excited to be kicking off (sorry) the first of our mini-interviews with the Indietracks workshoppers.The workshops were a storming success last year, and we already can't wait to get see what all the talented crafters and music-y experts have got in store for us this year!

First up today are plasticine animators Stop Motion Commotion, who are Gareth Howell and Jeanie Finlay, two artists and filmmakers from Nottingham.  Jeanie makes films about Goths, record shops and reluctant Elvis impersonators, and Gareth makes cartoons about Christmas, monsters and ghosts.

Hello Gareth and Jeanie - please can you give us a little description of your workshop?

We plan to bring indietracks to life with plasticine! Stop Motion Commotion is a family friendly animation workshop, where people will be able to create their own mini festival goers and bands and animate them dancing, riding the trains and generally having a lovely time! Using plasticine, card, felt-tips and whatever we can lay our hands on, the workshop will provide a fun experience for grown-ups and kids alike. At the end of the session, we'll have a grand screening of our mini-epic, and make it available to download from the Indietracks website. You don't need any experience to join in, just come along! If you have any toys you'd like to animate, bring them along too!

What are you looking forward to the most at Indietracks?

We're most looking forward to spending the whole weekend there! Last year was our first visit and we only came for the day, so it'll be great to have more time to hang out, and to go to the after-hours disco!

Do you have any camping tips?

You can never have enough socks.

Wise words indeed, Gareth and Jeanie. We already can't wait to see what the plasticine Indietracks epic is going to look like. See you there!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Music and craft workshop programme

(Photo: Tatty Devine)

It’s been another busy old week over here at Indietracks Towers. As well as trying to keep up with all the World Cup action (wonder if there will be any vuvuzelas at Indietracks this year?), some of us have been on holiday to Sweden and we’ve even found time to add one more brilliant band to the line-up – Antarctica Takes It! The band, who are due to release their second album Constellations on the How Does it Feel Be Loved? record label in August, write romantic, magical songs in the vein of The Decemberists and Belle and Sebastian. Rumour has it their performance at San Francisco Popfest was mind-blowing, and we can’t wait to hear what they’ve got in store for us this July.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, Alice - our resident Team Indietracks craft expert - has also been enormously busy rounding up a fantastic line-up of music and craft workshops again this year. There’s a huge variety of activities, from a pop quiz and song-writing, to children’s mask making and knitting – we can’t wait! We’re just wondering how we’re going to have time to watch any bands....

As a taster, we’ve given a brief outline of the programme below. We’ll be interviewing all of the workshoppers in the next few weeks, so do keep checking back for more details!


2pm - Recycle Yo’Face!
Mask play with your own mask made of reused materials (Children’s workshop)

3pm - Knit a Neuron
Find out about the wonders of the human brain while knitting or crocheting a neuron – plus it’s all for charity!

4pm - Sugar Paper’s 20 Things to Make and Do
The bi-annual craft zine peeps show you 20 of their favourite things to make and do, including making a knitted headband, origami and much more!

5pm - Accessory Junkie
Delve into the stash of vintage buttons, buckles, lace, motifs and zips and learn to create that last minute touch to your outfit that makes you the belle of the ball!


12pm - How to build the perfect pop song.
Ben from Onward Chariots shows you how to make – and add pop loveliness to – a great pop song.

1pm - Never Mind the Pooh Sticks Pop Quiz
Bob from Shrag hosts the now legendary Indietracks pop quiz that sorts the indiepop hardcore from the lightweights. Time to start brushing up on that obscure twee knowledge, kids!

2pm - Club Baby Honey host Indiepop Guess Who
We have no idea how this is going to work, but it sounds ACE! London indiepop club hosts Baby Honey promise to bring a touch of retro gaming action to the ‘Tracks.

3pm - Stop Motion Commotion!
Two artists and filmmakers plan to bring Indietracks to life in animated plasticine – we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

4pm - Something from nothing: Making Useful Stuff from Rubbish
Learn how to make a handy wallet from an old tetrapak carton – and there will also be junk modelling for the kids!

5pm - Craft Guerilla
A chance to sit and craft with fellow crafty people. Craft Guerrilla are designing a limited edition music related craft kit especially for Indietracks.


Monday, 14 June 2010

Indietracks interview #16: Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now!

Today's interview guest is Eddie Argos from our Friday night Indietracks headliners Everybody Was In The French Resistance..Now!

Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now! are Eddie Argos from Art Brut and Dyan Valdés from The Blood Arm. The band is single-handedly correcting the mistakes of pop songs past, including defending the belittled blue collar worker from Kanye West's ‘Gold Digger’, and dumping Martha Reeves on behalf of poor Jimmy Mack. Their album ‘Fixin’ the Charts’ was released on Cooking Vinyl in January 2010.

Hi Eddie, so, when and how did the idea of ‘correcting the mistakes of pop songs past’ come up?

Dyan and I were driving home from her parents house, well when I say we I mean Dyan. I can't drive. I'm a terrible passenger and it's about a nine hour drive. The song Jimmy Mack came on the radio and I was complaining about how unfair it is to the poor chap. I think Dyan saw an opportunity to make me shut up and told me to write a response. We recorded it when we got home and it all started from there. It's fun playing around with other peoples characters from songs.

You’re a couple in real life. How did you find writing the songs together and was it much different to writing with your respective bands?

I think as a couple we can be a lot more honest with each other which helped a lot. It was also very different from our other bands in that one of us wrote all the music (Dyan) so there was a lot less discussion about how things should sound. It's also a lot different then writing for our other bands as this band only write response songs. So it involved a lot of listening to the original songs.

The album, Fixing The Charts - Volume One, implies there are more albums to follow. Can you reveal which other songs you plan to ‘fix’? And were there any songs you wanted to correct but didn’t work out?

There are a lot of songs left for us to fix. We're kind of thinking of responding to some Katy Perry. The one song that got changed on the album was the Archies song we were responding to. Originally we were responding to Sugar Sugar with a song called Strawberry Pepper, but I became obsessed with the Archies song Waldo P Emerson Jones so we ended writing about that instead.

Do you plan to correct any of your own songs? This could go on infinitely!

Would be a bit weird if I started correcting Art Brut songs. I'd look schizophrenic. Besides Art Brut/Blood Arm songs are already correct.

You’ve just finished a mammoth tour of the States. How did it go? Tell us some crazy US tour stories!

It went ok. It was pretty hardcore. We had a friend helping us with the tour managing/driving to start with but when he went home. It was just me Dyan and Ian with the three of us sharing a room and those two driving. We didn't have a day off and I don't know how those two managed the driving. Ian had never driven in the States before and I could tell you some crazy stories about his driving. But I'm still traumatised so I won't.

You've been painting postcards for every gig the band played in the States. Any plans to do an Indietracks postcard? We’ve some great scenery! Are you pleased with how your painting’s going?

I'm very pleased with how my paintings going. It's just finding the time to do it. I'm definitely going to paint some postcards for Indietracks. (If I have time.)

Last year, Art Brut felt duty bound to inject some punk rock into the festival. What will EWINFR…N! be bringing to the party this year?

EWITFR...N! are less punk rock, a bit more pop. We're almost a cabaret band.

We gather the new Blood Arm album is finished and ready to go – what can we expect?

I'm lucky enough to have heard the new Blood Arm album. I loved Lie Lover Lie. I like the new one even more. I'm a bit biased but It's fucking awesome. I've been listening to it since they finished it. I can't wait till they start touring again they're my favourite live band.

Now that the UK has come last in Eurovision again, are we a little bit closer to seeing Glam Clops representing us? Where’s the campaign at?

I think it's time we restarted the campaign. I'll slap some silver facepaint on, phone the rest up and get writing. It's our national duty.

Thanks Eddie - see you at the festival!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Indietracks interview #15: Shrag

Today we're joined by Bob from Shrag for a quickfire Indietracks interview!

Shrag are Helen, Andy, Stephanie, Russell and Bob from Brighton. Expect jagged post punk, ragged electro pop and a bundle of ramshackle, runaway energy, alongside nods to everyone from Le Tigre to Penetration. Their debut album Shrag was released on WIAIWYA in 2009 and has garnered comparisons to Love is All, Gang of Four, B52s, The Long Blondes and more. The band will be playing on the Sunday at this year's Indietracks.

"A spectacularly bitter indie girls-set-on-stun dual vocal attack, in what is one of the better bands to juxtapose schmindie twee and angered literary abstraction since 1990s unsung legends Prolapse." (The Guardian)

Hi Bob, tell us a little bit about Shrag

We are Shrag, a five-piece band from Brighton and London. We make noisy pop music.

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

Enjoying the latest Fall record very much. As fresh and vital as a band's 28th studio album has any right to be.

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

I could talk about the whole of our European tour last year. A pizza restaurant, a boat, a salsa club, a remote farmhouse, a fish restaurant, but it always comes back to the farmhouse; 20 miles from Milan down a dirt track into a rustic old farm building with a roaring fire. It didn't look like like a venue at all. We certainly weren't expecting it to be full of revellers when we took to the stage at 2am on a cold Monday morning. It wasn't. We played to the other bands and the promoter, then went up to our rooms and made a horror film.

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

We made an album. It will be released later this year. Hopefully that will be exciting. We may even visit different towns and play some songs to people.

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

Probably lots of Shrag so we can learn the words.

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?


Brilliant! And finally, who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?

So many great bands but I'm choosing Love is All. A fantastic live band and the new album is awesome.

Thanks Bob!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Indietracks World Cup songs!

You may have already noticed that the World Cup starts today! You'll possibly be either in a giddy whirl of anticipation and excitement, a rage of bitter resentment, or a calm state of happy indifference. We're very much in a whirl of giddy anticipation and excitement (well, some of us are...) but we promise not to go on about it here...

Except today! We've noticed that a few Indietracks bands of past and present have recorded World Cup songs. So here is our non-definitive list. Of four songs. Do let us know if we've missed anything!

Standard Fare: Vaya Vaya México!

This brand new song from Standard Fare (pictured above), who of course are appearing at Indietracks this year!, appears on the Indiecater Records download compilation Fast Forward. The label asked a stack of great bands to write a new song about one of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup, the only stipulation being that the song be themed on their chosen country and if possible be football related. You can hear Standard Fare's song on their myspace page and on the Indiecater website.

Le Man Avec Les Lunettes – Don’t Get Fooled By The Football Players’ Summery Outfit

You'll of course remember Le Man Avec Les Lunettes from Indietracks 2009 (we interviewed them here!). They've also contributed an 'Italy' song for the above-mentioned Indiecater compilation, and again, you can listen to the compilation on the Indiecater website. In fact, you can hear the whole compilation on the website. And if you're tempted to download it you get not only the 32 songs, but also the striking original artwork by Alan Barrett and a digital World Cup scrapbook containing lyrics and facts about the compilation.

Eux Autres - World Cup Fever 2010

Eux Autres are another of the 'Indietracks Class of 2009' who are releasing a world cup single. "World Cup Fever 2010" is completely free to download from the Eux Autres Bandcamp page, and they've also made a fantastic video as below. Enjoy!

Paisley and Charlie - Saint George's Day

Bringing it back to Indietracks 2010, and with another tip of the hat to the Indiecater compilation, we're pleased to leave you with Paisley and Charlie's World Cup offering. We're not technically sure whether this should be attributed to Paisley and Charlie or their related band Detox Cute and the Beauty Junkies, but let's not worry too much about the specifics!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Darren Hayman's 'Indie Fan's Guide to Trains' (or 'Train Enthusiast’s guide to Indie Music’)

Former Hefner frontman Darren Hayman, who played Indietracks in 2007 and 2008, has produced this handy guide for spotting both indiepop bands and steam trains at the festival... and, through the genius of his mighty pen, managed to combine the two!

The Indietracks Festival takes place this July but its heart is in the late 80s. When we say ‘indie music’ we don’t mean the modern kind. When we say ‘indie music’ we mean Prittstick and Kafka, we mean wool knit and horn rimmed, we mean Xerox and Fender.

This music is a refuge. A musty school hall, unlocked in the school holidays for the gentle and erudite. This music has undergone an unlikely revival recently. In a terabyte world people crave something a little more 8 bit.

Indietracks is a celebration of this much overlooked music that takes place at the Midland Railway in Derbyshire; a heritage railway site full of beautifully preserved steam and diesel locomotives. Fuzzy, brown guitar bands nestle alongside beautiful, wobbly, old trains full of real ale and smiles. It’s a friendly affair with the floppy fringes mixing easily with the older, balder railway enthusiasts. In the same way as the indie fans are seeking a time and place in music that never quite existed, so too are the train nuts revelling in a fantasy locomotive world where perfect pistons thrust and puff all day, all along the line.

I should know; I adore guitars and trains. I know my Telecaster 1970s Custom from my Brush Type 4 Diesel. Indietracks is the ellipsoid in my venn diagram.

Train nuts and indie fans can find a British Shangri-La at the Midland Railway this July, but should you feel hesitant about approaching a member of the opposite tribe, let me be your guide.

Here are four bands and four trains to start you all off.

The A1 Tornado = The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The A1 Tornado is a dream come true for heritage train enthusiasts. The original A1 steam trains were gallant, heroic workhorses but by 1966 none existed. Every last A1 had been scrapped and the train world had a dodo. Then the impossible happened, a large group of devotees and investors endeavoured to build an A1 Steam engine from scratch from completely new parts.

The A1 Tornado is modern but retro, box-fresh and old school. She is a time machine.

Similarly, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart do something elegant, familiar and out of time but with sexy, new components. They are Bristol 1987 seen through the prism of New York 2010. People thought this music could never be remade again, not with new carefully made parts. Nothing dies forever.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart headline Indietracks this year.

The Diesel Multiple Unit = Amelia Fletcher/Talulah Gosh/Heavenly/Tender Trap

The only thing more beautiful in this world that a green liveried Diesel Multiple Unit train is my dog. The first generation of DMUs were introduced in the 1950s, some were still in service in 2010. Their genius was in their simplicity, and despite many paint jobs and overhauls their appeal was always the same: simple, romantic, bus-like carriages that shuttled you to faded seaside towns. The only trains I know purposefully designed so you can see out of the front, over the driver’s shoulder. Stuart Mackay, the founder of Indietracks, has a day job restoring these beautiful ornaments. A class 127 DMU will be working at the festival, take some time to fall in love.

Amelia has also changed her livery a few times but her talent has always been heartfelt, streamlined and robust. Pick any of the twenty bands she has been in over the past twenty years and you will always find tunes that earworm through your brain till you collapse, breathless and ecstatic.

Amelia’s band Tender Trap played at Indietracks in 2009.

Class 02 Shunter = David Tattersall / The Wave Pictures

Taking a walk around the sidings at Swanwick station at Indietracks you’ll find a Class 02 Diesel Shunter. We, who find our kicks in strange places, see beauty where others see ugliness. The Class 02 is strong, square and brutish and needs it’s lovers to look a bit longer. The shunter train never seeks the glory - it ploughs its own furrow.

The Wave Pictures haven’t been smoothed at the edges either. This band has spiky bits that make them harder to swallow. Bruised and fazed, they write songs that demand unflinching devotion from those that stay to listen. They’re not afraid of hard graft either; just listen to those guitar solos.

David Tattersall plays at Indietracks 2010

BR Standard Class 5MT = Ballboy

A Class 5MT or ‘Black Five’ is your baseline as a train lover. It’s the Fender Stratocaster, the Ford Cortina, the perennial from which all others must be judged. These beautiful, steam driven, monsters pulled freight and passengers all over Britain through the 50s and 60s.

Gordon McIntyre’s Ballboy are probably, rightly tired of being referred to as a Peel band in short Festival bios but they are that curious thing, a band beloved of Peel who do nothing more shocking than write, peculiar, beguiling original songs. When you’re sitting in your wood panelled carriage, being pulled along by your ‘Black Five’ and looking out over the Midland countryside, you need Ballboy on your iPod. Or your portable danset record player.

Ballboy play Indietracks this year.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Indietracks interview #14: Allo Darlin'

It's finally here! Today is the release date for Allo Darlin''s fantastic debut album. To celebrate they'll be playing a free instore gig at Rough Trade East in London tonight, and they're having an album launch party on Tuesday 15 June, where they're promising to round up a big band version of the group featuring various collaborators who played on the record. The night also features fellow Indietracks 2010 stars Standard Fare and The Middle Ones, and is therefore very highly recommended!

Before all that though, Elizabeth and Bill from Allo Darlin' have found time to have a chat with us. Elizabeth and Bill are from Australia, Mike and Paul are from Kent. They’ve only been playing seriously as a band since January 2009, although Elizabeth has been releasing music under various guises since 2007. In that time, they’ve been signed to the ace Fortuna Pop! label, played sold-out shows in Germany and Sweden, and wowed the crowds at the Indietracks and Swn festivals. They’ve been all over BBC Radio 1, BBC 6music and XFM, and had a stack of glowing reviews, including The Guardian calling their “Henry Rollins Don't Dance” single on WeePOP Records "the best indiepop song for years". Their album follows two ace singles on Fortuna Pop! - "The Polaroid Song" and "Dreaming" (featuring Monster Bobby). 

Hi, your new album has deservedly been getting lots of positive reviews, and you recently played a session for Steve Lamacq. How does it feel to be receiving so much positive attention, and what are your immediate plans for the band after Indietracks?

Elizabeth: I think we're just really happy that people like our album, because I think we're all quite proud of it. We were sort of doing it on the fly, I was just writing some songs the night before or something, and then we'd go in and record the next evening. So it was quite hard work, but we had an amazing time making it. Simon made us work really hard and it's paid off I think. We put an awful lot of heart into it.

It was a really big honour to do that Maida Vale session for 6 Music - lots of the DJs on that station have been really supportive, and it just makes you feel really lucky. It was a really weird feeling to be in such a famous place, like we were in Bowie's favourite room to record in. It was the size of a basketball court. I don't know why they've kind of picked out our band when there are so many amazing bands around at the moment, but it feels nice. It feels like the wider music world is starting to pick up a bit on what indiepop bands are doing, and they like it, which is really cool.

Immediate plans after Indietracks are a European tour with the Smittens, and probably a UK tour in August, and then maybe release a 10" EP at the end of the year. Sean's got us working hard, which we're happy to do!

Along with lots of other Indietracks bands like Standard Fare and POBPAH, you recently played SXSW festival - what was that experience like? Do you have any interesting tour stories?!

Elizabeth: Mike and Greg were definitely the most rock 'n' roll, like they got tattoos and stuff. I kind of get overwhelmed by big crowds a bit and ended up going back to the hotel and watching CSI instead of watching the Pains (!) But I told them about it the next day and they forgave me. Our friend Jonny from the Wave Pictures turned up to one of our gigs in a full cowboy outfit one night when we played in a Mexican restaurant - I think that might be my enduring image of SXSW. It was awesome, but really really weird.

Elizabeth plays in Tender Trap and Bill plays with Darren Hayman - how much have Amelia and Darren influenced the music of Allo Darlin'? And how do you find the time to play in so many bands!

Elizabeth: Well it's kind of embarrassing, but I didn't really know much of Amelia's music before she asked me to join the band. I think I only knew Beatnik Boy. But Amelia is just a really inspiring person - she has two little kids and a really really proper job, but still makes time to rock out every week. I only wish I could ever be as cool as that.

I'd say Darren's influenced my songwriting, definitely. Often the middle eights in our songs sound to me like Hefner middle eights - like the one in Kiss Yr Lips especially. I don't know what Darren would make of that. Maybe that's quite a weird thing to say! But also personally, you know Darren's just an amazing guy. It was kind of through his records that we found out about Simon. And now Bill plays in his band and we see him quite a lot. He's a very inspiring person too, though he would never admit it.

Bill: It's very hard to find the time and not just for Elizabeth and I - Mikey and Paul also play in Hexicon and the Treetop Flyers. I think it's hard to say how much influence Amelia and Darren have had on the music of Allo Darlin' - of course we're fans, but that's just music. I think that being in these other bands is great because it makes us all better players with the advantage of having a couple of different perspectives. But more than that the best thing is having these great friends, this great big group of people in your life who make up the different parts of your life. And life is what influences whatever you do right?

Elizabeth, in your interview for the Indietracks blog in 2008 you said that Dave Tattersall's dad really liked you, and that you were "Dad Pop"! Is this still true? (I guess you are literally Dad Pop now that you have a Allo Darlin' baby..:) )

Elizabeth: Haha that's really funny! I don't know if we're that Dad Pop anymore, I think we try to relate to people our own age, but I guess good pop music has no age restrictions! But yes you make a good point. Bill is definitely growing into this whole 80s dad look. He does it very well. He even makes dad jokes now! Well, actually, he kind of did that before anyway. But now he's allowed :)

Bill: Tilly loves Allo Darlin'. And she's coming to Indietracks.

Indietracks always divides everyone into campers and non-campers. Are Allo Darlin' campers or Travelodgers? And do you have any handy festival tips for our readers?

Elizabeth: Well I can only speak for myself, but I'm definitely a camper. This will be my third indietracks camping experience. That's where all the fun happens!

Bill: Campers. Bring earplugs or join in the campsite disco.

Which bands are your top tips for Indietracks?

Elizabeth: Standard Fare are still my favourite band at the moment. So many of our friends are playing this festival it feels wrong to pick them out! But it will be nice to see The Pains on a big old festival stage. Having seen Dave Tattersall's solo show at the Borderline the other week I can tell you that he's amazing without the band as well. They're all good!

Bill: The Smittens! The Just Joans - and also, the inevitable unofficial, unnannounced, not-so-secret, secret Weepop party.

Other quick questions we always wanted to ask:
Elizabeth - why do you usually choose to play ukelele rather than guitar? Is there a particular reason for this?

Elizabeth: Well, I'm definitely a better ukulele player than I am a guitar player. I write the songs on uke, just because I find it much better for that. And then, I don't know, Matthew from the Duke of Uke gave me this really expensive ukulele for free, and I just love the way it sounds when you turn up the gain really loud on an amp - it doesn't really sound like a uke. But you never know. The next album might be all guitar instead. I don't really want us to be typecast as ukulele band.

Why are you called Allo Darlin'?

Elizabeth: Well my old band was called the Darlings, but we had to change our name because there are a million zillion bands with that name. And because I worked in Soho I'd have to walk past the grizzly old market traders every day, and they'd just catcall "allo darlin'' when i walked past. So it kind of stuck. Then that band broke up and now we have this band. It's a stupid name, but it starts with A, which is good, and nobody else has it. That's how we got it.

What do you all do when you're not in Allo Darlin'?

Elizabeth: I gave up my old job in Soho to give me more time for band stuff, so at that moment I'm a dirty temp. Which I quite like, because I have no responsibility for the first time in my life!

Please tell us some interesting facts about Allo Darlin' that people may not know yet! Any unusual skills, talents, unusual crushes, guilty pleasures etc!

Elizabeth: People may not know that Paul, in addition to being a mega guitar player, is also an amazing animator and illustrator. He's just made our first Allo Darlin' t shirts. You can see some of his animations in youtube if you type in his name. Mike is a teacher, and is apparently pretty scary in class. I have not witnessed this with my own eyes, but Bill has, and he says it's frightening. Mike also tells really, really good stories. I don't know if he makes them up half the time or what, and I can't repeat them here, but if you see him at indietracks, buy him a drink, and ask him to tell you one. You won't regret it.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

Indietracks interview #13: The Loves

Hello everyone! We've been extremely busy over at Indietracks Towers this week. We've added two brilliant bands to the line-up - The Cavalcade and Socialist Leisure Party - and this year's Indietracks CD is now officially in production, woo! The Midland Railway has been listed in The Guardian as one of the country's top rural gig venues and, as if that isn't enough activity, our Stuart has been out and about giving interviews about the festival. You can read the latest interview with him over at at the wonderful God is in the TV fanzine, where he gives his personal band tips for this year's Indietracks and also reveals his plans for the future of the festival.

Today we're interviewing Indietracks stalwarts The Loves. They played the first full weekend festival back in 2007 and since then they've lost and acquired a few band members along the way. Apparently almost every musician in Wales has been in The Loves at some point. They've got a new bassist, keyboardist and probably a few other people in there that we don't even know about. Here's ringleader Simon to talk us about their preparations for this year's festival..

Hello, all-new Loves! Tell us a little bit about yourselves...

We are The Loves. We've been going for 10 years and soon we won't be.

We'll just have to make sure we dance along to your Indietracks set doubly energetically then! What music are you enjoying at the moment?

We are currently listening to Squeeze by The Velvet Underground, Fleetwood Mac, Guns N Roses, Arctic Monkeys, The Flamin' Groovies, Hall & Oates, Os Mutantes, The Who and The Monkees. Most of the usual.

We're excited about you playing Indietracks. Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year? We heard a certain rumour about a member of the Velvet Underground.....

Our last LP "Love You" will be out soon and yes, it features a member of The Velvet Underground as the voice of Jesus, a Brian May-esque guitar solo, some rapping, bad language on almost every song, a cover of a 1966 Nathaniel Mayer song and real violins.

Also, there'll be some kind of covers EP called "Love You Too" which will be out around the same time hopefully. So we'll be flogging that around the country until Valentines Day next year when we'll play our last ever show. Which might be four hours long.

Sounds like you've got a lot of exciting plans lined up before you all retire to the country then! But what about this year? Do you have any surprises planned for your fans at Indietracks?

We hope to have The Loves Singing Orchestral Circus up and going for it. Which could mean anything really...

We'll look forward to seeing what you've got in store for us, thanks Simon! 
If you can't wait til then, The Loves have just made a video for their forthcoming AA single Bubblegum/December Boy on Fortuna Pop. Watch out for the surprise ending!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sarah Records documentary comes to Indietracks!

The documentary My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records is currently in production and Bristol based filmmaker Lucy Dawkins will be attending this years Indietracks to film footage for inclusion in the doc. Lucy tells us about her plans for the film:

My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records will feature interviews with Sarah Records founders Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes and along with former Sarah band members, will share their memories of the label and reveal the inspiration for the music they released.

Sarah Record’s manifesto was simple; to release 100 of the world's greatest pop-records and then fold. True to their word, in August 1995 they took an advert out in Melody Maker and the NME to announce their 100th release and the end of the label. The Story of Sarah Records will celebrate Sarah’s music along with Clare and Matt's often overlooked political agenda. Committed to socialism and feminism and influenced by the fanzines and DIY attitude of the 70s punk scene, Clare and Matt were as vocal about their causes as their music. They were brave and uncompromising, refusing to play the music industry game to the very end. All these reasons have inspired me to make this documentary and I cannot understand why this film has not been made before now!

I have had a fantastic reaction from Sarah fans from all over the world about the documentary and I think it is really amazing that this little independent record label from Bristol managed to build such a huge following. The fact that people still have such affection for the label even though Sarah Records ended 15 years ago is really remarkable. The Story of Sarah Records will be a tribute to what Clare and Matt achieved and this documentary will hopefully bring attention to all the fantastic music Sarah released.

I am very excited about filming at this year’s Indietracks and as well as interviewing the bands that have been influenced by the sound of Sarah I would also like to talk to the fans. Sarah’s fans are an incredibly important part of Sarah’s story and I hope that Sarah fans attending the festival would like to talk about their favourite releases or share their memories of the label. I am interested in talking to Sarah fans old and new so if you see me with my video camera please come up and say Hi!

For any Sarah fans that are unable to attend Indietracks you can still be a part of the documentary by recording your own video message, please visit: to find out more.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Indietracks interview #12: Paisley and Charlie

Hello everyone! How was your Bank Holiday? Wasn’t the weather flippin’ awful? If, like us, you've got a serious case of Back to Work blues, then don't worry - this lovely interview from Paisley and Charlie is 100% guaranteed to cheer you up!

Brought together by a love of pop music and cake, the Brighton-based band are the more relaxed half of their doppelgängers Detox Cute. Incorporating elements of early career Belle and Sebastian and Trembling Blue Stars, the duo create a deliciously affectionate brew of lovelorn lilts for your heart to sing along to.

They decided to go one step further for the blog, bless 'em, and film themselves answering our interview questions on a balmy spring afternoon in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. We're loving the Alan Partridge-style popping out from behind trees and the slow-motion bubble-blowing. Take a look - you'll see what we mean!