By the time you read this, you might have seen the wee black and white video I put together of the festival, there's a scene a third of the way through with people playing acoustic sets on a train platform, surrounded by adoring fans. Some reports say it was spontaneous, I disagree, it was carefully calculated and planned.
Well, this is my back story to it.
Earlier in the week Lets Whisper played in London, aw man, I still haven't written up any kind of review of that show. Lets Whisper are like a two piece featuring two members of The Smittens, Colin Clary and Dana Kaplan. I broadly assumed that, well, it was just the same songs as The Smittens play, but cut down. It was nice, twee, heartwarming stuff with cheesy choruses and wide-eyed nodding at the wonders of the world.
Days later the rest of the Smittens arrived and played a show in Glasgow, The Just Joans were support and friends were in the crowd. So after the gig I was online chatting to my friend Robbie who'd been very impressed by The Smittens, chatting to them after the show, they'd heard of this website. After skipping round the room doing dances of self-validation, I returned to my computer to find Robbie talking about how Colin Clary was dancing to The Just Joans. That would be a great music legend to catch on film, and use for cynical promotion and music videos. I decided I would use the Indietracks festival to take such footage.
The last band had played on Saturday, and there was a disco in the diesel shed, Bubblegum Killer DJs were playing, the tunes were good, but I wasn't in the mood for dancing. It takes very specific atmospheric and emotional conditions for me to dance, on Saturday it wasn't happening. Just outside the diesel shed, I found Camila from WeePop chatting to folk, Lets Whisper and Allo Darlin, The Just joans are nearby too. She collars me and asks if I have my guitar with me, aye safely locked up in my car just a wee stroll away. So yeah, we're going to get Colin to play.
I'm away like the wind to pick up my guitar and arrive back at the standing around in a flash. We just need somewhere to play, somewhere quiet and away from the various discos going on. I've been here before, last year, IoMoPS, played a wee set on the platform whilst waiting for a train, I think we roped in Pete Green too, but that was last year. On this warm Saturday night, I lead a small crowd to the station platform, we ousted some young lovers sharing an intimate moment, and we set up.
I pass my guitar to Colin who tunes it, I think there's a ukelele kicking about as well, the really cute bongo player from Allo Darlin has a bag of percussiony instruments and Will Harrison is hanging about too. I quickly drift away from the musical instrument holders lest I get asked to play in front of other people.
And then it kicks off.
Its quiet, people crowd round in silence, the crowd grows, folk sit cross legged. The camera crew who've been following the Just joans all day set up and start recording, people call requests. A strict three song limit is placed on each band, so we get Lets Whisper, Allo Darlin', Will Harrison. Pete Green shuffled in and a set was demanded of him, his Doctor Beeching song about the closure of the railways, particularly appreciated by the passing train drivers.
Lurking at the back of the crowd were The Just Joans, we'd run out of musicy folk at the front of the crowd to force to play, and it was The Just Joans that people wanted to hear. They had no choice in the matter, bashful or no, people were chanting for them, demanding it.
Just three of them, Katie, David and Rowan, the singers, harmonies and guitar. Hey Boy, you're oh so sensitive, What Do We Do Now and I hear you're the man now John. And there if happened, I got my footage of Colin Clary right at the front, bobbing up and down and clapping for The Just Joans. All around are my friends, the bands I love, folk off of the internet, all enjoying, relishing this scene that we built.
I grin and skip, and marvell, absolutely brimming with joy.
I don't want to be a full time promoter or a musician or a writer. I just want to, occasionally, make these little bubbles of magic pop.