Thursday 31 July 2008

Darren Hayman - Indietracks

He was supposed to be playing in the evening yesterday in the Church, but got bumped to earlier in the day, so a handful of folk missed him, so here he is again.

In the Twist and Spout tent Darren Hayman is tuned up and impatient. The noise of Strawberry Story drowns out anything he plays, so he waits. The tent is full, every inch of floorspace taken up by eagery waiting fans, so they wait. I stand at the back enjoying the carrot cake on offer.

There were four cakes for sale in the Twist and Spout, carrot cake, flapjack, brownies and cookies. I never had the cookies, the brownies were nice, but not really as brownie-like as I was expecting, chocolatey goodness aye, and the flapjack was kind of healthy, but the portions small and moreish. However, carrot cake is god I think I had about ten pieces over the weekend.

It was on the first evening, when MJ Hibbett was playing that I fell in love with the Twist and Spout girl with hoop ear-ring, she had a really nice smile, but by the tenth piece of cake, I'd become a hussy who'd take it off anyone.

Strawberry Story finish, and split up, giving free T-shirts and CDs to their audience, Darren Hayman makes a pithy comment, and plays.
Indietracks097 - Darren Hayman
Aw man, remember last year when he headlined and my review was absolutely pants.

This year the notes scribbled in my wee notebook says

He plays some songs, they sound like they usually do.

On reading that doesn't it almost feel like you were there?

Actually, going by my knowledge of most readers of this blog, you probably were there. Look, I can see the back of your head in this video I found.

Other photies
Enid Coleslaw
Miss E Kawasaki
Mellow Doubt
The Donohoes

The Sad Witch

Strawberry Story - Indietracks

"We need a bit of happiness in (sic) here cos everyone looks really sad."

Aye, cos of the half-arsed rock n roll band on before Strawberry Story.
Indietracks095 - Strawberry Story
I didn't really get Strawberry Story first time I saw them, and I don't get them this time either. Its their last ever show, so I'm sure many fans in the audience will be shedding a tear for them.

Other photies
Bob Underexposed
Liz Love

The Foster Kids - Indietracks

Foster Kids on next, I thought they'd be younger. Maybe I'd seen too many bands over the weekend, but with the exception of woman doing vocals, I couldn't tell the difference between them and The Candy Twins.
Indietracks091 - The Foster Kids

Other photies
Liz Love

The Candy Twins - Indietracks

The Outdoor Stage springs to life on Sunday morning with The Candy Twins doing what could be traditional English Bily Bragg-style rock n roll. Its good for a summer's afternoon, songs about footballers and twelve bar blues.

Is there any blues in indiepop? Indieblues?

Occasional Bruce Springsteen - Oh Mary Don't you Weep vocals.

Trev Lost

The Mai 68s - Indietracks

There've been scheduling problems on the Outdoor Stage so The Mai 68s have been promoted to Main Stage.
Indietracks085 - The Mai 68s
I almost didn't recognise them, the singing girl was without her beret and stripey jumper, still clutching her red wine mind, and a pint of what might have been lime cordial.

Jesus and Mary Chainish distortion with a nervous sounding girl reading poetry never sounded so good.

It was weird, I'm only used to seeing them play in packed smokey basement clubs rather than sunny stadium-sized diesel sheds.

Other photies
Miss E Kawasaki
Mellow Doubt
Sweeping the nation 08

The Good Natured - Indietracks

Its a warm warm day again, and over in the Church The Good Natured are a two piece with a drum machine/bcking tracks. Young bass chap and a singing girl with keyboard. Its a rich sound with fast drums, sounds like a stripped down version of Compute who supported Liechtenstein at the Albany last year.
Indietracks081 - The Good Natured
Maybe Kraftwerky too, Robbie would approve. the vocals or maybe just the accent remind me of Angelica.

Brontosaurus Chorus - Indietracks

Brontosaurus Chorus, an eight-piece with string section, trumpet and indierock guitar and bass chap wearing a dress. Not as abrasive as earlier rock acts on the main stage and a lot more sophisticated with their sound. Vague cousins of the usual indiepop fare.
Indietracks080 - Brontosaurus Chorus
Love it when the guitarist and bassist rock out.

Other photies
Trev Lost
Sweeping the nation 08
Penny Broadhurst

The Middle Ones - Indietracks

The Middle Ones start off sounding exactly like teenage girls messing about in the school music room store cupboard. But it builds and builds to this warm force of warmth and goodness.
Indietracks076 - The Middle Ones
Two flowery librarian girl harmonies and what looks like their older brothers backing them on cut down drumkit and accordian. Richly layered and textured. They sound very nervous mind, that or they don;t take themselves very seriously.

Actually listening to te lyric, they're a lot deeper thn I had first assumed. I give them eight months before they're being used on TV commercials.

BMX Rejects

The Colliding Lemons - Indietracks

First on the Main Stage on Sunday, The Colliding Lemons. Five girls with an average age of 15 1/2 and they rock like a blunt instrument. Could be this generation's answer to The Sahara Hotnight, or the next generation's.
Indietracks072 - The Colliding Lemons
Aw man, danger, they let the drummer sing on one of the songs. The cowboy hat wearing rhythm guitarist seems to be singing along to all the songs too, they ought to give her a mic.

Other photies
Mellowed Doubt
BMX Rejects
Sweeping the nation 08


Last Night From Glasgow - Indietracks

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.
Indietracks065 - Last Night From Glasgow
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.
Indietracks067 - Last Night From Glasgow
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.

Other photies
Favourite Dress
Sunshine Pop
Will Erskine

The Wedding Present - Indietracks

Its late in the day, on the Main Stage - The Wedding Present are in fine form. The audience are rocking out, almost overwealming the security chap who tries to deal with folk climing onto the stage. Also almost total disregard for the posters banning photography, as the crowd is awash with folk holding up mobile phones and digital cameras. Not me though, I would't publish any photies if the sign says no.
Indietrack018 - The Wedding Present
Anyhoo, I don't recognise many of the songs, I'm a little drunk, I slip to the side of the room, leaning on the wall, and drift into the late nineties.

I'd finally bitten the bullet in summer '99 and gotten into doing the student newspaper at university. I'd made friends with the music editor at T in the Park and come freshers week we were inundated with free tickets and press credentials for touring bands. Cinerama were playing the 13th Note and there was a traffic light disco at the students union. I was dispatched to interview David Gedge.

It was my first actual proper bit of music journalistic goodness, interviewing someone from a real band.

I knew nothing of Cinerama, very little of the Wedding Present, nothing about interviewing and nothing about David Gedge, other than he got into a fight with Courtney Love five years previously.

The interview was a shambles, no tape recorder, just pretending to scribble notes in the pitch black basement of the 13th Note whilst the rest of the band sound-checked. No prepared questions, no insights, just a waste of Mr Gedge's time.

During the show I think I left a few songs into Cinerama, that traffic light disco sounded like fun.

Months later I bought the Wedding Present singles collection. It was all right, I like that Brassneck song and the theme from Cheers, but I think I missed the boat.

Other photies
BMX Rejects
Super Lekker
Favorite Dress
Sunshine Pop
Trev Lost
Liz Love
Sweeping the Nation 08

I'm not always so stupid

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Punk TV - Indietracks

Punk TV on the Outdoor Stage. Sould call them the Russian Chemical Brothers. Indie dance would be a better description. By the time I arrived back on site I think they were only playing instrumentals. It was nice background music.
Indietracks059 - Punk TV
If you were in a mid-nineties independent movie involving driving round a city at night, something to do with drugs, a girl and a gun, Punk TV would be right there on the soundtrack album.

Other Photies
Sweeping the Nation 08

The George Inn - Indietracks

Robbie and me head out to try to find a pub to get a carry out. We get to The George Inn in Butterly, its nice, the beer is cool and on stage is some mob of gentlemen playing AC/DC and Led Zepplin covers to a crowd of locals and youths.
Ooh, three minute harmonica solo. Is it wrong to enjoy this more than The Kabeedies, they're too young and exciting for me. The folk playing are old enough to be my dad when he was my age, and the crowd love them to bits.

Aw man, Sunshine of Your Love, how can this not be the best thing ever for a summer's day?

I'm racked with guilt and misgivings, rather than having existential crisises last week I should have done a run down preview of what bands at Indietracks you should see and which to avoid, with MP3s and videos. Instead I was moaning about whether I can review bands I know, which in the great scheme of things is of no use to anyone.

I'm sorry, its not you, its me.

What I need is someone to give me a slap, tell me to pull myself together and stop being so silly.

Ah well.

The next band playing in The George Inn start with a popular cover version, some song about being able to predict riots. Time to leave the pub I think.

Pocketbooks - Indietracks

Pocketbooks on the main stage in full effect, the place is packed, and folk in the crowd are dancing dancing.
Indietracks051 - Pocketbooks
Its the biggest stage I've seen them play on and they fill it perfectly with their summery sunshine songs, looking comfortable in their element. You can understand why folk call them the new young Belle and Sebastian. olly singing with banter, jokes, cultural references and lyrics changed to reflect rail travel in the Midlands.
Indietracks055 - Pocketbooks
Icing on the cheesecake for these guys is when they invite folk from the audience up on stage to dance, its like your favourite indie club night in the sun in the middle of the day.

Other photies
Trev Lost
Craig Boney
Nat Alice

Liechtenstein - Indietracks

On the Outdoor Stage are Lischtenstein, three girls doing nihilistic dancy jangle pop. All Europen and angular, big crowd for them.
Indietracks049 - Liechtenstein
The crowd round the stage have started to stand up, rather than the lounging around on the grass as for previous bands, and with the sun past its apex in the sky, I should have brought sunglasses.

Other photies
Pop til you drop
Sweeping the nation 08

The Roadside Poppies - Indietracks

Over in the Church, The Roadside Poppies are playing, I think I've only heard them from the Not Quite Rocket Science podcasts and they're great. A seven piece including the ipod backing track operator. They're so enthusiastic and the admission that they all live together like The Monkees is icing on the cheesecake.
Indietracks039 - The Roadside Poppies
Somehow the ipod had lost the backing track names, but they did a mighty fine job of playing one song to the tune of another.
Indietracks044 - The Roadside Poppies
Jangly guitars, harmonies, cute foreign girls singing "I'm so excited", songs about Clare Grogan, this, folks, is indiepop at its finest.

Other photies

The Parallelograms - Indietracks

Indietracks038 - The Parallelograms
The Parallelograms on the main stage, jumping about and really looking like they're having fun.

Hmm, one year I'll do a decent review of them at Indietracks.

Alas in 2008, I can't stick around to listen, other bands require my attention.

Other photies
Liz Love
Craig Boney

The Zebras - Indietracks

The Zebras on the Outdoor Stage, sound much like they did the other night at the Buffalo, but outside now, on a bigger stage. Perfect for a summer's day, in their element aye.
Indietrack034 - The Zebras

Other photies

The Just Joans - Indietracks

Oh, I've been waiting for this moment for years. This whole website, Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy, it was all a carefully calculated ruse leading up to this moment, when a band what I released an album for, play to a packed room at the UK leading Indie music festival.
Indietrack025 - The Just Joans
How can I even review The Just Joans?
I dunno, so I ask other people.
Holly (the singer's girlfriend) - "They're okay"
Mark (the drummer's boyfriend) - "Bunch of Scottish wankers"
Alan (some kind of hanger-on) - "erm, quite refreshing"

Some quality unbiased view there.
Indietrack030 - The Just Joans
So I've seen them many times before and they keep getting better, you can take this as biased hypobole, but I was there I know. Their first ever gig, at the Tchai Ovna in 2006 was spinetingerling, the place was packed and David Pope was so nervous, but he pulled it off beautiful renditions of tracks off of the first album, then with the Last Night From Glasgow webcasts everything as so much more polished, the Say Dirty show at Brel last year, when I heard some of the new songs for the first time and they blew my mind, then even the WeePop show the other week, the song from the WeePop release highly polish and David centre stage surrounded by his band with real stage presence. And now victorious at Indietracks to winning over a room full of folk seeing them for the first time.

It was weird the applause they got, after the first song, it was the kind of thunderous response you get at the end of a set. Even the howls for an encore at the end, It was overwealming.

The last song, possibly called "If You Don't Pull", three part harmonies and a chorus that you'll be singing in the shower for weeks. I thoroughly endorse the vitriol of hating your friends and bandmates with the frustration of you're own inability to pull.

Bitterness is the new green.

Other photies
Pop Til You Drop

Darren Hanlon - Indietracks

Indietrack024 - Darren Hanlon
He's in the distance, on the Outdoor Stage, a lone troubadour with guitar, Darren Hanlon, sounding much the same as he did when I saw him playing Edinburgh last year with the Just Joans as support. Speaking of which they were the next band on in the Church.

Other photies
Sweeping the Nation 08

Tortoise Shout - Indietracks

The night before, me and Robbie were sat in a train carriage, drinking local ales, and talking crap, flyers had been left on the tables for n act playing on the Saturday afternoon. Quite a neat marketing trick, advertising an individual set at the festival. The flyer had a photo of two women, presumably from the band, and there was small print about an album, Robbie had heard of the producer. Anyhoo, I read out aloud the name of the band.

A girl from the band materialised in front our table, "Thats us" she cried, "Crikey!" I replied. Anyhoo, we assured her that we'd go to the show, Robbie asked about the producer chap, and I asked what the band, Tortoise Shout, what they sounded like.

"We don't sound like anyone else." was the reply.

Having seen them play, I think a more accurate response would be that they sound just like two women with acoustic guitars.
Indietrack019 - Tortoise Shout
At the start of their set on the main stage at Indietracks the drummer hadn't turned up, so they pleaded with the audience asking if there were any drummers who could cover for them.

Earlier, on the outdoor stage, the Town Bike set had been quite emotional cos their drummer Charlie was leaving the band, leaving the country too, Indietracks was his last gig. I can only imagine Town Bike were stood at the side when Tortoise Shout were on, they were chatting about the wonderful times they'd had together, the crazy adventure, that time they taped flyers to stray dogs, that time they surfed buses on the was home from a show, etc, and this reminiscing is interrupted by the drummer's call.

So Charlie's on stage with Tortoise Shout, just providing fills and timing, and he's doing a good job of it. The rest of the music was pants, sounded to me like bog standard girls with acoustic guitars sound.

Maybe that's harsh and they're victims of circumstance, Tortoise Shout were playing in the Twist and Spout acoustic tent thing the next day and they sounded a little better, more relaxed, at a pinch I'd say it was Jennifer Warnes-style music. If you like that sort of thing, then Tortoise Shout might wet your whistle.

About two songs from the end of the set on the main stage, the proper drummer turns up. I was quite looking forward to a fight, they they all seemed quite friendly in setting up the the snare and the usurper returning to bubblegum family.

For the final song, they handed out kazoos to the audience, marched a dozen folk onto the stage and made them join in with bits of the chorus. A rather jolly shambles.
Indietrack021 - Tortoise Shout

Other photies
Liz Love
Will Erskine

Still Corners - Indietracks

It was really hot in the church, its a tin railway church, and ancient wee thing and its a stage at Indietracks, bands play at the front, punters sit on the pews or crouch in the central aisle, or are crammed in round the door.

When I wandered in Still Corners have the audience rapt during a quiet bit. Its droney haunting music, kind of sleepy and dreamlike.

Great beat, not sure about the tune, lots of oooh's. I could do with being more drunk and tired to listen to them, rather than having a dozen bands to run round and see.

Outside, in the sunshine, dust devils have been circling round the diesel yard, taunting the festival goers. One particularly adventurous one rushes through the crowd in front of the Twist and Spout tea shop, people turn marvel at its audacity as sweeps through the indie/goth clothing stall, and towards the vintage and handmade clothing stall. It snatched the gazebo and hurled it toward people sitting nearby, stacks of merchandise went flying, scarfs and hankies carried spiraling hundreds of feet into the air.

It was a fine sight to be seen.


Tuesday 29 July 2008

The Kick Inside - Indietracks

i caught the last song of The Kick Inside, playing the main stage. They sounded like they did the other week at The Enterprise, kind of ska and Smiths/Morrissey-ish, but the acoustics in the diesel shed did them no justice. The could have sounded so much better.

Other photies
Trev Lost

Town Bike - Indietracks

Town Bike are on fire, first band of the day on the outdoor stage and punters are flocking to the front
Indietrack013 - Town Bike
They're like this generations answer to Shampoo, rude and bad girls loose on the streets. Bubblegum shirts, they are a living breathing cartoon band.

Songs about the guitarist from Busted, being bad, their bassist's first prom, they even have their own theme song where they introduce the band.

Its like they are possessed by the spirit of rock, Alice Cooper pulped and moulded into the shape of a riot pop act from Liverpool.
Indietrack016 - Town Bike
They'd won a poll on the Anorak messageboard to chose some of the bands at Indietracks, and I understand some idle remark was made about them playing a cover. So onstage they launch Smells Like B*witched, its like B*Witched songs played to the tune of Smells Like Teen Spirit, and there in the flesh, it was amazing.

Other photies
Trev Lost
Penny Broadhurst

Silence the Sea - Indietracks

There's five or so people on stage, Silence the Sea, they look kind of familiar from other bands. Two girls, one with melodica and a mic, one sat at a desk with a typewriter, there's this chap from Little My in an animal costume and bare feet (hippy) with an acoustic guitar, prowling the stage. Sounds like the coolest office to work in.
Indietrack011 - Silence at Sea
The songs are a wee bit sea shantyish, although warmer than most sea shanties, Hidden Cameras with half as many people on stage, aye bass and violin. Sometimes that Altantic FM warmth to the songs.

Charming, happy and relaxed girl harmonies with just a touch of reverb to balance the occasionally boomy bass. Kind of like the weather in heaven.
Indietrack009 - Silence at Sea
"The best advice I was ever given,
was shut my mouth and learn to listen"

Other photies
Trev Lost

Monday 28 July 2008

Indietracks - Indietracks

Indietracks in seven minutes

Or if you can't be arsed, here's the same sort of thing in 1:40 minutes

I like doing these things, making wee nuggets for the internet. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside, then when people watch it, and tell their friends, it makes me squeee.

MJ Hibbett and the Validators - Indietracks

Indietracks001 - MJ Hibbett
Its a warm summer's night at Swanwick Junction, folk are sat on the grass and on cushions around a small marquee. There's barely a cloud in the sky, and already I've spotted friends and people I know at the Indietracks festival site.

When I arrived I caught strains of The Validators tuning up, small children frolicked on the common, sheep idly ate their grass in anticipation of the weekend's thrills.

We've been fans of MJ Hibbett for a long time at this website, heck, I've been a fan for years. MJ Hibbett has spent years living his exciting life in rock and so is doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe called My Exciting Life in Rock. Its just a one man thing, anecdotes and songs on his guitar, or where necessary, his ukelele. But this evening, as an Indietracks special he has his band, The Validators, to play the songs with him.
Indietracks005 - MJ Hibbett
For his song "Do The Indie Kid" they had small children on stage demonstrating the dance steps, I forsee a long career in the music industry for them.
Things that occur to me whilst watching his show:-
a) Who can I get to draw the Dinosaur Planet comic? Who could do it justice?
b) MJ Hibbett was worried that the drums would be too loud, but would be relieved that they're them for the occasion
c) For the anecdote about getting drunk in Glasgow in '04, where I was there then, my overriding memory is when the first band to play in the tea room had had trouble with the PA system, when MJ Hibbett took to the stage he overcame the problems by stepping closer to the audience and by singing louder, such practical problem-solving techniques influence me to this day.
d) For the anecdote about playing a gig to an audience of three peoplein '05, one of them has gone on to become a singer with The Just Joans and another is now bass player for NME faves Dananananaykroyd. So it was kind of like the Sex Pistol's Free Trade Hall show.

If you happen to be in Edinburgh between the 4th and 9th of August, make sure you check out MJ Hibbett's Exciting Life in Rock

You'll love it

Other reviews
MJ Hibbett

Other Photies
Penny Broadhurst
Trev Lost

Thursday 24 July 2008

HDIF: Even As We Speak, Mexican Kids At Home, Hong Kong In The 60s - Jamm

I'm very sorry, I missed the first band on, The Give It Ups, they're one of my favourite cartoon bands too, listen to their songs on MySpace. It was turning twilight when I got to Brixton, handfuls of indie kids stood outside enjoying the evening, inside it was dark and warmer, a band on stage.
Hong Kong In The 60s

Mexican Kids At home

Even As We Speak

Pocketbooks, The Zebras, Airport Girl - Buffalo Bar

So I toddled along to the Buffalo bar, say hi to Andy and Dan from Pocketbooks, I used to has teh fear of saying hi to people in bands, cos seeing them play live six times isn't the same as actually knowing them, compare and contrast with Idlewild who I saw 16 times in 1998 and wouldn't.

Suddenly Pav from Twee A Fuck wanders out of the Buffalo and says hi. Aw man, I never got round to finishing that review of the Twee As Fuck alldayer.

So I descend into the depths of the Buffalo Bar, spot Camila from weePop, and lounge at the bar for a bit drinking Tyger. MJ Hibbett wanders over, he's jolly excited about his Exciting Life in Rock show, I'm quite excited too, it should be fun on the Friday at Indietracks, but will I make it to Edinburgh to see the proper show in its native Fringe environment?

Before long, the first band take to the stage.
I like Pocketbook, I've seen them lots of times, they're in my top ten bands I've seen most often in the past two years, and now I can say hi to them and make small talk without feeling the urge to run away, hide in the toilets sobbing to myself, this you already knew, but have you considered the effect this has on my ability to review them honestly? It could be awkward.

I liked the older songs they played, and the new songs, which were possibly having their first publis airing, they sounded alright, they'll be great after a few plays to get ingrained in ma heid.

Ian the guitarist has new effects pedals, one of them was a chorus pedal, not sure what the other was, but it sounded great.

They were playing to a crowd of very attentive folk who I've seen at gigs before. Not like the second band on, for whom the crowd swelled with lots and lots of people, some with curious accents.
The Zebras
One of the most American sounding Australian bands

Airport Girl
I saw this youtube video the other day, and now, it could just be confirmation bias, but I can spot Pachelbel's Canon in D a mile away, Airport Girl's first song, aye.

The Airportettes
More women on stage

Sunday 13 July 2008

Twee as Fuck All-dayer

I arrived a wee bit early and at the door they give me a fanzine to read and a cupcake. A warm fuzzy feeling spreads out in my tummy. The cupcake has white gooey sugar icing on top and the word "twee" painstakingly written in blue flowing script.

The weather is fine outside, but before long the first band are onstage.

The Mai 68s

Guitar solos like a rusty stanley knife blade, like on the ground near the bins outside a factory, in the rain. Thunderous guitar and bass, with standy up drumer and slightly bewildered looking singing girl in a stripey top, wearing beret and drinking glasses of red wine.

Ithink I saw them play at The Betsy Trotwood a few months ago. They suit the raised stage that this venue offers and they seem to improved their game. The recorded version of Froth on the Daydream doesn't do justice to its sheer power when played live, it'll make you take a step and a half backwards and wish you'd got wine instead of a Jack Daniels and coke.

Even for the first band of the Twee As Fuck alldayer, the place is filling up and there's friendly banter between the stage and the folk at the front.

Neat set-closing song with members leaving the stage incrementally so all that's left is the guitar chap on his knees, tweaking the dials on his effects pedals to turn up the squelch on the thunder.

The Margarets, they're very young, no drummer, just a portable CD player, the ipod broke, I can empathise. The first number was an instrumental, from where I was stood it sounded a bit New Orderish, especially in the bass end of the scale.

The Margarets

There was a bit of the Swedish jangle pop about them.

CD player cocked up their last song so they had to abandon it halfway through which would have ended the set on a sour note if it wasn't for Camila (from Weepop and Your Heart Still Breaks) demanding they finish the song again without any backing. It caught them off guard a wee bit, but ended up sounding kind of sweet.

There's this art exhibition upstairs Pavla's Twee as Fuck Polaroids and Nicola Probert art exhibition. It pretty neat.

There's also a new smoking bit roof garden thing which overlooks the alley next to The MacBeth. A bit too crowded and cool for me though. I stay downstairs, leaning on the bar trying to stave off narcolepsy.

Mono Taxi

Mono Taxi are just a two piece, drums and guitar, with both folk doing vocals. For the early songs I was thinking they were cast in the White Stripes mould, you know, a little blues, a little garage. But it got more bombastic in the middle, stadium drum mincing.

Lots of healthy feedback and distorted guitar. yay

Little My

18 instruments / microphones
13 camera people

Its the mighty Little My collective again. The bass bunny still looks like Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks, I was discussing t with a chap off of the internet, who pointed out that Laura Palmer never had rabbit ears, and neither did her identical cousin Maddy.

They took forever to get set up and even then, for a seven piece with literally hundreds of instruments, there wasn't as much noise from the stage as you'd expect. Two glocks, stylophone, melodica, egg shakersand all the best of twee paraphernalia, but what you heard was mostly guitar.

Ah well.

It would be interesting to see them play on their home turf in Cardiff with however many extra members as they muster back there.

I saw Esiotrot practising in an alley round the corner during my inbetween band wandering and they sounded prety neat, trombone, ukelele, guitar. It was nice.


However, on stage, they are atrocious.

They are out of tune, badly mixed, drifting in and out of lucidity. I don't know what to say. Maybe I just don't get them. What I do get is this must be one of their worse performances.

I'm scribbling this in the gallery upstairs and I can see the street outside, I can see Laura Palmer from Little My, she is very cute. A chap called Alexander wanders over and suggests I draw a picture of Esiotrot, and goes on to explain that he's in a band called To Arms Etc. I had a listen on MySpace when I was typing this up, they sound very good, they have a gig on the 31st of July.

Oh thank fuck, I think Esiotrot played a three song set.

The Bobby McGees

Skip Theatre

Hatcham Social

Theoretical Girl

Comet Gain

The Mai 68s
The Margarets
Mono Taxi
Little My