Thursday, 28 July 2011

Last minute reminders!

We hope you’re looking forward to the festival this weekend! Here's some last-minute information.

Getting In!

When to arrive: The gates will open at 5pm on the Friday and at midday on Saturday and Sunday (unless you’re coming to the 11am yoga session on the Sunday morning, in which case we’ll let you in early!).

Tickets: weekend tickets and day tickets (Saturday or Sunday) will be available on the gates. They’ll also be on sale online until at least Friday lunchtime from the Indietracks ticket page.

Getting to the site: You’ve hopefully sussed out how to get there by now, but just in case, there’s some advice on bus, rail, taxi and car-sharing options on our travel page. If you’re coming by car, please park at Butterley station and catch the train to the festival site (unless you’re in a band or crew, in which case you can park at Swanwick station).

Advance preparation!

Schedule: the timeslots for the bands, DJs and workshops will be printed in the festival programme and are also listed on the Indietracks schedule page.

IPhone and Android apps: For iPhone and Android mobile phone users, there are exciting, free-to-download Indietracks apps with a full guide to the festival. Download them here iPhone / Android.

Indietracks 2011 compilation: If you’re planning your music for the journey to Indietracks, don’t forget to download this year’s compilation. There’s 40 fantastic tracks featuring bands playing at this year's festival. All proceeds go to the Midland Railway charity: Indietracks 2011 compilation

Weather: the BBC five day forecast currently says ‘sunny intervals’ on Friday and Sunday and ‘sunny’ on Saturday. So it could rain or shine - please come prepared for sunshine on a rainy day or vice versa.

Moss Cottage: We've been informed that Moss Cottage is now closed until September for refurbishment. All guests who booked rooms for Indietracks should have been notified of the closure by the hotel. There’s more details here: Moss Cottage

Mixtape swap: There will be a mixtape swap. If you’d like to join in, please make a compilation CD and drop it in the box in the merchandise tent from Saturday afternoon onwards. Please return later and pick up a CD by 5pm on Sunday.

Cash: There isn’t a cash machine on site, so please stock up on money beforehand. There will be real ale, fine foods and inevitably tons of band merchandise and we wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Follow us on Twitter: we'll be tweeting during the festival @indietracksfest, so please come and follow us!

See you at the weekend! Choo choo!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Indietracks interview #29: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names

For today's interview, Paul from Scared To Dance has been chatting to Johan from our Friday night Indietracks headliners, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names!

Suburban Kids... is a Swedish band formed in December 2003 by Johan Hedberg and Peter Gunnarsson. They put two songs on an internet site in 2004 and soon after were signed to Labrador Records. The duo combine intelligent, often darkly humorous, lyrics and a bewildering mix of musical styles from skiffle through African hi-life and electronica to produce infectious DIY pop.

Their debut album #3 - following their first two EPs #1 & #2 - was released in 2005 by Labrador Records and subsequently released in the US by Minty Fresh and in the UK & Ireland by yesboyicecream records, receiving widespread critical acclaim.

Hi Johan, how excited are you about playing Indietracks this year? What do you know about the festival?

It’s going to be great fun. Peter played there with his and Linas other band Springfactory last year. I know it’s a big festival for music lovers who are into indiepop and various smaller genres. I haven’t had the time to look up on all of the other bands playing; hopefully I will be surprised and discover different new bands.

You haven’t put anything out for a couple of years now but I read recently that you have new songs you are working on. Will you be releasing new material soon?

I really hope so. It’s a long process. We released an EP (#4) back in 2009 and we also released a new song on a small label (Sound of Young Lötkärr Vol 2) last year. We’ve been working on different songs for quite some time now and some of them are pretty much finished. Now it's summer and we will probably start to work on the songs when we’ve had our vacation.

Tell us more about the songs. What are the ideas behind the music and lyrics?

The ideas behind the music and lyrics are pretty much the same. Depressive and funny at the same time. This time some lyrics lean towards more serious things too.

Labrador have an amazing roster at the moment with Acid House Kings, The Radio Dept., Sambassadeur, Pelle Carlberg. How important are they in promoting Swedish indiepop? Will your new songs be put out by them again?

Labrador is pretty big outside of Sweden. They are one of the biggest indiepop labels in Sweden and they are very good at putting out things in the world. They have helped us by being on their roster to get through to the rest of the world. Apart from that I don’t think you can call it a sound and I like that. AHK and The Radio Dept. have very different approach towards music but it’s always a certain quality to most of the things they put out. Our new album will be out by them if they have the patience to wait for slow guys like us.

Your EPs and album have all been numbered like Led Zeppelin used to. Why did you decide to do that? Will you be giving your releases titles from now on?

I don’t know why we decided on that, the first one we entitled #1 and then it was easy to follow on that concept. We’ve been talking about changing that theme but time will tell.

How do you find it with just two of you in the band? Do you ever get sick of each other on tour or does having a backing band with you help?

Having a backing band does help but we haven’t had that much trouble throughout the year. I think all people tend to get a little crazy when being on a tour because it’s such an intense thing. If you only have that in mind and let people have their space then things will work out fine.

Do you have plans to tour Europe this year?

We don't. We've only been planning this show.

You played recently Huset ved Sjøen festival in Norway. It looked like a unique festival with just nine bands on the bill. How was it? How much will your set differ at Indietracks?

It was a really magic festival. Set in an old Greek temple on a fjord outside of Oslo which was pretty sick and we played on a boat. With the audience standing on land in the temple. There were a lot of good bands playing that day. The setlist from that show will probably be pretty the same, I hope we can cram in some new stuff in there as well and some more old songs.

Will you be staying for the entire weekend? Are you camping or going upmarket and staying a hotel?

We are staying in a hotel and we will be there for the whole festival. Coming up on Friday.

Which bands are you looking forward to seeing the most at the festival?

Edwyn Collins, The Garlands, Jeffrey Lewis, Crystal Stilts.

Thanks! Suburban Kids With Biblical Names headline the Outdoor stage on Friday night at 9:15pm

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Moss Cottage

We've been informed that Moss Cottage, on Nottingham Road in Ripley, is now closed until September for refurbishment. All guests who booked rooms for Indietracks should have been notified of the closure by the hotel.

However, if you have booked a room there and have not received any information, you can contact the head office on 07739 339419 to discuss alternative options for accommodation. Alternatively, if you made your booking through Infotel, please contact 01775 843413 and they will be able to help.

Indietracks interview #28: The Sweet Nothings

The festival is sooo close now, and to ramp up the dizziness even further we thought we'd interview the most excited band we could find! The Sweet Nothings play indiepop songs that are sparkly, catchy and unfashionably sincere. Songs about love, trains, football, happiness, sadness, trains, opting out, and winning. And trains. They're a Sheffield band made up of Pete Green (singing and guitar), Vinnie Ransome (keyboard and more singing), Dan Hartley (bass) and Tim Boyd (drums). Their first single is released this summer in time for Indietracks: a double a-side comprising 'She's an Accountant' and 'Subterranean Moseley Blues'.

Hi, tell us a little bit about yourselves

Hello Indietracks! Veterans of the 2009 festival may remember our appearance in the church, in our previous incarnation as The Pete Green Corporate Juggernaut. We remember it as possibly the best moment of our entire lives so far. The train whistles still haunt our dreams.

Who are we? We're four people in Sheffield giving it all we can, because the alternative of a life without pop and this passion is too unbearable to contemplate. Welcome aboard the 16:45 Sweet Nothings service to Happiness Central, calling at Wistful-on-Sea, Idealism Junction, Revolution Parkway and Leamington Spa. A trolley service will be providing a selection of train songs, protest songs and last-gasp love songs.

Has anything changed since 2009? We're still full of pop and sparkle and catchy tunes and mild desperation. And we're still obsessed with trains. But this time around we're a bit more kick-ass, a bit more political, a bit more having a GIRL and a Microkorg, and hopefully a bit less going to break a guitar string during our first song.

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

HELL YES! In fact we are having an Indietracks Tour Of Awesomeness to coincide with the release of our first single. And it is so insanely exciting that we've barely slept for the past three months. Though part of that might be tinnitus from Tim's drumming.

The Sweet Nothings were born for life on the road. Living for a week off chips, toast and Subway. Arguing over which voice on the hire car satnav sounds the sexiest. Treating the life-threatening ailments of our notoriously sickly keyboard player and bassist with Buttercup Syrup and Strepsils. Trying to get back to the promoter's house after the gig in time for the Shipping Forecast. We love it all.

The single is She's an Accountant/Subterranean Moseley Blues and it came out on Precordial Catch Records on 25 July. We confidently expect it to obliterate the entire system of global capital and sell about 162 copies.

Most of the tour is also the Math and Physics Club/Very Truly Yours tour, which makes it even more exciting. Ethan from MAPC saw us a few months ago supporting Eux Autres (who he was guesting with) and very generously invited us along. Pocketbooks are playing on those dates too. Pocketbooks would never be anything less than thrilling if we watched them every day of the rest of our lives. Not that we're stalking you or anything, Pocketbooks. But we do know what time you all left the house this morning.

The tour takes in Birmingham (Saturday 23 July), Manchester (Tuesday 26), London (Wednesday 27), Nottingham (Thursday 28) and Sheffield (Monday 1 August). Oh, and Indietracks. There's more about it on our website if anyone fancies a look. After all that we'll probably spend the rest of 2011 in bed to recover.

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

Vinnie speaks four languages. Tim can carry four pints of beer at the same time. Pete makes the best vegetarian fried breakfast in Sheffield. Dan is an amazing DJ and runs a brilliant night called Pop-o-Matic – they're on at the campsite disco on the Sunday of Indietracks. If you've ever wondered how it feels to dance to Jamelia right after The Aislers Set, you should get along.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Oh, we were just passing, you know. No, wait – we were just wanting to be part of the whole reason pop music exists in the first place. Part of a world where music is made for love and anger alone, and your first D chord on fresh strings never stops shimmering, and rockstar sexist bullshit can't reach and the pluggers can't plug and Brandon Flowers followed plan A and became a golfer instead, and James Blunt never even existed, and the corporate sponsors don't put banners up at festivals because nobody even sees them, and the X Factor means the love at a tipsy singalong on a dusty railway platform in the middle of the restless striving night.

And when all that noise is cleaned off the track, we can hear the pop music again. It's fresh and beautiful and it's as pure as a sine wave. It's the singing on 'Heart of Glass' and the guitar on 'The Red Door' and the organ on 'Hey Hey Girl' and the drums on 'Be My Baby'. And the 1-2-3-4 on the first Ramones song you think of. And all these years it's been waiting for us to come back.

Thanks for having us – we'll see you in Butterley. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Workshop interview #5: Rubberband Rockets

Today, we're chatting to Gareth and Jeanie from Rubberband Rockets, who will be explaining all about their workshop on the Saturday afternoon at Indietracks!

Hi, what's your workshop all about?

Our workshop this year will be about runaway trains. Visitors will design and build their own rubber-band powered wind-up locomotives from a big box of bits and bobs. At the end of the workshop, we'll race our creations in a wind-up steam train Grand Prix. There will be prizes galore!

Haven't we seen you somewhere before?

Yes! Last year we ran the Stop Motion Commotion workshop where we made an animation in an hour. You can see the results here:

How was Indietracks last time? Any interesting stories?

It was brilliant. Our highlight from last year was doing our workshop, the people who joined in were ace – we wish it could have been longer! Other highlights include: Allo Darlin on Friday, who were ace; Steve (Jeanie’s husband) becoming a known felon to the security guards for trying to sneak some cans of Guinness in – they checked him every time he went past, and Indiepop bingo (we’ll teach you how to play if you like)...

Can't wait to see the rockets - see you at the weekend!

Question Time 4: Tips for Indietracks?

Welcome back to Indietracks Question Time, pop fans. Last time we asked our panel which artist gave the best performance they've seen at Indietracks so far, and why? For this edition we're pooling their experience for the benefit of festival newcomers. The question is: what tip would you give to anyone coming to Indietracks for the first time this year? See what they reckon and post a comment below.

Don't be shy. Everyone's really friendly and nice at Indietracks.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

Say hello! We're all friendly here!
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

Speak to anyone you feel like. Everyone at Indietracks is your new best mate.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

I hope you don't feel like you have enough friends, because you're about to make a lot more. Also, a mac-in-a-bag is only about a fiver from Primark and they're quite handy.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

Bring spending money, as you will want to buy tons of records. You will discover loads of bands who you have never heard of before, who will have limited edition CDs/vinyl/merch with them that you will NEED to buy. Oh, and you will also need a fair chunk for the ale as well, because the selection of beers is always SUPERB. And a must know bit of inside information – if you drop Sean Price's name into any conversation you have with people you don't know then they will accept you as an old friend.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

Make sure you leave some time to see the trains, and do make the most of the railway! There's lots of little brilliant things to discover around the site, from the souvenir shop and the big shed full of old engines, to the Golden Valley Light Railway and the model railway museum. Ooh, and don't forget to try the cheesy chips in Johnson's Buffet. They're HEAVENLY.
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

It would have been to book the Premier Inn or Travelodge months ago. That's really unhelpful, isn't it? Maybe to find out about the train times. If you turn up at the end of the track, you may have to wait for quite a while before you can reach the main festival site by train.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

Have a gander at some of the bands beforehand and get an idea of who you want to see. There are some real good 'uns at this festival and it would be a shame if you missed them and heard about them afterwards. I did the same thing with Red Pony Clock and was a bit annoyed that I missed them.
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

It's absolutely essential that you put the running order into a spreadsheet and highlight all the bands you want to see, flagging up any potential clashes to avoid undue disappointment. What do you mean, that's just me? If they’re camping I would highly recommend bringing earplugs so that they get a good night’s sleep.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

Don't get too attached to any of the beers – they may run out! Start a conversation with anyone you like if you're that way inclined.
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

If you're camping and don't like queues, get up really early if you want a shower. And stay away from the real ale. The Sweet Nothings want to drink it all.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

Don't be afraid to say hello to people, everyone's lovely! Also if they have that orange atomic cider again this year, get in there fast because it sells like liquid gold.
Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Advice that I ignore on a regular basis – the beer won't run out by Friday night so you don't need to drink your own body weight on the first night; drink lots of water, plan your trips to see bands in the church; bring healthy snacks and, if you're camping, earplugs.
Jane, London (pop fan)

Bring cocktail-making equipment, and then stuff to make Martinis. That way, when I run out we can share. Also camping is more fun, the dancing is better.
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

If you're gonna go dancing in the tent, amongst the rocks, DON'T wear your favourite white patent maryjanes. They will be destroyed forever and hanging on to them in the hopes that they'll be 'fixed' won't bring them back from the dead.
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

Go and sit on the train next to people you don't know and talk to them. The stationary bar carriage next to the loco shed is especially brilliant for that. And make the most of the free train rides. And tell the railway volunteers how much you love them at every opportunity. And the bands.
Marianthi Makra, London (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

Get to the church on time!
Linda Chapman, Washington, Tyne & Wear (dressmaker and pop fan)

Book the Premier Inn or the Travelodge if you don't like camping, and try the Sainsbury's cooked breakfast at least once. Also take a fan and lots of fluids if you're planning on sitting in the church for more than five minutes. It gets hot!
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

Indietracks is so stress-free that thankfully you don’t have to worry about when you’re going to take a shower, use the loo or eat. All of those necessities really are available and accessible. If someone was attending for the first time, I would recommend really digging in and investigating the line-up in advance, particularly the bands they don’t know. Don’t just stick to watching the bands you do know because there are lots of incredible international gems of bands that don’t perform together any more or never in the UK or are just playing a one-off gig. This year, you can’t miss Sloppy Joe and Next Time Passions!
Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

I'd recommend talking to people in toilet queues.
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

By Sunday, make sure you allow a good five or ten minutes extra to get anywhere in order to allow for bumping into the lovely people you'll INEVITABLY meet over the the weekend.
Gareth Ware, Anglesey (pop fan)

If you've been to Indietracks before, what's your tip? If you haven't, what do you want to know? Shout up in the comments and we'll get all the world's problems solved by teatime.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Indietracks interview #27: Just Handshakes (We're British)

Hailing from Leeds, Just Handshakes (We’re British) formed on a dingy industrial estate and bonded over their shared love of gin and Swedish pop. As well as being chosen as Steve Lamacq’s unsigned feature of the week and receiving radio airplay on BBC 6 Music from Tom Robinson, JHWB have enjoyed support slots with bands such as The XX, Theoretical Girl, Hjaltalin, Blue Roses and The Kabeedies. 

Hi, tell us a little bit about yourselves
We are Clara, Michael, Edward and Jim. We live in Leeds and play indie pop music.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?
This year has been pretty exciting so far, we’ve played with lots of great bands like Pete and the Pirates and Allo Darlin’ and in April our new single came out on Elefant Records as part of the New Adventures In Pop Collection. We’re playing some festivals over the next few months and then after the Summer we are going to start recording our first album, which we are all really excited about.

What's going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?
We listen to lots of different stuff when we’re driving to gigs. I guess it depends what we’re in the mood for. Apparently Edward has made a special driving compilation which includes the following tracks:
‘Road to Nowhere’
‘On the Road Again’
‘Thunder Road’
‘Road to Joy’
‘Long and Winding Road’
‘Stanley Road’

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival?
There seems to be lots of Elefant bands playing this year so it will be nice to go and watch some of them, especially Papa Topo. We’ve played with Help Stamp Out Loneliness and The History of Apple Pie before and they are both great bands and lovely people, so we’ll definitely be going to see them too. We’re also looking forward to seeing Jeffrey Lewis and Herman Dune. When all the bands have finished and it’s time to have a dance I think we’ll head over to the DJ tent for our friends Pull Yourself Together & Underachievers Please Try Harder!

Thanks, see you on the dancefloor!

Indietracks interview #26: Apple Eyes

Apple Eyes is an electro pop band formed in London in 2009. Taking their influences from the likes of Deerhoof, of Montreal and the Flaming Lips, they make catchy slices of pop that twist and turn unexpectedly beneath the surface. Their recent single, 'Wild Beasts' received radio play from BBC 6music's Tom Robinson, and the band have played shows with Allo Darlin', The Electric Soft Parade, The Puncture Repair Kit and the mighty Ooberman! Today we're chatting to Claire and Matt from the band...

Hi Claire and Matt, tell us about Apple Eyes

We're a female fronted indie/pop/electronic band from London. We started writing songs together in 2009, while we were playing in the indie band The Hidden Messages (together with our guitarist Kenny). We recorded a lot at home and had songs played on 6Music, but it wasn't until earlier this year that we started gigging with the full band – Claire, Matt, Kenny, Alex and Dan. We released a download single Wild Beasts last week. We're influenced by the likes of Phoenix, the Flaming Lips, Cornelius, Deerhoof and Elliott Smith, to name a few - you might hear bits of all of these in our songs.

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

This isn't strictly a gig, but we were invited to one of Tom Robinson's parties a while ago after he played our song on his 6Music show – it had a masquerade theme, so it was all slightly surreal with everyone wearing masks, but really good fun. In the early hours of the morning we were corralled into playing a few acoustic versions of our songs – we'd never played them live before, but we got through them and the audience seemed to like it. Of course, they were all wearing masks so there was no way of knowing for sure...

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

All of us are also members of A Little Orchestra, who are playing on Sunday evening – Claire & Matt on violins, Alex on bassoon, Dan on percussion and Kenny on all sorts of stringed instruments, including his newest acquisition, the harp(!). We haven't quite incorporated the bassoon or harp into an Apple Eyes song yet, but it can only be a matter of time. Members of ALO are also collaborating with Pocketbooks and Haiku Salut over the weekend which we're really excited about.

Claims to fame... Kenny and Matt were a couple of years above Aston Villa and England striker Darren Bent at school... they taught him everything he knows about the beautiful game. Also, Claire's cousin's husband's sister's ex-boyfriend used to drum for Ozzy Osbourne... does that count?

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Indietracks combines our two loves of indie-pop music and locomotion! When Matt was small his Grandpa built a little steam engine and railway line at the bottom of the garden, so he's going to spend the whole weekend talking about steam pressure and heat transfer. The rest of us are going to enjoy seeing the bands – particularly Pocketbooks, Model Village, Chris T-T, Edwyn Collins and The Hidden Cameras. This is our first time at Indietracks but we've heard great things about it. This is our first festival appearance and we're really excited that it's going to be at Indietracks!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sunday afternoon pop quiz with Gordon Ballboy!

Gordon McIntyre is enjoying an illustrous musical career: five ballboy albums, five John Peel sessions, sell out tours across Europe, America and Japan and a hit Musical 'Midsummer'. And next weekend, he'll be able to add Indietracks 2011 quizmaster to his CV when he and Katey from Spiral Scratch host our Sunday afternoon quiz in the workshop tent! They've both joined us today to tell us a bit more about it...

Hiya, how's this quiz going to work then?
It will be an indiepop quiz in the style of a traditional pub-quiz. It takes place in the traditional Sunday "hungover tae fuck" slot of 1pm so have your Bloody Mary's and Hairs of the Dog beside you for comfort. There's no charge, we are part of the Socialist Collective of Pub Quizzers. We provide our questions for the common good.

What are you most looking forward to this year at Indietracks?
Drinking, meeting up with pals watching bands we know (Jeffrey Lewis, Hidden Cameras, Withered Hand and especially Suburban Kids) and hopefully discovering some we don't.

Have you been to Indietracks before? Any interesting stories to divulge?
We've been to Indietracks many times between us. Have had some of our best weekends ever there.

Do you have any festival or camping tips?
Yes - make sure if you are camping that your tent is pitched securely within a larger structure with an en-suite bathroom such as a Travelodge or Premier Inn.

Thanks - see you next weekend!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Workshop interview #4: Knit Cave and the Bad Tweeds

Eek, we've quite a few blog things to get through before the festival starts next weekend! Let's press on with the next in our series of workshop interviews. Today we're chatting to Rachael who's running an impressively-named knitting workshop on the Sunday afternoon at Indietracks.

Hi Rachael, tell us about the workshop
We're Leeds Guerilla Knitting Group 'Knit A Bear Face' presenting 'Knit Cave and the Bad Tweeds'. Our workshop is going to be a knitting one, where we will be showing people how to knit instruments and various other objects. Or even a scarf.

The workshop is free. Wool and needles will be provided, but people are also welcome to bring their own.

What are you looking forward to at Indietracks?
We will be looking forward to knitting on a train and of course the workshop and all the amazing bands and atmosphere of Indietracks.

Have you been to the festival before?
I went to Indietracks in 2008 to play on a train with my band The Seven Inches and I liked twirling people in the disco.

Finally, any camping tips?
Take a nicely baked cake!

Thanks Rachael. You can find out more at the Knit A Bear Face Facebook page.

Indietracks 2011 Quiz!

Okay, it's Friday and its only one week until Indietracks begins. Hopefully, you've sorted out all your travel, accommodation and tickets, in which case you can relax and have a go at our Indietracks 2011 quiz!

We've a special and exclusive Indietracks goodie bag for whoever gets the most answers right. Please send your entries to by 2pm on Wednesday 27 July. We'll stick up the answers and announce the winner shortly after. Okay, here goes:

1. Which of the following is a Stars Of Aviation song about one of our Indietracks 2011 stars:
a) Herman Dune slept on my floor
b) Edwyn Collins lent me his phone
c) Norman Blake stole my car

2. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names are headlining our Friday night. Which of the following is not a Biblical name (as far as we can tell from the internet)?
a) Chloe
b) Bethany
c) Amanda
d) Naomi

3. When is the Midland Railway Centre open?
a) Every single day, including Christmas Day specials.
b) It’s not open in December or January in case of leaves and snow on the lines
c) It closes on August Bank Holidays for ‘essential engineering’ works
d) Every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day

4. Which of these is a song by Math and Physics Club?
a) April Showers
b) June Brides
c) November Rain
d) December Boy

5. Name this Indietracks 2011 band

6. Who played on the b-side of a song by indie-rock stars Athlete in 2003?
a) Brad Hargett from Crystal Stilts
b) Philippa Bloomfield from Dignan Porch
c) Graeme Elston
d) Paul John Sarel from Heroes of the Mexican Independent Movement

7. Which Indietracks 2011 artist writes a weekly column on the arts for national left-wing newspaper The Morning Star?
a) Withered Hand
b) Chris T-T
c) Remi Parson
d) Frances Mckee

8. Colm and Bentley from Help Stamp Out Loneliness used to be in which indiepop band?
a) Amida
b) Language of Flowers
c) Strange Idols

9. Name three Indietracks 2011 bands with names that involve parts of the human body

10. How many bands are featured on the Indietracks 2011 charity download compilation?
a) 20
b) 25
c) 35
d) 40

11. For which of the following bands did Joel Gibb from the Hidden Cameras recently contribute backing vocals?
a) The Decemberists
b) REM
c) Sonic Youth
d) Weezer

12. Based on our minimal research and geography knowledge, which band are based the furthest distance away from Indietracks?
a) Math and Physics Club
b) Sloppy Joe
c) Zipper
d) Haiku Salut

13. The History Of Apple Pie play at the festival this year, but when is the earliest recording of an apple pie recipe in the UK?
a) The fourteenth century, in the days of Chaucer and Richard II
b) The sixteenth century, as enjoyed by Shakespeare and Henry VIII
c) The nineteenth century, created especially for Queen Victoria

14. Who were Indietracks' first ever DJs? (HINT: they wrote a piece for the Indietracks blog this year!)

15. Name three bands from the 2011 Indietracks line-up who have food in their name?

16. According to their biography on the Indietracks website, which band describe themselves as originating from a message in a bottle?
a) A Fine Day For Sailing
b) Very Truly Yours
c) The Sweet Nothings
d) Guatafan

17. How many museums are there at the Midland Railway Centre?
a) Museums? Eugh!
b) The whole site is one single living museum of indiepop past, present and future!
c) Four – with everything from historic fork-lift trucks and buses to locomotives and much more!

18. What is Withered Hand’s real name?
a) Dan Popplewell
b) Dan Chapman
c) Dan Willson
d) Dan Johnston

19. What is the favourite type of crisp of John Blaine Hunt from Butcher Boy?
a) Red Hula Hoops
b) Pickled Onion Monster Munch
c) Worcester Sauce flavoured Wheat Crunchies
d) Spicy Nik Naks

20. Which of these is the name of an Indietracks 2011 workshop?
a) Knit The Nine O’ Clock News
b) Amy’s Origami Army
c) Theatre Of Sock
d) The Felt Tips’ Felt Tip Top Tips

Tiebreaker: please come up with your own fun name or idea for an Indietracks workshop – in the unlikely event that two or more people enter this quiz and score the same, we’ll pick the person with the best unique name as the winner!

Remember, please send your answers to by 2pm on Wednesday 27 July.

Good luck!!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Indietracks interview #25: Pocketbooks

Today's interview questions for Pocketbooks are kindly provided by the good folk of A Fine Day For Sailing, following part one of this daring cultural exchange a few weeks ago. Pocketbooks are a pop group from London and will appear on the Friday night at this year's Indietracks. They've just released a free download for their new single Promises, Promises, and their new album 'Carousel' is available now on Odd Box Records.

Hi, we'd love to know, as a band, what your top desert island discs would be?

Ian: You Can't Hide Your Love Forever - Orange Juice.
Daniel: Hot Head - Captain Beefheart
Emma: A compilation featuring all my karaoke favourites - Kirsty MacColl, Madonna, Cathy Dennis, Jane Wiedlin, Belinda Carlisle, Ronnie Spector.

Have any of you ever done anything on tour or at a gig that you woke up the next day and really wished you hadn't?

Ian: There's probably loads but I'm very quick at forgetting these things ever happened. Ladyboys on tour with The Loves in Newcastle then chucking my guitar down a flight of stairs to round off the evening - it was in its hard case, thankfully.
Emma: Many, many tequilas.

What is the one single thing that you are each most looking forward to doing at Indietracks? This can be seeing bands, dancing, camping, going on the train etc.

Ian: The people.
Daniel: Also The People
Emma: I always love watching people arrive on the Friday and excitedly greet friends who they haven’t seen since last year’s festival.

Do you have anything special planned for your Indietracks appearance, or is that top-secret?

Ian: If we have, then I've not been told. Maybe, hopefully if something goes to plan we'll have something very exciting for everyone but I'm not sure if I can say what that is yet.
Emma: I might plan a special outfit.

How is work going on the next record? We all love your first LP!!

Ian: Thank you. Album number two is in the can, not the bin, the other can. It's all done and released and everything. We're all really happy with it, I think it's our reflective second album. We finished the record toward the end of last year which feels like ages ago so I'm desperate for everyone else to hear it. I'm hoping it might surprise people a little, it's a definite step forward.

This is a two-parter! a) What is your favourite type of pocket and b) what is your favourite type of book?

Ian: We always get asked this. Always. My favourite type of pocket is the back pocket, usually the right one. Sometimes I'll put a wallet in mine and, occasionally, some paper. My favourite type of book is a penguin classic, probably The Great Gatsby.
Daniel: A Clown's Pocket/Matchbook.
Emma: I once had a pair of trainers with a secret pocket on the back of the tongue. I think you were supposed to hide drugs in there but obviously I would never do a thing like that. Favourite type of book is anything set in the 1920/30s (I'll second The Great Gatsby), or anything about psychopaths, which tend to contain a surprising amount of humour.

If you could collaborate with one indiepopster, dead or alive, past or present, who would it be and why?

Ian: Given your band name I'm sure you'll appreciate this one - I'd have to say Rose Melberg. I've found all her bands inspirational ever since I heard Tiger Trap way back in the early nineties - I'll never get tired of her voice. She's a great songwriter too, I can't believe how quickly she wrote those Go Sailor! songs and they're all timeless indiepop. If we collaborated then I think she would write the songs, sing the songs and then play them whilst I made the tea.
Emma: I’d love to sing a duet with Patrick Fitzgerald from Kitchens of Distinction, but even though I’ve met him a couple of times I’d probably be far too star-struck to actually go through with it.

A Fine Day For Sailing ask this to everyone they we meet (!): who is your favourite Beach Boy and why?

Ian: Brian Wilson. Without him then 'Hold On' by Wilson Phillips would never have existed.
Daniel: Mike Love. He has the best latter-day touring band.
Emma: I’ll have to say Brian Wilson because he’s the only one whose name I ever remember. And I just saw him on The One Show.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Indietracks interview #24: Frankie Machine

Multi-instrumentalist Frankie Machine has appeared on stage over the years with an impressive list of indie royalty, including White Town, Tompaulin and Phil Wilson. His music has been described as "sounds cut straight from the heart" by Drowned In Sound and "very, very special, like a secret on vinyl" by Record Collector, and he is sure to captivate you with his beautiful, witty, musically ornate and sometimes surprisingly lurid songs. His new album Squeeze The Life Back In will be onsale at Indietracks.

Hi, what attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

I’ve played previous years with MJ Hibbett & The Validators (bass) and Airport Girl (trumpet) and loved it. That was on the indoor and outdoor stages but I’ve never played the Church. It’s my favourite stage and to be asked to play is an absolute honour. I’ve seen some amazing gigs there (I’m thinking The Bobby McGees in 2008, where Jimmy decided that wearing a full jester’s costume in a small metal shed on the hottest day of the year was a good idea – and the roof nearly coming off when White Town played “Your Woman” last year). If we’re half as good as that then I’ll be happy.

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

I have a bit of a pre-Indietracks ritual in that I avoid listening to indie pop stuff in the immediate run up – otherwise, as my mum used to say “you won’t feel the benefit”. Or maybe that was about wearing my cardigan indoors, I forget. Anyway I’m planning to listen exclusively to German Heavy Metal from the 1980s, particularly the Michael Schenker Group’s excellent “Assault Attack” album. I can honestly say that the line “She's a great dancer. Not ideally built for ballet” is one I will never stop being jealous of not writing. I also promise to high-five anyone who attends Indietracks in a Scorpions t-shirt.

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

Having finally finished off the album that has been in the works for the past four years, we’re planning to record the next album immediately after Indietracks (before we forget the chords). So 2011 should see two Frankie albums released. That is as near as we get to an “exciting plan” I’m afraid. The new album is out next Monday by the way – is that an obvious enough plug?

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

I’m an enormous anorak when it comes to Edwyn Collins, so that one’s obvious. We played with Jeffrey Lewis a few years back in Hull and there was an incident afterwards in the chip shop that I hope he’s forgotten. I’m also excited by the rumours I’m hearing about The Little Orchestra’s set. That promises to be something special.

One band I’m really looking forward to is Peru. Back in the mid-90’s Jock (or ‘Brian’ to his mum) and I played together in a Smashing Pumpkins-style grunge band called Boy Scout, and we had some interesting times being courted (but alas never shagged) by major record companies. I’ve not seen him for ages, so I’m looking forward to a bit of catching up and some nostalgic story-telling. Incidentally, the bass player in that band was Marc from Bulldozer Crash, whose brother Graham Elston is also playing Indietracks this year. At this point I start to feel like the Kevin Bacon of the festival.

Aside from that I'll just be bouncing between the bar and the stages at random, following my ears. I find it’s always the bands you *don’t* know at Indietracks that surprise you the most.

Thanks - see you next week!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Download the free Indietracks iPhone and Android apps!

Following the success of last year's iPhone app, this year it's back along with an app for Android phones!

On the apps you'll find all the essential information you might need at the festival, including an up-to-the-minute guide to what's coming up on each stage, details on all the bands and artists, workshop schedule, local transport information and loads more! The iPhone app even has a little extra for the aspiring musicians among you, but we won't spoil the surprise ;)

Download the iPhone app
Download the Android app

We'd like to say a HUGE thanks to Andrew Bulhak and Matloob Qureshi for creating the apps for us and being patient with our constant changes!

Please note the iPhone app was uploaded prior to some small changes to the schedule - there will be an update shortly.

Competition to win Jasmine Minks tickets!

Today we're very excited to be giving away five pairs of tickets to see legendary 80s' indiepop heroes The Jasmine Minks on Saturday July 23 - their first live gig in London for ten years.

Formed in London, The Jasmine Minks were initially a trio centred around singer Jim Shepherd. After sending a demo tape to Melody Maker, the band were recruited by Alan McGee to record for his fledgling record label (CLUE!), with their self-titled debut album being released in 1985, before recording their only Peel session in 1986. Further albums Another Age (1988) and Scratch the Surface (1989) drew critical acclaim before the band split. They reunited in 2000, releasing the album Veritas, before the band signed to McGee's Poptones label for the release of Popartglory (2001). In 2010 a four-track EP, "Poppy White", was also released on the Oatcake Records label.

The gig, which will be held at the Borderline in Charing Cross, also features the Edinburgh School for the Deaf and the Electric Sugar Children.

Doors open at 7pm with the first band on at 8 15pm and a scheduled finish at 10.30 pm.

All you have to do is answer this simple question: The Jasmine Minks' best-selling album 'Another Age' is due to be re-issued by Joe Foster's Poppydisc record label. On what label was the album first issued?

Please send your answer, along with your name and contact details, to Sandy at by 5pm on Friday July 22. Good luck!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Question Time 3: your favourite performance at Indietracks?

(La Casa Azul on the outdoor stage at Indietracks 2009. Photo: _light )

Here we are again! Previously on Indietracks Question Time our panel couldn't agree on which was the best Indietracks so far. Let's see if they can find any common ground on the issue of which artist gave the best performance you've seen at Indietracks so far, and why? Check out their responses and add your own...

Tough question! Not necessarily my official answer but I recently discovered some footage of The Deirdres playing Indietracks and it reminded me of how excited I had been to finally get to see them and just how bloody great they were.
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

Allo Darlin' last year felt like a moment, the enthusiasm onstage reflected by the crowd's willingness to share in the glory of Elizabeth's melodic greatness.
Simon Tyers, Leicester (Sweeping The Nation blog and gigs, occasional reviewer/writer)

La Casa Azul – because it was a headline act that wasn't meant to headline. Seeing so many people just dancing to the craziness of it all to the background of space invaders on a big screen in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside.
Linda Chapman, Washington, Tyne & Wear (dressmaker and pop fan)

Pocketbooks playing on the train in 2008. This is a ridiculously hard question to answer! But yes, I think that's it, because it was unexpected and brilliant and it encapsulated everything I knew to be sparkly.
Marianthi Makra, London (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

The Specific Heats in the church in 2009, because even though it was boiling and a bit of their kit blew up, they were relentlessly cheery and sounded AWESOME. They put a huge grin on my face that lasted beyond the weekend.
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

Oh man, another really hard one! I guess this wasn't an 'official' performance... but The Just Joans played on the platform in 2008 and it was just beautiful. Probably because it was sort of impromptu and everyone gathered around like you would at school (I mean that in a good way!). I was mesmerised and that's when I think I became a proper Just Joans fan. Ballboy playing last year with the sun setting was also pretty special; they covered 'Indian Summer' by Beat Happening and to hear that and watch them with the sun setting felt like a really perfect moment.
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

Betty and the Werewolves, undoubtedly.
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

La Casa Azul, 2009. Guille made a lot of new friends that weekend and even won an award (I think) for the performance. I don't think many of the non-Spanish punters really knew what to expect, but my heart is all of a flutter just typing about that performace. If I'm allowed to post a link, this 18 seconds pretty much sums it all up for me.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

I’d have to say The Middle Ones in 2008 (I think). I’d heard some of their songs and was looking forward to seeing them but they really blew me away (albeit in a really understated, gentle way). They were giggly and probably nervous but their amazing harmonies and beautiful songs made my hair stand on end. What’s left of it, anyway.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

Probably Allo Darlin' last year, in showing that songs many might have thought would only work in a small venue could work on a big stage by sweeping the Friday night. POBPAH (again last year) run a close second though.
Gareth Ware, Anglesey (pop fan)

So many to choose from! Ballboy last year, The Bobby McGees in 2008, Stereo Total in 2009, who were amazingly filthy, are all distinguished nominations, but for the sake of how unexpectedly fantastic it was, La Casa Azul. I can sing along to pretty much all of those songs now, and a big chunk of the music I listen to nowadays is Spanish.
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

I really liked the Weddies and Los Camp BUT I think The Bobby McGees were great fun. There is something magical about a bearded Scottish man dressed as a jester; maybe it’s just me.
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

This is too hard! Probably La Casa Azul, who gave an absolutely amazing performance. I just remember dancing like a mad woman alongside some of my Team Indietracks friends, and then being incredibly moved by the whole scene. We had all worked so hard that year – seeing it all come to fruition was the best feeling ever.
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

My personal favourite performance was by Ballboy in 2008. They were just fantastic. A particular highlight was them singing 'Something's Going to Happen Soon' close to sunset, or just after. That song has a lot of meaning to me and my fiancée as it'll be our first song at our wedding next year! I think it's mostly because it's such a beautiful song live!
Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Ummmmm... Allo Darlin' on the Friday night last year... Town Bike's 'earmuffs' moment followed by a B*Witched/Nirvana mash-up in '08... Shrag on the main stage last year... La La Love You tearing shit up... plus so many bands that you wander in during the last song and think "fuuuuck, what have i missed?!?" (Be Like Pablo, Brontosaurus Chorus, etc etc). But I think The Middle Ones charming the hell out of all present on a too-packed train will live long in the memory.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

La Casa Azul's headline slot from '09. Most of the non-Spanish people there wouldn't have heard of him (I think), but everyone was smiling and dancing anyway, so for me it sums up the essence of Indietracks. Plus when he did his cover of 'Love is in The Air' it was a proper festival 'moment'.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

Ohhhh, Camera Obscura were wonderful in 2009. And The Pooh Sticks were amazing fun for all involved last year.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

I can't name just one... possibly Art Brut. I rushed into the train shed just after they had started and the whole place had already become one giant moshpit. I'm surprised that the shed roof didn't come off when we all shouted along to "DC comics make me want to rock out". But then there was also La Casa Azul. I would never have expected to see a spaceman playing disco pop on the main stage. But there he was. It was very surreal and everybody seemed to love it. Apart from Pete Bee [from Horowitz]. Who looked very baffled.
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

Allo Darlin' last year on the Friday night. Our first experience of the band was on the train at 2008's festival, and having closely followed their progress over the intervening two years their set last year was just so perfect, showing how far they've come and knocking everyone's socks off! There were so many people in that crowd with good reason to feel proud of Allo Darlin', and it made for the best atmosphere.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

Goodness gracious, how can one select the best performance at Indietracks?! I would say when bands play Indietracks, they put so much practice and effort into playing that it is probably their best performance of their career! But the first performance that comes to mind is La Casa Azul’s joyous multimedia extravaganza in 2009. He is only one person but he had a band of stylish bandmates projected onto a screen, a dazzling light show, fascinating video projections and enough boundless energy to turn the most dour-faced misanthrope into a bouncing, sparkling electro-pop convert. Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

There are so many. I wouldn't like to single one out. Some truly amazing memories.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

So, so many. The Just Joans, the Felt Tips, Allo Darlin', Cats on Fire, the Pooh Sticks and Mighty Mighty all deserve a mention. However, I think the best perfomance will be this year when Edwyn takes the stage.
Jane, London (pop fan)

Who do you agree with? Or have they all forgotten the best Indietracks act of all? If you've been to the festival before, post a comment below to let us know your favourite performance so far...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Workshop interview #3: Owl Knit You

Today we're chatting to Emily, who'll be running the Owl Knit You workshop on the Saturday afternoon at this year's festival.

Hi, tell us a bit about yourself...

I’m Emily and I work with a database by day, but am a knitter and crochet-er extraordinaire by night. I make anything from clothes to installations. My latest project is a free-form crochet dress that looks a bit like the shed skin of a ghost.

What your workshop will be about?

My workshop is about using basic knitting or crochet skills to make small things that can be put together to make larger things. It’s hard to start a big project, but easy to start a small one, so by making small bits and pieces, you will have a large pile to put together however you wish into whatever you wish! I will be providing basic crochet and knitting instruction for those who need it, or otherwise providing materials for your imagination to run wild into your own small project. At the end of the workshop, everyone’s small projects will be joined into a larger installation for the festival.

What are you most looking forward to this year at Indietracks?

At heart, I’m a bit of a train geek so music + trains = the best weekend ever! The line up looks amazing and I’ve heard good things about the beer selection.

Have you been to Indietracks before? Any interesting stories to divulge?

This is my first time, but I have plenty of second-hand stories from my friends who have been before.

Do you have any festival or camping tips?

It’s my first festival and first time I’m camping, so maybe I should be on the receiving end of tips!

Find out more at and  

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Indietracks interview #23: Model Village

Model Village are a folksy pop band based in Cambridge. Their three-year CV includes shows with many of the leading lights in quality indiepop, including Bearsuit, Tender Trap, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Jeffrey Lewis, Jonny and The Wave Pictures. The band combine their love of jangly pop like Camera Obscura, the darker side of folk as exemplified by Nina Nastasia and the slick sounds of 'Rumours'-era Fleetwood Mac. They recently released a split 7" single with The Puncture Repair Kit, and plan to release their debut album later this year.

Today (Saturday 16 July), the band are playing at a fantastic-looking all-dayer in Cambridge, along with Allo Darlin', Apple Eyes, The Puncture Repair Kit and many others. Pop along if you're in the vicinity!

Hi, tell us a little bit about yourselves

We are Model Village, the south east's premier success free jangly indie folk super group. We have spent many human lifetimes in the pursuit of music, and have finally found a sound that some other people enjoy! It's working out well.

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

I can't really speak for the others, but when they're in my car at the moment we have been listening to a lot of a 3CD Trojan hits compilations with Althea and Donna's "uptown top ranking" and loads of other winners. Additionally Piers has recently shared the Dutch Uncles new record with me, which is great, and I've also been listening to the new Treefight for Sunlight record. Kev our drummer has been in Saudi Arabia for half a year, so he's just pleased to hear any music.

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

Two spring to mind in where the Model Village crew is concerned. Recently we had a slot following the The Futureheads at a Cambridge May Ball, it was very tightly run and we weren't allowed to see any of the other acts and had to be escorted in and out. It was like playing a teen wedding with lots of youngsters in black tie and ball gowns.

Prior to that, Rachel's first gig singing with us was at a primary School PTA quiz night. That was probably the most money and most dancing we have ever had. It turns out little kids mums REALLY want to have a good time. Plus we came third in the quiz.

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

We will be releasing our album later in the year, and hopefully touring. We've only managed to play London and Cambridge, so Indietracks will be as far from home as we've got. We intend to hit Rachel's Scottish homelands, my and Piers' West Midland's roots and the rest of the country if they'll have us.

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

Dan he keeps falling over (so far in the last 18 months he has broken his foot, and mashed his face up about three times), Kenny plays more musical instruments than any other member of the band, and makes us all sick.

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

Trojan Hits 3xCD for max' summer value. Also probably a compilation CD I found recently that someone gave me back in 2002, it has Sir Mixalot, The Descendents, Funkadelic, High on Fire, Busta Rhymes, Slayer and Stevie Wonder on it.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Dan went last year and had a super time, our friends Betty and the Werewolves played and loved it.
Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

Well we have a special micro album we're going to be bringing to sell, any other surprises will be thought up on the day.

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

There are so many good bands playing it's hard to pick one, I know that various members of our crew will be psyched to see Edwyn Collins, Milky Wimpshake, Jonny, Pocketbooks, Chris T-T, The History of Apple Pie, Herman Dune and of course for no reason whatsoever A Little Orchestra and Apple Eyes; any similarity between members of those bands and our own is coincidental!  Personally I'm looking forward to World of Fox as I've not seen Simon Fox since I played a gig with his old band Grover in about 2001!

Thanks - see you in a couple of weeks!