Monday 27 July 2009

Indietracks 2009: pop heaven since 2007

There comes a time when you never really expect the unexpected. You think you've seen most of it before and experienced all the highs you can expect to experience from silly old music. And then you end up at this year's Indietracks.

A lot of people had maybe come to Indietracks 2009 to bury it. The tedious 'twee debate' rumbles on, and most involved in what can only loosely be called "the scene" were tired of defending themselves just because they happened to like a band and some other people didn't. People wrote some wrong stuff in The Guardian.

Like any of that even matters any more.

Indietracks 2009 was, in these eyes, an utter triumph. It stuck two fingers up to those careerist festivals who attract careerist festival goers who pay more for some designer wellies than a ticket to Indietracks even costs. It turned previously grumpy old men into lollgagging gadabouts for the weekend. And it scaled new heights in staff-friendliness.

But perhaps more than that is the general comradely bonhomie that has accompanied each Indietracks event so far. That's unique to this festival out of ANY public event I've ever been to. There's no jumping the queue for a pint. There's no nicking the loo roll out of the portabogs. There's no pushing people out of the way to get to the front. You're all in this together. You could probably leave you Nan on her own at Indietracks whilst you went to buy a pint, and you'd come back and not only would she be chatting to her new best friends; she'd have a Smittens t-shirt on, too.

And the best thing is - no-one's got a clue where this atmosphere comes from. And long may that continue, because it only exists at Indietracks, and if anyone could try and bottle it and take it away from Swanwick, then they'd not only get a severe spanking, but they'd also fail to recreate something that belongs in a field in Derbyshire.

So, even though you feel like shite because you've managed to get to the bar 15 times in one day, or you've been kept awake at night with that out of this world Specific Heats set running over and over in your mind, or you're chatting all night about how tomorrow can simply be any better than today (and it will be), it doesn't matter. Because over there The School are playing, and then later on you can go and see Pocketbooks, and then in between those you can walk 20 yards and chat to friends old and new.

There are gigs I go to throughout the year that have an inkling of what being at Indietracks feels like, but none of them recreate the sense that, for a few hours on two days of the year, you've found you're own little piece of pop majesty. And it's in fucking Derbyshire!

See you there next year.


Toby said...

Brilliant weekend, shame about Art Brut adding to the whole twee against them, but that's okay, I don't think they'd have half the audience they managed to get if it weren't for the rain forcing anyone who wanted to get into the church to see Gordon (nearly the entire back of the shed)

Smittens were an utter joy, as were Stero Total, as was just walking around meeting wonderful people, don't listen to Eddy Argos guys, keep sharing your sweets.

Marianthi said...

This is brilliant, Sam. xx

Trev Oddbox said...

Well said.

I hope you didn't have me in mind when mentioning people want to bury the festival. I've been a big destractor of a lot of what passes for indiepop in 2009 - BUT that doesn't matter at Indietracks because it was still brilliant! Probably not my favourite of the 3, but that was down to the rain and some duff bands on the Elefant stage.

But this isn't a reply to moan about those. It's a reply to celebrate the great bands I saw: Let's Whisper, Northern Portrait, Ste McCabe, Pete Green, The Smittens, Pocketbooks and countless others.

String Bean Jen said...

What an utterly marvelous post. You've captured the spirit perfectly, hon!

A layer of chips said...

Nooo, Trev. It wasn't about anyone in particular, don't worry!

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