Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The night before the weekend after

Remember that feeling that never exists now? The one on Christmas Eve where you used to lie in bed wondering whether you'd get that new bike, or whether your Mum and Dad would buy you the shittest Alba stereo going (guess what happened to me?) - that sort of feeling that, even if you have kids, you'll never have again?

Well, the nearest you're (and I'm talking about me, natch) going to get to that feeling as you sit in your armchair of despair, flicking through old records that you bought over 25 years ago and feeling that life is passing you by as you wade through day after endless day at your pointless job, comes in the shape of the night before Indietracks starts.

This year, for me, this once-a-year night of anticipation is doubly special because I have four of most favourite indiepop turns playing on my doorstep. Not literally, you understand, they'd never fit on, what with the milk bottles and discarded needles, but only a short bus ride into town. All the info you need is here, and below in a delightful flyer, courtesy of Andy Hart.

Whether this show will  be busy or not (it bloody better be) is nearly immaterial. Because we know we can dance along to four ace bands, chat to friends old and new, have a couple of drinks, go to sleep, and the wake up and make our way to Indietracks. Fuck work - life doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pocketbooks - Promises, Promises

There are certain things that always remind me of summer. These are: Test matches; ice cream vans; fish and chips at the seaside; a couple of months when the depressing travails of following Grimsby Town can be forgotten; drunken weddings; inadequate barbecues; walking out of the pub at 10am, really drunk, and it still being light; and fucking, fucking Glastonbury.

And then there's Pocketbooks - the ultimate summertime band, whose new single 'Promises, Promises' is now available as a free download. I've only heard this song about five times now, and it already reminds me of some of my favourite summer memories; of one of those still-romantic weekends in London with friends down in London; of getting pissed in the park and playing football with my friends; and of watching my little boy take his first steps into the sea. This is the stuff of life, alright.

On 'Promises, Promises', Emma Hall gives perhaps her strongest performance yet; half Harriet Wheeler, half Kirsty McColl, whilst in the background the rest of 'em play the sort of joyous wurlitzer pop that has been the hallmark of their glorious three or so years together.

Nights seeing Pocketbooks playing their hearts out are always summer nights - the best kind of summer nights, and 'Promises, Promises' is the latest of their greatest hits. If it's raining outside, stick this on and then pre-order their second classic album, 'Carousel' from Oddbox Records. Alright?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Moustache of Insanity - Album of Death (Pull Yourself Together/Fika)

There, beneath the daft name and keraayyzee samples on this album, lies a beating pop heart - a pop heart we all need.

And you might have had a shit day at work, but you'd need the heart of Rupert Murdoch for 'We Need More Awesome' not to make you smile, which lies at the very point where Jonathan Richmann meets Bis. Similarly, who hasn't compiled one of those fantasy dinner parties in their head? MOI have, and they've written a cracking pop tune about it.

BREAKING NEWS: MOI won't ever get their chance to be photographed on holiday by the News of the World, but I'd like to see them in a bikini after hearing modern classics such as 'Superiority Complex' or 'Dancing with Emma'.

Go and see this band immediately at the following flea pits (Indietracks isn't a flea pit, OBVIOUSLY):

9th July 2011 – The Wilmington Arms, London
22nd July 2011 – The Labour Club, Northampton
23rd July 2011 – Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
25th July 2011 – The Old Blue Last, London
26th July 2011 – The Castle, Manchester
27th July 2011 – Buffalo Lounge, Cardiff
28th July 2011 – Horse & Groom, Brighton
29th-31st July 2011 – Indietracks Festival, Ripley, Derbyshire
19th August 2011 – The Red House, Sheffield
20th August 2011 – Album launch party at The Dogstar, London

And then check out their back catalogue before it appears on Ebay for a grillion pounds:

Album of Death (2011) – CD, LP, download on PYT Records/Fika Recordings
Moustache Dammit! (2011) – Limited edition cassette on Fika Recordings
Postcards To Strangers (2010) – CD-R, self-released 5-track EP
Moustache of Insanity (2009) – Limited edition mini-CDR on WeePOP! Records
Knock Knock! Who’s There (2008) – CD-R, self-released 7-track EP

'Album of Death' is released on Monday 22nd August. Buy the bugger. Until then, download 'Lynn Lowry


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tunabunny - (Song For My) Solar Sister (HHBTM)

It seemed to me that maybe Tunabunny's debut album was just too dense, too awkward for some pop fans. Maybe the band have been listening to that, or maybe their trajectory towards a poppier sound is all too natural, but the band's new single '(Song For My) Solar Sister' is easily the most "accessible" thing I've heard from them.

To me, this new single (out on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records) reminds me - a lot - of getting into early-ish Throwing Muses stuff whilst still at school. That slightly folks-y vocal against a lazily perfect pop backdrop. It's pretty much the finished product, really.

'(Song For My) Solar Sister' is taken from Tunabunny's forthcoming second album called 'Minima Moralia', also out on HHBTM in August. The sooner they save up some pennies and come and play in the UK, the better.