Sunday, 28 August 2011

Going... going... John

After yesterday's latest Grimsby Town defeat (2-1 at home to Darlington, since you ask - a team we've not beaten at home in the league for 30 years), joint manager Rob Scott confronted a couple of the many moaning, myopic morons that rock up at Blundell Park once a fortnight.

Here are the "shocking" scenes from in front of the Pontoon stand.

Fair play to Scott, but after watching that you could just sense that Our Dear Leader, chairman John Fenty, a local Tory councillor, would want his say. His inbuilt reactionary nature has been the downfall of my once wonderful club, and this was a prime opportunity.

The internet isn't big enough to list the times that Fenty has contradicted himself ove the last decade, however, some of this takes the cake.

Football is a confidence games, says Herr Fenty, as he blames the boo boys (and girls) in the stands at Blundell Park. Correct, I suppose, but why then did he start slagging three of our players off to the local press as recently as May?

Maybe it's because for Fenty the truth is only the truth until he wakes up again the next day, his knee jerks, and he sacks the next manager. It's a fair bet that Rob Scott and Paul Hurst will be out the door before Christmas, with Fenty taking another roll of the dice on an ever-decreasing list of managers who want to come and work for him.

Fenty often defends himself by saying he's the biggest fan the club has. Here's a thought: just because you're a Grimsby Town fan, doesn't mean you're not a inept, ridiculous, fucking idiot. I'd rather see the club go part time than this man keep my club afloat with his horrible Tory money.

Fenty, as much as the moaning idiots who boo their own team, you're the problem too. And that's "what is wrong with Grimsby".

Up the Mariners.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Nottingham indiepop all-dayer stage times

Hey, chumps. This looks like it's going to be quite busy (famous last, facebook-influenced words), and those that know the Chameleon know that, if you want to actually be able to touch The Whatevers legs whilst they're playing, then you'll have to be there from the beginning. So, could we ask that you turn up as soon as you can to secure your place down the front to see up Thom from A Fine Day For Sailing's skirt? Ta.

Here's some stage times. As ever, they remain dead rough.

1.30pm - Let's Whisper
2.15pm - The Whatevers
3.00pm - A Fine Day for Sailing
3.45pm - Pale Man Made
4.30pm - Ste McCabe
5.15pm - Ace Bushy Striptease

(break for an hour)

7.00pm - The Blanche Hudson Weekend
8.00pm - Help Stamp Out Loneliness
8.45pm - Standard Fare
9.45pm - Milky Wimpshake

11.00pm - Ian Horowitz DJ set
12.30pm - Dan Pop-O-Matic DJ set

2pm - Close

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My dressing gown is my choice of apparel for this season

I've been aware of Evans the Death's 'I'm So Unclean' for about a year now, but it doesn't get tiring. It's a song with the energy of a three year old, with the sound of one of those early, amazing Ride eps, with the drums shooting you in the heart like an arrow. It is, dear reader, VITAL. And so are Evans the Death, because they're easily the most exciting young band to come out of the UK in years. And they're so, so young - it sort of makes you sick.

If I was 18 right now I'd think this band were sent to to save my life. Now I'm older I'll keep that kind of thing quiet, if you don't mind.

'I'm So Unclean' is released on seven inch on Fortuna Pop! (yeah, him again) on 6 September, thank God. Buy it like your life depends on it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fifteen years of fun

I don't really remember when Fortuna Pop! started changing the way I thought about buying records. Maybe it was Aiport Girl's 'The Foolishness We Create Through Love...' seven inch that made me follow the pop travails of the fake-miserablist Sean Price's ace label - maybe it wasn't. The last decade and a bit has been a bit of blur.

This year Fortuna Pop! celebrates 15 (fifteen) years of putting out consistently ace music. Sure, there's been the odd duff release, but for every Finlay there have been bands like Milky Wimpshake, Would Be Goods, Allo Darlin' and latterly, Evans the Death who have been able to take advantage of Price's seemingly bottomless pockets.

To celebrate such magical trousers, Fortuna Pop! is putting on a three day pop extravaganza from 1-3 November at Scala and the Lexington. Crystal Stilts, Allo Darlin', The Primitives, Comet Gain, Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern, Bearsuit,Shrag, The Ladybug Transistor, Tender Trap and Evans The Death are all playing, and that's a pretty foxy line-up.

If I wasn't forced to work like a twat that week I'd be there. I presume you have no such worries. More details here


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Prince Edward Island - 'This Day is a Good Enough Day' (Crocfingers Records)

I've waited quite a while for a record to come along to rival Boo Radleys' 'Giant Steps', but Prince Edward Island's 'This Day is a Good Enough Day' might just be the one.

To say this album is ambitious would be like saying David Cameron is merely an annoying, shit-faced twat. I meant to say it would be to understate the fact. PEI have written an album which takes in myriad influences; from aforementioned Boo Radleys through Fonda 500, New Order, Belle and Sebastian and, they tell me, even a bit of Arab Strap.

Their own particular brand of futuristic folkpop music can be gentle and delicate, such as on 'I Nearly Don't Love You, but Not Quite', or joyous like on 'You Look Like I Need a Drink', or downright visceral (see the amazing 'The Keith Disaster Fund'). In between there are songs that sound like 'Our House is a Very, Very Nice House', songs about mothers-in-law, songs that bring to mind Envelopes' short-lived bright, buring candle.

Strictly, this isn't an indiepop album, but who cares? It's pop music to me, because it makes me sit up, take notice and it demands to be listened to over and over and over again.

I'm not going to mention the strong Scottish brogue on each song, because to reduce everything to nationalities isn't what pop music is about. No. It's about wanting to get up, go out and see your friends. This album is as good a soundtrack to that as any you're likely to find.

  Prince Edward Island - The Keith Disaster Fund by Soundandvisionpr

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Covered in a World of Fox

I'm becoming increasingly impressed with World of Fox, and was a bit miffed to miss out on their performance of Indietracks, but there was no way I was going to mortgage my life by queueing for the church what with all the heat.

Anyway, World of Fox have a free download single available on the WYAIWYA website, and it's a beautiful cover version of the already stunning 'Flowers' by Galaxie 500, backed with their version of 'Pristine Christine' by The Sea Urchins.

You need to know that both are excellent. Suspicious fans of the original versions won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Kids are (more than) alright

Pull yourselves together, slack-jawed tweescum - Indietracks is over, and whilst it might've been The Greatest Thing to Ever Happen to you, there are other treats out there too.

Take, for example, San Diego's Kids whose 'Summer Frights' album has lifted me out of a post-Indietracks, ongoing work benny at times this week. At times this records reminds me Architecture in Helsinki's 'In Case We Die' (a record that became the soundtrack of a pretty amazing summer of 2005 for me), and at others they remind of that just-about-to-keel-over pop fragility of The Deirdres. But with more guitar solos.

'Hidden Hills' is straightforward sunny pop, whilst 'Blind Eel' and the title track manage to be both tricksy and simple at the same time, and the singer sounds a little Eux Autres. In fact, quite a lot like Eux Autres.

'Melt' is perfect garage pop, with a cute little organ in the background, and then 'Further' carries on that theme with scratchy guitars and an energy you last had when you were about eight years old.

'Summer Frights' ends with a pretty faithful rendition of The Ronettes' 'Be My Baby', which is very sweet.

You can buy and download 'Summer Frights' here. Consider yourselves perked up.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Indietracks 2011: punks, Pocketbooks, and parents

Half way through Pocketbooks' 'Cross the Line' and the sun is just low enough in the sky that it makes everything seem a million times more pretty than it actually is. I look around and, bopping along to this amazing song, are some of my best friends. What's more, up there on stage singing one half of this song, is someone I've known for over 20 years. How did we all end up here? And why? I don't even want to try and fathom it.

This year's Indietracks was the best yet, and I'm not going to try and fathom that either. Perhaps it had something to do with there not really being the slew of reformed bands there (although there was a few), or perhaps the lack of Wedding Present fans made it seem altogether more genteel, more mannered, and more... well, more like the first couple of Indietracks really. A sense of nostalgia just five years on! Whatever next?

Friday evening was spent wondering how Pocketbooks could get any more thrilling after opening the festival. If they were great in Nottingham the night before, then they were on another planet on the big outdoor stage. Their sound has gone from being decidedly lo-fi, to something that filled the field with joy at Indietracks this year.

Oh, yeah - look over there; it's a couple of American punks - mohicans, safety pins, the lot - frugging wildly to Pocketbooks. Were there tears? There might have been, but I wasn't the only one.

I spent most of Friday night laying in my tent listening to the fucking moronic blether coming from the tent next door, interspersed with bursts of 'The Best of REM', or whatever it was. People who stay awake all night yelping at each other on campsites deserve nothing but contempt, really. The height of rudeness.

Anyway, safe in the knowledge that they'd feel like shit the next day (not much makes me glow more than that), we made our way to festival site on Saturday afternoon to experience something akin to pop heaven.

It's pretty much impossible to see everything you want to see at Indietracks, but when you've got a few hours that involve Help Stamp Out Loneliness (whose impeccable set was accompanied - beautifully - by a hot air balloon floating low across the field), Math and Physics Club, Graeme Elston on a sweaty train, The Fireworks, and then, so gorgeously, and so urgently, Milky Wimpshake then it rarely matters who you miss. You can't win them all, but you feel pretty special when you can watch Milky Wimpshake completely tear up the cavernous shed stand. Like they were born to play huge venues.

You look around again, and there are you friends smiling, dancing, and then smiling and dancing back at you.

After that, Saturday was pretty much a haze of being at the bar, sitting down after getting way too hot, and try hard to like Edwyn Collins's set. I did try, honest.

Sunday brought with it our little boy, and a completely different side of Indietracks emerges. Mingled between the third-day festival veterans are families with small kids running around like maniacs. But, it seems, everyone is happy to have the kids there. There's no tutting or rolled eyes or anything that seems too much trouble for people.

I spot Friday night's villains out of the corner of my eye and feel like emptying a shitty nappy on them, mind. The mood soon passes.

We watch Model Village and my little boy starts dancing to them with Pete Green from The Sweet Nothings' little boy. It's a pretty magical moment. He doesn't get his moves from me.

It's time to go, really. This is a weekend that will live with me forever, just like all the other Indietracks ones. I can't put my finger on what makes Indietrack so special, and I don't really want to, else I might spoil it all. It's just there, once a year, like some kind of second Christmas - only you don't have to take your in-laws if you really don't want to. It's special, anyway.

Thanks to all those who helped organise it. And if you don't do it again next year, I'll offer out your spare rooms to those people I camped next to on Friday night. Think on.