Monday, 1 March 2010

Pre-Popfest Tales

Getting lost around Green Park the pouring rain in a pair of ill-fitting plimmies doesn't seem to matter so much when you walk through the door of The Blue Posts, just off crappy Oxford Street, and see Ian and Pete from Horowitz in there - Ian manfully drinking through his hangover, and Pete gently sipping a delicate orange juice.

And then more friends and familiar faces turn up and the half hours and the pints slip by, and, after checking into the hotel, we walk to the 100 Club (yeah, we all did)and see Dave stood outside, and London Popfest is GO!

Wonderfully, they have Flowers on tap. Not-so-wonderfully it costs £3.80 a pint, but it doesn't really matter because Plouf! are up next, and toniee is very nervous indeed. Even his elaborate cardigan looks nervous. This is the first time the band have played together in four years (it seems longer than that to me) and, yeah, it shows. But once they get into their stride, Plouf! charm the pants off most of us in the room. They're funny and cute and not many of their songs make the one minute mark, so even those spoilsports who hate them can't really grumble.

Red Shoe Diaries and Standard Fare seem genuinely honoured to be here, and both are as ace as ever. There's a tiny Nottingham dance troupe at the front for RSD, which makes me smile. And although most of us have heard the Standard Fare set at least half a dozen times over the last year, it remains as electric and alive and exciting as ever.

And then Allo Darlin come on and floor me. I'm not sure if I've ever seen them as a full band, but if it works solo, then as a band it's something sublime. The songs ooze out of the PA and, for about half an hour I forget that I'm pissed beyond words on rancid lager (the Flowers having run out ages ago) and just float away. There are only a few times that music does this to me these days, and this is one of them.

By now, i'm properly knackered, having been up since 5.30am, but it'd be rude not to say and see Shrag. Why? Because they're thrilling live. Just watching Helen King stomp her way through their set keeps me awake for another thirty minutes.

We stumble out into the night, and into a Cornish pasty shop. My mate is a Plymouth fan, so he's well versed in all things West Country, and he gives the pasty 4/10. Just for your records.

I got to work this morning a bit disconsolate, only to find out that the first Indietracks bands have been announced. Feast your eyes...

Standard Fare
The Smittens
MJ Hibbett & The Validators
Boy Genius
The Loves
Sunny Street
Allo Darlin
White Town
Just Joans

Roll on July...

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