Saturday 3rd August
A week after Indietracks and I am still wearing my w(r)istband in the vain hope that someone will tell me that it’s all been a horrible mistake and the festival is still going on and quick let’s all get back on the train before we miss anything.
Alas, it’s not to be.
Thankfully I live in the undisputed capital of UK Indiepop* and those lovely people at Macho Music is Stupid have put on a lovely post-Indietracks line up so we can pretend all is still well in the world.
Having mislaid my sparkly hairslides (never leave home without ’em kids), I missed the first act but did manage to catch most of Finnmark! fresh from their appearance at Indietracks, which I haven’t yet mentioned in this paragraph. I particularly enjoyed their cheery song about death by various methods of public and private transport. The playful juxtaposition of singalonga-bah-bah-bahs/major key brightness with stoical morbidity is the kind of combination that’ll always get my vote. Edward’s sonorous voice would also get fifteen thumbs up, if only I had an additional thirteen thumbs.
Frozy’s sound reminds me of those afternoons spent sitting in my bedroom listening to my Walkman, pondering the meaning of existence and, more specifically, why all the boys I like never like me back. No, not last week you cheeky sods. I’m talking about my mid-teens, a time when my DMs were still all shiny and l had boundless enthusiasm for making mixtapes. I’m pretty shite at being able to identify genres but this is the one where the guitars sound particularly optimistic and my indiekid shuffle involves moving my head from side-to-side rather than forward-and-backwards. Anyway, here’s some stuff I liked about Frozy: short songs that leave you wanting more (none of this let’s add another verse for the sake of it nonsense – the best pop always gets straight to the point), they do instrumentals, they let their music do the talking and they did a neat few bars of My Girl and shoehorning Motown into something is always ace. Secret was one of my favourite tracks on the Indietracks compilation and the rest of their set lived up to this. I liked. Lots.
As ever, Macho Music is Stupid has SUPERSTAR DJS between and after the acts. Many of the evening’s selections brought back happy Indietracks memories and The Day That Thatcher Dies can always get my foot-tapping even without an accompanying major news story. One of the lovely things about the Dada venue is that you get non-indiepop kids there enjoying the music too. Even if they make slightly off-piste (oft pissed?) musical requests to the DJs. We need to share this stuff. The world needs more indiepop love.
You should come along to a Macho Music is Stupid night soon. The next one is on Tuesday 27 August at The Red House in Sheffield where you’ll get The Dyr Sister and Colour Me Wednesday – more of which later. Everyone is dead friendly and stuff and there’s always access to beer. Just don’t ask the DJ for Dire Straits as a refusal may offend.
Sunday 4th August
In my Life Before Indiepop, an exciting Sunday afternoon might be one spent taking a trip to a well-known hardware store to buy rawlplugs**. Instead, shiny new me ( basically 1996 me with wrinkles) heads to a Colour Me Wednesday gig armed only with the following directions “look for the door with the blue graffiti”….hmm, not very useful for the sat nav. Heading in the vaguest of directions, the crowd of YOUTH standing outside said door suggested this was indeed the right place.
We proceed to the stage area. A mattress shoved against a mould-stained wall, speakers balanced on kitchen worktops and audience members passing around cartons of orange juice in the absence of a bar. This truly is DIY.
Colour Me Wednesday are noisy. Deliciously noisy. Their songs are simultaneously tuneful and noisy and have great titles like Unicorn in Uniform. And I am dancing in an abandoned kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.
“This next one’s called Purge Your Inner Tory” they announce to audience cheers. A pause. “Never fuck a Tory” someone shouts to giggles. Behold! The idealism of youth.
I like Colour Me Wednesday. I know this because even though I am a bit skint I buy their CD anyway and I’m excited about playing it as I head home in the rain.
The rain. Washing away all the glitter. Reminding me of work and bills and my forthcoming house move and everything that’s wrong with the world.
Just before midnight I cut off my Indietracks wristband and cry.
* Ooh, controversial. Cardigans at dawn on Anorak…
**This never happened. Our house always had a surfeit of rawlplugs. Additional purchases were thankfully unnecessary.