I’ll be DJing at the Magic Kids gig at Camden Barlfy on Friday. Support comes from Scared To Dance favourites Allo Darlin’ and Tigercats. Tickets are just £7.50 in advance pick yours up at We Got Tickets. Those who show their ticket at HDIF Brixton will get £1 off entry to the club night. See you there!
Our Autumn fanzine is now available. We lead with an interview with Finland’s favourite indiepop group Cats on Fire.
Plus interviews with Tender Trap, The Specific Heats, Shrag, Pocketbooks, The Blanche Hudson Weekend and Moustache of Insanity.
We talk to Fortuna Pop!, Big Pink Cake, Colour Me Pop, Brilldream and Dandelion Radio.
The fanzine comes with a free 5-track EP from Odd Box Records called Bless Me Iggy For I Have Sinned –
1. The Humms – Are You Dead?
2. The Blanche Hudson Weekend – Fever Van
3. Sarandon – Expecting Joe
4. Boundary JIM – House of the Seven Gables
5. The Medusa Snare – Tripping
If you would like to order a copy it costs £2 plus P&P.
I’ll be DJing at The Blanche Hudson Weekend gig this Friday at The Wilmington Arms. Tickets are ridiculously cheap in advance at just £3. Get yours at WeGotTickets. Be sure to get there early for The Sunday Reeds and Brilldream favourites Evans the Death.
The Blanche Hudson Weekend, The Sunday Reeds, Evans the Death
Friday 10th September
The Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebury Avenue, London, EC1R 4RL. 020 7837 1384
8pm – 11.30pm. £3 in advance, £4 on the door
Then on Sunday I’ll be DJing at the much more relaxing Hangover Lounge at The Lexington. Come down and nurse that headache from the previous night. If you haven’t already got yours, their new EP featuring Allo Darlin’ and The Middle Ones amongst others is fantastic.
The Hangover Lounge
Sunday 12th September
The Lexington, 96-98 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JB. 020 7837 5371
2pm – 7pm. Free admission
See you there!
The club is back at King’s Cross Social Club on Saturday 25th September!
Our guest DJ is Stefan Larsen from Northern Portrait. He’ll be coming over from Denmark for this DJ set. Doors open at 9pm and it’s also the launch of our Autumn fanzine!
As always it’s free to get in before 10pm. We’ve got a few badges left which will also be on sale along with the fanzine and the Odd Box Records showcase EP, Bless Me Iggy For I Have Sinned.
Hello Understudies! Tell us about the songs on the EP you’ve kindly donated to the fanzine.
Brian: The first track is “A Girl I Used to Knock About With” this new recording was produced by Andrew Laidlaw from Lucky Soul who very kindly offered to engineer and produce four songs with us earlier this year. The acoustic versions of “Wanting vs Getting” and “Flicknives” are taken from a recent radio session we did in Madrid which was pretty amazing.
Bree: “If I Come to You” is probably the quietest song we’ve done and only occasionally gets played live, we like this modest recording of it.
Brian: They’re kind of a quartet of songs about lost and unrequited love.
You’ve recently played a number of gigs in Spain and appeared on national radio. How did that come about?
Brian: Yeah, that was amazing. We played Indietracks last year and there were quite a few Spanish people there because of the Elefant stage. We got an invite from promotor Jorge Fernandez to come and play an Indietracks Presentation that he was organising. We were also invited by Spanish DJ Julio Ruiz to come and do his show, little did we know he’s like the John Peel of Spain! Needless to say by the time we got to the BBC-like building were giggling wrecks. Luckily, Ian Watson of HDIF was on hand to calm us all down and show us the ropes, thanks Ian!
You played with Darren Hayman in Leicester a few months ago. How did it go?
Brian: That was great fun too. It’s funny how we keep having these little landmark moments which all seem to have started since Indietracks. We’re all fans and none of us had the guts to actually say hello so he probably thinks we’re a right bunch of anti-socials! He played some great new songs, one about a girl who looks like “the lesbian off Brookside”.
I often hear the Tindersticks in your music. Are they a big influence? And what other bands influence your songwriting?
Brian: They are one of my favourite bands so I guess they probably will have a little. I think we all individually wear our influences on our sleeves and then they get diluted when we come together and hopefully that makes a good mix. Graeme based his entire bass repertoire for the first six months on Kim Deal and PJ Harvey. One of my all time favourite bands are The Auteurs. I also love girl groups, Motown and early sixties Joe Meekish stuff. There’s also The Go-Betweens, The Housemartins…
Bree: I really like Emma Pollock’s stuff, she always has interesting melodies. And I’d happily die listening to Kurt Wagner’s voice of Lambchop, I love how he can sing about the smallest of everyday details with such beauty.
I hear you’ve got a few options with which label to put your records out. What releases do you have in store?
Brian: Well, there isn’t a bidding war or anything! Just that a few people have said they’d maybe like to put something out with us, which is really nice. So expect an official release soon!
Hello Betty and the Werewolves! Tell us about your forthcoming debut album Teatime Favourites.
Hello! Well, we wanted the album to sound a bit like a tea party with a mad aunt who serves teacups of gin in her loveliest china set whilst surrounded by cats, books and cakes.
Will the album feature your two past singles “Euston Station” and “David Cassidy” or will it be all new material?
Yes, the two singles will be on it, and our new 7″ “Paper Thin”, then eleven other songs – some that we’ve played at gigs a lot already, and some which are completely new, so new that we’ve only learnt to play them properly since recording the album…!
You recently played at Camden Crawl. How did it go?
Ooh, it was lots of fun! We were playing on both nights so it was quite hectic, but we managed to escape for a clandestine afternoon of craft on the second day, where Emily made a bag!
You seem to be following in a long line of female dominated groups like The Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh. Were they influences?
Yes, definitely, as well as bands like Delta 5, Dolly Mixture, Marine Girls. We’re influenced a lot by stories and poetry too – Emily Brontë, Keats and T.S. Eliot appear in our songs, and some of our favourite writers pop up in the video for “Paper Thin” as well.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Today so far: The Mo-dettes and Je Suis Animal.
You’ve got a new single “Paper Thin” out in June on Damaged Goods. There’s been a real lack of indie pop videos recently but thankfully you’ve made one. How much fun did you have shooting it?
A ridiculous amount of fun. Our friend Charlie Phillips made the video and got a group of our friends to dress up like authors. We filmed most of it outside – in the cemetery and the park – but then it got too cold (it was January) and so we smuggled werewolves and authors into Stoke Newington Library for the rest of the filming. We had to pretend that we were there just to borrow books! It was very daring!
Speaking of being on camera, you appeared in the film 1-2-3-4. How did that come about?
The director Giles Borg was looking for a band for one particular scene and got in touch with us through Damaged Goods. We knew that Giles had made some Talulah Gosh videos in the past and so got very excited about it all, and had our fringes trimmed especially.
Is this going to be your first trip to Indietracks? What are you looking forward to the most?
It’ll be the first time we’ve played at Indietracks but we’ve been there before. Apart from being excited about playing there of course, we’re really looking forward to seeing some of the bands on the steam train – always fun! Emily is also looking forward to the campsite disco.
What does the rest of 2010 have in store for you?
So “Paper Thin” is out in June (we’ve said that already, haven’t we?), and our album Teatime Favourites is out in July. As well as Indietracks, we have some fun gigs coming up in London, Cambridge and Nottingham. We’ll also be doing a live session for Marc Riley on 6 Music on 5th July.
Your single “Dancing” caused quite a stir in London’s indiepop scene last year (making #3 in our Festive Fifty). Have you been surprised how things have taken off so quickly?
Emma: It’s been fantastic to be made to feel so welcome by such nice people in the indiepop scene, both across the country and abroad. We’ve been a band for quite a while; just over 5 years now and we’ve always enjoyed playing and writing together but in the last year it’s all moved up a level. Getting the chance to play so many gigs and having people like the album too has just made it all so exciting for us.
Tell us about your debut album The Noyelle Beat. What hopes do you have for it?
Dan: The album’s about romance and friendship and all those little things that come between the two. It was released back at the beginning of April and in two months it’s far surpassed all the hopes we had for it. When we recorded it, we didn’t think it would be heard by half the people it has, and for their reaction to be positive, is better than we could have imagined. It’s given us so much energy for what we’re doing.
How was your trip to the US and SXSW?
Andy: Yeah the US trip was incredible! Really enjoyed playing at SXSW, it was great being asked to play there. Everywhere we walked in Austin music was blaring out of every door we past, lots of people, lots of great bands, and the weather was good too.
What are your influences? Emma, did your mum’s previous band Poison Girls have a big impact on your writing?
Emma: They’re all quite varied really; my influences are bands like Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, Van Morrison and also stuff like the Be Good Tanyas. Yes I remember really liking the way the Poison Girls wrote their songs – always quite upbeat happy music and then more uncompromising lyrics.
Dan: I guess I’m influenced mainly by bands like The Lemonheads, the 100 Broken Windows era Idlewild, and early Green Day. It’s generally something that has that urgency about it but that still has a melody tucked away somewhere
Andy: American pop punk was what made me want to start playing the drums, really enjoy Britpop, and just recently been listening to a lot of dance music, which has given me influence on a couple of our new songs.
Who are you looking forward to see play at Indietracks?
Emma: None of us have been to Indietracks before although we wanted to get there last year. We’re really looking forward to it.
Dan: I don’t want to build anything up but I’m sure we’ll think about doing something a little different. It’s a great line-up; I can see us rushing round all weekend trying not to miss anyone! I heard the Mexican Kids at Home are playing, I love their stuff and I’ve not seen them play for a while, so that’ll be really cool.
Andy: Yeah there are loads of bands I’m looking forward to seeing! Really excited about Allo Darlin’, I really enjoy their music.
You’ve got a UK tour lined-up for July. What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Emma: Indeed we are, July is going be fun and especially with the festivals we are doing! We are also doing another US tour down the east coast in August and then we are hoping to record the new material we’ve been working on and we’ll just keep playing anywhere we can.
Hi Elizabeth! What have you been up to since we last saw you guest DJ at Scared To Dance?
Hey Paul. We’ve been pretty busy since then, we’ve just come back from a 10 day tour of the East Coast of the States. We had an awesome time playing shows in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Quebec.
How was your in-store gig at Rough Trade East?
It was really cool. Our vinyl copies of the album just arrived before we went on stage so we were really excited to see those. See how the artwork turned out and things. Kind of amazing to see our record on the racks. Although Bill and I were wondering if we would end up in the Oz/NZ section at the back of the store!
The New York Times had some very nice things to say about you. How was NYC Popfest?
Yes that was pretty exciting for us. I met the guy from the NY Times after the show but I didn’t realize he liked us that much. It was a really great article about indie pop in general I thought – he really captured the kind of DIY spirit and mentioned Cloudberry and WeePOP! which was pretty awesome! The popfest itself was super cool. Our show was really good fun – Gary Olson from the Ladybug Transistor sang Bobby’s part on “Dreaming”. He was so good I kind of forgot what I was doing because I was just listening to him. I was only there the night we played and the previous night at Cakeshop because we had gigs the other nights. I really loved Pants Yell! and I was sad it was one of their last shows. Still it was cool to see them before they broke up.
Your debut album just came out on Fortuna Pop! and it’s had some excellent early reviews. What are your hopes for it?
I think we’ve already exceeded what we hoped for with this album and this band – anything else is a real bonus. We’re kind of amazed at everything that’s happened to us. But we are very proud of the album, even though we started recording it just under a year ago and now we know these songs so well it would probably sound very different if we recorded it now.
The album is full of potential singles, “If Loneliness Was Art” being my particular favourite. Will you be releasing more singles from the album or will your next release be new material?
“If Loneliness Was Art” is going to be another single, but I think it’s just going to be a limited release. We’ve had a lot of support from 6 Music and Sean at Fortuna Pop! wants to give them more songs to play on the radio, because it will keep up interest in the band and the album. We released “The Polaroid Song” last December and you kind of have to follow up the album with singles to keep momentum going. We will have new material soon but we need to find time to record it first!
You’re playing on the Friday night of Indietracks in-between Veronica Falls and band Everybody Was In The French Resistance… Now. Will you be sticking around for the weekend to see other bands?
Yes we will and we can’t wait!
You all look so happy when you’re playing on stage which definitely rubs off on the audience. Do you secretly all hate each other and go hours without talking on tour, like Simon & Garfunkel?
No! The thing about our band is we were friends before we started playing music together. Of course when you’re in each other’s faces all the time on tour you need some time apart, but we genuinely get on well and love playing music together. They’re just a really fun bunch of people.
Speaking of Paul Simon, you played two of his songs when you DJed for us in April. Was he an influence on your songwriting?
Yes definitely. “My Heart is a Drummer” is meant to be a kind of tribute to him. It even says so in the song, specifically the song “Gracelands”. It’s pretty daggy to say it but we all grew up with our parents playing “Gracelands” and all that old Simon & Garfunkel stuff, along with The Beach Boys. It kind of sounds like the sunny music of nostalgia to me, and I guess that’s a quality we kind of have in our songs, or at least I’m chasing anyway.
Who would you say your biggest influences are?
Well The Beach Boys and Paul Simon, as mentioned above. I know for Paul and Mike it’s a lot of stuff like Super Furries and Yo La Tengo, for me and Bill, The Go-Betweens. Jens Lekman would be my favourite songwriter around at the moment, and has been for years. We all like Buddy Holly a lot. I also really love the comedian Daniel Kitson. Not that he writes songs, but he’s an influence!
Are they’re any other bands or solo artists you’d like to collaborate with? I hear Jarvis Cocker is a fan!
Haha. If I’d known as a teenager that one day he would hear our songs I probably would have died. I’ve never really thought about who we’d like to collaborate with, but it would probably be someone really daggy!
And finally, what else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Lots of shows, in the UK, Europe and possibly back to the US later in the year. We really want to get recording the next album but at the same time we don’t want to rush it like we did this one – it was cool to do it really fast but it would be better if the band actually knew the songs before we went in to record them! We’re playing the End of the Road festival in September, which will finish off the summer. It’s going to be a good summer!