Simon and Sally Jones catch up with the action on Day Two of the Manchester Popfest to find out if twee really is a four letter word…
Like the Hacienda, the festival’s location, Islington Mill, is organised along similar principles inspired by the Situationist Movement. Its focus is to act as a catalyst for “the creative act” so what better place to play host to this self-styled DIY indie / jangle / shoegaze festival?
Our first tantalising treat is the much anticipated first Manchester screening of “My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records”. Label founders Matt and Claire’s philosophy of ethics and passion in their purest form keeps viewers captivated. Anyone for a game of Saroploy (Sarah 050)?
First to take to the Mill’s stage is avant-garde duo Rachel Margetts and Greta Buituke. Their carefully layered sounds and almost shamanic vocals are received in awe. It soon becomes clear that we are witnessing something special.
Other highlights in this socialist republic of indie include the boyishly coy trio “Secret Admirer”. It’s like Johnny Cash meets Teenage Fanclub and we love it!
Next up, Elefant Records’ very own “Papa Topo” who somehow manage to succeed in encouraging the most long- fringed, shuffle- footed shooegazer to master their Europop choreography! Hailing from the Balearic Islands, they deserve a “bravo” simply for bringing a full grown anthropomorphic Panda to the party.
A swift change to the scheduling and the night’s headliners “The School” are onstage ahead of “Los Bonsais” and “Pega Monstro”. With a new album out for release on September 4th, Cardiff’s collective of eight wowed the audience with a satisfying mix of much loved toe tappers “Is He Really Coming Home?” and “Let’s Go Out” with new material from “Wasting and Wondering”. Fresh from Indiefjord and Indietracks, Liz and co are clearly enjoying themselves and it’s contagious.
Manchester Popfest, it’s been a pleasure.