Penny Black Music [Es]: Indietracks [Live Reviews]
Title: Midland Railway Centre, Butterley, Derbyshire,
Category: Live Reviews
Author: Dixie Ernill
Date Published: 25/08/2015
An early dart from work to avoid the brunt of the commuter traffic around Manchester, followed by a pleasant meander through the Peak District, brings me to a car park near an old train station, just as the rain starts to fall.
Now, I’ve never been one for standing around in fields getting wet (except in my exploits as a cricketer in the North of England), but Indietracks is different. There’s a warm vibe here that transcends the weather as people from across the globe gather to watch beloved, but often obscure indie-pop bands old and new perform.
To my eternal shame, tonight is only my second visit to the festival (having been here a couple of years earlier as part of my successful quest to see all of the Brilliant Corners' ten reunion gigs), but despite arriving alone I see so many faces from various indie-pop gigs I’ve attended over the last couple of years that I vow to come again.
There are some excellent bands performing tonight (and indeed across the weekend), but this festival is about so much more. I catch snippets of conversations between enthusiastic fans in the merchandise tent discussing whether or not Fortuna POP1 is the most important label since Sarah or when they first heard the Pains of Being Pure at Heart (who are headlining on Saturday). I sample some of the real ales that are on offer in the old engine shed and I contemplate the various food options, before watching Fever Dream play a quite wonderful set and temporarily forget that the rain has got a little heavier.
I meet people I met at the Madrid Popfest in 2014 and a German girl I first met at a gig in Paris the same year presents me with a limited edition CD of a band who “sound like a cross between Felt and the Go-Betweens” she assures me. I find out she is absolutely right on the long car ride home later.
The School, who seem to number the best part of a dozen on stage, are next up and don’t disappoint as they treat an appreciative audience to a set spanning all of their albums (including the soon to be released 'Wasting Away and Wondering’). Liz Hunt has a classic 60’s chanteuse voice, and it’s impossible not to get swept up the beautiful tunes her band produce live.
After spending more time and more money in the merchandise tent, I’m back outside to watch David Gedge’s Cinerama breeze effortlessly through a greatest hits set and I am reminded just what a wonderful songwriter he is and just how many stunning tracks Cinerama have in their back-catalogue. The likes or 'Careless', 'Kerry Kerry', 'Quick, Before It Melts' and 'Your Charms” are pure pop heaven and somewhere the middle, as the rain finally stops, they play 'The Girl from the DDR' and the aforementioned German girl, Carolin, points out that she too was a girl from the DDR……
Cinerama finish with arguably their finest moment, 'Wow', and in true Gedge style there is no encore, but at least there is an indie disco to finish off a great night!
After dancing to the likes of Orange Juice, the Smiths, Allo Darlin' and the Field, Mice it is time to say my goodbyes and head home, where the following day a cricket match and a five wicket haul in a two run win await me.
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