The indiest of all indie labels celebrates its 15th birthday in style, by booking out The Scala for a three-night party featuring 12 of its signings.
With just a handful of people there in time for the 7pm kick-off, Monnone Alone - featuring Mark Monnone of The Lucksmiths - sets the tone for the stretch of gigs. He chatters away to the crowd as he stumbles through his set of heavily Aussie-accented, observational wit including Tangerine and My Over-due Library Fines.
Bearsuit's DIY disco-punk taps into Bis and Das Wanderlust, with frantic yelps and synths-a-plenty; When Will I Be Queen and A Train Wreck go down a storm. Singer Lisa Horton sums it all up by recalling a trip to SXSW, saying: "We looked into the crowd and saw (Fortuna Pop! founder and owner) Sean Price crying. Later we asked what the matter was, and he said 'you're just so shit'... in a good way, we hope!"
Cinema Red and Blue is an indiepop geek's dream come true. A transatlantic collaboration between some of Fortuna Pop!'s more "serious" bands, it features members of Crystal Stilts, Comet Gain, Ladybug Transistor and, tonight ,The Aislers Set. Comet Gain's David Feck takes to the mic to announce that they're "the opposite of a supergroup", and as they slip up along the way, Feck explains that they never expected to have to play the songs they wrote in a bar live, adding, "I was going to say I'm sorry for the mistakes, but I'm not. If you want to hear bands that don't make mistakes don't come here for the next three nights." The Aislers Set join to play a few of their own songs for the first time in eight years, while the other members of the band go and settle back into the audience, ready for their own later in the week.
Despite being the oldest band on Fortuna Pop! The Primitives are also one of its newest signings, choosing the label to release their first record in more than 18 years when they returned to the biz last year. As pioneers of the mid-80s indie scene, they sat alongside the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Wedding Present. Singer Tracy Tracy proves she's still got it, pouting her way through hits including Sick Of It All, Through The Flowers and, of course, Crash. New songs come courtesy of Panic and She's A Witch. And she might just be the perfect close to a first night that paves the way for another two indie-soaked gigs from the label.