The idyllic Derbyshire countryside around Ripley is set to reverberate not only to the clatter of the Midland Heritage Railway but also to the collective racket of around 40 indie pop groups. This can mean only one thing: Indietracks is upon us once again. Now in its fourth year, the heritage railway site throws its gates open to pop kids far and wide, with the festival expanding from two days to three (much like London’s Lovebox Weekender).
A quick glance of the setlist reveals that the organisers have done an admirable job in treading the tightrope between expanding the festival and retaining its rather unique character within the UK festival bill, with a host of workshops to fill up your (cr)afternoons complementing a host of indie pop bands old and new, headliners which reflect the festival’s growth while continuing its spirit, and late night entertainment which can also be found on the campsite, thereby circumventing the relatively early curfews of the railway site.
Headliner: Eddie Argos’ side project Everybody Was In The French Resistance…..Now – with partner Dyan Valdes, he’s on a mission to fix mistakes of pop music past – will be concluding the first night of the festival. Argos’ wit and tongue are so sharp they should be sponsored by Kitchen Devil.
Ones To Watch: The festival’s expansion tonight is a relatively minor one, with only three bands playing in total, so while you’re catching Mr Argos and co you might as well catch the scuzz-pop charms of Veronica Falls and the Anglo-Australian indie pop joy known more commonly as Allo, Darlin’ as well.
Headliner: C86 veterans The Primitives turn back the clock on the second night of the festival – expect to hear old favourites such as (Dumb & Dumber-assisted hit single) Crash and Thru The Flowers. Sleeper hit of the reunion scene? Maybe, just maybe.
Ones To Watch: Raucous Leeds-based five-piece This Many Boyfriends will no doubt be fired up following the recent release of their debut EP, while The Orchids fly the flag for that great label adored by popkids, Sarah Records. Elesewhere, The Wave Pictures‘ David Tattersall takes his unqiue, abstract lyricism solo and wry, cynical Scottish indie-pop heroes Ballboy play the main stage.
Headliner: Current indie pop darlings The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart close the show on Sunday. Expect songs off their self-titled debut album Higher Than The Stars and maybe an airing of some new songs off the forthcoming new record.
Ones To Watch: Ballboy’s Gary Morgan gets married at Swanwick Junction signal box early on Sunday, leaving plenty of time to get to MJ Hibbert & The Validators and Do The Indie Kid. Acclaimed London scuzz-popeers Internet Forever are on mid-afternoon, along with The Blanche Hudson Weekend. Criminally underrated Moshi Moshi signings Slow Club are on just before POBPAH, while C86 veteran tearaways The Pooh Sticks sing about having things on tape and knowing people who know Alan McGee quite well.
Throughout the weekend a number of club nights are taking their talents to the site to entertain once the bands have finished. Expect Sheffield’s revered Offbeat, and London’s Scared To Dance and Pic N Mixx organisations, to name but a few. A special mention goes to film-maker Lucy Dawkins who will be present throughout Indietracks as part of her documentary on Sarah Records. Anyone wishing to get in touch about the project or wanting to appear in it should write to [email protected].