Oh, Indietracks; if I was in my own indiepop band I’d write a song about how lovely you are. It’d be written in the form of a love letter, sealed with a red lipstick kiss and attached to a packet of lovehearts wrapped up in ’50s wallpaper. I don’t want to be in the modern world anymore, it’s not lovely enough.
Little My, the first band on our schedule, are a chaotically twee delight. There’s as many of them on the stage as’ll fit, and they’re playing wooden spoons against barriers and all sorts. They’re all dressed in at least animal-ears, be in the form of a bear suit, rabbit ears or some sort of furry mask. Never in fact have a band more accurately described themselves than Little My: “like walking in on a primary school music lesson”.
The next find in the series of endless loveliness is Sucrette, all the way from Japan. The so-cute-you-want-to-put-her-in-your-pocket (in a non-creepy way) singer is brilliant, her vocals softer than um, MJ Hibbett’s heart. It’s like the soundtrack to Eurotrash if it was presented by Lawrence circa Go-Kart Mozart rather than Antoine de Caunes. Absolutely lovely.
Corkian joy is found in The Frank and Walters‘ set. Last.fm says they were supported by Radiohead in Glasgow in 1991 – blimey. In 1992, it was Suede. Some history, and it’s a good job that their songs are made of the most beautiful, erudite, emotional pop heard all weekend. Given this writer was only five-years-old back then, it’s now time catch up.
Camera Obscura over on the main stage are delightful; Tracyanne Campbell even cracks a smile – and gosh, it seems like she’s been through it lately. My Maudlin Career isn’t exactly the cheeriest album, but it’s made of a warm heart here in the open air. ‘Hey Lloyd…’ is storming, Carey Lander’s opening organ line a fanfare to the eyes. The peak is the expected set-closer ‘Razzle Dazzle Rose’, the tremolos at the end showing just how beautiful (seriously, how many synonymns for ‘beautiful’ can be found before the end of this review?) an arrangement the song is. Nearly tear-jerking, actually – or maybe that’s the cider talking.
Now, Emmy The Great – Emma Lee-Moss plays a superb set, the unhinged cracks andbetween-song banter disarmingly honest. It’s something new in this era of re-hash and rehearsal, for sure. All the same, she does herself no favours by coming across as such a dismissive character. The set itself is brilliant, ‘First Love’ sounding even easier and sharper than on the record. ‘Abstentee’ and ‘We Almost Had A Baby’ are yet more effortless (yes, more!), the parts dashed and thrown together for fun into something so… well could it be called anti-precise? Is this turn of phrase as irksome as the previous criticism? Only if you consider that she’s anything other than the female stage persona of a younger Adam Green.
La Casa Azul, back on the main stage, is a Spanish budget Pet Shop Boys. He’s got some truly lo-fi projections behind him, alternating between computerised characters playing instruments or oh-so-’90s video-game pastiche. It’s mostly sung in Spanish too. It’s a bit like The Beach Boys meeting Kraftwerk, only not. He wears a white motorbike helmet for the first half of the set, to boot. Research clearly fails us as in hindsight, it comes to fruition that La Casa Azul is the Burial (circa early ’08 and before) of the indiepop world. And this isn’t nepotism, before you say it is (so predictable!). No-one knows who LCA is – they’ve never given an interview and their last names have never been disclosed. The feeling ending the night is one of unworthiness, intrigue and probably something like a loganberry liquer.
At which a point to wander off and play Jenga in a marquee…