Thursday, 30 July 2009

Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring

Today I've mostly been sitting in front of the window, reading blogs and watching the rain fall, like so many watery arrows, to earth. Well, I was doing that until I listened to a large proportion of the debut album from'Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring'. I think it's out in early August.

I must confess I first heard the band maybe a year and a half ago, and then missed them at Indietracks 2008 and sadly since then I've criminally ignored them, which is pretty unacceptable of me really because they are genuinely a very good indiepop band indeed.

Just listening to this record has raised me out of weather induced doldrums and lit a little musical spark in my heart again. I suppose it's the sort of feeling you get when you eat a nice hearty bowl of soup on a cold autumn day, or when the bad news you've just been given ebbs away the instant you step into the pub and your friends are sat their waiting for you, to give you a hug, buy you a pint and chase the day away. It's that kind of heartwarmer, melodic and warm, slow and languid but summery and lazy too.

Sadly I couldn't find the music anywhere but myspace, but if you're inclined to give it a listen, and you really should, then go here post haste.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

DIY Gigs

I've been following this thread with interest on Anorak today.

I know nothing about putting gigs, or at least nothing beyond the minimum of book a band, pay a band, sort a venue, get equipment sorted etc, etc. It sounds like a whole bunch of hard work though and the people I know who put on gigs always seemed to be knackered by the end of it and so stressed at the start of it that even though I've thought about doing gigs it puts me off. It shouldn't but it does and it makes me sad.

You see, the latter part of that thread seems to be centred around slight disillusionment with putting gigs on and I can understand it especially if no-one is turning up to gigs, or it's 5 people, or it's just two bands and not much more (ala hibbett), it hardly seems worth it. It must be gutting struggling to pay bands, feeling guilty because they've come a long way for not very much, or just wondering why hardly anyone wants to come and watch music you love.

Aha, but there in lies the crux of it I think. I love it when I go to gigs and people are there because they're there for the music, and you know that someone has travelled all the way from London to Nottingham (or Sheffield or Glasgow) just to see a band they love, even if it's only one song they love. That point where you look around the crowd and you see everyone smiling or just one person swooning and it fills you with joy because they're feeling exactly what you're feeling. Or you know that the promoter has put that gig on not really to make money (although I'm sure it would be nice) but to spread the word of a band around, to get likeminded people in one place and to see a band that no-one else has put on, so they've got to do it, otherwise they'd never see them.

It's a total labour of love, and it's DIY and it's brilliant. The effort people put in, so that someone else has a brief moment of joy. I hope that no matter what little gigs like this keep on happening. It's a salute to the efforts of Afogofideas, alayerofchips, DSFAR, Spiral Scratch, HDIF, Half My Heart Beats, The Autumn Store, and all those other people who make sure the boom we've experienced in the renaissance of the music we love won't go bust anytime soon.

Indietracks 2009

Well first of all, why bands and beer? Why not? I suppose it's what a large majority of my life is about. They kind of go hand in hand as well. Anyway that's pretty much what this blog will be about, with a few other things thrown in as and when I feel like it.

This weekend I went to Indietracks. I've been for the last 3 years, no doubt if you're reading this then you're probably familiar with the whole thing, but if not then you should have a look here.

I've said on other parts of the internet just how great the bands were, The Specific Heats for a start or watching a man in a white helmet make a whole crowd go crazy, so I won't really do that again.

All I really want to say is that now the weather has turned to shit and the world is crowding back in after being kept at bay for the weekend, my lasting thoughts aren't just about the music but at just how well run the festival was this year. The atmosphere too was amazing, it's been said before, but really what other festival can you go to, stand at the front of the bar, turn away to talk to a friend for a few minutes; turn back and still no one has pushed in front. Or, as we did, how many places do you go where you meet someone for five minutes, then the next thing you know you're on a steam train chatting away like old friends. Later on I see the lady again, mention we're seeing Pete Green and drag her along. It turns out this is one of her favourite perfomances of the weekend. Again, indietracks is like that. One more, where else do you see a litter-picker on the day after the festival, actually smiling. Nowhere, that's where. The staff deserve all the congratulations, as do the organisers, and so do the fans. Yeah it's a music festival, but if it weren't for the people involved and the people who go, the whole thing would be a lot, lot, different.

I think everyone of the people who was there came back with a piece of derbyshire in their heart.