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Preview: Indietracks 2017

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Preview: Indietracks 2017

Posted on 05 June 2017 by Dorian

Indietracks is one of the highlights of our musical calendar, and 2017 doesn’t look like it is going to buck the trend of friendly vibes, steam trains, owls and great music that we have come to expect over the years.

We have written about the festival many times in the past, so go here if you want a flavour of what to expect.

Indietracks 2017

The bands on the bill this year are the typical mix of new and old with some familiar faces alongside festival debutantes offering up a really strong line-up across the three days. The Tuts, The Wave Pictures and Endersbys Room have all been Neon Filler favourites at previous festivals, and there are dozens of acts we are less familiar with playing over the weekend.

Darren Hayman played a great set here last year and he is back again with Emma Kupa playing as the Hayman Kupa Band. Kupa is very busy over the weekend also appearing in Mammoth Penguins and Friends as well as being one of the festival organisers.

There are plenty of new bands to discover over the weekend with Luby Sparks, ME REX and Milk Crimes all having formed in the last couple of years. There are veterans playing too, with The Orchids and Milky Wimpshake adding a few years to the bill and Monkey Swallows The Universe reuniting 10 years since they last released an album.

Indietracks 2017 line up

(Clockwise) Cate Le Bon, The Tuts, The Wave Pictures, Monkey Swallows The Universe

The headliners are strong this with Martha bringing some lively North East power-pop to the stage on the Friday night, and Cate Le Bon closing the festival on the Sunday night with her distinctive “Television meets John Cale”  approach to songwriting.

It is The Wedding Present on the Saturday night that are the pick of the bunch for me, even though they are a band I get the opportunity to see in my home town several times a year. I remember picking up their debut album, George Best, 30 years ago aged just 15 and it remains one of my favourite records to this day. This is a band that, with their appearance on the legendary C86 cassette, helped to define what indie-guitar-pop was. David Gedge may be the only consistent member of the band, but his weary tales sound pretty good to this day, and their most recent release Going Going was one of their best.

Me and Gedge

Me and David Gedge in 2012

We spoke to some of the Indietracks team (Nat Hudson, Beck Conway, Jasmine Allen, Andy Hudson and Emma Kupa) to find out a bit more detail on what makes the festival tick.

Lots of festivals have come and gone over the years, with small festivals often disappearing. Indietracks is in its 11th year. What do you think is the secret to the festival’s success?

Beck: Without a doubt, I think it’s the atmosphere and community spirit. The festival has such a lovely, relaxed and friendly vibe and I’ve made so many friends there over the years. I can’t wait until July to catch up with everybody again!

Nat: I think it’s the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the sense of community. A lot of Indietracks goers come back every year, and it’s always wonderful to see so many friendly, familiar faces as well as new ones. I also think our mix of established and up and coming bands also attracts people – Indietracks is always a good opportunity to discover your next favourite band!

The Wedding Present were my introduction to indie pop 30 years ago. What was the point that you realised your love of the music?

Beck: I was a big fan of indiepop bands before I really knew what indiepop was! I found a couple of Field Mice records in a charity shop when I was about 15 and started to realise the wonders of Fortuna Pop after getting into Bearsuit and The Aisler’s Set. I used to run a clubnight in Manchester years ago where we’d play those bands alongside stuff like Dressy Bessy, Helen Love and Hefner. I don’t think I ever really understood that all these seemingly disparate bands fitted together under the umbrella of ‘indiepop’ before I started coming to Indietracks!

Nat: Like Beck, I was a fan of indiepop before I really knew what it was! As a student I was a huge fan of Hefner, Stars of Aviation, Marine Research, Belle and Sebastian and similar bands. I moved to London in 2004, met friends who were into similar music and ended up going to the How Does It Feel To Be Loved? club night. Through that I ended up discovering lots of new and old indiepop bands and eventually became involved with Indietracks.

Jas: Although music was always a big part of my life, I first discovered ‘indiepop’ by attending DIY clubnights and gigs at University. A bunch of my friends were involved with a society called Burn the Jukebox – which encompassed a variety of genres. I was always drawn to the more indie, electro, pop end of this. After University I ended up dating someone in a band, and that has been a great way of discovering bands by attending gigs, and of course that’s how I also discovered Indietracks.

You have some new faces on the Indietracks team this year. What are they bringing to the festival?

Nat: Myself, Andy and Emma Cooper are still part of the organising team, but this year we’ve also welcomed new members Beck Conway, Jasmine Allen and Emma Kupa. They’ve been in bands and have also been involved with organising the Sweet Revenge club night in Manchester and the Cambridge indiepop all-dayer, so have loads of experience of putting on indiepop events! They’re also all regular Indietracks goers, so know the festival and are really keen to help make it the best it can possibly be. We’re so lucky they volunteered to get involved – they’ve done so much of the work this year, and have brought lots of energy and enthusiasm to the team too!

Beck: Along with Jas and Emma, I’ve been a massive fan of Indietracks for years and I think that’s a really useful perspective that we bring to the organising team. We have a good sense of what people really love most about the festival and what new ideas might work well.

If you were put on the spot and had to pick your one must watch act this year who would that be?

Emma: Frankie Cosmos

Nat: Lucky Soul

Andy: Cate Le Bon

Beck: I think I’ll have to pick one of our international bands because you never know when they’ll be back in the UK – I’m really looking forward to Luby Sparks who are travelling all the way from Japan to play for us!

Jas: It’s difficult to pick one, and I often enjoy the smaller bands the most. However, The Wave Pictures have a lot to offer – they are an incredibly versatile band with lots of talent and a large back catalogue.

Words and interview by Dorian Rogers

Indietracks is on from the 28th to the 30th July at the Midlands railway Centre in Derbyshire. Go to www.indietracks.co.uk for more details and to buy tickets.

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Preview: The Flaming Lips – Birmingham (August 12, 2017)

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Preview: The Flaming Lips – Birmingham (August 12, 2017)

Posted on 08 May 2017 by John Haylock

Pump up the giant pysche-bubble, saddle up the unicorns and set the controls for Birmingham on August 12 when The Flaming Lips will be beaming down.

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These Oklahoma aliens have selected the Arena, one of 11 The Rainbow Venues located in diverse, industrial spaces in the Midland’s city’s Digbeth area. There they will  play a set that is expected to contain a fair amount of classics from their long career as well as highlights from their latest album, Oczy Mlody.

As we can testify, having dropped down to see them in Manchester earlier this year, they have taken their animal themed live shows to new extremes with a unicorn joining their stage throng.

unicorn

Mind expanding visuals and musical mayhem awaits in a show that should not be missed, especially as support is provided by the equally adventurous Public Service Broadcasting.

For more information and how to buy tickets visit The Rainbow Venues site here.

By John Haylock

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Tallinn Music Week Preview (March 27 – April 2, 2017)

Tallinn Music Week Preview (March 27 – April 2, 2017)

Posted on 22 March 2017 by Marc Argent

We are taking a detour east for our next festival review when we drop by to visit Tallinn Music Week, the annual event held in venues across the Estonian capital.

Now in it’s ninth year, TMW offers a mixture of established artists and emerging talent from Europe and beyond. Here’s a look at five of the acts we are particularly looking forward to seeing.

C Duncan

C Duncan

Mercury nominated Christopher Duncan has already made great strides since his 2015 debut album Architect. We are looking forward to finding out how his lush lo-fi bedroom recordings sound in Tallinn’s Hall of Cauldrons – stripped down piano performance or full ensemble? We shall see.

HOPING TO HEAR: Say

Albert af Ekenstam

Albert af Ekenstam

Swedish singer songwriter Albert af Ekenstam will no doubt pull in the crowds for two performances during TMW. If you were describing his sound to a stranger you’d probably name-drop M.Ward, Mark Kozelek, Bon Iver and Phosphorescent. Fans of Estonian indie favourites Ewert and the Two Dragons will be out in force, hoping Albert will perform Falling, which was co-written by the Swedish singer and features on their album Good Man Down.

HOPING TO HEAR: Walking

DAGAMBA

DAGAMBA

Latvian band DAGAMBA will be making the short trip north to Estonia to blow away audiences with their unique ‘power strings’ performance. Classical instrumentation clashes beautifully with rock, pop and world music.  Discovering DAGAMBA is like discovering you have a third ear.

HOPING TO HEAR: Prokofiev the Knightrider

Flamingods

Flamingods

Flamingods are a five-piece multi-instrumental band from Bahrain and the UK. Their live shows are reknowned for their experimentation and exploration, encompassing a variety of world music styles and cultures. One of their two performances will be at Tallinn’s busy central shopping centre Viru Keskus, where we hope to witness the place come to a standstill and attempt to identify some of the instruments on show.

HOPING TO HEAR: Anya

Mart Avi

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There’s no shortage of exciting new Estonian artists at TMW with over 100 homegrown artists performing during the event. Mart Avi’s experimental electronica has already received critical acclaim in his homeland, with his third album sandwiched in second place between David Bowie and Nick Cave releases in last year’s Eesti Ekspress albums of the year. The album Rogue Wave is expected to be showcased on the opening night of Tallinn Music Week. Avi’s eery baritone voice will provide the focal point to Eno-esque soundscapes filled with chopped up samples, horns and droning sirens.

HOPING TO HEAR: Seasons have changed

For more information about Tallinn Music Week visit their website here.

Preview by Marc Argent

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Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

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Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

Posted on 07 March 2017 by John Haylock

Bearded Theory returns to the festival calendar this year with The Fall, Seasick Steve and Madness among the acts performing.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 17.35.15

Taking place in the grounds of Catton Hall, near Burton on Trent this four day festival is staged between May 25 and 28.

Now in its tenth year the main Pallet stage features Skunk Annansie alongside Seasick Steve and Madness as headliners.

Others performing include Welsh rockers The Alarm, New Model Army and Alabama 3.

Ska legends The Selector, as well as Glasvegas also appear on this main stage,

The Fall are among the pick of the other stages. Mark E Smith’s troops perform on Saturday on The Woodland Stage.

The Fall's Mark E Smith

The Fall’s Mark E Smith, pic by Joe Lepper

The Magical Sounds stage features Megadog Soundsystem on the Friday and on Saturday Transglobal Underground will headline.

In addition, there’s a large kids’ area and a cabaret stage.

For those arriving on the opening Thursday Dreadzone and Don Letts are among those playing.

For the fifth year running we will once again be visiting the event, which last year featured an excellent set from Public Image Limited.

The year before The Buzzcocks were among many highlights.

For more information, including ticket details, visit the Bearded Theory website here.

by John Haylock

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Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2017 Competition Launches

Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2017 Competition Launches

Posted on 24 January 2017 by Joe

Details of this year’s Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent competition, where thousands of acts compete to win a prestigious main stage slot at the event, have been announced.

For the fourth year running Neonfiller.com’s Joe Lepper will be among the 40 music writer judges, tasked with whittling down the entries to a 120 strong longlist.

A panel of judges, including festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis will then choose eight long listed acts to take part in a battle of the bands event in April in Pilton, Somerset, near to the festival site at Worthy Farm.

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 16.46.48

The winners of this free-to-enter competition will win £5,000 talent development prize from the PRS Foundation  as well as a main stage slot at the 2017 event. Two runners-up will receive £2,500 from the PRS Foundation. For the last three years all eight shortlisted acts have appeared at the Festival.

Acts from any musical genre can enter the 2017 competition FOR ONE WEEK ONLY from 9am Monday 30th January until 5pm Monday 6th February 2017 via glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun

The 2016 competition was won by Merseyside band She Drew The Gun. Previous winners include Declan McKenna, who was signed by Columbia after winning the accolade in 2015.

To enter acts need to supply a link to an original song on Soundcloud and a link to a video of themselves performing.

Emily Eavis said: “New music is at the very heart of what we do here at Glastonbury. The Emerging Talent Competition has become such an important way for us to find the next wave of talent from across the genres, and then help to shine a light on it. I’m really excited to hear this year’s entries.”

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Bob Mould October UK Dates

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Bob Mould October UK Dates

Posted on 15 September 2016 by Joe

Former Husker Du and Sugar frontman Bob Mould has announced five UK dates in October to promote the release of Black Confetti, the new single from his latest album Patch The Sky.

The album has already made our Top Ten Albums of 2016…so far list and after seeing Mould live last year this looks like a tour not to be be missed.

bobmould3550

As with last year’s UK tour joining Mould will be his regular band of drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy.

Mould says: “Apparently I’ve been given some special dispensation: how many musicians get to play loud rock at 55 and still have an audience? It’s amazing that people from so many different cities, countries, ages, and walks of life all continue to find something in common in my music.

“I take the art form very seriously; I appreciate being recognized for my efforts, and I’m incredibly grateful for the time I’ve had in the light. I like the brightness, and Lord knows I’ve got darkness covered.”

The dates are:

7th Oct Birmingham 02 Academy

8th Oct Bristol SWX

10th Oct Glasgow The Garage

11th Oct Sheffield The Leadmill

12th Oct London Brooklyn Bowl

Tickets are available here.

Black Confetti is released on October 7.

By Joe Lepper

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Preview: Together The People 2016

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Preview: Together The People 2016

Posted on 23 August 2016 by Dorian

In less than two weeks Brighton holds the sophomore Together The people festival in Preston Park. The two-day event is similar to London’s Field Day, taking place in a city park without fields and campsites associated with most festivals.

Neon Filler attended the 2015 event, and the enjoyed range of music on offer from the fledgling festival, with Brakes, Public Service Broadcasting and the Super Furry Animals being amongst the highlights.

We’re even more excited about this year as a genuine musical legend, Brian Wilson, will be descending upon the park to play Pet Sounds in full! It is worth noting that the beach Boy’s legends other UK shows are either sold out (London) or cost as much for a ticket as the whole Saturday at the festival (Southend-On-Sea).

Together The People

Sunday brings another act that, although whippersnappers next to Wilson, have been around for 27 years; Suede. The band may officially hail from London but singer Brett Anderson and bassist Mat Osman hail from West Sussex making this something of a homecoming gig.

Across the weekend a wide range of interesting acts are set to play with Gaz Coombes, Songhoy Blues, M. Ward and local favourite Chris T-T being top of our must-see list. Another interesting act, albeit one we approach with some trepidation, is Peter Hook & The Light. The recent works by New Order have been a surprise success so we will see what the bearded bass-player brings to covers of his former bands back catalogues.

Families are well catered for (Lazytown Live is top of our list) and a range of food stalls and other attractions are promised across the site.

Visit the official website at http://www.togetherthepeople.co.uk/tickets/ to get day and weekend tickets.

By Dorian Rogers

 

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European Referendum Top 10

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European Referendum Top 10

Posted on 22 June 2016 by Dorian

This week will see the British public voting in a referendum to decide whether to remain part of the European Union or not. We are a music site, not a political one,  so we aren’t here to influence whether you vote in or out and we will remain impartial.

However, if you are voting and not sure which way to jump, perhaps our European Referendum Top 10 will help you to decide.

British Sea Power – Waving Flags

Immigration is a hot topic in the European debate. British Sea Power take a more welcoming stance than many “Oh welcome in” they sing.

Bis – Eurodisco

“The party’s at its end” sing Scottish popsters Bis. Is this an unlikey foreshadowing of the end of our relationship with the EU?

Allo Darlington- Europe

A British band with an Australian singer performing a song about Europe in Vienna. If that isn’t an endorsement of freedom of movement I don’t know what is.

The Divine Comedy- Europop

“It’s taken time but I’ll think you’ll find that everything is alright” sings Neil Hannon. Is he singing about the European project? Probably not.

Guided By Voices- The Littlest League Possible

This song is about independence and being a big fish in a small pond. Will the UK be better off as the only fish in a small pond?

Billy Bragg – There Is Power In A Union

Billy isn’t a European Union enthusiast exactly but he is voting remain, so that seems reason enough to see this as an endorsement of a different kind of union than it was originally intended.

The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Stay of go? That is the big question. And this is the laziest song choice on a fairly lazy list.

Phil Ochs – Love Me I’m A Liberal

Liberals get a lot of bad press from both sides in the debate. Phil Ochs had a similarly disparaging view back in 1966.

Gruff Rhys – I Love EU

Gruf Rhys is pretty clear when he sits in the debate and this is his “official” pro-remain anthem. I’m sure that there are Brexit songs out there, but I suspect they aren’t very good.

Roxy Music – A Song For Europe

I have no idea where Bryan Ferry stands on the Europe question, I suspect he is closely monitoring any potential effect on his share portfolio. Former Roxy Music colleagues Brian Eno and Phil Manazanera have both come out in favour of remaining however. Read into that what you will, this is an excellent song whichever way you look at things.

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

 

 

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Together The People 2016

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Together The People 2016

Posted on 10 May 2016 by Dorian

Together The People launched in Brighton last year and we had a great time enjoying the 2015 festival with Brakes, Public Service Broadcasting and Super Furry Animals being amongst the highlights. The festival is back for 2016, in the same location in Brighton’s Preston Park, and promises to be bigger and better whilst offering the same great mix of music, food, film and arts.

The first wave of artists have been announced with Gaz Coombes, The Horrors and Songhoy Blues being amongst the eclectic mix of acts confirmed so far. Most exciting of all is that the event has bagged Brian Wilson’s only UK festival appearance this year as he and his band play the Beach Boys’ 1966 classic Pet Sounds. Brian’s band also includes fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine and the show is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the classic album.

Together The People takes place on the 3rd and 4th September and full details can be found at www.togetherthepeople.co.uk

See below for the full line-up so far.

Together The People

 

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Preview – Together The People

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Preview – Together The People

Posted on 06 August 2015 by Dorian

One thing that Brighton has been missing for some time is a decent outdoor pop music festival. The Shakedown festival has always had a bit of an identity crisis about whether it was a dance festival or not, and featured some really loathsome headline acts (Razorlight anyone?). The Great Escape is a brilliant thing, but multi-venue festivals with largely little-known acts aren’t for everyone.

You have to go back to 2008 for the folly that was the Beachdown Festival and even further back to 2000 for the Essential festival , which also had a bit of a checkered history.

So it was great news when Together The People was announced earlier this year, and even better news when the festival line-up was announced.

Together The People

Set in Preston Park the festival is a modest two-day affair that seems to be putting quality over quantity whilst offering up a really diverse set of acts.

Headliners Super Furry Animals and Jose Gonzalez are ably supported by this year’s must-have festival act Public Service Broadcasting with festival stalwart Billy Bragg and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas offering up some more mature sounds.

Local music also gets stage time with Brighton’s best known band, The Levellers, and Brighton’s best band, Brakes, both featuring on the bill.

The festival also offers up folk, spoken-word, art installations, street food and local beer across the site, all of which adds up to decent value for the £70 weekend ticket.

The festival is on September 5th and 6th, more information (including ticket outlets) can be found at http://www.togetherthepeople.co.uk

By Dorian Rogers

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