Back at Indietracks 2008 my friend and I were so impressed we vowed "we will never not go to Indietracks". We're sticking to it. You should sell life memberships, or season tickets, or something. I'd buy one. There's nothing rubbish about Indietracks and that's that.
Pooh Sticks: undoubtedly the highlight for me and better than expected. Very exuberantly received. Played my favourites, including enough of the old stuff. The placards and banter were great, as was Amelia Fletcher.
Cow Town: nice wonky indie.
MJ Hibbet & The Validators: I feel an emotionless fraud for not crying during "Leave My Brother Alone", but it was a fine set. The audience participation (needing no instructions from Hibbett) was particularly good. And I freaked out Emma Validator the following day at Loughborough Tescos by congratulating her on the performance.
The Blanche Hudson Weekend: walls of feedback. Steely looks. Cool songs.
Internet Forever: just superb. Am struggling to come to terms that I could've bought their tape afterwards with Walk of Life on but didn't.
The Just Joans: I thought Gordon McIntyre was the best songwriter at Indietracks but the Just Joans are giving him competition I reckon.
La La Love You: pink jackets, broken English, and fun pop songs. And they have Diego - their Bez - who doesn't play an instrument and instead goosesteps around the stage, throws keyboards around, and dances in the audience.
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: they were as happy to be there as we were to see them. And it's telling how I didn't really enjoy it the last time I saw them, in a small venue, but they were great outdoors on the big stage. The new songs sounded great.
Standard Fare: I have a mate who has an irrational dislike of bass players, and female vocalists. So Standard Fare might not have been for him. But I thought they were wonderful, and also enjoyed the bubble storm being created behind me during the set.
David Tattersall: I really enjoyed his set even though he was clearly off colour (the funny but awful 10 minute anecdote beforehand explained all) and he refused to do any Wave Pictures songs. My considered view is the man's a genius and he can do no wrong.
The site and organisation: compared to other music events that weekend (Kings of Leon covered in pigeon shit - funny, Love Parade disaster - definitely not funny) we have it lucky I reckon. Indietracks has a massive site mostly to itself, staffed by friendly volunteers, next to a lovely campsite. And I like that there's no meglomaniac behind the festival who wants it to get as big or as popular as possible: instead we get a festival that's at least as good as last year, with a few tweaks here and there to make it even better. And hopefully breaks even. And it only takes 45 minutes for me to drive home on Sunday night.
OTHER STUFF I ENJOYED
Be Like Pablo, The Felt Tips, Hillfields, Secret Shine, The Smittens, White Town.
The Loves - I didn't see them unfortunately but I liked their sick joke in the festival programme about John Peel not returning their calls since 2004.
The chap who fell asleep on me during David Tattersall. I was convinced he was going to vomit on me so it was a blessed relief.
The vegi curries - in fact I didn't eat anything else all weekend, which led to an increased need for...
The toilets - such a relief that there are proper regularly cleaned loos there.
The dust clouds at the front of the stage during the day, which in a certain light looked hilariously like sweat rising from the audience.
The church stage - still the most special place to see bands at Indietracks, and worth queuing or getting there early for.
The banter - I'm not the most outgoing sort but everybody talks to you at Indietracks - while waiting for bands, queuing for coffee, etc. It's lovely.
That Indietracks, and the Midland Railway site, is child friendly. I'm definitely bringing my kids next year.
The merchandise tent - especially that it's much more sensible to have it away from the side of the shed stage.
My photos are here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=64871&id=1039008106&ref=mf. See you there next year.