Lineup 2015

PRIMS

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Fronted by indiepop blonde bombshell Tracy Tracy, The Primitives emerged from the independent scene of the mid-80s that spawned The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, The Wedding Present and Primal Scream. Their sound distilled the shimmering guitar jangle of the Byrds, the buzzsaw style of The Ramones and 60’s girl group melodies into two and a half minute pop gems. Regular session guests on John Peel’s radio show, with many an appearance in his Festive Fifty, their career was boosted/hindered when Morrissey named them as one of his favourite bands. A widely acclaimed first album, Lovely, made them the UK’s indie darlings, while the huge success of the single ‘Crash’ saw them cross over to a mass audience. Further chart success followed, along with two more studio albums, Pure and Galore, plus extensive tours of Europe and the US, before the band called it a day in 1992. The band were reunited in 2009 by the untimely passing of their original bass player Steve Dullaghan, reforming to play a show in his memory later that year in their home town of Coventry; their first show together for 17 years. Bolstered by its success they went on to tour the UK in April 2010, receiving a rapturous response, followed by a headline slot at the Indietracks festival and shows in the US and Europe. In 2011 the Primitives released the Never Kill A Secret EP through Fortuna Pop! The record featured two brand new songs and two covers of semi obscure female fronted songs. The two covers were a precursor to the album Echoes and Rhymes, released on Elefant records in 2012. An album of new original Primitives songs entitled Spin-O-Rama was released in 2014. It was consistently showered with lavish praise, and the overall opinion was that it sounded like an alternative follow up to their classic 1988 album Lovely.

THE PRIMITIVES Tracy & Paul

THE PRIMITIVES Tracy & Paul

PETE FIJ / TERRY BICKERS

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Pete Fij / Terry Bickers (Photo Credit Tiya Ivy) Creation records refugees Pete Fij (ex-Adorable / Polak) & Terry Bickers ( House of Love / Levitation) teamed up to release a melancholic album ‘Broken Heart Surgery’ – “a gorgeous set of bruised mid-life ballads” (Mojo) that topped many critics’ polls for album of the year in 2014. Described by John Robb as “darkly and poetically beautiful, with shades of Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel & The Velvet Underground but with a very English take” the downbeat duo have revealed a more reflective side to their characters than either of the more flamboyant roles they had in their other bands, but have shown that they can still create tension and intensity even when their guitars are cranked down low. They have managed to gain a whole new audience for their music with ‘Out Of Time’ which was BBC6Music single of the week on ‘Roundtable’ and also 6Music ‘Rebel Playlist’ winner, and ‘Downsizing’ which was single of the week on Janice Long’s Radio 2 show. Appearances on Channel 4 & Radio 4 rounded off a successful year for Bickers & Fij who are currently working on their eagerly anticipated follow up tentatively penciled in for Spring 2016, and which they say may be marginally more cheerful. “A sparse, rather lovely album. Bickers’ playing is a masterclass, while Fij’s voice has the fragile, worldly wise tenor of Richard Hawley ” Q Magazine Watch Pete Fij / Terry Bickers battle the sea in ‘BETTY FORD’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRB9ainAULk http://www.petefijterrybickers.com ‘OUT OF TIME’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gl1nXiBOhU ‘DOWNSIZING’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSkDsRXUDY8

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The first official BOB release was a flexi disc (HOT 001) recorded by Simon Armstrong, Richard Blackborow and Jem Morris, which was sold primarily at gigs and by mail order. It was played several times by John Peel and led to a friendship with Ally Payne, creator of The Cool Trout Basement at Portlands in London, who also formed Sombrero Records in 1987. The Sombrero label’s first two releases were the first two BOB singles, What A Performance in 1987 (with drummer Gary Connors) and Kirsty in 1988 (featuring ex-Jamie Wednesday drummer Dean Leggett following the departure of Connors). After releasing records by label-mates Reserve and The Siddeleys the label found itself in debt, forcing the release of Swag Sack, a compilation LP that brought together songs from the flexi, the two EP singles and a bonus track. Later releases were all on the House Of Teeth label. The first of these was Convenience in 1989, which was released in 7″ and 12″ vinyl versions. The single sold well and appeared in Peel’s Festive Fifty at the end of the year. An EP containg four tracks Esmerelda Brooklyn, I Don’t Know, Sink and Esmerelda Brooklyn (instrumental) was recorded and released in three versions later in 1989: a black-sleeved limited edition fan club 12″ vinyl version, a red-sleeved variant intended for international export, and a 7″ vinyl promotional version in plain sleeve with BOB sticker. The Stride Up EP was released in 1990, with bassist Stephen ‘Henry’ Hersom now replacing Jem Morris on bass guitar. The single was ‘Single Of The Week’ in both NME and Melody Maker. This was followed by a further single Tired, late in 1990. In 1991, BOB recorded and released its first and only ‘proper’ album, Leave The Straight Life Behind, which was released in vinyl and CD formats. The album was followed by one final single in 1992, Nothing For Something, taken from the album and accompanied by an LP session out-take Many Strings and a handful of demo recordings. The LTSLB album is now re-released for the first time in expanded form through 3 Loop Music, and available here…http://www.houseofteeth.co.uk

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“Night Flowers chose to stick with their own name for the title of their newest EP, and indeed, the imagery is apt for a collection of pop songs that perpetually unfold as if blooming out of a dream. “Bound,” the EP’s opening track, is also its most characteristic, languid harmonies lacing in and out of tidal waves of echo-guitar fog. Hester Ullyart’s vocals are airy and evocative, a light upper-alto touch that breezes through the dense layers of spectral guitars like beams of sunlight cutting through mist. The song’s chorus is effective in the ways in which it swings up out of the song’s low-laying gloom and up into higher registers and brighter tones, recalling similar moments from My Bloody Valentine or Ride or Galaxie 500. As a rule, the EP is a modern reframing of late 80s and early 90s shoegaze, all roiling cotton blankets of dreamy sound. In capturing that aesthetic, “Bound” is lovely, trading mainly in mood and texture, which also means that, like the EP which it begins, its value is deeply rooted in one’s relationship to music that slowly unfurls, songs that are perpetually ephemeral. Your enjoyment of Night Flowers will very much depend on what you do with it. Its glacial movements are bound for precise headphones or mood-music, and seemingly few places in between”

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THE JUNE BRIDES

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“The June Brides hail from the first wave of British indie, with fans that include Belle and Sebastian, The Manic Street Preachers and Morrissey. They are regarded as indiepop pioneers, and one of the most beloved of the bands that formed the original UK independent music scene, which has since been tagged as C86. Now they‘re back with a line-up that consists of most of the original members. The June Brides first phase was in the mid-80s, resulting in five singles/EPs and one LP, There Are Eight Million Stories, which reached Number 1 in the UK Independent Albums Chart for a month, remaining in the charts for a total of 38 weeks. The band also appeared on the cover of NME, toured with The Smiths and were cited by Morrissey as his favourite group. The band re-formed in 2012, and have since released two acclaimed singles. Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-June-Brides/31430764461 Website: http://www.junebridesmusic.com

The June Brides

The June Brides play Indietracks

MANHATTAN LOVE SUICIDES

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Manhattan Love Suicides The Manhattan Love Suicides formed in 2006 and split in 2009. During that period of time, they released one album, which was a wonderfully lo-fi and fuzzy burst of noise pop written and recorded very quickly in order to capture the spirit and the intentions of where the band were at that particular moment. Following that album, The Manhattan Love Suicides embarked on a non-stop whirlwind 3 years which saw them play the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas… twice, as well as gigs in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Amsterdam, Hamburg and several trips all over the UK. The gigs were raucous, noisy and shambolic, with the band playing for an average length of just 20 minutes – non-stop, hit and run ! They released a handful of scruffy sounding, rough and raw (yet still loaded with pop hooks through the scuzz) 7″ singles, plus a bumper (and essential) 27 track CD collection of material called Burnt Out Landscapes, before eventually boiling over in the summer of 2009 and splitting up. Now, they’re back – with a brand new album on Squirrel Records/Odd Box Records and a bunch of live gigs lined up, The Manhattan Love Suicides sound bigger and better than ever. http://www.squirrelrecords.co.uk http://themanhattanlovesuicides.bandcamp.com/album/more-heat-more-panic

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Starting 2015 as meaningfully as they’ve thundered through the past 18 months, bruisingly noirish indie quartet DESPERATE JOURNALIST hurled themselves into the new year with the physical release of their self-titled debut album on Fierce Panda records, and a fizzingly sold out show at the Lexington four days earlier. They encapsulate so much that is right and righteous about the spirit, the punchiness and the attitude which has driven independent music forward for the past 38 years. But don’t take our word for it, take these desperate journalists’ thoughts on the album. “Desperate Journalist play powerful guitar pop that hits like The Smiths amped up to Savages’ intensity levels.” – Stereogum “What this record does possess is a joie de vivre and a humanity absent from so much of what passes for indie these days. It’s not a lost cause, the world just needs more records that make you swoon, like this one.” – The Quietus “Desperate Journalist have it all, the beauty, the intensity, and the majesty, that turns good British indie music into Great British indie music.” – Backseat Mafia

DJ Live

DESPERATE JOURNALIST video for “Control” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNwQTRLHTE8 video for “Happening” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrIHMJIDh10

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Lonely Tourist is a Bristol-based Glaswegian whose dry wit and self-deprecating persona has been acclaimed by the likes of 6music and Radio Scotland, yet his down to earth nature means you’re just as likely find him belting out a tune in the local pub as playing a festival stage. Birmingham Popfest organisers insisted he come and polay after witnessing his stunning set at Copenhagen popfest last year! http://youtu.be/yZiLV4VmNoM (2014 BBC Introducing Garden session)

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Fever Dream describe themselves as noisy navel gazers with nice hair. They don’t disappoint on either front! The hair is indeed wonderful from all three members and the music is even better. Thick walls of murky joy, they’re an explosion of dark noise, all gun shot snare drums, reverb heavy guitars and vocals that slink in and out of audibility. Scuzzy-pop, with low end rumbling bass, and scorching feedback, nothing here is left without a gorgeous layer of fuzz, they recall the likes of No Age and Cheetahs, and seem thoroughly on trend with the current musical climate. A superb live act.” – For The Rabbits http://feverdream.co.uk

 Karen

(Ex Brilliant Corners / Experimental Pop Band / Beatnick Filmstars)

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In an alternative musical universe Karen would be considered a super group of sorts. Davey, Phil, Hugo and Tom’s previous bands include. The Brilliant Corners, Beatnik Filmstars, The Heads and The Experimental Pop Band to name but a few. karen have no social media presence at all and currently no releases. So seeing them live will be the only way you can hear their quiet and loud songs.

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THE TAMBORINES are a noisepop indie band which came to being when core members Lulu Grave and Henrique Laurindo started recording some songs on a 4 track in their own bedroom in West London. With a true DIY attitude the duo put together their own studio where they recorded and produced debut album ‘Camera & Tremor’ released in the summer of 2010 on the band’s own imprint Beat–Mo Records. With hints of the noir displayed by the Velvets, the fuzz of the Mary Chain and the lo-fi pop of Guided By Voices, ‘Camera & Tremor’ shows that The Tamborines have developed a sound of their own which has been accurately described as “a scalding blast of sculptured noise”. The band has just finished recording their second album due to be release on 30.03.2015. Most recent double A side single ‘Black & Blue / Indian Hill’ has been on heavy rotation on BBC 6music (played by Steve Lamacq, Lauren Lavern, Tom Robinson and Gideon Cole) and several indie stations around the globe. INSANELY CATCHY CHORUS + INCREDIBLY LOUD GUITARS = PERFECT POP MUSIC.NME WHITE NOISE + IMMOBILE DRONE X POP SENSIBILITY = THE MOST EXCITING TUNE SINCE HEROIN WAS CONSIDERED SO PASSÉ.DROWNED IN SOUND A HEADY BURST OF FUZZED-UP GUITAR POP. THE TIMES

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Birmingham Popfest 2015

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Welcome to Birmingham Popfest 2015! It should be a cracker! Tickets available by clicking here 2 days of indiepop held on the bank holiday weekend of 23rd/24th May. Great bands, and guest Djs (including Davey from Brilliant corners, Hugh from Mighty Mighty plus more). This years venue is The Hare and Hounds in the Kings Heath area, a fantastic live music venue, a short bus or taxi ride from the city centre…

Bands/DJs confirmed so far with more to follow..

The Primitives
The June Brides
Pete Fij / Terry Bickers (ex Adorable / House Of Love)

Bob
Night Flowers
Desperate Journalist
Manhattan Love Suicides

Lonely Tourist
Karen (ex Brilliant Corners)
Fever Dream

Guest Djs…
Davey Woodward (Brilliant Corners)

Hugh (Mighty Mighty)
Gav Priest (Blast Off! / The Proctors)
David Travis (The Click Club)

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