Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The End of the Affair

We've come to the last post on The Rain Fell Down, and the reason is of course that I'm sadly no longer in Glasgow and I've already put off the ending for too long. I started writing here so people could keep track of what I was doing in the rain, but it ended up being more about keeping track of the music I discovered. And then there was the radio show of course. As far as I know all off the programmes and podcasts are still available to download, and everything will stay that way for as long as technology allows. It's been fantastic living in Glasgow and it turned out I met some really nice people through this blog. So cheers to everyone who was kind to me, cheers to Sinister, to everyone who has read and listened, to people who have left comments or written, and to the poor old souls who have bothered dragging stuff down to the post office. I hope you've found music you didn't know you couldn't live without and I hope I've helped some bands on their way (back - in some cases...). I'll return some day, but I'm not dead you know! I'm alive, starting a new degree that will probably get me stuck in Malmö for some years, with lots of new favourite bands to discover - and I'll write about it all on Heaven Is Above Your Head. Malmö is still quite POP!, although it's not in the same league as Glasgow. But if I happen to miss it to much I can always put on a song by Butcher Boy, The Hermit Crabs, All My Friends, Wake the President, Cake Taker, BMX Bandits, The Orchids, California Snow Story, Tibi Lubin, The Pastels, Zoey Van Goey, Park Attack or any of all the other bands that will always make me think about Glasgow - and I'm sure I'll smiling again in no time. I'll think about sitting in my garden, picnicing in Kelvingrove Park, dancing at NPL, the West End foxes, drinking strudel tea at Tchai Ovna and splashing along in George Square. And everything and everyone else! But naturally, playing at The Winchester Club with A Smile and a Ribbon will always be special. I keep forgetting it's happened... It was so nice to have you all in my flat! And thanks to everyone who came to see the gig - I hope you want us to come back soon. So drop by on the other end of the rainbow, and I leave you with you a goodbye hug underneath your umbrella!

In the Hit Parade

Thought it might be interesting to see some statistics of which were the most popular DROPs, as the end is now imminent. Of course the old ones have been up longer, so it won't tell you too much. For example the Paul Chastain tune has already been downloaded 32 times, and I only just put it up. Anyway, there's no doubt about The Suede Crocodiles keeping their position at the top!

The Suede Crocodiles - Stop the Rain (288)
The Suede Crocodiles - Paint Yourself a Rainbow (215)
The Bridal Shop - From Seas (204)
Skypark - Bicycle Boy (199)
Twa Toots - Don't Send Me Flowers (195)
The Search Engines - There She Goes (178)
The Mayfields - Call My Name (177)
The Pines - If She Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain) (175)


I thought eighty-six might be a good number to end on... And what better way to bow out than with a fabulous unreleased demo from one of the best bands ever: Reserve. As you know, Reserve only released a single ep before splitting up, with some of the members joining James Dean Driving Experience. But there was so much more material. I think I've got 21 demos now all in all. "Adrian Fabulous" is one of the very best, dripping with sarcasm and resignation. Since then Torquil has recorded the odd solo song, as The Atom Miksa Reservation. Some of them are on MySpace and Ally told me he's just put up some new ones, so head on over.

A Is an Alphabet

Going on tour is seemingly bad luck. First we find out the weather will be shite for Indietracks, we end up with no place to sleep, making t-shirts and bags didn't work because of a faulty screen printing frame, further delays at Shelflife means we won't have any records to sell (once again) and we might not even have a drum-kit for our Gothenburg gig. But either way, A Smile and a Ribbon will soon be in a parish near you! And you WILL be able to pre-order the record for an attractive price, though. The English dates have been on Indie MP3 already but here's the full rundown:

Emmaboda Festival, July 25th
@ the festival pre-party
w/ Billie the Vision & the Dancers, Mixtapes & Cellmates, Effete

Indietracks Festival, July 29th
First on @ the main stage on the second day.

Nottingham, July 31st
@ The Rescue Rooms
w/ The Besties, The Deirdres

London, August 1st @ The Brixton Windmill
w/ Fosca, The Besties, The Parallelograms

Cardiff, August 2nd
@ O'Neill's
w/ The Besties, Silence At Sea, The School

Gothenburg, August 3rd
@ Kontiki

See you tomorrow!


Alistair was kind enough to send me a cdr full of Emily demos a while back, and now I've finally gotten round to posting something from it. Two of the songs are from the first demo they recorded, which was in 1986, and "Pure As Winter" is one of them. I still haven't heard the Stumble EP on Esurient, although there is an acoustic version of the title track on the cdr. It's called "Mermaid" and is simply magnificent in all its stark beauty. Send Emily your everlasting love here. Only one left now.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don't Throw Bouquets At Me

I went to see Maher Shalal Hash Baz at Mono, right before going on said Gothenburg trip. They actually stopped just in time for me to rush down Argyle Street to catch the train to Prestwick. It was a very good gig - I've never seen them before so I'm glad I got that chance because I apparently missed out on a gig they did here in Sweden at the Full Pull festival recently. Tenniscoats played here in Malmö as well, as did Kama Aina. That was probably what upset me most about missing that festival, as I'd seen all the other bands before. But of course, the Malmöits (?...that's just a proposed term) didn't have the pleasure of seeing Bill Wells playing piano for them. It didn't seem like he'd gotten a chance to practise before the Mono gig, because every time Maher turned a page in the score you could see Bill looking intently at it trying to figure out how to play it. All the while trying to keep the neck of Maher's guitar out of the way. All the members had done solo sets prior to that, and on the average they were great, but it was even better when it all came together. And they got some drumming assistance from Katrina for one of the songs - that was the best one in my opinion.

So I've written about going to Gothenburg and coming back, but what did I actually do there you might wonder? Well, I went to visit a friend and to go to the recently resurrected indiepop club Taramasalata (named after an Eggstone tune). My friend's taken over the task of arranging the club and on this premiere night she'd gotten Jörgen from Fraction Discs to play records. That's him above, just about to pay his respects to Keith Girdler by spinning some Blueboy.

I always enjoy coming to Gothenburg as it's such a beautiful city. This is was it looks like. Well not really, but it CAN - if you happen to be in the Botanic Gardens. However, it was stiflingly hot this time. There was a terrible heat wave that weekend with temperatures at about 30 degrees. I also went to see the penguins of course. Didn't you know we had penguins in Sweden? They were in a pool of course. It was hard to resist jumping in the water too.

And flamingos there were. All in Slottsskogen - a sort of park/zoo thing just across the motorway from Kontiki, where the club was. Don't you think we could use some flamingos in Kelvingrove Park?

Because We're Not Dead, Yet

No, you have to stay alive until you've gotten hold of Slow Club's first single. I've ordered my copy from Moshi Moshi (which is probably the easiest option if you're not in the UK) and I'm waiting impatiently. When you've got "Because We're Dead" in your hand you can pass away with a smile on your face. And a tune in your brain. No, lots of tunes. That won't go away. I had they pleasure of seeing Slow Club at Tchai Ovna, the same day I came back to Glasgow from my Gothenburg trip (more about that soon). It was a Sunday - June the 10th. Tchai Ovna is a really small place so there was no dancing, just some serious twitching. If I was proper reviewer I'd probably say there was a really tangible atmosphere, or something. But I don't have to tell you how special this gig was. Slow Club is a band destined for worldwide success, just like Architecture In Helsinki, so it was a privilege to see them do this small (in several respects) gig, which was the first gig of their first headlining tour! No room to dance, but I did some jumping and skipping on my way home instead. If you heard someone singing "Sunday" down Great George St it was probably me! David was shocked to find the entry was 6 quid, but it made sense because there turned out to be three acts. Local boy Only Joe Kane was first on. I've missed several opportunities to see him before so I was glad to catch him finally. He played solo this time, but managed to really rock out. How could you fail in those sunglasses?:

The middle band was a band called Finniston (and were not from Finnieston) and they were good as well. They sounded a bit like Aberfeldy and The Lucksmiths, but were scarily competent. I mean, they found out they only had two microphones, so they decided to sing without mics - still they managed to make their three-part harmonies heard! And the guy who played double bass and violin was obviously a professional musician and played in an orchestra. I think I had something witty to say about them a month ago, but that's what I get for putting off writing about it for so long, I guess.


This song seems very fitting considering the weather both in England and Sweden lately. Hope we don't get washed away at Indietracks! As you might remember this was the closing track on my Rip It Up tape as well, so here's a chance for everone else to hear it. I've got this on the Bus Stop compilation Peppermint Stick Parade (I don't have to tell you what a brilliant, brilliant name that is) from 1995, but it's originally from that legendary Bus Stop flexi that was the first thing they released. This split-flexi from 1987 also had The Stupid Cupids' "Big Blue Bus" on it. The Stupid Cupids were of course Paul and Ric in yet another disguise and the song is pretty much a demo version of what later became "Big Blue Buzz" by The Choo Choo Train! While you're at it you should also download "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" from The Siddeleys' website, if you haven't already.



I've finally heard the Postcard For Flossy EP by The Poppyheads, that was the fourth flexi in the Sha-La-La series. Since the Cremation Town EP on Sarah became one of my favourite releases on the label, I've been desperate to hear these four songs. To be honest they're very different from say, "Dreamabout". Not unaccomplished, but more twee maybe - definitely more naive! Once you get used to the thought though, they're briliant songs. Three of them with female backing vocals. The third one is the one on which you can glimpse the sound and direction they later went for. This is "First Thing". It's a crying shame they only did one proper 7". And it's a shame I can't afford it!


Monday, July 23, 2007

All For Art and Art For All

One of the best things that happened the last weeks I was in Glasgow was the Art School's Degree Exhibition. It's definitely the best art show I've seen since the fourth Berlin biennial last year. Unfortunately I never got around to seeing the Master of Fine Arts graduates' stuff, which was housed in the Tramway. I spent several days going through the main building and the adjoining ones though. Everything there was done by the Bachelor graduates and all the fine arts stuff were in the main building. Design, ceramics, textiles and jewelry amongst others were just across the street. The first day I went, I barely had time to see two floors in the main building. There wasn't that much traditional painting, which was good. I liked some of the photography and there were some great video works and installations. For example there was a really funny animation that included a falling leaf. It had some spooky concrete music set to it and suddenly, before the leaf hit the ground, it opened its mouth and let out a shrill scream. It was in a separate room, so everyone in the next room turned their heads and wondered what was going on every time the scream recurred! There was a fascinating installation that was a low corridor you could walk through, after taking your shoes off. Everything around you was covered in black and white checkers, and there was some other stuff that your experience of being in there could make you relate to. In the same part was also my favourite work, which was more conceptual - a Japanese girl called Masako Ueda had made screen prints on paper towels. She'd then placed them in dispensers that she had photographed in various locations, e.g. next to the Kelvin River. On the first day her paper towels had also been in the toilets of the main building. The whole point of course, was that you were supposed to take one, but I don't think many people understood that. There were also printed tissues, because the whole thing derived from the Japanese phenomenon of handing out free paper tissues with advertisements on them. Apparently no one buys tissues because pretty much every company gives them away as a PR thing. So it obviously related to pop art and commercialism. But also the aloofness of the art establishment. I was quite surprised at the prices some of the graduates had set on their works. Lots of things were £300 and above and prices seemed to depend on the size of the work and not the amount of time spent on it. I liked the fact that many artists had things that were not for sale (which seems to suggest it means something to them, beyond being just something to be proud of), and I liked Masako's works - because they was free. I like art you can take home, interact with, or at least touch. Otherwise it sometimes gets hard to relate to it or get something from it. Another interesting thing, which was independent of the degree show was that there were works on display from something called 'the one pound gallery' or similar. This a project to encourage artists to share their work, and might be a possible outlet for unfinished or unsatisfactory works. The idea was that you could take a picture of the thing you've created, which should correlate to the value of one pound in some way (e.g. the costs of the materials or the amount of time spent on in relation to what the artists would normally charge). The gallery would then consider it and if accepted the artist would be paid one pound.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Here's another one from Grimsby Fishmarket 4 Norrkoeping 0. Mary-Go-Round are apparently a legendary Swedish indiepop band. If you'd asked me about them a few months ago though, I wouldn't have had a clue who they were. Since then I've found out that they were from Luleå and only released one 7" that I still haven't heard, on the West Side Fabrication label, which became the biggest indie label in Sweden during the early 90's. This single, pictured above, came out in 1990 and that is probably from when the song here is too. The picture was taken from eBay, were the crazy guy 'macbeats' from Gothenburg had put up a copy for £199! The first Eggstone single was priced similarly and man, that person must be in serious need of money. Thankfully no one bought it, as you can see if you follow the link. Anyway, Mary-Go-Round must be pretty good judging from this song which is the best on the tape together with the Orchids one.



This is the first of two songs I'm posting from Grimsby Fishmarket 4 Norrkoeping 0 - the tape I mentioned in the last post and that I'm guessing came at the same time as the fourth issue of the fanzine. The full tracklisting can be found on TweeNet. It's a capital crime The Orchids didn't keep a master tape of "And When I Wake Up", because it is definitely one of their best songs! Apparently there's been a thread on the Indiepop list about this after I put in on a cd I gave to Brogues... If you're on the list, Marianthi was kind enough to give you a download link for the whole tape. If not, here you go.

What a Palaver!

I didn't tell you about the perhaps biggest surprise at Rip It Up. In the middle of a gig Andrew turned and pointed towards a girl wearing a white t-shirt with "Grimsby Fishmarket" printed in large green letters - "that's something you don't see everyday!", he said and I could only agree. For those of you who don't know, Grimsby Fishmarket was an old Swedish pop fanzine. Then later on, as we were looking through the stuff Fraction Discs were selling at the festival, there were three issues of the fanzine and it's predecessor Smash Hit Wonder. It wasn't too difficult to solve the mystery though, as Jörgen told me that the girl wearing the t-shirt worked together with one of the guys who used to do the fanzine. He had lots of un-sold copies lying around at home and was planning to throw them out. So she'd brought them to the festival instead! I've read through the first issue that you can see pictured above, and it was really interesting. They seem to have been very into the whole él scene. Felt strange reading a fanzine in Swedish though, but it only proves that it can be done. The fifth issue (which was the other one they sold) came with a transparent flexi holding two songs by Chocolate Barry. I didn't know this artist but they were nice enough songs and I was surprised to find that their address was Bunkeflostrand - a small suburb to Malmö that I've actually been to a few times! The writers of the fanzine also made a cassette compilation that has become quite legendary, because it included an exclusive track from The Orchids. I heard something about there being cds with the songs from the tape, but I'm not sure if that was true. But luckily a kind soul actually sent me a ripped version of the tape on a cd a couple of months ago (two or three songs didn't fit on it though), so I'll be putting up two of the songs here shortly. The Orchids told me that they hadn't heard the song in question themselves for about 15 years, so I hope these people still have a master tape or something! I don't think Fraction Discs sold all the copies of the fanzines, so you could write to them and ask if you're interested. Or you could write to Marcus Törncrantz, to whom to can send a message via the Indiepop Directory entry for Grimsby Fishmarket. I think that might be the person we're talking about here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


My favourite band at the moment is probably this long-forgotten Shelflife act. I had never heard them until quite recently because Shelflife seems not to have cared too much about releases once they'd sold out. I never read anthing about them, and there were no songs to download. They're called Brittle Stars and are like a cross between the otherwise best two bands on the label - Skypark and The Autocollants. They have the crisp guitars of the former and gorgeous keyboards of the latter. And they have an almost unparalleled asset in singer Estelle, who's voice is truly heavenly. The first time I heard them was this year, when I got "Falling Backwards" on a Japanese compilation 7". Then I heard California Snow Story's cover of "This Trip" from the Shelflife comp You're Still Young At Heart. That was such an amazing song and I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the original, which was even better! Brittle Stars only recorded one, self-titled album and then split up. Three remaining songs were released together with compilation tracks and remixes as Garage Sale in 2001. Both records are now seemingly impossible to find! If you get addicted to Estelle's voice too, you should look up her new band Elephant Parade and buy their album Bedroom Recordings on their MySpace. Brittle Stars were simply too good for this world.

Brittle Stars - No Longer Waiting

The Man Who Paints the Rainbows

On the second day God created the wellingtons. I put them on in anticipation of a rainy day and looked forward to some good old puddle-jumping. The weather had been great for most of the first day, but the Saturday was worse. It wasn't difficult to kill time though as there were enough people I knew to keep me talking until 5 pm. We also got a chance to listen to my tape, although we were almost interrupted because Patrik was drunk and needed some Boyracer badly. Lovejoy were first on and Richard arrived punctually an hour before the gig. He said he wasn't very well rehearsed and did a fairly short set. It was great to meet him, and I should probably say 'hi' because it seems he has been reading this blog. I'd seen him once before three years ago, but back then I didn't have the confidence to talk to strangers, even if I happened to love the music they made. I got to take some pictures from the stage while Richard did a very casual soundcheck. From this one you can probably guess the cover he opened with, if your myopia isn't getting too bad.

The best thing was probably a medley of "Radio" and "I Dream of Angels". And it made me very happy to hear "The Beat Hotel" as the last song. Lovejoy was probably the biggest attraction for me that day, because I still wasn't counting on TVPs. I hadn't seen Dan since yesterday and it wouldn't have surprised me if he'd gotten lost in the woods or if he hadn't survived the night. The next band to play were My Darling You!, whom I have also seen before and that gig didn't exactly leave me craving for more. I think it's something about the way the guy sings... It's simply too Gothenburg. I would have loved to see The Dreamers play at Rip It Up, but I had to settle for Action Biker. I don't think Sarah has done any gigs as Action Biker for a while and most of the songs were new to me. Sounded great though! The Dreamers' album should be out on Friendly Noise sometime this year.

Sarah also sang a bit with the next band, Kissing Mirrors, who were probably the biggest surprise to me. I'd only heard their old ep, but they were really good live. Kissing Mirrors grew out of the Unreal Scarlet's Well that played at Mitt Sista Liv. Bid came over alone and had various Swedish musicians as his backing band. At that time Scarlet's Well didn't have a fixed line-up anyway. Kissing Mirrors have many different vocalists and at Rip It Up Hanna Fahl, Sarah Nyberg-Pergament, Mikael from The Honeydrips and the guy from Nicolas Makelberge took turns. Another band that I know many had been looking forward to was of course Cats On Fire. With a debut album that makes most of the competition look pale and an increasing international buzz speaking for them, things have never looked better for the Finnish quartet. It showed that they're getting confident and the gig at Rip It Up was among the best I've seen them do. My friends Kajsa played the organ as well, and it sounded great. It was smiles all around as they did an excellent version of "My Friend In a Comfortable Chair" for the encore. Now all they have to do is prove that they can follow up! Everyday Mistakes played after them and in that light they weren't very interesting. I saw them years ago at Mitt Sista Liv, when they sounded very different and I hazily remember that as being better. Dickon Edwards had been walkling around festival area as well that day, wearing a suit as usual and thickly applied make up. I spoke to him a bit after the Lovejoy gig as we're playing with Fosca in London on August 1st. I had to say hello, I figured. Some of my friends sensed an unforgettable moment as Dick and Dickon went to get some food at the small kiosk, and brought out their cameras. "Dick och Dickon köper korv" is a headline that sounds great in Swedish, but it just doesn't work translated so I won't bother. The Fosca gig was great actually, much more of a rock-out than I'd expected. Plus Dickon was left-handed so might be able to borrow his guitar in London! They played some new songs, like "I've Agreed to Something I Should Have", and some old, like "The Millionaire of Your Own Hair" and "The Agony Without the Ecstacy".

The last act were Television Personalities and I think they pulled the biggest crowd of all the bands, which only makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is that it was obvious everyone wasn't there. Did some people think "hmmm... am I going to see TVPs, or am I just going to stay here in my tent and drink some more?", or what?. It's possible not everyone knew who they were, but come on! The might never play in this country again. Because they did play - kind of. Everyone was standing in front of the stage, waiting, wondering if it was actually going to happen. Then suddenly they came in - Dan, a drummer, a bassist and a backing vocalist in a pretty dress. Patrik (Ring Snuten!) lent him his guitar and the sound guy had help him to get it on. After much shouting, from the audience and from Daniel, they started playing a song. Then the guitar went quiet. Dan was too drunk to understand what was happening - he'd probably been drinking all day, and he asked for at least two beers during the time the gig lasted. He had hit the mic switch on the guitar, and I don't know if maybe one of the mics didn't work but there sure wasn't any sound. Eventually he understood and flipped the switch back. Then he started playing again, and hit the switch again. So it went on and on throughout the gig. I don't think they finished one song properly. He tried to play all the hits though, as far as his memory allowed. It was a lot of "Alright, I'll fucking play Smashing Time! I fucking wrote that, you know!" and the like. He didn't seem able to deal with the audience very well and interchanged between shouting "fuck off!" and smiling happily at the outstretched hands. God knows most of them were probably as drunk as he was. You had to admire the backing band though, who were very patient and really tried. But it just wasn't possible, Dan was simply too drunk. I left before they stopped because it felt like this could go on forever. It was a very sad affair the whole thing. I went to get some sleep and luckily woke up just in time to get the ONLY bus into town before my train was leaving. Apparently there were many who just had to get on that bus to be in time for the train. The desperation was increasing as the bus queue grew and grew and the rain kept pouring. It turned out everyone got on ok, thank god. Hopefully it was all successful enough for the arrangers to try it again next year. I would go, at least!

Monday, July 16, 2007


I still think James Dean Driving Experience are every bit as good as they're reputed to be. (And as they seem to think themselves.) Still no news of the compilation though. I would indeed have payed a lot for this 12" so I hope it comes before the next copy turns up on eBay! This song is my favourite JDDE song, though there are still a few I haven't heard. It's simply a perfect pop song and indeed it is one of my favourite songs of all time. They actually had quite a distinct sound for being a jangle pop outfit. They had a violin player (that actually sounds like a third guitarist on "Ballad of Bedford Town") and were sometimes joined by the distiguished folk guitarist Mac Macleod. The singer also has a very soft and pleasant voice, although it's sometimes so mellow you can't make out the lyrics. The actor on the cover of Clearlake Revisited is Rita Hayworth and all of their record covers had different actors on the front. All female, predictably. Thanks to Brogues for making this post possible!


Please Don't Play "Rip It Up"

So, what was Rip It Up like then? Apart from hearing the Orange Juice song so many times I won't be able to listen to it for quite a while. The location was quite nice - outside a small town called Säffle, lodged inside a small industrial area and right next to a heritage-marked marsh. The car park was actually in the marsh area, which didn't seem like a very bright idea to me. And going for a swim in the two feet deep 'lake' wasn't either, as three of my friends found out.

The stage was an extension of one of the loading docks to the big building you can see in the picture above. I don't think everyone knew that what was actually inside was a fair-sized football pitch made of synthetic grass! But the arrangers Johan and Fredrik were terrified people would sneak in and ruin it anyway! I travelled up on the Thursday, which turned out to be pointless because there wasn't much to do. At least in the evening Mikael and Viktor, formerly of the legendary Starke Adolf club played some records on the stage. Friday was one long wait for the bands to get started. But the rest of my friends all arrived that day so there was plenty to do. Also, Fraction Discs did a short but sweet dj set. As they played "Throw Aggi From the Bridge" my friend Andrew from London walked past the stage. I didn't realise it was him until I saw him again after that. He told me he'd recorded a snippet with his camera to send to Mike from Slumberland/Black Tambourine. He knows Mike of course, because they were both once in The Crabapples. It didn't seem like the stage crew would be able to get everything working and sounding ok for 5 pm, and unfortunately The Sunny Street had some problems with the sound. But it was good anyway, because no one had any expectations as they have never played in Sweden before (in fact this was their second gig ever) and I don't think that many people had heard them. It was great to meet Rémi and Delphine - they were so sweet! I think they were probably those of the foreign artist who hung out the most with us 'ordinary people'. They told me they'd seen A Smile and a Ribbon in London, but had been to shy to say hello. Their band name is supposed to be ironic, but the sun actually peered out, as you can see.

Next on were Strawberry Fair and she had people from lots of other bands as backing musicians and vocalists. I've only heard a few of her old songs so I liked "I Can't Do Anything" best. David from The Morning Paper (who have just released their first single on Cloudberry) played drums and Alice from After-School Sports (and formerly The Never Invited to Parties!!) and Ida from The Bridal Shop were on backing vocals. After that was a band that many people were waiting to see. I had never seen Liechtenstein before either, so I could hardly wait. Liechtenstein is Renée from Fraction Discs own band, and she's joined by three other girls. It was obvious that they haven't played live much but it was all in keeping with the DIY, all-girl spirit of early 80's post-punk bands like Girls At Our Best!, Dolly Mixture and Mo-Dettes. The fact that they're the only band I've seen with two guitarists playing Squires pretty much proves my point. As I've only heard the songs on the 7" it was great to get a chance to hear new material. It all sounded good, but maybe one backbeat too many! Patrik (aka Ring Snuten!) was on next and it must have felt rather good for him to be at an indiepop festival without having to worry about the arrangement itself. As you probably know, he was one of the people behind the Liv festivals outside Kalmar. I've seen him play before, so I was not that excited but then suddenly he invited the former members of Dorotea up on the stage for a handful of songs, and the crowd went wild as the percentage of Gothenburgians at the festival was sizeable (and there's nothing more Gothenburg than Dorotea!)

You know who this is, don't you? Yes, that's Glenn Melia on the left and I can't believe I was actually there! Seeing St. Christopher live was pretty special and lots of other people must have felt the same, because by the time the boys came back on for the encore there was a proper mosh pit forming. And the fact that they ended on "All of a Tremble" didn't exactly calm things down... They played all the hits actually, and the biggest surprise was probably "It's Snowing On the Moon" - the b-side to Sarah 46. I had that in my Christmas podcast, if you remember. I talked to Glenn for a bit before the gig and he said he wasn't playing the song I had requested some months ago, because back then he was thinking of doing a solo set accompanied only by a drum machine. Now they were a three-piece so I guess they opted for the more bombastic material. And there aren't many bands who can boast an opening track like "Say Yes to Everything"! I wasn't too disappointed though, as I would have been in ectasy whichever songs they'd chosen to play. Glenn said they didn't have any new stuff, but he was going to write some new songs for upcoming releases on Plastilina and Cloudberry. An economical guy - he won't write songs until he has a confirmed release. I advised him to stay and watch the next band: Days. Just because St. Christopher was one of the bands they reminded me of when I first heard them. But then it started raining and you couldn't recognise anyone behind the umbrellas and the raincoats. It was also around this time that Dan Treacy first ventured outside the backstage area, and it was quite a shock to say the least. No one was really expecting the TVPs to come, and then before you know it Dan is standing there in his wollen cap, just a few yards away. I would have like to say something but there immediately formed a crowd of teenagers around him that seemed to follow him around for the rest of the festival. He was drunk and the kids seemed bloody annoying so I decided not to bother him any further. Anyways, Days came on and did a magnificent set full of gloriously sparkling pop. The rain was picking up but I don't think anyone cared. There were intermittent shouts from the audience along the lines of "sooo fucking good!" and "the best band in Sweden!". I'm glad people have finally understood. Days were at least as good as last time I saw them and they finished with an old song that has already reached legendary status (at least if you're a Signed Papercut!). I managed to squeee my camera in-between the umbrellas overhead and the hoods of raincoats in front, to capture the moment.

It felt like the climax of the first day was behind us, and there was no sign of clear skies. I stayed for a while though, to see Mikael who is The Honeydrips. His first album was finally released a few months back and it was a relief because some of the songs are three years old now. There are a few different kinds of Honeydrips gigs, this one turned out to be of the type where he played his one-string bass (which was not switched on) and sang over the backtrack. It was good enough though, and the new songs are really fab. You can get the album Here Comes the Future from Sincerely Yours, I think. After that I was thouroughly soaked and didn't really care for seeing The Tough Alliance. I mean, their new records are nice enough but their live shows still seem pointless. And I can't get past thinking of them as a pair of right toffs. Me and Nils-Martin went to dry up in his car instead. I ended up getting my shoes soaked instead however (the car park was in the marsh, remember?). Air France did some deejaying after that, I think, but I was spent and went back to the tent and fell asleep... eventually. Maybe that's why people drink so much? So they can then happily fall asleep in their tent (or someone elses).

To be continued. (Well, there was a second day you know.)

Friday, July 13, 2007


Nothing can match the thrill of hearing a Mayfields song you hadn't heard before. But that seems to be a pleasure I won't experience again, as I've now heard all the songs listed on TweeNet. I still hope there are some more though. Eleven songs by one of the greatest bands ever is far too little. This song is just amazing, and as The Brogues put it, "I Don't Dream" is a thouroughly POP! song title! It was included on two different tape compilations from the early 90's - Everlasting Happiness and Out of the Blue. The latter also had "Rain-Bird" on it, but that's just a joke track really!



Here's another song from the Texas Flashbacks series, this one more a bit more psych pop. The guitar-playing reminds me somewhat of The Dovers, which can never be a bad thing! The Changing Times track is from volume four, also from 1986 I think. The mp3 tag says 'Changing Time' but on the cover there seems to be an 's' at the end. It sounds better as well. As I said before all the volumes were uploaded by Twilightzone!, so thank them!


I Wish I Hadn't Seen Her

I'm standing here in a bird-watching tower on the skirts of the Brosjö marsh. It's the first day of the Rip It Up festival. We came yesterday. At 5 pm The Sunny Street will be the first band to take to the stage. St. Christopher is playing today as well. I don't see any birds. Maybe it's just the wrong season. Or maybe there's a reason all bird-watchers have binoculars. I had to get away. I don't like festivals, apart from the music. People's behaviour is just embarrassing. It's a beautiful day so I thought I'd go for a walk around the marsh that is just next to the festival site. There's no one here. It was peaceful and beautiful walking here. I'd brought The Outsider by Camus with and I'm going to sit down and read the second chapter soon. I swear the buttercups are more than a foot high (just look at the evidence). As I walked I could see the approaching borders of shadow and golden sunlight on the ground as the cotton clouds passed swiftly overhead. The wind changes direction, carrying swathes of Orange Juice blasting from the speakers on the stage. The people are just dots from here and the music is like an old transistor radio. It's too hot up here, I have to go down again. I've sat down at a picnic table and for a second I wish I wasn't alone. But only just. It feels strange sitting here in the middle of nature, while I'm at an indiepop festival. I guess everyone else is busy getting drunk. But then again indiepop has often been called pastoral, even if in a derogatory sense. At least Dave Callahan is a bird-watcher. I don't know where this is going so I'll stop now and continue after all the gigs. I'll tell you then if Glenn Melia played that song or not.

This picture was taken from the Cookie Nose Tower. You can just barely make out the festival area among the trees to the left.