And so to the annual filler post previewing entertaining looking festivals to come. One of our favourite days out last summer was at Butterley in Derbyshire's Midland Railway Museum, the unlikely but hospitable setting for the first proper Indietracks festival, a coming together of the post-twee and mainstream disenfranchised. Indeed, we've just found no less than three photos taken by one person of ourselves among the throng on the train with Pocketbooks, looking like a twat. (Not as a result of Pocketbooks, we hasten to add, as a result of always looking like a twat in photos) It's back this year on the weekend of 26th-27th July, the organisers currently dripfeeding the bill one a day on Myspace. Those already confirmed include Darren Hayman, in the church second stage with special guests, and Brummie cutesies Kate Goes, plus there's a special onsite fringe event on the Friday for the first hundred people to order tickets wherein the glorious MJ Hibbett will premiere his Edinburgh-bound musical My Exciting Life In ROCK, followed by a disco on a steam train. We don't see you doing that, Eavis. Tickets for the weekend £45 a throw plus £2 booking via 01773 747674, with online ordering coming shortly.
While we're about festivals, there's going to be a field dwelling three line whip for the weekend of 19th-20th July, with Latitude moved back a week starting on the 17th, Truck back for an eleventh go and Rob da Bank and friends setting up a second base at Camp Bestival from the 18th on. Based at Lulworth Castle in Dorset (been there), acts so far announced include Chuck Berry, the Flaming Lips, Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, The Cuban Brothers, Florence and The Machine, King Creosote, Scroobius Pip and The Wurzels. Something for everyone, then. And our stamping ground Summer Sundae is just after that (8th-10th August), this year's countdown kicked off by a launch gig at Leicester Firebug on 1st March. Mobile Act Unsigned winners Envy & Other Sins headline, and/but below them is much goodness in the shape of Johnny Foreigner, Tired Irie and Kyte. The same De Montfort Hall And Gardens venue also puts on The Big Session (13th-15th June), a folk and roots gathering which this year features the Handsome Family, Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead, Cara Dillon and the not noticeably trad folkie Vincent Vincent & The Villains. Up north something called Forgotten Valley is launching on May 23rd-25th at Westmorland County Show Ground near enough in the Lake District, suggesting all manner of "mystical, surreal world" goings on in its blurb but levering that with a very Electric Gardens-esque bill (to date: Happy Mondays, Wombats, NYPC, Joe Lean And That, Teenagers, Crystal Castles). Only time will tell.