Sunday, July 18, 2010


We thought it was out weeks ago. It wasn't. It's out tomorrow. It is A Little More Suspicion In Our Fairytales Plz, the third album by Birmingham's restless noisemakers Ace Bushy Striptease but the first they're insisting you pay for. There's moments of careful loveliness, and there's moments where they seem to be throwing their guitar pedals at each other for sport. They know noise, and they know anthemry. You should know them too. *pause* Oh, alright, two records. You do already know Los Campesinos!, perhaps too well at times. They're putting out a limited edition 10" four track EP called, worryingly, All's Well That Ends, comprising reworked acoustic versions of four songs from Romance Is Boring.

Public Image Ltd are coming back around, and Lydon promises/threatens the proceeds will go towards a new album. In the meantime pretend that really is Keith Levene and Jah Wobble up there with him at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Monday, Bristol Academy Tuesday, Oxford Academy Wednesday, Leeds Academy Friday, Liverpool Academy Saturday and Glasgow AcadHAHAHANOIT'SNOT Glasgow ABC on Monday 26th. Meanwhile, we're not sure whether this counts as a gig or festival so let's play safe, as The Flapper in Birmingham spends Friday, Saturday and Sunday putting on the storming lineup of Off The Cuff - Chapel Club on Friday; Pulled Apart By Horses and &U&I (75% of Blakfish) on Saturday; and on Sunday the preposterous line-up of Adebisi Shank, Tellison, Tubelord, Shoes And Socks Off, Talons, an out of place Boat To Row, Maybeshewill and Hold Your Horse Is.

But, frankly, fuck all that. We've got our own gig on. It's at Leicester Musician on Thursday, it's an Indietracks warmup, and a fiver on the door gets you MJ Hibbett & The Validators (we think the Vlads' only public runout this year besides the festival, as Hibbett's on Dinosaur Planet duty afterwards), Standard Fare (who we booked for this at the start of the year, advance working fans) and Lime Chalks. Fuller details on the Facebook event.

When we talk about bands creating modern guitar pop in their own image, we like to think that we might every so often find a what-we-call-indie band who seem rootless, who aren't choppy riffs or falling apart at the seams like Pete might have, or at least not urgently drafting in a synth player. Where this is all leading is that Niteflights sound more like contemporaries of Orange Juice, or maybe the Subway Sect, then of whoever the schmindie band du jour are. Not doing a very good job of describing this, we know. What you need to note down essentially is that Niteflights are a band who are going somewhere, capable of crafting a pop hook as they are of upending expectations, unassuming and careful but ready to surprise and to lace the pot with lyrical cyanide.

Perhaps because it's a short break between really major events, they're all at it next weekend. As you may have gleaned from the above, we're reconnecting with the Indietracks clan next weekend at Ripley's Midlands Railway Museum. Oh, for the peculiar delights of the acoustic acts on a steam train, the boiling hot tin church, the cafe and the signal box. We wrote a bit for their blog a little while back. That photo is quite old, by the way. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, as always seemed destined, The Primitives and hero of Indietracks '09 Eddie Argos' other band Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now! headline, with strong backup from, as well as the three doing our do, Slow Club, Allo Darlin', David Tattersall, Ballboy, Internet Forever, This Many Boyfriends, Shrag, The Pooh Sticks, White Town (that White Town, yes), The Loves, The Just Joans, Red Shoe Diaries, Foxes!, The Blanche Hudson Weekend, Veronica Falls, The Smittens, Paisley & Charlie, Jam On Bread and so forth.

Which is, to some extent, a right bugger, as our former favourite kick-off of our festivalling year Truck has gone and booked its best line-up in years. We could start with the headliners, Mew and Teenage Fanclub. Or we could just dip into the bran tub of a band listing and pull out Los Campesinos!, Future Of The Left, Meursault, Islet, Blood Red Shoes, the Mercury Rev Clear Light Ensemble, 65daysofstatic, Thomas Truax, Steve Mason, Pulled Apart By Horses, Summer Camp, Thomas Tantrum, Ace Bushy Striptease, Fucked Up, Is Tropical, Dog Is Dead, The Flowers Of Hell, John Otway... and that's far from hell. When are they going to get round to patenting teleportation for such occasions?

Briefly through some others: Secret Garden Party ("brings people together by removing all barriers – you will do things you never thought you had the nerve or bombast to do". Gulp) have Gorillaz Sound System doing a headline DJ set, which seems to involve some people DJing under Jamie Hewlett animation. More bodily, they offer Mercury Rev, Joe Gideon & The Shark, Summer Camp, Helmholtz Resonators, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Son Of Dave, Danny And The Champions Of The World, John & Jehn and The Crookes. Port Eliot Festival is primarily a literary event - Bill Drummond ("he’ll be teaching you how to build a bed"), Justine Picardie, Marina Hyde, Toby Young, Phil Daniels, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Margaret Drabble, Ferdinand Mount and Alex Bellos are there in that capacity this year. So is Luke Haines, reading from Bad Vibes with performance illustrations. There's set aside music too, chiefly for our purposes by The Leisure Society, The John Moore Rock and Roll Trio, Wilko Johnson, Fionn Regan, Kathryn Williams, Jim Bob, Alabama 3 and Danny and The Champions of The World. Also, live on stage, Jarvis Cocker's 6 Music show. Saturday's very more metropolitan 1-2-3-4 Shoreditch has, in among the expected arse, The Pre New (the new incarnation of Earl Brutus), Vic Godard & the Subway Sect, Rolo Tomassi, Vivian Girls, Fucked Up, These New Puritans, Wavves, Zombie-Zombie, Still Corners, Veronica Falls, Dum Dum Girls and Spectrals, as well as Peter Hook getting in the way as he tends to do these days. A day later comes Splendour at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, with the Pet Shop Boys headlining and the Leisure Society, Dog Is Dead, Fists and Fyfe Dangerfield peeking out from under a festival whose second stage will be headlined by Shed Seven and Terrorvision. Non-hipster Londoners! Why not take your kids to Ben & Jerry's Sundae On The Common at Clapham Common all weekend? Oh yeah, because they'd be exposed to Scouting For Girls. But there's also Billy Bragg (love to see how he pitches this one), Slow Club, Doves, Idlewild, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Frightened Rabbit...that headliner's put you off, hasn't it? Ah well. Sheffield is meanwhile being taken over for three days by Tramlines, and they're doing well out of it too - Future Of The Left, Blood Red Shoes, Standard Fare, Mystery Jets, 65daysofstatic, Pulled Apart By Horses, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Grammatics, Rolo Tomassi, The Twilight Sad, Screaming Maldini, Gallops, Three Trapped Tigers, Nat Johnson & The Figureheads, Chapel Club, Male Bonding, Is Tropical, Darwin Deez, Echo & The Bunnymen and a band called The Kooks who don't appear to be that Kooks. Someone should warn them.

Our Mercury's in retrograde. After a good couple of years predicting five of the 12 Mercury Music Prize nominees, last year we slipped to four, as we recall without checking. The announcement for 2010 is made on Tuesday, but as we'll be writing up our Latitude experiences by then we'll have to knock them out now. So, step forward for your provisional nominatures... Delphic, Field Music, Fionn Regan, I Am Kloot, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, Plan B, Polar Bear, These New Puritans, Wild Beasts, The XX and an experimental jazz/folk/whatever record we don't know about yet. (Ah, the cop out. True, though.)

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