Yeah, did you get my Honeybunch reference there? Pretty obscure, isn't it? Ha!
I was reminded yesterday about a conversation during my last summer holiday in Greece in the island of Antiparos, in 1997. A friend of a friend was talking to me about music and said that the only reason anyone would listen to small, unknown bands is to be deliberately obscure. I was furious of course: just because you're lazy, mister, that doesn't make me pretentious. Pfft!
Indiepop is a funny little place. We live in the past quite a lot because we can pinpoint the time when it all started - or so we think. Doesn't everyone have their own indiepop history wallcharts which differ greatly according to age, sex and That Sex? No? You know what I mean though: if you're nearer you forties, you'll probably be wetting your pants at the thought of the C86 tape. Or you could be getting all dreamy thinking about Sarah Records like what I do, or early Creation, or Subway. Or was it Belle and Sebastian that opened up your eyes? And look at us now, with all these amazing bands all around us, the popshows, the indiepop discos everywhere - and not just here. Sweden is Indiepop Heaven, if I interpret what I hear correctly (I haven't been yet). Look at us! You can jump on the train and go see The Deirdres in Derby, or Pocketbooks in Sheffield, or Bunnygrunt in Nottingham, or The Icicles in London. We're lucky because we live in a time of great fun and adventures and a lot of love is turned into songs and bands and singles. We're lucky. So why do we look back? Why do Horowitz need to namedrop Talulah Gosh and Bubblegum Splash in 'Popkids of the World Unite'? Why do The Parallelograms namecheck most 1980s indiepop bands like Razorcuts, The Pooh Sticks and Popguns? They're both brilliant songs but why are they looking back when we have so much to look forward to?
I think it's a code. I don't know if it's the right way to connect to an audience that you think will understand you but that's alright because we can do both. My head gets as messed up with happiness when I listen to Talulah Gosh as it does when I put on Cooties Attack! and that's the truth. It's not reverence that makes me want to play my Flatmates seven-inches, it's pure delight. But that goes for The Deirdres cd-r as well. I love it. They're all important and urgent and, if anything, what we should really be looking at are the bands that appeared at times when nothing else was happening around them and fought it till the bitter end, for the love of pop. Hello The Regulars. You were great.
ConIFA 2018: The Venues
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