Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kids are the same

When I was seventeen (which, as it happens, was seventeen years ago) my letters to Amelia Fletcher and Matt Haynes were filled with really moving stories about how lonely it felt to be an indiepop kid in Athens. So maybe I was hoping they would feel sorry for me and send me some free records but mostly I was being honest. It was a loneliness in numbers because there were quite a few of us - but we felt isolated and everything was happening so far away that by the time any news reached us, they were already old and we were struggling to understand what was going on at the other side of Europe. Flyers reprinted in our fanzines always belonged to the past and we were feeling nostalgic about things we'd never lived.

Now of course there is the internet and Indietracks and I've got a bit more money and the fun never stops. I do pop things and pop things happen to me that I never imagined when I was seventeen. And when me and mr honeypop decided to go to New York for this year's Popfest, it felt like an amazing indiepop adventure and I was peeing in my pants with excitement because I was going to see all those bands and get to walk around a city I only knew from the movies. Nothing could go wrong, the plan was perfect. But I hadn't quite understood just how perfect it was: I went to New York and on the first day of the Popfest I went downstairs at the Cakeshop, stood in front of the stage and a boy I'd never seen in my life before turned and smiled at me and I waved at him. It was Roque! We got to talk and do a group-hug with Kip half an hour later but at that moment it dawned on me just how far we'd come in creating a group of friends from all over the world and how important that was. And as I spent the rest of the popfest sitting around and chatting to wonderful people and getting post-popshow hugs from strangers, I just couldn't believe my luck. I mean, look at us: London, Miami, Stockholm, New York, Chicago, Stoke, Montreal, San Francisco, Glasgow... It didn't feel like a long way to travel to find so much warmth and understanding. The glow on people's faces on Sunday afternoon, I'll just never forget. A patio full of the most awesome talent, the stripiest T-shirts, the brightest smiles and the happiest conversations about pop and nothing at all.



Dimitra Daisy said...

When you were 17 I was 10, it seems, and probably riding my bike up and down the street rather than writing letters to Amelia Fletcher. And I had to move from Thessaloniki to Athens to even hear of you and then to England to finally meet you! The world is a funny place.

By the way I am not jealous you went to the Popfest. No. Not at all. Why do you ask?

Anonymous said...

How were the shows? Did you attend them all? I want to live thru you.

Marianthi said...

I should have said something about the shows I guess, but I keep going on about them to everyone and didn't want to bore you all! They were fantastic. Everyone played brilliantly, the venues were packed with super enthusiastic audiences every night... it was such a joy!

Anonymous said...

Aw, beautiful post, girl. I am still processing all that happened at the magnificent Popfest. I cannot believe it was already one week ago. It almost feels like a dream but I know all those hugs I gave and received and all those bands I saw and the dancing I did (my legs! my back!) and the conversations I had, they were all so true.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Girl, I think I may write something along this same line (the coming together bit, the ecstatic moments shared amongst poppeople from around the world...) from my perspective for Pete's next zine. I've been thinking more about this lovely entry. Is that ok?

I wasn't an indie pop teenager but I was a teenager obsessed with British pop, circling with hearts penpal and personal ads in the back of Select magazine. I think how far I've come but I still want more such experiences and times such as Popfest. I don't want them to be rare and the exception.

Marianthi said...

Jennifer, of course it's OK! I don't expect I was the only one to have felt that way while we were out there!

Dimitra! I can't believe you had to move twice for my sake but it's nice of you. :P

Anonymous said...

marianthi i miss you!

magicmarker said...


Sorry i didn't get to talk to you at the popfest. I am glad Kip introduced us. I am actually really bad at meetings like that so I blame myself. New York is crazy. It is just impossible to do and see it all. I am glad your first trip was everything you wanted it to be. I have been 5 or so times and always leave exhausted with a grin on my face. Vivian Girls are amazing and I am sure you will get your chance to see them.

Matt said...

this is just beautiful!