Tonight after work, I'm heading to our monthly pub club (where a bunch of us go to the pub and sit there until we're kicked out). It's an Indietracks Comedown Special and it's not coming a moment too soon: round 2 of my Indietracks comedown hit me good and proper on Sunday night; that slow sorrow that lingers for ages when you realise that, come Monday morning, you become once again a bundle of worries and anxieties that are of no benefit to anyone, really, apart from The Man who wants you tied down so it can keep The System running without interruptions. Come Monday morning, the friends you long to be surrounded by will be as sad as you, and the music you love will become a sound you have to turn on to block the ugly noise coming from outside. I sound like a cheery goth, I realise that.
You see, until this year I always saw Indietracks as a superlative escape from reality, this magical thing we have that allows us to forget. But last Sunday night, on the dark train to Butterley, as we were waving goodbye to the site and wished to be allowed to live in signal boxes, that night I was filled with so much love and hope. Hope! That's it. The fact Indietracks happens at all should give us hope. Because it's not magic, not really. It's very real proof that the things we believe in are possible and utopia is a reactionary concept and can sod off. Before you hand me my laminated membership card from the Anarchist Federation I have something else to say.
Here is the thing: we have to carry on. We need to keep putting on popshows, writing songs, writing about indiepop, making fanzines, putting records out and buying them. Indietracks and popfests around the world rely upon all of us doing so. We carry each other on our backs and we shouldn't let go for fear of disappointment or fear of anything. The only thing to be afraid of is that the Tories get to us. And the anxiety of doing the stuff we care about justice is still the sweetest and most joyful because it means something, and there is true comradeship and a slight bit of madness there. Fair ticket prices, all the money going to the bands, records sold at cost price, fanzines written with passion, free songs, travelling for popshows, drunken smiles, bands on your floor - beauty in the face of adversity. Indiepop as a public service. We have to keep going.
The Deflation of England’s Big Sam
8 hours ago