Thanks so much to Lee for the interview! Kind were a great indiepop band from the late 80s that had a bunch of song on many Waaaaah releases, sharing 7″s with the likes of The Dufflecoats, Strawberry Story, The Cudgels and more. I always wondered why there werent more releases, and why were they so obscure, being their songs so good! So here are some answers for that and many other questions!

++ Hi Lee! Thanks a lot for being up for an interview! How are you? When was the last time you made music?

If fine thanks. How are you?

The last time that I made music was last week. A neighbour asked me and my partener to joine her and a couple of friends to come over to her house for a singsong. So I took my guitar and joined the others to play some old classics. ‘Days’ by The Kinks, Head and Heart by John Martyn, Northern Sky by Nick Drake, Coz I Luv U by Slade etc.

++ I’ve only heard 4 songs from your band Kind. All scattered in many of the Waaaaah releases. The question is, why didn’t you get to release a record of your own? Was there any plans?

The short answer is lack of funds.There were plans for a single release of a single called Swelter b/w Whirlpool Kisses but nothing came of it.’

++ In the Waaaaah page it says you only recorded one demo tape. Do you remember which songs were there? And does this means that you don’t have any more songs recorded?

There was the two songs mentioned in the first question plus about another 20 ready for recording. Other songs that I can remember off of the top of my head were, ‘Catherine Will’, ‘She Flies’, ‘Promises Made’, and a cover of Galaxie 500’s ‘Snowstorm’.

++ So let’s go back in time, who were Kind? What instruments did you each play and how did you all know each other?

Kind were Lee (Me) – Rhythm and Lead Guitar , ‘Strobe’ (1988-89) Vocals- Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Michael – Bass, Sharron – Vocals (1990-92), Adrian (1989-90) and Tim (1990 – 92).

The band was formed in early 1988 by myself and ‘Strobe’. We had become friends because we would end up at every indie gig in around London. I remember discussing starting a band when we were at The Camden Falcon after watching The Pastels. We rehearsed at Strobe’s
parents large house in Hayward’s Heath in Sussex. We started off sounding like a strange hybrid of The Stooges, The Pastels, The Velvet Underground and The Seeds.

++ And was this your first adventure in music or you had been in other bands before?

I was in a band in the mid 1980s called President Joe. Were influenced by Nick Cave, Birthday Party, Crime and  The City Solution. Lime Spiders, Bowie, Einstruzende Neubauten, The Triffids, Joy Division etc. We then met up with Robert Hampson and Becky and formed a band called Mary aged 31/2 but nothing came of it. Robert went onto form Loop and the rest is history as they say.

++ Whereabouts in the UK were you based by the way? What were the cool places to hang out or watch bands play in your town?

We were based in Deptford/Bermondsey in S.E. London. There were a couple of places that were O.K. The Deptford Albany put on many gigs. I saw The Fall, Nico, and The Slits amongst many others there. Another venue was called ‘A Million Rubber Bands’. So many great bands played there from the late 80s – early 90s. These included Bongwater, Perfect Disaster, Kitchens of Distinction, Blur, God Bullies, The Chills, etc. Deptford had a reputation for music for years. My grandparents met at the local dancehall where the entertainers of that era (1930s) played. Deptford is probably most famous music-wise for the bands that came through during the punk era. The label, Deptford Fun City, was home to Alternative TV and Squeeze (both local bands). Other bands that came out of Deptford were Dire Straits, The Flying Pickets and The Fabulous Poodles.

++ If it’s not much trouble care to tell me what’s the story behind each of the released songs “Disdain”, “Breathe into Me”, “Emily” and “The House (A Dream)”? It can be short!

I’ll give it a go….
Emily was written about a friends relationship with a rather shallow girlfriend. She would be really nasty to him and when he would challenge her behaviour she would  burst into tears and throw a strop. BTW, Emily wasn’t her real name.

Breathe Into Me is about 6th sense. Having ‘that’ feeling that something is about to happen and what is about to happen isn’t very good.

Disdain is about how quickly life can change and making the most of a good situation.

The House (A Dream) is about a recurring dream that my grandmother, mother and myself had. My version of the dream is quite literally spelled out in the song. I would be on the top of a hill looking down into a valley where a white house was situated. I was then standing by a window that beyond was something that wasn’t pleasant. The song was an exorcism. Since writing it I have never had  the dream…. Psychoanalysts make of that what you will.

++ Who would you say were your influences then? Which bands from that period did you really like? Did you follow any?

The band had common influences in The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Galaxie 500 and The Kitchens of Distinction. I was very influenced by bands on the Flying Nun/Expressway labels. The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, Gordon/Bailter Space, The Bats, Tall Dwarfs, Doublehappys and The Able Tasmans. I also loved (and still do) The Go Betweens. Other bands included Sonic Youth, The House of Love, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Momus, The Pastels, Jesus & Mary Chain etc. I didn’t follow many bands but roadied for The House of Love for a couple of weeks. They were friends and asked if I could help out on a mini tour around England sometime during 1988.

++ Tell me about gigs! Did you play many? Which were your favourite gigs? Why?

We played mainly in and around the London area. We did a couple of gigs in the Midlands. I suppose we must have played getting on for about 100 gigs over the four years that we were together. One of my favourite gigs was at The Camden Falcon supporting Motorcycle Boy (ex Shop Assistants). The place was packed and,although we didn’t play that well, the atmosphere was great. The was a band called Birdland in the audience. who really got off on us and their manager showed some interest in signing us. We also had interest from Cherry Red Records but nothing came of it because ‘Strobe’ left the band a bit later and those labels didn’t like the direction that we subsequently took.

++ So how did you end up being in touch and putting your songs out with Richard from Waaaaah?

We played a few gigs at the Deptford Fountain. Richard put these gigs on and he built up a roster of bands which recorded for Waaaaah / Bring on Bull Records.

++ I told a friend of mine that I was writing some questions for you and her being a big fan of Waaaaah, had so many questions. Hope you don’t mind! First, if you considered yourselves part of a scene at all? Maybe of that ‘cutie’ scene that is mentioned on the Waaaah zines?

We were never part of the ‘cutie’ scene. We were too noisy for that lot. If we were part of a scene it was  the one that was coming out of S.E. London. There were some great little groups around at the time. Bands such as Lavern (sic) and Shirley and Rebecca Fishpond. If we had to align ourselves to a scene it would have been that Sarah Records scene if you like.

++ Secondly, there’s this idea that Waaaaah positioned themselves as antagonists of Sarah Records, crashing even the Sarah Christmas Party in the Waaaah bus. Did you partake of this event? And if so, care to tell the story?!

I don’t know anything about that. I remember Richard booking a couple of Sarah bands to play The Deptford Fountain.We supported St. Christopher and some other bands. The Sarah management were going to come and see us there but I heard that they didn’t make as their car broke down. Perhaps something more sinister happened….

++ And last but not least, were there any girls that inspired you? who did you make fun of? who were you jealous of? did you write many fanmail? was there anyone in the scene who missed the mark? did you ever wish to have been part of another band?

The name of the band was inspired by a mates girlfriend who told us that when she and a friend were little they had an imaginary band called Kind. Miki and Emma from Lush were an inspiration and good drinking buddies for a while. Lesley Langton and Tanya Donnelly from Throwing Muses and Kristen Hirsh were great influences too.

Never make fun of anyone, you never know the situation that they are in. Never be jealous of anyone. Jealousy is shallow.

There were a few unsigned band that missed the mark. Lavern (sic) and Shirley and Rebecca Fishpond I already mentioned. There were bands that I followed that I thought would go onto do great thing but never did including Perfect Disaster.

When I was in my early teens I wished to be in all of the bands that I loved. But if push comes to shove I would have loved to be in any of Bowie’s bands upto and including Scary Monsters, Super Creeps.

++ Now I wonder, as Waaaaaah would make these ace fanzines that actually looked more like proper magazines, how was your relationship with fanzines? Did you ever do one?

I helped out on a couple. One of which was centered on the New Zealand Scene and The early Seattle scene. The fanzine was called ‘The Hog Butcher’ and it was the brainchild of a friend called Bob Taylor. We interviewed many bands including The Bats, The Chills, Kramer (Bongwater), Steve Albini and Sonic Youth amongst others.

++ And well, in general, looking back to those days, what would you say was the biggest highlight of Kind as a band?

When we were recording Disdain, all the staff of the studio came into the control room to watch. Michael and I were recording the intro to a click track and I looked up too see the engineers and other staff all grooving away. That gave me such a rush that was so enervating that I was walking on air for weeks after.

++ This might be a bit too much of a wishful question, but have the idea of reforming someday crossed your mind?

About a year after we split we were approached by Atlantic records to play the New York New Music Seminar supporting The Lemonheads. Atlantic had heard our songs through the American College Radio Network. We had a couple of ‘hits’ on the network. Emily was No.1 for quite a few weeks and Disdain was a top 3. We had a chat about it but we had moved on didn’t fancy auditioning a new singer (more of which in the next question). Michael and I had formed a new band called Fuzz Aldrin(no recordings exist) and we had taken a different musical path.

++ So when and why did you split then? Are you all still in touch?

Sharron got pregnant and wanted to take time away to bring up her child. The rest of the band carried on without her for a while,  recording new songs for the future but after a while we seemed to run out of steam. It simply came to a natural end.’

++ Aside from music, what other hobbies or interests do you enjoy doing on the day to day?

Now that I have become middle aged the hobbies of middle age have become part of my life. I have inherited the ‘green fingers’ of my father and grandfather and I love gardening. Musically, I have got heavily into modern jazz and 60s-70s soul music. I am an enthusiastic historian especially the history of London.I think that I may have become someone that, If I did make fun of anyone, it would be me

++ Thanks so much for everything Lee! Anything else you’d like to add?!

Thanks for the opportunity,Roque.


Kind – Disdain


Very short post this week. Forgive me if you expected to have something long read while taking the train or having breakfast. You see, there’s little time this week as I’m flying tomorrow to the UK for the main indiepop event of the year: Indietracks. On top of it all I haven’t been feeling well these past two days, some sort of cold is trying to get into me, but I’ve been fighting with both Dayquil and Nightquil. It makes me feel very knackered, but I’m feeling less sick. Prices to pay.

Anyways. The good news this week is that at last The Occasional Flickers 7″ masters are on there way to the pressing plant. So hopefully we’ll have it ready for sale late August, early September! Well, actually you can pre-order it now. But it will be available at that time.

Also earlier today I managed to at last add the Interviews and Lost Bands links on the right sidebar of the blog. Those two lists used to be there before the blog was hacked almost a year ago. When I reinstated the blog, I could save all posts and comments but the links were lost. So I have manually added one by one to the list. Many people had been asking me for these, as it’s easier to navigate that way than using the Search tool (I agree with this of course, I’m not dumb), so there it is. For all of you that think of the blog as sort of an archive that needs a table of contents, an index, of some sort.

And so, this is goodbye. Goodbye because I’m heading for summer fields! For a week. I’ll see you readers next week after I return from Indietracks. Those going to Indietracks or to the London Secret History/Comet Gain show, please say hello, buy me a beer, buy me lunch, dinner, or support Cloudberry and buy from me some records, fanzines or t-shirts. It’s going to be fun. I look forward to an indiepop-fun-packed-weekend! As Dan Treacy used to sing, it’s going to be a SMASHING TIME.


Somerfield (originally Gateway) was a chain of small to medium sized supermarkets operating in the United Kingdom. The company also previously owned the Kwik Save chain of discount food stores. The company was taken over by the Co-operative Group on 2 March 2009 in a £1.57 billion deal, creating the UK’s fifth largest food retailer. The name was phased out and replaced by the Co-operative Food brand in a rolling programme of store conversions ending in summer 2011.

Did the name of the band came from there? Don’t know. There’s really little information online about Gary Aspinall’s band. Yes, that much I know. The one member. And that comes thanks to Harvey Saward who told me about it when I interviewed him many years ago. Thing was Gary was also part of The Odolites as Harvey.

Gary would also play in to The Killjoys, who I tried to interview once, sending questions, but with no success. The Killjoys have a much more bigger presence on the web, even a Facebook page, so if you are curious. I say just google. But the topic today is this mysterious band Somerfields who only released a 12″ EP in 1991.

Discogs doesn’t list the record. I have never seen the sleeve. The only place were it is listed is in Twee.net. No surprise there, it was Peter Hahndorf who introduced me to this band. Actually this MP3 comes from a CD he gave me. I wonder how did he find this rare Tasmanian 12″!

I know Gary is still around, he just produced the new Steinbecks album to be released by Matinée. I still haven’t listened to it, but will order it as soon as I return from Indietracks. Because of this new piece of evidence, I assume he lives in Melbourne, not in Tasmania anymore.

I keep googling. I stumble upon an old Swedish website. It looks like Geocities. Remember those days? In it I see a Killjoys record listed with the musicians credited for their participation in it. A new clue arises. The drummer David Folley is also linked to Somerfields. We got two now.

One last clue. The website for Mark Woods Audio. The record is listed there. Mark Woods has recorded it. The list of bands there baffles me. I see Hellvyvelln, Sea Stories, MacGuffins, Captain Cocoa and more. It’s clear he was the go to guy in Australia if you were doing jangly pop!

And that’s where all the clues stop, leading nowhere else. If anyone else knows anything else about them, please share! Or a spare copy would be nice too! Would love to hear the rest of the songs. I’ll reply next week when I’m back! Enjoy!


Somerfields – Over My Head


It’s less than a week now. That is for me to be in my favourite town in the world. London.  And then head to Indietracks for a weekend full of indiepop and friends. That’s pretty soon. Am I ready? Almost. I got everything I’ve been asked to bring. I’m only missing some CDs for the DJing time at The Miller next Thursday when The Secret History, Comet Gain and Pale Spectres may as well play the best Indietracks warm-up gig ever. The issue is my old CDs seem scratched and they skip. I have to look good in London!

My mind the last couple of days has been somewhere else though. Aside from very nice email exchange with some friends that are going to Indietracks, I haven’t been thinking much about the festival. To my surprise I havent listened to the Indietracks mix compilation that is free for download. I wasn’t even aware it existed until today. What’s the matter with me? Have I decided to live under a rock unconsciously?

So where’s my mind?

My mind is in Latin America actually. As odd as it sounds. Three events in the past week have made me watch what’s unfolding there.

1. I receive an email from a well known cultural magazine in Lima, Peru. They have stumbled upon one of my early posts on the blog. In this post I talk about a band from Wales called Peruvian Hipsters who had this one fantastic 7″ (that I still haven’t found!) that includes the song ‘Tony Hadley’. A should-have-been indiepop hit. The music writer asks me if I have any contact with the band, if I could help him as he wants to write an article about them. Of course I know it’s not really an article about the music. What the writer cares is why they are called Peruvian Hipsters. It’s an odd curiosity for anyone Peruvian, to have any sort of recognition aside from Machu Picchu and a couple other things we are very proud of. He writes me in English. He hasn’t even checked I’m his countryman. It sometimes surprises me the lack of use journalists give google. Anyhow. I help him, pointing him where to find the Peruvian Hipsters. On top of that, knowing his lack of musical knowledge and his true intentions I also point them to the now Bristol-based band Peru. I even sell it to him saying they have a song called “Cubillas” in honor of the great soccer player that dazzled the Scottish squad of 78. Yes, that one with Kenny Dalglish. Anyhow, I haven’t heard from him again.

2. A well known Peruvian writer has landed a job at a magazine. A glossy magazine that mostly prints articles and photos of the great social events of the Lima high-class. His job? Write about music. The issue? He doesn’t know anything about music. Fast forward. He reviews my latest release on Plastilina Records, the Eva & John flexi. When he sends the article to my partner telling him that he didn’t like the record, he also adds, “but don’t worry it will make them popular”. Arrogance. I find that attitude insulting. Who does he think he is? The article he writes is a mess. A true example again of the lack of use of google, calling the band a duet when it’s a four-piece. This easily to confirm if you just see a video on Youtube. A lack of music knowledge lets him slip into ignorance claiming a lack of originality when there hasn’t been a single Latin American band that had sounded like this. Surprising enough he even calls the band empty but pretentious and criticizes the cover artwork that is such a beautiful nod to the Wedding Present’s George Best. This time with a Peruvian star, Hugo Sotil, who had a great streak in Barcelona in the 70s. Funny thing is, I know google, and I search for the cover artwork of his acclaimed novels that I havent read yet, and I find incredibly ridiculous that he could actually criticize our artwork. His artwork is the best example of what pretension is. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to write. Nor even have a public opinion. Issue number two. I write about this, I deconstruct his article on the Plastilina facebook page. There’s good support. But sadly my label partner feels that he will have to answer all the dumb Peruvians for my writing. So he decides not to take part of it. I wouldn’t call it cowardice as some people go ahead and say they want to hit us, punch us, kick us, etc. Just for uncovering the ignorance of this writer. Violence. That’s the solution for them. Those who have lost any words to defend themselves. The question is, how could someone who actually admits not knowing anything about music have a space, a column, to write? Thing is, this happens everywhere, not only in Peru. Just check that article about indiepop some years ago on Pitchfork.

3. There’s this great Mexican fanzine called Kill People You Like ran by a lovely couple, Lalo and Liz. So they did interview me for their fanzine, but that you can read if you buy the next number. I actually wrote a piece for the zine. Supposedly it’s coming as an insert, accompanying the orange-ink zine. My topic, how this dream of mine to save the Latin American indiepop scene in 2006 ended up into nothing, but now, thanks to their effort and some other people in countries like Mexico, Brazil and Peru, it’s not just my dream anymore but also the dream of many other people down south. It made me nostalgic of the days I used to discover bands on Myspace that made indiepop in places like Monterrey or Sao Paulo. The days when I made a CD compilation for a Peruvian magazine. When I wrote an article for them too. When I got all the enemies I could by telling a couple of truths to the lazy and self-indulgent music press of my country. When I cut ties with all that because Cloudberry was a much better and rewarding idea. But now I feel I can extend my arm, and feel ties with them again. Because there’s passion, there’s excitement, and I feel there could be an exciting scene brewing if all things go right. Yes. Writing such a piece had made me nostalgic. No surprise I’m flying to Peru this year after 7 years almost.

Anyhow, Indietracks. I will make myself think Indietracks 24/7 from now on. That is my new challenge. It shouldn’t be that difficult, right? As Brilliant Corners are playing!


The Mandelbrot set is a mathematical set of points whose boundary is a distinctive and easily recognizable two-dimensional fractal shape. The set is closely related to Julia sets (which include similarly complex shapes), and is named after the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, who studied and popularized it.

That doesn’t still make much sense for me, but you can continue reading about it here. I used to be good in maths in high school though, but this seems pretty advanced. Were the kids on The Mandelbrot Set into maths? Or why did they named their band like this? I find it very odd. From what I heard when they were in the band they were pretty young, teenagers even.

The band hailed from Adelaide, Australia.
Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide’s founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light’s design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parkland. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to the moniker “City of Churches”.

They released a CD mini-album called “A Place Called Kansas” in 1992 that I first knew it existed thanks to Peter Hahndorf, Twee.net master. He had included a song by them, Landslide, on this double CD-R album he was hoping to put together of obscure Australian indiepop called “The Sound of Glen Waverley”. A response to the Leamington Spa series. This compilation was never properly released even though I had once attempted to do it but I was going to clash with Egg Records’ Kevin. So I desisted. Thing is, neither him, neither me, ended up releasing an Australian indiepop nuggest compilation. Terrible. Anyhow. This song, Landslide, was SO good. Amazingly good. And then I went on a unfruitful search for this CD. Still today I’m looking for it. Any generous person out there that has two copies, please be kind to me!

The CD was released by Ra Records, who I believe were part of RooArt, if not the same. The catalog is this crazy number 4509905212. It was recorded at Paradise Studios, Sydney, during Autumn 1992 and this was the tracklist:

1 A Place Called Kansas
2  Landslide
3  More Than Happy
4  Massive
5  Julia
6  I Swan
7  Lush

Discogs lists these credits too for the CD:

Bass, Vocals – Adam McBeth
Design – Marcelle Lunam, Simon Alderson
Drums – Michael Bajer
Guitar – Brian Pyper
Producer [Assistant] – Michelle Barry, Tim Northam
Producer, Mixed By – Mandelbrot Set, The, Wayne Connolly
Songwriter – Mandelbrot Set, The
Vocals, Guitar – Christie Scardigno, Tim Mortimer

After this, in 1993 they released another CD. An eponymous CD that included five songs. These were:

1   Automation
2  Nothing You Need
3  Non-Stop Action
4   *****
5   Collider

I’ve never seen this CDs either, and I’ve only listened to Non-Stop Action thanks to a Myspace page, which is still up.  I wonder if this page was ran by members of the band.

The rest of the credits for this CD are:
Artwork By [Cover] – Simon Alderson, Nick Scardino & The Mandelbrot Set
Producer – Daniel Denholm, Mandelbrot Set, The
I know it’s not the same Scardino and Scardigno. But the coincidence is there. Does Christie who sang and Nick who designed this last CD were sister and brother?

A blog by the name “The Lucid Ocean Diaries” writes about a gig when the band The Lucid Ocean and The Mandelbrot Set once shared the bill. There’s a couple of little tidbits that interest us:

“We overkilled on lighting effect. As the Mandelbrots had their customary white backdrop we decided to use slides. We had a slide for every song, mostly marine shots, with one that Andrew and I found in the library of a cyclone.”

“Afterwards I just loaded my gear into the car and left. Some Mandelbrot hanger onner said we were good, and said he liked Circle, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything to him. I just wanted to get out of there as fast as possible!”

“I subsequently found out we got ripped off again. Apparently the Mandelbrots were given $200 for both bands. Their manager reckoned we were not entitled to any of it. But Andrew and Wayne pestered him, and we got $60 in the end, with the Mandelbrots claiming they didn’t know what was going on, like they did all the time before the gig when we requested info about it.”

They were getting good money The Mandelbrots! They were headliners. They seem to have been a popular band at least in Adelaide. How the hell are their two CDs this hard to find? That is very odd.

The writer of the article has been kind enough to even scan an article from the local music magazine called “dB” were the gig at the Big Ticket on Thursday January 9th of 199(2-3???) has been reviewed by Fiona Dalton. You can check it here. I’ll transcribe the part were the Mandelbrot Set is mentioned. Bear with me.

“We were rescued however, when the Mandelbrot Set took to the stage. Returning to the world of gigs after a two month hiatus with a set of ten songs and without their usual onslaught of dry ice effects (the management felt that a smoke machine might set off their fire alarm), the Mandelbrots reaffirmed their position as one of Adelaide’s best.

Live, the Mandelbrot Set are always far more intense and complicated than on their recordings to date, a fact exemplified by, the, ahem, pumped up versions of I Swan and Joy in Despair. Four numbers in we were treated to a new song, and just when it was reaching it’s noisiest, semiplosive heights, the whole thing just kind of fell in.

Not quite, but drummer Michael had a broken snare. There followed a bit of a wait while a snare was hastily borrowed from Lucid Ocean, wherein they thanked us several times for coming, reeled off a list of their forthcoming gigs, and Tim held up a small black box and quipped “This is an e-bow. Big Country used a lot of these.” I guess you had to be there.

Back on track they launched into Dream so Hard, Julia, Landslide and Wump. It is interesting to see that in recent gigs they have shed earlier favourites such as More Than Happy in exchange for a more guitar obsessed angle. Luckily this is no bad thing. Indeed the only disappointment of the night was that they didn’t play an encore, which would have been nice.

The only other complaint I heard murmured amongst the punters (and there were a lot ot us) was that someone in A Wealthy Record Company hasn’t yet loosed the purse strings to allow for a purchasable product.

But this has nothing at all to do with the evening, which was most enjoyable with the Mandelbrots, as ever, frothing forth with memorable pop song after memorable pop song.”

Quite interesting right? Wish I had been at one of their gigs! Did they ever reform by the way? Or they just quit in the early 90s?

Another blog, but run by the same person, Ralph Dodger, and called “Sh sh sh shoodabeen HUUUUUUUUUUGE!” wrote a bit more about the band. Thanks to it, I learn that their second CD was mostly influenced by New Order and had an electropop/dance vein to it. And that it is true, that the band just disappeared after releasing the second CD! Shame.

To add to the mystery, I once stumbled on ebay, back in 2011, with a listing for a 12″ test pressing for the “A Fractal” EP. The listing description says: “On Tweenet there is only one entry for THE MANDLEBROT SET as a cd issued in 1992.However this ultra rare 12” issued by Pure records(pressed in France) has 4 slices of classic if not virtually unknown music.Tracks are:’Love You Now’/’The Odyssey’/’Shout About it’/’Look in Your Eye’.Labels are white with a/b written in pen.Some of my friends suggested i put a reserve on this item but instead i will start at a sensible price.Sleeve ex- as there is a slight bump along base but vinyl ex. ”

Was it the same band? I tend to doubt it. But MAYBE?

And that’s about all I could find about them online. Which is not little, but still, there’s still a lot of mysterious veil covering the band. If anyone out there knows anything else at all about them please share!


The Mandelbrot Set – Landslide


There are so many new releases out this summer. More than usual. Way more. There are reissues for East Village. Also for McCarthy, Monochrome Set, Flatmates and The Charlottes. There’s retrospective albums for Reserve and The Bridge. There’s a new Ocean Blue, Legendary Jim Ruiz Group and The Proctors albums. And last but not least there’s the Scared to Get Happy boxset which I ordered yesterday. Arriving tomorrow at home thanks to Amazon Prime. Yes, next week I should review that.
There’s also the new Pastels album. And plenty of new singles. There’s some new bands releasing cool stuff, one of them, Homecomings from Japan, who even though I’m in touch with, I haven’t been able to secure a copy of their album or their split 7″. Seems like a lost battle sometimes to order from Japan as many there feel shy about their English. It’s a shame. I would be the last one to judge someone’s English.

I’m probably forgetting some new stuff that’s coming out soon. Ok, most probably a lot. It’s hard to keep up and I live under a rock. Though my point is, that the amount of new releases this summer is much bigger than the last year. You’d think we are living a new indiepop renaissance, similar to the one in 2007 and 2008, but is that the case?

I doubt it. Sure, the positive fans would see that their CD shelves are getting crammed with all these new albums, and so, the answer will be yes. There’s a lot of new music to listen. But as I said, I have my doubts. Mostly because these all are well established bands, well known, that have been playing for a long time. I just remembered that there’s a new double CD by 14 Iced Bears. And another by The Woodentops. So yes, it’s the old guns who are coming up with indispensable releases. But what about the young guns? That’s why, even though I’m terribly happy to see and buy all these releases, I worry a bit.

Perhaps it’s very risky to release new bands. I have a couple of ideas why that is. One is that the record collectors grew up in the 80s and 90s, so they still support and listen bands from that period. New bands are often seen with disdain, like copycats of what they listened back in their heyday of pop-fandom. It’s a possibility, an indicator being the amount of bands from that time reforming these days. Something I salute, of course, I want to see these bands play too!

The other reason is money. New bands seem not to play too often. They are mostly bedroom projects. Bands that don’t play don’t get exposure, thus no one gets to know about them.  Also, as they are new their reputation has yet to be built. Of course there are exceptions to these rules, but in general I find that new bands have a hard time to have a break. Playing at Indietracks or Popfests are perhaps their best bets. It’s not surprising that MOST (if not all) indiepop labels are NOT releasing new bands. And when I say “new” bands, I mean bands that have no releases out or just an EP or a single out there. It seems they are only picked up after a successful album or string of singles.

It’s not that I’m blaming labels for not supporting blindly in the rough talent of an up and coming band. There’s money involved and being in debt is never a good idea. So who can complain if a label doesn’t want to get into trouble. It’s a risk. Mind you, I find it worth taking, but it’s obvious the majority doesn’t.

The question again, is there an indiepop renaissance? I want to believe there’s something new coming up, new winds. But this explosion has to have young blood. I hope, all these unknown band names that are playing Indietracks, are going to make me believe there’s something else aside from all the well known bands that are stirring the scene with all these new releases. But like I said before, there MIGHT be a brightside. My favourite songs at the moment come from a soundcloud of a new band.  I’m in love with them. They are  called Don’t Cry Shopgirl and are from Stockholm. I think they started a month or so ago. If there are more of this kind of indiepop bands out there maybe a new indiepop era is blooming. Keeping my eyes peeled.


 Northern Lights is a common name for the Aurora Borealis (Polar Aurorae) in the Northern Hemisphere.

Would you consider strange that this Northern Lights band came actually from the Southern Hemisphere and not the Northern one then? All the way from Australia?

I don’t know much about Northern Lights to be honest. They are pretty obscure. I’ve only ever heard this song called “Waves” and I find it beautiful. Fragile and sensitive. I believe it was part of a tape compilation. But it’s been so long since I got this as an MP3 that I don’t think I can recall who even sent it to me.

So the story overlaps a bit with that of the more known Charlotte’s Web who formed in 1986. There was a brief period when they were called Catherine Wheels (not to be confused by the Australian Catherine Wheel from some years later). And here’s where Wikipedia sheds some light about Northern Lights:

Catherine Wheels was originally formed by Jeff Lowe (vocals, guitar) and Tim Underwood (guitar) in 1986 in Perth, Western Australia. Lowe and Underwood had played in The Russians (1984–1986), with Darryl Edwards (drums) and Richard Galli (bass guitar, keyboards). Catherine Wheels performed as a drummerless two piece,[2] before adding Greta Little and Chad Hedley as their rhythm section (bass guitar and drums respectively), under the name Catherine Wheels, in 1986.[1][4] The band performed infrequently around Perth for about a year, releasing a single, “Big Letdown” in February 1987, before they relocated to Sydney where Underwood, Little and Hedley left to form a new band, Northern Lights.

Also Wikipedia mentions in their Post Charlotte-Webs sub-head:

After the Northern Lights, Underwood went on to form The Rosemary Beads, with Little (bass) and Cam Munachen (drums).

As far as I know Northern Lights only put out a tape. The name was “Trouble Understanding”, and it’s indeed a trouble understanding why they didn’t release anything else. I have never seen this tape and I don’t know the track listing. If anyone out there can help with that, it would be much appreciated! Also a rip, Mp3s at least, of the songs, would make a popfan (me) very happy! This tape was released in 1988.

The only other mention to them on the web comes from the website of the Charisma Brothers. William Bannister is part of this band and in his bio he tells a bit of the story of Northern Lights.

I started performing music in the vibrant indi scene of Perth circa 1986/7. I was inspired by the likes of Just Add Water and Sydney band The Lighthouse Keepers who used trumpet. Local legends The Triffids, had used trumpet on their classic single Beautiful Waste. That was it for me. I dreamed of playing in a band. My first band was The Northern Lights, a jangly guitar, lilting harmony band fronted by Lucy Brooks-Kenworthy and Tim Underwood with Gretta Little on bass and Chad Hedley [local DJ] sometimes on drums. Great musicians, I was privileged to join them.

 Tim and Gretta would later go on to make a name for themselves with The Rosemary Beads in the 90s. The Northern Lights performed at venues like the Fitzgerald Hotel, The Shenton Park and the Beaufort Hotel – now a supermarket. We put out a cassette – Trouble Understanding…

The guitar, lyrics and harmonies still sound great when I listen to it. It seemed that within weeks of me mentioning I could play the trumpet a bit, I was at Shelter recording studio in Wanneroo.  We were featured on The Hometown Farewell Kiss album released by 6UVSFM [RTR] that came out after the band had folded. The photo above was taken at a video shoot we did at Swanbourne Beach. I remember nudists casually walking along the beach disrupting the shoot. We were on their patch after all and I felt overdressed in a suit twirling an umbrella while blowing a bugle.

Then on the fanzine Party Fears #12, there’s an interview to Charlotte Web. There’s also a mention to Northern Lights:

And then you went off and did the  first Charlotte’s Web, which also played drummerless as the Catherine Wheels.

Jeff: ”That’s right- once or twice, I’m not sure. I continued with Tim Underwood. I said, ‘look, I want to do this,’ and it was along the lines of what he wanted to do. “For me, at the time, it was a reaction to all the heavier guitar bands that were around; I wanted to do something that was incredibly fragile, and I probably suffered for it. But I still stuck with it, because at the time it was what I wanted to do. ”That was Tim Underwood, Gretta Little, Chad Hedley and me. It played here infrequently for about a year, then went to Sydney and broke up as such in Sydney. ‘Personality clashes.’ Just the usual.”

Then they went off to become the Northern Lights, and you got together another Charlotte’s Web.

Jeff: “Mmm. I had no intention of letting go of the name. I think too many bands lack a sense of identity, because they start a band, and if the band doesn’t work straight away they break it up and start another band, and all you get is a group of people who’ve been in so many different bands it becomes totally confusing. There’s no history. I think it’s important to try to keep a name, even if your membership changes, because then people can look back … there’s something there, you can actually grow. ”I just know so many musicians who’ve been in twenty hands and they still haven’t finished. There’s not much point.”

And that’s about all I’ve managed to gather about this short lived Sydney project that has remained in obscurity for so long. I of course would love to hear more about them. Especially that tape. I’m very curious! Does anyone remember them?


Northern Lights – Waves


July arrived and the horoscope tells me Jupiter is in my Cancer house. Whatever that means, sounds good. Because if this planet is going to bring me lots of gifts then it chose the right month. Why is that? Because we are only weeks away from Indietracks. The Disneyland of indiepop, the Shangri-La of C86, our own McDonald’s ball pit of DIY guitar fun. So yesterday I went through the announced schedule and aside from two clashes that I might manage, it feels like a very straightforward time for me. Not many difficult decisions to make.

So here is what I posted yesterday on facebook to share with my friends (who have first dibs in my calendar making, obviously).


As always this is the most straightforward day. Last year I missed Friday so I look forward to it a lot this time around. I think Friday’s are the perfect day to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in many months (many since LAST Indietracks!). From the bands playing I’m only curious about Big Wave as I did like the 7″ they put out. And yes, dancing with the French DJs at the marquee who are the only DJs I think I’m going to enjoy this year!


12:30 – Northern Spies. Just because I like the name (?). This is on one train. Though it all depends if I wake up early.

13:00-13:40 – Finnmark! Really not my cup of tea yet. But I like what they are striving for, what they represent.

14:00-14:40 – Choo Choo Trains or lunch. There’s no curry this year, right? What am I having? Last year I had vegetarian fish and chips. WTF.

15:00-15:40 – Pale Spectres! First band I really look forward seeing. Though I would have seen them the previous day at Jennifer’s gig, it doesn’t matter. One of my new favourite bands.

16:00-16:40 – Fever Dream (?) or Woog Riots (?). I DON’T KNOW. Probably just have beers around.

** – EDIT. I missed this:
15:40-16:20 – The Understudies. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them. So yeah. This is the one for this time. Sorry Matthew. Will have to miss Fever Dream! (Miguel from the Felt Tips will be joining them on guitars – and I hear he is joining another band this festival too!)
— **

16:40-17:00 – Milky Wimpshake. Catching just a bit of them.

17:00-17:40 – When Nalda Became Punk. Supporting Elena of course.

17:40-18:20 – The Secret History. Latest Cloudberry release. Amazing live. If you miss them, you die.

18:20-18:40 – McTells. This is the tough one. I don’t want to miss their previous 20 minutes when Secret History are playing. How do I deal with this? First clash of the festival.

19:40-20:20 – The Pastels. Just because they are The Pastels. To be honest, their latest album is so-so. People rave about it and say Club 8’s is bad. But it’s the other way around. Club 8 is the amazing album of the year.

20:20-21:10 – Brilliant Corners. The ONE gig that convince me that I had to go to Indietracks this year.

21:15-22:15 – Camera Obscura. Because they canceled their show in NYC in March. And now they are playing in the park here and I don’t want to be around all the shirtless hipsters. And that song “Break it to You Gently” is AMAZING.

I dont know any of the DJs. Any recommendations?


13:20-14:00 – The French Defence. They don’t have much of a name. But the songs i remember listening on Myspace aeons ago were fab. I wanted to put a 3″! Hope it is as good as then.

15:00-15:40 – Alpaca Sports. So, there’s an hour gap here. Probably good for lunch. Then of course seeing my Swedish friends (and their international supporting band). Very much looking forward to this. They were immense in NYC.

15:40-16:20 – Flowers. Wasn’t this two obvious? I think everyone will be at both gigs. They were also fabulous in NYC. Looking forward to getting their new 7″.

16:20-17:00 – Soulboy Collective. Things are getting very obvious here. A beautifully crafted album on Firestation and a rare performance! Yeah yeah, you say that Another Sunny Day is playing on a train at the same time. No thanks. Guy with a guitar is not Another Sunny Day. Hate me if you like.

17:00-17:40 – Making Marks. I like them since they were My Little Pony. Nice singles, nice people. Easy choice.

18:20-19:00 – Fireworks. Of course. How could I miss Matthew, Emma and Isabel? And their 7″ single is really good too!

19:40-20:00 – The Wake. For a bit. Looking forward to seeing The Orchids’ guys!

20:15-21:10 – Helen Love. Ok. This is the OTHER gig that convinced me it was time to spend a lot of money to travel to UK. Being a fan since I started listening indiepop. I LOVE Helen LOVE. Happy days.

21:15-22:15 – Still Corners. I feel it might be anti-climatic to end with them. A bit too dreamy? But they are GOOD. So I should enjoy it and then go to bed (?).

DJs? Again, no clue!


After posting this, important knowledge came immediately from my friends.

First of all I learned that there will still be curry. But it will continue to be strictly vegetarian. The second thing that I learned is that the people DJing on Friday are not the French gang that every year bring their excitement to the festival and that also organize amazing gigs in Paris, but a team from Brighton. I was told they are good though, so I will check them out.

So, what are YOUR thoughts about the schedule and tell me if you are coming to Indietracks! If so, let’s grab one of those warm beers and meet up!


So because I’m feeling all international, with all these bands I’m going to see and all these friends I will see again, many since last Indietracks, it’s time to rediscover one of the bands I was most excited about in 2006. Thing was, they only put out this one demo CD and then disappeared into oblivion.

This was quite an international band. With members hailing from Spain, England and Sweden. Somehow they all ended up meeting in Madrid. And that’s how Las Pulpas came about.

Las Pulpas mean the octopuses, but female octopuses. Why did they name the band that way? I don’t know. I want to think they loved eating octopus. Because it’s really tasty, isn’t it?

I got in touch with them back in 2006. It was MySpace times. They were very kind to send me a demo CD all the way from Madrid to Miami. The CD contained three songs “Me Estoy Cansando” (I’m getting tired), “Vaya Momento” (What a moment), and “Angels on TV”. The first two being my favourites! Top songs. Naive, smart and with quite some nerve. Intelligent lyrics too. I thought good things were going to happen to the girls. I would have signed them if I had Cloudberry then. But I was surprised by the myopic Spanish labels. How did they didn’t sign them?! It’s a shame now, 7 years later, to see they didn’t put out anything out. Question remains though if they had any more songs recorded. I hope so.

The demo CD called “Some Pulpas are Bigger than Others” (is that a Smiths nod?) was reviewed by a couple of Spanish fanzines and blogs. From Rafa’s El Planeta Amarillo (and you know, Rafa never misses Indietracks!) we learn some things. Rafa compares them to Los Fresones Rebeldes, early Nosotrash, Sybil Vane, Hello Cuca, The Pipettes and even Alaska y los Pegamoides. I think he is on the right track. Especially with the early Nosotrash claim. He tells us that that Las Pulpas were a sextet and that there’s people hailing from Murcia, Rafa’s hometown. Ros from Electralane is part of the band. Ochi from a band called Ochiqueochenta is also part. Emma and Ochi sing. Sonia plays keyboards; Ana bass; Ros guitars; Aurora drums; Marina goes to every practice. Alexis misses many; and Dani doesn’t show up. He also explains us that the song “Angels on TV” is dedicated to Àngels Barceló, a tv presenter from Barcelona.

I remember now. It was Sonia who I was in touch with and who sent me the CD. Wonder if she still makes music!

There’s another interesting blog post on a blog called Katovizate! from 2006. There they mention that Las Pulpas have a song called “Felices Fiestas del Mañana” (Happy holidays of the future). Also that they have a big legion of fans. Was that song available somewhere else? Was it even recorded? And what happened to that legion of fans? Why is there so little written about online. Come on, 2006 wasn’t 1986. We had internet.

I don’t know what the girls do these days. Perhaps they all moved to their respective home countries and home cities. That could be it. They didn’t come to Madrid Popfest that’s for sure.

If anyone remembers anything about them, if anyone has any other songs. Please get in touch. I would love to know what happened to the charming Las Pulpas and their fun pop songs!


Las Pulpas – Me Estoy Cansando