Germany are the World Cup champions. Next week it’s Indietracks. Damn. And in between this week where I’m already busy packing and mailing records to UK. Resting seems to be not an option right now.

There are also a few interesting things happening this week. Tomorrow will go see Camera Obscura. On Friday tickets for the NYC Slowdive show will be on sale. How much? I have no clue. But I’ll pay. I sometimes remember my days in Miami when nothing happened, when I could just stay in and rest for the whole weekend, or almost always staying home after work. NYC has this power over you that really squeezes all your energy. And that I think is a good thing, I think only when I sit down to write on the blog I start thinking that I need a rest. Because on the rest of the day, there’s no time to think about having it easy!

Last weekend I also went to see Franny & Zooey. It will be some time now since they will play NYC. They are returning soon back to their home country in Dominican Republic. Also headlining were a very popular Argentinean band called El Mató un Policía Motorizado. They were fine. A bit too shouty to my taste, at points a bit too rocky, but they were truly entertaining. They are very popular throughout Latin America and are seldom compared to Los Planetas. I don’t see the comparison, but my fellow latinamerican bloggers have better ears for sure.

I got an email earlier today about a show here in NYC about if I had any ideas of any local bands that could support this gig. And honestly I will have to dig deep and perhaps do some research! Aside from the most fabulous Pale Lights and the up and coming Gingerlys, I can’t think of any. There are a couple of 60s influenced bands but they seem to be not excited of being part of this indiepop scene. Well, yes, there’s The Pains and The Drums, but we are talking of a small show in Brooklyn. So let’s be reasonable. Who else?

From the top of my head I think of The Pontoons who recorded two GREAT 7″s back in the 90s. “Landslide” is such a beautiful song that one can’t believe it’s not an indiepop classic. Their other single, “Juncos and Robins”, is also timeless. I know that in 2012 they came back together and released first a digital single called “Antidote” and later an album called “Slow”. All of them that you can stream and buy on Bandcamp.

Then googling around I found a band called Overlord is Not Metal. A bit less of the classic jangle, with more influences from 60s and 70s, perhaps. But still quite nice. Remembers me a bit of long gone NYC band The Baskervilles. First time I hear about them and it seems they have already recorded an album worth of songs called “In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks”. Definitely will keep an eye if they ever play any shows.

Kept digging and found a band called Free Cake for Every Creature. Katie Bennett seems to be the driving force of this band writing all the songs and singing. This is more on the lo-fi spectrum of indiepop. Reminds me a lot of early 2000s Sweden, with the likes of Evergreen Days, Tidy Ups, Free Loan Investments and Crime Time. Even the song titles (like “it sucks hanging out with you (“It Sucks Even More When You Leave” or “Too Old to Be a Punk Rock Prodigy”) remind me of that fantastic time of indiepop. I hope to hear many of her songs properly recorded. Check their bandcamp, there’s a lot of potential here!

And across the Hudson, in Jersey, I find Makeout Vertigo. Just finished listening to their latest EP called “Slumber Party Wounds”. It’s quite alright. It does recall the 90s American indiepop bands. A bit of Tiger Trap perhaps, but I mostly listen bands of the kind of Corndolly, Beanpole or Holiday Flyer. My two favourite tracks from this band that hails from Hopatcong, are “Nervy” and “Downstairs”.

Do you know any other indiepop bands in the area? Recommend me some!


So as Germany are the champions I thought checking out some old obscure German bands. So I grabbed that compilation album called “19 Goldene Hits” that was released ages ago by the Smuf label and the Happy to Be Sad fanzine of out old friend Uwe.

This compilation included 19 songs by 19 different Berlin bands. On the blog I’ve already presented two of them with interviews, The Groovy Cellar and Milchblumen FC. Then I remembered that years ago I tracked two other bands that appear here, Tumbling Hearts and Pleasure. So I thought, why not bring up some interest in Pleasure? The song “Shut Up” on the compilation is really nice and I’m sure everyone out there will enjoy it!

Some years ago Uwe did write a little write up about the compilation. Here’s our first hint about the band:
PLEASURE – Shut Up ( Shoegazer – singer Sascha formed JAKETHIVE two years later)

It is a bit of a shoegazer tune. It sounds British and not German at first listen too. The Charlottes, The Nightblooms, The Bollweevils, come to my mind. For some reason, perhaps the vocals, I think of The Darling Buds and Eggplant.

The booklet included in the CD tells us that the Berlin band was formed by: Selda Kaya, Julia Schultz, Dorian Schultz, Sascha Niemann and Oliver Niemann. Two sets of siblings.

It’s terribly difficult to google a band name with the band Pleasure. But luckily many years ago as I was saying I got in touch with Selda through Myspace. I have some correspondence from 2010 still on my Gmail. On there we agreed to do an interview but it seems she never had the time to get around to answer my questions. She did tell me a couple of interesting facts about the band.

The band lasted for 6 years but they never released anything at all. She said that they were sort of a student band and whatever they recorded was only on tape. She mentions that they were always a bit conservative concerning music and that she only bought her first cd player in the year 2000.

They played mostly in Berlin, almost every club, and only a few gigs outside the capital. Sadly she says that at that time she wasn’t in contact anymore with the rest of the band.

Maybe some of you remember them from Berlin? Attended their gigs? Or maybe even own one of their tapes. Would love to hear more from Pleasure and their sweet sound. If the rest of their songs are like “Shut Up”, then I’m sure would love it!


Pleasure – Shut Up


What a difficult summer this has been for Cloudberry. I am a bit sad to say that the fanzine won’t be on time for Indietracks. Aside from not receiving answers for two of the interviews that are supposed to appear on it, I’m also missing a couple of songs for the CD. So it will have to wait a bit longer. Also sales have been very terrible this past June. I know summer is usually pretty terrible, but this might be the worst. I am allowed to complain about this, right?

I’m not in the best of moods about this of course. I feel that at Indietracks things might get better, I feel it’s one of the few times when indiepop fans are happy to support the bands and labels they love. Also of course they are saving on the steep postage prices. I’m hoping then that at that point I can look with a more positive view the near future for indiepop. Right now I’m a bit cynical once again.

This doesn’t mean that I think that indiepop will die. There are new bands appearing all the time! So it won’t! But at the same time these bands are not getting the right outlets for their music. Labels are scheduling less and less releases. Also there’s this stupid hip ideal of buying vinyl only. Wake up indiepop kids, indiepop was not about that sort of hipsterism. Wasn’t Sarah releasing on 45s as they were a cheaper medium than 12″s? There’s a point there. I think a CD right now is a totally fine format. I’m even more terrorized when a band only and solely demand that their releases have to be on vinyl. Some people sometimes need a reality check.

This of course has hit hard those who release on CDR format. I remember when Cloudberry started, I was burning and putting out a bunch of them. It was a great format. Many labels were doing it as well. These days, even though this format still is cheap, has almost disappeared. Nowadays bands and labels have found the cheap alternative to be tapes. The thing is, nobody is playing them. They come with a download code, and that’s what people are using it. So what about the phyisical copy, that cassette? It’s just a piece for the collection. To stand there, to look proud on a bookshelf perhaps. Is that really the point of us loving indiepop? To buy stuff that we won’t really have any sort of interaction with? Just to store it? Feels terribly fake.

I know these things come in circles. That ten years from now probably everyone will be buying CDs again. It’s always this sort of joke that happens within the music industry. I don’t take it seriously of course. I still support labels, bands, festivals, etc. The question I ask myself, because perhaps I’m failing at it, is how do I convince people this is the way to go? That instead of buying a download they should buy a record? That instead of owning an ipod they should invest in a nice turntable. How does one go against the current?

Perhaps then it’s time for self-releases and self-promotion. And self-distribution. Bands doing the whole process, those who are better at the business part, and not necessarily at the music part, will succeed, will get the people listening. In a way this is fair, but I feel that it will be harder to find the beautiful music, and the sort of filtering that exists through labels will be gone. It will just be a war of tags on bandcamp and soundcloud, where whoever who wants it, can call their music whatever genre or style it is. It will all be blurred. Here’s when I might start losing all hope.

Maybe I’m just jumping into conclusions. Maybe this is just a hiccup, but seeing a very quiet scene at the moment, a bunch of not-indiepop bands being booked at Indietracks, the lack of opinions, of voices on social media, low sales, and so on, could make anyone weary.

I do have a theory though of what may be causing this whole thing, and that’s the World Cup. Though I don’t remember how the World Cup affected 4 years ago, this year this might have been a bit of a game changer.

The fact is, I’m following it as well, only missing 2 matches so far. And my head mostly thinks about football every day. I even have made several groups with friends on facebook and whatsapp to just chat about each game. But Sunday this will be over, and I’ll cry for football being over, but perhaps indiepop fans will turn back their eyes into their other passion, indiepop!!

What do you think? What’s the state of indiepop as of July 2014?


Alfie is a 1966 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Michael Caine. It is an adaptation by Bill Naughton of his own novel and play of the same name. Alfie tells the story of a young womaniser (Caine) who leads a self-centred life, purely for his own enjoyment, until events force him to question his uncaring behaviour and his loneliness. He cheats on numerous women, and despite his charm towards women, he treats them with disrespect and refers to them as “it”, using them for sex and for domestic purposes. Alfie frequently breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera narrating and justifying his actions. His words often contrast with or totally contradict his actions.

Safe to assume that the name of the band comes from the 1966 movie? I think so.

I think the first time I heard “Play On” by Alfie was during Indie Pop Days Berlin in 2011. It was on the night that wasn’t at the Wasserturm in Kreuzberg. It was a smaller venue that I can’t recall the name now where Bart played and Renée played a solo Liechtenstein show. Between the bands Jörgen was DJing. He brought original records, his own vinyl. This I always admire as I’m a bit of a chicken to bring them abroad to DJ! What if they break? Or I spill beer? Or they get scratched? Or stolen? No, no, too many risks!

And then suddenly Jörgen shows me a black and white sleeve. And he tells me: “These are the Swedish Orange Juice”. And kaboom! “Fool to Fall” is filling the venue with it’s fantastic rhythm. I’m awe-struck. How come I’ve never heard this before. I ask him for more information about the band. He told me he was lucky to find this record before the Japanese knew about it. Nowadays they know about it mind you, so of course I’ve never come upon a copy yet.

It’s been many years since that time. And I only noticed today that for some reason I never went out of my way looking for more information about this obscure Swedish band. So I started digging on Google see what I could find about this mighty band that only released the one 7″ but seems to have many more recorded songs. Maybe someone out there in Sweden should do a retrospective CD! Why not!

Alfie’s “Play On” was released in 1987 by the Enjoy label (catalog number JOY-8701). The label seems to have been the band’s own. Self-release then. The A side was the Pa-pa-pa filled jangle slice indiepop heaven of “Play On” while the B side was the more Scottish, Postcardish and utterly fabulous for any dancefloor “Fool to Fall”. Both songs hitting the 3:30 minute mark, they are true should have been classics! On Discogs the Enjoy label also has another Alfie release, a live tape.  This one has the catalog N-8912. Of course the first two numbers in both releases are the year when it was released. Was the two second numbers the month perhaps? Or maybe there were 12 releases in between?

This live tape is a total mystery for me. It was recorded live at the Roxy, in Visby, on March 11 1988. The A side was the concert whereas the B side was the encores!! The songs included on the A side were “Evil Woman”, “Promises”, “Another Girl”, “Little Friend of Mine”, “It’s You (Y.O.U.)”, “So To Speak”. On the B side it looks like covers: “Ticket to Ride”, “All Day and All of the Night”, “Manic Monday”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “Twist & Shout”, “Just Can’t Get Enough”.

The next stop to find some clues about the band is of course the back of the sleeve of the 7″. Here it is clear that the band hails from Visby.

Visby is a locality and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County, Sweden with 23,576 inhabitants, as of 2012.[2] Visby is also the episcopal see for the Diocese of Visby. It is the only locality with historical city status on the island of Gotland. The Hanseatic city of Visby is arguably the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia and since 1995, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Among the most notable historical remains are the 3.4 km (2.1 mi) long town wall that encircles the town center, and a number of church ruins. The name “Visby” comes from the Old Norse Vis, (genitive singular of Vi) meaning “(pagan) place of sacrifices”, and by, meaning “city”. In the Gutasagan (mid 14th century) the place is referred to as just Wi meaning “holy place, place of worship”. Visby is sometimes called “The city of roses” and/or “The city of ruins”

That comes a bit as a surprise to me.I don’t think I know any other guitar pop bands from Visby. Was there perhaps a thriving scene in the late 80s?

The record was recorded at Sandkvie Studio in January of 87. The engineer was Micke Lyander. The record was later remixed by Alfie & Micke in September. The record was produced by Alfie, Micke and Kjell.

Below these credits a nod to Postcard Records and Orange Juice: “The Sound of Young Gotland”.

The band was formed by:
Tore Höghielm: bass, harmonica
Mattias Ek: vocals
Stefan Häglund: guitar
Johan Arvidsson: guitar
Magnus Häglund: drums

All songs were written by Stefan.

Then there’s this label that seems to have closed some years ago but was active around 2006 until 2012 or so. Seems to have been a CDR label and was called Bendi. I’ve tried getting in touch with no luck. This label has released a lot of quality stuff that was long out of print and would be great to be able to buy these things! Among these records there’s a compilation called “Recycled: Inhouse”. On this compilation the brothers Häglund contribute 18 songs! That is Stefan and Magnus from Alfie and Kjell from Biliardakademien. Alfie in this compilation contributes one song called “Another Girl” that was recorded in 1989 and was originally included in a tape called “Home Again, Finnegan” (Mate M8-8 1992).

This same label in 2006 was giving away a long lost recording by the band called “(A Lovely Day for) Goalkeeping”. The story  about the says:

Alfies “(A lovely day for) Goalkeeping” have been disappeared but was recently found on an old tape cassette, only a couple of days before kick off. Furthermore, it’s exactly 20 years since Alfie was formed! We celebrate all this by giving away Alfie’s last recording for free!  “(A lovely day for) Goalkeeping” was recorded in 1992 spelades in 1992 and became the last song they did together. The band had already gone from a quintet to a trio: Stefan Wesley (guitar, keyboards) and Magnus Háglund (drums, programming, keyboards) recorded demos on a four channel Fostex, and now and then called for Mattias Ek to come from Stockholm to add the vocals.

From the previous compilation we can say that Stefan had been involved in many bands like Spencer Hill, Eucalypso, Season’s Greatings, Doublheader, M.O.M.S., Control Addicts, Castro and Lord Protector & The Commonwealth. Magnus also was involved in Doubleheader, Trumslagarpojkarna and Doubleheader.

From the other members it must be noted that Johan Arvidsson was also part of Red Leg who released two 7″s, “Who Nose” and “La Fé Baisanté”, both in 1988, and Tore Höghielm was part of Blue Velvet who released “Backalirs Höskollektion -92” in 1992, and also part of the band Solicium (1994-2012) that recorded three albums “Solicium” (1994), “Follow” (2004), and “A Box Full of Boxes” (2008).

I found out that Stefan used to have a blog called Unga Moderna. It hasn’t been updated since 2010 though. In there I found a mention of Alfie and his friendship with Tore:

I met Tore Höghielm first time in high school when we went had German class together. Then he was mostly a fun little guy who could “småtjafsa” with (in a nice way). Then when I started high school I shared a studio with my big brother Kjell for a while, and I was at home when he and Niklas would auditioned in search of a singer. And there was little Tore … They had chosen a song by The Church which he had received on tape to audition for (probably “Almost With You”). He did not get the job in Biljardakademien, but he suddenly had a new favorite band (The Church). We never hung out in high school, more than that we ran into each other at times. I played in my band (which was good) and he played in various bands (which was not very good), but when, a few years later needed a bassist for Alfie, I came to think of Tore. Maybe he played slightly too much at times, but he fitted in perfectly with the band.

And that is about all I could dig about the band. If you know anything else that you’d like to share, or you have the songs from the tapes, or anything else, you know what that comment box below is for!


Alfie – Fool to Fall



As I’ve done for the past few years, I post on my personal facebook my Indietracks schedule: the bands I want to see, the ones I’ll skip, the ones that clash, and so on. Last year I shared it here on the blog and I thought this year I should do the same. So here it is!
But now, it’s also your turn to share with me what are you looking forward to see? Who do you think is missing in this year’s lineup? Are there any major clashes this year aside from the Manhattan Love Suicides and the Blue Minkies? Please comment away!

So finally was announced the rest of the lineup and the stage times and as I’ve made a bit of a tradition I’ll share my schedule for Indietracks. This year I’m a bit less excited about the festival but there are still some bands that I want to see. Also this year I did my homework and have listened to every single band that has been invited unlike other years. Having so much free time this Indietracks might be a good thing as I’ll get to hang with friends that I probably won’t see in a while because I plan to take a break from Indietracks next year and possible the one after. Anyhow…


I will arrive to Alfreton at 8pm, take a cab to the Travelodge to leave my things and head to the festival. Realistically I’ll be there around 9:20pm or so. Hopefully before. And so I will miss The Chills. Happily I did buy tickets for their London show the day before. How come The Chills are not headlining this day is a question that I can’t find answers for. Maybe they wanted to go to bed early? I don’t know!! So yeah, no bands for me this day. Just hanging. No dancing either, Come Again DJs are a mystery to me. They seem a bitter, but maybe they play good tunes?


14:00-14:40 – Wolf Girl. I think the best discovery for me in the lineup. Good job here team Indietracks! Poppy and a classic indiepop sound!
14:-40-15:20 – The Royal Landscaping Society. One of my favourite new bands to come from Spain. I saw a little gig by them sans the drummer in Seville a couple of months ago, and it was really beautiful. One of the concerts that can’t be missed. I’ll run for lunch after them!
15:40-16:10 – Thee Ahs. Saw them at NYC Popfest last year and they were a lot of fun. The Canada band should bring an air of fresh air to the festival. Will Sarah wear her bikini t-shirt?
16:15 – Marc and Graeme Elston. This is indeed a treat. Half Bulldozer Crash and the great man behind The Love Parade. Graeme already played the train before and that has to be the best performance ever on the steam train at Indietracks Festival. With his brother he should top it?! Or make it better?!
16:40-17:00- Linda Guilala. Another repeat for me, I think they played Indietracks 3 editions ago? They have now a new album and won’t count with Adria or Paulita joining them. But still will they bring some guests to the stage? Sadly I will only catch them for 20 minutes.
17:00-17:40 – Dorotea. Okay, I’ve seen them before at London Popfest but I don’t mind seeing them again as they are one of the few bands I won’t get bored seeing time and time again. I wonder though if that big Swedish contingent of last time will make an appearance in the crowd this year to sing every song from the top of their lungs!
18:00 -18:40- Blue Minkies (Manhattan Love Suicides). Will have to choose the Blue Minkies as my chances of seeing them any other time is very small. I love this band. I really like The Manhattan Love Suicides as well. I really do. I don’t understand why this clash exists when there’s a lot of space for them not to clash with good bands. You can just make them play on Sunday too! Please?!
18:40-19:20 – Spook School. Third gig I’ll see by the Edinburgh band this year. Yes, I like them.
19:20-19:40 – Joanna Gruesome. I saw them last year here in NYC and they were quite fun. But only 20 minutes for me as I need to move for the cherry on the pie.
19:40-20:40 – Popguns. Another repeat, but this one is also worth it. Their gig at NYC Popfest as my favourite this year so far (along the My Favorite one). Hopefully after the Popguns I can still find dinner.

DJs, will check out Ready Steady Girls definitely. The other DJs are not of my liking.


12:40-13:20 – Axolotes Mexicanos. This is also very awful. So early they have to play? Seriously? They are a fun, energetic band, and they will play to people that just woke up and are hangover? I think their time to play is a mistake, but what can you do. I’ll try to save some energy to be excited at their show.
13:20-14:20 – Thyme Machine. They have nice tunes, nothing super special but proper indiepop at least. Lunch afterwards.
15:00-15:40 – Wendy Darlings. Another repeat from a previous Indietracks, but Baptiste and Suzy’s band I really like, I will be there front row.
15:40-16:00 – Bordeauxxx. Another fine band with nice tunes. Definitely worth checking out for me while drinking my warm beer.
16:00-16:40 – Hobbes Fanclub. More repeats though to be honest last gig I saw by them was cut short by the sound person. Well, okay they did play the day after a longer show. in any case this is one of the bands not to be missed at this Indietracks, great songs, the right attitude, and the always charismatic Leon. Will their album be ready? Would be cool to get a signed copy.
16:40-17:20 – Very Most. Saw them last year at NYC Popfest. Repeat again 🙂
17:20-17:40 – Cosines. Saw them last year in London. More repeats.
17:40-18:00 – Flatmates. Saw them just two months ago. Let’s continue.
18:00-18:40 – Night Flowers. One of the best bands to come out from UK in recent times. I will say though that the first songs they put online were my favourite. Ive been liking a bit less the new material. Let’s see them live.
18:20-19:00 – Screen Prints. The best announcement today. I love this band!!!

Dinner time then. And it seems Indietracks ends very early for me on Sunday!! Of course will go see my friend Alex dj as 7iete Pulgadas at the marquee, if anyone is going to play the good songs at Indietracks it will be him! I look forward the Spanish gang dancing here as well!

And that’s it. Too many repeats to be honest (12 bands!!!) but well, let’s try to be positive and hope for some exciting surprises. Still the best about the festival is seeing friends and eating terrible burritos. Chin up!


I saw Storsegel’s single on Popsike for 62 dollars. Then I found it for 4 dollars. I always say, just keep looking and you’ll find it. There’s no need to spend big bucks on a record. The only problem is my 7″ is still in Sweden with Andreas from Alpaca Sports who was kind enough to win the bid for me on a Swedish site! But I cannot wait to share this fantastic song with you!

This is a beautiful slice of jangle in Swedish. The “Last Bus”, that’s what the A side means. “Sista Bussen” is such a great song that reminds me of classic early 90s bands like This Perfect Day, Merry Dance, Hip Horace or Amanda Om Natten. I read somewhere only 500 copies were pressed too.

The record was released in 1990. It was a self-release and the B side was “Vanmakt” (Powerlessness). Still waiting for my 7″ to hear this B side. Will pick it at Indietracks when I’ll see again my good friend Andreas!

Lyrics and music on the record are credited to Klas Öhling. The record was recorded at Match Town studios by Mats Siltberg between October and September 1990. It was also produced by him with the help of the band. The only other credit on the back sleeve is for the black and white photo of the band, the girl who took the cool pic was Nastasja Jovic.

Googling around I found that the members of the band were:
Klas Öhling: guitar and vocals
Klas Andersson: guitar and backing vocals
Anders Lind: bass, accordion, backing vocals
Janne Lindblom: bass and backing vocals
Jonas Ander: drums

Storsegel, in English by the way means “mainsail”. The mainsail is the principal sail of a ship, especially the lowest sail on the mainmast in a square-rigged vessel. Were they into seafaring, sailing, or just the seas? It’s an interesting question. The band hailed from Jönköping in Sweden. The city is not on the ocean but it lies on the coast of Lake Vattern. This is the second largest lake in Sweden and the sixth in extension in Europe.

I also read that there was a promo video for the song Sista Bussen, but I haven’t been able to find it. I also read that there was an album released by the band, a CD album. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I found out that they contributed a song also for a compilation called Projektet. The song included was “Kanske Stannar Tåget” (“Maybe the train stops’ seems they really liked mass transit!). This record was released by Matchtown records in 1991 (catalog MTR2003). In this compilation the Mop Tops also appear as well as Meatbox. It’s a fine bet to guess that this compilation includes bands that recorded at the studios based in Huskvarna. On this record there’s a little info about the band that says that the band started in 1989 and the bandmates have been into music for around ten or twelve years before.

In 1992 they played the Amazonas stage at Hultsfred Festival. That same year the band split when Klas decided that it was time to leave the city. In their city they had payed venues like Palais and Kulturhuset. But it wasn’t until 2011 when he returned to Jönköping when the band reunited for a one-off gig on April 16th of that year at a venue called Lingon. And that was it. That’s when I lose the trail of the band. If you know anything else by them, it would be great to know! Share the knowledge 🙂


Storsegel – Sista Bussen


Thanks so much to Stuart Williams for the interview! Some time ago I wrote a small piece about this Kent band and Stuart was kind enough to get in touch and shed some light about his band. The Lemon Sleepers released the one 7″ back in the early nineties and included in it was the fab A side, “The World’s Too Loud”. If you have never heard about them before, well, it’s time for you to discover them!

++ Hi Stuart! Thanks so much for being up for an interview! You were telling me that you have been playing together for 23 years now?!  And that you just call it a day last April? How come?

We are not quite ready to call it a day just yet, out guitarist decided he didn’t want to carry on playing anymore. We are currently rehearsing with a new guitarist so we will see how that develops.

++ But in these time you’ve changed the name of the band, right? I mean, there’s no information of a contemporary Lemon Sleepers band online!

Although up until recently the band line up had not changed in all this time, the name has had several changes. Following the The Lemon Sleepers we went under the names ‘Swell’ and for a short time ‘Hannah Park’ and for a while now ‘The Very Wonderful Long Teddies’. Don’t ask where that one came from!

++ So will you continue or not playing? What do you think will happen?

As I said earlier, we are not ready to give it up yet so we will continue one way or another.

++ You also told me that “The World’s Too Loud” was the only vinyl you ever released but that you had put out a couple of CDs. Care telling me a bit about these CDs?

These were just self made CD’s that we would sale or mostly give away at gigs. From memory one was titled ‘Ulibang Molash’ which contained three tracks and others were just compilations of various tracks.

++ And last but not least on your comment you linked me to a promo video for the A side of the 7″, for “The World’s Too Loud“. How did this video come about? And what do you remember from the filming session?

We used to gig at a college in Canterbury, Kent where they did media studies courses and we managed to convince the students to use us as part of their course work. They filmed us at a studio on site just playing a set of songs and then the video sort of came out of that. The concept was our idea where the van which we used to carry the gear around in was a nightclub. It was fun to make and they did a pretty good job with the resources and experience they had. It’s certainly something to look back on with fond memories.

++ Let’s go back in time Stuart, were The Lemon Sleepers your first band?

Yes, mine and the guitarists. The drummer, bassist and keyboard player had been playing together for about 7 years already and the bassist and keyboard player (brothers) a further 6 years before that, so a long history. I knew the guys previous to joining and had been jamming with the guitarist. When the two existing members left, we just kind of slotted into the vacancies.

++ And how did it start? How did you all knew each other? how was the recruiting process?

Think I kind of answered that in the last question. However to elaborate, I new the band before I joined, at that time they were called ‘Rupert and the Jumpers’ and I used to be their sound engineer. At that time the guitarist and I were looking to form a band, then the news came that the ‘Jumpers’ singing and guitarist had quit the band. I initially offered myself up for the singing vacancy and went to a few rehearsals. Then the guitarist came along and it all went from there.

++ What kind of music were you listening at the time? Who would you call as influences?

We all listen to a varied type of music, our main influences are the likes of House of Love, Teardrop Explodes, Talk Talk, Simple Minds, U2…etc

++ Where does the name of the band come from?

I’m not really sure, our bassist tends to come up with most of the band names and then books us on a gig under that name, then they just tended to stick. We have always let the music speak for it’s self rather than the name.

++ The credits for the songs on the label are for A. and G. Holliday. How did the creative process in the band work?

It tended to be someone would come up with a riff or hook line and the song would be built round that. The lyrics would then be written around the track. In recent years we have been doing more covers and not writing as much as we used to.

++ As we were saying earlier, there was only one 7″ released. It was self-released, right? How was that experience of promoting and selling a record?

Difficult really, we had the single in local record shops, but most of it was promoting at gigs.

++ The record included two fantastic songs, “The World’s Too Loud” and “International Smile”. Care telling me a bit about each of the songs?

‘The World’s Too Loud’ is basically a love song, its about being able to shut the world and all its noise out when there is just you and your loved one. ‘International Smile’ is about everyone just getting on and being one big happy world….yeah!

++ And what about the design of the sleeve? Who was in charge of that?

That was actually my father who was in the print trade and is quite artistic.

++ Tell me a bit about where you were based in Kent. Were there any other like-minded bands? What were the places or venues that you’d hang out more often?

We are mainly based in Maidstone and Faversham. In the 90’s there were a lot of bands around who all kind of knew each other and often played in the same venues. These would be clubs and pubs in the local towns which have unfortunately disappeared over the years.

++ Has it changed much to this day?

The only places to really play these days is pubs and these more often than not want covers bands.

++ Tell me about gigs. Did you play many? What were your favourites and why?

We used to do a lot more than we do these days, on average we did 30 -40 gigs a year. We always try mainly to have a good time which I think spills over to the crowd and makes the evening more entertaining. Definite favourites would be supporting Kula Shaker on their university tour and headlining at the Maidstone River Festival in 2011 where we have played every year for the past 15 years.

++ And looking back in time, in the long career of The Lemon Sleepers under a name or another, what would you say was the biggest highlight as a band?

Lasting as long as we have really and as mentioned previously the Headline slot at the River Festival, where we play on a floating stage moored to the river bank.

++ Aside from music, do you happen to have any other hobbies?

I have always been interested in music production, recording and mixing the demos for us and for other bands.

++ The only place I’ve ever visited in Kent is Canterbury. What are other places in Kent that you’d recommend one visiting?

There are plenty of places to visit, Faversham is an old market town which has the oldest brewery actually in the town and numerous pubs to sample the local ales. Then there is Leeds Castle outside of Maidstone which is a real piece of English history. We are only about an hour on the train away from central London, so you can visit there and then return to the calm of the Kent countryside.

++ And one last question, how do you see England performing in this World Cup?

Sorry, by the time I answered these questions we were already out. Thought we would have got through the group stages but not much further.

++ Thanks again Stuart! Anything else you’d like to add?

Just thanks for including us on you website and your interest in our music. I will email you some more tracks and hopefully people will like these too. Many thanks form all the guys.


The Lemon Sleepers – The World’s Too Loud