This seems a bit of an off week. Or more of a week in between. I’m working on several ideas and releases at the moment like the next podcast or the fanzine, but I will make a proper update next week. And of course, for those who didn’t read last week’s post, you have to know that the SHINE! CD is out now and that you all should order it because it’s fabulously good.

So what is new this week in indiepop world? Seems pretty quiet, right?

Let me review them some new releases that might have escaped your radar as there are no indiepop blogs anymore. Oh dear. The death of the blog and I continue doing this.

On January 1st The Wolfhounds, who reunited in 2005 after disbanding in 1990, released a new record called “Middle Aged Freaks”. I had the luck to see them live two times already and they were, as expected, really powerful and direct. Happily they played my favourite song of theirs, “Anti-Midas Touch”. What a song that is. One of the best of the C86 period for sure. Anyhow, let’s talk about the present then and I definitely recommend at least checking out this new album, the first in 24 years, on their bandcamp. It’s only 8 pounds plus shipping (yes, I have to order it too) and it includes a collection of 13 songs that have been written since 2012 (some of them you might know from previous 7″s).  It’s out now on Oddbox Records.

Another record I plan buying at some point (this week I already spent a lot on records believe me) is the Artic Flow’s new 7″ on Box Bedroom Records. It seems to be sold out though. So I may need to dig around, maybe some mailorder still has copies. For those who like dreamy pop, soft vocals, jangly guitars, and electronic drums, you know, that classic sound a la Harper Lee, Brigher, the sort of records the Spanish label Little Treasure releases, then this will be up your street. It’s deliciously good. There were only 150 copies pressed on this deluxe edition that included postcards and more souvenirs. There are 8 tracks in this 7″, though some of them are really small tiny instrumentals. You get really 4 proper songs and they are all top stuff. Beautifully packaged really. You can listen to it on the band’s bandcamp.

Skittle Alley, the band from our good friend Fanou, has a new album out now on Discos de Kirlián. French band on Spanish label. Good combo.  I believe that this album (or mini-album?) of 8 songs has only been pressed 100 times. There are 50 copies of the digipak in brown and another 50 in blue. The blue looking nicer if you ask me! You can also stream all the songs on the label bandcamp. Seems everyone are streaming every song from every release these days! Must be a trend. Nobody wants to be surprised by a B side? In any case, the CD is only 5 euros plus shipping, an unbeatable price. I also read that this year Limoges Popfest better known as Pop & Merguez, where Fanou is one of the enthusiastic organizers, is making a comeback. It’s fantastic news indeed!!

Another record to get this year is the latest from Japan’s Boyish. “Sketch for 8000 days of Moratorium” is the name of the latest work from this superb band that is very dear to the Cloudberry family (we released one 7″ by them, you have it right?). This is a great new effort by this dreamy and shoegazy band. I played one of the songs from the album in our first podcast and an interview to the band will be included in the next fanzine. You want to listen to this beauty? Well head to their bandcamp and expect to be blown away though there are only 3 songs available to stream. Boyish seem to think old school like Cloudberry, if you want to listen to the whole, why not invest in the CD? I’ve listened to it and I’m telling you, it’s truly terrific.

And last but not least I suggest checking Foam of the Daydream. This band includes ex-Help Stamp Out Loneliness’ Bentley Cooke and D Lucille Campbell. I remember Bentley from Indietracks and waiting outside the Travelodge for cabs. And of course I saw HSOL play at the festival. That was one hell of a show. I’m glad they’ve continued making music but they should promote it more!! They’ve just put out under this new name a 7″ on Pierre’s Freakscene label and it includes a WONDERFUL song called “Chloe’s Lung”. The B side is the same song with a different mix, a darker mix. Wish it had been another song because you feel they can only pen precious songs, so you end up wanting more! In any case, head to bandcamp and order it. You won’t regret it! A true new favourite band! As I like it so much and because I love the book they were inspired on to write this song, I want to copy/paste the press promo text:
When the regretted Help Stamp Out Loneliness released their instant classic and eponymous album late 2011, Bentley Cooke and D Lucille Campbell started to write new demos for an always difficult second coming.
Michel Gondry with “Mood Indigo” isn’t the only one to have found inspiration on Boris Vian’s novel ”L’Ecume Des Jours” (Froth On The Daydream), the story of a man who marries Chloe,living the hi-life dream until she develops an illness that can only be treated by surrounding her with flowers.
Vian’s masterpiece is a perfect canvas for Bentley’s signature Indie/Kraut and the unique androgynous dark edge of Dee’s voice. This vivid and luminous tale gradually turns into disillusion and death.
In a similar way,Chloe’s Lung will be the last collaboration between Cooke and Campbell; unfortunately, during a last series of european gigs, HSOL suddenly split up despite an ever growing fan base.
Foam On The Daydream presents the two versions of Chloe’s Lung respectively choosen by Bentley and Dee, they come on a 7” wrapped with a luxuriant poster illustrated by the artist Sarah Lippett.

And that’s all folks!


Bomb And Dagger – band, feat; Debbie Debris (voc,keys), Alison Statton (b.voc) (ex Young Marble Giants, Weekend), Spike Reptile (gtr) (later Table Table), Phil Moxham (perc) (Young Marble Giants), Dale Reynolds (gtr) (later Table Table), Ant Davies (bass, keys), Kirby (drms), Andrew Moxham (perc) (Young Marble Giants), Dean Roderix (drms) Ant moved to London and now lives in Edinburgh and played in many bands, he says, ‘Lots of great memories… I remember playing an unusual gig in a Curry House somewhere near the Docks and seeing a review of our gig in the NME .’

This small info comes from the Link2Wales site. Do you recognize some of those names? Come on, at least you should know Alison Statton, Phil Moxham and Spike. No? You could find lots of information about them I’m sure if you just google them. So I won’t go there. But I want to cover today another band they were involved in and no one seems to know or remember.

There is a small page on the Z Block label that has a better introduction to the band:

Bomb & Dagger formed by Debbie Debris & Spike in 1984 during the miners’ strike and many of the early performances were to raise funds for the striking miners’ families. The earliest line-up (left) featured Alison Statton and Phil Moxham (Young Marble Giants & Weekend) as well as Kirby Stevens, Dale Reynolds and Anthony Davies. Bomb & Dagger became a popular live act on the jazz circuit, performing regularly at the Brecon Jazz Festival, TV and radio sessions, touring Europe and supporting many top African artists including Hugh Masekela. These recordings include tracks from the cassette LP ‘Peace, Bread & Land’ and their single ‘Wake Up’

Here in this site you can stream all the songs they recorded. In there we also learn that Bomb & Dagger were named after a notorious meeting house in Tiger Bay, that the band gained a reputation as hardcore political activists, and that they had played also at Geneva’s Festival de’La Batie.

The songs are listed as if they were part of a CD called “Peace, Bread & Land”. I wonder if these songs were reissued at all on CD. The website dates of 2007. Would be good to know if these songs are available in high quality.

Definitely this is not your usual indiepop fare. But it has so many ties, and many songs are just so good pop songs that they really paint a picture of the time, of those mid 80s.

The records are not easy to find at all. But let’s go through Discogs and see what we can learn about these records. Their first 7″, their only 7″, was released in 1986 on SSR Wales (catalog BDSS 01). The A side was “Wake Up” and the B side was “No Real Place”.  It was engineered by John Davies.

The other listing Discogs has is that from them appearing on the compilation “0222 A Compilation of Cardiff Bands” that was released by Popdy (catalog Popdy 101). In this compilation also appears the band Papa’s New Faith that I should definitely cover as they are truly great! Anyhow, the song that Bomb and Dagger contributed in this LP was “Strike”. I like that Discogs mentions on the notes that 2 of the bands on it went to form Super Furry Animals and Catatonia. Funny, I guess some care about those bands!

Ah Cardiff! Such good times I had there. Lovely town. Drinking Brains beer, visiting the castle. I hope to visit again in the near future. And now that Cardiff hosts Wales Goes Pop! there are even more reasons.

The other interesting fact I could dig about this forgotten band are two videos on Youtube, two songs being played when they appeared on the Welsh program “Juice”. The songs are “Trouble” and “Separate“.

And that’s more or less what’s available online about this sought after band. Especially by Japanese collectors. Anyone know anything else about them? Were all their songs reissued on CD really? Would be great to know!


Bomb and Dagger – Strike



It’s a week now since publishing the new podcast. Time to start working on the February episode! So far the feedback for the last one has been very kind and positive, and I hope you keep giving us feedback as it helps us make it better. Now though, I’m looking forward for anyone that can guess the clip I played on this past episode. Anyone has a clue? If you do, let me know your guess and you can pick the opening song for the next episode!

On more important news, the Shine! CD is arriving home this Friday and most orders will be posted next Monday. Have you pre-ordered it yet? This is a release I’m very proud of, and I think most of you, dear blog readers, will like it. Please support the label and the blog by buying it. It will mean a lot so we can keep releasing records!

What else is happening in the indiepop world? Well, definitely the most important news this week came from Spain.

Madrid Popfest announced the last bands for their bill: Espíritusanto, Wild Honey, Lavandera, Night Flowers, Loor a los Heroes and Secret Shine. Top stuff! But the festival also had another announcement and that was that this was going to be their last Popfest. Yes, their last. This of course was a surprise for many and a disappointment for others. But I think, after 5 Popfests they have made a fantastic run and at it’s definitely not a bad moment to call it a day.

I don’t know exactly the reason why they are calling it a day.

Madrid Popfest is organized in a much different way than other Popfests. Their selections are defined by votes of all the people involved in the organization. It’s very democratic. That seemed like a very healthy way to bring indiepop bands to their city of Madrid. Right? They were setting an example.

I’m very grateful with Madrid Popfest. I attended twice, and I’m sad I won’t be attending this last one. The first one I attended is very dear to my heart for various reasons. The second was a reaffirmation that my friends in Spain are top class. I have only good memories, of dancing, of Djing, of singing out loud, of getting to see so many favourite bands. And of Mahou beer, of the calamari sandwiches at el Brillante. Damn so good. The cheap lunch menus around town. Record shopping for 80s Spanish pop 7″s at la Metralleta. I was always happy, and I hope to visit Madrid again, even if there’s no Popfest.

The organizers always made me feel at home. So many memories, so many photos. I always saw bands treated in the best ways possible. I think the legacy of Madrid Popfest will live on. I hope someone picks up after them, perhaps Barcelona Popfest? Could be exciting!

Again, I really hope Madrid Popfest is a success on it’s last edition. From my part, all the best of luck to them, great friends, fabulous music fans, and among the most passionate indiepop people I’ve ever met, on their future enterprises. May the force be with you 😉


So this week I’m preparing the podcast and I’m looking into some of the obscure bands that I’ll post here and that I will eventually showcase in the podcast. This time around I want to introduce you to a band called The Blind Mice from the UK. I just got their “Nothing” 7″ the other day from Uwe and it seems there’s some information we can dig from them.

First stop on our investigations takes us to Alistair Fitchett’s blog, Unpopular. He actually recommends this same single I just got. He compares the sound of the band to The Wedding Present. The other interesting bit of information is about Graham Bell who used to run the Davy Lamp label that released their records.  Seems Graham Bell, at least up to 2010 when this post was written, was living in Los Angeles and had a weekly radio about soccer called ‘An Englishman in LA’.

There’s also a comment from a Spencer Jordan on this same post where he mentions that there were at least 2 other singles and also an LP to the name of The Blind Mice. He also says that the band was way better live that on record, that “Nothing” and “Tattooed Legend” (their second single) were both single of the week in the Sounds magazine when they were released (88 and 89). He mentions that the guitar player of the band, Guy Hunt, was an American living in the UK but now he is back in the USA. The rest of the band were from Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. He also points out that there is a video on Youtube for an entire gig at the Square in Harlow (the label Davy Lamp was based in Harlow).  You can watch it here.

Let’s go back a bit into Davy Lamp. I knew about them thanks to the compilation “Not Just Mandela”, that has that track by The Internationalists (as well as Billy Bragg, Housemartins, etc). The label also released records by Paul Howard and Jo Clack (The Sullivans) and Reel by Reel.

Discogs lists a tape, “Falling at Your Feet”, released by Davy Lamp in 1987 (no catalog number). This tape included six songs and it might have been their first release. The songs were “It’s Over”, “Room Full of You“, “All Alone“, “At God’s Door“, “It’s Only Skin” and “Dishrag Blues“. I’m linking to the songs on Youtube if you want to have a listen.

It’s pretty interesting that a bunch of their songs are on Youtube, isn’t it? Their next release was the “Nothing” 7″ in 1988. The B side was “Just Like We Do“. The record was recorded live at Flightpath Studios in Cambridge. It was Davy Lamp 10. The credits go like this:
Bass, vocals: Gary Bennett
Drums: Craige Quainton
Engineer: Tim Harding
Guitar: Guy Hunt
Guitar, vocals: Dave Alexander
Producer: Blind Mice
Vocals: Mark Wilson
Written by: Blind Mice

Design and printed by: Craig Quainton

Something interesting in the back cover is that it says that Davy Lamp was suponsored by the Latton Bush Centre. Who were they? The Latton Bush Centre, managed by Harlow Council, provides accommodation for businesses, voluntary organisations, NHS services and community groups. Facilities are also available to hire for conferences, training, workshops, exhibitions, dance classes and other functions.

Hmm… interesting….ded aThe second single was the “Tattooed Legend” one. This was Davy Lamp 11 and was released as I said earlier in 1989. The B side was “Your Heart“. The artwork credits for this record are credited to Davy Lamp and Jo Sladen, whereas the production and engineering credits for Blind Mice and Tim Harding. This was recort the same place as the previous record and there are etchings on the record, on the A side it says “Not Blonde” and the B side “Not Dumb”.

In 1990 they released their full length called “Something’s Wrong”. This one included ten songs, “Bearded Circus Lady“, “G.V.”, “U.S.A.“, “It’s Over”, “Nothing“, “Something”, “Brosette“, “Magalluf“, “Child…” and “Butlins chalet. This was Davy Lamp 14. Now we see that on drums there’s been a change, we have Bob Porter who also plays the tambourine. Also there are credits now for Gary Bennett playing keyboards.

Next stop, ReverbNation. Here it says they com from Saffron Walden in the UK. Saffron Walden is a market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England. It is 12 miles (19 km) north of Bishop’s Stortford, 18 miles (29 km) south of Cambridge and 43 miles (69 km) north of London. The town retains a rural appearance and has buildings dating from the medieval period onwards. In 2001 the parish had a population of over 14,313. This could make some sense when you think of them recording in Cambridge their records.

They have a Facebook page where you should become a fan. This is the link. We notice that this page covers three different bands, Thin Red Line, Giant Mice and Blind Mice. Wonder if they are listed like that chronologically. The page has been updated a bunch of time during the last year.

The last appearance I could find by them is from a 1987 tape sampler on Cordelia Records. There they had one song called “Now That’s…: The Happy Peasants”.

There are definitely a bunch of more songs online. On ReverbNation we see songs like “English Rose”, “Billy Mills” or “Laying the Track“. On Youtube there are also other songs like “A Hollowed Bed“, “Plain Boy“,  “Laura“, “Fast Rain“, “Sheila’s Gone Donuts!“, “Whispering Glades“, “There’s Something Wrong“, “Wandering Star” and even a promo video for “It’s Not Heaven“.

Enough songs for a proper and nice CD compilation don’t you think? I wonder if they ever thought releasing it!

Do you remember anything about them? Would love to know more about this great guitar pop band, they have really great tunes, catchy and energetic, and it’s pretty strange to me why they are so obscure to indiepop fans these days!


The Blind Mice – Nothing


I’m going to look into hosting the episodes of the podcast on the web server for download, for those interested. I think this will be my project for this week. In the meantime the second episode is out now. In it all the sections I introduced in the pilot episode are back, from the cover of the month to the guess the song contest! I hope you like it!

Also I want to give big thanks to Cristina Quesada for being part of the show as the guest interviewee. It was quite fun to talk in English with her, something I’ve really never had the need to as we can understand each other perfectly in Spanish. It was lovely really. In the interview she tells some details of her forthcoming album on Elefant that should be out in the first half of 2015.

And of course thanks to Toni for doing the producer job again! We are learning through making these podcasts and we’ve listened to everyone’s feedback. I think we both have done a better job compared to the our first try. But I think most thanks should go to Toni as he has been terribly busy with school work, it’s impressive that he has managed to put this together!

This past week had some important news in indiepopworld. I think a very important one is that Firestation has released two retrospective CD albums: The Auctioneers and The Sullivans. I’m especially fond of the second release as the song “Senseless” by The Sullivans is one of my favourite songs ever. I remember there was this user on Soulseek, his nickname was something like “leglangly-stance”, something like that. My memory of those years are not the best. The thing was that he had this folders full of compressed files, .zip files, with very rare ripped vinyl. I discovered so much music from him. The Sullivans was one of them. And that song was like pure bliss. The girl/boy vocals are just delicious. It’s an unstoppable song. I could imagine a split single with this song and Comet Gain’s “Strength”, don’t you?

The second news is that Twee.net published the results of the poll. As usual the turnout of voters is not big but still it’s quite representative I think. Firestation was voted best label with 6 votes and they have it well deserved. The not so good thing is that Cloudberry got a single vote! Alarming! Well I don’t think so. I think Cloudberry only released 4 records during 2014. That’s a small output to what we are used to. I’m sure that definitely affected the perception of voters. So, this year we must do things better! Somehow we have! At least get 2 votes. 1 vote is unacceptable! Though I honestly thank very much the one person who trusted us their vote. You are the best!

There were very good news though, we were voted best blog and also best indiepop site. Two categories were we killed it! I’m happy about getting these votes. I think the blog has been very constant since 2008 when I started it. I always think people don’t really read it and don’t care much for the format, but when I get this sort of feedback it’s really amazing. It’s really unexpected too. So I’m very happy.

I guess indiepop-site would mean blog too in this case. And in a way it makes sense as there are really no indiepop-sites anymore. In any case, I’ll take it! Hopefully the quality of the blog keeps getting better especially now with the podcast.

Out of curiosity let’s cover some of the other Twee.net results.

Alvvays making a splash this year topping both Best Band, Best Album, Best New Band and Best Song. Seems their album, catered for indie fans really and not indiepop kids, has all the proper ingredients to be loved. I actually liked it, especially in a very quiet year. It has possibly 3 or 4 very good songs (the most popular “Archie, Marry Me”, the best one  “Atop a Cake”, “Next of Kin” and “Adult Diversion”) , and the rest are fillers, but that’s enough these days, right?

For Best mailorder Jigsaw Records won and I think that’s not much of a surprise as Jigsaw is really helping the whole scene with their releases, their low prices, their sales, and even shipping records for labels to Europe. What Chris has been doing is truly amazing so he deserves it. He got my vote in this category for sure.

Best Paper Fanzine award went to Candy Twist. Again I voted for Dennis’ zine this year. If it’s a quiet year for indiepop then it’s even quieter for indiepop zines, but Dennis keeps doing it and that effort and passion is well  supported by indiepop. Totally fair for him to win!

And that was it. Oh right, there’s another category, but they are not really my thing the winners. For best gig, if you want to know, I voted for My Favourite at NYC Popfest, Slowdive at Terminal 5 and Royal Landscaping Society at Indietracks.

Well that was it, a big thanks to Peter Hahndorf for organizing again the poll this year. I look forward for a much better 2015!!! And come on, a band on Polyvinyl can’t win so many awards, we are indie, aren’t we? 😉


And so we turn to our obscure band of the week: The Strand.

strand: the shore of a sea, lake, or large river.

I’m guessing that’s the meaning of the band’s name. Of course, strand can mean other things, but the sleeve artwork of the one 7″ I know by them has a blue dolphin. A simple connection, dolphin, beach, makes me assume this.

There’s very little information about this band. Only this week I got this single from Uwe. It’s not an expensive one and you can definitely find it on eBay or discogs for a fair price. I found one blog post about them dating from 2011 on the blog by Cino Pacino, “The Roofy Leak”.

He says that he doesn’t know much about the band either, just that the singer doesn’t like dolphins because apparently, in the song lyrics, dolphins have stolen his drinks. These lines are of course part of the A side (and also B side as a remix) “You Saw Me Swimming (The Dolphin Song)”.

This record is what I love calling proto-indiepop. This 7″ was released in 1983 on Albion Records in the UK (catalog ION1042). I don’t know much about this label but it seems they released a whole bunch of stuff! Among the most known bands we have the dBs and Katrina and the Waves. So mostly a “new wave” label.

We know that the record was produced by a Bob Andrews and the credits for the songs  on the label have 5 last names: Woods, Ludkin, Rushton, Bradbrook and McAree. From the back cover we get to know that:
Eric – voice, guitars
Diane – vocals
Rob Rushton – premier drums
Paul J. Bradbrook – bass

That leaves me guessing that Eric and Diane were either Woods, Ludkin and McAree?

There are some more credits here, Bob Andrews and Dean Klevatt played keyboards, and Dick Hanson played the flugel horn. The design of the sleeve is credited to The Design Team and there’s a photo of the band on the back taken by Rick Mann.

And that’s where again I hit a wall. There’s nothing else about them. There seems to be other The Strand bands during this same period, but the last names don’t match. So I want to think this is their one and sole single as it’s really excellent. It’s super catchy, and the boy/girl vocals are just infectious! Top stuff really!

Does anyone out there can shed some light about them?!


The Strand – You Saw Me Swimming (The Dolphin Song)


Thanks so much to Robert Randall for the interview! Some time ago I wrote a small piece about The Passengers and Robert was kind enough to get in touch and answer to a bunch of questions! If you wanted to know a little bit more about this great late 80s English band, now it’s the time!

++ Hi Robert, thanks so much for being up for this interview! I see you are now living in NYC! Have you been a long time here? And why did you leave the UK?

Been here since 1990. Came here because totaled car, and band and girlfriend split up.

++ Do you miss England? What are the things you miss the most?

Not really, well not that much anyway. I miss my friends the most.

++ You were telling me you had been involved in music when you moved to America. Tell me a bit about your band here in NYC.

It was called Because Because Because, Matthew Caws and Daniel Lorca now Nada Surf were the guitarist and bass player, I sang and played occasional guitar, and Alex Gomez from Your Mom played drums.

++ And how different or similar would you say were the scenes in London and NYC?

I think London was more into image at that time. The music was quite different. NYC was Sonic Youth whilst London was Blur

++ Let’s talk about The Passengers now. Was it your first band?

No not at all.

++ How did the band start? And how did the recruiting process work?

David Wright started the band with me after our previous band (London) split up. As far as recruiting we basically advertised in the back of Melody Maker and auditioned for a rhythm section. Steven George and Robert Havis (Rob Jet, I believe he is known as these days) got the job. They were friends from Essex and they came together. Soon after they joined David left to get married. We then auditioned for a new guitarist and Marcus Clements turned up. He was brilliant.

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

Nowhere special. I wish you don’t have to name things.

++ And at that time what would you say were your influences?

I loved the Stones, Dylan, Smiths, REM, Big Star and of course the Only Ones.

++ Being in London during the late 80s it seems there was a big explosion of guitar pop bands. Did you feel part of a scene? And what were your favourite bands to play with then?

I think we enjoyed playing with anyone. Obviously opening for bigger bands attracted a bigger audience and that was always a lot fun when we got the chance. I can’t really remember feeling part of a scene, but obviously we hung out with other musicians.

++ And which would you say were your favourite Passengers gig and why?

At a place called Block Shock in Berlin. It was just a great memory of a large and crazy packed club. We were great that night and the audience was great too.

++ I read your biggest success happened in Spain and Germany because one of your songs, “Hell to Heaven”, was played in MTV Europe. So I’m guessing there was a promo video for this song? What’s the story?

That pretty much was the story.

++ I hear that in Berlin you were received like proper rockstars. How was that?

Well Berliners were especially fond of English Indie bands, and I suppose we were that.

++ You only released one 7″ that included three songs in it. Any chance that in a few words you can tell me a bit about each one of the songs?

Not particularly, they were just two early songs, that Marcus never played on. Our better stuff happened after Marcus joined, but unfortunately never got released because we disintegrated for no good reason.

++ How was the recording process for this single?

Just a regular multi track recording. Nothing special really.

++ Who were True Records that released the single?

That was us and the Bicycle Thieves, distributed through Rhino records.

++ I also like very much the photo used for the 7″ artwork. Where did it come from?

I think it was taken by a friend of the manager.

++ You told me there are more recordings other than the ones of the 7″. How many more songs did you record? And how come was there never another release?

We probably have an albums worth of material. As I said we just split up before the songs were released.

++ And when and why did you split up?

We actually split up on a second trip back from Berlin in the airport.

++ What happened to you all afterwards? Were you involved with music?

Like I said I joined Because Because Because in NYC, Steve joined Swervedriver, Marcus returned to Bath and played with many bands since, and Rob joined Peach.

++ In retrospective, what would you say was the biggest highlight of the band?

Writing and playing with Marcus.

++ And what about these days, when was the last time you picked up your guitar? And what other hobbies do you have aside from music?

Yesterday. I don’t think I have any hobbies really. I do what is in front of me.

++ One final question, what’s your favourite thing about NYC?

At the moment nothing. It’s freezing. Im thinking of moving to Portland.

++ Thanks so much again, anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for remembering the Passengers.


The Passengers – The Frances Farmer Song


Happy  2015!!

Back to blogging today, first post of the year and all that. I think everyone should start the year voting on the classic and annual Twee.net poll for the best of 2014. You can do so here: http://www.twee.net/list/polls/poll.html

After you are done with that my next suggestion is to listen the first great record released this year. Rémi Parson, our French friend that recorded that beautiful song “Rome Eternelle” for our “You Should Keep in Touch With your Friends” 3″CD compilation some years back, has just released a very classy 9 track album called “Précipitations”. You can buy it on the label Objet Disque’s bandcamp for 16 euro plus postage. It’s a 12″ LP and there’s only 200 copies. Elegant and timeless, the brain behind The Sunny Street, has nailed it again.

Next up on this bandcamp review I’m doing this week, first week of the year you can’t expect many news or bright ideas after so much partying, is AGGI from Bekasi in Indonesia. They have a new 3-song single on their bandcamp full of distortion and pop melodies, closer to Black Tambourine than to The Pastels. You can also order this single as a CD-R if you write to the email provided in their page. Rough on the edges but definitely charming. My favourite song is their closing one, “Television Personalities.”

Another 7″ from the quarter of the 2014 that flew under my radar was that of No Fucks from Gijón, Spain. The band that has Stephen from my Indietracks-favourite Axolotes Mexicanos in their ranks, released a three track single with High Five Discos. You can buy and stream the three songs in the label bandcamp here. It’s the first ever release from this small label and there are only 250 hand-numbered copies. My favourite song is the immediate and direct, no frills, “En la Cama”. Straight punky-fuzzy-pop. Fun fun fun.

Then if you haven’t been aware of Expert Alterations from Baltimore I recommend you to check them out. They are really good!! I so hope they get invited to NYC Popfest. I saw them live not so long ago, opening for My Favorite, and they were pretty good too. The most surprising thing is that they know their stuff. It’s clear they have good taste and listen to good music. The song sound like they could have been recorded in 1987 or 88 or 89. Definitely reminds me to many of those small bands that used to appear only on compilation tapes in the 80s. St James Infirmary, Honeytrap, The Hipflasks, you know, those small but BIG bands for me. I think you can still get a tape with their latest recordings too. I look forward to their next release!

And well, as I have said many times, I’m no fan at all of tapes, so I’m having an issue with the latest wave of DIY releases. I think to myself, please bring back the CDR! Oh yeah, give me a CD-R anyday over a tape. They are so annoying. And they are cheaper too. Come on! Anyhow, the next band also has a tape out and they hail from Detroit. I will actually be playing one of their songs on my podcast (which Toni says we might have it ready for Sunday!! yay!). Their tape is just called Demo 2014, and the band name is Failed Flowers. I find this a very interesting mix of straight American indiepop a la Bunnygrunt mixed with Veronica Falls kinda vocals. And it works pretty well for me! Punchy and bubbly at the same time. Hopefully they also get invited to NYC Popfest!

Now my latest crush is a song I have on repeat forever. The song is called “Bluff” and comes all the way from Australia, from Brisbane. The song even has a great video. Who made this beautiful song? Well, the band is called Babaganouj, named after a Smudge song, and as I said, I can’t stop loving this. What do you do when you like a song this much? Ok, yes, I would love to put this out, it would make my year 2015 a successful one for Cloudberry. But aside from that, you can only cherish a band that could pen such perfection. Noisy, melancholic, cheerful at times, I don’t know, it has everything in it. Great guitars, pounding drums a la Shop Assistants if you want. I’m head over heels okay? haha. On top of it, as I was a big fan of Go Violets, to learn two of their members are part now of the “Nouj” made me very happy as well. I look very much forward to what this band has in store for this year.

And last but not least, another crush band: Luntgatan Girls. I was only tipped about them this week by Eric from Belgium who always has this top taste. He said to me, a bit of Don’t Be Kate and a bit of De Montevert, that’s how he described them. And I think he is right on the money. I don’t know much about the three-piece from Norrköping who have two videos out, one for “Tråkig” and another for “Synd Om“. Both are really nice tunes, but for me the winner is “Synd Om”, what a song!! So catchy and dreamy! I want to have them on my zine, you think they’ll be up for it? I’ll send them a message in a bit. We’ll see. These video uploads date from January! And now a year later I end up discovering them, how come? Why any of my Swedish friends told me about them?! Damn! Top stuff.


I know, it’s very me doing these reviews of new and newish bands. But I feel at this point in time it is becoming a bit more necessary as there are not even a handful of indiepop blogs out there and I think a lot of festivals are struggling to find new bands too. Maybe if I point them in the right direction it may work? I’ll see if this helps, I’ll try to do some of these sort of posts every now and then, when I have 5 or 6 worthy bands to recommend. Anyhow, time to go on to the obscure band of the week! Catapult!

It’s 1987 and the band releases their first 7″. Two vaguely named songs, “Summary” on the A side, and “Subtle” on the B side. The label is STS Records. Seems like a self-release. There’s really no catalog number unless you consider the number 45 written before STS on the label as Discogs does. I’m pretty sure that 45 just means 45rpm. I do own this 7″ and I say buy it if you see it. “Summary” is a spell-binding song. It will give you goosebumps because it’s so good. It has this jangly guitars that chime and chime no stop. They are luminous I tell you. And the vocals just float perfectly on top. It’s brilliant. Whereas “Subtle” is a bit more classic indiepop, it actually reminds me a bit of some of the Shine! songs I’m releasing pretty soon!

The next year they released a 12″ which sadly I haven’t listened to yet. See, it’s not that expensive on Discogs but the sellers are Dutch and their postage prices are very steep. I’ll wait for a better offer. The 12″ includes three songs, “Sink Me”, “RAF”, and “Undemocratic”. It was released in the September label (catalog SEPT6T) and this is good to know, as you might know my favourite band ever, McCarthy, used to release with September. The Wolfhounds also did. So this is good stuff definitely. I want to listen to these songs! There is actually a dub version of “Undemocractic” on Youtube, but I’m not sure if this is the 12″ version. It’s a bit sparse, and doesn’t sound much like the 7″ tracks.

A curious fact is that some of the sellers on Discogs say that the 12″ comes with a flexi. What was on this flexi?!

We do know that they recorded a Peel Session on 27 September 1987. The engineers for this session were Dale Griffin and Mike Engles. The songs recorded for this session were “Sink Me”, “Hope”, “Subtle and Tip” and “Undemocratic.” So, definitely I have to ask, does anyone has recordings of this session?

From this Peel Session we get to know the band members:

  • Stephen Butler (Guitar/Vocals)
  • Martin Stebbing (Bass)
  • Graham Clarke (Guitar)
  • Richard Knight (Drums)

On the Unpopular blog by Alistair Fitchett it says that Catapult were from East London and part of The Wolfhounds crew.

And then as like many times with these obscure bands I hit a wall. Does anyone know anything else about them? I would love to listen to the rest of their songs, the 12″ and the Peel Session. Perhaps there were even unreleased songs. Did anyone remember any live gigs? Anything at all?

EDIT 01/05/15 8:10pm: Our friend Jörg just pointed out some things to us: The track on the Catapult flexi was “Last Night I Dreamt Louise Brooks Loved Me”. And if you look at the pictures on Discogs the 7″ has a sticker on the back sleeve that says “Cat. No. 45 S.T.S.”, so that’s really supposed to be the catalogue number.


Catapult – Summary