Last week of February. This year is going fast!

I’ve been trying to work on the new podcast this week but I haven’t had the time. Seems it will be out sometime in mid-March now. So far we’ve got 955 plays in total. I’m pretty sure we’ll reach the 1000 mark when we publish the next episode, so I’m very excited about this. I honestly didn’t expect it. I thought at best by now we’d be having 100 plays! Now if only there were 1000 sales of records in 3 months, then we could be a very prolific label releasing all the bands you dream of haha.

I’ve been promised to get the last song that I’m missing for the CD that comes with the new fanzine this week. If this happens, as I really hope it does, the long delayed fanzine will start shipping next week. I hope the wait is worth for all of you that have started pre-ordering since two weeks ago. I think it will be. Even though it’s taken forever to print this zine, I’m very proud of it, the interviews came out pretty good.

Aside from that I’ve started working on more releases that I’ll be telling you about in the months to come. You’ll get to know about them first on the blog and the podcast, so please keep an eye on us.

Next week NYC Popfest should be announcing their lineup. I’m really thrilled about it. I know already some bands that are playing and seems it’s going to be a good one once again.

But the big news this week was the announcement, the first announcement, of some of the bands playing at Indietracks this year. I was very critical last year and because of that I said I wasn’t going to be going this year. It’s pretty expensive to travel in the summer to the UK these days and well, if you do, you want an ace lineup. This year, it seems, the lineup is already looking better than the previous edition. Definitely Cinerama is a great headliner for me, as a big Wedding Present fan, I haven’t had the chance to see David’s other band play live. So that would have been really cool. Then Desperate Journalist are a favourite band of mine for a long time now. I requested them last year, though I was told they didn’t want to play. Now it’s good that they are playing, more indiepopkids should know about them.

Then of course I’d LOVE to see The Catenary Wires. I saw that they were just touring Japan alongside the Primitives. How lucky are the Japanese to get to see Amelia and Rob playing their new songs! I cross my fingers that they will also come to NYC.

Though they are repeating, The School and The Fireworks, are two indiepop powerhouses. They have been releasing top quality records for some years now. I will be sad not to see them, especially my dear friend Matthew who didn’t go last year to Indietracks but who I was lucky to see at The Chills gig (and also for some very strange veggie Indian buffet!). Both bands I’ve been lucky to see before so I don’t feel much pain of missing them.

Buried among all these fancy names in the announcement are Los Bonsáis from Spain. This band is top class. You better catch them if you go. I saw them once at Madrid Popfest and they were super good. On top of that, their releases are delicious, starting from the great artwork that Helena comes up with, to the beautiful melodies Nel and her craft with pop wizardry. I still recall their Spanish version of the Vaselines “Son of a Gun”, it was a true highlight of that Madrid Popfest!

Then The Tuts and Fire Island Pines are definitely worth checking out. I have followed both bands on and off and I would be very curious to check out their live set. Of course seeing Bunnygrunt on the bill makes me giggle, but then I remember that I love their early indiepop period, their rockier and garage-ier sound from these days is not really up my street. Still one can always hope that they play so many of their amazing songs like “Inanimate Objects” or  “I Am a Curious Partridge”.

More bands will be announced and, even though I’ll be absent as I said, I’ll try to point to you which ones you should check. And if there’s something or someone that I’ve missed let me know!


Today I want to go through a band that has always been of interest to the indiepop collectors: The Man Upstairs.

I’ve been looking for their records for a long time with no luck. So I’ll start there, with their records.

1982. Their first release ever comes out on Clock House Records. The songs included in this 7″ were “Summa” and “Gospel According to Mark”. The producer for this record was Cliff Bradbury. The cover by Graham Sharpe. This record is both listed on Discogs and Rateyourmusic. Strangely enough these songs are not mentioned in The Man Upstairs website.

1985. A new 7″. Discogs has it listed as Jazz, Rock / Soul-Jazz. There’s a lot of jazz in this one definitely. I’m much more familiar with this record. The A side has “Sad in My Heart” and the B side has “Country Boy” Most indiepop collectors are crazy about the second song. Me too.
This record was released by Sideline Records. Catalog SIDE 1.
On the back sleeve of this record we learn about the lineup:
Nigel Sewell – lead vocals
Carolyn Bennett – vocals
Rupert Knowlden – percussion/vocals
Tim Simpson – bass/vocals
Alan Smyth – guitar/vocals

The photography and design for this record was courtesy of David Travis and Best Boy. I really like the design for this one, the blue/white/black combo works for me (very Cloudberry too!). The record was produced by the band.

1986. “Consumer EP” Their last release. This one also on Side Line Records, but now the catalog is WIDE 1. There’s a 12″ and a 7″ version. Discogs doesn’t have listed the 7″ one. On the 12″ we have the songs: “Consumer Song (American Club Mix)”, “Shouldn’t Try”, “Country Boy”, “Sad in My Heart (Russian Club Mix)”, “I Bet They’re Really Missing Me Downstairs”. The 7″ has “Consumer Song” and “Shouldn’t Try”. On this record only three members are listed as part of the band: Carolyn, Rupert and newcomer Chris (guitars, bass, vocals). Production was in charge of Bruce Hart, Alice Marsh and the band.
There are some other credits, David Travis and Best Boy again on photo and design. Boy in Bath is Gerry Colvin and Special thanks to Alice Marsh for also playing bass and vocals on “Shouldn’t Try”.

That Gerry Colvin that’s mentioned in the “Consumer EP”, is Gerry from Terry and Gerry fame. Terry and Gerry was a British pop band, formed in the early 1980s by Terry Lilley and Gerry Colvin in Birmingham, UK. Unusually for the time the band was based on a skiffle sound making use of a washboard for percussion instead of a drum kit. Terry Lilley played double bass. Gerry Colvin sang lead vocals and played acoustic guitar.

Last stop on this search for more information about this really obscure band. Their website. Yes, they have a website. That’s pretty strange isn’t it? Though to be honest the website seems to be unfinished. I don’t know when they started building it but it seems that halfway through they stopped adding information. There’s no contact page even though there’s a contact button. Also there are 4 “home” buttons. But going through we can find a full fledged Music section were you can listen so many songs like:
Early days 1982-83
– He’s Got the Lot
– Summer
– Sorry Mate I Only Work Here
– No Idols (rehearsal)
– Into the Red (rehearsal)
– Hanoi (rehearsal)
– Consumer Song (demo)
– They Wanna Be Like You (demo)
– Cars (demo)

Demos 1984-87
– Cry Cry Baby (demo)
– One Kiss at Sunset (demo)
– Jack (demo)
– Ba Ba Ba Ba (demo)
– One Lump or Two? (demo)
– Country Boy (demo)
– When Jealousy Starts Again (demo)
– Ballroom Dancing (demo)
– Harlem Nocturne (demo)
– Housewife’s Choice (demo)
– Sad in My Heart (demo)
– Consumer Song (demo)

Mini album 1985
– My Way
– Sad in My Heart
– Country Boy
– Barratt Homes
– Consumer Song
– Person in Front
– Cry Cry Baby
– I Bet They’re Missing Me Downstairs

Album 1988
– No Smokes
– Cry Cry Baby
– I Can’t Be Anything
– Desperate Dan
– Raging Fool
– Sad in My Heart
– Lipstick Shuffle
– Consumer Song
– Sixties Song
– Big Fish
– Country Boy
– Gerald Pulls it Off
– Shouldn’t Try

So, a bunch of new songs to listen. Also would this mean that they had the intention to release these? And in these formats? And notice that the songs from that 1982 7″ are not listed. Maybe they were from another band? Can anyone shed some light about it?

Let’s move now to the press section of the website. Here there are a bunch of cool clippings of the press. We know that the Birmingham band went through a major change in the line-up in mid 1983 which resulted in the band writing a completely new set of songs a selection of which could be heard on a tape they seem to have been sending to the different magazines and press outlets. They mention too that the band has played extensively all over the country both as headliners and opening for bands like The Smiths for example!

Then on another clipping  we notice that Nigel Sewell is the same Gerry Colvin from Gerry and Terry according to Music Week August 1985. Here it is mentioned that the mini-LP was to be released the same year as the “Sad in My Heart” 7″. On another clipping we learn that they supported The Chevalier Brothers in Bangor during Welcome Week. Also in this same section we find the designs for some of their demo tapes which are really cool, don’t miss them.

I like this description by Phil Preece from the NME:
There are five of them. They sing and play. They smile while they do it. You will too. This is the music of the post angst period. Their whole set is a mix of washing machines and rhumbas. Blender-menders and scat. They take us on a trip to the land where the vacuum cleaner is king. Oh yes, and they’re as trendy as hell. Book them.

That’s more or less all I could dig about them. Maybe you can fill in the blanks?


Man Upstairs – Country Boy


Thanks so much to Seamus Allison for the interview! Me and Dean Martin was a fab jangly band from Nottingham from the late 80s who released two 7″s, both of them highly recommendable! So if by any chance you haven’t heard about them before now it’s time for you to discover them!

++ Hi Seamus! Thanks so much for this interview! How are you? Are you still based in Nottingham?

Still based in Nottingham and all is well.

++ Tell me a bit about the scene there in the 80s. When did you start going out to check bands? What were the venues you’d used to go to? And what were the first bands that made an impression on you?

There were some great bands in Nottingham in the late 80s and a number of venues that really supported the local indie scene. Venues included Jacey’s, The Old Angel, Russell’s, The Hippo, The Garage (sister club to the Hacienda in Manchester) both universities and a whole range of pubs. There was a great choice of indie bands to watch; Twelve Angry Men, Slaughter House 5, Hurt, Hepburn, The Legendary Dolphins, The Ash Felt Ribbons, Idi Eisenstein, Dr Egg, Huge Big Massive, Po!, The Waiting List plus there was a very active thrash metal scene thanks to Ear Ache Records and bands such as Lawnmower Deth.

++ Was Me and Dean Martin your first band?

It was our first gigging band. We’d had a number of line-ups in what were really bedroom bands and the core of these went on to form Me and Dean Martin.

++ How did the band start? How did you all know each other?

Marek and I shared a post-student house and realised we both had a love of the music of Bruce Springsteen and the Smiths. Marek had an acoustic guitar and a saxophone and I had an electric guitar so we started playing together and then writing some stuff. I came across Graham when I’d seen his drum kit in a rehearsal studio. We knew he was right for us as soon as we met him because he was wearing a cardigan (plus he is an excellent drummer). Nige answered an ad we’d placed in various venues; we knew he was right immediately because he had sideburns (plus he is a very melodic bass player). Prior to Nige a friend, Ken, played bass until such time as we could find a replacement but thankfully stayed longer than he’d planned and added a considerable amount to the band before moving to Australia.

++ Where does the name come from? I guess you were big Dean Martin fans?

We were regularly rehearing and writing and planned to record some demos. One night, following rehearsals, we were sitting in the pub and decided we needed a name. The Matt Helm movies had been playing on TV during the week and so we thought a name with Dean Martin in it would be spot on. We discussed this at some length over drinks and next day all we could remember of the debate was the phrase Me and Dean Martin so we took that as an omen. It helped that Marek and I were big fans of the Rat Pack.

++ Your first single came out in 1989, it was the Surfing Days EP. I guess it’s an obvious question, especially as there’s no ocean in Nottingham, was surfing something you were into at the time?

The song has nothing to do with surfing. We used the idea of surfing and summer nights and words like cool and out of sight as an association with Americana; the storyteller contrasts the ideal of the American dream, as presented in the popular media, with his real existence of life in a dull seaside town in Yorkshire. So the Scarborough love affair was not to be but the narrator could at least escape his reality by dreaming of Elvis. The song is an affectionate critique of the Americanisation of British youth culture.

++ On this 7″ I really love the B side, “Sweet Starts and Bitter Ends”. I think it should be an indiepop classic! If it’s not too much to ask, what’s the story behind this song?

This song fits in between “7 Compton Street” and “I Hope it Rains on Your Wedding Day”. It’s about a relationship that starts well but ends in bitterness. It’s got some lovely lines penned by Marek such as “flowers that I buy for you, they just had to die for you” and “it’s just myself on buses home.” Poetry.

++ This 7″ and the next one were released in the No Label. Who were they? And how did you end up releasing with them?

No Label was an indie label based in Nottingham. I’d helped one of the founders build a garage and we’d often spend more time in his little studio than on site. When he founded the label with one of his friends they seemed the natural people to approach to help us with our project.

++ This first 7″ also received a lot of plays on BBC Radio One and got the attention of the press. Was there any interest of other labels at the time? Perhaps big labels?

We were played by John Peel, John Walters and Simon Mayo (on the breakfast show – we tricked him into playing it, buts that’s another story!). John Peel segued Surfing Days with a Dean Martin song – pop perfection. EG Records picked up on the first single and came to see us play a few times in Nottingham and London. We met with them one night; they had their expense accounts and the wine flowed, for them, but we just drank tea and ate Bourbon biscuits, it wasn’t very rock and roll! As often happens, the person who was interested in us left the company to concentrate on managing bands and the interest waned. There was talk of a £10,000 advance to record enough tracks for an album but it never happened. The only other contact with big labels was when CBS banned us from using an image of Dean Martin – we used it anyway.

++ I read on the Leamington Spa liner notes that your second single was supposed to be “Hope and Optimism” but decided instead to release “Life and Death Issues in Three Minutes”. Why was that?

We recorded some rough demos to help us decide which songs to take into the studio for our next release. We couldn’t get Hope and Optimism right on that occasion so didn’t finish recording it. We sent the demo tracks minus Hope and Optimism to a few producers. Peter Hook offered to produce us and said he much preferred Life and Death Issues in Three Minutes so we figured that was a good one to go for. Here’s a 4 track demo of Hope and Optimism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g7aO6XbQOU

++ And speaking of “Hope and Optimism”, it also says that it was recorded for a network TV show. Is there footage of that TV appearance?

Thanks to Nige Nimoy the footage appears on YouTube. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwCBpkoCWqU

++ Back to “Life and Death Issues in Three Minutes”, why did you turn down Peter Hook for the production duties?

It would have been great to have worked with Peter but he wanted too much money and we were broke. We’d hoped the much talked about advance from EG Records would help but unfortunately that wasn’t to be so we produced it ourselves along with Joe King who had worked with Diesel Park West – I think he did a good job.

++ On the single, the last song is “7 Compton Street”. I checked on Google Maps, and I found that it’s in Sherwood. Why is this address important to you?

It’s in Carlisle in Cumbria and just seemed a great title for an indie song – it’s got a rhythm to it.

++ And another song on this 7″ is “This is Why I Hate the Sixties”. I don’t own the 7″ sadly, so I haven’t heard it, but is there any truth in the title of the song?

The sixties have seen some fantastic pop music and it is the decade in which we were born. The title refers to our critique of the naïve optimism of the hippy movement. They believed that with a few flowery shirts, drugs, free love and long hair they could affect radical long-term social change. It’s another affectionate critique. Again thanks to Nige, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P12719qJKXc

++ On the Leamington Spa you contributed the song “Me and My Paisley Shirt”. This was supposed to be the third single. What happened? Why didn’t it come out?

We were really pleased with the recording which took place in the same session as Sixties, To Be Touched, If You Could See Me Now and Life and Death and was another Joe King engineered track. It was a live favourite. However, the response to Life and Death wasn’t what we’d hoped and we had the EG Records disappointment so it was decided to end the band. Here are the other tracks from the session which you may not be familiar with:
To Be Touched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-uljykLi-A
If You Could See Me Now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouiNGlY12to

++ And speaking of paisley shirts. What was the style of Me and Dean Martin?

It’s true there were a few Paisley shirts but we weren’t really interested in style and fashion, apart from Marek’s hair and Nige’s sideburns.

++ I also read that you had produced around 100 songs. How many were recorded? Is there a lot of unreleased material?

We’d recorded perhaps up to 30, of various sound qualities. At almost every gig we’d introduce a new song or two. The real shame is some of the stuff we never got round to recording. Here are two examples from a rough live recording that turned up last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VDDTLf_9k4
I can vaguely remember someone placing a portable cassette player at the side of the stage but for the recording to turn up 25 year later really is something. The first two tracks are I Hope it Rains on Your Wedding Day and Why Must I Always be the One to Say I’m Sorry When I’m Not Always the One Who’s in the Wrong? Catchy titles! Oh the tuning and timing, ouch!

++ You also gigged a lot during those four years of Me and Dean Martin. What were the best gigs? And the not so good ones?

We did gig a lot. Towards the end we did a fantastic gig at the University of Nottingham’s end of year ball. We collected hundreds of balloons from around the venue and put them all on stage so that we were playing in a sea of balloons up to our chests. My memory is of Marek slowing sinking into the balloons during Paisley Shirt and trying not to laugh. There was a not-so-good one in a venue in London. It turned out that we were supporting a glam metal band whose supporters were all ever-so-slightly right-wing. So there we were, a group of mop-topped fresh-faced indie popsters from the provinces. The crowd was quite hostile at first so we turned the amps up to eleven and gave it our all – we got a great reception in the end.

++ And then when and why did the band split?

The reception to the second single wasn’t what we’d hoped for and the EG link up didn’t happen so we got a bit down and decided we’d had a good innings.

++ What did you do after? I know you were involved in The Marteens as well (the two songs I know are just fabulous!), but perhaps that would make another interview for the blog!

We couldn’t stay away for long and reformed as the Marteens with two female singers Babs and Lola (not their real names) under the pretence that we were a brother and sister outfit. We wrote and recorded a dozen or so new songs and played a few Me and Dean Martin songs live. However, it fizzled out. I then got a call from the Deddingtons to help out live, we changed the name to Tuesdays Child, then Graham from Me and Dean Martin joined as drummer and the Days came about.

++ Are you all still in touch? What are you up to these days? Still making music?

We are still in touch. Graham is a cognitive behavioural therapist and an expert in brain injury rehabilitation, Marek is an internationally renowned university professor, Nige is busy uploading what exists of our back catalogue to YouTube and I work in academia. Marek is into obscure folk music at the minute and I strum my guitar in the dining room when no one is listening.

++ What about other hobbies that you like to do?

Other than Marek and his folk music I’m not sure what the others get up to. A few years ago I took up duathlon (triathlon without the swimming) and have now represented Ireland internationally in my age group a few times. Being with my family is what floats my boat.

++ I’ve been to Nottingham a couple of times, mostly touristy stuff. Me and a lot of friends pass by almost every year on our way to Alfreton for the Indietracks festival. I wonder if you could give some tips on what to see, where to eat, and where to drink in your town?

Nottingham is a great little city, far better than its press coverage would suggest. You’ve got to visit the Trip to Jerusalem pub, catch a band at Rock City (the best live venue in the country), have a curry in the Noor Jahan and visit the caves.

++ Thanks again, let’s start wrapping the interview. Looking back in time, what would you say was the best moment, the highlight, of Me and Dean Martin?

Our first single being played by John Peel – what a moment that was.

++ Anything else you’d like to add?

It’s really nice to think that some people out there still like the music and take time to share it and write about it. There was some lovely music made during that time and the indie scene was vibrant; it’s heartening and reassuring to think there are people prepared to make an effort to save that music for future generation. Thanks.


Me and Dean Martin – 7 Compton Street


How is it going? I’m freezing today, it’s so damn cold in NYC. I’ve spent Sunday working on a 1000 piece jigsaw with no intention of going out at all. I hope you are enjoying it a bit better. I should have worked on the indiepop-list mixtape/CD swap, but I didn’t. It’s great that it is back. Funny thing was that the person who I’m trading with is a friend, someone I know, in the UK. So I feel I kind of know what kind of music he’s going to like. Still it’s always a challenge. Should be my homework for this week.

Aside from that all is up to date in Cloudberry HQ. The fanzines should be arriving from the printer this week. I’m very excited about this number. Have you pre-ordered yet? There’s a mix of old and new in the zine and the CD includes a bunch of exclusive songs that are really good. Also, you’ll get to know a bunch of release announcements if you read it.

I’ve been looking for new music too. And there’s some stuff to look forward. As I’ve been doing for the past few months, I’ll do a breakdown of what you should be paying attention and buying. And just in case, most of these bands I recommend are not my friends or people I know or by any way associated to the label. I didn’t even get a free copy. I just think as no one else is doing it anymore, someone has to keep an eye on indiepop news, right?

– The Would Be’s, a favourite Irish band of mine from the 80s, who made a comeback some years ago with a lovely album are releasing a new single this March on the FIFA label from Ireland as well. I don’t know much about this release, you can’t listen to it yet, but it should be great.  I only it will include the song “Bittersweet”. Also the Would Be’s will be releasing on 12″ for Record Store Day in April (oh, shame as I do hate this day, such a gimmick) their 1990 Peel Session. I definitely want to get it. But how? This day makes it impossible. Perhaps on eBay for three times the price? Who knows. But if you can get it, get it!

Starry Eyed Cadet are a band from San Francisco, California, and they are really good. I discovered them some months ago as a friend asked me to give him ideas of American bands for a festival. Then they only had one song on their bandcamp. I remember showing them to Lisle from Fireflies and him liking them too a lot. Anyhow, now they have just released a digital EP with 5 songs. It’s brilliant. Hope this gets a physical release and that I get to see them live!

– As you know I’m no fan of tapes but the Leeds band Colour of Spring have just released a tape that includes “Honey” and “Skin” that you can stream from their bandcamp, the latter being my favourite. Much darker than their previous offering, the lovely and jangly “Next Year”, they are getting much more shoegazy, much more MBV. For 3 pounds you get the cassette and also a download that includes additional B-sides. Wonder why aren’t they on the tape? Decisions they call them. Worth checking out.

Horsebeach released a top class album not so long ago. Now the Manchester band is back with a 7″ that includes “Disappear” and “Let You Down”. It’s clear that they are doing well as they have pressed 500 copies and only 31 (at the time of writing this post) are remaining. Wish Cloudberry could pull that! The record will be released in March and pre-orders are now available for 5 pounds plus crazy UK shipping (US shipping is crazy too, I’m not blaming anyone). I’m ordering my copy now. Great stuff!

– Mikael Carlsson is back with The Honeydrips. That is important news definitely for everyone that loves Swedish indiepop. On February 18 he is releasing with Luxury Records an album called “In the City”. I pre-ordered it some days ago from Bengans just to get an exclusive fanzine that comes with it. I have no clue what the fanzine is about, it didn’t say I don’t think, but it doesn’t matter. I trust the taste of Mikael. The voice of Dorotea can hardly do anything wrong, right? I found this link where you can preview the album. Seems it’s top-secret on the Luxury soundcloud but exclusive on this Wondering Sound site that probably is getting a good bunch of hits now (kidding). Thanks for the comeback Mikael!

Alright, now let’s let the musicians make more music and I’ll come back next month with some more recommendations 😉


I google August Avenue. I find a card company in New Zealand, a kitchen and bath and towels company on Etsy, a Photography company in Chicago,  and of course none of them are what I’m looking for.

I stumbled by luck onto August Avenue. I reckon they must be pretty obscure. I can’t find absolutely nothing online aside from two “videos” on Youtube. There’s this user called “odash76” who “having been a long time supporter of the North East music scene, he decided to have a trawl through the vaults and see what gems he could unearth”.

I looked into all the stuff he has been digitising, and there’s a lot of different music styles. The common thread is the geographical location. The one band that caught my attention was August Avenue. But I’ll see if I cover some more from the bands he (or she) has made available.

I love hear these guitars I think as soon as I play for the first time August Avenue. There are 6 songs total on this demo tape called “Half Seven Already?”. They are classic jangly guitar pop from the late 80s. The uploader thinks this tape was released in 1987, possibly mostly sold at their gigs. I wonder who saw them live. Who did they support. Maybe some bigger indiepop names? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Of course the question is always why didn’t they release anything proper. It’s a shame with strong songs like these, on the A side “My Beautiful Wall”, “Thinking” and “Simon” and on the B side, “Get a Bag on Your Head (remix)”, “Failing Now” and “Shaun”.

I can’t recognize the guy on the cover photo. There’s a contact telephone number and a name. Michael. They thank Lee and Will. Who are they? August Avenue were Bill Angus on guitar/vocals, Michael Baines keyboard/guitar, Nigel Cope bass and Baz (Belsen) Davies drums. No more personal details about the band.

A Youtube user comments that he is pretty sure that they played at the Dovecot Arts Centre back in the day. He saw posters with their name but can’t recall if he saw them live. More mystery.

The user who uploaded the demo is truly a brilliant guy. He has also uploaded a full gig!! You can check it here. This is a live performance from 1987 recorded from the mixing desk at Rumpoles in Middlesbrough. There are a bunch of songs not included in the tape like “Fool’s Gold”, “Clear Blue Water”, “Kangaroo Law”, “Strength in Purpose”, “Don’t Be Sorry”, “Any Time Go”, “8.46” and “Who Am I?”.

Now I play again “Failing” with that nervous and fast guitar and heavy drumming. So good. And then I switch back to “Thinking”, my favourite and perhaps the most classic indiepop song of the demo! Though of course you don’t want to miss the opening song “My Beautiful Wall”!

Sadly that’s all there is about this very obscure band on Youtube (and the web). But maybe someone out there remembers them and can tell me more about them? Thanks, many thanks, in advance!


August Avenue – Thinking


This time around the clip from the podcast was guessed almost immediately. It was an easy song indeed, The Fat Tulips’ “So Unbelievable”. So next time around I’ll make it a bit harder, though I don’t know if people will guess it as they couldn’t with My Favorite’s “Le Monster” from the January podcast.

Speaking of that song by The Fat Tulips I’ve always wondered how it ended up being played in the Nickelodeon show “The Adventures of Pete & Pete”. How did they end up in the ears of those responsible for choosing the songs? It’s true that they played other indiepop bands in the show like Racecar or some of the Stephen Merritt projects, but a UK band is a bit rare don’t you think? Though it’s true that Sheggi moved to America and all. Maybe someone knows? And perhaps if someone knows if there are any other series that have used indiepop songs in it? It’s an interesting topic I think.

You know, indiepop people are usually working in creative fields, so it would be normal for the music to appear more in commercials and TV. But it really doesn’t. Are we shy about what we listen? Or the world is not yet ready for our melodies? What do you think? Or perhaps I’m just idealizing popkids and it’s just a very few that actually work in creative fields?

I personally don’t know many people working in TV or the film industry. I do know many working in creative agencies though. I’m a bit clueless in this, maybe the people who chose the songs have very specific job position? Perhaps they studied something very specific as well? Something like “music chooser”? Or like “licensing expert”? How does that work? Who are these people that in the shadows are picking some songs, and why are they not picking more songs from the vast pool of indiepop?

And I ask it because this would also help the economy of indiepop, these licenses would definitely contribute bands and labels in a shrinking indie and diy industry. Perhaps it would have saved many labels that have been calling it a day during the past two years. Kids in the industry perhaps should try to get our songs out there? Would be a great way to keep our industry healthy.

This is just an idea of course, as I said I don’t know how the whole process works. It may be more difficult than just pitching the songs at a meeting. But I do think that considering that our licenses will definitely be cheaper than many of the famous artists and perhaps from other genres, it’s not a farfetched idea. Don’t you think?

I’m just throwing this idea, perhaps it’s something we should all look together, for different opportunities out there? What about someone representing a bunch of labels and artists from indiepop and pitching our songs and getting us new chances to get our songs out there? A model like that could work? Have this been explored before?

So many questions. What do you think about this? Could we make a splash in the media in a total different way?


A kite is an aircraft consisting of one or more wings tethered to an anchor system.. Kites were invented in China, where materials ideal for kite building were readily available: silk fabric for sail material; fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line; and resilient bamboo for a strong, lightweight framework.

Today I got a message from Howard who runs the Facebook and Twitter page Indiepop Saved My Life. He asked me if I have ever heard or blogged about a band called The Kites. He attached a Youtube link for a song called “Larry’s Back“. I  have never heard this. Who are The Kites?

I have no clue at all. They are very jangly. Very classy. Elegant. Chiming. A lot early 90s indiepop. The first clue I find is on the description on “Larry’s Back”. This was the first song on the flexi included with the August ’94 issue of Waste Management Today. Waste Management Today?

Was it a fanzine? I googled it. No luck. A magazine? I would say the first option sounds more reasonable. Strange name though for a fanzine, but I guess I’ve seen stranger.

The band was around the early 90s. Sound-wise it makes a lot of sense. I look for information on this flexi and I can’t find any. I do know though that there was another song included and it’s “Rachel Head“. I can’t find any Rachel Head that they could have dedicated the song to. It’s a common name. But no famous person that I can think has that name. Perhaps it was a tribute to a friend of theirs? This song is also a cracker, brilliantly delivered.

The same user that uploaded these songs, a Mick Chuzzard, has uploaded a third song, “Faster“. This song is said to have been the single from a record released in 1994 on Happy Accident Records. I’m guessing there was a B side at least. But I can’t find anything about this record or the label. Would it be a safe bet to guess that Mick was part of the band? Could be, The Kites seem very obscure. At least he must be someone close to the band.

That’s all I could find. Definitely this is a mystery I’d love to be solved. Where can I find this single and the flexi? Are there more songs recorded? Actually, where are they from? the UK? the US? So many questions but three very solid guitar pop songs that everyone will enjoy a lot!


The Kites – Larry’s Back


The new Cloudberry Podcast is out now! This one is our 3rd episode, the 2nd for 2015. This is the “winter” edition as it makes a lot of sense, at least for us in New York, when February is usually the coldest month of the year.

This time around no one guessed the clip I played on the previous episode, so you’ll get to hear “Le Monster” by My Favorite first. I thought this was very easy to guess! So I’m playing a way easier clip this time around for you to guess. I hope you can, because if not, I’ll be very disappointed!

On this third episode Toni is again working on the production and I’m still selecting the songs and making you laugh with my funny accent. The team is still going strong. We have a bunch of new sounds from around the world, some classics, some obscure songs, and so on.  A good mix I think! Also we have a very cool guest: Victoria Linares from Franny & Zooey and The Prams. There’s a very fun interview with her you don’t want to miss!

Looking forward to your feedback on what we can do better next time and what have you liked this time around. It helps! 🙂

On other Cloudberry news, the fanzine is almost there. This past weekend I finished writing it and doing the layout. Now it’s just time to get it ready for pre-press so it can be printed. I believe it will be ready by the end of February or early March as the latest. There’s already a pre-order button on the website and there you’ll also learn that the zine includes interviews with Boyish, The Haywains, The Royal Landscaping Society, My Light Shines For You, The Occasional Flickers and Don’t Cry Shopgirl, as well as the tracklist for the CD EP compilation “The Intolerable World”.

After this release we’ll get all our focus on the next Cloudberry Cake release: “Fibi Frap”. So we are very pumped this year to put out as many records as we can. We are going to try to have a very good run for the next two years. At least we have the word from so many favourite bands to be part of the Cloudberry family!

I want to leave a question though to all readers of the blog. As you know I started this blog in 2008, so I’m wondering what would you say has changed, what is different, when you compare 2008 and 2015 indiepop? Would love to know your thoughts. I have a bunch of ideas, but I wonder what others see different as well! So yeah, leave some comments about that, would be interesting to have a discussion!


In 1989 a compilation called “New Reaction” comes out. The label was New Reaction and the catalog number was UNREST 15.  There are a bunch of indiepop songs in it from the likes of Pure Passion, You, Me & Him, The Quarry, Call Me Clive, The Herbs (who have been covered in the blog) and the band I’ll be trying to dig some information out today, Candid Bench.

I honestly don’t know what a Candid Bench is, but the song they included in this LP compilation is just brilliant. It’s called “How Embarrasing For You” and you want to listen to it right away. Head down, download it, listen to it, and then come back to this line.

My friend Uwe from Firestation Records once wrote about this song on his missed blog saying: Wow! Once heard a track by them called “How Embarassing For You“. I was blown away ‘cos this tune sounded sooo much like The Brilliant Corners at their best! Would love to hear more!! Band was around the late 80’s, no further infos. 

And it’s true, the sound of the song does remind one of The Brilliant Corners!! You wonder how this song didn’t end up being a proper single. Those trumpets!!

When I dig about them on Google I come across some Youtube videos (well, more of a still image) by a band Candid Bench. The first one is called “Drag You Under“. In the description for the song it says “celebrating 25 year”. I think this may as well be the Candid Bench I’m looking for. The song is not exactly similar to the beauty of “How Embarassing For You” but I can imagine them being the same band.

The other link on Youtube is for the song “Another True Story“. This is guitar pop too, and again a bit less jangly than the song in the compilation, but again it can be the same Candid Bench. It’s catchy, it sounds like indiepop from the late 80s and there’s some trumpets. This must be the same Candid Bench that Uwe was looking to hear more from.

I find out also that Reaction Records was a sub-label of a heavy metal label called Ebony Records. This is definitely strange.

Then I stumble on The Brilliant Cornersforum where it says that Candid Bench supported the Brill Corners pretty much every time they played at the Charlotte in Leicester. This makes me think the band was from Leicester. In that same forum there is mention of several tapes with Candid Bench recordings.

The Leicester link will make me find their Soundcloud page. Though the three songs here, “Archibold”, “Big Mouth Lush” and “The Charmer”, are less poppy and more rockier, I can picture them being the same Candid Bench whose trail I’m following. Luckily there’s a good amount of information about the band here, even a full bio which I’ll copy here:

Candid Bench – The first incarnation of The Bench was formed in 1986. Inspired by The Smiths, Half Man Half Biscuit, the six school mates from Anstey in Leicester, with guitarist/songwriter Richard Kettle at the helm, were soon playing gigs at local venues such as OJ’s and The Princess Charlotte in support slots alongside the likes of The Brilliant Corners and CUD.

The Manchester scene of 1990 proved to be an important influence on the band and they moved into funkier musical territory. Supporting the likes of The Real People, The Bridewell Taxis and Northside. A glittering future looked assured and prestigious support slots were secured at venues in London such as the Camden Underworld. Then, as they often do, things began to go wrong. One band member quit to go to uni while another moved away.

Yet the core members still retained their ambitions, which were aided when two close friends and ex schoolmates Lee Preston and Martin Findlay took it upon themselves to learn to play bass and drums. By 1995 the band were ready to push things forward; demos were recorded and gigs planned. The Bench were then dealt another blow when singer and founder member Gaz experienced some kind of spiritual transformation whilst living as a tramp in Barcelona and subsequently moved to deepest Norfolk to concentrate on his gardening.

Nothing much happened in the next two years until another couple of ex school mates, vocalist Neil Broughton and a new guitarist joined the band. They quickly constructed a new set and were again ready to gig. After a handful of appearances at the Charlotte including support slots with Clearlake, Regular Fries and Elbow, the new guitarist quit the band. Once again the band had taken one step forward, only to then take two steps back.

Finally a replacement guitarist was found in the rather rotund shape of Shane Bordoli, yet another ex schoolmate of yesteryear. And so in the year 2004 The Bench are, in the words of Elton John, still standing and looking to get themselves some of the long overdue credit
their obvious talents so richly deserve.

And that’s about all I could find about this band. It seems nothing was properly released sadly? Or was there? Does anyone out there know? I would be very grateful to know more! That song, “How Embarassing for You” is really something else, it’s just glorious indiepop!


Candid Bench – How Embarassing For You