Back from two weeks of vacations. I’m exhausted and jetlagged. In a way happy to escape from the heat of Thailand, but not that excited to be back in an office. There was little indiepop during the trip, but I did meet Peter from Twee.net for a day while I was in Railay Beach. That was fun, reminiscing past gigs, festivals and so on. Gossiping a bit, talking about records, his own collection that will be now housed in a museum and more. It was really great to catch up after some years. Last time we saw each other was in Madrid Popfest 2013.

As I’ve been away I have very little news about indiepop. Don’t know what has happened in the past two weeks. Were there any good releases? Any new bands popped up in Bandcamp? I will have to do my own research this week. For the next post I hope to find out some exciting news.

The one piece of news that is really important though, that we all learned yesterday, was that Indietracks is returning next year. There was a lot of doubts that it was going to happen again it seems. Fans were wondering for the past few weeks. But the news came and everyone started booking their Travelodges.

The dates for 2017 Indietracks are July 28th to the 30th. It will happen at the same location, the Midway Railway Centre in Derbyshire. There is one difference though from previous years, three of the organizers have left, Marianthi, Ian and Alice. Andy and Nat are still on it while Jasmine, Emma and Beck are joining Team Indietracks this time around. I don’t know these new members but I hope they book some great bands, proper indiepop for the pop fans. Definitely Marianthi and Ian will be missed, they booked so many fantastic bands during the years making me happy when I attended.

I don’t think I will be able to attend. But who knows, if the lineup starts shaping up nicely, I can make a big effort. I miss the festival so much. Fingers crossed. And good luck to the new organizers!

And about my vacations? Well, what else can I tell you. Visited Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Lobpuri, Sukhothai and Railay Beach. Lots of walking, temples, Buddha statues and monkeys. I wore a baseball cap and shorts, very unusual for me. In a way Thailand seemed so different to anywhere I visited, but other times it just felt like another Latin American city, Bangkok especially reminded me of Mexico City a lot.

I have to go through my photos, get my memory refreshed. I had some issue today with some of my photos, they seemed to be lost after I pressed ctrl+z, undo, on my new computer. How odd. I’m using a recovery program and I left it doing it’s thing. It seems like it was working. I hope so! So far this day has been so crappy.

I found Thai food a bit hit or miss. Some days it was fantastic but in general I think Thai food in New York is as good and sometimes even better. I may be mistaken, but that was my experience.

Taxi drivers, damn, they see you as a westerner and they try to rip you off. I was better using Uber really. Taxi drivers don’t want to use their meter and they just ask for a flat rate, a very expensive one. Well, not expensive if you convert to dollars, but definitely much more if they were to use the taxi meter.

All in all it was a fantastic adventure in Asia. Worth the very long flight. When I get my energy back, maybe I can write a bit of a tourist guide for the places I visited. Right now I just want to fall asleep!


Roberto Durán Samaniego (born June 16, 1951) is a Panamanian former professional boxer who competed from 1968 to 2001. Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Durán was a versatile brawler and in-fighter in the ring, which earned him the nickname of “”Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”) for his devastating punching power.[1] He held world titles in four weight classes—lightweight (1972–1979), welterweight (1980), light middleweight (1983–1984) and middleweight (1989)—including a reign as the undisputed and lineal lightweight champion (1978–1979), and the lineal welterweight champion (1980).[2] He is also the second boxer to have competed over a span of five decades, the first being Jack Johnson. However, Durán is most infamous for abruptly forfeiting his welterweight title in the middle of his 1980 rematch with challenger Sugar Ray Leonard.

Today I want to introduce a band I know very little about: The Roberto Durans. I know almost nothing and the internet also knows barely anything about this band. There is barely anything but I’ll dig up everything I can. They are not even listed on Discogs!

They are not much of a mystery in the indiepop world. I’ve never heard anyone talking about them. Maybe not many know their existence. Never seen them on those wanted records lists. Never seen a blog post about them. I found them on Youtube and from there I started my “investigation”. First fact I can find about them is that they were based in Wakefield, UK.

Wakefield is a city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 76,886 in 2001, increasing slightly for the five Wakefield wards (East, North, Rural, South and West) to 77,512 at the 2011 Census.

As far as I know they released just one record in 1990. It was a private pressing, self-released and it seems only 500 numbered copies were pressed. This 7″ included two songs, “Don’t Go Weird On Me Baby” on the A side and “T.B.O.O.E.T.K.M.” on the B side. What does the B side song mean? The catalog number was TKO 001.

On Youtube I could find 3 more songs. I assume these are from the same recording session as the 7″. They were uploaded 8 years ago I think by a member of the band. The songs are: “Jesus Drives a Harley“, “A Million Tears” (which is said to be inspired by Harvey Milk), “Dying to Meet You“. Also you can listen to the two songs that appear on the 7″,”Don’t Go Weird On Me Baby” and “T.B.O.O.E.T.K.M.“.

I wonder who were behind this band. From a Facebook page called “I See a Darkness” I feel one of the band members might have been Paul Stephenson but I can’t confirm this. I wonder if the band members had been in other bands before or after The Roberto Durans. If they were really big boxing fans. If they ever visited Panama. So many questions. Did they record more songs? Why were there no more releases? How big was their following? Maybe some of you remember them? And how the hell do I get a copy of their single? I would love to have it!


The Roberto Durans – Dying to Meet You


Last post before vacations! Well, unless someone answers interview questions before I head to Thailand this Saturday morning. Very exciting! But before we have here an interesting week. Tomorrow there’s Presidential elections in the U.S. and I will be working around the clock, probably until midnight or later. Hopefully the result of the election is not a terrible one. It is a very scary election and I’m crossing my fingers for the best outcome. Then two days later, on Thursday is our official release date for The Seashells 7″ with the fantastic two songs “Thoughtlessness” and “A Comfort to A Fool”. The mighty return of the classic Umeå band! So quite a packed week!

On top of it all, last Friday I had my U.S. citizenship interview and I passed it. Now the next step seems to be the oath ceremony and I’ll be waiting for that. I was quite nervous but I didn’t make any mistake in the history/geography questions (to be fair they were pretty easy questions). I haven’t had an oral test in more than ten years! But yeah, it was quite an interesting experience.

I hear also that my good friend Peter from Twee.net will be at the same time in Thailand. That would be awesome if we could meet. Maybe there’s some indiepop stories in Thailand in the end! Things shaping nicely.

Then I got my new computer and I’ve been setting it up. I’m still lacking some programs. I haven’t done much to be honest as I’ve been addicted to Civilization VI. But about my other computer, the one that stopped working, I don’t much. A friend is checking it, a computer expert, and hopefully he can salvage the hard drive. I have listened to a bunch of records this week and I want to file them in my Excel sheet! And I can’t. I really feel silly for not having transferred my record collection to the cloud, maybe to Google Spreadsheets. I thought many times about doing that, but I never did. No excuse, laziness probably.

But what about the topic we are always interested in? Well as it is becoming normal the news are far and between. I think what has excited me the most are a number of gigs happening in the UK that I most probably won’t be able to attend.

The first, and I couldn’t find a link to a Facebook event but you can check the flyer here, is happening on Friday February 17th 2017 in Preston. Who is playing at The Continental? Well, it is a fantastic lineup, The Orchids, The Chesterf!elds and The Suncharms. Three top acts. How I wish even one of these bands would play in New York. Just one.

And what about the day after? Yes, on February 18th 2017 there’s An Evening of Indie Pop! at Gulliver’s in Manchester. Who is playing? The Chesterf!elds, Karen (which is the fab band Davey from Brilliant Corners has now) and Cherlie Big Time. Couldn’t find a Facebook event either, but here’s the flyer. Again, what a lineup! I would be a roadie for The Chesterf!elds if I could!

But much closer, this November 10th, in the continent, our friends and Cloudberry graduates Stephen’s Shore are playing a gig in Stockholm. So please if you are around don’t miss it. For this one there is a Facebook event page. It is happening this Thursday at 8pm at Under Bron.

Continuing with gigs, NYC favourite band Pale Lights are playing on November 19th at the Cake Shop. But that one I’ll be missing as I’ll be away. I still haven’t managed to get their last release and I’m quite worried it will sell out! Damn!

Then Olov Antonsson who used to be in The Tidy Ups and used to record under the name Cocoanut Groove is playing solo on November 26th in Stockholm’s venue Landet.

Maybe there’s more cool events happening. I don’t know. I was also wondering when will Indietracks 2017 be announced. I can’t recall previous years now, but I think it was around this time of the year when they would announce the dates for the next festival, right? Well, better to keep an eye.

Also it seems Firestation Records is now working on a Metro Trinity retrospective. Sounds like an ace project. At the time they seem to be asking fans and people to help with any recordings. Please check here and help if you can!

And last but not least, all-time favourite La Casa Azul has a new song out titled “Podría Ser Peor“. Hoping for a new album soon!


Now, the time of our obscure band of the week right? I picked up a random Leamington Spa compilation today before leaving home. Kind of in a hurry. Today I needed a surprise, and it suddenly hit me, a song I remember liking a lot and about I knew nothing really: “Mrs. Harrington” by On the Waterfront. Did they release records? Who were they? I don’t own nothing by them. Who were On The Waterfront? And who was “Mrs. Harrington” if anyone at all?

I open the booklet included in the compilation. That’s the best part of these compilations perhaps, the booklets. I miss booklets. Now CDs (and LPs by default) come without booklets. It sucks. It makes me so annoyed. Nothing can replace them. And labels and bands don’t even try, you would think that they would attach a PDF or something, but not even. Anyways, I turned a bunch of pages and I saw, a whole page for On the Waterfront. What does it say?

“Essentially a live band, more powerful and ‘rocky’ than the EP portrays, played mainly around the London scene. ‘Mean Fiddler’, ‘Ronnie Scots’, ‘Rock Garden’, ‘Tramshead’, and all those great venues that were ‘live and kicking’ at the time. Some bigger gigs in provinces on the university and festival scene. Highlights such as supporting ‘the late great’ Steve Marriot, and the TV show ‘The Tube’. Tried to be topical rather than political, (but politics is always topical). Songs were often inspired by news stories. Mrs. Harrington a prime example, and sadly a story that’s still topical today. All members are still alive and well, and still playing, don’t think you ever get it out of your system. There is even talk of a 20 year reunion gig…. We’ll see. Jon Yallop”

And we also get the years they were active, 1983 to 1987. And the lineup:
– Bill Mayell – vocals/guitar
– Tony Fitzgerald – bass/vocals
– Paul Patch – drums/vocals
– Jon Yallop – guitars/vocals

Their origin? Tilbury in Essex, England.

Tilbury is a town in the borough of Thurrock, Essex, England. It was established in the late 19th century, on land that was mainly part of Chadwell St Mary. It contains a 16th century fort and an ancient cross-river ferry. Tilbury has a major deep-water port which contributes to the local economy.

Now what about their releases? We head to Discogs. They only have listed one 12″ EP with four songs. Two on each side:
A1. The Kids are Allright
A2. Never Surrender
B1. Far From the Madding Crowd
B2. Mrs. Harrington

Huh! “Mrs. Harrington” was not even an A side! Wow. The record was released by Wizz Records (catalog WIZZ1) in 1986. But I really doubt it is the same Wizz Records has as it is a house label. I think this must have been a self-release. I notice that in the cover there’s a picture of Colin MacInnes’ novel “Absolute Beginners” which I’ve never read.

Time to keep digging. It seems there’s not much online. I find a video with some footage of the band from the 80s. It is supposedly they only known footage of the band. This comes from a gig at the Rock Garden in London and also from a rehearsal venue in Essex. The track that accompany the images is “The Kids Are Allright”.

Someone comments in this video, a year ago, and says that Tony Fitzgerald is now a bass played who plays solo acoustic sets of covers and  some songs of his own and that also he is the bass player for the Northern Soul band The Signatures. Time to track The Signatures. I think this is their website. The problem is that I don’t see Tony’s name on the website or in their Facebook page. Maybe he left the band already?

What about the rest of the band? I find some info about Paul Patch, the drummer, on a website called The Various Assortments. It seems Paul Patch also goes under the name Billy Bad. He was born in Chelmsford and raised in Grays Thurrock. It seems he was in the famous Apple Computers 1984 commercial (!) among other interesting tidbits about his live. It says he has been in at least seventy (!) bands during his career like The Angels, Walking Wounded, Psycho Psycho, Dancing on the Telephone, etc etc. Seems he had a very eventful life!

About Jon Yallop, I think I found some music of his on Youtube. Unless there’s another Jon Yallop you can find a bunch of his songs on his channel.

What about Bill Mayell? Again, I’m not 100% sure but I found some photos that mention a Bill Mayell, a guitarist, being part of a band called “Take Oath” in the early 80s. Might he be the same one as In The Waterfront? Check these mod photos here.

And that’s where I hit the wall. Not bad, no? Found some extra information about each band member (I think!), and we got to listen to three of the songs on Youtube. The only one I couldn’t find was “Far from the Madding Crowd”. I couldn’t find a good price for the record, but hopefully I will at some point. I won’t forget about them. What about you? Do you remember from their London gigs? Did you use to see them hanging out in Tilbury? Would love to know more about this band!


On the Waterfront – The Kids are Allright