I’ve been wondering what happened to the bands that played NYC Popfest 2007. That was the first NYC Popfest (ok, there was one before but was kind of in a different era) and it was also the first one I attended. It was such a good time, made many new friends, and at that time, saw many bands that I could never imagine I was going to see in my life. I was such an innocent popkid, naive and all, and was just in awe all the time. Sometimes I wish I felt the same way when I go to festivals. Anyhow, 8 years after, what happened to the bands?
So I’ve been going through websites to find the lineup, my memory is not the best, especially when it comes to bands I didn’t like or I missed for a reason or two.
On Thursday the big name were the BMX Bandits. Happily they are still going strong. I remember taking a photo or two with Duglas and him being very surprised that two Peruvians had come to their show. I remember they almost didn’t play as one of their members had been detained at the airport for having pot or something like that! In the end they played such a beautiful show, with everyone singing along to Serious Drugs. Other bands that played were Pants Yell! who were selling a fantastic t-shirt with a soccer player (who I don’t know who it is!) on it. I was never a big fan of theirs. Later the leader of the band played NYC Popfest with a band he formed after called Cuffs. Wasn’t my cup of tea either. Don’t know what they are up to these days.
Other bands on that Thursday were Yellow Fever from Texas. Seems they are still going under the name Deep Time. They were more on the rockier side. Another band that played was Lispector. Their bandcamp seems to be updated with a bunch of releases up to 2014. So I assume she is still recording and releasing. Again not my favourite sort of music, but it’s good to see that bands are still producing music. The other band from Thursday was one band I actually really liked a lot, The Metric Mile from New York. It seems that their bandcamp was either hacked or doesn’t exist. This duo made some beautiful pop and released one 7″. At some point I think Peggy from the Pains was playing with them too. Anyhow, whatever happened to them? Are they still making music?
On Friday I remember clearly how amazing were two bands: The Baskervilles and The Secret History. About the latter I know quite a bunch, releasing a record two years ago and playing Indietracks too. Now they are making music under the name of their previous band, My Favorite. Wonder if they’ll switch back their name at some point. About The Baskervilles, well that’s a mystery to me. I think I played their records way too many times. I really liked them, I liked their aesthetics, their tunes, their lyrics and even the choices they made for playing and recording covers. I would have loved to put something out by them too. Where are they now? NYC needs bands like this!
Other bands were The Smittens, who I assume are still going; The Reverse, who I can’t seem to find much online; Mitch Easter, who I would also guess makes music; and Affair D’Coeur, who were one of the most interesting small/unknown bands in the festival. They were based in Brooklyn and made a nice sort of fuzzy crash pop. I remember one of them was involved in releasing the Swedish band Crime Time’s tape. I think they were done as a band many years ago. Where are they? Are they still playing in NYC?
Then we went to Coney Island for a free show. Erico from the Canadian distro Popolar drove us from Manhattan to Coney Island. Peter Hahndorf was sporting his best shorts. We walked along the boardwalk. It was so sunny and hot, it was hard to stand still. I had a burrito at one of the many Mexican restaurants close to the amusement park. I can’t remember much about the shows. I was glad to see Bunnygrunt but by this time they had become punkier than their early and loved releases. They are still making music, will play Indietracks this year. Cars Can Be Blue played too, at that time they were quite a hype with their lyrics that were definitely something else due to their profanity. I haven’t heard much about them since the time they were denied to enter the UK and everyone went ballistics at the Anorak Forum. I think they eventually toured the island a year later playing Indietracks as well. I saw them once in Miami, which was pretty odd as no indie bands would come. Then other bands that played were Best Fwends and The Gritty Midi Gang. I seriously don’t remember them at all. So I googled them. Best Fwends has a bandcamp and their latest upload was an EP from 2013. The music, well, is not for me. It’s a bit too all over the place. About The Gritty Midi Gang band, they seemed to have hailed from NYC. I found a song on Youtube called Valentine’s Day and it’s pretty fine. As I’m living now in NYC, I’m very curious that so many people during this time were making indiepop tunes in the city. Where are these people now? Why are they hiding?! They should go take the venues and play shows!
Next day on Saturday we all went to see Harvey Williams. It was a treat to hear him play his Sarah classics. Wish only he had a band. Saturday night is hard for someone with just a piano although we all really liked it. Harvey still performs solo to this day.
Other bands that played and we loved were The Ballet, who played Indietracks in 2013, but have been very quiet release-wise which makes me think they are no more and only reunited especially for that occasion, and My Teenage Stride, who had that superb indiepop hit called “To Live and Die in the Airport Lounge”, are no more as far as I know. I see some of the members at shows just as part of the crowd. Yet Another NYC band that disappeared. The Besties played that show and they’ve reunited since a couple of times. I liked their early demos that were shared in Soulseek back, back in the day. I was a bit disappointed when they got a bit punkier and shoutier. When they were sweetly twee they were at their best. Anyhow, then there was Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and that my friends is not indiepop so I skip it. I guess Brown Recluse Sings is also no more. They released on Slumberland and since have been quiet. Their last release was in 2011, so a safe bet is to say that they are doing something else. The only other band I’m missing was Ballboy. They were truly fantastic and after that Popfest I bought all their records I was missing. They were my favourite gig that night. They are still going.
On Sunday The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played. At that time no one knew much about them. The 3″ from Cloudberry had been out for weeks only. With many lineup changes the band is still going even releasing a pretty good record last year. The sadly missed Pipas played too, and I was very happy to meet Lupe that time. They weren’t going to play many shows afterwards but they did play a beautiful and memorable show at the Chickfactor gigs some years ago here in NYC. Lupe now playes in Amor de Dias. Pipas has been hibernating (or at least I want to think that as I want them to play again!). Pelle Carlberg came all the way to Sweden to play. He didn’t have a full band and played accompanied by another guy. It was sadly a so so show. I would imagine he still makes music. His last update on his website is from August 2014.
Human Television, CAUSE-COMOTION, Michael Leviton and Dear Nora played as well. None of them are still making songs. Katy Davidson from Dear Nora now tours and plays with the well known band Gossip.
Surprisingly that first Popfest lasted until Monday! I only caught half of the bands and some of the hamburgers that some of the people involved in the Popfest were selling.
The Lil Hospital was great. They are no more but Kevin still makes music with The Hairs. Allen Clapp & His Orchestra was the band I would have loved to see that day but had to leave to the airport. He has no new releases but seems active on his Facebook page. Surefire Broadcast are no more, you can only find a Myspace. The Gazzetteers I believe are on a standby but Jigsaw Records released their third album last year. This album though had been recorded some years before, but only saw the light in 2014. The other band that played that Monday were Titans of Filth. Their last release was from 2013.
What do I find from this. Well, I would have thought more bands would have bitten the dust, but it seems half of them or so have survived and are still going after 8 years. In that sense this theory that indiepop is kind of dead would be proven wrong. What is true though is that the NYC bands that played that Popfest have mostly disappeared. A true shame though as I live here now.
Time to check the obscure band of the week. This time another “classic” band for all of us that like obscure indiepop: Queue Dance.
I thought I had covered them before, but no, I hadn’t. Quite surprised by this. So it’s time to amend this and try to find out all I can about this obscure duo from the 80s.
What did they release? Well, to start one 12″ with four songs: “Not the One For Me” as the A side and “Never Take a Bite”, “Where Would They Go?” and “Are You Doing Whats Expected?” on the B side. All tracks written and arranged by Bourne and Goddard. Who were they?
Well, Nick Goddard was the one playing guitar, bass, vibraphone, keyboards and drum machine. Jo Bourne was on vocals and any additional percussion.
“Not the One For Me” was recorded by Roger at Soft Option Studios in London. “Where Would they Go?” was recorded by Mark at Blue Box Studios in Hove and “Never Take a Bite” and “Are You Doing Whats Expected?” were recorded at Pylon Studios in hove as well.
The sax on “Not the One for Me” and “Where Would They Go?” came courtesy of Eileen Lawless. Drums on “Not the One For Me’ were played by Andrew Blackwell. The nice and cool artwork for the record was done by Michele Allardyce. The record was distributed by Backs/Cartel and the label was Pylon with the catalog number ALI001. The record was released in 1987.
They also had two songs on a compilation 12” called “Paper Boats in Puddles”. The two songs included were “For a Moment” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”. One song on each side. On this compilation we see only one name that rings a bell, that’s of Jesus Couldn’t Drum. This record was released by Hang Ten Records. I haven’t heard the other bands included in the record like The Little Legends, Vava Voom, The Red Squares, This Colour. There’s a song on Youtube by The Rev, and it’s totally fine, though not really indiepop. Do you know if any of these bands are worth checking out?
Question is, did they release any other songs? Are there any other recorded songs still unreleased? Maybe someone knows?
The sound of the band is described by Rupert from A Turntable Revolution like “(it) sounds like it stumbled out of a 1950’s revue written by Helen McCookerybook”. He couldn’t be more right. On top of it all, the band hailed from Brighton/Hove area. The Japanese in this case would be really happy to call this neo-acoustic.
Googling around I found that Nick Goddard at some point was part of the Brighton punk band Jonnie and the Lubes. You can read their whole story here. I kept digging and found a comment by Michelle Allardyce, the person who did the artwork! What a find! On a blog post about a club called The Zap she writes about Queue Dance performing there. And says:
I played percussion in several bands at the Zap during the 1980s/early 1990s. Queue Dance: (jazzy swingy pop) were lead singer Jo Bourne, Nick on guitar, Pete on bass, Eileen on saxophone, Andrew on drums, Jenny Cruise on backing vocals, me on percussion. We did a tour of Brighton one May Festival in the mid 1980s (which I think the Zap helped organise), on a flatbed truck with the Little Green Hondas (ukelele surf band), a magician and a fire eater. One of those festival gigs was at the opening of a public toilet in Hangleton! Frazier Chorus (sometimes called Plop or Fishing For Clouds): (laid back synth pop) were Tim Freeman lead vocals and keyboards, Chris Taplin on clarinet, Kate Holmes on flute, me on percussion. We played Sunday lunchtimes for a couple of years in obscurity before releasing a single with 4AD and then 2 albums on Virgin Records. One gig at the old Zap we supported MAX – their celebrity entourage included Trojan and Leigh Bowery – I remember thinking who’s that twat with the fried egg on his head? Silly me! We played the first gig at the new Zap with our support band the Indian Givers after it was extended from the original 2 arches. We had a few singles in the top 50, did a Peel Session, had videos shown on the Chart Show and won the video vote on Saturday Morning Superstore but we weren’t part of the Brighton ‘scene’ at the time so you’ll never see any mention of us in any history of Brighton bands! Bing Bang Buffalo (country billy) were Jo Bourne lead vocals, Nick on guitar, Steve Gelliot on bass, Sean ‘Sharky’ as a prototype Bez on maracas! and me on snare. We supported Terry & Jerry (rockabilly) and Attilla The Stockbroker (punk poet). Spacecake: (1960s kids TV theme cover band) were Jonathan Lemon on lead vocals + ukelele, Alan Way on bass, Colin on keyboards, me on percussion. We only played Ghent festival, Amsterdam Milkweg and the Zap. I also played percussion with Jo Bourne as XiXi accompanying DJ Chris Coco at the Coco Club I saw lots of brilliant, diverse and inspiring bands and DJs at the ZAP – some faves: Mark Almond as Mark and the Mambas, The Rapiers, Blubbery Hellbellies, John Hegley, Brighton Bottle Orchestra, Ivor Cutler, Captain Stupid, The Shamen, Digital Underground, Bone Orchard, Ten City, Danny Rampling, Tony Humphries, Joey Negro.
By Michele Allardyce (28/08/2008)
Wow! She was involved in many bands indeed. Frazier Chorus perhaps the most known one. Then it’s interesting that she played again with Jo Bourne from Queue Dance in the band Bing Bang Buffalo. Another interesting point is that Jenny Cruse was in Queue Dance live band. Jenny Cruse also appears in the “Paper Boats in Puddles” compilation.
This was all I could find out, but maybe someone out there knows more about this band? I would love also to hear the other songs, the only song I know is “Not the One For Me” thanks to the From a Northern Place blog. Would love to know more!