It is so soon that I’m going on vacation. Just for a week, but still. I really look forward to it. Need some rest, so I come re-energized to keep Cloudberry busy! And the blog too of course. Need to finish this world tour of bands, there are still a handful of countries that I want to “research”!

But of course there are indiepop news all the time so why don’t we get into that. That way I leave you with a lot of new music before I’m away. Also don’t miss tomorrow that I’ll publish one new interview!

Doble Pletina: Sadly I still haven’t got around to get the Barcelona band’s last album from 2016 titled “Así Es Como Escapó”. Not that easy to get indie releases from Spain in the US. Sometimes Jigsaw Records carries them, but if they don’t, I need to hope my friends help me. This is a shame, because I really like this band which I’ve seen once in Madrid and once in New York. But I’m not here to talk about how difficult it is to get their records but about their new video for the song “Mausoleo” which has just been released. It is a very strange concept perhaps, but who cares, the music is lovely of course.

The Seashells: Our friends from The Seashells, who we put out their return 7″ last year, have a new song! And that is brilliant news of course if you like jangly guitars, the classic melodies of indiepop, and that Swedish sensibility that we’ve been fans in indiepop since like forever now! The new song is titled “Moments of Being” and it just appeared out of the blue, according to the band to celebrate All Saint’s Day!

For Tracy Hyde: Since I discovered them not too long ago this Japanese band has become one of my favourites from that country. I remember when I wrote about them and I was pointed out that I didn’t do my research correctly, that they actually had an album out! I claimed that they didn’t! Embarrassing! Well, I made amends. I bought their album and has been played a lot on my personal CD player. The news now is that the band has a sweet new song on their SoundCloud titled “Floor”. And that is not the best news. Actually the best news is that this song will be part of a new album that will be released  on the 2nd of November. Well, we are past that date. Maybe it is out already! The new album titled “He(r) Art” has a whopping 17 songs. I look forward to having it!

Dan Dan Dero: The Lima band has been a usual in the blog. In the last few months they’ve released a couple of videos and now finally their debut album is out. It is titled “La Gran Implosión” and it has 9 dreamy indiepop songs. Most of the album is sung in Spanish but there are a few songs in English like “Tangerine” or “Muriel”. I think this is a very fine debut but I’m concerned about it being released properly, at the moment it is only available digitally. Will there be a physical release in some format? I really hope so, as I would love to have it in my collection!

The Hummingbirds: Well, it only says “Coming Soon”. It is not available yet to order. What am I talking about? An LP that will be available on the “Hindsight – A Night for Simon” that will be celebrated at the Factory Theatre in Merrickville. 9 tracks that were never before on vinyl, only available on CD on the “IV Recordings”. But it seems it won’t be easy to get hold of one of these beauties. It doesn’t really say how many copies will be pressed but ONLY if there are any copies left after that gig these LPs will be sold on a first come, first serve basis on Monday December 4th noon Sydney time and only limited to one per person. That means 16 hours less in New York so 8pm of Sunday??? I will need to set an alarm!


36th! That is the number of countries I’ve featured so far and there are more to come! Now I’m very happy to present a band from Portugal, a country I will be visiting next week!!! I’m traveling for 8 days starting on the 17th! So yes, mark that day because I’ll be on vacations and won’t be able to post any records. So if you need any Cloudberry releases order now and there won’t be any delays!

Portuguese indiepop is not very well known. To be honest there have been only a few bands. On Cloudberry I released a 3″ back in 2007 of a band called Safety Matches. A fun twee-ish band. I lost contact with them so I’m not sure what they are up to these days. I really liked them. Aside from them I knew nothing, so once I asked a Cloudberry supporter if he could recommend me some  bands from his own country. He recommended me the band Jaguar. I thought they were alright, so I decided to explore any connections I could find with any other guitar pop bands. This is how I discovered the DIY label Bee Keeper that was around from 1994 to 1999 and released more than a few gems.

The story says that the Lisbon based Bee Keeper started out as a joke by Elsa Pires, and was about making things happen and about making music fly as far as you want it to go. Against boredom, inercia and foolish jealous competition. Bee Keeper defended a spirit of cooperation between everyone who care. You can do it if you really wanna do it. Make your little riot happen and do it yourself.
Act now, react now.
 That text appears on a BandCamp I found for the label, and it is very inspiring!

The label wasn’t only Elsa’s. Luis Futre was also part of it. There is a small story of the label and also the whole discography on a blog post by Under Review, a Portuguese blog that covers indie music. The discography, which I haven’t heard all, seems to be a mixed bag of music. There are all sorts, from indie rock to indie pop, everything done the DIY way. One of the few bands that made indiepop from the Bee Keeper bands was Captain Clown.

Their first appearance on the Bee Keeper catalog was on the CD compilation “This is Not a Damage Fanclub Tribute” that was released in 1996 (catalog BEE020). The edition of 500 copies was divided into two distinct parts. In the first part, 10 bands covered the  band Damage Fanclub. After these, 11 more bands appeared playing their own songs in a sub-titled part “Supermarket Music”. Captain Clown appears on the latter part with the song “Super Red Taxi”.

That same year the band was to release their one and only record, “7 Superheroes in Pink Driven Ambulance”. It came out on a format I’m not a fan of sadly, a tape. I haven’t been able to find a copy of it and haven’t had the chance to listen to the songs. I’m writing this post on the strength of the song from the compilation and in my curiosity of hearing this tape. Maybe someone could help.

The city of Castelo Branco  is a municipality and former bishopric in Castelo Branco District, in Centro Region, Portugal. The name means “white castle”. Castelo Branco gets its name from the prior existence of a Luso-Roman castrum or fortified settlement called Castra Leuca, on the summit of the hill of Colina da Cardosa. The population grew on the slopes of this hill.

The band hailed from Castelo Branco and according to the blog Under Review the band had 3 vocalists who sang true stories and that the band had 3 brothers who were in the band Mammies & Kids. Luckily this blog has a scan of the tape art and here I can find many important details. First the band members, Nuno Valente, Luis Valente and Inês Barata on vocals, Ricardo Mota on bass, Rui Osório and Vasco Daniel on guitars and Renato Jacobetty on drums. The songs were recorded in June 1996 at Estudio S. Tiago in Castelo Branco and produced by the band.

The fun art of the tape, a collage of different cartoons reminds me a bit of what was happening just across the border in Spain, with an interesting pop scene helmed by Elefant Records. Maybe there was some sort of influence. Or not. The tape included just 7 songs which were: “Super Red Taxi”, “Hello Again”, “17 (Seventeen)”, “Little Smile”, “Buzz”, “Friend” and “For Someone Special”.

What strikes me of course after all this information was to read the name Nuno Valente. It rang a bell almost immediately, an easy thing to a football fan like me. I remembered immediately the Portuguese player Nuno Valente that was part of the Portuguese national team in the Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. I’m sure it is just a case of homonymy, but couldn’t stop thinking about it!

I look into the Bee Keeper discography for Mammies & Kids, see what they were about. It actually was a band that was around before Captain Clown. They released a tape titled “Pink Elephant is Gone?!” in 1995 (catalog Bee008) which is said to be influenced by Pavement. I do read on another blog, Braga Parks, that on this tape there was a Tullycraft and a Smudge cover. Which songs? I don’t know.

I start looking for more information about the band members. It is a difficult task as Captain Clown only has the previously mentioned compilation listed. But I do a good search and find that in 2010 Renato Jacobetty played percussion on the band Musgo’s CD album “O Negro de Boumkubé”. Also I see that Inês Barata played violin on a classical record by António Pinho Vargas. Is this the same Inês? I wonder as this CD was released in 1994 before she was in Captain Clown. If it was the same Inês wouldn’t she play violin on Captain Clown?

I couldn’t find anything else on the web. It seems like that era of Portuguese indie is not that well documented. There is barely anything written about that time. I do see that on Vimeo there has been an effort to unearth this music with small documentaries about the Bee Keeper bands. Sadly there’s nothing on Captain Clown, but you can find clips on Everground, Plasticine, Toast, Radioactive Man and Dr. Frankestein. It is said though that the intention was to release a full-fledged documentary about the label in 2012. Don’t know if that actually happened.

Do you remember them? Did they record any other songs? Did you ever see them play live? Would be interesting to get in touch and see if they can tell us the story of their fun band!


Captain Clown – Super Red Taxi