Saturday 22nd March 2014
Sweeping the Nation Presents Leicester Indiepop Alldayer.
at The Firebug.
by Keith Jobey
In its three year history, this day has become a firm favourite of mine. Eight bands for eight pounds with the likes of Evans The Death, Haiku Salut, Just Handshakes and Amelia Fletcher’s Tender Trap having appeared previously. Put together by Simon Sweeping the Nation there’s no need to check out the bands this year to see if the quality warrants attending. I know it’s going to be worth it.
Don’t be put off by the tag Indiepop. It’s a very broad genre covering a host of styles. It’s not all twee happy songs played on ukuleles. Dedicated followers are travelling from all over the country for this event today. Including Oddbox Records, they’ve come up from London to host a merch stall.
The day begins mid afternoon with Superman Revenge Squad. A whimsical, acoustic guitarist character from Croydon accompanied by a man on a harmonium. It’s a gentle start but a good one.
Hilary and the Democrats are next. Bringing some classic indiepop from Liverpool they get lots of heads nodding. They end their set with a cover of There’s A Ghost In My House, once also covered by The Fall and as such appeals to a lot of the crowd.
Crossing over the Pennines we have The Wind-Up Birds from Leeds who edge towards a post-punk indie sound with semi spoken vocals. They have a political edge to them, political music for the poor they tell us. They are well received.
Mascot Fight is a scuzzy guitar four piece from Derby and Newcastle.
Unfortunately my group are hungry and we head out on a food break so missing their set.
Having obtained a quick bite to eat, we are back in time for [bold]Model Village[bold].
These are the most folk influenced band on the line-up and do have a ukulele. But they still have a pop rock edge, particularly during the last song.
Martha is a four piece punk, pop band from the fabulously named Pity Me near Durham.
I do like these, plenty fuzzy guitars, fast paced, vocals shared by all and full of energy. Good enough that Fortuna Pop has just signed them so they have an LP out in May.
Continuing the move northwards sees Edinburgh band The Spook School take to the stage. Signed last year by Fortuna Pop and with their debut LP well received they are a force in the world of indiepop already. When Cameraman is played it gets the crowd dancing more than at any other time in the day. Infamous for drummer Niall’s humour there are lots of comedic references to Gary Lineker and flavours of crisps. And by the end of their set he’s in the audience giving out topless sweaty hugs to the many takers.
Finally, and from slightly further North, St Andrews band Kid Canaveral headline the day. With a couple of LPs and numerous singles to their name they are well established and have plenty of songs to pick from to keep the ample crowd happy at the end of a great day.
It’s probably fair to say The Spook School were the most popular band of the day, if you judge it on number of people dancing. But it’s also fair to say there wasn’t a bad band on the roster. There are DJs on after but the prospect of the second last bus home suits me. Shame it never came!