Last weekend was Indietracks Festival 2011! And it was probably the best Indietracks yet! I’m still buzzing from the sheer joy of it all. 🙂
I’m not going to do reviews of every act as there were simply too many (full lineup here) and it’d also be quite samey as I genuinely loved everything I saw. But Indietracks is more than just a shitload of amazing indiepop bands on a train site. It’s about the whole vibe of the festival. As much as I enjoyed Slam Dunk, it was beautiful to be at a festival *not* obsessed with sponsorship and Front girls, where the stages are just stages and not courtesy of Union Carbide or News International. I don’t think people realise how rare and special that is in these days of mega-fests. If those festivals are Big Macs, Indietracks is a jam sandwich. It’s close, personal and, as a punter, you don’t feel simply like an advertising demographic. Sometimes it’s nice to get out from under the dead claw of capitalism, y’know?
And here’s another thing that makes Indietracks special: the generator broke down just before Hidden Cameras were meant to play on the Sunday. Brilliant, you might say. But HC came out and did five songs purely acoustically to an enraptured audience. We all listened, completely awestruck. That was something special, un-plannable and un-reapeatable. I believe it could only have happened at Indietracks where there’s such an intimacy and bond between audience and performers. There were many, many moments like that at this year’s Indietracks: Johan SKWBN singing the second verse four times, MJ Hibbett getting a tent full of people singing like nutters, Butcher Boy glorious in the sun, hearing *two* Sonic Youth covers from different stages in the space of twenty minutes.
And we rode on the trains! As always, I felt like Hercule Poirot, pitched up to investigate some kind of indiepop murder mystery. Perhaps we should do that for real next year? Er, not a murder, have a murder mystery on the train, I mean.
I had a chance to find the specialness of Indietracks out for myself as I ended up doing four songs in the merch tent on Sunday. Again, if I’d done this at a lot of other UK festivals, it would have been horrendous. At Indietracks, people *listened.* They even asked me about lyrics and meanings afterwards! I had a lovely experience and that’s why I play music: the possibility of connecting to the audience and the chance to establish a true dialogue.
It was also my birthday last Saturday. It couldn’t have been more perfect than to spend it at Indietracks, surrounded by some of the most wonderful bands in the world and some of the loveliest people too!
How can Indietracks 2012 top this year? 🙂
Click here for a gallery of piccies!