An all-day indie-pop party at Nottingham’s The Maze, comprising of 10 bands in 10 hours, many of which are darlings of Derbyshire’s premier indie-pop festival, Indietracks.
Venue: The Maze
Date: September 14, 2013
This all-day, roller coaster ride through indie pop’s lesser known but by no means lesser quality bands starts at 1:15pm with T.O.Y.S and ends with indie darlings, Allo Darlin’.
The venue for this copious array of music – 10 bands in 10 hours – is The Maze, and it’s their tiny back room that, even at 1 o’clock, is packed with fans eager to witness a day of effervescent pop music.
A lot of the bands on the bill have, at some point in their careers, played Derbyshire’s finest indie extravaganza, Indietracks. In fact, it’s almost an extension of that festival; or a condensed version squeezed into a tiny room in the back of a Nottingham pub.
T.O.Y.S. zesty vim and vigour has people dancing. Before 2pm! They rely on a fuzzy bass, incendiary drumming and some ace glitchy synth riffs. Their trump card is the Strokesian buzzsaw single, ‘Fun Time For The Love Shy’, which, even at this early hour, is a contender for ‘Song of the Day’.
Glasgow’s Peru started in this city in 1992, and their C86-styled output is reminiscent of seminal Scotch indie stalwarts, Teenage Fanclub, if a little rougher around the edges.
Talking of fan clubs, The Hobbes Fanclub overcome a few technical hitches to deliver a sturdy set of Lo-Fi alt-pop, while Nottingham’s own Seabirds soar in with their lush harmonies, shared male/female vocals and bitter-sweet jangle-pop.
Just before teatime – yes, there’s a break for tea, so sophisticated is this twee all-day shebang – Glaswegians The Felt Tips demonstrate how it would sound if The Smiths collided with Belle and Sebastian at full speed.
After the teatime break, things get heavier, punkier, scuzzier and well, just a bit louder. The Flatmates’ T-Shirt slogan is ‘File under punk-rock’, which is spot on. There diminutive femme fatale leader is a bundle of kinetic energy; like Joey Ramone’s lost daughter, she bounces along to the band’s spiky punk riffs like Siouxsie Sioux on Ritalin.
The Fireworks notch the volume up even further, with their scuzzy noise rock threatening the cochlears of the crowd. But while Fever Dream are certainly noisy and frenetic, their set is a little reckless and aimless, and their esoteric fuzz ball clatter fails to fully engage with the crowd.
Thankfully, Tigercats are superb. Their smiles are infectious; their hooks are first grade, and all in all, their classic indie pop is the perfect warm up for tonight’s headliners, Allo Darlin’. They are indie’s underachievers, existing below the radar but bubbling with luscious melodies that deserve a wider audience. Their charming melodrama rounds of this all-dayer expertly, and sends everybody home with boozy heads, glazed eyes and warm hearts.