Friday, 29 June 2012

Indietracks 2012 Preview

Indietracks Festival
July 6th -8th
Midlands Railway, Ripley

It goes without saying that Indietracks is one of Rhubarb Bomb’s favourite festivals of the last few years. It’s the perfect mix of down to earth, honest to god love of music and twee, quirky, fun times in a totally laid back atmosphere. It’s a little gem and I fear repeating myself, for Indietracks doesn’t vastly change from year to year. It does what it does very well, and 2012 looks to continue that trend.

To potential newcomers, here’s the thing. The festival takes place in the grounds of a railway museum. So you have a stage on a grass hill with steam trains piled up behind it. One stage is in an old train shed (so pretty big). Another stage is in a crazy corrugated iron chapel (some of the best shows I’ve seen have been on them pews) and another is actually ON a train, which cruises up and down the line whilst the bands play.

The day is always jam packed full of things going on and the atmosphere on site is unbeatable. It is relatively small compared to some outdoor festivals, but this completely works in its favour. Friends are made, with other festival goers and bands alike. It also has one of the best merch tents I’ve seen at a festival with all manner of ace Indie labels flogging bits and pieces. Indietracks as a whole is a little bubble, where you can forget about the outside world and smile your weekend away.

That’s the general gist. As for 2012, what do we have? They have teamed up with Slumberland Records to bring you a very personal and rather splendid collection of IndiePop bands. There’s a fair crossover with our own Long Division, which is perhaps where our attraction to it lies, including The Vaselines, ABC Club, Standard Fare, Evans The Death, This Many Boyfriends and White Town. We’ve also got Veronica Falls with a fair bit of buzz around them. But more than anything, experience has shown me that Indietracks is one of the best festivals around to find your brand new favourite band, someone you didn’t even know existed and whose entire back catalogue you end up buying right there and then.

Weekend tickets are £67 (including unlimited steam rides!). So what else do you get for that? Well, there are plenty of typically twee opportunities to kill some time through the day, including round table discussions from various DIY Indie dignitaries, demonstrations on how to make bunting, decorate cakes, make superhero capes and the yearly Indiepop quiz.

There’s no reason that Indietracks will not be the roaring success it has been the last two years we’ve visited. With a slightly slower, more relaxed pace than many festivals, it is a joyous experience, even for people not completely obsessed with Indiepop. In fact, if you’re less than an expert on Indiepop goings on, it’s the perfect way to submerge yourself in a completely new musical world. You won’t regret it.

Dean Freeman

*You can also download a 51 track compilation of bands playing at this years festival from HERE, with funds going to the Midland Railway where the festival is held.

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