SATURDAY 25th MARCH: COMET GAIN + THE LOVES + TIGERCATS + THE PROPER ORNAMENTS + EVANS THE DEATH + SEPTEMBER GIRLS + MILKY WIMPSHAKE + BEARSUIT + MAMMOTH PENGUINS
Tufnell Park Dome, 2 Dartmouth Park Hill NW5 1HL
Led by songwriter David Feck, Comet Gain have released a string of critically acclaimed records on Kill Rock Stars, Track & Field, What’s Your Rupture? and, of course, Fortuna POP!. Unapologetically literate and emotional, Comet Gain seek out inspiration as much in the music of girl-group era pop, heartfelt Americana, British post-punk, and 60s psychedelia, as in the words and images of the beat poets and in the cinema of both the British and French new-wave of the late 50 and early 60s.
Comet Gain insist on locating and articulating the romance and the heartbreak that permeate and terrorize the everyday, whilst refusing to slip into sentiment or mawkishness. From artists like The Make-Up and Jens Lekman to a younger generation of DIY musicians like The Cribs, Love Is All, Veronica Falls, Comet Gain’s influence remains a traceable and tangible thing.
“Three in the morning in someone's London apartment, unattached men and women not giving up on the night: At first you hear blithering, then the smartest blithering you've ever heard. Then shots in the dark: "There's no security in purity." Then anguish and hope, forgiveness and curses, and a heartbreaker from its title to the last note: "Why I Try to Look So Bad." By this point you're hearing people you'd like to meet.” (Greil Marcus)
THE PROPER ORNAMENTS
Mining the rich territories of The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys, The Proper Ornaments are comprised of Argentinian Max Claps and James Hoare (also of Ultimate Painting and Veronica Falls) – who both sing and write the songs – and joined by Daniel Nellis (bass) and Robert Syme (drums). Claps arrived in London in 2008 on a one-way ticket from Buenos Aires, aided by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Oldham had produced a record by Claps' Argentinian band of the time but the group had fallen apart in a mess of drugs and acrimony and Claps' family were attempting to intervene by sending him to a mental hospital. The only option seemed to be to flee the country. As he recalls, "The day before flying to the UK I got run over by a car and had to escape hospital in order to make it so I arrived with bandages and my head all stitched up."
A few weeks later Max walked into the vintage clothes shop where James Hoare sat behind the counter reading a book on The Velvet Underground, and attempted to cause a diversion while his kleptomaniac girlfriend stole a pair of boots. “She didn't steal them in the end,” says Max. “They weren't her size”. However, the shop assistant and the would-be accomplice bonded over a mutual love of the Velvets, Love, Felt and West Coast pop and began writing together, taking their name from a song by the pioneering soft psych band The Free Design. They released their first single, "Recalling", in 2010 and in 2013 Lo Recordings released all their output to date on a collection titled "Waiting for the Summer". Their first album proper “Wooden Head” was released on Fortuna POP! in 2014 and they’ve just released the follow-up “Foxhole” through the excellent Tough Love label.
“Serious psych-pop contenders” – (NME)
Formed in Cardiff in 2000, The Loves released their debut single on Radio One DJ Huw Stephens’ Boobytrap Singles Club in May 2001, since when The Loves have had approximately 47 members come and go, making band leader/dictator Simon Love the Welsh Mark E Smith. Their debut album “Love” was released on the highly acclaimed London indie label, Track & Field. At this time the band also became friendly with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, leading to the band performing at the CMJ Music festival in New York. Since 2003 however, Karen O hasn’t been returning their calls. As well as many sessions for Marc Riley, The Loves also recorded four sessions for John Peel including one live from Peel Acres on Valentine’s Day 2002 at which the band were fed heart shaped pizzas. Since 2004 however, John Peel hasn’t been returning their calls. In 2007 the band released their second album “Technicolor” through Fortuna POP! and made Album Of The Week in The Sunday Times, before following it with album three “Three” in 2009. They released their final LP “…Love You” on Fortuna POP! in 2010 before calling time on ten tawdry years at the top on Valentine’s Day 2011. Now they’re back for this special one-off show.. Don’t miss it.
"One has to wonder why the likes of The Loves are not huge popstars when the music industry falls over themselves to give us the download today gone tomorrow pop stars fresh from the conveyor belt world of reality TV. Capitalism eh?" (Indie MP3)
Tigercats combine the talents of songwriter, singer and guitarist Duncan Barrett with his brother Giles on bass, Laura Kovic on keyboards and vocals, and Jonny Evans on drums, as well as Paul Rains from Allo Darlin’ on guitar. Their 2012 debut Isle of Dogs (Fika Recordings) fizzed with jangly punk, afro rhythms and spoken word sections, while their 2015 follow up Mysteries was a more sophisticated pop record, effervescent and spirited, with care and love poured into every song. A band of outstanding musicians, their infectious hooks and sheer danceability make them a formidable live act and they've toured across Europe and the USA, playing shows at Primavera, Indietracks, End of the Road festival and NYC Popfest.
“An indiepop band you can dance to. That’s actually rarer than you’d think. 10/10” – (Neon Filler)
EVANS THE DEATH
Named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milk Wood,’ Evans the Death’s 2012 self-titled first album mixed Smiths-influenced indie with scratchy noise-pop topped by Katherine Whitaker’s striking vocals. The brilliant debut saw critical acclaim from Q, Uncut and Artrocker, and radio play on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM.
After a change in line-up, the band regrouped for the recording of ‘Expect Delays’, a more ambitious and focused record encompassing additional influences including shoegaze and indie-rock whilst sacrificing none of the band’s spontaneity and vitality. The band’s third album "Vanilla", their most ambitious and experimental work to date, was released via Fortuna POP! in June.
"You might have mistaken them for a standard-order, indie pop group, but Vanilla ups the ante considerably. It's a dense, courageous storm of an album, revved-up and snarling. Fractious, thrilling pop." (Uncut)
A potent mixture of fizzing pop tunes, punk attitude and protest folk have made Milky Wimpshake one of the UK’s best loved indiepop bands. They’ve released numerous singles and compilation tracks on assorted indie labels, along with four albums, 1998’s “Bus Route To Your Heart” released on singer Pete Dales’s own legendary Slampt label, 2001’s “Lovers, Not Fighters”, 2005’s “Popshaped”, and 2010’s “My Funny Social Crime”. For many Milky Wimpshake are the spiritual godfathers of the now-thriving North-East music scene that has spawned Martha, No Ditching and Onsind, and as überlord of the Slampt label Pete was responsible for launching a hundred fanzines and as many bands, The Yummy Fur and Kenickie included. With a new album “Encore, Un Effort” released in 2015 - featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Evans in a series of duets – Wimpshake show no signs of slowing down just yet.
“Leaders of the pop underground." (A Layer of Chips)
Formed in Dublin in 2011 and named after the Big Star song (by way of The Bangles), September Girls draw inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain, and play reverb-soaked noise-pop of the finest order, once described as "a combination of razorwire guitar lines, thudding Moe Tucker beats and girl group melodicism". Their debut album Cursing the Sea garnered widespread coverage, with a Guardian New Band of the Day piece, NME radar and 8/10 review and a 4* review in The Fly as well as coverage in The Sunday Times, The Observer and Uncut. The Financial Times said that they were “like a less malevolent Jesus and Mary Chain – impressive power, conjuring exactly the right balance between noise and sweetness” while Time Magazine no less named them as one of the 11 best new bands in the world. Their 2016 follow-up, Age of Indignation, bristles with atmospheric textures and dark-hearted noise, retaining the swirling psychedelia and intensity of their debut, but somehow managing to be even darker and more urgent.
“This is shard-filled, reverb-drenched noise-pop at its most riveting and atmospheric.” (The Sunday Times)
Bearsuit are a boy/girl five-piece from Norwich, known for their electric and outlandish performances, especially their many and varied onstage outfits, from blood covered zombies to majorettes. Favourites of the late John Peel they recorded four Peel sessions and scored three Festive Fifty top five hits. Once compared to Belle And Sebastian meeting Sonic Youth in a car crash, Bearsuit have a style very much their own, mixing sweet indie-pop melodies, stop-start rhythms, quirky electronics, and lots of noise. Their debut album Cat Spectacular! (2004) was followed by Team Ping Pong (2005), a collection of songs previously only released on 7" singles, and their second album Oh:io (2007). For their third album The Phantom Forest (2011) the band underwent a line-up change and swapped violins, flutes and horns for dirty synths and fierce guitars, resulting in a more beefed-up, edgy sound. Having called it a day in 2013 we are properly excited that Bearsuit have agreed to reform for this Fortuna POP! 20th Birthday show.
"Retro space age, riotously cute disco-punk. This is what my 80s sounded like." Everett True
When the much-loved Standard Fare called it a day after nine years and two albums, Emma Kupa upped sticks and moved from Sheffield to Cambridge, where she recruited Mark Boxall (bass) and Tom Barden (drums). Previously the bassist and lead singer in Standard Fare, Emma relished the switch to guitar in Mammoth Penguins, allowing her the space to deliver her trademark soaring vocals and to indulge in the occasional mean guitar solo, and with Tom’s driving energy and Mark’s bouncy pop bass they quickly developed their riff-tastic powerpop sound. Their debut album Hide And Seek was released via Fortuna POP! in 2015.
“Loud, thrashy heart-on-sleeve feet-on-the-dancefloor anthems… An infectiously catchy record and brilliant debut.” Louder Than War
+ DJ Paul Wright (The Track & Field Organisation)
+ Fortuna POP! DJs until 2am