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Meet The Community – @Betamax857

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this edition – PedroF @Betamax857 

Pedro image@Betamax857 is probably our closest member and we mean that literally not figuratively. In terms of crows flying we’re talking 2.122 miles between EIO40 HQ and his abode. In fact, at one point we may have even been close enough to borrow his lawn mower, had circumstances panned out differently when securing our new premises.

You’re probably wondering how we discovered where @Betamax857 lives. Rest assured we don’t undertake intrusive background checks on community members or employ shadowy figures to rifle though personal records or rubbish bins. Nothing as sinister as that. We needed his address so we could send him the T Shirt he’d won in a Best Off A Best Off competition we held in the early days of that feature with @howcaniapply. That particular Best Of album was PWEI’s “16 Different Flavours Of Hell” and considering what we know about his musical penchants there was certainly an element of kismet about his triumph.

Our “closesness” to @Betamax857 doesn’t end there. He was also the first person from the community that Steve at EIO40 ever met in the real world. Their paths intertwined on the 24th March 2015 at the Lexington in London at a Back To The Panet gig. Steve’s wife had taken him for a posh meal earlier that evening to celebrate his birthday and in order to help @Betamax857 recognise him among the ageing punks in the venue messaged him “You can’t miss us, we’re the couple who look like they’ve just been out for a posh meal”.

Steve did confess later to being a little anxious at meeting @Betamax857 that night. That Twitter profile pic had haunted his dreams in the early days and he was a little shit scared that he might actually come to face to face with it. So if you are wondering, @Betamax857 doesn’t have that psychedelic facial tattoo and penetrating stare in real life.

We even have on file a photo of @Betamax857 stair carpet as his perfectly symmetrical Stuffies CD art installation making their way upstairs was his offering to their epic Quarter Final battle against The Manics during the The IndieOver40 Cup

Betamax stairs

In all seriousness, @Betamax857 contribution to the EIO40 community has been immense from his first tweet to us about Stereolab back on 23rd June 2014 to the present day. None more so than when he judged the 30 Years Of Indie Albums in January 2015. His dedication and hard work for the task at hand was never more pronounced than the infamous photo of his work station. The judging bar was set very high from that moment on.

Betamax Desk

On that day he handed album of 1993 to Eat’s “Epicure” so on that note let’s “feast” on @Betamax857

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Beckenham, Kent. There was a great nightclub called Langtry’s that had an Indie night. The DJ would take requests and he remains the only one I have ever know to play Eat. He used to put on the record and then come and dance with the rest of us before running back to change over. 

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

In 1988 I was a complete metal head. At the age of 16, I wanted to go to my first gig which was to be Iron Maiden at Wembley Arena. No one would go with me (all of my mates liked Alexander O’Neal and Luther Vandross.) A friend at school said he would come along if I returned the favour by going with him to The Town and Country Club to see Pop Will Eat Itself.

After the Poppies gig which was visceral and chaotic the Iron Maiden gig seemed corporate and middle aged. Over the next year I got into and saw the Poppies several times and also The Wonder Stuff and Jesus Jones.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Box Frenzy by Pop Will Eat Itself was the first album and Info Freako by Jesus Jones was my first 12”.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

I used to like Our Price on Bromley High Street as they stocked loads of 12”s. When I was a student at Swansea I loved a second hand store called More Music. They had loads of indie promos and I managed to get a copy of Info Psycho by Jesus Jones there.

5) What music magazines did you read?

I liked Melody Maker and Sounds.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

Pop Will Eat Itself at The Town and Country Club. The support acts were Nasty Rox Inc. and Yeah God. I bought a Yeah God t shirt to cover up my Iron Maiden t shirt.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

The Wonder Stuff ‘God Bless the Fuckin’ Lot of Us Tour’ in 1990, Preston Town Hall, August 11th. My friend and I, who lived in Kent, couldn’t make the London dates so we drove to Preston and back  to see The Wonder Stuff supported by Spirit of the West and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.  The gig was great even though we thought we were mad to drive such a long way. Bizarrely enough we met a guy who had hitchhiked to the gig from about 1/2 a mile from where we lived. Needless to say he was thrilled to get a lift back.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

Going Blank Again by Ride for the Leave Them All Behind, Twisterella and Ox4.

When Do We Start Fighting by Seafood because they are the Indie band that me and my wife like the most.

Devil Hopping by The Inspiral Carpets for I want You, Uniform and Saturn 5.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

It has to be Clint Mansell. I’m a huge PWEI fan and I’m now a big fan of Clint’s film music. The first time I saw Clint in 1988 he was on stage wearing black leather trousers, no top and was completely  drunk. Now on stage he sits quietly at the keyboard, tells a great story and appears completely humble. 

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

It’s She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult. It’s a little bit gothic, a bit rock and great to dance to.


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A huge thank you to @Betamax857 for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

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Meet The Community – The Sweet Cheat

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this editionThe Sweet Cheat @thesweetcheat

Whenever we’ve signed up the next victim for our Meet The Community feature, we usually try and write the intro before we’ve taken delivery of their interview answers so as not be influenced by them. Let’s present them only as we have experienced them up to that point and then sit back as their world opens up before us.

For some this is an easier task than others. Our Moleskine page on The Sweet Cheat shows that we Sweet Cheat profilemade the following preliminary notes for our intro:-

Johnny Vegas
PG Tips
Stonehenge
Julian Cope
Cockney Matt Johnson
1992
Gedge’s Mini

One look at The Sweet Cheat’s Twitter profile pic, bio and banner will explain why the first three instantly sprung to our mind.  Of course it’s then not such a leap from Stonehenge to Julian Cope if you are aware of his passion outside of music, a passion clearly shared by The Sweet Cheat. You see, not only is The Sweet Cheat a member of The Modern Antiquarian community, he is also by far it’s leading contributor with over 10,000 posts credited. Amazing stuff.

However, it’s The Sweet Cheat’s musical side we are trying to tap into so we’ll leave the archaeophile behind and get to know the audiophile better.

Our first contact with The Sweet Cheat came on the 5th July 2014. We’d just tweeted “Cockney geezer” Matt Johnson’s music video for The The’s “Out Of The Blue (Into The Fire)” and there he suddenly appeared with “Never seen the video for this before. Classic” in response. And so it began.

Not sure that The Sweet Cheat has ever been far away from our world since that day. Sharing music, sharing photos, sharing memories with us and the community as a whole and week in week out. We look upon a comment or interaction from The Sweet Cheat as a form of validation. If they were awarding indie Kitemarks, The Sweet Cheat would be at the head of the queue.

It is the 11th January 2015 that is tattooed in our consciousness and when we probably really bonded with The Sweet Cheat. As guest judge on our #30yearsofindiealbums interactive feature, The Sweet Cheat presided over that not insignificant year in indie history, 1992. The strain of running a daily event was beginning to take it’s toll on us by that point and when 1992 came out of the hat we knew a safe pair of hands was essential if we were going to make it to Day 12. The Sweet Cheat didn’t let us down on that balmy and intense winter Sunday. He took the strain, soaked up the pressure and even managed to ensure maximum respect all round by declaring PJ Harvey’s “Dry” as the winner that day.

The fact of the matter is that The Sweet Cheat has become an integral part of the EIO40 community and for that we are forever grateful. Long may our interactions continue.

As for Gedge’s Mini? You’ll have to read on for that…so without further ado let’s meet The Sweet Cheat

1) Where did you grow up?

A little village in Herefordshire. No venues, no record shops. But it did gain a small footnote in indie history when (a) John Peel made the draw to win the Wedding Present’s mini live on Wonderful Radio 1 and (b) Mr Gedge delivered the mini to the village.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

I don’t think it was any one thing but a gradual awareness of what I liked, which came to a head around 1988/89 when I was 15 or so. My Dad was a big music lover so there was always music on at home. My early musical loves were The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, then when I was old enough to buy my own music Madness featured heavily.

I used to listen to the Top 40 on a Sunday evening and I was drawn to some less mainstream entries. I remember The The (“Heartland”) and Julian Cope (“Eve’s Volcano”) making an impression without me going as far as buying the records.

I also had a bit of a rock phase when I was about 12 or 13, off the back of which I got into stuff like Sisters of Mercy. The Floodland album was a big favourite. But actually I’ve always liked pop songs so I was probably spending most of the time listening to Madness, the Pet Shop Boys and the second Frankie Goes To Hollywood album.

I think 1988 was probably the first year when I really paid attention to what you might call indie music. Morrissey and New Order got my attention then, and I had a couple of friends who widened my listening. One got into The Wonder Stuff when they first appeared and the other lent me Seventeen Seconds by The Cure and played me Cardiacs, which blew my mind a bit. So there was a bunch of stuff that all seemed to coincide around that time.

1988/89 was a big period in my musical education, Viva Hate, Technique, Disintegration, 8 Legged Groove Machine, My Nation Underground, Sidewalking, Bizarro, Doolittle, Personal Jesus, The Stone Roses, Hallelujah, Candleland, Joy Division’s Substance. It all seemed to come at once.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Probably “Everyday Is Like Sunday”, although it wasn’t on an independent label. The Smiths passed me by during their lifetime, but Viva Hate made a big impression. I also owe that record for my love of the Durutti Column.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

In Hereford there was Our Price and Woolworths (and John Menzies for tapes), but the best shop there was an independent called Hedgehog. It sold a mixture of new and second hand stuff. If we were feeling flush though, me and my mates would get the bus to Birmingham, which took about 2 and half hours – it was really exciting to go to HMV on New Street and buy New Order 12” singles (Factory kept the back catalogue available) and Tempest was brilliant as well, you could get stuff like Big Black which would have been impossible to find in Hereford.

5) What music magazines did you read?

NME, every week from 1989 (2000AD before that!). Occasionally Sounds but I was always pretty sniffy about Melody Maker. By the early 90s I was buying Select which sometimes did brilliant cover-mount cassettes, there was a Factory one which got my interest pretty early in Select’s lifespan. Britpop kind of killed it though.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

We had a teacher at school who was into alternative stuff and he arranged for us to go to Newport to see The Mission in 1990, so that would have been the first proper one (apart from local bands). Support was Power Of Dreams. He also arranged a school trip to The Great British Music weekend at Wembley, which had Billy Bragg, Carter USM, Ride, New Model Army, Jesus Jones, The Wedding Present and The Cure as headliners, which was pretty brilliant.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

The first time I saw Cardiacs, at the Duchess of York in Leeds in 1995. I’d been a big fan since their first proper album but never got to see them. Then they announced a tour to promote their albums being released on CD, I think they were getting some exposure as well because they were going to support Blur at Mile End later that year. I was really excited beforehand, I went on my own because no-one I knew like them. The Duchess was a relatively small venue with a low stage, so plenty of opportunity to get up close.

Anyway, they played a blistering gig, really theatrical as well. I remember them having water pistols and waving little flags, like the kind you put on sandcastles probably. There was a quiz at one point, where the audience had to guess what colour poo Jim the bassist had done – I think the answer was black. For an encore they were joined onstage by the support band Sidi Bou Said (who did a nice line in sounding like Throwing Muses playing Cardiacs) for “Big Ship”. Absolutely brilliant.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

The first two are easy: Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures and New Order’s Technique. A third is harder because I’d probably want a bit of variety. For today I’ll take Reading, Writing & Arithmetic by The Sundays.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

I get ridiculously shy and hopeless when I meet anyone famous. I’ve talked to David Gedge a couple of times and accosted Vini Reilly over a hotel breakfast table but I don’t really know what to say. Maybe I’d pick Steve & Gillian Morris because they always seem nice in interviews.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

“Dream Attack” by New Order. The opening verse says it all really:
“Nothing in this world can touch the music that I heard/When I woke up this morning/It put the sun into my life, cut my heartbeat with a knife/It was like no other morning”


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A huge thank you to The Sweet Cheat for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

You could be next.

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Meet The Community – bodlingboy

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this edition – @bodlingboy

bodling picA Meet The Community for bodlingboy has been on our radar pretty much since day one, but we’ve been holding back waiting for the right time. With the first anniversary of our 30 Years Of Indie Albums interactive feature upon us, that time has arrived.

This time last year we were recovering from the inaugural Indie Advent and enjoying some post Xmas down time when that DM from bodlingboy hit us, suggesting a 30 Years Of Indie Albums as the next interactive feature. Realising that the month of January offered a perfect opportunity to run a daily interactive event covering 30 years, we put bodlingboy’s suggestion to the top of the in-tray, feverishly devised a format in the limited time available and dived headlong a chaotic month of guest judges, random years and musical banter.

So we have to thank bodlingboy for a month of Kalms and Pro Plus dependency and the four-fold increase in our mobile phone bill due to data allowance breaches. However, we also have to thank him for his part in a month of intense musical mayhem the after-shocks of which are still rumbling a year later.

Of course, that wasn’t our first contact with bodlingboy. The foundations were already laid through a variety of interactions on Twitter and we had begun to build a profile of the man. We knew for example that he rather liked a flutter and that he was an avid fan of Aston Villa Football Club. We’re not sure he’ll be laying down any bets on his precious Villa beating the drop though.

We also didn’t need to employ the services of Marple to find out bodlingboy’s favourite band. With a Twitter banner and profile pic both featuring images of The Family Cat cover art, the case was well and truly closed.

The one thing that we have learnt for the first time about bodlingboy is that his real name is David Crutchley. But calling bodlingboy “David” would be akin to referring to Bez as “Mark”. So we’ll stick with plain old boldingboy if it’s all the same to you David.

So without further ado, let’s meet @bodlingboy

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in and still live in Birmingham 

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Probably listening to my sister’s boyfriend’s albums of the late seventies and early eighties, especially Stranglers, Magazine and Joy Division (although for that privilege I had to suffer a lot of Tangerine Dream)

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

First indie record I bought was Blue Monday – New Order (more for the sleeve than the record). It got lost in the great bodlingboy fire of the late nineties. Vinyl burns a lot quicker than furniture, remember that kids!!!!!!!)

4) What was your favourite record shop?

In Birmingham had to be Tempest records. Just loved going down there on a Saturday and just milling around with not much intention of buying but just the anticipation of what records they would play in the shop

5) What music magazines did you read?

Magazine-wise was all the usual ones but had a real soft spot for “Sounds” and “Melody Maker” and the monthly glossy was always “Select” 

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

First proper indie gig would have been around 1986 at Burberries in Brum watching Mighty Mighty supported by the Boatymen and a few weeks later The lilac Time. Got in for free as a girl I knew was copping off with Stephen Duffy

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Loads of memorable gigs but strangest was when I was doing flyers for bands at gigs. There I was handing flyers out dressed a bit like the shopkeeper from Mr Benn when a voice boomed out “ooooiiiiiiiiii you with the fez go get my brother!”, I replied “it’s not a fez you idiot it’s a skull cap!”. “Go get my brother!” he screamed. So I ran backstage got the said brother. They both then went on to have massive argument at the front door, before 2 bouncers split them up and dragged them backstage.

As you’ve probably guessed this was Oasis, they were supporting Saint Etienne who I watched with Noel and Alan McGee. I think Liam was outside fighting a kebab seller or swearing profusely at a fake pot plant. 

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

On my desert island I would be listening to Stone Roses (s/t), Buffalo Tom “Let Me Come Over” and Pixies “Doolittle”. That’s assuming the boat I get sunk on also had travelling on it all the members of the Family Cat and their instruments so they would be my desert island house band

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

I’ve actually met quite a few including the Family Cat, so would have to be the Pixies including Ms Deal

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

I’ve never been quite sure what “indieness” actually is but a song to maybe define  mine a little bit would be “Love In A Car” – The House of Love


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A huge thank you to bodlingboy for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

You could be next.

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Meet The Community – Sandy Wishart

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this edition – Sandy Wishart (@_sandywishart)

Sandy Wishart

We’d always considered Sandy somewhat aloof which is why he was in our Meet The Community cross hairs. We’ve been staring at the back of that T Shirt for over a year now and in the early days that Twitter profile pic was pretty much all we had to go on. The man didn’t even have a banner photo let alone any sort of bio (still doesn’t).

We suspected he was Scottish on the basis we’ve never come across anyone called Sandy who isn’t Scottish (apart from Olivia Newton-John). In addition, the reference to avalanche on the tee could refer to the infamous Edinburgh record shop. Careful scrutinisation of the pic also reveals what looks like a Biff Bang Pow! poster on the wall, so there was no doubting his indie pedigree.

However, we have been delighted to witness Sandy gradually coming out of his shell and becoming a valued member of the community. His Twitter feed still doesn’t reveal much about the man, but we have learnt that he is the proud father of at least two daughters and sadly no longer the owner he once was of an extensive music collection. We just hope that being a part of this community hasn’t aggravated the obvious sense of loss.

So without further ado, let’s meet Sandy Wishart

1) Where did you grow up?

Broxburn. Small town 12 miles west of Edinburgh.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Mostly down to my friend Mo. A group of us travelled together to college and Mo would supply the tape for the car. I did like some decent music prior to this but here was some proper indie.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Probably Bouncing Babies by Teardrop Explodes on Zoo. Early 88 I think, before I went full blown indie in 89. After I bought Doolittle there was no looking back.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Avalanche Records in Edinburgh. They’re still going although they’ve moved a few times. I remember the first time I went, with Mo, who bought the new release by The Fall; I Am Kurious Oranj. Can’t remember what I bought but pretty soon I was going regularly as it was the best place to go for indie music. Still is.

5) What music magazines did you read?

NME, Melody Maker, Sounds, Select, Vox, Q. Didn’t buy them all every week or month. Depended on which bands were featured or who had the best free mixtape.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

Mega City Four at the Calton Studios, Edinburgh in 89 with my best friend Colin @sauzee7273. Saw them 4 times; a fantastic live band and one of the first bands I got into after Pixies opened the indie floodgates

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Went to a lot of great gigs. Trying to think of one that stands out. There was Reading 92 or the Swervedriver £1 gig with lots of Red Stripe & falling over but I’m going to go with Biffy Clyro at the SECC on their Opposites tour. This was my eldest daughter Emily’s first gig. Near the end she turned to me and said “thanks Dad, this is the best night of my life”. It doesn’t get much better than that.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

Only 3; that’s harsh. Pixies – Doolittle, American Music Club – California, Husker Du – New Day Rising. Would probably pick Doolittle plus a different other 2 tomorrow.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Kim Deal would be cool.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

Sebadoh – Gimme Indie Rock. Just gimme indie rock and I’m a happy man.


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A huge thank you to Sandy Wishart for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

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Meet The Community – Helen Gordon

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this edition – Helen Gordon

Helen image

When we asked Helen if she would agree to be our next Meet The Community victim, we were fully expecting to be told to get on our bike! Literally! You see Helen likes a bicycle, to the extent that if you follow her on Twitter or Instagram you are likely to see Helen sporting lycra and perched on a bike regularly.

What we know about Helen is that not only did she recently undertake the gruelling 100 mile Ride London for Saint Francis Hospice (a charity close to her heart) but she completed it with a fractured wrist! A moshing injury perhaps Helen?

We also know that Helen spends as much as £70 on cycling jerseys, but when one such purchase is a custom Ride “Leave Them All Behind” variety then that’s money well spent as far we are concerned.

On Twitter Helen’s moniker is @labellehelene which we are sure you are all fully aware refers to the French opera bouffe “La Belle Helene” by Jacques Offenbach. For those who do not parlez the francais, La Belle Helene translates as “The Beautiful Helen”

So without further ado, let’s meet narcissistic cyclist Helen Gordon

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hornchurch, Essex (right at the arse end of the district line). I didn’t fit in there – a shy, pale teenager with DMs and a Justine Frischmann haircut among the perma-tans and dance music. I got out as soon as I could. First to Hull, then to various parts of London, before settling in North London.

2) What first got you into “indie” music? 

My taste has always been pretty eclectic but as I entered my teens I was beginning to listen to Nirvana, a bit of what could be described as Riot Girrrl, but at that time it didn’t really mean anything to me. I loved the fact it was girls with guitars but at that time they were all a bit and older and scary. Then suddenly there was this amazing thing that happened at home.

I remember one night Suede being on TV and my dad being apoplectic about them, how terrible they were, this wasn’t proper music, was it a boy or a girl etc, but I was just blown away by how they sounded and looked. I was hooked, and it took me off in all kinds of directions.

From then on my Saturdays were spent buying records, trying to learn the guitar and trips up to Camden to hang around dodgy bars and try and meet boys with similar taste in music to me.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought? 

It was probably Debut by Bjork. I remember seeing a couple of videos on TV and couldn’t get them out of my head for days.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

I didn’t have much choice in those days. It was the Our Price, HMV or WH Smith in Romford for your records. It was only when I got a bit older and started going up to town that I discovered the joy of a proper record shop. These days I’m a regular in FlashBack in Islington and Sister Ray (I even helped out when they moved last year!)

5) What music magazines did you read?

I was a reader of Smash Hits but graduated to the NME pretty quickly. Never really got into the Melody Maker for some reason.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

The odd sticky floored pub gig locally and in Camden but we were always constrained by the hour and a half tube journey home. One of the first proper gigs was to see Blur with a friend. Both of us tiny girls at the back thinking we were so cool. I also saw Bjork around the same time who just blew me away.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

A really hard question! I’ve seen Thurston Moore twice in the last year and both times were amazing. For purely selfish reasons I’m also very pro the reformation of bands I was a bit too young for or split before I found them. JAMC were amazing, as were the Pixies a couple of years ago. (Ok it wash’t Kim on bass, but it was a beautiful sunny evening and it was brilliant just hearing all those songs).

Probably the most memorable recently has to be Ride at the Roundhouse, one of my favourite bands, but one I never got to see first time around. A lot of those songs have memories attached to them and I did have a little cry when they played Vapour Trail.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

Now this is a really hard question that has kept me awake. Three albums just isn’t enough!!! Just for the memories attached to them:

Nowhere – Ride
Doolittle – Pixies
The Libertines – The Libertines

Argh, but wait…. no JAMC, no MBV, no Smiths, no Velvet Underground, no Godspeed, no Belle and Sebastian, … I don’t think I want to go to this desert island. Actually, can I choose three really heavyweight box sets and build a raft to get me back to civilisation?

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Iggy Pop, Kim Gordon (I want her to adopt me)

10) What one song defines your indie-ness? 

If i’m being vain, Cherry Bomb by the Runaways or Femme Fatale by the Velvet Underground. If not, The Boy With the Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian (as I am both hard and soft and have a filthy laugh)


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A huge thank you to Helen Gordon for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into her indie-ness.

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Meet The Community – Dalliance68

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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In this edition – Dalliance68

Dalliance68 image

 

 

 

 

Shoplifters of the world unite, for today we shall be meeting that man with the Filofax and endless collection of gig tickets. On twitter we know him as @Dalliance68 and every morning we await with anticipation the appearance of that infamous James R Reid photo of Elvis crashing onto our Twitter feed. Discovering what gig ticket or gig memory Dalliance68 may share that day has become bit of a breakfast time ritual. Something to enjoy while we have our cornflakes and a lovely cup of rosey lee.

We are absolutely convinced that Dalliance68 has been to a gig on every calendar day of a year and we are determined to test this theory. You mark our words! As for that infamous Filofax full of carefully recorded gig attendances. Dalliance68 has restored credibility to a much maligned relic of the 1980s. For that the world should rejoice.

So without further ado, let’s meet Dalliance68

1) Where did you grow up?

Harrow in North West London. A fairly unremarkable place.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

It was December 1983. There I was in my bedroom watching my portable black and white TV. I was doing what would now be called ‘channel hopping’ which was then tuning in the TV via a dial on the front (youngsters ask your parents). As I did so I came across The Old Grey Whistle Test showing a Smiths gig from Derby. I was transfixed.

What was this? Who were these people? A singer waving flowers singing in a way that I’d never heard before, words and phrases that immediately distanced this band from everything else I’d heard up until then.  A guitarist that just looked like the coolest bloke I’d ever seen playing guitar lines that were mesmerizing. A crowd going berserk, throwing flowers and jumping over the stage. It’s been mentioned since by a number of people but I couldn’t reference the sound, it was new exciting and the most incredible music I’d ever heard. I never looked back; it was indie music and nothing else from that moment on.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Well, my first ever vinyl purchase was Elvis Costello’s ‘Oliver’s Army’ which I suppose is a bit indie. Otherwise I think it was probably ‘Love Will Tear us Apart’

4) What was your favourite record shop?

I have fond memories of Our Price in Harrow, this is where I used to turn up mid-morning on the date of Smiths singles releases. After a while I knew when the brown boxes of singles would be delivered, I’d then approach the counter probably wearing a Smiths t-shirt and cardigan and ask for whichever single was being released that day. As the assistant went to look for it I’d tell them it was in the brown box, I’d then get a pristine copy prior to any price stickers being added. Then home where I’d listen to it constantly for hours on end.

I also liked HMV in Oxford Street where I’d rush to in order to secure The Wedding Present’s Hit Parade singles.

5) What music magazines did you read?

It was NME and Melody Maker with occasional Sounds purchases. I had a couple of letters published in the NME. One asked whether I was the only person in the country who didn’t like ‘OK Computer’. Apparently I was. The second letter was one pointing out how Paul Heaton was beginning to resemble Ron Dixon of Brookside fame. I wasn’t the only one to spot it however, they printed my letter second and then berated me for not being first telling me I was going to “die in a pool of whisky piss” Charming.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

My first ‘indie’ gig was my first ever gig. March 21st 1986 Red Wedge at Hammersmith Odeon. The line-up was Lorna G, Blow Monkeys (it gets better), Communards, Billy Bragg and The Style Council. A great night which not only turned me into a big Billy Bragg fan it opened my mind to left wing politics and inspired me to play the guitar. I’ve still got the programme.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

This was a difficult one.  I’ll plump for the indiest line up I’ve ever experienced. Reading Festival in August  1990. The line-up that day was Psychic TV, Wire, The Young Gods, Ride, Billy Bragg, Buzzcocks, The Wedding Present and Inspiral Carpets. The headliners were fantastic, the highlight being the marching band that came on during ‘She Comes in the Fall’. Mooooo!!!

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

This is making my head hurt…….
The Smiths ‘The Queen is Dead’ for its sheer perfection
My Bloody Valentine ‘Loveless’ because there’s nothing like it
The Fall – I Am Kurious Oranj
I’ll have to move on quickly before I realise I haven’t included Half Man Half Biscuit, The Wedding Present, R.E.M, Inspiral Carpets etc etc etc

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit. Genius

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

‘Dalliance’ by The Wedding Present. The perfect mix of quiet and loud. It also conjures up memories of throwing myself round various venues in London


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A huge thank you to Dalliance68 for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into his indie-ness.

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Meet The Community – Clive Stringer

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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The first thing we did when we opened up a HR file on Clive Stringer was look up what a Samoyed was, not being particularly au fait with the canine world. Clive compliments his love of white fluffy dogs from Siberia with a passionate interest is those healthy sporting pastimes of Snooker and Darts. Thankfully he’s never shared Chas & Dave’s “Snooker Loopy” among the community or anything by Darts. If you look at Clive’s twitter profile pic (@Clive_Stringer) he is sporting what looks like a hipster beard of snooker balls.

Most importantly Clive loves his indie music and has been an eager participant in pretty much every interactive event we have done. Although not so eager to agree to be a guest judge in the 30 Years Of Indie Albums or a guest referee in The IndieOver40 Cup. Three times we must have asked him.

However, we are delighted to have finally got our man as Clive has put pen to paper and agreed to let us intrude upon his indie-ness.

So without further ado, let’s meet Clive Stringer

1) Where did you grow up?

I’ve lived all my life in Wantage, an average sized town in South Oxfordshire. I wouldn’t say there’s been a dearth of successful alternative acts from the locality, but the only tenuous connection I can conjure is that the tax-dodging horseman Lester Piggott was born here and who featured in the James ‘Sometimes’ song.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

I remember this clearly as it was a total Indie Eureka moment. ITV’s Saturday morning Chart Show is oft fondly remembered in our community as it was one of the very few shows where you could hear left-field music back then. Anyway, there I was still half asleep and munching my corn flakes when this weird yet tuneful ditty featuring a woman half shrieking half singing the chorus caught my attention. It was nothing like I’d ever heard before, it was stunning, it was Birthday by The Sugarcubes, and I never played my Suzanne Vega tapes again (this last bit may not be entirely true).

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

It would have been the aforementioned, and then retrospectively buying some REM and Go-Betweens albums. The Mighty Lemon Drops ‘World Without End’ was an early one too as I recall.

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Definitely The Manic Hedgehog in Headington, Oxford. Readers of NME, Melody Maker etc at the time may recognise the name as it often featured in the back pages alongside Alan’s Records, Sister Ray etc. I used to attend Brookes University just up the road hence it was convenient, not to mention the only independent record shop within a 20 mile radius of where I lived.

The place always reeked of joss sticks (possibly to overhaul other aromas) and the management used to put stickers on the top right hand corners of the LP’s advising you what genre it was, who it sounded like, etc, because of course there were no listening booths. I bought some memorable EP’s there in particular, including The Badgers Picnic EP and Chicane’s ‘Wanderlust’. I mean, who can forget them?…

5) What music magazines did you read?

The tried and tested Smash Hits to NME / Melody Maker progression. Sad to see the NME’s demise as in that era I bought it with the likes of Maconie, Collins, Quantick etc writing and it was a cracking read irrespective of how strong the music scene was at the time.

That said, I did petulantly boycott the NME for a while after having a letter in praise of The Frank & Walters published in Angst, only for the journo reviewing the letters to slag me off. Thankfully I got over it and am not bitter nor scarred by the experience. The cow.

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

Cue the ‘Our Tune’ music because my first gig ended in disaster. A mate and I boarded the train to see REM at the Birmingham NEC only to realise that the last train back was halfway through the gig. So whilst it would have been more rock and roll to stay to the end and thumb a lift home or something (ok ring Dad) we left prematurely.

Technically, mind, that wasn’t an indie gig as it was the Green tour, REM’s first album on a major. The support act were The Blue Aeroplanes who I saw shortly after at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester, my first true experience of the joys of the moshpit, stagediving, getting covered in beer and if-I-go-to-the-toilet-will-I-ever-get-my-space-back.

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

I would say the Slough Festival in 1991. With Ride topping the bill and Curve, Chapterhouse, Thousand Yard Stare etc in attendance. There were more pedals than the Tour De France and more feedback than an Ebay addict. This was our Shoegazing Woodstock. Only in Slough.

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

I’ve often wondered where the power comes from to play these desert island discs but anyway, let’s go Life’s Rich Pageant by REM, Swagger by The Blue Aeroplanes and Eugenie by The Popguns.

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

Bit of a left field answer this one. Simon Rivers from The Bitter Springs. I once wrote to his PO address asking where I could get hold of any Last Party (BS’s previous incarnation) albums. He went up in the loft, fished their LP’s out, and posted them to me with a note for thanking me for taking an interest! So I’d like to meet him to thank him in return. Plus he’s a brilliant lyricist in the Cocker Heaton mould.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

Whilst it’s tempting to perm any one of a thousand fey, jangly, Sarah Records-esque tunes, my choice is Mongk II by British Sea Power. Again totally original, a bit of a racket but with a top tune buried in there, to me it’s what indie music is all about – not exactly daytime radio fodder, but different and, in it’s own inimitable way, melodic.


 

A huge thank you to Clive for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Clive.

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Meet The Community – Tracy Kidner

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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Those of you on Twitter will be more familiar with Tracy as @Perlalaloca and will therefore know she is a regular fixture in our world. She has refereed The IndieOver40 Cup and was also a guest judge for the 30 Years Of Indie Albums feature exercising her duties in both with due diligence and humour (and all whilst looking after a young family). Our HR file on Tracy is marked “reliable”.

If you didn’t know (we do because it’s our job to know) Tracy’s Twitter moniker comes from the Jaime Hernandez Love & Rockets alternative comic book series. We also know that Tracy is a teacher in that real world that exists outside of indie.

We really wanted to get inside the indie-ness of Tracy so without further ado let’s meet Tracy Kidner

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Tamworth. I didn’t fit in. Once I got threatened for being a tattooed girl who drank pints. Julian Cope ran away as soon as he could. Good advice.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Truthfully, my first love, who leant me his vinyl copies of the Smiths, The Cure, Pixies, The Mission, the Darling Buds and did me mixtapes of The Clash, the Jam, Buzzcocks & The Wonder Stuff, who were new local heroes.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Do we include Depeche Mode as indie? I loved Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Yazoo. I think the first genuinely indie record would have been The Sundays Can’t Be Sure, after catching a bit on The Chart Show’s indie chart and hunted it down for WEEKS after, scouring Birmingham and Tamworth. I don’t think I can describe how that felt, getting my paws on it finally, and playing it over and over and over and over…

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Andy’s Records in Aberystwyth. I went to university there in 1989 and remember buying one vinyl LP every couple of months, The Wonder Stuff’s Hup, Carter USM’s 101 Damnations, Kristin Hersh’s Hips & Makers, Belly’s Star. So many important records. My ex got one of the original pressings of Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian there. Dammit.

5) What music magazines did you read?

Smash Hits! I was a bit in love with Neil Tennant even before he joined the Pet Shop Boys. I still have the clipping where he left and they mocked him, saying he’d soon be back after going “down the dumper”! Then NME and Melody maker (always both. always) and then Select, which I LOVED. All those brilliant massive posters. I once put a personal ad in the back of Select. Crikey, the replies were…interesting…

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

The early 90s are a bit of a blur *cough-cidernblack-cough* My first gigs were both Erasure, but after that it’s a blur of Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff and Voice of the Beehive, who dedicated a song to me for slapping a bloke who kept heckling them to “Get your t*ts out for the lads”.
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7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Two stand out. I “met” my now-husband online after posting a music lyrics quiz. He got the most right and then corrected me on a Carter lyric! When we met in person we realised we’d spent the 90s criss-crossing the midlands at the same indie gigs. We got chatting about a Carter gig at the Hummingbird and he said he’d not had a great time because he’d had a broken leg. I remember vividly SMILING at some poor soul at the bar that night because I felt sorry for anyone not able to mosh at a Carter gig! So I smiled at my future husband 10 years before actually meeting him.

The other was my 33rd birthday, Belle & Sebastian at Tokyo’s Shibuya AX, where we got to dance onstage with the band during Dirty Dream #2. Pretty memorable!

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

ONLY THREE! Evil.
Belly – Star
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Pixies – Doolittle

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

P J Harvey. She’s unique.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

I know someone who’d say Echobelly’s Great Things, but I’d like to say Kenickie’s Punka. If punkas ever do grow up…


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A huge thank you to Tracy for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Tracy.

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Meet The Community – Doug Jack

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

In this edition – DOUG JACK

Doug Jack

It’s seems kind of obvious that Doug should be our inaugural subject, being very much an original member. We were just a fledgling Facebook group with a mere half a dozen members when Doug came crashing into our world. Up to that point we were sharing fairly formulaic indie tunes (Smiths, Madchester, Britpop, Shoegaze etc) and then suddenly Doug joined the group bringing with him his own very dark and heavy brand of indie.

His first post was Fugazi’s Waiting Room which was a perfect statement of intent for what was to follow regularly. It would be fair to say that everything that did follow was not likely to ever appear on a Shine compilation album. We’ve had the delights of Oxbow, Pissed Jeans, Ministry, Kildozer, and Godflesh. Doug’s posting of King Missile’s Detachable Penis is the stuff of EIO40 Facebook legend. As for Butthole Surfers. If it’s a Butthole related post, you can bet your bottom dollar Doug is the source.

So without further ado, let’s meet Doug Jack

1) Where did you grow up?
Scotland, Northwich and Rayleigh

2) What first got you into “indie” music?
Watching Top Of The Pops with my parents. Anything they objected to generally was good indicator. Seeing punk and New Wave and thinking “Wow!

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?
New Order “Blue Monday”

4) What was your favourite record shop(s)?
Golden Disc, Southend and Honest Johns, London

5) What music magazines did you read?
Melody Maker was my bible

6) What was your first “indie” gig?
Stump at a pub in Southend

7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?
Lots but probably the first time I saw Nirvana and was totally blown away. No one knew who they were and they were bottom of the bill at the Astoria supporting Mudhoney and Tad. It was also my first stage dive. I went on to see them quite a few times before Nevermind came out and ruined everything as everyone found out about them

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?
Nirvana Unplugged, Aphex Twin Ambient Works and R.E.M. Automatic For The People

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?
John Peel, who I did meet very briefly once. He was a massive influence and I listened to him obsessively. If we have to go with living, it would have to be Bjork as she is just so eccentric

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?
That’s a tough tough tough question. Guess The Butthole Surfers and Human Cannonball. I always loved their unique chaos and random approach to life. It has elements of Zappa, Beefheart, Sabbath and punk, It’s devious, it’s weird but it’s about enjoying music and not taking yourself seriously. Would of been this or Frank Sidebottom

A huge thank you to Doug for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Doug.

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