The Forum, London

Indie Daze

Featuring: Neds Atomic Dustbin, Jesus Jones, Graham Crabb (PWEI), Miles Hunt & Erica Nockells (The Wonder Stuff), The Darling Buds, The Popguns, Power Of Dreams and The Flatmates

It’s mid September, it’s a balmy London afternoon and we’re in Kentish Town for the most anticipated gig of the year. Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for Indie Daze-an Indie all-dayer to suit “most” tastes. After an hour wasted trying to find the venue from our digs for the night, we arrive too late to catch The Flatmates; who I’m sure were great! You know you’re in for a great day when the DJ’s only play the “classics” from 1989 onwards! We take our places down the front; catch up with some old faces, then wait for Power of Dreams. They don’t keep us waiting long. I have to say I’m a PoD virgin, but after their set become a fan! Their brand of heartfelt songs of life and love are well received this early on in the day. Their opener escapes me and without a setlist I’ll go on memory; but highlights include “Bring You Down”, “Stay” and the tortured vocal tones during “Cancer”. This Irish 4 piece have a classic Indie sound; while showing hints of shoegaze, if only in stage presence. One punter shouts “come to Birmingham” – they reply with “we’ll be there in February!”, “Never Told You” and “Never Been To Texas” are two more highlights before they leave us on “100 Ways To Kill A Love”. They leave to great applause and appreciate it, leaving the stage smiling.

Power Of Dreams
Power Of Dreams 

A 30 minute interval allows us our first drink of the day while listening to more Indie classics. Next up are Brighton 5 piece The Popguns. They too deliver an assured set of Old Skool Indie/Pop. Singer Wendy has the purest of vocals and is backed by a band comfortable on this big stage. If I have just one criticism it’s this; it’s all a little “samey”. That said we stick around for classic single “Star”. Our hunger now takes over and we head upstairs to the “food hall” for refreshment, before catching the end of their set. Another cider is consumed before we make our way back down for Miles and Erica.

The PopGuns
The PopGuns 

Miles (Hunt) looks resplendent in his jacket and scarf combo, while sipping constantly from his pint of Guinness. He has a broad grin and proceeds to deliver a set of classic cuts and accompanying tales. They open with a few songs from their back catalogue, before lamenting the good times spent at their old local in Shropshire. The “Horseshoe Inn” is celebrated while “Right Side of the Turf” is dedicated to their old drinking buddy “George”, along with a sweet little ditty called ‘Cake’. It doesn’t take long before Miles suggests a delve into the “Stuffies songbook”. “Mission Drive” and “Circlesquare” are well received, before a heartfelt tribute to the late Kirsty Macoll with “Welcome To The Cheap Seats”. Let’s not forget Erica to Miles’s left, also looking resplendent tonight. She happily smiles as Miles tells the stories. “Here Comes Everyone” induces a great sing-a-long and they too leave on a high to great applause.

Miles And Erica
Miles And Erica 

It’s another half hour “water stop” before we take our place once more for the truly excellent “Darling Buds”. Singer Andrea looks stunning in a sparkly dress and we’re in Indie heaven as they deliver a “greatest (hits)” set. “Makes No Difference” is an early highlight but they simply have no weak songs. “Crystal Clear” would describe their sound had it not been for the loud, scratchy guitars-but that’s no criticism. Their old skool Indie guitars and snare-driven drums sound huge in here. “Tiny Machine” is great before the timeless “Shame on You”. “Honeysuckle” and “Let’s Go Round Again” make me wonder why it took so long for this band to come back-it’s as if they’d never been away. They end a terrific set with crowd movement and smiles all round with “Burst”. Andrea smiled throughout and one wonders if this is just a one off, or if there’s more to come from The Darling Buds-we shall see!

The DarlingBuds
The DarlingBuds 

The next 35 minutes are taken up by Graham Crabb (PWEI) doing a DJ set. Those classics “keep a comin'”! Next up are a 5 piece who need no introduction. Please welcome onstage, the one and only Jesus Jones. The band take to the stage in front of a huge backdrop and proceed to run through their famous LP “Doubt”. They open with the excellent “Trust Me”. Mike’s voice sounds a little flat at first, but once the soundman sorts it they start to hit their stride. Iain (keys) can’t stand still and takes every available opportunity to wander around the stage. “Who, Where, Why” and “International Bright Young Thing” engage the first of many singalongs while “I’m Burning” is yet another highlight. “Right Here, Right Now” and “Real, Real, Real” keep momentum high while “Welcome Back Victoria” is sung with real feeling. “They end not surprisingly with “The Real World”, then promptly give us the classics. “Are You Satisfied” is the pick of the bunch but guitarist Jerry sets up the finale by waving around a vinyl copy of “Info Freako”. Pandemonium ensues as a few around me (myself included ) go wild. It’s the perfect ending and sets us up nicely for the main attraction.

Jesus Jones
Jesus Jones 

Another half hour interval allows for more of Crabby’s choice cuts on the turntables. The mixing could be better but he redeems himself with his live PA set. He strides onstage to perform a one man delivery of “R.S.V.P.” Just about everyone in the room sings in unison. He also debut’s the new single from the forthcoming “Poppies” LP, scheduled for a February release. I’m not blown away but the response is decent. He plays a couple more songs before “Neds” take to the stage.

Graham Crabb

Graham Crabb 

To an Indie crowd Neds Atomic Dustbin need no introduction. They open with “Sauve” before “Not Sleeping Around”. Once again it takes two songs before Jonn’s voice sounds right, but it’s worth the wait! It doesn’t take long for this audience to suddenly find their feet. The heat in the room suddenly rises as the pit gets bigger. “Aim”, “Trust” and “Traffic” find everyone in fine voice, while “Legoland” is a highlight. Jonn is in good voice all night as he banters with this crowd while Rat barely looks up from his guitar. Those classic clangy chords still sound as fresh as in 1991. Dan (drums) seems somewhat hidden at the back, but is no less effective. “Stuck” and “Throwing Things” are great but their set highlight has to be “Grey Cell Green”. The room is now literally jumping! They leave us on “Intact” before returning for a brief encore. It really is no surprise that “Kill Your Television” is their penultimate track, and we all sing-a-long. Jonn thanks us once more and they end with “Selfish”.

Neds Atomic Dustbin
Neds Atomic Dustbin 12

As Indie all-dayer’s go this has been a well thought out line-up. Something for everyone and not just reliant on supposed big names. I feel an compere would be an advantage, and a welcome addition. It was good to hear some of the bands saying they hope to play next year – I’m assuming this is not just a one-off event. My only criticism would be the lack of food choice, considering there was no re-admittance after 4pm. That said, this was a well run and hugely enjoyable event. We look forward to the announcement of the 2015 line-up!

Indie Daze

Videos




More videos from this gig are available on our You Tube Page here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CHINNERSROCKS141169

Links
http://www.indiedaze.co.uk/

http://www.nedsatomicdustbin.co.uk
http://www.jesusjones.com
http://www.popwilleatitself.net
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Darling-Buds/114177321967183
http://www.thewonderstuff.co.uk
http://www.popguns.net
http://www.powerofdreams.ie
https://www.facebook.com/TheFlatmatesOfficial

Words By Ross A. Ferrone
Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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