Fortuna POP! presents Stow Festival’s Indie Alldayer
Steven James Adams
The Leaf Library
The Ethical Debating Society
Passion Bel Canon
Saturday 17th September
Doors at 12 noon, first band 2pm
Wild Card Brewery,
Ravenswood Industrial Estate,
Nearest underground / train station: Walthamstow Central
Tel: 0208 935 5560
Playing things safe has never been The Drink’s philosophy. Throughout the beguiling, dark pop trio’s evolution, their gloriously off-kilter guitar pop melodies and lyrical curiosities have commanded attention – and on their latest album Capital, they’ve pushing the boundaries even further, eschewing meticulous planning in favour of instinct across even more wondrously intriguing tracks.
The band’s ‘debut’ album Company was compiled from their first three EPs, received praise across the music press and set off twelve months of touring that culminated in a BBC 6 Music session for Marc Riley and invites to the Green Man and End Of The Road festivals last summer.
With a style that deftly evokes feeling over understanding, Dearbhla’s lyrics provide emotion to an uninhibited stream of unconsciousness, whether conjuring up references to dreams and sleep, or to nature, inspired by the folk songs she used to listen to and the poetry of Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, and her great uncle Frank Thompson.
Between them, the band members have other projects; Dearbhla continues to play in The Wharves, while Daniel has recently collaborated with award-winning short-story writer Stuart Evers, while also playing saxophone in The Leaf Library and playing drums with Steven James Adams.
“Infectious, intricate guitar pop” (****) – The Guardian
STEVEN JAMES ADAMS
Steven James Adams, the former songwriter/singer/guitarist from the critically acclaimed Broken Family Band, released his brilliant second solo album Old Magick on Fortuna POP! earlier this year, proof that Adams’s gift for marrying exceptional lyrics with inescapable earworms is very much intact.
With minimal instrumentation, Old Magick is, in part, a reaction to Adam’s first solo outing House Music (2013), an album recorded in his living room and featuring an array of musical friends, including members of bands as disparate as pop-rockers The Vaccines and folk-idols Lau. House Music followed two full band albums with indie pop-rockers Singing Adams.
Adams’ shows are wonderful to behold: funny, intimate and wildly unpredictable. According to a recent Guardian article “you’d struggle to find a British songwriter of the last 15 years who’s had such consistently good reviews.” A genuine entertainer, a truly gifted songwriter, and perhaps the closest thing there is to a British Bill Callahan, Adams has produced a high watermark of a record in Old Magick, proof that his reputation is deserved.
“Across his work with The Broken Family Band and the Singing Adams as well as his recent solo records, Steven James Adams has shown a keen eye for the small delights and absurdities of life. It’s pleasing too, this time, to hear Adams singing unadorned and less accompanied; it lets the melody run uncluttered and those brilliant lyrics step forward” Q
THE LEAF LIBRARY
The Leaf Library are guitarist Matt Ashton (formerly of Singing Adams and Peel favourites Saloon), singer Kate Gibson, bass player Gareth Jones and drummer / synth wizard Lewis Young. Live they are joined by guitarist Simon Nelson, also of the band Cosines. They make multi-layered, two chord drone pop, channeling the warm fuzz of Yo La Tengo, the spacious repetition of Talk Talk, and Movietone’s seaside melancholy to beautiful effect.
The band released their debut album Daylight Versions last year, a record of woozy love songs about meteorology and the incoming sea that Uncut described as “a charming debut, with songs soaked in atmospheres that conjure thoughts of hazy mists and setting suns”, and the Guardian called “a melancholy wonder”. Live they bring a volume and intensity to their performances that’s belied by the gentle drift of their records, with motorik drums busying themselves over a bed of constantly unfurling synth tones.
The band have also released a drone companion piece to last year’s album (‘Nightlight Versions’), a compilation of early recordings called ‘Different Activities, Similar Diversions’, and a number of singles on various labels, including London label wiaiwya, Beko in France and Amsterdam’s The Hooter Listens. They are currently working on a new album and a number of collaborative releases.
“The arrangements are never fussy, but there are some delightful touches, with warm horns bursting from the vintage synths like the first rays of dawn.” (*****) The Guardian
Simon and Alice met on the London Underground after a Stereo Totale gig in 2009. Two days later Simon was round Alice’s house unblocking her kitchen drain. Since then Simon has been round and put up two curtain rails, one blind and a shelf. Once the DIY was done, they started making music and added Dan Kajsa and Matt to assist. As a band, they are constantly trying to find the perfect meeting point between clean synths and fuzz guitars, asking: What do you get if you mix New Order, United States of America and Stereolab? The resulting songs fuse metronomic pop sensibilities, 60s grooves and Krautrock noise.
Cosines made their live debut in April 2012, and have since played with Laetitia Sadier, Comet Gain and Seapony, as well as performing at the Indietracks Festival in 2012 and 2014. The band’s debut album, “Oscillations”, was released in 2014, receiving favourable reviews in The Quietus and The Sunday Times and airplay on 6 Music. Their new EP “Transitions” is due out on 15th July 2016, and their second LP will follow in 2017.
“A cool and mannered (but not overmannered) exploration of a musical world bordered by Stereolab, Blondie, Saint Etienne, Belle and Sebastian and a band your mates formed at school that you wish you were in…” - The Sunday Times
Wolf Girl are a garage pop four-piece based in South London. Their debut LP ‘We Tried’ was released on Odd Box Records in March of 2016. It’s been said that they both do and don’t sound like the Ramones, and have also been compared to both the Shop Assistants and Bratmobile. Wolf Girl have their own trademarks though, offering a spirited take on powerful, melodic and jagged indie pop that often recalls the noisier aspects of C86.
Firestations mix melodic pop songs with guitar noise, electronic drones and off-kilter rhythms. Their debut album “Never Closer” was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and they are currently working on a follow up.
“A heady concoction of spiralling Brit-folk, burbling electronica and guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll” - Shindig! Magazine
JUNK. are a two-piece indie-pop band from the UK. They have two releases out on Leeds-based cassette label Chud Records, with new material due out later this year. Their make trashy pop songs and are known for the loud and playful live shows.
“JUNK. create short and sweet, jangly lo-fi rackets; infectious, lovable tunes that ultimately don’t take themselves too seriously.”- DIY magazine
THE ETHICAL DEBATING SOCIETY
The Ethical Debating Society started as a pseudonym for Tegan Xmas, writing anti-love songs on her hooty piano. It blossomed into a full band, now with Kris Martin on guitar/vocals and Eli playing pots and pans.
“Visceral, guitar-slaughtering ferocity. So much fervour, vitality and energy.” SoundsXP
PASSION BEL CANON
Formed in 2013, Passion Bel Canon have been merging their individual influences to create their own brand of dark folk-pop. Combining the soaring emotive vocals of Lauren Partridge, Will Barter's dynamic guitar playing and Jamie Smith's powerful drumming, the London based trio create infectious, danceable songs with a dark edge.
Since releasing their debut single ‘Land of Hope’ the band have received radio play on BBC 6Music’s The Tom Robinson show, notably supported Sony signed Owlle and Irish chart toppers HamsandwicH and played at Farm Festival, Nozstock and Chilled in a Field. Their fan-funded debut EP ‘Lights’ will be released this September, following a successful Kickstarter campaign.