The indie train is rolling through Derbyshire again and you best be on it! No, seriously if you like the music we cover on here, Indietracks is the perfect spot to discover emergent acts from the Alternative & DIY scene. Plenty of acts playing have already appeared on these very pages and after making our way through the festival’s Spotify playlist, we’re sure many, many more will. Indeed, getting our list down to just five proved a near impossible task.
Located at a picturesque 1950s steam railway, expect to see bands playing in a locomotive shed, a tabernacle and even on the steam trains themselves. You’ll be happy their stationery, content that you’re in the best place you could possibly be. Check out our five must-see acts below.
Initially the solo project of Brighton’s Dana Margolin, Porridge Radio released their debut album – an essential collection of post-punk bangers – ‘Rice, Pasta and Fillers’ back in 2016. In the interim, Porridge Radio transitioned into a fully-fleshed out four piece, embarking upon a rigorous touring schedule. With added clout, notably a recording studio and industry backing, Porridge Radio returned to releasing music this year, first with the chaotic rebel-rousing ‘Give / Take’ and most recently with ‘Don’t Ask Me Twice.’ Their live shows reflect their rumbustious songs, the band unleash a furious outpour of emotions in a set that barely last beyond half an hour. Conversation isn’t a thing that happens, and you’ve barely got chance to catch your breath before they’re off the stage and behind the merch stall. A band that forever leaves you lusting for more.
Indie pop royalty Mammoth Penguins return to IndieTracks this summer with their jangly ditties in tow. While their set stacked with indie pop gems will certainly have you cutting shapes in the Derbyshire countryside, it’s the raw emotion of singer Emma Kupa that makes the Cambridge trio indispensable. Whether she’s shouting ‘I love you, fuck it all’ on ‘I Wanna’ or showing her petulant, self-pitying side on ‘Put It All On You,’ Kupa is unshakeably vulnerable. Get ready to dance and cry all at once.
We first came across Foundlings courtesy of For The Rabbits’ 19 for 2019 feature. It was instantly obvious that the London/Brighton four-piece’s music can make your heart full. Their melodies burn with warmth, while their plush chorus dapple your day in glorious sunshine. Foundlings momentarily raise you above the blanket of black fog unfurling all around us. With backing from BBC6Music and a sold-out show at Sebright Arms earlier this year, it looks like it wasn’t just us who agreed with For The Rabbits.
Set to bring the party to IndieTracks, London group Fresh come armed with jangly guitars, huge backing vocals and choruses made for singing along to. With lyrics that take on everything from daily banalities to her deepest insecurities and an irresistible, passionate vocal to booth, Fresh’s lead singer/guitarist Kathryn Woods is an outstanding frontperson and one of the best to walk the hallowed fields of IndieTracks. On album track Nothing, Woods sings ‘One day I’ll tell myself, Kathryn you are glowing.” Pack a visor.
An uneasy energy penetrates the music of Witching Waves. Whether it’s the industrial, tightly-strung guitars or the gut-punching drums, Witching Waves’ songs are packed with rough edges, the band’s instruments and voices jousting off against one another to create a pent-up dynamic all of their own. The trio also possess one of those lead singer/drummers, y’know those alien-like creatures who use their hands, feet and voices synonymously AND keep in time?! At the end of their set, you might ask how but you certainly won’t ask why. Essential viewing.