Indietracks Interview #2: Help Stamp Out Loneliness

Hi there, and welcome once again to the Indietracks blog experience as we whip ourselves into a dizzy frenzy in anticipation of this year’s festival. Every few days we’ll be getting you intimately acquainted with another of the Indietracks ‘Class of 2009’, and today it’s an opportunity to get to know sophisticated krautpopsters Help Stamp Out Loneliness that little bit better.

The band started when old flatmates Colm McCrory and Bentley Cooke from twee heroes Language of Flowers decided to take a sabbatical from the drug fuelled ultra-violent world of C86 and start a lounge-gaze-krautpop band instead. They were soon joined by Ben Ambridge and Louise Winfield on drums and organ respectively and a little later by Katherine McMahon (piano) and finally D. Lucille Campbell (vocals). Fresh from charming the socks off the London Popfest crowds, here’s Bentley from HSOL to tell us all about gigs in trees and how to shop for records in the credit crunch


Hi Bentley, tell us a little bit about the band…

We’re Help Stamp Out Loneliness. We’ve been described as being a little bit like Marmite. You’ll either love us or you’ll hate us . . . and we taste like yeast extract. Ha, ha, ha. We’re just joking of course. However, on a more serious note we are aware that there has been some level of dissent amongst the C86/Twee/Indie-Pop community in regard to our brand of pop music but we are hopeful that they will ultimately come to accept us fully and without resistance. With that in mind we’ve called in a PR Agency who’ve advised us to become more pro-active in our quest for CWNN dominance.

Any suggestions on how we can serve you better as a band should sent direct to our email at suggestions@hsol.org.uk with your GP’s address and level of susceptibility to hypnosis / mind control.

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

Because of the credit crunch and subsequent recession we’ve all had to cut back on our record spending and poor Colm has even had to resort to scuttling through service station bargain bins for tapes by Perry Como; Matt Monro; James Last; and Shed 7.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though – we have had some surprises recently . . . I’ve just discovered a band called Stereolab who are kind of avant-garde / kraut-rock influenced with French vocals. Also, our singer Dee has just unearthed a woman called Nico – she’s got a really deep voice like Alison Moyet – or her out of the Communards. We’re thinking about incorporating various elements of our new discoveries into our music in the near future.

Tell us about an unusual place you’ve played a gig in the past

We once played a gig not too far from Ripley. Believe it or not it was held inside the original oak tree that Robin Hood and his Merry Men supposedly lived in. It was promoted by an old couple from Mansfield and their middle aged daughter, Susan.


To be honest – even though it was a novelty – it was rather disappointing. There was no PA and we couldn’t even plug our amps into any electrical output source on account of the gig being in Sherwood Forest. We had to do the set acoustic, next thing you know the forest dwelling folk started groaning and throwing acorns at us. It was just awful, I could have died. I know a few of us were close to tears. To top it all off the backstage area was just a hollowed out trunk full of used condoms. Charming!

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

Without wanting to sound soppy (I know I’ll get a ribbing from the guys in the band about this) but I think the essence of Indietracks is this: it’s the chance to see some great bands; meet friends new and old; share stories around a campfire late into the night; and heckle Gav from Camera Obscura; and all this in some of Britain’s most beautiful surroundings. What more could you ask for?

Also, it’s dead close to Gulliver’s World in Matlock

Thanks Bentley! And here’s a free song from the band…
Free MP3 download: Parma Violet

Next up: Alaska

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