Indietracks interview #21: Pocketbooks

You might have spotted that we recently published a full schedule for the festival, so you can see when each band is playing and plan your weekends. The festival will have four stages (including the trains), workshops, a selection of discos after the bands, stalls, and 50+ bands ranging from bright new indiepop bands like Northern Portrait and Bonne Idee to household names like Teenage Fanclub and Camera Obscura. Phew! All things considered, it’s been quite a journey since the first Indietracks event in April 2007, when Slow Down Tallahassee, Tottie and today’s interviewees Pocketbooks played to a hundred or so people on the Ripley station platform.

Pocketbooks will be returning to the festival to play on the indoor stage this year. They’re a pop band from London who recall the melodic sounds of bands like the Housemartins and The Sundays. The band has just released their debut album, Flight Paths (How Does It Feel To Be Loved?), as well as a recent single ‘Footsteps’, which they’re giving away as a free MP3 below.

Hi Emma and Dan, tell us a little bit about the band

Emma: We’re two parts Geordie, one part Haddock, one part typical 1930s suburbia and one part wherever Jonny appeared from. We’ve been playing as a band for a few years now and even managed to get an album together which is coming out this week just in time for Indietracks (massive plug!).

What music are you enjoying at the moment?

Emma: I can’t stop listening to the new Liechtenstein album – it’s brilliant! But apart from that, a lot of rockabilly stuff.
Dan: I have been listening to “the poor man’s Captain Beefheart” Tom Waits, getting my ear bent for not listening to Liechtenstein enough and fixating on 60s pop (again…).

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

Dan: We recently played at the Big Pink Cake indiepop weekender, which was in a cinema. We had the film “Bicyclettes de Belsize” showing on a big screen behind us as we played. It was really exciting to have them allow us to do that, the film felt as though it was made just for us to play along to!
Emma: Except we all had our backs to the audience at certain points because we wanted to watch the film! We also played out the front of Hornsey Town Hall once, to an assortment of bemused Saturday shoppers and confused kids. Oh, and Jonny has played a rendition of the Bob The Builder song to primary school kids!

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Dan: Well there’s the aforementioned album coming out. Then we’re recording a Jonathan Richman cover, and off to do some shows in Berlin, Glasgow and Nottingham. Then maybe we’ll have a bit of a rest to watch some telly.

Do any band members have any particular skills, hobbies or claims to fame you wish to share?

Dan: Emma can mimic any TV advert jingle you should choose. My favourite is Calgon.
Emma: Dan has an ability to make ageing rock stars laugh, most recently Robert Plant.

What’s going to be on your compilation tapes as you travel down to Indietracks?

Emma: Hmm, probably the Indietracks compilation, so I can sing along to the bands and look all knowledgeable at the festival!
Dan: I’ll be revisiting some old favourites from the nuggets set, maybe a bit of Slade and some old ska records.

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

Emma: We have a special guest joining us on tambourine this year. If you knew who it was, you might understand how this could potentially steal the show!

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Indietracks festival, and why?

Emma: Art Brut, Mighty Mighty, Teenage Fanclub, Northern Portrait, The Specific Heats, Friends, The Smittens, and the lovely Elefant bands of course. Just about everyone really! Oh, and my entire family, who have all decided to come along this year and pull faces at me from the audience.

Thanks! And here’s a free MP3 of their recent single: Footsteps

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