Category Archives: Shows

… March, April & May: PopFest Preview: Birmingham PopFest


How many interviews have you read with bands you love? Now, think back: How often do you read an interview with someone involved behind the scenes? Summer is quickly approaching and with it comes various festivals and weekenders, each organized by people who want to share their love for indiepop with the rest of us. Some of these festivals are brand new, 2014 being their first year in existence. Others have been ongoing traditions for fans spanning several years.

At its very beginning, February Records promoted DIY pop shows and was responsible for setting up three years of the Elm City Popfest, which sadly is no longer in existence. We have an idea about what these festivals entail and we thought the people organizing these events not only deserved to discuss them outside of their own self-promotion, but could also shed a light on what they have personally experienced.

So, we reached out to everyone we could possibly think of that was involved with organizing an event in 2014: Wales Goes Pop, the Popfests in Madrid, Berlin, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Birmingham, Baltimore, and New York City, Indietracks, Indiefjord, the All-dayers or Weekenders such as those coming from Oddbox, Nottingham, and Light it Up, even the indiepop showcase at SXSW.

Who knows? Perhaps they’ll inspire you to start organizing something, too.

Birmingham, which has the second-largest population in England, seems like an ideal location for one of these brand new festivals. Birmingham Popfest, which will take place April 25-27 at The Actress and Bishop, highlights 14 bands from France, Sweden, and the UK.

One of the organizers involved in bringing Birmingham Popfest to you this year, Gavin Priest, answered a few questions for us.

1. Can you give us a history of Birmingham Popfest (dates, organizers involved, etc.)? How and why did you come to be involved? Why did you choose to set up this event?

Its a new Indie Pop festival running from April 25th to April 27th in Birmingham, UK. It’s based on similar Indie pop events that run all over the world. We are passionate music fans, we love indiepop and thought why not give it a go. A great excuse to see some of our favourite bands in our hometown!

2. What is the process of choosing bands like? Do you contact them or do they have to request to play? Are there any rules as to who can or cannot play?
No we don’t have any rules, just that the bands/artists have an indie pop feel. We have been inundated with bands wanting to play, (we reply to them all by the way!) but we would really hate to set up an application process, I can’t understand how that works. Our bill is a mixture of bands we have met whilst playing in our own band The Proctors at other popfests, and groups we weren’t aware of who have come highly recommended to us by people with great taste! The bands are positioned on the bill by merit (popularity, releases etc)

3. What has experience taught you when it comes to organizing Birmingham Popfest?
Go with the flow, and stay loose 🙂

4. When does organization start? Is there a timeline you follow? How soon after the festival ends do you begin to plan the next one? Or, if this is the first of such event, when will you start planning for next year?

There is no timeline, we are pretty disorganised, but the love of the music will see us through. Next year if it happens is dependent upon what happens this year! As things stand we have a strong feeling this will happen again though 🙂

5. Do you have any inside tips for festival goers?
Go with the flow, and stay loose 🙂

6. What are some of the best and worst moments of any Popfest that you can remember?
Probably one band having the plug pulled on them at a popfest I attended. Going to make sure that won’t happen here! 🙂 Great highlights have been playing at Madrid, Berlin and New York Popfests!

Thank you, Gavin!
If you’re interested in attending, it’s not too late! Visit the Birmingham Popfest website for more information regarding the line-up and purchasing tickets.

Allo Darlin’ with The Wave Pictures and The Wee Bees

Check out the Facebook invite here.
Buy tickets here.

Allo Darlin’ returns to New Haven May 18

February Records is proud to join forces with Manic Productions to bring Allo Darlin’ back to New Haven. Joining them will be The Wave Pictures and opening will be New Haven’s The Wee Bees.

Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven. 9 p.m. $8. 21+

Tickets are on sale now and are available online via etix or for no service charge at Redscroll Records in Wallingford.

Allo Darlin’ is the music of Australian-born, London-based songwriter Elizabeth Morris. Originally from a county town in Queensland, Elizabeth moved to London in 2005 and, inspired to write songs by her purchase of a ukulele from the famous Duke of Uke shop in Brick Lane, began to make music.

Although Elizabeth has been releasing music under various guises since 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 that she hooked up with Paul Rains (guitar), Bill Botting (bass) and Michael Collins (drums) and Allo Darlin’ was properly born. Elizabeth and Bill are from Australia, Mike and Paul are from Kent, and they all play in other bands too – Elizabeth is in Tender Trap, Paul and Michael are in Hexicon, Bill is one half of Moustache of Insanity and also in Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern.

Early in 2009, augmented by Terry Edwards of Tindersticks / Gallon Drunk fame on trumpet and sax, Allo Darlin’ cut their first single, “Henry Rollins Don’t Dance,” released in 2009 on the cult WeePOP label. Much to their surprise, “Henry Rollins” started getting airplay on BBC Radio 1, 6 Music and XFM and the like, and received glowing reviews in places such as the Metro, The Fly and The Guardian, the latter calling it “the best indiepop song for years”. The band’s single that followed, “The Polaroid Song,” was named as one of Drowned In Sound’s Top 50 singles of 2009, while their latest single “Dreaming” was voted Single Of The Week by Jarvis Cocker, Peter Hook and Huw Stephens on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6music round table (beating MGMT, The Radio Dept. and Kate Nash in the process!).

The Wave Pictures are a London-based rock trio, consisting of David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Johnny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm. The first line-up of the band came together in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, United Kingdom in 1998. They recorded and self-released a string of albums before finally settling in London with the current line-up.

The Wee Bees are a New Haven, CT-based indiepop band who formed in mid-2009 in cramped storage quarters along CT’s Quinnipiac River. The members met under the guise of Craigslist anonymity. The Wee Bees fully embrace the DIY-aesthetic that gave birth to some of our greatest creative inspirations (C86, Sarah, K, Matador, Slumberland) and craft pop songs that span the gamut from jangly verse-chorus-verse structure to tremolo-heavy shoegaze to sweet lullabies to experimental jaunts.

Elm City PopFest: full schedule

Elm City PopFest Hartford warm-up show

Art by Bob Rock

Elm City PopFest New Haven warm-up show

Poster by Bob Rock

Feb.Recs showcase at Ideat Village Festival

February Records has been asked to host a showcase at this year’s Ideat Village festival in New Haven.

Now in its ninth year, Ideat Village began as a response — and something of a challenge — to New Haven’s massively-funded International Festival of Arts and Ideas. From the Ideat Village Facebook page: “Ideat Village organically sprouted as a direct response to the vanishing opportunities for local artists to participate in New Haven’s multi-million dollar International Festival of Arts and Ideas — to the rave reviews of local artists and musicians, and to the consternation of the recognized ‘Art Establishment’. Ideat Village is produced each year entirely on small independent donations and community goodwill; the festival is run by artists, for artists and the community.”

We’ll be presenting three bands that will all have releases on February Records in the coming months:

The Tyler Trudeau Attempt will be releasing a 7″ single in preparation for their upcoming full-length album. TTTA play catchy powerpop and is a staple on New Haven stages.

Ghost of Chance will be releasing their debut full-length through Feb.Recs. The band boasts Jayson Munro, previously of The Striders; George Moore; David Corsak; and Mark Niciu, of The Wee Bees and previously of The Inclined Plane. Ghost of Chance will be making their live debut at Ideat Village.

The Wee Bees have plans for an upcoming single and EP. They’ve been playing out a lot — hitting Cafe Nine, Bru Cafe and Two Boots since making their live debut in March at ArtSpace New Haven. The Wee Bees play jazzy, shoegaze-inspired pop with an ’80s and ’90s feel to it.

Catch the February Records showcase Saturday, June 26 from 5-7 p.m. at Pitkin Plaza on Orange St. in New Haven.

Elm City PopFest starts tonight

The music begins tonight and doesn’t stop until Saturday at 11 p.m. You do not want to miss any of this line-up. The festival has a great mix of local, national and even some international bands. Boy Genius, Ray Neal, Veronica Falls, Steven Deal, The Wee Bees. Then … The Field Recordings, EULA, Panda Riot, Midstates & The Choir of Ghosts, The Fictional West, Roadside Attractions. Then … Butterflies of Love, The Secret History, Procedure Club. Then … just when you thought it was over it all starts up again on May 26 with Women’s Basketball, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, Horowitz and Allo Darlin’. Seriously … don’t miss any of this.

Get all the details here.

April 10: Boy Genius and The Tyler Trudeau Attempt with Matt Gouette @ Rudy’s

Saturday, April 10, Brooklyn’s Boy Genius will return to New Haven to bring their brand of ’80s- and ’90s-inspired pop to Rudy’s. Boy Genius takes inspiration from bands such as R.E.M., Miracle Legion, Let’s Active and The Lemonheads, to name a few. The band’s latest offering, “Staggering,” has been getting rave reviews from pop bloggers around the world.

From A Layer of Chips blog:

Tread carefully ye who tar Boy Genius as the dreaded ‘college rock’, because there’s so much more to them and this wonderfully-crafted album than that. ‘Staggering’ has all the hallmarks of mid-90s American indie, but also draws heavily on bands like Go Betweens and Orange Juice and even early REM at times. I’m not one to call albums ‘classical’, but this is one that draws from just about every cool influence and mixes them up just about right. However, it’s neither a blind copy nor some kind of homage – more an amalgamation of your record collection.

Check out Boy Genius’ new video for “Ramona Saves the Day” —

The Tyler Trudeau Attempt are a New Haven staple with a catchy power-pop sound and lyrics you’ll find yourself singing for days. The band makes musical nods to Elvis Costello, Richard Hell, The Modern Lovers, The Ramones and more.

Matt Gouette is a pop singer-songwriter from New London with a forthcoming release on the Cosmodemonic Telegraph label:

Matt Gouette is a pop virtuoso, trickster musician, and multi-instrumentalist who quite simply crafts some of the finest tracks you are likely to hear. He is comfortable in all genres it seems and his listeners are rewarded with subtle songwriting full of hooks and harmonies that linger. His work suggests equal parts Elliott Smith, Brian Wilson, and Robert Smith.

Check out the video for Matt Gouette’s “Opinion” off the soon-to-be-released “Emeline at the Moon Tower” —

Boy Genius, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt and Matt Gouette @ Rudy’s

372 Elm Street, New Haven
$4, 10 p.m. 21+

March 27: ArtSpace Underground with The Smittens and The Wee Bees

*The bands will be playing at the beginning of the ArtSpace Underground! Music will start at 8 p.m. Don’t be late!*

Every so often we here at Tweefort actually put on a band that some might classify as “twee.” Most of the bands we book fall somewhere in the broader “indiepop” definition … or the even broader “pop” definition. However, Burlington, VT’s The Smittens have that cute, child-like quality that might plop them right smack dab in the middle of the twee spectrum. It’s not often New Haven gets a good dose of full-on tweepop, so you’re not going to want to miss this.

I’ve seen The Smittens a number of times … and they always put on a great show.

From their MySpace:

The Smittens are a five-piece indiepop band from Burlington, Vermont and like to think of themselves as a DIY twee pop explosion. Dana Kaplan, Colin Clary, David Zacharis, Holly Chagnon, and Max Andrucki switch up instruments, song-writing, and singing to create brilliantly lyrical and hyper-catchy pop songs of all colors, shapes and sizes. Formed on a whim at a party in 2002 by a group of popkids who wanted to make for their friends the kind of music they love, the Smittens have emerged as one of the country’s best-loved underground indiepop quintets, with headlining slots in the past year at the New England, New York, Toledo, and Athens Popfests. The bands third album The Coolest Thing About Love, mixed by Eric Masunaga, is out now, on Athens, Georgia’s indie institution Happy Happy Birthday To Me. The critically acclaimed ‘Gentlefication Now!’ and ‘A Little Revolution’ are both now available through Happy Happy Birthday to Me.

The Wee Bees are New Haven’s newest pop band. The group includes ex-members of The Inclined Plane, The Caligulists and Manchester By The Sea — as well as one-half of Tweefort. The Wee Bees have an 80s- and 90s-inspired C86/shoegazey sound.

From their MySpace:

The Wee Bees are a New Haven, CT-based Indiepop band who formed in mid-2009 in cramped storage quarters along CT’s Quinnipiac River. … The Wee Bees fully embrace the DIY-aesthetic that gave birth to some of our greatest creative inspirations (C86, Sarah, K, Matador, Slumberland) and craft pop songs that span the gamut from jangly verse-chorus-verse structure to tremolo-heavy shoegaze to sweet lullabies to experimental jaunts.

Plus, there’ll be the usual ArtSpace Underground entertainment, including DJ Sofia Cavallo, dancing by Sugar Magnolia and drinks by 116 Crown.

Check out this cute video for The Smittens’ “My Favorite Dream” —

ArtSpace New Haven
8-11 p.m. — music starts at 8 p.m.!
$5, All-ages