Here are notes from yesterday’s ‘action’ at the In The City music conference, the UK’s premiere unsigned band shindig:
- Mark Ronson: silent, bored, ubiquitous skinny trousers ‘n’ scarf combo, giant quiff
- Steve Lamacq: patient, friendly and his voice is even more delightful in real life
- Huw Stephens: see Steve Lamacq
- Assorted PRs, A&R people and managers: busy, busy, busy, and ‘can you print my name more clearly on this AAA Pass please, people won’t be able to see who I am’
- No free bar/buffet: a travesty
I shamefully collared Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens and stammered incoherently about how much in liked their radio shows whilst pressing my email address into their hands. They nodded good-naturedly before slowly backing away.
The bands there were a real, friendly delight – untainted by an industry which sometimes seems geared to grind any fun out of a job that ought to be pure fun. As I spoke to them, I sucked in as much of their enthusiasm as possible, and hoped they’d find what they were looking for in the murk of rock ‘n’ roll.
There are literally* a million bands at ITC, and like any music festival, you can only scratch the surface of what’s on show. But Today’s New Band emerged from the haze, and they’re a good ‘un: welcome, Dutch Uncles.
To be honest, I thought that their name was a euphemism for a scatological sexual perversion, though apparently it’s not. They told me that their name comes from the title of a play, and none of the band members have actual Dutch uncles. Such is life.
But their songs are great, quirky pop – hear Steadycam, soak up the megawatt-bright, chiming chorus and wonder where they’ve been all your life. Doppelganger is a curious, scratch ‘n’ sniff pop song; inventive, coiling and sweet.
Oh, and the band wear a range of truly heinous charity-shop clothing. Men after my own heart. Great. Watch them soar: listen here!
Photography by Nina Kölle