THE REBIRTH OF INDIE, the golden era is dead
The golden era is over and actually it’s been over for a fair few years now. Started in 2011 with Tribes first album release ‘Baby’ and ending in 2013 with releases from Peace, Jaws, Drenge and Palma Violets, there were two years of ultimate bliss. All first album releases, bands such as: Palma Violets, Swim Deep, Drenge, Jaws, The Vaccines, Spector, Tribes, Little Comets, Dog is Dead and Peace, created this two-year stint of new music that was actually good. Music that was played at indie disco’s, music that sounded new, music that held promise. It’s questionable whether this promise was ever fulfilled but it didn’t matter, all these bands created these albums that did the basics right.
Palma Violets, 180. An album drenched in reverb, trebly guitars, sweat and booze, 180 lulled you in to a state of nonchalant happiness. Swim Deep’s, Where the Heaven Are We. An unrestrained cloudburst of acid-tinted teashades that tantalized the tongue with every word sung. Drenge’s, Drenge. Grunge done well and grunge done good, Drenge was a sardonic perverted sound that allured everyone. Jaws’s, Milkshake. Laziness coated in awkwardness, Milkshake made all boys feel okay about not talking to that girl. The Vaccines, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines. Class, sheer class. Spector, Enjoy it While it Lasts. Upbeat melodicism at its very finest, Spector’s McPherson killed cool. Tribes, Baby. Sex and swagger brought together by big riffs, hooks and choruses, Baby concealed a Johnny Lloyd seemingly crying out for help. Dog is Dead, All our Favourite Stories. An endearingly goofy charm that just wouldn’t let go. Peace, In Love. A unique way of saying ‘I Love You’, In Love courted your lover and you didn’t even care.
If like me, you were 16, 17, when these albums started to appear then the first cigarette and beer were on the tick list. You hadn’t acquired a fake ID yet but you had a taste for nightlife. You’d tried to copy Morrissey in every single way and believed that Ian Curtis was a mastermind gone too soon, but who didn’t think that. And you had a taste for guitars and drums. You’d broke away from your mates, charts were a joke to you now, you wanted independent and different and that’s what these albums provided. Yes, it had all been done before, but these bands were new, fresh, exciting. They provided two years of dancing round your mates rotting shed, or sometimes stables, shouting ‘I WANNA BE YOUR BEST FRIEND’ or for the more compelled teenager ‘Let the wind blow through your hair.’ Were these the best years of my life? Indefinitely. An era where independent wasn’t that cool which made it super cool. Headphones in, you really didn’t care if your jumper was too baggy, jeans too scraggy or shoes too wrecked, you were living in the golden era. An era that just feels sadly forgotten now and looks seemingly never to be repeated again.
By Ellis Shelton.
The Old Queens Head,15 August
Spice Of Life,18 August
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN,30 August
The Borderline,01 September
The Underbelly,20 September
93 Feet East,09 November