All aboard! It's time for Indietracks, a celebration of independent, creative and DIY pop music held at a heritage steam railway museum in the heart of the Derbyshire countryside. Every year around fifty indie pop artists perform across a range of stages while festival goers enjoy steam train rides, railway attractions and museums, discos, art and craft workshops, great food, a selection of real ales and, of course, Kinky Melon's pop-up vintage shop. Established in 2007, we've been going to Indietracks for eleven years, initially as visitors and, for the past six years, as traders.
We'd originally planned to travel up on Thursday but, with the UK experiencing the hottest temperatures ever recorded (39°C) we decided to postpone our journey and set off at 7am on Friday instead as the BBC had forecast it would be significantly cooler. By 2pm we were set up, changed and able to relax in the sunshine with a glass of wine before the festival gates opened at 5pm.
It was the first Friday in years that Indietracks' opening night was neither freezing cold or peeing it down. We didn't even need coats.
|WEARING: 1960s Dollyrockers maxi (bought from Second To None in 2010)|
Ready for business!
Scottish pop band Bis, the first unsigned band to appear on Top of the Pops (HERE) before being signed to the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label in 1996, were Friday night headliners.
|WEARING: Scotch & Soda brocade lined coat, tartan skinnies and pinstripe Austin Reed shirt (all charity shopped), Clarks' desert boots (50th birthday present from a friend - 3 years old next Monday!)|
Of course, the great weather didn't hold. By the early hours of Saturday morning the rain was absolutely lashing it down and the temperature had plummeted. By opening time we were wrapped up in fake fur coats and boots - what a difference a couple of days make!
|WEARING: Psychedelic maxi by Krist Gudnason of California (present from Krista, 2012), yeti coat (charity shop), sunglasses (car boot sale, 2015) and 1970s pendant from London Vintage|
Did the rain dampen the Indie-kids' spirits? No! They shopped with us then either braved the rain to watch bands on the outdoor stage or headed off to the indoors Church and Passenger Shed stages or joined the queue to be entertained by the bands scheduled to play on the vintage trains which gently chug along the tracks between Swanwick Junction and Butterley.
Listening to the radio whilst having breakfast on Sunday morning we learnt that we'd had over a month's average rainfall over the last 24 hours, which was no surprise to us - it had kept us awake for most of the night. The rain at least had the decency to let up for long enough for us to explore. There's something innately thrilling about having a whole railway museum to ourselves.
|WEARING: Dollyrockers psych maxi (eBay, May 2019) & my handmade Scandinavian wellies|
|WEARING: 1960s Hardy Amies fake fur car coat, tartan skinnies, rubber and suede wellies (all chazza shopped) and a wool polo neck nicked off the shop rails|
After a couple of hours of wandering we opened the shop in readiness for the Indie Kids. I decided to liberate this baby pink 1960s Shanghai-made satin brocade jacket from the rails - after four festivals with not a smidgen of interest it deserved to be mine.
Hangovers sated with some of the great food on offer the kids were ready to shop and, surprisingly for a Sunday, business was brisk. At one point in the day a lady came in and admitted to having a sleepless night after ripping a dress she'd tried on the night before and neglecting to tell us. She insisted on paying for the damage which impressed us no end - the downside of festivals is the amount of clothes that get trashed and put back on the rails with not a word uttered. This really sums up the spirit of Indietracks - it's a festival full of kind hearted, genuine people.
As usual, many of our lovely customers wore their latest Kinky Melon purchases over the weekend, but this year most of their vintage buys were obscured by raincoats - but here's Jo & Jude braving the weather to show off a 1980s Madras check cotton blazer and a 1960s psych midi dress.
Another of our favourite regulars, the fabulous Jenny! Her bag of Kinky swag was safely locked up in her hotel room.
Yes, it rained for most of the weekend and the temperatures were more akin to April than July but did that stop anyone having fun? Of course not. If you can't cope with a bit of inclement weather then you just aren't suited to the British festival scene.
The previous evening headliners, Spook School, had announced that they were splitting up, on Sunday they opened the main stage playing as their new incarnation, Squiggles.
I absolutely loved Liverpool psych all-girl band, Stealing Sheep's Sunday night performance and their outfits weren't bad either. Listen to their iconic Joking Me HERE.
One of my favourite post-Indietracks things to do is to check the festival website and see how many of the artists in the official band shots shopped with us - as always, there's rather a lot!
At 10pm we rolled down the shop front for the final time, poured ourselves a drink (definitely not the first of the evening) and packed up the stock with the rain pitter-pattering on the roof.
Sod's Law or what? On Monday morning we took down the trade tent in warmth and glorious sunshine, the weekend's bad weather but a dim and distant memory.
See you next year, Indietracks!