And so on the 3rd October I headed off to Kentish Town for Indie Daze, to see a few bands from the old days. I was meeting up with an old friend from Uni and we were planning to have one of our semi-annual meet-ups and a bit of a bop. Pop Will Eat Itself, Primitives, Wedding Present and Wonder Stuff were all appearing. The train journey was fairly uneventful, except that at Burgess Hill an eighties throwback got on the train and I did wonder for a second whether he was also heading to the Forum. But then I quickly dismissed that, he would have been from a different “tribe” – he had a wet-look permed mullet, which I have to admit is fairly distinctive in this day and age. I seem to recollect he was wearing denim as well, but I may be misremembering… Anyway, he got off after a bit, and went on his merry way. I was sitting next to a couple of, or perhaps just one pilot and his friend, they were heading off to “Twickers, yah?” to meet up with some friends and watch the rugby – England were playing Australia later. In their pressed tops and colourful slacks they cut quite the dash. So, earphones in and a bit of Happy Mondays was the perfect antidote to that.
I met up with E outside the venue, and we went in without any delay. I suppose that as it was  an all-dayer, and people would have their favourite bands, not everyone was planning to arrive at 12:45. So, we beat the rush. The first band on was the Popinjays, who struck me as a more poppy female Carter USM, in that there were only two of them, one singer, one guitarist, and a drum machine. They were both quite cheery and self-deprecating, and they seemed to be happy to be there despite the fact that there were only 30 or so guys there to see them. I’d not heard the Popinjays before, but they sounded pretty good. It was a bit weird to be inside, in the dark, at quarter past one in the afternoon, watching a band perform under lights as if it was 9pm. But they did okay and started the day off well.
The next band on were Back To The Planet, and I had no interest in seeing them. Neither did E, luckily, so we headed out to get some lunch. We disregarded a number of places before ending up at the Rustique Cafe, where I had a really nice English breakfast (but no sausages, unfortunately!) and a coffee, before we headed back to the venue for the third band – Eat.
Eat are one of my favourite bands that no-one has ever heard of. I have a couple of bands which fit into that category – New FADs come to mind, but Eat are right up there. Apparently I did see them in 1992 at a one-day festival in Slough, with Jesus Jones and the Fall, but I can’t remember watching them. They are proper rockers, they didn’t look like aging indie kids, and they were excellent. The lead singer Ange  Dolittle was obviously the main focus of the stage, coming on as he did with dreads down to his arse and his mad stare. It was an impressive show.  They played their greatest hits, so Fatman, Skin, and they finished with Electric City. They were memorable, and probably, for me, worth the cost of entry by themselves.
Next up were Primitives, who didn’t do it for me, I have to say. They played Crash and Through The Flowers, but I didn’t recognise a lot of the songs and my interest wasn’t piqued in finding out any more.
We started on the beers when Primitives were on, and so by the time Pop Will Eat Itself came on, we were ready to revitalise the day. PWEI always put on a good live show, and last Saturday was no exception. I found myself bopping away to the tunes and really enjoyed it. Despite the fact that Graham Crabb is the only original member, they have a big back catalogue to plunder, and they played a big range of hits, from Def Con One to Ich Bin Ein Auslander, to Get The Girl, Kill The Baddies. The mosh pit was heaving as per usual, and everyone seemed to have a good time.
I was a bit worried at how Wedding Present would maintain the atmosphere, but my fears were groundless – Gedge and the team were brilliant. They played a couple of hits and then launched into Bizarro. I think the influence of Steve Albini is still felt on them, as the tracks and the sound certainly seemed to have more muscle and power than I expected. And of course everyone went crazy to Kennedy and Brassneck, so having them on after PWEI paid off.
After Wedding Present the Wonder Stuff were headlining, and I’ve seen them before so I chose to head for home. It was a great day and I really enjoyed seeing the bands and catching up with E., as well as having a few beers. The journey home was fairly uneventful and I was in bed and asleep by 00:30. I may go again next year, depending on the line-up.

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