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Gary Wollen


June Brides

The June Brides combination of punk attitude and spiky pop made them one of the most endearing and copied independent groups in the UK in the 80's. Gary Wollen talks to vocalist Phil Wilson about the group's short, but influential three year history


One of the rising stars of the Track and Field label, Cardiff's the Loves have recently released their second single 'Just Like Bobby D'. Gary Wollen is enraptured with their cool reckless charm and personable optimism
Saloon's debut album '((This is) What We Call Progress' was released on the Track and Field label in April to critical acclaim. Adam Cresswell and Amanda Gomez from the band talk to Gary Wollen about its production, their influences and playing live
Described by John Peel as "the pop sensation that's seeping the nation", Norwich band Bearsuit are one of the rising stars of indie pop. In one of their first interviews, Gary Wollen catches up with the group on a North London stairwell


Sickroom Gramophone Collective

Norwich's the Sickroom Gramophone Collective has met with major success with Bearsuit and is one of the up-and-coming labels in Britain. Owners Rhys Harper and Benjamin Watson talk to Gary Wollen about its spectacular rise

Live Reviews

Loves - Toynbee Arts Cafe, London, 21/2/2003

With their debut album out shortly, Cardiff's the Loves are one of the great hopes of British indie pop. Gary Wollen finds their "crash, bang, wallop concoction of the coolest 60's underground chic" and "Bubblegum accessibility" to be irresistible


Despite being treated with antipathy in their native Cardiff, Gary Wollen discoversthe Loves' recent gig in London to be "a genuine reason to believe in music again"
The third annual Pow to the People festival at the Camden Monarch in London featured such indie pop lumionaries as the Butterflies of Love, Woodchuck, Cane 141 and Saloon. Gary Wollen has a riveting Easter Sunday
Norwich's Bearsuit are "musically unprincipled and inadvertently messy", but new writer Gary Wollen finds a recent London show to be "gorgeous, sublime and damn fine !"

Favourite Albums


In the latest in our Favourite Albums series, in which a different one of our writers writes each month about an album of his or her choice, Gary Wollen describes the long-lasting impact on him of Orange Juice's seminal 'You Can't Hide Your Love Forever'


Allen Clapp
Hellfire Sermons
John Moremen

Spectacular second EP from Liverpool five piece Cranebuilders, whose music straddles " the gap between the murky, unlit joy of bohemia and pure uplifting pop in very much the way that the Velvets or Smog do"
"Fine" indiepop solo EP from the excellent Orange Peels' frontman, Allen Clapp
Musical anthology of long lost and defunct Liverpool indiepop band, Hellfire Sermons, which charts their musical progress from 1988 to 1991
Well performed, if slightly over constrained EP from Californian singer/songwriter, inspired by 80's British indiepop

Green Pajamas
Electro Group

Debut release on Track and Field label by Homescience, the project of Edinburgh's Andrew Ward, which, while inspired by the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, hass uniquey individuality as well
"Primitive", but rampantly imaginative "quaint pop", and "triumph of will against what sounds like very limited resources", on debut album by London-based duo, Pipas
Stylish and eclectic Americana tinged psychedelia from the Seattle-based Green Pajamas
Strikingly "surreal and ethereal" dream pop, strongly reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, from new Californian group

Dressy Bessy

Deceptive summer pop from Chicago-based duo,which grows with each new listening
"Audacious coalition of anything cool, sixties and underground" from former Inspiral Carpets' frontman Tom Hingley's new band, the Loves
"Timeless", but "infectious" second dose of summer pop from Cleveland quartet, Dressy Bessy
"Compulsive energetic pop " on third single from Bearsuit

June Star
Would Be Goods

"Beautiful " third offering from June Star, which, despite a country tagging, proves too to be far more than this, but also music with a genuine sense of soul
"Innovative, original release", which despite garish cover, proves to be one of the best leftfield British releases in years
"Well written" and "simply recorded" three track EP from the highly regarded Would Be Goods
"Astounding' guitar feedback laden second single from the unpredictable and always thrilling Bearsuit

Dressy Bessy / Saloon
Dressy Bessy

"Compelling and inspired coupling" from two of the bands on the Track and Field label.
Enjoyable homage to the sixties that, as well as an obvious Beach Boys influence, also takes inspiration from the Beach Boys and Big Star
Beautiful, sparse and evocative debut album from English group from Reading with Galaxie 500 and Velvets American underground type sound, but whose influences also remain very much British and European
Breathtakingly "perfect" collection of " glistening pop gems " from Denver bubblegum quartet Dressy Bessy.

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