Last year, iconic indie record label Fortuna POP! announced it was to stop being an iconic indie record label, or any kind of record label at all – but not before bowing out with one hell of a party.
Twenty Years Of Trouble sees a raft of acts from the Fortuna POP! stable playing across London for five glorious March nights. From long-time LiS faves Comet Gain and Darren Hayman, to current marvels Martha and The Spook School, this week celebrates all the best music from an institution we’re going to miss tons.
Here, label owner Sean Price talks us through five key moments from the Fortuna POP!’s history:
1. COMET GAIN – YOU CAN HIDE YOUR LOVE FOREVER
David Charlie Feck inverts Orange Juice’s album title and comes up with a stone-cold indie classic…
It’s the old, timeless story, as our fey, Pastels badge-wearing hero courts his Godardian muse via the medium of mixtapes. David would eventually get the internet and a mobile phone and is now all over Tinder (he isn’t).You can sing along if you want to.
2. WITHERED HAND – KING OF HOLLYWOOD
In which Dan Willson aka Withered Hand tells of a tale of a trip to L.A. with his best bud King Creosote. God only knows what they got up to, the lyrics take some deciphering, but it’s a raucous, foot-stomping, country delight. Also notable for the best (only?) lyrics ever written about watching a buzz band at a music industry event.
3. THE BUTTERFLIES OF LOVE – ROB A BANK
The first truly great record on the label, I heard John Peel play this and wrote to them begging to release it in the UK, only to get back an undecipherable letter in spidery scrawl on prison notepaper. Turned out singer Jeff Greene ran a prison art programme. It still sounds incredible: a woozy, Galaxie 500-esque love song about blowing up buildings.
4. MARTHA – PRESENT, TENSE
The last band to release an album on the label will be the last band to play the festival, which seems appropriate because Martha are The Future, which is where we’re all heading, like it or not. Proper DIY punk, with real Northern accents. Everyone goes nuts to this one when they play it live, and we all sing along in fake Northern accents.
5. ALLO DARLIN’ – MY HEART IS A DRUMMER
Talking of the future, we already said our goodbye to Allo Darlin’ in December, so they won’t be playing, but we’re mightily pleased that Elizabeth Morris’ new band Elva will be playing their first show as part of Twenty Years Of Trouble. The video was made by the lovely Simon Taffe of End Of The Road festival, who covered his entire house in brown paper for it.
Twenty Years Of Trouble – various London venues on 22nd-26th March