Thursday, October 18th
22.30: Seeing as I’m already In The City, technically, perhaps it’s time I got things started? Official event it certainly is not – hell, the conference hasn’t even officially started yet – but Bring On The Dancing Horses, fast approaching its first birthday, is developing a reputation for its distinctive monthly nights – cake, film projections, tip-top music, friendly people and lovingly decorated venue – aspects which all tug at the Motel’s creative heartstrings.
Tonight, Motel faves Modernaire are celebrating the launch of their excellent new EP Velvet Never Dries, and it gives us great pleasure to report that since they last graced the Motel’s stage in June, their confidence – particularly that of vocalists Hannah “Cruella de Mil” Miller and Ruth “Chesty La Rue” Skipper – has grown immeasurably.
Over the summer, they’ve gone from being merely very good electro-pop fun to excellent, atmospheric electro-pop with character unparalleled by anyone else within their genre. Rain and September from the aforementioned new EP are definite highlights, and not one person in the now packed room isn’t getting their groove on by the time the band launch into Faites Tes Jeux. This could well be their weekend. KG
Friday, October 19th
18.00: Press passes and itineraries sorted with ease, professionalism and charm over at the Midland (the chap who was trying to sort out the picture for Kate’s pass had the patience of a saint), it’s off to the pub to plan Team Motel’s next few days. We’re going to have to develop the ability to teleport if we want to see everything we want to. Seriously. KG
21.00: A brief trip out tonight as our wholeheartedly unofficial event with Elah Valley is tomorrow and we’re incredibly nervous and want to get a good night’s sleep. Hardly rock and roll, but probably a wise decision. Well worth it though to nip along to The Roadhouse to catch hotly-tipped indie-slightly punk-and-a-little-bit dance-rockers Parka.
With a cowbell here and a smattering of saxophone there, it’s a sound that should be getting tired by now, but they do it so very well that it doesn’t take a fool to understand why Zane Lowe et al are falling in love with the show-stopping Disco Dancer, due for re-release early next year. More fun than The Rapture and less out there than !!!, Parka are positively infectious. KG
22.15: The pavement outside Night and Day and Dry Bar is littered with smokers and other generally sociable and genial folk. The former is completely packed out with no chance of getting in, and I’m not particularly moved by anything on tonight’s programme in the latter, which also appears extremely full, so it’s off home to prepare for tomorrow. KG
23:00: My ITC weekend begins very much out of the city on the other side of the Irwell, where 2008's Official Next Big Things The Ting Tings are celebrating the launch of their latest single Fruit Machine at Islington Mill, with saccharine support from Hotpants Romance. Whilst this event is not officially part of In The City, it's a very welcome gatecrasher, and the duo of Jules and Katie get the party started with style. BT
words: Kate Goodacre and Benjamin Thomas
pictures: Kate Goodacre