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AAA Music | 4 April 2020

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Fortuna POP! celebrate fifteen years with three gigs at the Scala

| On 28, Aug 2011

*Fortuna POP! presents*
*Tues 1st Nov The Primitives + Bearsuit + Monnone Alone (ex-The Lucksmiths) + Special Guests*
*Wed 2nd Nov Crystal Stilts + Comet Gain + Shrag + Evans The Death*
*Thu 3rd Nov Allo Darlin’ + Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern + Tender Trap + The Ladybug Transistor*
*Doors 6.30pm each night*
*Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, King´s Cross, London, N1 9NL*
Nearest tube/train : King’s Cross St Pancras)*
*Tickets £11.50 Advance per night*
*or £25 season ticket for all three nights*
08444 771 000*
Scala box office between 10am and 6pm Mon-Fri*
While people gather around bonfires and swirl sparklers in the air, the first week of November this year will be remembered for something other than Guy Fawkes night. Birthdays usually mean presents but this year as Fortuna POP! celebrate their 15th Birthday, they’re giving us the gift of music. Again.
They’re going to celebrate with three nights in a row at the Scala in London on November 1st, 2nd and 3rd, four bands every night, doors at 6:30pm. The full line-up thus far includes: Crystal Stilts, Allo Darlin’, The Primitives, Comet Gain, Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern, Bearsuit, Shrag, The Ladybug Transistor, Tender Trap, Evans The Death and Mark Monnone from The Lucksmiths’ solo project Monnone Alone. More info on most of these artists can be found on the Fortuna POP! website:
There will be guest DJs and free aftershow parties at The Lexington every night too. Fifteen years of fun. Put it in yr pop diary.
Those dates again, in more detail…
Tuesday 1st November 2011
The Primitives + Bearsuit + Monnone Alone (The Lucksmiths) + Special Guests
The Primitives
Fronted by indiepop blonde bombshell Tracy Tracy, The Primitives emerged from the independent scene of the mid-80s that spawned The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. Their sound distilled the shimmering guitar jangle of the Byrds, the buzzsaw style of The Ramones and 60’s girl group melodies into two and a half minute pop gems (including the smash hit “Crash”) which lead to regular session guests on John Peel’s radio show. The split in 1992 but reunited in 2009 to play a memorial show after the passing of their original bass player Steve Dullaghan, this lead to further gigs including a headline slot at the Indietracks Festival and they even recorded an EP called “Never Kill a Secret” which was released on Fortuna POP! last year.
“Rattle My Cage” video:
Bearsuit are a boy/girl five-piece from Norwich who were also favourites of the late John Peel.  Known for their electric and outlandish performances, especially their many and varied onstage outfits, from blood covered zombies to majorettes, Bearsuit have supported the likes of Crystal Castles, Future of the Left, Lightspeed Champion and Hot Chip. Their latest album on Fortuna POP! The Phantom Forest features their new edgy sound of dirty synths and fierce guitars and was recorded with Gareth Parton – producer to the Go Team!, Foals etc. Their new single “Princess, You’re a Test” is out on 6 September.

“A colourful pop hotchpotch” NME

video for “Princess, You’re a Test” –
Monnone Alone (The Lucksmiths)
Monnone Alone is Mark Monnone with an assorted cast of friends, buddies, pals, cronies, deadbeats, etc. As bass-player-about town, Mark is a regular casanova, musically seducing the likes of Sally Seltmann, Darren Hanlon, Bart & Friends, Guy Blackman, amongst other lucky sods. However, between the years of 1993 and 2009 inclusive, Mark was best known as the bass player for The Lucksmiths and was responsible for penning such familiar favourites as “T-Shirt Weather”, “Myopic Friends” and “Take This Lying Down”. From their northern corner of Melbourne, armed with songwriting smarts and a warm live rapport, The Lucksmiths gathered a loyal fanbase that stuck with the band for near-on a dozen albums.
Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Crystal Stilts + Comet Gain + Shrag + Evans The Death
Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts burst out of Brooklyn’s storied post-punk indie scene in 2008 with a string of releases that culminated in their fantastic debut album Alight Of Night. Deftly combining the spooked 60s Texas psych of 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola, the gothic blues/punk howl of Gun Club, the dark, experimental DIYism of early Flying Nun/Xpressway groups and a dash of classic 60s pop by way of early Mary Chain b-sides, Now the release of second album In Love With Oblivion on Fortuna POP! sets the bar even higher as they reach dizzying, fuzzy heights as first class purveyors of haunting, atmospheric post-punk pop.
“…this is one of the best garage pop sides since The Chills’ own Brave
Words.” – The Wire
You can find photos on the media page of this site:
New video for “Shake the Shackles” here:
Comet Gain
Led by songwriter David Feck, Comet Gain have released a string of critically acclaimed records on Kill Rock Stars, Track & Field, What’s Your Rupture? and, of course, Fortuna POP!.  Unapologetically literate and emotional, Comet Gain seek out inspiration as much in the music of girl-group era pop, heartfelt Americana, British post-punk, and 60s psychedelia, as in the words and images of the beat poets and in the cinema of both the British and French new-wave of the late 50 and early 60s.
Comet Gain insist on locating and articulating the romance and the heartbreak that permeate and terrorize the everyday, whilst refusing to slip into sentiment or mawkishness.  From artists like The Make-Up and Jens Lekman to a younger generation of DIY musicians like The Cribs, Love Is All, Veronica Falls, Comet Gain’s influence remains a traceable and tangible thing.
“The band’s diehard convictions and carefully wrought lyrics seem even more vital these days, when “indie pop” often signifies a marketable sound rather than a lifestyle commitment. Comet Gain cling to the vestiges of that lifestyle with a convert’s zeal.” Pitchfork
An exhilarating blend of dirty, distorted post-punk guitars, shouty riot grrl-style vox and fantastic pop songs, alongside nods to everyone from Le Tigre to Penetration. Their debut album garnered comparisons to Love is All, Gang of Four and B-52s, and led to a UK tour supporting The Cribs, appearances at both London Popfest and Indietracks festivals, and a session for Marc Riley on BBC 6music. Their second album Life! Death! Prizes! was released on WIAWYIA Records in October 2010 and was named Album of the Month in Artrocker Magazine. The band are currently working on their third album.
“A spectacularly bitter indie girls-set-on-stun dual vocal attack, in what is one of the better bands to juxtapose schmindie twee and angered literary abstraction since 1990s unsung legends Prolapse.” (The Guardian)
Video for “Rabbit Kids” –
Evans The Death
Evans the Death make frenetic and infectious punk pop which exudes the kind of unbridled charisma, intelligence, and runaway energy that promises a singularly exciting future for the band. Having evidently spent a good proportion of their young lives attuned as much to the lyrical dexterity of Morrissey, Lawrence Felt, Edwyn Collins, and Jarvis Cocker, as to the scuzzed up melodic exuberance of early My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, The Pixies, and the I Am Kurious Oranj era of The Fall, the band effortlessly blend precocious musical literacy with the kind of unerring self-awareness which makes for a perfectly pitched pop sensibility. Their new single “I’m So Unclean” is out on 6 September.
“…the debut Evans the Death single is a joy. This reminds me of the first time I heard Pixies or Tunabunny or Horowitz or any of those bands that seems to make such sweet sounds by physically abusing their instruments” A Layer of Chips
Video for “I’m So Unclean”
Thursday 3rd November 2011
Allo Darlin’ + Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern + Tender Trap + The Ladybug Transistor
Allo Darlin’
Allo Darlin’ are a fan’s band. They are close friends that found each other and the music they make in London. Elizabeth and Bill are from Australia, Mike and Paul are from Kent. They’ve only been playing seriously as a band since January 2009. Their debut album was released on Fortuna Pop in June 2010 to widespread critical acclaim. They spent much of 2010 on the road in the UK, Europe and America. The band are currently working on their follow-up album.
The real revelation of this year’s NYC Popfest came during the Friday night encore of Allo Darlin’, from London. First, that there was an encore at all: the middle act on a five-band lineup playing its first New York show rarely gets that privilege. But for its allotted half-hour at Don Hill’s, Allo Darlin’ had been terrific, witty and heartfelt, like a less moody Belle & Sebastian.” The New York Times
Video for “My Heart is a Drummer” –
Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern

Best known as the singer-songwriter of the phenomenally successful and much-loved Hefner. Darren Hayman continues one of his busiest years with a brand new solo album of subtle, drifting piano ballads called The Ship’s Piano. The album is due out on October and will be available as deluxe fold out card sleeve and on 12 inch vinyl. Throughout January 2011 Darren wrote and recorded a song every day – watch all the videos and diaries here ( Fortuna POP! will be releasing a 7” single from this project in September, called “I Know I Fucked Up/Who Hung The Monkey” which features Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’ on one track and The Wave Pictures on the other. June saw the reissue of Hefner’s Dead Media, with 20 extra tracks and Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern released The Green and the Grey with 16 extra tracks from the Essex Arms sessions on a special low price CD and download.
“London’s laureate of sexual dysfunction, discomfort, and dog-eared under-achievement… the match of Ray Davies, or any of the quintessentially English masters.” (The Guardian)
VIDEO FOR “I Know I F*ed Up” with Elizabeth Morris HERE
Tender Trap
Led by ex Talulah Gosh and Heavenly founder Amelia Fletcher, the now five strong Tender Trap sound brimful with energy, ideas and that unquenchable pop spirit, making the kind of classic indiepop that puts most current bands to shame. Their recent album Dansette, Dansette was filled with riot-grrrl-esque tales of sisterhood and revenge that wouldn’t be out of place among the punkest moments of Amelia’s previous outfits Talulah Gosh and Heavenly. Tender Trap now have added vocal harmonies, oohs, ahs and sha-la-las of classic girl-pop with the stripped down beats and dirty guitars of the Shop Assistants and The Vaselines.
“In a nicer parallel universe, Tender Trap’s Amelia Fletcher is the most influential artist of her day” (NME)
Video for “Do You Want a Boyfriend?” –
The Ladybug Transistor
Formed in the mid-1990s around Brooklyn native Gary Olson’s collaborations with friends, over the course of some sixteen years and six remarkable albums, The Ladybug Transistor have confirmed their standing as the preeminent exponents of lush, formalist pop music. With a superlative new record, Clutching Stems, at the ready, their pursuit of a singular musical vision remains as true as ever.
“Clutching Stems”