Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 09: compilation and launch night

We’re delighted to say that our song Fleeting Moments will appear on the forthcoming Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 09 compilation.

The CD is released on 16 November, and we’re playing a free instore gig at Rough Trade East that evening to celebrate!

About the compilation…

The CD features 25 tracks, with a mix of new and established names and a few familiar faces who we’ve been playing gigs over the last few years. We loved Rough Trade’s Indiepop 01 compilation which came out a few years ago, and we’re really thrilled to be on this new instalment.

You can find out more about the compilation here: Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 09.

The tracklisting for the compilation is:

1. Tullycraft - The punks are writing love songs
2. The Faintest Ideas - Nosebleeders on the track
3. Love Is All - Wishing well
4. Girls - Morning light
5. Vivian Girls - Moped girls
6. The Girls At Dawn - Never enough
7. Veronica Falls - Beachy head
8. Cause Co-motion - You lose
9. Betty and the Werewolves - David Cassidy
10. Pocketbooks - Fleeting moments
11. Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
12. Shrag - Hpelessly wasted
13. The Boy Least Likely To - The summer of a dormouse
14. The School - And suddenly
15. Play People - Goes out
16. Celestial - Somedays we are
17. Moscow Olympics - No winter, no autumn
18. Liechtenstein - Security by design
19. Minisnap - Leave it to you
20. Sad Day For Puppets - Marble gods
21. Dum Dum Girls - Longhair
22. The Legends - Seconds away
23. The Manhattan Love Suicides - Clusterf__k
24. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart -103
25. The Bobby McGees - l.o.v.e/: a masonic youth

Launch night: Monday 16 November

On 16 November we’re playing at a launch night for the compilation at Rough Trade East in London.

We’ll be playing with Veronica Falls, Betty and The Werewolves and Sad Day For Puppets. Ian Watson (How Does It Feel To Be Loved?) and John Jervis (Where it’s At Is Where You Are) will also be spinning some tunes.

The launch night is completely free to attend. Please check the Rough Trade website nearer the time to see whether you need to collect a wristband or anything. The event starts at 6.30pm and the first band is on around 7pm. We’ll be playing a short set at around 8.15pm.

Hope to see you there!

Andy, Daniel, Emma, Ian and Jonny x

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Show with God Help The Girl / Japan album release

We're just writing with a few pieces of news from Pocketbooks HQ...

100 Club show with God Help The Girl

We’re really, really excited to let you know that we’ll be playing a show with God Help The Girl, the musical/film side project of Stuart Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian. It will take place at the 100 Club in London on Saturday 21 November and is being presented by How Does It Feel To Be Loved?

Tickets go on sale at 5pm today and we think they might go pretty quickly. They will be available from:

Further information is available from How Does It Feel To Be Loved?

Album release in Japan

This Wednesday our album 'Flight Paths' will be released in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau by the Japanese label Happy Prince. The release also includes the songs from our Waking UP EP and our free download track Summertime.

We are their 16th release, and they’ve also released albums by God Is An Astronaut and The Bird Ensemble. There's more information on the Happy Prince website.

The album is also available from Universal Records in the Philippines and from How Does It Feel To Be Loved? everywhere else in the world.

Other bits and pieces

We’ve a song on the upcoming Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 09 compilation, which is coming out next month. More information about that will follow when we have it...

We’ve done interviews for the Stereopathic and ZMEMusic websites.

And finally, the Indietracks festival has been shortlisted in two categories in the UK Festival Awards: best small festival and the critic’s choice award for La Casa Azul. If you get a chance, it would be wonderful if you could please pop over and vote for the festival at before 4 November.

Hope to see you at the 100 Club!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Lost album sleevenotes

Earlier this year, when we were sorting out the artwork for our album, we tried to write some sleevenotes. We tried to write something that would fit nicely alongside this photo of Primrose Hill which Kris took and then adapted for the final album cover.

We then realised that there wasn't actually enough space in the booklet for these sleevenotes, so we sadly had to drop the idea. Here they are now - enjoy!

"Primrose Hill is 256 feet high, 50 acres wide and perhaps offers the best panoramic view of London, from sunrise to sunset. While other views bear down on the city, Primrose Hill is the one place that looks out across the horizon and the highest points of its skyline. From there, almost all of the capital’s landmark buildings – St Paul’s Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, the British Telecom Tower and Canary Wharf – are clearly visible. If you look closely, you can just about see the British Telecom Tower on the cover of this record.

"The fact that we can see all these landmarks from Primrose Hill is more than just a happy coincidence, of course. Since the 18th century, there’s been a whole network of protected sightlines across the city, designed to make sure we can enjoy the occasional fleeting joy of a striking view on our journeys home.

"These sightlines are almost teasing in their simplicity though. Back down on the pavements, the opportunity to see a straight line between where you are and where you want to be rarely happens. In the daily rush of work or college, evenings out and unopened post, sometimes the books stay on their shelves and Bank Holiday plans pass by unrealised. There aren’t always any clear paths, just a series of steps.

"Last November, Primrose Hill was full of impromptu firework displays, kids playing music on speakers, couples drinking mulled wine and police cars happily keeping a low profile. We hadn’t really planned to be there beforehand, but enjoyed being part of it. The same’s probably true of our involvement in this record. We hope you enjoy it, however you got here."

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Pocketbooks take over HDIF this Saturday!

Due to Ian Watson being out of town this weekend, he's asked yours truly to step in en masse and take over DJ duties for the night!

First up will be the guest DJs John & Chris from The Orchids, who will be playing between 10.30 and midnight, then the Pocketbooks gang will take over and play 'til the bitter end.

We're chuffed to be asked, and we're really looking forward to it! Of course, we'll still be taking requests as usual so come and say hello.

It's at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, from 9.30pm.

See ya there!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Indietracks Festival

Our show last Thursday at Jamm was pretty hard to top - we played with the excellent Northern Portrait, Standard Fare and Moustache of Insanity and had the most fun doing so, but as ever the Indietracks Festival was the most well spent weekend any pop group could ever dream of. There's plenty of photos and video on the internet already, but we've picked out a nice one of us doing 'Fleeting Moments' to show you:

And there's two more videos here:
Falling Leaves at Indietracks
Cross The Line at Indietracks

We've got a few more shows coming up, then we're having a bit of a rest, so catch us while you can!

Friday 14th August
Twee As F**k @ tbc, London
With Half Sisters, Noughts and Crosses Band, and Scraps

Friday 21st August
P!O!P Kombinat Berlin @ NBI, Berlin
With The Gresham Flyers

Saturday 26th September
A Fog Of Ideas @ Hand and Heart Gallery, Nottingham
With Horowitz, Of Mice And Mental Arithmetic and Half My Heart Beats DJs

We're also going into the studio next week to record a very special song for an exciting covers project - more of which at a later date!

See you soon!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Flight Paths - out now!

Hi everyone,

It seems like ages ago when we were in a studio below a ukelele shop in Brick Lane spending a couple of weekends recording our first album. So we're now very excited to say the album is now in the shops. Here's a picture!

It's available on CD from all the best record shops, and you can also pick up the CD or MP3s from a host of online distributors, including iTunes, Amazon, HMV, etc. And it's also available on Universal Records in the Philippines.

However, by far the coolest way to buy the CD is directly from How Does It Feel To Be Loved?, which would mean less of your money goes to The Man!

Thanks so much to everyone who picked up an advance copy of the album. We've had some lovely responses, some airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and Xfm, and also some really nice reviews. I hope it's okay to post a few of the reviews here, partly because some of our parents read this blog, and also because some of the reviews made us really happy!

"All at once demurring, flighty and flirty, bright eyed and bushy tailed, still calls to our minds the chirpy cosiness of Heavenly and the willowy hushed innocence and romance of Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Tigermilk’ whilst simultaneously found on this occasion nodding ever so slightly to Martha and the Vandellas and the Supremes ‘You can’t hurry love’"
Losing Today magazine

"This is Bacharach, and this is Bob Stanley. This is all those 60s pop groups who never aspired to be as cocky or salacious as The Shangri-La’s. This is 6pm practice for choral song after school. This is The Pale Fountains. This is Dickon Edwards. This is Sarah Records without any delusions of inadequacy. None of these might seem to be recommendations to you.... I know what I like, and I like this."
Everett True (founder of Plan B and Careless Talk Costs Lives magazines)

"With better tunes than the over-hyped Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, they know whether it's little boy lost Andy Hudson or Emma Hall's summery delights that are required to sing each line.Sounding like a lost Sarah Records gem, it's endlessly cute and beguiling, not sickly like their peers." 8/10
Planet Sound, Channel 4 TV teletext

"Their girl group-inspired pop nuggets glisten at every turn, laden with harmonies and a keen melodic nous which hints at a fast-approaching songwriting maturity.... Plenty here to thrill and invigorate fans of earnest indie-pop. At times Flight Paths is wonderfully enchanting, and with songs like this it’s hard to resist Pocketbooks’ charms"

"A stream of hummable, always likeable stories, bubbling with lyrical imagination, rippling with a determination to encompass all of London life into a series of vignettes"
In Love With These Times, In Spite Of These Times

And our favourite, from a south coast town...

"Perfectly sweet indie pop that makes young boys and girls in hooded windcheaters skip along merrily in time to their own racing jingle jangle heartbeats. It's Belle & Sebastian without the undertone." 4/5
Bournemouth Echo

Ahem, that's probably enough reviews, sorry. There's a full set of reviews on the following thread if you want to see any more(!): Pocketbooks - Flight Paths reviews

Hope to see you at the Indietracks festival later this month!

Andy, Daniel, Emma, Ian and Jonny x

Monday, 15 June 2009

Footsteps now released!

Our new single, 'Footsteps' has now been released! It's available on iTunes, or to download for free from here.

The single is taken from our forthcoming album 'Flight Paths' which is released in July, but advance copies are available now from How Does It Feel To Be Loved?


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Pocketbooks in San Francisco!

Dan and Emma recently went all the way to San Francisco Popfest and played a short acoustic set. Here's a video of them doing a cover of Strawberry Switchblade's 'Since Yesterday' at the Dolores Park picnic on 24th May, shortly after Jonathan Richman had walked past with his dog and stopped for a look!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

May/June gigs and Indietracks festival

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to let you know a couple of shows over the next couple of months, and to let you know about this year’s Indietracks festival in July.

Saturday 30 May
Pocketbooks + The Good Gods! + The Noughts and Crosses Band
The Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebery Avenue , London EC1R 4RL
Nearest tube: Angel or Farringdon
Doors 8pm - Tickets £6

We think this will be the 50th Pocketbooks show, so we hope you’ll join us to celebrate the occasion. It will also be a kind-of launch for our single and album, and it will be a ‘welcome home’ gig for Dan and Emma , who will be arriving straight off the plane from their holiday in the States.

If you’d like to come along for a cheaper price of £5, please email your name (or as many names as you like!) to

Tuesday 9 June
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart + Trailer Trash Tracys + Pocketbooks

Madame Jo Jo’s, 8-10 Brewer Street , London W1F 0SE
Tickets are sold out, but a limited number will be available on the night.

We’re very excited to be playing with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart again. The atmosphere at their Lexington gig last week was electric and they sounded amazing.

Friday 24 July to Sunday 26 July
Indietracks Festival

This year’s Indietracks festival will be headlined by Camera Obscura, Emmy The reat, Au Revoir Simone and another headliner to be announced shortly.. The festival tkes place on a 1950s steam railway in the Derbyshire countryside, and festival-goer can ride the steam trains, visit the farm and watch bands playing on the outdoor stage, in a locomotive shed, in a church and on the trains themselves!

Elefant Records are curating one of the stages this year to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Other bands playing include Lucky Soul, La Casa Azul, BMX Bandits, Butcher Boy, The School, The Frank and Walters , The Smittens, Cats on Fire, Rose Elinor Dougall and ourselves!

Last year’s festival was a wonderful experience and we’re really excited about this year’s line-up. There’s more information at


Thanks very much to everyone who’s picked up our album so far and also to everyone who’s come to see us play recently.

Hope to see you at one of the shows!
Andy, Dan, Emma, Ian and Jonny x

Thursday, 30 April 2009

New shows added


We're just getting over the excitement of playing The 100 Club and The Luminaire in London, two fantastic venues!

Anyway, we've just added a few more shows to the list, see below for the full list!

Saturday 9th May
Big Pink Cake @ venue tbc, Bristol
With The Kick Inside, Vanilla Ride

Saturday 30th May
Goonite @ The Wilmington Arms, London
With The Good Gods

Sunday 24th May
San Francisco Popfest @ Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
With Gregory Webster, Let's Whisper, Apple Orchard, Antarctica Takes It!
(Emma & Dan acoustic set)
Buy tickets

Tuesday 9th June
White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London
With The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Trailer Trash Tracys

Saturday 24th July
Indietracks Festival @ Midland Railway, Derbyshire
With Camera Obscura, Emmy The Great & loads more

Friday 21st August
P!O!P Kombinat Berlin @ venue tbc, Berlin
With The Gresham Flyers

Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Footsteps: our new single

We'll be releasing Footsteps as a single on 15 June!

The song's taken from our new album, Flight Paths, which comes out in July. The artwork for the single was designed by our Emma, and the photo was provided by Sonja from Sauerkrautdesign

To celebrate, we're going to be playing two pretty special gigs in London towards the end of April:

Saturday 25 April - The Luminaire

With Butcher Boy + Cats on Fire
A return to possibly our favourite London venue, and a chance to play alongside two of our How Does It Feel To Be Loved? labelmates. Butcher Boy have been receiving some rave reviews for their new album 'React Or Die' and this is a rare opportunity to see them play live.

To find out more and pick up tickets, please visit: HDIF Presents

Tuesday 28 April - The 100 Club
With Darren Hayman And The Secondary Modern + Poppy And Friends
And a couple of days after the Luminaire, we'll be onstage at the 100 Club, possibly the most prestigious venue we've appeared at so far. And we've been fans of Darren Hayman and Hefner since forever, so we're really pleased to be playing alongside him. Apparently this will be his last gig in London for a little while, and he'll be playing some Hefner songs along with his new Secondary Modern ones.

Here’s a link with more details: Pocketbooks at the 100 Club


In other news, we now have a Pocketbooks Twitter. Come and join us!

And... our song Summertime is appearing on a limited edition compilation put together by A Layer Of Chips. It’s very cheap and there’s some ace bands on there, so you’ll need to be quick!

Hopefully see you at one of the London shows!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Pocketbooks Tour - the write-up!

Here's Emma's take on the Pocketbooks tour with The Loves!

The mini-tour, then. Three dates in three towns over bank holiday weekend. Probably not the best of times to be going on tour given the hoiked-up train fares and absent students, but off we went with high hopes.

Euston station on a Friday afternoon, we all manage to make it on to the train, get our assorted books and ipods out and settle in for the journey to Manchester, only to be told 15 minutes after the train was due to leave that it had been cancelled. Not a good start. Cue lots of running with equipment across the station to catch another train, where we are rightly upgraded to first class. OK, it's not so bad. Two and a half hours later a rainy Manchester slides into view and we catch cabs to the venue, The Black Lion in Salford.

It turns out to be quite a nice, if a little subdued, crowd. Someone points out that everyone has probably been out drinking on the Thursday night, and it does feel like we are playing to a slightly hungover audience. But we enjoy it nonetheless. The Lovely Eggs, The Bobby McGees and The Loves all put in ace sets. Three of us have been staying the night at my sister's place, where we're given endless beer and pizza, and even breakfast and coffee in the morning while Ian and Dan stage a guitar-picking workshop in the front room with my sister's guitar-mad boyfriend while us girls talk about hair. It's a healthy start, and we feel more refreshed than we're supposed to on a rock and roll tour.

Later, we take the train across the Pennines to Hull, a journey which starts out with lush green valleys and rows of red brick chimneys and clock towers, and ends in dull grey nothingness as we approach Hull. We find the hotel and as we approach reception to check in, I think we cause a bit of excitement as the lady on the desk clocks our musical equipment.

Are you playing here tonight? she enquires, eyes lighting up.
Yes, I reply proudly, at The Adelphi.
, says the woman disappointedly, I don't know it. Then after reading out the terms and conditions of the stay to me robo-style, she suddenly lights up again and says: We had a proper band here a while ago - they had demos up on Myspace and everything!

Impressed, we take the chlorine-scented lift up to our room, wondering what pop history might have come before us.

A cab is called to take us to the Adelphi and, having been there a few times in my teens to see bands I no longer recall, I think I might even be able to recognise it despite it looking like a regular house from the front. I don't. The cab pulls up and the toothless driver (having been freed from The Goonies) does a sort of grunt, nods in the venue's direction, and then gives me a look that I'll be having nightmares about for weeks to come. I hastily hand over four golden coins and we stagger out of the car into a waterlogged entrance to the "New" Adelphi, although once inside I am happy to see that it still looks exactly the same as in 1990.

Soon the others arrive in various states of sleeplessness, and we chat to members of The Rocky Nest who are promoting the night and have kindly laid on a rider including salad items grown in their very own gardens. There is a tense moment as Andy realises he has mistakenly put his dreaded coriander into his brown roll, but this is luckily detected before consumption and a disaster is averted. It's a nice atmosphere, and I am happy to be at a scene of my youth. People arrive and hi-5 at the door (this being the done thing at this night, hence the name DIY Hi-5). I have been practicing mine and I manage to impress some people with my strength and aim.

The Rocky Nest play a lovely, but too short, acoustic set and I'm glad they're playing Indietracks in the summer. Our own set seems to go down well. It's a nice friendly crowd and people seem enthusiastic. I wonder what my 17 year old self would have made of it? I think I was probably more interested in watching boys than bands back then. It was fun to play The Adelphi and we made some nice new friends there.

After the show we nip back to the hotel to drop the gear off, then meet up with the other Pocketbooks and The Loves at a nightclub called Chi-Chi (despite my telling everyone we should've been going to Spiders, but would they listen?). After the initial discomfort of being surrounded by barely dressed young rubbery people dancing to rubbish 'guitar bands of the moment', we discover a small empty room playing more bearable tunes, and take over this room for a couple of hours. We make our own fun. Once everyone starts heading off, Me Dan and Ian think it a good idea to get a late-night tandoori pizza from the takeaway next door. We miss our cab as a result and have to order another one (cab, not pizza). The Chi-Chi staff lock up and go home, and we wait outside on a street corner while another toothless man tries to nick our pizza. Dan has noticed by now that all men in The North are top-heavy. We eat the amazing tasty pizza in the hotel and fall asleep.

The next morning I sample the previous night's leftover pizza and decide it's horrible. We go out in search of breakfast. The only thing open is a Wetherspoons, and we congregate there with our luggage. My sausages are horrible and I leave them on the plate and drink a pint of coke instead. It perks me up a bit and soon we're on our way, but not before someone steals Nat's suitcase from beside her table. Thankfully she gets it back as someone has witnessed the whole thing, and the suitcase has been abandoned by the thief near the bar. Nothing has been taken from it, but it doesn't leave a good last impression of Hull. There is also a funny unidentifiable smell everywhere, which we're later told is the river Humber. Euw! We get on the train. I take a couple of pictures of the Humber Bridge (which I swear triggered off my fear of bridges from constantly being dragged across it as a kid), plus this nice one of our Ian through the hole in a train ticket. We fall about laughing, then fall asleep.

Newcastle's a different story altogether. I had been before, but the place is really quite breathtaking. It's a complete contrast to the flat greyness of Hull. There's a definite feeling that this night will be the best of the tour. As we hoik our gear across the road towards the Head Of Steam, the car that has stopped to allow us to cross starts honking. It is The Loves, arriving at the exact same time. We unload en masse then disappear for feeding and watering.

We take a walk down to the riverside and take some pictures. Spirits are high, but some of us feel more nervous than usual. A combination of tiredness, rail madness, it being the last night, and a collection of family members and friends about to arrive. Before the gig I have to lock myself in toilet cubicle and give myself a good talking to. No matter how easy it is once you're up onstage, you can never talk yourself out of nerves. The minutes leading up to this gig seem like hours, and everyone mills about looking at their watches. Finally we're given the nod and it's time to go on. There's a good crowd now and we want to make this a good finale. The first two songs seem really slow, or are we just tired? But then we start to get into it and it turns out fine. Halfway through Paper Aeroplanes I realise I've got a hair in my mouth, and I sing the rest of the song with a lisp. Eight songs flash by, and then the set is over.

The Loves play their best set yet. It's a real end-of-tour feeling. They're a lot of fun to hang out with and it's one big Pocketbooks/Loves love-in at the disco afterwards. Before long it's only the bands and DJs left at the club, it's 2am and a cab has arrived it's time to go. Hugs and CDs are exchanged with The Loves, and we're all on our way.

The train journey the following day takes forever and all I can do is stare into the countryside and think about the weekend. There's a lot to think about. We get home in time for 24 and suddenly everything is back to normal and it's like it never happened. It's all over!

Until the next time...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Friday 10th April
Pull Yourself Together @ The Black Lion, Manchester
With The Loves
Buy tickets

Saturday 11th April
DIY Hi-5 @ Hull Adelphi
With The Loves

Sunday 12th April
Fake Indie Label @ Head Of Steam, Newcastle
With The Loves

Saturday 25th April
How Does It Feel To Be Loved? @ The Luminaire
With Butcher Boy, Cats On Fire

Tuesday 28th April
Carrot And Stick @ 100 Club, London
With Darren Hayman, Poppy And Friends

Saturday 9th May
Big Pink Cake @ venue tbc, Bristol
With The Kick Inside, Vanilla Ride

Saturday 24th July
Indietracks Festival @ Midland Railway, Derbyshire
With Camera Obscura, Emmy The Great & loads more

Friday 21st August
P!O!P Kombinat Berlin @ venue tbc, Berlin
With The Gresham Flyers

Flight Paths: our debut album

We're very excited to say that our debut album, Flight Paths, is available from How Does It Feel To Be Loved?. The official release date will be in July, but the label is posting out advance CD copies now. You can order a CD from:

One of the songs, Fleeting Moments, is available to download for free from here.

All the artwork was designed by our friend Kris, who, among other things, writes the fantastic Heaven Is Above Your Head blog.

The album was recorded over five days at Soup Studio, which is located under a ukelele shop near Brick Lane in London. It was recorded by Simon Trought, who has also recorded albums by The Wave Pictures, Darren Hayman and loads of other bands that we love. We're really pleased the album is coming out in the spring, as it feels like a springtime album. As you can imagine, we were really excited to be recording these songs in the studio, and we hope this comes across on the record.

We picked mostly new songs for the album, some of which you might recognise from our last few gigs. There's also a couple of our favourites which stretch back to when we first started out as a band.

The full tracklisting is:

1. Footsteps
2. Fleeting Moments
3. Camera Angles
4. The Outskirts Of Town
5. Cross The Line
6. Skating On Thin Ice
7. Sweetness And Light
8. I'm Not Going Out
9. Every Good Time We Ever Had
10. Paper Aeroplanes
11. All We Do Is Rush Around

We had a fantastic time recording it, and we're really looking forward to playing these songs at gigs over the next few months. We really hope you enjoy the album and the free download!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

January 2009

Happy New Year!

We've got a couple of gigs in January after taking a short break for Christmas. The first is a How Does It Feel? Presents night at The Luminaire on Friday 9th, along with The Ballet + Help Stamp Out Loneliness. The second is a Guided Missile night at The Buffalo Bar, with Fanfarlo, The Laurel Colective + Honeytrap. See our gigs page for more details and how to buy tickets.

Hope to see you there!

Emma and Dan have also appeared on a Sarandon single, which is available now on Little Car Records - head over there and bag yourself a copy - it's ace!