The 405 Records Club - Smile (or how I learned to stop worrying and love festival hipsters. or not) I'm making a lot of plans this week. Some personal, some work, some label, lots of lists and tick boxes and flowcharts. Its all rather organised for me and means that for once, one of my new years resolutions has made it past new years night unscathed. The main focus of a lot of these endless lists right now is the impending by:larm festival over in Oslo next month where all hell will break loose for three days in the snow. By:larm is kind of a cross between the Camden Crawl and In The City only colder. Much much colder. And more expensive. Much more expensive. It is, in spite of these things easily the best weekend of the musical year. Hands down. Nothing beats another full day of bands and £8 vodkas and the worlds most expensive cheeseburger served by the worlds jauntiest Palestinian (in Oslo – I'm not joking!) – although waking up the next morning and checking your wallet is a feeling akin to realising that one of Santas elves slipped you a roofie, stole all your money and smeared ketchup on your face for fun. Easily my favourite things about these kind of events though (aside from the bands and the mountains of CDs to bring home and discover) are the scenesters and hipsters and hangers on that seem to flock in masses like moths to the shining beacon that is "the landyard delegate credentials". I'm sure all of these people aren't in fact real. Its almost like the Matrix and an agent smith style indie-kid- is morphing himself into all manner of thrift store outfits and angular haircuts, ready to infiltrate the bars and stand right next to you during that band you really like and exchange long banal stories with other angularly fringed spot commercials who in turn can out trump their story about finding a bass guitarist with one about another washed up rock icon . loudly. all the way through the fucking set. Assembling in back slapping hordes they resemble weirdly a gaggle of war journalists - meeting up again in hotel bars and reminiscing over past battle scars - before decamping clutching headaches and kitsch souvenirs to be photographed for twitter before the whole shebang roles around to spot, or pukklepop or, Werchter or -heaven forbid - V festival ("V Festival? They still run that? “yeah man it was totally retro we like went to watch Peter Andre it was so ironic”) And the cycle goes on; airport, hotel, bar, gigs, hotel, airport, home, repeat. But beyond the camaraderie and good times catching up does anyone among these posers actually do any work? I mean... sure the journalists work - they must do - I've seen reviews of things in newspapers and everything so someone’s doing something but aside from casting your flyer into my hand and "digging" my vibe - or whatever it is that the kids in Hoxton do these days – you: with the clipboard - what are you doing? Oi I said Stop right there grubby flier man, I have slept barely a wink due to you knocking on my door at 3am and again at 5am to ask if I want to buy the MDMA you have paid £200 for and cant take home, I order you to stop and give me an answer. Oh your girlfriends in the band? Lovely. If these people are bad enough in a one on one, hand to hand combat situation (which could have, in all reality been avoided if I had just moved to a different part of the bar to avoid listening to his long banal stories about but instead decided to enquire from deep within his personal space whether or not he would like me to ask the band to shut the fuck up so he didn't have to strain his voice to be heard over the top of them) then in groups they become unstoppable. Comparing distressed wristbands from previous events, promising each other to “Facebook it up” (seriously one of them said those words to me once. I declined his request when it arrived on principle), spouting utterly unintelligible bollocks about gigs that they had spent ten minutes loitering at the back of "Telling from about the time that called me up to ask if I knew any bass guitarists and I was just making a cheese sandwich at the time so now she calls me cheesy and anyway i got right on twitter for her..." Its unbearable. I therefore have a plan. This year I am going to take a can of spray paint with me - nothing too Banksy in mind, I'm thinking just a little Mace sized tester pot and each and every one of these people that cross my path will be marked on the gut with a simple spray painted X. Thus reminding me not to approach for anything more than a lighter for the remainder of… oooh lets say my natural born days. Plus - and here's the bonus for you planet indie - as they never appear to have more than one wardrobe change you will also be able to identify them in your every day life too. Call it a public service. If we isolate them enough they will only be able to breed selectively meaning eventually we can ghetto-ise them on an island somewhere. You're. Welcome. People. This brings me in absolutely no way to the band that this week grace the 405 records club. They are named Smile. They play an almighty blend of My Bloody Valentine with ruddy great Tim Wheeler melodies and they made me do big smiles (aha!) for a number of reasons. The first is their press release which in comparison to the self serving, eliptical bollocks spouted by the spray painted fellows (always the fellows - girls why do you not make a flavour to match these losers?) is amazing. It reads like this: "Smile are a group of twenty something’s that hail from Reading and London. They have only played a handful of shows and have proven that they lack experience in a live musical environment. They’ve had no radio play, there’s no record label interest, DJ’s and journalists don’t care (they probably even hate them), and they’ve have never met anybody from television. Smile are a bunch of dweebs. It would be unfair and a total exaggeration to call their music art." I've read and indeed written a lot of press releases in the past few years and none of them can match this for impact or indeed hilarity. Utterly amazing - I could try for a week and fail to make something like this appear on the page. The second thing that made me do a big smile (that’s twice now. did you see?) was the music - explicitly the music on the bands new 4 track ep (which fact fans you can get now over at which as the eagle eyed among you will know is a heady mix of My Bloody Valentine guitars with a set of tunes so utterly chock full of harmonious poppy genius that you couldn’t squeeze a single more smile (gah!!) inducing crotchet into any of these tracks for fear of overstuffing and losing some of that delicious fuzzy guitary-ness. You can check out the track below but to get your hands on the free download all you need to do is click through to this link ( and tell your friends about it on Facebook or Twitter. Treat.   For now enjoy and remember - if you see a man (always a man remember!) walking towards you in a jacket that doesn’t fit with a neatly sprayed pink X on his chest; run. Turn and run people. Unless you wanna hear a funny story about this time that they had a phone call while they were making a cheese sandwich from

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