Fortuna POP! are one of those labels that don’t really make a lot of sense. They force themselves into a sort of nice aesthetic that’s conspicuously uncool and as a result they’ve always had a roster that looked like Sub Pop if it had a thing for tea. Not quite twee enough to be the new Sarah records but without enough weight to punch with the big guns like Rough Trade they’ve kind of just existed because they had to. They exist as a necessity – someone needed to release The Primitives, so why not them?

So while it’s lovely that they’ve managed to reach the grand old age of 15, three nights in Scala was a bit ambitious. Everyone loves a bit of nice music, but you won’t find many people wanting to pay £13 three nights in a row for the label’s sake, and the drawing bands they had aren’t really the sort you’d expect to sell out a medium/large venue like Scala. As a result, for the whole evening the crowd was thin on the ground, and even when Crystal Stilts took to the stage, the venue was ¾ capacity tops.

That being said, the atmosphere was amazing. There’s something about going to a gig aimed primarily at the sort of people that are likely to be found in a library and enjoy ‘walking’ as a hobby that renders one so helplessly harmless. Watching people in unironic thick rimmed glasses dancing unironically to Comet Gain playing ‘You Can Hide Your Love Forever’ makes you think good of the world. Even when one of these people made a snide remark about a friend’s Misfits tee (yeah, he came to the gig in a Misfits tee) you still couldn’t help but think ‘Aww’.

The whole evening was like that too. People being awkward but in a charming way, and it all rubbed off to make the evening feel like the birth of something new, rather than the anniversary of something 4 years younger than me. It seems the crowd were the antithesis of the violently fashionable east London crowd and they just enjoyed what was there.

In all it was a great night, despite the lack of crowd. Heading to The Lexington after Crystal Stilts’ ‘encore’ (“uh, we don’t have time to go off and on again, but we could duck down I guess?”) which culminated in a stunning rendition of ‘Sycamore Tree’ to discuss how amazing the gig was (and I was informed one of the Stilts’ basslines sounds like a Donna Summer song), it struck that The Lexington would have perhaps been a better venue than it’s big brother down the road. The small, easy vibe and the kinda cute and illogical decor fitted well with all the other gig goers heading to the after party. In short – great bands, great people and they’re still punching above their weight.