Fortuna POP! 20 Years of Trouble: The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman

Fortuna POP! 20 Years of Trouble: The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman

Fortuna POP!

Twenty Years Of Trouble

Farewell Shows

5 days. 6 London venues. 22nd – 26th March 2017

Get your tickets here:

After 20 heady years, Fortuna POP! calls last orders on the indie-pop scene as we know it. To commemorate and celebrate the last two decades, the London-based label will host 5 tremendous days of live music from artists past and present.

The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream  + Flowers + Darren Hayman

+ DJ Declan Allen

24 March 2017 – Islington Assembly Hall

As part of Fortuna POP!’s Twenty Years Of Trouble Farewell Festival, this show features the sparkling Americana of The Butterflies Of Love from New Haven, Connecticut; Australian folk-rock duo Sodastream; classic indiepop trio Flowers; and the idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Darren Hayman.


Debut single “Riot Reunion” from new Butterflies of Love project, Famous Problems, is due out on 7 April via wi aiwya

Listen here:


Sodastream release their first new album in ten years, Little By Little, on 3 March

Watch video for “Three Sins” here:




The Butterflies Of Love return to our shores after a gap of ten years to headline the Friday night of Fortuna POP!’s long goodbye. Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, they made three albums (1999’s ‘How to Know’, 2002’s ‘The New Patient’ and 2007’s “Famous Problems”) of soul-searing melancholy and strange psychedelic rock’n’roll. In their time they had Single of the Week in the NME (back when it meant something) and glowing reviews in Mojo, Uncut, The Times, The Guardian and many more, were compared to the likes of Galaxie 500, Pavement, the Velvets, REM and The Go-Betweens, recorded sessions for John Kennedy at XFM and John Peel at the BBC, and even inspired the latter to applaud live on air. Their shows are wonderful, shimmering, intense affairs and are not to be missed.
“Yearning melodies and softly-softly harmonies (think The Go-Betweens), a back-porch swing (Lambchop, maybe), tentative yet high-tensile guitar work (Velvet Underground, Pavement)…whatever sorry state you may be in at the time, you must haul your arse to one of these shows.” – Time Out

From Perth in Australia, Sodastream are Karl Smith (vocals, guitar) and Pete Cohen (double bass, saw and deeply baritone backing vocals). Their debut single was plucked from the slush pile by John Peel and not long after they were awarded Single Of The Week in Melody Maker by Moby. They went on to release four albums on some of the most renowned indie labels around the world including Rough Trade and Fortuna POP!, and earned comparison to the likes of Low, Nick Drake and Will Oldham, jumping effortlessly from acoustic introspection and instrumentals to raucous singalong shanties without any hint of affectation. After disbanding in 2007 they recently reformed, with a new album “Little By Little” set for release in March 2017. Even with the additions of horns, harmonicas, and the drums on their studio albums, the core of their sound remains the same as it is live — Smith’s acoustic guitar, Pete’s driving double bass and some of the best, most beautiful songwriting to come out of Australia in years.

“One of Australia’s best kept secrets, they are up there with the Lucksmiths as one of the country’s finest contemporary exports, and I guess it’s no surprise that there is something of the spirit of The Go-Betweens intrinsic in their sound.” – Tangents


There’s something great about a three-piece—think The Cocteau Twins, The Clean, Galaxie 500—and the way that irreducible nucleus takes its strength from its limitations, making a virtue of its purity. And so it is with London trio Flowers, with singer Rachel Kenedy’s ethereal vocals and Sam Ayres textured guitar backed by the powerful, metronomic beat of drummer Jordan Hockley. Flowers have released two albums to date, their Bernard Butler produced debut Do What You Want To Do, It’s What You Should Do in 2013, and second album Everybody’s Dying To Meet You in 2016. Taking their musical inspiration from shoegaze, C86 and New Zealand’s Flying Nun label, they effortlessly blend their thrilling pop songs with noise while leaving space for more stripped back elements, striking a perfect balance between the sweetness of Kenedy’s voice and Ayres’ abrasive guitar stylings.

“A little Jesus And Mary Chain, a lot of Black Tambourine, and one hell of a voice.” – doNYC


Formerly the singer-songwriter of the much-loved Hefner, Darren Hayman is now well over ten albums into an increasingly idiosyncratic career path, where he has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly. Darren is also writing the best tunes of his career – increasingly complex and mature songs. At the core of his solo career is his Essex trilogy of albums, beginning with 2009’s Pram Town and 2010’s Essex Arms, and culminating in 2012’s The Violence, a 20-song account of the 17th century Essex witch trials. From this he developed an album of English Civil War folk songs of the time (2013’s Bugbears) and stayed with the historical theme for last year’s Chants For Socialists, which saw him set William Morris’ words to music, creating an album of kindness and hope that brought Hayman’s most critical acclaim yet. Hayman’s latest work is his enthralling and ambitious new album Thankful Villages. Hayman visited each of the fifty four villages in Britain where every soldier returned alive from World War I and created a piece of music and a short film for every one.

“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)

** ** **

Join us to celebrate Twenty Years Of Trouble with many of the bands responsible for Fortuna POP!’s untimely demise. Everything’s ending here.
Five Day Festival Pass guaranteeing entry to all shows – £55
Advance tickets –
Wed 22 March – MOTH Club
First night meet-up with Simon Love & The Old Romantics + DJs + Special Guests – (Five Day Pass Holders Only)
Thur 23 March – 6.30pm – Bush Hall
Withered Hand + The Ballet + Pete Astor + Would-Be-Goods + DJ Ian Watson (How Does It Feel To Be Loved?)
Fri 24 March – 6.30pm – Islington Assembly Hall
The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman + DJ Declan Allen
Sat 25 March – 3pm – Tufnell Park Dome / Boston Music Room (all dayer)
Comet Gain + The Proper Ornaments + Evans The Death + The Loves + Mammoth Penguins + Milky Wimpshake + Bearsuit + September Girls + Tigercats + Special Guests
Sun 26 March, 12 noon – The Lexington
Steven James Adams & The French Drops + Tender Trap / The Catenary Wires + Elva + DJs John Jervis & Ben Clancy (The Hangover Lounge) – (Five Day Pass Holders Only)
Sun 26 March, 6:30pm – Scala
Martha + Joanna Gruesome + The Spook School + Chorusgirl + DJ Paul Richards (Scared To Dance)


More about Fortuna POP!

Fortuna POP! has become something of an indie institution since it was started in 1996 by Sean Price, just as britpop and grunge were fading from the nation’s consciousness. The label moved quickly from limited edition 7″s in plastic bags to its first bona fide hitmakers The Butterflies Of Love who were made Single Of The Week in the NME in the days when that was still a big deal, and whose debut album received glowing review across the music press. That early success allowed the label to attract an international roster of indiepop talent, including the UK’s Comet Gain, America’s The Aislers Set and The Ladybug Transistor, and Australia’s The Lucksmiths, and orphaned bands from labels such as Sarah Records and él Records such as Amelia Fletcher’s Tender Trap and Jessica Griffin’s Would-Be-Goods. Peel favourites such as Bearsuit, The Loves and Milky Wimpshake flocked to the label but, having flirted with greater success before when releasing the debut single by Fanfarlo, it was the signing of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart in 2008 that took the label to the next level, with indiepop at the time enjoying a huge resurgence thanks to clubs such as Twee As Fuck and How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
Around the same time the label signed Anglo-Australian indiepop outfit Allo Darlin’, a band who would go on to become Fortuna POP! mainstays, and on the back of their success and that of the Pains, began working with ex-Hefner main man Darren Hayman as well as releasing albums by such serious contenders as Crystal Stilts, Herman Dune and The Pipettes. While Hayman and Allo Darlin’ continued to release excellent albums alongside bands such as Withered Hand, Let’s Wrestle, Tigercats, Chain And The Gang and Pete Astor, the label nurtured a new generation of bands starting with Evans The Death and continuing with Joanna Gruesome, The Spook School, Flowers and Martha, keeping the label vital and relevant as indiepop itself moved towards a more DIY aesthetic with an emphasis on feminism and gender politics. Indeed, one of the key tenets of Fortuna POP! has always been its commitment to the representation of woman and LGBT artists, with other latter-day examples including September Girls and New York sissypop duo The Ballet.
In 2016 the label announced that it would cease operations due to rising debts. A series of farewell shows at the end of March featuring many of the bands released by the label will celebrate its twenty years of existence.

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Fortuna POP! 20 Years of Trouble: The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman