Indietracks 2017 Interview Series #17 – Mammoth Penguins and Friends: “Awkward Dancing”

Indietracks runs from 28-30 July 2017 at Midland Railway, Butterley, Derbyshire, UK.

I’ve said it before and I’l say it again. Indietracks Festival is put together by a team of volunteering heroes all working extremely hard to bring us the best weekend of music every year. They’re a shining light in the world of DIY. One such hero is Emma Kupa of Mammoth Penguins and Friends as well as The Hayman Kupa Band, both of whom are gracing the stages this year. The latter’s debut LP is out on Fika Recordings just in time for the festival so swing by the merch tent with your pocket money. The new album from Mammoth Penguins and Friends is a concept album and they’re playing it live at the festival. I’d imagine it’ll follow their usual concept of being brilliant. Here’s Emma answering what I’m sure by now are our very familiar Indietracks questions:

Overblown: What are your favourite memories of Indietracks and what does it mean to you to be back playing again in 2017?

Emma Kupa: Indietracks is such a wonderful weekend filled with so many awesome people. I wasn’t able to go last year and I am so excited to be returning this year and there are a lot of bands I want to see (disclaimer: I helped organise the line-up) plus I think I’ll be performing three times over the festival in various guises. I have so many happy memories from previous years; singing with Allo Darlin’, dancing at the front to Camera Obscura, looking out at the crowd and seeing so many people singing Standard Fare songs back are just a few.

O: At Overblown we love a cover version. If you had to play a cover of another artist from this year’s bill which band and song would it be? (And will you consider actually doing it?)

Emma Kupa: I’d probably sing “I call you up” by the Tuts as I’ve loved that song for years. I don’t think my band mates in either HKB or MP&F would let me do a cover for fear of murdering the song.

O: Similarly, if you were to choose a song of your own to be covered by another band on the bill which song and band would it be?

Emma Kupa: I would be so chuffed if someone covered one of my songs. The Tuts covered ‘Love Doesn’t Just Stop’ at Indietracks a couple of years ago and that was cool – we were just arriving at the campsite and I heard it drifting over the fields!

A cover by the Just Joans would be great – I love hearing Scottish accents in music, and I think they would do a great deadpan version of ‘Someone To Care For’ by the Hayman Kupa band.

O: There’s always a great indie disco to be had after the bands finish playing. What song would you request and are we likely to find you on the dancefloor?

Emma Kupa: I have no idea how this year is going to go in terms of letting my hair down but I will definitely be at the discos for a bit. Allo Darlin’ or The School usually get me doing my awkward dancing.

O: Bum Notes Karaoke with Ruby Waters is a great night and will be at Indietracks for the first time this year. What’s your go-to karaoke song and can we expect to see you singing it?

Emma Kupa: Anything from Rumours or Tusk by Fleetwood Mac.

With so many great bands playing tell our readers why they should choose to come and see your set.

Emma Kupa: Well, the Hayman Kupa Band are unlikely to play many shows this year so it’ll be a rare opportunity to hear the soon-to-be released album live. Plus Darren Hayman is a great entertainer. Mammoth Penguins and Friends will be performing a new concept album, which is musically quite different to anything we’ve done before.

Mammoth Penguins and Friends play Indietracks Festival on Sunday 30th July. We’ll see you all there. 

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