A bird is three things:
Feathers, flight and song,
And feathers are the least of these.
– Marjorie Allen Seiffert, “The Shining Bird”
On Tuesday, Oxford folk-pop quartet Stornoway made this surprise announcement that they will disband early next year, so that band members Brian Briggs, Jon Ouin, and Rob and Oli Steadman might pursue other individual interests. The news is quite sad for us here at TGTF, where Stornoway have been long-time favourites, but the announcement comes with a happy twist for the band’s UK fans, in the form of a Farewell Tour scheduled for next February and March.
Support for the following live dates will be played by Canadian indie rock band Brasstronaut, and tickets will be available beginning Friday the 28th of October at 10 AM. Just below the tour date listing, you’ll find Stornoway’s final promo video, a rare track from their ‘Bonxie’ recording sessions titled ‘Night Drive’.
TGTF’s extensive archive of coverage on Stornoway is collected here.
Monday 27th February 2017 – Gateshead Sage
Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Bristol Colston Hall
Wednesday 1st March – Cardiff Tramshed
Thursday 2nd March – Exeter Phoenix
Saturday 4th March – Manchester Academy 3
Sunday 5th March – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Monday 6th March – Glasgow Oran Mor
Wednesday 8th March – Brighton Komedia
Thursday 9th March – Cambridge Junction
Friday 10th March – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sunday 12th March – Oxford New Theatre
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 27th October 2016 at 8:30 am
Canadian sister duo Tegan and Sara have announced a new UK tour for early 2017. The electronic act, who released their latest album ‘Love You to Death’ this past spring, will hit five major British markets in February on these new live dates. Tickets to this tour will go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 28th of October, at 10 AM. To read more on Tegan and Sara on TGTF, go here.
Monday 13th February 2017 – London Roundhouse
Tuesday 14th February 2017 – Manchester Albert Hall
Wednesday 15th February 2017 – Bristol Academy
Friday 17th February 2017 – Glasgow ABC
Saturday 18th February 2017 – Birmingham Institute
Alt-folk duo Bear’s Den are evidently finding success with their second LP ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’, out now on Communion / Caroline International. The pair have yet to embark on their sold out November tour of the UK, but they have already unveiled a new list of headline dates for early 2017. The new tour announcement was accompanied by the band’s latest promo video for ‘Dew on the Vine’, which we featured earlier this week as our Video of the Moment #2208. At the bottom of this page, below the tour date listing, you’ll find their previous video for album track ‘Emeralds’.
Tickets for the following shows will be on sale starting today, Thursday the 27th of October, at 10 AM. A full listing of Bear’s Den’s worldwide tour dates, including another round of North American shows in January and February 2017, can be found on their official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of Bear’s Den is collected back this way.
Sunday 19th March 2017 – Dublin Whelan’s
Monday 20th March 2017 – Belfast Limelight 2
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 – Exeter Lemon Grove
Thursday 23rd March 2017 – Oxford Academy
Friday 24th March 2017 – Cardiff Tramshed
Sunday 26th March 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Monday 27th March 2017 – Newcastle Riverside
Wednesday 29th March 2017 – Glasgow Academy
Thursday 30th March 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Friday 31st March 2017 – Nottingham Rock City
Sunday 2nd April 2017 – Leeds Academy
Monday 3rd April 2017 – Southampton Guildhall
Wednesday 5th April 2017 – London Hammersmith Apollo
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
It’s been a pretty cool year for Roo Panes. The Wimborne-bred singer/songwriter released his second album ‘Paperweights’ on CRC Records back in March, just before he showcased at SXSW 2016. His latest music video is for ‘Lullaby Love’, a track taken from the album, and Panes has chosen an unusual way in this promo to deliver the music. Despite being sat in a canoe and rowing away, his attention is unwavering as he sings his song. While it’s certainly an unconventional way to deliver a lullaby, it’s beautiful, and you gotta give credit to the fellow for incredible creativity. Watch the video ‘Lullaby Love’ below. For more on Roo Panes on TGTF, follow this link.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at 4:00 pm
London dance duo Formation, twins Matt and Will Ritson, performed at the Scandinavian Church in Liverpool 2 Saturdays ago. The show ushered in this autumn’s edition of the Dr. Martens‘ #STANDFORSOMETHING tour with a bang. And for those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be present for the show, the brothers are sharing a live performance with their backing band from the night with us. ‘Ring’ is a brand-new track from the act, so this is a Pretty Big Deal. Watch the energetic performance from the North West city below.
For more information on the #STANDFORSOMETHING tour, check out this previous tour date post. And for more on Formation on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at 12:00 pm
Being childhood friends who share musical interests often provides a massive nudge towards the formation of a band. However, a longtime friendship may not necessarily be enough to hold a band together. Two years ago, Two Door Cinema Club cancelled their headline set at Latitude 2014. While the official reason for their pulling out of the festival in Suffolk was frontman Alex Trimble’s hospitalisation in Seattle, unbeknownst to us, discord had been ramping up within the band, reaching a breaking point.
According to this interview they did with DIY last month, the pursuit of the next big success in their career since leaving their small-town Northern Irish towns caused friction within. The former schoolfriends found themselves at odds with each other, unsure of whether they were going to continue as a unit. Having rediscovered themselves as individuals and after giving themselves time off from the band and from each other, they came out of their hiatus still wanting to make music as Two Door Cinema Club. Unfortunately, ‘Gameshow’ seems like a step back, as merely a peek back through the music that has made them who they are, rather than being an obvious, positive next step in their evolution.
In a chat with Steve Lamacq live on BBC 6 Music the week of the LP’s release, Alex Trimble explained their respect for Michael Jackson. The admiration for him comes through loud and clear on the vocal styling chosen by Trimble for most of this record. Not a friend of the falsetto? Step away from this review, turn around and run. If you’re okay with a man singing in a higher register than is natural, then keep reading. The apex of falsetto on this album, if you will, is ‘Je Viens De La’, “I wake gently with you” in French. With its wealth of synths and big beats, it’s an unabashed tribute to disco, another potential land mine in popular music. Another disco number, ‘Fever’, begins in a minimalist, promising way like Def Leppard’s ‘Love Bites’, except there’s that falsetto again. As a keen singer, it’s hard to listen to this album, wanting to throw some Halls Soothers in Trimble’s direction.
With the falsetto and the overt nods to disco, their new sound seems so far away from their debut ‘Tourist History’ that relied more heavily on guitars than beats and production. For long-time fans, it’s jarring and takes getting used to. There are, however, some moments of brilliance. ‘Lavender’, whose title I’m assuming is a nod to another high-pitched wonder, Prince, begins with a note progression reminiscent of ‘Walk This Way’. The song shows the trio embracing funk and r&b, with an arresting, foot-stomping rhythm to provide the track with much needed structure.
‘Invincible’ invokes the introspective, emotional guitar lines popularised in the ‘80s, with an appropriately cheesy, boyband-y vocal to match: “every day I see him beside you / is he treating you all right? / the things I would do if I were in his shoes / no more taking for granted / everything I get from you”. It’s weirdly engaging, but you have to take a step back for a moment and remind yourself that this is a Two Door Cinema Club album, not one of Justin Timberlake’s. Confusion is expected here.
I had real reservations the first time I gave this record a spin. It seems ironic how much they are embracing synths on this album (and arguably, overproduction thanks to working with Jacknife Lee in Los Angeles), considering the first time I saw Two Door perform was on their first tour of North America as support for Phoenix. The band have made it clear that this album finally gave them the opportunity to do what they wanted, without self-censoring themselves as they might have before. I initially seriously wondered who this album was for, but after the kind of global success they had before the age of 25, it’s about time they made an album they wanted to make, even if they risk alienating their most devoted fans.
‘Gameshow’, Two Door Cinema Club’s third studio album, is out now on Parlophone Records. You can have a listen to the title track below. They’re on tour in the UK in January and February next year; all the dates are listed back here. For more on Two Door on TGTF, including my review of this album’s first single taster ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’, follow this link.