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By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 27th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
In case you’ve been living under a rock and somehow missed this, Tourist, better known to his mum as William Phillips, released his debut album ‘U’ in May. The long-awaited long player didn’t disappoint; you can read my review of it through this link. The title track now has its own promo video. Directed by Jacob Robinson and Dillon Moore, the visuals take the viewer on a journey soundtracked by the electronic blips and blurps and vocal samples Phillips crafted into the song. Watch it below.
Catch Tourist on tour in England in November. To read more on Phillips’ project, you can catch up on TGTF’s coverage this way.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 27th October 2016 at 4:00 pm
Lucy Rose has spent the past year doing something that I reckon would be great character building for any musician who has taken his her art and vocation for granted. She chose to tour the UK, Europe and even Latin America with an acoustic set, going back to a grass roots level, living with fans when she toured abroad when she probably could have afforded a hotel room. This was good experience for the singer/songwriter, who upon returning decided she wanted to release an album made up of acoustic performances.
‘Live at Urchin Studios’, which is scheduled for release on the 9th of December 2016 on Rose Records via Red Essential, was recorded in somewhat extraordinary circumstances. Performing only with one band member, cellist Alex Eichenberger, and over a 1-hour period live in front of an audience, the LP includes fan favourites from Lucy Rose’s debut album ‘Like I Used To’ and 2015’s ‘Work It Out’. As a taster to the release, Lucy has shared with us the live performance of ‘Our Eyes’ from the 2015 album, an emotional number that sees her on piano. Watch it below. For more TGTF’s coverage on Lucy Rose, follow this link.
Rapper, poet and playwright Kate Tempest is a force of nature to be reckoned with. In 2013, Tempest won the Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry, the youngest-ever recipient of the award for her performance piece ‘Brand New Ancients’. She was branded by poet Ian McMillan as someone “who would be leading our national cultural conversations for years to come”. Her sensational first album, 2014’s ‘Everybody Down’, was also nominated for a Mercury Prize. Her latest offering ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ does exactly that by providing a raw and honest social commentary on modern life.
Similar in nature to her first album, ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is also a concept album. She takes us on a compelling journey through the lives of seven fictional characters who are each awake at 4:18 in the morning, and we are introduced to the issues defining their lives. Throughout the album, it is very easy to become involved with each of the characters who, while living separate lives and unknown to each other, are intrinsically linked. Each of the tenants tales are drawn together to create a bigger picture of how issues such migration, drugs and alienation affect us all. Despite being separated by walls, floors and buildings they are all connected by a shared fate. Tempest’s fictional narratives are accompanied by electronic music while lyrically, she seamlessly mixes together rap and performance poetry.
Despite it being a few years since her last musical offering, Tempest was certainly busy in between times. The release of her book ‘The Bricks That Built the Houses’ and her poetry collection ‘Hold Your Own’ meant that although Tempest was not actively creating music, her attentions were not taken away from social conscience. There are several recurring themes throughout the album, especially the prominence of drugs. On tracks such as ‘Ketamine for Breakfast’, we hear the story of Gemma contemplating her younger years that were blighted by drug use. Her lyrics here are emphatic and perhaps contain moments of truth. Rapping “My future is bright, but my past is tryna ruin me” is a devastatingly poignant sentiment of modern life and class divide,. and there is a restlessness and urgency to the chosen rhythm.
In times of such uncertainty, especially for young people in the UK post-Brexit, Tempest’s brutal honesty can be refreshing. Exposing modern truths of gentrification in London, ‘Perfect Coffee’ tells the tale of tenant Zoe as she packs her life into boxes. The reality, where the poorest of communities are being forced out of their homes and council flats are being exploited into million pound rentals, is harrowing: “The squats we used to party in are the flats we can’t afford”. It is a despairing portrayal of what London has become to represent: corrupt with greed, content in alienating the most vulnerable of people.
‘Europe is Lost’ is particularly poignant, with Tempest moving seamlessly through the song with fury. Each topic she touches on is more relevant than the last, speaking about politicians, oil spills and poverty. Barely stopping to take a breath, there is an anger to her delivery with cutting lyrics: “We have learnt nothing from history, the people are dead in their lifetimes dazed by the shine of the streets. Look the traffic is still moving, the system too slick to stop working, business is good. There’s bands every night in the pubs and there is two for one drinks in the clubs and we scrubbed up well “. It is a stark reminder how we, while all aware, choose to ignore what is going on around us in favour of easy and empty living.
The final song on the album ‘Tunnel Vision’ is a reflective musing by Tempest. The protagonists on each of the songs who were once strangers all become tied together in a shared epiphany of their surroundings. The notion of this album being commercially successful is a hard sell, considering it is an amalgamation of hip-hop and poetry. But the content Tempest is so passionately rapping about is so relevant and relatable. Her writing is extremely provocative and powerful and can stir quite a lot of emotion when listening to it. The album as a whole, then, is truly excellent as both a musical entity and critique of modern society.
‘Let Them Eat Chaos’, Kate Tempest’s second album is out now through Fiction Records. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Tempest, go here.
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
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