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Live Review: Tom Vek with Fun Adults at Liverpool Kazimier – 12th October 2014

 
By on Monday, 20th October 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

If you were to run into Tom Vek in an everyday situation – say you’re in Gregg’s buying a sausage roll and he’s behind you in the queue – you would have no idea a bloke like him would be a cult electronic hero. With his black, thick-rimmed glasses and massive head (hey, big heads = big brains, I can attest to this, I have a big head too), he looks more like a boffin who should be in a lab coat, working out the cure for cancer.

But no, thankfully this anorak has focussed his energies and synapses towards music. In certain circles, Vek is a big deal, and understandably so: he’s a producer as well as being an adept musician, showing off his prowess Sunday night in Liverpool. Although he will be showcasing at CMJ in New York this month, Vek is just not massive enough stateside for anyone, much less himself, to take the financial risk of him touring there, so I’d never seen him until the night.

Opening at the Kazimier were Leeds four-piece Fun Adults. They’ll remind you a lot of Wild Beasts; like the Kendal band and Vek, they take full advantage of both traditional rock band and electronic elements. However, I mention Wild Beasts because this band has two vocalists that take turns with the spotlight and both favour a falsetto, admittedly not my favourite.

The real question we’re left with is, does the world really need another Wild Beasts? To their credit, Fun Adults can be much more dancier and funkier than the Kendalites, which is always a plus in my book, and they also showed their versatility in track ‘Eavesdropper’. Starting the song quietly as the singer gently strummed his acoustic guitar, what a shock it was as the number built into a monster, the funky drummed rhythm propelling the song towards its climax.

Vek had taken a 6-year hiatus between the critically acclaimed debut from 2005, ‘We Have Sound’, and 2011’s ‘Leisure Seizure’, so waiting another 3 years for ‘Luck’ to appear wasn’t a huge surprise. However, you could tell easily that many of the punters in attendance at the lovely Kazimier, a Sound City venue near and dear to us TGTFers, were fans from way back, cheering and whooping at the mere mention of “..in a black 1989 Mercedes Benz…” of ‘Nothing but Green Lights’. One of them Liverpudlians even went so far as humming – loudly and emphatically – the too familiar opening notes of ‘’, with Vek smiling, insisting, “but that’s not one of mine. I think you’re at the wrong gig!”, all before his sequencer / guitarist Sam (who Vek referred to as 5 AM) repeated the same notes with buttons of his sequencer pressed in quick and impressive succession.

A lot of people who aren’t into electronic music, and who are sceptical of the genre like my own mother, think these kinds of artists aren’t real musicians, that everything they do is computer generated and there is no real artistry to their sound. So I was actually quite pleasantly surprised to see Vek showing off his guitar and bass playing abilities, proving to anyone who needed evidence that unlike the manufactured pop stars of today, he is an artist not borne of a well-stocked studio but of true musicianship along with quite good production chops!

Where to begin? Vek played for over an hour and a half with minimal stoppage time between songs. It was, in short, an electro head’s dream. I thought several times during the set I might need to pinch myself to confirm this show was actually happening before my very eyes, on the same stage I’d seen Glass Animals and We Have Band unleash their own selections of synths on a Sound City audience this past May. One can see why Vek’s voice divides opinion: its nasal, atonal qualities make it sound nearly robotic, but if you consider it in the grand scheme of his music, it completely works as another one of his instruments, a disaffected, unemotional player while the instrumentation serves to bring the funk.

As he’s got several albums to his name, Vek had an incredible back catalogue to draw from, while also bringing to the fore several of the tracks from ‘Luck’. One of the most successful of these were ‘Pushing Your Luck’, which benefitted from a surprise mix into Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s ‘Push It’. Imagine it being sung in Vek’s voice! After it was played and Vek was sure about its warm reception, he quipped, “everyone needs a little Salt ‘n’ Pepa in their life every once in a while”. Indeed, Mr Vek. ‘Aroused’, from ‘Leisure Seizure’, with its massive trilled beats, reverberated off the walls of the Kazimier. If a man who looks as geeky as Vek can pull off a song about sex and get a whole crowd in Liverpool all worked up, it gives us all hope, doesn’t it?

His set ended with recent single ‘Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)’, the entire crowd moving and grooving to every beat, proving even 3 years out from ‘Leisure Seizure’, he’s still got it. Like so many indie acts I love, I wish for Vek to do massively well commercially around the world. At the same time though, watching him at the Kazimier last night play to a very decently-sized crowd, all of whom clearly loved and enjoyed his music, made you feel like you were part of something very intimate and special and I wouldn’t have traded anything in the world for the experience.

After the cut: Tom Vek’s set list.

Continue reading Live Review: Tom Vek with Fun Adults at Liverpool Kazimier – 12th October 2014

 

Live Gig Video: Sivu performs ‘Better Man Than He’ in Cap Blanc Nez for La Blogotheque

 
By on Friday, 10th October 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

French Web site La Blogotheque does atmospheric on location filming very, very well. Take for example their most recently revealed video featuring Sivu, who will be releasing his debut album ‘Something on High’ on Monday on Atlantic Records. The album’s stunning, I can assure you; I reviewed it earlier this week.

This live video takes us to Cap Blanc Nez, a cape in Northern France with stunning cliffs ala the White Cliffs of Dover, and Sivu’s accompanied by a brass band. While Sivu will be playing London Oslo Hackney next Tuesday, the 14th of October, as well as continuing as the primary support for Nick Mulvey on his UK tour which lands tonight in Falmouth, you’re unlikely to see a performance of ‘Better Man Than He’ like this at those shows. Watch the video with a gorgeous French sunset in the background below.

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MP3(s) of the Day #858 (and more!): Rome Fortune

 
By on Friday, 10th October 2014 at 10:00 am
 

Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune just finished up a support slot opening for Glass Animals on their massive autumn tour of North America. I’m generally not a huge fan of straight rap, but there was just something about Fortune’s opening performance at the Black Cat in Washington DC on 17 September that I found very honest. Not to mention he’s quite catchy with his rhyme and got everyone’s hands in the air too!


Guess they’re all pals now, as Dave Bayley reworked their new buddy Rome into a new version of their upcoming single ‘Hazey’, which drops next Monday, the 13th of October, on Wolf Tone / Caroline International. (We previously posted the promo and live from London Meltdown Festival versions of the single on TGTF.) So for today’s MP3(s) of the Day (and more!) post, we’re streaming below that rework, along with the entire ‘Small VVorld’ album from Rome Fortune that premiered on Billboard on Tuesday, which Fortune is offering up entirely for free. Have a listen to both and if you fancy grabbing the album for your very own, you can do so through this link.

 

Video of the Moment #1650: Chromeo

 
By on Thursday, 9th October 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

The latest video from Canadian dance duo Chromeo has some all-star cameos, including the Haim girls, as the story unfolds in a ‘Love is a Battlefield’ meets Coyote Ugly sendup. ‘Old 45’s’ appears on the band’s current album ‘White Women’, out now. Watch the promo below.

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Live Gig Video: CYMBALS play five tracks live for Seattle radio station KEXP

 
By on Thursday, 9th October 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Carrie and I were just talking last week about us catching CYMBALS perform live at SXSW 2014 at Cheer Up Charlie’s, where I almost missed them by accident. The English band were over here in the States over the summer for a short string of live dates. Naturally, when they were in Seattle, they recorded a live set for radio station KEXP, as you do. In the video below are ‘Erosion’ ‘You Are’, ‘Winter ’98’, ‘The Natural World’ and ‘Like an Animal’, now committed to film for posterity. Enjoy.

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Video of the Moment #1649: Cloud Nothings

 
By on Wednesday, 8th October 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

The latest video from Cloud Nothings‘ current album ‘Here and Nowhere Else’ is for ‘Now Here In’. An old-fashioned VHS style treatment seems to fit perfectly with the driving, hard-rockingness of the song. Toro Y Moi bassist Patrick Jeffords even makes a cameo. Watch it below.

‘Here and Nowhere Else’ is out now on Wichita Recordings.

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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

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