Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Video of the Moment #2759: Monarchy

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Uber-cool dance duo Monarchy have had an exciting 2017. Back in June, they unveiled a new single, the absolute banger ‘Hula Hoop 8000’. Last month, to their complete surprise, the London-based pair originally from Australia won a Los40 Trending Award in Spain. Well deserved, I might add. What might their final big thing for 2017 is the release, finally, of the promo video for ‘Hula Hoop 8000’, produced by CANADA.

The song itself is a celebration of love and light, and the promo video extends this feeling into tongue-in-cheek territory, straight from a call centre. It reminds me of the Two Door Cinema Club video for ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’, satirising consumerism. In this video, Monarchy are in the business, with some leggy models, to selling products you might not actually need. But in true advertising fashion, their business is trying to sell you the products and as anyone familiar with the music business know, sex sells, right? Ha. Watch the video for ‘Hula Hoop 8000’ below, which actually features a neon version of its namesake. The details for the next Monarchy album are purported to be released in January. For more here on TGTF on Monarchy, use this link.

 

Album Review: Morrissey – Low in High School

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Morrissey Low in High School album coverSteven Patrick Morrissey is a lightning rod when it comes to bad publicity. In the vein of those groan-worthy Maybelline adverts, maybe he’s born with it? I think the answer to that would be a resounding yes. Morrissey wouldn’t be Morrissey if he wasn’t courting controversy, whether it be regarding his pretty militant attitude towards veganism and those who don’t agree with him, his searing attacks on politicians after the Manchester attack or his most recent divisive comments on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, defending disgraced actor Kevin Spacey. The more cynical detractors of Moz say he does this on purpose, to bump up the attention paid to his current artistic pursuits.

This TGTF post is not about giving credence to or debunking that myth. If anything, this review of Morrissey’s latest album, his eleventh studio album ‘Low in High School’, proves he follows the beat of a different drummer. The drummer just happens to be the beats that are inside his own head. As we’ve seen countless times in popular music, a good dose of self-editing would have made for a much more cohesive album, if only thematically. But, as we’ve already established, no-one tells the Mozfather what to do. So what do we have her in the follow-up to 2014’s ‘World Peace is None of Your Business’? The album’s first impression in ‘Spent the Day in Bed’ heralded the uncomfortable, repeated and prominent appearance of the synthesiser, seemingly at odds with the almost 60-year old Morrissey. ‘I Wish You Lonely’ is another awkward, synth-led listen. If you examine the liner notes, things make more sense. Live keyboardist Gustavo Manzur shares songwriting credits on a third of the songs here.

The notoriously cantankerous Mancunian star shows again he isn’t shy in diving into the current political fracas. The LP begins with ‘My Love, I’d Do Anything for You’. With any other garden variety pop star, this would be a trite love song, but not with Morrissey. It’s a minor key rocker, beginning with the words “teach your kids to recognize and to despise all the propaganda”. As if an extension of his Smiths’ odes to the futility of work, he moans, “weren’t we all born to mourn and to yawn at the occupations / that control every day of our lives / we can’t live as we wish”. With a bombastic guitar line and a horn flourish, this isn’t any old pop song.

There is a storm of debate around ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage’, Morrissey vehemently denying it’s about Brexit. Regardless of what it’s about, there’s no denying it’s quite catchy and you’ll want to sing along. ‘The Girl From Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel’ sympathises with those in the midst of the conflicts in the Middle East, concluding, “it’s just because the land weeps oil,” with another infectious tune with a Latin beat. In grave contrast, at over 7 minutes, ‘I Bury the Living’ is an overindulgent examination inside the mind of a suicide bomber. As one might imagine, a song with the words “give me an order / I’ll blow up your daughter” isn’t exactly a comfortable listen. Album closer ‘Israel’, a lighter piano number, appears to be sung directly to the Israelis and well, the word ‘polarising’ only begins to describe where this might go.

To the pleasure and possibly relief of his longtime fans, there is one light in the darkness. On ‘Home is a Question Mark’, Morrissey can’t help himself but to indulge in his favourite mode: being the lovelorn Pope of Mope. Revisiting the theme of trying to find love in cities instead of people in the eloquent ‘Throwing My Arms Around Paris’, like its predecessor, it’s a revelation, a sweeping ballad that only Morrissey can write and sing to. It’s just too bad there isn’t more on the LP like this. Something quite astonishing throughout, no matter what subject matter he’s broaching, is his voice. Despite major medical treatment and age, his vocal tone is beautiful and his delivery is sheer perfection.

Over the last few years, Morrissey has undergone treatment for cancer and been forced to cancel or cut short numerous concerts. In the context of cancer, his seemingly cavalier attitude to dying I suppose in hindsight in unsurprising, given his career-long referencing to death. Facing his own mortality may have fueled the desire to experiment, to do something different and off the wall, no matter who it offends, and that’s what ‘Low in High School’ is. Awkwardly paced and unapologetic in content, Morrissey as elder statesman of indie rock is making exactly the kind of music he wants to make. And that’s all that matters to him.

7.5/10

‘Low in High School’, Morrissey’s eleventh studio album, is out now on BMG. TGTF’s previous coverage on the Smiths frontman’s solo work is through here.

 

The Orielles / February and April 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 9:00 am
 

The Orielles from Halifax will be touring in the new year in support of their debut album. Tickets to the shows listed below are on sale now. The tour will end in their biggest headline show to date in Manchester at Gorilla. Between the end of the first leg and the start of the second, they’ll also be playing a series of gigs on the Continent; a bunch of those dates are listed on their official Facebook page. ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ will be released on the 16th of February 2018 on Heavenly Recordings. It will no doubt feature ‘Let Your Dogtooth Grow’, their latest release to have a promo video, which you can watch under the tour date listing. To read through TGTF’s past coverage of The Orielles, go here.

Friday 16th February 2018 – Nottingham Rough Trade (in-store performance)
Saturday 17th February 2018 – Sheffield Yellow Arch
Sunday 18th February 2018 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Monday 19th February 2018 – Bristol Rough Trade (in-store performance)
Tuesday 20th February 2018 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Wednesday 21st February 2018 – London Rough Trade East (in-store performance)
Thursday 22nd February 2018 – Glasgow Mono
Thursday 12th April 2018 – London Garage
Friday 13th April 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 14th April 2018 – Manchester Gorilla

 

Live Gig Video: watch Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR

 
By on Thursday, 14th December 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

While collaborations between two established, beloved stars is nothing new, sometimes the results don’t hit the spot. When Aussie Courtney Barnett decided to join forces with American Kurt Vile, the result was stunning, in the form of album ‘Lotta Sea Lice’. Our Steven reviewed the long player, and you can read his review for TGTF through here. If you’re wondering what the pair are like live, playing off of each other, wonder no more. The two musicians recently showed up at the NPR offices in Washington, DC, to perform one of the public radio station’s now famous Tiny Desk concerts. In the video below, you can watch them perform ‘Over Everything’, ‘Continental Breakfast’, ‘Blue Cheese’ and ‘Let It Go’. Enjoy.

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is out now on Matador Records. Learn more about the collaborating pair on their Web site. To read TGTF’s past coverage on Courtney Barnett, follow this link.

 

WIN / Bespoke jewellery from not-for-profit the guitarwrist, made from guitar strings donated by Pendulum

 
By on Wednesday, 13th December 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Every Tuesday morning without fail, there is a parade of blue bins standing attention on my street, filled to the brim with plastic and glass bottles, waiting to be picked up by the recycling truck on his weekly run. I have been a staunch supporter for recycling for years, and I still fish out the soda cans and plastic salad containers I spy in the kitchen bin at work so they will be recycled. While the wherewithal to recycle food and drink containers is a common thing on our minds every time we’re in a public space, something you probably have never considered, even if you are a musician yourself, is how much waste is generated from the binning of old guitar strings alone.

I was gobsmacked reading the figure: it’s estimated 1.5 million pounds of discarded strings are destined for the many maxed out landfills of our earth. A solution, and a good one at that, has been brought to fruition by the guitarwrist, a not-for-profit jewellery collection that is taking the used guitar string donations of some of your favourite artists and turning them into collectible, beautiful pieces of art. Ninety-five percent of the donated strings are used in the creations by Emma Hedley Jewellery. Musicians and bands who have already stepped up to the plate to make string donations include artists we’ve featured quite a bit here on TGTF like KT Tunstall, Duran Duran, Pendulum, Enter Shikari, You Me at Six, Twin Atlantic and Slaves.

And as if finding a new use for these guitar strings from your favourite artists wasn’t enough, 90% of the profits from sales of the pieces in this bespoke jewellery line are going towards Save The Children, CRUK, Teenage Cancer Trust, Help Refugees UK, Shelter, Dogs Trust, Centrepoint and many other worthy charities. Not only are you buying a one-of-a-kind piece of history that’s actually wearable, the money you spend on it is going towards good. As we get closer to Christmas and I’m sure there are plenty of procrastinators out there who haven’t even started shopping for loved ones, the guitarwrist offers a way to purchase that special person in your life something unique that simply with your purchase is allowing both of you to pay it forward!

If you live in London, I’ve got even better news: a pop-up store at 2 Newburgh Street in Soho is now open for your browsing and purchasing delight. We here at TGTF encourage you to pick up a beautifully crafted piece of art from the shop and dig deep to support charity. Pieces range from £40 to £500, to fit almost every budget. Are you a photography geek or just like to collect photos of your favourite guitarists? Photographer Scarlet Page (yes, Jimmy’s daughter) is exhibiting photos from her acclaimed coffee table book Resonators at the pop-up shop, and signed copies of her book will be available there, too.

To help us celebrate the holiday season, founder of the guitarist Ian Rendall has kindly donated a bespoke piece from their collection for us to giveaway. The prize is made from guitar strings donated by Peredur ap Gwynedd and Gareth McGrillen of electronic rock and drum ‘n’ bass group Pendulum, an estimated value of £150. Further, Ian has kindly agreed to ship this lovely prize worldwide to the winner, opening up this contest to anyone in the world.

So how do you win this awesome prize? What I would like to know from you is what you plan to do with your prize and why you want to be involved with a piece of jewellery from the guitarwrist. I want to ensure the prize gets a good home. I’ll also need your email address in the form below to contact you if you win. I will sort through all the entries received by this Friday, the 15th of December at noon British time and select a winner. I’m hoping to get this prize out in good time so you’ll have in time for Christmas, either as a gift for yourself or for someone else. Also, this should go without saying, but please do not enter if you’re only entering to turn around and sell the prize, because that’s not what this contest is at all about. Let’s play fair and just a reminder, he sees you when you’re sleeping, you dig? GOOD LUCK!

This contest is now closed. The winner will be contacted soon.

 

Video of the Moment #2755: Bjork

 
By on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

I am not a Bjork fan. Never have been, never will be one. However, there is no denying her influence on popular music and the making of it. Her ability, or shall we say willingness to push boundaries has been pretty unrivalled over the years. This week, she shares the promo video for the title track of her newest album, ‘Utopia’, her ninth that dropped last month on One Little Indian. Directed by Nick Thornton Jones and Wareen Du Preez, it looks how you might imagine visuals for a song with a title like that might be conveyed. We’re introduced to a pretty, overly pink world looking idyllic, while flautists from the land play a bouncy melody along to Bjork’s own vocals. I think if you get Bjork, you’ll totally love this. Me? I am totally lost. Make up your own mind about it by watching it below. TGTF’s past coverage on the enigmatic Bjork is through this link.

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours 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 no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

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