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Live Review: The Crookes at Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY – 19th September 2013

By on Tuesday, 24th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

Union Hall chalkboardGetting to the further reaches of Brooklyn, away from the bright lights of Manhattan that are more familiar to the regular NYC tourist, can be a bit of a daunting task if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Like if you’re not from around there. However, I do my research and knew exactly where Union Hall in Park Slope was.

The problem was the subway: due to nightly reconstruction of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last autumn, my friend Lizzie and I had to take a train from Queens back into Manhattan and around again to the bottom half of Brooklyn to make it. Then we realised we had to get off much further away than we thought, then needed to hoof it to some 10 blocks south to get to the place. To say I was perspiring and nervous we’d be late would be putting it mildly. I’m sure the bouncer at the door was amused by my wheezing.

Compared to the show 2 nights previous at Bowery Electric in the East Village that Carrie captured perfectly in this review, this time the Crookes weren’t headlining but the second support band to local band Los Encantados (whose name, by the way, was embarrassingly misspelled on the chalkboard outside the entrance to the performance space). Because of the entirely unforeseen fiasco with the subway, we arrived at Union Hall too late to catch Young Rising Sons, the first opener from New Jersey, though it was a nice, unexpected touch to find venue staff Jack, a native of Brighton (and therefore possessing a beautiful English accent in the middle of Brooklyn) at the door when we went in.

While the set list was identical to the one at Bowery Electric, there were two main positive differences in the Union Hall show. First was singer George Waite’s less nervous manner, which led to funnier onstage banter. Early on in the set, he commented that they had expected American crowds to be less stoic and the audience being “so polite” reminded them of being back home in England. ‘American Girls’ was dedicated to “1/2 of this country’s population”.

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Then immediately prior to guitarist/lyricist Daniel Hopewell’s star turn with the opening and closing notes of ‘Sal Paradise’ on an acoustic guitar, Waite reminded everyone that it was the week of Hopewell’s birthday. First he told everyone how old he was, but then went back on his word, saying with a grin, “…he’s actually only 21”, eliciting a similar grin on Hopewell’s face. A excited fan down the front next to me kept shouting for ‘Hold Fast’ (an egregious omission at these two shows, in my opinion) and Waite initially pretended to not understand the request and then offered up ‘Honey’ as a suitable alternative.

To be honest, the songs are two entirely different animals and therefore we do the band no favours to compare them side by side like that. But I appreciate being given ‘Honey’ twice in a 3-day span, because the ‘Afterglow’ b-side is probably one of the most emotionally charged songs of theirs lyrically that Daniel Hopewell has written. It is the story of every self-conscious, self-loathing individual who wishes he/she could “rip out my pages to be somebody else”, while hearing from a loved one that it’s all in their head and “oh honey, you’ll be fine, it just takes time”, the last thing that person wants to hear. Like newer single ‘Dance in Colour’, it too is worthy of further introspective contemplation as Waite alluded to at the London Scala show in May. Also, the Crookes had good reason to play ‘Honey’ too: it is one of three bonus tracks on the American version of ‘Hold Fast’, digitally available on the 30th of September here in the States.

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Musically, they sounded very tight. Straight out of the gate, the band wowed with ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’, with its infectiously brilliant one-liner, “we don’t dance alone”. The sheer rocking goodness of lead guitarist Tom Dakin’s solo in new-ish single ‘Bear’s Blood’ was simply kick arse, as he threw his entire body into its energy. Beer spillage occurred during the band’s closing number, an acoustic version of the crowd-pleasing ‘The Cooler King’ that had punters clapping enthusiastically in time. Admittedly, it was during this number that someone else’s beer got spilt all over my sandals and my feet were wet, but I barely cared. This is the kind of music I find real to me now, true to who I am as a person in this point in time. I feel it in my feet and my head, and most importantly, in my heart.

Perhaps it being the second of their two gig commitments, the band sounded better in the smaller, one-level format of the Union Hall downstairs room versus the disjointed two-floor setup at Bowery Electric because there would be no further gig anxiety after this one. After the Brooklyn show, I caught up with Waite to ask him which show he felt went down better; he said he thought the first one, though I disagreed. The newer converts at the Union Hall show were certainly more excited to see the band, hanging out afterwards to chat with the band to learn more about them. As a music editor, this was really great for me to witness first-hand, as I’ve heard and seen so much potential from the Crookes from the very beginning, and now they’re starting on the next chapter of what I’m sure will be a long, brilliant career.

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After the cut: the Crookes’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Crookes at Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY – 19th September 2013


Little Green Cars / November 2013 English Tour

By on Tuesday, 24th September 2013 at 9:00 am

Dublin indie darlings Little Green Cars will be going on a short English tour in November. Tickets are available now.

Tuesday 5th November 2013 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Wednesday 6th November 2013 – London Scala
Thursday 7th November 2013 – Bristol Thekla


(TGTF Exclusive!) Video of the Moment #1328: Van Susans

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 6:00 pm

We’ve got the exclusive premiere of Van Susans‘ video for ‘Stepping Stones’, which featured on their summer 2012 album release ‘Paused in the Moment’ (review here). With a story written by lead singer Olly Andrews and the video directed by Josh Porter, we follow a girl who’s collecting the belongings of a former love and what she does with a box of his effects via a Sliding Doors-style split screen, while in between shots of the band performing the song. Watch it below.

‘Paused in the Moment’ is available now on Beatnik Geek Records.

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Live Gig Video: Crystal Fighters share acoustic version of ‘Love Natural’

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 4:00 pm

Eclectic dance pop band Crystal Fighters recently unveiled this video of themselves performing ‘Love Natural’ in the unusual setting of a cave. In that fashion, it’s similar to the ‘You & I’ video we posted in mid-July. Watch the performance below.

Catch Crystal Fighters on tour in the UK in November.

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Single Review: The Static Jacks – Wallflowers

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 12:00 pm

One of my fave bands ever from New Jersey, The Static Jacks, are gearing up for the release of their second album, ‘In Blue’, which drops on the 30th of September stateside on Old Friends Records. In mid-summer, the band revealed ‘I’ll Come Back’, which we featured as a previous Video of the Moment here. ‘I’ll Come Back’ is a real earworm if there every was one. If I’m entirely honest, that song was so great, I didn’t think there was any way they could top it. I was wrong.

Just a couple days ago when I was on holiday, they revealed another song off ‘In Blue’, called ‘Wallflowers’. A while ago, the band asked their fans on Facebook for a bunch of ’80s specific games and toys for a project they were working on. In the promo video embedded below, you can see why they needed them. It’s an adorable homage to the ’80s cult film Weird Science, but with a twist. I don’t want to tell you more, b/c it’ll ruin it for you.

The more I’ve listened to the song, the more it reminds me of earlier We Are Scientists, and these days, based on ‘Something About You’ and ‘Return the Favor’, I’d say they sound more like We Are Scientists than We Are Scientists sound like We Are Scientists. (Try saying that three times fast.) It also simultaneously sounds like the kind of mega guitar rock with huge riffs that I would listen to in the ’90s by Everclear and Weezer. (God, just saying that out loud makes me feel old…) The guitar riffs and melody of this song will not, I repeat, WILL NOT leave you. Resistance is futile.

And speaking of bands changing sound, the Static Jacks have definitely evolved since their 2011 debut. ‘If You’re Young’ was very much an in your face affair, with singer Ian Devaney’s punky, shouty vocal style perfect for ‘Defend Rosie’ and ‘Into the Sun’ (my personal favourite from the album) and his trademark thumpy, boot stomping on ‘My Parents Lied’ when played live. ‘Wallflowers’ is still sounds huge rock-wise, but it seems like the Static Jacks have refined their aesthetic, and the result is a more mainstream, radio-friendly sound that even us indie snobs will love. I’ll go into more detail in the album review for ‘In Blue’ that I’m planning to do in the coming days, but for now, all you need to know is that ‘Wallflowers’ is a song you definitely want in your music collection now, because it’s going to make the rounds very soon.


The Static Jacks’ second album ‘In Blue’ will be released next Monday the 30th of September in America on Old Friends Records.

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Franz Ferdinand / March 2014 UK/Irish Tour

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 9:00 am

Scottish rock heroes Franz Ferdinand will be touring the UK and Ireland next March. Tickets are on sale now.

And if you want a laugh, watch the video for ‘Evil Eye’, from their current Domino Records album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ (reviewed by John here) embedded below the tour dates. A bit gruesome but funny gruesome.

Friday 14th March 2014 – London Roundhouse
Monday 17th March 2014 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 18th March 2014 – Bristol Academy
Wednesday 19th March 2014 – Southampton Guildhall
Friday 21st March 2014 – Birmingham Academy
Saturday 22nd March 2014 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 23rd March 2014 – Dublin Olympia
Tuesday 25th March 2014 – Glasgow Barrowlands
Wednesday 26th March 2014 – Leeds Academy
Thursday 27th March 2014 – Newcastle Academy

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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.

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