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(Charity!) Live Gig Video: CHVRCHES unveil new version of ‘Down Side of Me’ for Planned Parenthood box set

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd May 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

When smart artists get mad, they channel that energy and turn it towards creative pursuits. Under our current president, it’s unclear if nonprofit organisation supporting women’s health and reproductive rights Planned Parenthood will lose all government funding. No matter what happens, many artists in America and beyond have decided to chip in artistically to help fund the organisation and their life-saving and life-changing work.

CHVRCHES is just one of the acts helping out with a contribution to the ‘7-inches for Planned Parenthood’, a curated series of 7-inch vinyl records and digital downloads to benefit the nonprofit. The Scottish electrop trio are offering up a new live version of ‘Down Side of Me’, which appears on the group’s 2015 second album ‘Every Open Eye’. You can read Carrie’s review of the LP through this link. The new live version also has a music video filmed by Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, which you can watch below. You can catch up on TGTF’s past coverage on CHVRCHES by following this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2F_wEnLPZ4[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Haim share studio performance of ‘Right Now’ from upcoming second album

 
By on Tuesday, 2nd May 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

It’s been a quiet few years for sister Haim. Well, their fans (sorry, not me) can be excited about the follow-up to their wildly popular debut album ‘Days Are Gone’, which came out in 2013 on Polydor. They’ve announced ‘Something to Tell You’, which is scheduled for a release on the 7th of July, the same week we celebrate our independence. Hmm…

The first taster from the upcoming album is a single called ‘Right Now’, which will be available for purchase starting tomorrow, the 3rd of May. To hype up the unveiling of the song, they worked with celebrity director Paul Thomas Anderson, whose name has been repeated whenever the new song has been promoted. Why? Apparently, Anderson was a student of the Haim sisters’ mum. Not purposely I guess (?) but I’m amused by the star-studded nepotism, nevertheless. Will you need this new song ‘Right Now’? It seems very repetitive but I guess for their fans, they’ve included the lyrics karaoke style so you’ll already know the words by the time you get around to preordering the album. Watch the sisters’ live performance of their new single below. You’d need to dust it off a bit, but our archive on the Californian group from 2014 and prior is this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1LLWHroWgA[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Knox Hamilton and Fenech-Soler at U Street Music Hall, Washington, DC – 26th April 2017

 
By on Friday, 28th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

You know that saying, “war makes strange bedfellows”? If you consider surviving the music business a kind of war, then maybe it isn’t so surprising that bands choose unexpected tour mates. One major benefit of choosing a band to tour with you whose genre doesn’t match yours: priceless exposure to fans who might not otherwise come across your music. That’s what I’m thinking was the thought process behind the North American coheadline tour starring Little Rock, Arkansas band Knox Hamilton with Northamptonshire brother duo Fenech-Soler, which began in earnest in Washington, DC, on Wednesday night. The tour will take the two bands up the East Coast, into Canada, across America and down the West Coast.

As kids, brothers Boots and Cobo Copeland worked in a thrift shop on their summer holidays. When it came time to name their band, they recalled a photo from a ‘70s yearbook with a hip looking dude named, you guessed it, Knox Hamilton. You can picture this dude now hanging out with Fleetwood Mac, can’t you? Singer Boots wears a black knit hat just like Aussie Hamish Anderson does, and the band dress like they’re ready to break out a harder rock number. However, this band’s style is definitely more pop than rock, and this has likely helped them rack up a good number of keen fans. One girl behind me spent nearly their entire set screaming with excitement, then yelling requests to the stage. Odds are you must be doing something right if you’ve got fans like her.

Knox Hamilton in DC

Despite the lack of an actual live keyboardist, they must have saved effects for live performances. It’s hard to imagine a Southern town like Little Rock churning out too many bands who use synths, making Knox Hamilton a curious anomaly with their glittery pop/rock. You couldn’t help but be drawn into the catchy rhythm of ‘Pretty Way to Fight’, and also into ‘Back Porch’, the closest they would get to a Springsteen-esque moment. ‘Work It Out’, with an anomalous introduction of xylophone notes, was the clear fan favourite of their set. Its unexpected camp feel with its rapidly sung lyrics that bounce on leads me to the lesson of the night: don’t judge a dude by his beard, hear him sing first. File them next to San Cisco’s earlier work.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiDmy6XnNyA[/youtube]

Ben Duffy of Fenech-Soler

We’ve been supporters of Fenech-Soler for as long as I’ve been writing here at TGTF. That’s a really long time! In 2011, I saw them open for Example at Manchester Apollo a few days after my birthday, but seeing stick figures on a stage didn’t do it for me. They were supposed to appear at both SXSW and the Great Escape 2 years later but unfortunately for me, they didn’t show. By 2014, I’d lost all hope they’d ever come to Washington, so I went up to Brooklyn on a Saturday to see them. They didn’t disappoint. Three years on and with three albums under their belt, I was beyond pleased for them to finally make it here and to begin their first-ever major North American tour in our city.

Fenech-Soler in DC 4

The question that must be on the minds of any long-time fan of theirs has to be, “what do they sound like now as a duo?” A very reasonable question, even with a touring keyboardist and drummer. This evening’s rendition of ‘Last Forever’, known on record for its irrepressibly summery vibe, had been reworked to a much languid, less cluttered version. To be completely honest, I was aching for the original live version. However, fans, don’t lose heart. Because Ben and Ross Duffy have always been the driving force of the songwriting for Fenech-Soler, what’s on current album ‘ZILLA’ and what is up ahead for them isn’t likely to stray too far from their successful formula, I don’t think. Dance fans in particular will enjoy their live performance more too: they’ve chosen to showcase less tracks in a set to allow for longer outros, which crescendo towards even more massive climaxes.

Ross Duffy of Fenech-Soler

One direction they’ve already shown the wherewithal to experiment with – and to do it well too – is with covers, the rumour being that there’ll be a whole slew of them released together on record sometime soon. Prince and David Bowie covers are already on their SoundCloud, and a particularly excellent version of Janet Jackson’s ‘Control’ slayed the DC audience. The lively ‘On Top’ and brilliant ‘ZILLA’ single ‘Kaleidoscope’ frontloaded their set with plenty of vigour, with fans all too eager to dance along. Of course, there was plenty of pilfering from their back catalogue too, from one of the first songs the brothers ever wrote, ‘Stop and Stare’, to the fantastic ‘Demons’ and ‘Somebody’ from 2013’s ‘Rituals’.

Fenech-Soler in DC 1

Their hour set flew by and before we knew it, we’d reached the encore. ‘In Our Blood’, with its bursts of syncopated compressed synths and Ben Duffy giving us his all on vocals was, in a word, incredible. While myself and everyone else would have loved for Fenech-Soler to have played every single banger they’d ever recorded, we’ll just have to be happy with the thought that they’ll return to us for another all-out dance party soon. America is theirs for the taking. Catch both bands on tour in North America over the next few weeks, including in New York tonight at Bowery Ballroom.

After the cut: Fenech-Soler’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Knox Hamilton and Fenech-Soler at U Street Music Hall, Washington, DC – 26th April 2017

 

Live Gig Video: Two Door Cinema Club share ‘Lavender’ from Alexandra Palace in February 2017

 
By on Thursday, 27th April 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Northern Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club are currently on the road in America, have just done the second weekend of Coachella last weekend, playing on a bill before Bon Iver and Lady Gaga. It’s good news, considering this interview with DIY last year suggested they might have killed each other over creative and personal differences. Thankfully, they took time off from the road and each other, which seems to have re-energised them.

In October 2016, they released ‘Gameshow’, their third album, which showed flexing their experimental muscles. This was to varying degrees of success, which you can read more about in my review of the long player. What is not up for contention is how beloved they are in England, which shows through in this live gig video of ‘Lavender’ they have shared from their London Alexandra Palace show to close out a UK tour in mid-February earlier this year. Watch it below. You can read through all of our past coverage of Two Door Cinema Club – and there’s a lot, because I’ve been writing about them since 2009! – through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKuGBLw71g8[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: watch LIFE perform single ‘In Your Hands’ at Hull Welly

 
By on Wednesday, 26th April 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

In a month’s time to the day, the debut album from Hull punks LIFE will see the light of day. They’re self-releasing the PRS for Music Foundation Momentum grant-funded ‘Popular Music’ on the 26th of May, just in time to get you primed for the second bank holiday of the month. As anyone who has seen them live such as myself will attest to, they’re an excellent proposition in I guess what you would call their ideal habitat: in a dark, sweating nightclub, unleashing their brand of cutting, socially conscious, in-your-face rock on punters. In case you are one of those poor souls who haven’t seen them live or indeed, you have yet to be converted to their devoted legion of ‘LIFERS’ (yes, I am one of them), I’ve got good news for you.

To usher in this month, they headlined at a special ‘POP PARTY 2’ at the (in?)famous Welly in their hometown on the 1st of April. Their stalwart photographer / video buddy Josh Moore was on hand to film the proceedings, so the group have unveiled live video from the show. The clips from the gig are set to their current single ‘In Your Hands’, which is currently enjoying a good run as Steve Lamacq’s Livener track. I cringe whenever I read the word ‘visceral’ in any music review – I never use it because everyone else does – but this is one of those rare cases in which I think it’s probably the best word to drop in.

This is definitely the kind of party you want not only to get invited to, but you’d also want to partake in with plenty of moshing, arm flailing and perhaps even a spot of crowd surfing. You’ll probably have to wipe your brow just watching this claustrophobic yet strangely enticing event unfold. The group have a busy bank holiday weekend ahead, with back to back appearances in Newcastle tomorrow and Friday (Meet the North / Hit the North), Live at Leeds on Saturday and and Handmade Festival in Leicester on Sunday. To catch up on all of TGTF’s recent coverage on LIFE, including both my and Carrie’s experiences watching them perform in Austin at SXSW 2017 last month (the photo at top was taken at the last set of the last night of the British Music Embassy), as well as my interview with Mez and his brother Mick, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIlkIimcItY[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2017: Saturday night’s fond farewell to SXSW at the British Music Embassy – 18th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 24th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

In contrast to the rest of the hectic week, the Saturday night of SXSW 2017 was a fairly relaxed one, at least for my weary feet. According to my smartwatch, I had logged over 87,000 steps and almost 45 miles of walking distance over the course of the week, and I was happy to be staying in one place for the evening. Even happier because that place happened to be the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, which hosted the BBC Music / UK Department of International Trade showcase. Mary’s additional thoughts on this showcase are back here.

Anna Meredith internal

The first performer of Saturday night was Scottish art-pop composer Anna Meredith. She and her rather unusual band (comprising cello, electric guitar, tuba and drums along with Meredith herself on synthesiser, clarinet, xylophone and vocals) made a truly joyful noise on stage, starting the showcase on an incredible high. Meredith has carved herself a unique niche on the classicial-popular music continuum in Britain, and the presence of NPR’s Bob Boilen at Latitude 30 on the night may well indicate that Meredith’s star is on the rise here in America as well. NPR recently featured ‘Dowager’, from Meredith’s 2016 debut LP ‘Varmints’, on All Songs TV.

Alice Jemima internal

Singer/songwriter Alice Jemima created a very different mood in her set, one with significantly fewer bells and whistles. Jemima’s stage presence was reserved, but in a flirty kind of way, and the same could be said of her songs. They catch your attention in a subtle way, with clever lyrics, trippy electro-dance rhythms and Jemima’s softly soothing voice. ‘Cocoa Liquor’, from her recent self-titled debut album, was one of the standout tracks on her set; you can find out more about the song in my post-performance interview with Jemima.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Xp0Dnsgocf0[/youtube]

Aquilo internal

While I was outside chatting with Ms. Jemima, Lancashire pop duo Aquilo were taking the stage inside Latitude 30. By the time our short interview was complete, the venue had filled to capacity, and we had some difficulty getting back inside. We arrived back to find that Aquilo’s soulful pop sound, defined by Tom Higham’s falsetto vocals and Ben Fletcher’s deft keyboard playing, had quickly set the entire room swooning and swaying.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Rh__vTd7CoY[/youtube]

SuperGlu

I’m not a big fan of so-called slacker rock, but Manningtree four-piece SuperGlu brought an unexpected and infectious energy to the genre in their live set Saturday evening at the British Music Embassy. Bold, colorful, and never too serious, this band is just flat out fun to watch. Take a listen to their anything-but-sleepy latest track ‘Dreams’ just below.

Sundara Karma Oscar internal

The midnight slot on the Saturday night showcase was occupied by Reading alt-rockers Sundara Karma. Frontman Oscar “Lulu” Pollock gave us a bit more banter between songs on this night than he had at Stubb’s the night before, and the injection of character was quite welcome. He’s a curious persona, is Lulu, elusive in some ways but nevertheless engaging. His three bandmates didn’t do much speaking, but it quickly became clear that they didn’t need to. Their slick, seemingly effortless playing style is almost unintentionally flashy, yet visually and sonically mesmerizing. [Check out Carrie’s interview with Pollock and drummer Haydn Evans in Austin through here. – Ed.]

[youtube]https://youtu.be/zaevPi1nEFA[/youtube]

LIFE internal

BBC 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq did his final duty for the evening, introducing the last band on the bill, Hull punk rockers LIFE. He was clearly excited to see them play, even rubbing his hands together in delight at one point after he stepped offstage and before he joined in the moshing. Once the band started, it was easy to understand Lamacq’s eagerness. This band is unapologetic, unalloyed punk, with none of the qualifiers (folk punk, post-punk) we so often see in this genre-bending era. Lead vocalist Mez Green really played up that rebel quality for the gathering of cameras at the front of the stage, but it felt authentic to their in-your-face, devil-may-care sound. The photo above was taken just before Green descended from the stage and mounted the bar, prowling its length like a predatory cat and sending his audience into a fit of wild, ecstatic dancing to close out the final night at the British Music Embassy.

Though Mary and I left Latitude 30 on a euphoric high, chatting and laughing about the great bands we’d heard, I couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge of sadness at leaving it all behind for another year. The British Music Embassy has played host to some of the best up-and-coming artists and certainly some the most exciting showcases in my SXSW experience; this year was no exception. So, rather than goodbye, I said a silent “au revoir” to the venue, to the people inside, to the artists who graced the stage, and to SXSW for another year.

 
 
 

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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