By Mary Chang
on Monday, 28th July 2014 at 6:00 pm
Seeing that their fans are surely chomping at the bit in anticipation of their album ‘Get Hurt’ to be released next month, New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem have now revealed the promo video for the title track. Stereogum make a good point that this song sounds “Killers-eque” and I would agree: Brian Fallon is sounding more Brandon Flowers than ever. Is this a newer, less brash version of the Gaslight Anthem we’re about to hear from? Have a watch of the video below.
The Gaslight Anthem tour the UK in November; all the details are here.
The concept of a lie-in at a festival is a flawed ideal. That was my initial discovery as I scraped myself of the floor of my tent – unsticking my back from the plastic ground sheet after all the sweat had caused the tent and I to have become moulded together in some unholy union. The problem being that on a beautiful summer’s morning – like the one every 2000 Trees reveller woke up to on the Friday morning – tents effectively become mini-greenhouses, where huddled safely in your sleeping bag, you become a pig roasting in a blanket. But far less delicious. 2000 Trees frowns upon acts of cannibalism.
Once I’d extracted myself from the pressure cooked vacuum that was my tent, I staggered towards the nearest vender and bought something palatable enough to be called food. I think they were churros. Questionable food selection aside, my early mid-morning stagger brought me to the Main Stage. Overlooked by the canopy of some beautiful oak trees the Main Stage at 2000 Trees is mightily impressive (especially at night when the aforementioned canopy is lit up), the stage is around the same size as the Other Stage at Glastonbury if you’re looking for a worthwhile comparison.
First up were a band I had planned to get stuck into, Emp!re. Partly because I enjoyed them on record and thought they were underwhelming supporting Arcane Roots at XOYO a few months back. But mainly because our camp next door neighbours all had Emp!re tattoos and one of them was the lead singer’s girlfriend (despite how camp Joe Green is, he is most definitely straight), so they would probably have beaten me up if I’d missed them.
To my delight, Emp!re were the polar opposite of the band I laid eyes upon in the clammy confines of XOYO. Gallivanting around the stage with hands flailing everywhere, Joe Green was a bastion of enthusiasm, even at midday. The perfect cure for any badgers cider induced hangover if you spent too much time last night propping up the Big Lebowski Bar. The set had all the hallmarks of a classic: James L’Esteve, Dave Thomas and Jon Tupper all looked as up for it as you could be on the first day of a festival. Revellers even laid down their swing ball bats as they were entranced by the siren like yelps of Joe Green from atop the Main Stage.
Green’s maturity as a frontman has come on in leaps and bounds in the past few months and while there was some witty impromptu banter – interspersed with gasps for air – Green let the solid tunes in Emp!re’s arsenal do the talking. Understandably due to obvious factors, Green will always draw comparisons with Skindred’s Benji Webbe, but little could be further from the actual truth. The two are as similar as the Queen and Kim Jong-Il. (8/10)
From an energetic lively frontman, bursting with charisma and charm – to an utterly charmless carbon copy of any indie band doing the rounds at the moment, next up were Natives. Showing about as much presence on stage as a sack of potatoes, Natives chugged through a disappointingly lazy and predictable set, which showcased absolutely none of the reasons why they’ve been touted as potential stars of 2014.
The songs were utterly forgettable and the crowd had absolutely no time for it, as vast swathes of the crowd which had gathered for Emp!re trudged their way back to The Cave, disappointed and unfulfilled. (3/10)
Luckily, we were treated on the Main Stage to the polar opposite of Natives, Slaves. Two men, a pair of drums and a guitar.
• D.I.Y credentials, check.
• Punky sense of energy, check.
• Ability to not give a shit how they sound, check.
The Main Stage was in for a pounding.
Slaves provided arguably the soundtrack for the first true day of the festival. ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ is a song which Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent say was inspired by a time “when they were walking through a forest and looking for a car with a girl named Debbie”. The gloriously simple songwriting, with a touch of ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’-esque suspense in the middle makes for a huge tune that every member of the crowd loved.
The impact of the entire set was obvious, seeing as afterwards everyone around the Main Stage was still shouting, ‘where’s your car Debbie!’. A superb slab of DIY punk, delivered with no bollocks, no pomp, just passion. (8/10)
From the most underdressed punks, to a motley crew of overdressed punks in the form of The Computers. Once purveyors of brutal garage punk, their last album ‘Love Triangles Hate Squares’ was dripping with soul. It was left-field that’s for sure, but with catchy toe-tappingly jazzy tracks like ‘Bring Me the Head of a Hipster’ littering the record and Alex Kershaw’s effervescent sense of exuberance, the set was bound to turn a lot of heads at Trees.
Drawing primarily from their most recent album, the band tore through a frantic set. The funky, soul styling Computers were going for a mid-afternoon set that went down a storm as oldies and young’uns alike got themselves swinging. The crescendo was a glorious ‘Wall of Death’ orchestrated by Kershaw, which saw the lead singer screaming his lungs out in the middle as a torrent of a thousand people crashed in from both sides. If you want evidence of how it looked, take a gander this live footage filmed from a safe distance away. ‘Oh My Soul!’ (9/10)
Next up was Itch (pictured at top) of former The King Blues’ fame, who is cutting his teeth as a solo artist now. In 2009 the full band went down as one of the weekend’ highlights, so it was a shame that on one of his returns, as a solo artist Itch managed to provide one of the more lacklustre performances of the weekend.
Flanked by a creepy backing singer in a creepy crying baby mask – who to my view was androgynous in gender – Itch strutted around stage lazily, blurting out songs with some kind of lightly-veiled political sentiment. In reality, in the baking summer heat after the aural assault of The Computers, all people wanted to do was dance. Instead they were treated to a lethargic journey through the increasingly twisted psyche of Jonathan Fox.
In some instances, when his backing singer kicked in with an overly autotuned interlude, it felt like I was listening to the next in the conveyor belt of BBC Radio 1 rap stars, not the best new and underground British music. I wasn’t coming to watch Itch to see a Professor Green wannabe; I wanted something with an edge, something with a little venom. Regrettably though, it was a performance from one of 2000 Trees favoured sons that should most certainly be forgotten by both crowd and performer. (4/10)
More of John’s coverage of 2000 Trees 2014 will continue soon on TGTF.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 28th July 2014 at 12:00 pm
July may almost be over, but we’ve still got several more weeks of (hopefully) sun-filled days and carefree star-filled nights before autumn makes her appearance. Perhaps it is the good feeling I have within me that even though we’ve passed quite a few summer festivals already, there are plenty more wonderful events to come and tease all of our senses, so the timing of the appearance of this act couldn’t be beat. Not to mention I’m sure this smooth jam will be a welcome soundtrack to, er, plenty of late night liaisons…
The duo in question that I am introducing to you today is called Honne. Like many words in Chinese that frustrate me because I can’t quite translate into an English equivalent and do the original phrase justice, the word “honne” in Japanese very loosely means “your true feelings and desires”. Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher, who have been mates ever since they met on the first day of university, were inspired to come up with their new act’s name on a trip to ol’ Nippon.
The press sheet explains the term is meant as “describing the contrast between what one thinks, and what they project to others” and “a perfect fit for [their] songs which frequently address private passions, and their playing out in public”. I find this description interesting, because there seems to be no question whatsoever what this Somerset and Wiltshire via Bow act’s first song to the world is about. Or what it’s meant to encourage.
Their first foray into the public realm has been anything but tentative, with NME premiering their debut single ‘Warm on a Cold Night’ last week and the magazine praising its “lusty, late night, urbanite feel”. It begins as if in a dream, as if literally emceed by a late night American soul DJ, that is. Clutterbuck’s echoey, r&b infused vocals – with a blue-eyed soul to rival those of Dave Bayley’s in Glass Animals’ debut LP ‘Zaba’ – slink around every turn of this soulful yet electronic beat-driven masterpiece. The lyrics will bring to mind loads of other soul classics in which a man is touchingly showing his appreciation for his woman: “And I can’t help but wonder / how we ended up alright / and I love you like no other / ‘cause this has never felt so right”.
But the difference in how this single will be received is its embracing of more forward-thinking production ala Frank Ocean and 2013 Mercury Prize winner James Blake, while the vocal delivery and overall feel are kept firmly rooted in classics of yesteryear. With a memorable chorus that is likely to get your head bopping and toes tapping, Honne are definitely an act to watch in the coming months.
‘Warm on a Cold Night’, the first single from Honne, will be released on the 1st of September on Super Recordings.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 28th July 2014 at 10:00 am
Glass Animals have quickly become a favourite among the staff here at our site, with their debut album ‘Zaba’ rarely leaving the turntable at TGTF Towers this summer. (Read my review of the album here.) The Oxford band just released a new EP last week on Wolf Tone Records.
Based around ‘Zaba’ track and single ‘Pools’ (promo video here), the five-track release includes the original version of the song, a studio version (finally) of the band’s untouchable cover of Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’, and three very different remixes by German producer Marius Lauber (aka Roosevelt), Jackson and His Computer Band (say hello to your favourite new heart-pumping gym remix via Parisian producer Jackson Fourgeaud) and London’s Kwes (wonky beats ahoy).
You can listen to all the songs from the EP on their Spotify Emerge page. To celebrate the release of the EP, the band are giving away for free the Roosevelt remix ‘Pools’, which somehow manages to take the already cheerful and perfect for summer song and make it even brighter and bouncier. To get the remix for free, visit Glass Animals’ official Web site, hit the Free Download button and sign up for their mailing list to get a link to your free download.
After several years working on separate solo projects, folk rock duo Angus and Julia Stone have reunited for a new self-titled album, due for release on the 4th of August. In support of their new project, the sibling pair will embark on a tour of Europe in November, finishing with the following UK dates near the end of 2014. Tickets are on sale now.
Friday 12th December 2014 – Bristol Academy
Saturday 13th December 2014 – Manchester Albert Hall
Sunday 14th December 2014 – Glasgow Academy
Tuesday 16th December 2014 – London Hammersmith Apollo
You can preview the new album by watching the video for edgy opening track ‘A Heartbreak’ below. Previous TGTF coverage of Angus and Julia Stone can be found here.
Activist punk rockers Rise Against have just announced a worldwide tour in support of their recently released album ‘The Black Market’, including a string of shows in the UK this November. The globally-conscious video for current single ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore’ can be viewed below the tour date listing.
Support acts for the UK leg of the tour will be Pennywise and Emily’s Army. Check Rise Against’s official Web site for complete international tour information. Tickets for the following shows are available now.
Monday 3rd November 2014 – Sheffield Academy
Tuesday 4th November 2014 – Glasgow Academy
Thursday 6th November 2014 – Birmingham Academy
Saturday 8th November 2014 – Manchester Apollo
Sunday 9th November 2014 – Southampton Guildhall
Monday 10th November 2014 – London Brixton Academy