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Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail / November and December 2014 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 at 8:30 am
 

Veteran songcraft acts Sweet Baboo (pictured above) and The Pictish Trail (also known as Stephen Black and Johnny Lynch, respectively) have joined forces for a late autumn coheadline tour of the UK. The dual tour was inspired by the pair’s recent collaboration on Lynch’s latest Pictish Trail album ‘Secret Soundz, Vol. 2′, which is out now on Moshi Moshi. You can hear the new single from that album, titled ‘Long in the Tooth’, below the tour date listing, along with a recent cover recording by Sweet Baboo. Tickets for the following dates are available now.

Saturday 29th November 2014 – Brighton Haunt
Sunday 30th November 2014 – Southampton Talking Heads
Monday 1st December 2014 – Bristol Lantern
Tuesday 2nd December 2014 – Sheffield Greystones
Wednesday 3rd December 2014 – Hebden Bridge Trades Club
Thursday 4th December 2014 – London Purcell Room at Southbank Centre
Friday 5th December 2014 – Reading South Street Arts
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Cardiff Buffalo Bar
Monday 8th December 2014 – Exeter Phoenix
Tuesday 9th December 2014 – Leicester Musician
Wednesday 10th December 2014 – Manchester Gullivers
Sunday 14th December 2014 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree

 

iTunes Festival / September 2014

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 at 8:00 am
 

Kasabian (pictured above), Calvin Harris, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams are amongst the first wave of artists announced for the 2014 iTunes Festival.

Taking place at London’s Roundhouse throughout the duration of September, the line-up also includes the likes of David Guetta, young Australians 5 Seconds of Summer, Kylie Minogue and American hitmakers Maroon 5.

Tickets for each of the gigs are free to competition winners and the shows will be live streamed via iTunes or on Apple TV.

Speaking about the festival, Kasabian said, “We’re very proud to be in this year’s iTunes Festival line-up, and we are excited to be playing alongside so many great artists. We have had a huge year so far. Expect some surprises!”

Robert Plant, who headlines the festival on Monday the 8th of September, added, “We’ve been roaring around the world this summer from Morocco to the Arctic Circle. The band is on fire. It’s now time to shake it on down in NW1.”

The iTunes Festival 2014 line-up so far is as follows:

Tuesday 2nd September 2014 – Beck
Wednesday 3rd September 2014 – David Guetta
Thursday 4th September 2014 – 5 Seconds of Summer
Friday 5th September 2014 – Kasabian
Sunday 7th September 2014 – Calvin Harris and Kiesza
Monday 8th September 2014 – Robert Plant
Tuesday 9th September – Sam Smith
Wednesday 10th September 2014 – Pharrell Williams and Jungle
Thursday 11th September 2014 – Maroon 5
Tuesday 16th September 2014 – Blondie and Chrissie Hynde
Saturday 27th September 2014 – Kylie Minogue

Further artists are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. In its 7-year history, the iTunes Festival has played host to a vast array of big names, including Oasis, Lady Gaga and Arctic Monkeys.

The festival made its debut in the US earlier this year with a five day run at the Moody Theatre in Austin, Texas during SXSW 2014. Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar and Pitbull were amongst the artists on the line-up.

For further information about the iTunes Festival including ticket applications, visit the official Web site.

 

Video of the Moment #1581: Lykke Li

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

I sense an ’80s, Debbie Gibson / Tiffany vibe to Lykke Li‘s ballad single ‘Gunshot’. Do you agree? There are conflicting ideas on what this video is about, with some of her fans saying she’s dead in the story (which might explain the pale makeup on her face) and others saying she’s sold out and is more like Lorde now (ouch). Watch it below and decide for yourself.

‘I Never Learn’, Lykke Li‘s latest album, is out now.

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Live Gig Video: Model Aeroplanes perform an acoustic ‘Whatever Suits You Better’ at T in the Park for The AU Review

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

As you know, we can’t always be everywhere, so that’s when mates come in handy: we couldn’t be at annual Scottish mega festival T in the Park this year, but our friends from down under at The AU Review were present and they filmed this lovely bit. Model Aeroplanes, who were a wonderful discovery of mine in the summer of 2013, filmed this acoustic version of their track ‘Whatever Suits You Better’ – in the Scottish sunshine, no less! – for our Aussie buds. Watch the performance below.

This original feature on The AU Review ran here. Everything Model Aeroplanes on TGTF, including my interview with the Dundee lads at Liverpool Sound City 2014, is right this way.

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Live Review: Royal Blood with Spirit Animal at DC9, Washington DC – 20th July 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Despite what some people think, seeing a band at SXSW might not be the best experience you have with them. Maybe the mix wasn’t right, or it was being squished in like sardines among people who may or may not have cared to see the band in question back in March of this year for SXSW 2014? Whatever the reason was, I just didn’t enjoy myself seeing Royal Blood during their slot at the BBC Introducing showcase at Latitude 30 Thursday night, compered by my famous friend Steve Lamacq. However, this past weekend I was granted a far better opportunity to see the Brighton duo tear it up at intimate venue DC9, one of my favourite places to see up and coming bands play. I’m almost not sure if we are to call Royal Blood “up and coming”, as they’re already signed to Warner Brothers, which seems to suggest superstardom is just around the corner.

Opening hearing a couple of tracks from the opening band Spirit Animal online, I thought their sound would be a dreadful mismatch to Royal Blood’s ‘take no prisoners’ approach to hard rock. Oh, how very wrong I was. Upon reading the bill weeks ago, I was first questioning, why was a random New York City band come in Washington to play a one-off show with an English band they’ve never met? Turns out it wasn’t so random at all: the band are actually originally from DC and just have decamped to the Big Apple, presumably for a better shot at professional success. Second question, how does an analogue synth-playing band fit at all with the ethos of a band like Royal Blood? The Moog in question wasn’t so much ‘played’ was mostly banged by frontman Steve Cooper, who was otherwise mostly singing, jumping and showing his line dance moves (I’m being serious about this last one).

The connection sonically with Royal Blood is on their sometimes hard rocking guitar, delivered by epic beard-sporting bassist Paul Michel and lean and mean axe-playing Cal Stamp. I say sometimes, because this band changes direction from song to song, which keeps things extremely interesting, and they can get away with this, because Cooper is charismatic to pull this off and lead his troops to victory. Their general genre is rock, but they incorporate elements of funk, which make a lot of their music capable of inducing shape throwing. In no song of theirs is this funk more evident than set opener ‘Radio Brain’, which is a whole lot of fun while Cooper jumped around like a bull in a china shop. No, I lie. ‘Best One’, also on their EP ‘Kingdom Phylum’ (you’d think they named this to appeal to a biologist like myself), is another funkadelic storm. Spirit Animal, in essence, provided an upbeat audience warm-up for the headline set. The funk and catchiness of their songs will serve them well, and I foresee this band doing very well in the near future. (I’m not even considering the fact that Cooper and I went to rival county high schools.)

Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher certainly earn their keep. The two powerhouses come together to create such a commanding presence as Royal Blood live, I can’t imagine seeing anyone else gig in the near future who could rival what I witnessed Sunday night. I can’t emphasise enough how wowed I was by the sheer muscle of Kerr’s masterful bass playing and Thatcher’s bewildering drumming on display. I’m a bass player and when I wasn’t headbanging (yes, I am 5’ 3”, tiny and Chinese, stop laughing and don’t judge), I just stared, mesmerised as Kerr’s left hand moved fluidly up and down the neck of any one of his three guitars. If I am to keep this review clean, the only way I can describe Kerr’s playing, in a word, is awesome. If you don’t play bass (or any instrument for that matter) and have always thought that there is no way a bass player can dominate on melody on a song, think again.

Kerr is charismatic, but in a less conventional way: for the masses that make their way every summer to Download and Sonisphere, it seems he is the no-brainer choice for their next frontman hard rock god, wailing on his bass with monster riffs while also holding court with his seemingly out of control in their power yet (surprise!) melodic vocals. This is the difference – and it’s a massive one – that makes Royal Blood special and stand out from the rest of the hard rock pack. Indie music lovers who might not identify as headbangers won’t be able to stay away once the Brighton duo’s memorable choruses get stuck in their heads (see ‘Little Monster’, ‘Come On Over’).

But let’s turn back to the drums for a moment. I watched Thatcher pummel his drum kit into virtual submission, hitting it so hard that after just three songs in, he had to grab another pair of drum sticks, as there was nothing left of the ones he started with but dust and pathetic shards. (Pathetic shards he handed over, very kindly, to a grateful female fan before starting into the next song, I might add.) As he delivered his searing beat contribution to last song of the night ‘Out of the Black’ with rapid fire precision, I couldn’t help but smile and think that if the late John Bonham is watching, he is delighted that someone is continuing in his footsteps. After the show, I said hello to the guys and they were some of the sweetest musicians I’ve met. I hope, sincerely, that I have not ruined their street cred with this revelation; I only bring this up because they seem oblivious of what effect their music has on their fans.

You want to place a bet on the next biggest hard rock act to take over the world? Look no further. My money’s on Royal Blood. And it couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

After the cut: Spirit Animal and Royal Blood’s set lists.
Continue reading Live Review: Royal Blood with Spirit Animal at DC9, Washington DC – 20th July 2014

 

Album Review: Fink – Hard Believer

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd July 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

I was first introduced to Fink by fellow TGTF writer Cheryl, who described their 2011 album ‘Perfect Darkness’ as being “like a smooth whiskey”. We listened to it while getting ready to go out to a gig (I can’t remember now who we were going to see), and it occurred to me very quickly that a more apt comparison has probably never been made. Fink’s lyrics, sung by frontman Fin Greenall, are dark and bittersweet, their potent flavor quickly subdued by the deep, spreading warmth of the rhythmic groove provided by bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer/guitarist Tim Thornton.

Fink were looking to build on the success of ‘Perfect Darkness’ (reviewed by our John here) when they wrote and recorded their fifth LP ‘Hard Believer’. Once again, they decamped to Los Angeles to work with American producer Billy Bush, who also produced ‘Perfect Darkness’, at Sound Factory studios. The band have described ‘Hard Believer’ as their most collaborative effort to date; thus, I’ve chosen to use the name Fink here to refer to the full trio rather than to Greenall himself. (Watch the band’s video commentary ‘The Making of Hard Believer’ below.)

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According to Ninja Tune Records, who have provided support for the album’s release, the phrase “Hard Believer” comes from the vernacular of the American South, where it refers to a person “who is difficult to persuade, who requires proof”. Musically, that Southern drawl is felt immediately in the bluesy guitar riffs and languid vocals of the title track, which you might already have heard in our previous MP3 of the Day feature.

As the album progresses, its tone shifts between artfully coaxing another person and desperately hoping to convince oneself, as in the subtle but edgy ‘2 Days Later’ and the fragile façade of ‘Looking Too Closely’ (featured earlier as a Video of the Moment). ‘Pilgrim’ pairs the provocative lyric “Come a long way / not to ask the question that’s been on your lips all the way” with a palpably anxious and harmonically dissonant rhythmic pulse. The expansive and evolving ‘Shakespeare’ reflects on the fictional tragedy of Romeo and Juliet in the context of a failed romance, building from a sparse and gentle acoustic to a lush, full dynamic over the repeated phrases “Turn the pages / and learn nothing…”

Throughout the album, Fink make effective use of their usual tools: hypnotically repetitive lyrics, spellbindingly sensual rhythms and Greenall’s alluring vocals. While only a few specific moments stand out on ‘Hard Believer’, the record maintains a sense of penetrating emotional warmth and its parting impact is strong, not at all unlike the effect of a rich single malt Scotch late in the evening.

7.5/10

Fink‘s fifth album ‘Hard Believer’ is out now on Fin Greenall’s new label R’COUP’D.

 
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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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