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Courtney Barnett / November and December 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 13th May 2015 at 9:00 am
 

Australian rocker Courtney Barnett has announced a list of headline dates in the UK for the end of 2015, following the release of her debut LP ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’.  Ahead of the November and December tour dates, Barnett is also scheduled to appear at Glastonbury in June.

Tickets for the following headline shows are available now.  Our previous coverage of Courtney Barnett can be found right back here.

Wednesday 25th November 2015 – London Forum
Friday 27th November 2015 – Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Monday 30th November 2015 – Manchester Ritz
Tuesday 1st December 2015 – Liverpool Academy
Wednesday 2nd December 2015 – Glasgow ABC
Friday 4th December 2015 – Bristol Academy

 

Maximo Park / November 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 13th May 2015 at 8:00 am
 

Newcastle veterans Maximo Park will mark their 10th anniversary later this year with a short series of live shows in November.  Celebrating 10 years since the release of their debut ‘A Certain Trigger’, the band plan to play that album in its entirety, along with a selection of single tracks and rarities from their lengthy career.

In addition to the live shows, Maximo Park will share some of those rare tracks, one per week leading up to the anniversary date, on their official Web site.  The band will also release re-mastered versions of ‘A Certain Trigger’ and a collection of b-sides and demos titled ‘Missing Songs’ on limited edition vinyl on the 30th of October.  Below the tour date listing, you can stream the demo version of ‘Signal & Sign’.

Tickets for the following shows will go on sale this Friday, the 15th of May, at 9 AM. Previous coverage of Maximo Park on TGTF can be found here.

Tuesday 17th November 2015 – London Roundhouse
Wednesday 18th November 2015 – Manchester Albert Hall
Thursday 19th November 2015 – Newcastle City Hall
Friday 20th November 2015 – Glasgow Barrowland

 

Video of the Moment #1802: Editors

 
By on Tuesday, 12th May 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Rahi Rezvani

Editors have just released the new video for their track ‘No Harm’, which we at TGTF featured as an MP3 of the Day back in April.  The striking black and white video featured here was filmed by Iranian-born photographer Rahi Rezvani, whose work caused him to be exiled from Iran in 1999.  The bold style of Rezvani’s “striking and strident imagery” is a perfect fit for the starkly minimalist musical arrangement of ‘No Harm’, which is expected to feature on Editors’ self-produced fifth LP, due for release later this year.

Our previous coverage of Editors, including dates for their October 2015 tour of the UK and Ireland, can be found right back here.

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Live Review: BAD//DREEMS and Francisco the Man with Beat the Bandit at Sheffield Frog and Parrot – 7th May 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 12th May 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Years ago, for boring reasons I won’t go into here, I decided music wasn’t a sensible career. As the years go on as I’m a music editor, I continue to see more and more instances where the unexpected nature of this job would have driven me absolutely bonkers. But like most things in life, you have to learn to roll with the punches, pick yourself back up and push yourself out there again.

As you may have read in part 2 of my Live at Leeds adventure 2 Saturdays ago, my intention had been to see Adelaide, Australia band BAD//DREEMS performing at A Nation of Shopkeepers. To my shock, really – compared to American crowds, I usually witness extreme politeness when I’m around Northerners, who usually see me trying to make my way to the front of a gig and part the seas so I can do so – everyone who had shown up to see BAD//DREEMS refused to move, staking their spots so they could enjoy the Aussies’ entire gig unbothered. This is a good thing, mind: I’m glad they were so well-received in Leeds, their first time in that city. And luckily, I had a plan B available: they were supposed to play a gig the following Thursday at the Rocking Chair in Sheffield, alongside their current UK tourmate coheadliners Francisco the Man from America.

The original show in Sheffield was to be headlined by local garage rock duo Hot Soles, who wowed me at Liverpool Sound City 2014 with their spunk at a Yorkshire showcase last year at one of my favourite Liverpool clubs, the entirely unpretentious Mello Mello (RIP, sob). After receiving a frantic slew of emails while I was still in Dublin, it became apparent that the Thursday night gig was now up in the air, as someone in Hot Soles’ camp had taken ill, so the Rocking Chair event was now cancelled. A few more emails later, and the decision had been made to move the show to the Frog and Parrot on Division Street and turn it into a free gig.

Obviously, a free gig is not the best for bands, since that means there’s no cut from the ticket sales from them. However, seeing that both BAD//DREEMS and Francisco the Man had travelled thousands upon thousands of miles to come out to blighty and had already brought all their gear out to Sheffield, it’s important to point out that showing up and playing for the locals, even as part of a free gig, is an important step. These days, even with the internet, music Web sites and services like Spotify and Hype Machine, I still find word of mouth an extremely important tool in separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to bands. Even if the two bands had one new fan from the show in Sheffield, that fan can turn around and tell 10 of his friends about the bands and turn them on to them. And so on. I want to stress this, as even though major label signings are forced down our throats (especially and sadly true in America), us down at the grass roots levels can and will still make a difference to indie music.

Right, so off my soapbox and on to the gig review. From what I gather, BAD//DREEMS and Francisco the Man have already become good friends during their time together over here, which is always great to hear. BAD//DREEMS explained to me before they played that they’d been taking turns with would headline, and this night, it was BAD//DREEMS who went first. With nearly 12K likes on Facebook, the Aussies are already beloved back home, and this trip out would be their first chance to make an impression on the Brits.

Their 2013 debut EP ‘Badlands’ features some truly rip-roaring tracks, including the heart-pound-inducing ‘Hoping For’ and the psychedelic leaning ‘Caroline’. The more recent single ‘Dumb Ideas’ plays right into the lo-fi, garage-y sound that the UK and America love at the moment. What I found most interesting, especially given I’d explained to them earlier in the evening how the Temper Trap were the first Aussie band I had really backed as a blogger, that they are heads and shoulders more fun, loud and aggressive than I had guessed from watching their videos on YouTube, making them just like the Temper Trap an even better proposition live than what is presented on their records. I am admittedly a sucker for a great melodic guitar line, and set standout ‘Too Old’, hit the spot.

Filling out the bill for the evening were locals Beat the Bandit. From the first few bars they played, I had to laugh to myself. If I’d never been given any background on them, I would have known just based on sound they were a Sheffield band. Trading on the expert guitar playing and at times, the melodic, heart-twangy sound of bands such as Britpop’s Longpigs and more recent acts like High Hazels, this isn’t a criticism, just an observation. The band’s most recent release, an EP called ‘Winter’, is available from their Facebook. When you’re there, you see they have roots in Preston, which may explain why a song like ‘Let Me Teach You How to Dance’ sounds just like the most famous musical export of the Sixties from the Northwest, the Beatles.

After an intermission of local indie rock, it was up to Californian rockers Francisco the Man to pull it back and end the evening on a raucous note. An East Coaster such as myself generally does not take bands from California too seriously; as the adverts say, it is true we think they’re all surfers and have ADD, while we chug down our umpteenth coffee, complacent in our neuroticism. While it is true that Francisco the Man’s songs do give off that sun-dappled vibe that usually only comes from a coastal band, the washy, shoegazey guitars on songs like ‘Progress’ alongside hard driving drum beats make for an engaging watch.

Frontman Scotty Cantino (yes, that is really his name) has a hipster beard but thankfully lacks any sort of pretentiousness. They released their debut album ‘Loose Ends’ last year on Fat Possum, and they share their label mates The Districts’ love for huge sounding guitars and emotional lyrics, and you can’t help but be drawn in by a track like ‘You & I’, which filled a place like the Frog and Parrot with so much luscious sound, you’re reminded how great indie rock can be. For more of a live taste of Francisco the Man, check out their live session at Seattle’s KEXP from last year.

Both BAD//DREEMS and Francisco the Man are at the Great Escape this week, so check them out!

 

Video of the Moment #1801: RAMS’ Pocket Radio

 
By on Monday, 11th May 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

When I spoke with Northern Irish songwriter RAMS’ Pocket Radio, aka Peter McCauley, last year at SXSW 2014, he intimated that he was already starting to work on new material after the release of his debut album ‘Beton’. Now, just over a year later, RAMS’ Pocket Radio is back with a new single titled ‘Reservoir’, which recently received its first radio play from Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1.

‘Reservoir’ is immediately sleeker and edgier than anything on ‘Béton’, giving it a more boldly confident overtone than McCauley’s somewhat self-conscious previous work. The drum machine beat is distant and aloof, with the electric guitar riff adding some grit to the harmonically inventive keyboard lines. McCauley’s vocal delivery here is strong yet emotionally reserved, his always perfect falsetto most effective in the chorus “I watched you walk away / I watched my life escape / I did not feel one thing / and the feeling came back when you went away”.

True to the self-described “deconstructive” nature of RAMS’ Pocket Radio’s music, the kaleidoscopic video for ‘Reservoir’ features sharply angular computer-generated graphics over cloudy black and white images of McCauley’s face. The visual contrast in the instrumental bridge section, which features a dramatic string arrangement, is particularly well-handled by video director Edward F. Butler.

‘Reservoir’ is available to download or stream on RAMS’ Pocket Radio’s Bandcamp page. Previous TGTF coverage of RAMS’ Pocket Radio is right back here.

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@ramspocketradio

 

Live Review: The Staves with Little Hours at Dublin Olympia – 6th May 2015

 
By on Monday, 11th May 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

For more photos from this show, head to my Flickr.

Probably much like people from outside DC think of the 9:30 as a venerated institution, the original location being the live birthplace of punk pioneers Fugazi, I’ve always held the Olympia Theatre in Dublin in high esteem. As an R.E.M. fan, how could I not, them having recording ‘Live at the Olympia’ during a 5-night residency there in 2007? I was a tourist in the Irish capital for a few days last week and I had to take a moment when I stumbled out of Temple Bar onto Dame Street and saw the maroon signs for the theatre. This trip has definitely been filled with those kind of moments: if there was a motto for my time over here so far, it would be “don’t go looking for inspiration, it will find you.”

Wednesday night began with a short set by Little Hours, John Doherty on lead vocals and piano and Ryan McCloskey on guitar and backing vocals. You might never have heard of them outside Ireland, but I reckon you soon will: despite their relatively young age, they were nominated for songwriting in their home country’s Meteor Music Awards (the Irish equivalent to the BRITs and Grammys), which saw them shortlisted alongside Eire’s household names Hozier, Kodaline, The Script, The Coronas and The Delorentos. They’ve also been named by Irish music magazine Hot Press as a Hot for 2015 Ones to Watch group.

There is obvious appeal to the BBC Radio 1 and even possibly the older leaning Radio 2 crowd: this is thoughtful but still highly accessible pop from two British and Irish Modern Music Institute graduates, with piano and guitar complementing each other well with Doherty’s gentle vocal style reminiscent of both Damien Rice and Steve Garrigan of Kodaline (the latter especially on ‘Tired’). The pair released their first self-titled EP just last year, toured this month with previous TGTF Band to Watch Hudson Taylor and have announced their recent signing with the RCA arm of Sony, so expect great things from them.

‘Crossfire’ and ‘Ember’ were set highlights, the banged piano chord and melodic notes with Doherty’s expressive voice proving memorable. They also proved self-deprecating, both saying how they hadn’t met the Staves – yet – but explained they were proper fanboys of the sisters and couldn’t believe they were sharing a stage with them. I hope they eventually did get an audience with them!

The Staveley-Taylor sisters – Camilla, Emily and Jessica – are no strangers to Dublin, and that was clear when the cheering started as soon as they took to the stage. The best singer/songwriter acts are those than connect easily with their audience, and the sisters had no trouble with that. They easily related the stories behind their songs and an early visit to Dublin to play their first appearance on Irish television, and their trepidation of performing the ever so sweet ‘Facing West’ with sister Emily’s whistling chops after a particularly dreary panel discussion of the Holocaust. I was a bit taken aback by all their swearing, but I think this only served to further endear them to their fans at the Olympia, as if in some weird way it proved their street cred went beyond their good girl physical appearances.

The Staves’ second album released at the end of March on Atlantic Records, ‘If I Was’, was recorded in the dead of a Midwest winter with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. This year’s album was preceded by the ‘Blood I Bled’ EP last autumn; the rich, evocative EP title track opened the evening on a wonderful night that showed off their now eclectic, burgeoning song catalogue. They pointed out just how scared they were to be snowbound and isolated in America in writing ‘The Shining’, inspired by a watching of the horror film based on the Stephen King novel, yet you can’t help but notice that they do enjoy a song to exorcise the demons of past failed relationships (‘No Me, No You, No More’, ‘Let Me Down’).

Newer bluesy number ‘Black and White’ showed off the harder side of the Staves, while older song ‘Mexico’, probably receiving the biggest cheers of the night, served as a reminder of the gorgeous sisterly harmonies from where the Staves originally made their name. Another set standout was ‘Teeth White’, initially sounding like an exercise in self-loathing; it quickly comes across as a positive message to all girls who have tired too hard to please a boy (“I got my hair long, but it’s still wrong”), only to be disappointed. Instead of dwelling too unduly on the mistakes made, the song insists that life is too short and you have to put yourself first.

Alas, the evening had to come to an end, but I doubt the Staves would have been content to leave us without breaking our hearts first. An a capella version of ‘Wisely and Slow’, followed by the everlastingly beautiful ‘Winter Trees’ finished me off. I don’t come to tears too often at shows, so it’s a testament to the Staveley-Taylor sisters’ talent that I walked out into the chilly Dublin night with my heart breaking and aching in all the right places and the wonderful feeling of being alive.

The Staves’ Set List:
Blood I Bled
Steady
Open
No Me, No You, No More
Let Me Down
Horizons
Black and White
Damn It All
The Shining
Don’t You Call Me
Mexico
Facing West
Teeth White
Make It Holy
//
Wisely and Slow (a capella)
Winter Trees

 
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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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