We'll be at SXSW the week of 10/03/14, so if it's more quiet than usual here, that's why! Check out our
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th February 2014 at 6:00 pm
Basically, if I do not manage to get an interview in Austin with James Page, better known by his stage name Sivu, I’ll consider SXSW 2014 a loss. He’s just released a brand new video for ‘Can’t Stop Now’. In typical Sivu fashion, the songs sounds weird, wonderful and like no-one else. It’s my understanding it was filmed in Los Angeles, which probably helped with making the video stranger than if it had been filmed in, say, London. (I mean, come on. At one point, Page is dressed in a green suit that is the exact shade of Gumby.) Eee, I’m getting excited about seeing him soon!
For more on Sivu, read my Bands to Watch from January here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 26th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.
British rock and its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In the second installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we turn to the UK bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, alphabetically N through W. (In case you were wondering, there weren’t any Y or Z bands announced, we weren’t leaving anyone out on purpose!) The first half of the rock list, in case you missed it, is here.
How many UK bands do you know of have already gone on tour in Asia even before their debut album has been released? Not many. Even less when you’ve never heard of said band. So there must be something more about Natives from the New Forest that deserves your attention. They sound entirely unpretentious and (gasp!) just like they’re having a lot of fun too. We don’t know much about them, but we’re guessing there’ll be plenty to say post-SXSW.
New Desert Blues
John writes: “With no sense of pretence, no dramatic unveiling, New Desert Blues have snuck up on my psyche, with the immense track that is ‘Adam’. The five impeccably dressed lads who sounded raw, and ebbed with potential at The Great Escape at The Fishbowl have created something really special with their debut effort.
Refined, and delightfully genuine, New Desert Blues aren’t bursting with youthful exuberance as you’d expect from a group of five less-than-likely lads. They instead emanate a dastardly sense of cool: whether that is in lead singer James Cullen’s ability to pull of the most pretentious of turtlenecks in Brighton sunshine at this year’s Great Escape, is yet to be uncovered.”
All girl group PINS sound more Brooklyn than Manchester in their raucous, fuzzy rock delivery. Admittedly, their complete lack of Y chromosomes sets them apart from all the other UK rock acts at SXSW 2014, but will this – along with their Christmas song getting an exclusive on Urban Outfitters’ Web site – work in their favour, or will they merely be a curiosity?
Public Service Broadcasting
Martin writes: “They take as their inspiration and sampling material that rich vein of mid-century film footage which gloried in the wonder of British achievements, celebrating the majesty of heavy engineering, the valour of daring explorers, and the gritty triumph of war. The band themselves mirror the tone of their subject matter by dressing in tweeds and having names like Wriglesworth; one half-expects the other band members to be called Ginger and Algy, and for them to fly off in Sopwith Camels after the show is over.
Each piece brings to life a particular microcosm of history via clips from vintage newsreels, spanning about 20 years from the early 1940s to the advent of practical colour television in the 1960s. Wartime propaganda is invoked in ‘Dig for Victory’, the distinctive iconography exhorting the populace to self-reliance via growing their own food is writ large across several vintage television sets adapted for digital projection. ‘Spitfire’ uses copious footage from the 1942 film The First Of The Few to honour the achievements of RJ Mitchell, the designer of arguably the most famous aircraft ever built.”
The lone true rock band on the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist, the Brighton duo’s is the UK’s answer to, well, both the Black Keys and Queens of the Stone Age. And they’re ready to unleash their punishing bluesy rock on Austin come March.
Cheryl writes: “Playing what they have dubbed ‘medieval Scottish rock’, Saor Patrol – which translates as ‘freedom guard’ in Scottish Gaelic – kicks up the amperage on other traditional folk music. Not content to stick with the 100% traditional sound, these guys add a grinding guitar to pull it just this side of modern. Completely instrumental, the combination of this driving guitar overlaid with a bagpipe melody is just different enough from traditional bagpipe bands to turn heads.”
Read the rest of Cheryl’s Band to Watch on Saor Patrol here.
Save Your Breath
Cheryl writes: “There probably wasn’t a lot to do on a Saturday night in the port city of Newport in the south of Wales. Friends Ben Griffiths and Tom Owens solved the boredom by forming a band that eventually was fleshed out to become Save Your Breath. Taking their pop punk sensibilities from the likes of Green Day and their ilk, they forged their sound from the grit of the life around them. What must have started out as a lark between school chums, titles like ‘Not in the Mood for Kiwi’ and ‘Holy Shit, Fortune Teller Miracle Fish!’ show up on their first album, they have matured enough to temper their weird song titles but still have energetic, aggressive tunes worthy of a listen.”
For more on Save Your Breath, read the rest of Cheryl’s Band to Watch on them here.
Garage punky duo from Kent have already made a big noise in London and on tour with fellow SXSW 2014-ers Drenge for their punishing live set. Not much else to say except if you like punk, you better start planning your SXSW schedule around these guys, because I think it’s pretty assured their sets will be rammed.
Kind of poppy, kind of rocky, kind of surf-y. Not terribly cerebral, but hey, this is the kind of music I expect Best Coast fans to enjoy (and there are a lot of those).
Syd Arthur – there is no man named “Syd Arthur”. No, they’re a psych rock band with a wink wink, nudge nudge hippie name, and the players all with long, unkempt hair. “Greatly inspired by the sonic pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s, they have patiently learned how to engineer, produce and mix themselves, using an innovative hybrid of analogue and digital techniques.”
Teeth of the Sea
Instrumental proggy guitars plus synths band with their latest album, ‘Master’ (2013), receiving rave reviews across the board for its inventiveness. Their live shows have received similar plaudits, so if you’re into this kind of music, they’re unmissable in Austin.
Like your punk as well as your melodies? Described often as “noisy”, “happy” and “joyous”, Chichester’s Traams, then, are for you.
We Were Promised Jetpacks
The Scottish band’s cult popularity in the States was on a high in 2012 when the band appeared at SXSW last, but after being off the radar for quite a while, they’ve just released a live album ‘E Rey Live In Philadelphia’ and will be looking to solidify their standing stateside.
Carrie writes: London alt-rockers Wolf Alice are likely to bring in new fans from all corners at their SXSW shows. Their sound is a hybrid of styles, a slightly unsettling middle ground among cerebral indie folk, bright garage pop, and murky grunge rock…The band’s own lyric, from the title track ‘Blush’ might actually be the best description of their overall sound: “Punch drunk, dumbstruck, potluck, happy, happy.”
Ben writes: “These Brighton based psych surfers take a battered base of shoegazing garage rock, douses it with B-movie psychedelia, throws on a lighter and watches it blacken into a ghastly yet basely expressive lump of carbon. The far out three piece had a degree of success with two singles on Hate Hate Hate Records, before announcing their switch to Heavenly Recordings with the release of Afree digital download ‘Gravedweller’”.
Keep it here on TGTF for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming soon!
Emerging from the smouldering ashes of its Britannic demise, Sonisphere returns after what appeared to be ‘an indefinite hiatus’ year in 2013 – it seemed the inevitable excitement/carnage that ensued post-The Big Four in 2011 was too much for Sonisphere’s Knebworth bash to handle. It was obvious the festival was suffering in 2012: they were in the proverbial doldrums of booking acts, with their top billing going to aged hair metallers Kiss – followed by Queen and Faith No More – I suppose again though, post-The Big Four the question is for any metal band booker, where do we go from here?
In true Fawkes from Harry Potter style though, the festival has spread its wings and is spreading a trail of thrashy fire around Knebworth in preparation for the festivals erstwhile rebirth-as-it-was(ish).
The line-up will cater to both the most seasoned mosh-bandit, to the slighter rocker – anything from your fully kitted out – I’m talking all the clichés, studded jacket, trousers the colour similar to that seen on a solar eclipse and piercings from ear to ear- heavy music fan, to the meekest of rock enthusiast, who furtively enjoys a bit of ska.
To start of proceedings arguably one of the best live acts still doing the circuits, The Prodigy will be kindly falling in line with the phoenix metaphors with their displays of twisted firestarting. While the classics, ‘Firestarter’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Poison’ and ‘Out of Space’ will be sure to whip any crowd into a frenzied mass, it’s tracks like ‘Omen’ and ‘Take Me to the Hospital’ from their most recent record ‘Invaders Must Die’, which are more familiar with the younger generations who will be putting their bodies on the line at Knebworth.
Joining them on Friday’s bill are fresh from the Kerrang! tour band, Limp Bizkit, bringing with them a host of nu-metal nostalgia along with some new material which has even included a collaboration with that stand-up character L’il Wayne. If that’s not your cup of tea, the 5th of July sees THE Iron Maiden appear at Knebworth, supported by the thundering riffs of Deftones and the not-so-thundering-riffs, but wholeheartedly rocking Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls.
Bruce Dickinson’s Union Jack waving exploits not cutting it for you? Thoroughly incredulous towards ‘The Number of the Beast’? Fear not, the thrash on the Saturn Stage will be tantamount to your approval – enter Slayer. I challenge you – nay, I dare you – not to well and truly lose every semblance of ‘your shit’ when ‘Reign in Blood’ drops. They’re an institution before being a band, and if their cult following doesn’t sell out Knebworth alone, Alice in Chains and Metallica (with maybe a less menacing Lars Ulrich pictured at top) should do the trick in equal measure.
Add to that equation, that if you snag a weekend ticket ASAP, you’ll be able to help choose 17 out of 18 of Metallica’s set. So you’ll be looking forward to a Sunday closing set chocked to the block with the hits you want. And really, what else could you want?
To book tickets and more information on Sonisphere as it returns for a new year, visit their official Web site.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 6:00 pm
From their name, London-via-Kendal four piece Woman’s Hour sounds more like the name of a special interest radio programme than a rock band. But we can assure you, they are indeed a musical group! The video for their current single ‘Her Ghost’ is described by frontwoman and band lyricist Fiona Burgess like this:
After seeing two young people signing to each other in the street, I became interested in how deaf people communicate, particularly how they engage with music. Vilma, the deaf actor in our video, signs the song as a personal response to the lyrics, rather than a literal word-for-word translation. The process has enabled us to celebrate this form of engagement with music; language as a form of dance.
The single is out now digitally but will see a 7″ vinyl single release on the 24th of March on Secretly Canadian; the b-side will be ‘I Need You’. Catch the band’s dreamy tunes at SXSW 2014 next month.