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Band of Skulls / October and November 2016 English Tour

 
By on Monday, 17th October 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Following a sojourn of touring in America, Southampton band Band of Skulls will start a new tour of England this Thursday, the 20th of October, in Leeds. They’ll also be playing a hometown show on the 17th of November at Southampton Engine Rooms. ‘By Default’, their fourth album, was released back in May. You can read Rebecca’s review of early single ‘So Good’ through this link. Check out the hard rocking band at any of the dates below. Below the tour date listing, you can watch the band’s recent promo video for ‘Black Magic’, also taken from ‘By Default’. For more Band of Skulls coverage on TGTF, go here.

Thursday 20th October 2016 – Leeds University Stylus
Friday Oct 21st October 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Saturday Oct 22th October 2016 – Newcastle Northumbria Uni
Monday Oct 24th October 2016 – Bristol SWX
Tuesday Oct 25th October 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday Oct 26th October 2016 – London Roundhouse
Thursday 17th November 2016 – Southampton Engine Rooms

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q20LOvxqNnA[/youtube]

 

Liverpool Sound City 2016 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 13th June 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Liverpool is a city drenched in musical history and culture. If you weren’t aware of this by now, maybe check out The Beatles. They’re pretty good. So obviously it makes perfect sense to host a music festival here. Rather than find a large park or field to hold said festival, the creators of Sound City have decided to utilise the plethora of empty and abandoned dock yards, which by all accounts is a stroke of genius. It gives it a unique environment that other festivals just can’t. By having the festival on such an exposed setting you are potentially setting yourself up for failure with the weather, especially in the North West of England. However, this year at Sound City, the sun was in full attendance for the weekend.

The first day was a veritable festival of the unknown and known. As much of an oxymoron as that sounds, Sound City 2016’s lineup was clearly meant to bring fans of the larger bands – who made up only a small percentage of the total bill – and expose them to local acts and those from further afield. Walking around the docklands, you were invited into a number of tents and stages. Considering the size of the land which this event takes place on, it isn’t hard to imagine that such a situation could be mildly overwhelming. Sound bleed was also an issue, particularly amongst the smaller stages. Of course, when you have such a small amount of real estate to play with this is also expected. But it is rather awkward in the grand scheme of things.

Whilst perusing the grounds, it was the acts that actually didn’t have a stage per se who were more eye-catching. A group of musicians in the midst of a somewhat spontaneous jam session near a tent reminded you of the true meaning behind festivals such as Sound City. It’s to enjoy the moment and capture whatever arises, be it a sea of fans ready for a band (Saturday night’s headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen) or those just interested in fuelling each other’s minds.

The evening boasted a strong lineup: as mentioned previously, each band would draw roughly the same crowd, giving the main stage an extra thick layer of hangers-on and day-waiters. When Band of Skulls took to the stage, the sun was blindingly beautiful, and the heat had done its job of giving a party-filled and relaxed atmosphere. Well that, coupled with the abundance of alcohol. Cracking through a selection of hits, both old and new, they created a wall of movement that really kicked the evening off. Personally, I think Band of Skulls have the potential of being headliners, though with Catfish’s current trajectory, putting the Southampton rockers on well before them was hardly surprising.

Brum’s Sleaford Mods took to the stage next with as much anger and angst as you can imagine, further feeding the frenzy. Finally, it was time for the much-anticipated set from Llandudno-born Catfish and The Bottlemen. The instantaneous reaction that happened with the first notes was one of severe chaos and revelry. Bottles of questionable liquid flew through the air and refused to hit the ground until the last notes rang out. The set itself was a roaring success, but the abundance of their fans at the festival – this, once again, isn’t a negative toward the band – within its small boundaries, didn’t leave much room for the usual conglomeration of music fans and artists alike. A strange feeling for what is meant to be a music industry showcase at the end of the day.

The second day of the festival had more promise, though it had its own trials to face of a different matter. Another blistering day meant that the atmosphere was once again joyous, but the diversity in the headliners brought a more eclectic mixture of personalities to the crowd, giving Sound City on Sunday a much more traditional festival appearance in terms of punters. With pretty much more of the same during the day – a stream of throbbing crowds, a collection of sounds melding in the air and unknown music fun – it was proof that the foundations of Sound City were set in this formulaic way.

Security throughout the event were definitely earning their paycheck, though in some aspects they were overly prominent in the wrong areas, which had a mildly negative effect on the more inebriated revellers, shall we say. This is always a touchy subject: generally, if a drunk person is annoyed or angered, the situation worsens in a lot of aspects. There was nothing too untoward at the festival, but security’s handling of situations could’ve been a bit less rash. Anyway, back to the music.

The Dandy Warhols brought their late ‘90s sound to the joyous crowd, with the biggest reaction, predictably, for their smash hit ‘Bohemian Like You’. Their sound was perfect for the afternoon, being one that is drenched in memories of past years, while also being able to appeal to a fresh audience. Local lads Circa Waves brought this to the next level by giving a performance that fully engaged the audience, while ensuring that the level they’ve reached as a band is maintained through a consistent and heavy barrage of tracks that just garner in strength. Circa Waves are a force that just won’t let up, and this force just fed the crowd into a frenzy. Bear in mind this is a crowd mostly consisting of Liverpudlians, awaiting their hometown heroes’ comeback show.

And this is where The Coral (pictured at top) come in to play. With a set that was interrupted by a power cut across the entire festival, the Coral’s time onstage never really managed to take off as it had for the bands before them. There was still a certain magic to the set, but with an interruption that was out of the hands of the band onstage, it’s a hard thing to come back from. Obvious hit ‘Dreaming Of You’ punched the set back into life, but by this point it was too late and the end was nigh. Considering this was a hometown show, the set felt flat. The result? It felt like there was no recognition of the moment’s massive occasion that was clearly a draw for so many within the crowd.

Sound City is a complex little beast. Its purpose is to draw in professionals and punters alike, almost in a The Great Escape manner. But somehow this year’s atmosphere felt confused. It wasn’t sure where it sat, which ultimately left a peculiar feeling in the air. Hopefully next year’s festival builds upon this year positively and comes back stronger than ever. The foundations are certainly there, and since the waters of Liverpool don’t see the sights they once used to, the reuse of the abandoned docks is certainly a fantastic idea.

 

Single Review: Band of Skulls – So Good

 
By on Wednesday, 18th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Band of Skulls have been playing and creating music since 2008. They are about to release their fourth studio album next Friday. Their latest single, ‘So Good’ has been premiered ahead of its release and is the second to be shared from LP ‘By Default’. It follows first single ‘Killer’, which was released earlier this year. The album was produced by Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters) and will be released through BMG.

The threesome – Emma Richardson (bass and vocals), Russell Marsden (guitar and vocals) and Matthew Hayward (drums) – have had a steady rise to fame over the past 8 years or so. At the beginning of their career, they were featured on iTunes’ free Single of the Week, then performing on Later with Jools Holland and Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2014. They’ve also had their songs featured on a myriad of television shows including Castle, Gossip Girl and True Blood over the past few years, solidifying their exposure mainstream. They have supported Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Dead Weather, and have toured pretty extensively: in a nutshell, they’ve been busy.

Their latest release ‘So Good’ sees Richardson’s vocals front and centre and is a bold rock ‘n’ roll number, soaked in catchy bass rhythms and sharp, clean guitars. The track has vigour to it, like it would comfortably suit both an intimate venue like your local seedy bar, as well on the main stage at a festival. The chorus, Richardson repeating the title of the song over and over, is pretty addictive and picks up the rhythm of the track before softening back into each verse. The song fits into the indie rock mould, yet is sophisticated and stylish. This single feels less edgy than some of their earlier work, almost leaning into a more pop vibe. ‘So Good’ sets an interesting precedence for the upcoming album: the most exciting bands and artists are usually those that don’t stubbornly stick to the same blueprint album after album.

8.5/10

Band of Skulls will release their fourth album ‘By Default’ on the 27th of May on BMG, which includes current single ‘So Good’. The band will be touring extensively across Europe this year, including numerous festivals from The Great Escape and Glastonbury, to Benicassim and Out Of The Woods Festival in Austria. For England, they’ve already announced an extensive tour for October and November; all the dates are listed in this previous tour post. past coverage of Band of Skulls on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r5-THZLI1M [/youtube]

 

Band of Skulls / October and November 2016 English Tour

 
By on Friday, 22nd April 2016 at 1:30 pm
 

Southampton rock trio Band of Skulls will hit the road in England again this autumn, following their already sold out April and May live dates. Their new album ‘By Default’ is due for release on the 27th of May and will include the single ‘Killer’, which we’ve already featured right back here. Just below the tour date listing, you can watch a live session video of album track ‘Erounds’.

Tickets for the following shows are on sale today. For our collected previous coverage of Band of Skulls, click here.

Thursday 20th October 2016 – Leeds Stylus
Friday 21st October 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Saturday 22nd October 2016 – Newcastle Northumbria University
Monday 24th October 2016 – Bristol SWX
Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 26th October 2016 – London Roundhouse
Thursday 17th November 2016 – Southampton Engine Rooms

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

 

Video of the Moment #2053: Band of Skulls

 
By on Friday, 1st April 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Hard rockers Band of Skulls will be releasing their newest album on the 27th of May on BMG Recordings. Produced by Gil Norton, the new LP ‘By Default’ promises to be yet another amazing record from the Southampton group. Recorded during a self-imposed break from their over 2-year life of relentless touring out on the road, the press release confirms the album will be the band’s “sharpest” and most “engaged and focused” effort yet.

Ahead of the new album’s appearance on the high street and at all good online music retailers, the Southampton group have unveiled a new video for ‘Killer’, a single off the album. In the promo, images of the the band’s performance of the song is accompanied by multitudes of tv screens reflecting the oversaturation of media in our everyday lives. Watch the video for ‘Killer’ below, and stay tuned for the release of ‘By Default’ at the end of next month.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6ff46DtKlg[/youtube]

 

2000 Trees Festival 2014 Roundup: Day 2 (Friday) – Part 2

 
By on Tuesday, 29th July 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

The first half of John’s Friday coverage of 2000 Trees 2014 is here.

Following up from Itch, were a three-piece described by my camp next-door neighbours as “his new favourite band of the last year and a half”. Arcane Roots, have undergone an extraordinary rise through the ranks of British rock, to become one of the most well thought of bands in the UK at the moment. They’ve toured with the likes of Muse and Biffy Clyro and seem to be taking the same path as the Scottish behemoths of rock. Building an underground following with complex riffery, high-pitched screamery and dreamy beardery, they’re only a ‘Puzzle’ away from exploding onto the world scene in a big way.

At Upcote Farm, they opened with their newest standalone single ‘Over and Over’ and immediately began about dominating the vast stage, by swinging themselves around as they picked away. On the times I’ve seen Arcane Roots they’ve always opened with ‘Energy is Never Lost, Just Redirected’, which has a slow build up and normally has the crowd bursting with energy when the riff drops,. However in this shorter festival set, there were a few changes which meant the set as a whole was less fluid then in the past.

Still, the delivery from the three-piece was frenetic and superb and left a lot of the crowd joining in with my neighbour. “They’re my new favourite band! I’m going to download their back catalogue when I get home.” Success. (7/10)

I was surprised by this next act. Mainly due to the fact I forgot they were still a functioning entity, after being dropped by their label. But low and behold You Me at Six-lite… I mean Kids in Glass Houses strode onto stage as if not a year had passed since ‘Give Me What I Want’ had been the anthem(ish) of the year.

It was a joyful last hurrah from the Kids, seeing as they are ready to embark upon their farewell tour after 11 or so years of peddling pop-punk. The songs were catchy and poppy enough to sing along to, especially if you were one of the 1,000 girls clad in denim shorts that just aren’t big enough for you. Some of the older rock purists gathered around me near the sound desk scoffed at the lovelorn tales of teenage angst. I suppose Kids in Glass Houses are a generational thing.

But, to anybody who was looking for a shameless good time, as well as a little dance in front of the Main Stage the Welsh five-piece were exactly what the doctor ordered. Songs like ‘Undercover Lover’ may sound like they’ve been ripped from a High School Musical soundtrack, but in the Gloucestershire sunshine they proved popular. I won’t be one to shed a tear when the group say their final good byes, but after their bouncing, peppy 2000 Trees set, I certainly won’t be saying ‘good riddance’. (7/10)

From preppy, plucky, pop-punk plush to sweaty, sweary screamcore. Everybody in The Cave knew they were in for an ear battering from Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman. Having seen them for the first time only a week previously at Sonisphere, I knew unless I wanted to be caught up in a swirling mass of enforced circle pits, I should stand a good distance to the back of the circus tent which formed The Cave.

From the moment the four-piece arrived on stage the crowd were battered by wave after wave of short, sharp bursts of sound. Trash Talk aren’t the type to mess about and frontman Spielman isn’t the kind of man who enjoys the confines of a stage. No, he’s far more at home amongst the crowd, inciting violence at any opportunity and giving any punter a go with the microphone. (8/10)

Back at the Main Stage, Blood Red Shoes provided one of the most memorable sets of the weekend for two reasons. Firstly, for the fact that as a live outfit, the twosome are a superb band, with a great set of DIY credentials and a fast paced live show like none other. The other reason being that Laura-Mary Carter took offence (for good reason) with a fan in the crowd who looked like he was giving the band the Vs for the entire set. Not cool. Not cool at all and although I hate the word vibe, completely out of touch with the festival’s extremely friendly vibe. Carter midway through the set looked up, pointed in the crowd and told the offending gentleman that he was a “wanker” and he could “fuck off”. The only problem with that being, that pointing out from the Main Stage, half the crowd thought she was pointing at them and looked horror-struck at the accusations.

Unpleasantness aside, it’s no surprise that in the programme the Trees organisers claimed they’ve been trying to get Blood Red Shoes for a number of years. They’re still young, they’re innovative and even after 10 years of touring, they’re still one of the bands championing good, honest British rock music.

Drawing from their immense back catalogue and partly from their most recent self-titled album, the duo roared through an lively hour-long set where the band failed to miss a note. Steven Ansell played the drums like a man possessed and held no quarter when smashing two shades of shit out of the kit at times. Carter, fired up with rage, stomped around the stage like a rock goddess, full of fury and presence. (9/10)

Now, I had some reservations when I saw Band of Skulls (pictured at top) as the headline act on the bill. They put on a superb live show, of that there is no doubt. But do they have enough big tunes to close a festival? Even a small festival like 2000 Trees? How wrong I was proved over their hour and half set.

At quarter to 9 when the three-piece strode on stage, the light was just leaving the sky and the immense canopy behind the Main Stage was lighting up magnificently, showcasing all of the beauty I’d come to expect from the Upcote Farm stage.

Despite the glorious scenery around the stage, it was what was happening right in the middle of it all which held be captivated. Matt Hayward on the drums put in arguably one of the most perfect drumming performances that I’ve ever seen. The power behind every beat was insurmountable and sent a wave of bass across the small arena. It’s a good job Upcote Farm is out of the city, as if Hayward was smashing away at that time at Reading Festival, he’d have sent the entire population barmy with sleep deprivation. Hayward’s immense showing on the drums was matched by the marauding presence of bassist Emma Richardson, who strut about the stage like a giant. Finishing it all off was Russell Marsden, who took every opportunity to thank the ever-appreciative 2000 Trees crowd, who loved every second of the set.

I thought it was a risk playing their most well-known anthem ‘I Know What I Am’ early on in the set, but as a live outfit ‘You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Going On’ and ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’ were given a revitalisation and pumped out of the speakers with a ferocity which caused the Trees crowd to get worked up into a frenzy.

Every song had an enormous stomping beat to it and a singalong chorus to boot. The perfect end, to a superb day of British music – and undoubtedly unearthing headline talent of the future. (10/10)

Enjoying TGTF’s coverage of 2000 Trees 2014? More of John’s reports will post soon.

 
 
 

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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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