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Live at Leeds 2018 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets (part 1)

 
By on Monday, 30th April 2018 at 11:00 am
 

This year’s Live at Leeds 2018 best bets preview will be longer than past years because a lot of the acts (more than in past years, I reckon!) will also appear at Liverpool Sound City or The Great Escape, or both. As a result, I listened to ever band on the Live at Leeds schedule, then cross-referenced the lists so you, the music discoverer, can find them at another event if applicable. The Great Escape will take place in Brighton in 2 weeks’ time, and I am planning to post a Great Escape-specific best bets that will pick up anyone exemplary that I wouldn’t have written about here if they aren’t appearing in Leeds. Hope that all makes sense! If you’d like to read my previous, more general preview on Live at Leeds 2018, follow this link.

Please note: as we always recommend in all of TGTF’s festival previews, the information we post here on Live at Leeds 2018 is current at the time of posting. We strongly encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2018 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds this Saturday, the 5th of May are still available at the bargain price of £36 plus handling if purchased online; early bird and VIP tickets are now sold out. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2018 (or earlier) alums: Here’s a list of artists we either saw last month in Austin (or even in previous years) who we enjoyed AND/OR we previewed ahead of the festival -AND- will also be appearing at Live at Leeds this coming Saturday. For your convenience, I’ve listed them in order of appearance on the day so you can slot them into your growing schedule.

IDLES (12:00 PM, Wardrobe [Dr. Martens stage])
Superorganism (2:45 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
ONR (5:00 PM, Lending Room)
The RPMs (5:00 PM, A Nation of Shopkeepers [Too Many Blogs stage])
Dermot Kennedy (6:00 PM, Academy [Leeds Festival stage])
Sam Fender (6:15 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
Stella Donnelly (7:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
TOUTS (7:00 PM, A Nation of Shopkeepers [Too Many Blogs stage])
Fizzy Blood (7:15 PM, Key Club)
Spring King (7:15 PM, Leeds Beckett main stage)
Ten Tonnes (7:30 PM, Leeds Church, Dork stage)
Yak (8:30 PM, Wardrobe [Dr. Martens stage])
Blaenavon (8:45 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
Her’s (9:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
The Vaccines (9:00 PM, Academy [Leeds Festival stage])
Wildwood Kin (9:00 PM, Leeds International Spiegeltent)
The Xcerts (9:30 PM, Key Club)
Pale Waves (11:15 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])

Apollo Junction (electropop; Leeds; 12:00 PM, Trinity stage)
This band from North Yorkshire have been knocking around for the last 6 years with their brand of electropop and somehow, I have only discovered them now. Precious little is available online about them but according to this article, they enjoy Yorkshire Tea and fat rascals at Betty’s, which wins them bonus points in my book. Check them out before an A&R stumbles on them and they get whisked off to bigger venues.

The Orielles (garage rock; Halifax; 12:00 PM, Holy Trinity Church, CLASH stage)
We’ve featured The Orielles over the last 5 years on TGTF, so you’re probably wondering why would I include them here. They released their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ in February on Heavenly Recordings, and the LP has received accolades, including from The Guardian (“this album is a masterclass in how to produce guitar music that feels anything but futile: by making it specific, strange and superior to much of what’s come before.”). We knew them before they was and now you can enjoy them as a special guest at Live at Leeds. NB: They will also be appearing at Liverpool Sound City later on Saturday at the District and The Great Escape in a fortnight’s time, performing twice on Thursday the 17th of May.

SHEAFS (rock; 1:00 PM, Hyde Park Social Club)
The River Sheaf flows through Sheffield, so I’d fathom a guess that this group of Sheffield Hallam University graduates named themselves after it. This is a band with that snotty punk attitude and muscular guitar rock to back it up. They’ve been selling out venues in the UK and across the Continent, and it seems this is merely the beginning for them. NB: They will be performing at The Great Escape Saturday night the 19th of May at Hope and Ruin.

Tors (folk; Devon; 1:00 PM, Chapel)
Changing gears to a more conventional singer/songwriter outfit, my ears happened upon Tors, a quartet from Devon who amIACre miles away from the region’s most famous musical export Muse. Equally adept at a cappella four-part harmony and sweeping, guitar-driven, folky soundscapes ala Fleet Foxes and Goldheart Assembly, they’re for those interested in a slower, yet richer musical experience. NB: Tors appear Friday night the 18th of May at St. Mary’s Church at The Great Escape.

The Snuts (rock; Whitburn, West Lothian; 2:15 PM, Key Club)
I imagine most bands from Scotland are asked if they are from Glasgow or Edinburgh. The Snuts are from Whitburn, West Lothian, smack dab in between the two. I reckon they must favour Glasgow, as they’ve named a song after it that’s already hit over 440,000 streams on Spotify. No wonder: they’ve got that feel good guitar rock vibe going that everyone loves. Well, most everyone, right?

Black Futures (rock / electronic; London; 3:15 PM, Key Club)
Love psych rock? Love electronic? Hate that the two genres are never together in one band? Fear no more. Black Futures from London are a duo that have somehow successfully melded the two, giving each its due. A band after my own heart. NB: Black Futures will appear at the Great Escape Thursday the 17th of May at Green Door Store.

Hollow Coves (folk; Brisbane, Australia; 4:00 PM, Leeds International Spiegeltent)
Folk duo Hollow Coves will be travelling quite a distance for Live at Leeds. They hail from the hometown of BIGSOUND, the picturesque Queensland port city of Brisbane. You can expect angelically beautiful harmonies from the acoustically inclined folk duo. NB: Hollow Coves will appear twice on Thursday the 17th of May at the Great Escape.

Knightstown (electronic; Brighton via Glasgow; 4:00 PM, Headrow House [NME stage])
In a previous life, Michael Aston was a freelance composer and the keyboardist in C Duncan’s live band. Over the last few years, he’s been making music of his own under the name Knightstown. Aston’s swirly, emotional falsetto vocals float over his electronic compositions, drawing him favourable comparisons to Jamie Woon. He’ll provide an atmospheric performance that will be in sharp contrast to most of the other performances in Leeds on Saturday. NB: He will perform Saturday the 19th of May at The Great Escape as part of the FatCat Records showcase.

The Indigo Project (indie rock; Leeds; 4:00 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
I always like a good local band getting the opportunity to showcase at the festival in their own hometown. The Indigo Project are also no strangers to Live at Leeds, having played the event last year. Jangly, bright guitar pop guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

whenyoung (pop-punk; London via Limerick, Ireland; 4:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
Pop-punk may have been borne out of the Noughties, but it’s still alive and kicking. Female-fronted whenyoung, Irish transplants in the Capital, recall the peppiness of Avril Lavigne while sitting nicely alongside acts like Dream Wife and False Advertising. NB: whenyoung are scheduled to play at the Haunt on Thursday night the 17th of May at the Great Escape.

Lady Bird (punk; Kent; 4:15 PM, Key Club)
Slaves and Drenge got the party going on political punk a few years ago, and the UK has never looked back since. With IDLES and LIFE performing at back to back SXSWs the past 2 years, it seems likely that their buddies from the South East, Lady Bird, will get an invite to Austin soon enough. Signed to fellow Kent natives Slaves’ Girl Fight Records, their future in releasing the kind of informed punk they want is bright. NB: Lady Bird appear at the Great Escape twice on Friday the 18th of May.

Tremors (synthpop; UK/French band based in London; 4:30 PM, Brudenell Social Club Community Room [DIY Neu stage])
Tremors are two Englishmen and a Frenchman from Marseille who somehow came together with the notion that they were going to meld French electropop and New Wave and they were going to do it on their own. So far, they’ve only released a series of singles, including this year’s two heart-pumping tunes, ‘Technicolour’ and ‘Broken Glass’. As an unashamed fan of synthpop in all its guises, Tremors are a unique curiosity worth your time at Live at Leeds.

Stay tuned for the next part of this preview on Live at Leeds 2018. Hopefully tomorrow!

 

Preview: Live at Leeds 2018

 
By on Tuesday, 19th December 2017 at 11:00 am
 

While on my recent birthday trip to blighty, I visited Leeds and remembered with great fondness my first visit to the city. It was for the 2015 edition of Live at Leeds. Now that after 3 years Liverpool Sound City appears to be in perpetuity as a docklands-focussed event no longer centred on its lovely city, it falls to Live at Leeds to provide the sole Northern festival to celebrate its city’s many music venues.

Next year’s event will take place on Saturday, the 5th of May during the first bank holiday of the month. Here we are, having not even reached Christmas yet, and the event organisers have already announced a wonderful slew of tantalising artists scheduled to appear. Birmingham psych rockers Peace occupy real estate at the top of the event bill, alongside Liverpool’s Circa Waves. The Horrors, who returned this year with ‘V’ (reviewed by Steven here), are also scheduled to appear, as are British Sea Power and LAL 2016 alums Anteros, Blaenavon and Spring King.

Festivals are a great time for musicians to road test new material or continue a campaign in support of a new album. Nick J.D. Hodgson will sound familiar: formerly the drummer and primary songwriter of Kaiser Chiefs, he’ll be performing in his hometown prior to the release of his first solo album. FatCat Records signee KNIGHTSTOWN released his self-titled album this autumn and will no doubt be wowing audience with his atmospheric electronic sounds. Aussie surfer poppers Hockey Dad will be returning to blighty for this 1-day festival: they’ll be releasing a new album, ‘Blend Inn’, in February.

This is just a small smattering of artists who will be performing at this exciting event across Leeds city centre next year. Early bird admission tickets to Live at Leeds 2018 are now sold out, but general admission (£39.60) and VIP (£55.00) tickets are still available. For more information about Live at Leeds 2018, visit the event’s official Web site.

 

Video of the Moment #2438: Blaenavon

 
By on Wednesday, 20th September 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

There seems to be no stopping Liphook, East Hampshire’s Blaenavon. The indie rock trio released their debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ back in the spring; you can read Rebecca’s review of the long player through here. Not content to simply tour on the back of their successful new record, the group released another EP last month. The EP’s title track single, ‘Prague ’99’, now has its own promo video. Singer Ben Gregory’s voice is the one steady element of the song, which begins in an innocent manner before it blows up and out into an anthemic rock number that ends explosively. Watch the video for ‘Prague ’99’ below. Both the debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ and the EP from Blaenavon are out now on Transgressive Records. To read much more on Blaenavon here on TGTF, go here.

 

Album Review: Blaenavon – That’s Your Lot

 
By on Monday, 5th June 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Blaenavon That's Your Lot album coverIt’s an interesting and somewhat unorthodox path the trio better known as Blaenavon have tread prior to the release of their debut album. After meeting at school and playing music together since 2013, Ben Gregory, Frank Wright and Harris McMillan decided to take things easy for a few years on the music side, instead focusing on finishing up their A Levels. Then they released some music again, starting with 2015’s ‘Miss World’, before going on to share a bunch of new stuff in 2016. Their debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ was released earlier this spring on Transgressive Records.

This an ambitious first album when you consider the youth of the guys behind Blaenavon. The music that they’ve created on the album is nuanced and mature in sound, with Gregory’s voice echoing Morrissey’s dour pipes at times, and with jangly guitar moments tapping into Vampire Weekend’s intoxicating festival feel. It’s a rich and dense debut album, suggesting that given room to grow, the threesome will move on to even more interesting stuff.

‘Orthodox Man’, which has racked up nearly a million plays on Spotify, is one of the most appealing tracks on the album, with Gregory singing a range of ohhhs throughout, paired with a hazy, balmy vibe from the guitar and drums, reminiscent somewhat of Theme Park. ‘Take Care’, which opens the album, has a gentle start, before picking up and again puts vocals front and centre, and again hints at an easy-going feel. They’ve definitely released that album in good time for the summer months. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, some music just makes me feel like the longer and brighter days of summer have arrived.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VxmbYaNUDY[/youtube]

First released in 2016, ‘Let’s Pray’ is an upbeat track that trundles along with charming hooks, and, like much of the album, lays bare Gregory’s vocals. The song sees Gregory singing, “let’s pray for death” atop a contrastingly cheery guitar rhythm. ‘Lonely Side’, which positively bubbles along with its piano and guitar, is another track whose lyrics (“I walk the lonely side / I walk the lonely side”) are in stark contrast with the buoyant music.

An album standout is ‘Prague ’99’, which felt like I’d already heard it before upon first playing the track, with echoes of other bands, particularly the opening moments that are reminiscent of the xx. Gregory sings, “it’s you I said / you keep running through my head / I swear it so” in the chorus, before a spirited Imagine Dragons-esque riff breaks out. Then there’s ‘Swans’, which at 8 minutes long is an ambitious step into the almost slightly too self-indulgent. Yet somehow, it works, with Gregory’s voice sounding like Bastille’s Dan Smith. The track starts slowly, with music and momentum lifting throughout the track, before dropping off and laying bare the vocals at the final moment.

This is an album that’s definitely worth a listen, particularly if indie is your bag. It’s a big statement from such a young group of guys, both lyrically and musically, and I’m excited to see where the trio go next.

7.5/10

‘That’s Your Lot’, the debut album from Blaenavon, is out now on Transgressive Records. To read more of TGTF’s coverage of Blaenavon, follow this link.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Southern England artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 3rd March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Roll up! Roll up! For today’s TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, we’re taking the train out of London and into the South East and South West of England to check out the artists there who have received shouts for this year’s big do. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by our Cambridge correspondent Steven Loftin, except where noted. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Alice Jemima – pop / Exeter
Super cool and smooth beats twinned with Alice Jemima’s dreamy voice makes for more than a pleasant listen. If anything, you could get lost for days in the musical wonderlands she creates, with a mixture of electronic and instrumentation stylings, if you don’t fall for Alice Jemima, then more fool you.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoEXjFn3CMs[/youtube]

Annabel Allum – rock / Guildford
One of those DIY, totally be yourself types, Annabel Allum refuses to be pigeonholed or adhering to any kind of fad. What she creates is a world of her own, a mixture of punk in its true form, dark indie a la Interpol and a carefree attitude that lends itself to her lyrics. Definitely worth checking out: if you’re not at SXSW, do yourself the favour to have a listen to her at least on Soundcloud.

The Bay Rays – rock / Tunbridge Wells
With a vigour and upbeat swagger, The Bay Rays have a sound that is definitely fit for summer. That said, their lyrical content is often not of quite the same persuasion, often dealing with the idea of homelessness and the bottomless pit that is life. Latest single ‘Satisfaction’ carries all of these traits in spades. After supporting fellow SXSW attendees Slaves last year, The Bay Rays are definitely ones to check out. [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3OFkEWdl7Q[/youtube]

Blaenavon – rock / Liphook
Blaenavon are the ultimate example of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. You kind of expect guys like them with long hair and sullen looks to either shoegazers or one of the many lo-fi rock groups of late, but they are neither. Their music has a dark edge like a 21st century Nirvana, yet songs like ‘Let’s Pray’ prove they can do pop as well. Their debut album, ’That’s Your Lot’, will be out on the 7th of April, so their time in Austin will allow them to preview their songs in front of a largely American audience and for a second time at SXSW (they came over for the event last year). (Mary Chang)

To catch up on TGTF’s past coverage of Blaenavon, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPyWV_u2sY0[/youtube]

Buggsy – hip-hop / Bristol
It was bands like Massive Attack and Portishead and the sound of trip hop that put South West England city Bristol on the map. Rasta MC Buggsy wants to change that, stood in front to lead the charge of the city’s best rappers. As mentioned yesterday in introducing rapper Safone in the Midlands edition of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, it’s hard for rappers to get attention if they’re not from London. Seeing how big the genre of rap has become over the years at SXSW, he couldn’t have picked a better year to get his time in the spotlight in Austin. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLZROAx9XwU[/youtube]

Chad Valley – electronic / Oxford
Mixing beautifully layered vocals with chilled out synth work, Hugo Manuel aka Chad Valley will in no doubt be one to soundtrack to some beautiful Texas afternoons next month. Having released a plethora of singles, two EPs and a couple of albums, Chad Valley is easily racking up quite the impressive discography which he’ll in no doubt showcase expertly in Texas.

IDLES – punk / Bristol
If you’ve been wondering if there was a Southern counterpart to socially conscious Midlands group Sleaford Mods, look no further. Blistering Bristolian punks IDLES will be releasing their debut album ‘BRUTALISM’ – yes, they love those capital letters! – on the 10th of March, just a few days shy of the start of SXSW 2017. So you can bet they’ll be eager to unleash their newest tunes on the unsuspecting punters descending on Austin. I also wonder how Mary Berry feels about being namechecked in their single ‘WELL DONE’… (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Oxqf_15k0w[/youtube]

Lewis Watson – singer/songwriter / Oxford
Oxfordian Lewis Watson has everything you’d expect from a British songwriter: emotive and heart on sleeve lyricism and beautiful compositions. Gearing up to release his second album ‘Midnight’ shortly after SXSW, Watson is steadily building an arsenal of heart.

To read more on TGTF’s past coverage of Lewis Watson, go here.

Muncie Girls – rock / Exeter
Another act breaking through the ranks of British rock, Muncie Girls (pictured at top) are melodic punk at its finest. Though their sound is still currently quite raw, it only helps exude the emotion in their music, and over time this will work itself into a fully embellished. Expect their second album to be released at some point in 2017.

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

SG Lewis – r&b / electronic / Reading
Coming at you with lustrous, thick beats that erupt and pulsate around ghost like vocals, SG Lewis is here to soundtrack your dreary city nights. Having signed to his dream label of PMR (they also represent big names Disclosure and Jessie Ware), SG Lewis looks set to make his mark with electronic music paired with the thinking of a smart singer/songwriter.

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

Slaves – punk / London via Tunbridge Wells
Not really in need of an introduction, punks Slaves are heading back to America to cause more havoc. With their vicious and raw sound that is made to rouse and provoke, they don’t take prisoners. They demand them. You can read editor Mary’s review of their latest album that was
released last September, ‘Take Control’, through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wWBeJpFsQs[/youtube]

To check out more of TGTF’s past coverage on Slaves, follow this link.

Sundara Karma – rock / Reading
Having just released one hell of a debut album with ‘Youth Is Only Fun In Retrospect’ in January (reviewed here by Carrie), Sundara Karma are also a part of the new wave of British music that has a saviour like feel to it. If you don’t find yourselves moving and shaking to their sounds then we can’t help you, you’re on your own.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bGs64ipYpU[/youtube]

This is the Kit – folk / Bristol via Paris
In a manner similar to fellow South By attendees Modern English, This is the Kit has a raw and vulnerable indie sound about them. From the brain of Kate Stables and performing under the moniker This is the Kit, she composes each track with her own talents and select friends to build the ideas in her head into these tangible and timeless indie pieces. [Aaron Dessner of the National is a fan, having signed their band to his Brassland label. – Ed.] [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

Wildwood Kin – folk / Exeter
With a name like Wildwood Kin, you can probably imagine what they sound like: delicate, soft folk music that couldn’t squeeze any more emotion or feeling into it even if they tried. The sweet sound of Americana but with English heart, this all-female trio will have you weeping in seconds. [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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

 

Live Gig Video: Blaenavon share New York City tour diary set to new single ‘Orthodox Man’

 
By on Wednesday, 18th January 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Blaenavon shared with us some good news last autumn. The East Hampshire trio who have been building on well-deserved live hype announced that they had signed to Canvasback / Atlantic Records. To usher in 2017, they have even more good news! Their debut album,’That’s Your Lot’, will be out on the 7th of April.

To celebrate this great news, they’ve shared a travel diary of sorts by director Francesca Consarino of their time last autumn in New York City, where they played two packed out shows to new, adoring American fans. It’s set to ‘Orthodox Man’, the first single announced from the upcoming LP out this spring. Watch the video below. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Blaenavon, who appeared at SXSW 2016, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VxmbYaNUDY[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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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