SXSW 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

SXSW 2016: St. Patrick’s Day at Latitude 30 for the Output Belfast showcase Thursday afternoon – 17th March 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 5th April 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

My Thursday afternoon at SXSW 2016 was reserved from the beginning for the Northern Irish showcase at the British Music Embassy. Hosted this year by Generator NI and the Belfast City Council, working jointly as Output Belfast, the daytime show on this Thursday featured one artist I’d already seen earlier in the week, one that I was already familiar with from before SXSW, and three acts that were completely new to me.

Mark Gordon

Before the festivities officially began, I stepped outside Latitude 30 for a quick interview with the afternoon’s co-emcee, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Guy Spence, who gave me this quick rundown of Output Belfast’s activities over their nearly 2 weeks spent in Austin. After the interview, Generator NI Head of Programme Development Mark Gordon (pictured above) shifted our attention to the talented musicians on the lineup for the British Music Embassy stage, beginning with a late addition to the SXSW contingent from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

County Armagh singer/songwriter Conchúr White is the lead singer and main songwriter for the quickly emerging Northern Irish band Silences. The full band had set their sights on possibly coming to Austin in 2017, but another band’s last minute change of plans opened a slot for SXSW this year, and they decided to take advantage, even if they could only afford for White to make the trip alone. While Silences’ songs are clearly written with the intention of playing in full-band arrangement, the paradoxically delicate strength of White’s singing voice made them equally effective in solo performance. For a taste of what we heard on the St. Patrick’s day show in Austin, have a listen to White’s solo version of current single ‘There’s A Wolf’ from last year’s Reeperbahn Festival, just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/7HjRnwD6Q_s[/youtube]

A switch in the originally announced lineup for Thursday afternoon called up post-punk rockers and SXSW veterans Girls Names to play next. Mary had already caught Cathal Cully and company on Tuesday night’s Huw Stephens and PRS for Music showcase, and they somehow managed to carry their “massive wall of sound” into their daytime performance on the Thursday as well. Their initial plans included five songs scribbled onto the back of a nicked British Music Embassy poster, but the slowly-evolving nature of their music necessitated a slightly shorter set. Luckily for those of us in the crowd, truncating the set list did nothing to dilute the power and intensity of Girls Names’ signature sound.

Girls Names

Following Girls Names was another artist whose songs I’ve described as evolutionary in the past, David C Clements (pictured at top). I was nothing short of thrilled to see Clements take the British Music Embassy stage with a full band to play through songs from his recent and long-anticipated debut album ‘The Longest Day in History’. His performance on the day didn’t disappoint, beginning with latest single ‘Hollywood’ and rounding off with the spine-tingling gospel tinge of ‘Hurricane’. After the set, I had a nice chat with Clements, which you can eavesdrop on right back here.

CL tape

CL and LA

I’d already seen and interviewed the ginger-bearded Ciaran Lavery on the Monday night Trackd showcase, but his Thursday set for Output Belfast was markedly different, and particularly memorable, for two reasons. Before he even began, Lavery was apparently cursed by Murphy’s Law rather than blessed by Irish luck; when he attempted to step on stage for his soundcheck, he somehow managed to split his trousers up one leg “from knee to crotch”, as he would describe it. He seemed to take the incident in good stride, joking about the silver gaffa tape holding his trousers together during the banter between songs. But despite the rather obvious tape job, Lavery’s trousers were largely forgotten when he started to sing, especially when he was joined onstage by a surprise special guest, Nashville singer/songwriter Liza Anne. Lavery and Liza Anne performed a handful of songs in harmonious duet before I realized where I’d seen her before, opening for David Ramirez in Phoenix last November.

Jealous of the Birds

The final act onstage as afternoon made its way into evening was Portadown songstress Naomi Hamilton, perhaps better known by her stage moniker Jealous of the Birds. Hamilton’s flair for the dramatic was made evident right away in her striking and beautiful appearance, but her songs were the real star of the performance, enchanting the late day crowd at the British Music Embassy and putting her squarely on our radar here at TGTF. We’ll be on the lookout for Jealous of the Birds’ debut LP ‘Parma Violets’ on the 6th of May, but in the meantime, you can feast your eyes on her new video for ‘Goji Berry Sunset’, just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/8rED0XiO93c[/youtube]

Keep your eyes here for our reviews of Thursday night’s happenings at SXSW, along with interviews and coverage from the Friday and Saturday of that week, all upcoming in the days ahead.

 

SXSW 2016: Huw Stephens and PRS for Music’s showcase at Latitude 30 (Tuesday night, part 1) – 15th March 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 29th March 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Invariably, I always end up at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy, every Tuesday night when I go to Austin for SXSW. SXSW 2016 was no exception, and as has been true the last 4 years I’ve attended, there was a stellar line-up organised by BBC Radio 1’s own Huw Stephens. The showcase was also being sponsored by PRS for Music, the society of songwriters, composers and music publishers and the people who make sure these creatives get paid when their music licenced through PRS is used and their music is protected.

The evening began with a bang, thanks to Kent’s own Get Inuit. Not to be confused with Eskimos or any sort of native tribe from a colder clime, the group hailing from the town of Sittingbourne provided a nice kick in the arse via their brash, self-described ‘dirty-pop’. Bespectacled frontman Jamie Glass has an unusual voice for a hard rocking band – it’s a little whiny, but that’s what makes it charming! If you’re questioning this, read my review of their single ‘Dress of Bubblewrap’, which explains the pop part of their music.

Get Inuit Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The result: after hearing a few quiet bars from him on a song like ‘I Am the Hot Air’, you’re in for a total surprise if you’re expecting instrumental backing of the twee variety, as the song gets right in your face and . With its guitars that go from squealing to heavy, ‘Pro Procrastinator’ is another clear example that these lads know how to rock. A debut album is currently in the works thanks to a grant from the PRS for Music Foundation, and I can’t wait to hear it.

From the South East of England, the programming then headed north…west and to Belfast and a different kind of in-your-face performance by Girls Names, who I met in 2013. I should probably point out at this juncture that it was around 32 C during the day on Tuesday, so Girls Name should probably be commended off the bat for sticking to their aesthetic (in their case, leather jackets and jeans) and not compromising because of the temperature.

Girls Names Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The post-punk group specialise in creating a massive wall of sound, generated by crashing guitars and a heavy rhythm section, and it’s usually so loud and enveloping, wherever in the world you happen to be, you’re left somewhat in awe (and with some disappointment) that the building you’re stood in hasn’t actually taken off the ground yet. Their latest album ‘Arms Around a Vision’ was released on Tough Love in October and in case you haven’t picked it up yet, do, and listen to it in the dark in your bedroom, letting the instrumentation swirl around in your head along with Cathal Cully’s shadowy, existential lyrics.

The third slot of Tuesday night at Latitude 30 last year was occupied by critically lauded political artist Kate Tempest. And for the second year running, another young hopeful not afraid to speak his mind was included on Stephens’ bill. Hertfordshire teen Declan McKenna, only at the tender age of 17, is already signed to Columbia Records and that should tell you something. Making waves with his politically potent single ‘Brazil’ that criticised FIFA, offering a critical view of the international football organisation in the midst of scandal, he’s already proven he’s got talent that’s head and shoulders above and a social conscience well beyond the reach of conventional young pop stars these days. (Watch the video as part of my pre-SXSW Bands to Watch that posted in February here.) I don’t know what I was expecting, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised when the young McKenna took to the stage looking like he just got out of gym class, in a t-shirt and a pair of Lonsdale shorts.

Declan McKenna Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

With a table full of equipment and pedals aplenty, he made quick work of recording vocals and guitar lines live, in a way I’ve only seen Badly Drawn Boy do in concert (though Carrie’s explained to me that Ed Sheeran does this as well). Playing in front of a massive crowd in America might have fazed the most seasoned of UK singer/songwriters, yet McKenna was the epitome of poise, as he played through the organ-led single ‘Paracetamol’ and ended with the audience favourite ‘Brazil’. He might not have too many recordings to his name – yet – but given the amount of shouting and screaming there was for ‘Brazil’, I think we can expect him to do very well over here.

London’s Oscar (surname Scheller), who I’d had the pleasure of chatting with just hours before outside a radio promo spot he did at Buffalo Billiards, was up next. I was slightly disappointed that he changed out of his colourful Disney shirt he was wearing earlier. But he represented dear old blighty well in a Union Jack jumper, making no mistake either the country of his own origin or the focus of the night’s showcase.

Oscar Huw Stephens PRS for Music Tuesday

The brightness of his music shone through, though, so it was all okay. While ‘Sometimes’ is the height of fun, infectious guitar pop with a buzzy synth, ‘Breaking My Phone’ is more scuzzy, allowing for the grinding of louder guitars and a feeling of letting go and going with the flow of a fun night out at a show with your friends. This show curated by Huw Stephens was a great official start to my week of showcases at SXSW, but I was soon off to see another four bands up Red River Street.

For more of my photos of this showcase, visit my Flickr.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 11th March 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 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.

As in past years, SXSW 2016 will feature a wide array of artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland who are keen to bring their music to American listeners. This year’s lineup revisits several artists who have graced Austin’s stages in recent memory, including veterans BP Fallon and the Bandits, who were featured last year in our TGTF Guide to SXSW 2015, and SXSW 2014 showcasing artists Cian Nugent and September Girls, both of whom have new albums due for release later this spring.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/n6N1cdttSuk[/youtube]

We at TGTF have already covered Belfast singer/songwriter David C Clements in an earlier Bands to Watch article right back here. We also recently highlighted many of the Northern Irish artists on the schedule in editor Mary’s Output Belfast preview, including TGTF alums Girls Names, Portadown’s Jealous of the Birds and her fellow County Armagh act Silences.

Also briefly mentioned in Mary’s Output Belfast preview was alt-folk singer/songwriter Ciaran Lavery, who is shaping up to be one of the most sought-after acts in Austin this year. His back catalogue comprises debut album ‘Not Nearly Dark’ and 2014 EP ‘Kosher’. Having already received support from the PRS for Music Foundation for his upcoming second album ‘Let Bad In’, Lavery hopes to gain a fan base in America ahead of its release in May.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/qhTCR-qQB38[/youtube]

The organizers at SXSW have filed Enemies in the Rock category, but the band describe themselves more accurately as “post-rock meets math-pop”. Their upbeat and slightly jazzy new single ‘Play Fire’ was released last August on Topshelf Records.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/d6PoF97A_FA[/youtube]

Dublin rapper Alex Anyaegbunam is known on stage by the moniker Rejjie Snow. The latest track on his official Soundcloud is ‘Keep Your Head Up’; be warned—it’s smooth and soulful, but its lyrics are not entirely safe for sensitive ears.

Precocious teenaged singer/songwriter Rosie Carney is originally from Hampshire, UK, but now makes her home in County Donegal. She collaborated with SXSW 2014 artist Travis Is a Tourist on his track ‘Little Conversations’, and she’ll appear in Austin as a solo artist this year. The video for her haunting track ‘Better Man’ is just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/hy32Kn3q-B0[/youtube]

The West Ireland trio Rusangano Family comprises “2 MCs and 1 DJ”, according to their Facebook bio. Their politically-charged single ‘Heathrow’ was featured here in America by NPR back in December, and their album ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’ is due for release just after SXSW on the 8th of April.

Saint Sister, the duo project of Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, combines electro-dream pop and traditional folk sounds. Their debut EP ‘Madrid’ was released last November, and following SXSW, they are scheduled to appear at The Great Escape festival in May.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/YBuzAdPLm3k[/youtube]

The aptly named Irish electronic producer Somadrone specialises in straddling the boundary between popular and classical music. His genre-less, minimalist compositional style is evident in the SXSW-featured single ‘Invitation’.

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

For more information about the Irish and Northern Irish artists at this year’s SXSW, consult the Music from Ireland official Web site, or simply follow TGTF’s ongoing coverage of the festival. We eagerly anticipate seeing most of these showcasing artists live next week!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Output Belfast, and PIAS in association with AIM at the British Music Embassy – 17th March 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

The British Music Embassy will return to Latitude 30 at 512 San Jacinto Boulevard, right by the heart of the action off 6th Street during SXSW 2016. Get ready, because the lineups are looking pretty brilliant! On Monday, I previewed the talent on show from Tuesday evening through Thursday evening. Today’s post will detail who is and what’s on Thursday at the venue. Carrie will follow with a preview post of her own of the offerings all day Friday and Saturday to close out the festival.

Thursday at SXSW this year, in case you haven’t looked at your calendar yet, is St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March. So it makes total sense that some of the best and brightest talent from Northern Ireland will be lighting up Latitude 30 this afternoon at the Output Belfast showcase, brought to you by Generator NI. Armagh’s Silences will bring their timeless pop sound to start the afternoon on a great note. Jealous of the Birds, aka Naomi Hamilton from Portadown, has already gotten attention from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens for her EP ‘Capricorn’ and will also be appearing Thursday afternoon.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQwYmpmGp4E[/youtube]

Smack dab in the middle of the British Music Embassy Thursday afternoon bill is David C Clements, who has just released his debut album ‘The Longest Day in History’. You can read Carrie’s introduction to Clements here. Following him will be singer/songwriter and ginger beardy man Ciaran Lavery, who has received funding from PRS for Music Foundation to write and record his second album. The afternoon will conclude with a kick in the arse, scuzzy post-punk from Belfast’s Girls Names, who we’ve been following for a while since their appearance at SXSW 2012.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa1TshNz8YA[/youtube]

Shortly after Thursday afternoon’s programming ends, the British Music Embassy will be back open for Thursday evening’s full showcase from PIAS in association with AIM. Things begin on a raucous note with Manchester girl group PINS (read our past coverage on them here), the Bella Union-signed act who made the rounds of festivals big and small in 2015. Back to London but nowhere near anything expected from the capital is singer/songwriter Cosmo Sheldrake, who likes filming live performances in the weirdest places, like a Hungarian public bath and a launderette. Also unexpected is the inclusion of a Swedish band based in London like FEWS. Stereogum describes their sound on their track ‘The Zoo’ as ‘malevolent post-punk’, and we agree.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsHNH4cVdyE[/youtube]

The second half of Thursday’s lineup goes in a different direction, and you can ‘Indulge’ in soulful pop singer Jones. More non-Brit interlopers appear later in the evening: SPOOKYLAND from Sydney will bring their introspective shoegaze late night to the venue. And be sure to hang around until the end, so you won’t miss Liverpool’s young lo-fi rockers Hooton Tennis Club (read our past coverage on them here). The band released their debut album ‘Highest Point in Cliff Town’ last summer on Heavenly Recordings and will be looking to gain an American fanbase.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmbWVT-Ax1g[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Huw Stephens with PRS for Music and British Music @ SXSW at the British Music Embassy – 15th-16th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 29th February 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The British Music Embassy will return to Latitude 30 at 512 San Jacinto Boulevard, right by the heart of the action off 6th Street during SXSW 2016. Get ready, because the lineups are looking pretty brilliant! In this post, I’ll be previewing the talent on show from Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening. We’ll be running additional previews of the BME’s programming later this week, including another one by me on the artists of Thursday’s bill and Carrie’s own to tip the offerings all day Friday and Saturday to close out the festival.

As he has done for many years running, BBC Radio 1 specialist presenter Huw Stephens will be hosting the opening night of festivities at Latitude 30. This year, this showcase is being put on with the auspices of the UK music copyright, licensing and royalties body PRS for Music. Huw has put together an eclectic bill with no two acts in the same exact genre. Get down to the venue early to experience Kent’s self-described ‘dirty pop’ quartet Get Inuit (our past coverage of them here), who are currently working on their debut album, with help on its financing thanks to the kind backing of PRS themselves. Lo-fi post-punk will be provided by Belfast’s Girls Names (our past coverage of them here). They released their fourth album ‘Arms Around a Vision’ on Tough Love Records last autumn. The scuzz in your ears from the first two bands will be washed out by the social commentary of Hertfordshire teenager Declan McKenna, who I profiled last month in this SXSW 2016-flavoured Bands to Watch feature.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq4-IpRAr0c[/youtube]

Pop continues on in an equally unique but slightly different way with the quirky yet lovable Oscar. He will be releasing his debut album ‘Cut and Paste’ on Wichita Recordings in May. For the next act on the bill, a head up to the North West is in order for Liverpool’s Clean Cut Kid and their bouncy, indie pop melodies and amazing harmonies. Rebecca profiled them with recent tourmates and fellow SXSW 2016 showcasing band Fickle Friends back here in January. The night will be closed out with the pomp and oomph of hip hop of South London’s Loyle Carner, using his rhymes to express his perspective on life.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GazJC5cAcIw[/youtube]

The music continues Wednesday afternoon at the British Music Embassy. Chad Valley is Oxford’s own chill wave artist Hugo Manuel when he’s not busy with his other band Jonquil or remixing the work of his mates Foals, among others. He’ll start the day’s activities with synthy goodness. He’s followed by Welsh band The People The Poet, one of BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary’s favourite discoveries from last year’s festival (read our past coverage on the band here). The bill then turns its focus to Cheshire-bred singer/songwriter legend Jane Weaver. The lineup stays in the North West for former Liverpool choir boy turned pop artist Banners, who released his self-titled EP last month on Island Records (read our past coverage on him here, including Rebecca’s Bands to Watch from January). The afternoon’s programming ends with East Hampshire trio and Transgressive Records signees Blaenavon. Their in-your-face sound was recently reigned in for this recent Burberry Acoustic video for ‘Dragon’ live in Manchester.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-0APoy4rdw[/youtube]

Latitude 30 will reopen for Wednesday evening at the British Music Embassy for the previously previewed BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation night. It will begin with a touching tribute to the late Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry. The band from Warrington were due to open the BBC Introducing night before they who lost their lives tragically in a car accident in Sweden last month. We encourage all to attend and pay their respects to our fallen friends.

 

Video of the Moment #1891: Girls Names

 
By on Friday, 28th August 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Belfast’s Girls Names are gearing up to release their next album, ‘Arms Around a Vision’, on the 2nd of October on Tough Love Records. Their unique brand of post-punk enjoys a good following but chafes against current conventions in rock. So it makes perfect sense that for their new video for ‘A Hunger Artist’ from the upcoming LP, they’ve taken the concept of the discomfort of a telly interview between a sullen, taciturn rock star (the band’s own frontman Cathal Cully, now sporting bleached blonde hair) and a journalist without a clue and turned it into the basis for a music video. I can’t help but listen to this song and think how John Hughes probably would have taken it and put it in a film for today’s Brat Pack… Watch the promo below.

Keen on reading our past coverage on Girls Names? Go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoPcvQ4MgxQ[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

E-mail us  |  RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us