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Deer Shed Festival 2018: Saturday Roundup

 
By on Monday, 6th August 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

Most years at Deer Shed, it’s possible to detect a secret theme influencing the band selection. We’ve had lady bands, we’ve had Celtic, and following on from Leeds’ Mush yesterday, this year we have a plethora of Northern English bands: Yorkshire’s North and West, Wearside, and Tyneside are all represented. From this fact, combined with the utter off-the-scale brilliance of how Saturday would pan out, we can deduce that that region of the UK is producing some of the country’s, if not the world’s, finest bands.

An embryonic SLUG were at Deer Shed 2015, but this year sees Ian Black’s outfit demonstrating how far we’ve all come since then. His backing band aren’t Field Music any more, for instance, but rather a bunch of chaps dressed up as a barbershop quartet for some odd reason. They’re promoting second album ‘Higgledypiggledy’, which continues in the same obscurantist funk vein as their first. Ian Black is wearing a nun’s habit, making him a rather unlikely spectacle, but there’s nothing sacred about the sinful Devil’s music they’re knocking out. Oldies like ‘Cockeyed Rabbit’ and ‘Greasy Mind’ are now familiar sing-alongs, and when it all crescendos with a young chap plucked from the crowd to knock out a casual solo on Black’s guitar there’s the realisation that, rather than just an offshoot from the Sunderland scene, SLUG are rapidly redefining it.

SLUG-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Boy Azooga are the first of today’s brace of Heavenly signings and play the majority of their début ‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’ Main man Davey Newington is on bass, gazing zen-like from the stage, as his band alternately knock out laid-back melodies on ‘Jerry’, urgent riffs on ‘Loner Boogie’, and psych-tinged mellotron lines on ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’. Seemingly appearing from nowhere to be the band on everyone’s lips right this second, Welsh act Boy Azooga manage to be indefinable and familiar; retro yet of the zeitgeist; a melting pot, yet unique. Quite some achievement, and an astute booking.

Boy Azooga-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Remember that feeling you get when stuck in traffic? Even when there’s no particular deadline, the tension rises, tempers fray, radiators overheat. AK/DK arrive from Blue Dot Festival with literally no minutes to spare, and the ensuing breathtaking display of groove-led mentalism surely is thanks in no small part to the traffic-related adrenaline coursing through their systems.

AK/DK Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

‘Morphology’ is a song perfect for the moment: a driving synth line and keening, distorted samples, all pushed along by AK/DK’s double drum kit attack, creates a febrile atmosphere, the audience expressing their relief and release that the band finally made it. And they are repaid by banger after banger. There’s sweat everywhere, both on stage and off, the drums are whacked with ever increasing ferocity (there’s big chunks out of the edge of one of the cymbals), the analogue sequencer in the background ticks its clock-face LEDs in metronomic rhythm, an electronic heart propelling ecstatic human souls. Exhausting, exhilarating, exponential.

Let’s revisit 2013, shall we? A little corner of the internet (yes, it was us) was insistent that an obscure band of 15-year-olds from Halifax could well be the next big thing. How did we put it? “If they’re this good this young, how good will they be in a few years time?” Now we know the answer. The Orielles are extremely good indeed. There’s some shoegaze in their sound, maybe a bit of Sleeper in Esme Hand-Halford’s lazily-enunciated vocals, walls of chorused guitar, and little synthy details atop like hundreds and thousands. The songs are expertly arranged, the faux-naïve component parts slotting together to create weird yet accessible garage nuggets.

The Orielles-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

‘Old Stuff, New Glass’ is enhanced with bongos and yelps all over the place, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ opens with a Beatles-esque contrapuntal dance between keys and bass, continues into a pogoing off-beat middle section, and goes properly berserk towards the end of its eight eventful minutes. Henry Wade is growing into a proper guitar anti-hero in the vein of Graham Coxon, his on-stage persona is a masterclass in deadpan humour. It bears saying again: “If they’re this good this young, how good will they be in a few years time?”

Just when you think it’s safe to assume you’ve seen the performance of the day, along come Avalanche Party. Their own description is “feral garage-punk from the Yorkshire Moors”, which is a difficult description to disagree with, except inasmuch as it doesn’t really go far enough. If this is punk, it’s space-age, widescreen, conceptual, melodic punk. If it’s garage, this one is packed to the gills with cans of petrol with the lids off, a V8 motor rumbling in the corner, one discarded cigarette end away from catastrophe, the air heavy with the scent of fear.

Avalanche Party-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Recent single ‘I’m So Wet’ is a lazy, sexy groove, something Serge Gainsbourg might fantasise about, before running away in terror at the multi-layered screaming crescendo. ‘Solid Gold’ just kicks off and never lets up the pressure for a second. The climax of ‘Revolution’ is a triumph of four-to-the-floor heavy riffing, bare-chested Jordan Bell screaming as if his life depended on it. Like the ritual sacrifice of a lamb atop a heather-strewn heath, Avalanche Party are raw, visceral, glamorous, dangerous, sweaty, bloody and unforgettable.

Phew. Like the best underground scenester venue, Deer Shed has just treated us to a masterclass in superlative new music: five brilliant acts hot off the press, the world at their feet. Things have to calm down at some point, and it takes the folky, downtempo acoustica of This Is The Kit to do so. Warm Digits (below) are the second brilliant electronica band of the day, and with the appearance of Field Music’s Peter Brewis are a great example of what beauty happens when Newcastle and Sunderland put aside their rivalries for just a little while.

Warm Digits-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Gaz Coombes (below) is his usual superb self, retro and zeitgeist wrapped into one man, and Goldfrapp were the big name with the big show. Some controversial souls found themselves preferring another dose of Hyde Park Brass. Truth be told, for this reviewer the undercard had completely walloped the headliners into semi-irrelevance. What a Saturday.

SLUG-Deer Shed 2018 01 Saturday-2190

 

The BBC at Glastonbury 2014 (Saturday): Goldfrapp performing ‘Strict Machine’ at the West Holts Stage

 
By on Sunday, 29th June 2014 at 7:00 pm
 

Wherever you will be hanging your hat this weekend, whether you’re joining the sheep at Worthy Farm or you’ve got your feet up in front of the telly, us here at TGTF will have you covered when it comes to Glastonbury 2014. The dedicated people they are, the folks at the BBC will be working all hours during the festival and feeding us live coverage as it becomes available. What does this mean for you? We’ll be passing along all the best bits to you, our faithful readers.

The West Holts Stage showed itself to be mission control for electro and dance this weekend at Glastonbury 2014. Goldfrapp proved their mettle with this performance of ‘Strict Machine’ during their set that took place well into Saturday evening. Bring on the strobes! Watch the video footage below.

For more of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage online, head this way. Stay tuned for more videos from Glasto 2014 right here on TGTF.

 

Video of the Moment #1552: Goldfrapp

 
By on Tuesday, 17th June 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

Goldfrapp will be releasing a deluxe edition of ‘Tales of Us’ on the 30th of June. The special edition will include the original album plus he audio from a very special live performance, Live from Air Studios, which was broadcast alongside the short film Tales of Us as part of a global cinema event in March 2014. The brand new promo video for ‘Jo’, featured on the album, is below.

Our archive on Goldfrapp is this way.

 

Goldfrapp / March and April 2014 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 13th December 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Synth pop duo Goldfrapp have announced a new list of UK shows hot on the heels of their sold out European tour. In addition to the band’s latest release, ‘Tales of Us’, singer Alison Goldfrapp has recently curated her first art exhibition at The Lowry gallery in Salford, which will run through March 2014.

Tickets for the following tour dates go on sale today (Friday the 13th of December) at 10 AM.

Wednesday 26th March 2014 – Birmingham Symphony Hall
Thursday 27th March 2014 – Manchester Lowry
Saturday 29th March 2014 – Brighton Dome
Sunday 30th March 2014 – Portsmouth Guildhall
Tuesday 1st April 2014 – Bristol Colston Hall
Wednesday 2nd April 2014 – Reading Hexagon
Friday 4th April 2014 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Saturday 5th April 2014 – York Barbican
Monday 7th April 2014 – Gateshead Sage

 

Video of the Moment #1264: Goldfrapp

 
By on Saturday, 20th July 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Goldfrapp is preparing to release their sixth album ‘Tales of Us’ on the 9th of September, and as a taster, they’ve released this cinematic video for album track ‘Drew’. Directed by Lisa Gunning, it’s haunting in all of its black and white glory. Watch it below.

 

Album Review: Goldfrapp – The Singles

 
By on Friday, 27th January 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

After being singled out for stardom at the turn of the millennium, Goldfrapp were tipped to be the sound of this decade. These days it seems that you will only hear the synth pop duo’s tunes over an advert for some kind of detergent, so as if to combat a fall into obscurity Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory are releasing a singles collection. It’s sort of a “best of”, incorporating everything that you’ll have probably heard of note by the duo.

The album starts strongly with arguably the bands most well received single, ‘Ooh La La’. And while again this song may only conjure images of whichever product it is backing at the moment, it does somewhat give a great showcase to the appeal of Goldfrapp. While managing to sound and even look a bit like a Madonna single, the catchy chorus is enough for any fan of this genre, me included. This may not be my cup of tea, but one would be mad to disagree that ‘Ooh La La’ is not a fantastic piece of pop.

The arrangement of the songs on the album is always something which comes up when you look at a ‘Greatest Hits’, a ‘Best O’ or in this case, a ‘Singles Collection.’ In my humblest of humble opinions though, on a single collection you want to flick around to your favourite song, not appreciate the album and the story it’s telling, as there is no story to be told.

But as far as organisation goes, it gets an A+. The choice of singles is as expected pretty spot on, and you’ve got another Goldfrapp big hitter ‘Happiness’ and fan favourites of old (‘Rocket’) and new (‘Melancholy Sky’) near the tail end of the album. As the record starts of quite fast paced, it makes sense that the climax is not a bombardment of synth pop, but instead it is a blissful showcase of Alison Goldfrapp’s vocal talents and the ability of her compatriot in music Will Gregory to create a chilled out atmosphere.

As any with singles collection, it is difficult to award a stunning review, as any fan out there that enjoys Goldfrapp’s music will be yearning for new releases. However as far as an intermission in the career goes, this one isn’t all too shabby.

7/10

Goldfrapp’s ‘The Singles’ collection will be released on the 6th of February on Mute/Parlophone.

 
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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. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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