By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 29th September 2016 at 9:00 am
North East DIY group and firm TGTF favourites Little Comets have announced their fourth album ‘WORHEAD’ will be released at the beginning of February 2017 on their own Smallest Label. Naturally, they have announced live dates in the UK to support the new release. Both the album will be on presale (including some promised very special versions – ooh!) and tour tickets will be on sale starting tomorrow, Friday, the 30th of September at 10 AM. We’ve written quite a bit about the Geordie band since their humblest beginning in the late Noughties, so there’s a bit of a treasure trove of TGTF coverage on them this way.
Thursday 9th February 2017 – Oxford Academy
Friday 10th February 2017 – Bath Komedia
Saturday 11th February 2017 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Sunday 12th February 2017 – Brighton Concorde 2
Tuesday 14th February 2017 – Cambridge Junction
Wednesday 15th February 2017 – Birmingham Institute
Thursday 16th February 2017 – Glasgow St Luke’s
Friday 17th February 2017 – Liverpool Academy 2
Saturday 18th February 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Thursday 16th March 2017 – London Koko
Friday 17th March 2017 – Leeds University Union
Saturday 18th March 2017 – Newcastle University
Veteran Northern Irish rock band Ash are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album ‘1977’ with a live tour, on which they’re playing the album in its entirety, along with a few more recent favourites. On the North American leg of the tour, they’re visiting a mix of small and mid-sized venues, but surely one of the smallest on the list was Rips Bar in Phoenix. Rips is a stand-alone club tucked into a residential area just northwest of downtown Phoenix, away from the hustle and bustle of other Phoenix venues and with an extremely relaxed vibe that seemed to suit Ash perfectly.
Ash’s three band members went largely unnoticed by the bar patrons as they set up on the indoor stage at Rips. Meanwhile, the small crowd in the venue were treated to the opening act on the outdoor patio. Local folk-rock band Avery were just getting started when I found my way outside, and they came as a pleasant surprise ahead of Ash’s unabashed punk rock stylings. Avery’s lineup features singer/songwriter Mariah DeRaet on lead vocals, her smoky timbre uniquely accompanied by cellist Allison Galbreath at the front of the tiny stage on this night. The cello adds a deep sense of yearning to Avery’s lovelorn lyrics, as you can hear in their single ‘Hospital Call’ just below.
Back inside the bar, Ash were nearly ready get back to ‘1977’. Or, more precisely, back to 1996, when the album was actually released. I was buried in my own classical music studies at university in 1996, and thus I missed out on the album the first time around. But anyone with even a passing interest in UK or Northern Irish bands will have heard of Ash, and editor Mary assured me that they were not to be missed live, so naturally my interest was piqued. Unfamiliar with the songs on ‘1977’, I had assumed that the title referred to songwriter Tim Wheeler’s birth year (also, coincidentally, my own). But in the course of doing some pre-gig homework, I discovered that it also paid homage to the release date of the movie ‘Star Wars’. which is referenced in the album’s opening and closing tracks, while other bits of 1970s pop culture are mixed into the middle.
The audience, though still small, had grown a bit while I was outside listening to Avery. I hadn’t expected to see many longtime fans of the Northern Irish indie rockers at this gig, but there were, in fact, a handful of dedicated Ash fans milling about wearing the band’s t-shirts. There was no need to crowd the stage in a venue as small as this one, but we did all creep a bit closer as frontman Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray tore into ‘1977’ opening track ‘Lose Control’. They hit their stride early on, even with the more pensive tones of ‘Goldfinger’ and moreso in the higher energy of ‘Girl from Mars’, and it must be said here that McMurray certainly got his workout in during this set, pounding relentless rhythms throughout.
The sound quality inside Rips was surprisingly good, given the small size of the venue, and mid-album tracks ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Oh Yeah’, were especially energetic. Despite the almost complete absence of between-songs chat, or perhaps because of it, the band’s momentum from those tracks carried through to the end of the ‘1977’ set, which Wheeler announced as the final album track ‘Darkside Lightside’.
A true encore might have been overkill in this tiny venue, but luckily Ash had more to offer. Following the ‘1977’ sequence, Wheeler paused again to introduce the band’s debut single ‘Jack Names the Planets’ before the band added a few newer songs to round off the set. One enthusiastic punter squealed out for a song called ‘Default’, and Wheeler seemed puzzled for a moment, until he realised that she meant ‘Dispatch’, from Ash’s most recent album ‘Kablammo!’, which came out last summer. This would have been a more familiar song for me as well, but alas, the band weren’t prepared to play it, opting instead for another new track, ‘Let’s Ride’ before closing with ‘Burn Baby Burn’ from 2001 album ‘Free All Angels’.
They may not have had a large number of fans in attendance in Phoenix last weekend, but Ash most certainly won a new fan in me with their combination of punk energy, deft melodicism, and engaging stage presence. If you’re like me and ‘Kablammo!’ was your first real exposure to Ash, I strongly recommend browsing through their back catalogue for the gems you might have missed.
Ash will continue the North American leg of their ‘1977 – 20th Anniversary Tour’ with larger shows in cities including Chicago, Washington, DC and New York through the start of October. They will bring the tour to the UK in November and December; those live dates are listed just below. A full listing of Ash’s worldwide tour dates can be found on their official Web site. TGTF’s previous coverage of Ash is right back here.
Thursday 10th November 2016 – Dublin Olympia Theatre
Friday 11th November 2016 – Belfast Mandela Hall
Thursday 1st December 2016 – Gloucester Guildhall
Saturday 10th December 2016 – London Roundhouse
Sunday 11th December 2016 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 12th December 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 14th December 2016 – Aberdeen Garage
Thursday 15th December 2016 – Glasgow Garage
The Sad Song Co., solo project of Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls drummer Nigel Powell, will be on tour this October, in support of Powell’s third solo album ‘In Amber’. The LP was released back in August after a successful PledgeMusic campaign. You can check out the lyric video for album single ‘Legacy of Love’ just below the tour date listing.
Tickets for the following shows, where needed, are available now. Powell will also tour with Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls in November and December; you can find those live dates listed here.
Friday 7th October 2016 – Oxford Sofar Sounds
Monday 17th October 2016 – Leicester Firebug
Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Derby Maypole
Wednesday 19th October 2016 – London Monarch (free show)
Thursday 20th October 2016 – Chippenham Old Road Tavern (free show)
Saturday 22nd October 2016 – Manchester Star And Garter
Sunday 23rd October 2016 – Bristol Stag And Hounds
Northern Irish alt-rockers Two Door Cinema Club have announced a run of UK tour dates to ring in 2017. The UK tour will follow the release of Two Door Cinema Club’s forthcoming new album ‘Gameshow’, which is due for release on the 14th of October via Parlophone Records. Editor Mary recently featured the latest single from the album, ‘Bad Decisions’, as our Video of the Moment #2185.
Live dates in Northern Ireland have yet to be announced for this tour, but the band have hinted at them on their official Facebook. Tickets for the following shows will go on general sale Friday the 30th of September at 9 AM. Those in the know can get in on the presale tomorrow from this page, Wednesday the 28th of September, at 9 AM. In the meantime, you can peruse TGTF’s extensive past coverage of Two Door Cinema Club, including a live review from earlier this year, right back this way.
Tuesday 24th January 2017 – Birmingham Academy
Wednesday 25th January 2017 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 28th January 2017 – Manchester Apollo
Monday 30th January 2017 – Leeds Academy
Tuesday 31st January 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Thursday 2nd February 2017 – Liverpool University Guild of Students
Friday 3rd February 2017 – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 4th February 2017 – Glasgow Barrowland
Monday 6th February 2017 – Southampton Guildhall
Tuesday 7th February 2017 – Bristol Academy
Friday 10th February 2017 – London Alexandra Palace
Irish experimental group Meltybrains? have announced a new list of tour dates for October and November, including three shows in England, to support the upcoming release of their new EP ‘Kiss Yourself’. Due out on the 18th of November, ‘Kiss Yourself’ features the latest Meltybrains? single ‘Know My Name’, which you can hear just below the tour date listing.
In addition to the English and Irish dates listed here, Meltybrains? will play two shows in Reykjavik, Iceland on the 31st of October and the 5th of November. They will end the tour with their largest headline show to date, at the Dublin Academy on the 25th of November. Tickets are available now.
TGTF’s previous coverage of Meltybrains? can be found back here.
Saturday 1st October 2016 – Dingle Nelliefreds (free entry)
Friday 7th October 2016 – Kilkenny Billy Byrne’s
Saturday 8th October 2016 – Cork Connolly’s of Leap
Saturday 15th October 2016 – Galway Roisin Dubh (free entry)
Friday 11th November 2016 – Manchester Eagle Inn
Saturday 12th November 2016 – Liverpool Legain
Tuesday 15th November 2016 – London Dalston Victoria
Friday 25th November 2016 – Dublin Academy
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 14th September 2016 at 4:00 pm
Not sure why it took 10 months for this live gig video to appear, but we’re not (too) sore about it. Paris via Winchester singer/songwriter Josh Savage, who we’ve featured quite a bit here on TGTF, played a sold-out show last night at the Islington, so it’s great timing for this video to have surfaced. Back in November 2015, we hosted the exclusive stream of ‘Quatre Épines’, Savage’s then new EP.
Around the same time and in a much larger room than when I saw him perform in Manchester in April 2014 as part of another Sofar Sounds showcase, watch as Savage and his backing band hold the entire audience rapt in attention in performance of the EP’s title track. Catch the performance below. For more on Josh Savage on TGTF, follow this link.