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Live Gig Video: Mansionair share arresting live performance of single ‘Technicolour’

By on Wednesday, 18th July 2018 at 4:00 pm

Sydneysiders Mansionair began July with another live performance video. Those boys really like the colour white: back in February, they unveiled this live video for single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ filmed in Berlin and surrounded by white walls. In ‘Technicolour’, they’ve chosen to perform in a white room and in white clothes, with some short, darker, choice colour-swathed moments. It’s another feather in the cap for the Australian trio, sounding like what has become classic Mansionair: the driving melody and mesmerising percussion combine with frontman Jack Froggatt’s painfully emotional vocals in this arresting performance. ‘Technicolour’ is available now from Glassnote Records. For all of our past articles here on TGTF on the Aussie group, go here.


Great Escape 2018: Day 1 Roundup (Part 2)

By on Monday, 4th June 2018 at 2:00 pm

Before I headed out to blighty, I joked to my blogger friends that I didn’t think I would be eating dinner any night at The Great Escape 2018. Why? Each night, I had bands on my schedule starting as early as 6 PM. I thought, hm, maybe everyone will be too busy drinking in a pub with their mates or on the beach that the 6 PM shows won’t be busy. WRONG! London via Limerick pop trio whenyoung were playing to a massive crowd at the Haunt, one of the lesser-known venues of The Great Escape. The closest I could get to the stage for this London in Stereo showcase was standing next to the soundboard in the back. Their female-fronted guitar pop was just the thing for many punters in Brighton to start their Thursday night with, many moving and grooving in the Haunt to the band’s infectious melodies. Check out whenyoung’s newest single ‘Heaven on Earth’, released 2 Fridays ago.

There wasn’t far for me to go for my next stop. I’d advise against visiting the gender neutral bathroom stalls at the Arch (like walking into a pitch-black room, seriously) but the venue was serviceable enough for the Clash magazine showcase. Don’t be confused that there are no actual females in the all-male Sea Girls. The Londoners are a band favourite of NME and Huw Stephens of Radio 1 and judging from their merch, they refuse to take themselves seriously (‘Indie Landfill’ is not a phrase from the end of the Noughties I’ve not heard bandied around these days). Like whenyoung before them, they’re firmly in the pop camp, but Sea Girls swing back and forth between anthemic pop and muscular pop/rock. I have to admit that because my musical taste has been going towards the more weird and unusual lately, I wasn’t wowed by their performance, but I can see that with a little luck and the great songs they’ve written so far, they have the potential to gain a massive following very quickly. Watch this space.

Sea Girls Thursday The Great Escape 2018

As I’ve probably mentioned in past Great Escape reports, Brighton is a hilly place. I don’t care how well you think you’ve organised your schedule. At some point, you’re going to have to walk from the lowest point of the seaside back up to the Brighton train station at the top of the hill. (Incidentally, I did this back and forth several times Friday night because, well, sometimes, needs must.) To make things easier on myself, I took it easy up the hill to arrive at the Green Door Store for the last few songs of New York’s Bodega at the Upset magazine showcase. As one might rightly expect, American bands are big draws at a festival like The Great Escape, and there were plenty of folks in the main room at the Green Door, plus those who spilled out into the bar area before it. Knowing that Austin Brown of Parquet Courts produced their upcoming debut album to be released this summer should give you some idea of Bodega’s punky, devil-may-care kind of music. Not my thing, but they might be yours.

Black Futures Thursday The Great Escape 2018
apologies for the quality of this photo; clearly, it’s not my best work, and it didn’t help that it was nearly pitch black during Black Futures’ performance

London duo Black Futures describe themselves on their Facebook as “A no-holds-barred aural assault of Anarchic Electro Psych Punk Noise that is something like Death From Above and the Chemical Brothers’ bastard offspring”. Their recorded sound was intriguing enough for this hard rock and electronic fan to tip them in a preview of Live at Leeds 2018 and The Great Escape. Synths and guitars aplenty arrived on stage, while their mask and hazmat suit-dressed non-musical companions stood guard down front. Naturally, the spectacle caused the audience’s anticipation for the band to build. Programmed beats came in first, then the wailing guitars. Then, a ferocious scream from one of the guys on stage. You didn’t know if you should shake a tail feather or headbang. Me? I opted for the latter.

]Mansionair Thursday The Great Escape 2018

The main problem with the Green Door Store, which has been true every time I’ve visited, is that the place is like being inside a pressure cooker: hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. The upstairs venue space of the nearby Prince Albert is probably the only place worse for someone with claustrophobia, while the Hope and Ruin (formerly the Hope) offers the same level of discomfort. In order to take a breath, I dove for the exit, able to take in the precious fresh air all the way on my walk to Komedia. I couldn’t help myself: I just had to pop in to see Mansionair at one of their many appearances in Britain over the last 6 months. Even though I only saw them play two songs during their set at the ATC Live showcase, it was crystal clear from their closing with single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ that they were a huge hit with the Great Escape crowd, their arms to-ing and fro-ing in time to frontman Jack Froggatt’s directions from the stage. The sexiness and baby-making potential of Mansionair’s sound wasn’t lost on punters, as I uncomfortably stood amongst lip-locking couples.

Back down closer to the seaside, I stopped in to the basement venue of the Walrus for another act I tipped ahead of Live at Leeds 2018. Who Zapatilla is remains a mystery, his identity cloaked both literally and figuratively. While listening to his music on Spotify made his music seem dancier, the few songs I witnessed live Thursday evening were more subdued and less engaging than I’d hoped.

Zapatilla Thursday The Great Escape 2018

Feeling less than energised from Zapatilla’s set, I thought I might change gears completely and end my night with a bit of singer/songwriter Blanco White. As Carrie wrote previously, Englishman Josh Edwards’ project is infused with Latin-American influences. By the time I figured out where the Unitarian Church was behind all the construction work, I sadly learned the intimate, all-seated venue where I’d previously seen a magical set by Marika Hackman was one in, one out. So much for planning. Feeling slightly defeated, I decided to call it a night.


Video of the Moment #2838: Mansionair

By on Monday, 7th May 2018 at 10:00 am

Hope you’re enjoying your first May bank holiday Monday and there aren’t too many sore heads out there. To be fair, if you have one, it’s highly likely you’ve had a good time at Live at Leeds, Stag and Dagger or any number of other local music festivals, in which case it’s a good sign! To ease you into this holiday Monday, here’s something new from Aussies Mansionair. The Sydneysiders have been over here for a month in North America on the Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour, which they toured out country with NomBe and Mikky Ekko. You can check out my review of the third show in the series through this link. During that tour, they were treating audiences to their newest single ‘Violet City’, which now has its own promo video. The song itself is a study in longing and desire and since they’re a band who excels at songs oozing in mystery and seduction, altogether ‘Violet City’ is a mesmerising one for the ages. Watch the video – with shades of purple, naturally – for it below. The single is out now on Glassnote Records.

Next stop for Mansionair? The UK, where they will be one of several Aussie artists performing at The Great Escape 2018 next week. They’ll be appearing at the event Thursday night the 17th at 9:15 PM at Komedia. To read all of our past coverage here on TGTF on the Sydney trio, follow us here.


Live Review: Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour 2018 featuring NoMBe, Mansionair and Mikky Ekko at Union Stage, Washington, DC – 13th April 2018

By on Monday, 16th April 2018 at 2:00 pm

The Wharf is a recently revitalised area of in Southeast Washington. So far, I’ve resisted coming to this area because I don’t agree with what’s been done to it. Not surprisingly and like other places in Washington like our club land of the U Street Corridor, it’s been grabbed hold of by developers and gentrified. As a music lover, you’re going to have to suck it up and come down here eventually. A prime reason? 9:30 Club’s promotion team IMP have moved many of the big shows to the Anthem so bands you might have seen before at 9:30 will now be down here. Groan. Last Friday night, I decided to finally check out the Wharf to see a show at the Anthem’s smaller and less ostentatious neighbour, Union Stage, owned by the same fine folks who run Jammin’ Java in Vienna in Northern Virginia. The first show at the venue for the night was the latest edition of Sirius XM’s Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour, starring three rising acts.

Doors opened at 6 – ridiculous for workaholic Washingtonians, mind – but I was glad to see NoMBe (pronounced NOM-be) beginning his set to a reasonable-sized audience, even if it was 6:45. Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, singer/songwriter and producer Noah McBeth now calls Los Angeles home. He should be the poster boy for success off of syncs: Pharrell (yes, that Pharrell) hand-picked his song ‘Can’t Catch Me’, a upbeat rock foot-stomper, for HBO series Output. McBeth explained how grateful he was for money he earned from the sync, saying it’s paid for his touring following the release of his debut album at the start of 2017, ‘They Might’ve Even Loved Me’.

NoMBe Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 4

The LP is a tribute to the strong women in his life, from those he’s loved romantically and as family (notably including Chaka Khan, his godmother). As you might imagine, the spectrum of tributes is wide, going from the sweetness of falling in love in high school in hit single ‘Wait’, to the far less innocent and more obvious sultriness of ‘Sex’. The artist who oozed charisma went further back in his catalogue to deliver the slow burning r&b masterpiece ‘Miss Mirage’, while showing him and his band’s more alt-rock chops on ‘Drama’. The eclecticism of his music demonstrates he refuses to be placed in be confined in one box, a fact that was embraced by the mixed race, mixed ages crowd.

After a short break, it was now Mansionair’s turn. Like NoMBe before them, the Sydney trio were making their debut performance in Washington. In the middle of their set, they revealed that in an attempt to keep healthy in the first week of this Alt Nation tour, they’d gone for a run during the abnormally warm April day and were able enjoy our world-famous and transient spring display of cherry blossoms. It’s useful to remind everyone that Mansionair may have never happened: Jack Froggatt was a folk singer/songwriter with a guitar who got invited to top-line tracks by producer/guitarist Lachlan Bostock and drummer/producer Alex Nicholls. One of the early fruits of their combined efforts was single ‘Hold Me Down’, which proved to be a massive streaming hit. The song was performed in this set, as was their newest single ‘Violet City’, validating their continued songwriting prowess.

Mansionair Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 5

The secret to Mansionair’s success so far is their elegant pairing of Froggatt’s expressive vocals, sometimes soaring into falsetto, with electronic driven instrumentation that just adds to the overall emotional quotient. The sexy drawl of ‘Easier’ and their own version of ODESZA’s ‘Line of Sight’, on which Mansionair collaborated with the Seattle duo on last year, went down a treat, the DC crowd getting swept up by the band’s sonic loveliness. They finished their set strong with 2017 single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’, which I was lucky enough to hear them perform twice last year at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane. It’s a perfect marriage of soulful vocals and electronic, and I really can’t wait for their debut album.

Last up was Mikky Ekko, who I admittedly entirely misjudged based on the one song of his I heard online and what I’d read about his release history. The American singer/songwriter is from the South (ah, so that’s where the soul comes from), has a big head of curly hair and beard, and is like a force of nature onstage. What sounds to me on Spotify like borderline annoying singing for hipsters comes across much more organic and genuine from him live. As advertised, his big hit ‘Smile’ elicited more than a few grins in the room.

Mikky Ekko Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 2

The energy he brought to a now-full Union Stage was undeniable, his voice going between r&b and rock, and he and his band delivered an exuberant performance. Many people were singing along to the tunes off his most recent ‘Advance Copy’ EP, and they were super excited when he jumped down into the crowd for his final song. As part of his final shoutout to the crowd, he yelled, “if you hadn’t heard of me, don’t forget me!” What an astute comment to make about all three of these acts on this Advanced Placement tour: each gave a lasting impression and a compelling argument to all present that they are ones to watch.


Live Gig Video: Mansionair share blindingly brilliant promo for ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’, filmed in Berlin

By on Tuesday, 20th February 2018 at 4:00 pm

It felt pretty special to have been present when Australian trio Mansionair premiere new single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ to the crowds watching them at the Woolly Mammoth at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane last September. They were so great, I saw them on the second and third evenings of the Australian emerging music festival last year. While they’ve solidified their fanbase in Oz, since I saw them, they’ve been making strides in extending their reach far beyond their home country. Last November, they headed to Europe and the UK, appearing at the Great Escape‘s First Fifty gig series in London in advance of their appearance at the annual 3-day festival in Brighton in May and this Sofar Session in London.

They also headed to the Continent to play a series of shows. During their down time over there, they filmed this promo in Berlin for ‘Astronaut’. As stated in the title of this post, it’s blindingly brilliant. Watch below as Jack, Lachlan and Alex perform the song in an appropriately icy white room with at times disorientating lights and shadows, Jack’s soulful vocals breaking through and adding a welcome humanity to the performance. Just like Mansionair’s Grammy-nominated collaboration with Odesza on ‘Line of Sight’, The song has received airplay on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation and approval from the satellite station’s finicky fans. To read our past coverage on Mansionair here on TGTF, follow this link.


Live Gig Video: Mansionair share ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ performance from London Sofar Sounds session

By on Monday, 29th January 2018 at 4:00 pm

Australia’s Mansionair spent a few weeks late last year in the UK and Continental Europe. The Sydney-based synthpop act’s visit to blighty included a performance as part of First Fifty gig series, on the 27th of November at Dalston Birthdays, as a preview of their appearance this May in Brighton for The Great Escape 2018. While in London, they also performed acoustically for Sofar Sounds, where a beautiful performance of single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ was recorded. Despite the stripped-back conditions, the emotions of singer Jack Froggatt in this song shine through. Incredible.
Watch it below. For more on TGTF on Mansionair, including my coverage of their appearances at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane, use this link.


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.

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