Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

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WIN / Tickets to see Stornoway at Manchester Academy, 4 March 2017

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 at 10:00 am
 

To say we were really sad to hear that the originally Oxford-based Stornoway will be no more in a few weeks is the understatement of the year. TGTF are massive fans of the group and although we know they each be moving on to greener pastures, we can’t help but feel a bit melancholy. There are probably many of you reading this who feel the same exact way. In an attempt to help you get through this difficult time, I’ve blagged two pairs of tickets from our mates at Gigs and Tours so two readers can go see the group live on their Farewell Tour (sob!) when their tour bus rolls into Manchester on Saturday, the 4th of March. How do you win them for you and a lucky guest? I’m so glad you asked!

You’ll need to fill out the form at the bottom of this post completely, including providing us your full name and your email address so we have a way to contact you if you win. Then to be in for the lucky draw, you’ll need the correct answer to this question about Stornoway’s discography: What is the name of the band’s most recent studio album? Hint: psst, it’s the name of a bird.

From all the correct entries, we’ll choose two lucky winners at random to be our guest at their show at Manchester Academy on the 4th of March. Be sure to get your entry in before the contest closes this Friday, the 24th of February, at 5 PM UK time. Any duplicate or incomplete entries will be discarded; this contest is open only to UK residents. Please also note that there are age restrictions at the Academy: under 14s must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older at all times. Good luck to all! In case you want to buy tickets to tickets to their tour that begins next Monday in Gateshead, check out Carrie’s tour date post through here. To read more of our coverage here on TGTF on Stornoway, follow this link.

This contest is now closed. The winners will be contacted by email.

 

Stornoway / February and March 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 27th October 2016 at 9:00 am
 

A bird is three things:
Feathers, flight and song,
And feathers are the least of these.
– Marjorie Allen Seiffert, “The Shining Bird”

On Tuesday, Oxford folk-pop quartet Stornoway made this surprise announcement that they will disband early next year, so that band members Brian Briggs, Jon Ouin, and Rob and Oli Steadman might pursue other individual interests. The news is quite sad for us here at TGTF, where Stornoway have been long-time favourites, but the announcement comes with a happy twist for the band’s UK fans, in the form of a Farewell Tour scheduled for next February and March.

Support for the following live dates will be played by Canadian indie rock band Brasstronaut, and tickets will be available beginning Friday the 28th of October at 10 AM. Just below the tour date listing, you’ll find Stornoway’s final promo video, a rare track from their ‘Bonxie’ recording sessions titled ‘Night Drive’.

TGTF’s extensive archive of coverage on Stornoway is collected here.

Monday 27th February 2017 – Gateshead Sage
Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Bristol Colston Hall
Wednesday 1st March – Cardiff Tramshed
Thursday 2nd March – Exeter Phoenix
Saturday 4th March – Manchester Academy 3
Sunday 5th March – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Monday 6th March – Glasgow Oran Mor
Wednesday 8th March – Brighton Komedia
Thursday 9th March – Cambridge Junction
Friday 10th March – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sunday 12th March – Oxford New Theatre

 

Stornoway / October 2016 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 4th August 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Oxford indie folk rockers Stornoway have woven a handful of headline shows into their list of upcoming live appearances. August will see the band play at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre with Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott on Friday the 5th and at the Chase Park Festival in Gateshead on Saturday the 6th. Skipping ahead to October, Stornoway will play the three headline dates listed below, as well as appearing at the Words & Music Festival in Nantwich on the 10th of the month.

Tickets for the following shows are available now. If you’re in need of a Stornoway fix between now and October, you can read back through our extensive previous coverage of the band right back here.

Tuesday 4th October 2016 – Canterbury Marlowe Theatre
Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Leicester Y Theatre
Thursday 6th October 2016 – Bath Komedia

 

MP3 of the Day #891: Stornoway

 
By on Monday, 19th October 2015 at 10:00 am
 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, 2015 has been a massive year for Stornoway. They released their third album ‘Bonxie’ in April, its recording and production with superstar producer Gil Norton funded by a hugely successful PledgeMusic campaign following the end of their album deal with 4AD and the start of a new one with Cooking Vinyl. In mid-September, the band released the acoustic ‘Unplucked’ EP, featuring stripped back versions of songs off ‘Bonxie’ plus a new live favourite, a cover of Yazz’s ‘The Only Way is Up’. The band will be performing songs from this EP, plus I’m sure much more, at a series of live dates at the end of November, which include a gig at London Tooting Tram and Social at a night that is been run by TGTF alum Braden Fletcher. So it’s all very exciting…

And to add to that excitement, the band have decided to give away a demo of ‘Love Song of the Beta Male’, the closing track of ‘Bonxie’. To get your free copy of the demo, go here to sign up for the band’s mailing list. Hope that gets your week off to a good start!

 

Live Gig Video: Stornoway perform acoustic version of ‘Lost Youth’ on Lindisfarne

 
By on Wednesday, 16th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

To continue the Stornoway theme of today following on from my review of their new stripped back EP ‘Unplucked’ that posted at the noon hour, the indie folk pop band who formed in Oxford have a live video treat for us this week too! Taking to the shores of Lindisfarne, off the coast of North East England near Northumberland, here’s an acoustic performance of ‘Lost Youth’, keeping in line with the recorded stripped back version that appears on the new EP.

The ‘Unplucked’ EP from Stornoway will be released this Friday (the 18th of September) on Cooking Vinyl. The band will be playing four acoustic-styled shows at the end of November in the South of England, including two homecoming shows in Oxford; all these dates below are on sale now. Catch up on all of our archive on the band through this link.

Wednesday 25th November 2015 – Oxford St. John the Evangelist Church
Thursday 26th November 2015 – Oxford St. John the Evangelist Church
Friday 27th November 2015 – Gloucester Guildhall
Saturday 28th November 2015 – Brighton St. George’s Church
Sunday 29th November 2015 – London Tooting Tram and Social (added 16/10/2015)

 

Album Review: Stornoway – Unplucked EP

 
By on Wednesday, 16th September 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Stornoway Unplucked EP coverIt’s pretty cool when one of your favourite bands seems to have anticipated your musical wish.

Stornoway will be releasing a new EP this month called ‘Unplucked’, and the press release reads, “Continuing the bird theme of ‘Bonxie’, the songs are stripped of their plumage and their unadorned, skeletal simplicity is revealed”. If you were like me and feeling quite sceptical about Stornoway turning to an outside producer for the first time for their third studio album ‘Bonxie’, then after hearing it you’d fantasised what the LP would sound like if the band had gone back to basics, to the sound that made their 2010 4AD debut ‘Beachcomber’s Windowsill’ so great, this is totally your bag, baby.

The EP comprises six tracks, five of which are stripped back versions of their counterparts on ‘Bonxie’, released on Cooking Vinyl back in April. Owing to their simplified nature, you can’t help but imagine how they must have been written and developed from their bare bones as composed on acoustic guitar. The confident opening number of ‘Bonxie’, ‘Between the Saltmarsh and the Sea’, shines in its stripped back state, the harmonies and lovely string arrangement allowed the latitude to “breathe” and are let “exposed”, just as the lead vocals from Stornoway frontman Brian Briggs emotes in the lyrics. Similar results are achieved on the reworked ‘Man on Wire’ and ‘The Road You Didn’t Take’, the latter of which feels more natural in this mode.

‘Get Low’, now famous for its accompanying promo video in which the band in a convertible chase after a gaggle of geese, comes across far more relaxed with nothing but voices and acoustic guitars: the overall effect is beautiful. Hearing ‘Lost Youth’, the other upbeat ‘Bonxie’ number chosen for this treatment, you envision seeing the band performing the song at a barn dance somewhere in the country as soon as they break out the harmonica. Trust me, it’s a wonderful vision.

The EP concludes with the group’s cover of Yazz’s 1988 hit ‘The Only Way is Up’, which I witnessed in my great surprise in its full glory live when Stornoway performed it at the Academy during Live at Leeds 2015. The band clearly had its work cut out for them to turn it into something palatable for their folk pop / rock loving fans: I didn’t even recognise it when it popped up in their set in Leeds, which says a lot for their ability to morph the speedy dance pop original into something entirely their own. (The story behind the cover was revealed last week in an interview I did with bassist Oli Steadman; read the interview feature here.)

Ultimately, this release will tick off all the boxes for Stornoway fans who prefer the band doing a ‘less is more’ approach, and as a perfect introduction to the band for folk pop purists. Although this EP runs only six tracks long, it makes a fantastic, lasting impression and serves as an excellent reminder that even if ‘Bonxie’ had more pomp and heft due to superstar producer Gil Norton’s involvement, ultimately it is the group’s songwriting and harmonising talents that set them apart from their indie contemporaries. Worth every penny.

9/10

Stornoway’s ‘Unplucked’ EP will be released this Friday, the 18th of September, on Cooking Vinyl. ‘Bonxie’, the group’s third album, is available now, having seen its American release on Slimstyle Records at the end of July. For more on Stornoway – and there is quite an archive here at TGTF on them, as they’ve been friends of our site for a while – head this way.

 
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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.

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