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SXSW 2016: Friday daytime at B.D. Riley’s for the Full Irish Breakfast – 18th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 11th April 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Over the past 3 years, it’s become my personal SXSW tradition to spend the Friday at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub for the Full Irish Breakfast, hosted by Music From Ireland. Indeed, Music From Ireland has an even longer history of hosting the showcase, as event coordinator Angela Dorgan related to me in this Friday afternoon interview. My chat with Ms. Dorgan was one of several interviews that I would conduct during the course of the day, between sets by a wide variety of Irish artists spanning genres from sweet acoustic folk to hardcore hip-hop.

"Rosie

The first artist on Friday’s bill was Donegal singer/songwriter Rosie Carney, who faced the difficult task of playing her sensitive and subtle songs to a rather groggy crowd who were perhaps more focused on their eggs and coffee than the activity onstage. Her singing voice was in fine form for so early in the day, and though the open stage at BD Riley’s isn’t the optimal venue for acoustic singer/songwriter types, her lilting tones provided a gentle introduction to a showcase that would gain momentum with each successive act.

"Silences

I stepped outside to have this brief chat with Carney after she played, and when I returned, Silences’ frontman Conchúr White had taken the stage. I’d seen White play the day before on the Thursday afternoon Output Belfast showcase at Latitude 30, and his set once again the demonstrated the vast difference between the two venues. While the rowdier crowd and open windows behind the stage at B.D. Riley’s were slightly less receptive to White’s solo set, he managed to make a favorable impression on his audience.

"September

Following Silences’ rather lonely solo set, the stage at B.D. Riley’s became abruptly more crowded with the entrance of Dublin garage rock quintet September Girls. I was glad to catch them this time around, as I missed them previously in 2014, and I’d been tipped off earlier in the week that their new album ‘Age of Indignation’ was not to be missed. As a fan of the Bangles from my early music listening days, I’m naturally intrigued by a band named after their famous Big Star cover, and I’ll be delving more deeply into September Girls’ sound in my upcoming review of the LP. They played an animated set laced with new songs on their Friday afternoon set, and afterward, two of their number graciously gave this interview for your listening pleasure.

"David

Also filling the stage to capacity at B.D. Riley’s were David C Clements and his crew of bandmates, who followed the brash rock of September Girls with an equally intense set of their own. Along with the aforementioned Silences, I’d heard Clements play at the British Music Embassy the day before, and though he played largely the same set list at B.D. Riley’s, I was once again captivated by his heartfelt lyricism and expansive musical style.

Somadrone internal

Next on the schedule was electro/acoustic act Somadrone, aka Neil O’Connor, who Mary had caught earlier in the week at the official Music From Ireland showcase at Maggie Mae’s on the Wednesday night. Though soft-spoken in manner, O’Connor and his drummer Gareth Averill managed to crank up the volume a notch or two during their extended set, which they graciously agreed to play when rapper Rejjie Snow had to pull out of the showcase lineup.

"Enemies

Math rock band Enemies were next to take the stage, and I was so concentrated on their rather consciously intellectual sound that I didn’t immediately recognize drummer Micheál Quinn, who I’d met in this very same place last year when he had appeared in a different context with avant/experimental group Meltybrains? It was revealed during the course of Enemies’ set that Micheál was celebrating his birthday that day, and naturally a chorus of singing and birthday cake ensued. But make no mistake, their pop-tinged single ‘Play Fire’ was equally memorable and upbeat.

"Saint

The afternoon’s trajectory changed slightly with duo act Saint Sister, whose very aptly termed “atmosfolk” gave our ears a welcome moment of respite, switching gears from live drums and wailing guitars to a combination of sweetly-tuned vocals, traditional Celtic harp and modern electronic rhythms. The novelty of seeing a harp on the stage at B.D. Riley’s would have been memorable enough in itself, but the hypnotic quality of Saint Sister’s seemingly anachronous juxtaposition of sounds proved that they are more than just a gimmick. Their music might have been a bit more laid-back than the other acts surrounding them on the Irish Breakfast docket, but as you can hear in my interview with them, they were in high spirits, and the animated energy came through in their performance.

The final act on the Full Irish Breakfast afternoon showcase was Limerick hip-hop trio Rusangano Family (pictured at top), whose new LP ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’ was released just last week, along with the video for jazz-tinged album track ‘Lights On’. Their sensational performance in Austin on the Friday of SXSW couldn’t be contained on the small B.D. Riley’s stage, as frontman God Knows leapt out the open window to preach his gospel to the throngs of people on 6th Street, while his bandmates MuRli and DJ mynameisjOhn were left to entertain the madding crowd inside. As you can see in the photos below, even aforementioned Enemies’ drummer Quinn couldn’t resist the urge to snap a few shots of the ecstatic festivities that ended the 2016 Full Irish Breakfast on another epic high.

"Rusangano

Rusangano Family internal 3

 

SXSW 2016: most of the Clash and PPL showcase at the British Music Embassy (Friday night, part 2) – 18th March 2016

 
By on Friday, 8th April 2016 at 5:30 pm
 

Clash Magazine and UK music rights and licensing agency PPL‘s evening showcase Friday at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 was arguably the strongest night all week at SXSW 2016. Punters responded by packing the place full nearly every set on the night. To catch up on my earlier movements Friday evening, including some words on Throwing Shade’s performance to start this showcase, click here. For better photos of this showcase by my new friend Thomas Jackson, please visit Clash Magazine’s article on the night here.

After being at the Empire Garage and Control Room for three acts and heading back to Latitude 30, I caught the tail-end of Haelos’ set there, keen on finally figuring out the secret to their success during their week in Austin after seeing them in the sun at FLOODfest Wednesday. As I mentioned in my Friday afternoon review regarding Fickle Friends, there are way too many synth-led bands in Britain at the moment, which makes it all the more important to distinguish your band from the rest of the pack. I suppose here in a Passion Pit-less vacuum, British synthpop is all the more enticing. It also helps that Haelos has already received the backing of KEXP, recording a session with the forward-looking Seattle alternative radio station in January.

Haelos at the Clash and PPL showcase at British Music Embassy, Friday at SXSW 2016

Watching them play to a packed-in British Music Embassy evening crowd – one of the very few times I witnessed this all week, which I thought was very strange – I think I may have cracked it. They do bring something different to the table, in that they’re not doing straight electropop, or electropop with a tinge of soul, for the kids. Mixing both options with a trip-hop element that formerly was the domain of acts like Massive Attack – generally only accepted by the dance kids – plus mixing male and female vocals, all these parts give their music product an undisputed edge. After giving the crowd 100%, the cheering at the end of their set was well deserved.

The next act, then, were presented with the major and dubious challenge of following such a triumphant set. I guess it’s a good thing they were YAK, as their psych / punk ethos don’t really give a monkey’s, and I think they would have completely went for it as they did, regardless of what band preceded them. Frontman Oli Burslem proved this by launching himself, guitar too, stage left into the crowd and entirely unexpectedly. This led to drink glasses falling and breaking and audience members falling down in a pile with him. Instead of being upset about it, punters ate it up, with those not involved in the pileup furiously snapping shots of the incident with their phones and high-fiving their friends that they were present for such an anarchic performance. Latitude 30 staff, quickly mopping and sweeping up glass in the aftermath, were likely not as impressed.

YAK at Clash and PPL showcase at British Music Embassy, Friday at SXSW 2016

The Revenge, Scottish producer Graeme Clark, was up next to ring in midnight at the Embassy. I never know what to expect when there’s an electronic producer set to perform at Latitude 30 because in general, turnout isn’t great. I guess that has to do with most fans of this kind of music having a certain (dare I say overly intelligent) mindset and a profound love for not just beats but all electronic machinations, including how they work and sound. Clark is one-half of 6th Borough Project with Edinburgh Craig Smith, and I hadn’t realised until the week of SXSW of Clark’s connection. Thank you muchly, Ed Macfarlane, for my entry into this world.

As The Revenge, he released debut album ‘Love That Will Not Die’ in 2015, full of bangers of varying intensity and tempo. Under the cover of darkness, he and live compadre Paul McGlashan huddled over a dizzying array of synths, sequencers, mixers and other things I don’t know the proper names for, but that doesn’t matter. Thudding vs. frenetic beats and the dance lover’s friend of bass wub wub wubs filled the room with a kind of sonic mastery I so infrequently get to enjoy. I could have been there, happily dancing for hours and not known where the time had gone.

But after a spine-tinglingly good set and a changeover, it was time for London’s Honne, who the Telegraph have dubbed “futuristic soul” and “destined to re-invent babymaking music”. Um, okay. Let’s just stick to the facts: singer Andy Clutterbuck is the unlikely English (and white) heir to the throne of Barry White, and his long-time mate James Hatcher on keys and guitar, along with their live band, provide the appropriately mystifyingly soulful soundtrack. ‘Warm on a Cold Night’, featured in my Bands to Watch feature on them in the summer of 2014, was sufficient proof early on that this project had plenty of potential.

Honne at Clash and PPL showcase at British Music Embassy, Friday at SXSW 2016

This potential was fully realised in front of a new and American crowd Friday night, as men and women alike yelled and wailed in their appreciation for the band, never letting up for the entirety of their set. I was pretty sure some ladies were going to faint when Andy announced they would playing their ode to the fairer sex in ‘Woman’. (Thanks to another crazy fan, I nearly lost my hearing the next night at Stubb’s watching them again, but I’ll tell you about that later.) They even got their friend JONES, who herself had performed on the Embassy the night before, to join in with them on the track ‘No Place Like Home’. When it came time for them to say goodbye with ‘All in the Value’, the crowd’s disappointment was loud and unanimous. Everyone wanted to meet the band after, irking the usually laissez-faire staff at Latitude 30, who had to kick us out of the place. Break America? Check.

 

SXSW 2016: evening rain with Neon Gold and with Clash and PPL at the British Music Embassy (Friday night, part 1) – 18th March 2016

 
By on Friday, 8th April 2016 at 4:30 pm
 

At my first SX in 2012, the only things me and my British and Irish friends were fending off were minor: sweat and sunburns. Rain seems to have only been a recent pest to SXSW and Friday night, thunder and lightning again threatened SXSW 2016’s showcases. When Carrie and I set out for our evening plans, rain fell hard and lightning streaked through the sky. Not eager to put punters into danger, outdoor, open air venues like Stubb’s and the pop-up McDonald’s Loft on E. 3rd Street chose to temporarily close their spaces or cancel their shows altogether. I crossed out my previous plans to see Everything Everything and DMA’s (at Stubb’s) and Banners (at the McDonald’s Loft) once I learned from Twitter that the venues closed, then reopened to allow bands to only perform shortened sets.

I began my night at our ol’ standby, the British Music Embassy, where Clash Magazine and UK music rights and licensing agency PPL were hosting an evening showcase. Throwing Shade was the first act on their bill. London-based producer Nabihah Iqbal has her own show on NTS Radio every fortnight and puts on a hip-hop night with fellow Londoner Felicita. However, she’s also released plenty of her own music, her use of beats suggested by many to represent the next emerging wave of London electronic music.

Throwing Shade at the Clash and PPL showcase at the British Music Embassy, Friday at SXSW 2016

Prior to SXSW, her latest release the first week of March was the ‘House of Silk’ EP on Ninja Tune, filled with phat beats and glittery synths. Throwing Shade offers a unique perspective on life, too, because she has to be the only London producer (or one of the very few) with a master’s in philosophy. She chose to start with a spoken word piece with very little instrumental backing (that I could detect, anyway), essentially freestyling to begin her set before she truly got going. With my love of electronic, I expected to have loved Throwing Shades’ beats, but for some reason I wasn’t impressed. Perhaps we can blame the weather for keeping people set wherever they were until the storm blew over and that’s why the venue wasn’t full, but this kind of music feeds off of audience response and energy. I would imagine my feelings towards her music would have different if I’d seen her in London in a rammed venue full of her adoring fans.

Back out into the rain, my intention was to rejoin Carrie at Empire Control Room on E. 7th Street, where both the Control Room and main Empire Garage venues were to play host to two Neon Gold Records showcases. However, the Empire was another venue that wasn’t taking any chances with their visitors’ safety, herding everyone who had planned to see bands on the only partially covered Garage stage outside and forcing them inside. That meant that the Control Room reached maximum capacity before it should have, and those of us who were stuck outside were looking at an empty Garage stage until stage management decided it was safe enough for a band to take the stage.

After a significant delay, Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore took to the stage, with their updated lineup of Lauren Zettler having replaced Deirdre Muro on vocals and synths. After a period of darkness, the Garage stage’s light show was impressive but epileptic seizure-inducing, distracting me from Savoir Adore’s upbeat synthpop. However, they had plenty of fans down the front who were going mental over them, well pleased they’d finally been given the green light to start playing and reveling in the overenthusiastic light show. To each their own, I guess!

Savoir Adore at Neon Gold showcase at Empire Garage, Friday at SXSW 2016

We’d only previously been inside Empire Control Room during daylight hours, so I was eager to see how the vibe felt after the sun had set. Declan McKenna was the first name on the indoor bill, and I’ll Carrie tell you what she thought of him, as I’d seen him play already and to a room of new converts at Huw Stephens / PRS for Music showcase Tuesday night to officially begin the British Music Embassy’s week at SXSW 2016. He was followed by Will Joseph Cook, who Consequence of Sound calls an “English wunderkind”. The young Tunbridge Wells native and his band have a perfectly serviceable, if not entirely inspiring pop/rock hybrid sound that top 40 fans will bop their heads along to.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my Friday night soon on TGTF.

Will Joseph Cook at the Neon Gold showcase at Empire Control Room, Friday at SXSW 2016

 

SXSW 2016 Interview: September Girls

 
By on Friday, 8th April 2016 at 11:00 am
 

By the Friday of SXSW 2016, as the hectic week was drawing to a close, my mind started to get a bit overwhelmed with the wide variety of music and musicians I was taking in. Near the end of Friday afternoon’s Full Irish Breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub, I had the chance to interview a band I’d missed at SXSW 2014, Dublin garage pop act September Girls, but by that point, my memory was a bit foggy about when they’d previously appeared in Austin. Luckily, band members Paula Cullen (bass) and Sarah Grimes (drums) were able to set me straight in fairly short order when we stepped outside the pub for a quick chat in the middle of the Irish festivities.

September Girls’ appearance at SXSW 2014 had taken place shortly after the release of their first LP ‘Cursing the Sea’, and they made the long trek to Austin again this year ahead of their new album ‘Age of Indignation’, which is due out on the 8th of April via Fortuna POP! The band made the most of their time in Texas this year, often playing two or even three shows per day, as well as a handful of shows in Southern California before and after SXSW. While they didn’t have a lot of free time to spend on leisure activities in Austin, the five ladies in the band did manage to squeeze in one particularly memorable experience between gigs—have a listen to the audio stream below to find out about the “souvenirs” they obtained.

September Girls will play a list of headline dates in Ireland and the UK beginning on the 15th of April and extending through the middle of May, in support of their new album ‘Age of Indignation’. You can find a list of their upcoming live dates here on their official Facebook. Keep an eye on TGTF for a review of ‘Age of Indignation’ in the coming days.

 

SXSW 2016: Friday afternoon with strong women at the International Day Stage and with Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales – 18th March 2016

 
By on Thursday, 7th April 2016 at 5:00 pm
 

Another day dawned after the awful event of Thursday evening at SXSW 2016. Despite my still shaken nerves, I was determined to make the most of my remaining time in Austin and my Friday afternooon would include the Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales showcase at Latitude 30. First up though was a lovely breakfast and quick catch-up with our friends from Music from Ireland / First Music Contact’s Angela Dorgan and Brendan Millar at B.D. Riley’s ahead of the full Irish breakfast lineup (Carrie’s review of their act are forthcoming). Then I was off to the Austin Convention Centre for a visit to the panel entitled TV Promos: Sync’s New Best Friend, which was a follow-up of sorts to another sync-orientated panel I sat in on at Norwich Sound and Vision 2016 in October. (For a review of my time at convention panels during SXSW, read my roundup post here.)

TV Promos - Sync’s New Best Friend panel Friday at SXSW 2016 Music Conference

After being sufficiently buoyed by the hope that song syncing for tv, film and adverts continue to be a good way for artists to make much needed income to support the music-making side of their craft, it was off to start seeing band trying to make a go of it. Staying in the Austin Convention Center, I went up to the 4th floor to the International Day Stage to catch London-based electropop duo Avec Sans. They clearly had made a good impression prior this appearance, as several megafans of theirs appeared to see them again at this afternoon appearance.

Avec Sans at the International Day Stage at Austin Convention Center, Friday at SXSW 2016

Avec Sans are platinum blonde Alice Fox (originally from Manchester) on vocal duties and Jack St. James on electronics. As TGTF’s resident electro fan, I’ve seen my fair share of duos with a similar setup, and I can say without a doubt that this pair are in the top tier of acts I’ve had the pleasure to witness live. Like Claire L. Evans of YACHT at Easy Tiger the previous night, Fox is a charismatic presence live, providing the human side of Avec Sans with beautously yearning vocals and the perfect foil to the deliciously mechanical machinations of St. James. Watch and listen to the duo’s latest single ‘Heartbreak Hi’ below; their debut album will be out on the 3rd of June; you can donate to their recording effort on PledgeMusic. A headline UK tour will be accompanying its release (all the details here on their Facebook).

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k993pVu1TY4[/youtube]

It was a nice coincidence, according to Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales manager Fionna Allan that their line-up scheduled for Friday afternoon at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 was entirely made up of acts with strong female or female-fronted acts. Allan was all the more prouder about her showcase when I explained to her that there was an important feminist element to this year’s SXSW, as Carrie previewed in this feature prior to our week in Austin. Three of the five acts performing on this bill were Welsh, including first two acts Rozi Plain (a favourite of BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley who I unfortunately missed) and Violet Skies, who I covered as part of the Trackd showcase and chatted with Monday night. True to her word and despite her relative newness to America, Violet was the consummate professional, garnering a massive audience hanging on to every soulful word she sung. As she sung her debut single ‘How the Mighty’, I became even more convinced in her chance at worldwide success. Good luck to her!

Violet Skies at Cerdd Cymru Music Wales at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, Friday at SXSW 2016

As I had been with Jane Weaver on Wednesday, I was more than a little excited to finally see Gwenno perform live as part of the Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales showcase. After making the difficult decision to give her appearance Wednesday night at the Heavenly Recordings showcase at Barracuda a pass, I was grateful to have another chance, and to be honest, it was probably best to see her here, as part of and also swaddled by her fellow strong female artists’ presence. Further, Gwenno’s ‘Y Dydd Olaf’ – originally released in Wales on Peski Records, then given another life by Heavenly with its re-release in 2015, as well as winning Best Welsh Album at the 2015 National Eisteddfod and the 2014-2015 Welsh Music Prize – is completely fitting for such an afternoon.

Gwenno at Cerdd Cymru Music Wales at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, Friday at SXSW 2016 1

The LP’s key themes include fighting against Big Brother and the constraints of a patriarchal society, which Gwenno helpfully and eloquently pointed out in between songs is sadly a reflection of today’s times, stressing the importance of individualism, strength and feminism. This banter between this strong, female and Welsh artist and the audience created an indelible connection between artist and fan, and that’s even before we even consider the music. As an electro head, watching her simultaneously sing like an angel and manage an impressive set of synths and sequencers and effortlessly was a real treat. Adding more fuel to Ms. Saunders’ argument of the Man holding women down, stage management warned her she had to cut her set. Instead of stopping when she was supposed to, in true revolutionary fashion, she kept going. Way to stick it to them, Gwenno! To hear my interview with her that we posted on TGTF last week, go here.

Gwenno at Cerdd Cymru Music Wales at the British Music Embassy on Latitude 30, Friday at SXSW 2016 2

Fickle Friends were up next. If you’ve been keeping tabs on indie British music in the last few years (and America’s similar scene, for that matter), you know that synthpop bands are a dime a dozen. If you have been keeping up with our SXSW 2016 preview coverage, you would have read Rebecca’s great Bands to Watch on both this Brighton band and their seemingly similar Liverpudlian counterparts Clean Cut Kid, who I saw on Wednesday night at the Paradigm Agency showcase at Maggie Mae’s. Due to Rebecca’s piece featuring both bands, I could not help but compare their performances in Austin.

Fickle Friends at Cerdd Cymru Music Wales at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, Friday at SXSW 2016

Fickle Friends put on an admirable performance that received a great response with loads of cheering from the audience, especially when they swapped out the words to their song ‘Brooklyn’, changing them to ‘Austin’. However, I didn’t find anything about their music that distinguished them particularly from all the other synthpop bands Britain has been churning out over the last few years. Will there be a North vs. South divide over these two bands’ corresponding success? We’ll have to wait and see how things go this year.

Concluding the female-strong afternoon of Cerdd Cymru / Music Wales at the British Music Embassy were Liverpool’s Stealing Sheep, who I had the great pleasure of seeing play in their hometown, at the cavernous Red Bull Studios at the Garage stage at my first Liverpool Sound City in 2012. Since releasing ‘Not Real’ in April 2015, they’ve adopted a much more colourful stage presence, which in Austin meant neon bright leotards and tights and mirrored sunglasses. Without a doubt, it’s an attention-grabbing look within a dark club; some may call it a gimmick, but it works for them and will keep them firmly in festival-goers’ minds. (In comparison, Fickle Friends looked like they could have been any American band in t-shirts, baseball caps and jeans.)

Stealing Sheep at Cerdd Cymru Music Wales at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, Friday at SXSW 2016

The talent and fun with Stealing Sheep is multifold. Each of the three band members have a strong enough voice to take the lead, yet their harmonies together on album title track ‘Not Real’ are fantastic enough to make you think they’re all sisters (they’re not). The handclap-happy ‘Apparition’ (watch the video below) demanded audience participation, and you can’t help but get drawn into the percussive nature of their music. Despite stage management calling them to stop, they kept on going, to the delight of the punters. Of all the British acts I saw in Austin, I’d rank these Liverpudlian ladies in the top 5 of having made a lasting impression on American audiences that should serve them well in their continuing career.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-HmtWyAH0Y[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2016 Interview: Saint Sister

 
By on Thursday, 7th April 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Header photo: Gemma Doherty (on harp) and Morgan MacIntyre of Saint Sister

It’s still very early going for Irish alt-folk duo act Saint Sister, comprising Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty, who only formed officially in November 2014. Their unique sound has been very appropriately dubbed “atmosfolk”: a combination of traditional Celtic harp and 1960s folk, draped in a gossamer sheen of atmospheric synths and underpinned by electronic rhythms and drum beats. MacIntyre and Doherty first came to the attention of Music From Ireland when they played the Hard Working Class Heroes festival in 2015, which eventually led to their showcasing appearance at SXSW 2016.

I had the pleasure of hearing Saint Sister play during Friday afternoon’s Full Irish Breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub, and at the end of the festivities, I spirited them off outside for a quick interview. We began our chat with unanimous praise for the ladies’ compatriot Irish act Rusangano Family, who played the final slot on the showcase that afternoon and ended the show on a euphoric high. (Stay tuned to TGTF for more coverage of all the acts on Friday’s Full Irish Breakfast in the coming days!)

The discussion quickly turned to other bands MacIntyre and Doherty had seen or wanted to see during their time in Austin, which were, coincidentally, mostly fellow female artists. On a tangentially-related note, they also related a mildly shocking interaction they’d had with a SXSW punter earlier in the week—have a listen to the interview below to find out what transpired.

Saint Sister’s first EP ‘Madrid’ was released in November 2015, and they hope to release more new music soon. They plan to spend this summer touring in Ireland and the UK, including both festivals and a pair of UK headline dates in May. You can find details of Saint Sister’s live appearances on their official Facebook. The video for their latest track ‘Blood Moon’ is featured just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/_jfP2WiLtXM[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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. 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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