Header photo by Phil Knott
Dynamic West London duo Andrew Davie and Kev Jones, known collectively as Bear’s Den, have just revealed the new video for ‘Dew on the Vine’, which was one of my favourite tracks on their recent album ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’. Though the song itself is as emotionally intense as the rest of the album, it would appear that Bear’s Den are going for a somewhat lighter tone with this promo video. Director Louis Bhose has set the music to soundtrack a cutthroat table tennis tournament fashioned à la ‘Fight Club’, with formidable competitors named “Fierce Vanda” (dressed in a panda costume) and “Switchblade”, among others. Shocking under-the-table antics ensue, and in the end Bear’s Den are left to band together (pun intended) against the odds.
On a different note, it feels somehow remiss not to mention the film noir style video for Bear’s Den’s excellent previous single ‘Emeralds’, which you can view here. TGTF’s full coverage of Bear’s Den is collected right back here.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 24th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
Liverpool group Clean Cut Kid are currently on tour in the UK, playing tonight in Bristol. They’ve got a new promo video to share with us, and it’s for a track that Annie Mac debuted as a Hottest Record in the World earlier this month.
So what did Clean Cut Kid decide to do with a song called ‘Make Believe’? If you’ve ever wondered about of what really goes on under your sheets – get your mind out of the gutter – the North West band show you their hypothesis. Whimisical? Yes. Serious? Not at all. Watch it below. For more on the band on TGTF, including our coverage of them at SXSW 2016 back in March and Live at Leeds in April, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 21st October 2016 at 6:00 pm
Though they’ve relocated to London from Yorkshire, VANT haven’t lost their edge. The socially conscious band who released a new EP, ‘Karma Seeker’, back in the summer have a new music video for us today. You can read Steven’s review of ‘Karma Seeker’ through this link. ‘Peace & Love’ is their current single, which frontman and principal songwriter Mattie Vant describes this way:
We finished writing ‘Peace & Love’ in the wake of the Paris attacks. Atrocities like these are taking place worldwide on a daily basis, but it’s only when something happens so close to home that it truly grabs the full attention of our society. We live on a planet that has forgotten what the words ‘Peace & Love’ mean and what they stood for in the ’60s and ’70s. The power of the peace movement changed the world forever but our unity is starting to slip. ‘Peace & Love’ have become throwaway words, fashion statements, cheap symbols that have lost their value. We need to reconnect with their true meaning because, more than ever, we are living in a time that really does need ‘Peace & Love’.
They are currently on tour in October supporting You Me at Six. You can also catch them on tour in the UK in November, including their biggest show to date in London at Scala on the 29th. Their first gig next month is a Dr. Martens #STANDFORSOMETHING autumn tour show at Newcastle Cluny on the 12th of November. All their live dates are listed here on their Facebook.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 21st October 2016 at 4:00 pm
Glaswegian legends Teenage Fanclub released their tenth album ‘Here’ back in September on their own record label PeMa. For the music video for album cut ‘Thin Air’, they went back to their roots. Specifically, they headed for the basement of The 13th Note, a legendary venue on King Street in their hometown of Glasgow, to film this live performance video in brilliant technicolour. Watch it in its splendour below. Teenage Fanclub have a UK and Irish tour scheduled to begin in mid-November; they’ve also announced a show at London Shepherds Bush Empire in February 2017. To read more of our coverage of the Scottish band on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 20th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
Scottish girl duo Honeyblood are gearing up to release their second album at the start of next month. ‘Babes Never Die’ is scheduled for release on the 4th of November on Fat Cat Records. One of the early tasters from the upcoming album revealed to the public was ‘Sea Hearts’, which now has its own promo video.
It starts ominously enough by the sea, where a female-looking creature comes out of the lagoon. ‘She’ tries to assimilate into society, in this case a costume party where her strange behaviour actually fits in better than any other social situation. Will her cover be blown? Will this end well, or in tears? Watch the video for ‘Sea Hearts’ below and find out. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Honeyblood, including another early taster ‘Ready for the Magic’, follow this link.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 20th October 2016 at 3:00 pm
To read the first half of my Saturday evening at Hard Working Class Heroes, follow this link. To have at your fingertips the entire HWCH 2016 archive here on TGTF, go here.
Tiz McNamara (Dublin via Cork) @ Tengu Downstairs
Joined by his bandmates from his hometown of Cork, Tiz McNamara built on the strength of his relaxed afternoon show at Urban Picnic with his evening performance. Dressed in a flowy white shirt (channeling Jesus, a higher power or Sting, perhaps?), he looked like he could have been performing in the Caribbean. But the subject matter of his songs are on a more everyman level. Admittedly, some of his songs were of the more melancholic, sad variety. But they’re a joy to hear in McNamara’s voice, in the way that sometimes you want to hear a song that will break your heart, because your heart’s been broken before and yet somehow, you’ve survived.
Despite the two being probably around the same age, McNamara strikes me as a more grown-up version of Lewis Watson: clearly lovely, lovable and writing songs that are entirely relatable. ‘I Hope You Know’ was a standout of both his acoustic afternoon and with band evening sets and showed great potential as a breakout singer/songwriter.
Elm (Dublin) @ Workman’s Club
Following their stripped-back performance at the HWCH box office at Filmbase Saturday afternoon, I was excited to see the contrast to Elm’s full five-piece band show that night at the Workman’s Club. They didn’t disappoint me, or anyone else at the club for that matter. They have a loud and large following already built up in Dublin; I felt squished like a sardine down the front for the band to start. Cat-calling for specific members of the band even before they took the stage and then while they were actually on the stage indicated without a doubt that their fans already have strongly associated each of their band members’ individual personalities, as if they were the Beatles or One Direction. I was floored. It feels like Elm have already outgrown an emerging music festival like this and whenever they’re ready to release a debut album, they’ve got legions of fans in Ireland chomping at the bit to buy it.
As for their performance, the band were tight, feeding off the energy of their excited fans. Their self-described “alternative baroque pop”, the instrumentation full of pomp, yet not overwhelming to frontman Dylan Walsh’s powerful vocal delivery, is a winner. Their unique sound is definitely something different to offer the often boring mainstream and I can see both UK and U.S. audiences warming up to their tunes.
Participant (Dublin) @ Tengu Downstairs
Steven Tiernan and his ambient project Participant ended my Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 on a rather unusual note. Tiernan himself commented after the festival that no live set he’s done as Participant is ever repeated, as he likes to experiment with what he’s playing with onstage, the songs he’ll play, the loops and samples used, even the song arrangements. He was creating his live sound with a friend performing with him, and to go with a voiceover of a mindfulness seminar. Not exactly what you might expect or want at a Saturday night show, but it seems rather appropriate for my state of mind and what I took from this music festival as a whole.
You’re never going to be able to predict what gems you’ll uncover at Hard Working Class Heroes, but there’s so much to discover here over the 3 days, whether you want to dance, to be touched emotionally, to be challenged, to feel blissfully chill. Open your ears, heart and mind, and you’re sure to find an act (or three) to fall in love with.