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Homegrown British Talent to Shine at London 2012 Summer Olympic Games

 
By on Friday, 29th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Seeing that everyone around the globe will have their eyes fixed on London next month with the start of the summer 2012 Olympics there, it’s only appropriate that we at TGTF Towers get involved with a post of our own. Regarding the musical selections for the Games, of course. Britain being Britain, the Olympic organisers were spoilt for choice on which artists to tap for this international showcasing event. Just in this week, we’re getting more names and details on what to expect ahead of the official start of the Games. (This post is mainly about the expected Olympic-related releases, but there is also word that there will be surprise gigs in London, which is another ball of wax entirely.)

The news of what we would hear to herald in the 2012 event started last winter, when in November 2011, it was revealed that Manchester’s Mercury Prize-winning and reigning (no longer) indie band Elbow (pictured above) would be providing the song ‘First Steps’ to soundtrack the BBC’s coverage of the momentous occasion. The song in its finished form made the rounds on telly in this promo advert in May to coincide with the Olympic torch relay that made its was all over the country.

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For ‘First Steps’, Elbow decided to use a recorded choir vocal instead of Guy Garvey’s, presumably to make it more about the public and less about Elbow. In his typical self-deprecating style, Garvey has said of their contribution, “for our music to be sound-tracking it, there was a big feeling of responsibility but also we’re just dead proud to be doing it. And strange as well with none of us really being athletic.”

On Wednesday, the BBC reported Muse would be providing the Games’ official song. Called ‘Survival’, it’s already proving to be as polarising as the strange dubstep-infused trailer they released as a teaser for their next album, ‘The 2nd Law’. While there is no argument that there is an incredible amount of tradition, pomp and circumstance surrounding the XXX Olympiad, what strikes you first about this this new song ‘Survival’ is how un-Muse it is. To me, it sounds like they are trying far too hard to sound like a 21st century Queen, emphasising on making a more bombastic sound that embraces the theatrical instead of either going for something poppy, which might make it all the more enjoyable for the masses, or staying true to the Muse vision.

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But beyond what we have heard in full from Elbow and Muse are all the other question marks: what are the contributions from other artists going to sound like? The BBC also let loose on Wednesday that special singles from Elton John vs. Pnau, Dizzee Rascal, the Chemical Brothers and Delphic will also be released during July and August.

Let us first consider the first of these. Pnau is an Australian dance duo whose song ‘Sad’ “includes elements from a number of Elton John original sound recordings including ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’, ‘Crazy Water’ and ‘Curtains’ to name but a few”. Before hearing it, I thought well, this could go either way: it could be a horrible, ill-advised sampling experiment gone wrong, or it could be something refreshingly new and different. Then I found the official video. What is this? It reminds me of Empire of the Sun in a way, and not in a good way. In any event, remember them, because you can expect Pnau to become a household name; how they (or their management) was able to score Olympic promotion just in time for the release of their debut album is quite a marketing coup.

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Dizzee Rascal needs no introduction. He’s been making the rounds at many summer festivals, including both Evolution and Beach Break Live that we’ve managed to cover. As you might have already expected, Dizzee surely knew he was going to have this honour long ago, as the below ‘Your Britain’ video shows him talking about his childhood and having a look round at the stadium where presumably he will be performing on opening night. I think it’s safe to say we can expect a high-octane, bounce-a-minute stonker from him that will get people bopping all over the world.

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Then we are left with the Chemical Brothers and Delphic. This is where we only guess what will happen, which is rather interesting because the two bands, while both dance-oriented and from Manchester, are at opposite sides of the career spectrum. Neither band has released anything since their last albums in 2010: ‘Further’, the Chems’ seventh, and ‘Acolyte’, the debut for Delphic. While there has been a long time of incubation, shall we say, since we last heard anything new from either of them, they have probably only had the last 6 to 8 months, at most, to think about how they want to be remembered with the memory of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Chemical Brothers have not talked publicly about their involvement, but Delphic excitedly Tweeted “We cant [sic] tell you how much it means to be involved with a world spectacle so great it only comes around every 4 years. this time on our patch”, which says to me not only have they given this a great deal of thought, but they also considered the gravity of the situation and what it means when the eyes of the world (or, perhaps the ears are better suited in this case) are put squarely on you.

We here at TGTF will be looking forward to the coming weeks for word on all these official releases. This is definitely one Olympics where the excitement regarding the music specially made for the event equals or exceeds the excitement for the actual sport. Reuters has reported the remaining releases are scheduled to drop as follows: Elton John vs. Pnau on 16 July, Delphic on 23 July, Chemical Brothers on 30 July and Dizzee Rascal on 6 August. The Muse single ‘Survival’ is available for purchase now.

 

Video of the Moment #860: Coastal Cities

 
By on Thursday, 28th June 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Coastal Cities have a new video out for ‘Relief’, their new single out on the 30th of July on Once Upon a Time. Watch it below. You can grab the radio edit of the song for free for a limited time from their Facebook.

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Live Gig Video: Scissor Sisters perform ‘Baby Come Home’ at Corinthia Hotel London’s Bassoon Bar

 
By on Thursday, 28th June 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Scissor Sisters recently were in London, where they performed at Corinthia Hotel London’s Bassoon Bar. Below is a video from the session, where they played this soulful version of ‘Baby Come Home’, their latest single. Enjoy.

We posted the inventive promo video for the single in this previous Video of the Moment.

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Ruling with an Iron Fist – The Legacy of Motörhead

 
By on Thursday, 28th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

They’re a band that have stood the test of time and brought their balls-out, not-a-single-fuck-given attitude to the mainstream music scene at a time that needed it most. They are Motörhead. And they have been levelling venues across the world for almost 40 years with front man Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister steering the band toward global domination since the band’s inception.

The purveyors of the heavy metal umlaut formed after Lemmy was booted out of the infamous space-rockers Hawkwind for cocaine possession at the Canadian border whilst on tour – or as he put it in the book ‘White Line Fever’, for “doing the wrong drugs”. Lemmy has been no stranger to controversy over the years, having been accused of Nazism due to his extensive collection of paraphernalia and his often vocal positive stance on drink and drugs. But Motörhead’s fans (or Motörheadbangers, if you will) take it in their stride, as Lemmy is nothing short of a metal legend – warts and all.

Motörhead are a juxtaposition to the music Lemmy made with Hawkwind, in fact the band name comes from the last track he recorded with the psychedelic five-piece. But that was in the past, and Motörhead became a force to be reckoned with in a relatively short period of time. Enlisting what would be dubbed the ‘classic’ line-up, it was Lemmy, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke and ‘Philthy’ Phil Taylor that made up the band who would spearhead both speed metal but also be a forerunner for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the late ’70s/early ’80s.

After being named the ‘Best Worst Band in the World’ by the NME in the early days, Motörhead went on to defy all naysayers with a string of seminal albums and singles that are still pumped out at rock clubs today. Their breakthrough album ‘Overkill’ in 1979 reached number 24 in the UK albums charts and features the thrash fests of ‘No Class’ and ‘Metropolis’ that still work their way into the trio’s set lists today.

It’s often the case for a band to have a hit album early in their career, but to release two big-hitters in the same year is now almost unheard of. But ‘Bomber’ came crashing into stereos in autumn 1979, reaching number 12 in the charts. The title track has become synonymous with the band worldwide and has featured on no less than four live albums.

One year later (after countless shows across the world) the band released what would be their most famous record: ‘Ace of Spades’. It’s an all-out brawl of noise and snarling from the terrible trio who crammed 12 tracks into 37 minutes of snaggletooth snarls and brash, visceral sound clashes. As well as ‘Love Me Like a Reptile’ and ‘Fast and Loose’, it’s the title track that everyone still knows and adores to this day. A song that is ramped up at every sweatbox dive, every karaoke bar, every music festival and every house party across the world for over 30 years. That is metal. That is Motörhead.

Although ‘Ace of Spades’ reached number four in the charts and achieved gold status, it’s 1981′s ‘No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith’ that gained them a number one spot and firmly established themselves as one of Britain’s best heavy metal acts, although metal isn’t a scene that Motörhead find themselves fully connected to. Lemmy has often stated he feels most at home with punks rather than metalheads, and you can hear that influence in the music. If it wasn’t for the brief solos and chuggier riffs, Motörhead could have become synonymous with the rise of British punk rather than metal. But they’re a band who bridged the gap, which was no easy task.

In 1982 the band released their last album as the ‘classic’ line-up. That record was ‘Iron Fist’ and as well as the pit-starting title track, ‘Speedfreak’ and ‘(Don’t Let ‘Em) Grind You Down’ became fan favourites and have remained a part of the Motörhead show. Following the release of the record, though, Eddie Clarke left the band due to an argument about the band’s principles. A few years later Phil Taylor left the band shortly after recording ‘Ace Of Spades’ for ‘The Young Ones’. In between these two unfortunate occurrences, though, the band enlisted Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson to record ‘Another Perfect Day’ that reached number 20 in the album charts and it was the last time Motörhead reached the top 20 in the UK.

Down but not out, Motörhead underwent numerous line-up changes over the next ten years including a brief reunion with Phil Taylor, before settling on the eleventh incarnation that is touring today of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and former King Diamond sticksman Mikkey Dee.

Despite all the member changes, though, the band are still metal as fuck. They have been credited with being the loudest band on Earth for a gig in the ’80s that reached an ear-popping 130dB (this has since been beaten by KISS), and they closed their 1986 Monsters of Rock performance with a flyover from World War II fighter planes – that sentence alone can’t get much more metal. Lemmy himself is one of the meanest but coolest guys alive, with hundreds of rumours and stories making him a piece of music folklore. One of the best has to be: because of his constant smoking and Jack Daniel’s drinking, Lemmy cannot give blood as his own blood will kill a regular human being – and vice versa. Whether this is true or not, we don’t want to know, but it’s one of the most badass qualities a man can possess.

The band might not be topping the album chart any more, but they’re still bashing out an LP every 2 years (the most recent being 2010′s ‘The Wörld is Yours’) and playing some of the biggest stages in the world. Last year they laid waste to the main stage at Sonisphere festival to tens of thousands of Motörheadbangers who still admire the band for both not giving up but for continuing to kick major arse. And for dedicated metalheads to embrace their love for Lemmy and the gang, a new box set has been released containing the six most iconic Motörhead albums – ‘Overkill’, ‘Bomber’, ‘Ace of Spades’, ‘No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith’, ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Another Perfect Day’. Not only that, but the speed freaks are on tour with thrash legends Anthrax in November across the UK. If you love it loud, live and lary, then this album collection and a gig ticket may be in order, so you can pay tribute to the band that have been dedicated to the cause since 1975.

‘Motörhead: the Classic Album Selection’ is available now from Universal.

 

Video of the Moment (and more!) #859: Summer Camp

 
By on Wednesday, 27th June 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Summer Camp‘s new video for ‘Always’ is a lo-fi affair chronicling the shenanigans of criminals, connected on a pair of handcuffs, on the run. Played by the band themselves. It’s just so implausible, it’s worth a watch below. They also recorded a French version of ‘Always’, which can be streamed below as well.

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Live Gig Video: Michael Kiwanuka plays ‘I’m Getting Ready’ on David Letterman

 
By on Wednesday, 27th June 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Here’s Michael Kiwanuka‘s American network TV debut, playing ‘I’m Getting Ready’ on Late Show with David Letterman last week. Enjoy it below. There’s even a funny incident with a high hat.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music 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 idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

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