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Live at Leeds 2018 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets (part 1)

 
By on Monday, 30th April 2018 at 11:00 am
 

This year’s Live at Leeds 2018 best bets preview will be longer than past years because a lot of the acts (more than in past years, I reckon!) will also appear at Liverpool Sound City or The Great Escape, or both. As a result, I listened to ever band on the Live at Leeds schedule, then cross-referenced the lists so you, the music discoverer, can find them at another event if applicable. The Great Escape will take place in Brighton in 2 weeks’ time, and I am planning to post a Great Escape-specific best bets that will pick up anyone exemplary that I wouldn’t have written about here if they aren’t appearing in Leeds. Hope that all makes sense! If you’d like to read my previous, more general preview on Live at Leeds 2018, follow this link.

Please note: as we always recommend in all of TGTF’s festival previews, the information we post here on Live at Leeds 2018 is current at the time of posting. We strongly encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2018 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds this Saturday, the 5th of May are still available at the bargain price of £36 plus handling if purchased online; early bird and VIP tickets are now sold out. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2018 (or earlier) alums: Here’s a list of artists we either saw last month in Austin (or even in previous years) who we enjoyed AND/OR we previewed ahead of the festival -AND- will also be appearing at Live at Leeds this coming Saturday. For your convenience, I’ve listed them in order of appearance on the day so you can slot them into your growing schedule.

IDLES (12:00 PM, Wardrobe [Dr. Martens stage])
Superorganism (2:45 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
ONR (5:00 PM, Lending Room)
The RPMs (5:00 PM, A Nation of Shopkeepers [Too Many Blogs stage])
Dermot Kennedy (6:00 PM, Academy [Leeds Festival stage])
Sam Fender (6:15 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
Stella Donnelly (7:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
TOUTS (7:00 PM, A Nation of Shopkeepers [Too Many Blogs stage])
Fizzy Blood (7:15 PM, Key Club)
Spring King (7:15 PM, Leeds Beckett main stage)
Ten Tonnes (7:30 PM, Leeds Church, Dork stage)
Yak (8:30 PM, Wardrobe [Dr. Martens stage])
Blaenavon (8:45 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
Her’s (9:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
The Vaccines (9:00 PM, Academy [Leeds Festival stage])
Wildwood Kin (9:00 PM, Leeds International Spiegeltent)
The Xcerts (9:30 PM, Key Club)
Pale Waves (11:15 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])

Apollo Junction (electropop; Leeds; 12:00 PM, Trinity stage)
This band from North Yorkshire have been knocking around for the last 6 years with their brand of electropop and somehow, I have only discovered them now. Precious little is available online about them but according to this article, they enjoy Yorkshire Tea and fat rascals at Betty’s, which wins them bonus points in my book. Check them out before an A&R stumbles on them and they get whisked off to bigger venues.

The Orielles (garage rock; Halifax; 12:00 PM, Holy Trinity Church, CLASH stage)
We’ve featured The Orielles over the last 5 years on TGTF, so you’re probably wondering why would I include them here. They released their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ in February on Heavenly Recordings, and the LP has received accolades, including from The Guardian (“this album is a masterclass in how to produce guitar music that feels anything but futile: by making it specific, strange and superior to much of what’s come before.”). We knew them before they was and now you can enjoy them as a special guest at Live at Leeds. NB: They will also be appearing at Liverpool Sound City later on Saturday at the District and The Great Escape in a fortnight’s time, performing twice on Thursday the 17th of May.

SHEAFS (rock; 1:00 PM, Hyde Park Social Club)
The River Sheaf flows through Sheffield, so I’d fathom a guess that this group of Sheffield Hallam University graduates named themselves after it. This is a band with that snotty punk attitude and muscular guitar rock to back it up. They’ve been selling out venues in the UK and across the Continent, and it seems this is merely the beginning for them. NB: They will be performing at The Great Escape Saturday night the 19th of May at Hope and Ruin.

Tors (folk; Devon; 1:00 PM, Chapel)
Changing gears to a more conventional singer/songwriter outfit, my ears happened upon Tors, a quartet from Devon who amIACre miles away from the region’s most famous musical export Muse. Equally adept at a cappella four-part harmony and sweeping, guitar-driven, folky soundscapes ala Fleet Foxes and Goldheart Assembly, they’re for those interested in a slower, yet richer musical experience. NB: Tors appear Friday night the 18th of May at St. Mary’s Church at The Great Escape.

The Snuts (rock; Whitburn, West Lothian; 2:15 PM, Key Club)
I imagine most bands from Scotland are asked if they are from Glasgow or Edinburgh. The Snuts are from Whitburn, West Lothian, smack dab in between the two. I reckon they must favour Glasgow, as they’ve named a song after it that’s already hit over 440,000 streams on Spotify. No wonder: they’ve got that feel good guitar rock vibe going that everyone loves. Well, most everyone, right?

Black Futures (rock / electronic; London; 3:15 PM, Key Club)
Love psych rock? Love electronic? Hate that the two genres are never together in one band? Fear no more. Black Futures from London are a duo that have somehow successfully melded the two, giving each its due. A band after my own heart. NB: Black Futures will appear at the Great Escape Thursday the 17th of May at Green Door Store.

Hollow Coves (folk; Brisbane, Australia; 4:00 PM, Leeds International Spiegeltent)
Folk duo Hollow Coves will be travelling quite a distance for Live at Leeds. They hail from the hometown of BIGSOUND, the picturesque Queensland port city of Brisbane. You can expect angelically beautiful harmonies from the acoustically inclined folk duo. NB: Hollow Coves will appear twice on Thursday the 17th of May at the Great Escape.

Knightstown (electronic; Brighton via Glasgow; 4:00 PM, Headrow House [NME stage])
In a previous life, Michael Aston was a freelance composer and the keyboardist in C Duncan’s live band. Over the last few years, he’s been making music of his own under the name Knightstown. Aston’s swirly, emotional falsetto vocals float over his electronic compositions, drawing him favourable comparisons to Jamie Woon. He’ll provide an atmospheric performance that will be in sharp contrast to most of the other performances in Leeds on Saturday. NB: He will perform Saturday the 19th of May at The Great Escape as part of the FatCat Records showcase.

The Indigo Project (indie rock; Leeds; 4:00 PM, Stylus [The Independent stage])
I always like a good local band getting the opportunity to showcase at the festival in their own hometown. The Indigo Project are also no strangers to Live at Leeds, having played the event last year. Jangly, bright guitar pop guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

whenyoung (pop-punk; London via Limerick, Ireland; 4:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY stage])
Pop-punk may have been borne out of the Noughties, but it’s still alive and kicking. Female-fronted whenyoung, Irish transplants in the Capital, recall the peppiness of Avril Lavigne while sitting nicely alongside acts like Dream Wife and False Advertising. NB: whenyoung are scheduled to play at the Haunt on Thursday night the 17th of May at the Great Escape.

Lady Bird (punk; Kent; 4:15 PM, Key Club)
Slaves and Drenge got the party going on political punk a few years ago, and the UK has never looked back since. With IDLES and LIFE performing at back to back SXSWs the past 2 years, it seems likely that their buddies from the South East, Lady Bird, will get an invite to Austin soon enough. Signed to fellow Kent natives Slaves’ Girl Fight Records, their future in releasing the kind of informed punk they want is bright. NB: Lady Bird appear at the Great Escape twice on Friday the 18th of May.

Tremors (synthpop; UK/French band based in London; 4:30 PM, Brudenell Social Club Community Room [DIY Neu stage])
Tremors are two Englishmen and a Frenchman from Marseille who somehow came together with the notion that they were going to meld French electropop and New Wave and they were going to do it on their own. So far, they’ve only released a series of singles, including this year’s two heart-pumping tunes, ‘Technicolour’ and ‘Broken Glass’. As an unashamed fan of synthpop in all its guises, Tremors are a unique curiosity worth your time at Live at Leeds.

Stay tuned for the next part of this preview on Live at Leeds 2018. Hopefully tomorrow!

 

Video of the Moment #2110: YAK

 
By on Tuesday, 7th June 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

London-based psych rockers YAK will be laying waste at three shows this week: tonight (the 7th) at Brighton Patterns, tomorrow (the 8th) at Guildford Boileroom and Thursday (the 9th) at Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach. So it’s just the right time for them to release a new music video. In ‘Use Somebody’, taken from the band’s debut album ‘Alas Salvation’, the band – Oli Burslem, Andy Jones and Elliot Rawson – take to the open road to become speed demons. Sort of. But don’t worry…too much. It’s all being done in front of a green screen. Watch the new promo below. For more on YAK, including my coverage of them at SXSW 2016, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqf0gpB-OSE[/youtube]

 

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 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #106: Oli Burslem of YAK

 
By on Friday, 11th March 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Ahead of SXSW in Austin next week, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ll be bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. To round off the week in style, today’s set of answers are from Oli Burslem, frontman of London-based psych rockers YAK. The band’s debut album ‘Alas Salvation’is scheduled for release on the 13th of May on Octopus Electrical/Kobalt, so bets are the YAK lads are pretty excited to be going out to Austin and showing America what they’ve got.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
BURSLEM / JONES / RAWSON

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Playing some shows and having a party.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I haven’t looked who is playing, to be honest. I’m not much of a planner, and I know we are gonna be pretty busy, so I’m all open to a surprise along the way.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
A wedding suit.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
A pint of weak cheap lager or if I think you’re worth a bit, then a double bourbon. Maybe Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reverse, something expensive.

What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve played a couple of times before in the U.S. but never Austin. I have no expectations for SXSW. For us it’s just another gig. I have heard some mixed responses about SXSW from bands who have played there, but we’re just happy to be getting out there in front of people. I’ve never been to Texas and I can’t wait to see all the bits in between. I watched a doc about Townes Van Zandt in Austin the other day and it’s got me excited.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
My first musical memory is at church singing monotone Anglo hymns. The first music I can clearly remember being obsessed with was anything Elvis….

What was your favourite song as a child?
Bill & Ben – ‘The Flower Pot Men’ (theme song).

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcF9JSxkUSE[/youtube]

What song makes you laugh?
Sleaford Mods’ ’14 Day Court’.

What song makes you cry?
Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Waiting Around to Die’.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Shakespeare.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Buying and selling antiques to the well-to-do of London. For exaggerated prices.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
If I ended up in Heaven, I would very surprised as I’m an atheist. So I would ask God to stream ‘God’ by John Lennon, which is on the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ album.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi3pjl29yPo[/youtube]

Thanks to Oli of YAK for taking the time to answer our questions!

 

YAK / May 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 16th February 2016 at 9:00 am
 

London-based psych rock trio YAK have announced a May headline tour of the UK, following their trip to America for SXSW 2016 in March. Their debut album ‘Alas Salvation’ is due out on the 13th of May on Octopus Electrical/Kobalt and will include ‘Hungry Heart’, which was released in the form of a single last year. You can watch the video for ‘Hungry Heart’ just below the tour date listing.

At the end of this week, YAK will head out on tour supporting King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.  Their busy tour schedule will see them play a handful of American headline dates in March before they head back across the pond for the following shows. A complete list of Yak’s upcoming live dates can be found on their official Facebook.

TGTF’s previous coverage of YAK, including their newest promo video ‘Victorious (National Anthem)’, is right back this way.

Wednesday 11th May 2016 – Birmingham Rainbow
Thursday 12th May 2016 – Sheffield Bungalows and Bears
Friday 13th May 2016 – Glasgow Stereo (w/Baby Strange)
Saturday 14th May 2016 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Sunday 15th May 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Wednesday 18th May 2016 – Bristol Exchange
Friday 20th May 2016 – Southampton Joiners Arms
Saturday 21st May 2016 – Oxford Bullingdon
Tuesday 24th May 2016 – London Dingwalls

[youtube]https://youtu.be/LK1sTZorJSQ[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2012: YAK

 
By on Thursday, 11th February 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Leading into the release of their debut LP ‘Alas Salvation’, YAK have just unveiled the video for their latest single ‘Victorious (National Anthem)’. This dizzyingly kaleidoscopic visual representation is matched only by the sonic psychedelia of the song itself, which compresses its frenetic, fuzzed-out intensity into a concise, 2-minute clip.

Discussing YAK’s upcoming album, frontman Oli Burslem explains: “I was trying to make it a slightly schizophrenic record that had all these different elements, but had so much of everything that by the end . . . everybody would be like, ‘What the hell was that?’”. Whether or not the full album lives up to that description remains to be seen, but ‘Victorious (National Anthem)’ could easily be the shot in the arm that gets things started.

YAK’s first full album ‘Alas Salvation’ is due out on the 13th of May on Octopus Electrical/Kobalt. The band will appear at SXSW 2016 ahead of May headline dates in the UK. Our past collection of YAK coverage can be found right back here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/UZuf16UqTRE[/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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