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Luke’s Alphabet Tour – T: Turbowolf at London Garage – 10th October 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 27th November 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Firstly, an apology. If you’re an avid reader of TGTF you may have noticed this Alphabet Tour once or twice, and it’s now into the home stretch. However, I have been a little lax on them lately. So if you were one of the few people who read about my gigging exploits, here’s a long overdue review.

In the centre of the stage, overlooking the three-quarters full audience at the Garage, is a large effigy of Tutankhamun’s head. It’s an odd piece of stage bling to have for a band from Bristol, that (to the knowledge of this writer) aren’t connected to Egypt, or the Pharaoh in question. But then again, Turbowolf are a band of many surprises, and their Pandora’s Box is to be opened tonight for all to see.

The punk ‘n’ roll Bristolians might be more accustomed to playing smaller, more intimate venues than this, but they make it their own with ease and hook everyone in to their bounce-along, psychedelic metal riffs. The term psychedelic metal is used loosely as pigeon-holing this crew is nigh on impossible. Blasting through to pit-starting ‘Ancient Snake’ and ‘The Big Cut’, they plunge deep into the realm of noise with their cover of Lightning Bolt‘s ‘Captain Caveman’. Suddenly the pace is taken up a notch and limbs begin flailing down front as London comes alive now it’s been unequivocally warmed up.

The thrashy, hard-hitting vibe continues throughout the night as the crowd are treated to ‘A Rose For Crows’, as well as some newbies that are met with open arms (arms that start pounding the air at any given moment). The energetic and nominee for Mr. Moustache 2012, Chris Georgiadis, runs around the stage and the barrier whipping up his throngs of fans and ensuring the momentum never dips.

You’d think if a band drop a cover of Lightning Bolt, you know what sort of music they’re about. But at the end of the set, Turbowolf bring another belter out of their arsenal – ‘Somebody To Love’ by Jefferson Airplane. If the floor wasn’t moving already, the dancing feet of the Garage have sprung into life. Hardcore and fairweather fans of Turbowolf are singing along with every word and showing their appreciation to one of the hardest working and often overlooked bands on the UK circuit. If they’re in a town near you, you need to go along and party.

 

Luke’s Alphabet Tour – S: Sun Ra Arkestra at London Barbican – 29th September 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Jazz isn’t something that appears much on the virtual pages of There Goes The Fear. Its influence can be heard in a lot of the indier records we review but we rarely investigate the history of the genre. Sun Ra and his Arkestra released their first album back in 1956, and over time the band evolved into the Solar Arkestra, Solar Myth Arkestra and Outer Space Arkestra, before settling as the Sun Ra Arkestra which tonight set the stage of the Barbican alight with their unique mindbending jazz fusion.

The theatre’s walls are awash with lava lamp imagery and a spirograph of colourful whirls courtesy of Mystic Lights. The 12 men on stage are met with rapturous applause from a sold out audience of all ages. Eyes are transfixed on the glittering, futuristic musicians led by Marshall Allen (who himself is strutting the stage with a sax), it’s a mesmerising joy to watch and experience. ‘Space is the Place’ kicks it up a notch with Marshal Allen’s gritty vocals wailing over the top of a seemingly uncontrollable mass of trombones, drums, saxophones and trumpets.

The first half of tonight’s performance comes to a close with ‘Angels And Demons’. Everyone is hypnotised and satisfied by the music either written or influenced by the man who travelled to Saturn and back. The second half shows no signs of a mood change as the Arkestra start the party now more drinks have been purchased.

A cover of Charlie Chaplin‘s ‘Smile’ is a brilliant addition for a brief singalong – now a staple of the Arkestra’s setlist. The performance pushes on until it reaches its natural conclusion of saxophonists, trombonists and everyone else on their feet dancing and marching around the stage, off the stage, into the audience, out into the foyer and back into the theatre again while still playing. Everyone is on their feet and boogieing on down to some amazing scenes of the legendary experimental jazz pioneers. Almost two and a half hours of cosmic jazz is enough to melt the mind, but firmly create a smile on everyone’s face.

 

Album Review: Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

 
By on Thursday, 18th October 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Nowadays, bands rarely get past their third album before sinking into obscurity, never to be seen again. It takes something special for a band to continually release music over a 20 year period and still find new fans to add to their ever-growing horde – especially a band that don’t fit in to the mainstream music mould. One of the bands to defy convention are the Massachusetts maulers Converge, who have just released their eighth album ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’.

Converge have been in hearts of hardcore fans since their breakthrough record ‘Jane Doe’ in 2001, and have since grown beyond the genre boundaries into metalcore and math, attracting masses of ‘heavy music’ enthusiasts in the process. The new LP picks up where they tentatively left off with a deafening, fast-paced dose of visceral hardcore punk.

Clocking in at 38 minutes, Converge cram in a whopping 14 tracks of destructive hardcore goodness. Hints of Fall Of Troy and Psyopus are forced to the surface while Converge try and decimate your eardrums through a relentless audio pounding. ‘Trespasses’ is a continual roller coaster of carnage that crashes and smashes into a wall of drum rolls and guitar thrashes, while ‘Empty on the Inside’ is the ongoing sound of a 1,000 feet robot drop-kicking your city into oblivion. It’s music to punch walls to.

In true fashion of the mathy metallers, there’s no discernible structure to their songs. Trying to find a chorus at all can be a struggle, so it’s best so strap in and let the barrage commence. Out of the 14 tracks on the LP, only five break the three minute barrier, leaving you in a dazed amorphous mess unable to put together a sentence. The album often delves into noise rock territory with its unending punishment of blast beats and fret fiddling, but keeps its roots solely in punk rock with elements of Black Flag and Fucked Up.

It’s hard to pin down exactly where ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ falls in the vast array of this year’s hardcore offerings, but it’s definitely near the top. Converge have always been innovators in music and the record undoubtedly stands out within the recent influx of hardcore releases, thanks to its deviations from the norm with hints of grind, math, metalcore and death metal. It’s an amalgamation of everything angry, passionate and venomous in modern music, and it’s brilliant. Get the windmills moving!

7/10

‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, Converge’s latest album, is out now on Epitaph Records.

 

Luke’s Alphabet Tour – R: Race Horses at London Lexington – 25th September 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Sometimes it takes a Tuesday night out to prove that not everything in the world is bad. The weather might be continually awful, the economy is still in decline and the X Factor still exists, but outside, in the upstairs function rooms across Britain, smiley poptastic fun can still be had. Travelling all the way from Cardiff, the Welsh quintet Race Horses have ridden into London town to launch the brand spanking new LP ‘Furniture’.

The sold out crowd arrive early to load up on drink and take in the atmosphere before everyone’s favourite equine-related indie-poppers play their new album, plus a few extra treats. Wasting no time with pleasantries, Race Horses gallop through the opening tracks of ‘Furniture’, rousing an already hyped audience. Free single ‘Mates’ opens the voice strings of certain crowd members who have played it to death on their laptops, but it’s the mid-section that proves most interesting.

‘Nobody’s Son’ and ‘Old and New’ smack of Dexys with its inherent 80s vibe, and frontman Meilyr Jones vocals are staggering similar to Everything Everything‘s Jonathan Higgs. It’s during ‘Nobody’s Son’ that Jones looks his most vulnerable as he screams, “I’m just a hotel, I’m just a place you stay”, while attacking a bass drum. But throughout the performance he commands the stage with his jittery dance moves (that begin to resemble starting a fight with the invisible man), while his counterparts constantly switch instruments, keeping the sound fresh and visually exciting – there’s even a bassoon and a harp, what more do you need?

The obligatory encore is met with open arms and ears as the rabble of on stage prove their worth with yet more danceable, catchy tunes to the elation of the packed venue. ‘Cysur a Cyffro’ and ‘Hanes Cymru’ ring out joyfully in the dimly lit, booze-soaked room, as London laps up every sugar-coated morsel of fun-loving indie-pop and washes it down with a double helping of Cardiff happiness. Just what the doctor ordered on a Tuesday.

 

Luke’s Alphabet Tour – Q: Quadron at Camden Jazz Café – 19th September 2012

 
By on Monday, 24th September 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Camden Town has long had the reputation of being one of the coolest places in London. An area of trendsetters, creatives and hip young things, all on the lookout for something fresh to call their own. As such a veritable smorgasbord of venues in Camden are operational almost every night, catering for mainstream rock acts at Koko, underground metallers at Purple Turtle a range of chart botherers at the Barfly. But there are one or two venues that offer a slightly different experience.

From the outside the Jazz Café looks like a run-of-the-mill venue conversion, but from within it’s a modern, blue-lit bar and stage with very suave clientèle. Sofas full of regulars and revellers face the now empty stage area that will soon be full of 300+ music-lovers for tonight’s sold out special.

Despite headlining the Jazz Café, Denmark’s Quadron don’t bare the hallmarks of Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis, and are often described as neo-soul thanks to their spacey, synthesised vibes and front woman Coco O’s staggering vocal ability. Tonight, though, in the confines of the high ceilinged, contemporary music lounge, the sound works and the capacity crowd are adrift in a sea of eccentric electronica.

Opening on the sublimely minimal ‘Buster Keaton’, London starts to sway to the sound of Coco’s angelic prowess. She stands at the front of the stage with flowers in her hair and a top that resembles chain mail – a juxtaposition in styles that Quadron themselves can relate to. As the funkier songs take the night up a gear, flirting with a Jackson 5-esque boogie, the band rein it in with the slower, more emotive songs in the vein of Little Dragon.

‘Pressure’ soothes in with a downtempo piano and Coco’s mindblowing operatic vocals, that leaves the Jazz Café in a stunned silence, before switching into a Supremes style groover shaker that kick starts the dancing feet of the hypnotised audience. It’s impossible to take your eyes off the stage, particularly the microphone as Denmark’s answer to Yukimi Nagano delivers flawless falsettos with ease.

For the obligatory encore, the neo-soulers try a little their hand at the King of Pop, with their cover of ‘Baby Be Mine’. Admittedly it’s not a song everyone in the venue seems to know, but in terms of musical ability Quadron cannot be faulted. They’ve managed to keep the largely non-singing crowd moving all evening, even instigating a brief bump ‘n’ grind, and it ends with a justly deserved rapturous round of applause. The Danish trio leave with Cheshire cat grins as do the fans rushing toward their bus home. No doubt we’ll be visited again soon.

 

Video of the Moment #954: Converge

 
By on Tuesday, 4th September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

American hardcore crew Converge have announced the follow-up to 2009′ s ‘Axe To Fall’ goes under the moniker ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ and will be unleashed on the 8th of October. To whet your appetite for the LP that will no doubt leave your senses bruised and ear drums battered, the Massachusetts mob have released a video for opening track ‘Aimless Arrow’.

With scenes that refuse to stay on your screen long enough to even attempt bothering your retinas, it’s a short video of one boy’s journey through forestry and derelict buildings interspersed with notions of suffering and torment. Just what you need to jerk your mind into action…or cause it to spasm.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrcY9I-BbjM[/youtube]

 
 
 

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.

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