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Live Review: Teleman with C.A.R. at Bristol Thekla – 27th September 2018

 
By on Monday, 8th October 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

It took nearly a decade, but I finally made it to arguably the most unusual venue in the UK. It’s not a 19th century Scottish church turned venue, that’s Oran Mor in Glasgow, or a treatment centre for the hearing impaired turned venue, that’s Manchester’s Deaf Institute. No, last Thursday night, I found myself on a decommissioned cargo ship moored in Bristol Harbour to see one of my favourite live bands. The show at Thekla marked the start of a 2-and-a-half week UK tour in support of their latest album ‘Family of Aliens’, released in early September. (Read my review of the album through here.) In a previous interview with Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music, Teleman mentioned Bristol was always a good place to gig. The city didn’t disappoint them, being the first date on the tour to sell out.

C.A.R. Bristol 1

Chloé Raunet is the one-woman show C.A.R. She’s a French-Canadian based in London and a singer and synth and keyboard player. While she was likely unknown to the majority of the crowd – I know I didn’t know anything about her – her mix of driving beats and oft yelping voice was just the right amount of subversiveness in sound just above the headliners’ own. Her 2014 debut ‘My Friend’ was described by Dummy magazine as “an electro pop album that’s quite self-consciously weird.” Her follow-up, this year’s ‘Pinned’, stars oddly catchy tunes like ‘Growing Pains’ and the live standout of her set ‘This City’, rich with metallic clanks and her disaffected vocals. Keen on grabbing a free remix of ‘This City’ done by Teleman drummer Hiro? Right through here.

As one might expect, the set list for Teleman’s inaugural night for the ‘Family of Aliens’ tour was heavy on tunes from the new LP. Of the three singles that previewed the official release of the album, early calls for ‘Song for a Seagull’ from the audience proved it’s clearly the fan favourite. Bemused but seemingly prepared for this response, frontman Thomas Sanders was quick to quip that we’d get it soon enough. When the moment finally arrived in the set, time seemed to pause: the song has become quite personal to me, and not just because I’m named early on in its promo video. I have been on both sides, having been the untouchable seagull and having been in love with one. There are equal parts of wonderment and bewilderment when you fall in love with someone you can’t fully connect with on an emotional level. I suppose you could argue the song sounds way too happy, but I look at it as an acknowledgement of the essence of love: it’s beguiling and frustrating but ultimately wonderful.

Teleman Bristol 1

The delightful synth bounce in their tunes comes across even better in a live setting. A song like ‘Fun Destruction’ – an examination on the struggle between having a fun, messy night out and then confronting your hungover self in the morning – is ideal for a gig, the ordered and anarchic bits of the song at odds but in a way that works flawlessly. Sanders admitted anxiously before ‘Twisted Heart’ that we were the first people to ever hear it live. While it’s definitely chaotic, it was all too easy and wonderfully so to give in to the chaos and revelry of the night that continued into now perennial live favourite ‘Dusseldorf’. Older beloved tracks ‘Tangerine’, ‘Cristina’ and one-off Speedy Wunderground single ‘Strange Combination’ joined the party, too. When the band finally had to sadly say goodbye, they ended with ‘Not in Control’, its motorik beat and droney nature acting as perfect sendoff. Until next time, Teleman, thank you.

Teleman Bristol 5


After the cut: Teleman’s set list from the night.

Continue reading Live Review: Teleman with C.A.R. at Bristol Thekla – 27th September 2018

 

Live Review: Saint Sister with Marian McLaughlin at DC9, Washington, DC – 21st September 2018

 
By on Monday, 24th September 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

Header photo of Saint Sister by Rich Gilligan

If you can manage to schedule it, do yourself a favour and go see a favourite band on either the first night or the last night of a tour. On the last night, you can cheer for them for a job well done for finishing what usually is a long, exhausting campaign to support a new album. On the flipside, on the first night of a tour, it’s nice to champion the people you respect as artists as they begin the process. I’m lucky enough to catch the start of two tours within 1 week this month, the first being Saint Sister’s first-ever visit to Washington Friday night. Ahead of the self-release of the Northern Irish girl duo’s debut album on the 5th of October, Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, joined by a touring bassist/keyboardist and drummer.

The show began with a feeling of déjà vu for me. The previous time I saw singer/songwriter Marian McLaughlin, she was supporting another pair of talented ladies, England’s Smoke Fairies, at the very same venue. The NPR-feted McLaughlin is a stalwart to the Baltimore / DC area scene, having steadily self-released music since 2014. The themes of her upcoming album ‘Lake Accotink’ are how humans interact with the environment and resolving for herself the impact of progress on Earth.

Marian McLaughlin DC9 September 2018

Like the last time I saw her, she performed solo Friday night, though she will be performing with a backing band this week at album release shows this week in Baltimore Wednesday night, the 26th, at Holy Underground and Friday night, the 28th, at DC’s Songbyrd Music House. Swapping between nylon-stringed acoustic guitar, a standing keyboard and one placed at her feet, this was a performance that was anything run-of-the-mill. McLaughlin pays tribute to the beauty of local parks in her new LP: ‘Grayson Highlands’ recalls a hiking trip McLaughlin took there. It’s named after a Virginian state park near the state’s southern border with North Carolina.

From one unique artist to two of them. Saint Sister have showcased twice in the last 3 years of SXSW, which is an impressive feat considering how many hopefuls appear at the Irish version of SXSW, Hard Working Class Heroes, every autumn in Dublin. Incorporating electronic, rock and soul into folk, their self-described “atmosfolk” sets them apart from not just all the singer/songwriters in Ireland but those around the world. For example, how often do you see an accordion and a harp (Gemma Doherty’s primary instrument) at a rock show? Also, I witnessed another specifically Irish phenomenon that Daithi clued me in on 2 years ago: Irish people always show up and support their country(wo)men, wherever they are playing. So the audience was oddly disproportionally full of Irish music fans from university age to way up, and more Guinness was being poured than usual at DC9, though the nectar of the gods were from *gasp, horror* cans.

Saint Sister DC9 September 2018

Saint Sister will be making the grandest of artistic gestures at the end of next week with the release of debut ‘Shape of Silence’, which I have listened to in full and can say is excellent. The album includes songs that have been kicking around in their live sets for a while that proved arresting performed Friday night. On a much simpler, back to basics approach, ‘Corpses’ (previously released through Communion’s Singles Club) featured only Doherty and MacIntyre’s ethereal voices and very gentle instrumentation. ‘Madrid’, on the other hand, is a full band affair, and with its glitchy, syncopated beats, the song feels more modern and miles away from more traditional folk.

‘Causing Trouble’ bridges this seemingly insurmountable divide with soulful, perfectly duetting vocals from the ladies and a sultry beat that’s caused the pair’s music to be compared to that of Massive Attack and Portishead. This ain’t your momma’s folk, that’s for sure. But with Doherty and MacIntyre’s brilliantly complementary vocals underpinning everything, they have the latitude to continue to experiment and create music that is totally their own. With the release of ‘Shape of Silence’, they’re sure to win many new fans.

After the cut: Saint Sister’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Saint Sister with Marian McLaughlin at DC9, Washington, DC – 21st September 2018

 

Live Gig Video: Fenne Lily shares 2018 Green Man performance of ‘Car Park’

 
By on Monday, 17th September 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Bristol-based singer/songwriter Fenne Lily will be busy this autumn out on tour. Following a headline show on the 12th of October at London Borderline with SXSW 2018 showcasing band Wyldest, she’ll be supporting two great acts in the UK and America. In October, she’ll be the opening act for American singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus. Then, following Thanksgiving here in the States, she’ll be supporting Canadian Andy Shauf on a short tour hitting Washington, DC, Philadelphia and two nights in Brooklyn.

Before all of that, and actually last month, Fenne Lily and her band were at Green Man Festival in Wales, where they recorded this gem of a performance. It’s of ‘Car Park’, from her self-released debut album ‘On Hold’, out now. Some fans have noted that this live version is a little faster than the version on record. But hey, aren’t live shows supposed to be spontaneous and deliciously different? Watch the performance below. You can read our review of Fenne Lily’s single ‘What’s Good’ through here.

 

Live Gig Video: Fatherson share performance of ‘Reflection’ from upcoming third album ‘Sum of All Your Parts’

 
By on Tuesday, 11th September 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Scottish alt-rockers Fatherson will be releasing their newest album this Friday. They’ve already previewed ‘Sum of All Your Parts’, their third studio album, with a live version of ‘Making Waves’, which we posted back in June. Today, we’ve got for you another live performance of a cut from the forthcoming LP. The anthemic, Springsteen-ey like qualities of ‘Reflection’ are what I liked most about Fatherson when I first heard about them. Get ‘Sum of All Your Parts’ from Easy Life Records on the 24th of September. Much more on Fatherson can be read through this link.

 

Live Gig Video: watch Dermot Kennedy’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR

 
By on Tuesday, 4th September 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

To say Irish lad Dermot Kennedy made a splash at SXSW 2018 this year would be an understatement. The Dubliner blends two seemingly disparate worlds – that of the hip-hoppers and the singer/songwriters – hits the spot for music fans young and old. When he stopped by NPR recently for a Tiny Desk Concert, he decided he wanted to do something special with his performance. That is, NPR reported that he and his band arrived a day ahead of time to meet and rehearse with the local Howard Gospel Choir to add another vocal layer to their ensuing performance. Watch these special, rousing renditions of ‘Moments Passed’, ‘An Evening I Would Not Forget’ and ‘Glory’ live from the NPR office in Northeast Washington below. The first two of those songs appeared on the EP ‘Mike Dean Presents: Mike Kennedy’, which dropped in April. To read all of our past coverage on Dermot Kennedy, including a Bands to Watch piece Carrie wrote before SXSW 2018, go here.

 

Deer Shed Festival 2018: Saturday Roundup

 
By on Monday, 6th August 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

Most years at Deer Shed, it’s possible to detect a secret theme influencing the band selection. We’ve had lady bands, we’ve had Celtic, and following on from Leeds’ Mush yesterday, this year we have a plethora of Northern English bands: Yorkshire’s North and West, Wearside, and Tyneside are all represented. From this fact, combined with the utter off-the-scale brilliance of how Saturday would pan out, we can deduce that that region of the UK is producing some of the country’s, if not the world’s, finest bands.

An embryonic SLUG were at Deer Shed 2015, but this year sees Ian Black’s outfit demonstrating how far we’ve all come since then. His backing band aren’t Field Music any more, for instance, but rather a bunch of chaps dressed up as a barbershop quartet for some odd reason. They’re promoting second album ‘Higgledypiggledy’, which continues in the same obscurantist funk vein as their first. Ian Black is wearing a nun’s habit, making him a rather unlikely spectacle, but there’s nothing sacred about the sinful Devil’s music they’re knocking out. Oldies like ‘Cockeyed Rabbit’ and ‘Greasy Mind’ are now familiar sing-alongs, and when it all crescendos with a young chap plucked from the crowd to knock out a casual solo on Black’s guitar there’s the realisation that, rather than just an offshoot from the Sunderland scene, SLUG are rapidly redefining it.

SLUG-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Boy Azooga are the first of today’s brace of Heavenly signings and play the majority of their début ‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’ Main man Davey Newington is on bass, gazing zen-like from the stage, as his band alternately knock out laid-back melodies on ‘Jerry’, urgent riffs on ‘Loner Boogie’, and psych-tinged mellotron lines on ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’. Seemingly appearing from nowhere to be the band on everyone’s lips right this second, Welsh act Boy Azooga manage to be indefinable and familiar; retro yet of the zeitgeist; a melting pot, yet unique. Quite some achievement, and an astute booking.

Boy Azooga-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Remember that feeling you get when stuck in traffic? Even when there’s no particular deadline, the tension rises, tempers fray, radiators overheat. AK/DK arrive from Blue Dot Festival with literally no minutes to spare, and the ensuing breathtaking display of groove-led mentalism surely is thanks in no small part to the traffic-related adrenaline coursing through their systems.

AK/DK Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

‘Morphology’ is a song perfect for the moment: a driving synth line and keening, distorted samples, all pushed along by AK/DK’s double drum kit attack, creates a febrile atmosphere, the audience expressing their relief and release that the band finally made it. And they are repaid by banger after banger. There’s sweat everywhere, both on stage and off, the drums are whacked with ever increasing ferocity (there’s big chunks out of the edge of one of the cymbals), the analogue sequencer in the background ticks its clock-face LEDs in metronomic rhythm, an electronic heart propelling ecstatic human souls. Exhausting, exhilarating, exponential.

Let’s revisit 2013, shall we? A little corner of the internet (yes, it was us) was insistent that an obscure band of 15-year-olds from Halifax could well be the next big thing. How did we put it? “If they’re this good this young, how good will they be in a few years time?” Now we know the answer. The Orielles are extremely good indeed. There’s some shoegaze in their sound, maybe a bit of Sleeper in Esme Hand-Halford’s lazily-enunciated vocals, walls of chorused guitar, and little synthy details atop like hundreds and thousands. The songs are expertly arranged, the faux-naïve component parts slotting together to create weird yet accessible garage nuggets.

The Orielles-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

‘Old Stuff, New Glass’ is enhanced with bongos and yelps all over the place, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ opens with a Beatles-esque contrapuntal dance between keys and bass, continues into a pogoing off-beat middle section, and goes properly berserk towards the end of its eight eventful minutes. Henry Wade is growing into a proper guitar anti-hero in the vein of Graham Coxon, his on-stage persona is a masterclass in deadpan humour. It bears saying again: “If they’re this good this young, how good will they be in a few years time?”

Just when you think it’s safe to assume you’ve seen the performance of the day, along come Avalanche Party. Their own description is “feral garage-punk from the Yorkshire Moors”, which is a difficult description to disagree with, except inasmuch as it doesn’t really go far enough. If this is punk, it’s space-age, widescreen, conceptual, melodic punk. If it’s garage, this one is packed to the gills with cans of petrol with the lids off, a V8 motor rumbling in the corner, one discarded cigarette end away from catastrophe, the air heavy with the scent of fear.

Avalanche Party-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Recent single ‘I’m So Wet’ is a lazy, sexy groove, something Serge Gainsbourg might fantasise about, before running away in terror at the multi-layered screaming crescendo. ‘Solid Gold’ just kicks off and never lets up the pressure for a second. The climax of ‘Revolution’ is a triumph of four-to-the-floor heavy riffing, bare-chested Jordan Bell screaming as if his life depended on it. Like the ritual sacrifice of a lamb atop a heather-strewn heath, Avalanche Party are raw, visceral, glamorous, dangerous, sweaty, bloody and unforgettable.

Phew. Like the best underground scenester venue, Deer Shed has just treated us to a masterclass in superlative new music: five brilliant acts hot off the press, the world at their feet. Things have to calm down at some point, and it takes the folky, downtempo acoustica of This Is The Kit to do so. Warm Digits (below) are the second brilliant electronica band of the day, and with the appearance of Field Music’s Peter Brewis are a great example of what beauty happens when Newcastle and Sunderland put aside their rivalries for just a little while.

Warm Digits-Deer Shed 2018 Saturday

Gaz Coombes (below) is his usual superb self, retro and zeitgeist wrapped into one man, and Goldfrapp were the big name with the big show. Some controversial souls found themselves preferring another dose of Hyde Park Brass. Truth be told, for this reviewer the undercard had completely walloped the headliners into semi-irrelevance. What a Saturday.

SLUG-Deer Shed 2018 01 Saturday-2190

 
 
 

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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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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