Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Live Gig Video: Ciaran Lavery shares acoustic cover of Green Day’s ‘When I Come Around’

 
By on Tuesday, 19th December 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Northern Irish singer/songwriter Ciaran Lavery has no problem eliciting strong and deep emotions from his listeners. I should know: he slayed the audience at Bethell Hall Friday night at SXSW 2017. As if giving us an early Christmas present, a few days ago he shared an acoustic version of a song from my formative years, Green Day‘s ‘When I Come Around’. For those of you familiar with Billie Joe Armstrong-sung original know that it’s a pretty upbeat, driven number, so how does it come across in Lavery’s slower version, his voice only accompanied by piano? You’ll have to watch it below to find out. The song is available for purchase now. To read through all of our past coverage on Ciaran Lavery here on TGTF, go here.

 

Preview: Live at Leeds 2018

 
By on Tuesday, 19th December 2017 at 11:00 am
 

While on my recent birthday trip to blighty, I visited Leeds and remembered with great fondness my first visit to the city. It was for the 2015 edition of Live at Leeds. Now that after 3 years Liverpool Sound City appears to be in perpetuity as a docklands-focussed event no longer centred on its lovely city, it falls to Live at Leeds to provide the sole Northern festival to celebrate its city’s many music venues.

Next year’s event will take place on Saturday, the 5th of May during the first bank holiday of the month. Here we are, having not even reached Christmas yet, and the event organisers have already announced a wonderful slew of tantalising artists scheduled to appear. Birmingham psych rockers Peace occupy real estate at the top of the event bill, alongside Liverpool’s Circa Waves. The Horrors, who returned this year with ‘V’ (reviewed by Steven here), are also scheduled to appear, as are British Sea Power and LAL 2016 alums Anteros, Blaenavon and Spring King.

Festivals are a great time for musicians to road test new material or continue a campaign in support of a new album. Nick J.D. Hodgson will sound familiar: formerly the drummer and primary songwriter of Kaiser Chiefs, he’ll be performing in his hometown prior to the release of his first solo album. FatCat Records signee KNIGHTSTOWN released his self-titled album this autumn and will no doubt be wowing audience with his atmospheric electronic sounds. Aussie surfer poppers Hockey Dad will be returning to blighty for this 1-day festival: they’ll be releasing a new album, ‘Blend Inn’, in February.

This is just a small smattering of artists who will be performing at this exciting event across Leeds city centre next year. Early bird admission tickets to Live at Leeds 2018 are now sold out, but general admission (£39.60) and VIP (£55.00) tickets are still available. For more information about Live at Leeds 2018, visit the event’s official Web site.

 

Video of the Moment #2759: Monarchy

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Uber-cool dance duo Monarchy have had an exciting 2017. Back in June, they unveiled a new single, the absolute banger ‘Hula Hoop 8000’. Last month, to their complete surprise, the London-based pair originally from Australia won a Los40 Trending Award in Spain. Well deserved, I might add. What might their final big thing for 2017 is the release, finally, of the promo video for ‘Hula Hoop 8000’, produced by CANADA.

The song itself is a celebration of love and light, and the promo video extends this feeling into tongue-in-cheek territory, straight from a call centre. It reminds me of the Two Door Cinema Club video for ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’, satirising consumerism. In this video, Monarchy are in the business, with some leggy models, to selling products you might not actually need. But in true advertising fashion, their business is trying to sell you the products and as anyone familiar with the music business know, sex sells, right? Ha. Watch the video for ‘Hula Hoop 8000’ below, which actually features a neon version of its namesake. The details for the next Monarchy album are purported to be released in January. For more here on TGTF on Monarchy, use this link.

 

Album Review: Morrissey – Low in High School

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Morrissey Low in High School album coverSteven Patrick Morrissey is a lightning rod when it comes to bad publicity. In the vein of those groan-worthy Maybelline adverts, maybe he’s born with it? I think the answer to that would be a resounding yes. Morrissey wouldn’t be Morrissey if he wasn’t courting controversy, whether it be regarding his pretty militant attitude towards veganism and those who don’t agree with him, his searing attacks on politicians after the Manchester attack or his most recent divisive comments on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, defending disgraced actor Kevin Spacey. The more cynical detractors of Moz say he does this on purpose, to bump up the attention paid to his current artistic pursuits.

This TGTF post is not about giving credence to or debunking that myth. If anything, this review of Morrissey’s latest album, his eleventh studio album ‘Low in High School’, proves he follows the beat of a different drummer. The drummer just happens to be the beats that are inside his own head. As we’ve seen countless times in popular music, a good dose of self-editing would have made for a much more cohesive album, if only thematically. But, as we’ve already established, no-one tells the Mozfather what to do. So what do we have her in the follow-up to 2014’s ‘World Peace is None of Your Business’? The album’s first impression in ‘Spent the Day in Bed’ heralded the uncomfortable, repeated and prominent appearance of the synthesiser, seemingly at odds with the almost 60-year old Morrissey. ‘I Wish You Lonely’ is another awkward, synth-led listen. If you examine the liner notes, things make more sense. Live keyboardist Gustavo Manzur shares songwriting credits on a third of the songs here.

The notoriously cantankerous Mancunian star shows again he isn’t shy in diving into the current political fracas. The LP begins with ‘My Love, I’d Do Anything for You’. With any other garden variety pop star, this would be a trite love song, but not with Morrissey. It’s a minor key rocker, beginning with the words “teach your kids to recognize and to despise all the propaganda”. As if an extension of his Smiths’ odes to the futility of work, he moans, “weren’t we all born to mourn and to yawn at the occupations / that control every day of our lives / we can’t live as we wish”. With a bombastic guitar line and a horn flourish, this isn’t any old pop song.

There is a storm of debate around ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage’, Morrissey vehemently denying it’s about Brexit. Regardless of what it’s about, there’s no denying it’s quite catchy and you’ll want to sing along. ‘The Girl From Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel’ sympathises with those in the midst of the conflicts in the Middle East, concluding, “it’s just because the land weeps oil,” with another infectious tune with a Latin beat. In grave contrast, at over 7 minutes, ‘I Bury the Living’ is an overindulgent examination inside the mind of a suicide bomber. As one might imagine, a song with the words “give me an order / I’ll blow up your daughter” isn’t exactly a comfortable listen. Album closer ‘Israel’, a lighter piano number, appears to be sung directly to the Israelis and well, the word ‘polarising’ only begins to describe where this might go.

To the pleasure and possibly relief of his longtime fans, there is one light in the darkness. On ‘Home is a Question Mark’, Morrissey can’t help himself but to indulge in his favourite mode: being the lovelorn Pope of Mope. Revisiting the theme of trying to find love in cities instead of people in the eloquent ‘Throwing My Arms Around Paris’, like its predecessor, it’s a revelation, a sweeping ballad that only Morrissey can write and sing to. It’s just too bad there isn’t more on the LP like this. Something quite astonishing throughout, no matter what subject matter he’s broaching, is his voice. Despite major medical treatment and age, his vocal tone is beautiful and his delivery is sheer perfection.

Over the last few years, Morrissey has undergone treatment for cancer and been forced to cancel or cut short numerous concerts. In the context of cancer, his seemingly cavalier attitude to dying I suppose in hindsight in unsurprising, given his career-long referencing to death. Facing his own mortality may have fueled the desire to experiment, to do something different and off the wall, no matter who it offends, and that’s what ‘Low in High School’ is. Awkwardly paced and unapologetic in content, Morrissey as elder statesman of indie rock is making exactly the kind of music he wants to make. And that’s all that matters to him.

7.5/10

‘Low in High School’, Morrissey’s eleventh studio album, is out now on BMG. TGTF’s previous coverage on the Smiths frontman’s solo work is through here.

 

The Orielles / February and April 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 18th December 2017 at 9:00 am
 

The Orielles from Halifax will be touring in the new year in support of their debut album. Tickets to the shows listed below are on sale now. The tour will end in their biggest headline show to date in Manchester at Gorilla. Between the end of the first leg and the start of the second, they’ll also be playing a series of gigs on the Continent; a bunch of those dates are listed on their official Facebook page. ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ will be released on the 16th of February 2018 on Heavenly Recordings. It will no doubt feature ‘Let Your Dogtooth Grow’, their latest release to have a promo video, which you can watch under the tour date listing. To read through TGTF’s past coverage of The Orielles, go here.

Friday 16th February 2018 – Nottingham Rough Trade (in-store performance)
Saturday 17th February 2018 – Sheffield Yellow Arch
Sunday 18th February 2018 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Monday 19th February 2018 – Bristol Rough Trade (in-store performance)
Tuesday 20th February 2018 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Wednesday 21st February 2018 – London Rough Trade East (in-store performance)
Thursday 22nd February 2018 – Glasgow Mono
Thursday 12th April 2018 – London Garage
Friday 13th April 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 14th April 2018 – Manchester Gorilla

 

(Holiday!) Video of the Moment #2758: Elbow

 
By on Friday, 15th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Mancunian alt-rock stalwarts Elbow have just unveiled a new video for their cover of The Beatles tune ‘Golden Slumbers’, which, if you’re on the UK side of the pond, you might already have heard in the recent John Lewis Christmas advert. Despite its obvious commercial angle, the video treatment in this promo gives a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the advert, while somehow managing not to dispel any of its cleverly-crafted holiday magic.

‘Golden Slumbers’ features on the Northern group’s new double-LP compilation ‘The Best Of’, which also contains a collection of the Manchester band’s favourite tracks from across their 20-year history. Outfitted as a bonus track on the record, ‘Golden Slumbers’ fits beautifully into Guy Garvey’s warm tenor voice, and Elbow’s rendition is a warm and comforting addition to the holiday canon.

Elbow are currently taking a holiday break from their extensive tour in support of 2017 LP ‘Little Fictions’, which was released back in February. A full listing of Elbow’s 2018 live dates can be found on their official Web site. Editor Mary’s review of their recent Washington, D.C. show is right back here, and our full previous coverage of Elbow is collected through here.

 
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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.

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