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(10 for 2013!) Quickfire Questions #38: Shields

 
By on Monday, 17th December 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Newcastle’s Shields made a fine showing on this year’s 10 for 2013 poll, coming in at a respectable #7. So naturally, we sent our Quickfire Questions over to them and here our their answers. Are the Simpsons *that* ingrained in Britain? ::facepalm:: And yep, Jacko makes yet another appearance…

What’s your first musical memory?
John: The ‘Moonwalker’ video by Michael Jackson.
Luke: The film Labyrinth with David Bowie.
Dave: The film Yellow Submarine.

What was your favorite song as a child?
‘Do the Bartman’ – Bart Simpson. [They didn’t specify who was the Simpsons fan, so we can only assume they’re all equally enamoured with Matt Groening. – Ed.]

What song makes you laugh?
New Order’s ‘World in Motion’ (for the John Barnes rap).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_YiG7yN7PY[/youtube]

What song makes you cry?
Tom: ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ – Sinead O’ Connor.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love?
‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion. (The dance remix version.)

What song makes you think of being upset or angry
Any song by One Direction makes me angry.

Which song do you wish you had written yourself?
The Teletubbies theme tune. That guy is minted.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
John: Hunter S. Thompson.
Dave: Aldous Huxley.
Rich: Bob Dylan.
Luke: Quentin Tarantino.
Tom: J.K. Rowling.

If you hadn’t become a musician, what job do you think you would be doing right now?
Luke: pro footballer.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why?
If God said I could only bring one album to heaven, I would say, “Nah God… you’re alright, I’ll just stay here mate.”

Special thanks to the chaps in Shields for answering our questions and Joe for sorting this q&a out for us.

 

10 for 2013 Interview: Oscar Manthorpe of Theme Park

 
By on Monday, 17th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

London band Theme Park landed at #4 on our 10 for 2013 countdown as voted by you TGTF readers. Guitarist Oscar Manthorpe, ever so humble when proclaiming himself the “Other guitarist” in the band on his personal Twitter kindly answered Tom’s questions.

For the new listeners out there, how would you describe your sound?
The core of the sound is based in danceable pop music; catchy hooks, strong melodies, concision in the songwriting – at least that’s what we aim for. But I’d hope people don’t judge it in that framework alone; there are weirder and darker aspects, particularly lyrically and rhythmically.

How do you feel about the constant comparisons to the Talking Heads?
On the one hand, great! They toyed with what a pop song could be. That philosophy of mixing great hooks with odd sounds and rhythms to make something darker and dancier is absolutely something we strive for. But beyond ‘Milk’, I believe we execute that blueprint in a really different way, a different aesthetic. I know how easy it is to listen to new things with that ‘file next to’ mindset, but I think it’s often better to judge something on its own merits, outside referential parameters.

I mentioned earlier how you’ve supported many bands; who’s been your favourite to be on tour with?
Two stand out for different reasons. Bombay Bicycle Club was a lot of fun because they’ve been friends since however long, and Bloc Party ‘cos well… it’s Bloc Party. They released ‘Silent Alarm’ just as we were getting to grips with what an electric guitar was. So to share a stage with a band that people love so much was an honour.

Bands with brothers in are always a big yes, but are there any Oasis-style spats whilst on the road?
None! Not a single one, I’m afraid. The Haughtons (Miles and Marcus) are a very peaceful pair, and I’ve known them for about 20 years, so we’re all settled in to the rhythms of friendship. The closest we’ve come on tour is bow and arrow battles in castles.

Oscar Manthorpe, are you aware of the following you’ve gathered in the form of the There Goes The Fear podcast?
Ha, no! Should I be worried? [I think Tom needs to flesh this out in a future piece for TGTF. Just sayin’. – Ed.]

If you weren’t in this band, where would you be right now?
I love the idea of working in film or teaching. I’m planning on teaching classical guitar for a bit in the next break from touring actually. And Miles is perennially working on a screenplay, but he’s very protective of it. It could end up as a lost masterpiece.

The Mystery Jets remix of ‘Jamaica’ is incredible, what was it like working with such a great band?
Fun! At least, as much as working over email can be. I remember seeing them at Mean Fiddler just after ‘Making Dens’ was released, it was incredible. So having our paths cross was very cool.

Blaine Harrison’s dad famously played bass for Mystery Jets when they started out, is there space in the band for anyone’s father?
I’d have to credit my dad with introducing me to many of my musical favourites, but he only knows how to play one song, ‘Suzanne’ by Leonard Cohen, on guitar. So, barring a *dramatic* change of direction, probably not.

If you could have written any song already released, which would it be?
It’d have to be ‘Across 110th Street’ by Bobby Womack. Although it’s about growing up in a world a million miles away from my own, it’s just so atmospheric and evocative that it feels almost canonical. If I write a song 1/100th as good as that, I’d die a happy man.

TGTF thanks Oscar for answering our burning questions and Adam for facilitating.

 

10 for 2013: #1 – Brother and Bones

 
By on Friday, 14th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

In the last couple weeks, we asked you to vote for the top 10 artists you thought would be big in 2013. We can now reveal the winning band, whose humble gig at the Great Escape in 2011 we humbly reported on. Without further adieu…congrats to Brother and Bones for taking the top honours in our poll this year. John discusses further on why Brother and Bones aren’t folking around…

Pioneering and genre-bending music really is the new black, with Radio1, A&R representatives globally and every music publication jumping onto the cutting edge of what’s innovative music. There’s a now never ending stream of surf pop indie with a hint of Morrissey’s sombre lyrics.

While it may be the new black, but there’s a feeling that with this torrent of innovative sound that’s being fired at our ears, people want something a little more genuine. A little older fashioned and well, a little bit special. Something that brings you back to earth, amidst the wave of synth driven filth that is polluting the airwaves.

Enter Brother and Bones – a band described as a mix between the folky rhythms of Mumford and Sons and the bluesy rock and roll of Jack White’s The Dead Weather. Brother and Bones as a concept has been a long time coming, but for Richard Thomas, the band’s frontman and pint-sized driving force, it began with everything falling into place, quite nicely. In that way nothing normally seems to: “It was probably just over 2 years ago that the band really started. It all arose from the fact that I had an idea of what I wanted to do musically at last.

“I’d done some stuff with a string quartet and other bands and I’d just come back from travelling and it really just started from there with the boys. I got together with Rob, who I’d known for ages. We’d always played music together back in Cornwall, but in the beginning it really was just a case of getting together and jamming with people I felt musically comfortable with.

“I knew James Willard, our guitarist, from other bands I’d been with; I was sort of racking my brains for people I knew. I wanted a good guitarist who I knew would play hard and was into the same stuff as me, with a real blues background and he was the person who really stood out for me.”

Musical chemistry is an underrated concept in this era of genre-smashing artists, but with James and Richard both shredding their guitars to pieces, you can tell that there’s science happening behind the scenes. These guys rock too hard for it to just be a coincidence, right?

“I got introduced to Si through a friend of ours who toured together and he’s always telling me all these funny tour stories of when they went to places like China. I won’t get into them, not really to PG, a little more R rated. But Si and I kind of just ended jamming through some tunes I knew were going to form part of the Brother and Bones set, and well, it just worked.”

From word one with Richard and the boys in the band though, it’s obvious that music was the priority. The visceral nature of their writing shines through in every song, from the ballads, to the balls out, heart-on-your-sleeve belters. Take the lead track from their EP ‘I See Red’ (video below). Richard let TGTF in on what exactly he was feeling when he put pen to paper: “It was written as a blues just out of frustration. I couldn’t sleep and it was a 2 AM song. When you feel like telling people to fuck off that aren’t necessarily the people you can say that to, the easiest thing to do is write a song about it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAStgQotKb8[/youtube]

“You know sometimes you feel like it would all be a lot easier to cut your losses, cut your ties and just worry about yourself for a bit. There was a number of people and incidents that it was about, although there was a straw that broke the camel’s back! I suppose that state of mind makes you start to question things and people you shouldn’t, hence the closing statement ‘it’s all in my head, you give me roses and I see red’”.

With the pure visceral emotion of the blues, combined with the old fashioned rhythms the band seem to thrive on, the music this band creates in the live arena is something to be reckoned with. I first got a glance of the south coast rockers at quintessentially southern festival, The Great Escape in Brighton, where bands from all over the UK and even some from farther afield converge.

The atmosphere was that classic mix of A&R pretentiousness mixed with just a hint of nervousness from the Brother and Bones themselves. As the Fenders started to roar, the spectacle began. A sweaty mass of stomping, bass thuds and rock and roll filled the small underground venue and had the audience hypnotised by the pure primal energy the five-piece displayed. The band may be tight on record, but if they were items in a supermarket they’d be slapped with a sticker saying ‘best experienced live’. The band’s high energy performances have seen what was a cult following only a year ago thrive and blossom into the mass of fans who until just recently would have never frequented the band’s Web site and Facebook page.

“Yannis is a half Greek, half Scottish chef, for example. We all bring something completely different to the mix when we jam and live it all just seems to click. We’re pretty fortunate that we get on away from just playing our music as well as being friends in the band and that’s really why it works.

“I think though 2 years down the line; everything has really moved on and changed. I mean, [I feel that way] every time we go into the studio. I think though that in the live arena, that’s where we are really finding our feet at the moment, I mean the recognition we got from the Live Nation Awards, for example, is just awesome and to see some of the names we are beside is just awesome.”

So here’s some advice: you can trawl SoundCloud, MySpace and all the blogs you want. If you want something genuine, primeval and just a little bit mental, check out Brother and Bones live for some absolutely folking great riffs, some folking brutal passion and a folking good time.

 

10 for 2013: #2 – Bastille

 
By on Thursday, 13th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

The band you voted #2 on the TGTF readers’ 10 for 2013 poll has been a stalwart of emerging music festivals in the UK in the last 2 years. Is 2013 their time? Read Cheryl’s profile on a project that started out with one man in London…

London-based Bastille is a former solo project started by singer/songwriter Dan Smith that has grown into a full band endeavor with Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Will Farquarson and Kyle Simmons joining. Bathed in an ‘80s-like synth glow, Smith delivers a haunting sound within that beat. Signed to EMI/Virgin, the debut album ‘Bad Blood’ is set to be released in March of next year. The pre-release single ‘Flaws’ raised a kerfuffle when Smith used images from the 1973 film ‘Badlands’ for the video. The owner of the film, Universal, has effectively blocked out the video so we can no longer see the storyline Smith originally envisioned accompanying the song. Then the next single release ‘Overjoyed’ came from the ‘Laura Palmer’ EP and again had a video influenced by film buff Smith’s interest in cult films. With both the EP’s title and the video heavily referencing cult tv show Twin Peaks, Bastille took on the mantle of dark and quirky.

Best described as synthy pop with a bit of an edge, their music either walks a tightrope between musical worlds or can’t decide where to focus. Certainly Smith is following his own muse, as he should. I suppose he is hoping to nab a smattering of fans from many genres. It’s all a bit dark and brooding, a touch poppy and a tad indie, all wrapped up in a decent dance beat. “Vive le Eurodance … Bastille”, quoth Paul Lester of The Guardian this past summer, and we agree.

I particularly liked the cover of City High’s ‘What Would You Do?’ It shows a little more ownership of a style. That tune and ‘Sleepsong’ I feel are their strongest entries. Having played The Great Escape (a fave festival here at TGTF) both this year and last, Bastille is a band that is worth following to see where they go.

Interestingly, Bastille collaborated with another of our Ten to Watch in 2013 nominees, Gabrielle Aplin (who came in at #9), for a Fleetwood Mac cover that is downright brilliant (see video below). ‘Dreams’ holds all the original eeriness and adds an earthy base that makes it all that much more compelling. This you should check out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Zu7qJqDXQ[/youtube]

 

10 for 2013: #3 – Dog is Dead

 
By on Wednesday, 12th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

We’ve been banging on quite a bit about the band from Nottingham at the #3 position on the TGTF readers’ 10 for 2013 poll. John recalls the first time he stumbled onto them…literally…

When I first stumbled across Dog is Dead, I did, quite literally stumble across them, tripping over a gaggle of sat down spectators who were about to watch the Nottingham band who were then preparing to perform an acoustic set at the Relentless outdoor stage at The Great Escape 2011. My first thoughts on hearing them were as follows: Instantly forgettable, like a Bombay Bicycle Club without the oomph of Jack Steadman and lacking in the trippy, goofy, nerdish beats. Their live show had merit: they came across as a band who were really passionate about the music they were playing.

Robert Milton fronts the bands and provides exquisite vocals and some guitar parts, Rob White plays guitar and Joss Van Wilder mans the keyboards, Daniel Harvey taps the percussion and Lawrence Cole is their multi-instrumental bassist. They managed to go through the motions in the right way, they gigged hard, and they played the small stages at festivals like Glastonbury and Dot to Dot and have even supported those kings of the bizarre videos, OK Go.

The band though have really hammered down their sound over the last 2 years, powering onto the kind of melancholy indie pop eaten up by music lovers around the UK. Their newest single ‘Teenage Daughter’ is a testament to the distance this band has come since their humble beginnings in the Midlands. The songwriting and brilliant video that the band produced for the single really epitomise everything this band can be.

Their re-release of fan favourite ‘Glockenspiel Song’ shows as well that the boys while they reach the heady heights of those Radio 1 playlists, brushing shoulders with the Grimmys, the Zane Lowes, etc., they haven’t forgotten their loyal and fantastic fan base who have propelled them to the heady heights of the new musical scene.

The band have released debut album ‘All Our Favourite Stories’ now and will for sure be an important band over 2013. They quite rightly sit in our 10 for 2013 poll quite highly and with some Radio 1 A-list time, we shouldn’t be surprised to see these guys taking a starring role over the 2013 festival season.

 

10 for 2013: #4 – Theme Park

 
By on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Keen listeners of the There Goes the Fear podcast will have heard me gush over them before, but Theme Park are definitely one to watch for the coming year. The line-up including everyone’s favourite ginger guitarist, Oscar Manthorpe, a pair of handsome Haughton twins and Louis “the H is silent” Bhose.

The London foursome have been busy this year, delivering their Talking Heads-esque vibes to numerous festivals and supporting the likes of Bloc Party, Bombay Bicycle Club and Florence and the Machine. ‘Two Hours’, the title track on their recently released EP, definitely showcases the kind of energetic, light guitar pop that they produce so well. The London equivalent to the summery pop that Vampire Weekend have popularised in the last few years.

I can see 2013 being the year that Theme Park stop supporting bands and start being the main event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J0GId5eCyI[/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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