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Preview: Split Festival 2011

 
By on Friday, 2nd September 2011 at 11:00 am
 

The fourth Split Festival returns to the Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland on 17th and 18th September. The two-day festival, curated by Sunderland’s own Futureheads, boasts a fine slice of local talent, whilst offering enough international acts to keep even the most jaded festival-goer awake. At the time of writing, tickets are still available at the bargain price of £35 for the full weekend.

For any enthusiast of the vibrant Northeast scene, or fans of its melodic, harmonised sound, the goodies on offer at Split are second to none. Saturday features the sparkly, newly-minted Vinyl Jacket from Northumberland, Sunderland’s ornithological instrumentalists B>E>A>K, the delicate and dramatic Newcastle-bred but L.A. enthusiast Beth Jeans Houghton, and a rare chance to catch Jarrow’s poppy guitarslingers Little Comets. Saturday’s talent from further afield includes 80s widescreeners Spector, the mathy Dutch Uncles, and straight-ahead indie veterans the Rifles, whose new album is due out just a couple of days later. Then there’s a chance to see how the Mystery Jets’ new material is coming along, before headliners the Drums (pictured above) give a masterclass in deceptively simple, melodic New York thought-pop, showcasing new album ‘Portamento’ released the same week.

There’s a distinctly punky edge to Sunday’s line-up: Sunderland’s vintage punk rockers Leatherface, active for over 20 years, are still capable of ear-bleeding intensity, after whom the Dauntless Elite, Dinosaur Pile-Up and the King Blues create a triptych of melodic noise that should satisfy all but the most hardcore of punk fans. Bringing light to the shade are the sunny Tomahawks For Targets from Newcastle, Sunderland’s superb, trippy Hyde & Beast, featuring both a Futurehead and a Golden Virgin, and the jangly Ganglians with their dreamy Sacramento psych-rock. A homecoming gig for pop ‘n’ rollers Frankie and the Heartstrings is worth wearing a quiff for, before headliners the Charlatans put on the granddad shirts and baggy jumpers and shake it like it’s 1990.

If that feast of musical goodness wasn’t enough, there’s a literal feast on offer, with Masterchef finalist Stacie Stewart cooking up a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in honour of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, which, rhymingly enough, was written in Sunderland. Not to mention the superb Fringe Tent, with Beth Orton headlining the Saturday, or Sunday’s enviable comedy line-up. A veritable treat for a modest price – even Geordies must be tempted to cross the river for it.

General Admission tickets are available for Saturday, Sunday and the whole weekend. Prices are £25.00 for a day ticket and £40.00 for a weekend ticket (booking and postage fees apply). There is an additional VIP ticket option called ‘Friends of Split’, giving you access to the festival on either Saturday, Sunday or the whole weekend plus access to the ‘Friends of Split’ area where there will be a dedicated bar service with local Real ales, lagers and spirits and a luxury seating area, you will also receive some Split branded merchandise including a ‘Friends of Split’ t-shirt. Prices for Friends of Split tickets are £44.00 for a day ticket and £71.50 for a weekend ticket (inclusive of booking fees, postage fees apply). For more information, visit the official Split Festival Web site.

 

Japanese Voyeurs / October and November 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 2nd September 2011 at 9:00 am
 

Japanese Voyeurs from London have announced a UK tour for October and November. Tickets are available now.

Singer/guitarist Romily Alice answered our Quickfire Questions; read her answers here.

Thursday 18th October 2011 – Cardiff Clwb ifor Bach
Wednesday 19th October 2011 – Birmingham Rainbow
Friday 21st October 2011 – Southampton Joiners
Monday 24th October 2011 – Bristol Croft
Wednesday 26th October 2011 – Liverpool Shipping Forecast
Thursday 27th October 2011 – Manchester Roadhouse
Monday 31st October 2011 – Nottingham Bodega
Tuesday 1st November 2011 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Wednesday 2nd November 2011 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Saturday 5th November 2011 – York Duchess (Basement)
Sunday 6th November 2011 – Hull Lamp
Tuesday 8th November 2011 – Leeds Cockpit
Wednesday 9th November 2011 – London Barfly

 

Leeds 2011: Day 1 (John’s Roundup)

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

The heavens were open. The ground was softening. It looked to be another washout festival for me and my poor £10 wellies! My spirits would not be dampened (soaked) though. There were bands to be seen at Leeds 2011, and cider to be drunk out of silly paper cups.

First on my list was American band Taking Back Sunday. Don’t ask me why! The veteran pop-punkers have been here before, on this very spot at the very same time, hardly a fact that Taking Back Sunday will be proud of. However the Long Island boys jumped into ‘Cute Without the E’ with gusto. The crowd reacted well; regrettably, this reaction was to be short-lived. After the initial hit, the impetus was lost and the band sunk into album tracks and new record promotion, contributing to their own demise. The response was little more than silence or more turning around and scampering for another stage. Singles ‘Liar’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’ provoked some reaction from the subdued masses but it was too little to late and Taking Back Sunday skulked off stage to almost silence. Bar a few Alans and Steves.

To follow that was folk-punk troubadour and TGTF favourite Frank Turner, who immediately stated his intention with 1 and a half minute belter ‘Try This At Home.’ There really is nothing better then joining in with thousands of people and shouting the word ‘Dick’ at the height of your voice! It *is* part of the song, eh? Eton-educated Turner and his band the Sleeping Souls’ had the masses of muddy teens in the palm of their hands from the word go. With old favourites like ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’ being joined by new single ‘If I Ever Stray’, Turner’s set went down a storm. “I’ll be hanging round the Lock-Up Stage the rest of the day”, he says as he leaves. The crowd thinks, will you really? Secret set to follow.

A change in pace was in order after that. None better then UK DIY rockers Enter Shikari. If they can’t get you splashing around in the mud, it’s hard to tell what will get you shifting! For sure they delivered one of the surprises of the weekend: their wild mash-up of metal, dance and some cheeky dubstep made for essential festival listening.

Off to the NME tent next to survey whether Panic! At the Disco had recovered from their Reading Festival nightmare. For those who can’t remember here is the short version: “Band leave. Play songs. Be a bit whiny. Crowd not happy. Bottle of wee thrown. Bottle hits Brendan Urie. Urie knocked out cold. Set over.” So for them to return to the festivals was obviously a very brave move for the band. The move paid off; the band was greeted to rapturous applause and shouts of “Panic, Panic!” Urie immediately began to strut about the NME/Radio 1 stage as if it was his own back garden. The crowd loved him, screaming the words to ‘But It’s Better If You Do’ and lifting the roof at set closer ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies.’

One of the biggest success stories of this year has been the remarkable rise of Ed Sheeran, the ginger haired rap/acoustic/beat boxing/anything else cool kid of the moment has hit the ground flying and looks like a force to be reckoned with. No surprises then that his set in the Festival Republic tent was already spewing people out into the open air when I arrived. The audience was, as expected, composed primarily of young girls who all desperately “want to be Mrs. Sheeran” and other such morons. Hits ‘The A Team’ and ‘You Need Me Man, I Don’t Need You’ sound good. The remainder of the set plunges into obscurity. The loop pedal trick is cool, we know; Joe Driscoll did it about 5 years ago and was 1000% more interesting, just not as in such a “handsome” and “gorgeous” package. (Cue vomiting.) The rise of this ginger pop star is set in stone already: major label contract signed, videos out. So expect a number 1 this Sunday from Sheeran. Yes you heard it here first. (Yawn! Next please!)

Finally there was the spectacle that many had been waiting all day crushed at the barriers of the main stage for. Muse. It’s the 10th anniversary of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ and in celebration the Devon powerhouse played the album in its entirety. Too many punter faces were confused, wondering “Where’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole?’ Why aren’t they playing ‘Undisclosed Desires?” Answer to the latter: it’s garbage that’s why, OK? Answer to the former. Because it’s coming in the second half, along with ‘Desires.’ Philistines.

The first half of the set was majestic, as if they had been playing these songs on every tour, not just resurrecting them for these shows. ‘Dark Shines’ was triumphant, ‘New Born’ epic and ‘Plug in Baby’ thoroughly spellbinding, while ‘Feeling Good’ was one that everyone in the crowd could sing along to. The second half delivers hits and the same ol’ encore; a harmonica plays, Matt Bellamy spins a weird box and they tear into ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Queue the madness in the crowd. A successful set for Muse ends, but need I even write that. They’re always good. Guaranteed to tear the roof/stage/arena apart. True rock legends and they’ve got more to come.

 

James Blake / November 2011 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 10:30 am
 

Minimalist James Blake has announced English gig dates for the end of November. Tickets are on sale now for the dates below.

Friday 25th November 2011 – Leeds University
Saturday 26th November 2011 – Manchester Warehouse Project (details here)
Tuesday 29th November 2011 – Bristol Anson Rooms
Wednesday 30th November 2011 – London Forum

 

Kasabian / November and December 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 9:30 am
 

This winter Kasabian has plans for a tour of UK arenas. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 9 AM.

Monday 28th November 2011 – Brighton Centre
Wednesday 30th November 2011 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Friday 2nd December 2011 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Sunday 4th December 2011 – Liverpool Echo Arena
Tuesday 6th December 2011 – Birmingham NIA Arena
Wednesday 7th December 2011 – Manchester MEN Arena
Thursday 8th December 2011 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Saturday 10th December 2011 – Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Sunday 11th December 2011 – Glasgow SECC
Wednesday 14th December 2011 – London O2 Arena

 

Casiokids / November 2011 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 9:00 am
 

Norway’s Casiokids have several English gigs planned in November. Tickets are on sale now.

The band’s next single, ‘Det Haster!’, will be released on Moshi Moshi on 17 October. Like all their previous releases, the lyrics of this single will entirely be in Norwegian.

Monday 21st November 2011 – Southampton Joiners
Tuesday 22nd November 2011 – Liverpool Shipping Forecast
Thursday 24th November 2011 – London Shacklewell Arms
Friday 25th November 2011 – Brighton Haunt
Saturday 26th November 2011 – Nottingham Bodega

 
 
 

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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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