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Live Gig Video: Twin Atlantic perform ‘Heart and Soul’ at Leeds Brudenell Social Club on Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd November 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

Two Saturdays ago, Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic held court at the famed Brudenell Social Club in Leeds for their turn headlining the Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING UK tour that has been ongoing all this autumn. In the below live gig video, the band perform ‘Heart Soul’, a live fan favourite and single from their 2014 album ‘Great Divide’. Twin Atlantic have said they won’t be performing this song again for a very long time – let’s try and think of this as good news: let’s assume they’ve got new material – but the band’s own pronouncement makes this performance all the more important in the annals of their history. Watch it below.

For more coverage of Twin Atlantic on TGTF, go here. For more on the Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING campaign this year and in past years, this is your link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqeXm5KDO0E[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls with Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister at the Press Room, Phoenix, AZ – 25th October 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd November 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Hard-working troubadour Frank Turner and his dedicated band the Sleeping Souls have just wrapped up a full American tour, following the summer release of Turner’s new album ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’. The American tour ended on a bit of an anticlimactic note in New Orleans last week as Turner and two of his bandmates suffered food poisoning and were forced to cancel their final show, but their gig in Phoenix on the previous Sunday night was more successful, with a lively and receptive crowd turning up early at downtown venue the Press Room to catch support acts Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister ahead of Turner’s headline set.

Beans 1

Essex singer/songwriter Beans on Toast (known offstage as Jay McAllister) came on stage without delay and warmed up the still-arriving crowd with an engaging acoustic set of narrative tunes that were by turns personal and political, comical and caustic. From his vantage point at the front of the stage, McAllister drew in the eager audience with a brief commentary on American culture in the form of a song called ‘The Great American Novel’, from his upcoming new album ‘Rolling Up the Hill’. A handful of older Beans on Toast songs were also well-received, particularly the interactive sing along ‘Fuck You Nashville’; though only a few hardy Frank Turner fans were familiar with the tune from previous shows, the rest of us learned the critical chorus line quickly enough to join in.

SL 1

After a brief lull in the action, folk-punk collective Skinny Lister enthusiastically took the stage, bringing their customary whisky jug along to share with the “21 and over” portion of the audience. Opening with songs from their recent album ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’, Skinny Lister quite frankly stole the show, their high energy exceeding what was to come later from Turner and the Souls.

Beginning with ‘Raise a Wreck’ and the incorrigible ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’ before breaking into ‘George’s Glass’ and ‘Cathy’, the band interspersed their established crowd-pleasers with a couple of yet-to-be recorded songs, including an especially charming one called ‘Colours’. Lest the presence of an accordion trick anyone into thinking that these were a sedate group of folk musicians, Skinny Lister ultimately proved their rock-‘n’ roll prowess with a rousing performance of ‘This Is War’, ending their set with frontwoman Lorna Thomas triumphantly climbing atop Michael Camino’s personalised double bass. In red heels.

Turner and the Sleeping Souls were able to capitalize on Skinny Lister’s unbounded enthusiasm in the opening section of their three-part set, bursting onto the stage with uptempo belters ‘Get Better’ and ‘The Next Storm’. Promising a mix of songs from throughout his career, Turner plowed through ‘Losing Days’ and ‘Josephine’ before the Souls left him alone onstage for the second, solo section of the show.

FT 1

This middle section is where the true, diehard Frank Turner fans no doubt found their greatest joy, as Turner plucked his way through a few forgotten gems. ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’ was warmly received, as was newer favourite ‘The Way I Tend To Be’, but for my money, this section was a bit overly drawn out, and I was surprised by the rather flat solo version of ‘Glorious You’, which was gloriously anthemic in its recording on ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’.

The Sleeping Souls rejoined Turner for the final section of the show, which rallied the punters’ energy with hit tunes ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘I Still Believe’, but never quite regained the momentum lost in the previous half hour. I was mildly disappointed that neither ‘Love Forty Down’ nor ‘Silent Key’ appeared in the set on this night, but Turner did touch one last time on ‘Positive Songs’ when he reached the encore, captivating the restless crowd with a stunning performance of ‘Song for Josh’. Once he had our rapt attention, Turner quickly amped up the energy with ‘Try This at Home’ and closed the show on a more characteristic high note with the ‘Four Simple Words’ we were all desperately waiting to dance to.

FT final

Beans on Toast will release his new album ‘Rolling Up the Hill’ in December 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings. A list of dates for his upcoming November tour of the UK can be found on his official Web site. Frank Turner and Skinny Lister will begin their tour of the UK this week, accompanied by fellow Xtra Mile artist Will Varley; you can find listings of those live dates here and here. TGTF’s full archive of coverage on Frank Turner can be found by clicking here, and our previous coverage of Skinny Lister is right back here.

Frank Turner setlist (setlist photo by Carlos Gonzalez)

 

Live Review: One Direction with Jamie Lawson at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – 25th October 2015

 
By on Monday, 2nd November 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

The sound of young girls screaming filled Newcastle Metro Radio Arena Sunday, the 25th of October, as One Direction performed the first of three shows as part of the Newcastle leg of the “On the Road Again” tour.

Support on the night came from Jamie Lawson, a questionable and unexpected choice of warm-up act. Nevertheless, the 39-year-old who recently signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label Gingerbread Man Records, was well received by onlookers, as he sang original songs from his self-titled debut album. This included his top 10 hit ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ and an almost unrecognisable cover of his headline tourmates’ hit ‘More Than This’.

As Jamie Lawson left the stage, there was a sense of anxiety in the 11,000 capacity venue. It was at this point during the Belfast concert a mere 4 days before that the gig was cancelled due to Liam Payne falling ill. However, any feelings of anxiety were quickly replaced with excitement as Liam, along with Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan burst onto the stage to perform ‘Clouds’, ‘Kiss You’ and ‘Fireproof’.

The audience, which was predominantly made up of preteen girls (otherwise known as “Directioners”) and their parents, sung along to every word, maintaining the energy and enthusiasm for ‘Girl Almighty’ and ‘Midnight Memories’. Even those who had unwillingly been dragged along were beginning to clap their hands and tap their feet. After an energetic start, One Direction, backed by a live band, slowed down the proceedings with ‘Better Than Words’, ‘Story of My Life’, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘Ready to Run’, ‘Don’t Forget Where You Belong’, ‘Night Changes’ and ‘Little Things’. Such tracks produced some shiver-down-your-spine moments as the words echoed around the Metro Radio Arena.

At regular intervals throughout the 2-hour-long set, the boys took some time out to address the fans: reading out their banners, engaging in conversations, poorly imitating the Geordie accent, and thanking them for their loyalty. “It may sound cliché, but we have the best fans in the world,” said Louis, much to the delight of the onlookers. As the end of the concert neared, the boys continued to rattle through the set list, which primarily consisted of hits from the boyband’s last two studio albums (‘Midnight Memories’ and ‘Four’), including ‘No Control’, ‘Little Black Dress’, ‘You & I’, ‘Through the Dark’, ’18’, ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’ and ‘Little White Lies’. This was followed by ‘Perfect’, the band’s second single as a four-piece, and the mature, pop-rock vibes of ‘Steal My Girl’.

After a short break, One Direction returned to the stage for the encore. ‘Act My Age’ brought out the boys’ Irish dancing, whilst ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ was a welcome reminder of why everyone fell in love with the band in the first place. ‘Drag Me Down’, the first single to be released in the post-Zayn era, brought the night to its conclusion, as Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall revelled in the thunderous applause, and deservedly so.

One Direction’s first night at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle marked 7 months to the day since the departure of Zayn Malik, who left the band to pursue a solo career. Despite the setback, the boys showed that they are stronger than ever, as they look set to enter their hiatus after the conclusion of their current tour on a high.

 

Music Cities Convention DC 2015 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 28th October 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Long-time readers of TGTF are aware I’m no stranger to travelling to the UK to attend conferences and meetings. This past Sunday, however, I was invited along for a special opportunity that required no travel longer than an hour, for where I was going was less than 30 miles away at Georgetown University. Hmm, I could really get used to this… So this afternoon, I’ll be telling you about the first DC event of the Music Cities Convention, only the second to follow the inaugural event that took place in Brighton the week of the Great Escape 2015.

Music Cities Convention is described in the convention programme as “the global gathering to focus on the relationship between city planning, strategy, development, regeneration and the music industry”. Unlike other conferences I have attended in the past, filled primarily with record label folk, A&R bods, publicists, journalists, bloggers and musicians, Music Cities have a different, much wider breadth of attendees, all with at least a toe or hand somehow related to keeping the music industry thriving. This meeting in DC was filled with those representing local industries, supporting musicians and their livelihoods, and who work in education, housing and transit policy.

Every city and the parts that make up its local music industry are unique. Something that became clear quickly just by skimming the convention’s programme was its incredible international representation. What other meeting could you attend where you would be hearing presentations as varied as:

• a detailed assessment on the many facets of what makes Austin such an important music city in the first-ever city level music industry census (Nikki Rowling, Titan Music Group)

• the benefits of city ‘twinning’ for both the city and musicians involved in the case study of Belfast and Nashville (Mark Gordon, Generator Northern Ireland and Tracy D. Kane, City of Nashville)

• based on past successes, the confidence to commit to a 10-year festival plan in Sweden (Stefan Papangelis, City of Norrkoping)

• the development of a Culture and Development and Initiatives (CDI) team for a Canadian city not traditionally associated with a big music industry (Kwende Kefentse and Ian Swain, City of Ottawa)

• assessment, then development of a live music task force specific to an individual Australian city’s challenges (John Wardle, National Live Music Office of Australia)

• how to attract artists to play shows and events at a less central city in Sweden by supporting the artists directly and having intelligent urban planning and infrastructure already in place (Fredrik Sandsten, City of Gothenburg)

• keeping musicians employed and housed while supporting and benefiting local at-risk children (Ismail Guerrero, Denver Housing Authority and Jami Duffy, Youth on Record)

I was really impressed by all the presentations on Sunday. Immediately evident each time a different presenter took to the podium was that person’s passion for this business and his/her hard work in bettering the industry in their part of the world. Taken together, the programme was a massive reminder of how important we all are in keeping the music industry alive – and thriving! – and how many different parts of this industry there are – and how important the passion of the people in those parts of the industry – are in continuing on that path.

Each country, including my own here in America, has its own challenges in the years ahead. But by working together, and coming together via groups like Music Cities, we can grow and learn from each other’s experiences and ultimately help musicians making music and keep their livelihoods and grow the industry, both on the local and global scale. The world has become so much smaller thanks to technology and the internet, and it’s not just a choice, it’s now our duty to make and keep connections across the globe and keep the music industry a viable one for generations to come.

Thanks very much to Dr. Shain Shapiro, Martin Elbourne, Michael Bracy and the entire Music Cities Convention steering committee for their kind allowance for me to attend. For more information on Music Cities, please visit their official Web site.

 

Live Review: Little May at DC9, Washington DC – 24th October 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 27th October 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Through having several close Aussie friends, I’ve gained remarkable insight on just how hard it is for an Australian band to break away and out of their home country. When one manages to do so, such a secure a major label contract in the UK, it is indeed A Big Deal, no pun intended. Little May, three talented young ladies from Sydney have done just that, now part of Island Records’ pop-drenched family in blighty (think Ben Howard and more recently, Dublin band The Coronas). The trio who dabble in pop, folk and rock sounds have released their debut album ‘For the Company’ this month. (You can read Steven’s thoughts on the new LP here.)

The band are an interesting proposition live, because some of their songs don’t sound at all like the way they look, if that makes sense. Liz Drummond (sometimes lead vocals and guitar) in her leather jacket and goth lipstick and purple-haired Annie Hamilton (guitar, synths and backing vocals) wearing all black ‘should’ be punks, which fits into the harder-edged Little May songs. On the other side of the spectrum, Hannah Field, lead vocalist on some of their songs, acted as band cheerleader. Wearing a shirt with the new album cover, getting down with the groove to dance onstage and smiling a lot, she seemed the most approachable of the bunch. The sweetly twangy ‘Bow & Arrow’ and the gently anthemic ‘Seven Hours’ are a great showcase of her lead vocal talent. The band unite in harmony on older song ‘Boardwalks’, a clear standout from the night.

Hannah Field of Little May, live in Washington at DC9

The girls worked with The National’s Aaron Dessner on their debut album, and Field explained how they were incredulous when he responded to their email with a request to have him as their producer. ‘The Shine is Brighter at Night’, which they cowrote with Dessner, was dedicated to him. Field and Liz Drummond’s self-deprecating stage patter and humour will definitely help them over their career, something Laura Marling has turned into an art form. Drummond related a story about a recent practise session during which a neighbour banged on their door and complained about their 2014 EP track ‘Hide’, saying to them, “your music is repetitive and jarring”, which of course the crowd laughed at. Field also big-upped state-run, Australian radio station triple j for their support of the band, trotting out a cover of Icehouse’s ‘Great Southern Land’ that they did for their long-standing Like a Version series and enlightening us on Icehouse’s prominence in Aussie musical history. (Past memorable moments in the Like a Version series include Glass Animals covering Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’ and Divine Fits covering Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart’.)

Little May, live in Washington at DC9

However, it wasn’t until the very end of the show when we fully felt the heft and passion of Little May’s music, when they ended with ‘Remind Me’. Heavier and with a bluesy bent, it’ll be interesting to see what direction they go in for album #2, as they certainly have the chops to hone songwriting in either of the folk or rock sides of their band’s personality. Having just released their debut album, it feels like the band are still finding their feet in performing the newer material, but I expect they’ll be quite comfortable soon enough and as their North American tour rolls on. They’ll be in Minneapolis 7th Street Entry tonight, and then it’s onto the West Coast to wow crowds there through the 3rd of November.

 

Norwich Sound and Vision 2015: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 16th October 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Following on from the first and second nights at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015, I felt sad when I awoke Saturday morning, knowing that in 24 hours’ time I would be on my way home. To try and take the edge off my impending return to the States, I had a nice brunch / afternoon tea at the Iron House, where a pot of tea and a very large and very nice gluten free slice of chocolate cake set me up well for the day. (I’m a massive foodie and in addition to my predilection for British bands and taking photos of them, you can check out the food and drink I’ve consumed on my travels on my Instagram.) With a full belly and needing to get up and walk so to not fall into a food-induced coma, it was time to head on down to a library of all places to partake in an afternoon of free shows. See if you can Spot the Chang in the photo below…


Cove Hithe, Dove and Boweevil and Emily Winng @ Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library

Maybe it’s just me being a great observer of life, but it’s not uncommon for me to scan a crowd, my eyes settling on a person who reminds me of someone who is or has been in my life. When I arrived at the Millennium Library at the Forum to check out the local bands to perform, there was a beardy chap who looked oddly familiar to me…yes, he looked just like Edd Gibson of Friendly Fires, what are the odds? Fortuitiously, the man turned out to be the frontman and primary songwriter for Cove Hithe, a Suffolk folk band who were just about to start playing. The band, named after a now abandoned seaside town on the East Coast of South East England, have already received plaudits from BBC 6 Music’s resident folkies Mark Radcliffe and Tom Robinson, which makes me think they’ll be appearing at the annual summer Cambridge Folk Festival in short order.

Cove Hithe live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015 2

The harmonies achieved between Ducker and multi-instrumentalist Till Pendered, playing drums and clapping his hands on this occasion, were divine, recalling Simon and Garfunkel at their folkiest, and the songs reminiscent of those by The Lilac Time. For most folk-focussed bands, it would be really easy (not to mention lazy) to assume that they have pretty narrow horizons. But listening to ‘The Great Deceiver’, which appears on Cove Hithe’s latest live EP, shows their talent to tapping into a darker, bluesier vein, which will prove interesting when they start working on a debut album. Ducker explained early on that their female violinist was unable to join them for this gig, so I expect that with her contribution, they’d sound even more amazing live. Keep an eye on this band.

Cove Hithe live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

Going on from folk tinged with occasional blues was a far more bluesier, roots rock act called Dove & Boweevil. Normally, a five-piece band, they chose to strip down to just two band members – vocalist Lauren Dove and guitarist Mark ‘Boweevil’ Howes – for the occasion. As an American born and bred, I find it both confusing and endearing how beloved blues is by people outside the United States. Growing up far from the Midwest and South and far from any true cowboy country, from where I come from in DC, wearing cowboy boots makes you, well, different.

Dove and Boweevil live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

For sure, Dove and Boweevil have gotten the roots rock thing down pat: if you weren’t aware that they were from this part of England and didn’t hear Dove speaking in between the songs, you’d think based on ‘Food for Love’ and ‘Lady Lavoo’, two standouts from their new album ‘This Life’, that they were actually from the Mississippi Delta. While their two-person operation at the library made for a more intimate show, I’m imagining an incredible spectacle on a grand scale when the full band makes a festival appearance.

Emily Winng, formerly of Norwich’s Sargasso Trio who graced the pages of Clash and NME back in the day, concluded the free afternoon of music at the Millennium Library. I had been warned that Ms. Winng was a bit saucy and used colourful language. I thought, hmm, this should be interesting, given how many children are in attendance at the moment! Then it was pointed out to me that Winng’s own daughter was somewhere in the crush of screaming, running around sprogs in front of me. Ha. Wearing a straw hat and all black, Winng struck a balance between country and western and blues.

Emily Winng live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

Winng shone brightest when she chose to stretch her potent voice, going beyond what one might expect for a woman playing an acoustic guitar. The most notable thing about her set this afternoon? Somehow, the Norwich Samba group had been called in to ‘duet’ (if you can call it that) with Winng and her band on their final number, ‘Love Song’. I can say for certain I’ve never seen a samba group and all their percussion join in with an indie artist live, and for the colourful spectacle that it was, it’s not an experience I will soon forget. (You can watch the performance below that was filmed by the bloke who was stood with his video camera directly beside me during Winng’s set.)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bdRZNQPiZ8[/youtube]

Daisy Victoria, Fossa and SuperGlu @ The Mash Tun

A short time later, it was time to get back and stuck into the more ‘traditional’ side of Norwich Sound and Vision 2015 programming. While I considered seeing Claws first at Norwich Arts Centre, after reading that they were yet another surf-y indie band and having seen so many like them in Norwich in the past 2 days already, I wanted a change of pace. German band The Picturebooks had to pull out of the festival due to an undisclosed medical emergency (looks like the drummer was in a motorcycle accident from this Facebook post), moving all the artists on the Mash Tun’s evening bill around.

That meant Daisy Victoria went on at 9 instead of 8:15, which I’m guessing helped in filling in the venue space. Daisy, from nearby countryside town Diss, first came onto our radar this summer during the promotion of her single ‘Pain of Dancers’, a great little glittery pop number. Although I think the comparisons of her to Kate Bush and PJ Harvey were inevitable, especially to the former based on Daisy’s love of vintage dresses and putting her hair up when she performs, it was quite intriguing to me that neither strong female artist of recent history had been a major influence to her.

Daisy Victoria live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

She’s got a song named ‘Heart Full of Beef’. Yes, you read that right. Daisy Victoria isn’t just a pretty face, she – along with her songwriting and performance partner and brother Sam – is out to do something novel, using her powerful voice, catchy melodies, and sometimes wonky yet imaginative guitar lines to create a truly unique sound. With BBC Introducing Norwich already behind her and her band, she’s such a refreshing discovery in a world populated with too many predictable female singers without any substance.

The music of London band Fossa is difficult to describe. I suppose you can call them soundscape-y like Mogwai, as they’re not straight indie, as they’re not pop in the conventional sense, but I wouldn’t class them as prog either. If you listen to their EP ‘Sea of Skies’, some of the instrumentation sounds like it’s been lifted from ’70s psychedelia (except less chill, such as on ‘Five Days’) or Talking Heads (‘Butterfly’). Sandwiched in between artists totally unlike them put Fossa in a difficult position, as they were neither as poppy as Daisy Victoria or had the spunk and craziness of Superglu, and their music presented a more difficult listen, definitely more than I think the average punter wanted on a Saturday night.

Fossa live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

Funnily enough, I had been tipped off about SuperGlu (note there is no ‘e’ on the end of their name) by a nice waitress who served me and an American friend at my favourite pub in Brighton when I was there in May for the Great Escape. I didn’t think too much of it, figuring that despite liking what I heard on SoundCloud, I’d never actually get a chance to see this band live. Yet by some divine providence, SuperGlu were given one of, if not the best slot of the whole festival in Norwich.

The four-piece from another neighbouring town Manningtree closed out the Mash Tun, and boy, did they end the festival on a high note. In extreme contrast to Fossa’s cerebral music, Superglu’s is all about having fun with your mates, shouting at the top of your lungs with their singalongs and bopping to the rhythms. Although I wasn’t familiar with their songs by name, it became quickly evident by the glee of the punters, dancing to the music and raising their hands and fists in solidarity, that this band had made a lasting impression on them. They lined up in droves after to buy merch, which is always a good barometer of success to come.

SuperGlu live at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015

After I returned to the States, something else weird happened: I got an invite from a promoter friend of mine in London who was putting on a show starring SuperGlu in November. Who’s not going to believe fate now? I might be wrong of course, but given all the ducks that lined up in a row, I think it’s more likely that 1) I was supposed to be in Norwich to see this band, and 2) they’re going to do very, very well.

And as if in a blink of an eye, that was it. My first experience with Norwich Sound and Vision was over. Though I walked home in the cold and was aware that after one more sleep in Norwich I would be going home, as I passed drunk, partying uni students reveling in their temporary freedom as uni students, I also felt an unusual sense of freedom, an enthusiastic one in myself. Having a great experience in Norwich, feeling the great creativity that exists in this part of the country, could only have a positive effect on my writing and my life going forward.

Thank you Norwich, and thank you friends old and new. You’re all wonderful. I hope I won’t be a stranger to you.

 
 
 

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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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