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Autobahn / November 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 14th August 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Leeds post-punks Autobahn have an announced an extensive UK tour for this November. The tour follows the release of their second album, ‘The Moral Crossing’ on the 3rd of November. This is the follow-up to their debut LP ‘Dissemble’, which came out in 2015 on Tough Love Records. Tickets to this new tour are on sale now. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Autobahn, rev up your engines and follow us here.

Saturday 4th November 2017 – Oxford Academy 2
Sunday 5th November 2017 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Wednesday 8th November 2017 – Bristol Louisiana
Thursday 9th November 2017 – London Lexington
Friday 10th November 2017 – Brighton Joker
Saturday 11th November 2017 – Southampton Heartbreakers
Thursday 16th November 2017 – Leicester Cookie
Friday 17th November 2017 – Sheffield Record Junkies
Saturday 18th November 2017 – Wrexham UnDeGun
22nd November 2017 – Glasgow Broadcast
Thursday 23rd November 2017 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Friday 24th November 2017 – Stockton Ku Bar
Saturday 25th November 2017 – Manchester White Hotel

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Northern England artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Wednesday, 1st March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

For so many years and continuing on to this day, the North of England has always been a hot bed for new musical talent. Today’s installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017. will introduce you to 12 acts from ‘oop norf’, some may you have already heard of or heard on the radio, some you may have not. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by our Northern Irish correspondent based in Derry, Adam McCourt, who also went to uni in Leeds. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

All We Are – pop / Liverpool
Liverpudlian trio All We Are describe themselves on Facebook as “The Bee Gees on diazepam”. The description is not far off, as they showcase similarities in vocal textures and harmonies, but with more downtempo and wavy grooves. Although they are based in Liverpool, none of the members actually hail from there. Bassist Guro Gikling is from Norway, Rich O’Flynn from Ireland is on drums and Luis Santos from Brazil plays guitar, making them probably the most multinational band to attend SXSW from this side of the Atlantic. Their self-titled debut album, released back in 2015, is available now. FFO: Warpaint, Wild Beasts, Django Django [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s6Sx4POl3k[/youtube]

Autobahn – punk / Leeds
Five-piece post-punk outfit from Leeds, Autobahn are Northern and proud of it. From depressing song titles to their screechy guitar tones, Autobahn’s music depicts the gloomy industrialisation of Northern England almost perfectly. Autobahn’s debut album ‘Dissemble’ was released in the summer of 2015 and contains all of the above, as well as Johnson’s honest lyrics and droning vocal melodies. [Their Facebook suggests a new album is done and dusted. We wait with baited breath. – Ed.] FFO: Joy Division, Bauhaus [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D7XJ5HXXQs[/youtube]

False Advertising – rock / Manchester
False Advertising (pictured at top) are a self-proclaimed “twisted power-grunge” trio from Manchester. The female-fronted band create a perfect blend of dreamy guitar melodies and equally light-hearted vocal melodies against fuzzy guitar tones and a driving rhythm section. Fronted by Jen Hingley on guitar and vocals, backed by Josh Sellers on bass and Chris Warr on drums, their self-titled debut album was released in September 2015, and an EP titled ‘Brainless’ followed in 2016. FFO: Cheatahs, Nirvana

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNIyVEXC47Y[/youtube]

Findlay – blues / pop / London via Manchester
You can take the girl out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the girl. Case in point: Natalie Rose Findlay, who goes by her surname just like fellow Mancunian-born Morrissey, doesn’t really give a monkey’s. We’ve seen her charismatic performances at festivals before, and we imagine her rough around the edges style, in line with the ever-burgeoning lo-fi rock scene both in America and the UK, will be just the ticket in Austin. FFO: The Kills, PJ Harvey (Mary Chang)

To read our past coverage of Findlay here on TGTF, go here.

Fizzy Blood – punk / Leeds
Since forming in 2014, Heavy rock five-piece from Leeds Fizzy Blood have made major strides with their huge in-your-face riffs, melodic vocal melodies and insanely energetic live shows. They released their debut EP ‘Feast’ on 22nd of June 2015 and have since amassed under their belt a vast number of international shows and tours alongside acts such as Allusondrugs, Sun Club, The Virginmarys and punk icons The Dead Kennedys, as well as appearing at top UK festivals Download, Live at Leeds and Sound City. FFO: Queens of the Stone Age, Allusondrugs, Pulled Apart By Horses

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlhuzoMmL4s[/youtube]

Her’s – pop / Liverpool
Outsiders from outsider towns, Stephen Fitzpatrick from Barrow in Furness and Audun Laading from Kristiansand, Norway, met whilst at university in Liverpool. They instantly connected over a “love of peculiar, sardonic humour and wide eyed observations”, according to their Facebook bio. Hmm. Any way you slice it, the duo present a loveable blend of dream pop that seems to transport any listener to the seaside towns from which they individually hail from. FFO: Mac Demarco, Beach Boys

LIFE – punk / Hull
Considering all the crap that’s happening in the world today, sometimes you need a release valve. You need music you can listen to, to get your aggressions out. LIFE, hailing from the East Yorkshire riverside town whose most famous musical export has been The Housemartins, are clearly here to put Hull back on the British rock map. Incisive lyrics backed by punishing rock guitars? Yes, please. Oh, and if you needed any convincing, they also wrote a protest song unveiled on the day of that Cheeto’s inauguration. Check. FFO: The Clash, their recent tourmates Slaves (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh62UUMBtQE[/youtube]

Menace Beach – alt-rock / Leeds
Menace Beach are an alt-rock act from Leeds, mainly made up of core members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet; the rest is somewhat of a revolving line-up. Menace Beach’s debut album ‘Ratworld’ was released in January 2015, which was followed up by the ‘Super Transporterreum’ EP in the same year and last month’s ‘Lemon Memory’, reviewed by our Rebecca here. FFO: Pulled Apart By Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

Read all of our past coverage on TGTF on Menace Beach through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8wHP56Dyzo[/youtube]

She Drew the Gun – singer/songwriter / The Wirral
From the banks of the Mersey in a small peninsula called The Wirral is where fuzz pop four-piece She Drew the Gun reside. Formed and fronted by singer/songwriter Louisa Roach, the band offer dark, fuzz-filled pop topped with delightful and emotive vocals. She Drew the Gun have received continuous support from BBC Radio 6 Music after their debut album ‘Memories of the Future’ was named ‘Album of the Day’ upon its release last April 2016. FFO: Big Deal, Julia Jacklin, Lucy Rose

Trudy and the Romance – pop / Liverpool
This Liverpool trio were formerly known as simply ‘Trudy’ and ‘Trudy Sings The Blues’ before settling on the poetic Trudy and the Romance. Oliver Taylor (vocals/guitar), Lewis Rollinson (bass) and Brad Mullins (drums) together produce raucous, guitar-driven indie pop with Hollywood-tinged vocal melodies that will simultaneously tug on the heartstrings and tap on the funny bone. FFO: Mac DeMarco, Tame Impala, Beach Boys [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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

VANT – protest rock/punk / London via Seaham
London via Seaham band VANT have been slaving away in the industry since their formation in 2014. The protest rock group, led by Mattie Vant, have garnered attention after appearing as support for Royal Blood, as well as touring with DIY Magazine’s NEU tour. They’ve already hit a dizzying array of festivals, including Dot to Dot, Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury, 2000 Trees and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, as well as racked up plays of their numerous singles anointed as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’. Their debut album ‘Dumb Blood’ is out now; you can read our Steven’s review of last year’s ‘Karma Seeker’ EP through here. FFO: Otherkin, Palma Violets

Read our past coverage on VANT here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coeO8HWHjoc[/youtube]

The Vryll Society – rock / Liverpool
Expect the unexpected from The Vryll Society. With a sound that touches on different facets of classic, psychedelic and prog rock, the Liverpudlian quintet present a body of work sure to keep any listener on their toes. Fuzz-infused rock led mainly by the rhythm section of Lloyd Shearer on bass and Benjamin Robinson on drums with lots of decorative guitar flourishes from Ryan Ellis and Lewis McGuinness, all topped by Michael Ellis’ catchy, melodic vocals, The Vryll Society stimulate both the mind and soul with their music. FFO: Tame Impala, The Wytches, Honeyblood

Read our past coverage on TGTF on The Vyrll Society through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxDXcg8rx3E[/youtube]

 

Live at Leeds 2016 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets

 
By on Monday, 18th April 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: as we recommend with all of our festival previews, the information we post here on TGTF on Live at Leeds is current at the time of posting, but we encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2016 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds on Saturday the 30th of April are still available at the bargain price of £32.50. This year for the price of £45.00, a VIP option is also available; it will allow you to jump queues at venues (subject to capacity), entry to the VIP bar at the First Direct Arena and free entry to the afterparty at the Wardrobe. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2016 alums: I’d be remiss not to give a shoutout to the artists we saw in Austin that we enjoyed and we think you will too (in order of appearance):
Barns Courtney (5:30 PM, Leeds College of Music)
The Sherlocks (5:30 PM, Leeds Uni Union Refectory)
Declan McKenna (6 PM, Brudenell Social Club main stage)
Clean Cut Kid (6:15 PM, Leeds Uni Union Stylus)
Autobahn (6:30 PM, Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 1)
DMA’s (6:45 PM, Leeds Uni Union Refectory)
Blaenavon (7:00 PM, Oporto)
Isaac Gracie (7:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church)
Pumarosa (8:00 PM, Wardrobe)
Haelos (10:00 PM, Belgrave Music Hall)

In addition to those acts, here are 10 more acts recommended from the amazing Live at Leeds 2016 schedule:

Atlantic Shore

In the mood for sparkling, upbeat synth rock? This quartet with ties to nearly all of the great Northern towns (Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester) will start your day at Live at Leeds on an energetic note. Check out Atlantic Shore’s latest single, ‘The Comedown’, which was released last month.

Atlantic Shore are set to perform at the Faversham at 12:30 PM.

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

The Jackobins

Staying in th’ North (this festival is in Yorkshire, am I right?), turn your attention to music of a harder edge. Forget Manchester for a moment: The Jackobins’ ‘Waiting on the Sun’ will remind you of Oasis in the brashness of their anthemic rock.

The Jackobins perform at Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 2 at 1 PM. (Incidentally, Plaitum – who Rebecca introduced you all to when they received a shout for SXSW 2016 – will be playing at the same time of day at Headrow House.)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1STNc3D6o[/youtube]

The Velveteens

Let’s not kid ourselves, surf rock came back, so what’s to stop the other trends of past decades returning? Co-ed group from Leeds The Velveteens will be leading the charge when the revolution comes. ‘Simply Plain Mary Jane’? Hardly!

The Velveteens play at the Brudenell Social Club’s Games Room at 2:30 PM.

Demob Happy

From Leeds, you can either go north to Newcastle or south all the way to the coast to Brighton for Demob Happy. As a science boffin by (day) trade, I am more than a little amused they’ve got a song called ‘Junk DNA’. “Gene Manipulator” should have been my nickname in uni. Make of that what you will… And we could all use a little bliss, eh?

Demob Happy are scheduled to play at the Brudenell Social Club’s main stage at 3:00 PM, which make them a nice follow-up after The Velveteens.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f6QEpLGoEc[/youtube]

Xylaroo

Cover me, folks, I’m going into Carrie’s usual bailiwick and into the singer/songwriter den. A girl duo signed to Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best label, Xylaroo have done a fantastic acoustic treatment to cover of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’, turning a song I don’t even like to a palatable one (!), so suffice to say, I’m looking forward to their debut album ‘Sweetooth’ (not a typo) out the 3rd of June, which includes ‘Sunshine’.

So if singer/songwriter-y, harmonising type music is more your thing, you can catch Xylaroo at Leeds College of Music Recital Room at 3 PM.

Girl Friend

Okay, I’m outta there and back to my specialty and having gone on to another duo. Girl Friend, a girl/boy pair from Manchester (seriously, where else would they have been from? ha), do clean, crisp electropop that’s music to my ears and heart, not to mention my feet. Check out the fab ‘Nocturnal’.

Girl Friend will play the Belgrave Music Hall at 4 PM.

Jones

Jones has the kind of voice music producers clamour over: soulful, rich, strong. Her voice lend well to both electronic/urban pop and acoustic treatments. Judging from her collaboration with TGTF friends Honne on their track ‘No Place Like Home’, she’ll be a sought-after vocal talent for years to come.

Jones is set to perform at the Wardrobe at 7:00 PM.

Catholic Action

Ready to do some hand clapping in my favourite venue in all of Leeds? Then you’re definitely ready to have some fun with Catholic Action and fall in ‘L.U.V.’ with this band from Glasgow. We have!

Catholic Action will appear at Nation of Shopkeepers at 8:00 PM.

Anteros

Staying in the pop realm, we arrive at London’s Anteros. Their sci-fi name makes them sound like they’re from another planet. However, to our benefit, they’re just writing really great pop songs. Have some ‘Breakfast’ with them below.

Anteros perform at the Brudenell Social Club’s Games Room at 9:30 PM.

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

Fatherson

I’ve been a fan of these Scots and their uplifting, swooning anthems since I saw them in Edinburgh 2 years ago. And it’s a great time for them to appear at Live at Leeds, as they’ve just released their newest single, ‘Just the Point of Breaking’.

Fatherson appear at Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 2 at 9:30 PM.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT1NE2hPdLg[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2016: rock on the last day in Austin (Saturday, part 1) – 19th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 11th April 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

It’s been a bit of a tradition since Carrie came along with me to Austin to send SXSW off with an amazing (and free) lunch, plus Bloody Marys at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. However, this year, it made more sense for her to cover Lissie at the SPIN party at Brazos Hall, so I was all by my lonesome. I gobbled up back two delicious tofu wraps and two of those divine, tomatoey creations under the watchful eye of the barmaid who made them for me. It was probably for the best, though, because the music slated for the afternoon isn’t exactly Carrie’s speed…

The Northern Powerhouse showcase was a good who’s who of bands who are currently knocking about in the great North of England and showing who’s boss with their own personal brands of rock, generally on the harder side of things. Sheffield duo Nai Harvest started the afternoon on a frenetic, yet still melodic note. I think the great lesson that the success of Royal Blood, Drenge and Slaves has taught us is that despite the conventional wisdom that had been around for several decades post-Beatles and Stones, it is entirely possible to make a go of it – to be loud enough and be successful at making rock music – only having two blokes in a rock band. And going for it seemed to be the theme of the day, as it was the last day in Austin for most bands and the last time to make a lasting impression.

Nai Harvest at Northern Powerhouse at the British Music Embassy, Saturday at SXSW 2016

Based on the music videos I’d seen prior to SXSW, Nai Harvest seemed like funny guys: I mean, guys who named their last EP ‘Hairball’ can’t take themselves too seriously, right? Live, they didn’t disappoint on either the music or the stage patter front. As evidenced by most recent single ‘Just Like You’, Nai Harvest’s style is less about being massively loud than to embrace the lo-fi, slacker vibe that currently sweeping Britain. Guitarist Ben Thompson bemoaned that they’d forgotten to bring along Yorkshire Tea to Austin with them. Umm…didn’t they get the memo that there would be *plenty* of Brits at SXSW, some of whom must have had brought some over to avoid the curse of the American, non-descript dark water, black tea problem? At the very least, I could have helped them with their dilemma from my own stash specifically for travelling purposes. Well, now you all know who’s your dealer…

Following the Sheffielders on the afternoon and moving the action due north, up to Leeds, was Autobahn, who were playing their third and last show at the British Music Embassy. I’d seen them earlier in the week, Tuesday night at the felte / Part Time Punks showcase at Barracuda. As is true for nearly every act I’ve ever seen on the Latitude 30 stage during SXSW week, Autobahn’s sound was great, both in volume and pomp. I mean, really, how can you go wrong with guitars being banged and flailed about while there’s a beacon of light, via a voice in the darkness…er…in a trenchcoat. The raw and unforgiving nature of their music as described previously by Rebecca makes all the more sense to me after having the opportunity to speak with their singer Craig Johnson. He explains that there’s not only a dark melancholy that comes through their music but also the coming to grips of reality of what’s outside one’s bedroom window, of which there’s too little of in the greater landscape of manufactured top 40.

Autobahn at Northern Powerhouse at British Music Embassy, Saturday at SXSW 2016

Continuing later on the bill and whose punishing tones I heard well outside of the venue – because they were really all that loud! – were Sugarmen (Liverpool), Fizzy Blood (Leeds) and Demob Happy (Newcastle and Brighton). Lads, don’t be too discouraged that I did not join you. I’m currently going through a reboot of my hard rock loving phase and I’ll probably catch up to you soon.

In the evening (cue the Led Zeppelin song), Carrie and I got a bit of a taste of Lusts at the British Music Embassy before I left her to cover the rest of the NME / UK Trade and Investment showcase there. I needed to find a venue and I should have thought more about this at the time, as if it was some foreshadowing of what was to come later in the evening, but I didn’t. I got lost on 6th Street and when I asked around for help, a bouncer of another establishment on the block stereotyped me, warning me that “a nice girl like you shouldn’t be going to a place like that.” Uh huh… At that moment, I kind of wished Gwenno had been there to clock the meathead. I didn’t have time to waste, or else I would have started quoting lyrics verbatim off ‘IV’ or doing my now world-famous ‘Whole Lotta Love’ guitar solo humming.

Abjects at Sledge Hammer, Saturday at SXSW 2016

I finally got to where I was going (Sledge Hammer), and no thanks to any help from the chauvinist pig. As part of a coincidental continuing-on of the feminism theme and without any injury to myself, I witnessed Abjects‘ entire set. They’re lo-fi, they’re garage, they’re surf-y…they’re a little bit of everything but to be sure, a whole lot of fun. Yes, the sound can be in your face, but it’s in the name of having a good time, and the ladies were smiling the widest grins I’m pretty sure I saw onstage all week. I think the inevitable comparison will be to Manchester’s PINS, but after having seen both bands in a festival atmosphere and now being able to compare them, I think Abjects take it for their sheer audacity.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my review of Saturday at SXSW, which will post tomorrow. For more of my photos from Saturday in AustinE, visit my Flickr.

 

SXSW 2016 Interview: Craig Johnson of Autobahn

 
By on Friday, 1st April 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Autobahn are a post-punk band from Leeds who are, to me, a good representation of what it means to be a band from not just Yorkshire but also the North. They are one in a long line of artists from the region gifted with what called a “dark intensity” in her Bands to Watch ahead of their appearance at this year’s SXSW 2016. The intensity is part of their sound – loud and uncompromising – and their dark and desolate yet beautiful lyrical, both of which were impressive when the band performed their final show Saturday afternoon at the British Music Embassy’s special Northern Powerhouse showcase that highlighted the heft of bands from the Northern half of England.

There is something very special from being from this part of the world and while Autobahn’s commanding frontman Craig Johnson acknowledges that you might not ‘get’ their music, it’s not all about darkness and depression and there are many more facets to their art that those who do get them can hear and appreciate. We also discuss the making of their debut album ‘Dissemble’ with fellow local producer Matt Peel at the studio he and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines of Kaiser Chiefs built within in a church in town as well as what inspires him and his writing.

 

SXSW 2016: felte and Part Time Punks’ showcase at Barracuda (Tuesday night, part 2) – 15th March 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 29th March 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

As a music journalist covering SXSW, you pretty much have to be a ninja, moving quickly through the city, from venue to venue, often under the cover of darkness. There’s really no way around it if you want to cover and bring attention to as many bands as possible in a span of 5 days, which is how I see my role in the SXSW experience. This year, knowing that my covering SXSW 2016 conference panels at the Austin Convention Center would restrict my afternoon showcase options, I had to be crafty if I was going to fit in as many bands on my watch list as possible. Luckily, to my utter pleasure, Los Angeles via Brooklyn label felte Records were putting on a fantastic showcase in association with LA Sunday night fixture at the Echo Part Time Punks Tuesday night at Barracuda (formerly Red 7) and it slotted in nicely after my activities earlier in the evening at Latitude 30.

felte signees Gold Class has been billed by more than a few media outlets as the Aussie answer to The Smiths and Joy Division, and Jennifer’s review of the band’s 2015 debut album ‘It’s You’ supports this. It is important to note that the Melbourne band are not a carbon copy of either legendary group from Manchester but take the best bits from both and bring the feelings of alienation and revolution from a diffident attitude in ’80s Britain firmly into the 21st century with their personal brand of politically charged post-punk.

There are two levels on which the comparison between them and The Smiths works best. Dressed all in white for the occasion as if his clothes were a form of protest all their own, lead singer Adam Curley commands all of the attention in the indoor space with his booming, bellowing style of vocal delivery. While singing lyrics like “the way you hold yourself / it’s like you’re ready for an execution” in ‘Life As a Gun’, he’s not afraid to be who he is, to sing what he wants to, to explore his identity and confront headfirst the idea of shame onstage. (He’s already getting mauled by hugs by fans after shows in their native Australia, so I imagine becoming beloved to the rest of the world’s misfits is not too far behind.) The other inescapable similarity of their sound to that of the Smiths is the jangly guitar of Evan James Purdey, providing an oddly jaunty lead that counterintuitively soothes against the backdrop of Curley’s otherwise dark vocals, much like what Johnny Marr’s playing did against Morrissey’s tales of gruesome murders and mishaps in love.

Nite Fields are another Aussie band, hailing from Brisbane, way up the coast from Melbourne in the Australian state of Queensland. Though this quartet also dabble in dark themes, their preferred mode is not post-punk but in more of a dream pop direction, synths buzzing away. (This explains their post-SXSW support slot with Scandinavian synthpop band Lust for Youth.) I’m not sure why this was, maybe they were jetlagged, but after seeing Gold Class put themselves out there confidently and as if naked as the day they were born, Nite Fields seemed comparatively pretentious and holding back. One of my friends once said to me that The Jesus and Mary Chain, while a good band on record, proved to be absolutely boring live at the 9:30 Club. I couldn’t escape that image in my mind as I stood less than enthralled as Nite Fields closed out the indoor stage’s bill for the night.

Watford band Sad Lovers & Giants were a surprise addition to my Tuesday night, playing to a decent crowd on the outdoor stage of Barracuda at midnight. The band’s sound is an intriguing mix of post-punk and psychedelia, with an occasional saxophone solo thrown in for good measure (check out their 7″ single ‘Colourless Dream‘). While I fully admit I’d never heard of them before this, it was great to see so many longtime (read: older) fans in the audience, falling into a trance and giving themselves over to the group’s music.

Sad Lovers & Giants at the felte Part Time Punks showcase Tuesday at Barracuda, at SXSW 2016

Following on the outdoor stage to finish out the night were even more (!) post-punks, Autobahn from Leeds. I was intrigued to learn that in fact the band’s name had nothing really to do with the famed German motorway with no speed restrictions, though their driving, muscular industrial sound seems tailor made for putting down the sun roof of your car, putting your foot to the gas (er, petrol?) and speeding away from everything, maybe not on a motorway but down a desolate country road you have all to yourself. There’s a sinister edge to their sound as well, similar to that of their Tough Love Records labelmates Girls Names from Belfast, who I saw earlier in the evening. Frontman Craig Johnson is a commanding bloke who leans on his mike stand defensively and in such a way that suggests he could crush it with the palm of his hand. When he sings, he looks pretty menacing and not someone you’d want to tangle with, which I get, because that’s what this kind of music needs.

Autobahn at felte Part Time Punks showcase Tuesday at Barracuda, at SXSW 2016 2

But curly-headed Johnson insisted to me in our chat Saturday that Autobahn’s music is less about being aggro or depressed than it is about “a celebration of the beauty of sadness and the daring to be emotional in these irony laced times”, as Louder Than War’s John Robb puts it more eloquently than I ever could. As a popular saying goes, “you can take the boy out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the boy”. As a Yankee outsider, I’ve always viewed music from the North as being the domain of people in touch emotionally with themselves and their surroundings, and being intelligent enough to write it in such a way that someone either ‘gets’ you or they don’t. And if you’re smart enough to tap into their wavelength, you too can find solace in the beauty of the desolate.

Autobahn at felte Part Time Punks showcase Tuesday at Barracuda, at SXSW 2016

 
 
 

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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