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(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #405: Jade Bird

 
By on Thursday, 1st March 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Francesca Allen

Editor Mary covered London-based singer/songwriter Jade Bird briefly last year leading into SXSW 2017 and Live at Leeds 2017, but we think she warrants a closer look ahead of SXSW 2018 this month. Bird’s early life and musical influences intertwine to create a unique and thoughtful sound, with country, rock, and jazz styles intermingling seamlessly in her songs. Her ‘Something American’ EP was released last summer via Glassnote Records.

The press release for Bird’s newly released cover of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Right Through You’ provides some enlightening context to what looks on the surface like a typical girl-with-guitar setup. “Born in Hexham, UK, Jade’s early life was spent mainly in flight as an ‘army brat.’ One of [her] life’s few constants proved to be the influence of strong working women. At first via her mother and grandmother, who largely raised her, but later the female role models within the musical subcultures Jade become obsessed with, from empowering country heroines like Loretta Lynn to iconic alternative songwriters like Patti Smith. Alanis Morissette‘s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ was a similar early touchstone.” With this in mind, ‘Right Through You’ seems to be a particularly apt choice. It fits nicely both in Bird’s voice and in her dryly ironic (yes, I went there), mildly rebellious style.

Bird’s current single ‘Lottery’ was released earlier this year, also on Glassnote. Its recorded version is upbeat and bright, with a jaunty guitar accompaniment and a distinct rock tone to its vocals. The lyrical conversation between Bird’s youthful protagonist and her lover is related in an offhand tone, but its between-the-lines subtext is much deeper: “I’ll tell you about a guy that I’ve been with / you ask how old is he and I laugh, twenty-six / nah, but he’s thirty / how messed up is that?”

The acoustic version of ‘Lottery’ is surprisingly different to the original recording. The musical accompaniment is shifted to solo piano, and its subtle jazz harmonies are a clever change from the song’s previous country-rock stylings. Bird’s voice is more exposed here, and a little shrill in moments, but it holds up remarkably well as the dynamic and dramatic intensity rises.

For those of you on the eastern side of the Atlantic, Jade Bird is currently in the midst of a UK headline tour which will run through the 11th of March. If you’re in the market for a last minute gig, tickets for the following shows are available now.

Thursday 1st March 2018 – Norwich Waterfront
Friday 2nd March 2018 – Nottingham Bodega Social Club
Sunday 4th March 2018 – Brighton Green Door Store
Monday 5th March 2018 – London Village Underground
Tuesday 6th March 2018 – Birmingham Hare & Hounds 2
Thursday 8th March 2018 – Glasgow Poetry Club
Friday 9th March 2018 – Newcastle Think Tank
Saturday 10th March 2018 – Salford Eagle Inn
Sunday 11th March 2018 – Leeds Oporto

Following these shows, Bird will hop a plane for America and SXSW. If you’re on this side of the pond and can’t make it to Austin, you can catch Jade Bird on her spring and summer North American tour dates with Colter Wall and First Aid Kit; a full listing of Bird’s upcoming live dates can be found on her official Web site.

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2018 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 or official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

 

Video of the Moment #2796: Let’s Eat Grandma

 
By on Monday, 26th February 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Charlotte Patmore

Norwich electro-pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma, aka Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, have revealed details of their latest single ‘Hot Pink’, a collaboration with producers SOPHIE and Faris Badwan of The Horrors. ‘Hot Pink’ is the first taste of the follow-up to Let’s Eat Grandma’s 2016 debut LP ‘I, Gemini’.

The ‘Hot Pink’ video was directed by Balan Evans and produced by Try Hard. Describing the inspiration behind her visual interpretation, Evans says, “The song had a really strong digital feel, so I wanted to input that into the aesthetic. The image of a tall building with a strong coloured light was something from an old memory that has stayed with me, and it felt like a fun idea, another building block.” The band themselves explain the metaphor behind the video as follows: “We’re trying to navigate through a city where people’s perceptions of reality are becoming more and more distorted in the fear that we’ll end up the same way.” Take a look into Let’s Eat Grandma’s surreal ‘Hot Pink’ cityscape just below.

Just below, you’ll find a list of Let’s Eat Grandma’s upcoming live shows in the UK, starting with a one-off show in March and picking up in mid-April. Tickets for the following shows are available now. TGTF’s previous coverage of Let’s Eat Grandma is back through here.

Thursday 8th March 2018 – London Lightbox
Wednesday 4th April 2018 – Glasgow Stereo
Thursday 5th April 2018 – Newcastle Riverside
Saturday 7th April 2018 – Leeds Belgrave
Sunday 8th April 2018 – Sheffield Plug
Monday 9th April 2018 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Wednesday 11th April 2018 – Birmingham Castle and Falcon
Thursday 12th April 2018 – Cardiff Globe
Friday 13th April 2018 – Bristol Lantern

 

Natalie Prass / April 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 15th February 2018 at 9:00 am
 

American singer/songwriter Natalie Prass has announced a list of headline dates in the UK for this spring, presumably to support a potential new album release. Stereogum reported back in April 2017 that Prass’ second LP was near completion, and she spent most of last summer and autumn on tour, playing dates with Whitney, The Head and The Heart and The New Pornographers. While there has been no official word from her yet on a new LP, Prass is also a recent addition to the lineup of showcasing artists for SXSW 2018 that, once again, might lead one to believe that new music is imminent. (ICYMI, we at TGTF first covered Natalie Prass at SXSW 2015; you can read about it back here.)

Ahead of her trip to Austin, Prass will be touring in America as support for Fleet Foxes. A full list of Prass’ upcoming shows can be found on her official Facebook. Tickets for the following shows in England and Scotland are available now. Our full past coverage of Natalie Prass can be found through this link.

Monday 23rd April 2018 – London Bush Hall
Thursday 26th April 2018 – Brighton Bau Wow
Friday 27th April 2018 – Manchester Band on the Wall
Saturday 28th April 2018 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Sunday 29th April 2018 – Glasgow Mono

 

Charles Watson / May and June 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 12th February 2018 at 9:00 am
 

Newly established as a solo artist, Charles Watson (also known here at TGTF as part of indie pop duo Slow Club) has announced a list of UK headline shows to follow the upcoming release of his debut LP ‘Now That I’m a River’. The album is due out on the 18th of May via Moshi Moshi. Watson’s headline tour will begin the following evening at Ramsgate Music Hall and extend through the first part of June.

Along with the tour announcement, Watson has also unveiled a new promo video for the surprisingly groovy album track ‘Abandoned Buick’.  Directed by Jacob Wyatt and Alistair Baines and produced by RND Media, the promo is simple in design and has the same lo-fi vibe as the song itself. Watson, for his part, is equally low-key in his commentary. “Although the new video for ‘Abandoned Buick’ may at first appear to be just some clever camera work, a clapped-out Mercedes and deceptive shots of my manager wearing exactly the same jacket as me,” he quips, “it is, in fact, evidence that I have successfully achieved my life long goal of having a touring clone”.

You can watch the video for ‘Abandoned Buick’ just below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following shows are available now. And ICYMI, our review of ‘No Fanfare’, the first single from ‘Now That I’m a River’, is right back this way.

Saturday 19th May 2018 – Ramsgate Music Hall
Monday 21st May 2018 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 – Bristol Louisiana
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 24th May 2018 – Exeter Phoenix
Saturday 26th May 2018 – London LSO St Luke’s
Sunday 27th May 2018 – Middlesbrough Westgarth Social Club
Tuesday 29th May 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Wednesday 30th May 2018 – Birmingham Hare & Hounds
Thursday 31st May 2018 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Friday 1st June 2018 – Glasgow Hug and Pint
Saturday 2nd June 2018 – Sheffield Picture House Social

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2785: Bully

 
By on Friday, 9th February 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Nashville grunge rock band Bully have shared a new animated video for their track ‘Focused’, along with a list of UK tour dates for this May, following the band’s scheduled appearance at SXSW 2018 in March. ‘Focused’ appears on Bully’s second LP ‘Losing’, which was released back in October on Sub Pop.

Perhaps by coincidence (or perhaps not), ‘Focused’ almost immediately conjures memories of Sub Pop alumnus Nirvana. The song’s austere bass-dominant instrumentation is a perfect initial backdrop for Bully frontwoman and songwriter Alicia Bognanno’s detached, sullen vocals. But over the course of the song her sneering is gradually drawn out into full on screaming, à la Kurt Cobain, in the refrain “I am trying to stay focused.”

The visual treatment for ‘Focused’ was created by director Rozalina Burkova, who stayed true to both the song’s lyrical meaning and its musical content in her interpretation. Burkova describes her animation scheme as “loosely based on the theme of coming of age and the ups and downs [of] friendships and relationships.” Bognanno chimes in, “I let Rozalina take the reins on this one. I am a huge fan of all her animation work and wanted her to do what she felt was best for this video.”

You can watch the animated promo video for ‘Focused’ just below the listing of Bully’s upcoming UK headline dates. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Wednesday 9th May 2018 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Thursday 10th May 2018 – Sheffield Picture House Social
Friday 11th May 2018 – Liverpool Buyers Club
Monday 14th May 2018 – Leicester Cookie
Tuesday 15th May 2018 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Sunday 20th May 2018 – Leeds Gold Sounds
Monday 21st May 2018 – Glasgow Hug and Pint
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Thursday 24th May 2018 – Newcastle Think Tank
Tuesday 29th May 2018 – Guildford Boileroom
Wednesday 30th May 2018 – London Moth Club

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2770: Will Varley

 
By on Thursday, 18th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

As a preview for his forthcoming LP, Kent singer/songwriter Will Varley has released a self-designed promo video for his new single ‘Seven Days’. The track will appear on Varley’s album ‘Spirit of Minnie’, which is due for release on the 9th of February via Xtra Mile Recordings.

In addition to the new video, Varley has also shared a list of UK headline dates for the end of January and the first part of February. The nine-date tour will culminate with a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London to celebrate the official release of ‘Spirit of Minnie’. Tickets for the following shows are available now. Varley has also recently been announced as a showcasing artist for SXSW 2018 in Austin this March. You can read TGTF’s collected past coverage of Will Varley back through here.

Tuesday 30th January 2018 – Birmingham Institute 3
Wednesday 31st January 2018 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 1st February 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 2nd February 2018 – Edinburgh La Belle Angele
Saturday 3rd February 2018 – Manchester Club Academy
Tuesday 6th February 2018 – Southampton 1865
Wednesday 7th February 2018 – Cardiff Globe
Thursday 8th February 2018 – Bristol Trinity Centre
Friday 9th February 2018 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

 
 
 

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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