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Bands To Watch #91: The Good Natured

 
By on Thursday, 5th March 2009 at 1:30 pm
 

A quick note from Phil: We first introduced you to The Good Natured last summer, but times have changed and this is a much better write-up than the original one!

m_4a5cfe7663dc704a271ce04302d1f873Sarah McIntosh is the lone member of The Good Natured and you can expect her to be a radio regular in a the not too distant future. A combination of electronic rhythms that would make MGMT proud and sublime vocals that sound like a mellow lily Allen or Kate Nash are the recipe to her success. The Berkshire bouncer certainly has a fresh sound that can be best described as electroacoustic with, of course, a little extra spice.

At times the keyboard playing sounds like The Prodigy playing on a church organ but it works and ear perplexing melodies add to the vibrant atmosphere that each track possesses. Although she’s not selling out stadiums, Sarah has a powerful voice which would sound great if she did a duet with Bloc Party.

Three always seems to be the magic number and their are three belters of tunes that stand out from The Good Natured back catalogue. “Rose” has to be the highlight. At first you’re certain that you’re listening to Kate Nash and then some inventive melodies and catchy beats begin and you know you’re dealing with a different kettle of fish. “Heart Of Stone” is my personal favourite. The track has a great injection of aggression and attitude and some of the the electronic bellows would not be out of place on a Daft Punk record. The last track that is in a different league is “How Can I Believe In You” which mixes organ and sonic drum beats but even better, it sounds good too and is more than just a musical experiment.

If you want a bargain, I’d go see a Good Natured gig right now as in a couple of years, you can expect tickets to sell out in minutes and prices to rocket due to all the hype that Sarah is sure to receive.

MP3: The Good Natured – Warriors

 

Bands To Watch #89: Citadels

 
By on Thursday, 26th February 2009 at 4:45 pm
 

Citadels are the latest alternative pop/rock band making a lot of good noise and although unsigned, it’s surely only a matter of time before the London lads are in every one’s music collection. The Klaxons will have a strong rival as long as Citadels are around and the band have already played at the same venues as Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party among others.

The band have a really thrilling and complex tone that is still easy on the ear and extremely vibrant. The band members are strong fans of MGMT but they might find themselves battling for fans as the Citadels become bigger and bigger. Trancy keyboard melodies, dark guitar chords and quirky beats go hand in hand on a Citadel track and this recipe is certainly sweet.

 There is one track that does stand out from the crowd. “Animals” gives just about everything the band can offer with sublime fuzzy vocals, rifftastic guitars and a huge beat. “Don’t Look Down” is probably going to be a summer anthem with catchy chants, hyper keyboard licks and a scratchy guitar tone but the band give a good level of quality on all their songs so just listen to anything by them and your ears should be grateful.

 The band are heading in the right direction and would not be out of place on a stage at Glastonbury. The pace that they are gathering fans and followers is scary, so watch out for them this summer, they could be at a festival near you.

 

Best Of 2008: Albums

 
By on Sunday, 28th December 2008 at 1:30 pm
 

It’s been a pretty amazing year for music around the UK, and following on from my top 10 of 2007, here is my top 10 of 2008.

Viva Stereo (roar lion roar album cover)10 – Viva Stereo – Roar Lion Roar
You’ve probably not heard much about this Scottish collective. However, their third album was a surprise favourite for me – anthemic, accessible, slightly My Bloody Valentine and yet still so gorgeous.

Read more about Viva Stereo here.

Favourite: Knee High Boots.

9 – Sigur RósMeð suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
As ever, an amazing collection from the Icelandic group. More pop than previous albums, their songs sound all the more amazing. I caught them live at Hydro Connect Festival in Scotland, where they preceded Franz Ferdinand and blew them out of the water. As the sun went down, they soundtracked the festival for us, showing their sense of humour and making beautiful music that had more than a few grown men in tears.

Favourite: Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

8 – Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line
Dark in places, Ra Ra Riot come from the same school of musical geekiness as Vampire Weekend, but with a bit more serious and a bit less money. Dark in places, the group are still recovering from the death of their drummer in summer 2007, which shows on tracks like “Winter ’05”.

Favourite: Dying is Fine

Continue reading Best Of 2008: Albums

 

Hydro Connect: Day 2 review: Bloc Party

 
By on Thursday, 4th September 2008 at 8:55 pm
 

“We’d love it if more festivals were like this – all small and lively” commented Matt Tong of Bloc Party mid Saturday afternoon before their sensational headlining set at Hydro Connect 2008. It had been threatening to rain all afternoon, but thankfully it held off long enough for us to have a quick chat with Kele and Matt from the band.

Already pressed for time and running late, the lads didn’t stick around for long, but enough for us to get two quick questions in, which in hindsight weren’t exactly the most insightful we could have asked, but still. Kele was in a jokey mood – when we mentioned their set at Reading the previous weekend and asked if it was a homecoming for him and Russell (they met at Reading ’99) Kele gave us a heart-in-the-mouth moment as he goes “Oh, I never went to Reading… it was just a joke I told people to like us more!”, before conceding that he actually did meet Russell at Reading. Matt on the other hand commented that it was a homecoming of sorts for him – whilst he didn’t meet Kele and Russell at Reading ’99, he spent his summer shuffling paper around offices in Reading.

Having been exceptionally excited about their new album, Intimacy (reviewed here), we were hoping for a set heavy with the new songs. However, whilst we only got two new songs, their set didn’t fail to disappoint and they certainly silenced any critics who said that they weren’t ready to be headliners.

Playing 16 songs over 75 minutes, Kele seemed remarkably chatty compared to when I last saw them and other gigs I’ve seen on TV etc. From their opener Mercury’s chant of “My mercury’s in retrograde” to “Positive Tension”‘s yell of “so f***ing useless”, we knew that both crowd and band were happy to work as one, and made for a magical closing to Saturday.

Still enjoying the gorgeous settings, Kele thanked “our favourite elephant polo playing duke” for asking them to play personally. Hydro Connect marked the last time Daniel Lindegren would be standing in for bassist Gordon Moakes, and Kele took the opportunity to dedicate “So Here We Are” to him “as long as you don’t cock it up!” he joked.

“One Month Off” was the only other new song they played all evening, the disco stomp fitting right in with all their older work perfectly.

“Ah, I meant to say, did you like my kilt?” Kele asked the crowd in reference to his tartan red kilt. “The question is: what am I wearing underneath?! It let’s more air in, if you know what I mean!” he joked shortly before the first song of the encore, “Blue Light”. “Flux” heated things back up again as their green laser was cracked out, making the Scottish rain look beautiful for once as the laser hit the castle and trees.

Coming back one last time, they burst into “She’s hearing Voices” as Kele dives into the crowd chanting “Red pill, blue pill / Red pill, blue pill/ Milk of amnesia”, leaving the security unsure of quite what to do and ensuring they went down as one of the best headliners of the festival.

After the jump: setlist and bigger photos

Continue reading Hydro Connect: Day 2 review: Bloc Party

 

Daily Roundup: Sunday 24th August

 
By on Sunday, 24th August 2008 at 6:16 pm
 

So, I’m trying a new thing this week: A “daily roundup” of everything that doesn’t merit a complete post of its own. It won’t be literally every day (I do go out sometimes you know), but will be a collection of new MP3s, Videos, music etc.

It’s scary how quickly this Reading and Leeds festivals have been and (almost) gone. I’ve not really caught much coverage on the BBC of the festivals, but have checked out some of the ace videos and pictures. Particuarly loving the fact that Red Light Company are getting so much coverage from Zane Lowe, following on from my live review and initial introduction. Bloc Party look to have been amazing too – check out their live set available here for 7 days.

MP3: Red Light Company – Fascination
MP3: Red Light Company – Scheme Eugene
MP3: Red Light Company – With Lights Out

This time next week I’ll be in Scotland at Hydro Connect Festival, getting mouth wettingly-excited for the closing nights combination of Sigur Ros and Franz Ferdinand. I’ve spent much of today sorting out some pretty mundane things about the festival, like driving and what sort of coverage we’ll be having. I’ve had a look at the brilliant Winston’s Zen, who was at last weekend’s V Festival and getting a few ideas about how to live-blog the festival, amount of coverage etc. It’s gonna be hard to judge just what’s best until we get there, so don’t be suprised if you get tonnes, or next to nothing coverage wise.

One thing we’ve been having to look at is how to camp – I originally requested camping tickets, but got non-camping tickets, so have been looking at other options for us, from Tangerine Fields‘ bespoke camping options, to the goregous wendy-house style Podpads via the eco-friendly myhab‘s – I’d honestly never really considered anything other than a tent, or a hotel for the posho’s.

Traditionally, August is quite a quiet time for the music industry – bands are off playing the festivals, people are on holidays, and generally the live music biz is taking a well-earned break ahead of the onslught of year-end tours. However, this week we’ve had no end of new tour announcements, with The Fratellis, Kaiser Chiefs, The Whip, Laura Marling, Joan as a Policewoman, Slipknot and Martha Wainwright all announcing stints around the UK this winter. I’m not expecting this week to have quite as many new tour announcements, but fingers crossed – this winter’s shaping up to be a great live experience.

 

Daily Roundup: Friday 22nd August

 
By on Friday, 22nd August 2008 at 8:56 pm
 

So, I’m trying a new thing this week: A “daily roundup” of everything that doesn’t merit a complete post of its own. It won’t be literally every day (I do go out sometimes you know), but will be a collection of new MP3s, Videos, music etc.

I first got sent Dan Black‘s HYPNTZ back at the end of July, and fell in love with it, however couldn’t help but feel it was a tiny weeny bit too cheesy – sounded like some schoolboy rapper from North London trying to be ghetto. Then I heard it on Zane Lowe the other night and then heard the new one, “These Things Take Time”, which sounds like it has a sample of Nelly Furtado‘s Maneater in it.

Dan says:

“I knew what kind of music I wanted make, but at first I found it hard to get these conflicting desires to blend well outside of my head. I’d been making these weird remix/mashups for my occasional Djing, so I thought, I’ll take the method I’ve been using for that but use it for song writing instead. The very first thing I tried was HYPNTZ.”

Download and enjoy.

MP3: Dan Black – HYPNTZ
MP3: Dan Black – These Things Take Time

We found out earlier this week that we’re off to Hydro Connect festival in Scotland next weekend, so you can expect a lot of coverage next week from the festival. However, this weekend of course is the mighty Reading and Leeds festivals, where many of the bands I’ll be catching next weekend are playing. Friendly Fires went down a storm, and I can’t wait to see their show after only getting into their album the other week. Meanwhile Crystal Castles caused chaos – I’m not a big fan of them musically, but might have to catch them just for the entertainment factor.

The two bands however that I’m looking forward to most at Hydro Connect are Sigur Ros and Bloc Party. Sigur Ros’ new video for ‘Inní mér syngur vitleysingur’ (‘Within me a lunatic sings’)is pretty bland, but my God I love that song! Next Sunday, as the sun sets around Inveraray I can see them completely capping my weekend, and providing an amazing atmposphere. Bloc Party’s album has been on repeat since I downloaded it yesterday morning at 9am – I’m yet to be as hooked as I was by “A Weekend in the City”, but it’s definately a grower (in a good way).

On a slightly different musical side of things, Dido has released a new song ahead of releasing a whole new album in early November. Needless to say, it sounds pretty much the same as her previous two albums of stuff, with a bit more musical accompaniment (is that an orchestra we hear?) Yes, some might say it’s bland and boring, but I love it.

MP3: Dido – Look No Further

 
 
 

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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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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