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Great Escape 2018: Day 3 Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Friday, 8th June 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

I slipped out of the Prince Albert, allowed another one of Rebecca Taylor’s fans to scoot in where I’d been, and returned to the Hope and Ruin for music far meatier at the This Feeling showcase. I didn’t plan it like this, but they would be the second of three acts I’d see from Sheffield Saturday night. If you’ve done any reading on Sheffield at all, you’ll know its name comes from the River Sheaf that runs through the city. So I had a hunch even before I opened the biography on hard rockers SHEAFS where they were from. Delivered with a sneer, minor key anthem ‘This is Not a Protest’ is a foot-stomper, while ‘Mind Pollution’, encouraging not a revolt but a bigger revolution, is another laced with ‘tude. Forget the Sherlocks, SHEAFS have just pushed them out of the way.

SHEAFS Saturday the Great Escape 2018

I returned to the Old Ship for Charles Watson gigging at the Moshi Moshi Records evening showcase. Like Rebecca Taylor, he’s trying to carve an identity for himself that’s separate from the one he held in Slow Club. On his debut ‘Now That I’m a River’, Watson’s sound is decidedly more similar to that of his songwriting in his previous band, sounding at times like a throwback to ‘70s Americana, complete with the echoes. Imagine Burt Bacharach going folk, or the Eagles with less rock. It seems like a lot of artists are reaching backwards in time for inspiration. It begs the question, has the singer/songwriter genre gone has far forward as it possibly can and the only option left to keep things somewhat interesting is to go backward?

Charles Watson Saturday the Great Escape 2018

To get some air and to see some more music, I walked a short distance down Ship Street to the Walrus to check out a band far from home. ShadowParty are a group that formed in Boston and includes members of New Order and Devo. I’m embarrassed to say I had no clue who they were. Perhaps the knowledge of their existence spread quickly across New Order and Devo’s respective fandoms, filling this basement venue? I wasn’t terribly impressed by the part of their performance I caught (equipment overload for one, but that might not have been their fault but the festival’s for putting them in such a small place), but I’m guessing from the news posts from early May that they’re still in very early days of performing live together. Feel good first single ‘Celebrate’ was unveiled on the 1st of May, the first taster ahead of the release of their debut album on the 27th of May on Mute Records.

Shadowparty Saturday the Great Escape 2018

It was back to the Old Ship for the piece de resistance in my Great Escape 2018. Going through my reports from past editions of this festival, I had completely forgotten, or possibly blocked out my getting shut out of Teleman’s set at the Green Door Store 5 years ago. I know at the moment was I was mad as a wet hen and probably wanting to cry. They’re unequivocally one of my favourite bands of all time. As that old chestnut goes, “Patience, grasshopper.” The following year, I got to see them play songs from ‘Breakfast’ at two shows, one in New York Midtown and one in Brooklyn (RIP, Glasslands). Now, 4 years on from there, I’d get to see them at the Paginini Ballroom. The only way their performance could have been any better: if they’d been allowehttps://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49039459381_266e9ea867_o.jpgd to play both ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Brilliant Sanity’ in their entirety.

On this trip, I had to fill in some of my less knowledgeable British musician friends that three-fourths of Teleman used to be in another amazing band called Pete and the Pirates. That conversion took place quite a long time ago now, and with two whole albums under their belt, I kind of expected more of those songs to be in their set. Fair do’s that they’d want to put older material to bed and play the songs they’re currently most excited about, but also massively courageous to fill their performance with songs unlikely to be firm favourites except to maybe their most ardent social media followers.

Teleman Saturday the Great Escape 2018 1

Single ‘Cactus’, which will appear on their upcoming third studio album ‘Family of Aliens’, is plenty catchy, but I think it’ll take some growing on me before it joins the heady ranks of my favourites from ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Brilliant Sanity’. For those of us who have memorised the latter, we were rewarded with ‘Fall in Time’ and ‘Dusseldorf’, the latter capping off a plenty bouncy and enjoyable set building anticipation towards the new album’s release and their upcoming tour to take place in the autumn. I’ve been invited to a curry dinner and to jump on a boat with them (long story for another time); we’ll see if I make it back to dear old blighty for that then. Cross your fingers and toes for me.

TGTF’s Great Escape 2018 coverage, that’s a wrap! All my photos from Saturday at the Great Escape 2018 are here.

 

Video of the Moment #2816: Charles Watson

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd April 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Formerly one-half of Slow Club, Charles Watson the solo artist has been slowly trickling to us new music, all presumably to appear on this debut solo album out in May. Following single ‘No Fanfare’ and ‘Abandoned Buick’, he’s got a new promo video for ‘Everything Goes Right’. The promo, filmed by Piers Dennis, sees Watson in front of alternating blue and pink backgrounds. Well, until the end when he breaks out of his theatrical prison. Watch the video for ‘Everything Goes Right’ below. Album ‘Now That I’m a River’ has an expected release date of the 18th of May on Moshi Moshi Records. Watson will be on tour in the UK following the LP’s release. For all of our coverage to date on Charles Watson, use this link.

 

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

 

Single Review: Charles Watson – No Fanfare

 
By on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Singer and producer Charles Watson, best known until now as part of Sheffield alt-pop duo Slow Club, has just debuted his first solo material in the form of an atmospheric and synth-laden single titled ‘No Fanfare’. Watson gave some broad hints at the style of his solo work in Slow Club’s 2016 LP ‘One Day All This Won’t Matter Anymore’, which we reviewed right back here. The divide between his artistic leanings and those of his musical partner Rebecca Taylor was already beginning to surface on that record, and the two of them have apparently decided to follow their separate muses for the time being. (Taylor has also released solo work under the moniker Self Esteem.)

With light, ethereal instrumentation and Watson’s delicately introspective vocals, ‘No Fanfare’ doesn’t exactly soar, but instead gracefully floats through the listener’s sonic consciousness. That quality is surely intentional, and it seems remarkably appropriate to the song’s persistent lyrical examination of the ephemerality of relationships. “What chance have we got / when the flowerless sing of flooded orchards?”, Watson sings over a strummed acoustic guitar and a wash of amorphous synths.

His lyrics straddle the line between poetry and prose, often blending indistinctly into the soundscape. But musically, his idea still comes across. The synths adopt a mild wail of sorrow ahead of the pleading question “was it the cool mountain air / making your mind feel calm and empty / or was it the absence of myself?”. The addition of brass halfway through the song brings a hint of richness and warmth to the sonic texture, and a gorgeous electric guitar solo injects an air of poignant longing before the track comes around to close, as if at peace, back where it began.

7.5/10

‘No Fanfare’ is out now on Moshi Moshi; take a listen to it just below. You can read our past coverage of Charles Watson as part of Slow Club through this link.

 

 
 
 

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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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