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British India / October and November 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 26th October 2010 at 9:00 am
 

You heard it here first – the Australian music scene is definitely going to be one to watch closely. Here’s just one Australian band, a Melbourne quartet called British India, that we will be talking about on TGTF in the coming weeks. This band that self-describes themselves as sounding like Kaiser Chiefs, Interpol and Arcade Fire will be touring the UK – very shortly actually – on the dates below.

Friday 29th October 2010 – Coventry Taylor Johns House
Wednesday 3rd November 2010 – Bristol Croft
Thursday 4th November 2010 – Dublin Crawdaddy
Friday 5th November 2010 – London Borderline
Saturday 6th November 2010 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Wednesday 10th November 2010 – Leeds Well
Thursday 11th November 2010 – Manchester Night and Day
Friday 12th November 2010 – Glasgow Stereo
Saturday 13th November 2010 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s

 

Live Review: Everything Everything with Clock Opera at Leeds Cockpit – 10th October 2010

 
By on Friday, 15th October 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

It was a cold Sunday evening in Leeds and it was gradually getting darker. Not an ideal environment by anyone’s standards. But rescue was just around the corner at the Cockpit. Not the most interesting looking venue from outside, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

Inside were 400 music fans of all ages with eyes transfixed on the stage waiting for Manchester’s hottest property, Everything Everything. Before the poptastic quartet came on stage though came London’s Clock Opera.

Clock Opera have recently released a remix of the headliner’s ‘MY KZ UR BF’, but tonight wasn’t about remixes – it was about the band. Despite the crowd never really getting moving, Clock Opera still put on a great show. Some of the music they could produce was excellent, even utilising utensils such as a tea pot and mug as percussion instruments. Not exactly whipping the crowd into a frenzy but warming them up nonetheless, Clock Opera looked happy with their performance and the reception they received from the Leeds music community.

When the time rolled around for Everything Everything though, the atmosphere kicked up a notch. An almighty ovation for the men who started three years ago and now are touring the UK on the back of a top 20 album. Opening on ‘QWERTY Finger’ the band were fuelled with such energy that you could almost see the adrenaline flowing around their bodies. Lead vocalist and front man Jonathan Higgs’ vocal performance was nothing short of mesmerising. In a very Thom Yorke-esque fashion, Higgs’ voice soared across the venue and gave a new level to the music – so much more intense than the album.

Throwing themselves into a great set featuring the majestic ‘Leave The Engine Room and ‘Tin (The Manhole)’ as well as the poppier numbers. ‘Schoolin” and ‘MY KZ UR BF’ (video below, in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it yet) were greeted by a cheer and dancing from the crowd. Not too much movement tonight though, instead the audience simply appreciated and respected the band for their music. Ending the set on upcoming single ‘Photoshop Handsome’ the room was full of life and smiles – both on stage and off. The whole band were having a great time, albeit slightly tired. The passion from Everything Everything was plenty and they didn’t let up for a second throughout the show, despite obviously feeling the effects of the tour.

After the gig though no-one was without a smile or something positive to say. The Manchester boys had come to Leeds with the intent of impressing the masses and it definitely worked. Everyone’s favourite hit from their album was performed with precision and perfection, how could you possibly want more?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di2U1UZ9J0I[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Delphic at DC9, Washington DC – 8th October 2010

 
By on Monday, 11th October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Washington is not New York City or Los Angeles, so you will often find me whinging when a favourite band of mine decides to completely skip over my city for those other two. However, I was not complaining on Friday night when Delphic made a stopover here to play their only headlining gig during their entire time on our side of the pond this autumn. Much credit and gratitude must be given to DC9’s Bill Spieler, who has in the past managed to book the Phenomenal Handclap Band and VV Brown when they were pretty much underground in America.

The three previous times I’d seen Delphic were on much larger stages – Pavilion at Roskilde, the Philly Trocadero and the Boston House of Blues – so I wondered how this was going to work on such a tiny little stage like DC9’s. The set up ended up not being as cramped as I expected, but the band have a lot of gear – plenty of electronics plus guitars and drums. Another big difference was that I’d told every single person in town I knew to come to this show to witness something amazing. I tried to impress on them that Delphic easily sells out much larger venues in Britain and in terms of intimacy, this show was going to be pretty special.

I remembered what a girl in Philadelphia said about ‘Clarion Call’ being too slow; to be honest, it’s the only time during a Delphic set you’re going to get a breath. The rest of the time your heartbeat is racing like it’s running the marathon, fueled by the mad beats. This band is so good at writing fun choruses, and ‘Doubt’ (with Rick Boardman’s vowels being thrown around the song via electronic drum pad) and ‘Halcyon’ in particular are so much to sing along to while you’re dancing.

Continue reading Live Review: Delphic at DC9, Washington DC – 8th October 2010

 

Live Review: Teenage Fanclub and the Vaselines with the Radar Brothers at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 2nd October 2010

 
By on Thursday, 7th October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

I don’t know too much about Scottish popular music. The only Scottish band’s album I have knowingly purchased was Camera Obscura’s ‘My Maudlin Career’ last year. When Teenage Fanclub announced a tour of North America was starting in Washington, I decided it was in my best interest to see these elder statesmen of guitar-driven twee pop. (Also on my mind was the reverence for Teenage Fanclub that Brighton’s Brakes related to me when I met them last autumn.) Co-headlining with the Club were the Vaselines (pictured above), who I knew nothing about, save their recent single ‘Sex with an X’ (also the title of their latest album) that Lammo enjoys playing on his 6music programme. Surely one good pop song means they can write others, yes?

A mate described opening band the Radar Brothers as ‘Americana’. To be honest, I have no idea what that label means, except that maybe it indicates low-key, slightly country rock. It’s not my thing. But it’s mellow, enjoyable and wearing plaid, not super exciting. Lead singer / guitarist Jim Putnam tried to be funny, telling everyone, “we have some stuff on sale over there,” pointing to the merch table. “Lots of black market stuff!” Laughter. I was a little confused at one point in their set when womens’ voices seem to come out of nowhere (well, I know they were coming out of the speakers, but I didn’t see any synths onstage, so I’m not sure how they cued the backing tracks up), and this addition seemed out of place to me.

I expected the Vaselines to proffer plenty of great pop tunes and they certainly delivered. It’s hard to write a good, punchy, short pop song, and the Vaselines are very good at this. Never wearing out their welcome with effective guitar driven melodies and the gorgeous duetting of Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly, they sounded and looked great. Forget that they started the band in 1986. They’re just as valid as any other band out there today trying to make pop music.

Songs like ‘Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam’ showcased their somewhat softer side, while ‘No Hope’ and ‘Ruined’ highlighted the fact that this is a guitar band capable of being a great guitar band. Don’t discount the Vaselines, they know how to rock. They also know how to tell dirty jokes(there was a continuing joke about wanking throughout the entire set) and poke fun at each other. A punter asked McKee what kind of guitar she played, and she replied, “Hagstrom”. Kelly quipped, “because it’s a hag that strums a guitar”. Ooh, snap!

Teenage Fanclub was really the reason I made the trip to the 9:30 Saturday night. (It was my fifth gig in a week after returning from my Philly/Boston trip, so I was running on empty pretty much by this time.) I hate to say it but after the Vaselines, there was really no way they could compete. It’s funny to me that Wikipedia lists Teenage Fanclub as ‘a Scottish alternative rock band’ and the Vaselines as “a Scottish pop band’ when the Vaselines definitely showed a rockier, harder edge than Teenage Fanclub did.

To be honest, I was getting bored with the extended outros that reminds you of the Grateful Dead. After people ‘lit up’ for the Temper Trap in Philadelphia the previous Sunday, I’m really surprised no one lit a spliff for this show. They do have some gorgeous numbers – ‘When I Still Have Thee’ off their current album, ‘Shadows’, for one is amazing – and their musicianship is great, so it was a good but not extraordinary performance.

More photos and set lists after the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: Teenage Fanclub and the Vaselines with the Radar Brothers at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 2nd October 2010

 

Live Review: Casiokids at DC9, Washington DC – 1st October 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 5th October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

As I was saying to a Mancunian guitarist last week, music is such a wonderful thing. It means different things to different people, and that’s perfectly okay. Same goes for music in a language that might not be your own: you might not understand the lyrics but if you can understand the sentiment and the music moves you and you enjoy it, who cares?

This seems to be the rallying cry of Norway’s Casiokids, who like Icelandic band Sigur Ros have turned their noses to the primarily English-speaking popular music market by singing in their native tongue. I forget now which publication it was (I was going to say Pitchfork but I’m really not sure) but some online publication claimed that Casiokids would never make it internationally because they sang in Norwegian. A sold-out DC9 on Friday night tells a different story. If you recall, this is the same 200-capacity club Biffy Clyro couldn’t even sell out 2 weeks ago. My argument is that DC likes to dance, and Casiokids are just the right kind of band to deliver a fun set to kick off the weekend.

I saw the band’s tiny figures far, far away on the Odeon stage on the second day of Roskilde, but I could feel the energy these Scandinavian dance mavens were giving off and everyone there was just having acres of fun. So imagine my excitement that they were going to play tiny little DC9. As can be expected from their name, their stage was filled with Casio keyboards showing varying degrees of wear but when played they were perfect. One of the main keyboard players, Ketil Kinden Endresen, had a cute little pineapple maraca. I so want one like that! Seeing it on stage even before they started, I had a feeling that this set was going to be tropical and dancey, and I was right.

It was really cute how sometimes lead singer Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg was dedicating different songs to different groups of people. ‘Verdens største land’ (‘World’s Biggest Country’) was dedicated to the locals after he innocently and humourously asked, “is there anyone here from Washington? Yeah?” ‘Finn bikkjen!’ was so much fun – I remember hearing this at Roskilde, the crowd going absolutely mental and riding the wave of euphoria that Casiokids creates onstage. At one point they gave one girl the pineapple maraca and another was invited onstage to bang on the cowbell. Who does that? What fun.The closer, ‘Fot i hose’, is probably one you have heard if you are a sport gamer, as it was used on a FIFA video game. Just so groovy.

The only disappointment? No one showed up in bear or monkey costumes on stage, something that’s pretty much assured at Casiokids gigs. I imagine they are eager to come back here after such an amazing reception and I hope they bring their furry friends with them next time.

More photos after the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: Casiokids at DC9, Washington DC – 1st October 2010

 

Live Review: The Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands at the House of Blues, Boston – 29th September 2010

 
By on Monday, 4th October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

You’re probably wondering why I’d bother writing a gig review for the second night on a month-long tour featuring the Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands as support when I’ve already written up the first night, as the experience at each American venue on this tour is pretty much the same, right? Wrong. I was once asked by a London friend if there was really a difference in accents and personalities in people from Boston compared to those from New York or those from Washington. Without a doubt.

Similarly, you’re going to get a different gig experience depending where you see a band. And venues themselves are different by nature of different clientele, different layouts, different lighting and even different beverage options (though I do not detail the last item on that list in this review, because I was too busy covering the show to drink).

So in this review, I’m going to compare and contrast Sunday’s show in physical and gig attributes at Philadelphia Trocadero with the Wednesday night one in at Boston’s House of Blues.

Physical attributes
1. Size – Trocadero: 1200. House of Blues: 2400. Winner: Trocadero. Definitely the more intimate experience. Would have been better if the stage wasn’t that high though.

2. Layout – Trocadero: floor plus one shallow balcony, bar is upstairs way in the back. House of Blues: floor plus 2 expansive balconies, bars on both sides of the floor. Winner: House of Blues. I don’t want to have to leave my good spot at the front to go on a completely different floor to get my alcohol and stay there, because who knows if I’ll ever be able to get back to my spot. However, if it were my favourite band, I’d just forgo alcohol to stake my spot in the front.

3. History – Trocadero: historic building, used to be a famous burlesque theatre. House of Blues: was built on the smoldering razed remains of two smaller clubs. Winner: Trocadero. Because people’s favourite small venues weren’t destroyed to build it.

4. Sound – Trocadero: muddled in places, which caused problems for the Hundred in the Hands and Delphic, not as noticeable with the Temper Trap. House of Blues: bigger speakers, so overall sound was louder and booming. Winner: House of Blues. You can’t compare a world-class venue with a tiny theatre, except for intimacy.

5. Beauty / ambience – Trocadero: pretty bare bones with some nice old-fashioned moulding. Hot as hell. House of Blues: neon lights and well-lit bars. Nicely air-conditioned. Winner: House of Blues. I could breathe and enjoy a beautiful venue.

Gig attributes
6. Audience – Trocadero: front row standing was stock still for the entire show, disappointing. Second row and beyond behind them, absolutely amazing energy, even for the two opening acts they’d never heard of. House of Blues: a little stiff until close to the end with the Temper Trap. Maybe they were just being respectful and acting like normal Bostonians at a HOB show? Dunno. I heard the previous night with Jason Derulo was mental though. Winner: Trocadero. Mostly for the people who really gave the Hundred in the Hands and Delphic a chance and found out they were great!

7. Sets – Trocadero: a little birdy told me the opening acts did not soundcheck here, so with that information, the Temper Trap deserve a handicap. House of Blues: sets were identical except that Delphic added my favourite song, ‘Submission’, to the mix. Chalk up rustiness from not playing it since Bestival a couple weeks prior but the vocal key for the song seemed off and overall it seemed a wee tentative. But all three bands were definitely more confident in Boston compared to Philadelphia. Winner: House of Blues, by a hair. Because I think the bands had more energy here.

Overall band winner
I have to give it up to the Temper Trap. They look the part and sound great. I talked to guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto after the show and told him I thought they really should be playing arenas with their amazing show and he said that the trick was for them to write and record their second album and use that to tour the arenas. All I can say is, we will be waiting. Impatiently!

Set lists and additional photos are under the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: The Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands at the House of Blues, Boston – 29th September 2010

 
 
 

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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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