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Video of the Moment #949: deadmau5 and Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance)

 
By on Saturday, 1st September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

deadmau5 and My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way join forces in a spoof of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) tv show in this promo video for ‘Professional Griefers’. This would make far better television than what all those UFC, WWE, etc. shows. Watch it all unfold below. (I’m suspicious that the mischievous robot cat is an electronic rendering of none other than Joel Zimmerman’s own cat Professor Meowingtons.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr2Bc5qMhE4[/youtube]

 

Evolution Weekender 2012: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 18th June 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Even before reaching the site, day two of Evolution feels like a more relaxed, comfortable affair. The crowds of youngsters hanging around the Sage, pre-loading on Frosty Jack before they enter the main arena where alcohol is unavailable to them on age grounds, seem pretty chilled-out. Casually ambling past the caravan that supplies comfortable seats and buckets for 14-year-olds to vomit into, the sun is sparkling off the waters of the Tyne, and one can forgive the odd pre-majority punter being escorted from the premises flanked by two burly men, being unable to walk themselves.

So – to the music. Delayed by bank holiday public transport, your correspondent is late for Spector, who are sorely missed. Nevertheless, a chance presents itself to catch up with the UMT stage: Newcastle music development service Generator’s Urban Music Training department get their own stage at Evo, and who should be up next but the winsome Amy Holford, who TGTF spoke to at Evo Emerging just a few nights before. What an excellent opportunity to work out whether she should be upgraded from a “maybe” to a “HIT!” The answer is… not yet. She is in possession of a stunningly powerful soul voice, burnished and brassy, but sadly accompanied by a somewhat less impressive clangy acoustic guitar, and material which undoubtedly means a great deal to her personally, but is unlikely to really light the blue touchpaper when it comes to making the step to a higher division, comprising as it does moans about inadequate ex-boyfriends. Given some decent backing and material, Amy will be a winner, no doubt about it.

Jessie Ware is up next on the main stage. I hope Amy saw her performance, as it proves how a decent, yet still minimalist band can showcase a lovely soulful vocal so much more effectively than a naked acoustic guitar. Ware’s electronic-urban-with-touches-of-dubstep material, such as the sumptuous ‘Running’, does suffer from unfamiliarity, but she is an endearing stage presence, and finishing off with recent single ‘110%’ is a wise if inevitable move. With impeccable credentials (collaborating with SBTRKT is never going to hurt anyone’s career), Ware is going to keep punting for the big time.

Oh, Band Of Skulls, thou heavy saviour of the day. Instead of a fanfare to announce the Queen’s longevity, BoS have brought a brace of beautiful Gretches, both of which are put to powerful use during the set of the weekend for this correspondent; ‘Sweet Sour’ catches the mood of the newly-revealed June sun, glinting off guitar hardware and polishing the dirty harmonies and unashamedly gritty riffs. Their talent is to take just the right elements of contemporary rock – power trio, female bassist, no perms – and match it with decent – nay, pop – songwriting. There’s hints of Stones, Cream, Stripes… and they’re all the better for it. Having displayed an intriguingly contemporary career path – digital-only releases, greater success as TV and advert soundtracks than as a formal chart act – BoS deserve close attention.

From the sublime to the… well, Evolution’s lineup is nothing if not eclectic. Rizzle Kicks, an urban duo from Brighton, come across as a likeable, non-sweary Odd Future, but with only two MCs. Or maybe that’s just because of the shorts. With song titles like ‘Mama Do The Hump’ they’re never going to be taken seriously, but it’s good, juvenile fun.

Onto the serious business – Noah and the Whale’s records seem to mature like fine wines with age. Tiny subtleties in lyrical content and musical delivery appear like little jewels on close inspection, and to their credit a similar level of attention to detail is paid in tonight’s performance. Clearly a deeply professional band, they go through their very deliberate motions with utmost sincerity. And the material genuinely unites the disparate crowd – there are so many well-known NatW songs it would be churlish to list them here – but after such an awkward weekend, everyone can relax and join in the simple pleasure of spelling out three short words for chorus after chorus.

Some people bought tickets for the whole weekend just to see deadmau5. His techno-wizardry is a sight to behold, his monolithic transformation of the stage as otherworldly as the permanent mouse head he wears, intermittently lit up into a disturbing rictus grin; as if Mickey were lain on a morgue slab. It’s impossible to sum up the set in terms of songs; this is effectively a live club set, and the churning crowd love it. Thankfully, there is little point in crushing to the front of the stage – Mau5’s podium is so high that a deeper viewpoint gives a better view of both him and his light show. Powerful stuff, and everyone lets off whatever steam they have left, before staggering in the vain direction of the taxi queue.

And thus with a sparkling rodent’s siren call Evolution Festival 2012 draws to a close. It’s a difficult event to strongly recommend to anyone on its merits – if you’re young enough to want to go, you’re too young to properly enjoy the music, and if you want to see the music you’re too old to enjoy the festival. A challenging sell, then, but the concept of a decent annual music event on the banks of the Tyne is such a strong one that I get the feeling that it will be around for some time to come.

Grumpy postscript, for adults only: In all seriousness, the question is – do kids get up to this sort of thing (drinking heavily, staggering around, vomiting, crying, passing out) because they are at Evolution Festival, or would they be doing it anyway on a bank holiday weekend? I don’t care what anyone of the age of 18 or over does; it’s their choice, they’re old enough to suffer the consequences of their actions. But below that age, in theory parental consent is required for this sort of thing. Do parents know what their kids are getting up to? If not, this review should enlighten them. If they do, and consent anyway… I wouldn’t say we’re lost as a society as a consequence, but it’s a pretty worrying sign nonetheless. Personally, I love to drink beer in the pub of an evening with all and sundry, and if it happens as frequently as once a week then that’s just fine by me. But even with a drinking history as long as your arm, I wouldn’t for 1 minute consider downing spirits or chugging strong cider in great quantities at lunchtime as these youngsters seem determined to do. It’s not good for one’s health, and it’s certainly not good for enjoying a bit of music. And in the end, Evolution have to apply for a licence again next year, and a bit more consideration of that fact by their customers, and the parents of their customers, would go a long way to seeing Evolution 2013 being more than just a glint in a promoter’s imagination.

 

Preview: Evolution Festival 2012

 
By on Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 9:30 am
 

Evolution Festival, held between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, has, appropriately enough, evolved considerably since it was first held as a free, 1-day event in 2005. Now in its eighth year, the event boasts a 2-day, two-stage line-up, held in the stunning location of the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides. The event is no longer free, but at a mere £35 for the weekend, it represents fantastic, inflation-busting value. This year the event is held over the Sunday and Monday of the June Bank Holiday weekend 3-4 June: there surely can be no finer way to celebrate the 60th year of a monarch’s reign than going out and hearing some fantastic music with one’s fellow mankind. Here we break down the acts on the Spiller’s Wharf stage, just to prove what a delicious prospect awaits:

Sunday 3rd June
Kicking things off are the Lake Poets, the slightly confusingly-named solo project of Martin Longstaff of local favourites B>E>A>K. Amazing Radio favourites Theme Park offer intriguing ‘80s-style tunes with shades of Talking Heads. The local influence continues with Lulu James, a freshly-minted South Shields soul-step diva with huge potential; if her material stands the test she could go far. Melodic Nottingham indie five-piece Dog is Dead bring bits of summery Beach Boys vying with Arcade Fire-style bombast, which should go down well if the sun shines.

Next up are two chalk-and-cheese acts: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, limp-wristed posh-boy singer-songwriter who needs plenty of balls to win over the fickle Newcastle crowd, followed by Devlin – fresh from the streets of Dagenham, grime hits the big time with superstar MC Devlin and his hard-hitting flow. The real, undiluted deal. Good mate and collaborator with Alex Turner, Miles Kane brings his Mod-influenced solo material to Evolution. Take two measures Arctic Monkeys, add a twist of Paul Weller, and dilute to taste with the Coral. Can Kane carve a niche for himself at Evo?

Local lads and “very special guests” Maximo Park make their long-awaited comeback with new material and a new look. This set should give us a sneak preview of their new songs for 2012. And to wrap up the Sunday evening we have the one and only Dizzee Rascal: in between his own headline tour and masterminding the careers of several new urban artists via his own Dirtee Stank label, lovable urban pop scamp Dizzee is somehow finding the time to support the Red Hot Chili Peppers and play countless UK and international festivals this year, including several headline slots. This will be his third appearance at Evolution, making him the most popular act ever to grace the Evo stage. Let’s hope this festival holds as fond a place in his heart as it does for him, and that in return the audience are treated to new material from the forthcoming album on Island records. Given the Bank Holiday scheduling, chance of trance-pop anthem Holiday making an appearance? 97.6%.

Monday 4th June
Sore heads from the night before will be soothed by Mausi, Newcastle newcomers whose recent sunny single ‘Sol’ is brightening days across the land; and the Milk – party like it’s 1967 with their brand of big band soul and funk… Craig Charles, eat your heart out. Jessie Ware, urban vocalist and SBTRKT collaborator gets her own set; but with only two singles to her name, and SBTRKT with his own headline DJ set later on, what chance is there for him turning up to run some backing tracks for Ware?

In the middle of the undercard, we have widescreen synth-led bombast from hotly-tipped London quintet Spector; Luke Temple updates ’60s American pastoral psychedelia for the new millennium like a mini-Flaming Lips with Here We Go Magic, and Band Of Skulls bring some heft to a Bank Holiday Monday – sweat ‘n’ beer ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll trio BoS will leave no ears unbled. Fans of De La Soul, Arrested Development and Madness will love cheeky Brighton hip-pop chappies Rizzle Kicks… who bring us to Noah and the Whale. After an astonishingly successful 2011, NatW richly deserve to be the last band on at Evolution 2012. Their album ‘Last Night On Earth’ (#1 on editor Mary’s Top Albums of 2011) is chock full of classic songs, surely most of which will make an appearance here. Expect crowd singalongs and lighter-in-the-air moments galore.

As a finale, there’s nobody better than deadmau5 (pictured at top). His atmospheric, dubstep-influenced dance music and enormous mouse head will surely wrap up Evolution 2012 in fine style. I’m anticipating a wild light show, deep, deep bass, and a massive crowd, paying tribute to the fine music which has passed over the previous 2 days – by dancing like mad into the small hours.

Phew. Not only that, but a full, separate dedicated dance music stage with a strong drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep influence (notably DJ Fresh, Jack Beats, Shy Fx, Toddla T, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, SBTRKT), an as-yet-unreleased but undoubtedly superb Americana strand from local promoters Jumpin’ Hot Club, and not to mention the chance to see the big names of tomorrow at the Evolution Emerging shows on the preceding Friday. This is an event that any city would be proud to hold, and it stands as the jewel in the crown of the North East’s popular music diary. Get your ticket now (from the official Evolution Web site)!

 

deadmau5 / December 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 30th August 2010 at 3:15 pm
 

Canadian electronic DJ legend deadmau5 has announced his biggest tour of the UK to date for December. This is a big deal, as deadmau5 will be the first electronic artist ever to play at Earls Court. Also, the Glasgow Braehead Arena show on 17 December will be broadcast live on Radio1 as Annie Mac and Pete Tong co-host a backstage pre-show and will bring interviews with deadmau5, Magnetic Man and Calvin Harris. Read more info on the event on the Radio1 Web site here.

Tickets are £27.50 plus booking fee except for London (£30 plus booking fee). Tickets go on general sale this Friday (3 September) at 9 AM. Fans purchasing tickets before midnight the 16th of September will also receive a free download of the unreleased, exclusive track ‘A City in Florida’.

Wednesday 8th December 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy (with Kim Fai; 16+)
Thursday 9th December 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy (with Kim Fai; 18+)
Friday 10th December 2010 – Manchester Central (with Zane Lowe and
Magnetic Man; 16+)
Saturday 11th December 2010 – Coventry Ricoh Arena (with Zane Lowe and Magnetic Man; 16+; broadcast live on Radio1)
Friday 17th December 2010 – Glasgow Braehead Arena (with Zane Lowe,
Magnetic Man and special guest Calvin Harris [DJ set]; 18+)
Saturday 18th December 2010 – London Earls Court (with Zane Lowe and Magnetic Man; 16+)

 

Live Review: BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Swindon (Saturday)

 
By on Sunday, 10th May 2009 at 12:47 am
 

Florence and the Machine (Big Weekend side)Ahhh, Swindon. Home of XTC, the magic roundabout, and, errrr, Billie Piper. And now it can add a much more credible item to that list: the host of 2009’s Radio 1 Big Weekend. Playing host to the best of today’s music, I was fortunate enough to be invited down to check out the Saturday lineup.

After a 2 mile trek to the site, I launched straight in with a quick gander at Huw Stephens, playing a rather strong set on the Outdoor stage. Having heard Westwood from a few miles away, it was nice to hear Huw dishing out some quality tunes with a lack of sound effects and horns and stuff. A quick scoot over to the “In New Music We Trust” tent to catch the rather good King Blues, who were a bit crazy but full of energy. Read my review here. Another crazy but full of energy person was Florence and the Machine (right) who I caught last summer at Ben and Jerry’s Summer Sundae, and thought was rubbish, however she had improved vastly, belting out her stories with conviction and energy. Catch a review here.

As is usual with these Big Weekends, the DJs are expected to earn a large part of their salaries by putting themselves up on stage – Chris Moyles was the first to do this, doing a 15 minute song parodies set, featuring and amazing “My Lamb Bhuna” from Comedy Dave and JLS. Not amazing, but certainly better than the repeats of “Sex on Fire” and “Jump in the Pool” that seemed to echo around the site all day. I wasn’t around in the days of the Radio 1 Roadshows, but this comprehensive festival is far better than anything anyone could do on a beach or in a small city centre. A proper festival, it’s made all the more amazing when you consider the organising and planning that’s been put in – not one band (that I saw anyway) overran or went on stage late, everyone knew what they were doing, and frankly it was incredible that it was all so expertly organised.

I took a wander over the the INMWT stage to see what all the fuss was about for Deadmau5. Turns out, he’s really quite amazing. And his hat lights up, which is always a bonus. Got everyone dancing like nobody did till Basement Jaxx. Read a review here. However, after Deadmau5 was the one I really wanted to catch – Friendly Fires. You know my love for this trio, so my third time catching them needless to say was out of this world – Samba dancing, exotic dancing girls aaaaaand a steel band section. Wow. Read a review here.

Temper Trap (live Swindon Big Weekend)The Temper Trap (left) have been gaining a lot of press coverage lately, so I checked them out on the Introducing stage, who followed an acoustic set (well, two songs, hardly a set) from Flo and the Machine – a much more subdued set, but ace nonetheless. The Temper Trap however were far from subdued. Their tunes are really accessible, really radio-friendly, and above all really good. It’s hard not to see them getting more coverage later in the year when their album’s out. Read more here.

Taking a wander I ended up bumping into the lovely Stornoway (who Jess so expertly introduced the other day). Lovely band, lovely fellas, read the interview and live review here.

Feeling re-invigorated by some Pizza, time to catch the end of the Doves‘ (pictured top) set. “Caught by the River” and “There Goes The Fear” (after which this blog is named) showed that Jes Williams and co really did justify their high billing, sounding just as fresh as the day I first heard them. A quick dash to catch Stornoway close out the Introducing stage, and a dash back again to the INMWT tent to catch Basement Jaxx close things for me – new material, crazy stage show, louder than, well, anything that’s ever been in Swindon before. Lovely. Having caught Snow Patrol before at Tsunami Relief and Live8, I decided to call it a day.

Thanks to all at Radio 1 for making my day possible. After the jump there will be pictures, but for now, I’m going to sleep. ‘Night.

 

Live: Deadmau5 at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2009

 
By on Saturday, 9th May 2009 at 4:34 pm
 

After catching the start of Chris Moyles’ parodies set, (which was hilarious), went back to the INMWT tent to see what Deadmau5 was all about. I go in, he’s playing with Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger”, which I thought would be sacrilege – turns out, he’s amazing getting more people moving for who I thought was a pretty unknown sorta guy.

Mixing everything up, he goes off stage on a luminous green BMX bike, leaving me to wait for Friendly Fires – pondered catching Bombay Bicycle Club, but the idea of walking for 10 minutes and missing part of FF’s set wasn’t ideal…

You can catch a range of pictures and reviews over at BBC Radio 1’s rather good Big Weekend site. A few of my pictures after the jump.
Continue reading Live: Deadmau5 at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2009

 
 
 

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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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