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Live Review: Dutch Uncles with Fiction at Manchester Deaf Institute – 2nd December 2011

 
By on Friday, 16th December 2011 at 5:35 pm
 

I am a big believer in fate. If things are supposed to happen, the universe makes it so. This is also true of discovering new bands; some of my best band tips have come from friends who are as into music as I am, and I have often been grateful for the heads-up on emerging bands that I might not otherwise have given the time of day. I’m really glad this person turned me on to Dutch Uncles; otherwise, I might have gone on my merry way and never have heard of them at all. (Not like there is a ready audience for them in America. Yet.) Going back to the thinking behind fate, I planned out my trip to England quite a while before Now Wave announced this homecoming show of Dutch Uncles, so I was pleased I would be in Manchester when it took place. And as it turns out, this show at the Deaf Institute was one of the gig highlights of my year.

Fiction was the night’s support act. The London band known for their Ford car advert / radio hit single ‘Big Things’ (video below). This is interesting in itself because based on that song that also appeared on Kitsune Maison’s ’11: The Indie-Dance Issue’ issued this past spring (review here), you might think the band’s genre is vaguely tropical dance, as I had lumped them (admittedly incorrectly) with Friendly Fires. This is where you would be dead wrong, and you’d only realise you were wrong if you saw them live.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxsbxxRdpW4[/youtube]

They are actually less stereotypical dance and more indie/alternative: the bouncy lightness is evident in another one of their singles ‘Parakeets’, and I’m really digging their utilisation of electronic drum pads and drums, both played in a standing position for maximum poundage. Instead of tropical dance, maybe they should be classed more as world music? It’s more Peter Gabriel / Talking Heads / free spirit than let’s get down and dirty on the dancefloor than I expected, and to be fair, this guise makes it all the more clearer why Now Wave booked them as Duncles’ opener. Further, Fiction’s falsettos reminded me of Wild Beasts, who Dutch Uncles had been touring with in the weeks earlier.

Now, to the main event: Dutch Uncles. I’ve read plenty of gig and festival reviews of them (including Coco’s at Underage and Martin’s at Constellations) and I was getting ready to be wowed. The sound system at Deaf was amazing but I’m owing this entirely to the band’s doing. Dutch Uncles’ album out on Memphis Industries this year, ‘Cadenza’ (review here), was chockfull of intricate melodies (review here) so I was expecting a tour de force. I most definitely got it.

As a bass player, I decided then and there I wanted to be Robin Richards when I grow up: most people that play bass stand pretty still when they’re onstage but he was in tune to the beat and was obviously having a great time. Drummer Andy Proudfoot was giving it his all, becoming quickly drenched in sweat after a few songs. Guitarists Pete Broadhead (who also doubled as a drum pad percussionist) and Sped rocked out hard as well, reminding of me of what Cheryl once said to me about the difficulty of photographing Guy Garvey (“he’s a rocker” [as in his sways his body back and forth on his heels]), except they were totally in the moment, banging on their guitars as if their lives depended on it. And what I can say about frontman Duncan Wallis except WOW. When he wasn’t playing the piano, he was going all out in spastic, crazy dance moves as he let his body succumb to the music. They played some new songs including ‘Dusty’ (video below), but for me, ‘Face in’ (reminding me of my writing on the single previously ) and ‘The Ink’ were my favourites of the gig. (I’ve got more videos on my YouTube channel if you’re interested.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzGtb58Z_D0[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuTsF58CO0o[/youtube]

It was a night of sensory overload, of coloured lights and the feeling deep in my heart that I was witnessing something very special. The show was sold out and people who came in later said there were people queueing outside in the hopes of getting in. I spoke with several folks after the show – some famous, some not – and the consensus was that this was the best Dutch Uncles had ever been live. So I feel pretty honoured to have been present at this gig. Onward and upwards, Duncles!

After the cut: more photos and set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Dutch Uncles with Fiction at Manchester Deaf Institute – 2nd December 2011

 

Live Review: M83 with Man Without Country at London Heaven – 1st December 2011

 
By on Thursday, 8th December 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ has been out for a while now (read my review here). It’s a magical journey through time and space, almost, and now Anthony Gonzalez is on tour with it and tonight M83 land in London.

Before the dream-drenched sounds of M83 though come Man Without Country, another Mute signing. A constantly evolving and intense live act, today they bring their mix of dub influences and soaring synths with huge amounts of energy to Heaven. You can almost hear the influence of M83 on tonight’s support and the duo on stage really revel in the opportunity to be in front of such a big crowd. They’re given a warm send off and it’s likely that many will go home and listen to them some more. A definite band to watch in 2012.

Half an hour later and the party atmosphere’s starting to wear thin. The show’s running later than advertised and the drinks are expensive. You have to question how many you’ve had though when a fictional character appears on stage. Wookie meets gremlin as the creature slumps onto the stage and slowly beckons us into the world of M83. Opening aptly with ‘Intro’, you can tell that the fremch dream-poppers have put effort into making themselves sound as tight as possible live. They keep to record and add even more as nearly 2000 heads and knees bob in time to the wall of sound created.

Playing exclusively from their latest and most recognisable three records, Gonzalez and co. tear through a host of tracks, confident enough in their music to put huge tracks from ‘Saturdays=Youth’, ‘Kim&Jessie ‘and’ We Own the Sky ‘in the middle of the set, as well as the hugely bold ‘Steve McQueen’ which, like a few others tonight, has been given live gleam. At times, you wonder if you’ve stepped into one of Heaven’s famous club nights as the dance vibe to Claudia Lewis extends over 7 minutes of pure dance. It’s the same kind of party that Friendly Fires bring, but with less Caribbean and more Paris.

‘Midnight City’ is undoubtedly the highlight of the night though. Undoubtedly the alternative anthem of the year, everyone present, including the band have smiles on their faces as it kicks in and following it with ‘A Guitar and a Heart’, the main set closes with an extended party. Of course there’s an encore and that just brings a euphoria of reserved dance. That’s the only issue tonight, everyone’s too polite. There’s not as much dancing as you might expect, especially as the vibe is so loose and happy.  Regardless, everyone’s in they’re in their own little world as the atmosphere M83 create is enough to put everyone on a high for the rest of the week. Gig of the week? Maybe of the year.

 

Justice Tonight Charity Shows In Aid of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign / December 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 11th November 2011 at 3:00 pm
 

Following on from a previous very special one-off show at Liverpool Olympia in aid of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign earlier this year, the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough football disaster, the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite’s Mick Jones, Pete Wylie, the Farm and special guests have announced a tour called Justice Tonight that will be gigging around the UK in December to raise awareness of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

If you’re not a footy fan, it’s quite possible you don’t know the details behind the Hillsborough disaster, where 96 people, all Liverpool football club supporters, lost their lives at what should have been a fun day out watching a sporting match. You can read more about it on the Hillsborough Justice Web site. You might think that this is a strange subject for a music blog. It really isn’t, if you stop to consider how many concerts these days take place at stadiums and arenas, full of excited fans. You may not have noticed it but since this disaster and the deaths of 9 people at Roskilde in 2000, increased safety measures, security and police presence have stepped up across the world in response to the senseless deaths of our fellow man in these recent tragedies.

Even if you’re not a Liverpool fan, you can’t argue that this is an amazing bill and will be a brilliant night of music. Ticket are £17.50 each and are on sale now; you can buy them from Gigs and Tours here.

Thursday 1st December 2012 – Cardiff Uni Solus
Friday 2nd December 2012 – Manchester HMV Ritz
Saturday 3rd December 2012 – Sheffield Leadmill
Thursday 8th December 2012 – London Scala
Friday 9th December 2012 – Liverpool University
Saturday 10th December 2012 – Glasgow O2 ABC

 

WIN / Tickets to see the Saw Doctors in London or Manchester in December

 
By on Friday, 11th November 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Legendary Irish rockers the Saw Doctors are playing in various venues across England from the end of November into the middle of December, and we’ve blagged a pair each to two of their Saturday night shows to give away to two lucky TGTF readers. Does a night out gigging on us sound good to you? Then you’ll want to enter our contest below.

To be in the running for the tickets, fill out the form that follows with the following information: your name, your email address (to contact you if you’ve won), which show you want to win tickets for (London the 3rd of December or Manchester the 17th of December). Then answer correctly this question: What was the Saw Doctors’ first #1 hit in Ireland? (Hint: it is also in the history books at Ireland’s top-selling single ever.) We will choose two winners from all the correct entries received by Tuesday the 15th of November at noon British time. Good luck!

This contest is now closed, and the two winners will be contacted by email shortly.

 

MP3 of the Day (and more!) #438: Amplifier

 
By on Friday, 11th November 2011 at 10:00 am
 

From the word ‘prog’ some people tend to scatter. I should know; I am one of them. Usually. This band, however, may change your mind about prog. They’re called Amplifier and I have been advised by TGTF writer John that they will be huge. The band released a double CD called ‘The Octopus’ that has garnered rave reviews in the media. The Times have said about the band “There is something heroic about Amplifier’s embrace”; is there? First, you can listen to and download their track ‘Planet of Insects’ below. Second, you can be visually wowed by the video they made for the song. Third, you can catch the band on tour in the UK next month: all the details are at the end of this post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsJ_lzhiHb0[/youtube]

Sunday 4th December 2011 – Nottingham Rock City
Monday 5th December 2011 – Glasgow Cathouse
Tuesday 6th December 2011 – York Duchess
Wednesday 7th December 2011 – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Thursday 8th December 2011 – Colchester Arts Centre
Friday 9th December 2011 – London Islington Academy
Sunday 11th December 2011 – Manchester Academy 3
Monday 12th December 2011 – Bristol Fleece

 

The Saw Doctors / November and December 2011 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 10th November 2011 at 6:30 pm
 

Seminal Irish band the Saw Doctors will be gigging across England from late November through to the middle of December on their 20th anniversary tour. Tickets are £21.50 (£22.50 for the London date) and are available now.

Friday 25th November 2011 – Leeds O2 Academy
Tuesday 29th November 2011 – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Friday 2nd December 2011 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Saturday 3rd December 2011 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Monday 5th December 2011 – Bristol Colston Hall
Friday 9th December 2011 – Oxford O2 Academy
Wednesday 11th December 2011 – Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Tuesday 13th December 2011 – Leicester O2 Academy
Saturday 17th December 2011 – Manchester O2 Apollo

 
 
 

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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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