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Live Gig Video: Wild Beasts perform ‘Wanderlust’ on a massive pipe organ at London Royal Festival Hall

 
By on Monday, 22nd December 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Wild Beasts are a band who continually push the boat out when it comes to their music. So it’s not such a surprise that their latest live video was done with an instrument of epic proportions: the venerated organ at London Royal Festival Hall comprising a whopping 7,866 pipes. The organ hasn’t seen any live action since 2005, so welcome its return to active duty with this performance of single ‘Wanderlust’ with Hayden Thorpe on the (organ) controls below. The single appears on the band’s fourth album ‘Present Tense’, released in February 2014.

Tom Fleming of the band recently lent his vocal talents to Emmy the Great’s ‘Swimming Pool’, whose promo we featured in November in this previous Video of the Moment post. Coverage on Wild Beasts on TGTF is here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUwVD6nQ6pM[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Marina and the Diamonds perform new song ‘Happy’ from upcoming LP ‘FROOT’

 
By on Friday, 19th December 2014 at 4:15 pm
 

The next Marina and the Diamonds album ‘FROOT’ will be released on the 6th of April 2015, and ahead of that, she’s already released two songs from it. The first was the title track, whose promo video was revealed in November (see our previous Video of the Moment for it). Now second track ‘Happy’ has been unveiled, coming to us in acoustic form. Watch it below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6AHxF0s764[/youtube]

 

Hozier / May and June 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 9th December 2014 at 8:00 am
 

Irish blues rock phenomenon Hozier has announced five new live dates for next spring, following on his already sold out winter tour of the UK. The sold out shows include rescheduled dates for Oxford and Birmingham as well as two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. The newly-announced spring tour will begin in Newcastle on the 22nd of May and finish with Hozier’s biggest live show to date at the London Roundhouse on the 1st of June.

Tickets for the May and June shows will be available starting Friday the 12th of December at 9 AM. A full listing of Hozier‘s upcoming UK tour dates can be found below.

Sunday 21st December 2014 – Belfast Ulster Hall (sold out)
Wednesday 21st January 2015 – Oxford Academy (rescheduled date, sold out)
Friday 23rd January 2015 – Birmingham Institute (rescheduled date, sold out)
Saturday 31st January 2015 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (sold out)
Sunday 1st February 2015 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (sold out)
Friday 22nd May 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Monday 25th May 2015 – Manchester Albert Hall
Wednesday 27th May 2015 – Glasgow Barrowland
Thursday 28th May 2015 – Leeds Academy
Monday 1st June 2015 – London Roundhouse

 

Live Review: The Dig with The Sea Life and Pree at Black Cat Backstage, Washington DC – 4th December 2014

 
By on Monday, 8th December 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

I was thinking to myself the other day that it’d been a long time since I saw a show at Black Cat Backstage and when I looked it up, I was right. The last time I had passed through Backstage’s door, it was just prior to SXSW 2014, to see Public Service Broadcasting on a chilly winter night. I’d no way of knowing it at the time of course, but in 2 weeks’ time, I would become a different person. This past Thursday evening, it was another cold winter night, but I’d be seeing three American bands, including one I’ve had the great pleasure of see evolving over the last couple of years, and playing a packed room too that could not have made me happier for them.

The first of the two local openers for the night was Pree. If you’re wondering where their unusual name is from, singer/guitarist/keyboardist May Tabol took inspiration from the Neutral Milk Hotel song ‘A Baby for Pree’. You can’t draw any obvious comparisons to Jeff Mangum’s band to this one though. The band stars Tabol, guitar Michael Zepeda, bassist Ben Schurr and drummer Ben Usie. They’ve definitely got a unique, at times whimsical sound. It’s like a space-rock filter has been placed on top of a Little Comets‘ sonic landscape (check out the wonky main melody and those guitars on latest single ‘Two Feet Shy’ that sound like Mickey Coles is playing them). But they’ve got some cutesy, twee vocal lines too. They’ve got a new album, ‘Rima’, scheduled to be out in February 2015 on Paper Garden Records, so stay tuned for that.

The second opener was another local group, the inexplicably named The Sea Life. I say inexplicably, because at least two of their members are from the suburb I was raised in, so I know they were miles and miles away from any sort of seaside. Frontman Jon Weiss not only has an epic hipster beard, but he’s also quite funny, making jokes throughout their whole set with their drummer and clearly a close friend Ryan Witt, who I understand is their newest member after their original sticksman departed in 2013.

It’s been bothering me that one of their songs sounds just like something I used to hear a lot on 6music but I can’t put my finger on it. So I’m just going to have to compare them to the burgeoning (and popular) slacker rock scene we’re experiencing right now, which leads to the assumption they’d be a hit in the UK. There is a melody to their songs but with his voice, Weiss takes poetic license to let the vocal not follow any set line. The guitar effects used can run to the psychedelic, but the impression I get is they want to leave a dreamy feeling on their audience. Judging from the squeals and shouts of excitement from punters, they’ve already got a loyal DC following.

So, now to the headliner, The Dig. I first saw the Brooklyn-based band open for Editors in February 2010 during my second year of being a music journalist, and we’ve been friends since. Their latest release, the 2013 ‘You & I’ EP, sees the band taking a more dreamy approach, as evidenced by the echoey guitars dreamier vocal stylings, including bassist Emile Mosseri employing a falsetto more frequently. Despite the name that seems to suggest a theme of togetherness, it’s really a six-track tour de force of loneliness. EP standout ‘Tired Hearts’, with Mark Demiglio’s understated drumming and an emotional guitar line, was a clear standout of the night; despite the modesty of the track on record, you could feel the electricity of it live. The relative darkness of their set – they turned out all the lights in a room except for a few they themselves had brought and set up on stage – seemed to be sympathetic to the vibes of the EP, but it made for impossible photo shooting conditions, so apologies, I don’t have any good photos of them from the night.

2012 album ‘Midnight Flowers’ is a much more raucous affair and includes hard-rocking gems. ‘Black Water’ is one of these, and having not seem the Dig since August 2013 (then opening for Little Comets at the Hamilton), I was surprised to see some of their underage fans grinding along to it (err, okay…) The bass thudder that is ‘I Already Forgot Everything You Said’ was another clear fan favourite of the night, with the girl in front of me squealing to her best friend that this was her favourite song by them. Yes. Squealing. And screaming. With fans like these, I just don’t understand why the Dig aren’t more popular. ::tap tap:: Hey, BBC! Are you listening? These guys are ready for their shot at the big time.

After emphatic yelling for “one more song!” from the audience, the band returned for an encore. I’m usually not a big fan of covers, but the Dig outdid themselves with a brilliant version of The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’. They followed that up with the frenetically driving ‘Hole in My Heart’. It may have the emotion-tugging chorus “there’s a hole in my heart, she says it’s a friend / but I know in my heart she’s gonna do it again”, yet the tune is just so fun, you can’t help but shake a tail feather, it’s that catchy. And it marked the perfect end to a first-class live show. Excellent work, guys. If you happen to live in the New York City area, you have a chance to see the band one last time in 2014, playing the Pancakes and Whiskey holiday party on the 19th of December at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade shop.

 

(Charity / Holiday!) Live Gig Video: Irish artists record ‘Christmas is in Your Heart’ single to benefit Peter McVerry Trust Dublin homelessness charity

 
By on Friday, 5th December 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Niall Jackson, guitarist and vocalist with Irish bands Bouts and Swimmers, is the mastermind behind the charity single project Christmas Hearts. It was inspired by his and two fellow Dublin City University students’ project What is Home, which brings attention to the plight of the homeless and raises money for the Peter McVerry Trust, “established in 1983 by Father Peter McVerry to tackle homelessness, drug misuse and social disadvantage. Since then it has supported thousands of young people on the margins of Irish society.”

To benefit the trust this holiday season, Jackson and mates including Conor J. O’Brien of Villagers (pictured at top performing in DC last year), MayKay of Fight Like Apes, Jim McNulty of Spring Break, Shane Murphy of Land Lovers, Enda Canavan of Paddy Hanna and Brian Kelly from So Cow recorded a new single, ‘Christmas is in Your Heart’.

The song is out on iTunes, Rdio, CD and Bandcamp today, so if you like what you hear in the live video below, please buy it to support this charity. There will be an official launch party for the single at Dublin Whelan’s on the 11th of December. Tickets are just €10 and all proceeds go to Peter McVerry too. Either way you want to spend your money, dig deep for this very worthy charity!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPNgh1Qsg1c[/youtube]

 

WIN / Tix to Original Penguin Plugged In session December 2014 in London starring Wild Smiles and Citizens

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 11:00 am
 

Ah yes, it is really December. But before your heart gets too cold, those hip folks over at fashion house Original Penguin are putting on another one of their amazing Plugged In sessions at the famed London venue the Hospital Club on the 10th of this month. As we did for the show in June starring Nick Mulvey and THUMPERS, July’s with Twin Atlantic and We Are Scientists and the one in October featuring Peace and Tigercub, we’re very happy to have a pair of tickets to give away to this month’s event.

The December Original Penguin show will star Southampton’s Wild Smiles and London band Citizens. Whether you’re just up for a gig or planning on gifting these to your beloved as an early Christmas present (and you can never be too early, am I right?), you can enter our lucky draw below. Normally the only way into these special Original Penguin shows is if you sign up here on their Web site to put your name in for the company’s lucky draw. But as I mentioned before, we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away and we want to give them to a deserving TGTF reader.

In the form below, please fill out your full name and your email address. Then to make sure you really want to see this show (and also to confirm you’re not a robot!), you’ll need to correctly answer this question: What’s the name of Wild Smiles’ debut album released this year? Get your entries in by noon British time on this Friday, the 5th of December. We’ll choose a winner from all the correct entries received and contact him/her by email. Good luck! Please note: this contest is open to UK residents only who can get themselves to London for the show, and the winner and guest must be 18+ or you will be turned away at the door (and we wouldn’t want anyone to be disappointed). All duplicate entries will be discarded.

This contest is now closed. The winner will be contacted by email.

 
 
 

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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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