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MP3(s) of the Day #614: D/R/U/G/S

 
By on Friday, 31st August 2012 at 10:00 am
 

My first encounter of live Callum Wright (aka D/R/U/G/S) was at the PRS Foundation brunch at this year’s SXSW. The Manchester producer is now offering up the opportunity for fans to grab a new EP, ‘Amphibian’, for free from the widget below, in exchange for your email address. We’ve embedded the opening track of the EP, ‘Hemisphere’, from the EP below for a quick taster. Enjoy.

Wright will be supporting fellow Manchester act Delphic on their comeback tour this autumn; all the details are here.

 

Delphic / October and November 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 15th August 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Manchester band Delphic will be premiering their new “acoustic guitar and rap” sound on a UK tour this autumn. Support on all dates will be Manchester producer Callum Wright, aka D/R/U/G/S.Tickets go on sale Friday 17 August 2012 at 9 AM.

Read Mary’s interview with James Cook and some thoughts on their new single ‘Good Life’ here.

Monday 22nd October 2012 – Glasgow Arches
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 – Newcastle Digital
Thursday 25th October 2012 – Norwich Arts Centre
Friday 26th October 2012 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Saturday 27th October 2012 – Manchester Gorilla (sold out as of 18/8/2012)
Monday 29th October 2012 – Sheffield Plug
Tuesday 30th October 2012 – Bristol Thekla
Wednesday 31st October 2012 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday 1st November 2012 – London Shoreditch Village Underground (sold out as of 18/8/2012)

 

SXSW 2012: Day 5 – Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012

 
By on Friday, 6th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

In an unusual bit of SXSW programming, Dutch Uncles was due to open the next British Music Embassy showcase at Latitude 30 after closing out the Northern Day showcase just 2 hours earlier. This evening showcase was being sponsored by UK Trade and Investment and was curated by Radio1 presenter Huw Stephens, who appeared playing some plinky plonky chords to introduce Dutch Uncles. Despite having just played 2 hours ago, the band were still in fine form, starting first with ‘X-O’ (see video below). Wallis quipped, “for the asbestos crowd, this is a toe-tapper” to preface ‘Orval’. Humour and a lot of energy wrapped around great songs? Just about perfect.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP03l2YAA6U[/youtube]

The next band was London’s Clock Opera. Before they performed, I couldn’t put my finger on what they sounded like. To be honest, I’d first heard of them through all the remixes they’ve done for other people (such as the Clock Opera remix of Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’). So this was the first time I’d really see them perform in their own right. Maximized beard owner and lead singer Guy Connelly – who I was introduced to later that evening over drinks and who I coincidentally discovered we’d eaten at the same restaurant, Roaring Fork, the night before – led his band through a set that included – very surprisingly – a moment where it looks liked they’d raided their mums’ kitchens and started banging on pots, pans and trays. Friends had told me they were similar to Friendly Fires, but even Friendly Fires can’t match the whimsy of this band from London. They were excellent.

I missed Django Django to get pizza and sweet tea iced lollies while visiting my new friends Fiction, people I’d not met before but I had seen perform in Manchester in December. They had discovered a shy Jimi Hendrix-themed busker playing in an alley. Bless. When we returned to Latitude 30, I was surprised to see D/R/U/G/S onstage; Maverick Sabre was unable to perform, I’m not sure what happened, but D/R/U/G/S stepped in to fill the gap. (Read my description of his PRS brunch performance here.)

Slow Club followed, with Rebecca Taylor wearing royal blue Sheffield kit and drawing the ire of the non-Sheffield fans in the house when she yelled, “Sheffield, whoooo!” Guessing that outburst might have worked better at Northern Day? I thought back to Valentine’s Day about a month before in DC, when I’d seen them live in Washington. She was poorly then; her voice now sounded better than ever, with the now rammed Latitude 30 buzzing, mostly filled with their fans.

I later spotted Django Django huddled around a table, for sure having celebratory drinks all around after their last performance at SXSW, the same kind of farewell drinks many of my bands friends, new and old, and I were having. “Hold on / to where you’re from / it’s where the heart goes / when you’re done” shouted Taylor in a bluesy and brassy voice for ‘Two Cousins’ to finish out their set. I could feel myself growing sadder by the moment. The longer the night wore on, the closer we were getting to the end of SXSW.

Though we stayed for part of Toddla T’s shuffling and snuffling through electronic genres, finally we all had to say our goodbyes and I wished some very good friends safe travels back across the pond. It might sound odd that as a UK blog editor I had embraced the music coming from Britain the most from all my time in Austin. I might be an American born and bred, but I have an English heart. As I look forward to May and to my return to England for the Great Escape (the Southern England answer to SXSW) and Liverpool Sound City (the Northern England answer to SXSW), I feel energised by all the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on this trip. And I truly believe, on the strengths of the bands that wowed and made proud at SXSW, that good music is everywhere. You just need to be open to it, to let down your guard, leave your prejudices at the door. You don’t need to be at SXSW or another music festival – good music is out there, waiting for you to find it.

There is not enough space in a TGTF blog post to thank all the people I spent quality time with: bands, bands’ management, people working for the festival, blog people, radio people and just plain ol’ fans either local to Austin or who traveled all kinds of crazy distances to experience SXSW just like I did. From the bottom of my heart, cheers everyone.

More high-res photos from the Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase can be viewed on my Flickr.

 

SXSW 2012: Day 4 – PRS Foundation brunch at Latitude 30 (Spectrals, Dutch Uncles, D/R/U/G/S) – 16th March 2012

 
By on Friday, 30th March 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Long before I arrived in Austin, I had worked out a schedule for each day that I expected to pretty much adhere to. Scheduling ahead, I’d already earmarked most of Friday and Saturday so I could be stationed at Latitude 30, starting with the Performing Right Society of the UK (PRS) Foundation brunch early Friday. (Early by this point of SXSW is getting out of bed and on your feet before 11 AM, which I somehow managed to do for all 5 days…) After the Polarsets interview at B.D. Riley’s Irish pub on Sixth Street, I went round the corner to Latitude 30. I was expecting to be packed in like sardines and my ID to be scrutinised, just like most of the other showcases I’d been to.

But no. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone seemed to be very chill – maybe they were all nursing hangovers from boozing the night before with large Bloody Marys? – and since I’d been given a complimentary Irish brekky at B.D. Riley’s by the lovely Angela Dorgan, CEO of Music from Ireland, I saw no reason to queue up for the free buffet. I’d been personally advised by Manchester radio personality Shell Zenner that what was on offer, such as a lentil salad, was not as “traditional British” as advertised anyway. Too bad.

By this time I’d seen enough bands to suit my fancy and felt less snubbed about not getting an invite to the official British Music Embassy party on Wednesday; besides, I’d already seen the headliner of that show, Frank Turner, on Tuesday night, and Ben Howard and the Staves were on my schedule as part of the Communion showcase Friday evening. Now, I was too excited to eat or even drink before Dutch Uncles were set to play. Having seen them playing a triumphant show in front of an appreciative hometown crowd last December, I hoped that this would be one of several gigs that would turn American music industry heads. Oddly though, I think nearly all the voices I heard at the brunch were distinctly British and further, the other British Music Embassy events I attended over the next 36 hours seemed to be full up with Brits, so I’m not really sure how effective these were in spreading the word about exciting British acts to Americans or anyone else outside Britain.

The first band on was Spectrals from Leeds. I recognised their name as being on the Field Day bill last year but knew little about them. I think whoever curated the brunch had the right idea about the order; Spectrals have a dreamy, old-time charm that worked well as the starting band to ease people from those aforementioned hangovers into a showcase. On the other hand, for someone who did not have their morning cuppa like me, I could only think that they sounded like something that might help your cat to fall asleep. Not my thing, I guess. I tried. Maybe I would have a different opinion if I wasn’t sleep deprived? I do wish to point out that Martin called their set at End of the Road last year as having a langourous tone….

Then we went from sleepytime to a manic and frantic, arms and legs flailing performance from Dutch Uncles. They hit the ground running with a blazing rendition of ‘Cadenza’, which singer Duncan Wallis later admitted to me as taking a hell lot of energy out of him to perform. This was quickly followed by ‘Dressage’, ‘X-O’, and new song ‘Nometo’ (video below). Their parting blow was emotional for me. I’d had a series of “golly gee whiz” moments in Austin, and they included this one. I can scarcely believe I had first written about Dutch Uncles in the summer of 2010, and it was a live performance of this song, ‘The Ink’, on a Huw Stephens Radio1 BBC Introducing show that pushed me to write my first piece on them. Some 18 months on, they’ve released a great album ‘Cadenza’ in 2011 and look to be releasing the next one later this year. I’m chuffed for all their successes and the fans they’ve gained in such a short time. Great set, even though their set (and all the acts performing at this brunch, actually) was way too short.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgaOZdu69h8[/youtube]

The brunch performances were rounded out by a beats heavy and delish set by D/R/U/G/S. Like Dutch Uncles, D/R/U/G/S is (are?) from Manchester. What I was confused about: I thought there were two of them, but there was clearly one man on stage. I generally don’t go for guys who are stood onstage, twiddling dials and flicking switches and THAT’S ALL they do. However, I found myself warming to this fellow, feeling my body involuntarily swaying to the marvel of beats he was producing from the various boxes and synths positioned in front of him. While it’s obviously not the traditional way to make music, I think it’s certainly a viable touring option these days. I mean, think about it. If you don’t need to carry guitars, why carry anything else if you’ve got a box that plays those guitar lines?

 

Preview: Camden Crawl 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 29th February 2012 at 9:30 am
 

Celebrate the May Bank Holiday in style this year with the 2012 Camden Crawl. The legendary sound journey across London’s hot spot for new music will feature over 300 artists and events from 4-6 May. Just one ticket will give you access to some of the best venues in Camden Town which will be showcasing the brightest stars in music from the UK and across the world.

Already announced for the all day and all night party are headlining electro-rock mainstays Death In Vegas, post-hardcore favourites Rolo Tomassi, experimental extraordinaires Brontide, progressive up-and-comers Antlered Man (pictured above), electronic wizards D/R/U/G/S and London’s own indie kids Toy to name a few.

There will also be appearances and undoubtedly speaker-slaughtering sets from Hawk Eyes, Dutch Uncles, Cymbals, And So I Watch You From Afar, True Tiger, James Cleaver Quartet and Spector.

Weekend tickets are priced at £67.50 + booking fees, although day tickets and VIP packages are available. For more information and to buy tickets visit the official Web site. Stay tuned for more announcements of bands and venues over the coming months as north London readies itself for the start of the festival season.

 

Bloc Party and Mika create a media storm over not very much

 
By on Friday, 8th June 2007 at 11:16 pm
 

Bloc Party on front of Total Spec magazineSo, todays Music Slut (quite possibly one of the better music blogs out there) has reported on two “talking points” shall we say that look set to divide opinions across our fair land.

First up, and its news that Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke said in an interview with Total Spec magazine that:

“I think in the 21st Century drug-taking is something that is synonymous with life, really. All I intended to do with the songs is to capture what modern life feels like.”

Naturally, this has divided opinions as, in typical Okereke style, he hasn’t really admitted to taking drugs. Nor has he said that he thinks that they’re bad. Only that lots of people do take drugs, and that he wanted to reflect that fact in his songs. There’s a quick discussion going on over at Music Slut about this quote, though most of it appears to be going on personal opinions about Kele. Personally, I love Bloc Party. Granted, they’re not the most media-friendly of bands. But then they’re musicians. Not Paris bloody Hilton.

Mika on the cover of Out MagazineSecondly, Out Magazine has got Mika on the front, with the article and cover questioning his sexuality:

“Anyone can label me, but I’m not willing to label myself…Anybody who says that I don’t talk about sexuality or that I don’t politically sexualize my music because of taboos, because of being afraid of [not] selling records, is completely wrong. I’ve made a record that doesn’t compromise in any way what I’m allowed or not allowed to say in my lyrics.”

Music slut also has a quote from Mika’s people “who wanted to do a cover but only if it came out a few months down the road, because they were concerned about breaking into the mainstream market were Mika pigeonholed as a “gay artist” right out of the gate.”.

Why does it matter if he’s straight, gay, whatever? He makes bloody good pop music, and anything else is up to him to bring to the table. Plenty of artists have made it big by using their sexuality (Scissor Sisters anyone?) and plenty of artists have made it big by hiding their sexuality (Elton John’s first marriage anyone?)

All of it just seems to me that it ultimately just turns into some good publicity for all the artists, and gets people talking about them.

 
 
 

About Us

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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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