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(Euro 2012 flavoured!) MP3 of the Day #557: Dutch Uncles

 
By on Monday, 11th June 2012 at 10:00 am
 

In what appears to become an annual tradition, Marple’s Dutch Uncles have recorded a song to celebrate Euro 2012, or in their words:

The piece ‘Road to Roy’ was composed to represent the anticipation, expectation and excitement that consistently envelops England in the build up to the quadrennial European football Championships. It also signifies the subsequent disappointment at the team’s predictable demise or heartbreaking failure in all the country’s previous appearances in the competition. The piece flows chronologically, beginning with the semi-final defeat to Yugoslavia at Italy ’68, and concludes once again with the mounting excitement towards Euro 2012. Could this finally be England’s year?

Starring famous friends’ backing vocals, ‘Road to Roy’ is a free download you can listen and grab from the widget below.

 

MP3 of the Day #542: Dutch Uncles

 
By on Wednesday, 16th May 2012 at 10:00 am
 

I love Dutch Uncles, you love Dutch Uncles. So I’m taking it you want a free Dutch Uncles song. The Marple band is headlining the Sunday night of the Chorlton Arts Festival the last weekend of May (well, actually 4 days – 24-27 May), so they’re promoting this pretty sweet headline gig with a freebie, specifically a remix of ‘The Ink’ by Seb Santabarbara.

Get the remix and find out more information about the Chorlton Arts Festival here. You can also listen to a stream of the song below.

 

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 5 – Northern Day showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012

 
By on Friday, 6th April 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March. The last full day of bands at SXSW, and I give myself the reward of a lie-in, however slight. Local friends ferry me to the best photography show in town, as something’s been wrong with my camera lens since Friday afternoon. Diagnosis isn’t good – there’s something wrong with the lens and the manufacturer needs to open it – but I rush back to Latitude 30 to catch the start of the Northern Day showcase. Ghosting Season from Manchester begins the showcase. As with D/R/U/G/S at the PRS brunch yesterday, I started out skeptical. But then Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale broke out the guitars. How many electronica acts do you know who bring out the axes during a show?

Usually, I get bored with the regular run of the mill electronica artistes, lost in their own world, too busy fiddling around with switch and knobs to notice that the audience is there and indeed, they are there to equally entertain the audience as they are to entertain themselves. I didn’t expect to, but I loved these guys. You could tell by the way they moved their bodies – in front of their tables full of magical boxes and consoles – that they “got” the rhythm, that the rhythm moved them, that this wasn’t a phoned-in performance. Manchester, thanks for nurturing this duo of mad beats.

Next up was Polarsets, who I interviewed (well, the two-thirds of them with IDs) yesterday at B.D. Riley’s. What I found very interesting talking to James and Mike the day before was how they described their hometown at Whitley Bay as having a tropical atmosphere. Their song ‘Madrid’ is a great example of this. Below, watch them perform ‘Morning’.

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

Sadly, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s visa was not approved in time for SXSW, so I did not get to catch him in Austin. I also had to book it from Latitude 30 to the convention centre to meet Zulu Winter, for what would be their final press engagement of SXSW 2012. (Watch the interview here.) After a drink break at a nearby sports bar and a very delayed hamburger delivery, I hiked it back to Latitude 30 to catch Dutch Uncles finish out the Northern Day showcase. ‘Cadenza’ was billed as “our most Irish sounding song” and the crowd was invited to jig along with the band. Watch their spirited performance of ‘Face-In’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfv1PIHLwyU[/youtube]

What definitely was the strangest moment of the day (and perhaps my entire SXSW experience) was when Daniel Bedingfield came strolling down the alley behind the venue. He evidently had no idea who Dutch Uncles were and was not buying singer Duncan Wallis’s eloquent explanation of the origin of their band name. After making some lame jokes that cannot be repeated in a family newspaper, he went on his way. Shortly thereafter, flamboyant Semi Precious Weapons lead singer Justin Tranter pranced his way down the alley past us, on high heels. Whatever happens in Austin, stays in Austin…?

More high-res photos of the Northern Day 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?

 

SXSW 2012 Live Gig Videos: Dutch Uncles preview new songs at the British Music Embassy

 
By on Monday, 19th March 2012 at 4:45 pm
 

Dutch Uncles was definitely one of the hardest working English bands at this year’s SXSW; if I’m not mistaken, they did 4 shows in 2 days, including 3 as part of the British Music Embassy’s programming at their home for the week, Latitude 30 on San Jacinto Boulevard. Have a sneak peek at two new songs from their follow-up to 2011’s ‘Cadenza’, rumoured to be out later this year.

First up is ‘Nometo’ performed at the PRS Brunch on Friday morning (16 March), which was served up alongside a supposedly English breakfast buffet but I was informed by natives that it wasn’t authentic; second is ‘Threads’, performed as part of the Northern Day showcase at the same venue on Saturday 17 March. Enjoy both below. Special thanks to Dutch Uncles and their management for allowing us to film these.

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

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

 
 
 

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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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