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Preview: Live at Jodrell Bank 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 28th February 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

The headliners for this year’s Live at Jodrell Bank have been announced. The annual festival that goes on annually in the shadow of the iconic Lovell telescope on the grounds of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory will take place in 2012 on 23-24 June. Local heroes and now the folks responsible for making this year’s Olympics in London sound great Elbow (pictured above) will headline Saturday the 23rd; the Modfather Paul Weller will assume headline duties on Sunday the 24th. Support acts have yet to be announced.

Tickets go on sale Thursday (1st of March) at 9 AM; tickets for each day are £35 and will be purchasable from the official Live at Jodrell Bank Web site.

 

Live Review: Elbow with Glasser at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 22nd September 2011

 
By on Monday, 26th September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Two years is far too long to go without seeing Elbow live. But when you live in America, the land of frustrating commercial radio strangled by major record labels, you make do with what you can. And I’m very pleased that for a second time in 2 years, DC music fans sold out yet another Elbow show at the 9:30, so if American record execs aren’t paying attention, they should. The Manchester band made playing to a crowd and making every single person in the club feel loved. I could go on and on about this gig but I’ll try to break down the highlights…

…after I introduce the opening act, Glasser. I knew nothing about Cameron Mesirow and what she does, so I will defer to Paul Lester and his New Band of the Day segment on the Guardian last year for the following description: ‘This synth siren sounds like a weirder and more credible version of Enya, all ethereal vocals and meandering melodies’. For all the rubbish Enya gets for being soft, I think this is a diss on Enya. (At least I fine something palatable in Enya’s songs.) If you like women who yelp, squeal and moan to an electronic backdrop, Glasser’s for you. I didn’t think Enya: I thought Bjork. Her outfit – green and black striped trousers under a dress that looked like a sack, with white and blue stripes on top and white and red stripes on the bottom – was completely unflattering, with an unsightly bulge in the front as if she were pregnant. She didn’t ‘look’ truly pregnant, so seeing this woman doing interpretative dancing / arm movements while singing was strange. Sorry, that’s just not my thing. Not getting it at all. It’s as far away musically from Elbow as you can get. The best part? The backbeats provided by her bandmate onstage, working furiously over a synth and drums. This opening for a review sounds a lot like the Friendly Fires one in May…

So Elbow. They’ve had a stellar year so far and I thought it might be a downer for them to come over to the States and play clubs when they have no trouble selling out the MEN Arena at home. Not so, says guitarist Mark Potter, he thinks it’s fresh every time they come back here, because they have win people over. Interesting – and in my opinion, a great – way to look at it. As should be expected, the majority of the songs they played were from ‘build a rocket, boys!’ (John’s review here) and from the 2008 Mercury Prize-winning ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’. What could not be predicted was how Guy Garvey got the audience involved every step of the way. ‘Grounds for Divorce’ was preceded by him picking out a girl in the crowd, asking her what her name was (Diana, it was) and leading the entire crowd to sing a capella to her in the song’s melody and say how great she was. If it’d been me, I would have fainted dead away. (The parting shot of this evening for me will always be seeing this girl Diana hugging Guy outside the club. Him picking her out of the crowd no doubt made her year.)

It was a rowdy crowd and there were many shouts, demanding songs and wanting their birthday / wedding / etc. etc. etc. to be acknowledged. I was getting a little sick of this because it broke up the continuity of the show, but Guy took it in stride, trying to play up to each one of these requests the best he could. But then he took the opportunity to single out songs that had particular meaning to him: ‘Newborn’ was written when, with a broken heart, he’d gone over to drummer Richard Jupp’s house and played with his infant son; he took advantage of one bloke’s demand for birthday wishes by introducing ‘The Night Will Always Win’ as a way to celebrate the man’s birthday with a song about someone loved who had died (everyone laughed); ‘Great Expectations’ was prefaced by Guy’s explanation that he wrote this song when he was much younger and had gotten married, but the woman still had no idea.

‘Starlings’, the opening song from their last show here in 2009, was moved to the start of the encore, and it shone with its multi-trumpeted glory. Perfect placement. But there was no question what would be the last song of the night. ‘One Day Like This’, showing how adorably awkward love can make a person, shone like a beacon in the night. It’s times like these that make me think American radio is criminal. But when I think about it again, really, it’s everyone else’s loss. Everyone at the 9:30 Club Thursday night got to enjoy their little secret.

After the cut: set list and more photos.
Continue reading Live Review: Elbow with Glasser at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 22nd September 2011

 

BBC Children in Need Rocks Manchester / November 2011

 
By on Friday, 16th September 2011 at 2:30 am
 

A special concert to benefit BBC Children in Need will take place in Manchester’s MEN Arena on Thursday the 17th of November 2011. So far, the line-up include the following spectacular names in music, according to the BBC Press Office:

Michael Buble
Coldplay
Elbow
JLS
Lady Gaga
Hugh Laurie
James Morrison
N Dubz
Snow Patrol
Ed Sheeran

The event will be hosted by Radio1’s own Chris Moyles and Fearne Cotton, along with former Timelord David Tennant and will be broadcast on BBC1 between 8 PM and 10 PM the night of, as well as be simulcast on Radio1. Tickets are on sale Friday morning (16 September) at 9 AM and are priced at £95, £85, £75, £65 and £55.

 

Review: Mercury Prize 2011

 
By on Thursday, 8th September 2011 at 5:30 pm
 

In case you missed them, we wrote previously on this year’s Mercury Prize shortlist and our writers weighed on who they thought should win and who should have received a nod from this year’s nomination committee.

Just prior to the shortlist being announced, it was strong, talented representatives of “the fairer sex” who topped the bookies’ top bets: Adele and PJ Harvey were neck and neck as the odds on favourite. These two lovely ladies continued to be strong favourites throughout the weeks leading up to the event in London hosted by Jools Holland this past Tuesday night. On the evening, Adele did not join her nominee compadres on the red carpet, nor did she perform on the Grosvenor Hotel stage due to illness. Ms. Adkins did, however, made everyone laugh with her humourous fake acceptance speech. Speaking of the faux acceptance speeches, after a rousing performance of ‘The Bay’, Joseph Mount of Metronomy said with a grin, “this is nice that the first album that you hear from us is about the place where I’m from. And I hope you visit Devon!” Bless. (To be fair, it’s nice that Devon will now be known for something other than their cows and Muse.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn6n7zMcVOY[/youtube]

6music reported that Guy Garvey of Elbow (the 2008 Mercury winner for ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’) was self-deprecating as usual, saying he wished their “little friends” Everything Everything would prove to be the winner. Speaking of the double-named band, they took the bold step of performing a non-single, album track from ‘Man Alive’, ‘Tin (the Manhole)’, when it was their turn to wow the dinner audience at the Grosvenor. But ultimately, it was PJ Harvey who came out on top, with her album ‘Let England Shake’ winning the top honours. With this win, she becomes the first act ever to win the Mercury Prize twice (she won exactly 10 years ago, in 2011 for her ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’). You can watch her live performance of ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’ from Tuesday night below. Congratulations Polly Jean!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77HnyHlfHNQ[/youtube]

 

Mercury Prize Shortlist 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 19th July 2011 at 2:16 pm
 

The shortlist for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011 Albums of the Year were announced by 6music presenter Lauren Laverne this morning in a special ceremony at London’s Hospital Club. As usual, some of the nominees were expected to receive the prestigious industry nod, while some were definitely less than expected.

Not surprisingly, soul singer Adele‘s critically acclaimed and best-selling album on both sides of the Atlantic, ’21’, received a nom. There are plenty of new artists on this year’s shortlist, in exactly the same shoes Adele was in 3 years ago with ’19’. Sultry-looking and equally sultry-sounding Anna Calvi received a nomination for her eponymous debut; again, this is hardly surprising given she was shortlisted in late 2010 for the BBC Sound of 2011. James Blake, #2 on the Sound of 2011 list, also garnered a nod for his self-titled debut album bringing dubstep more to the mainstream. (Read Natalie’s review of the album here.) Electronic producer Ghostpoet is nominated for his debut album that sounds more like the title of a cookbook, ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’.

After winning the gong in 2008 with ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, Elbow will try their hand to win again this year with their newest, ‘build a rocket, boys!’ (Read John’s review of the album here.) A win for the Mancunians seems highly appropriate in light of the development of their own limited edition golden ale, named after their new album and true to their roots, to be made locally in Stockport and sold exclusively at Robinsons pubs in the UK.) Speaking of Manchester, the eclectic ‘Man Alive’ (my review here) from Manchester-based Everything Everything is also up for the award.

New urban music makes a good showing on this year’s shortlist. Katy B‘s ‘On a Mission’ received a nomination, as did Tinie Tempah‘s ‘Disc-Overy’. But legends also figure in the nominations. Influential singer/songwriter PJ Harvey has been recognised for ‘Let England Shake’, her first album in 4 years. The Domino-released collaboration between Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote and electronica artist Jon Hopkins, ‘Diamond Mine’, that was a labour of love for 7 years is also nominated. Brighton dance band Metronomy‘s highly-anticipated third album released in April, ‘The English Riviera’, is also a contender. (Read Luke’s review of the album here.) And if we’ve learned anything from 2 decades of the Mercury Prize, there is always at least one album that comes out of left field. This year, that nomination goes to Welsh jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock and his ‘Good Days at Schloss Elmau’. (I Googled it: Schloss Elmau is a luxury hotel in the foothills of Bavaria. Maybe that’s a good place for the to-be-announced Mercury Prize winner to escape inevitable press and paps in mid-September?)

The winner of the 2011 Mercury Prize will be announced on Tuesday, 6 September.

 

Glastonbury 2011: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 4th July 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Saturday’s opener were the Gaslight Anthem who, while only having played Pilton Farm once before, made one hell of an impression when they did. None other than The Boss himself joined the New Jersey boys on stage to power through their anthem ‘The 59 Sound’ before he hit the Pyramid Stage to headline 2 years ago. The Gaslight Anthem this time around were gracing the Pyramid Stage and at first they looked like they were a little overawed by it all. Who can blame them when you have upwards of 10,000 people staring at you? However, the band got into their stride and delivered a formidable set dripping with hooks and old fashioned riffs. No Boss this time though, however there are signs of a band on the up.

Next on my hit list was the big story of 2010, Mr. Tinie Tempah, armed with arguably the biggest single of last year (the infectious club anthem ‘Pass Out’) and a set list of songs that most of the UK will be familiar with. Tinie is the next in line of hip hop stars gracing the Pyramid Stage after Jay-Z’s monumental set in 2008 and Dizzee Rascal’s triumphs in previous years, hip hop looks set for a bright future at Glastonbury. First sing-along ‘Wonderman’ is a tad weak though and ‘Invincible’ is not much better in all honesty. However Tinie is saved by the slick, sexy Labrinth-infused rhymes of hit ‘Frisky’ and ‘Pass Out.’

Rushing over to the Other Stage I was able to catch veteran punks Jimmy Eat World as they blasted through a back catalogue of hits. ‘Bleed American’ sounded utterly epic in the setting and set the tone for a gig which this stage was made for: fist-pumping was rife and the choruses were as infectious as they ever have been. However, it is hit single ‘The Middle’ which provokes the mass sing-along and shows Jimmy Eat World at their anthemic best. A clinically underrated band that pull out all the stops live, any day, any way.

It was to my misfortune though that Paolo Nutini was on when I arrived back at the Pyramid Stage. It isn’t enough that he is noticeably stoned and drunk on stage and staggers about with all the swagger you would expect of a taller Cher Lloyd. Hits such as ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ and ‘New Shoes’ grated on the ear as expected and his set went on for much too long. Little else I can say about this man’s set. Yes, the brass band backing is cool, I enjoyed that. Nutini himself though did exactly what expected, irritated and enraged me to the point that only a mass sing-along of truly epic proportions would take me from the edge.

Thank the lord then that Elbow were on next. Guy Garvey and co. came out to rapturous applause and flew into opener ‘The Birds’. However, it wasn’t until ‘The Bones of You’ was played that the crowd really came to their side. Garvey though was the king of the show, getting the crowd on his side at any opportunity possible, whether it was by downing a pint in true Manchester styling or whether it was with a terrific backwards Mexican wave, which from looking out from the Pyramid stage must have looked truly majestic for the Mancunian 5-piece. ‘Grounds For Divorce’ was played out with the kind of power you just don’t get from any other frontman and band, while ‘Open Arms’ was buoyed by two giant blow-up men each side of the stage. There were no guesses though as to which song they played out with; ‘One Day like This’ truly was the perfect song to go out on.

Coldplay’s headline set had to be something special then to follow the sheer brilliance of Elbow, but when you see Coldplay (pictured at top), you never expect anything less than brilliance. If U2 turned up with their A game the night before, Coldplay were A+++. Sure they opened with a new song, but what is wrong with taking a chance when you headline Glastonbury. Kings of Leon did it and Jay-Z opened with ‘Wonderwall’, so it seems truly monumental Glastonbury shows open like this. Chris Martin was from the start of the show until the end at his buoyant, if not a little self-deprecating best, whether he was hammering out ‘Clocks’ from behind the piano, or acting like the true frontman he is with a guitar at the front of the Pyramid Stage. ‘Viva La Vida’ was truly majestic but it was the encore of ‘Fix You’ where everyone on the crowd could truly realise that Coldplay are as brilliant as ever and look set to be for a long, long time.

 
 
 

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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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