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Video of the Moment #1234: Embers

 
By on Friday, 14th June 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Manchester’s Embers, one of the most talked about bands of this year’s Great Escape 2013 (described here by John) have a new promo video out for forthcoming single ‘Part of the Echoes’. It’s exquisitely shot, so do yourself a favour and watch it below.

‘Part of the Echoes’ is out on the 8th of July on Killing Moon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKgmaRWe3s[/youtube]

 

Great Escape 2013: John’s Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 3rd June 2013 at 3:00 pm
 

After two days of revelry and debauchery on the streets of Brighton, TGTF heads were heavy and the party decided that a debrief in Giraffe, a chain restaurant serving quite frankly the best breakfasts on the South coast, was appropriate to clear the haze from the past 2 days, and augur the body for the day ahead.

After the demons of the past two days were expelled, not literally I may add, I dragged myself to meet the extremely personable Itch, ex-frontman of The King Blues and generally lovely chap. You can watch the interview here. After a nice chat in his tour manager’s garden, I ventured to the Blog Up, where the impressive Embers were attracting a capacity crowd in the tightly woven confines of The Mesmerist. The sound in the venue made for a deafening spectacle, which wasn’t help by us at TGTF setting up camp right next to the main monitors. With earplugs donned, it was easy to see the attraction of Embers.

They’re young, good looking and have an archetypal tall, dark and handsome lad on lead guitar and vocals in the form of George Agan. Their sound is extremely big live though, there’s a splash of prog, with comparisons to Muse overarching throughout the set, but it’s all kept grounded by the fact they have a cutesy female violin player. It all is a bit more authentic for that fact at least. (7/10)

After a few drinks in Brighton’s most reputable watering holes with some of my compadres from my former life in Guernsey, it was back off on the long journey to Concorde 2 to catch one of my favourite bands Tall Ships. They’re a group who go about progressive rock in the right way, that being their own way. They’re not smashing dubstep into the equation and shoehorning in electro wherever they can, they’re making exciting guitar music on time signatures that excites me in ways that aren’t suitable for even here.

‘Phosphorescence’ sounds pristine, as if it’s been ripped straight from ‘Everything Touching’, their fantastic debut record. Whilst ‘T=0’ is the ultimate set closer, forget ‘Knights of Cydonia’, scratch all of that, and wow, it absolutely went off. The disappointment was that it seemed to only be certain sections of the crowd enjoying the expertly crafted riffage, perhaps they were all too worn out from Hacktivist’s drivel the night before. However, at least in certain small sections of the crowd it was obvious there was a deep appreciation of the musical chemistry going on in front of them, aloft on stage. (9/10)

My trudge back towards the pier is at least cheerier for the fact that I was to be reunited with editor Mary, and that I would shortly be watching one of my guiltiest pleasures The 1975. However, whilst I was on the guestlist, and 10 minutes before the band were scheduled to venture on stage, I was rebuffed by the bouncers on the door. Instead of fleetingly and pointlessly arguing my case to the two gentlemen, who were, I quote, “taking none of my shit”, I hopped step and legged it to The Dome to sneak into the capacity Bastille show. What I was to be met with was unbeknownst to me…

Think of the audience to your classic, McFly or The Wanted show; sprinkle a sparing dressing of awkward looking v-necked boyfriends, and voilà, you have the cornucopia of underaged girls amassed to pay tribute to their new favourite band Bastille. Bastille have literally everything going for them at the moment; frontman Dan has hair that does that flicky thing, I mean, do I even need to continue? Yeah, all right then. The tunes are horrendously catchy and are accessible to all, Radio 1 friendly and firmly embedded on the A-list. The throngs of screaming girls just add to the blurred hysteria around the band, who can seemingly do no wrong in 2013.

Their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ is there with Mumford and Sons‘ ‘Sigh No More’ just for its mass appeal alone. Hence why The Dome was at capacity when I squeezed my way through. Note: I’m 6’ 5″ and look like a potato, so for any poor girl whose view I blocked with my massive form, I apologise, but it was for the good of music…

The almost fanatical following that the band have developed led me to believe that the performance was going to be one of pure showmanship, energy and enthusiasm. Instead, Bastille slogged their way through a set that looked like it was almost a trial to them. They looked like they’d just fought of millions of Persians at the Hot Gates, and Spartans they are not, with their weariness etched clearly on their visages. Every note, from the album tracks, to set closer ‘Flaws’ was sung, well, flawlessly. Dan even did a little circumnavigation of the crowd during the encore. But overall the set seemed lacklustre. Perhaps the band have been on tour for too long, or it was an off night, but either way, it was a set to forget by these up and coming less-than likely lads. (5/10)

To close the festival for me, it was a trip to the seaside. To the stage where my first romance with The Great Escape began, Coalition, to watch for the second time of the weekend, Mikill Pane. My opinion was that he would be more suited to the late night slot, in a larger venue. This wasn’t the case though, as technical problems and an overawing backing band distracted attention from the fantastic London rapper’s lyrical prowess.

Mikill wasn’t being a diva, far from it, as the microphone was cutting in and out throughout the short set. But his reaction somewhat detracted from the excitement of what was geared up to be a livewire set, but sadly ended up being quite flat and repetitive. (6/10)

 

Great Escape 2013: Mary’s Day 3 Afternoon Roundup

 
By on Monday, 3rd June 2013 at 1:00 pm
 

After a relatively low-key Friday night, I was raring to go on Saturday morning, feeling much better to take on day 3 of the Great Escape 2013. First things first, though. At John’s recommendation, he, myself, Braden (who if you recall used to write for us, but has now gone on to become the Live Editor of Sound Influx – this becomes important 2 days later in London), John’s PA for the weekend and sometimes TGTF contributor Hannah and Hannah’s boyfriend George found ourselves having a very nice breakfast at Giraffe, a mere 2 blocks from our flat. Definitely a good shout, John, for a fantastic breakfast burrito and a very nice fruit smoothie to start the day right in a healthy, mum-approved kind of way. (I loved this place so much, when I saw the chain restaurant in Heathrow a couple days later, somehow they got another £15 off me…)

Apparently, the good people of Brighton – and everyone English or from wherever else – recover from late nights and drinking a lot better than I do, because it was with some surprise that when I tried to get into the Dome Studio Bar (formerly known as the Pavilion Theatre), there was a queue. That’s right. At 12 noon. I was sure everyone would still be asleep and nursing sore heads. Uhh, no. Luckily, the entire Don’t Panic, We’re From Poland showcase was running late, so by the time security finally let me in, I was able to catch three songs by former pop idol but now singer/songwriter in her own right (Monika) Brodka.

Brodka Great Escape live

I got whiffs of the teenage Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow from Brodka’s look onstage: free-spirited, she had on glow in the dark face paint, unusual headgear, and very loud , red clothing. It ended up making her look more childlike than necessary and to be honest, her look I think detracted from the actual performance, which was extremely energetic with Brodka and her band, who brought synthy melodic goodness and beats that everyone in the place were dancing to, rather happily I might add. They brought the place down with the loudest cheers I think I’ve heard for such an early show during the day at the Great Escape. Good job.

At some point I thought John and I were going to have a drink in the afternoon, but he was running around doing interviews (good man!); you always think you’re going to have time to spend with your fellow writers at a festival, but it never actually happens! I think next year I want to bring a friend along with me to either Sound City or the Great Escape to have a comrade in arms, someone to bring me back down to earth and who’s not scooting around town to catch gig after gig like the crazy people we are. Going to work on that… Having scanned the afternoon schedule, I realised I had not returned to the Blind Tiger, the hot box I remembered last year who played host to alt-J and Django Django, and I wondered what the place would be like during daylight hours.

Boats Great Escape live

The Saturday afternoon there was a special Canadian showcase, and after a discussion I’d had with Martin in Gateshead a couple days previous about bands whose names were entirely unGoogleable (MONEY, College, etc.), I thought I’d see the entirely unGoogleably-named Boats, hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I had absolutely no clue what they sounded like so it was either going to be really, really good or really, really bad. I was pleasantly surprised, as well as highly entertained. Not going to lie, singer Mat Klachefsky has a very unusual voice for a man, kind of like Elton John on helium? I’m not describing this properly; wait for a while, I’ve got video somewhere on my camera.

They are also very funny; they have a song called ‘Advice on Bears’, which Mat said drolly “is a song about advice on bears”. I thought, ok, this sounds pretty appropriate for a band from *Canada*, right? Enjoyable and entirely unpretentious synth effects bleeped and blipped before rocking guitar and drums and Klachefsky’s unusual voice came in. Overall, Boats are a very fun band to watch and to listen and dance to.

There wasn’t anything particularly jumping out at me for the rest of the afternoon, and I was supposed to rendezvous and get boozed up with a whole bunch of bloggers later at the Blog Up at Mesmerist. I don’t know if it actually happened or it was just a rumour, but Friday night the word on the street was one of the ‘Special Guests’ on the schedule at the Haunt was actually Palma Violets. So after poring through the schedule one more time with a cup of gelato, I decided to take a chance with the Latest Music Bar, which also had a similar marking on the Alternative Escape schedule. I popped in just in time for the last song by piano-playing singer/songwriter Jordan Bradley. He’s a bloke of course but I got a Lady Gaga vibe off him somehow in his singing? Definitely too in the look: in a red suit and a grey quiff, it all seemed very theatrical. I’d have to listen to him more to make a more quality assessment.

Fort Hope Great Escape live

The ‘Special Guest’ downstairs at Latest turned out to be part screamo, mostly hard rock quartet Fort Hope. Their tour manager explained that they had recently been on tour with Americans We Are the In Crowd, who I gather from John is a pretty big deal in the rock/punk genre. As Fort Hope began their set, with their admirable guitar licks and well-constructed songs. This isn’t a genre I consider a favourite but there was just something in their songs, including their next single ‘Control’ out on the 24th of June, that just clicked with me. Keep an eye on these kids – I say kids because they look really young, but musically, they sound very accomplished!

Embers Great Escape live

The afternoon was rounded out at Mesmerist by Manchester’s Embers, who had come highly recommended by several bloggers, including Breaking More Waves’ Robin Seamer (who refused to see them again on Saturday, saying he didn’t want to sully his memories of seeing them at Above Audio on Friday afernoon) and the aforementioned Braden Fletcher. They were loud and good, but I think because everyone had spoken so glowingly about them, the bar in my mind was set too high. Yes, they have a rock violinist, that’s cool. But will they survive in their genre? That remains to be seen.

 
 
 

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.

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