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Video of the Moment #2870: Estrons

 
By on Monday, 16th July 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Imogen Forte

Welsh punk rockers Estrons‘ latest is some pretty powerful materials. Single ‘Lilac’ grabbed BBC presenter Huw Stephens’ imagination so well, he ended up playing it twice in a row on his Radio 1 programme! As has been seen (and heard) from the group in the past, Tali Källström’s visceral vocals are a perfect match to guitarist Rhodri Daniel’s cutting axe lines. It’s a song exuding confidence, perfect ahead of their many summer festival appearances this summer and high-profile support slots in Manchester and Nottingham in September with the legendary, also female-fronted Garbage. To read our past coverage on Estrons, including my coverage of them at SXSW 2016, through here.

 

Live Gig Video: Estrons share performance promo for single ‘Strobe Lights’

 
By on Thursday, 8th June 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Welsh punk rockers Estrons unveiled their single ‘Strobe Lights’ a few weeks ago. Now, they’re ready to share with us the accompanying promo video. Frontwoman Tali Källström and the band give it their all in this promo-cum-performance visual. Watch it below. The group will head out on a UK headline tour in the autumn; you can get all the details from their Facebook page here. Follow this link to read more of our past coverage on Estrons, who among other achievements appeared at SXSW 2015, closing out the BBC Introducing stage that year, no less.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw7lcLqCuFs[/youtube]

 

Handmade Festival 2016 – Day 1 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 11th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

If the only music festival you’ve been to (and this is potentially more aimed to UK readers than U.S. fans) consists of standing in a muddy field in wellington boots or becoming heavily inebriated while trundling to the next stage to see a mildly hyped-up indie band, then an indoor festival, or metro-festival, is a highly different experience. Leicester’s 4th annual Handmade Festival took place on the May bank holiday with the stated goal of gathering “the best new and forward thinking music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography and bring(ing) it all together for one weekend”.

When I first arrived at the University of Leicester on the Friday, the welcoming sign of ‘H A N D M A D E’ spelt out up the stairs in large plastic letters beckoned festival-goers into the venue and gave a great indication as to how the festival sees itself: welcoming and with a hint of non-seriousness. Being a completely independent venture, Handmade is unique in that it prides itself on being a place to discover brand new things, and this is most prominent in its musical lineup. The headliners themselves are tenured enough in the industry to draw a crowd, particularly We Are Scientists (pictured at top), Deaf Havana and Lonely the Brave, who jointly win the award for “Largest T-Shirt Representation”. With these crowds drawn in, it was up to the acts beforehand, both local and national, to cement the weekend, and this they did.

On Friday, we were given the choice of either Lacura or Estrons, two bands that cover the rock spectrum nicely, with Lacura taking on the dreamscape, ease-you-in side of things and Estrons taking the face grabbing route. With both sets comfortably and officially kicking things off, the small crowd that had gathered at this early stage of the festival soon ventured to the weekend’s main stage, Academy 2, to witness Ash Mammal. This was the first sign that it would be easy to find your new favourite or soon-to-be favourite band here. Ash Mammal brought a raucous set, reminiscent of early Placebo and not easily forgotten.

An important aspect to mention before heading into any more detail on the weekend is the venue layout. In total there were three main stages for music, not including the smaller stages in the venue landing area. The main stages were the aforementioned Academy 2, the Academy 3, which was found by venturing down into the basement of the complex and through a labyrinth of corridors into a seeming ex-dance studio, and also The Scholar Bar. The initial trial of finding your way around the complex was confusing, but after one trip around the available open areas, it turned out to be a well-laid out routing that consisted of a multi-layered circle. Getting lost was a fool’s errand, and a mistake only made once.

The rest of Friday’s highlights included Black Honey, who are already gaining a serious amount of traction and for good reason. They combine blues-tinged, reverb-heavy rock with a frontwoman who has the sultry and confident attitude of Debbie Harry, Alison Mosshart and Cherie Curie combined. Sheffield’s 65daysofstatic brought an electronic turn to the proceedings with a light show and tunes to make a strong enough statement that should also aide their current hype. By far the biggest highlight of the day was punk band Pretty Vicious in The Scholar Bar, a tiny venue that already made the softer acts seem edgier than you would believe. Pretty Vicious brought out their re-birth of British punk and showed us exactly how they’ve managed to score a major label deal. Snotty, abrasive with purely fantastic riffs, they’re enough to give the Sex Pistols a run for their money.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/X6uBrek6Kd4[/youtube]

Headliners We Are Scientists proved why they’re still going strong in the game after over a decade, a solid set full of the massive hits that first put them in the spotlight, peppered with newer songs which sounded just as strong. The show itself did feel like a watered down version of an atypical We Are Scientists event, at times feeling rushed. However, having taken to the stage 15 minutes late this was potentially an executed measure to get through all of the crowd pleasers.

Stay tuned to TGTF for parts 2 and 3 of Steven’s roundup of Handmade Festival 2016, which will follow in the coming days.

 

SXSW 2016: part of Paradigm Agency showcase at Maggie Mae’s, plus the second half of BBC Introducing (Wednesday night, part 2) – 16th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 4th April 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

After a sombre, less than thrilling start to my Wednesday evening thinking about Viola Beach and seeing two acts at Music from Ireland, it was time to move on. Thanks to my upgraded press status at SXSW 2016 this year (thank you, Elizabeth and SXSW Music!), I could jump the massive queue that went down 6th Street to get into Maggie Mae’s. I managed to catch most of Drowners’ set on the downstairs indoor stage.

Drowners were not a band I was familiar with until I happened to see their name on the SXSW shout list for this year. Their name rung a bell; I seemed to remember getting an email about them a long while back, but I couldn’t remember why I hadn’t listened to their music before. Upon further investigation, it all made sense: their eponymous debut album for Frenchkiss Records was released in January 2014, right around the time I suffered the loss of an important friendship, so it’s unlikely I would have enjoyed the album at the time anyway. During pre-SXSW preparations in late January, it tickled me pink to find a band whose own name came from a Suede song (‘The Drowners’), as Suede had just released ‘Night Thoughts’ and I was experiencing the resurgence of my love for Brett Anderson and co

While Drowners are based in New York City and is therefore considered an American band, much has been made about their Welsh frontman Matthew Hitt having made his way to the Big Apple in the first place to pursue a career in modelling. Their music is good time rock ‘n’roll and Strokes-y. But it’s also got a feeling of more pop with pomp. especially on their recently revealed single ‘Cruel Ways’, which will appear on their second album ‘On Desire’, due out in June. Their appearances this week in Austin gave them the opportunity to test out the new material, including LP tracks ‘Human Remains’, ‘Someone Else is Getting In’ and ‘Conversations with Myself’. Of the new material, the bass-heavy thuds of set closer ‘Pick Up the Pace’ won me over.

Drowners at Paradigm Agency showcase at Maggie Mae's, Wednesday night at SXSW 2016

Another great thing that I reiterate time and time again about SXSW is the fact that 99% of the acts who aren’t Drake or CHVRCHES will play multiple shows. So if you happen to miss a band at their first appearance, you’ll have a second (and quite possibly a third or fourth) chance to see them again. As I had to leave the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 early on Tuesday night to make it in time for Gold Class at the felte / Part Time Punks showcase at Barracuda at midnight, I missed seeing Liverpool’s Clean Cut Kid who were on after Oscar. Though it pained me to miss Gwenno at the Heavenly Recordings showcase at Barracuda, I was able to finally see both her and Stealing Sheep on Friday at the Cerdd Cymru afternoon showcase at Latitude 30 (stay tuned for that post).

Frontman Mike Halls of Clean Cut Kid has a beard that rivals Guy Connelly’s of Clock Opera. One wonders if the two bands will ever tour together, given this kinship of over the top, yet well maintained extended facial hair. Halls, with the very tattooed Saul Godman on bass guitar, look like they could be in a metal band. This makes the kind of music that Clean Cut Kid play – driving and fun indie pop – all the more incongruous. (I will say, however, that both of them have fantastic chops on their axes, especially Halls on his guitar solos, making me think that perhaps they were in a hard rocking band in the not too distant past.) Mike’s wife Evelyn on keyboards and her voice in harmony with him add another level of flair and uniqueness to the band’s music; I appreciated the perfection in their male plus female harmonies, something I didn’t otherwise hear all week at SXSW.

Clean Cut Kid at Paradigm Agency showcase at Maggie Mae's, Wednesday night at SXSW 2016

Though they came to Austin as virtual unknowns – and I’m almost positive no-one in Maggie Mae’s besides me had any idea who they were – the foursome quickly got the crowd, which steadily increased in size as their set went on, on their side. Despite the appearance of being unapproachable, Mike Halls is a likeable frontman, making jokes about how the word vitamin is pronounced in England vs. America (note: it’s different) and prefacing songs with deadpan comments such as “this is a hate song by a man who used to be in love” (not sure what song he was referring to!). ‘Pick Me Up’ is the Liverpool group at its finest and surely will continue Halls’ assertion that chicks dig beards”.

It was time to return to Latitude 30 and relieve Carrie of her place at the BBC Introducing / PRS for Music Foundation night. She had been there for the Viola Beach tribute, Isaac Gracie and Billie Marten, and it was my turn to cover the second half of the night. Following Marten were Steve Lamacq’s tip as Britain’s next great guitar band, The Sherlocks. If you’ve spent any time in Sheffield or indeed, you’ve had a listen to any number of their indie bands in the last 10 years, you have an idea of the Sheffield sound.

The Sherlocks at BBC Introducing PRS Foundation showcase, Latitude 30 Wednesday night at SXSW 2016

Of the biggest bands out of the Steel City, Arctic Monkeys are the most obvious of touchstones to the Sherlocks’ music. Given that Alex Turner and his mates have decided to follow the path of Josh Homme before them, it does seem that there’s an inescapable void where the Monkeys once trod, and the Sherlocks are a good fit for that void. Young, hard working and hungry for success, and as one of their songs are named and possessing a ‘Heart of Gold’, they certainly earned their moment under the lights at Latitude 30 this night.

After talking to Carrie about her experiences earlier at the BBC Introducing night, it sounds like Berkshire singer/songwriter Frances was much more confident and ready for her turn in the spotlight than earlier young female performer Billie Marten. The redhead was smiley and chatty, her stage patter between songs telling us more about herself and how her songs came to be, overall making a very engaging performance. Unlike Rosie Carney at the Music from Ireland showcase earlier in the evening, she was having a great time at SXSW.

Frances at BBC Introducing PRS Foundation showcase, Latitude 30 Wednesday night at SXSW 2016

Frances’ voice is beautiful, as was demonstrated on her newest single ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ performed live. But her versatility shines through on the soulful ‘Borrowed Time’, written with Howard Lawrence of Disclosure, who Frances insisted, and with a wide grin, was “wicked” and “he’s cooler than me!” While it makes my heart sink slightly that a talented lady like her feels the need to have songwriting collaborators (or more likely, her major label has that need), Frances’ vocal talent will take her far.

ESTRONS at BBC Introducing PRS Foundation showcase, Latitude 30 Wednesday night SXSW at 2016

The final act of the night was Welsh band ESTRONS, who realistically should have been on earlier in the lineup. Their sound is the result of frenetic playing and even at 1 AM in the morning, they showed no sign of slowing down. Bolstered by their uncompromising frontwoman Taliesyn Kallström, their brashness would have waken up the dead. Time to say goodnight to Radio 1’s Huw Stephens skulking round the back, to get a few hours of sleep and be back in town in good time the next morning to do it all over again.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Welsh artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 4th March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Wales may feel like a whole ‘nother country away from the rest of the UK. And indeed, beyond the fact that there are still around a quarter of the population who speak Welsh, there are many a Welsh man and woman who will tell you Wales is its own place. This year at SXSW, Horizons Gorwelion, a music scheme by BBC Wales in partnership with Arts Council of Wales to develop new independent contemporary music in Wales, will be bringing two acts over, each with their own fiery independent spirit to match the one of their homeland and the red dragon (Y Ddraig Doch) of the Welsh national flag. (We’re also including both ESTRONS and Gwenno in this roundup here, too. ESTRONS have been given a great slot on the BBC Introducing night to be compered by Steve Lamacq on the Wednesday night, and Gwenno is as she’s the true epitome of Welsh national identity in music right now, as you will read below too. Here’s a taste of each of them, in alphabetical order:

ESTRONS – I introduced you all to this Cardiff-based foursome in the preview of the BBC Introducing / PRS for Music Foundation night scheduled for the 16th of March at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy. Their name translates to the word ‘aliens’ or ‘foreign’, which makes a sense from where they came from: they met, randomly, on a local beach, deciding to put a band together made up of misfits and outsiders who didn’t feel like they fit anywhere else. Music, as we know, is the great uniting force, and ESTRONS are a great example of this.

Have a listen to their radio-friendly pop track ‘Make a Man’ below. ESTRONS are scheduled to perform at 1 AM Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at British Music Embassy at Latitude 30.

Gwenno – Gwenno Saunders is no stranger to fame. For nearly a decade, she was a member of the hugely popular girl group the Pipettes. Post-Pipettes, Gwenno decided to do something different: start a solo career, writing and recording songs entirely in Welsh. Her second album ‘Y Dydd Olaf’, which was released by Peski Records in October 2014, got an entirely new lease on life when it was re-released by Heavenly Recordings in 2015. She’ll be bringing her kraut-rock inspired funk with her to Austin, on this first visit for her since going solo. Have a listen to track ‘Patriarchaeth’ below.

Gwenno is scheduled to perform Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at Barracuda, and Friday afternoon, the 18th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. For all past coverage of Gwenno on TGTF, including David’s introduction to her solo career that posted last summer here, head this way.

The People The Poet – The South Wales indie rock band are no strangers to SXSW; in fact, they made their debut at the big dance in Texas last year. Their engaging sound caught the eyes and ears of BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary, who invited them for a live session on his radio programme. They made waves last year the first time around, so I have no doubt they’ll be adding fans handily every time they play in Austin next month.

Have a watch of the promo video for recent single ‘Matchday’ in this previous Video of the Moment. To read more on The People The Poet on TGTF, go here. They’re scheduled to perform Wednesday afternoon, the 16th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, and Saturday night, the 19th of March, at Lucille, among other places.

Violet Skies (pictured at top) – Are you tired of wimpy sounding pop princesses? I sure am. Hailing from the southeast corner of her part of the world, Welsh gal Violet (surname unknown for the moment) goes by the breezy stage name Violet Skies. The moniker doesn’t do her voice justice; more piercingly beautiful than those of who’s considered hot these days (Lorde, Elle King, excuse me while I groan). Have a listen to ‘One Day, Three Autumns’ below.

Violet Skies is scheduled to perform Monday night, the 14th of March, at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30; Wednesday night, the 16th of March, at Lucky Lounge; and again at Latitude 30 the afternoon of Friday, the 18th of March.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LH0Nv4Lztk[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation’s SXSW 2016 showcase, 16th March 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 9th February 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Editor’s note: The band Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry were killed in a fatal car crash is Sweden on the evening of Saturday, the 13th of February. Our deepest condolences are with their families. Read Communion Records’ statement on their passing here. They will also be eulogised at a special tribute on the night of this showcase in Austin.

What has now become an annual highlight of the week at SXSW is the BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation’s evening showcase at Latitude 30, the home of the British Music Embassy in Austin during the event. Last week, Steve Lamacq announced the six artists that will be gracing the BME’s stage the night of Wednesday the 16th of March, and we can’t wait to introduce them to you. Impressively, nearly every region of the UK is well represented on this list, except for Northern Ireland (which will be putting on their own afternoon showcase on St. Patrick’s Day, when else?) and Scotland (who we hope will have their own showcase as well).

Hailing from the North East of England, Billie Marten is a young female singer/songwriter from Ripon, North Yorkshire. Even 2 years ago when she still sported braces on her teeth, her musical talent was picked up by Burberry Acoustic. Fast forward 2 years, and the young Marten’s delicate, yet smoky vocals have further matured; check out her evocative single ‘Bird’ below. With over 13,000 Facebook likes even before setting foot in America, something tells us mainstream success is just around the corner for this lass.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smX6xCPDbrE[/youtube]

With a name sounding like they should be a variant of Transformers than a band, Cardiff-based quartet ESTRONS will be representing Wales at the BBC Introducing night. It’s no surprise their fresh and frenetic music has already received backing from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Annie Mac. Fronted by Canadian-Swede Taliesyn Kallström who appear to be channelling the spirit of riot grrls like Siouxsie, Courtney Love and MayKay of Fight Like Apes for her vocal delivery, they’ll definitely be bringing unbridled energy to the evening.

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

If it hasn’t happened already, Newbury, Berkshire born singer/songwriter Frances will be on the lips of the world’s music pundits before the month is out. Despite having only one EP to her name – ‘Grow’, released last summer via Communion Records – she’s already nominated for a BRIT, the 2016 Critic’s Choice Award. She’s been compared to Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding, but except for the ginger colour of her hair and the length of it, I don’t see much of a comparison. Frances is her own woman.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5X5ZUvq5XY[/youtube]

Isaac Gracie first gained prominence on BBC Introducing Norfolk, but it appears he’s decamped now to the West London area of Ealing. He’s already sold out a who in London, garnered attention from NME, and been anointed with a Zane Lowe World Record on Beats 1. For brokenhearted fans of the late Jeff Buckley, to devotees of Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, you’ll definitely take to Gracie’s style of rough, dusty, contemplative songwriting, as exemplified in his track ‘Last Words’.

Lammo loves the Crookes. A lot. So I was gobsmacked he’d found another Sheffield band to put his weight behind. The lucky recipients? The Sherlocks, who our own Rebecca has been aware of since her schooldays some years ago in South Yorkshire when they first started knocking around the Steel City. More like the Arctic Monkeys when they began than the Monkeys sound these days, their sound is one of brash guitars and cool rock ‘n’ roll. Have a listen to their debut single ‘Live for the Moment’.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4GW14_Sodk[/youtube]

Staying in the North but heading due west, we reach Warrington, whose most famous musical son up to this point has been Ian Brown of the Stone Roses. This is all about to change when Viola Beach will bring their sunny and terribly infectious indie pop / rock to the BBC Introducing night in Austin. Will they follow in the footsteps of BBC Introducing 2015 night alums Blossoms to bring acclaim to another town outside of Manchester? Definitely. ‘Get to Dancing’ below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyP0DvEwrh8[/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 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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