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SXSW 2019: a mishmash of bands not yet seen during the week – 16th March 2019 (Saturday, part 2)

 
By on Thursday, 4th April 2019 at 11:00 am
 

In past years, I’ve used Saturday as a breather. I usually use it as a lie-in day. By then, everyone’s spent: they’ve drank too much, they’ve run around too much and the reality that we’re all going home on Sunday is sadly starting to set in. I also Saturday as my catch-up day to try and pick up anyone I might have missed during the week. In order to make this post and the next and last of my SXSW 2019 live review posts efficient, I will recount in this post the bands I only saw on Saturday.

Fatherson at Latitude 30
Fatherson are no strangers to TGTF or to Austin for that matter, having come out here for SXSW 2015 when frontman Ross Leighton had a much larger beard! The Scottish trio have undergone a musical evolution since then, trading their previous more all-encompassing anthemic sound for (dare I say it?) a more poppy, mainstream rock approach. These details inside a music editor’s mind were lost on the British Music Embassy crowd, Austinites and for-the-week British expats enjoying the music being bashed about on stage.

Fatherson British Music Embassy Saturday SXSW 2019

Rizha at Austin Taco Project
I wouldn’t call Rizha an accidental find, as I happened to be passing through and wanted to be sure I did not miss who was up next. She is a young (19) Argentinian now in university in Madrid, continuing a musical career that I understand began in 2013. Most, if not all of her songs, contain swear words and therefore have been anointed as explicit on Spotify. This ordinarily wouldn’t disqualify an act for me, but I wasn’t impressed with the music or Rizha’s singing. Had I been a good 2 decades younger (or 3?), this music might have spoken to me. As it was, I found her synth-reliant music unremarkable.

Rizha Austin Taco Project Second Play Stage Saturday SXSW 2019

On the other hand, the Austin Taco Project, attached to the Hilton and which opened just in time for SXSW 2018, is worth a visit for the delicious tacos and the very nice bartenders, even if you’re not there to see a band on their Second Play Stage. While we’re talking about the Hilton, I’d be remiss to not mention the Hilton’s other restaurant Cannon + Belle, which also acts as a Second Play Stage during SXSW. Carrie and I saw Holly Macve and James TW there in 2016.

Kidsmoke at Austin Taco Project
The next band were much more up my alley. Having run around like somewhat of a crazy person on Wednesday night, I could not stay at the Focus Wales showcase for Welsh band Kidsmoke. Luckily for me, the Wrexham four-piece made another appearance at the Austin Taco Project before leaving for home. I’ve seen the term ‘pastoral pop’ being bandied around when they’re discussed, and I think it’s a good description of their music.

Kidsmoke Austin Taco Project Second Play Stage Saturday SXSW 2019

Maybe it’s just me, and admittedly I have never been to Wales (!) but I have this romantic vision of its picturesque countryside, of rolling green valleys and white blots of sheep. If I had the opportunity to drive around this beautiful land, I’d want Kidsmoke’s newest single ‘Passenger’ playing while I had the windows rolled down, my hair flying in the breeze. Want to make it feel like it’s summer every day? Guitar-driven melodic pop? Yes, please!

Boy Azooga at Latitude 30
Arguably the biggest success story out of The Great Escape 2018, Cardiff’s Boy Azooga capped off a busy week in Austin with a 9 PM appearance at the British Music Embassy during BBC Radio 1’s showcase. Probably dead tired, Davey Newington and his live band showed no signs of flagging and certainly brought out their Four Tops-ey dance posturing to the Latitude 30 stage. Coming into Austin on a raft of hype, the song ‘Taxi to Your Head’ seemed quite appropriate by title, its funky grooves received well by the audience. The laidback ‘Jerry’, another from the critically acclaimed debut album from last year, ‘1, 2, Kung Fu’, was another set highlight.

Boy Azooga British Music Embassy BBC Radio 1 SXSW 2019

 

Live Gig Video: Fatherson share performance of ‘Reflection’ from upcoming third album ‘Sum of All Your Parts’

 
By on Tuesday, 11th September 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Scottish alt-rockers Fatherson will be releasing their newest album this Friday. They’ve already previewed ‘Sum of All Your Parts’, their third studio album, with a live version of ‘Making Waves’, which we posted back in June. Today, we’ve got for you another live performance of a cut from the forthcoming LP. The anthemic, Springsteen-ey like qualities of ‘Reflection’ are what I liked most about Fatherson when I first heard about them. Get ‘Sum of All Your Parts’ from Easy Life Records on the 24th of September. Much more on Fatherson can be read through this link.

 

Live Gig Video: Fatherson share ‘Making Waves’ from upcoming third album ‘Sum of All Your Parts’

 
By on Tuesday, 26th June 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Scottish trio Fatherson have a new album out this autumn. To preview the upcoming LP, they’ve unveiled ‘Making Waves’, which shows a definite change in direction for the Scots. Frontman, guitarist and famous beard owner Ross Leighton explained the song “defined how the album would sound” and it being a “heart on your sleeve slacker tune with a tonne of groove.” Slacker is right: the guitars are loud on this new song, and with the muscle of the track, it’s no wonder that when it came time to present the song to the public, they would use a physical way to convey its feeling. In the video, the three-piece are performing the song indoors, accompanied by an interpretative dancer. Watch the video below. ‘Making Waves’ will appear the band’s third studio album ‘Sum of All Your Parts’, which will drop on the 14th of September on Easy Life Records. To read our past coverage on Fatherson, come through.

 

Live Review: Augustines with Fatherson at Belfast Empire – 28th October 2016

 
By on Monday, 31st October 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

I must begin this review with a couple of regrets. This show brought me to the Empire Music Hall for the very first time, despite living and studying in Belfast for 3 months during 2012. It was also the first and regrettably the last time I will see Augustines live, for the ‘This Is Your Life’ tour was the group’s final farewell string of dates.

I was met by a three/fourths full venue of eager Augustines fans, with a sprinkle of Fatherson fans as I entered the rustic Empire Music Hall on Botanic Avenue. Everything seemed almost too fitting. The emotionally uplifting music produced by Fatherson somehow mixed really well with the neoclassical décor of the venue where Fatherson appeared like preachers, sending out their word among their listeners.

The Scottish band were the perfect support act for these final few Augustines shows. Despite knowing nothing about them prior to the show, the level of musicianship and professionalism alone was enough for me to think they were a great band. It was after their song ‘Cat Stevens’ when I fully began to appreciate them. Individually, each member was as compelling as the next, each having their own little nuances in movement that caught our attention as the eyes of audience members were glued to the stage. Frontman Ross Leighton, in particular, had everything nailed, from his mike technique to his strumming patterns. The vocal melodies and harmonies only strengthened the messages Fatherson were conveying and in such a beguiling way that left shivers down our spines long after they exited the stage.

With a short crossover time between Fatherson and Augustines’ sets, I took the chance to explore the venue in greater detail. Although it was decorated in fake cobwebs and skeletons just in time for Halloween, The Empire is one of the most prestigious in the city for up-and-coming but soon-to-be massive acts. The two-tier venue still has curtain lining the outer edges of the stages, with protruding columns and pilasters, which are still visible from the original foundations, similar to those of an old theatre hall. The dramatic surroundings proved to be a perfect venue for a farewell show.

Augustines graced the stage with pride, dignity and a lot of excitement. Their loyal fans made a clear barrier between the average punter and the band, welcoming the act with whole-hearted cheers. Without letting too much time go by, they began their first song ‘The Avenue’. It didn’t take long for the crowd to join in ultimately drowning out lead singer Billy McCarthy. Without hesitation, McCarthy and Rob Allen introduced drummer Eric Sanderson and touring trumpet player John Panos, which wass when the party truly started, diving into ‘Headlong Into the Abyss’.

Throughout the set, Augustines put their absolute all into the performance, which for their followers must have been extremely rewarding and quite a spectacle. For newcomers like myself, it brought about wonderment and awe. Every lyric was from the bottom of McCarthy’s heart, whether they were words of wisdom, love, tough times or good, or even patriotism, which is what he explained their song ‘Juares’ channels, everything was all for one.

The band did a great job in relating to their Belfast crowd by sympathising with their drinking shenanigans. This prompted the whole room to gradually begin a stomping their feet and chanting ‘Olé’, a sentiment that for some reason has been reappropriated by mainly Irish football fans. In response to this, the band replied with very kind thanks.

From start to finish, the rousing atmosphere never died. They had total control of their audience and delivered such a passionate performance, I imagine the whole room will find it hard to forget. It was clear from the show how much it meant to Augustines. Although they seemed sad by the end to be giving it up, I sensed they felt a great sense of accomplishment. As said before, my only regret is having not seen them before their final tour.

Editor of TGTF Mary Chang contributed to this report.

 

Reading 2016: Saturday Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 31st August 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Following on from the complete success that was Friday at Reading 2016 – and with Foals‘ pinnacle career moment headlining the main stage – Saturday had a lot to live up to. Headlining solo today were the funk giants and great dividers of opinion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, but first we had a whole day to experience.

The weather had a go at trying to dampen the spirits by giving a mid-morning downpour, but as with all UK festivals, this only fuelled the festival-going crowd’s insatiable lust for a good time. First up were Scottish three-piece Fatherson. Clearly a milestone for the band, they delivered their emotive and euphoric set with complete expert execution. It shouldn’t be too long before they climb their way through the stages and find themselves front and centre.

The Beach, a London-based singer/songwriter recently on tour with Tom Odell, brought his band for a full ensemble run through of his thoughtful and encompassing tunes. This was an easy watch that the calm crowd relished in. Over on the main stage, American hard rockers Clutch may not have had the largest crowd for the location, but they certainly didn’t let this stop them from giving a set that was filled with solos, riffs and just about every other rock staple you need. Shout out to drummer Jean-Paul Gaster for his 9:30 Club t-shirt (Washington represent!)

Continuing the heavy streak on the main stage, Skindred gave a thoroughly vicious performance with their blend of rock, reggae and metal. The crowd, after witnessing Clutch, were more than up for a good time with heavier influences. Which was good considering what was to come across the field.

The Pit was the place to be for most of the afternoon. Like most festivals, secret sets are always a guarantee, and Reading was no different. With a gap on the stage at 4 PM labelled as ‘TBC’, a spraypainted You Me At Six poster and a band photo backstage, the most subtle of secrets was suddenly revealed. But this was not before what could probably have been one of the best sets of the festival by Heck, a musical marvel who completely dominated the stage, the crowd and everything in between. Spending the majority of the set in various states in and on the crowd, including guitarist and singer Jonny Hall sat atop a flight case while playing guitar, it was an absolutely animalistic and wild sight to behold, Heck should not skip anyone’s radar, not they’d let that happen in any case. Back to the You Me At Six secret set, the closer the time came to 4 PM, the further the tent filled out. By the time the band took to the stage through a curtain of fog, the tent was a gravitational centre. With the band having just announced a large tour of the UK, it was a close and exciting glimpse into what was to hit our cities early next year.

On the main stage, Kent breakthrough punk duo Slaves, proved that they’d earned their way on to central billing by ferociously powering through their socially relevant songs. Another historic moment for a British band at a staple festival.

Back at The Pit and following on from Reading 2016’s worst kept secret came Milk Teeth. The Gloucestershire-based band showed exactly why they’re one of the UK’s brightest up-and-comers. With songs filled with personality and a ’90s rock feel, the crowd were as immersed in the music as the band playing them. It’s sets such as theirs that give Reading its best draw and atmosphere: small bands finding their audience, laying the groundwork for a return in the future to ever larger crowds.

One of the UK festival exclusives this year, Eagles of Death Metal have been present in the public eye for many reasons over the last year, both positive and negative. All of that didn’t matter today though as they joked, sang, laughed and rocked through a main stage set that will surely eclipse what has gone before. Leading man Jesse Hughes knows exactly how to engage and entertain his audience, be it dedicating ‘Zipper Down’ cut ‘Silverlake’ to a fan-made golden cape that he wore atop a Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt, or introducing us all to his father who was side of stage and beginning a chant of “dad! dad! dad!”, he’s an expert at his craft. Ending with ‘Save a Prayer’ who he dedicated to England because “when we needed you, you did not let us down”, likely a reference to the Bataclan terror attack in Paris last November.

While this riotous party was going down, newcomers VANT had the Festival Republic tent filled with young minds that they’re hoping to reach with their politically charged songs. Judging by the reception they were given during single ‘The Answer’ that references Afghanistan and UK/U.S. relations, their plan is working.

Mancunians The Courteeners burst onto the main stage taking over from where Eagles of Death Metal left off. Theirs was a rousing, anthemic set, perfect to carry the afternoon through to ready for the evening’s festivities. Imagine Dragons were the warm-up for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and by the term warm up, they certainly did. With crowd pleasers such as ‘Radioactive’ and ‘Demons’ and their larger than life sound, there was no way they could fail.

Finally, it was the turn of the big guns, Red Hot Chili Peppers. A band who simply need no introduction, over 3 decades of funk and rock, they proved at Reading they’re here to keep the reigning crown. Taking to the stage at 9:30, the incomparable Red Hot Chili Peppers were as welcomed as they would’ve been at any point in their career, with a hungry crowd and rapturous applause. Kicking straight in with ‘Can’t Stop’, it was clear they were here to only prove this point. Though the set could have felt a touch more exciting, it was a solid performance that certainly cemented Kiedis and co.’s place at top billing. Hits aplenty, from a full crowd sing along to ‘Under the Bridge’ to an encore ending with ‘Give It Away’. Saturday night closed out with the feeling of an impenetrable force proved by the enthusiastic crowd, who had grown to almost the entire festival capacity and sought any means possible to get a view. If Saturday was anything to go by, it proved Reading and Leeds is a festival that not only secures the legends but can also breed them.

 

Live Review: Lonely the Brave at Cambridge Corn Exchange – 20th May 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 24th May 2016 at 3:00 pm
 

Hometown pride is a wonderful thing. It turns a standard rock show into an emotional and memorable experience that generally resides in both the band and fans’ history as a date to remember. For the case of Cambridge-based band Lonely The Brave, Friday night’s show at Cambridge Corn Exchange was their largest hometown show to date and also the album release show for ‘Things Will Matter’, their staggeringly powerful second album.

Being sure to emphasise that this is a party rather than your run-of-the-mill affair, we have not one but three support acts: The Staycations and Swedish Death Candy kick the proceedings off before Scottish four-piece Fatherson would take to the stage. The crowd started building rapidly to catch this band who are on a quick trip to the top with their heartfelt and anthemic rock sound, and they simply did not disappoint.

When it came to Lonely The Brave’s turn on stage, the atmosphere in the room changed from expectant to vivacious. With the knowledge that the evening was being filmed for potential future release, there was obviously going to be a general anticipatory factor thrown in to both the performance and set, and they more than delivered.

Singer David Jakes, who suffers from anxiety, was more confident than ever before. Consisting of majority Cantabrigians such as myself, as well as the hardest of the core fans (shoutout to the Belgian superfan who’s travelled and seen the band in multiple countries), the swell of pride that came over the crowd when the thunderous ‘Radar’ began was unmeasurable. Being one of the harder tracks from ‘Things Will Matter’, it was a tremendously strong start, with an atmosphere of utter power and control over the audience. Things definitely didn’t digress in the slightest as the set continued, with the majority of the set made up of choices that exuberated the sheer ferocity that this band can attack with. We were even treated to cuts from the redux version of their debut album ‘The Day’s War’. ‘Science’, in particular, held strong ground with its crescendo breaking to new euphoric heights.

One omission from the setlist that was surprising was single ‘Trick of the Light’, though a 50/50 balance of both albums fit the billing well, and the band can’t be said they favour one album over the other. The pride the band takes in its songs is contagious. Emotive and soaring, Jakes uses the canvas laid out by his bandmates to reveal his inner struggles both mentally and physically. The strength it takes for anyone to unveil this is admirable, let alone to a room filled with friends, family and fans.

It was the final three songs where the evening hit its peak. ‘The Day’s War’ cut ‘Black ‘Saucers’ saw the crowd whipped into a frenzy, leaving no shoe undanced. Continuing into ‘Rattlesnakes’ and finishing with fan favourite ‘The Blue, The Green’, this final triple threat proved to just cement what everyone in the room knew already. Lonely the Brave are an unstoppable force that is gaining more momentum on a daily basis, soon to be turned into a juggernaut of melodic and deep-end qualities.

Cambridge is a town known for its academia and scholars, but for the 1,500 people in the Corn Exchange this evening, Lonely the Brave are the only thing from this town that matters, and rightly so. The band continue their English tour through to Friday of this week.

 
 
 

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

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