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CMW 2016: Music is Great Britain UK Trade and Investment showcase Saturday night – 7th May 2016

 
By on Thursday, 26th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

You know that phrase, “loud enough to wake the dead”? Saturday night at Canadian Music Week 2016 may not have been all that loud, but it was definitely the most crowded night out in town, with plenty of locals out and about to lend a party atmosphere. It sure was very cold and windy, making me wonder whilst wearing my hat and gloves if the dearly departed residents of St. James’ church cemetery near my accommodation for the week were rattling around in their graves.

When it comes to the elements, I consider myself reasonably hearty stock if dressed appropriately, having faced wind and driving rain in my face on many occasions in the UK. However, following along in a theme that has repeated in most everywhere in North America this spring, it was just too damn cold Saturday night. In stark contrast, I saw The Spook School play an early set at the Garrison that afternoon when it was sunny and bright, and I had wished we could have bottled that poppy sunniness and used an atomizer over the entire chilly week of CMW 2016.

The Spook School CMW 2016 Garrison Saturday

My plans for the last night of CMW 2016 would take place solely and in one of the nicer clubs in all of Toronto. Velvet Underground on Queen Street would be seeing out the festival in style, thanks to a ‘Music is Great Britain’-branded showcase put on by UK Trade and Investment. The first two bands on the bill are friends of TGTF; the other two, well, you’ll have to read on.

As a rule, TGTF does not condone skipping school for the sake of music. However, we’re going to give The Orielles a wide berth, as they arrived in Toronto as close as humanly possible to play their first show during CMW while catching as much school as they could before they left. I understand they had finals to return to after; I hope the adrenaline off their first North American music festival saw the band through them.

The Orielles CMW 2016 Velvet Underground Saturday UK Trade and Investment

While they played, excited whispers abounded all around me. “They’re how old?” “And they can play *that* well?” “When did you discover them?” “Liverpool Sound City?” “No, 2013?” “Seriously???” “How old are they again???” Opening the UKTI showcase might well have been ample cause for anxiety, but the young yet experienced in gigs trio from Halifax came out with tune after tune. The Orielles’ first North American appearance was a triumph in every sense of the word, impressing industry and punters alike with their energetic garage and surf-tinged performance.

The People The Poet CMW 2016 Velvet Underground Saturday UK Trade and Investment

The People The Poet, now SXSW veterans after showcasing back to back in 2015 and 2016, were up next. From the surfy, psych vibe created by the Orielles, the Welsh band brought things back squarely to good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. The vocals of frontman Leon Stanford – growly, emphatic and Joe Cocker-esque – are a force to be reckoned with on their own. But accompanied by the band’s driving instrumentation with the anthemic glow of any Springsteen number worth its salt, the complete package of The People The Poet provide a formidable punch. Check out recent single ‘Club 27’ below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fKgiJdlA3c[/youtube]

Very early on in my CMW 2016 schedule preparation, I’d pencilled in The Undivided for my last night in Toronto. I’d gone through the profiles of all the UK bands headed out to the festival, and I had been most impressed with the oomph of ‘Invincible’. I fully felt the emotions of this band, displayed on their sleeve for all to see. It was a feeling I’d experienced 2 years ago at Liverpool Sound City when faced with Geordies Boy Jumps Ship for the first time. (They’ve just released their debut album this month, and I couldn’t have been prouder of and happier for them.) When you listen to the power of their music and lyrics together, you just know this means an awful lot to every member of the band. Even more weirdly coincidental, both of these bands’ names suggest an inclusionary, “all for one, one for all” mentality that is comforting in this crazy world we live in.

The Undivided CMW 2016 Velvet Underground Saturday UK Trade and Investment

The Welsh band released their latest EP ‘Satellites’ on the 6th of May when we were all out in Toronto, so I hadn’t had a chance to listen to it. It’s on Spotify now, and it’s good stuff. This is loud, fast-paced rock with plenty of heart, and you should do yourself the favour of checking them out now. You know, before they hit it big and I say in a smug tone “I told you so” to your face.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wtcZhHSwWk[/youtube]

I have gotten onboard with Slaves and have been known to sing along – loudly – to ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie’. However, I have to admit that I still haven’t quite figured out the appeal of Fat White Family. Is it the camp posturing of Lias Saoudi that gets people hot and bothered? Is it the spitting? Is it the sleaze of ‘Touch the Leather’? Or is it just the anarchic feel of their brand of punk? Of all the bands at the UKTI showcase, they brought in the biggest crowd of the night. Is that a commentary on the music lovers of Toronto? Let’s hope not.

Fat White Family CMW 2016 Velvet Underground Saturday UK Trade and Investment

I left Velvet Underground with the same feeling I had closing out what will probably be my final Sound City in 2014. What was I missing about this hugely hyped band? A few weeks out now from my first CMW, I have come to the acceptance yet again that as they say, there’s no accounting for taste. TGTF will continue to do what we’ve always done: champion the little guy and the music that moves us. And we appreciate you all – bands and fans alike – being along with us for the ride.

 

Preview: Canadian Music Week 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 27th April 2016 at 11:00 am
 

What event starts up in earnest next week and has been kicking around longer than SXSW, and yet you may never have heard of its name? Canadian Music Week, 34 years young in 2016, kicks things off this coming Monday, the 2nd of May, through to the wee hours of Saturday, the 8th of May. And possibly longer, depending on how long the revelers last, eh? (Sorry, I had to get a good-hearted Canadian joke in there somewhere.) Naturally, it takes place in Canada’s most populous city, the crown jewel of the province of Ontario, and arguably its multicultural and cosmopolitan heart, Toronto. It’s a city I can’t wait to explore and come see for myself.

Like SXSW, Canadian Music Week 2016 will boast plenty of evening music showcases featuring homegrown Canadian talent alongside international acts equally eager to make their mark on the Great White North and the world. Also like its Texan younger brother, it also has a conference portion that will appeal to film, digital media and music fanatics and professionals in those businesses alike. Unlike SXSW, Canadian Music Week also runs in tandem with Canadian Comedy Fest, so I’m expecting to run into some funny folks while doing normal Canadian errands, like getting takeaway poutine. (In case you are not familiar with the Quebecois food phenomenon that has become the national dish of Canada, read more about its history here.)

There are plenty of amazing acts scheduled to perform in Toronto next week for music fans to sink their teeth into. Of the Canadian talent on show, sister pop act Tegan and Sara, Saskatoon rockers The Sheepdogs, pop star Lights and alt-country stars the Strumbellas are sure to show who’s boss in their home country. Alongside the Canadians near the top of the bill are Americans Eagles of Death Metal, X Ambassadors, Wild Nothing and ‘90s alt-rock heroes Collective Soul. The British are well represented too, with festival favourites Fat White Family, electro r&b artist NAO, rapper and grime artist Skepta and electronic producer Mura Masa. I would be humanly impossible to list all the artists playing at CMW 2016, so I invite to check out the artist list here.

Base-level wristbands for the evening music showcases are available at the price of CAD 75.00. These wristbands will give the purchaser access to all music showcases for the 7-day event, subject to venue capacity. Note: Most showcases and the venues participating are 19+ unless specifically marked as all ages. For CAD 150.00, you can upgrade to a VIP wristband, allowing the purchaser to choose guaranteed access to three shows of their choosing. Wristbands for Canadian Music Week can be purchased here. Tickets can also be purchased singly for the specific show / artist you want to see, if you’re less OCD than we are about music festivals (you know, hitting as many bands and acts we can before falling over into our dinner, exhausted). To purchase single event tickets, go here.

You can keep up with TGTF’s continuing coverage of Canadian Music Week 2016 through this link. See you in Toronto!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mXXnZ2nC5s[/youtube]

 

NME Awards Tour / February and March 2015

 
By on Wednesday, 14th January 2015 at 9:00 am
 

London rock quartet Palma Violets are set to headline the 2015 NME Awards Tour beginning next month in Sheffield, following the official NME Awards Ceremony on the 18th of February. Palma Violets played one of the tour’s coveted support slots back in 2013, the same year they won the award for Best New Band (read Martin’s live review here.)

Support slots this year will be filled by Fat White Family, The Amazing Snakeheads, and Slaves. Speaking to NME about his tour companions, Palma Violets bassist Chilli Jesson said, “I think this will go down as one of the greatest package tours that NME has had. I’m really excited to be going on tour with bands I really respect and listen to in my own time. Amazing Snakeheads are the best live band I saw all last year and last time I saw Fat White Family they made the place absolutely light up. They’re bands that are giving everything.”

Officially billed as “the NME Awards Tour 2015 with Austin, Texas”, both the award and the tour count the host city for SXSW 2015 as a primary partner. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Thursday 19th February 2015 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 20th February 2015 – Leeds Academy
Saturday 21st February 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Sunday 22nd February 2015 – Glasgow ABC
Tuesday 24th February 2015 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 26th February 2015 – Manchester Ritz
Friday 27th February 2015 – Oxford Academy
Saturday 28th February 2015 – Birmingham Institute
Monday 2nd March 2015 – Bristol Academy
Tuesday 3rd March 2015 – Portsmouth Pyramid
Wednesday 4th March 2015 – London Forum

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Rock UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (A-M)

 
By on Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Oh, British rock. Its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In this first installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we take a closer look at bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, starting alphabetically A through M. And away we go…

Band of Skulls
John writes of their latest single: “…we were treated to the anything but a ‘Sweet Sour’ follow-up to Band of Skulls’ aforementioned 2011 record, bonus single, ‘Be Mine’. It hardly starts in true, chug-a-lug-ing Band of Skulls format, with a lingering guitar solo from Russell Marsden building in to the twin harmonies of Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson, underscored by an old school piano melody. The song builds like the back drop to a love scene from a an old western, and I felt the first time that I was walking into an old saloon bar, as the two harmonised, ‘hit me with your love, be mine / all our future’s in the balance'”.

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

Bring Me the Horizon
John writes: “Their fourth album is undeniably the moment where BMTH came of age. It’s such a clichéd phrase, but it’s obvious Sykes and co. have a found a sound that truly epitomizes where they are as a band on this record. On ‘Antivist’, we have a trademark display of BMTH bile and vitriol, as Sykes does his best to use the F and C bombs as frequently as he can in one song. Meanwhile, ‘Shadow Moses’ is a beast of a different order, showcasing a BMTH embracing a spot of synth, while still remaining fierce in their breakdowns.”

Read more from John here.

Cage the Gods
Leather, check. Tats, check. Long hair like they just don’t care, check. Yes, this London-based band fits the stereotype of hard rockers out of Britain but here’s something you don’t hear every day: a band that has English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh members playing in perfect harmony. Or maybe the better description is rocking out in thunderous, bluesy accord. ‘Favourite Sin’? Check it out below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjr2dkyBwmw[/youtube]

Casual Sex
John writes: “Anybody looking for quintessential British indie boys will be pretty delighted by what this four-piece have to offer, as Casual Sex appear to be an indie offering cultivated from a mix of what’s doing the rounds at the moment, a la Franz Ferdinand, Royal Blood, The 1975 and Night Engine. There’s a broody, almost sullen vocalist in Smith, backed by Edward Wood providing the dreampop guitar elements, Peter Masson on bass and Chris McCrory tapping away on drums. Mixed in with some pre-1970s goodness for proper measure, they’re a taste of all things British in four-good looking blokes. Marketable and sure to be gobbled right up by the A&Rs at SXSW.”

Read more in his Bands to Watch piece here. Singer Sam Smith also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions.

The Crookes
The Sheffield based band were recently bestowed a generous grant from the UK government for the purpose of making a go of breaking America, but there is much more this group has to be proud of. For one, they’re only the second band after Death Cab for Cutie have released three albums on their London indie label Fierce Panda, with ‘Soapbox’ due out in mid April. With a steadily harder edge since their humbler 2010 ‘Dreaming of Another Day’ beginnings, they’ll be ones to watch this year.

Read my glowing review of ‘Soapbox’ here. The band also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions as a team here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmn9F9vKxzU[/youtube]

Drenge
Martin writes: “…opportunistic recommendations from politicians aside, what’s all the fuss about Drenge? With a slender lineup consisting of brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless and nobody else, the Sheffield pair conjure a mighty brick wall of distorted guitars and scarily thrashed drums.”

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch piece on Drenge here.

Et Tu Brucé
What would have happened if the Byrds got together with Stuart Murdoch? They’d probably be rocking out and sounding like Et Tu Brucé. The guitars and harmonies are effortless, and if they’re really touring with the Zombies as it says on their Web site, sorry, I think they’ll give those grandpas a run for their money. And clearly from the video below, they have a sense of humour. (Yes!)

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

Evans the Death
This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Fat White Family
Ben writes: “Anarchic South London six piece Fat White Family might well be as well known for unveiling a “bitch is dead” banner at their Brixton bolthole in the immediate aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s (debatably) tragic passing, as for their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’. Gloriously menacing and wildly off-kilter, their unique brand of noise can be heard at British Music Embassy’s parting blow on the Saturday night of SXSW 2014.”


This London duo brings a little bit of everything: grooves, psych rock, lounge club sleaze. As such and with little out on the internet about them, they’re virtually impossible to describe. However, Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan have been quite active, and following on from two self releases in 2013, they’re releasing single ‘Turn Your Light On’ is part of a AA side to be released by fine North East folks and friends of ours Generator in March.

The Kooks
“Are the Kooks still going?” An actual question from a musician friend of mine who asked me who I was most keen on seeing at SXSW. Having nearly as long of a history as one of my standouts from SXSW 2012, Kaiser Chiefs, the Brighton indie rockers do have something to prove: that even though it’s been over 2 years the release of 2011’s ‘Junk of the Heart’, they’re still a viable export. Having at least two showcases at SXSW at high-profile venues (the Parish and Stubb’s), let’s see if they make the most of their opportunity.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvHZ4ddR-4[/youtube]

Morning Parade
The Harlow boys have been around quite a while now and command big audiences back home, but they’ve yet to make a real splash stateside. Is it time for limelight beyond the UK? The dazzling indie splendour of ‘Alienation’, the title track of their 2013 Parlophone-released EP, seems tailor made for mainstream MTV in America.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcm5fJS8jZE[/youtube]

Stay tuned for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming atcha soon!

 
 
 

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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