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Live Gig Video: Little Comets share February 2014 tour video set to ‘Coalition of One’

 
By on Thursday, 13th March 2014 at 5:05 pm
 

While on tour in the UK, Little Comets filmed this video while traveling in February to see all of your lovely faces. It’s set to the addictive ‘Coalition of One’, off their current release ‘The Gentle EP’, out now.

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

 

Live Gig Video: learn to play along on guitar to new Real Estate track ‘Crime’

 
By on Monday, 24th February 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Lyric videos are pretty common these days and are admittedly being used as an easy way out to present new songs. Brooklyn’s Real Estate could never be accused of being as lazy, and their latest promo video of sorts is evidence of this. They’ll be releasing a new album, ‘Atlas’, next Monday the 3rd of March on Domino Records, and ahead of the new effort dropping, they want to teach you how to play one of the new tracks, ‘Crime’, along with them. I don’t play guitar so I can’t say for sure, but I would think that anyone with a basic knowledge of guitar notes and chords will probably find this interesting and instructive. Follow along with the band on ‘Crime’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gSE2NK8SDQ[/youtube]

 

Live Review: White Lies with Frankie Rose at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 22nd February 2014

 
By on Monday, 24th February 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

White Lies – or probably more accurately, their management team – don’t think that highly of DC. I’ve now seen the West London band every time they’ve come to our city. All three times. They’ve played in New York a countless number of times, but as a result of not appearing here all that often (the last time was nearly 2 and a half years ago, and during the interim, I’ve been silently fuming over the fact they’d skipped us several times; note to bands: don’t do this to me!), I think their fanbase here is probably less dedicated and more fractured. Being a Saturday night, I knew the Ealing band’s latest show in town to support their third album, 2013’s ‘Big TV’ (reviewed by me here), would be well attended. It just wouldn’t be sold out. White Lies has the benefit (or handicap, depending who you talk to, I guess) of bassist Charles Cave’s rather gloomy and always fatalistic lyrics. I went looking for the goths Saturday night, and there were none to be seen! Maybe they were all skulking in the shadows?

The soft-spoken (yet hard rocking) Frankie Rose, then, seems to have been an odd choice for a support act. However, after the first of Miss Rose’s songs, choosing her made the more mixed male to female ratio than I usually used to make more sense. I nearly went deaf by the man who was shouting “I love you!” at her. Gotta appreciate his fervor, though. I saw her open for Franz Ferdinand last autumn and she definitely was more in her element in a club setting than at a posh symphony hall. Wearing black sequined shorts that allowed her to show off her nice legs and thighs, it was nearly more than the testosterone around me could handle.

She seems like a really light-hearted person, the kind of woman you’d invite round for tea and have wonderfully honest conversations with. So it strikes me a bit odd that two of the songs in her less than 30-minute set were of the “spooky” and “scary variety, and she also managed to make fun of, jokingly, the more amorous concertgoers: “Who’s here on a date?” ::pauses:: “Really? Eww…” One of the more emotionally real moments of her set was when she described her new album ‘Herein Wild’ as explaining the good way “how truth always comes up to the top, even if you don’t want it to”. A good example of this is ‘Question/Reason’, which Rose described to The Line of Best Fit as her favourite song to play live, and it shows.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s been quite a long time since White Lies graced a stage in Washington. Unlike the two past times I’d seen them, something was palpably different. In the club atmosphere of the Black Cat coheadlining with Friendly Fires in 2009, the trepidation in frontman Harry McVeigh was visible on his face, until the crowd got behind them, allaying his fears. Two years later bringing second album ‘Ritual’ with them, they returned looking like conquering heroes, drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown hitting his kit so hard, I was sure it would spontaneously explode into a million piece with one wrong beat. Third time’s a charm, so they say, and in White Lies’ case, I’d say they’ve eased into their position as not necessarily elder statesman of gloom and doom rock (I think the Smiths have that sewn up) but certainly celebrated alt rockers who have proved their worth in longevity.

The set was heavily peppered with songs from their 2008 debut ‘To Lose My Life…’, much to the delight of everyone down the front. I was actually quite surprised by the band choosing to do this, figuring there would have been a heavier emphasis on ‘Big TV’ tracks. I was shocked when non-singles ‘A Place to Hide’ and ‘EST’ made an appearance; I wasn’t as shocked when ‘Unfinished Business’ was played, though it was a nice touch by McVeigh to remind everyone that it had been the first song they’d written and without its release, we’d probably have never heard of them. ‘Death’, which closed out their set before the encore, was played no longer as the hugely pogo-inducing set of my memory; just prior to the bridge, the tempo slowed down almost like a fake song ending, which had the effect of destroying the song’s momentum.

However, there were more high points than low. As I had predicted beforehand, the bombast of newer song ‘First Time Caller’ sounded massive on the 9:30 stage, as did that of ‘Mother Tongue’, though I’m still having trouble getting my head round the rather lumbering words. And if you thought the reach of Prince‘s secretive shows in the UK did not extend out to North America, think again: the headline set also included a strange cover of ‘I Would Die 4 U’ that relegated Lawrence-Brown on xylophone and McVeigh on synth. I’ve never been a massive Prince fan, so I didn’t get much out of this, save sensing it was one of the band’s greatest wishes to perform a Prince cover live and given their current stature, why not?

Now that the band have three albums to their name, it stands to reason that before White Lies even contemplates going out on tour, they’ve got to make some hard decisions about their set list, and not all of their choices on the North American tour were great. While I would have rather preferred a far more frenzied response from the punters Saturday night, I think the reaction I witnessed speaks to White Lies’ fanbase these days: reverential, rather than manic and fanatical. Just like the band has grown up, so has their fans.

After the cut: White Lies’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: White Lies with Frankie Rose at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 22nd February 2014

 

Live Review: Glasvegas with the Ceremonies at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 16th February 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 18th February 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

When I started writing about music in 2009, my focus was on pop and dance, with minimal intrusion from rock. Nearly 5 years on, I know my musical tastes have changed significantly, because I now find myself moving away from dance and diving headlong into heavier stuff. While Glasvegas initially was famous for ‘Geraldine’ and ‘Daddy’s Gone’ from their self-titled debut on Columbia Records, both songs that might be reasonably classed as lite rock, the Scottish four-piece proved Sunday night at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel (their first night on their current North American tour) that more often than not, they’re actually a huge-sounding rock powerhouse that you might not have guessed listening to them on record and if you’ve had your own reservations about the band based on their albums, I recommend you go see them live. ASAP.

The opening act for the night were Los Angeles brothers The Ceremonies, who also brought three touring band members to round out their sound. I want to give mad props to the band’s manager, who went out of her way to buy sodas before the show started for all the underage fans who were stuck outside of the venue because staff wouldn’t let them into the place until nearly an hour after the supposed start time of the support. Because I’d brought my underage cousin’s daughter as my guest for the night, I was stood outside with the rest of them and let me tell you, just like every other night in Washington this winter, it was very cold and frankly inhumane for an all-ages venue to treat minors like that. But, let me get on with describing their performance…

It turned out a lot of those minors were there only for the Ceremonies and swiftly departed the venue once they were finished. From that, I can only guess they must have a massive teenage following here in the States. As you might expect, the brothers Cook – older brother Matthew and twins Mark and Michael – have the gift of sibling harmonisation, and a few songs early on in their opening set took advantage of this, with them sounding vaguely Beach Boys-ish. One of the brothers was wearing a cardigan. However, the rest of the set was loud and raucous, which seemed more in line with another brother who had his shirt open and wore chains ala Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and this brother and the third one were wearing leather trousers and complaining how cold it was for LA boys to be out here on the East Coast. That’s part of touring the big ol’ U.S. of A. Better start learning to suck it up, boys!

‘Land of Gathering’ sounds New Wave meets the Strokes, while ‘Ballroom Bones’ has almost a doo wop vocal flavour paired with a stomping rock rhythm. MTV here in America even has a dedicated artist page on them and the Huffington Post has already interviewed them, so I guess the powers that be must think they’re going to be massive at some point. I will give them that their stage patter is rather charming, with the Steven Tyler-esque one saying that after they were done playing, they’d be available to talk or play patty cake with fans. Snort. Right…

If the British tabloids are to be believed, from reports of his disappearance prior to the 2009 Mercury Prize ceremony to his living in a hotel in Glasgow instead of his own house, frontman James Allan of Glasvegas is a bit of a diva. (Then again, so are most frontmen of the biggest bands in the world – the Pete Dohertys and the Liam Gallaghers – right?) Having never met the man personally, I have no idea either way, but he did all he could to dismiss this false impression being trotted out the media. Or maybe he has turned over a new leaf? I was taken aback by how many times he thanked punters for coming out to see them and not just support them, but the whole indie music scene at large. I can’t remember the last time hearing anyone saying how grateful he/she was for the fans and speaking on behalf of his/her indie music brethren. Cheers for that, brother in arms.

What made this more starkly obvious was that he said these things between when Glasvegas were simply wailing on tracks like ‘The World is Yours’ and ‘Euphoria, Take My Hand’ and I thought the roof of the place might come off from the sheer loudness of the racket they were making. (No wonder when they were soundchecking and we were in the upstairs bar, we could feel the floor beneath us vibrating.) Cute were the Scots who came out in droves, cheering the band on in Scottish Gaelic; I had no idea what they were saying but Allan would yell back at them in the same tongue, which only served to positively rile up them more. Older songs ‘Ice Cream Van’ and ‘Flowers and Football Tops’, the latter performed solo by Allan with just his voice and electric guitar, showcased his powerful voice while not needing to blow our ears out. While their 2013 album on BMG ‘Later…When the TV Turns to Static’ has not had the kind of commercial success their first two LPs garnered, Glasvegas should still be considered a major live draw and the deafening applause that accompanied the band as left the stage Sunday night is proof of that.

After the cut: Glasvegas’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Glasvegas with the Ceremonies at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 16th February 2014

 

Live Review: Kodaline with LP at U Street Music Hall, Washington DC – 15th February 2014

 
By on Monday, 17th February 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

If Kodaline had any question on how they’d be received on their second visit to the Nation’s Capital, with Washington having been the first date on their winter 2014 North American tour to have sold out, they needn’t have worried. As the tickets were snapped up quickly for Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia, in October, so were the ones for Saturday night’s show at U Street Music Hall. It’s been a brutally cold winter here, and even though I arrived early with the intention to queue, it became apparent dressed in my cold weather finery as my fingers and lips began to freeze that arriving just 30 minutes before the posted door time might not have been a great idea. To the young ladies who arrived more than 2 hours before doors and without coats while the mercury around -8 degrees C, my hats off to you, that’s some serious Kodaline devotion. Or possible insanity.

The support act for the night was LP, aka Laura Pergolizzi, a hyped up singer/songwriter currently based on Los Angeles. The curly-haired woman must have her own followers, but somehow I missed all the hype. Maybe this is because she’s been too busy cowriting hits for Rihanna, Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera. With a recording contract of her own with Warner Brothers as of 2011, perhaps her own luck fame will change soon. As I did research before going to see her, I had read that her music had smacked of a cross between Bob Dylan and Marc Bolan. Because I hadn’t seen any photos, I didn’t realise until I got to the show that LP was, in fact, a woman. Now the high-pitched vocals make more sense!

It was clear from the cheering during her set that she already has a lot of admirers, and probably more so as she dedicated song ‘New Town’ to all her new lovely friends in Washington. But her vocal delivery isn’t for everyone: her voice is warbly and she often employs falsetto. Also, if you’re not a fan of the ukulele (and really, who is, unless you’re a fan of Tiny Tim and Don ‘Tiny Bubbles’ Ho?), you’d probably be stood there scratching your head. A cover of Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ left me and my friend inwardly groaning. Still, if the folky stylings of classic Greenwich village mixed in with rock is your style (see fan favourite ‘Into the Wild’), I’m guessing this would be your thing.

The main event at U Street that night was, of course, Kodaline. They endeared themselves to the crowd by giving credit to their Irish heritage with a toe-tapping instrumental cover of the Pogues’ ‘Dirty Old Town’ mid-set, but what was more startling was how many times in the show singer Steve Garrigan could stop singing altogether and his words would come floating back to him, 400 times louder (400 being the capacity of the hall). The most stunning moment of this nonsinging happened during the start of ‘One Day’, when he turned his mike towards the crowd and didn’t start singing until the first verse was over.

One of Kodaline’s greatest strengths is their ability to write both upbeat and slower, more emotional numbers. ‘After the Fall’ was a good one to begin with, with its sweeping instrumentation, and you might think going into sombre ‘Pray’ (“I drink alone to stop myself from weeping” – eep) directly after would be a misstep. Not with this guys, who deftly handle buoyancy and melancholy equally well. The innocence of the plinky plonky xylophone in ‘Brand New Day’ was well received, as was the psychedelia of ‘Lose Your Mind’ from the band’s self-titled EP, with one girl near breathlessly commenting after, “that’s my favourite song, ever!” The encore, featuring the unreleased but breathtakingly beautiful ‘The Answer’ followed by what appears to be the perpetual Kodaline show closer ‘All I Want’, was peerless. When we first starting writing about Kodaline, the thing that struck me was that they had the artistic vision and certainly the talent to become the Irish Coldplay and be massively successful, meaning that it was only time before they would play stadiums like Chris Martin and co. What crossed my mind last night, nearly a year on since I saw them for the first time at SXSW 2013 and now being surrounded by adoring fans, was that if and when Coldplay ever do decide to return to music, they can expect someone else, these guys, sat on what used to their throne. The gauntlet has been thrown.

After the cut: Kodaline’s set list for the night.
Continue reading Live Review: Kodaline with LP at U Street Music Hall, Washington DC – 15th February 2014

 

(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #293: Wildflowers

 
By on Wednesday, 12th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Brighton-based four-piece Wildflowers center their folk rock sound around the vocal harmonies of sisters Siddy and Kit Bennett. Siblings almost always have a unique ability to perfectly match their vocal diction for seamless harmonies, but the sisters also share a love of rebellious female songs, citing Alanis Morrisette as an early musical influence. Hints of Morrisette certainly appear in Wildflowers’ lyrics and Siddy Bennett’s vocal delivery, but the overall sound leans more toward the bluesy country of Patsy Cline. The Bennett sisters cite their nomadic, bohemian upbringing as an influence on their music as well, with American bands like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac informing the full-scale vocal harmonies they share with band members James Ashbury and Kendal Sant.

On listening to the tracks available on the band’s Soundcloud page, I was struck by the variety in their songs. The live version of ‘Let It Go’ from BBC Introducing in September 2013 is catchy, upbeat and a little gritty, but nicely balanced by the sweet vocals. ‘Tell Them I’m Your Woman’ makes the Patsy Cline influence abundantly clear, and while Siddy Bennett’s voice doesn’t quite hit that mark, her throaty vocals and the sexy percussion and guitars do pack some emotional heat. The bluesy, almost gospel sound is turned up even further on ‘I Need to Hit That Road’ (don’t miss the chorus of this one!) and ‘Took Me to the River’ (see the video for this track at the bottom of this post).

Wildflowers are just finishing a supporting tour for singer/songwriter Tom Odell and are set to embark on their own headline tour of the UK in March, ahead of their scheduled appearance at SXSW 2014. Their debut EP ‘Wild Among The Flowers’ is available now.

Thursday 13th February 2014 – Sheffield O2 Academy (supporting Tom Odell)
Wednesday 5th March 2014 – Manchester Castle Hotel
Thursday 6th March 2014 – Glasgow Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s
Friday 7th March 2014 – Liverpool Korova
Saturday 8th March 2014 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Monday 10th March 2014 – Bristol Louisiana
Tuesday 11th March 2014 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Wednesday 12th March 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 13th March 2014 – London Sebright Arms

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Hikc_OaQe_k[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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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