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Film/Album Review: One More Time With Feeling / Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

By on Friday, 16th September 2016 at 12:00 pm

One More Time With Feeling is the heartbreaking tale of how Nick Cave turned the grief surrounding the tragic death of his 15-year-old son Arthur into ‘Skeleton Tree’, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ latest album. The documentary, which was screened in select cinemas across the world last Thursday, the 9th of September, features interviews with Cave, as well as footage of him recording his new album at Air Studios in London, where his creativity has been inspired by his son’s passing.

Director Andrew Dominik, renowned for The Assassination of Jesse James, builds stunning visuals around Cave’s disembodied sound of the new record, combining 3D imagery with stark black-and-white imagery. Cave also provides a retrospective voiceover, which is brilliantly edited to fit around the conversations he is having in real time as presented in the film.

Nick Cave documentary shot

As One More Time With Feeling progresses, fashion designer Susie Bick, Cave’s wife, becomes more of a prominent figure in the documentary. In one of the film’s most touching scenes, she shows off Arthur’s painting of a local windmill, while Cave sits by her side, deep in his thoughts. It quickly becomes evident that the couple channelled the pain of their tragic loss to help drive themselves and their careers forward. Bick, a successful fashion designer, got “lost” in designing a new line to channel what positive energy she could muster through her sorrow.

The result of this is ‘Skeleton Tree’, the sixteenth studio album from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Cave addresses the tragic passing of his son as early as the first line on the record: “You fell from the sky, crash landed in a field near the River Adur”. He also recalls his own preconceptions of death: “I used to think that when you died you kind of wandered the world, in a slumber ‘til you crumbled were absorbed into the earth. I don’t think that anymore”.

Each of the eight tracks on the album are held together by Cave’s grief-filled, spoken word style of lyrics, which stand out through a combination of his profound voice and the overpowering bass and low tones. He sounds defeated. He sounds like a man on the verge of tears. It gives the listener a sense of Nick Cave’s emotional state and how he is coping with any parent’s worst nightmare.

One More Time With Feeling and ‘Skeleton Tree brilliantly go hand-in-hand to give an insight into how Nick Cave and his wife dealt with the passing of his son. Whilst you don’t need to see the documentary to understand the trauma Cave went through, the album’s powerful sentiment will provide you exactly the idea of how difficult it was for him to make.


Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ ‘Skeleton Tree’ newest album is out now on Bad Seed Ltd. Editor of TGTF Mary Chang contributed to this feature.


Live Gig Video: Franz Ferdinand reveal behind the scenes Come Home, Practically All, Is Nearly Forgiven short film

By on Tuesday, 20th August 2013 at 4:00 pm

Less than a week now to go for the release of Franz Ferdinand‘s newest album ‘Right Words, Right Thoughts, Right Action’ on Domino Records this coming bank holiday Monday. (John reviewed the new LP here.) And with that, Alex Kapranos and co. have thought it best to release a short film with interview tidbits, studio clips of them writing in Alex’s studio in Scotland and even funny moments on a carpet to give you a behind the scenes look at the making of the new album. Watch it below.



Single / Film Review: The Crookes – Dance in Colour

By on Wednesday, 24th April 2013 at 12:00 pm

Editor’s note: this is long. I had planned to just review the song. But I couldn’t leave behind the film that goes with it. Just saying! If you really can’t be bothered, scroll down to the bottom and read the last paragraph before the rating…

Update: the band have posted the lyrics under the video on YouTube, so I’ve replaced mine with Daniel Hopewell’s. This affects the review slightly and I’ve added an addendum to address this.

Another week, and another Crookes single. This time, the band branched out beyond just a promo video and actually made a short film soundtracked by the actual song, ‘Dance in Colour’, the other A-side to ‘Bear’s Blood’ that premiered last week. (You can read my review and words on that here.) I had to take a slightly different approach to reviewing this one, now that I had two mediums to examine. I’ll say it up front now that I’m not a cinema buff; I’ve never found the medium of film as exciting as music. At first I thought, okay, this could go in an entirely pretentious direction with the subtitles and not make sense in the context of the song.

However fear not; the vignette’s script was also written by Daniel Hopewell, and I promise you, everything does come together, even if it feels weird initially when you’re queueing it up and you don’t see the band at all in this. (I believe this marks the first of their promos that they don’t actually star or clown around in.) After several listens, and then turning down the sound to read the words, there’s actually a striking sync between the song and the dialogue between the two actors.

You can read the dialogue while you watch the video, so I’m not going to transcribe that for you. After posting the original review, the band helpfully posted the lyrics under the description of the YouTube video, so below is Daniel’s (If you’re curious how I heard it, scroll down to the cut, as I’ve moved my impression of it there.)

You might smoke in black and white but you should always dance in colour.
Some dream of quiet love; I favour chaos.
I want a love like no other so let’s dance in colour.
I want life to sprawl, to twist with the rise and fall of cold hands shaking, of my own heart breaking.
‘Cos there’s no worse feeling than feeling nothing at all.
I’m empty and aching and so tired of just waiting.

He walks in whispers, draws a stranger’s gaze.
Why you always sleeping? It’s the middle of the day.
And they’re nothing, no they’re nothing like us.
Why you always running from the people that you love?

I want it to burn. I want it to effervesce until the district’s glowing.
I want it to hurt, to feel it in every breath.
I don’t care where I’m going…just that I’m going.

Now I can’t hide my smiling eyes.
Why can’t you be kind and just pretend that you miss me?
I’m weak and restless, young men are.
It was always staying still that made me dizzy.

He walks in whispers, draws a stranger’s gaze.
Why you always sleeping? It’s the middle of the day.
And they’re nothing, no they’re nothing like us.
Why you always running from the people that you love?

The start of this song is just…well, sad. The way George Waite sings it, along with the echoey effects on his voice and the one guitar playing, sounds ghostly. I almost don’t want to say it but actually sounded morbid to me. “I’m empty and aching / and so tired of just waiting.” is probably one of the most evocatively melancholy lines ever written in pop. This is followed by a chorus that is really confusing me, because I can’t tell if it’s from the point of view of someone other than the main character, who I’m making male for the sake of simplicity. In the chorus, one-half of a couple is somewhere like a bar or a club and looking at strangers, catching a stranger’s eye while the other half is at home, sleeping in the middle of the day and not with his/her better half. “Why are you always running from the people that you love?”: not all is happy in this relationship, it’s on the rocks.

And this all happens in the lyrics before the tempo picks up. The film also feels cold too; the woman, who could probably play Adele in a future biopic of the ‘Chasing Pavements’ star, is disparaging towards her dining companion, complaining that all he has is matches and not a real lighter (she says “how quaint” and we can’t see her eyes, though I suspect she would be rolling them), then later accusing “that sounds familiar…like it’s been said before”, as if he’s a terrible conversationalist. The man, an English version of Luke Wilson in a suit, is trying to hold his own, trying to bring up one topic after another, but keeps getting shot down because…well, the woman just isn’t that interested.

It’s really interesting that just like in ‘Bear’s Blood’, there’s subtext beyond the topic of ‘Dance in Colour’, which admittedly sounds like it could be the title to a song by any one of my favourite electronic dance bands. It sounded like such a un-Crookes title to me when I’d first heard the name. “Black and white” is used to show things that are total opposites: good vs. bad, truth vs. lies. In the context of the song, I also read it like the simpleton’s version of how a relationship works, and I’ll give you an example from my uni days. When my friends and I were in school, my friend Jenn insisted on trying Match.com to find the love of her life. (Me? I just couldn’t be bothered. At age 21 I’d decided biology was my life, I was going to spend the rest of it in a laboratory or behind a lectern preaching to undergraduates, alone, and that was it.) The most memorable of the men she dated were an economist who drove a Buick (who I decided was entirely too boring) and an anthropologist who rode a motorbike and had curly hair. One night she was saying she really liked this economist guy because he had a stable job, and she could see starting a life with him. I argued with her, saying that job stability of the person you date was a terrible measure of who you were compatible with. (I mean, what if one day he lost his job? There goes your dating theory…)

It was also obvious that she wasn’t wild about this man either, and I knew she’d said what she’d said because as Chinese girls, we’d been brought up to be ‘good’, do well in school, become doctors or engineers and find someone, preferably Chinese (ugh), with a respectable job. Because that’s just what you ‘do’. I remember exactly what I said to her: “don’t you want to *feel* something strong? And real? I could never be with someone I didn’t feel entirely attracted to. And I have to feel that inside.” She thought I was crazy, that I wanted a fantasy that never could happen. She thought a relationship was different: she thought it was all about getting all your ducks lined up in a row, with certain things happening, and most of all, the process was supposed to be simple and you had to put faith in that it would happen simply if you let it. Intriguingly, this is also the opinion of the woman in the film, who says to the man across from her, “…the best we can hope for is to love and be loved in return, it’s the same old story”. Pretty depressing if love is that clinical, eh?

But here’s the rub: the man insists with a smile, “you make it sound so simple…Some dream of quiet love, I favour chaos”. Which brings me back to the point of my story, and what feels like the point of ‘Dance in Colour’: for some people, relationships are black and white. You find someone, you feel good around each other, you get married, etc. Because that’s what society expects you to do. The voice of this song thinks this is rubbish; he wants to feel passionate about someone, burning from the inside out, even saying “I want to burn, I want it to effervesce”, feel something for a woman so deeply that everything around him is on fire. He wants the way he feels about her to make him catch his breath, to physically “hurt” him. (I found this line particularly apt for me; the few times in my life it’s happened, when I’ve fallen in love, I can feel my mouth doing the fish out of water thing, like I’m gasping for air. As a biologist by training, I chalk this up to a flight or fight response. But when I tell my girlfriends what’s happened, they look at me like I’m absolutely crazy because it doesn’t happen like that for them. Well, I guess I’m in the minority…) In the moment, he’s “glowing” from the romantic ardor he has for this woman. He’s feeling something! But he knows at some point he must leave: “I don’t care where I’m going…just that I’m going.”

I don’t want to forget the bridge: “Now I can’t hide my smiling eyes / why can’t you be quiet and just pretend that you miss me? / I’m weak and restless, young men are / it was always staying still that made me dizzy.” What does this mean? The woman in the film says she had to leave where she was from to travel around the world because “you know it was always staying still that made me dizzy”. Hmmm. The lovers in the song have been separated; with his “smiling eyes” that he “can’t hide”, he’s still thinking about when it was still good between them and when they were still together and wishes his lover felt the same way about that precious time they had together. But he’s also trying to apologise, saying he couldn’t stay in one place, that’s he’s a rolling stone. There’s a restlessness in the earlier line “I don’t care where I’m going…just that I’m going” that echoes the same sentiment in ‘Sal Paradise’ in ‘Hold Fast’: “You were for running away dear / strange ideals made it so very unclear how your heart feels.”

Of course, then there is the title. You know the phrase “it takes two to tango”? If Shakespeare was right and “all the world’s a stage”, then the way forward according to our protagonist is to “want a lover like no other” and to “dance in colour” with that person. And don’t force yourself to stay within the bounds of black and white. Don’t do what you’re told. Feel something. The song also says that relationships don’t always last forever. And that’s okay. We move on and grow, but remember the best parts of being with that person you loved.

Okay, so if I have entirely bored you out of your mind by the above, here is what you need to know: instrumentally, the song can’t be beat. The main guitar riff is entirely memorable and became implanted into my brain after the second listen. (In the part of my brain where Jimmy Page’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ solo resides.) And compared to, say, their first single ‘Backstreet Lovers’ that basically held the same tempo and feeling throughout, the way the first half is so different from the second is actually a pretty cool song structure to give more weight to the second half. What are the Crookes going to do next? Will they start their own production company and make films? I just hope they don’t stop making music.

Addendum: okay, so after reading the full lyrics just now, my impression that it’s about being restless has grown stronger. I sincerely love the lines, “I’m weak and restless, young men are /
it was always staying still that made me dizzy.” It’s an admission from the protagonist that he can’t help it, it’s in his nature to want to move on. If only all men were as honest. Something else interesting: scroll up two paragraphs and read the fourth to last sentence I wrote last night. “Feel something.” That I feel is the take home message.


The Crookes’ ‘Dance in Colour’, the other A-side to previously revealed single ‘Bear’s Blood’, will be released on 7″ and digital download on the 27th of May on Fierce Panda. The band will be headlining the Fierce Panda 19th birthday party at London Scala on Tuesday the 21st of May; tickets are on sale now and are £8 advance not including handling fees.


What I heard initially when transcribing:
You might smoke in black and white
but you should always dance in colour,
dance in colour.
Some dream of quiet love,
I favour chaos.
I want a love like no other,
so let’s dance in colour.

I want life to [I have absolutely no idea what this line is!]
of cold hands shaking,
of my own heart breaking.
‘cos there’s no words
to make me feel nothing at all.
I’m empty aching,
and so tired of just waiting.

Looks and whispers draw a stranger’s gaze
Why are you always sleeping?
It’s the middle of the day.
And they’re nothing, no, they’re nothing like us.
Why are you always running from the people that you love?

I want to burn, I want it to effervesce
’til the district’s glowing, the district’s glowing
I want it to hurt, to feel it in every breath
I don’t care where I’m going, just that I’m glowing

Now I can’t hide my smiling eyes,
why can’t you be quiet and just pretend that you miss me?
I’m weak and restless, young, and all it was always staying still,
it made me dizzy.

Looks and whispers draw a stranger’s gaze
Why are you always sleeping?
It’s the middle of the day.
And they’re nothing, no, they’re nothing like us.
Why are you always running from the people that you love?

Why are you always running, love?


A Few Words About the Bond Film Theme Songs…

By on Thursday, 11th October 2012 at 11:00 am

2012 is a milestone year for Bond fans, seeing both the 50th anniversary of the first episode in the film franchise, Dr. No, and the release of the 22nd in the series, Skyfall, due this month. As a teaser, Adele’s eponymous theme song was unveiled last week – of which more later. As TGTF’s celebration of all things Bond-ian, we run through a short history of Bond movie themes.

Where better than to start than at the beginning, with Dr. No, which, strictly speaking, didn’t have a theme song of its own. The honour it did have, however, was to introduce an unsuspecting public to the sinister, bombastic delights of Monty Norman and John Barry’s title theme, the story of which is just as tortuous and thrilling as any Fleming plot. Norman had to go to court to defend his authorship of the James Bond theme three times; the latest in 2001, after a Sunday Times article alleged it was primarily a John Barry composition. Norman won all three cases, and received royalties unchallenged for years before and since. No matter its authorship (and a keen ear can hear the influence of both Norman and Barry), the song itself is a near-genius piece of composition. Expertly conjuring an orchestral breadth from its big band arrangement, and featuring a guitar riff timeless in both tone and melody from the superbly-named Vic Flick, the appearance of major sevenths in a minor key and liberal use of the ‘blue’ diminished fifth generates a macabre tension in the harmony, which Barry’s brass blasts amplify to almost unbearable levels of drama. Surely the most recognisable movie theme of all time, and amongst the finest 2 minutes’ of music ever conceived.


Monty Norman never again worked on a Bond film, in contrast with John Barry, who went on to score eleven more, including the title songs (except Lionel Bart’s competent if somewhat tame From Russia With Love). Goldfinger is where the franchise really hit its stride: Barry is at his menacing best in the opening brass fanfare and contrasting demure strings; the first of three Bond outings for Shirley Bassey matches the orchestra’s passion with a barnstorming vocal never bettered in the whole series, although Tom Jones almost achieves that high accolade with Thunderball, another tour de force performance from composer, orchestra, and singer alike, Jones famously fainting after holding the song’s final note for as long as he could manage. You Only Live Twice sees Nancy Sinatra in a more reflective mood than the bombast of the previous two episodes, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is blessed with Louis Armstrong’s final recording, and Bassey returns along with Connery for Diamonds are Forever.

A Barry hiatus saw him temporarily replaced on composition duties by the wonder pairing of George Martin and Paul McCartney, whose Live And Let Die was recently, and rightly, voted the best Bond theme of all time by no less an authority than the listeners of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s film review. (You can watch the iconic Macca/Wings-infused title sequence below.) The first rock band theme, but no less Bond-ian for it, the McCartney/Martin effort strikes the perfect balance of lushness and aggression: an apposite way to signal the franchise’s change of tone as Moore picks his way through the mean streets of Harlem. Barry’s return, for The Man with the Golden Gun, carries more than a whiff of self-parody in its wah-wah guitar and blaxploitation overtones, and is, by Barry’s admission, his weakest ever theme, Lulu’s charms insufficient to drag it into the charts on either side of the Atlantic.


Marvin Hamlisch’s expert handling of the Barry style for The Spy Who Loved Me generated a worldwide hit for Carly Simon in ‘Nobody Does It Better’ and makes one wonder why Hamlisch never returned to the franchise. It being the late ‘70s, synthesisers and disco influences were creeping into the traditional big band style, to mixed effect. Moonraker is about as humdrum as a Barry/Bassey recording is likely to get: the tone more gentle and orchestral, presumably to reflect the yawning silence of space; the thuggish brass is sorely missed.

By the time of For Your Eyes Only (again Barryless), the rot – the 1980s – had truly set in. The truly dreadful Sheena Easton title song, seemingly played on a child’s synthesiser, is notable solely as a historical artefact, demonstrating how the 1980s FM radio sheen invaded even the most hallowed of musical institutions. Barry returned for Octopussy, but Rita Coolidge’s ‘All Time High’ was barely better than Easton’s effort. Was this really Bond’s fate, to drown in a deluge of 1980s schmaltz?

Thankfully, to draw the Moore era to a close, Barry reached out for help, and found inspiration in a collaboration with Duran Duran. They knew how to harness the electronic sound for drama and tension rather than sickly sentiment, whilst Barry kept the orchestra bubbling underneath: The samples of ‘A View to a Kill’, its stratocaster and synth stabs add up to the finest Bond theme of the electronic era, charting higher than any Bond theme before or since on both sides of the Atlantic. [It also has a hilariously ridiculous spy-themed promo video, which you can watch below. – Ed.] Presumably, recruiting a-ha for The Living Daylights was meant to engender the same success – it didn’t, the resulting collaboration being a mostly forgettable, insipid thing. And thus ended the Barry era of Bond music. Patchy, but at its best, particularly in the early years, nothing could come close.


Licence to Kill mystifyingly chose Gladys Knight’s MOR r&b over a re-recorded version of the original theme tune by Eric Clapton and original guitarist Vic Flick. Evidence that the plot had well and truly been lost. It would be 6 years before Goldeneye released Eric Serra’s underrated avant-garde electronic minimalism on unsuspecting Bond fans. Featuring familiar themes given unfamiliar treatments (the main riff played on timpani, anyone?), anyone who spent hours playing the superb Nintendo video game will be more familiar with the nuances of Serra’s soundtrack than any other in the series.

David Arnold helmed the next five films, spanning 13 years, and failed to deliver a true classic theme for any one. Which brings us to Adele’s effort. Thomas Newman appears to be adopting the David Arnold “no surprises” approach – no blast of horns, no sneering vocal, just a gentle piano intro, developing strings, smooth, diva-ish vocal, choir call-and-response, and end. The intro’s too long, and there are some dreadful “moon in june” rhyming couplets. Not bad, not special, not enough to break the 27-year drought since ‘A View to a Kill’. Time and hindsight may treat the recent themes more kindly, but arguably the line “Nobody does it… quite as good as you… baby you’re the best,” could well have been written about the great John Barry himself.



Review: The Twilight Saga – New Moon Soundtrack

By on Tuesday, 17th November 2009 at 2:00 pm

The KillersIt has become a worldwide cult, and whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob (I’m all for the Cullen), one thing’s for sure, you’ll be seeing New Moon, the second instalment of the Twilight saga, in cinemas in this week (squeel!). Of course, I can’t give you a head’s up on the actual film yet, but one thing I can tell you, Twilighters, is how AWESOME New Moon’s soundtrack is going to be.

If there was an award for the coolest movie soundtrack, like, ever – this record would have to win, hands down. The CD is filled with both big and small indie superstars from beginning to end – the music a befittingly dark, melancholic haze of vampirical delight.

Glam-stomping, rocking tunes, such as ‘Friends’, by Band of Skulls, ‘I Belong to You’, by Muse and ‘Monsters’, by Hurricane Bells provide the perfectly harsh, guitar-driven soundtrack for Edward Cullen, as he smoulderingly flies across the sunlit trees of Forks, or Jacob Black, as he shape shifts into his mystical werewolf self. The contrastingly sorrowful, haunting numbers on the CD, such as ‘Possibility’, by Lykke Li, ‘Rosyln’, by Bon Iver and St. Vincent, and ‘Slow Life’, by Grizzly Bear, supply the most beautiful of soundscapes, which aptly echo Bella’s despairing, love-torn state of mind. Futher big-names on the album include The Killers (pictured right), Editors, Ok Go, a digitalised solo number from Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke, and Death Cab for Cutie, who provide the movie’s official track with the Pet Shop Boys’ stylin’ ‘Meet Me at the Equinox’.

To conclude – the New Moon soundtrack is an incredibly epic, and at times stupidly touching record – perfect audio for the similarly emotional book and soon-to-be film. I would thoroughly recommend this CD, even if you aren’t, like me and practically 70% of the world’s teen population, a major Twilight-nerd. It’s a 16-tracked collection of amazing tunes, each one bounding with an intensity which is, at times, full-blown rawking, and other times, profoundly heartbreaking.

Order ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’, over at Amazon.co.uk now.


Film Preview: Taking Woodstock

By on Tuesday, 25th August 2009 at 4:00 pm

Woodstock (poster)Regardless of your music tastes, whatever you think is cool or wrong with music today, I think we can all safely say that Woodstock festival was one of those seminal events that changed culture and the music industry a lot more than people expected at the time. Now Ang Lee, the guy who directed Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has directed “Taking Woodstock“, a film that tells the story behind the festival, staring Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch which is out in November.

The three day event in August 1969 featured so many acts that we have been huge influences on many of todays biggest acts: Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jimi Hendrix all played sets that for many defined a generation. Whilst some in the local communities weren’t huge fans of the 500,000 people descending on Bethel, New York, the event is seen as a roaring success by many in the music biz.

The film is set in 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, the El Monaco. The bank is about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbor’s farm in White Lake, NY, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and American culture, forever.

The film is out on November 13th in the UK, and next weekend in the USA – yes, it seems ages away, but to me it looks set to be one of my favourite films of the autumn. Watch the trailer below:



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

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