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Live Review: Lovebox 2009 – Saturday 18th July

 
By on Sunday, 19th July 2009 at 2:41 am
 

Dan Black (side live)Now in its 7th year, Lovebox has firmly established itself as a key fixture of the London summer festivals. I was fortunate enough to be invited along to check out the first day of this year’s two day event, catching the likes of Dan Black, Frankmusik, Florence and the Machine and Friendly Fires.

After a hideously long journey, I only just made it in time to pick up my tickets, which meant that I’d missed such great bands as The Temper Trap, VV Brown, Rumble Strips and tommy Reilly, all of which I was quite keen to catch. Diving straight in with a trip to the Gaymers stage (or the “other” stage to you and I), I caught Dan Black.

I’ve been raving about Dan for a while now, really loving his unique, accessible electro-pop, so I was keen to finally catch him in the flesh. Ploughing through a tonne of material from his new album, ((un)), both him and the crowd really enjoyed his set, with most people knowing the words to the bigger tunes. After “Symphonies”, Dan joked “right, I’ve done something intellectual – now time for something for your inner thug!” before launching into “I Love Life”. Playfully batting a giant inflatable apple around the crowd, Dan finished his set with “Alone”, commenting that “normally people can’t clap in time to that – I guess you’ve all done music GCSE!”. Well received,

Next I took a trek over to the main stage to catch Florence and her Machine. In fine form, she was doing her usual trick of keeping the security on their toes, running down front of the crowd, and giving it her all. When the heavens opened, she was anything but dampened, if anything it just gave her more energy as the umbrellas came out.

Flitting back to the Gaymers stage, I caught Frankmusik who I last saw supporting Keane at the O2 in London back in February. He’s moved on a fair bit, more comfortable with his songs, more banter – even offering to re-create the video to “In Step” if anyone had a hula hoop he could borrow. Short and sweet, his tunes are perfect pop bliss – danceable yet still fairly intelligent, just how I like my music.

Gang of Four were up next, and frankly I wish I hadn’t stayed for them. A bunch of past-it oldies who think they are still cool led to 50 minutes of shambolic dad-rock. Definately the odd ones out of the festival.

Finally, Friendly Fires headlined the Gaymers stage. My plan was to catch Friendly Fires and then wander over to check out Duran Duran for their last hour. However, yet again Friendly Fires blew me away, with an amazing light show to boot. The crowd was much nicer than the Roundhouse one of a few days ago, lots of dancing and no moshing, which was appreciated by this ageing 21 year old! “Kiss of Life” sounds bigger each time I hear it live, however the highlights are undoubtably Paris and Jump in the Pool, and I think they will be for some time to come.

After closing with Ex-Lover, I dashed over to see Duran Duran. After a so-so rendition of “Ordinary World” that seemed to appeal to the fans of reminiscing, and a front-man that tries a bit too hard to be cool in the shape of Simon Le Bon, I called it a night and headed back to the tube.

After the jump: some setlists, some photos.

Continue reading Live Review: Lovebox 2009 – Saturday 18th July

 

Florence and the Machine / September 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009 at 12:06 am
 

Currently riding high as one of the female artists tipped to do the best things in 2009, Florence and the Machine have announced a string of UK tour dates for September this year.

Tickets are set to go on sale at 9am on Thursday (25th June) for all dates, and expect more dates to be added shortly.

Thursday 17th September 2009 – Bristol O2 Academy
Sunday 20th September 2009 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Monday 21st September 2009 – Leeds O2 Academy
Thursday 24th September 2009 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 25th September 2009 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 27th September 2009 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

 

Video of the Day #62: Florence and the Machine

 
By on Wednesday, 20th May 2009 at 6:00 pm
 

Since catching Florence and the Machine at Radio 1’s Big Weekend the other weekend, I’ve not been able to stop listening to her.

So, enjoy belows video of her forthcoming single, Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), which is available to download from 21st June. Watch and enjoy below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nxO-yPQesA[/youtube]

 

Live Review: BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Swindon (Saturday)

 
By on Sunday, 10th May 2009 at 12:47 am
 

Florence and the Machine (Big Weekend side)Ahhh, Swindon. Home of XTC, the magic roundabout, and, errrr, Billie Piper. And now it can add a much more credible item to that list: the host of 2009’s Radio 1 Big Weekend. Playing host to the best of today’s music, I was fortunate enough to be invited down to check out the Saturday lineup.

After a 2 mile trek to the site, I launched straight in with a quick gander at Huw Stephens, playing a rather strong set on the Outdoor stage. Having heard Westwood from a few miles away, it was nice to hear Huw dishing out some quality tunes with a lack of sound effects and horns and stuff. A quick scoot over to the “In New Music We Trust” tent to catch the rather good King Blues, who were a bit crazy but full of energy. Read my review here. Another crazy but full of energy person was Florence and the Machine (right) who I caught last summer at Ben and Jerry’s Summer Sundae, and thought was rubbish, however she had improved vastly, belting out her stories with conviction and energy. Catch a review here.

As is usual with these Big Weekends, the DJs are expected to earn a large part of their salaries by putting themselves up on stage – Chris Moyles was the first to do this, doing a 15 minute song parodies set, featuring and amazing “My Lamb Bhuna” from Comedy Dave and JLS. Not amazing, but certainly better than the repeats of “Sex on Fire” and “Jump in the Pool” that seemed to echo around the site all day. I wasn’t around in the days of the Radio 1 Roadshows, but this comprehensive festival is far better than anything anyone could do on a beach or in a small city centre. A proper festival, it’s made all the more amazing when you consider the organising and planning that’s been put in – not one band (that I saw anyway) overran or went on stage late, everyone knew what they were doing, and frankly it was incredible that it was all so expertly organised.

I took a wander over the the INMWT stage to see what all the fuss was about for Deadmau5. Turns out, he’s really quite amazing. And his hat lights up, which is always a bonus. Got everyone dancing like nobody did till Basement Jaxx. Read a review here. However, after Deadmau5 was the one I really wanted to catch – Friendly Fires. You know my love for this trio, so my third time catching them needless to say was out of this world – Samba dancing, exotic dancing girls aaaaaand a steel band section. Wow. Read a review here.

Temper Trap (live Swindon Big Weekend)The Temper Trap (left) have been gaining a lot of press coverage lately, so I checked them out on the Introducing stage, who followed an acoustic set (well, two songs, hardly a set) from Flo and the Machine – a much more subdued set, but ace nonetheless. The Temper Trap however were far from subdued. Their tunes are really accessible, really radio-friendly, and above all really good. It’s hard not to see them getting more coverage later in the year when their album’s out. Read more here.

Taking a wander I ended up bumping into the lovely Stornoway (who Jess so expertly introduced the other day). Lovely band, lovely fellas, read the interview and live review here.

Feeling re-invigorated by some Pizza, time to catch the end of the Doves‘ (pictured top) set. “Caught by the River” and “There Goes The Fear” (after which this blog is named) showed that Jes Williams and co really did justify their high billing, sounding just as fresh as the day I first heard them. A quick dash to catch Stornoway close out the Introducing stage, and a dash back again to the INMWT tent to catch Basement Jaxx close things for me – new material, crazy stage show, louder than, well, anything that’s ever been in Swindon before. Lovely. Having caught Snow Patrol before at Tsunami Relief and Live8, I decided to call it a day.

Thanks to all at Radio 1 for making my day possible. After the jump there will be pictures, but for now, I’m going to sleep. ‘Night.

 

Live: Florence and the Machine at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2009

 
By on Saturday, 9th May 2009 at 3:37 pm
 

I first came across Florence and the Machine last summer on Clapham Common for Ben and Jerry’s Summer Sundae. Good songs, live she just didn’t hack it for me. So I thought I’d give her another go, and was absolutely amazing. We’re talking number 1 amazing, out of this world Amazing.

The songs sound fuller, and her stage presence is just amazing. Dog Days live is a huge track that will undoubtably be the soundtrack to many summers. Diving into the crowd during Kiss with a Fist, it was clear she deserves a higher placing up the bill. Watched by both Zane and Jo, she closed with her amazing cover of “you’ve got the love” which just sounds, well, even better than the recorded version.

Later on, I caught her at the Introducing tent doing an acoustic set, which whilst more subdued, sounded great and gave her a full opportunity to show just what her lungs can do.

You can catch the full set on video, and a range of pictures and reviews over at BBC Radio 1’s rather good Big Weekend site. A few of my pictures after the jump.
Continue reading Live: Florence and the Machine at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2009

 

Preview : BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd April 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Looking for a review of the Saturday of the Big Weekend? Click Here.

KasabianBBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend is an annual musical festival with bit of a twist. Every year, the 2 day event takes place in a different town, with past locations including Dundee, Preston and Maidstone. This 2009, Radio 1 will be bringing their Big Weekend to Lydiard Park, Swindon, on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of May. Tickets to the event are free, and are obtained through a random lottery on Radio 1’s website (registration has now closed). Lucky winners will blag a pair of tickets to their selected day (Saturday or Sunday), with Swindon residents receiving allocation priority in order to make the event more accessible to locals.

Every year the event has boasted an impressive line-up (past artists include Madonna, Muse and Foo Fighters), and this 2009 is absolutely no exception. Snow Patrol (pictured top), Kasabian (pictured right)and Dizzee Rascal will be headlining the ‘Main Stage’ on Saturday, while Lily Allen, Akon and Franz Ferdinand will be taking over the top slots on Sunday. Other artists who will be featuring within the main arena over the weekend include The Script, Calvin Harris, The Wombats, The Saturdays, Scouting for Girls, Ne-Yo, Alesha Dixon and N-Dubz.

Meanwhile, headline acts hitting the smaller ‘In New Music We Trust Stage’ on Saturday include Basement Jaxx, Doves and Jack Penate, while Sunday will be tastily offering up The Enemy, Maximo Park and Gossip. Further impressive artists appearing on this stage across the May weekend include Friendly Fires, Florence and the Machine, Fightstar, Enter Shikari, Ladyhawke and White Lies.

Should you fancy checking out some new music while at the event, why not head over to the ‘Introducing Stage’, where you can get up and close with a range of upcoming talent including Stornoway, The Temper Trap, Bombay Bicycle Club, Thee Vicars, Gallop and Marina and the Diamonds. And if that’s still not enough, you can catch a wide-range of top DJs spinning the decks over at the ‘Outdoor Stage’, with Radio 1 favourites including Chris Moyles, Annie Mac, Tim Westwood, Zane Lowe and Rob da Bank all making an appearance.

Registration for tickets to the event has now closed, but never fear, as the BBC will be broadcasting highlights of the festival on Radio 1 and BBC Three across the weekend. You’ll also be able to catch footage online, as well as on your trusty red button. If you’d like more information on the event, along with a full line-up, head over to the Big Weekend’s website now.

Top photo comes from Radio 1’s Flickr Stream.

 
 
 

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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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