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Top Gigs of 2014: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd December 2014 at 11:00 am
 

2014, 2014, tsk tsk tsk. When it came to live shows, you put in some tense situations where I couldn’t understand the lead singer in his normal speaking voice (Glasvegas at DC’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel in February), feared for my life because the heat was proving a bit too much (Slow Club at Sheffield Great Gatsby in May), got grossed out by other punters’ grinding (Glass Animals at DC’s U Street Music Hall in July), and needed to take a train to another town and back, all in one evening (Fatherson at Edinburgh Potterow in October). But it was in good fun, as you were always entertaining. Here are my top 5 live experiences this year:

5. The Dig at Black Cat Backstage (4th December 2014) – watching a band you’ve come to know and love evolve over time, and who just keep getting better and better, is probably one of the greatest blessings given to a music editor. The Dig, who I saw support Editors 4 years ago, are one of those bands. December gigs are hard to pull off in Washington – people are lazy to come out once the weather turns cold – but they came out in droves for this show Thursday night the first week in December for the New Yorkers. They’re ready for their close-up, folks.

Reminisce through TGTF’s back catalogue on the Dig through this link.

4. Glass Animals at Glasgow CCA (17th October 2014) – after you’ve seen a band many times, the gigs all start to blur together, especially you’re seeing them when they’ve only got their one debut album to promote. Glass Animals shows are always interesting, if only to view the wildlife on display in the audience, but the Oxford band were in fine form even on the last UK date on their tour in October. I was expecting them to be completely beat, after returning the week before from a whirlwind North American campaign and subsisting on far too little sleep. Perhaps it was the party atmosphere in Glasgow on a Friday night, the CCA stuffed to the gills with punters, that turned this gig up to 11? Vibes, man. Vibes.

Glass Animals have been a favourite at TGTF since last year, and you can read all of our coverage on them here.

3. Fenech-Soler at Brooklyn Glasslands (5th April 2014) – good things come to those who wait. Or so the saying goes. Even though I had to trek up to New York for this one, Fenech-Soler was definitely worth it for me to finally hear songs from both their debut album in 2010 and 2013’s ‘Rituals’. I haven’t danced that hard in ages. (Meeting Ben and Ross Duffy and getting to chat with them for this interview was definitely a personal highlight of 2014 as well.) I waited 4 long years to see electro-pop band Fenech-Soler to do a proper show in the States, and since I saw them at this show (at a venue that sadly will no longer exist in 2015, sob), they’ve done a couple tours in our country, and I couldn’t be happier for them.

Our pretty comprehensive archive on Fenech-Soler here at TGTF is this way.

2. Maximo Park at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel (20th May 2014) – like Fenech-Soler, Maximo Park was a band I had missed seeing, and for even longer (beyond 6 years). It had nothing to do with them never coming to DC; I was either not here when they’d come or the show I’d had tickets to see them at had been cancelled. If you’ve never seen Paul Smith and co. perform, wow, you need to do yourself a favour and rectify that ASAP. I came to appreciate their latest album ‘Too Much Information’ much more after seeing it performed. Also, you always know the band you’ve come to see play is pulling out all the stops when the set list spills out over 2 pages. I’m looking forward to the next time they return to Washington. And to those asking, yes, Paul Smith really does give those reinforced trousers a workout.

Check out our writings on TGTF on the Geordie band here.

1. Royal Blood at DC9 (20th July 2014) – this gig can be best summed up with one word: PHWOAR. Perhaps my only prior experience with Mike Thatcher and Ben Kerr – Thursday at SXSW 2014, playing Lammo’s BBC Introducing night – didn’t sit well in my head because there is always too much background noise from other acts in Austin to really concentrate and appreciate on just one. At their first, and I might add rammed, headline show in DC, eyes and ears all glued on them with good reason. As those who waited for them to play at the John Peel stage at Glasto this year know, this duo from Brighton pack a massive punch in their successful effort to bring hard rock back. Best new British guitar band? Forget it. Best new British guitar duo’s where it’s at.

All of TGTF’s coverage on Royal Blood is right this way.

After the cut: the full list of all the gigs, in reverse chronological order, that I’ve been to in 2014. The runner-up gigs are also marked.
Continue reading Top Gigs of 2014: Editor’s Picks

 

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

 

Quickfire Questions #58: Paul Donoghue of Glasvegas

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Scottish band Glasvegas are on tour in Europe right now, supporting their latest album ‘Later…When The TV Turns To Static’, released in September. We were lucky enough to pin down their bassist Paul Donoghue to answer our Quickfire Questions. He tells us about a song his gran sang to him when he was small (aww) and readily admits to being a real man who does not cry (double aww). Paul gives a tip to all bands in the form of the soothing power of reggae. He even comes up with an album that God might like. This might possibly be the most thoughtful set of answers to the TGTF Quickfire Questions we’ll ever receive. Read on…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
My mum playing ‘A Boy Named Sue’ by Johnny Cash to me in the car when I was about eight. I remember it was one of the funniest songs I had ever heard, although I didn’t listen to him again until I was around 18.

What was your favourite song as a child?
here is a song my gran used to sing, well, it’s more of a poem. It goes:

Eerie orie oot,
A tolie in the cloot,
I went to wash the dishes,
But the tolie fell oot.

I still remember laughing when she explained what it actually meant. I’ll leave it up to everyone’s imaginations as to what a “tolie” and a “cloot” is.

What song makes you laugh?
Almost anything. I have a sense of humour that is very dark and borders on macabre. Being on tour is lots of fun too, the last thing I laughed at on tour was when our merch guy asked for a pepperoni pizza and received a pizza which was “peppers only”. From carnivore to herbivore in one quick misinterpretation.

What song makes you cry?
The last song that almost made me cry (I’m a real man who doesn’t shed tears!) was ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’ by Leonard Cohen. It is a hauntingly beautiful track and stirred a lot of emotions I didn’t think it would.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
I remember when Rab, James and I first started hanging about together. We went to see Oasis in Glasgow, and when we were all together listening to ‘Champagne Supernova’, I knew this was two of the great loves of my life. Apart from my wife, I have never been as close to anyone as I am to they two, and Jonna now too.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Any Bob Marley song will calm me down almost immediately. A good tip for any band who come offstage angry about their show, put Bob Marley on and see your anger dissipate.

Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Slow Burn’ by David Bowie. It’s such a simple song but so effective. The lyrics are amazing too, especially “there’s a price on our eyes, so squeeze them tight like a fist”.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
I’m a big nerd so Terry Pratchett is probably my favourite writer. I have read every Discworld book, it took me about 2 years. Also Jo Nesbo from Norway, the greatest detective writer of recent times. My favourite songwriter is John Lennon, no one can hold a candle to his songs.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I am a fully qualified, although not very good, tiler. I would probably still be doing that just now if I hadn’t been sacked for being a cowboy.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why?
That’s a great question. I’d try and bring something God would like. Maybe ‘Raw Power’ by Iggy and the Stooges. I think he’d dig that, and heaven would be a better place for having a bit of Iggy in its ears. Different certainly, but better.

Massive thanks to Paul for taking time out of his busy tour schedule to answer our questions and Paul for sorting this out for us. Back in the UK, the band will perform at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on the 22nd of December.

 

Video of the Moment #1394: Glasvegas

 
By on Wednesday, 27th November 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Do you remember a couple years ago when Glasvegas popped up on a NME tour? The Scottish band are still writing them guitar feedback-y torch songs and here is the title track from their current album ‘Later…When The TV Turns To Static’ in mini-film form. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC3JMZq58Ug[/youtube]

 

Glasvegas / December 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 8th October 2012 at 9:00 am
 

After appearing at Camden Crawl this year, Glasvegas are hitting the touring circuit again this winter. They’ll be touring the UK in December (though mostly in Scotland). Tickets are on sale now.

Sunday 2nd December 2012 – Manchester Academy
Monday 3rd December 2012 – Newcastle Academy
Wednesday 5th December 2012 – Inverness Ironworks
Thursday 6th December 2012 – Aberdeen Garage
Saturday 8th December 2012 – Glasgow Garage
Sunday 9th December 2012 – Dundee Fat Sam’s
Monday 10th December 2012 – Dumfries Venue

 

Update: Camden Crawl 2012

 
By on Thursday, 22nd March 2012 at 9:00 am
 

This year’s Camden Crawl just keeps growing! Yet more bands and even some comedians have been added to the already stellar lineup for the May Bank Holiday weekend extravaganza that takes over the music capital of London.

Joining the likes of Death In Vegas, Rolo Tomassi and Alabama 3, are the Scottish indie-rock titans Glasvegas, dancey post-punkers the Futureheads, and former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes will be performing a solo show. Also announced for the jam-packed weekend of entertainment are comedians Rufus Hound, Henning When and Andrew Maxwell plus many more, who will take over the eight comedy stages throughout Camden.

But that’s not all to be excited about because the lovely people at Camden Crawl are releasing a very special and FREE mix tape to download. If you’re heading along to the weekend (and if you’re not, why not?!) then get in the mood with some top tracks from Antlered Man, Dutch Uncles, True Tiger and Kwes amongst others. Download it here; you can listen to the songs in the widget below.

Weekend tickets are priced at £67.50 + booking fees, although day tickets and VIP packages are available. For more information and to buy tickets visit official Web site. Make sure you’re in north London this May for what is gearing up to be one of the best festivals of the year.

 
 
 

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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