Looking for previews and reviews of SXSW 2019? Right this way.

SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Live Review: Tom McRae + The Hotel Cafe tour – London KCLSU

 
By on Thursday, 1st May 2008 at 1:08 pm
 

Tom McRae @ The Hotel Cafe tour in London at KCLSU“These shows are always far too short” moaned Tom McRae as he brought down the curtains on almost 3 hours of non-stop music that, frankly, would put most lesser artists to shame. In those 3 hours, we’d seen beard shaving, mass-singalongs, surprise special guests and more off-the-cuff jokes than most comedians manage in a year. All for a mere £15 too.

This was the second time that the Essex-based singer/songwriter had bought over his motley crew of artists from the US to play the Hotel Cafe tour, named after the famous venue in LA which plays host to a range of a wide range of artists for a cabaret-like performance where anything can happen. As they showed, anything really can happen when they decided to shave the beard of lead organiser Jason, live on stage towards the end.

Each playing one or two songs, Tom introduced each one with amusing tales, and before 9:30 had even swung round we’d already hurtled through three Tom McRae songs as well as songs from Catherine Feeny, Brian Wright, Jim Bianco, Cary Brothers, and Greg Laswell. Poor Greg hobbled around after spraining his ankle in Brighton whilst drunkenly chasing a fox, much to the amusement of the audience.

Part of the tradition of the Hotel Cafe shows are special guests – two years ago we got Aqualung, this time round Turin Brakes played previous single “Dark on Fire” and old favourite “Pain Killer”.

Tom then came back, joined by the rest of the performers for a rousing version of “Dose me Up”, which was quite amazing to hear everyone looping round the haunting chorus of “So dose me up / Once is not enough / I can still see the ground / And from this high rise view looking down on you / Im not the one wasting my time”. Personally, that was my highlight, but with time getting on the performers got back into the swing of things with renewed passion – Jim Bianco’s “striptease” routine provided a moment of amusement as his “smoky backroom” voice fitted the setting perfectly. Greg told us stories of his family, with tales of his Mum and Dad’s worries about him, and Catherine just played amazing songs whilst adding a sexy element to the male-dominated proceedings. Brian, well, what more can I say. The man can play. And has facial hair that would make lesser men weap, it’s so thick. Cary Brothers was the musical genius that needs more credit – amazing songs, he should be able to tour the UK more.

All too soon 11:30 had rolled around, and with one more sing along to “Silent Boulevard”, they were gone – too quickly for my liking, but still – £15 for 3 hours of brilliant entertainment – amazing.

After the jump: A video of Cary Brother’s “Ride” and pictures. If you want large versions of any of the pictures, just yell and I can sort that out for you 🙂

Continue reading Live Review: Tom McRae + The Hotel Cafe tour – London KCLSU

 

Live: Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire – 15th June 2007

 
By on Saturday, 16th June 2007 at 2:36 am
 

This post is also available on Londonist. Pictures and video after the jump.

Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire - 15th June 2007“One broken collar bone, one sprained ankle and a severe case of man-flu – that’s the toll of a three week UK tour” joked Tom McRae as he chatted with the crowd at last night’s tour finale at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Taking the audience on a journey through his past three albums and his most recent, King of Cards, he manages to play all the old favourites and a few new ones.

Opening up was the marvellous Steve Reynolds, who had a broken collar bone, done whilst playing football – Tom later commented “I can still hear that crack in my head now… it was horrible!” Clearly in agony, he even so managed to romp through some crowd pleasers and some new material, all of which was absolutely amazing. He managed to restrain himself from berating an incredibly noisy audience, even though he clearly wanted to.

A few minutes later and the guy we’d all been waiting for, Tom McRae comes on stage, explaining that he has man flu, which is apparently a million times worse than a broken collar bone (said jokingly). To warm his voice up, we got three (presumably) untitled new songs before he broke into the better known ones.

In between songs his banter with the audience was amusing as ever, with Tom discussing the Sun’s review of his new album (“They accused me of dumbing down with a “pop” sound that’s “happier” than before… you know things are bad when the Sun says you’re dumbing down. So here’s a happy one from my new album!” before launching into “Got a Suitcase, Got Regrets, perhaps one of the darker songs on the new album ironically.)

Old favourites “My Vampire Heart”, “Walk to Hawaii” and “Dose Me Up” all got airings, greated like old friends. One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for when Tom promised to bring the Hotel Café tour back to the UK early next year – one of my highlights of last year musically, and a great idea.

However, the best was yet to come. Coming back for his encore, Tom unplugged his guitar, and Ollie the keyboardist grabbed an accordion for a sensational rendition of “Bloodless”, with Tom singing without any amplification, and audience sing alongs galore. It was short and to the point, but decidedly poignant with everyone singing and the full meaning of the song just hitting everyone full-on.

When he finished this, there was only one way to go, with the song everyone had been shouting from the start – “Boy With The Bubblegum”. Simple, yet oh so effective, it brought the whole evening to a close in perfect style.

Tom McRae – one of our nation’s best kept secrets?

After the jump, catch larger pictures and also a video of Bloodless live.

Continue reading Live: Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire – 15th June 2007

 

Live: Tom McRae and the Artistes of Hotel Cafe at the Islington Academy – 28th November 2006

 
By on Wednesday, 29th November 2006 at 1:53 pm
 

“Tonight is all about something that doesn’t happen enough these days – Musicians helping each other” announced Tom McRae last night as the Hotel Café tour rolled into London after a year long tour of the USA. The feeling was great: a series of artists who are all too small on their own to undertake a full UK tour, but altogether they have the ability to sell out a venue in days.

Taking a revue style to the evening, Tom opened proceedings at 8:30, and we then witnessed an amazing 2 hours and 40 minutes of non stop music. No lengthy change over’s with houselights up, we’re talking one person walks off as the next comes on, with different people joining in on different tracks when they felt the urge to, before “we start to bump each to each other, drop guitars, and generally run headlong into chaos until someone makes us leave the stage”.

First song, Hawaii and the sound goes halfway through. No problem: he just keeps on strumming and talks to the crowd, explaining the tour and how the evening is going to work. One more song and he’s off, to be replaced by Steve Reynolds, who has a voice that sounds like he’s lived in a musty back-street pub for most of his life. Two songs from Steve, and he’s quickly replaced by Joe Purdy, who has, quite frankly, legendary facial hair (which leads to a comment from Tom that he “shaves once a month and if Joe doesn’t for an hour he ends up like this….”). Joe Purdy managed to be a skilled guitarist and harmonica player, a genius if ever there was one. Next up was Cary Brothers, who was one of the main reasons I had been to see the evening: his two songs “Ride” and “Blue Eyes” are some of the best around. He played “Ride” first then “Honestly”, both from his forthcoming album next year.

Then we had a very nice surprise: Aqualung. In the spirit of the real Hotel Café in LA, bands are quite welcome to turn up and play a few songs, or just sit around and get trashed with the other artists. Aqualung came and played a new song and then “Brighter than Sunshine” – just fab, and they stuck around to play keys on “Blue Eyes” later in the evening.

After this point things got a bit blurry: the artists came back on, joined each other, did different songs, until about 10:50 when Tom came back, did “Silent Boulevard”, “Boy with the Bubblegum” and “My Vampire Heart”. By this point everyone was in very high spirits, and things were getting a bit more ragged, but still very coherent, and had everyone in the crowd in exceptionally high spirits not seen since the Pipettes swept through the capital.

All in all an excellent evening of entertainment, well worth the money: not many bands this year put on 2 hours 40 minutes of non stop music: they’re playing at Kings College Student Union next week, so go and see Tom and the artistes of the Hotel Café: it’s well worth the money, and you will have one of the best evenings 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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy