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Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: Day 1 evening roundup (part 2)

 
By on Monday, 17th October 2016 at 3:00 pm
 

It’s a good thing that at this year’s Hard Working Class Heroes, the venues were relatively close together. Well, at least Tengu Yamamori and Wigwam were. It also helped that like the Chocolate Factory on King Inn’s Street, Tengu had two stages, which meant easy passing from upstairs to downstairs easily and catching more bands in an evening at the emerging music festival.

New Pope (Galway) @ Tengu Downstairs

New Pope Tengu HWCH 2016

Following the unintentionally humourous set by David Boland earlier at the Gutter bookshop after he’d run from the coach station (yes, so rock ‘n’ roll!), I was curious to see what he’d be like live and with a backing band. The gruff but strangely lovable Boland is the kind of guy you would expect would be laughing over traded shots of whiskey with Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen.

I generally doesn’t like the sad, miserable singer plus acoustic guitar setup. Usually, I find this way too boring. Oddly, I actually preferred Boland’s stripped back session back in the bookshop. Maybe it was because the downstairs Tengu venue was full of alarming Japanese décor to match the food and drink on offer (for one, the huge, big-nosed wooden face of a demon came out of the back of the bar), or the continuous red lighting that shaded the artists performing there and made me think I was on the set of The Hunt for Red October? Just goes to show that sometimes simplest is best.

R.S.A.G. (France via Kilkenny) @ Chocolate Factory Stage 2

RSAG HWCH 2016

It was time for some electronic, even if it was for a short time. Damn you, Hard Working Class Heroes clashes! R.S.A.G. (“rarely seen above ground”, real name Jeremy Hickey) was playing the ground level stage 2 at the Chocolate Factory. Hickey is a celebrated drummer, and he wasted no time during his moment at HWCH to show off his frenetic drumming style. Of course, being a multi-instrumentalist, he had all kind of electronics running while he was stuck at his kit. Behind him projected on a screen were fast action videos of traffic in cities, matching perfectly to the sexy high energy of his beats. It was unfortunate I could not stay longer to absorb more of his set so I could go on to another venue, but my interest in his music is certainly piqued and should interest electronic fans.

Orchid Collective (all over Ireland) @ Wigwam

Orchid Collective Wigwam HWCH 2016

Wigwam is the new name of the refurbished former Twisted Pepper, where I attended a reggae night last year put on TGTF friends Meltybrains? Okay, so I’m going to put it out there, it’s a little weird coming into a Latin themed bar in Ireland. But the venue downstairs used during Hard Working Class Heroes provided a nice, intimate setting for folk acts during the festival. Like downstairs at Tengu, the only problem was the distracting red lighting focused on the acts that performed there.

Orchid Collective, who wowed coffee enthusiasts at Accents Lounge earlier in the day, closed out Wigwam’s performances for the night. Similar too to New Pope’s evening performance, the band’s set here didn’t wow me as much as I had expected it to. I think it’s testament to the power and tightness of their combined harmonies and the strength of the songwriting that the music can stand in a stripped back fashion.

They were the band on many folks’ lips the next day, especially people who had arrived late and missed the first day of programming. While I had to disappoint them and tell them they had already left for a show in Waterford Friday night, that word of mouth is proof that they’re ones to watch in the coming months.

Exiles (Carlow / Kilkenny) @ Tengu Upstairs

Exiles HWCH 2016

If I had a time machine and I could revisit a decade, I’d either go back to the ‘60s or the ‘80s. For my love of new wave and the birth of mainstream electronic pop, there’s no contest that the ‘80s were the place to be. As previously discussed, the stereotype I think most people have about Irish music involves sad songs, guitars and fiddles. However, Exiles, a three-piece comprised of producer/musicians Darragh O’Connor (guitar and synths), Johnny Smee (keyboards and electronic drums) and Jack O’Flaherty (lead vocals and guitar), do their part to turn that stereotype on its head.

I felt Exiles ‘won’ Tengu Thursday night with their catchy tunes, taking us back in time when every man was wearing a pastel suit ala Sonny Crockett or, I suppose, getting on the dance floor to New Order. While there are so many acts these days who have a token synth player onstage with them because it’s assumed you will have one if you’re ‘with it’ in terms of technology, this is a band who use electronics adeptly and smartly and in a way that is entirely accessible and has the potential to go mainstream. I recommend you checking out their ‘Red Lights’ EP that came out last month, especially the title track.

Tablets (County Waterford) @ Tengu Upstairs

Tablets HWCH 2016

Poor Tablets. The crunches and squealing of feedback while the duo were setting up sounded like some of their equipment might be suffering from a power surge. Hopefully not. After what seemed like an eternity of setting up and testing out and replacing their leads, the weird was about to begin.

What a stark contrast from Exiles just before them. This is an industrial, experimental electronic sound that proves challenging to people who run from electronic. There is a purposeful darkness to their music, too, that makes it sound like what you’d hear at an alien goth dance night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1L5BC2fvc[/youtube]

 

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: Day 1 evening roundup (part 1)

 
By on Monday, 17th October 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

With my first afternoon at Hard Working Class Heroes out of the way – feel free to catch up with part 1 and part 2 – it was time for my first evening at the emerging Irish artist music festival. The Chocolate Factory was a good shout for all 3 days, as it was pretty much one-stop shopping: two stages of music, with acts taking turns to grab the crowd’s attention.

Yonen (Dublin) @ Chocolate Factory Stage 2

Yonen HWCH 2016

Interested in an instrumental rock onslaught reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai? Then locals Yonen will be your poison. They say on their Bandcamp “we want to tell you a story by making noise.” If we are to take them on their word, a book written by Yonen would be filled with both epic tales and considered, softer, slower numbers. I appreciated the latter, as it was proof that they’re not entirely about beating your brain into a bloody pulp. Thinkers are they.

aYIA (Reykjavik, Iceland) @ Chocolate Factory Stage 1

aYia HWCH 2016 2

2016 is the first year of a 3-year project Hard Working Class Heroes is working on to bridge the big physical distance between Ireland and Iceland by helping build audiences each other’s acts. aYia was one of two acts from the volcano-laden country to play at the Dublin festival, raring to go following the exit of Yonen. The stage was weirdly well above our heads, requiring punters to crane their necks upwards to watch.

This strange position of the stage caused their female leader singer to crouch down and as close to the ground of the stage as possible. In a breathy singing style like her famous countrywoman Bjork, she was the focal point of their performance. With a sinister electro edge full of buzzing and darkness, it’s a foreboding sound, especially considering the long evenings only lit by twilight from where this music was made. There’s a lot of competition in this genre, so only time will tell whether they’ll be able to break out of the pack.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yKUqLK2988[/youtube]

Search Party Animal (Dublin) @ Workman’s Club

Search Party Animal HWCH 2016 2

Formerly known under the name Bagels, Search Party Animal have rechristened themselves after a song by Belfast band And So I Watch You From Afar to prevent any confusion with the New York food specialty. A band name with the word ‘animal’ in it is appropriate for this group: crazy, loud, raucous – all members banging on drums at one point – and a whole lot of fun. At home, they sounded tighter than I witnessed at CMW 2016, which suggests they’ll be a force to be reckoned with as they go forward and the day comes that they break out of Ireland.

Hawk (London via Ireland) @ Workman’s Club

Hawk HWCH 2016

Post punks Hawk have already made a name for themselves in their base of London, as well as in Dublin, if the fans assembled for their appearance at Hard Working Class Heroes Thursday night was any indication. Frontwoman Julie Hawk has a deceptively sweet voice than can turn into a wailing scream at a moment’s notice. Premiered recently on The Line of Best Fit, who describes them as a “gothic pop” group, she describes their newest single ‘Mirror Maze’ as their attempt to bring attention to female body image issues and destructive societal pressures.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Ei7575ni0[/youtube]

Video Blue (London via Dublin and Dundalk) @ Tengu Upstairs

Coming to Ireland, I think I had an entirely reasonable expectation that many of the acts I’d be faced with at Hard Working Class Heroes would be a single man or woman playing a guitar. Irish born and raised but now London transplant Jim O’Donoghue Martin went beyond that conventional mould. He played early at Tengu Yamamori, just north of the river, where the upstairs stage was used to host to a host of interesting electronic acts and Martin was no exception.

I feel like his music isn’t compelling enough to grab your attention in a dark club but you can hear it soundtracking a tv advert or film. Maybe it has to do with him having to be so busy on his various controllers while also singing and playing guitar, so maybe this would work better if he had a band behind him?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHcvp_d6_a4[/youtube]

 

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: Day 1 afternoon roundup (part 2)

 
By on Friday, 14th October 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

For the first half of my coverage of Thursday afternoon at Hard Working Heroes 2016’s In the City, go here.

Orchid Collective (all over Ireland) @ Accents Café Lounge

Orchid Collective HWCH 2016

Are you ready for my first big tip? Orchid Collective, made up of Irish musicians north and south of the border, appear to be vying for the harmony-filled folk pop slot vacated by Fleet Foxes (or at least as long as Robin Pecknold holds off on releasing album #3). There is probably nothing greater than a collectively massive harmony from multiple voices coming at you, and these four guys know exactly what they’re doing. They’re not brothers but they might as well be (I think it’s an Irish thing?) because their harmonies are on point, which makes sense for a band who idolise Crosby, Stills and Nash. Check out their newest video for ‘Courage’, premiering last week on Hot Press, which exhibits the reverb not possible when playing a stripped-back set in a coffee shop. ‘Courage’ is the lead single from their upcoming EP out next Friday.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_-2izR8TtY[/youtube]

Black Wing Bird (Dublin) @ Pitt Bros

Black Wing Bird HWCH 2016

I guess it’s because I grew up with it and it seems normal and boring, but I don’t really understand the appeal of all these burger and barbecue joints popping up all over Dublin and London. Situated on Georges Street, Pitt Bros mentally threw me for a loop, especially since Black Wing Bird (real name James Walmsley) was sat on a chair with his guitar directly adjacent to the restaurant’s pass, where wait staff would pick up orders. It was further awkward when staff tried to get me to order food, and I had to gesture to my camera that I was only there for the music and not for the barbecue.

Walmsley’s voice has that gravelly edge that Bruce Springsteen has made his name with, and he looks like he could be Jon Bon Jovi’s twin. His was one of the stronger single male voices I heard during the festival. I was going to grab him for a chat after his brief performance, but one wonders if he had to run off to the dentist…

New Pope (Galway) @ Gutter Bookshop

New Pope HWCH 2016

David Boland, aka New Pope, arrived to the Gutter bookshop out of breath and just in time for his set following what I’m guessing is the 3-hour coach ride from Galway to Dublin. His observations on life through song are cynical (“I don’t care about refugees, I don’t care about China”) but like any good Irishman, he’s quick on the mark with self-deprecating humour. One of the highlights was ‘Amsterdam’, a sweet number appearing on his 2015 ‘Youth’ LP about a real trip he took with his mum (I think?) to the Dutch capital city. After his set, he was quick to point out to me that he’s not related to Kodaline’s Jason Boland, though I think it’s safe to say no one would mistake one act’s music for the other!

BARQ (Dublin) @ Dublin Ink

BARQ HWCH 2016 2

This is the kind of loud, raucous band that you would never imagine would work in an acoustic (or almost acoustic) setting. Even less so in the front portico of a tattoo shop with curious music fans peering over a wall to see the band. Not exactly ideal. Even under these challenging conditions where she said it felt uncomfortable for her to be sitting and not standing to perform, frontwoman Jess Kav showed off her admirable, soulful vocal chops, so even if you weren’t getting the whole band experience, you still could definitely feel their vibe.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=508_G2qBbyM[/youtube]

 

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: Day 1 afternoon roundup (part 1)

 
By on Thursday, 13th October 2016 at 3:00 pm
 

Funny how I wrote in my introduction to my coverage of Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 earlier that it’s the antithesis of SXSW, because how my first HWCH started was in a way that makes SXSW convenient for music journalists. ‘HWCH in the City’ is daytime programming that occurs in bars, cafes, tattoo parlours and shops around Dublin city centre. It’s entirely free, like SXSW’s daytime shows, and these appearances offer the opportunity to catch bands that you might miss due to evening showcase clashes. However, I’d say HWCH definitely chooses better, more unusual venues with charm, often of the Irish variety. While some of the bands I encountered along the way Thursday afternoon thought I was mental for covering this many bands, Carrie and I can tell you that you’re freshest on the first day of a festival, so you might as well strike while the iron’s hot!

Maria Kelly (Dublin) @ Winding Stair Bookshop

Maria Kelly HWCH 2016

My first act of the day on Thursday was, fortuitously, just steps away from my accommodation, making my appearance here a no-brainer. The Irish’s well-known love for craic is probably only rivalled by their consumption of books and their keenness for reading, and there are bookshops all over Dublin. The Winding Stair, across from the famous Ha’penny bridge, provided an adorable backdrop to the music of Maria Kelly. The raven-haired, doe-eyed guitar player has a voice of a songbird, with the kind of preciousness you associate with china dolls on a song of hers like ‘Pretend’. A softer, less subversive Daughter, if you will. The 405 recently premiered her new video ‘Stitches’, so I think we can expect her to make inroads into the UK with her soft-spoken, gentle style.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MetyJx0r108[/youtube]

Eoin Dolan (Galway) @ Irish Design Shop

Eoin Dolan HWCH 2016

It was then over the river, through Temple Bar and down Drury Street for a visit to a cutesy little shop. Disappointedly, the Irish Design Shop was not awash with claddagh rings and Celtic crosses as I erroneously predicted but instead plenty of artwork and crafts made by Irish artists. Wearing a flat cap that made him look more like a Yorkshireman than a Irishman and less likely to sing the songs he did, the shop proved to be an ideal venue for the beardy Eoin Dolan and his thoughtful tunes. His sunglasses are a better indicator of his music: there’s a feel good, Beach Boys-ey, slightly lo-fi approach on songs like ‘Ocean Girl’, which I guess makes sense for a lad from Galway.

Whim (Portland / Galway) @ Urban Picnic

Whim HWCH 2016

For a young musician, Sarah DiMuzio (stage name Whim) is especially well-travelled, having spent time living in both Portland and in Ireland. There’s a tangible chilliness to the notes of her music, and not in a bad way but instead in a Fleet Foxes / country feel. You’re fully aware that she’s singing songs from her life and instead of it feeling like any other singer you’ve seen with a guitar before (and trust me, I’ve seen a lot who make me yawn), you want to pull up a chair and listen to these tales. DiMuzio’s sweet voice pulls you in, and now I’m wondering how quickly she will manage a tv advert song sync, because her voice is that good. Although she did not bring her beloved ukulele with her to Dublin, you can hear songs on her Bandcamp where you can it makes welcome appearances. She’ll be releasing her debut album soon on Galway label Citóg Records, so I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.

After her lovely performance, I had a brief chat with her about her music. I would highly recommend this laid-back place for reasonably priced, excellent food: I had probably the best risotto I’ve ever had in my life there (thank you Vinny for also finding my necklace!) before going on to my next gig.

 

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: an introduction to editor Mary‘s coverage

 
By on Thursday, 13th October 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

For the first part of this month, I spent 8 glorious days on the Emerald Isle, first familiarising myself with some of the prettiest parts of the west side of this country. But as this is a music Web site, of course the remainder of my time was spent at my first Hard Working Class Heroes, held over the course of 3 days and six venues across the city centre of Dublin. You might not think the first half of my trip would have had as big of an effect on my time at the festival, but it did. I enjoyed “small-town” Irish people and their ‘craic’: as soon as I explained that I was attending a music festival in Dublin, they were quick to tell them which of their family members made music themselves and which bands they could personally recommend for me to catch at Hard Working Class Heroes…

…because, as you see, more so than people from any other country, music runs in the Irish blood. Everyone’s got a granny, granddad, mum or dad who played fiddle or guitar or some other instrument and would lead family singalongs after dinner. Just like camping festivals like Glastonbury are a rite of passage to the English, this is an idea as alien and foreign to most Americans. So it is no wonder that such a small country and one that was for so many years oppressed by outside forces were driven to make music. They are a people who hold what music means to them close to their hearts. We here at TGTF already knew this from the Irish and Northern Irish showcases put on at SXSW every year, but Hard Working Class Heroes is an Irish artist-specific event to show off the musical bounty from their proud little island.

Achill Island sheep
insert bad Irish sheep joke here

Following the conclusion of the event, feted Irish music journalist and Irish Times writer Jim Carroll wrote this piece Tuesday entitled “Keeping the home fires burning” as an overview of his impressions of this year’s event. Emceeing the various industry panels during the 3 days of Hard Working Class Heroes, he noted that “most of the seats were occupied by musicians rather than the people who seek to represent them.” This is important to point out for two reasons. One, musicians in Ireland are proactively trying to advance their careers and this ever vital, in as Carroll points out in his article that as although Ireland is a small country, it has one of the biggest music economies in the world. Two, there are less discovery-minded people – management willing to sign new acts, music journalists, music bloggers, etc. – attending this event, which means less acts are going to get their chance in the sun. I wonder if the same can be said about the convention portion of HWCH’s English counterpart, The Great Escape. This phenomenon worries me, and I agree with what Carroll says himself in the piece, “the acts who don’t have that [industry and management interest in them] in are effectively shut out of the process. This is something which needs to be changed, but it’s hard to see if the will or means to do so can actually be produced.”

I’m not talking about ensuring everyone gets one of those mega million label contracts of yore, all of which have pretty much disappeared from the industry landscape. I’m talking about even something as small as a mention in a newspaper, magazine or blog in another country that might open the door to further opportunities. During a panel at Hard Working Class Heroes Friday on breaking Irish bands into American media, three American journalists (curiously all women and from New York City: they couldn’t get one man or one person from outside New York?) said that it was virtually impossible for them to pitch a feature to their editor on an emerging band unless there was hype already behind them, because emerging band features don’t do well with Web site hits. As the owner of a music Web site, I understand too well that analytics are king. But what are newer, up-and-coming bands to do if the media leave them behind and are unwilling to feature them?

In America, you haven’t got a chance in hell of getting your band played on mainstream radio unless you have a major label contract or there have already been industry rumblings of your future potential. It has been a difficult, delicate balance for me as editor of TGTF to figure out how best to focus our attention on established artists versus up-and-comers and hyped bands. Hearing what I did and feeling that disappointment, there is no question in my mind that us covering bands as they come up, as they tickle our ears and pique our interest regardless of how big a team they have backing them (if at all), covering the less pedigreed and less hyped ones is a big part of what we’re meant to do and what we’ll keep doing.

Why is this important and especially in the context of Hard Working Class Heroes? This is clearly not a music festival like SXSW where it’s solely about the big acts, about chasing Kendrick Lamar’s secret show or pencilling in a SPIN party starring Santigold and Bloc Party. And that’s a very good thing! This is the kind of event where Irish musicians and bands who haven’t broken yet get their first shot (or at least one of the earliest opportunities) in the limelight, the hyperbole of hype is kept to a minimum and true music discovery is the key phrase here. For most of these acts, you won’t know a lot about them, so any bias you would have had at another festival isn’t at play. There is, pretty much, an even level playing field for all too, so things are optimistic for each and every artist. We all know what happens at Glasto and Reading/Leeds when the Main Stage gets the lion’s share of punters’ attention, don’t we? This is a unique event to showcase the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears, the sacrifices that musicians in Ireland make and give them the platform to show us why they think they should make it.

River Liffey Friday HWCH
Surprisingly, during the entirety of this year’s HWCH, it never rained. Is that some kind of record?

Having been instrumental in their early support of Hozier, it’s not too hard to believe Hard Working Class Heroes will break other Irish bands before anyone else. I have my own list of acts that I think have much promise beyond Ireland, and you’ll read more about them in the coming days. Some of you may remember that the first Irish band I put my money on and tipped was Two Door Cinema Club back in 2009, and you all know what happened to them, so it’ll be interesting in the next 6 to 12 months to see how good my predictions are.

 

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: editor Mary’s best band bets

 
By on Friday, 30th September 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: as we recommend with all of our festival previews, the information we post here on TGTF on Hard Working Class Heroes 2016, including my past preview of the event, is current at the time of posting. But we encourage you to check in at the event’s official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Weekend tickets are still on sale for €45, with nightly and individual venue tickets priced at €20 and €10, respectively. Weekend student tickets will be available for purchase for €25 upon proof of photo ID on Thursday 6th October from the box office at Film Base, Curved Street. To purchase your tickets, visit this page on the official HWCH Web site.

2016 North American emerging music festival alums: We’d be missing a trick not to give a shoutout to the artists we’ve already covered and enjoyed at this year’s SXSW 2016 in Austin (March) and CMW 2016 in Toronto (May):
Comrade Hat (Derry; 10:10 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)
Elm (Dublin; 9:40 PM Saturday, Workman’s Club)
Fangclub (Dublin; 9:30 PM Thursday, Hub)
Jealous of the Birds (Portadown; 9:00 PM Friday, Tengu Downstairs)
Rosie Carney (Downings via Portsmouth; 10:00 PM Saturday, City Hall)
Rusangano Family (Limerick; 9:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2)
Search Party Animal (Dublin; 8:30 PM Thursday, Workman’s Club)

Let me introduce you to a lucky seven acts that caught my eyes and ears upon my research of the 100+ strong bill for Hard Working Class Heroes this year:

Orchid Collective (folk / Dublin; 1:30 PM Thursday, Accents Café Lounge [free show]; 10:30 PM Thursday, Wigwam)

The incredible success of Fleet Foxes in the late Noughties opened the door for the march of the alt-folk genre, paving the way for artists like Bon Iver, Family of the Year and Of Monsters and Men to garner global popularity. From one of the traditional bosoms of folk music of the world, Ireland, and with new EP ‘Courage’ out in late October, Orchid Collective look to be the next stars of indie folk.

New Pope (folk / Galway; 3:30 PM Thursday, Gutter Bookshop [free show]; 9:40 PM Thursday, Tengu Downstairs)

It’s easy to suffer from electronic overload and overproduction. So let’s take a step back and strip back to the basics of folk. New Pope is West Country singer/songwriter David Boland, proving that as long as you keep things simple during a thoughtful writing process, it’s possible to write a compelling song. Close your eyes for a fuller sense of the power of ‘Love’ below.

Exiles (electronic / Carlow/Kilkenny; 10:50 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for synthpop, so Exiles are a no-brainer on my Hard Working Class Heroes schedule. This month, they released a new EP ‘Red Lights’, already receiving loads of attention from domestic radio. Given the current music climate for everything synthy, I can see this band going far beyond the ‘80s influences that have been so important to them.

Slow Riot (post-punk / Limerick; 8:10 PM Friday, Hub)

Naming themselves after a Godspeed You! Black Emperor EP, Slow Riot takes the best of those who have come before and puts a unique Irish stamp on it. Having already played a sold-out show in the Capital, they will return to gig in London on the 10th of November at the Sebright Arms after this appearance at Hard Working Class Heroes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJoBdRmek0o[/youtube]

Callum Stewart (pop / Belfast; 12:30 PM Friday, Nine Crows [free show]; 8:40 PM Friday, City Hall)

You know that feeling you get when you listen to a new artist and the chills run down your spine? Like I felt with Liverpool’s BANNERS in my SXSW 2016 research, I got that same kind of moment upon hearing Callum Stewart’s pop single ‘Parachute’. Despite being only 19, Stewart has already managed to achieve a poignancy in his songs that much older songwriters have difficulty with. Expect a major label snap-up in the coming months.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik1aTXfmP8Q[/youtube]

Hiva Oa (electronic/rock / Belfast; 8:20 PM Saturday, Tengu Downstairs)

Stephen Houlihan and Christine Tubridy have returned to Ireland after a spell in Edinburgh, and they’ve just released a new EP. ‘mk2 (part 1)’ illustrates well their sound described on a press release as “marrying primal, dizzying electronica and a swelling bass hum, with minimal guitar patterns to create a tightly wound, suffocating and intense atmosphere”. Intrigued? Check them out on Saturday night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0pqMgLDnsY[/youtube]

Kid Karate (punk / Dublin; 8:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2; our past coverage on them on TGTF here)

Kid Karate are veterans of past SXSW events and this year, the noiseniks really have something to shout about. Their newest and also self-titled album was released in April. Single ‘Louder’, with its unrelenting, thudding backbeat and punky swagger, should give you a good clue what you’re in for if you pop into the Chocolate Factory’s Stage 2 Saturday night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ninviq_cRbk[/youtube]

 
 
 

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 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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