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Single Review: Imelda May – Inside Out

 
By on Thursday, 13th January 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Surely you remember Imelda May from her irrepressibly infectious song ‘Johnny Got a Boom Boom’ in 2009? The brash and bubbly Irish songstress has returned, with a new single out this month. Fans will be relieved to know her trademark jazzy voice and rockabilly sensibility that was made her a radio darling are back on this track called ‘Inside Out’, from her latest album ‘Mayhem’.

I’m usually not a fan of anything that’s too jazzy: big bass drum beats, whiny horn solos, you know what I’m talking about. But May’s phrasing in this track is what shines, as the song begins with the lyrics, “love / it’s a crazy make my heart go / upsy daisy / make my blood flow /not so lazy ‘cos I love you inside out”. You’d laugh at anyone else singing such words, but not Imelda May. Her voice just oozes seduction. This is a woman who gets what she wants. But lest you think that’s all she’s about, the words “I love your arms and your laugh aloud charms / I love your wits and all you wobbly bits” cross her lips. Haha. Well played.

What I like even better: the remix of the single done by DJ Blue Jay Gonzalez. The Latin tinge suits May’s voice perfectly and adds a fun, almost party atmosphere that you don’t normally associate with her. (There’s a reason why Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin have sold millions of records. Come to think of it, the beginning of the remix reminds me of ‘Living La Vida Loca’. Hmmm…) The guitar solo about two-thirds of the way into the song is brilliant. Fun stuff.

8/10

The single for ‘Inside Out’ by Imelda May will be released on the 17th of January on Decca Records.

 

Preview: Electric Picnic 2010

 
By on Friday, 7th May 2010 at 4:00 pm
 

Electric Picnic has been regarded by some as Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury. Judging by the line-up released on Wednesday, I’d argue it might have a more interesting bill than Glasto this year. ’70s glam rockers Roxy Music will play their first Irish festival performance ever at Electric Picnic, after having reformed long after we diehards had assumed they’d never play together ever again. I think seeing Bryan Ferry croon his way through ‘Love is the Drug’ and ‘Avalon’ is worth the price of admission alone.

However, if Roxy isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other wonderful acts to ring your bell. London electronica act Leftfield have decided to come out of hibernation to play selected festivals this year, including a headlining set at Electric Picnic; Bristol’s Massive Attack (pictured above) will also headline. Expect an epic dance party with these two along with sets by Booka Shade, Hot Chip, the Bloody Beetroots, LCD Soundsystem, Liquid Liquid, Friendly Fires and the Big Pink. Indie rock will also be well represented by appearances by the Fall, the National, the Horrors, Eels and Modest Mouse.

This year’s festival will take place at Stradbally Hall, County Laois, Ireland, on 3-5 September 2010. Weekend camping tickets are €240 (approximately £206) per adult (up to two children under the age of 14 are allowed to attend per paying adult, and all children must be pre-registered through the festival Web site). Please note that except for children who are pre-registered this way, the festival is 18+ and photo ID may need to be presented on-site. Camper van tickets are €60 (approximately £52). Tickets for the festival can be purchased from Ticketmaster.


Catch the full lineup (so far as of Wednesday 05 May) after the cut…

Continue reading Preview: Electric Picnic 2010

 

Preview: Glastonbury 2010

 
By on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Surely I don’t need to explain to you what Glastonbury is – it’s simply LEGENDARY. Even as an American (though, admittedly, an Anglophile), every year I drool over the lineup, despair at not being able to attend and then scour the internet for pictures and videos when it’s over. Each summer, the enormous site at Worthy Farm (about a mile and a half in diameter) turns into a mini-city for the  largest greenfield festival in the world. Since the first Glasto was held 40 years ago in 1970, the festival has come to be known for its truly amazing lineup, and this year is no different.

One of the perks of being the biggest festival around is that you can get the biggest artists around. This year, the Pyramid Stage will be graced by some of the most recognizable names in music. On Friday night, Irish rockers U2 are headlining, with support from Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Saturday night sees headliner MUSE share the stage with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Shakira and Jackson Browne. And on the final night, legend Stevie Wonder tops the bill, closing out the festival after performances from Paloma Faith, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and guitar legend Slash.

But it’s not only the main stage that’s worth visiting. Punters will get quite a workout running between that and the other 12 stages, of which the Other Stage, the John Peel Stage and the Park Stage look the most promising. Over the course of the weekend, the Other Stage lineup reads like the index page of NME: The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Hot Chip, Phoenix, the Courteeners, the Cribs, Kate Nash, Editors, Two Door Cinema Club, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, We Are Scientists, Temper Trap, the Hold Steady and more.

Originally called the “New Bands Tent,” the John Peel Stage features a mix of old and new favourites. Friday night sees Groove Armada share the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and Bombay Bicycle Club. Saturday night is jam-packed with bands we’ve featured here on TGTF, like the xx, Foals, Marina and the Diamonds, Delphic, Wild Beasts and Field Music. And Sunday night remains epic with sets by Ash, Julian Casablancas and the Drums.

All the way across the site, the Park Stage will play host to buzz bands like the xx, Broken Bells, the Big Pink, Midlake, Laura Marling, Stornoway, Beach House, Frankie & the Heartstrings and Dirty Projectors, ending with a headlining set by Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun on Sunday night. And at the risk of making your heads explode by listing even more bands, at the other stages festival-goers will be treated to performances by Mos Def, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Turin Brakes, Imelda May, DJ Fatboy Slim, Crystal Castles, Good Shoes, Fanfarlo and Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip.

If you’re not already overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the festival, then you can click here to view the complete lineup. But if you don’t already have tickets for the sold out spectacular, then be warned, it will turn you green with envy.

Glastonbury 2010 is completely SOLD OUT. It will be held from Wednesday, 23rd June to Sunday, 27th June 2010 at Worthy Farm, Pilton.

 

Live Review: Jamie Cullum with Imelda May at the 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 7 March 2010

 
By on Monday, 8th March 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Note: There are no live photos in this review because there were absolutely no cameras allowed at the gig, sorry!

Reading my gig reviews, you could easily make the assumption that I say that every gig is one of the best I’ve ever seen, but I promise you, this has just been a spectacularly good year for gigs! Sunday night I had the pleasure of seeing everyone’s favorite pocket-sized jazz musician, Jamie Cullum, and opener Imelda May at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. I went into this sold out gig worrying that there was no way it’d live up to my expectations – I’ve been trying and failing to see Jamie Cullum live for about 5 years now, and I wanted it to be something extra special to make up for the fact that I had to miss watching the Oscars to see it. Basically, if it was anywhere short of Jamie’s amazing performance in his ‘Live at Blenheim Palace’ DVD, then I was going to be thoroughly disappointed. Fortunately, both Jamie and Imelda completely blew me away!

Dublin rockabilly songstress Imelda May played a powerful, vibrant 40-minute set to a nearly packed venue, and had everyone dancing along. She has a deep, raspy, soulful voice that captivated the audience, and she seemed to be having a lot of fun up on stage. She played more than 10 songs,  including ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom,’ ‘Big Bad Handsome Man,’ and ‘How High the Moon.’ One of the best parts of her set was her wonderfully cheeky lyrics, like “Count my fingers, one and two / one of them is just for you / Count my fingers, one, two, three / the one in the middle’s to you, from me.” With the backing of her band, including a drummer, electric and acoustic guitarists, and a double bass player, Imelda thoroughly warmed up the crowd for Jamie.

Jamie Cullum is an absolutely fascinating and captivating performer. The energy with which he throws himself completely into his performance is just mesmerizing. He can switch from slow, brooding intensity to manic and impossibly intricate piano solos in the blink of an eye. At the end of his packed 2-hour set, I was amazed that he could still stand, he’d put so much energy into his performance.

As if his music wasn’t captivating enough, he was also hilariously entertaining between songs. In the first non-sung words out of his mouth, he said “Hello, my name is Justin Bieber.” Later he quipped, “Just picture me as Johnny Depp, I’m sure it’s not the 1st time…why are you laughing?” At one point he described the double bass player, Chris Hill, as a monster and said “That man has a fist full of sausages!” – I’m just going to  assume that’s a good thing in Jamie’s world.

But back to the music: not one of the songs got away without a generous helping of improv – I mean, come on, he is a jazz musician, after all. During crowd favorite ‘Frontin’,’ Jamie used the piano as one giant percussion instrument while beatboxing and singing. Even the slower songs like ‘What A Difference A Day Made’ were a big hit with the crowd. We all tried (and failed) to sing along, prompting Cullum to say “It’s hard trying to sing along with a jazz singer, isn’t it?” He had the crowd completely in the palm of his hand, whether he was making them scat along during ‘Wind Cries Mary,’ sing along and jump up and down to ‘Mixtape,’ or listen in complete silence to ‘Gran Torino.’ During the encore, he even convinced the crowd to sing the entire second verse of ‘All At Sea,’ and it sounded gorgeous.

But the indisputable highlight of the show was also its most unexpected. Toward the end of his set, Jamie had the band bring all of their instruments to the front of the stage, and instructed the crowd to part down the middle. The band then launched into Justin Timberlake‘s ‘Cry Me A River,’ and the crowd went mental. Over top of that, Jamie sang the jazz standard ‘Cry Me A River’ off-mic, and then jumped down off the stage with his horn players, and proceeded to sing a capella from the middle of the crowd – simply amazing and completely unexpected. There’s really nobody like Jamie Cullum for genre-bending, mad scientist-type brilliance. This gig will be hard to top!

After the cut: Jamie Cullum Set List!

Continue reading Live Review: Jamie Cullum with Imelda May at the 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 7 March 2010

 
 
 

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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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