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Live Gig Video: Apparat perform ‘Song of Los’ at London Scala

 
By on Tuesday, 15th November 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Apparat (Berlin-based electronic musician Sascha Ring) released a lovely video of him and his band performing his latest single ‘Song of Los’ (released in September on Mute Records). Shot at London Scala on the 25th of July, this video captures the dark masterpiece perfectly.

For a more recent concert experience, read Braden’s review of Apparat’s show at London Koko in October here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx6-zbzg8NE[/youtube]

 

Review: Mercury Prize 2011

 
By on Thursday, 8th September 2011 at 5:30 pm
 

In case you missed them, we wrote previously on this year’s Mercury Prize shortlist and our writers weighed on who they thought should win and who should have received a nod from this year’s nomination committee.

Just prior to the shortlist being announced, it was strong, talented representatives of “the fairer sex” who topped the bookies’ top bets: Adele and PJ Harvey were neck and neck as the odds on favourite. These two lovely ladies continued to be strong favourites throughout the weeks leading up to the event in London hosted by Jools Holland this past Tuesday night. On the evening, Adele did not join her nominee compadres on the red carpet, nor did she perform on the Grosvenor Hotel stage due to illness. Ms. Adkins did, however, made everyone laugh with her humourous fake acceptance speech. Speaking of the faux acceptance speeches, after a rousing performance of ‘The Bay’, Joseph Mount of Metronomy said with a grin, “this is nice that the first album that you hear from us is about the place where I’m from. And I hope you visit Devon!” Bless. (To be fair, it’s nice that Devon will now be known for something other than their cows and Muse.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn6n7zMcVOY[/youtube]

6music reported that Guy Garvey of Elbow (the 2008 Mercury winner for ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’) was self-deprecating as usual, saying he wished their “little friends” Everything Everything would prove to be the winner. Speaking of the double-named band, they took the bold step of performing a non-single, album track from ‘Man Alive’, ‘Tin (the Manhole)’, when it was their turn to wow the dinner audience at the Grosvenor. But ultimately, it was PJ Harvey who came out on top, with her album ‘Let England Shake’ winning the top honours. With this win, she becomes the first act ever to win the Mercury Prize twice (she won exactly 10 years ago, in 2011 for her ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’). You can watch her live performance of ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’ from Tuesday night below. Congratulations Polly Jean!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77HnyHlfHNQ[/youtube]

 

Tramlines 2011: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Tuesday, 16th August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Fortunately, the weather once again holds out on Sunday as thousands of music fans flood into the centre of Sheffield for the last day of Tramlines 2011. By early afternoon, venue capacities become how many people will fit and still be able to get to the bar and the main stage has a steady moving queue. For this reason, I return to the New Music Stage, which today is curated by local screamo/hardcore group Rolo Tomassi. The band have great taste, as the first band I see are Brontide, proper post-rock that appears to convert those present who weren’t already fans. 65daysofstatic are amongst a group of local bands to really bring this genre to the forefront of new rock music so it’s great to see Brontide get such a good billing in the city centre.

Later, London group Three Trapped Tigers also grace this stage but I decide to go for another Tramlines speciality in the form of the Busker Bus. Created and curated by local band Bromheads, the busker bus (crowd shown above) takes punters on a trip across Sheffield (and back) with the benefit of artists playing a gig at the same time. I arrive just in time for today’s special guests, the Everly Pregnant Brothers (photo below). Playing their third set in as many days, the Yorkshire band are comprised of about 10 ukulele and other small instrument-playing middle aged men. Sounds like a recipe for disaster right? Actually, it’s brilliant and quite refreshing to hear a band play a version of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ with all of their own words, whilst a hundred people crammed onto public transport all “fafafafaafa”-ing along. At the stop, everyone’s off and they manage to out-Sheffield Jarvis Cocker at his own song as the group play ‘Common People’ before going into the pub to play another set whilst the bus riders get back on and back to the centre. Next up on the bus are late additions and ever popular Johnny Foreigner. Playing some quieter tracks ahead of their main stage show later today, ‘I’ll Choose my Side’ is put alongside an as of yet, unnamed track to treat those present.

Upon being returned to the city, I head straight for the main stage. After featuring a selection of pop from Olly Murs and Pixie Lott yesterday, as well as Joshua Radin and Guillemots, today’s line-up is distinctly more electric guitar-friendly. I arrive in time to catch the Phantom Band’s sound make its mark on the city and with dedications to any single-malt drinkers in the crowd (sorry security, you missed my flask), the band bring a slightly synthesized and electric folk blended set of tracks to the main stage. The second and much larger set of Johnny Foreigner’s day comes in replacement of their fallen friends: “to anyone at the back who’s confused, we’re not Frankie and the Heartstrings,” explains front man Alexei. Playing to a crowd the size of “an entire tour” the band (pictured below) play tracks that are nearest to being the ‘hits’ collection and do it well. Scatterings of fans across the crowd appreciate to start, many more are dancing, a little, by the end. Even new song ‘Electricity vs. the Dead’ leaves fans seeming quite happy with the progress the band have made.

It’s the hit makers up next though. The Futureheads bring a set list that’s been tried and tested for months in similar billings to Sheffield and get everyone doing “the bouncy bounce” which is effectively jumping in time, as well as constructing mass sing-alongs for ‘The Beginning of the Twist’ and the ever popular Kate Bush cover of ‘Hounds of Love’. It’s the kind of music festivals like Tramlines exist for.

Not that it stops there though, because this evening’s headliners have even more crowd pleasers. Ash (pictured at the top of this post) open with ‘Girl From Mars’, reminding everyone just what a tour de force they’ve been since day one and now with the added sound of Russell Lissack (Bloc Party member two of my weekend), they’re sounding even more like a band worthy of headlining such an event. Their set features all the expected hits, some recent singles from their ‘A-Z’ project and even covers of ‘Teenage Kicks’ and Weezer’s ‘Only in Dreams’ alongside set and festival closer ‘Burn Baby Burn’. What a way to close a festival!

Tramlines probably should have some sort of limits and caps, but I’m not sure there’s a way to implement that without ruining so much about what makes it incredible. Hundreds of bands playing a mass array of free live music can only be good in my eyes. Until next time, thanks Sheffield.

 

Tramlines 2011: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 15th August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Saturday at Tramlines comes with a whole load more excitement. The main stage today features charting stars as well as up and coming artists , but I’m more focused on what’s effectively the second stage in the Nando’s-sponsored New Music Stage. The first band I see, however, really put a dampener on the scorching weather. Eagulls are offensive on the eyes and ears today with a Liam Gallagher meets Sid Vicious 20-something man yelling at people in the form of what I suppose he’ll call lyrics. The crowd that had assembled for the charming Hey Sholay earlier have started to disperse back to the stairs and square of the picturesque city hall. This isn’t the way Copy Haho (pictured at top) will have it though. Indie pop tracks with nice hooks all the way from Scotland see the punters return and get a bit warm to tunes they don’t know such as ‘Going in the Wrong Direction’ (a personal favourite) and with a few “your mum” jokes, Copy Haho have won over some new Yorkshire friends.

Feeling like I’m playing it a bit safe, I decide to stray over to the Bowery to catch half an hour of power rock ‘n’ roll in the form of strangely named Milk Maid. It’s a definite hit with me and seeing as the venue is packed (it’s small, but still…) I’m guessing the buzz around this band is building and rightfully so. I’d have been kidding myself if I thought I would end up anywhere other than back at the New Music stage for the next few bands though. Young Legionnaire are my first and only super group of the weekend, and they certainly prove why. Comprising of members of Bloc Party and the Automatic, their music is nothing like this. Debut album ‘Crisis Works’ is a huge sounding rock album from the three-piece and today they demonstrate that it can even get a crowd that don’t know them, moving in the sunlight to them.

They really are just a supporting cast to the next two acts however. Scottish power-pop group Dananananaykroyd burst on to the stage next with as much energy as you’d expect from the indie rock underground’s heroes. New tracks such as ‘E Numbers’ fit right in the opening of their famously fun set, along with old favourites ‘Watch This!’ and ‘Black Wax’. ‘Muscle Memory’, the lead single from their second album ‘There Is A Way’, produces a huge sing-along (shout along, scream along, something loud) of the ever so angsty “You’d like me better if I liked you less!” as the crowd really get moving. Of course, some, having saved money on not having to buy tickets, go too far on the alcohol and over-exuberant movement. “Dancing is easier than fighting!” the band point out, and that seems to solve that for a while.

It seems it’s all been uphill then, as bands today are constantly out-doing each other, so it’s right to expect good things of tonight’s New Music stage headliners. With a new album in the works and promised for release late autumn, but not really giving away much more, the Los Campesinos! crew look more like a solid unit than they ever have. As such, their sound is now a really tight and well rehearsed one, spanning all three of their albums. This is where the problem starts for me though. I’m starting to think it’s all a bit over-rehearsed and that after a certain point, we’ve heard it all before. ‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’, a huge fan favourite is becoming a song absent of the meaning it was written in of late, ‘My Year in Lists’ suffers the same fate and is gone before it ever really starts and even ‘Death To Los Campesinos!’ is now beginning to sound like it lacks the relevance it once did.

Set opener for the last year or so has been ‘In Media Res’ and aside from one or two alterations (‘We Are All Accelerated Readers’ gets a play this evening), it’s all getting a little predictable. That said, when you’ve got a catalogue of tracks this good, and fans as dedicated as LC!’s, it’s hard not to get lost in tracks such as The Sea Is… or shout along to the hugely infectious ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ and as the Cardiff group close their set with the ever joyous ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks’, it’s difficult to see what tracks need taking out to accommodate for album four’s new ones. So as Saturday comes to a close, it’s hard to wonder what on earth Sunday can throw at us.

 

Tramlines 2011: Day 1 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 12th August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Situated just north of the Midlands, Sheffield has produced some fine musicians over the years. The likes of Pulp, Arctic Monkeys and Def Leppard have heralded from the area, so it only seems fitting that here, in the middle of the summer, a mass grouping of hundreds of artists should come together for the largest free music festival in Europe, Tramlines (held this year on 22-24 July).

With a hugely diverse billing, you don’t have to have an eclectic or particularly well educated knowledge of music to find something you’ll love just around the corner, as near enough every bar, pub, club and venue in the centre of the city has had a stage erected or at least allocated space to it for the duration of the weekend. And huge public spaces such as Devonshire Green, the Peace Gardens and the City Square have had fully fledged stages put up for the third year running. Artists of all genres and backgrounds, from Pixie Lott and Olly Murs, all the way through to local heroes Rolo Tomassi and bearded favourite Josh T. Pearson are in attendance, so thousands have flocked to enjoy the musical feast.

Friday afternoon brings a warm day to Yorkshire as the festival gets underway. The warm-up last night has brought Guillemots to the city for their first of three sets this weekend, as well as a host of smaller and local bands raring to impress the city’s increased amount of punters. Beginning my Friday afternoon up at the Harley is Grass House. The band saunter onstage to a minimal crowd who politely turn to pay attention, if little more. Their set hardly electrifies my weekend from the start, but it’s a steady half-hour from a band who appear lost somewhere between Britpop and prog at times

After this, I make my way further out of the centre down to the dull looking building of Bar 27. Once in the door, I’m greeted with shining marble effects and a white lit room with music paraphernalia dotted around and a red carpet (which I’m later told is incredibly slippery) laid out between two speaker towers to form what appears to be a stage. Crewe band Maps of Columbus (photo at left) are preparing to play their only set of the weekend in front of a crowd of trendy bar regulars and those who’ve gambled on the 10-minute walk out of the centre. With a sound not too dissimilar to a large amount of tomorrow’s New Music Stage (Copy Haho, Young Legionnaire, Danananananaykroyd) Maps of Columbus might be one of Tramlines’ criminally overlooked bands, even if the stage banter does make blink-182 look like top quality comedians. Debut single ‘Daisy’ is a standout, especially at 150% speed.

Back into the city and to the first big venue of the weekend. The Leadmill tonight plays host to Twin Atlantic (pictured at top) in one of their biggest shows to date and who, understandably rise to the occasion. Kicking off with album opener ‘Edit Me’, the Scottish group barely look back. It’s the supporting cast tonight I’m interested in however. Tellison, to be precise. The band appear slightly off today, even just having released their album a month ago. That said, they still give glimpses of their brilliance, but from far away, it just seems like the same old story.

I had hoped to see a lot more bands on Friday, but by the time I got back from my trip to where I was staying, many places were simply too crowded to attempt. Hot Club De Paris, Trophy Wife, Islet and a host of other fantastic artists were on show to those lucky enough to get inside though.

Stay tuned for more from Braden on his Tramlines experiences this year.

 

Live Review: Wombats at iTunes Festival at London Roundhouse – 16th July 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 2nd August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

It was a cunning move when the Scouse indie trio the Wombats swiftly arrived to fill in for the absent Duran Duran at this year’s iTunes Festival. They approach the stage confidently, performing ‘Our Perfect Disease’ (video here), the first track off this year’s release ‘This Modern Glitch’ (reviewed by John here). Tonight’s set list was to consist of a collection of the band’s signature, easy-to-digest tracks, including the fantastic ‘Party in a Forest’ and ‘Kill the Director.’ In fact, a babble of “This is no Bridget Jones!” could still be heard ringing around the reverb-filled halls, even after the fans had begun to file out of the venue.

One such highlighted moment was the raucous ‘Moving to New York.’ The delightful collective blaring of “it’s like Christmas came early for me!” is a certain indication of the looming stature that the Scouse trio has created for themselves in just a few short years. Their unique sound is remarkably fun and energetic, providing an enormously upbeat attitude to every member of the audience. Call it corny, but the ironic flair of ‘1996’ is simply wonderful. Interchanging between note-perfect vocal harmonies, the Wombats display an ever-improving sense of musicianship.

As the night continues, a small scuffle in the audience is noticed by almost immediately silenced by the slushy synth tones of ‘Techno Fan’ (video here), providing an instant sprinkling of positivity around the Roundhouse. As always with the Wombats, there are no long pauses between their tracks, aside from a quick guitar change or a much-needed wipe of a towel. Onstage banter included a geeky comparison of the towering ceiling of the Roundhouse to the Dynamic Duo’s lair, the Batcave.

A final rendition of ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ added a superb finishing touch. Although the superb energy of the band is no different to any other Wombats concert, there is a spark about the encore in tonight’s coliseum, and the band has proved time and time again that they are able to impress even the most diverse of fans with their dazzling finesse.

 
 
 

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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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