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Homegrown British Talent to Shine at London 2012 Summer Olympic Games

 
By on Friday, 29th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Seeing that everyone around the globe will have their eyes fixed on London next month with the start of the summer 2012 Olympics there, it’s only appropriate that we at TGTF Towers get involved with a post of our own. Regarding the musical selections for the Games, of course. Britain being Britain, the Olympic organisers were spoilt for choice on which artists to tap for this international showcasing event. Just in this week, we’re getting more names and details on what to expect ahead of the official start of the Games. (This post is mainly about the expected Olympic-related releases, but there is also word that there will be surprise gigs in London, which is another ball of wax entirely.)

The news of what we would hear to herald in the 2012 event started last winter, when in November 2011, it was revealed that Manchester’s Mercury Prize-winning and reigning (no longer) indie band Elbow (pictured above) would be providing the song ‘First Steps’ to soundtrack the BBC’s coverage of the momentous occasion. The song in its finished form made the rounds on telly in this promo advert in May to coincide with the Olympic torch relay that made its was all over the country.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSW8Ng-Skgk[/youtube]

For ‘First Steps’, Elbow decided to use a recorded choir vocal instead of Guy Garvey’s, presumably to make it more about the public and less about Elbow. In his typical self-deprecating style, Garvey has said of their contribution, “for our music to be sound-tracking it, there was a big feeling of responsibility but also we’re just dead proud to be doing it. And strange as well with none of us really being athletic.”

On Wednesday, the BBC reported Muse would be providing the Games’ official song. Called ‘Survival’, it’s already proving to be as polarising as the strange dubstep-infused trailer they released as a teaser for their next album, ‘The 2nd Law’. While there is no argument that there is an incredible amount of tradition, pomp and circumstance surrounding the XXX Olympiad, what strikes you first about this this new song ‘Survival’ is how un-Muse it is. To me, it sounds like they are trying far too hard to sound like a 21st century Queen, emphasising on making a more bombastic sound that embraces the theatrical instead of either going for something poppy, which might make it all the more enjoyable for the masses, or staying true to the Muse vision.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO61AdifK9k[/youtube]

But beyond what we have heard in full from Elbow and Muse are all the other question marks: what are the contributions from other artists going to sound like? The BBC also let loose on Wednesday that special singles from Elton John vs. Pnau, Dizzee Rascal, the Chemical Brothers and Delphic will also be released during July and August.

Let us first consider the first of these. Pnau is an Australian dance duo whose song ‘Sad’ “includes elements from a number of Elton John original sound recordings including ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’, ‘Crazy Water’ and ‘Curtains’ to name but a few”. Before hearing it, I thought well, this could go either way: it could be a horrible, ill-advised sampling experiment gone wrong, or it could be something refreshingly new and different. Then I found the official video. What is this? It reminds me of Empire of the Sun in a way, and not in a good way. In any event, remember them, because you can expect Pnau to become a household name; how they (or their management) was able to score Olympic promotion just in time for the release of their debut album is quite a marketing coup.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=froqs4giHBg[/youtube]

Dizzee Rascal needs no introduction. He’s been making the rounds at many summer festivals, including both Evolution and Beach Break Live that we’ve managed to cover. As you might have already expected, Dizzee surely knew he was going to have this honour long ago, as the below ‘Your Britain’ video shows him talking about his childhood and having a look round at the stadium where presumably he will be performing on opening night. I think it’s safe to say we can expect a high-octane, bounce-a-minute stonker from him that will get people bopping all over the world.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN2S505jwFA[/youtube]

Then we are left with the Chemical Brothers and Delphic. This is where we only guess what will happen, which is rather interesting because the two bands, while both dance-oriented and from Manchester, are at opposite sides of the career spectrum. Neither band has released anything since their last albums in 2010: ‘Further’, the Chems’ seventh, and ‘Acolyte’, the debut for Delphic. While there has been a long time of incubation, shall we say, since we last heard anything new from either of them, they have probably only had the last 6 to 8 months, at most, to think about how they want to be remembered with the memory of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Chemical Brothers have not talked publicly about their involvement, but Delphic excitedly Tweeted “We cant [sic] tell you how much it means to be involved with a world spectacle so great it only comes around every 4 years. this time on our patch”, which says to me not only have they given this a great deal of thought, but they also considered the gravity of the situation and what it means when the eyes of the world (or, perhaps the ears are better suited in this case) are put squarely on you.

We here at TGTF will be looking forward to the coming weeks for word on all these official releases. This is definitely one Olympics where the excitement regarding the music specially made for the event equals or exceeds the excitement for the actual sport. Reuters has reported the remaining releases are scheduled to drop as follows: Elton John vs. Pnau on 16 July, Delphic on 23 July, Chemical Brothers on 30 July and Dizzee Rascal on 6 August. The Muse single ‘Survival’ is available for purchase now.

 

WIN / Tickets to Fuji Rocks courtesy of Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green clothing company

 
By on Thursday, 28th June 2012 at 5:00 pm
 

Liam Gallagher’s clothing line Pretty Green is offering up a pretty sweet prize: accommodation plus plane and festival tickets for you and a friend for the 3-day Tokyo music festival Fuji Rocks (27-29 July). Who’s playing, you ask? Liam’s band Beady Eye, of course, plus the Stone Roses, Jack White, among many others.

You can win a chance for these tickets by simply buying vinyl from the new iPhone app Simply Tap, following these three easy steps:

1. Download the app from iTunes or Google Play, and register your details once.
2. Buy the album on vinyl you want by this Saturday (the 30th of June) using the tap code, QR code, or image recognition
3. Get it delivered, and see if you’re the lucky winner of two tickets to Tokyo!

Even better, you can £5 off any 12 classic albums from The Stones, The Who, Ian Brown, Paul Weller, The Jam, The Cure, Elbow and Paul McCartney when you make your first purchase via your mobile with the app.

For more information on this contest, go here. Do not enter here, as the contest is only being run through the purchase of vinyl via the Simply Tap app.

 

Bands to Watch #247: Young Kato

 
By on Friday, 1st June 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

There is a far too much maligned type of band in the music business: the boyband. Having been a massive fan of the late ’90s boyband scene (Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, 5ive, most of the lot), I have a fondness for this genre most likely not shared by my blogging contemporaries. While boybands won’t win any music awards except in popularity polls, what they do – and what they do very well is sing well and present incredibly catchy songs in an attractive package – shouldn’t be minimised or belittled. You might not like One Direction, but (don’t groan) they’re already starting to gain traction in America, as are the Wanted, who had their first headline North American tour last winter. Love ’em or leave ’em, boybands are here to stay, so you might as well stop whinging and get used to it.

The latest? We’ve heard about a new band from Cheltenham who’s been signed by well thought of Manchester indie label LAB Records. Called Young Kato, they’re six boys, boys being the operative word here: the collective average age of the band is 18. They’re making a big splash this weekend.. Tomorrow they will play their biggest gig yet with another teenage idol you’ve certainly heard of, Pixie Lott, at the Bristol Diamond Jubilee Concert at Cribbs Causeway. And then on Sunday (3rd of June) they will release the single ‘Drink, Dance, Play’.

I know what you’re going to say. That title sounds awfully trite. Then watch the video below. A gentle synth intro leads into a rather suburban scene. They’re drinking coffee (or perhaps tea?) out of little cups, not pints. Good on them for not glamourising drinking; after all, don’t forget who their core audience will probably be. A woman in dress clothes dances with reckless abandon; there’s something very freeing about that. There’s also brief scenes of a scantily clad couple snogging – let’s face it, sex sells – but it’s not for long, so it can get by the censors. Verdict: pretty good. And get used to it, because you’ll be hearing it on the radio soon enough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sWTGPVMNqo[/youtube]

But what actually turned me on to this band initially was going through my feed on Soundcloud and finding their track ‘When Lights Go Out’, which I think is actually catchier and less boyband-ish than the single. If you’re still reading this post, you have got to have a listen to this song too. (And ooh, it’s even a free download.) Remember what I said about boybands and not dissing them because their songs are insanely catchy? I can’t stop playing it. While I’m not agreeing with their press release stating this is “an amazing, punchy track likened to the pop offspring of Friendly Fires and Morrissey” – they sound like neither, though you could argue the wide-eyed wonderment of their singer sounds awfully like early Two Door Cinema Club – this track is likeable, fresh and fun enough that they could be the next hit of this festival season.

Definitely one to watch. With their debut EP out on the 23rd of July and produced by Gordon Mills, Jr. (Placebo, Ed Sheeran), you can expect quality product. Good luck, lads.

Saturday 2nd June 2012 – Bristol Cribbs Causeway (Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Festival)
Wednesday 20th July 2012 – Cheltenham 2 Pigs
Thursday 21st July 2012 – Gloucester Park Festival
Thursday 26th July 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow
Friday 27th July 2012 – Bristol Thekla

 

Perfume Genius / August and September 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 24th May 2012 at 9:30 am
 

Mike Hadrea (aka Perfume Genius), an act I unfortunately missed at the Great Escape this year. (Yeah, I’m sad about that right now.) But if you live in Britain, you’re in luck because he has announced a short UK for the end of the summer (late August into early September) and appearances at Latitude in July and End of the Road in September. Tickets to the regular gigs listed below are available by presale from the Perfume Genius Facebook page; the general sale begins on Friday at 9 AM.

Sunday 15th July 2012 – Southwold Latitude Festival
Thursday 30th August 2012 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 31st August 2012 – Cardiff Globe
Saturday 1st September 2012 – North Dorset End of the Road Festival
Tuesday 4th September 2012 – Glasgow SWG3
Wednesday 5th September 2012 – Birmingham Glee Club
Thursday 6th September 2012 – London Union Chapel

 

Preview: 2000 Trees Festival

 
By on Thursday, 17th May 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Winner of the Grass Roots Festival award at 2010’s UK Festival Awards, 2000 Trees (12-14 July) has quickly become a staple part of the boutique festival scene. Since its early beginnings in 2007 with just a 1000-person capacity, this year 4500 people will don their wellies and head on down to Upcote Farm, Gloucestershire. And what a line-up they have to offer.

Headlining the 2-day extravaganza are the post-rock favourites 65DaysOfStatic  and Brummy indie cohorts Guillemots (pictured at top). But it’s not just the Main Stage bill-toppers to excite the crowd, TGTF faves Dry the River are also making an appearance as well as the new-found-folkies The Futureheads. But the biggest coup of the weekend is the booking of Hundred Reasons who 2000 Trees have tried to snap up for the past four years, and it’s finally happened. They’ll be performing their 2002 Top 10 album ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ in its entirety.

But that’s not all 2000 Trees has in its arsenal, since the introduction of the new ‘heavy stage’ last year – dubbed The Cave – interest has skyrocketed from alternative music fans. Invading The Cave this year are Three Trapped Tigers, Pulled Apart By Horses, Future Of The Left, Gallows, Rolo Tomassi and Lower Than Atlantis to name a few.

To keep the festival especially green, all of the bands are from the UK to cut down on fuel costs and emissions. And this summer weekend truly does showcase some of the best new music that Britain has to offer, from varying ends of the spectrum. And there’s a brilliant new-age hippy vibe, what’s not to love?

Unfortunately 2000 Trees is sold out this year, but there may still be competitions running to win tickets or you could hassle your friends with tickets into selling it to you. Because one thing’s for certain, it’s going to be a special weekend for British music.

 

Preview: Heineken Open’er 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Festivals are great, aren’t they? Sitting in the sun, sipping on cider, catching a tan/burning your skin off or just watching all your favourite bands in one place in the sunshine.

But wait a minute, you live in Great Britain. A country known for the fact that its festivals can easily turn into a flood of epic proportions. Solution? Well, that’s easy, head abroad! With a cornucopia of festivals on the continent, offering more of a guarantee of more favourable weather, it seems the only logical place to go.

One such of these bountiful foreign beauties is the Heineken Open’er Festival (the 1st to 4th of July), which offers a huge selection of talent on its stages. The Gdynia-Kosakowo Airfield is a 75 hectare space that screams out to be explored and contains seven stages, and it’s the largest Polish open-air music and performing arts festival.

Festival specialists Mumford and Sons (pictured at top) will be bringing their eccentric take on bluegrass to Gdynia, Poland, and they’re joined by a host of international lauded talent, from cult indie heroes Franz Ferdinand to the newly re-formed titans Bloc Party. Further down the bill there are the talents of those lovely Dry the River boys, joined by the simply mad faux gypsy styling’s of Gogol Bordello, the chillwave of Toro Y Moi and Mercury Award-winning the xx.

So as you can see along with the chance of some lovely weather, the bands on show are not to be sniffed at. A 4-day camping ticket is priced at the simply ridiculous £84 (410 PLN) while a day ticket will set you back £33 (165). More information on tickets are here.

After the cut: the list of bands scheduled to perform as of 7 May 2012.
Continue reading Preview: Heineken Open’er 2012

 
 
 

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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