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A Little Reminder That I’ll Never Forget: The Legacy of Lostprophets

 
By on Tuesday, 8th October 2013 at 11:00 am
 

In the past 6 months, I’ve lost two cornerstones of my teenage identity. No I haven’t lost my virginity aged 21, nor have I misplaced my GCSE certificates. I’ve lost Lostprophets and My Chemical Romance. Two bands that I directly relate to my discovery of rock music – gone under two sets of completely incomparable circumstances, but gone nonetheless and hardly likely to be doing any reunion tours, ala Fall Out Boy anytime soon. So how did my love affair with the two juggernauts of emo start?

I still remember innocently flicking onto Kerrang! on Sky at my parents’ house in Guernsey when I was 14 years old, and the video to ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was in full flow, Gerard Way leading his macabre marching band. However, at that time I was none the wiser to who it was, but I became utterly obsessed with it. I was relatively unfamiliar with popular music at that time, other than what I listened to on the island’s commercial radio station Island FM as my Mum drove me to school. I was subjected to an eclectic mix of all that was popular around the 1970ss mixed with about every Robbie Williams track ever recorded, played at least once every hour. And Dido. But I fucking loved Dido. (Actually, I still do.)

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

So as I played ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ constantly on the home computer, I got deeply engrossed in the lyrics and the music and suddenly I decided I was rock and roll. I was cool, I got to hang out with the kids with long hair and listen to music that was draped in darkness. I allowed myself to grow an identity that was defined by music that other people called ‘emo’ and ‘goth’ and I bloody loved it. It was a sense of identity that I, along with any teenager at that point in their life, yearned for which My Chemical Romance and later Lostprophets fuelled.

Alongside my obsession with ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, I discovered Lostprophets’ ‘Liberation Transmission’, another album that I still remember around this massive juncture in my life. Okay, so I wasn’t standing on a rooftop screaming my heart out, however much this is painting me to be a dreadfully folorn figure at just 14. In fact, life was pretty cosy, but if it helps to visualise me as a deeply depressed loner in the playground than feel free. Although no visualising me with glasses. In their music I found an identity, which as I mentioned set me apart from the Radio 1/Island FM dogma. I wanted to use that identity so that girls would think I was a bit quirky, a bit edgy, not just that spotty curly-haired gimp that was pretty good at maths.

However, there was this whole stigma sticking around these bands, MCR especially. That they were the problem behind suicide cults, a stigma that I as a news-blind 14-year old was completely unaware of. Was I interested in that side of the story? Was I? Fuck. I just wanted to at least try and be cool and this music was my stepping board, my way of bizarrely expressing MY individualism through such uber-creative mediums as MySpace and Bebo. (Warning: do not search for my MySpace or Bebo page, they may cause cringe-induced comas.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z5FWlUN1go[/youtube]

Now, in 2013, as both of these bands have packed up their eye-liner, binned the horrendously tight skinny–jeans/marching band gear (delete as appropriate) and done away with the lyrics about death and slashed wrists, there’s a juncture for any fan of this age. I’m sure I’m not the only one who stumbled upon the videos to ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, ‘Rooftops’, etc. and now feels rather upset that undeniably a bit of their childhood which defined them now as adults has disappeared, probably forever.

With Lostprophets, it is walking on uneasy grounds. Grounds which as a news-focused journalist in my day job I am extremely legally terrified of touching – so I won’t, I’ll instead focus on the musical legacy left by the Pontypridd rockers. It is a legacy somewhat tainted by the relative inadequacy of their most recent two records, ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Weapons’. Two pieces of work that in comparison to the band’s earlier efforts really just stunk of a yearning to make another ‘Liberation Transmission’, or even another ‘Start Something’, but which tragically fell short. In their pre-2007 career, Lostprophets were part of a small group which defined the very genre that they were part of. Creating experimental rhythms and beats, slapping it on top of a chugging bass line with a chorus catchier than the flu – Songs like ‘Burn Burn’, ‘Rooftops’ and ‘Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja’ were utterly fantastic rock songs and have arguably inspired a generation of new bands to follow suit.

To name but a few, their countrymen The Blackout, pop-rockers You Me at Six and more, in fact you’ll struggle to find a band of that ilk who wouldn’t cite Lostprophets as one of the reasons that they donned the skinnies and started jumping up and down with their legs together whilst screaming at the top of their voice. It’s a generation of bands who now live on past the legacy that Lostprophets, in my opinion, set.

Over the past few years the band may have fallen flat, but the generations of teenagers and musicians which they inspired live on, through the music. They’re a band who sung about making their mark, who sung about how they’ve always tried. Well, they did leave a legacy, one which I hope people will remember, above the controversy no matter what happens.

They’re gone, but not forgotten. They really did ‘Start Something’.

 

Live Review: Lostprophets with Pure Love at Lincoln Engine Shed – 13th November 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Lostprophets returned to Lincoln as part of their Weapons Realoaded 2012 tour on the 13th November, so my first duty is to apologize for the lateness of this review. My calendar has been mad and well… inexcusable as it may be! Here’s the review only less than a month later. But here we are, casting my mind back to the gig in Lincoln’s vast Engine Shed…

Opening the show were Frank Carter and Jim Carroll’s new band, Pure Love, who are out touring before the release of their debut album. (Read my pre-gig interview with the band here.) Now, one thing you should always expect from a Frank Carter-fronted band is well, the unexpected if you get my drift. Carter as the bands focal point’s job is the causing of chaos. After two songs, the ginger haired ex-punk rocker leapt into the crowd to perform the rest of the bands livewire set amongst the crowd. Whether it was to get a photo with the mad lead singer or just get close to someone with a mic, everybody homed in on Agro-Frank, much to his amusement.

The intregration of Frank into the crowd had everybody; even the partisan fans, interested and as Carter unleashed the snail-pit, a rock move where instead of getting rowdy for a circle pit, where fans crawl around on their hands and knees in a circle around Frank. Mad but safe, effective and definitely a crowd-pleaser. I definitely got a cheap kick out of it, as obviously did Frank as he told off a girl, “did I tell you, that you could fucking stand up?” Grinning from ear to ear.

It was always going to be a difficult equation following up Pure Love’s almost primal show of force. However, We Are The Ocean’s maturing brand of radio-friendly, post-hardcore was always worth a shout. The band remind me of a younger and a lot more likeable version of Jimmy Eat World standing on that fine line between The All American Rejects’ levels of rubbishness and Jimmy’s brand of brilliance. Luckily, they come out on the good side with their catchy choruses and riffs winning the crowd easily before the main event.

Now, Lostprophets are a band that will always hold an extremely fond alcove in my heart. I listened to them when I got into rock music, along with My Chemical Romance. (Don’t judge me.) Now while albums like ‘Start Something’ and ‘Liberation Transmission were instant classics’ with some huge tunes on them, the last two efforts from the Welsh band, ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Weapons’ have been anything but impressive: instantly forgettable and lacking any real substance. They haven’t really produced anything good since when I’d say Muse have produced good material but hey, that’s just me. Sure, ‘It’s Not the End of the World’ was a good track but bar that, I can barely name a song from their past two records.

It was to my delight then, that Lostprophets broke out a set dripping with their classic songs. ‘Rooftops’ was aired, and echoed by every member of the thousand-strong audience. The seething mass of pre-adolescents, who were barely even at secondary school when ‘Last Train Home’ was released, went ballistic at scales of almost One Direction levels as the opening chords were strummed.

But while the classics went down a storm, the new records outings were taken to with the kind warmth that Lostprophets fans can dish out. It was a gig for the fans. The vets. And I, for one, loved it. Although I will say that Lostprophets need to be careful booking a band like Pure Love to open as they almost stole the show… before it had even begun.

 

WIN / Tix to see Lostprophets on tour in Manchester -or- Lincoln

 
By on Friday, 2nd November 2012 at 3:00 pm
 

Lostprophets are on tour in November, and we’ve blagged a pair of tickets each to their Manchester Apollo (Thursday 8th November) and Lincoln Engine Shed (Tuesday 13th November) shows. Want to win then? Then enter our lucky draw below.

Fill out the form below with your name, your email address (we’ll use this to contact you if you’ve won) and which show you want to win tickets for (Manchester or Lincoln). Then answer this question related to their touring schedule this year: What is the name of the American shoe company that is sponsoring their show at Ally Pally on the 10th of November? (Hint: all the details of their November tour, stopping in Preston tonight, are here.)

Be sure to get your entries in by 12 noon on Tuesday, the 6th of November. We will contact the winners shortly thereafter. Please note: winners must be UK residents. Good luck!

This contest is now closed. Winners will be contacted by email shortly.

 

Video of the Moment #962: Lostprophets

 
By on Sunday, 9th September 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Lostprophets have a brand new video for ‘Jesus Walks’, which appears on their current and fifth album, ‘Weapons’. It has a bit of a soap storyline, as you will see below.

The band will tour the UK in November.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vApHVSwL2ug[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #807: Lostprophets

 
By on Sunday, 27th May 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Lostprophets have a new video for ‘We Have an Arsenal’, a single with a title fitting for their latest album release, ‘Weapons’, which came out last month. The band have also announced a UK tour for November and a headline appearance at the Warped UK festival at London’s Ally Pally on the 10th of November. All the tour dates are below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ78uoKqyPM[/youtube]

Thursday 1st November 2012 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Friday 2nd November 2012 – Preston 53 Degrees
Monday 5th November 2012 – Edinburgh HMV Picture House
Tuesday 6th November 2012 – Inverness Ironworks
Thursday 8th November 2012 – Manchester Apollo
Friday 9th November 2012 – Portsmouth Guildhall
Saturday 10th November 2012 – London Alexandra Palace (Vans Warped UK)
Monday 12th November 2012 – Norwich UEA
Tuesday 13th November 2012 – Lincoln Engine Shed
Wednesday 14th November 2012 – Newport Centre

 

Single Review: Lostprophets – Bring ‘Em Down

 
By on Friday, 10th February 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

You wouldn’t have thought it but Lostprophets have been together since 1997: that’s a whole 15 years! What’s even more remarkable is that they’re still loitering around the edges of mainstream success. Yes they’ve had big hits with ‘Last Train Home’ and ‘Rooftops’, but they’re still not headlining the O2. That said, 2012 could be the the year for the Pontypridd boyos.

With their fifth studio album ‘Weapons’ hitting the shelves in April, Lostprophets have released the first single to tease us with. Entitled ‘Bring ‘Em Down’, it’s (as the name suggests) an angsty ‘let’s stick it to the man, yeah’ ditty that lyrically speaking doesn’t add much to the already overflowing trough of faux social awareness. That said, it’s not the worst thing they’ve ever done.

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

There’s a general split between Lostprophets fans over which era was the best; the nu-metal/punk stage or the emotive stadium rock stage. Luckily for original fans, ‘Bring ‘Em Down’ harks back to 2003’s ‘Start Something’ with its punk edge and bouncy rhythms. The anthemic chorus (albeit not lyrical genius) is aimed solely at the festival crowd, which will no doubt be used to full effect when summer rolls around.

While the track is full of punk energy, Ian Watkins and his cohorts play things too safe. It needs to be ballsier and feature less cliché-ridden lyrics about beating the unnamed opposition. The big instrumental breakdown toward the end is begging for Watkins to go absolutely batshit and scream until blood comes out his ears, but we’re met with random electronic noises and a countdown from ten to zero before stopping.

In short ‘Bring ‘Em Down’ is not the band’s best work but it’s also not the worst. It blends the raw, energetic ethos of ‘Fakesoundofprogress’ with the ‘we really wish we were 30 Seconds To Mars‘ ideology of ‘Liberation Transmission’ and to an extent ‘The Betrayed’. But if the new album can improve on the single, Lostprophets may finally achieve what they’ve craved for the past decade and a half.

5/10

Lostprophets will be touring the UK starting the middle of April through to the beginning of March, shortly after the release of their next album, ‘Weapons’ (2 April).

 
 
 

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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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