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RTÉ Choice Music Prize Awards Roundup

 
By on Tuesday, 28th March 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Earlier this month, I headed out to The RTÉ Choice Prize Awards at the jam-packed Vicar Street in Dublin 8, south of the Liffey. Arriving early, we grabbed ourselves a pint of Guinness’ Hop House 13 and took our seats in anticipation of an exciting, music-filled evening. During the course of the night, we were treated to a range of live performances, as well as the announcement of the winner of both the RTÉ Choice Music Prize single and album of 2016.

The first act of the night was Wallis Bird, whose yellow-white hair glowed onstage like a beacon of light. Bird captivated the audience with her heartfelt a capella as she stood alone onstage during ‘Home’, the title track of the album for which she was nominated. On another track, she banged against a microphone and used a loop pedal to create a rhythmic and organic backdrop for her incredible lungs. It was a raw and vulnerable performance. In a post-performance interview, Bird recounted the significance of ‘Home’ and living in the house where she first met her girlfriend.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmd3wDnRJpM[/youtube]

Next up was Bantum (Ruairi Lynch), nominated for his album ‘Move’, who I’d had the pleasure of seeing before at the Shortlist Sessions, but the last time I saw him he was alone onstage with his laptop and guitar. This time, he was joined onstage by the singers who feature on his tracks. The first track ‘Feel It Out’ featured Farah, and the second featured Loah and two backing singers on the song ‘Take It’. It made a huge difference with the singers being live, really fleshing out the music, and he looked like he was a lot more comfortable. After the performance, he discussed his love for funk sounds, and how the album was released completely independently.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky1xy600BKc[/youtube]

We Cut Corners, who I’d also seen at the Shortlist event, took to the stage next and played a hugely varied set in terms of tempo and sound. Nominated for their album ‘The Cadence of Others’ the duo confidently took to the stage to perform their tracks ‘Middle Kids’ and ‘Of Whatever’. Considering their smart and wonderfully wordy lyrics, you’d never guess the pair are teachers. At one point, the two stood side by side at the microphone, singing a capella with a smoky, moody spotlight allowing their voices to carry over the crowd. Then, at other times, Conall Ó Breacháin was banging one handed against a drum kit with one hand whilst John Duignan was strumming away at his guitar.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl1sJLwtmUo[/youtube]

Next to the stage was indie legends and former winner of the Choice Prize, The Divine Comedy. Neil Hannon,sat at a piano to perform some tracks from his latest effort ‘Foreverland’, Divine Comedy’s 11th studio album, reviewed by editor Mary back here. He and his live band kicked off their three-song set with ‘Catherine the Great’, before playing the witty and evocative ‘How Can You Leave Me On My Own?’ and drawing a number of laughs from the audience.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehxil2jZiok[/youtube]

Following The Divine Comedy’s performance, the winner of the Song of the Year was announced. Unable to be there on the night, winners Picture This (winning for ‘Take My Hand’) had recorded a video accepting the award and thanking all who had voted from a studio in the States where they are recording their new album. You can listen to Carrie’s interview with Picture This in Austin after that recording experience here.

Lisa Hannigan then took to the stage. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t heard Hannigan sing live just how powerful, yet calming her voice is. Ethereal and waif-like, Hannigan seems to command the stage without really trying to draw attention. I’m trying not to sound like a super fan. Armed with a banjo on one track, and what I believe was a tabletop accordion on another, Hannigan’s album ‘At Swim’ (reviewed by Carrie here) was nominated for the Album of the Year, and she played a few tracks from the album, including the spooky and slow-marching ‘We, The Drowned’ and the folky ‘Undertow’.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSnaQAv77JE[/youtube]

The sixth act of the evening was the all-in-black Katie Kim, nominated for her third studio album ‘Salt’, whose morose, moody sound I fell in love with right away. Standing at first with her guitar, then moving onto a keyboard, Kim’s unusual and rich sound filled the room, and in particular her tracks ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Day is Coming which are the first two tracks on the album. ‘Salt’ is an emotive and powerful piece of work, and seems even more incredible when considering Kim is a solo artist.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cspN1Zk3L7Q[/youtube]

A little different to Kim’s haunting melodies, eventual Album of the Year winners Rusangano Family (for ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’) virtually erupted into life and had the audience on their feet during their fast-paced set. The title track of their LP opens with the tolling of a funeral bell, before MCs God Knows and MuRli began to do what they excel at, capturing the crowd’s attention with their fast-paced and lyrical verses.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ap_P-poNuY[/youtube]

Rapping about Irish identity and asylum seekers, they engaged the crowd by dancing and jumping enthusiastically throughout the set, even joining the audience out on the floor, while DJ mynameisjOhn was at the decks. After just a few minutes of their performance, former TGTF contributor Tom turned to me and said, “I want these guys to win”.

RTE Choice Music Prize 2016 winners Rusangano Family

Then we had All Tvvins, the enigmatic indie pop duo Conor Adams and Lar Kaye, nominated for their album ‘IIVV’, which Adam reviewed back here. They started with the catchy ‘Thank You’, a track with a seriously addictive guitar hook. Up next they played ‘These 4 Words’, followed by ‘Darkest Ocean’, receiving huge cheers from the audience. Bouncing around the stage, the pair looked like they were having a great time.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6agMJjr2TK0[/youtube]

The final act of the night was Overhead the Albatross, nominated for their album ‘Learning to Growl’. An instrumental-only act, live they have what seemed like 6 million guitars, a drum set and a violin. They finished up with a well-earned standing ovation and certainly deserve some real props for making instrumental-only music so interesting and feel so accessible. I’m going to be honest, I couldn’t tell you what tracks from their nominated album were played, but they were certainly impressive with a mixture of funky rhythms, moments of slower paced violin solos, and with an evident passion for the music that they were playing.

All in all, we had a pretty spectacular night. It was great to catch a glimpse of what the all too underrated Irish music scene has too offer. Perhaps underrated isn’t the best term, as the people that I’ve spoken to in my newly adopted home can’t help but rave about the music that is out there by Irish artists. This is music too often under the radar in terms of the global picture aside from the occasional artist that will break through: Hozier jumps to mind here.

I can definitely say that I’m excited to see what’s in store for the future of Irish music, particularly now that I’m able to access more of it living on Irish soil. If the eclectic and talented mixture of music that I heard at Vicar Street is any indication of the variety of music there, then I’ve got high hopes for the music that I’m going to be discovering over the coming months (maybe even years) now that I’m rooted here in Dublin.

 

SXSW 2017: Sound Gallery I, presented by Sounds Australia at B.D. Riley’s – 14th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 27th March 2017 at 5:00 pm
 

In my sixth SXSW, I had little trouble managing my expectations while also pacing myself during the week. However, Tuesday morning, I found my intentions to find milk for tea for the week difficult (I’m assuming the English in town bought it all in the closest grocery store? Thanks, everyone), which delayed my morning. Sadly, I arrived at part I of Sounds Australia’s annual Sound Gallery at 6th Street Irish pub B.D. Riley’s too late to catch first band The Heart Collectors. (More on the folk band later.) As mentioned in the introduction yesterday, it was chilly at the start of the week in Austin. This necessitated a homey (and probably excessively large for yours truly) plate of bangers and mash, accompanied by what else by Guinness at B.D. Riley’s, hunkering down for four more of the acts on the docket.

I’m sure for every person it’s different, but something I hear all the time is the Aussie’s desire to leave Oz for America and weirdly and specifically, for Los Angeles. Singer/songwriter Tim Wheatley did exactly this, telling us during this set this afternoon that he got out of Australia as soon as he could and never looked back. When I did research on Wheatley prior to SXSW, I was confused by his supposed image as a folk / country performer and his video ’78 Benz’, in which he sported long bleached blonde hair. Think ‘80s hair bands.

Tim Wheatley,
Sound Gallery I, Sounds Australia, B.D. Riley's, Tuesday 14 March 2017

So imagine my surprise when I finally see Wheatley in the flesh with short hair and boots. If he was wearing a 10-gallon hat, he’d have completed the perfect cowboy image. The Mercedes he sings of is about a vintage car he procured shortly after arriving in L.A. Without the long hair, I think it’s much easier to take Tim Wheatley seriously as a musician. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine him setting up shop one day soon in Nashville.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v468UUVFQSE[/youtube]

Juanita Stein, Sound Gallery I, Sounds Australia, B.D. Riley's, Tuesday 14 March 2017

Next up was Juanita Stein, probably more famous to the SXSW hordes as the sexy lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Sydney’s Howling Bells. She’s decamped to Brighton to work on her solo album, which is expected later this year. Now as a solo artist, or at least while she was in Austin, she’s chosen the sole focus to be on her music, as she was dressed understatedly in black. I wondered if she felt weird performing at the small stage at B.D. Riley’s, as she’s used to much larger (and louder) crowds and venues. Her track ‘Stargazer’ showcases her talent at balladry, though I questioned her inclusion of a cover of Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’, which has been covered by so many people in the past and suggested Stein wasn’t entirely comfortable performing her own material yet.

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

The Elliotts,
Sound Gallery I, Sounds Australia, B.D. Riley's, Tuesday 14 March 2017

After two folky acts, pop/rock act The Elliotts from Melbourne were a nice breath of fresh air. If you have a song called ‘Instagram’ that was previously titled ‘Pink Toilet Seat’, the chances are pretty high you don’t take yourself too seriously. Whether this will positively or negatively affect their career remains to be seen. (After their set, two of their three band members were out of there, choosing to run, skip and jump down to the convention center instead of staying at B.D. Riley’s for an interview with me; you can listen to my chat with James “Wally” Howlett through here, which includes a discussion on their social media-themed tune.) Their actual performance was upbeat and fun, bringing injecting life into the previously mellow vibe in the pub. They’ve got an EP out now, ‘Aeroplane’, which includes ‘Instagram’ and set standout ‘Seeing Stars’.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0KggVAM89w[/youtube]

As you might imagine, I get a lot of emails from PRs and management before SXSW begging me to come see their bands in Austin. I’d have to clone myself tens of times over in order to see everyone, and I do my own research ahead of time to figure who to see and when. Joel Sarakula was a weird case in that we previewed him in the London portion of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017 because artists appear in the SXSW schedule based on the location they use on their applications. Sarakula has lived in London for over 10 years, admitting to the punters at B.D. Riley’s that his accent is a weird mélange of Aussie and Londoner sounds.

Joel Sarakula,
Sound Gallery I, Sounds Australia, B.D. Riley's, Tuesday 14 March 2017

If anything, Sarakula’s mutt accent added to the spectacle of his performance, which felt like it was taken out of a ‘70s lounge of leisure and possibly out an adult film of that era. Seriously, I wondered why he wasn’t swearing a crushed velvet suit and sporting a giant medallion around his neck. Behind rose-tinted sunglasses and a keyboard that he insisted was TSA-approved, he struck a good balance between odd yet appealing. Taking elements of psych, soul and putting them through a throwback filter might not sound like it works on paper, but toes were tapping at B.D. Riley’s to tunes like the driving ‘They Can’t Catch Me’.

 

SXSW 2017: Monday night at the DIY / Ticketweb UK showcase at Latitude 30 – 13th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 27th March 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

It’s going to take some getting used to that the Music portion of SXSW artist showcasing officially starts on Monday and not Tuesday. Carrie and I have enjoyed either showcases at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 starring Northern Irish artists or sponsored by Trackd last year the last few times we’ve been in Austin, so it was nice to mix things up a bit this year with a lineup sponsored by someone else. This night’s showcase was sponsored by UK free magazine DIY and the UK arm of Ticketweb, now part of Live Nation. I arrived just in time for SuperGlu, the Manningtree rock group who I had seen 2 years ago at the upstairs room of The Mash Tun at Norwich Saturday night during Norwich Sound and Vision 2015. I wish to point out that thank you very much, I had seen this band before nearly everyone in Austin, proclaiming back then “1) I was supposed to be in Norwich to see this band, and 2) they’re going to do very, very well.” Boom.

SuperGlu, Latitue 30, Monday 13 March 2017

I don’t consider myself an expert on alt-rock, because it’s hard to class. What is alt-rockand what isn’t? And let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t know what will float with music fans and what won’t, which ultimately is the litmus test. During a week in Austin that saw surprise (or maybe not?) performances by world-famous American bands Jimmy Eat World, Spoon and Weezer, SuperGlu held their own against them, suggesting from the climactic last notes of ‘Diving Bell’ that it would not be long before they would be joining their ranks in popular music history.

SuperGlu, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017, 2

Frontman Ben Brown wore a University of Texas-Austin t-shirt and shouted the locals’ cry for “Longhorns!” to get the crowd riled up. Not surprisingly, this went over extremely well with the already inebriated and up for it Texans, not to mention a man who argued with Brown over which was the smallest town in England, his or Manningtree. (I’m still unclear who won.) The secrets to SuperGlu’s success? Being good friends and keeping things fun, which come across in spades in their self-described ‘dork pop’ music and live performance. While this might not be at the level of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1976, something tells me this is going to be one of those “were you there?” moments in rock. The photo below from my phone is intended to document the crazy that was happening that night. To listen in on my interview with the band in Austin, go here.

SuperGlu, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1H_6gImH80[/youtube]

Feeling like a letdown after SuperGlu was London-based Doe, compared frequently to Sleater-Kinney for their female-led DIY rock aesthetic. I give pink-haired lead singer and guitarist Nicola Leel massive props for her shouty loud, abrasive vocal delivery on tracks like ‘Last Ditch’, as she never once let up during their half-hour set, and the band gave it their all. The guitars were loud and scuzzy and indeed, the comparisons to classic ‘90s rock and noise pop make sense. It was just hard for me to pick out the melodies or find anything that stood out as particularly special.

Doe, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

From Doe, Croydon’s Jamie Isaac was a breath of fresh air, cutting through the fuzz with a dramatically different point of view. Some have compared him to wildly popular piano-player, production head and fellow Londoner James Blake, but that’s just lazy journalism. Isaac’s silky smooth tones envelop you like nothing else, grabbing you just as much as the darkly beautiful notes of his jazz-infused piano lines. To be fair, his music is less obvious, requiring more commitment by the listener to truly ‘get’ where he was going with his electronic leanings, and I sensed that people who had been there since SuperGlu’s set were less than enthralled. Give his ‘Couch Baby (Revisited)’ album (which includes ‘Find the Words’) a spin on your favourite streaming service to check him out.

Jamie Isaac, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

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

I had expected Blaenavon to come next in the lineup, but I was surprised when a woman came onstage. Hrm, I thought, they don’t have a girl in their band, do they? For the record, they don’t. Manchester’s False Advertising, led by Jen Hingley, filled in for the Liphook, East Hampshire natives who weren’t able to get out to Austin that early in the week. Their loss was False Advertising’s gain: the incredible opportunity to showcase the first official night of SXSW Music at the British Music Embassy.

False Advertising, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

The energy in the ratcheted back up as they pounded out ‘Wasted Away’ and ‘Scars’ as highlights. They’ve got an interesting dynamic in that drummer Chris Warr also sings, and he and Hingley swapped instruments and positions like it was no big deal. The other obvious comment about False Advertising is that they have a lot of hair. It’s a good thing none of them needed to look down at their guitars, because they wouldn’t have seen the strings anyway. Carrie joined me shortly after False Advertising started, and I’ll let her fill you in on Muncie Girls’ closing set of the night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-HP2sg0vaU[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2017: introduction to our coverage, and Monday night with unlikely Americana and at the National Geographic party at Vulcan Gas Company – 13th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 27th March 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

We spend a lot of time in the months and weeks previewing SXSW. But I can say with certainty that every year when we’re actually out in Austin for the week, it seems to go by in a flash. This year, I saw more artists than ever: 70. So strap yourself in for quite a few posts about my experiences at SXSW 2017, along with Carrie’s.

The weather as a bit chilly the first few nights this year, requiring me to bring a coat along. But unlike the last 2 years, we weren’t hit by a monsoon of a sideways thunderstorm or saw performances halted by dangerous lightning during the week. Blue skies smiled on us all at SXSW 2017. I was grateful, as so many new and old friends had come out here for some good weather and plenty of sun, so I was glad this year we were able to provide both in large amounts. I think, too, this year more Brits followed our recommendations with the suncream, though from what I hear from Carrie, the Irish made the mistake – again – not to slather up the SPF for the Generator NI boat ride on Tuesday. But I’ll let Carrie fill you in on that show.

Tuomo & Markus, Swan Dive, Monday 13 March 2017

After a quick dinner and cocktails at Second Bar and Kitchen, Carrie and I went on to our first show of the evening at Swan Dive. If you think it’s unlikely to hear good Americana coming out of Finland, Tuomo & Markus are here to prove you wrong. Unless you heard them talking between songs, you’d have no real way of someone playing piano (Tuomo) or well-picked guitar (Markus) and their lovely harmonies from someone from our own country. Considering how we have been ‘marked’ for years for the way our politics have shaped the rest of the world and in a negative way, it’s nice to witness firsthand that our musical influences that are exported out to the rest of the world have a positive effect that leads to beautiful art.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjT1vMk7zDM[/youtube]

This Monday was different than it had been for me in previous years, as I had been put on a guestlist to a very exclusive event (yes, ooh). The legendary scientific and natural sciences-promoting publication National Geographic had made their home at the Vulcan Gas Company for several days during SXSW 2017 as part of the Interactive third of things, and Monday night was when they’d be hosting a special party to celebrate all they’d accomplished. I wondered immediately upon arriving why I had eaten dinner before, as I was overwhelmed by a dizzying array of food, open bar and complimentary dessert from the famous Voodoo Doughnut’s outpost further west on 6th Street.

Hamish Anderson National Geographic, Vulcan Gas Company, Monday 13 March 2017

But as you might imagine, though, I was there for a very special musician who has had a ‘Hold on Me’ and I was excited to see live. On his second trip out to SXSW, Australian blues rocker Hamish Anderson was the entertainment for the evening. He said to me during an interview on Saturday afternoon outside B.D. Riley’s that corporate gigs are “always a bit weird” because you know you’re not the focus of the attention at the event. Despite this, he was the consummate professional, transporting us to a down and dirty club where his kind of rough around the edges rock normally resides. Sounds Australia sent out so many electronic artists this year that they needed to have a separate day of the Aussie BBQ to accommodate them, but when you’re stood in front of Hamish Anderson wailing away on his guitar, you soon forget – and maybe even for a moment, loathe – anyone who has to lean on electronics and Macbook for crutches during live performances. The Melbournian has a debut album out now, ‘Trouble’, that I highly recommend. As much as I wanted to partake on the free donuts, tacos and macaroni and cheese (I have a wheat allergy, sob!), the British Music Embassy showcase for that night beckoned.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bkMI3DOhho[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Chicago artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 10th March 2017 at 3:00 pm
 

If you followed TGTF’s coverage of SXSW 2016, you might have noticed that we branched out a bit last year to include more American and international bands in both our previews and our live coverage of the music festival. To continue in that vein this year, we’re offering preview coverage of showcasing bands and artists from selected cities in America. Today’s selection of SXSW 2017 featured artists comes from the Midwest, specifically the so-called ‘Windy City’ of Chicago.

Hip-Hop/Rap artists predominate the Chicago contingent, with a staggering 14 acts represented in that category. Joey Purp leads the charge, bringing along his single ‘Girls’ feat. Chance the Rapper. Old school rap duo The Cool Kids are back from a self-imposed hiatus with their new single ‘Running Man’. Well-known activist-artist Malcolm London (pictured at top), who is a featured speaker in the SXSW 2017 Music Conference, will also showcase his performance talents as part of the Music Festival. And among the most fascinating new artists is DePaul University Biological Sciences student by day / hip-hop artist by night femdot., who will appear in Austin on the strength of his breakthrough EP ‘fo(u)r’.

The Rock category comes next, with 10 artists on the bill. Eclectic art-rocker Tim Kinsella will showcase both on his own and with his band Joan of Arc, featuring their latest release ‘He’s Got This Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands’. In a somewhat more mainstream vein, indie rock five-piece Modern Vices are making a return trip to SXSW, presumably with new music in tow, having released their self-titled debut LP back in 2014. Last but surely not least, two female-led rock bands, Ratboys and Wild Belle, will also make the southward trek to Austin.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/XHG_0VHGi8c[/youtube]

The combined categories DJ/electronic and r&b comprise four showcasing artists each, though the two DJ acts both involve House DJ Chrissy Shively, known on stage simply as Chrissy. He will perform as a solo artist in the DJ category, as well as showcasing with vocalist Hawley Shoffner in the duo act Chrissy & Hawley under the Dance heading. In the R&B genre, the activist poetry of Jamila Woods and her album ‘#HEAVN’ stand out as a sure hit.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/asVhafDASjo[/youtube]

Rounding out the Chicago delegation, there are two gospel acts on the docket, Psalmist Raine and Marty B. Pop acts Sunset and MAMA also made the list, along with five-piece bands Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquestra and The Waco Brothers, who are the lone Windy City representatives in Latin rock and alt country, respectively.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/9s1KWrrWuY8[/youtube]

Stay tuned to TGTF next week for more coverage of Chicago artists live from SXSW 2017. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Welsh artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 10th March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Wales may be small in size, but they are a proud country never short of praise and support of their musical artists. BBC Radio 1 presenter Huw Stephens is quick to promote his countrymen and women, and I am sure he’s pleased with all five of the artists to showcase this year at SXSW 2017. The summaries of acts below were written by Rebecca Clayton and Steven Loftin. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Casi – pop / Bangor
A young singer/songwriter originally from Bangor, Wales, Casi Wyn is currently based in London. Casi grew up speaking her mother tongue of Welsh and hearing traditional music, before getting into pop music in her teens, which probably explains the melding of eerie vocals and electropop rhythms in her music. Last year, Casi released her entrancing single ‘Lion’, an ethereal and moving track that showcases Casi’s angelic vocals and her evocative song writing. Since then she’s also shared ‘Golden Age Thinking’ and this year’s ‘The Beast’ via her label Chess Club Records. (Rebecca Clayton)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=873g5wS7ltM[/youtube]

Chain of Flowers – post-punk / Cardiff
A surprisingly great modern take on post-punk. Choruses thick with reverb and longing lyrics, Chain of Flowers are definitely a band worth a listen. They recently released their self-titled debut LP that should go straight on your list of must listens. I mean, come on, they’re named after a The Cure song, right? (Steven Loftin)

Dan Bettridge – singer/songwriter / Ogmore-by-Sea
With a voice older than his years, Dan Bettridge is the soulful folk singer from the small village of Ogmore-by-Sea in Wales. Bettridge, who has been playing guitar from an early age, first appeared on the scene in 2013 when he released the EP ‘Hunter’s Heart’. He is currently working on his debut album. He rereleased his single ‘Rosie Darling’ last year, a gentle, country sounding number, and ‘Third Eye Blind’ back in 2015, a bluesy, soulful track that transports you out of your own skin and onto the neon-lit streets that Bettridge sings about. (Rebecca Clayton) [We’ve been informed that sadly, Dan Bettridge will not be joining us in Austin. – Ed.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UYER_GK6bc[/youtube]

Meilyr Jones singer/songwriter / Aberystwyth
Exactly what Jarvis Cocker and Morrissey’s love child would sound like, and this isn’t a bad thing believe it or not. The optimism of a young Cocker, with the yearning howl of an in-his-prime Moz. Lyrical structure that puts most novelists to shame, ‘How To Recognise Art’ is, well, a work of art. He also won the Welsh Music Prize in 2016, if that tempts you further. (Steven Loftin)

The Sandinistas – punk / Tredegar
A Welsh band named after a Clash album? Count us in. Having only released their debut single last year, The Sandinistas are gaining some serious momentum already. When you listen to the adrenaline-inducing riot of their single aptly titled ‘Ready To Blow’, you can see why. Get on this band. Now. [They’ve also already been championed by Fred Perry, who have been rarely wrong in spotting potential. – Ed.] (Steven Loftin)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik74yCjG7S4[/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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