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Baby Strange / May 2016 English Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 18th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Glasgow indie rockers Baby Strange are setting out tonight (yes, tonight!) on a run of co-headline dates with fellow Glaswegian band White. The tour comprises eight shows, including a special gig hosted by Club NME and BBC Introducing on the 27th of May at London’s KOKO.  Following their run of English dates, Baby Strange are also scheduled to play at the Electric Fields Festival in Scotland on the 26th-28th of August.

Along with the list of tour dates, Baby Strange have released a new video for their current single ‘Pure Evil’.  The video consists of footage filmed in a Portsmouth nightclub back in 1992, found and pieced together by the band themselves. “There’s so many characters, some of the people remind us of people we know,” says frontman Johnny Madden. “We wish we were there, it looks care free. No one messing about on their phone, just a bunch of people having a good time.” If the idea of a good time with no phones seems hard to believe, watch the video just below the tour date listing for proof.

Wednesday 18th May 2016 – Newcastle Cluny
Thursday 19th May 2016 – Manchester Sound Control
Sunday 22nd May 2016 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Tuesday 24th May 2016 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 25th May 2016 – Bristol Thekla
Thursday 26th May 2016 – Oxford Bullingdon
Friday 27th May 2016 – London KOKO (Club NME/BBC Introducing show)
Saturday 28th May 2016 – Sheffield Plug

[youtube]https://youtu.be/-wVlJDxkr9k[/youtube]

 

 

Handmade Festival 2016: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 13th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Parts 1 and 2 of Steven’s review of Leicester’s Handmade Festival 2016 posted earlier this week. Check out parts 1 and 2 here and here.

The Sunday of Handmade 2016 held particular importance for the city of Leicester. Entering anywhere within a 15-mile radius of the city, you would find yourself presented with an inordinate, but very much deserved, amount of Leicester City FC regalia, for they were soon to, but not on this day, make football history. This of course would have been detrimental in some aspect to the day’s proceedings at Handmade, since a festival of this size relies heavily on local cultural interest. However, there are also those outsiders, like myself, who make the pilgrimage and spread the word via numerous blogs, social networking posts and other ramblings. On a rare historical occasion such as this, when even non-diehard football fans are intrigued and excited by it, there will inevitably be a drop in attendance. The final day didn’t carry the same weight in atmosphere as the Saturday nor the Friday. The lineup itself wasn’t overtly weak but the bands that had that cultist draw such as Lonely The Brave, We Are Scientists or Deaf Havana were missing from this final day, bar Los Campesinos! (pictured at top), who saw the largest reception with their “landfill indie” hark back.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/4-M_m1I1uKU[/youtube]

Easily the set of the day, and unfortunately it was one of the earlier ones so the crowd wasn’t as large as it should’ve been, was Johnny Lloyd. The ex-Tribes frontman who’s in the midst of excitement ahead of releasing his debut solo EP ‘Dreamland’, has returned with extraordinarily deep songs that utilise haunting, soft melodies and raucous crescendos to create a beautiful juxtaposition.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/OBcv6iYXpCM[/youtube]

Other highlight sets from the day included Oscar, whose strong baritone vocals richly cover his often poppy, but at times focused and dramatic indie. Seeing Oscar on the main stage before heading once again down to the lower levels to witness USA Nails throughly annihilate any further thoughts of natural hearing, is an experience that just fortifies the uniqueness behind Handmade.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/VyOC5Nkl3E0[/youtube]

Of the minor downsides, and there really are only small, unavoidable ones, the largest of these was food outlets. Three tents on the patio area by the entrance, for a 3-day, mostly all-day festival, doesn’t leave much choice for hungry festival-goers. However due to the festival’s fairly central location, there was the option of making the 10-minute walk to a main road with further choices available. As this is a music site and not food, I shan’t go into detail on the food itself, but rest assured it was all fantastic.

With 2016 being the largest year to date for the Handmade Festival, 2017 is set to be even greater. I highly suggest you take a weekend out of your lives and make the trip to Leicester. You’ll find something new to fall in love with, be it a Jurassic Park-themed punk band or a simple photograph on one of the many displays around the venue. Either way, it’s fresh and exciting, and there’s no chance of being stuck on a muddy hill as you watch your tent slide away.

 

Handmade Festival 2016: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 12th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

If you missed Steven’s review of Leicester’s Handmade Festival 2016 that covered the bands he caught on Friday, you can catch up right back this way.

Now that the event had settled into full swing, the Saturday of Handmade Fest came along like Christmas morning. Beginning earlier at 3 PM, the second day of the festival kicked off with a band so ridiculous in concept yet perfect in execution, missing them was simply not an option. Jurassic Pop solely write songs based around the Jurassic Park franchise, going as far as to have their bass player wear a velociraptor head. The songs were rifftastically solid, especially the rendition of ‘All That She Wants’ by Ace of Base, adapted so that the velociraptors from the scene where Robert Muldoon, the Jurassic Park gamekeeper, dies with the infamous last words “clever girl…”, are the focal point of the lyrics. (Though the band state they wrote it first—jokingly, of course—we don’t want any affidavits created from this article, please).

Taking to the stage in the allowed 15-minute time afterward, Happy Accidents were a surprising breath of fresh, chipper, air. Bouncing around like sweet-filled children, they brought the second day, which had thick grey clouds looming over it, into a metaphorical rainbow-laden field filled with fast, poppy punk music and smiles.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/XWgJ1C2cnWk[/youtube]

Sadly, I missed Cleft, who according to numerous people I spoke to, were one of the bands of the weekend. I did however manage to catch OhBoy!, who were phenomenal in every sense. Their powerful show matching the strength of their songs, the future is definitely going to be bright for this stellar band. The main talk of the entire weekend though were the later slots on this fine evening, kicking off with Cambridge’s own Lonely the Brave, who gave one of their most powerful performances I’ve seen to date, with their new songs creating a fierce, undertow to the already epic songs from their debut. After their set finished, the majority of the crowd, in the typical sheep fashion of this small festival, flowed down to The Scholar Bar where we awaited Scottish pop punk band The Xcerts. You got the sense that a lot of the crowd had been waiting to see the raw emotion and power of The Xcerts for a very long time, and the atmosphere in the room reflected this perfectly.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Ns7dgqjn6JI[/youtube]

Headliners of the night were fellow East Anglians Deaf Havana (pictured at top), who, also road testing new material, created an explosive atmosphere which was fuelled by the crowd’s response to their heartfelt and angst ridden material. Overall, Saturday proved to be the strongest of the 3 days of the festival, with Sunday proving slightly weaker through no fault of the festival’s own. It cannot be stated enough that festivals such as Handmade are important in not only developing the cultural scene of whatever city they happen to be in, but they also give bands who otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity to play in an environment like this, or to get the exposure that would give them even one more fan that will fuel their passions. Moving past that slight digression, we will enter the final day of Handmade 2016 in part 3 of my review, which will appear on TGTF tomorrow.

 

Handmade Festival 2016 – Day 1 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 11th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

If the only music festival you’ve been to (and this is potentially more aimed to UK readers than U.S. fans) consists of standing in a muddy field in wellington boots or becoming heavily inebriated while trundling to the next stage to see a mildly hyped-up indie band, then an indoor festival, or metro-festival, is a highly different experience. Leicester’s 4th annual Handmade Festival took place on the May bank holiday with the stated goal of gathering “the best new and forward thinking music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography and bring(ing) it all together for one weekend”.

When I first arrived at the University of Leicester on the Friday, the welcoming sign of ‘H A N D M A D E’ spelt out up the stairs in large plastic letters beckoned festival-goers into the venue and gave a great indication as to how the festival sees itself: welcoming and with a hint of non-seriousness. Being a completely independent venture, Handmade is unique in that it prides itself on being a place to discover brand new things, and this is most prominent in its musical lineup. The headliners themselves are tenured enough in the industry to draw a crowd, particularly We Are Scientists (pictured at top), Deaf Havana and Lonely the Brave, who jointly win the award for “Largest T-Shirt Representation”. With these crowds drawn in, it was up to the acts beforehand, both local and national, to cement the weekend, and this they did.

On Friday, we were given the choice of either Lacura or Estrons, two bands that cover the rock spectrum nicely, with Lacura taking on the dreamscape, ease-you-in side of things and Estrons taking the face grabbing route. With both sets comfortably and officially kicking things off, the small crowd that had gathered at this early stage of the festival soon ventured to the weekend’s main stage, Academy 2, to witness Ash Mammal. This was the first sign that it would be easy to find your new favourite or soon-to-be favourite band here. Ash Mammal brought a raucous set, reminiscent of early Placebo and not easily forgotten.

An important aspect to mention before heading into any more detail on the weekend is the venue layout. In total there were three main stages for music, not including the smaller stages in the venue landing area. The main stages were the aforementioned Academy 2, the Academy 3, which was found by venturing down into the basement of the complex and through a labyrinth of corridors into a seeming ex-dance studio, and also The Scholar Bar. The initial trial of finding your way around the complex was confusing, but after one trip around the available open areas, it turned out to be a well-laid out routing that consisted of a multi-layered circle. Getting lost was a fool’s errand, and a mistake only made once.

The rest of Friday’s highlights included Black Honey, who are already gaining a serious amount of traction and for good reason. They combine blues-tinged, reverb-heavy rock with a frontwoman who has the sultry and confident attitude of Debbie Harry, Alison Mosshart and Cherie Curie combined. Sheffield’s 65daysofstatic brought an electronic turn to the proceedings with a light show and tunes to make a strong enough statement that should also aide their current hype. By far the biggest highlight of the day was punk band Pretty Vicious in The Scholar Bar, a tiny venue that already made the softer acts seem edgier than you would believe. Pretty Vicious brought out their re-birth of British punk and showed us exactly how they’ve managed to score a major label deal. Snotty, abrasive with purely fantastic riffs, they’re enough to give the Sex Pistols a run for their money.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/X6uBrek6Kd4[/youtube]

Headliners We Are Scientists proved why they’re still going strong in the game after over a decade, a solid set full of the massive hits that first put them in the spotlight, peppered with newer songs which sounded just as strong. The show itself did feel like a watered down version of an atypical We Are Scientists event, at times feeling rushed. However, having taken to the stage 15 minutes late this was potentially an executed measure to get through all of the crowd pleasers.

Stay tuned to TGTF for parts 2 and 3 of Steven’s roundup of Handmade Festival 2016, which will follow in the coming days.

 

September Girls / May 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 6th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Dublin rock quintet September Girls will begin a tour of the UK next week, in support of their new album ‘Age of Indignation’, which was released via Fortuna POP! back on the 8th of April. The week-long tour schedule includes a headline date at London’s Islington Academy on the 19th May. September Girls will be joined by London alt-rock four-piece Telegram, who will co-headline in Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham and Oxford.

Tickets for the following shows are available now. Just below the tour date listing, you can have a listen to September Girls’ recent single ‘Love No One’, which featured in their live appearances at SXSW 2016 back in March. Our collected previous coverage of September Girls is right back this way.

Saturday 14th May 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Sunday 15th May 2016 – Liverpool Arts Club Loft
Monday 16th May 2016 – Glasgow ABC 2
Tuesday 17th May 2016 – Birmingham Academy 3
Wednesday 18th May 2016 – Oxford Academy 2
Thursday 19th May 2016 – London Islington Academy 2
Friday 20th May 2016 – Cardiff Full Moon
Saturday 21st May 2016 – Nottingham Maze

[youtube]https://youtu.be/n6N1cdttSuk[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: watch Catfish and the Bottlemen playing new single ‘7’ in the studio

 
By on Thursday, 5th May 2016 at 4:30 pm
 

Hot on the heels of touring their debut album ‘The Balcony’, Welsh indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen have recently announced details of their second full-length album ‘The Ride’, due out on the 27th of May via Island Records. The band introduced the new LP with the promo for album track ‘7’, which will also be released as a single on the 27th of May, available the same day as the new LP.

Intended as a Part 2 of the video for recent single ‘Soundcheck’ (stream it here), the promo for ‘7’ catches Vann McCann (lead vocals/guitar) and his bandmates Johnny Bond (guitar), Benji Blakeaway (bass) and Bob Hall (drums) in studio. The band were presumably hard at work on the new album, which was recorded in Los Angeles with Grammy award-winning producer Dave Sardy, though it seems there might have been a bit of extracurricular activity going on as well.

Surrounding the release of ‘The Ride’, Catfish and the Bottlemen will play sold out shows in Hull on the 14th of May, Northampton on the 21st of May and London on the 23rd and 25th of May. (As of this writing, tickets are still available for their gig at Margate Winter Gardens on Friday the 20th of May.) The band will also appear at Liverpool Sound City on Saturday the 28th of May and at Exeter’s Radio 1 Big Weekend on Sunday the 29th of May. TGTF’s previous coverage of Catfish and the Bottlemen is right back here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Ibv5N70ncsk[/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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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