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MP3 of the Day #680: Maybeshewill

 
By on Tuesday, 25th September 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Maybeshewill, the Leicester band Braden profiled in a Bands to Watch feature this summer, will be releasing ‘I Was Here for a Moment, Then I Was Gone’ (released in the UK last year) in November in America. ‘Red Paper Lanterns’ will be the lead single on this American release, and if you aren’t sold on the band yet, you can listen and grab this mp3 for yourself for free in the widget below.

 

(2000 Trees Festival 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #250: Maybeshewill

 
By on Friday, 27th July 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Having stormed two stages at the Cheltenham festival the other week, once on the main stage and once on the second stage, The Cave, Maybeshewill are most certainly a band on the forefront of music’s attention. Whilst the UK post-rock scene is arguably led by the very band that headlined, 65DaysOfStatic’s more electronic influence may leave a gap in between And So I Watch You From Afar and Mogwai for the Leicester group.

They’re hardly a new act, with their third record ‘I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone’ released mid-way through 2011 possibly being their most definitive record to date. But to many ears, even at a festival like 2000 Trees which models itself on independent new music, Maybeshewill are still a relatively fresh band.  This lack of public knowledge about them, however, shouldn’t lessen your opinion as most of their aesthetic is DIY through their own company Robot Needs Home. If you need more convincing, check out the reviews from their most recent album. They speak for themselves.

Having toured relatively relentlessly for the last year, the band are due to set out on one last UK tour in October before vanishing under the UK radar for a while so be sure to catch them there. We’ll tell you about the dates when they become available. Until then, enjoy ‘Red Paper Lanterns’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjhZBGIAb9o[/youtube]

 

2000 Trees Festival 2012 Roundup: Day 1

 
By on Tuesday, 24th July 2012 at 2:04 pm
 

How fitting it is for a music festival that prides itself on promoting the best of British, for it to rain. And not just the odd light shower, tropical monsoons that haven’t been seen since Noah swept across Cheltenham, turning a once grassy field into six inches of sludge. But that doesn’t matter because we’re British and we soldier on regardless. But it is handy there’s a tent stage to hide in…

Opening the biggest tent at 2000 Trees, dubbed The Cave, are the hardcore hooligans Crooks. Kickstarting a midday mud mosh to a half-full crowd of dazed onlookers, still zonked after the night before, their energetic and raucous half hour is a glorious display of Polar.-esque hardcore with the odd Rinoa post-metal rhythm. As local lads to the festival, they appear genuinely humbled to receive such support at this time of day, but things are just getting started.

It’s an atmosphere of anticipation and sadness before run, WALK! take to the stage. For the past few years they’ve been steadily carving a name for themselves on the UK circuit and achieved cult status amongst the general gig-going public. But now, on the cusp of releasing their long-awaited debut album ‘Health’, the dynamic duo are calling it a day. The Cave is still filling as the noisy two-piece start blasting out their brash, anarchic indie-metal (if there is such a thing), with little time for crowd interaction. Matt Copley’s vocals are secondary to the rhythm section that rages on forcefully, engulfing everyone like an amorphous blob of sound. Elements of Lightning Bolt and Fuck Buttons are thrashed out chaotically, igniting the first circle pit of the day, as run, WALK! finish seemingly as soon as they’d begun. A quick hug between the two signal the end. A sad situation.

Thankfully the sun has finally started shining to try and lift the mood. The Main Stage area is a waterlogged patch of overgrown grass, steadily being trampled by thousands of pairs of wellies. Leicester instrumental outfit Maybeshewill are no strangers to 2000 Trees, and their fans are falling in line to watch the five-piece (complete with two extra members on strings) deliver a satisfying helping of post-rock with a side order of power. Alternating between the grandiose and the frantic, Maybeshewill’s rolling waves of sound wash over the captivated audience who are gradually becoming stuck in the mud. ‘Not for Want of Trying’ is the crowning moment of the performance as 2000 Trees erupts in a state of rage, screaming the words to the infamous “mad as hell” speech in ‘Network’.

Turning this madness into radness are the Mancunian skankers Sonic Boom Six. With the magnetic Laila K peering out into the ever-growing sea of punks and partiers, SB6 are the ultimate festival band – nothing but bangers and mash-ups. Dropping the likes of ‘For the Kids of the Multiculture’ and ‘Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!’, it’s the mini-covers that excite Cheltenham the most. Throwing in samples of Lily Allen and Jessie J add to the poptastic, school disco vibe but flowing into ‘Poison’ by the Prodigy during ‘Virus’ receives a monumental response from ravers young and old. Although it’s the well-placed rendition of Wyclef Jean featuring The Rock’s ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ that puts huge smiles on the faces of everyone within a certain age bracket.

Slowing things down later in the afternoon are TGTF favourites Dry The River. Since finding fame earlier this year with debut album ‘Shallow Bed’, the folky fivesome live up to the hype. Opening on ‘No Rest’, the bodies amassing at the Main Stage are pouring their hearts into the passionate choral lines while Peter Liddle and Matt Taylor’s beautiful dual falsetto soars majestically into the surrounding fields. Forcing as many tracks into their set as possible, including ‘Bible Belt’ and ‘History Book’, the sun-drenched revellers soak up the emotive, acoustic melodies that Britain does so well.

Back in The Cave, the only American at a British music festival is doing his best to destroy the tent from the inside. Former Alexisonfire vocalist Wade MacNeil joined Gallows last year after Frank Carter’s departure, to a mixed reaction. But the previous worries can be set aside after tonight’s visceral attack of hardcore horror. After opening on ‘Misery’, Wade launches himself into a huge puddle of mud, covering himself from head to toe – spreading it all over the stage and front row. Steph Carter plays a much more integral part of the vocals nowdays, commanding the more ‘Londony’ sections that Wade simply couldn’t pull off convincingly. Gallows, though, are still Gallows. Inked up punks who love nothing more than to scream and smash their way through every gig until every bead of sweat has hit the floor. Spitting and snarling through ‘True Colours’, ‘Death Voices’ and ‘Abandon Ship’ amongst other favourites, even a cover of Minor Threat‘s ‘Seeing Red’, new track ‘Last June’ opens the floor to a veritable rat’s nest of turmoil. Welcome to the family, Wade.

Gallows’ punishing display has cracked the clouds wide open and the rain is tumbling down ferociously. But in the comfort of The Cave, Pulled Apart By Horses (pictured at top) are headlining to a capacity crowd. The Leeds-based maulers have become a mainstream success since their last appearance at 2000 Trees, drawing over a thousand people into the intimate sweatbox. Lashing their way through ‘The Crapsons’, ‘V.E.N.O.M.’ and new release ‘Bromance Ain’t Dead’. The constant crowd surges toward the front crush the die-hard fans at the front who show no signs of stopping stripping their throats raw. ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ energises the pit to maddening levels and ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ lifts the volume to deafening levels inside the big blue home of metal. PABH are noticeably grateful for the reception they receive tonight, especially as festival mainstays 65daysofstatic are currently demolishing the Main Stage. They’ve come a long way from clubs in Leeds to headlining a tent at Britain’s foremost new music festival – a testament to their longevity at the front of the new breed of rock ‘n roll.

 

Mercury Prize 2011: TGTF Writer’s Choice

 
By on Monday, 5th September 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Tomorrow night, Tuesday the 6th of September in London, the winner of the 2011 Mercury Prize will be crowned. I’ve asked each of our writers to choose which album they think should win this year’s honour, as well as which album they think was criminally absent from the 2011 shortlist. And without further adieu…

Mary Chang, Editor (hometown/current location: Washington, DC, USA)
Who should win: Everything Everything‘Man Alive’ (Geffen). To be honest, I was pretty underwowed by the nominees announced for this year. As much as I love Elbow, I don’t think ‘build a rocket, boys!’ was all that great. If Adele wins with ’21’, it’ll be a dark day in Mercury Prize history: in the past, the honour has usually been given to an ‘outsider’ artist that could use the promotion, and with how ever many million records Adele has already sold, it’s not like she needs more to line her pockets. In contrast, Everything Everything’s debut album released last summer was a breath of fresh air to the British music market: a cross between pop, rock and hip hop that they proved with their inimitable talent could be converted into an orchestral force to be reckoned with.

Who should have been nominated: Dutch Uncles‘Cadenza’ (Memphis Industries). If I’m going to go with an album that I believe is in the same league with ‘Man Alive’, then it’s got to be this debut from the Marple band. It just doesn’t sound anything like anyone else, except maybe Field Music. Duncan Wallis’s voice is so distinct and somehow it works perfectly against the math rock/pop dissonant instrumentation. Keep an eye on these guys.

John Fernandez (hometown: Guernsey, UK)
Who should win: Katy B – ‘On A Mission’ (Rinse/Columbia). It was a close tie between Londoner Katy B and Mancunians Elbow. But on sheer merit alone I believe Katy B has to win this award, she has produced one of the most inventive dubstep collaboration records in recent history. While avoiding the pigeonhole of mainstream dub-pop (Chase and Status) and stayed true to her roots. ‘On A Mission’ is full of charm, hooks and has a fantastic rhythm to it, no other album on the list in my opinion can match it, and while it may fall into the ‘too mainstream’ trap, I believe this could be the surprise winner.

Who should have been nominated: Hurts – ‘Happiness’ (RCA/Sony). Hurts do one thing, and that is divide opinion. Are they just a well dressed boyband or are they interesting synthpop? One this is certain though: ‘Happiness’ is a well produced monster of a record, so it astounds me that it isn’t on the Mercury Prize short list. The lyrics are as polished as their shoes on stage and you can’t fault them on inventiveness: they tour and record with an opera singer (OK, so Muse produced a symphony, so what?)

Braden Fletcher (Northern Monkey, Southern Student, UK)
Who should win: Ghostpoet – ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’ (Brownswood). To say that Ghostpoet is a dark horse in the Mercury prize isn’t so much an understatement as it was when the nominations were announced. As if waiting for his name to come up on the list, the MC has been relentlessly promoting and touring his debut effort in the last 2 months. He has good reason to as ‘Peanut Butter Blues…’ is one of the most competent albums of its genre to appear in Britain since the rise of the Streets. Ghostpoet barely adheres to the same rulebook as Skinner but the similarities are there. Both tell it how they see it without reserve and both are some of the most relevant artists around today. Give a listen through the Midlands man’s record and you’ll understand why Mike Skinner is counted upon his high profile fanbase. ‘Survive It’ is a grand piece of abstract rap that makes Tinie Tempah look like a school boy whilst ‘Us Against Whatever’ encapsulates James Blake-esque beats with a stunning set of lyrics. Ghostpoet for me, is the obvious choice for people who don’t like to choose and a solid enough record to actually be noticed.

Who should have been nominated: Maybeshewill – ‘I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone’ (Function). Post-rock is such a hugely under valued genre of late. With the only real recognition going towards Texas group Explosions in the Sky, the talent of Maybeshewill is going hugely unnoticed. The Leicester band’s first two efforts feature some of the most relevant monologues in recent history amidst a well constructed soundscape and this, their third record maintains the high bar the group set themselves. Managing to be all of powerful, loud, moving and well refined at almost all times, ‘I Was Here For a Moment…’ is exactly the kind of mastery that should have warranted a Mercury Prize, if for no more than the entire genre being continuously overlooked.

Luke Morton, (hometown: Lincoln, UK; current location: London, UK)
Who should win: Everything Everything‘Man Alive’ (Geffen). One of my favourite albums of 2010 and they can deliver the goods live as well. The electro-indie synthwork and the soaring vocals are what give Everything Everything the edge over so many other bands in their field who simply fade into the ether. ‘Man Alive’ is jam-packed with danceable tunes, whether it’s the infectious ‘Photoshop Handsome’ or the majestic singalong of ‘MY KZ UR BF’, ‘Man Alive’ has so much to offer – surprisingly versatile yet accessible for a debut album.

Who should have been nominated: The King Blues‘Punk & Poetry’ (Transmission). Probably my favourite British album of 2011 so far, the King Blues’ third LP is their finest work to date and should have received some recognition from Mercury. Their politically-charged, emotive, passionate LP ‘Punk & Poetry’ brings many elements to the table – primarily through Itch’s lyrics. ‘The Future’s Not What It Used to Be’ and ‘Set the World on Fire’ are fantastic examples of the frustration the band (and a lot of the general public) feel about the country. Whereas album closer ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’ showcases the band’s sombre/sensitive side as Itch regales the listener with the story of meeting his partner and having his first child. There’s so much to take away from this album and it’s a real shame that despite the punk movement still going strong in the UK, no attention has been paid to it again in the awards dedicated to British music.

Martin Sharman (current location: Gateshead, UK)
Who should win: Anna Calvi – ‘Anna Calvi’ (Domino). Variously fêted and slated, Calvi’s debut may initially be overlooked as faux-Harvey, and with PJ on the list again this year seems an unlikely choice to win. However, good though ‘Let England Shake’ is, at this stage in her career Harvey needs the Mercury less than they need her, having the freedom to explore her talents with ever more directional work. Calvi is surely the heiress-in-waiting, her debut treading the fine line between artifice and splendour delicately well, and giving Harvey a run for her money in the drama stakes. Even without the Mercury’s fondness for debut albums, Calvi is surely the one to beat.

Who should have been nominated: Edwyn Collins – ‘Losing Sleep’ (Heavenly Records). Collins’ backstory of recovery from a debilitating brain haemorrhage that left him unable to play his collection of beloved vintage guitars isn’t enough to win him a Mercury nomination. But this superb collection of guitar-pop gems certainly should have been. This is as touching, joyous and assertive as anything on the list this year, Collins’ compelling, slightly slurred vocal a candid reflection on his condition and subsequent readjustment. And this wouldn’t have simply been Collins’ award: the list of collaborators reads like a roll-call of the great and the good in British guitar music. A true pop survivor and deserving of a nod this year.

 
 
 

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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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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