Looking for previews and reviews of SXSW 2019? Right this way.

SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Meltybrains? / October and November 2016 English/Irish Tour

 
By on Monday, 26th September 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Irish experimental group Meltybrains? have announced a new list of tour dates for October and November, including three shows in England, to support the upcoming release of their new EP ‘Kiss Yourself’. Due out on the 18th of November, ‘Kiss Yourself’ features the latest Meltybrains? single ‘Know My Name’, which you can hear just below the tour date listing.

In addition to the English and Irish dates listed here, Meltybrains? will play two shows in Reykjavik, Iceland on the 31st of October and the 5th of November. They will end the tour with their largest headline show to date, at the Dublin Academy on the 25th of November. Tickets are available now.

TGTF’s previous coverage of Meltybrains? can be found back here.

Saturday 1st October 2016 – Dingle Nelliefreds (free entry)
Friday 7th October 2016 – Kilkenny Billy Byrne’s
Saturday 8th October 2016 – Cork Connolly’s of Leap
Saturday 15th October 2016 – Galway Roisin Dubh (free entry)
Friday 11th November 2016 – Manchester Eagle Inn
Saturday 12th November 2016 – Liverpool Legain
Tuesday 15th November 2016 – London Dalston Victoria
Friday 25th November 2016 – Dublin Academy

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

 

CMW 2016: easing into Canadian Music Week Tuesday night with Canadians, Irish and Welsh acts – 3rd May 2016

 
By on Monday, 16th May 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Now that you’ve read my introduction to Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2016, away we go with the showcase reviews. Because that’s really what you’re here on TGTF for, am I right? Tuesday night was what I considered my easy night, as I only had a handful of bands on my schedule. As far apart as venues are as I mentioned in my intro, it’s a good idea to arrive at least a day before you jump into CMW so you can get the lay of the land, identify where on the street to wait and board a streetcar so you don’t get killed, and start recognising useful landmarks.

After pretty much inhaling an amazing vegetarian dragon bowl at Fresh on Spadina, I headed over to The Hideout on Queen Street, not far from the restaurant. The venue turned out to be one of the best places to catch rock on the harder side of the spectrum for the week. Where I could, I wanted to fit in Canadian acts within my otherwise UK and Irish act-heavy schedule, so my first band were local Torontonians Last Bullet. What I heard and saw on their YouTube prior to coming out to Canada indicated to me that these were guys that liked to rock out hard.

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

The fans who turned up to see them play songs like recent single ‘Sin’ were more than happy to headbang to their music. As one might expect, there’s a definite cock rock element to their music, so much that Last Bullet frontman Bryan Fontez’s insistence that one of their songs was about sex had me blushing so bad, I left for my next stop of the evening. Still, I’d say they made a lasting impression on me and they’re a perfectly reasonable alternative to AC/DC now that Axl Rose is fronting the Aussie band. Also, who knew the Canadians loved basketball so much?

Last Bullet Tuesday CMW 2016 at the Hideout

We here at TGTF enjoy the live spectacle of Meltybrains? so much, I put them at the top of this post. Well, I think I like them more musically than Carrie does, but she was certainly entertained when she interviewed them last year at SXSW 2015. We’d both seen them that time in Austin, and I think I had the better show of our two, watching the group from Dublin start a conga line at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room Wednesday night at the Music from Ireland showcase.

Meltybrains? Tuesday CMW 2016 at the Handlebar 1

Even though they were playing several times during the week, the only time I could fit them in was on Tuesday at Handlebar, a venue with an actual bicycle hanging on the wall by the stage. As predicted, they were totally mental, bringing out the conga line again, jumping up on the bar and generally creating havoc. All in the good name of fun! Meltybrains?, never change, please.

HMS Morris CMW 2016 at the Silver Dollar Room

I popped outside and over to the Silver Dollar Room to catch an act that I’d been recommended to see. HMS Morris isn’t the name of a boat, they’re a Welsh band, and a psych rock / pop one at that. Their songs are catchy and just weird enough to feel unique but not so weird that new fans can’t catch on. I felt it was too bad that there weren’t as many people in town for CMW on Tuesday night, as I imagined a full-up venue for a band like this at SXSW. Have a taste of their performance at the BBC Introducing stage Glastonbury 2015 below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz7slsWy7s8[/youtube]

Tigerwing Tuesday CMW 2016 at the Handlebar

I returned to Handlebar for their final act, Windsor’s Tigerwing, aka avant-garde musician Sarah Kelly. While her reliance on electronics puts her firmly and nicely in today’s popular music scene, her style is decidedly not mainstream. Spare, dark, mechanical beats bump in the background as Kelly’s strong voice – bouncing in a non-linear way, mind – soars over the music. My feeling is the purpose of the Tigerwing project is not to stun or shock, but to prove that there are other, far more interesting avenues artistically one can go down when it comes to electronic. More power to her. Imagine EMA, but in her far less poppy modes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2dkkkthPSY[/youtube]

Stay tuned for more of my coverage of CMW 2016 coming soon to TGTF.

 

Video of the Moment #1900: Meltybrains?

 
By on Saturday, 5th September 2015 at 10:00 am
 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, before the bank holiday weekend, we gave away the free track ‘The Vine’ Dublin’s Meltybrains?, which the band wrote lovingly for a former teacher of theirs. Now, in case you wanted to know how to dance like a pineapple to the song, you can learn how to do so in this instructive video by the band. (And yes, I wanted something funny for this Saturday morning…) Watch it below.

We caught the band at SXSW 2015, first at the Music from Ireland showcase Wednesday night, then on Friday at the full Irish breakfast, where Carrie interviewed the guys. All of TGTF’s coverage of Meltybrains? is this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HstPZMay4Mw[/youtube]

 

MP3 of the Day #888: Meltybrains

 
By on Friday, 28th August 2015 at 10:00 am
 

I thought it might be nice to send you off on your bank holiday weekend with a free mp3. Today’s comes courtesy of those lovable Irish rogues Meltybrains?, who wowed me at the Music from Ireland showcase Wednesday at SXSW 2015. Carrie also caught them at the full Irish breakfast on Friday and sat down with them for an interview.

The band from Dublin are currently giving away on their Bandcamp the track ‘The Vine’. It’s dedicated to their music lecturer Paddy Devine, “who taught us harmony and counterpoint back when we were in college. Paddy was the nicest lecturer we ever had, he was big into his rudiments and was very strict, but he was the most down to earth person you could ever meet. We were his very last class before he retired and he often took us out to drink wine with him.” Sounds like a nice man, and the eclecticism and innocent whimsy of the track is a lovely thank you to such a hero who helped mould them into the musicians they are today. Listen to and grab the track for your own (or at your own price, should you wish to give Meltybrains? a tip for it) below.

Want more Meltybrains? Of course you do. Right this way, ladies and gents.

 

SXSW 2015: the full Irish breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub – 20th March 2015

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

The Full Irish Breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub on the Friday of SXSW 2015 drew a full crowd throughout the day, probably in part due to the rainy weather outside, but in greater part because of the talented and widely varied lineup of musicians on the docket. After a last minute interview with Frank Turner, and by the time I found Mary sat at a table enjoying her full Irish, the pub was already starting to fill in. Mary had to leave early for her other engagements while I stayed to navigate the fun, hectic madness that would ensue throughout the day.

Orla Gartland at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

First on the day’s lineup were two very different female singer/songwriters, Dublin’s Orla Gartland and Derry native SOAK. Gartland’s bright and catchy brand of pop was just the burst of energy we needed to get the grey and drizzly morning off to a good start, and her onstage charm matched her offstage persona when I interviewed her a bit later in the morning. SOAK, otherwise known as Bridie Monds-Watson, captured our attention with a very different mood. Her delicately poignant songs might not have translated as well to the pub atmosphere at B.D. Riley’s as well as they had to Latitude 30 earlier in the week, but her name was certainly on everyone’s lips after her set was finished.

SOAK at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

After taking advantage of a break in the rain to step outside for interviews with both Gartland and SOAK, I ducked back into B.D. Riley’s to catch the end of Colm Mac Con Iomaire’s solo violin set. I had heard him play the previous day on the Lost In Austin boat ride, and I was pleased to see that his music wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the somewhat more disorderly audience in the pub. I almost missed the following act, Dublin punk act Girl Band (pictured in the header above), while interviewing Mac Con Iomaire, but I saw enough of their set and the crowd’s enthusiastic response to get the feeling that these four guys are well and truly on their way up.

Colm Mac Con Iomaire at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

Next I had an encore performance from Walking On Cars, whom I’d seen at their sparsely attended Wednesday night set at the Music From Ireland showcase. While their performance that night hadn’t been lacking in any way, they were more energetic at B.D. Riley’s on Friday morning, feeding off of the more enthusiastic crowd. They elected not to perform their medley of pop hits here, wisely allowing their own energetic pop tracks to make an impression on our ears instead.

Walking on Cars at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

I was scheduled to interview self-described “cosmic reverb rock band” Buffalo Sunn ahead of their afternoon set, but they arrived to the venue later than they had planned due to the uncooperative weather outside. They did turn up in time to play, and their vibrant guitars and rich vocal harmonies were a perfect accompaniment for the mellowing ambience of the late afternoon. Luckily, the band were available to do the interview after their set; you can listen back to it here.

Buffalo Sunn at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

Unfortunately, rescheduling the Buffalo Sunn interview meant that I once again missed out on Dott, who played the Irish breakfast showcase at SXSW 2014 as well. Again, I heard just the end of their set, but it was enough to confirm that the band have refined both their sound and stage presence in the past year, as well as working up some new material for their upcoming studio album.

Dott at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

By this point in the afternoon, B.D. Riley’s was fairly packed in with people escaping the rain outside. Despite the tight fit throughout the venue, it was a favorable situation for experimental five-piece band Meltybrains?, who channeled the room’s restless energy into an ambitious and dynamic set including their by-now-famous face masks, which were floating around in the audience as well as on the stage. Their quirky stage antics and infectiously danceable rhythms made them instant crowd favourites, and their natural enthusiasm translated from the stage into my lively interview with them.

Meltybrains? at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

Hard rock duo All Tvvins followed Meltybrains? with an equally energetic set of their own, gearing up the crowd for the unabashed joviality of the final two acts, Fight Like Apes and Le Galaxie. Fight Like Apes lead singer MayKay was in particularly fine form and fine voice, engaging the audience both with her vocals and her seductive stagecraft. She was called back to the stage to join in on Le Galaxie’s recent single ‘Carmen’, adding even more fuel to their already pulse-racing electronic dance set and bringing the afternoon’s festivities to a sensational finale.

All Tvvins at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

Le Galaxie with MayKay at Full Irish Breakfast 20 March 2015

The annual full Irish breakfast event at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub has gained a not-to-be-missed reputation, which is well-deserved both for the high quality of the musicians on the showcase and its ever-present atmosphere of warm hospitality. This was my second time attending the event, and I must say that while this year’s showcase was a bit more eclectic than what Mary and I saw in 2014, Music From Ireland once again hosted a spectacular and memorable show. Cheers!

 

SXSW 2015 Interview: Meltybrains?

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2015 at 11:00 am
 

My final interview at SXSW 2015 was with five-piece avant/experimental group Meltybrains?, and it turned out to be a lively one, with the focus of the conversation bouncing around like a pinball among the four band members who came out to chat with me: Tadhg Byrne, Micheál Quinn, Donnacha O’Malley and Brian Dillon (bassist Ben McKenna was busy packing up the band’s gear). Meltybrains? were eager to talk about the unique aspects of their music, which are many and varied but combine on stage to create an impressive and memorable effect. Their performance style incorporates an entire gestalt, often including visual aspects such as their all-white attire and signature face masks, which you can see in the above photo and hear discussed in the interview streaming below.

All five members of Meltybrains? have background experience as classical musicians, and they integrate the discipline of classical musicianship into their practice and performance routines, though they describe their style of music as experimental pop rather than avant or classical. Each of the band members brings his own unique set of musical influences to the sound, including pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, acoustic folk and classical violin.

The band have combined electronic sound production expertise with technical instrumental skill, including the use of “unapologetic auto-tune” as a deliberate effect. We also talked about the use of unusual instruments, including a fiberglass violin, and they named Los Angeles composer Miguel Atwood Ferguson as an influence on that aspect of their sound.

For better or for worse, all five members have equal input on the band’s decision-making and composition processes. Unlike solo artists or bands with an established leader, Meltybrains? have to make a concerted effort to get themselves on the same page, and they admit that even the smallest decisions often take a lot of time, though the end result is worth the occasional strife.

Meltybrains? played two official SXSW shows, including the Music From Ireland showcase on the Wednesday night and the full Irish breakfast on Friday, and they took plenty of time to enjoy Austin in the surrounding week. Be sure to listen all the way to the end of the interview stream to catch the funniest story I heard all week at SXSW 2015, regarding the Meltybrains? set at the full Irish breakfast.

Meltybrains? are scheduled to play live shows in Belfast and London later this month, as well as possible festival dates. We at TGTF have already featured their video for ‘Donegal’, but we look forward to another single due later this spring and a possible EP release in the autumn. All of our previous coverage of Meltybrains? can be found here.

 
 
 

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.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us