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!

SXSW 2016: final Saturday night festivities with NME and UK Trade and Investment at the British Music Embassy – 19th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 18th April 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

I’ve always had a fondness for stories with tidy endings, so it seems quite natural that I finished SXSW 2016 on Saturday night at the British Music Embassy, even if Mary and I were a bit delayed in getting there. After our dinner hour activities at the Hilton Austin’s Liberty Tavern (which you can read about right back here), we stopped for a quick drink across the street from Latitude 30 before heading over for the NME / UK Trade and Investment showcase. As often happens with when I’m with Mary, we ended up engaged in a rather interesting conversation with some industry acquaintances of hers, and we had trouble tearing ourselves away for the final evening of live shows.

"Lusts

As much as we might have liked to stay and chat, Mary and I both had other activities planned for the evening, and we made our way to Latitude 30 just in time to catch the first act on the showcase, groove rock brother act Lusts. In the brief snippet of what I saw and heard, their music was an interesting combination of heavy rhythms and hazy vocals, but it was really their insistent and compelling energy that left the strongest opening impression.

Julia Jacklin internal

The next act originally scheduled on the showcase was rap collective Section Boyz, but a last minute substitution gave us instead Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin. She facetiously introduced herself and her band as Section Boyz just to see if her audience were paying attention, but in truth, Jacklin’s warm folk rock couldn’t have been stylistically farther from the act she stepped in to replace. Jacklin’s music had more sonic impact than her diminutive appearance might suggest, and the lyrical substance of her track ‘Don’t Let the Kids Win’ particularly tugged at my heartstrings after she shared that she had written it for her little brother because she wanted him to think she was cool. Those small personal details can make a song seem much more special to a listener, and Jacklin certainly won herself a new fan in me that night.

Pumarosa internal 2

Following Julia Jacklin was self-described “industrial spiritual” band Pumarosa, who I’d seen previously on the Tuesday night showcase at Hype Hotel. They had the same lengthy setup issues here at the British Music Embassy, but once they got started, they fairly shook the stage with a much more confident sounding set than what I’d heard from them earlier in the week. The lighting at Latitude 30 allowed me to get a better photo of frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome’s unusual guitar technique (which you can see below), and I was thrilled to have another go at dancing to Pumarosa’s exotic hit song ‘Priestess’.

Pumarosa internal

Next on the bill was an artist I’d been looking forward to seeing since our initial preview of this showcase, rock singer/songwriter Barns Courtney (pictured at top). After seeing him blaze through a spectacular set including his currently released tracks ‘Fire’ and ‘Glitter and Gold’, as well as the curiously-titled ‘Hobo Rocket’, I’m more convinced than ever that he has the potential to be a breakout superstar on the order of James Bay or Hozier if he plays his cards right. In the intermission between sets, I snagged Courtney for a quick back alley interview, which turned out to be quite possibly the most unforgettable conversation I had all week long.

Barns Courtney internal

I came back inside just in time to catch dance pop duo Formation, whose number had apparently multiplied ahead of their appearance at SXSW. Comprising brothers Will and Matt Ritson along with Jonny Tams, Sasha Lewis and Kai Akinde-Hummel, the band and their equipment fit on the small British Music Embassy stage with very little room to spare. But despite the close quarters on stage, the band played a beat-driven, movement-inspiring set list much to the liking of the late night dancers in the crowd.

Formation internal

Formation were followed on the docket by another Special Guest, who hadn’t been officially announced before the show but was rumoured to be American veterans-turned-newcomers on the music scene, PARTYBABY. I’d seen PARTYBABY along with Pumarosa on the Tuesday night Hype Hotel showcase, and I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with the choice. PARTYBABY would certainly make an energetic closing act, I hadn’t found them engaging enough to stick around for twice. Fortunately, Mary arrived back at Latitude 30 just as they came on stage to set up, and we took the opportunity to make a final round of fond farewells to our friends at the British Music Embassy before officially bidding adieu to SXSW 2016.

Au revoir, Austin…until we meet again.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Clash in association with PPL, and NME in association with UK Trade and Investment at the British Music Embassy – 18th-19th March 2016

 
By on Friday, 4th March 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

The British Music Embassy will return to Latitude 30 at 512 San Jacinto Boulevard, right by the heart of the action off 6th Street during SXSW 2016. On Monday and Wednesday, our editor Mary previewed the talent on show on Tuesday night (Huw Stephens with PRS for Music showcase) and Wednesday, then Thursday (Output Belfast and PIAS in association with AIM), respectively. This year’s showcases on Friday the 18th of March are set to include a host of artists from around the UK, including hotly-tipped acts from Wales and Scotland. The Welsh artists will be highlighted during the daytime show, presented by British Music @ SXSW in association with Cerdd Cymru: Music Wales. A pair of Scottish acts will feature on the evening showcase, presented by UK pop culture magazine Clash in association with music rights and licensing agency PPL.

The Friday afternoon show will feature a delightfully rich lineup of female artists, beginning with alt-folk singer/songwriter Rozi Plain and continuing with two Welsh acts, pop singer/songwriter Violet Skies and electronic musician Gwenno. Both Welsh women will be introduced in more detail in editor Mary’s upcoming preview of Welsh artists at SXSW 2016 later today.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/H4S0ME8Xyc0[/youtube]

Closing out the afternoon are two alliterative acts, our recent Band to Watch #372 Fickle Friends, followed by fellow TGTF alumnae Stealing Sheep. Fickle Friends vaulted to popularity in the UK with their debut single ‘Swim’ back in 2014 and have been on an upward trajectory ever since. Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep are sailing strong on their April 2015 release ‘Not Real’, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a hint of something new from them in Austin as well.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqVYDRM842s[/youtube]

The Friday evening Clash showcase is set to begin with DJ/producer/all-around-Renaissance-woman Throwing Shade, whose soon-to-be released EP ‘House of Silk’ features the above reflection on pop culture and social media called ‘hashtag IRL’. Scottish pop songstress KLOE and avant/experimental trio Hælos will fill in the middle part of the evening lineup, ahead of a rather intriguing To Be Confirmed notation at 11 PM; bets are open as to who might fill that coveted slot.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/vKakNhz2ToA[/youtube]

Playing at midnight will be Glasgow electro musician The Revenge, followed by London-based soul pop duo Honne (read more of our coverage on Honne here). The Revenge will feature in our upcoming preview of Scottish artists at SXSW 2016, along with the aforementioned KLOE.

On Saturday, the 19th of March, the afternoon show at Latitude 30 will start with Sheffield slacker punk pair Nai Harvest (read more about them on TGTF here) and Leeds goth-punk band Autobahn. Falling square in the middle of the docket, Liverpool indie rockers Sugarmen are sure to win fans with their psychedelic recent single ‘Plastic Ocean’, while grunge rockers Fizzy Blood and Demob Happy finish off the daytime slate.

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

Latitude 30 will be taken over by recently retooled and relaunched pop culture magazine NME in association with UK Trade and Investment on Saturday night, the final event at the British Music Embassy for SXSW 2016. Leicester brothers Andy and James Stone, known onstage as synth-rock duo Lusts will open the show (Rebecca’s introduction to them is here), to be followed by rap collective Section Boyz. London five-piece Pumarosa have already announced an autumn 2016 support slot for SXSW 2015 hit act Gengahr and will feature in the middle of this final night lineup.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/XA97m6L2-Dc[/youtube]

Deep-voiced Americana singer/songwriter Barns Courtney could easily follow in the successful SXSW footsteps of Hozier and James Bay before him. He’ll round out his trip to Austin with an appearance at the British Music Embassy, ahead of dance duo Formation (Rebecca’s introduction to them is here) and another tantalising to-be-announced special guest for the evening’s final set.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ckNWtmkA2_g[/youtube]

 

NME Awards Tour / January and February 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 4th November 2015 at 9:30 am
 

The NME Awards Tour 2016 has announced alt-rock quartet Bloc Party as its headline act, with support from Sheffield rock duo Drenge, hip-hop punk artist Rat Boy and Manchester grime musician Bugzy Malone.  Bloc Party last played the NME Awards Tour as newcomers to the scene way back in 2005.  Their new LP ‘Hymns’ is due for release on the day the tour begins, and they will be performing some of the new songs live for the very first time at these shows.

As we saw in 2015, the city of Austin, Texas is once again a primary sponsor of the NME Awards Tour 2016.  In addition, all tickets will include a 50p donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Tickets for the following shows will be available for general sale this Friday, the 6th of November 2015.

Friday 29th January 2016 – Cardiff Great Hall
Saturday 30th January 2016 – Southampton Guildhall
Monday 1st February 2016 – Bristol Academy
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 4th February 2016 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 5th February 2016 – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 6th February 2016 – Manchester Academy
Monday 8th February 2016 – Leeds Academy
Tuesday 9th February 2016 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Thursday 11th February 2016 – London Brixton Academy
Friday 12th February 2016 – Birmingham Academy

 

NME Awards Tour / February and March 2015

 
By on Wednesday, 14th January 2015 at 9:00 am
 

London rock quartet Palma Violets are set to headline the 2015 NME Awards Tour beginning next month in Sheffield, following the official NME Awards Ceremony on the 18th of February. Palma Violets played one of the tour’s coveted support slots back in 2013, the same year they won the award for Best New Band (read Martin’s live review here.)

Support slots this year will be filled by Fat White Family, The Amazing Snakeheads, and Slaves. Speaking to NME about his tour companions, Palma Violets bassist Chilli Jesson said, “I think this will go down as one of the greatest package tours that NME has had. I’m really excited to be going on tour with bands I really respect and listen to in my own time. Amazing Snakeheads are the best live band I saw all last year and last time I saw Fat White Family they made the place absolutely light up. They’re bands that are giving everything.”

Officially billed as “the NME Awards Tour 2015 with Austin, Texas”, both the award and the tour count the host city for SXSW 2015 as a primary partner. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Thursday 19th February 2015 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 20th February 2015 – Leeds Academy
Saturday 21st February 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Sunday 22nd February 2015 – Glasgow ABC
Tuesday 24th February 2015 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 26th February 2015 – Manchester Ritz
Friday 27th February 2015 – Oxford Academy
Saturday 28th February 2015 – Birmingham Institute
Monday 2nd March 2015 – Bristol Academy
Tuesday 3rd March 2015 – Portsmouth Pyramid
Wednesday 4th March 2015 – London Forum

 

Live Gig Video: The Cribs perform ‘Mirror Kisses’ at the 2013 NME Awards

 
By on Monday, 4th March 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Last Wednesday night were the 2013 NME Awards at London’s Troxy, and NME has offered up this live clip of the Cribs performing ‘Mirror Kisses’ on the night. Watch it below.

The band’s new singles compilation ‘Payola’, as well as a deluxe version with an additional 18 tracks of B-sides and rarities, is now available from Wichita Recordings.

 

Live Review: NME Awards Tour featuring Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets and Peace at Newcastle Academy – 7th February 2013

 
By on Wednesday, 13th February 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

The NME Awards Tour is a long-established way to kick off the musical year with a quartet of bands that gathered plaudits in the preceding months. This year, we have Brummie style from Peace, noisy London shenanigans from Palma Violets, Liverpudlian swagger from Miles Kane, and sort-of-Scottish art-pop from Django Django. Surely something for everyone, and TGTF was there in Newcastle on opening night to see how things went down.

Peace NME Awards 2013

One’s heart goes out to Peace: their set began just as the Academy’s doors were opening, meaning the crowd was more stunted than they deserve. Nevertheless, there were whoops and hollers aplenty from a knot of dedicated fans right down the front. And any plaudits coming their way are well-deserved. Peace have a knack of honing in on any particular guitar music sound from the last couple of decades, and brilliantly recreating it as their own. ‘Follow Baby’ is a fine bit of pop-baggy last heard from EMF in the very early ‘90s. ‘Wraith’, shorn of its dubious blaxsploitation visuals is altogether more considered, with its funky guitar chops and enormous singalong chorus revealing a fine almost-love song.

But where Peace really sound most at home is in the unashamed power ballad ‘California Daze’. Sweet, sweeping backing vocals melt into a gentle guitar figure, the drums kick things up a gear about 90 seconds in, and the emotion is unashamed. A true lighters-in-the-air moment, which shows their maturity as songwriters and talent as performers. Perhaps for my sins, in the widescreen guitars and breadth of scope, I was reminded of a young U2. Peace deserve the latter band’s wider recognition, and tonight is a decent step towards achieving that.

Palma Violets
(pictured at top) eschew subtlety in favour of noise, wild abandon, and onstage theatricality. Their sound owes a lot to punk – I’m sure there’s one or two Sex Pistols and Clash records in Sam Fryer’s parents’ record collection. Vocals are artfully tweaked out of tune, instrumentation is simple: a synth organ parping underneath distorted guitars. Fryer and bassist Chilli Jesson have a sweaty bromance going on, mic stands intimately close together, double-headed guitar action never far away. Certainly this is raucous, powerful stuff live, artfully lo-fi (as per the obvious and unnecessary tape noise on their recorded material). Are they the true heirs to the art-punk throne? Until their forthcoming album is properly analysed for the presence of decent songs, the jury is still out, but they’re certainly a fun way to spend half an hour.

Miles Kane NME Awards 2013

As Miles Kane takes the stage, it becomes pretty clear that the crowd is his. Perhaps this is because, as his Wikipedia entry states, he is “very attractive”, or perhaps it’s the glint of his diamanté slippers that prove irresistible. Whatever the cause, the audience are big Kane fans, and he doesn’t disappoint them. Having been in bands since the age of 18, Kane knows a thing or two about throwing an onstage shape – for any young trainee frontmen watching, this was a masterclass in the art of swagger. Kane knows this is his big chance, and has got his pedal pressed hard to the floor. Imagine Liam Gallagher’s vocal sneer, his brother’s guitar technique, Alex Turner’s way with a tune, and Paul Weller’s haircut, and we have Miles Kane – a patchwork dadrock man in leather trousers.

But then again, there’s a big hole right now where all the big beasts used to prowl. So step forward Miles Kane, a pseudo-tribute to them all, to keep the guitar-loving public downloading content for the time being. The fact is, most people know what they like, and like what they know, and what they know is what Miles Kane is offering. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it isn’t really. Kane is 100% professional, committed, and no box in the rock playbook is left unticked tonight. And, cynicism aside, that’s not an easy feat to pull off.

Django Django NME Awards 2013

And so it’s left to Django Django to top that. And frankly, it’s a little too much of a jarring contrast to really work well, as the Djangos’ artful and considered musings requiring a little too much concentration in comparison with Kane’s balls-to-the-wall rock. Most of the crowd do stick around, although the atmosphere is noticeably more subdued than previously. Perhaps this is all the better to hear the subtleties in the music, of which their multi-layered arrangements are full. There’s the echo of The Beta Band throughout, which can only be a good thing. To their own audience, with the correct support, Django Django would make a lot more sense. As it is, they are a little too cerebral for the headline slot here tonight. Perhaps a less fickle crowd might await them in other parts of the country…

Overall, this is five-star entertainment: four set of deeply professional musicians, playing somewhere around the top of their game. If you want to find out about new bands before everyone else, this is not the event for you. If you’ve not been paying attention over the last 12 months or so, or just can’t be bothered to keep up, a quick trip to the NME Tour every winter should get you right up to speed with where pop music is right now. That would be a pretty good place, then.

 
 
 

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