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Live Gig Video: Johnny Marr performs ‘The Right Thing Right’ on Conan O’Brien

 
By on Thursday, 14th November 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Johnny Marr is currently touring America to support ‘The Messenger’, and last week he stopped in at Conan O’Brien’s late night programme to perform ‘The Right Thing Right’. Watch it below.

 

Live Gig Video: The Dunwells perform ‘Light Up the Skies’ at Karamel Club for Songs from the Shed

 
By on Monday, 11th November 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Two of the Leeds band the Dunwells recently performed for Songs from the Shed, who describes themselves as specialising “in hand made acoustic video sessions filmed in a garden shed”. Where this was filmed wasn’t exactly a garden shed – it was instead taken at the Karamel Club in Wood Green, a small multi-purpose theatre/arts venue part of the Chocolate Factory arts centre in North London – but this is a lovely performance of the band playing their song ‘Light Up the Skies’. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt-woBFF17A[/youtube]

 

In the Post #114: Neil Finn announces new album ‘Dizzy Heights’, offers up ‘Divebomber’ teaser

 
By on Thursday, 7th November 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Jen Carey

New Zealand pop veteran Neil Finn has released the video for ‘Divebomber’, the lead single from his forthcoming solo album ‘Dizzy Heights’, following a live webcast of a rehearsal session for the new songs. The rehearsal featured Finn on piano and acoustic guitar, accompanied by a full orchestra, and also contained an audience participation element, with Finn answering questions submitted in real time via Twitter and Facebook. If you missed the live Webcast, it is now archived at Finn’s Web site and can be viewed here.

In the webcast, Finn remarked that several of the songs on ‘Dizzy Heights’ include large arrangements with either orchestra or full band, revealing the expansive direction of the new material. “I didn’t want to make it a solo record in a stripped back singer-songwriter sort of way,” he says, explaining his collaboration on the record with co-producer Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) and fellow New Zealand musicians Connan Mockasin and Sean Donnelly (SJD).

Though he is best known for the catchy pop tunes of Crowded House, Finn has always seemed to take inspiration for his songwriting from unexpected sources, particularly in his solo material. ‘Divebomber’ was inspired by a 1941 film of the same name, which received an Oscar nomination for its vibrant cinematography. Finn’s ‘Divebomber’ video is less boldly graphic, instead using video footage from a beach vacation in Greece overlaid by diffuse aerial cloud imagery to match the discordant, unsettled tone of the musical setting. But the track’s soaring strings, marching percussion and breathy vocals reflect the heroic and tragic nature of the film’s plot line, as well as the bravery and risk involved in Finn’s recent songwriting ventures. As the song’s lyrics state, ‘There’s only one way down’, and with ‘Divebomber’, Finn has taken a headlong plunge into uncharted territory.

7.5/10

‘Dizzy Heights’ will be released on 10 February 2014 via Lester Records / Kobalt Label Services. Watch the video for ‘Divebomber’ below. Finn will be playing a one-off show at St. James’ Church in London on 27 November but the gig is already sold out.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks_-25Fgh5U[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The Queen Extravaganza at Newcastle Academy – 3rd November 2013

 
By on Wednesday, 6th November 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: tonight, Marc Martel *was* Freddie Mercury. He moved like him, sang like him; even, to my eyes, *looked* like him. And that simple point is what elevates The Queen Extravaganza way above a run-of-the-mill covers outfit – the band are superb, note-perfect, but Martel is a spellbinding performer, perfectly at ease with the enormous task he has been given, and through subtle body language cues and a world-class voice, astonishingly evocative of Mercury himself. The second coming of Freddie is secretly what all Queen fans pine for, and the Queen Extravaganza is surely as close as anyone could hope to just that.

The band come with the blessing of Brian May and particularly Roger Taylor, who masterminded putting the band together; a risky business, when one thinks about it – the extensive Queen back catalogue is deeply revered by millions of fans worldwide, and the disaster of a subpar band ruining it doesn’t bear thinking about. But Taylor has performed his due diligence well, and picked a great band, often musicians from relative obscurity. Take guitarist Brian Gresh, who was working as a mechanical engineer before being picked – he’s capable of reproducing May’s virtuoso guitar lines note-for-note; thankfully the Extravaganza has come along to give him an outlet for his talents. Sadly, tonight he didn’t perform one of his famous spectacular backflips, but surely he will at some point on the tour.

The band strike a perfect note of humble reverence for the Queen material – every now and again Martel explains a bit about why the next song has been chosen, and what significance that particular piece has for the young performers, but mostly they let the music do the talking. Martel admits that Wayne’s World was his introduction to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, before launching into an extraordinary rendition of that very piece, ably assisted with the famous Queen “heads” on the video screens behind. Just to attempt that most famous and ambitious of Queen songs deserves respect, and when it becomes clear that not only is this an attempt but a version of such passion and skill worthy of the original band themselves… well, it’s enough to bring a tear to the eye.

No phase of Queen’s career is off-limits tonight. There’s the cod-vaudeville of ‘Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon’, a quick spin through the almost-thrash metal of ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ (kudos to drummer Tyler Warren for taking vocal duties on that one); ‘Love Of My Life’ is as beautiful and fragile as a Fabergé egg, and 80s synth-rock anthem ‘Radio Gaga’ gives everyone an excuse to practise their overhead handclaps. The final dénouement brings out the big guns – Queen could do pomp and circumstance like nobody else, a fact not lost on the Extravaganza. I’m sure the reader can imagine for themselves the sort of songs that might climax a Queen show, and they’re all present and correct tonight, in a crescendo of noise, power and emotion that few bands could emulate. For anyone who didn’t see Queen the first time round, or did see them and want to remind themselves how great they were – The Queen Extravaganza will not disappoint. They’ve got a kind of magic.

See Martin’s full set of photos from the night in all their high-res glory on his Flickr.

 

Wild Beasts / November 2013 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 31st October 2013 at 8:30 am
 

Kendal’s Wild Beasts have announced a string of five dates for the tail end of November. Tickets to this brief jaunt are on sale now.

Rumour has it that Wild Beasts’ follow-up to 2011’s brilliant ‘Smother’ is expected to be out in spring 2014 on Domino Records.

Tuesday 26th November 2013 – Liverpool Academy
Wednesday 27th November 2013 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 28th November 2013 – Oxford Academy
Friday 29th November 2013 – Sheffield Queens Social Club
Saturday 30th November 2013 – Norwich Arts Centre

 

Video of the Moment #1360: The Honey Ants

 
By on Monday, 21st October 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

The Honey Ants have thrown their hats into the Americana-folk craze with single ‘Give Me Arms,’ due for release on 28 October. ‘Give Me Arms’ is about as basic as folk songs come, with only a twangy acoustic guitar accompanying the duo’s warm, clear vocals. The lyrics to ‘Give Me Arms” are not complex, but deftly-handled dynamic changes and vocal harmonies highlight their earnest emotions. Female singer Rebecca Hamer, in particular, has a beautiful, clear vocal sound throughout the range of the song, making a perfect match for guitarist John Grimsey’s even baritone foundation. Unhindered by the fashionable female vocal style, Hamer’s voice is the clear standout on this trick. Her delivery of the tricky harmonies in the chorus is especially effective.

The video for ‘Give Me Arms’ is as straightforward as the song itself. A direct view of the pair recording in-studio reveals a relaxed, polished approach to music-making that comes as a welcome breath of fresh air among the smoke and mirrors of the latest retro-folk trend. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOvrFqrg7yw[/youtube]

The Honey Ants will also be playing a handful of shows in London through the beginning of 2014. Upcoming dates are listed below.

Thursday 7th November 2013 – London Kahaila Cafe
Wednesday 13th November 2013 – London Water Rats
Thursday 12th December 2013 – London Underbelly
Tuesday 21st January 2014 – London Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

 
 
 

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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.

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