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Live Gig Video: Mansionair share blindingly brilliant promo for ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’, filmed in Berlin

 
By on Tuesday, 20th February 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

It felt pretty special to have been present when Australian trio Mansionair premiere new single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ to the crowds watching them at the Woolly Mammoth at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane last September. They were so great, I saw them on the second and third evenings of the Australian emerging music festival last year. While they’ve solidified their fanbase in Oz, since I saw them, they’ve been making strides in extending their reach far beyond their home country. Last November, they headed to Europe and the UK, appearing at the Great Escape‘s First Fifty gig series in London in advance of their appearance at the annual 3-day festival in Brighton in May and this Sofar Session in London.

They also headed to the Continent to play a series of shows. During their down time over there, they filmed this promo in Berlin for ‘Astronaut’. As stated in the title of this post, it’s blindingly brilliant. Watch below as Jack, Lachlan and Alex perform the song in an appropriately icy white room with at times disorientating lights and shadows, Jack’s soulful vocals breaking through and adding a welcome humanity to the performance. Just like Mansionair’s Grammy-nominated collaboration with Odesza on ‘Line of Sight’, The song has received airplay on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation and approval from the satellite station’s finicky fans. To read our past coverage on Mansionair here on TGTF, follow this link.

 

Live Gig Video: Mansionair share ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ performance from London Sofar Sounds session

 
By on Monday, 29th January 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Australia’s Mansionair spent a few weeks late last year in the UK and Continental Europe. The Sydney-based synthpop act’s visit to blighty included a performance as part of First Fifty gig series, on the 27th of November at Dalston Birthdays, as a preview of their appearance this May in Brighton for The Great Escape 2018. While in London, they also performed acoustically for Sofar Sounds, where a beautiful performance of single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’ was recorded. Despite the stripped-back conditions, the emotions of singer Jack Froggatt in this song shine through. Incredible.
Watch it below. For more on TGTF on Mansionair, including my coverage of their appearances at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane, use this link.

 

Live Review: The Divine Comedy with Jealous of the Birds at Birmingham Institute – 24th November 2017

 
By on Thursday, 7th December 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

It had been a good 11 years since I’d first visited Birmingham in the West Midlands. What better reason to return is there but a gig? Formerly the HMV Institute and now part of the O2 empire, the Institute was once a church and even a civic hall of Birmingham City Council. But these days, the only collars you’ll likely see in here are those on leather jackets. Brum was only the third stop on The Divine Comedy’s winter 2017 tour, following Edinburgh and Leeds and in support of Neil Hannon’s most recent album ‘Foreverland’, released in September 2016. My review of the LP is through here.

Opening for Hannon and crew was Naomi Hamilton, better known in the indie music blogosphere by her more fanciful nom de plume Jealous of the Birds. She performed solely with her voice and guitar. The heavily pierced songwriter commented that her stage setup was decidedly ‘granny chic’; it included a Divine Comedy mug she admitted she nicked from the merch table outside. She began with the catchy ‘Goji Berry Sunset’, a single that was a longtime staple on BBC 6 Music long before we caught up with her at SXSW 2016. There was something enchantingly arresting by her performance, as she sung and played the title track of her 2016 album ‘Parma Violets’ completely at ease. She ended her all too short set with a haunting cover of ‘Suzanne’, a wonderful tribute to the late Leonard Cohen.

Jealous of the Birds Birmingham

Trying to describe the numerous emotions and topics Neil Hannon has touched upon during the many years The Divine Comedy have been in action would be a difficult exercise. He’s gone through a good number of phases over nearly 3 decades, most recently being funny about cricket with the Duckworth Lewis Method in 2009, guffawing at the unlikelihood of being recognised by the Queen in 2010’s ‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’ and last year’s ‘Foreverland’. On his latest album, it appears his preoccupation with things French (‘Napoleon Complex’), female monarchs (‘Catherine the Great’) and indeed, the female he holds dearest in his life, fellow musician and partner Cathy Davey, have directed him artistically as of late.

In the ‘90s version of The Divine Comedy, back when there were actually other members of the band besides Hannon, songs like ‘Everybody Knows (Except You)’ showed his sweeter, cuddlier innocent side. On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Generation Sex’, ‘Something for the Weekend’ and ‘Becoming More Like Alfie’ proved there was a naughtier, sleazier version of the songwriter all too eager to come out. He was the kind of artist who could get away with this kind of frank songwriting because ultimately, he was singing of the things that didn’t come up in polite conversation but the rest of us were dying to say.

Divine Comedy Birmingham 1

He sings all too joyfully about the ‘National Express’ – which, incidentally, brought me from Manchester Airport to Birmingham that afternoon – without it coming across too schmaltzy. The brilliance that is ‘At the Indie Disco’ even came across fresher than its first airing around the release of ‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’: at the mention of “she makes my heart beat the same way / as at the start of ‘Blue Monday’”, he and his band launched into an entirely unexpected interlude, a cover of the New Order classic, complete with seizure-inducing strobe lighting. Hannon clearly has wonderful rapport with his current live band, calling his piano- and accordion-playing bandmate a man with a “squeezy” and thanking his guitar tech for bringing him one of his axes with, “yes, I know what that is! A strummy strum strum!” If I didn’t know he was nearly 50 and could only hear him, I’d guess he was probably half his actual age. Do men ever grow up? Ha, I guess not.

Martin previously wrote about The Divine Comedy’s headline appearance at this year’s Deer Shed, proclaiming that Hannon was the best headliner to date of the family-friendly festival in Baldersby Park. Certainly, seeing an artist like him in a listed building like the Institute is going to be an entirely different experience than you’d have at an open-air festival. While I did enjoy the show, the gimmickry of Hannon’s Napoleon-esque costume, along with a refusal to lay down in the pit as he has in other places such as in Bristol because the floor was gross seemed a bit prima donna. I guess of all people, Neil Hannon is allowed to be so. As an Irish national treasure and a songwriting genius, he’s earned that right.

Divine Comedy Birmingham 2

After the cut: The Divine Comedy’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Divine Comedy with Jealous of the Birds at Birmingham Institute – 24th November 2017

 

TGTF Spotify Playlist: November 2017

 
By on Monday, 4th December 2017 at 1:30 pm
 

November was been an abbreviated month here at TGTF, as we have taken some time off for the American Thanksgiving holiday and editor Mary’s trip abroad. Even so, we have curated a fine assortment of music for your listening pleasure, including single releases from Rosie Carney, Charles Watson and veteran superduo Lost Horizons, and new music from Toronto via Liverpool artist BANNERS and the return of Converge. We’ve also reviewed new albums from The Horrors and The Killers (which would also have fit nicely onto our Halloween-themed October playlist), as well as sister duo Ibeyi and and Aussie alt-pop singer Alex Lahey. Last but not least, we featured two massive interviews this month with two stylistically opposite songwriters, choral pop / electronic artist C Duncan and Americana troubadour Gill Landry.

If you love what you hear below, do yourself a favour and follow our monthly Spotify playlists. Just head over to Spotify, type “spotify:user:tgtftunes” (no quotes) into the search bar, and click the Follow button. To keep up with all our latest features, connect with TGTF on social media via Facebook and Twitter. (And, just a reminder, our featured artists love social media follows too!)

 

Live Review: The Coronas with Rachel Levitin at DC9, Washington, DC – 12th November 2017

 
By on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

As mentioned in my review on Monday of the Sherlocks gig there last week, DC9 has really come up in the world. It was previously one of my favourite places to see bands in Washington but after seeing The Coronas play there on Sunday night, I think DC9 has won the top prize. A near sold out show for the Irish rockers made for a rowdy but extremely fun and interactive show, as you will read below.

The opener for the night was local singer/songwriter Rachel Levitin, who was joined by Alex Touzinsky on fiddle. Whether it was planned or not, as soon as I saw the fiddle come out during the soundcheck, I couldn’t help thinking this was an act perfect to open for an Irish band, am I right? Though the bespectacled artist – and her adorable acoustic guitar, I might add – might be small in stature, Levitin makes up for it in sass. She seems equally at home between blues-inflected and more traditional singer/songwriter-y pop numbers.

Rachel Levitin

She explained that the story told in ‘Get Back Up’, her most recent single, was based on a real-life experience of walking and then falling on her face, which she then turned into an inspirational song. The recorded version of this song will remind you of angsty guitar rock/pop from the ‘90s. ‘Lucky Penny Blues’, which she noted was her grandfather’s favourite among all of her music so far, is on the sultrier side of things, showcasing her strong voice. No tentativeness here. Will some independent label please snap her up? Simon Raymonde, are you listening?

The Coronas

The Coronas are rather special to me, because I ‘found’ them and not because someone was pitching them to me. I had been trawling for new music to listen to from Ireland and impressed with ‘Tony Was an Ex-Con’ smoky ballad ‘Someone Else’s Hands’, I decided to write a Bands to Watch feature on them. This was back in November 2010, after they’d already released 2 albums. It probably also helped loads that my heart had just gotten stomped on by a two-timing musician and Danny O’Reilly’s melancholic thing was just the right thing for me to listen to while I bawled my eyes out. Genre-wise, The Coronas are a rock band primarily, but they also do the rock/pop mélange quite well too. We’ve written a fair bit on them since my discovery of them. I am honestly baffled why they aren’t as massive in the UK as they are in Ireland, where they regularly sell out large venues.

Given their track record back in Eire, it’s an exceptional treat to see them play in an intimate, 200-capacity venue. Judging from the booming accents lubricated by alcohol around me, I got the impression that quite a few fans came over from Ireland for this show. Impeccable thinking. Us Washingtonians hadn’t seen the Coronas in town in 6 years, at which time we were treated to a brand new, disco beat-led, yet to be titled song that turned into ‘Addicted to Progress’ on 2011’s ‘Closer to You’. Hearing it on this night, recalling when O’Reilly asked us for help to name it at the now long gone Red Palace on a cold March night in 2011, then thinking about their incredible ‘progress’ over the years in Ireland couldn’t have been sweeter.

The Coronas

Earlier this year, the Dublin quartet released their fifth album, ‘Trust the Wire’, so the set list was heavy with tunes from the LP. This included opening track ‘We Couldn’t Fake It’ and ‘A Bit Withdrawn’, explained by O’Reilly as that sweet spot you have with a partner where you can be sat with them and nothing has to be said between you two because it’s all understood. In case anyone forgot where the Coronas were from, O’Reilly jumped into the crowd with his acoustic guitar to lead a bare version of ‘Heroes and Ghosts’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut release, going into full Irish language mode on one of the verses. This surely must have wowed the youngest audience members, two boys under the age of 10 who were brought along to the show by their mother.

Then they were back to older favourites for the encore, which like nearly every song they played that evening in Washington, were met with raucous cheers. The crowd sung along to ‘San Diego Song’ and ‘Just Like That’ with gusto, at times allowing O’Reilly and band to take a breather, listening to the words being shouted back at them. It was one of many beautiful moments at this show. Yes, I know, some people just adore the 9:30 Club. But for my money, I’d rather come to DC9 and have an experience like this that won’t be duplicated anywhere else.

The Coronas

The Coronas have two more shows in North America (Friday at the Echo in Los Angeles and Saturday at Brick and Mortar in San Francisco) before they head down under for a series of club shows. They return to Dublin the first week of December for three shows at the Olympia, on the 5th, 7th and 10th of December.

After the cut: The Coronas’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Coronas with Rachel Levitin at DC9, Washington, DC – 12th November 2017

 

Live Gig Video: Hudson Taylor share acoustic version of current single ‘Feel It Again’

 
By on Tuesday, 14th November 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Irish brother duo Hudson Taylor have a new single out, ‘Feel It Again’. It’s the first new material since their 2015 debut album ‘Singing for Strangers’. You can read our review of the LP through here. Now, Dubliners Harry and Alfie have a special live recording of the acoustic version. Watch it below. ‘Feel It Again’ is available now from Warner Music. Also included below is the original promo video for the single, which came out in September. In addition to Irish dates this month and next, the pair have five dates scheduled for the UK in January; all their live dates up ahead are listed here on their Facebook. For more Hudson Taylor here on TGTF, go 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.

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