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Best Gigs of 2009

 
By on Thursday, 17th December 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Now halfway through December and getting ever closer to the end of the year, it’s high time to write those “best of” end of year posts. As much as a nail-biter it was to choose my five favourite gigs of 2009, it allowed me to reflect on all the great gigs I’ve had the opportunity to go to in the Washington D.C. area and elsewhere. And it was a wonderful reminder on what great music is out there if you just open your mind and let yourself feast on what the current music scene has on offer. I encourage everyone one of you to go out to more gigs in 2010 and support the music community!

As USA editor of TGTF, I’d like to note that the majority of the gigs I’ve been to this year have been on my side of the pond and usually in my hometown of Washington D.C. But I think you’ll recognise most of the bands I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live this year. Here’s my top five of 2009:

5. Pains of Being Pure at Heart at D.C.’s Black Cat (Wednesday 30th September) – This didn’t feel like just any show. It felt a reunion and you were surrounded by friends, because the Pains have many friends in the Washington area. The guitars, the synths, and vocals from Kip Berman and Peggy Wang – they all combined to create something heavenly.

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4. Camera Obscura at D.C.’s 9:30 Club (Sunday 21st June) – This gig featuring songs from their album released this year, ‘My Maudlin Career’, like ‘Honey in the Sun’ and the gorgeous ‘Swans’. Other previous gems like ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken’ brought the house down as Traceyanne Campbell’s beautiful voice rang throughout the club. One incredible show. So disappointed they skipped over D.C. on their autumn tour.

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3. Dot to Dot Festival in Nottingham (Sunday 24th May) – My first music festival, ever. This was my second time seeing Friendly Fires and their first time headlining a festival to boot. It was amazing to be among lots and lots of their devoted English fans who turned Rock City in a sea of bodies dancing to their beats. It was also great to see Patrick Wolf again and Ladyhawke for the first time (the two acts directly preceding Friendly Fires at Rock City). Earlier in the day I was able to take in Matt Abbott and Skint and Demoralised at Nottingham-Trent Uni’s Glo Bar, followed by part of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s set in the uni’s student union main room.

Skint and Demoralised
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Patrick Wolf
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Ladyhawke
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Friendly Fires
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2. Friendly Fires at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg (Thursday 13th August) – Not a fan of getting bruised up by the drunks who stormed the stage like maniacs during the ‘Ex Lover’ encore, but this one gets high marks for the incredible crowd energy – so much energy that I worried that the floor would break out from under us from all the jumping around and dancing going on during their set. Further, Ed Macfarlane jumped down into the crowd during ‘Paris’, causing additional mayhem. This is probably one of the last times he’ll ever launch himself into the audience because I doubt his personal safety from this point forth can be guaranteed (!)

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1. Elbow at D.C.’s 9:30 Club (Tuesday 4th August) – Somehow Washington managed to score one of only three American headlining dates in all of 2009 from the Manchester quintet. They didn’t disappoint, the whole crowd singing along to every word of Guy Garvey’s. The man has one amazing voice and kept everyone in the club spellbound. The show was simply brilliant. It didn’t hurt that Guy came out an hour before the show and kindly agreed to take photos with us fans who queued up early outside the club before doors opened.

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After the jump is a full list of all the gigs I’ve been to in 2009 (in reverse chronological order) so you have an idea of the banquet I had to choose from.
Continue reading Best Gigs of 2009

 

MP3 of the Day #66: Patrick Wolf Remix

 
By on Monday, 8th June 2009 at 10:00 am
 

Ahhh, Patrick Wolf. The avant garde singer-songwriter’s new album is already a firm favourite of ours here at TGTF, and now we have a remix of “Who Will” which is sounding pretty ace, turning it into a huge dancefloor filler that slowly builds.

MP3: Patrick Wolf – Who Will (Buffetlibre Remix)

 

News: Latitude Lineup is extended

 
By on Monday, 18th May 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Marina and the Diamonds (side)We previewed the amazing Latitude back at the start of April, but since then they’ve added a few more amazing acts just to, well, make it even more amazing as far as the “alternative” festivals go. Joining the likes of Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds they’ve added some of TGTF’s favourite artists, including Regina Spektor, Passion Pit, Patrick Wolf, Mew, Marina and the Diamonds (pictured right) and Lisa Hannigan.

Huw Stephens (who has had some pretty amazing finds over recent months) has confirmed that he’s choosing all of the bands on the coveted Lake Stage, which features many of the bands we’ve tipped for the top here at TGTF along with some choice cuts from who will be big over the coming months. If we were fortunate enough to be attending, that’s where we’d be spending much of our time most likely. That’s not to say that the rest of the lineup is rubbish – no, far from it. Latitude is one of the best fully featured festivals we know – that is, it’s not just music. Oh no. It’s got some of the best talents from the theatre, literary and film worlds, including the amazing Dave Gorman performing in the comedy tent. Meanwhile, over in the literary arena there’s a pretty big scoop in the shape of fashion designer extrodinaire Vivienne Westwood. Let’s be honest, that’s gotta be worth the ticket price on her own!

Tickets are on sale now for Latitude 2009 – weekend tickets are £150 plus booking fees. Day tickets for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday are £60 each plus booking fees. Weekend tickets prices include car parking and camping – day tickets include car parking only.

Top photo comes from John Appleyard’s flickr stream.

 

Album Review: Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor

 
By on Monday, 18th May 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor (cover side)Back in 2007, South London singer-songwriter, Patrick Wolf suggested to the shock and dismay of many fans, that he was swiftly considering quitting the music industry. Despite the incredible success of ‘The Magic Position’, the fame, pressure and tiring promotion that came alongside the album’s acclaim proved too much for Patrick. Although Wolf ultimately went on to part ways with the bigwigs at Universal Records, thankfully, however, he didn’t give up the musical fight completely. Instead, Patrick enthusiastically set about returning to his much-preferred independent roots.

Consequently, in December of 2008, Wolf bravely asked fans to invest a well-spent £10 into the production costs of his then-upcoming record – forming a little record-company type clique between him and his followers. The scheme went on to prove successful, and Patrick Wolf set about completing the recording of his next record, ‘Battle’.

Ahhh, but if the album is titled ‘Battle’, why are we reviewing ‘The Bachelor’ you may wonder? Well, Patrick decided to split the initially-titled ‘Battle’ into two halves – ‘The Bachelor’ being one side, and ‘The Conqueror’ being the other. Unfortunately, we have to wait until 2010 ’till we get to hear said second side of ‘Battle’, but never fear, as this week, TGTF were lucky enough to grab a sneek preview of Patrick’s first-serving – ‘The Bachelor’.

The album kicks off with the 47 second instrumental build-up, ‘Kriespiel’, excitingly leading listeners into track two, ‘Hard Times’ . After the fuzzy white-noise, the song abruptly breaks out into a chirpy string flourish, before in-kick those dark, velvety vocals of Patrick Wolf that we’ve all grown to love so much. ‘Hard Times’ gradually progresses into a truly epic, choir-included sing-along, providing an incredibly uplifting start to this highly-anticipated album.

Said choir I mentioned just now continue to make a regular appearance throughout the album. Heartbreaking tracks such as the ‘Who Will?’, ‘The Sun is Often Out’ and ‘Damaris’ see Patrick passionately singing along with the epic, church-like chorus. The latter track I mentioned, ‘Damaris’, is perhaps an album highlight. This slow-building, sullen ballad comes complete with weeping strings and a fierce drum beat, all eventually exploding into an almighty glorious climax, which sees Patrick and the choir calling out to “Rise up! Rise up!”.

Patrick Wolf (press side)Dirtier, gritter tunes on ‘The Bachelor’ include the album’s debut single ‘Vulture’, a sinister, synth-based, 80s-esque tune (fittingly complete with a controversial video to boot..see YouTube..), and ‘Battle’, which I can only describe as an electro-folk-metal tinged tune, all miraculously rolled into one (and yes, it’s certainly comes along unexpected, and while it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the record, it’s intriguingly experimental to say the least…).

Slower, simpler and more stripped-back tracks that feature on the album include the piano-led ‘Blackdown’ and the sitar-sprinkled ‘Theseus’ – a gentle stomping number, which is just one of three tracks on ‘The Bachelor’ featuring a guest voice over appearance by British actress, Tilda Swinton (who features as the optimistic ‘Voice of Hope’ to Patrick throughout the album). Furthermore, tracks such as ‘Thickets’ and dreamy album-closer, ‘The Messenger’ beautifully carry along that trademark, fairytale pagan-folk sound that Patrick Wolf just wouldn’t be Patrick Wolf without.

Conclusively, I’m glad to say the ‘The Bachelor’ is proof that you do not need the backing of a massive record label to produce a show stopping album. Despite his troubles, Patrick has come back this 2009 with an astounding record that I instantly fell in love with on first listen (and rarely does that happen). It’s dreamy, experimental, emotional and plain beautiful. From the exotic range of instruments, to the epic choirs, to Patrick’s genuine passion, to heck, perhaps even the invention of a new genre (I’m talking ‘Battle’ here) – just everything about this album is pretty darn amazing. It’s truly one of the boldest records of the year so far.

Patrick Wolf‘s The Bachelor is out on June 1st. Pre-order your copy now.

 

Patrick Wolf / May 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 24th March 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Patrick Wolf - Press ShotCrazy kid Patrick Wolf has announced a string of tour dates for late May around the UK. Tickets aren’t on sale quite yet, but I reckon they’ll be on sale on Friday morning or so.

You can catch his bondage-filled video for Vulture over on Myspace, and get tickets for this shiny new tour later this week.

Friday 15th May 2009 – Northampton Roadmender
Monday 18th May 2009 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 19th May 2009 – Oxford O2 Academy
Wednesday 20th May 2009 – Leeds Cockpit
Friday 22nd May 2009 – Liverpool Stanley Theatre
Monday 25th May 2009 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Wednesday 27th May 2009 – Norwich Waterfront
Thursday 28th May 2009 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 29th May 2009 – Glasgow Classic Grand
Sunday 31st May 2009 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 1st June 2009 – London Electric Ballroom

needtickets.com logoTo find tickets, we suggest you try using Needtickets. Needtickets.com offers you the most comprehensive ticket service in the UK. With one click you can search every nationwide online ticket agent and as a result you can find tickets for any live music event that can be booked online. Every ticket is 100% guaranteed as Needtickets.com only offers links to official agents.

 

Patrick Wolf / March 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 28th January 2009 at 11:59 am
 

Patrick Wolf - Press ShotAfter the high number of posts over the past two days here at TGTF things are gonna go a bit slower for the next few days, dropping down to a more normal 3 or so posts a day.

In the mean time, Patrick Wolf has announced a string of four UK dates for early March which will give people a sneak peek of his forthcoming new album, Battle. He says that those going to the shows should “be prepared for many surprises and new arrangements of the best from the last three albums”. Sounds good.

Tickets go on sale next Wednesday, 4th February according to NME. Catch Patrick and his craziness at:

Sunday 8th March 2009 – Colchester Arts Centre
Monday 9th March 2009 – Gloucester Guildhall
Tuesday 10th March 2009 – Cambridge Junction
Thursday 12th March 2009 – London Heaven

needtickets.com logoTo find tickets, we suggest you try using Needtickets. Needtickets.com offers you the most comprehensive ticket service in the UK. With one click you can search every nationwide online ticket agent and as a result you can find tickets for any live music event that can be booked online. Every ticket is 100% guaranteed as Needtickets.com only offers links to official agents.

 
 
 

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

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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