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Live Review: David Ramirez at Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ – 18th November 2016

 
By on Monday, 28th November 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Austin-based singer/songwriter David Ramirez passed through Phoenix before the American Thanksgiving holiday, making his second appearance here in just over a year. If you’re a regular TGTF reader, you might remember my review of his previous show in the same venue, downtown Phoenix’s Valley Bar. On that occasion, Ramirez was accompanied by a full band and special guest Liza Anne, but by design, this gig was quite a different event.

Ramirez is playing completely solo on his current tour, without either a backing band or a support act. Dubbed the ‘Bootleg Tour 2016’, these shows also involve the element of live recordings, which are being distributed via download to all ticketholders within a few days of the show they attend. The souvenir recording is a unique and intriguing digital age concept, and it became even more appealing as we in the audience discovered, much to our delight, that Ramirez had a few yet-to-be-released songs up his sleeve.

Without an opening act to warm up the crowd, Ramirez began the night somewhat unceremoniously by simply walking on stage, saying a quick greeting and starting to play. He opened with a sequence of old favourite songs, starting with ‘I Think I Like You’ from his 2011 ‘Strangetown’ EP before turning to his more popular 2015 album release ‘Fables’. ‘How Do You Get ‘Em Back’ and ‘Communion’ were apparently more familiar to the punters gathered near the stage, and Ramirez’s set quickly gained momentum. Despite his own admission to feeling a bit under the weather, the grit and raw power of his singing voice held up admirably to the stripped back song arrangements presented here, especially in the bitterly poignant ‘Harder to Lie’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/_M1jNw5GCjs[/youtube]

Of the new songs in the set, ‘Too Far Away’ grabbed my attention straightaway, with the coincidentally relevant lyrics “Well, I’m coming to London, gonna bring you back to Texas / you’ll have your first Thanksgiving and you’ll meet the parents.” Like so many of Ramirez’s songs, this one has a bittersweet twist, which he immediately counteracted with the dry cynicism and dark blues edge of another new track, titled ‘Stone Age’.

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In the end, Ramirez played quite a lengthy set, 22 songs in total, including the unreleased tracks and a remarkably fitting cover of Neil Young’s ‘Vampire Blues’. He seemed to take advantage of the relative success of last year’s ‘Fables’, interspersing songs from that album with older releases that might not have been as well known. It must be said that Ramirez’s acoustic version of ‘The Bad Days’, from 2013 EP ‘The Rooster’ was exquisitely effective whether his audience knew it already or not, and he indulged a shouted request for ‘Fires’, which dates back to his 2009 album ‘American Soil’.

Though I missed the backing vocals I was accustomed to hearing in the full band arrangements of several familiar tracks, Ramirez’s voice and acoustic guitar were equally compelling on their own, especially in a small, intimate venue like the Valley Bar. And if his new songs see the light of day, so to speak, it will be interesting to listen back to the bootleg recording and compare the fully arranged studio versions to these stripped back preliminary performances. Ramirez’s Bootleg Tour 2016 continues through the end of December; you can find the remaining dates listed here.

David Ramirez is currently listed as a showcasing artist for SXSW 2017, which will take place in his hometown of Austin next March. As always, any information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and the artist lineup is subject to change. To keep abreast of David Ramirez’s upcoming plans, we recommend that you keep an eye on his official Facebook. For news and updates on SXSW 2017, you can consult the festival’s official schedule here.

After the cut: David Ramirez’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: David Ramirez at Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ – 18th November 2016

 

Live Review: LANY with Transviolet at Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ – 15th November 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Los Angeles synthpop trio LANY have made a sudden and impressive appearance onto the pop scene in 2016. Comprising frontman Paul Klein, guitarist/keyboardist Les Priest and drummer Jake Goss, the band have released three EPs in quick succession, starting with ‘I Loved You.’ in June 2015, and followed by last December’s ‘Make Out’ and June 2016’s ‘kinda’. After playing a slew of American summer festivals this year, including Bonaroo, Sasquatch and Firefly, LANY embarked on a headline tour of the U.S., which has just wrapped up with a hometown show at the Fonda Theatre in L.A.

I had a chance to catch LANY just before the end of their ‘kinda’ tour, at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix last Tuesday night. Despite the relative newness of the band, they sold out the 550-capacity Crescent Ballroom, and when I arrived to the gig, I noticed something rather unique about their audience. Like many concert venues in Arizona, the Crescent Ballroom separates younger patrons from punters 21 and over, in an attempt to avoid underage drinking. For this particular show, the under-21 section was unusually large, and it was given priority in the section directly in front of the stage, rather than its usual position off to one side. The apparent majority of the crowd was underage, and their youth was matched only by their buoyant enthusiasm for LANY.

On further examination, the relatively young age of the crowd shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me. LANY are what you might call an Internet sensation, having made a name for themselves via Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature. Their single ‘ILYSB’ has amassed over 27 million Spotify streams as of this writing, and Billboard + Twitter listed them as the number one Emerging Artist after the release of their video for recent single ‘yea, babe, no way’. (Check out the video for ‘yea, babe, no way’ at the bottom of this page.)

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On this night, LANY were preceded on the stage by New York pop quartet Transviolet, whose own electropop was an appropriate prelude to the main event. Despite singer Sarah McTaggart’s struggle with illness, her voice rang through the bright synths and throbbing bass of her bandmates Judah McCarthy, Michael Panek and Jon Garcia. (McTaggart and Transviolet would miss a subsequent show in San Francisco, but we understand that she recovered in time for the tour’s final date in Los Angeles.) Transviolet’s recent single ‘Future’ was a standout in the opening set, but even better was edgy earlier track ‘Girls Your Age,’ which resonated strongly with the teenaged ladies at the front of the stage.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/b_aQgB7xkjA[/youtube]

Though Transviolet were well-received, it became evident before the end of their set that the punters down front were impatient to see LANY. A near riot ensued when Klein and his colleagues took the stage with an extended instrumental introduction and a visual display that incorporated Whitney Houston’s famous national anthem performance at Super Bowl XXV (way back in 1991, for those of you who aren’t old enough to remember it!). LANY’s tech crew deserve a special shout out here; the strikingly effective visual backdrop was a major highligh of LANY’s live set.

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The slick visuals were a perfectly scripted accompaniment to LANY’s clean, sophisticated brand of synth pop, and for their part, the band didn’t stray far from the well-loved recorded arrangements of their songs. Frontman Klein was clearly the focal point of the show, as guitarist Priest was hidden in the shadows on the stage left side, while Goss and his drum kit were situated only slightly more prominently at stage right. Every song was greeted with screams of approval from the largely (but not entirely) female audience, starting with ‘4EVER!’ and ‘yea, babe, no way’. For me, the evening’s defining strong point came early in the set, with the infectiously catchy, deeply existential ode to California, ‘WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/5zGahFzBoJk[/youtube]

A handful of rather indistinguishable tracks followed, including the cringe-inducingly trite ‘like you lots’, which admittedly made a stronger connection with the younger crowd. However, Klein was charmingly personable throughout, smiling and making eye contact when girls shouted his name, even accepting a bouquet of roses from a swooning audience member at one point late in the show. LANY made a much stronger impact at the end of the set, finishing with the ethereally dreamy track ‘pink skies’ and the yearning trans-Atlantic romance of ‘current location’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/eD7kpZRGyGs[/youtube]

Hit single ‘ILYSB’ (which, for those of you unaware, is an acronym for “I love you so bad”) had yet to make an appearance on the evening’s itinerary, so there was little suspense as to whether LANY would perform an encore. But the band held their audience in anticipation just a little bit longer, starting the postscript with an extended version of ‘Walk Away’, featuring Klein on keyboards. Everyone on the general admission floor unleashed their dance moves for for the giddy high of ‘ILYSB’ before Klein and his colleagues endeared themselves once more by taking an old-fashioned curtain call and a synchronised bow.

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If you’re a fan of cool, West Coast style synth pop with just a hint of r&b soul, both LANY and Transviolet will fit nicely onto your next playlist. Though both bands appear to be taking a break through the end of 2016, you’re sure to hear more from them next year as their stars continue to rise.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/pVUq8Q7bNUM[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The Crookes at the Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ – 26th September 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 11th October 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Monday night, the 26th of September, was a busy one on American shores. The first debate between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was televised that evening, as was an early season Monday Night Football game (that’s football of the American variety). Even just in Phoenix, that Monday night was unusually active for music gigs, with shows on at several local venues, including the Marquee Theater in Tempe, the Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, and the Rebel Lounge.

Whichever of those events people in Phoenix were busy with that night, the entire city missed out on the best show in town, bar none, at a well-known and long-standing music venue, the Rhythm Room. Usually a blues bar, the Rhythm Room has lately expanded into other genres of music, and this night they took a chance on a band not as well-known in this part of America, Sheffield alt-pop quartet The Crookes. Their gamble might not have paid off in terms of ticket sales, but as the tiny crowd in the club that night can attest, the quality of the performance was no less than top-notch.

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I arrived around 7:30 for a show that was advertised to begin at 8:00, but as there was no support act on the docket (earlier shows on the tour had included The Young Wild and Zipper Club), The Crookes apparently were in no great hurry to start their show. But the patrons in the bar, who numbered exactly 9 at my count, including myself, were antsy with anticipation and nonetheless enthusiastic when the band did eventually take the stage.

Crookes internal 1

First and foremost, I have to commend The Crookes for the energy and heart in their performance, despite the infinitesimal crowd. I’ve seen them play several times in the course of my tenure at TGTF (going way back to their American live debut in 2013!), and I must say that they gave this show their full and undivided effort, where many bands might have been tempted to get lazy or write it off as not worth their time. Frontman George Waite was smooth and ever professional, despite a bit of heckling from the peanut gallery, and his voice was sounded as good as I’ve ever heard it. Drummer Adam Crofts, who might still be considered new to the band, having joined only last year, played through the show with an engaging smile on his face. The acoustics in the venue were bright and clear, and the guitars in particular, played by Tom Dakin and Daniel Hopewell, sounded amazingly crisp from start to finish. Much moreso, in fact, than when Mary and I last saw The Crookes earlier this year at SXSW 2016.

Daniel internal

The Crookes’ set list at the Rhythm Room was tight and exquisitely composed, starting with a few popular favourite tunes from breakthrough album ‘Hold Fast’ before touching on new tracks from their excellent current album ‘Lucky Ones’ and diving momentarily into their growing back catalogue. Though I did miss hearing live favourite ‘The Cooler King’, I was delighted that they chose to include ‘A Collier’s Wife’ from ‘Dreams of Another Day’, which I must admit had an air of novelty about it for me, as I hadn’t listened to it in quite some time.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/kORZ3unOfo0[/youtube]

A small audience allows for a bit more flexibility in a band’s set list sometimes, and The Crookes did take the opportunity to deviate a bit from their plan for the evening. Judging from the set list photo below, they hadn’t intended to include new album track ‘No One Like You’, but in the end, they did play an intense version of it that created a nice dramatic peak in the set. Then, in a truly brilliant manoeuvre, they took advantage of that intensity and the rapt attention of their audience with a refreshingly cool and polished cover of Bruce Springsteen’s steamy ‘I’m On Fire’. This, for my money, was a fantastic addition to the Crookes’ set, even if it does steal precious time away from their own four full albums’ worth of music.

Crookes set list

Waite didn’t spend a lot of time on banter between songs on this rather subdued Monday night, but of course, he couldn’t let the evening pass without a comment on the heat in the Arizona desert. He and his bandmates have travelled through the American southwest a few times now, and I suspect that they’re becoming a bit more accustomed to the climate. Still, l do hope The Crookes receive a much warmer welcome the next time they pass through the Valley of the Sun. I’ll most certainly be looking forward to seeing what they do next.

By the time this review goes to press, The Crookes will have wrapped up their Autumn 2016 American tour, which saw them following their wanderlust to a few new and unusual places, including Eugene, Oregon; Visalia, California and Birmingham, Alabama. But if you’re on the UK side of the pond, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Sheffield lads later this year. The Crookes will close out 2016 with a special Christmas tour of England this December; all the dates are listed here. TGTF’s extensive previous coverage of The Crookes is collected through here.

 

Live Review: Ash with Avery at Rips Bar, Phoenix, AZ – 24th September 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 27th September 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Veteran Northern Irish rock band Ash are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album ‘1977’ with a live tour, on which they’re playing the album in its entirety, along with a few more recent favourites. On the North American leg of the tour, they’re visiting a mix of small and mid-sized venues, but surely one of the smallest on the list was Rips Bar in Phoenix. Rips is a stand-alone club tucked into a residential area just northwest of downtown Phoenix, away from the hustle and bustle of other Phoenix venues and with an extremely relaxed vibe that seemed to suit Ash perfectly.

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Ash’s three band members went largely unnoticed by the bar patrons as they set up on the indoor stage at Rips. Meanwhile, the small crowd in the venue were treated to the opening act on the outdoor patio. Local folk-rock band Avery were just getting started when I found my way outside, and they came as a pleasant surprise ahead of Ash’s unabashed punk rock stylings. Avery’s lineup features singer/songwriter Mariah DeRaet on lead vocals, her smoky timbre uniquely accompanied by cellist Allison Galbreath at the front of the tiny stage on this night. The cello adds a deep sense of yearning to Avery’s lovelorn lyrics, as you can hear in their single ‘Hospital Call’ just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/KzTMDnh6O0w[/youtube]

Back inside the bar, Ash were nearly ready get back to ‘1977’. Or, more precisely, back to 1996, when the album was actually released. I was buried in my own classical music studies at university in 1996, and thus I missed out on the album the first time around. But anyone with even a passing interest in UK or Northern Irish bands will have heard of Ash, and editor Mary assured me that they were not to be missed live, so naturally my interest was piqued. Unfamiliar with the songs on ‘1977’, I had assumed that the title referred to songwriter Tim Wheeler’s birth year (also, coincidentally, my own). But in the course of doing some pre-gig homework, I discovered that it also paid homage to the release date of the movie ‘Star Wars’. which is referenced in the album’s opening and closing tracks, while other bits of 1970s pop culture are mixed into the middle.

"Ash

The audience, though still small, had grown a bit while I was outside listening to Avery. I hadn’t expected to see many longtime fans of the Northern Irish indie rockers at this gig, but there were, in fact, a handful of dedicated Ash fans milling about wearing the band’s t-shirts. There was no need to crowd the stage in a venue as small as this one, but we did all creep a bit closer as frontman Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray tore into ‘1977’ opening track ‘Lose Control’. They hit their stride early on, even with the more pensive tones of ‘Goldfinger’ and moreso in the higher energy of ‘Girl from Mars’, and it must be said here that McMurray certainly got his workout in during this set, pounding relentless rhythms throughout.

The sound quality inside Rips was surprisingly good, given the small size of the venue, and mid-album tracks ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Oh Yeah’, were especially energetic. Despite the almost complete absence of between-songs chat, or perhaps because of it, the band’s momentum from those tracks carried through to the end of the ‘1977’ set, which Wheeler announced as the final album track ‘Darkside Lightside’.

A true encore might have been overkill in this tiny venue, but luckily Ash had more to offer. Following the ‘1977’ sequence, Wheeler paused again to introduce the band’s debut single ‘Jack Names the Planets’ before the band added a few newer songs to round off the set. One enthusiastic punter squealed out for a song called ‘Default’, and Wheeler seemed puzzled for a moment, until he realised that she meant ‘Dispatch’, from Ash’s most recent album ‘Kablammo!’, which came out last summer. This would have been a more familiar song for me as well, but alas, the band weren’t prepared to play it, opting instead for another new track, ‘Let’s Ride’ before closing with ‘Burn Baby Burn’ from 2001 album ‘Free All Angels’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/t5ZtotlZ0ug[/youtube]

They may not have had a large number of fans in attendance in Phoenix last weekend, but Ash most certainly won a new fan in me with their combination of punk energy, deft melodicism, and engaging stage presence. If you’re like me and ‘Kablammo!’ was your first real exposure to Ash, I strongly recommend browsing through their back catalogue for the gems you might have missed.

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Ash will continue the North American leg of their ‘1977 – 20th Anniversary Tour’ with larger shows in cities including Chicago, Washington, DC and New York through the start of October. They will bring the tour to the UK in November and December; those live dates are listed just below. A full listing of Ash’s worldwide tour dates can be found on their official Web site. TGTF’s previous coverage of Ash is right back here.

Thursday 10th November 2016 – Dublin Olympia Theatre
Friday 11th November 2016 – Belfast Mandela Hall
Thursday 1st December 2016 – Gloucester Guildhall
Saturday 10th December 2016 – London Roundhouse
Sunday 11th December 2016 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 12th December 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 14th December 2016 – Aberdeen Garage
Thursday 15th December 2016 – Glasgow Garage

 

Live Review: Foy Vance with Trevor Sensor at Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ – 21st September 2016

 
By on Monday, 26th September 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

As promised in my interview with him from earlier this year, Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance brought his ‘The Wild Swan’ tour to American shores last week, starting the festivities with a show at the Valley Bar in Phoenix. It was only last summer that I saw Vance in this very same venue, but it’s been an exciting year for him in the interim, including tours with Josh Groban and Elton John. On his current trek through the States, though, Vance is the headline act, and this occasion was the first time I’d seen him perform with the luxury of a full band.

Trevor

Vance’s support act on this tour is American singer/songwriter Trevor Sensor, who came from Chicago to join the tour in Phoenix. Sensor’s onstage persona, much like his singing voice, came across initially as a bit harsh, but the underlying appeal in his songwriting soon became apparent. He touched on songs from two EP releases ‘Texas Girls and Jesus Christ’ and ‘Starved Nights and Saturday Stars’, most notably his recent single ‘When Tammy Spoke to Martha’. Sensor also included in his set list a piano-based cover of Bruce Cockburn‘s ‘Pacing the Cage’, and he seemed surprised that someone in the audience recognized it, remarking sardonically, “Congratulations on knowing who that is.”

[youtube]https://youtu.be/6KWXNO33xiw[/youtube]

Sensor’s moodiness carried over into Vance’s headline set as well, but it reared its head more in the between-songs banter than the music itself. Vance hit the stage running with ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’, which as he mentioned in our interview from this summer, works best with the complement of a full band behind him. The band was indeed a welcome addition to the live performance of Vance’s new songs from ‘The Wild Swan’, and he ran through a list of them to open the show, including the smile-inducing ‘Upbeat Feelgood’ and the populist anthem ‘Ziggy Looked Me in the Eye’.

Foy

It might have been politics that dampened Vance’s mood as he started the North American leg of his tour. Though he said he was glad to be back on American soil, he did make a disparaging comment about presidential candidate Donald Trump, which fell a bit flat among an audience who might have preferred to put their political concerns aside for the evening. That statement being made, however, Vance quickly moved on to songs of a more personal tenor, seating himself at the piano for an ode to his own ‘Bangor Town’ and ‘Be Like You Belong’.

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

Focusing mainly on his latest material, Vance didn’t spend much time rehashing old favourites. ‘The Wild Swan’ tracks ‘She Burns’ and ‘Casanova’ were well-received by a crowd of mainly new fans, as was recent album single ‘Coco’, though Vance prefaced this last with a sharp tongue-lashing for music critics who might have misinterpreted its meaning. As it turned out, perhaps the strongest connection he made with his audience all evening was in the heady gospel of ‘Closed Hand, Full of Friends’, from previous album ‘Joy of Nothing’.

Altering his usual course, Vance closed the set proper with ‘Guiding Light’, leaving those of us “in the know” wondering what might be next. Not typically given to ostentatious encores, Vance left the stage only very briefly before returning for a short postlude. He ended the show on another personally significant note, with the classically poetic ‘The Wild Swans on the Lake’, changing its third verse lines to sing “a child is on the way” and pausing proudly to announce a due date. If congratulations are indeed in order, our most sincere ones are extended to Foy Vance as he completes his American tour and heads back across the pond for winter shows closer to home.

A full listing of Foy Vance’s upcoming shows can be found on his official Facebook. Vance will finish the year with live dates in Ireland and the UK in November and December, which are listed here. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Foy Vance is back this way.

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Live Review: Frightened Rabbit with Caveman at the Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ – Friday 20th May 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 25th May 2016 at 3:00 pm
 

Back in April, Selkirk alt-rockers Frightened Rabbit released their excellent fifth studio album ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’. After a brief handful of live dates in the UK, the band immediately turned their attention to the American side of the pond, embarking on a late spring/early summer U.S. tour that brought them to Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom last Friday night.

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Supporting Frightened Rabbit on this American tour are New York rock band Caveman, who are officially a quartet, but performed with six members on stage here at the Crescent Ballroom. The expanded lineup allowed them to fully flesh out their warm, atmospheric song arrangements for a pleasantly vibrant and engaging opening set. Frontman Matthew Iwanusa announced standout track ‘Human’ as part of the band’s upcoming record ‘Otero War’, and it immediately made me think that the new album would be well worth a listen. Also appearing on both Caveman’s live set list and their new album is anthemic track ‘Never Going Back’, for which the band just released the following sci-fi themed video.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/cUefqXnAb5A[/youtube]

Frightened Rabbit’s own recent album release might be described as “triumphant”, after the rather muted vibe of their fourth album ‘Pedestrian Verse’. On stage, they took immediate advantage of this triumph, opening their headline set with a blistering rendition of current single ‘Get Out’ and maintaining the high energy level through older tracks ‘Holy’ and ‘The Modern Leper’. The band started off sounding remarkably tight and energetic, especially compared to the last time I’d seen them live. I had been completely nonplussed by their rather sloppy performance at that sparsely attended show in Birmingham, Alabama back in 2013, when guitarist Gordon Skene was still in the lineup. On this night in Phoenix, however, frontman Scott Hutchison and his bandmates, most notably new guitarist Simon Liddell, who replaced Skene and fit seamlessly into the current live arrangement, seemed exponentially more confident and relaxed.

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One of the set’s early highlights, the introspective new album track ’I Wish I Was Sober’, was also one of its slower moments, but Hutchison and company didn’t let their momentum ebb for long. I was excited to hear my personal favourite Frightened Rabbit song ‘Living in Colour’, which got the crowd bouncing along to Grant Hutchison’s formidable four-to-the-floor drum beat. And though ‘Things’, from 2010 release ‘The Winter of Mixed Drinks’, has not been a particular favourite of mine, it was surprisingly effective in this night’s set, combining the full complement of instrumental effects in the band’s five-man lineup with a striking visual lighting display.

A few hardcore Frightened Rabbit fans in the crowd shouted requests for songs from the band’s 2006 debut album ‘Sing the Greys’, and though the band touched on every other album in their repertoire, Scott Hutchison confessed that he didn’t remember how to play all of those early songs. He also declined a rather incongruous request for ‘Poke’ at a high energy point in the middle of the set, calling that song “probably the biggest downer I ever wrote” (which is quite a distinction in his collection, it must be said). Instead, the band wisely stayed with their ever-growing list of established fan favourites, including ‘Pedestrian Verse’ track ‘State Hospital’ and its new album sequel-of-sorts, ‘Lump Street’.

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Frightened Rabbit rounded off the set proper with three of their liveliest tunes, racing through storming versions of ‘Nothing Like You’ and the acoustic-flavoured ‘Old Old Fashioned’ before frontman Hutchison invited the crowd to sing along with the familiar and admittedly vulgar ‘Keep Yourself Warm’. Having brought my younger brother with me to the show, I found it a little awkward at first to shout out those particular lyrics, but it occurred to me that Hutchison himself does the very same thing in every show with his little brother Grant on the drum kit behind him, and so I carried on. The rest of the crowd clearly loved joining in on the chorus, and the Scottish five-piece left the stage to thunderous applause at the end of the song.

Scott Hutchison returned to the stage alone to open the encore with a poignant solo performance of ‘Die Like a Rich Boy’, which might have been an effective closer in its own right, but the band had other ideas. Hutchison’s colleagues returned to the stage to play their popular hit song ‘The Woodpile’ and a delightfully theatrical version of ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’, which featured multi-instrumentalist Billy Kennedy on percussion and cemented the band’s brilliant live impression.

Billy cymbal

Caveman’s new album ‘Otero War’ is due out on the 17th of June via Cinematic Music Group. They will continue playing support on Frightened Rabbit’s American tour with West Coast dates through the 27th of May. Frightened Rabbit will play the Sasquatch Festival in Washington State on the 29th of May before heading back across the pond for a list of summer festival appearances, including T in the Park and Latitude. TGTF’s extensive previous coverage of Frightened Rabbit is collected right back here.

Caveman and Frightened Rabbit set lists:

Caveman set list

FR set list

 
 
 

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.

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