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Preview: Tennent’s Vital Festival 2016

 
By on Friday, 8th July 2016 at 10:00 am
 

For my first official article as a full-time Irish writer at There Goes the Fear, I felt it was only fair to contribute in the best way I can: by introducing our readership to the vast amount of musical shenanigans within the small but deceptively massive Emerald Isle. I’m beginning with a preview of Tennent’s Vital (T Vital for short), a festival that has been held in Belfast for the past 12 years. This year’s event takes place the 25th and 26th August 2016.

Tennent’s Vital began in 2002 when C&C Group plc and MCD Productions teamed up to bring Belfast City’s first major music festival. In its first year, they brought in heavy-hitters Primal Scream, Idlewild, Snow Patrol and Fatboy Slim. Throughout its existence, the event has moved location 3 times: from the city Centre, to Ormeau Park a little further out, then further to Bangor, finally resting in Boucher Road Playing fields, where it still resides today. Despite the minor setback of going on hiatus between 2008 and 2010, nothing else has stopped it from growing in size and popularity. It has attracted attention from a huge range of artists through the years in many different genres. Some of these include Jurassic 5, The Darkness, David Guetta, Kings of Leon, Tinie Tempah, The Script, Pigeon Detectives, The Killers and Foo Fighters.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kETKu602XRU[/youtube]

This year Tennent’s Vital takes place on Thursday the 25th and Friday the 26th of July. It continues its long history of bringing along monstrous acts. Industry veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers will be ripping it up as the headliners for day 1. Well, when they’re not too busy saving children during a carpool karaoke with James Corden and joining street performers in London. Following the release of their new album ‘The Getaway’ in June, the funky monks have embarked on an extensive world tour, with stops at a number of the UK’s top music festivals, including Tennent’s Vital.

Red Hot Chili Peppers will be supported by Fall Out Boy, who stormed back into the mainstream following the release of their 2013 comeback album ‘Save Rock and Roll’. Additional support will come from the ever-striving Cage the Elephant, rounding out what is sure to be a great first day.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeUZy2aI11M[/youtube]

If the alternative scene isn’t your thing, never fear, as day 2 is chocked full of the best of pop, r&b and EDM acts. And who better to headline than global superstar DJ and two-time Tennent’s Vital headliner in the last 3 years, Avicii (pictured at top). He has topped the charts on numerous occasions since his introduction in 2011 and performed at major festivals across the world. However this time Avicii (aka Swedish electronic musician and DJ Tim Bergling) has announced his retirement in a letter on the front page of his website, stating this tour to be his last, so whether or not you’ve seen Avicii before, book your ticket fast and don’t miss out on seeing the incredible DJ one last time.

Jess Glynne will take her spot as top support on day 2 of the festival. After gaining instant success for providing the lead vocal track to Clean Bandit’s 2014 banger ‘Rather Be’, she has received nothing but praise and attention for her work, including a Grammy award for Best Dance Track, as well as a nomination for Song of the Year at the BBC Music Awards. She recently wowed crowds and critics at Radio One’s Big Weekend in Plymouth in May, so we can’t wait to see what she has planned for Belfast. With three further support slots awarded to the best up and coming dance acts Duke Dumont, Galantis and Zak Abel, day 2 of Tennent’s Vital is sure to be bouncing from start to finish, so be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=792rzYy27aE[/youtube]

Two days, seven huge acts, one field: don’t miss out! Tickets available now from Tickemaster.

 

Preview: Kendal Calling 2016

 
By on Thursday, 7th July 2016 at 10:00 am
 

As Glastonbury fades into the distance, the only evidence that it ever happened being clods of mud on the soles of one’s wellies, hours of BBC catch-up to plough through, and the occasional sweaty 3 AM nightmare featuring a gurning Charlotte Church. Oh, and several acres of Somerset farmland piled high with litter and abandoned tents. I’m sure we all had a blast. Whether you were there in body or only in spirit, those wishing to relive the hedonistic peaks and chilled-out troughs of a top-class festival, without, shall we say, the negatives of an enormo-fest like Glasto, should look no further than Kendal Calling.

Less crowded, less pretentious, (slightly) less muddy, and, most importantly, more Northern, Kendal Calling has occasionally been called the Glastonbury of the north. And in spirit, that’s certainly true. Fair enough, it can’t attract the likes of Adele as a headliner, but if you want a sweary Londoner there’s always Rat Boy. Kendal’s biggest strength is its party atmosphere: wherever you are, you’re never very far away from the hoedown that goes on in front of the main stage all day. This year will climax with sets from d’n’b stars Rudimental, Brit-ska legends Madness and a prime slice of dad rock from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (pictured at top). There’s something for everyone on the main stage: hard rock from Band Of Skulls, The Hives and the Darkness, urban sounds from Sugarhill Gang and Too Many Ts. And, um, authentic North West humour in the shape of the inimitable Lancashire Hotpots.

Having said all that, TGTF’s favourite stage is the Calling Out tent. Want to know who’s going to be big next year? Look no further. From burgeoning youngsters like Sundara Karma, The Amazons and Rosie Lowe, through acts on the verge of mainstream breakthrough like Teleman, Eagulls and Spring King, this is where the smart money hangs out. Headliners Blossoms, Ghostpoet, and, astonishingly – if he turns up! – Pete Doherty, make Calling Out a mini-festival all of itself.

That’s not to mention the other little nooks and crannies of the beautiful Lowther Deer Park. Those fond of a hot spiked beverage can chill in the always-reliable Chai Wallahs. Obscurantists and beard-strokers are to be found in the Riot Jazz tent, hosting the unique brilliance of Gideon Conn (again, hurrah!), with the Riot Jazz Brass Band performances always a Kendal highlight. If you fancy a Tim Burgess-themed bacon sandwich, then head to the Tim Peaks diner. If, instead, you’re partial to a sit-down and some profound spoken words, Carvetti’s your spot (last year’s Aziz Ibrahim interview was particularly instructive). And let us not forget the 3 AMm intensity of the Glow Tent’s beats. There’s only a handful of tickets left at the time of writing. What are you waiting for?

The last few adult weekend tickets to Kendal Calling 2016 are available for £135 plus fees. To purchase yours, get them from Ticketline.

 

Dot to Dot Festival 2016: writer Rebecca’s best band bets

 
By on Friday, 20th May 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Dot to Dot Festival 2016 will see a number of new and established acts descend on the cities of Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham during the second May bank holiday (27-29 May). The festival will be in each city for 1 day only and will showcase a number of the best acts from the surrounding area, as well as the likes of big names like Mystery Jets, The Temper Trap and Augustines who will play at each city over the weekend. For editor Mary’s preview of the weekend’s action at Dot to Dot, check out her post here.

I honestly found it tough picking out just a selection to recommend ahead of the festival, but here are some acts (in alphabetical order, mind) to catch if you find yourself heading to Dot to Dot:

Ardyn
Ardyn are a brother and sister duo from Gloucestershire whose atmospheric pop is otherworldly, with singer Katy Pearson showcasing her powerful vocals on the newest release ‘Over the River’. Their previous stuff is gentler and more stripped back, but no less impressive. They’re sure to be an act to catch.

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

Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers
With an unusual, old-world sound that feels more suited to bluegrass era, Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers is the touring name given to the folk singer/songwriter from Canada and his band. Caplan released his second album last year, ‘Birds With Broken Wings’, and will be touring throughout the summer in North America and Europe. With his eccentric look and his throaty drawl, Caplan is described as “a madman and an earnest poet” on his Web site. Sounds like the recipe for a fascinating performer.

EKKAH
EKKAH are Rebecca and Rebekah, a funky disco-pop duo from Birmingham. Their track ‘Last Chance to Dance’ feels a bit like Haim and Jamiroquai were merged together in some bizarre but highly successful experiment. They released single ‘Small Talk’ earlier this year, a bright, glittering synthpop number that is well worth a listen.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLpjPgn3nQs[/youtube]

Haus
Haus are a five-piece from London with an indie-synth sound, citing rock, hip-hop and electronic influences. They released two singles in 2015, ‘Haze’ and ‘Blinded’, and have a number of festival dates across the UK this summer, in addition to Dot to Dot.

Into the Ark
Into the Ark are for those that prefer something a little softer, with gently strumming acoustic guitars and soulful vocals. From south Wales, the singer/songwriter pair met through their love music and have an EP scheduled for release in August. Their debut ‘Right Track’ gives you a taste of what they have to offer.

King No-One
In a similar vein to Haus, King No-One are an indie rock group but from the North (York). Their music is bold, glitzy and punchy. The Northern group’s latest single ‘Stay Close’ has an addictive rhythm and is a great indie summer tune. The song also features an interesting break towards the end (with a pithy monologue!), before returning to the chorus once more.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5wq6i03THc[/youtube]

Palace Winter
Palace Winter are a synthpop duo from Copenhagen, whose latest single ‘H. W. Running’ is atmospheric and smooth, with a momentum layered with a pleasing synth composition: it’s very easy to get into and I can imagine it being a good accompaniment for a morning jog or a late night at the club.

The Rubens
The blues-rock band The Rubens have been around since 2011 and are signed to Ivy League Records back home in Australia. The band have a following on their native continent but will be appearing at both The Great Escape and Dot to Dot halfway across the world to share their music. The band released their second album ‘Hoops’ last year, and they released their third single from the album, ‘Hold Me Back’, earlier this year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs58pcvDsXA[/youtube]

The Sherlocks (pictured at top)
The Sherlocks are a Northern foursome, who have recently been travelling further afield after building a loyal home support around Sheffield. Their latest single ‘Last Night’ is a punchy indie tune with a catchy chorus and guitar hooks aplenty!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bvg1rokCEA[/youtube]

Will Joseph Cook
Will Joseph Cook is a fresh-sounding singer whose single ‘Girls Like Me’ has an upbeat feeling that is positively contagious. From Tunbridge Wells, the singer is gaining momentum with a couple of his songs reaching a couple of million plays on Spotify. If you’re a fan of upbeat, sunshine pop that begs to be danced along to, Will Joseph Cook might be the one for you.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ66D7TcEWU[/youtube]

Regardless of which day you attend the festival you’ll be able to catch the above, plus a wide variety of up-and-coming regional acts too. Tickets are still available for each city of the festival, so head to Alt Tickets to purchase your own for this upcoming bank holiday weekend.

 

Preview: Dot to Dot Festival 2016

 
By on Thursday, 19th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

In this day and age, there are an overwhelming number of music festivals big and small vying for your attention and your hard-earned cash. While we’ve been to the biggies such as SXSW and The Great Escape, there’s something to be said about the smaller events in the less likely places that offer incredible value. Seven years ago, I covered my first UK music festival and now in 2016, I’m chuffed to bits that we’ll be sending another of the TGTF writers out to cover Dot to Dot Festival 2016. If you find yourself not having any plans for the upcoming second May bank holiday weekend, Dot to Dot could, in a pinch, serve as a welcome musical salve to keep your weekend lively.

In case you’ve not heard of Dot to Dot, it’s like behemoth Reading and Leeds in that the bands move on to the next city of the festival, so that nearly all acts set to appear in the franchise will appear in all locations. However, for those who lack the endurance for a longer festival or indeed, for those lacking the desire to commit to more days of an event, Dot to Dot is a 1-day festival, put on at various venues in Manchester (Friday the 27th of May), Bristol (Saturday the 28th of May) and Nottingham (Sunday the 29th of May).

Heading the top of the bill are English indie darlings Mystery Jets, who released their fifth album ‘Curve of the Earth’ at the start of the year. You can read my review of their latest long player here; Rebecca caught some of the band’s set at Live at Leeds late last month too. Providing a welcome contrast, American trio Augustines (pictured at top) will also be appearing at Dot to Dot, ahead of their new album ‘This is Your Life’ out in June on Caroline International in the UK and PIAS America in America. If Steven’s impression of recent single ‘When Things Fall Apart’ is any indication, the synthesisers will be out in full force during their set.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRU8Gfi5mDU[/youtube]

Another big name scheduled to appear at the festival are The Temper Trap, who will be releasing their long-awaited third album ‘Thick as Thieves’ on the same day as Augustines’ LP drops, the 10th of June. They’ll be appearing at a super secret Amazon Music show this Saturday at the Great Escape 2016 in Brighton, but why wonder if you’re going to see them or not and just buy a ticket to Dot to Dot and ensure you will? Check out their teaser track ‘Fall Together’ above. Other inclusions on the lineup of note to us include Irish band Little Green Cars, whose second album ‘Ephemera’ was released in early March, and SXSW 2016 BBC Introducing stage alums The Sherlocks and ESTRONS, as well as Manchester’s SXSW 2015 BBC Introducing breakout band Spring King, whose debut album for Island Records will also drop on the 10th of June. Check out a stripped back Radio 1 Piano Sessions version of their track ‘The Summer’ they did live for Huw Stephens below.

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

There are, of course, a blindingly amazing list of other acts scheduled to appear at Dot to Dot in 2 weekends’ time, and we invite to check out the official Web site for the most current information on the event. Tickets are available for all three cities at the incredibly low price of £27.50 (including booking fee) directly from Alt-Tickets.

 

Preview: LeeFest Presents: The Neverland 2016

 
By on Tuesday, 17th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

This year’s LeeFest marks the 10th anniversary of the independent arts festival, which started in 2006 in founder Lee Denny’s own back garden. Dubbed LeeFest Presents: The Neverland, the festival’s motto this year is “Never grow old”, and it promises a “stunning musical lineup” along with a host of other wide-ranging entertainment opportunities. The exact location of The Neverland’s new secret venue and campsite near Tunbridge Wells, about an hour southeast of London, will only be revealed to ticket holders near the time of the event, which is scheduled to take place on the 28th-30th of July.

What we already know about LeeFest 2016 is that its strong live music lineup presents an enticing mix of established artists and up-and-coming acts. Headliner Lianne La Havas could possibly fall into either category, after her breakthrough 2012 album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?” She is currently supporting Coldplay on their ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ world tour and is scheduled to open for fellow soul singer Leon Bridges on his September and October dates in America. La Havas released a new EP ‘Blood Solo’ back in February, providing solo interpretations of tracks from her second full album ‘Blood’, as well as the delicately haunting new track called ‘Fairytale’, which you can hear just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/CjH3arNObr0[/youtube]

In contrast to La Havas’ soulful folk stylings, Liverpool rockers Circa Waves join the LeeFest headline bill in the midst of their own summer festival circuit. They recently appeared at Live at Leeds 2016 and will grace their hometown stage at Sound City 2016 at the end of this month. Circa Waves have been quiet so far in 2016, but their emergence back onto the live scene, including a handful of upcoming headline dates around the UK, might be a hint that something new from the band is forthcoming. In the meantime, you can get in the festival spirit with their video for ’T-Shirt Weather’, which featured on their 2015 debut album ‘Young Chasers’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/S9z_cyIgE9s[/youtube]

The LeeFest 2016 docket features a wide array of other artists previously covered here at TGTF, most notably 2015 Mercury Prize nominee Ghostpoet.  The LeeFest lineup also includes a lengthy list of our SXSW 2016 alums: Manchester art-rockers Everything Everything, dance pop duo Formation, Liverpool’s own Clean Cut Kid, indie pop wunderkind Oscar, Kent ‘dirty-pop’ bangers Get Inuit, Sheffield rock duo Nai Harvest and Tunbridge Wells native Will Joseph Cook.

exmagician internal

Newer acts like London all-female quartet The Big Moon and Belfast alt-rock duo exmagician (pictured above) hope to build their reputations on LeeFest’s stages as part of their summer festival tours as well. Given that LeeFest’s past lineups have hosted such heavy hitters as London Grammar, Jack GarrattYears & Years, and Clean Bandit, it seems like a safe bet that if you’re not already familiar with the names on this year’s list, you will become so in very short order. (On that note, stay tuned to TGTF for our pre-LeeFest interview with exmagician, which will post in the coming days.)

SubmotionOrchestra internal

The live music portion of the festival will also include DJ sets from Submotion Orchestra (pictured above), The 2 Bears, Midland and Horse Meat Disco. Aside from the musical festivities, LeeFest also offers a variety of other entertainment categories comprising Comedy, Spoken Word, a generic Performance classification, and the very curiously-titled Sillyness. Divided among three so-called “realms”, The Neverland aims to provide “immersive adventures at every turn”, even including a Family category for arts enthusiasts with young children.

As a preview of the main event, LeeFest: The Neverland is partnering with the Tunbridge Wells Forum for a free festival launch party featuring a surprise headliner starting at 6 PM on the 3rd of June. Keep your eyes on LeeFest’s official Facebook page and Twitter feed, which are being updated with further details as the 2016 festival approaches.

LeeFest 2nd Poster

 

Preview: Roskilde Festival 2016

 
By on Monday, 2nd May 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Across 8 days in late June into early July, some of the biggest names in contemporary music, along with some incredible up-and-comers, will descend on the Danish island of Zealand to take part in the open-air Roskilde Festival. From the 25th of June to the 2nd of July, Roskilde will be featuring an incredible 183 acts across nine stages at the largest music festival in Northern Europe.

Wednesday will see the likes of Wiz Khalifa and At the Drive-In on the Arena stage, as well as Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on Avalon and Red Hot Chili Peppers as headliners on the Orange stage. Also on the Orange stage, earlier in the day, will be The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, a group of musicians torn apart by the war in Syria but reassembled in January of this year and who will be performing alongside Damon Albarn and guests. The orchestra, who have previously worked with Albarn on Gorillaz’ ‘Plastic Beach’ album, will be a sight to see. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, they look pretty incredible and I can only imagine how they sound live.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4wUt4PVtI[/youtube]

The always crowd-pleasing Hinds from Madrid, who released their debut LP ‘Leave Me Alone’ earlier this year, will be representing the Spanish indie rock scene. Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band of Ghana are sure to be a dance-fuelled joyful experience, bringing Afro-funk and a carnival-esque feel to the Avalon stage: a must catch for anyone wanting to experience a spectacular African inspired sound.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7S0mnaPNnI[/youtube]

On Thursday there’s another wide variety of acts to see, with most musical tastes catered to. Tenacious D, CHVRCHES, PJ Harvey, Santigold and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are a selection of the eclectic mix of acts that will be playing throughout the day. Dev Hynes as Blood Orange, who you will recall going by the name Lightspeed Champion in the past, is also among the line-up and will be one to catch for any soul/funk lovers, while London female post-punk outfit Savages are a good shout for anyone hoping to catch something a little heavier. You can also catch hitmaker Elle King, a dusky-voiced soul-rock singer who released her debut album in 2015 and whose banjo-laced music is given a country sounding edge, on Thursday.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uLI6BnVh6w[/youtube]

Moving on to Friday, there’s again plenty for everyone. Biffy Clyro will be playing on the Arena stage, which should be a good show considering the trio have just announced their new album ‘Ellipsis’, their newest since 2013. Foals will also be playing, along with Skepta, M83 and Neil Young and Promise of the Real. Aussies Tame Impala are not to be missed, as their infectious psychedelic pop rock will have even the stiffest of dancers bopping along. Also on Friday, James Blake will be playing, as well as the incredible Hurray for the Riff Raff, whose bluesy indie folk will be perfect for those that don’t fancy catching Biffy Clyro.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBzrzS1Ag_g[/youtube]

Saturday brings music behemoths New Order to the stage, along with LCD Soundsystem, Miike Snow and The Last Shadow Puppets (pictured at top in their younger days, but who have just released a new album.) I also came across Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra while researching the festival and am hooked on their funky, jazz-trimmed abstract style; I am now jealous of everyone that will get to see them in action. Brazilian-born singer/songwriter Dillon is not to be missed, his throaty voice and gentle, electronic melodies accompanied by piano evocative and moving. The Entrepreneurs are also worth catching: their lofty, eerie sound is described as “noise and romance” on the band’s Facebook, and this sums them up pretty well.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut2xTMVvh_8[/youtube]

The festival also offers, along with the incredible array of music detailed above, the opportunity to participate in or simply witness the mad splendour that is the annual Naked Run. Yes, that’s right, men and women competing in a race in all their naked glory for a ticket for next year’s festival. There are still tickets available for this year if you fancy getting involved in the action, and the festival website details travel and accommodation information.

 
 
 

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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