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Sam Gellaitry / November 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 13th September 2018 at 9:00 am
 

To follow a few dates on the continent, Scottish electronic producer Sam Gellaitry has announced a handful of shows in the UK. Tickets to the shows listed below are all on sale now. Below the tour date listing, you can listen to a new track from Gellaitry, ‘long distance VIP’, in the embedded Soundcloud widget. Our past coverage on the artist from Sterling can be found through this link.

Friday 2nd November 2018 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Saturday 3rd November 2018 – Leeds Headrow House
Sunday 4th November 2018 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Tuesday 6th November 2018 – Brighton Green Door Store
Thursday 8th November 2018 – London Corsica Studios

 

(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Album Review: Sam Gellaitry – Escapism III EP

 
By on Tuesday, 11th April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Sam Gellaitry Escapism III EP album coverIf you haven’t yet heard of Scottish electronic producer Sam Gellaitry, you’d best be getting educated now. The prodigy from Stirling, who started making music at the tender age of 12 no less, appeared in a blizzard of appearances at SXSW 2017 last month, giving audiences in Austin a treat for the ears while letting them watch the master at work. I was lucky to see him open the 4AD showcase on the outdoor stage at the Mohawk on Friday night, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough time for me to enjoy his live artistry fully. Luckily for you and me, just last Friday he dropped the final part of an EP trilogy, ‘Escapism III’, so even if you haven’t had a chance to see him perform live, you can relish his songs in the privacy of your own home. And at less than 20 minutes in total length, you ought to give this collection a chance.

The first two tracks on the EP were revealed as early tasters, and it’s easy to see why. ‘The tropical aspect of ‘Jungle Waters’ comes from the vaguely tribal drum beats and plucks of a guitar. However, it’s Gellaitry’s virtual conducting of an emotionally rich string section, its swelling and falling, that are truly the star of the song. ‘Ceremony’ is more hip, more what most people would expect from a 21st century electronic producer. The breakneck speed of its rhythm and the elements added in only get broken up by the almost hymn-like synth chords that he uses to slow down the proceedings from time to time. The whimsical notes of a flute flit around like a butterfly, one that can’t land or stay for very long because the object of its affection is moving far too quickly.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m2lEprDrfo[/youtube]

Standout ‘Midnight Racer’ follows with more appropriately futuristic effects. There’s a lot going on here, but it’s never too much for a track that clocks in at less than 4 minutes. Glittery synth arpeggios gently lead you into the belly of the beast: a high-energy, yet blissed out track with harp strums and descending musical ‘bombs’. ‘Ever After’ closes the EP, slowing and smoothing things down but in Gellaitry’s way, with staccatoing jazzy and r&b notes bouncing off the background before we have to leave his world.

The most unusual moment on ‘Escapism III’ is ‘Acres’, a song that Gellaitry himself has confirmed contains no synths. Wait a minute, come again? No synths on an electronic music track? Let me explain. It wouldn’t be wrong calling Gellaitry a classical composer, that is, an alternative one who happens to use electronics means to arrive at an end. Angelic vocals, lush string orchestration and stark piano chords come together with what sounds like a mournful but reined in bagpipe line. The only clue that this could be possibly classed as dance is the light hand of an electronic drum beat. What is it that makes Sam Gellaitry a unique prospect and increases his potential for future success? His artistic technique can be approached intellectually by electronic heads like me, but anyone who has an appreciation for beautiful music can also be drawn into the soundscapes he creates and easily. ‘Escapism III’ is electronic music as cerebral as you want it to be.

8.5/10

The ‘Escapism III’ EP by Sam Gellaitry is available now from Beggars imprint XL Recordings. I suspect that this Scottish wunderkind will be wowing us with new music sooner than later, so bookmark this link to what should be a growing archive of coverage on the electronic musician and producer.

 

SXSW 2017: Get Buzzzed at the Brew Exchange and pop-ins at Output Belfast, the Glasgow Buckaroo and Sunday Best showcases (Friday, part 1) – 17th March 2017

 
By on Tuesday, 4th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

Getting away from the general hive of activity in Austin, at least once, is a good thing. Our friends at Music for Listeners put on several days of free afternoon shows out at El Sapo. West of Congress Avenue, there’s Waterloo Records and Whole Foods and their free shows. There’s also a whole host of bars that turn into venues while a whole bunch of people who are in town for SXSW remain oblivious to them. I’d never been to The Brew Exchange, but I took the opportunity to check it and the Get Buzzzed showcase sponsored by a few different music companies early Friday afternoon. While I was out there, Carrie held down the fort at the BMI brunch at The Four Seasons.

Mt. Wolf, Get Buzzzed showcase, The Brew Exchange, Friday 17 March 2017

Remember what I said about maximising your number of acts seen by visiting venues that have two stages? The Brew Exchange has two and with staggered set times, you could enjoy the music while also enjoying one of the many beers on tap, because what else would a place with a name like The Brew Exchange offer up in libations? Atmospheric electronic pop group Mt. Wolf played first on the stage actually inside the venue. (I also saw them Tuesday night at ScratcHouse at the Killing Moon / ReverbNation showcase there, as well as Thursday at the British Music Embassy.) Electro soul pop duo Aquilo followed them, playing with their backs to the open windows at the front of the place. Following two great but all too brief performances, Tom Higman and Ben Fletcher of Aquilo and I took a walk around the corner to do this interview.

Aquilo, Get Buzzzed showcase, The Brew Exchange, Friday 17 March 2017

Something I revel in when I’m at a music festival is talking to fellow music fans. On my walk back to the British Music Embassy, I met an Austinite who was a fellow hat wearer on this windy day, and we struck up a conversation. We had a mutual love for dance and electronic music, so I knew I had someone to show him back at Latitude 30. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but my new acquaintance was best buds with the bouncer there, ha!

Ryan Vail, Output Belfast showcase British Music Embassy, Latitue 30, Friday 17 March 2017, 2

I had been rushing back to catch Derry electronic musician and producer Ryan Vail, who had first performed in Austin that week on the Generator NI and Belfast City Council-sponsored riverboat cruise that Carrie covered for us. I was eager to check out his live show. Our Adam had spoken highly not only of Vail’s music, having seeing him at an Output Belfast showcase in February, but also of the visuals by Plume Studios that were projected behind him as he performed. The combination of music and projection reminded me of Rival Consoles’ (Ryan L. West) performance on the same stage 2 years prior and also at The Great Escape 2015, both which I highly enjoyed. I was pleased to learn from Vail himself after his set that he not only knew of Rival Consoles but that they were fans of each other’s music. Hey Ryans, you gotta tour together. DO IT!

Ryan Vail, Output Belfast showcase British Music Embassy, Latitue 30, Friday 17 March 2017, 2

Vail is a unique electronic artist, in that he is equally comfortable with emotional, starker pieces, where the focus is on the piano, as he is with the comparatively more forward-thinking, ambient soundscapes within which he calls on his various effects and sequencers to help him build the experience. He is also not too shy to sing, which not all electronic musicians are eager to do, but I don’t think many of them fully understand this adds an important human touch that non-electro heads appreciate. I am always on the hunt for an engaging beat and an electronic tune that draws me in, and Ryan Vail’s music succeeds on both counts. Two thumbs way up.

I’m going to fast forward past my second time seeing / dragging Carrie to witness Welsh group The Sandinistas’s set at Valhalla and sitting in on Simon Raymonde’s talk with Eric Pulido of Midlake and BNQT fame and actor and music lover Jason Lee at the convention. It’s now night, and I’m queuing outside the Mohawk, a place I have to admit I’ve avoided since the tragic car crash in front of it during SXSW 2014. I was joined in the queue with a Japanese woman from a Kyoto blog who was very excited to see The Lemon Twigs. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the CD of Kyoto (Kyotan?) bands she gave me, but I hope to soon.

The Mohawk indoor stage was to be invaded by Scots via a showcase dubbed The Glasgow Buckaroo. It has been a few years since Scotland has had an entire showcase to themselves, so their return to Austin with the most bands from their region in recent memory was entirely welcome. Glaswegians Catholic Action, starring former Casual Sex drummer turned effective frontman Chris McCrory, would begin the festivities with their brand of fun, clap-happy pop/rock.

Catholic Action, The Glasgow Buckaroo, Mohawk indoor, Friday 17 March 2017

Is it wrong to compare them to the Beatles? The comparison seems inevitable tonight, as McCrory is sporting a floppy black hat that seems a purposeful nod to John Lennon. Will Catholic Action be the Next British Guitar Band, via Mud? The jury is still out on this but for sure, they had many a tail feather shaking at both the Mohawk and the British Music Embassy later that evening, as I can fully attest to.

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

Appropriately enough, the outdoor stage at Mohawk was revving up with another Scottish act. Young Sam Gellaitry began 4AD’s night there with his take on electronic dance, stood in front of his Macbook and equipment high above all of us. In this day and age, it’s unusual to describe the music from an electronic artist whose focus is on dance as “cinematic”, but I’d have to agree with Billboard here.

Sam Gellaitry, 4AD showcase, Mohawk outdoor, Friday 17 March 2017

Despite his young age, it’s obvious from listening to his tunes that the Stirling native has a lot of imagination and ideas, but he’s also honed his craft to be able to strike the balance between weird and wonderful and providing the masses something they’re going to embrace and dance to. I thought he was incredible. I was practically weeping that I had to leave his set early. Mark my words, one day I will interview him.

Speaking of weird, I was out of the Mohawk and down the street quickly to catch a bit of recent Sunday Best signing Laucan. Laurence Galpin performed as the first artist of the Rob Da Bank label’s showcase at Valhalla, where Carrie and I had been that afternoon. The alt-folk artist was joined by a cellist, as well as a backing track coming through the speakers of the venue that can only be described as vaguely terrifying. You don’t expect to hear other voices other than the performer on stage, so I was sufficiently weirded out by both that and the disorienting darkness of Valhalla. Galpin quipped that his intention for the set was for it to be truly an “immersive experience”, so he should consider his appearance there a success, even if it was a bit muted.

Laucan, Sunday Best Records showcase, Valhalla, Friday 17 March 2017

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Scottish artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Thursday, 9th March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

In past years, we have gone through peaks and troughs with respect to the number of Scottish acts who come out to showcase at SXSW. I’m pleased to announce that as of the time of this posting, 13 acts are scheduled to appear at SXSW 2017, the largest number in recent memory. The summaries of acts below were written by Steven Loftin, except where noted. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Be Charlotte – pop / Dundee
What pop music sounds like when it comes from Dundee: that’s Be Charlotte. You find yourself drawn in by the obviously melodic, yet also cacophonous music, and you stay for the vocals that cut through and have an incredibly strong Scottish accent that for reason enthralls you. Or maybe that’s just me.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoCMTVDW04k[/youtube]

Catholic Action – pop / Glasgow
Catchy indie pop that has an alluring rawness, as if you’re listening to a band in a bedroom rather than a reasonably established DIY band. Their track ‘Rita Ora’ – yep, an ode to Rita Ora – is catchy, swift and poppy. What more could you want?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86kSAB23nDY[/youtube]

C. Macleod – singer/songwriter / Stornoway
If I had to fathom a guess, someone with name C. Macleod isn’t looking to make a big splash. Instead, this Stornoway native is all about careful, thoughtful songcraft. A driving, Springsteen-esque feel pervades his debut single ‘Dream’, feeling less loner and more expansive than you’d expect from a native of the Isle of Lewis. FFO: Bruce Springsteen, The National, The War on Drugs (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2c7UiN8-5E[/youtube]

Elle Exxe – pop / London via Edinburgh
Listed as ‘dirty pop’, that’s definitely the best way to describe Elle Exxe (pictured at top). There’s a distinct edge to her music that doesn’t fall in line with your ‘paint-by-numbers’ pop formula. An attitude that is where Charli XCX should’ve been heading toward, she’ll be a household name by 2018. We called it first. Check out Rebecca’s review of Elle’s debut album ‘Love Fuelled Hate’ from last autumn through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd9si_HbBtI[/youtube]

Happy Meals – synthpop / Glasgow
Lewis Cook and Suzanne Rodden comprise Happy Meals, a disco-leaning synthpop band based in Glasgow. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t disco in the style of Donna Summer or other tunes spun at Studio 54. Their minimalist yet space age-y style of dance, accompanied by Rodden’s vocals sometimes in English, sometimes French, adds to the eclectism. I will bet you that you will hear no-one else like Happy Meals in Austin in March. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7tHtbaQN7s[/youtube]

PAWS – punk / Glasgow
Some more of that home bred punk rock. PAWS are another band who are going from strength to strength with a raw, melodic sound. SXSW should see them take Texas by storm, especially after the release of their third full length last year.

Pinact – punk / Glasgow
Back with even more punk for SXSW, Pinact are on the louder and harsher side of the spectrum. Pleasing but still with an edge that means your parents won’t like it, they’re another Scottish band who take the angst that is apparently rife there and execute it like all your favourites do.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSfC_9HrhxQ[/youtube]

The Pooches – pop / Glasgow
Glasgow’s Pooches create some beautiful guitar pop that never fails to leave you satisfied. Releasing their self-titled debut late last year, the band aren’t afraid of sticking out of the crowd with their wry yet upbeat pop sound.

Sam Gellaitry – electronic / Stirling
Already signed to XL Records, a powerhouse of a label in the indie world, Sam Gellaitry knows his way around a beat or two. He takes that urban London feeling, which you may or may not be familiar with, and crafts it into easy listening electronic tracks.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7W4t0ClwDg[/youtube]

Spinning Coin – psych rock / Glasgow
You guessed it, another Glaswegian band. They do it well up in Scotland, birthing bands that craft sounds that somehow give none of the fucks while simultaneously giving them all. Keeping it DIY, they released their debut 7″ last year and have no intentions of stopping there. Not to mention their apparently visceral live show, what’s not to love?

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

The Spook School – pop / Edinburgh
The kind of band to not take themselves too seriously while ensuring they keep a solid message in their tunes (see: ‘Burn Masculinity’). With a sound that’s a mixture between indie and DIY punk, there’s no bells and whistles, which completely suits their styling down to the ground. [Having appeared at SXSW last year, we sincerely hope this time they bring suncream. -Ed.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGGj5_7dx0o[/youtube]

The Van T’s – surf rock / Glasgow
Cleverly made up of two twins, Charlotte and Hannah Van Thompson, along with Joanne Forbes and Shaun Hood, The Van T’s are a part of Glasgow’s burgeoning and bustling rock scene. Surf pop/rock ‘n’ roll might not be game changing but it sure is fun. [Sadly, we’ve received word that The Van T’s will not be showcasing in Austin this year. – Ed.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAe7wJK_SXQ[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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.

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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