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Live Gig Videos: The Cure perform ‘Close to Me’ and ‘A Forest’ at Bestival 2011

 
By on Wednesday, 14th December 2011 at 4:00 pm
 

Legendary band the Cure have released two performance videos of their appearance at this year’s Bestival. Both ‘Close to Me’ and ‘A Forest’ (the audio versions, anyway) appear on the band’s ‘Bestival Live 2011’, released earlier this month.

You can buy the special 2 CD set now; all proceeds of this Sunday Best release go to the Isle of White Youth Trust. For more on this special double album, read Braden’s review.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pzcyGKu11M[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NYQo8OJAY4[/youtube]

 

Album Review: The Cure – Bestival Live 2011

 
By on Thursday, 8th December 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

When you’re in the Cure, you’ve got both a difficult and simple job when making a set list. When headlining one of the most reputable festivals in the country (Bestival), you’ve got to think of a few things. How many hits, how much newer music, how many fan specific favourites?  If you’re Arctic Monkeys, you might want to focus on a new direction. If you’re Muse, you may want to celebrate a specific album in full. Most bands generally choose a strong mix of new and old and throw a surprise in there, but the Cure simply can’t do that. They’ve got too much music to condense down to ‘hits vs new’. What they can do however is pull out all the stops on a roller coaster through their back catalogue. This is exactly what they did in their newest release, a live album called ‘Bestival Live 2011’ that was, yep, you guessed it, recorded at the Isle of Wight event this past September. This double album is even made more special in that all proceeds from the sale of this release will be going directly to the Isle of White Youth Trust, a local charity that provides counseling and support to young people who live on the island.

For many in the younger generation, the only Cure album they’ll own if any will be the Greatest Hits one, easily located in your local HMV so with twelve crossover tracks, from ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ through ‘Close to Me’, ‘Just Like Heaven’ and ‘The Lovecats’ (a song the band have only recently fallen back in love with live), that’s that group well and truly satisfied. That leaves 20 to go. Most of the rest is filled with the nearly greatest hits like the gladly renamed ‘Killing Another’ and absolutely beautiful opener Plainsong.

When your back catalogue reads like Robert Smith and company’s does, pulling out the likes of newer tracks from 2008’s ‘4:13 Dream’ album like ‘The Only One’ and ‘Hungry Ghost’ can bring a mixed response. On one hand, ‘The Only One’ is one of the strongest tracks on the album, whilst ‘Hungry Ghost’ has had limited outings, but somewhere in that huge crowd, someone just had their dream come true.

A double encore produces more from both crowd and band, as nothing can go wrong for the band on this night. As far an introduction to the Cure goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s so difficult to catch them live these days, as they do one European festival every year and a rare show outside of that, so to have the gold dust wrapped up in one, 2 and half hour package is something in itself. The Cure truly are one of our greatest exports, and Robert Smith the talisman at the front of it all, big hair and all.

9/10

The Cure’s live album ‘Bestival Live 2011’ is available now through Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best label. All proceeds go to the Isle of White Youth Trust, a charitable, independent and professional organisation offering counseling, advice, information and support services to young people aged 25 and under who live on the Isle of Wight (the home of Bestival) and, in some cases, their parents or carers.

 

Live Review: Slow Club at Camden Barfly – 26th September 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 11th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s been a busy few weeks for Slow Club. The duo have been on the biggest tour of their careers to date, playing to big capacity audiences across the country, including a huge show at Shepherds Bush Empire (during which they played an acoustic rendition of ‘Christmas TV’) and have generally been on the road promoting their latest album to their best ability.

Tonight is the end of that tour, the ‘Paradise’ album tour closing party at Camden Barfly. The Sheffield duo come on stage to a warm reception of mostly competition winners and open up with new single ‘Where I’m Waking’. It’s a highlight from the album and sounds just as fantastic in the live arena. Lyrics “you’ve got the brains I’ve got the body” are a far cry from debut album ‘Yeah So?’s meek beginnings. But then again, so is most of this album. ‘Paradise’ in whole sounds bigger, more grown up and generally a more rounded record. That said, that doesn’t make it better as some parts can make Slow Club sound a bit like just another duo.

‘Our Brilliant Friends’ soon follows, reminding everyone that Slow Club can still be the cute band everyone present fell in love with a few years ago, and the rapport that the band build with a crowd is something you can’t fake. Joking that they’d play some oldies (wahaaayyy) and some newies (wahaaayyy), the band make everyone in the room fall back in love with them, almost as much as their music.

You can really tell how much Slow Club have grown as a band on tracks like ‘Horses Jumping’. Almost a return to ‘Yeah So?’, it feels somehow more rich in sound, especially at the halfway point with the beautiful “good love is hard to regret, when you know it was real”, almost a soundtrack for repair for many in the future, I’m sure.

‘Two Cousins’, the first taste of ‘Paradise’ and first track of the new album is the main set closer. It brings along mild crowd participation for the first time all evening as there’s been a generally good, if quiet vibe in the Barfly tonight, and after a brief ‘showbiz’ interval, the band come back on and perform the loudest and best version of ‘Giving Up on Love’ I’ve heard to date. It, like much of Slow Club, oozes fun with a dark lyrical shine. A lot of drum hits later, the tour’s over and it’s back to whatever Slow Club do when they’re not touring.

 

Bingley Music Live: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 6th October 2011 at 5:35 pm
 

Sunday brings a third day of quality music over to Bingley, a place where most artists will admit they’ve never heard of, and only a few have ever played. Bingley Music Live has really brought big name acts out here and made a name for itself over the last few years and as the third day begins, you get a sense that it’s now an established festival that supports both local and up-and-coming acts as well as the all important ticket selling, fan pleasing headliners.

Having not learnt my lesson from yesterday, I was yet again thwarted by public transport on a Sunday afternoon, but I’m informed that Daley was beautiful to witness in the early afternoon sun. As I arrive at the festival, I’m subject to watching Stereo MCs performing what I’m told were their hits. A long time ago, this band might have been enjoyable live, but as it stands they look like the kind of ageing people that would be in the pool at a Butlins, avoiding their family and doing some sort of swimming aerobics whilst their grandchildren frolic about with rubber inflatables. That song where they say “yeah” a lot was bearable though.

Doing their very best to pick up the pace of things come The Sunshine Underground. A nearly band of lad rock, you can’t help but feel that if Oasis had adopted these guys as openers in their last years, TSU might have made a real go of it. Sadly, however, they’re destined to do their best to liven mid-afternoon crowds with their two albums worth of music. ‘Nobody’s Coming to Save You’ makes the crowds bob, yet nothing aside from their nearly hits from the first album makes people move. Shame.

Eliza Doolittle is up next though. Surely the genuine singalongs can start here? Yes! Finally today, you get polite movement and a genuine festival feeling as ‘Skinny Jeans’, ‘Pack Up’ and even a cover of Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’ make everyone start to smile again (‘Runaway’ actually gets a bigger singalong than most of Doolittle’s tracks, but I’m sure she won’t mind). Even the security make a go of it.

The bands on back to back next are a little dissimilar. With Chase and Status playing their final festival of the season later, The Coral take to a stage that they’re really never going to own and with an attitude that doesn’t appear at all enthusiastic. Even the odd summertime classic leaves the crowds questioning their billing. ‘In The Morning’ doesn’t even feature as the set is filled with their most recent album’s tracks. As enjoyable as the record is, it doesn’t translate on stage. Happily, they do at least play ‘Dreaming of You’ and ‘Pass It On’, which gets everyone warmed up just as they leave.

Twenty minutes later, it’s still light and the crowds are restless. With just two albums under their belt and even a few anthems in the making, Chase and Status’s live shows are more sought after than ever. Coming on to rapturous responses they get straight to it with new single ‘No Problem’. Manic dancing ensues and doesn’t stop for as long as the group play. As the sun goes down and darkness takes over Bingley, the band seem to be reinvigorated as collaboration artists appear on the big screens with huge graphic designs and pre-made videos. Urban music with a rock and roll feel has gained itself a huge reputation these days with everyone from Jay-Z to Pendulum using elements of it in their famously huge sets. Chase and Status bring this along as well and probably do it better than Pendulum do. There’s less annoying on stage talk but still enough to get everyone going. Bringing their main set to a close with ‘Fool Yourself’, it builds up and releases what you’d assume was the last piece of energy in everyone that’s been going all weekend long.

Wrong! Coming back out with ‘Blind Faith’ which features a hyped up Liam Bailey creates an atmosphere of completely blissful pandemonium as the backing track soars over the park and sends everyone home running on the last of their adrenaline. Of course there’s another firework show, but tonight has been all about that Chase and Status show. A fitting close to a genuinely fantastic small festival.

 

Bingley Music Live: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 5th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s the second day of Bingley Music Live ’11, the first of two paying days, but at £35 for the Saturday and Sunday, no one’s really complaining. It’s a far cry from neighbouring Leeds Festival as the 15,000 descend back on Myrtle Park, Bingley, readying themselves for a day of sunshine and music.

Due to the excess amount of people arriving in the area, trains are pushed to their limit on the arrivals front and as such, my first train of two for the day was delayed and I managed to miss the first three acts of the day and Dot Rotten is hardly my thing, but when White Denim come on, the fun really begins. They’re showmen at heart, not the most commanding or talkative towards crowds, but musically, showmen that could make most showboating guitarists blush. Their set is half an hour of mostly instrumental which allows the revellers to have a little dance, even if they have no idea who’s on stage in front of them for the most part. After them come another showman in the form of ex-Fratellis’ frontman, Jon Fratelli. Mixing his new solo material with a blend of full electric band and adding in a few ‘telli’s classics such as ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and ‘Whistle for the Choir’, he manages to rustle up a lot of good feeling across the site as people warm to both him and today’s scorching weather.

After a lengthy changeover (Fratelli had two drumkits: two!), it’s Athlete‘s turn to wow. As one of those bands with a fair few songs you know, but not many you associate with the band, the crowd appear pleasantly surprised as track by track they turn to their friends and go “hey, I know this one too!” and eventually surprise turns into genuine happiness as ‘Wires’ brings a heartwarming singalong from the assembled masses.

Mystery Jets bring another big show as they’re now so accustomed to doing. With tracks like ‘Two Doors Down’ through to ‘Serotonin’, and even a track with the Count and Sinden featuring to add a Feeder and Maximo Park. The former bring their latest album alive from what was a pretty average record to being a set of crowd pleasers in the form of ‘Renegades’ and ‘This Town’, whilst the bona-fide hits of ‘Buck Rogers’ and ‘Feeling a Moment’ get the crowd going as if they were back at Skindred’s show yesterday. Grant Nicholas and company have been in one of the most overlooked bands of their generation in my opinion as they’ve lacked complete consistency, but they’ve never been a group to disappoint in the live scenario as it’s constant hits and smiles from the trio. After a mere hour, Feeder’s set comes to an end and everyone brushes down in preparation for tonight’s best dressed headliners.

True to form, Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith dashes on to stage and instantly connects with the energy reserves of Bingley and from ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ onwards, he’s the most theatrical and enigmatic frontman of the day by far. Almost spitting out some of his lyrics, Smith appears invigorated by his spell as a solo artist and as such, being back with his band appears to have given them a new lease of life. New track ‘Waves of Fear’ blends in with both newer and older material with the likes of the beautiful ‘Going Missing’  and ‘The Kids Are Sick Again’’s “I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again” bringing delight from both performers and the newly found 15,000 strong backing vocalists (the singalong to the former being a weekend highlight). The north eastern band prove that they deserve their billing at the top of the weekend.

With the second firework display in 2 days, Bingley Music Live’s second day is over and the pandemonium is over. Everyone remembers how they fell for the day’s bands and I’m sure I’m not the only one who leaves wondering how I managed to hear so many hits in the space of one evening in West Yorkshire.

 

Live Review: Morning Parade at London Scala – 26th September 2011

 
By on Tuesday, 4th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s Monday evening at Scala, where Morning Parade are playing their biggest headlining show to date. Having toured with the likes of the Wombats and Kooks in the past, today’s the day they step out of the shadows and mark themselves out as a serious band. With the venue sold out just a few days prior to the gig and residents of Essex out in force to support their local lads, the band really need to impress with their new tracks.

Fortunately, they’ve got a fantastic warm up act in the form of VETO from Denmark. Their set brings a pace and atmosphere that keeps going for the whole time as their live setup is even more impressive than how they sound on record. As they finish, the band are given an applause that’s slightly more polite than the usual warm-up act would expect and the waiting begins for tonight’s headliners.

Coming on stage to a rapturous applause from a dedicated fanbase, the band leave everyone waiting for the tracks they know playing instead from recently streamed tracks in a setlist that sounds rehearsed to perfection. Gorgeous singalongs come in the form of ‘Monday Morning’and ‘A&E’. ‘Close to Your Heart’ sounds big, like, really big and you start to wonder if Morning Parade could be a real deal. They’ve certainly done their time at the bottom of the bill, and tonight is their coming of age. You can see how much this band mean to the people in attendance as a group of guys who are, for all intensive purposes, normal, show they have the potential to be a little bit exceptional.

Closing with ‘Under the Stars’ (video below), the band seem a little overwhelmed in parts, but they’ve risen to the occasion, even if Scala isn’t exactly Wembley Arena.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avilQ4O9Cz0[/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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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