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(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Live Gig Videos: The Crookes play ‘Sal Paradise’ and ‘Sofie’ at New York’s Bowery Electric

 
By on Tuesday, 7th January 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Just like Little Comets featured in our Live Gig Video feature yesterday, we’d been writing here at TGTF about the Crookes for a long time before they actually made it out to America to play some shows. Technically, their first American gig was at the Bowery Electric in New York City on the 17th of September last year, and I’m pleased to bring you two videos of ‘Sal Paradise’ and ‘Sofie’, aka tracks 7 and 8 on the band’s second album ‘Hold Fast’, filmed live that very night. Enjoy them below.

At 8 PM GMT tonight, I’ve been told personally that the Crookes are going to make a pretty special announcement about their third album; check in at their Facebook page at that time for more. Read the Bowery Electric review here and the review of the Brooklyn Union Hall show 2 nights later here. The band are scheduled to perform at this year’s SXSW in March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuCD1D9JmyM[/youtube]

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

 

Live Gig Video: The 1975 share tour video set to ‘Head.Cars.Bending’

 
By on Thursday, 21st November 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

When the The 1975 were in our fair country, they filmed quite a bit of footage on their travels, culminating in this well put together monochrome video soundtracked by ‘Heads.Cars.Bending’, featuring on the ‘Music for Cars’ EP, peppered with shots from their live appearances. Watch the video below.

Hey, wait a minute. Did I just see Brighton in there? Maybe it’s not just America then…ahhh, Great Escape memories…

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

 

Live Gig Video: The Crookes perform ‘Bear’s Blood’ and other songs and are interviewed by BreakThruRadio in New York

 
By on Wednesday, 30th October 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

Okay, so after a long 6 weeks, a live and session and interview the Crookes did while they were in New York last month for BreakThruRadio have finally surfaced. The entire almost 30-minute audio version is here; it’s not intuitive, you need to click that Play sign up at the top to play the feature. But for those of you requiring visual gratification, here’s a video featuring the full live version of ‘Bear’s Blood’, snippets of ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and parts of the interview, which, admittedly, doesn’t give you a whole lot of new information because if you’re a Crookes fan, you already know where ‘Bear’s Blood’ came from, yeah? Watch it below.

Our tag team coverage of the Crookes’ visit to New York included Carrie’s review of their Bowery Electric show the day after this BreakThruLive session and on guitarist Daniel Hopewell’s birthday, and my review of their appearance at Union Hall in Brooklyn.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIXwqr9lKDQ[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Daughter’s experience at Festival No 6, soundtracked by single ‘Amsterdam’

 
By on Tuesday, 29th October 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

One of the coolest new(er) festivals as of late is Festival No 6, taking place in the picturesque environs of Portmerion, North Wales. Daughter performed at this year’s event, and they filmed this video diary to document their day there, soundtracked by current single ‘Amsterdam’, from their debut album ‘If You Leave’ released back in March. Step into Elena Tonra et al.’s touring world in the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFwOr-FzeCg[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Tired Pony at Housing Works Bookstore, New York City – 25th September 2013

 
By on Thursday, 3rd October 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Photos by Julia Gray

Have you ever had that perfect storm kind of gig? You know the kind where the performance is exclusive, you’ve been personally asked to attend, friends from all over the country meet up there, and you hang with the former members of R.E.M. afterwards? No? Oh, sorry, then you better stop reading now.

Indie supergroup Tired Pony gave their one and only concert on the east coast last week in New York City (they did one in London and will do two in LA and that’s it!) It was a benefit gig at the Housing Works Bookstore and proceeds went to support the organization’s mission to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through advocacy and services. Additionally, it was the launch of Heaneyville, lead singer Gary Lightbody’s (Snow Patrol) new label. Named in honor of the recently departed Irish national treasure Seamus Heaney, it will release the band’s new album ‘Ghost of the Mountain’ in America. (Read Carrie’s review of the new album here.) It had been billed as an acoustic set with only about half of the members in attendance, but it turned out to be much more than that.

Tired Pony New York City 2013 1

Crammed on to the tiny back-of-the-room stage were eight – count ‘em EIGHT – players. All that was missing was Irish singer-songwriter Iain Archer who was ably replaced by Mike Mills (ex-R.E.M.) on Archer’s signature song. Not a bad substitute if there had to be one. Not so much a small acoustic set anymore, the band opened with the lead track from their new album ‘I Don’t Want You as a Ghost’. Quipping that they only had two albums to draw from Lightbody and Peter Buck (ex-R.E.M.) tore through a perfectly sequenced set that had the two floors of the bookstore buzzing.

Tired Pony New York City 2013 3

Songs like ‘Northwestern Skies’ and ‘I’m Begging You Not To Go’ had such a rich and complex rise and fall that I could barely take it all in. And has anyone noticed that Peter Buck is a truly spectacular guitar player? No? Well, I’m glad I got to clear that up. Stood directly in front of him, I was completely mesmerised by his playing. The guy isn’t flashy or animated, but the punctuated style he plays with is so eminently identifiable. Uber-producer Garrett “Jacknife” Lee (Snow Patrol, R.E.M., U2) was also there just killing it on guitar.

With as little an opportunity they get to rehearse, the band were remarkably tight. That’s what you get, though, with the caliber of people you have in this band. Rounding out the ensemble were drummer Richard Colburn (Belle and Sebastian), two keyboard players Scott McCaughey (ex-R.E.M.) and Troy Stewart (The Windsor Player), and locals bassist Richard Hammond and singer Rosi Golan. ‘Wreckage and Bone’ was a highlight of the show; identified as Lightbody’s favourite on the album, it was more complicated, almost syncopated, than the recorded version. ‘Blood’ also stood out with its driving opening and five guitars. It gave the chance for both Buck and Lee to shine with parts much more elaborately arranged than on the album.

Both Tired Pony albums are readily categorized as country-tinged Americana, but little of that comes through in the live performance. They have taken a truly outstanding set of music and transformed it into an exquisite live experience. Now if only they could tour this show!

Tired Pony New York City 2013 2

After the cut: the set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Tired Pony at Housing Works Bookstore, New York City – 25th September 2013

 

Live Review: Duologue with Wild Swim at London XOYO – 25th September 2013

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd October 2013 at 5:00 pm
 

With its rugged industrial charm and labyrinthine layout, XOYO has rightly garnered a reputation as something of a factory for fresh musical talent; churning out bands that, although by no means identikit, have all the fundamentals in place to become an integral component in the wider music scene. And, so it was that the night’s bill featured a final prototype in Wild Swim; innovative, raw and full of potential, alongside the second generation invention of Duologue, who tweaked their original design by performing a first set with string quartet in tow.

Wild Swim, a distinctly dapper denomination in today’s free-wheeling synth-pop realm of psychedelia, kicked off proceedings with the nostalgia of ‘I Know Where My Home Is’. Funk-laden bass lines underpinned the enigmatic stagemanship of Richard Sansom in a style reminiscent of New Order, belying their tender age and status as one of tomorrow’s hottest tickets. One form of‘80s stylisation gave way to another as the Oxfordian five piece took on a new romantic edge for their as yet unreleased track ‘Solace’. Here, the BPM received a real boost while the synth and keyboard was bought to the fore to mingle, in a distinctly Spandau Ballet fashion, with world music drums and a soaring vocal line.

A band’s true character emerges when, after months of rehearsals, something completely unexpected doesn’t quite go their way. So, as the feedback reached wince inducing pitch at the start of ‘Echo’, it was reassuring to see all five members stoically proceed through such a delicate, spacey number. The intro – a stripped back, nuanced affair to match the accompanying video – dropped into a perfectly executed timing change that kept the track on in the ascendency. Next, the band’s third single ‘New Dawn’ (set for release on the 21st of October) took a heavier approach, with powerful guitar chords, tribal drums and atonal vocal harmonies.

Although regularly compared to former fellow Oxford residents Foals (seemingly for that reason alone), ‘Deer Song’, with its neat harmonies and wholly danceable rhythm, was the first time that such a claim had been evident. A climactic number with so many aspects that it rarely repeated itself, Sansom declared that although they are still writing their first album, this track will make the final cut. Wild Swim’s final track of the night, ‘Too Late’, has also made the grade. The bass/vocal intro gave way to a deep groove and accomplished vocal melody that left the crowd in no doubt as to why the chatter around these boys is getting louder.

Later on, and to a now bursting room lit only in a UV glow, experimental five piece Duologue were given a rapturous welcome as they prepared to deliver a schooling in originality and vision. Through a fog of ominous bass sounds, accompanied by frontman Tim Digby-Bell taking a violin bow to his SG in honour of the band’s new string compatriots, came the shuddering bionic mass of ‘Machine Stop’, the opening track from their debut album ‘Song & Dance’. A pulsating broken beat over lofty vocal harmonies, everything about Duologue’s first track spoke of alienation in a hollow new world of connectivity.

Stood in almost total darkness, illuminated only by a flickering band of amorphous barcode, the band’s next number ‘Get Out While You Can’ was similarly atmospheric. Electronic gadgets, in life as in music, made the basics easier, enabling Duologue to focus their spare attention on finding another level. The synthesised beat kept things suspiciously tight, while the vocal looping and cheeky dubstep wobble bought them from an aurally analogue, to a digital world. The string quartet was subtly introduced on the suitably gothic ‘Underworld’, a mournfully dystopian track with a typically IDM beat and clever call-and-response vocal melody.

By now it was clear that although all the aspects of their sound fed into the same overall picture, there were subtleties to each track that made Duologue satisfyingly difficult to pigeonhole. ‘Constant’ was an indicator that the troupe could probably best be pinned to the hazy locality of post-‘Kid A’ Radiohead or, perhaps even more so, Thom Yorke’s solo Atoms for Peace material. ‘Talk Shop’ greatly lifted the pace of the set, and was somehow more accessible, if not lacking slightly in the technicality that had been exhibited so far. The room darkened again; the barcode reappeared and began to fold into a ball made of scratched lines as the band played on into ‘Gift Horse’, accompanied by a scuttling synth rattle and a burgeoning string section.

Both ‘Zeros’ and ‘Cut & Run’ were raw with an abrasive layer of feedback. After the latter, the lights went up (by little more than a watt), causing the illusion to go on temporary hiatus as the puppet masters were revealed. The pounding beat of Duologue’s final track, ‘Push It’, was mirrored by clapping and chanting from the clamouring crowd, who moved in a style more reminiscent of a rave than a gig. By now the barcode has morphed again into a billowing tapestry that folded and weaved into itself, as the industrial beat grew to a mighty closing crescendo.

Although the distance between the two bands was vast in terms of their influences, fan base and current career progression, what they both showed was that invention is having somewhat of a resurgence in music today. In booking bands with the understated pedigree of Duologue and Wild Swim, XOYO proved that their industrial model is not stuck in the age of mass production, but has rather diversified into the 3D printed tomorrow of customisable commodities.

 
 
 

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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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