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Video(s) of the Moment #1685: Hozier

 
By on Saturday, 22nd November 2014 at 10:00 am
 

Irish singer/songwriter Hozier has upped the ante once again, unveiling not one but two separate videos for his recent single ‘From Eden’. The song features on both his self-titled debut album and the earlier ‘From Eden’ EP. The album version of the song is slightly different to the EP version, and the new official video highlights one of the main differences between the two iterations, namely the slithering, flamenco-flavoured instrumental bridge. The video takes a slightly off-kilter view of the oft-celebrated Bonnie and Clyde scenario, perfectly synching the crisis point of the dramatic action with the aforementioned bridge section.

In addition to the official video, Sofar Sounds have just premiered a live performance video from Hozier’s appearance at their Manchester showcase back in September. The intimate Manchester performance features a stripped back version of ‘From Eden’, emphasising Hozier’s soulful singing and bluesy acoustic guitar chops over his sense of dramatic flair. The skillfully edited video below demonstrates both the high quality of Hozier’s musicianship and the cozy, informal atmosphere that has become synonymous with Sofar Sounds. Watch both below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/cI0wUoCLnLk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/QoK3he5Ugvw[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Syd Arthur with Weird Shapes at Newcastle Cluny 2 – 25th September 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 4th November 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Syd Arthur have arguably the best, and most relevant, band name in the business. One half of it is evocative of Syd Barrett, the tragic genius who created Pink Floyd. Regardless of the lumpen cash cow that band have evolved into, early Floyd were genuine psychedelic pioneers, as a casual listen to ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ will reveal, a state of affairs largely thanks to Barrett’s influence. That, and a cupboardful of psychoactive drugs. And the other half of the name may well be interpreted to imply Arthur Brown, a less tragic and more alive fellow practitioner of ‘60s psychedelic music, this time with a side order of proto-glam rock. Brown is still active, releasing records and touring, and if Syd Arthur are indeed paying respect to him in their name, and Brown’s career receives the shot of popularity it richly deserves because of that, then they will have done a very fine thing indeed. For Arthur Brown, read the English Tom Waits. He really is that good.

But, whoa! What’s that you say? Siddhartha is the birth name of the founder of Buddhism? “The awakened one” himself? He who preached the ultimate goal of attaining the sublime state of nirvana? So by clever wordplay, the band announce themselves, before nary a note has been played, as being familiar with psychedelia’s back story, by way of ancient, peaceful religious practice, and, by implication, a decent amount of long hair, paisley throws, and incense. Pretty clever.

Stockton’s Weird Shapes are up first. They could be described as a “kitchen sink” band – there’s two guitars, bass, keyboards and lots of vocal harmonising. Their songs share the same wide ambition – there’s touches of ’80s electro-pop in the staccato arpeggiation ‘Clouds’, and nothing so mundane as a conventional arrangement, as the song gently bobs along without a recognisable chorus. What doesn’t come through in their recorded material is their fondness for a bit of funky math-rock – when they want to they can wig-out with abandon, if with their characteristic inscrutable song structures. Perhaps a band to learn on record before their live show can be completely appreciated.

Syd Arthur are three albums into their career now, and in that time they have achieved a maturity that puts them firmly in the same league of any psychedelic band one would care to mention. They are capable of recreating that heavily-reverbed, mightily-phased, British late-‘60s wall of sound, as on ‘Garden of Time’ from latest collection ‘Sound Mirror.’ Conversely, they can do a decent stab at airy, laid-back funk. Singer and guitarist Liam Magill looks like he aspires to a psychokinetic relationship with his voice and instrument: small, instinctive flicks of his guitar’s vibrato arm and subconscious vocal inflections portray a man at one with his music. His voice has a classic folk tremolo, and his spidery finger-style guitar technique mirrors his slight frame; the whole effect is both delicate and impactful, a description which neatly sums up the band’s sound as a whole.

Just as compelling are the activities of multi-instrumentalist (and nephew of Kate) Raven Bush. He’s in charge of a lovely retro-looking synth, he twists a violin’s squalls into beautiful harmony with the rest of the band. But best of all, he plays a mandolin as if it were an electric guitar: lithe, overdriven lead lines pour out of it in ways which surely no luther ever intended. All three guitarists have an extensive pedal board, which arouses much geeky interest in the post-gig aftermath.

But the best compliment that can be paid is this: despite the extensive use of effects, nothing of the sound is forced, there is no pretence at faux-retro here. Syd Arthur are the genuine article, both in terms of their extensive catalogue, and of their sound, which sounds nothing so much as if it’s being played from a vinyl record. In many ways they are the British version of White Denim: a lithe, virtuoso outfit purveying a style which is at once indebted to the past, respectfully referencing those who have gone before, whilst simultaneously sounding utterly modern, and like nothing other than themselves. And I can think of no higher compliment than that.

 

Live Gig Video: Sivu performs ‘Better Man Than He’ in Cap Blanc Nez for La Blogotheque

 
By on Friday, 10th October 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

French Web site La Blogotheque does atmospheric on location filming very, very well. Take for example their most recently revealed video featuring Sivu, who will be releasing his debut album ‘Something on High’ on Monday on Atlantic Records. The album’s stunning, I can assure you; I reviewed it earlier this week.

This live video takes us to Cap Blanc Nez, a cape in Northern France with stunning cliffs ala the White Cliffs of Dover, and Sivu’s accompanied by a brass band. While Sivu will be playing London Oslo Hackney next Tuesday, the 14th of October, as well as continuing as the primary support for Nick Mulvey on his UK tour which lands tonight in Falmouth, you’re unlikely to see a performance of ‘Better Man Than He’ like this at those shows. Watch the video with a gorgeous French sunset in the background below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4I8bA08yWU[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Josh Homme performs acoustic Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘Long Slow Goodbye’ on MTV Soundchain

 
By on Thursday, 2nd October 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

I think it’s safe to say that being Zane Lowe is a pretty cool thing. The list of brilliant things that only Lowe has gotten to experience just keeps growing, including this appearance by Josh Homme on the MTV programme Lowe hosts called Soundchain. The Queens of the Stone Age frontman played an acoustic version of ‘Long Slow Goodbye’, appearing on the QOTSA 2005 album ‘Lullabies to Paralyze’, just for him. Watch the performance below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeGpQDQvkK8[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Teleman at Mercury Lounge, New York City – 25th September 2014

 
By on Monday, 29th September 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Despite not being a native New Yorker and living over 200 miles southwest of the place, I have been slowly but surely chipping away at my list of venues to see in the Big Apple. In the second half of last week, I finally got to witness London-based Teleman live, twice, during their first visit to our country and my first experience of the Mercury Lounge on East Houston Street. This review focusses on their first show in the Lower East Side, but later on this piece, I’ll briefly mention the differences between the two shows.

When I first arrived, slightly winded having just taken the train up from Washington and worried I was going to miss the start of their set, I was relieved to see they were still setting up. I’m not sure if this will continue, but the each member of the band – comprising ex-Pete and the Pirates members Tommy Sanders (vocals / guitar), his brother Jonny (keyboard / synths) and Pete Cattermoul (bass guitar) along with drummer Hiro Amamiya – is wearing a different shirt, each incorporating the three colours of yellow, red and blue that figure as dots on the abstract album art for their Moshi Moshi Records debut ‘Breakfast’ (reviewed by me here). Considering that since fashion-wise color blocks are still in, maybe they’re just ahead of this industry’s curve?

I think it’s always a precarious thing to go watch a band perform one of your favourite albums of the year. I do, however, always remember something Ed Macfarlane said a long time ago in a Friendly Fires interview, which was generally of the sentiment that your live show should bring something different to the table, because if someone wanted to hear the album reproduced faithfully live, they might as well listen to the album. I don’t know if you could blame the tentativeness in the first half of Teleman’s set on nerves, but the punchiness of first two songs ‘In Your Fur’ and ‘Mainline’ you hear on the album seemed not to translate live. As I was stood there down the front at Mercury Lounge, I noticed how crisp and clear the guitar notes sounded in the place, which seemed odd to me but amazing at the same time, if I compared it to the varying degrees of muddle I’m accustomed to.

Actually, muddling might have been a benefit to the set, as the conclusion of ‘In Your Fur’ was an extended psych rock out jam session. Similarly, insistently rocky ‘Steam Train Girl’ was also lengthened, much to the delight of the girls in front of me who were having a whale of a time, kicking their heels up to the music. The Teleman sound is definitely of the toe-tapping variety but not exactly designed for ravers. ‘Skeleton Dance’, arguably the most dancey of all the tracks on the debut album, with the brothers Sanders synths and guitar coming together harmoniously.

‘Breakfast’ most truly beautiful moments came across wonderfully live, as the trifecta of the bright yet regretful ‘Monday Morning’, the heart-pounding drums of past single ’23 Floors Up’ and almost nursery rhyme simplicity of the melody in ‘Lady Low’ in quick succession becomes the sonic equivalent of being simultaneously socked in the stomach and the heart. Sadly, due to the early show curfew, the set was cut short, with ‘Redhead Saturday’ not getting an airing until the next night at Glasslands in Williamsburg.

Still, quite possibly the crowning moment for those people so adamant that Teleman must be Kraftwerk obsessives (for the record, it’s not true, according to an interview Tommy did with Under the Radar magazine here in the States), hidden album track ‘Not in Control’ is directed by its beats, leading punters at both New York shows to bop to the rhythm and some cases, leaving them in a psych-ey, trance-like state that you wouldn’t see at a ‘pop’ show. I think the more the band tour this album, the better their set will be. Oh, and sorry to anyone who wants to request a Pete and the Pirates song, such as the couple who shouted for ‘Cold Black Kitty’. They don’t remember the chords.

After the cut: Teleman’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Teleman at Mercury Lounge, New York City – 25th September 2014

 

Live Gig Video: Marika Hackman performs stripped back version of ‘Cinnamon’ at London Toe Rag Studios

 
By on Wednesday, 24th September 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Brighton singer/songwriter Marika Hackman has some exciting news. She’ll be releasing her debut album ‘We Slept at Last’ in February 2015, composed of previously unreleased songs. One song that won’t appear on the new album is ‘Cinnamon’, as it appeared on Hackman’s ‘Sugar Blind’ EP, which came out in December 2013. Watch this mesmerising, stripped back performance of the song in the analogue-only Toe Rag Studios in London below.

Marika will be on tour in the UK in November.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxqjlV68jm8[/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.

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