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Video of the Moment #2917: Slaves

 
By on Wednesday, 9th January 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

I think at some point in our lives, we’ve all imagined what our musical heroes must have been like as children. Slaves decided to take this very idea and make a music video for their song ‘Photo Opportunity’ of their younger alter-egos carousing Tunbridge Wells as we might have dreamt of them doing. Or at least this what Isaac and Laurie thought they should be doing as best buddies. As I mentioned in my review from last summer, ‘Photo Opportunity’ is one of the more intriguing songs on their third album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ because it provides surprising snapshots into their feelings of insecurity and lack of direction that you don’t expect from two blokes from Kent who have so many fans. Watch the heart-tugging promo video below; the single officially drops on the 22nd of February on Virgin EMI. Slaves’ third album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ is available now. We’ve written quite a bit on Slaves over the years; the full archive can be accessed starting from here.

 

Video of the Moment #2898: Slaves

 
By on Monday, 15th October 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

In case you somehow missed this, punk duo Slaves released their third album back in August. ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ by the lads from Kent is a highly enjoyable listen; read my review of the long player through here. As in the promo video for ‘Cut and Run’ that we featured back in June as a Video of the Moment, the new video for ‘Magnolia’ takes them out of their usual (musical) element. This time, they’re painters, which makes sense, given that the song is a blistering “ode to that creamy off-white paint colour that Holman insists lives on at least one wall in 65% of UK homes” as I wrote in the aforementioned review. It wouldn’t be a Slaves video if it didn’t end with some debauchery, eh? Watch it all unfold in the promo below. ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ is available now from Virgin EMI / AMF Records. For more on TGTF on the Kent duo, go here.

 

Album Review: Slaves – Acts of Fear and Love

 
By on Monday, 13th August 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Slaves Acts of Fear and Love album coverKent punks Slaves started 2018 with releasing the first record from their own record label Girl Fight, Lady Bird’s ‘Social Potions’, in February. A music editor’s first thought upon hearing a band has started their label is to wonder whether the band plan to reduce their own creative output to nurture other artists. Put away that worry for the time being with ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, Slaves’ third studio LP, which follows 2016’s ‘Take Control’. Following their brief flirtation with hip-hop and collaboration with Beastie Boys’ Mike D on track ‘Consume or Be Consumed’, the pair decided to return to work with Jolyon Thomas, producer of their breakthrough debut album ‘Are You Satisfied?’

The record begins with the “OI!” and dissonant guitar notes of acerbic ‘The Lives They Wish They Had’. Lyrically, it’s a blistering commentary on the pretty people who don’t care about anything except posing for photos on their phones and posting them on social media, but it’s not particularly fast. As an opener, this works well to ease the listener in for what’s up ahead. The most abrasive of all is ‘Bugs’, with brutalist guitar riffs and pounding drums accompanying lead singer Isaac Holman’s growls. “Another letdown generation! / Full of inaccurate information! / Another letdown generation!”: there seems no other intention but to rile up the fans to shout along with him. On the other side of the spectrum, pop-punk previously released single ‘Cut and Run’ is the most accessible track here, with its fast tempo and relatively reserved lead vocals from Holman. Jarring squeals of microphone feedback in the last third of the track seem to be the one rebellious moment, you know, in case you’ve somehow missed that this is a Slaves single.

There are some signs that that Holman and his compadre Laurie Vincent may want to be known for more than just loud instruments and shouting: take, for example, ‘Daddy’, which features only melodic notes from an electric guitar for instrumentation. “There were things he wishes he did / back when he was a kid” laments Holman, who is occasionally accompanied by the sweet voice of a female backing vocalist. Makes one wonder if Holman, now with a toddler of his own, has begun questioning his own mortality and is heading for the mid-life crisis he sings about. Guitars grind and drums pound on the title track, but only in between Holman’s wry observations on life, or perhaps more correctly, regret: “it’s funny how you forget things / so important at the time / it’s funny how you forget things”.

‘Chokehold’, the other single to precede the album’s release, is a sneering retelling of being dumped, surprising in that Holman admits that in the presence of his mates “I pretended that I didn’t care / but on the inside I was burning, my eyes trembling”. It seems the lads have grown up, previously lashing out at ‘Angelica’ on the last go-around, now having been in a more committed relationship where real feelings were felt and hearts were broken. The guitar lines on ‘Magnolia’, an ode to that creamy off-white paint colour that Holman insists lives on at least one wall in 65% of UK homes, bear similarity to those on ‘Chokehold’. Er, maybe ‘ode’ is the wrong word to use. On the track, Holman mocks conformity and living up to societal ideals but in a different way to ‘The Lives They Wish They Had’.

‘Photo Opportunity’ is the most interesting track on ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, as it seems to be a snapshot of what’s going on in Holman and Vincent’s heads these days. In between the loud bursts of sound, the dueling thoughts of not wanting to be stopped by a fan for a photograph and feeling directionless despite having ‘made it’ reminds us that for all their fame, they’re just normal blokes who have their moments of insecurity and lack of direction. While the overall sound of this third album from Slaves is indeed louder and more primal than on ‘Lose Control’, the surprising moments of nonaggression suggest there might be a day when Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent want more than to shout at us and make our ears bleed. It’s a conclusion I’m pleasantly surprised they’ve arrived to faster than I expected.

8.5/10

Slaves’ third studio album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ will be out this Friday, the 17th of August, on Virgin EMI / AMF Records. They’ll be touring the UK in November. To catch up on our past coverage of Slaves on TGTF, come through.

 

Video of the Moment #2850: Slaves

 
By on Thursday, 14th June 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Has there ever been a Slaves promotional video that wasn’t at least halfway amusing? Probably not. Good thing, then, that ‘Cut and Run’ is another in the long line of past vids from Isaac and Laurie. The word on the street is that the song was inspired by a visit by a Tory councillor to Isaac’s front door. What exactly that has to do with the anarchic duo showing up at a gym and working out, I don’t really know, but it seems to suit the poppier than normal for Slaves vibe in this song. Watch the video below, and hang around until the end for some additional funny outtakes. Stay tuned, a third album is on the horizon. For much more on Slaves here on TGTF, go here.

 

Preview: The Great Escape 2017

 
By on Thursday, 11th May 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Now May is upon us, and 2017’s festival season is beginning to rear its beautifully sunburnt and rain-soaked head. Before all the festival giants appear later in the summer, your Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, etc., it’s the turn of the smaller gems, including The Great Escape. A festival noted for both its industry focus and incredible ability to highlight those new acts worth following, The Great Escape is now a rite of passage for those in, around or outside the industry. We’re sure you’re more than aware of The Great Escape and all it offers, but just in case, think SXSW just far less warmth and people: this isn’t Texas, after all. It’s filled with industry-based conferences, which may or may not be your thing, it appeals to movers and shakers as well as opportunists, all with a lovely seaside setting in Brighton.

For its twelfth outing, the 400 act-strong lineup is littered with the best and brightest from around the world, including Spotlight shows at the Dome with Brit-punk duo Slaves, current household name Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, as well one at the Old Market by grime forefather Kano. There’s a little something for everyone spread out over the 3 days and 30-odd venues, from hip-hop to indie, and everything in between.

It would be amiss for us to not give you a little help on deciding who to see, so here’s a few of our choice picks, starting with the ridiculously funky and impossible not to dance to Artificial Pleasure. With echoes of Bowie and Talking Heads – a winning combination if there ever was one – the foursome create true earworms and are definitely ones to watch. Getting things a bit punkier are Norway’s Sløtface. At the forefront of the new class of punk, they support equality and aren’t afraid to call out bullshit with ridiculously catchy melodies and choruses you’ll be singing for months after. Considering they’re four college students, they’ve already made waves bigger than the English Channel, including a successful trip over to SXSW. We also suggest nine-member Canadian jazz group Busty and the Bass. A fusion of jazz, hip-hop and electro-soul, this group will give you a guaranteed good time filled with beats and breaks that will have you reeling for days.

As with all events like this, you never know quite what could happen. Bands pop up all around the vicinity doing last-minute shows, collaborations between new and old friends. Like we mentioned in last year’s preview piece, Brighton is already a melting pot of creativity and arts: The Great Escape is just more fuel for the fire. So get yourself down to The Great Escape next weekend for a few days of sea, sun (hopefully) and music. Throughout this little festival, it’ll be impossible to not find an act you like. It’s a special, vibrant time that’ll guarantee you a good time.

Only 3-day festival passes are currently available. Passes for 18+ festival-goers are £65; a cheaper alternative giving 16- and 17-year olds access to the venues they can enter is available for £32. While Slaves and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s Spotlight shows at Brighton Dome are now sold out, you can register here to enter the giveaway for tickets to their shows and Kano’s show at the Old Market. Full delegate badges giving access to both the convention and the festival showcases are still available for £250; convention-only badges are sold out. Watch an early trailer for the festival below. To read more of our coverage of past editions of The Great Escape, go here.

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

 

Live at Leeds 2017 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets

 
By on Wednesday, 19th April 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: as we always recommend in all of TGTF’s festival previews, the information we post here on Live at Leeds 2017 is current at the time of posting. We strongly encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2017 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds on Saturday the 29th of April are still available at the bargain price of £32.50 plus handling if purchased online; VIP tickets are sold out. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2017 alums: Here’s a list of artists we either saw last month in Austin who we enjoyed AND/OR we previewed ahead of the festival -AND- will also be appearing at Live at Leeds in 2 Saturdays’ time. For your convenience, I’ve listed them in order of appearance on the day so you can slot them into your growing schedule. The best of the best are marked with an asterisk. (*)

LIFE (2:00 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents]) *
Ten Tonnes (2:00 PM, Chapel) *
Airways (3:00 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents])
Jade Bird (4:30 PM, Faversham Patio)
Annabel Allum (5:00 PM, Social)
Be Charlotte (5:00 PM, Faversham)
IDLES (7:15 PM, Key Club [DORK Stage])
She Drew the Gun (8:00 PM, Wardrobe)
Temples (8:00 PM, Church)
Lewis Watson (8:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
The Academic (9:00 PM, Lending Room [WTGR Stage]) *
Dream Wife (9:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY Stage])
Slaves (9:00 PM, Academy)
Flamingods (9:45 PM, Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 [Dr. Martens Presents])
Rag‘n’Bone Man (9:45 PM, Leeds University Union Refectory)
The Big Moon (10:00 PM, Brudenell Social Club [DIY Stage])
GURR (10:45 PM, Brudenell Social Club Games Room [DIY Neu Stage])
AJ Tracey (11:00 PM, Faversham)
Let’s Eat Grandma (11:00 PM, Chapel)

To add to the best 3 from above and round things out to a even 10 acts, here are an additional 7 I recommend from the fantastic Live at Leeds 2017 schedule:

The Gallery (Wakefield; 12:00 PM, Lending Room [WTGR Stage])
Wakefield is, of course, famous for being the birthplace The Cribs. But the Jarmans should probably get used to sharing the city with another band. The jangly guitars of The Gallery, reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys before they turned into Queens of the Stone Age, will take you back to the simpler times of British indie.

Wyvern Lingo (Wicklow, Ireland; 1:00 PM, Nation of Shopkeepers)
While already deemed national treasures in their country, most people outside Ireland have only heard of Wyvern Lingo from their association with Irish megastar Hozier, their members Karen and Caoimhe providing him backing vocals at live shows and the group supporting him on UK and Irish tours. Imagine the Staves if they’d gone pop and r&b.

Matt Maltese (London; 2:00 PM, Wardrobe)
It took Morrissey a while to be anointed the title ‘The Pope of Mope’. That said, given the current state of world affairs, it stands to reason that there should rightly be more artists coming out and telling it like it is without sugarcoating it. Piano playing Matt Maltese is one of them, coming out with the sweepingly beautiful ‘As the World Caves In’ to convey his despair. Seriously, close your eyes, and you could swear you’re hearing The Moz.

The Wandering Hearts (London; 3:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
A stark contrast to all the indie and pop acts at this year’s Live at Leeds are The Wandering Hearts, an Americana / alt-country group from the big smoke. Recent signees to Decca Records, the band will provide a welcome midday set different from nearly everyone else invited to this event, with their lush harmonies smartly picked guitar.

Paris Youth Foundation (Liverpool; 5:00 PM, Oporto)
The return of Ride to the record shops this year proves the washy guitar wall of sound era isn’t over. Liverpudlians Paris Youth Foundation takes this and does one better by adding synthpop to the mix, lending an anthemic feel to their tracks. Having released their debut album late last year, this is still early days for them, but I reckon now is time to get on the bandwagon.

Tender Central (Devon; 5:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church [Clash Stage])
India Bourne is a Devon-born, classically trained cellist who now goes by the stage name Tender Central. It’s a good description of her sound, which takes full advantage of her ethereal vocals and her careful crafting of an equally evocative, all-enveloping soundscape. Take a moment and consider the thought of seeing such music being performed in a church. Got it?

The Pale White (Newcastle; 5:30 PM, Church)
While Patrick Carney is busy remoulding his girlfriend Michelle Branch, now is an excellent time to discover the band who will dethrone the Black Keys when they aren’t paying attention. While we can’t be sure their successors will be Newcastle’s The Pale White, their brand of down and dirty blues rock is a suitable North East alternative to that of Southampton’s Band of Skulls.

 
 
 

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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