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(Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Single Review: I Dream in Colour – London

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

I Dream in Colour are back with their single ‘London,’ with vocals that manage to pierce your heart effortlessly and with the kind of riffs which wouldn’t sound unfamiliar on ‘The Joshua Tree’.

They’ve done it again, producing music that is just so uplifting in nature that it can never fail to put a smile on your face, whether it’s the subtle drips of piano underlying the track or just the fact that through being quite minimalist it manages to just sound gorgeous. Now anyone who knows me will know I love a good belting chorus, screamed at the top of your voice ala Foo Fighters. But I Dream in Colour have won me over with pure catchiness and a simplicity. It’s easy to make your way as middle of the road indie band these days, but this band, while not being particularly out there and groundbreaking, have the ability to portray serious emotion, in a catchy and generally uplifting way.

While the airwaves are crammed full of Cheryl Coles and other generically rubbish acts, I Dream in Colour again with ‘London’ have produced something refreshingly real, showing real craft and vision and exceptional thought.

It’s a real treat to listen to, I recommend you do.

8/10

I Dream in Colour’s next single ‘London’ will be released on the 21st of May. The band will appear at the Alternative Escape in Brighton this Friday (11 May) at 14.00 at LIFE, then at Liverpool Sound City on Thursday (17 May) at Zanzibar Club at 21.00. They are also on tour this month starting next Monday at Sheffield Soyo; all the details are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI6UbkAGGZM[/youtube]

 

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #243: Django Django

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

You’re probably wondering why it’s taken us so long to cover Django Django officially. I already had an inkling they were going to be a big deal after their self-titled debut album came out at the end of January, following on the strength of the very poppy and very infectious ‘Default’. However, it wasn’t until I caught them at the Vic Galloway-curated SMIA night at Easy Tiger Patio on the Wednesday of this year’s SXSW that I felt had a better informed opinion of the band. Now that I have that, I feel comfortable talking about them with some level of authority. That and I figured it wasn’t worth fighting with everyone else over the last 3 months, every other outlet that was anointing them just solely based on ‘Default’ that they were the best thing since sliced bread. So here goes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDjpOrlfh0Y[/youtube]

The basics: they met at art college in Edinburgh but didn’t actually get together until later, and in London; they’re not named after Django Reinhardt but ‘Son of Django’, a rave record that caught the attention of singer Vincent Neff, who turned his back on a probably lucrative and successful architecture career; Neff is from Northern Ireland (Templegrove, Derry to be exact), a tidbit gleaned out of an interview he did with RTE 2fm’s Jenny Huston at SXSW; ginger drummer David Maclean acts as their producer. Got all that?

I’d now like to dispel the ‘psychedelic’ label. While there’s a definite detached air of cool pervading their music, I think ‘psychedelic’ is a too simple genre for Django Django. The psychedelic age back in the ’60s is probably best remembered for stoned hippies, smelling of hash and going round with their flower power, and the music of the times, which seemed to be made by slightly better looking, better dressed musicians who were also under the influence. What seems to be forgotten is that even with the drug haze that hung in the air, there were some really lovely harmonies that came out of the period, typified best by bands like the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, and later on the Eagles. The harmonies on ‘Django Django’ make this album transcend any other pop album; there’s a richness just on the vocals alone that have few real competitors in the music market today.

But it’s not just the harmonies that shine on this fine debut. The music, which is rhythmic and wholly engaging at times, mesmerising and beguiling at others, sometimes fights with the vocals for centre stage on this album. In other cases, I’d say this is not a good situation of the two halves of a song being at odds with each other. But instead, Django Django plays the lyrics off the music and vice versa, creating a mini-world with each song. Take for example, ‘Storm’ (video below), their latest single that was on this past Monday. Yes, it’s psychedelic looking with its bright colours and unfocused images, but forget that for a moment.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny67ABAGKh4[/youtube]

Listen to the beginning rhythms right from the start. Hypnotising. There’s a verse that goes “you are made / of complex sums / I’m counting all my fingers now I’m down to my thumbs” – it’s witty in the droll funny way Morrissey did it with the Smiths, but Django Django have the benefit of an even more earworm-y melody. ‘Waveforms’ follows a similar rhythmic path, though the vocals lift off from the ground to reach the heavens, with admittedly a trippy lyric of “and you wanna know why / all the rivers run dry / when I see you again / I see the look in your eyes…”, before heading back into percussion land, bouncing in such a way you’d have to be dead not to bop your head around and chair dance. Incredible, memorable pop. Good stuff.

What I hope you take from this piece that Django Django is far, far more than just ‘Default’. You’d be doing yourself a grave disservice if you didn’t check our their debut album, which is guaranteed to be an album everyone will be talking about in years in come, as well as appearing on top albums of 2012 lists. They’re not just psychedelic. They’re timeless.

Catch Django Django at the Great Escape on Thursday 10 May at the Pavilion Theatre at 23.45 and Friday 11 May at 22.15 at Blind Tiger as part of the Fly Magazine showcase. They will also appear at the Red Bull Studios Live at the Garage at Liverpool Sound City on Thursday 17 May at 23.30.

 

TGTF to host stage at Liverpool Academy of Arts, Friday 18th May at Liverpool Sound City 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 1st May 2012 at 2:31 pm
 

This year Liverpool Sound City will take place from Thursday the 17th to Saturday the 19th of May. We are pleased to announce that TGTF will be hosting a stage at this year’s festival on Friday at the Liverpool Academy of Arts on Seel Street.

The night’s headliner will be the Temper Trap, making their first appearance in the UK in 2 years this month. They are set to go on at 22.00 (10 PM). Pop rhythmic sensations Clock Opera, who have just released their debut album ‘Ways to Forget’ (read John’s review of the album here), have also been confirmed for our stage at 20.30 (8:30 PM). Additional bands will be announced soon. Watch this space!

To mark this down on your calendar and to keep up to date with the goings-on, join up at our Facebook event. We’ll be having some exclusive giveaways and of course there will be some extraordinary performances you won’t want to miss, so save the date and spend the evening with us. See you there!

 

(Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Live Review: Spring Offensive at Newcastle Head of Steam – 3rd April 2012

 
By on Thursday, 26th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Oxford has form when it comes to birthing important bands: from influential noisegaze pioneers Ride, through the sadly defunct Supergrass, always in the kitchen at the Britpop party, to Radiohead, who not content with redefining the scope of modern rock several times, have seen fit to bless the world with a number of excellent solo works. Recently, revivalist dance-pop BBC Introducing favourites Fixers and math-rock futurists Foals have been upholding the reputation of the city of the dreaming spires.

Tonight sees the latest in this distinguished bloodline of musicians hit Newcastle. Spring Offensive have released but a handful of tracks; they are still at the beginning of their career, so any claims of belonging to the pantheon of Oxfordian greatness must be tempered with the chance that they might split up, get bored, or fall pregnant before anything of any particular note happens. But…let’s hope not.

In town to promote their second single, ‘Worry Fill My Heart’ (live video below), TGTF caught up with them over a coke in the incongruous environs of Newcastle’s only American-style burger joint, on a mission to find out a thing or two about Spring Offensive.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZyMKy095-M[/youtube]

We learn that the drummer is called Pelham. That they met at school and live together in Oxford. That they count appropriately underground acts Menomena and Silver Mt. Zion in their influences, along with Cumbrian darlings Wild Beasts. Some of their songs deal with being dissatisfied with you’re doing with your life. They’re nervous people, easily frightened. They’re named after the Wilfred Owen war poem, which they were asked to recite live on German radio. They dress as they do (part war evacuee, part ’70s dad, fashion by charity shop consent) so people can’t judge them on their appearance. Or, heaven forfend, accuse them of being Foals fanboys.

They are a superb live band. The Oxford sound is present and correct – there’s a bit of white-boy funk, edgy mathy bits, anthemic choruses – but thankfully all filtered through a clear personality of their own. They have a talent for arrangements, and not just of the quiet-loud-quiet version, either – the songs ebb and flow with the oily fluidity of a calm midnight sea. This is the genuine soundtrack to how the Titanic really sank – gently, undemonstratively, imperceptibly sinking into inky black, all the while a quiet, unspoken unease hanging in the air. There’s lashings of deckhand vocal harmonies; in one memorable moment, the band leave the stage and play with acoustic guitar and voices only. It’s a brave insight into their capabilities; shorn of amplification the effect is if anything even more emotionally powerful.

They haven’t always dressed as they do now – somewhere in the last twelve months the band ditched the checked shirts, stripy t-shirts and skinny jeans for frayed cardigans, woollen tank tops, and beige slacks. Whether this is a genuinely spontaneous rejection of fashion, or a cleverly-worked decision, their sartoriality suits both demeanour and sound perfectly. The very epitome of Dave Gilmour’s famous ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ lyric, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”, the whole package evokes a post-war shabbiness, of desolate Anglian marshes interspersed with the skeletons of abandoned hangars: an atmosphere of bleakness punctuated by the hope of regeneration. Simultaneously, they speak to the contemporary retail park mole, the burger flipper, the call centre operative: is this all life has to offer? Could things have been better sixty years ago? Is modern life indeed rubbish? These are the most important questions a band can ask; it falls to Spring Offensive to ask them.

Spring Offensive will appear on the Friday (18 May) of Liverpool Sound City, time and place TBA.

 

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #240: The Big Sleep

 
By on Thursday, 26th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Not to be confused with the chain of hotels, the 1946 Howard Hawks film staring Humphrey Bogart, nor any other act of the same name past or present (yeah, there’s plenty of confusion to be had), the Big Sleep are one of New York’s latest exports and they’re of the dark indie rock variety. Their third album launched in America at the end of January and will be out in Europe at the end of the month, but with a huge UK and European tour coming up to promote it, it seems that the Big Sleep are finally going to be making some waves on the venues and festivals of Britain.

It’s atmospheric, it’s powerful, it’s grungy without being grunge.  They’re more Metric than Sonic Youth, more 2:54 than the xx, but they could fit alongside any of the aforementioned, as long as you’re into dark guitar lines. Their sound to date has been a bit on the rough side, but with years under the belt, it seems the act have steadily tuned into exactly the sound they want to create. The promise that came with the last two LPs has a few months to materialize and with ‘Nature Experiments’, it may well do.

The band are hitting up the Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City this year, as well as a host of other UK dates below and there’s no doubt they’ll be bringing a tension-destroying atmosphere with them. In case this still hasn’t sold you, the video for new single ‘Ace’ is also below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yza-e4rjMpQ[/youtube]

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 – Brighton Hope (Great Escape Festival)
Monday 14th May 2012 – Manchester Castle
Tuesday 15th May 2012 – Glasgow Nice ‘n Sleazys
Wednesday 16th May 2012 – London Camden Barfly
Thursday 17th May 2012 – Liverpool Arts Academy (Liverpool Sound City)

 

(Liverpool Sound City 2012!) Album Review: Clock Opera – Ways to Forget

 
By on Tuesday, 24th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Clock Opera have appeared from relative obscurity, to produce their debut album ‘Ways To Forget,’ a beautifully crafted record. I think – no, I know – that people are going to enjoy it.

From first listen, Clock Opera most definitely occupy that most odious of genres for me, synthy, indie-poppy, squealy, joyous rubbish. Luckily for them and me, they occupy it, and then completely make it their own. They go from piano solos in songs like ‘Belongings’, sounding like they could have been lifted straight from Elbow’s ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, to jittery soundscapes like in ‘A Piece of String’, where lead singer Guy Connelly does his Guy Garvey impression once again.

First single ‘Belongings’ is a beautifully constructed piece of music: it builds itself to a frenetic conclusion with some truly beautiful piano work then explodes into something brilliant beyond belief. Now, while the record does rely on synths and some electronic composition, it isn’t overwhelmed by such elements. In song ‘Lost Buoys’, the band find a perfect harmony between seamless production and delicate intricacy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnDqI_F6pnQ[/youtube]

This band have mashed together a lot of sounds and influences on this record. Some bands who try this, for example Animal Collective, are experts at this. Mashups almost always leaves me scratching my head and with an overwhelming sense of confusion, but Clock Opera on this album have got it just right. I feel a bit like Goldilocks tasting the last bowl of porridge after extended listening.

I’ve found an album which goes for it as far as being experimental and creative, doesn’t have a fist-pumping chorus and is quintessentially cool, and at last, I like it. It reminds me of that day I woke up and went ‘Total Life Forever’ by Foals is actually a fantastic album, what kind of crack have I been smoking? I recommend you give this album your time of day, because if you don‘t, well you are doing your ears a disservice. Plus the lead singer sounds like Guy Garvey. How cool is that?

8/10

‘Ways to Forget’, the debut album from Clock Opera, is out now on Island. The band have been confirmed to appear on the TGTF stage at Liverpool Sound City on Friday the 18th of May. More details about the TGTF stage will be released soon.

 
 
 

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 was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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