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Video of the Moment #1894: Steve

 
By on Monday, 31st August 2015 at 10:00 am
 

Guy Garvey’s inaugural signing to his label Snug Platters, Steve, has a new promo video for her upcoming single ‘Two Point Nearly Zero’. I’m not even going to try and explain this one, so you’ll just have to watch the promo below. The song is track #2 on Steve’s ‘Danger! High Failure Rate’ 10″ vinyl release and like all of Snug Platters’ future releases, it is limited to a pressing of 1000 and can only be purchased through Fiction Records’ Web store.

In true punk style, Steve will only communicate to the outside world via text. To contact her about this new video or any other burning topics you have on your mind, text SNUG to 62277 (UK mobiles only, naturally). To read Carrie’s review of Steve’s previous single ‘Emergency Art Rate’ from back in May, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-cqIf494hQ[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Steve – Emergency Art Rate

 
By on Friday, 8th May 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Snug Platters is the new record label project of Elbow frontman and BBC 6 Music radio presenter Guy Garvey, in collaboration with Fiction Records executive Jim Chancellor. The word ‘platters’ in the label’s unusual moniker presumably refers to the planned format of Snug Platters’ releases, which will be pressed onto 10” vinyl and limited to 1,000 copies of each, exclusively available at the Fiction Records’ store.

For their first release, Snug Platters have chosen the single ‘Emergency Art Rate’ by art-punk artist Steve, aka Jane Parker, formerly the lead singer of Manchester rock band Rude Club. Though the elusive Steve doesn’t appear to have an official Web site or presence of her own, the official Web site for Snug Platters features an oddly intriguing audio introduction by the woman herself. (Be warned: the audio begins to play, on a loop, as soon as you click the link.)

The grungy, uptempo ‘Emergency Art Rate’ has an anxious and insistent energy starting immediately behind its opening line “Baby, get your heart rate up”. The lyric changes quickly to the vainly repeated plea “Baby, get your heart rate down”, but the music doesn’t allow for that in the slightest as it builds in pace and intensity throughout. The song’s upbeat dynamic and relentless momentum would be a perfect soundtrack for a slick television advert, but it’s a highly infectious earworm all on its own.

8.5/10

Steve’s debut EP ‘Danger! High Failure Rate’ is due for release on the 18th of May on Snug Platters. Describing the new EP, Parker says, “Me, the guitar, the computer, the keys and the random noises all live together in one big house like The Monkees, but not as zany.” The EP will include four self-produced songs, ‘Emergency Art Rate’, ‘2 Point Nearly Zero’, ‘Flik Flak’ and ‘Electric Steam and Diesel’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/fjdRNzO5DEI[/youtube]

 

Live: Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire – 15th June 2007

 
By on Saturday, 16th June 2007 at 2:36 am
 

This post is also available on Londonist. Pictures and video after the jump.

Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire - 15th June 2007“One broken collar bone, one sprained ankle and a severe case of man-flu – that’s the toll of a three week UK tour” joked Tom McRae as he chatted with the crowd at last night’s tour finale at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Taking the audience on a journey through his past three albums and his most recent, King of Cards, he manages to play all the old favourites and a few new ones.

Opening up was the marvellous Steve Reynolds, who had a broken collar bone, done whilst playing football – Tom later commented “I can still hear that crack in my head now… it was horrible!” Clearly in agony, he even so managed to romp through some crowd pleasers and some new material, all of which was absolutely amazing. He managed to restrain himself from berating an incredibly noisy audience, even though he clearly wanted to.

A few minutes later and the guy we’d all been waiting for, Tom McRae comes on stage, explaining that he has man flu, which is apparently a million times worse than a broken collar bone (said jokingly). To warm his voice up, we got three (presumably) untitled new songs before he broke into the better known ones.

In between songs his banter with the audience was amusing as ever, with Tom discussing the Sun’s review of his new album (“They accused me of dumbing down with a “pop” sound that’s “happier” than before… you know things are bad when the Sun says you’re dumbing down. So here’s a happy one from my new album!” before launching into “Got a Suitcase, Got Regrets, perhaps one of the darker songs on the new album ironically.)

Old favourites “My Vampire Heart”, “Walk to Hawaii” and “Dose Me Up” all got airings, greated like old friends. One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for when Tom promised to bring the Hotel Café tour back to the UK early next year – one of my highlights of last year musically, and a great idea.

However, the best was yet to come. Coming back for his encore, Tom unplugged his guitar, and Ollie the keyboardist grabbed an accordion for a sensational rendition of “Bloodless”, with Tom singing without any amplification, and audience sing alongs galore. It was short and to the point, but decidedly poignant with everyone singing and the full meaning of the song just hitting everyone full-on.

When he finished this, there was only one way to go, with the song everyone had been shouting from the start – “Boy With The Bubblegum”. Simple, yet oh so effective, it brought the whole evening to a close in perfect style.

Tom McRae – one of our nation’s best kept secrets?

After the jump, catch larger pictures and also a video of Bloodless live.

Continue reading Live: Tom McRae at Shepherds Bush Empire – 15th June 2007

 

Random Aside #6

 
By on Saturday, 21st April 2007 at 9:35 pm
 

I have a lot of uni work and people to catch up with at the moment, so in my absense I’ll leave you in the (more than capable) hands of Steve Jobs, who did the (now rather famous) commencement speech for the 2005 graduating class at Stanford.

Graduation seems so very long away for me at the moment, but this speech is one hell of a motivator for me.


Do What You Love
(PDF 258kb)

Have a great evening everyone.

 

Live: Tom McRae and the Artistes of Hotel Cafe at the Islington Academy – 28th November 2006

 
By on Wednesday, 29th November 2006 at 1:53 pm
 

“Tonight is all about something that doesn’t happen enough these days – Musicians helping each other” announced Tom McRae last night as the Hotel Café tour rolled into London after a year long tour of the USA. The feeling was great: a series of artists who are all too small on their own to undertake a full UK tour, but altogether they have the ability to sell out a venue in days.

Taking a revue style to the evening, Tom opened proceedings at 8:30, and we then witnessed an amazing 2 hours and 40 minutes of non stop music. No lengthy change over’s with houselights up, we’re talking one person walks off as the next comes on, with different people joining in on different tracks when they felt the urge to, before “we start to bump each to each other, drop guitars, and generally run headlong into chaos until someone makes us leave the stage”.

First song, Hawaii and the sound goes halfway through. No problem: he just keeps on strumming and talks to the crowd, explaining the tour and how the evening is going to work. One more song and he’s off, to be replaced by Steve Reynolds, who has a voice that sounds like he’s lived in a musty back-street pub for most of his life. Two songs from Steve, and he’s quickly replaced by Joe Purdy, who has, quite frankly, legendary facial hair (which leads to a comment from Tom that he “shaves once a month and if Joe doesn’t for an hour he ends up like this….”). Joe Purdy managed to be a skilled guitarist and harmonica player, a genius if ever there was one. Next up was Cary Brothers, who was one of the main reasons I had been to see the evening: his two songs “Ride” and “Blue Eyes” are some of the best around. He played “Ride” first then “Honestly”, both from his forthcoming album next year.

Then we had a very nice surprise: Aqualung. In the spirit of the real Hotel Café in LA, bands are quite welcome to turn up and play a few songs, or just sit around and get trashed with the other artists. Aqualung came and played a new song and then “Brighter than Sunshine” – just fab, and they stuck around to play keys on “Blue Eyes” later in the evening.

After this point things got a bit blurry: the artists came back on, joined each other, did different songs, until about 10:50 when Tom came back, did “Silent Boulevard”, “Boy with the Bubblegum” and “My Vampire Heart”. By this point everyone was in very high spirits, and things were getting a bit more ragged, but still very coherent, and had everyone in the crowd in exceptionally high spirits not seen since the Pipettes swept through the capital.

All in all an excellent evening of entertainment, well worth the money: not many bands this year put on 2 hours 40 minutes of non stop music: they’re playing at Kings College Student Union next week, so go and see Tom and the artistes of the Hotel Café: it’s well worth the money, and you will have one of the best evenings of the year.

 
 
 

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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 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.

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