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The Blackout announce farewell shows / March 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 8:00 am
 

Welsh band The Blackout will be calling it quits after a string of dates in March 2015. The tour ends in their home town of Merthyr Tydfil on the 28th of March 2015. The band wrote the following letter for their fans:

“Hey Guys,

There’s no point in dancing around the subject, so we’ll cut right to the chase. We regret to announce that ‘Wolves’ will be the final release by The Blackout. Unfortunately we have come to the conclusion we are unable to sustain this band anymore, and we feel the time is right to bring it to a close. This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make as a band, and although we do it with heavy hearts, we also do with our heads held high. We are all extremely proud of Wolves, and are eternally grateful to each and every one of you who helped it get made. We said that it would not exist without your support, and we honestly mean that.

We achieved more than we ever dreamed of when we started this band, and we take with us memories, relationships and friends that will last the rest of our lives. We have always said that we’d be nothing without the people who came to the shows, who stood out in the rain, who camped out overnight and we want to thank you, all of you, for making the last ten years so special for us. Whether you came to one show or one hundred, your passion and support has been humbling and life changing.

We play our farewell shows in March 2015, these will be the last shows we will play as a band. Unfortunately, these shows will only be in the UK. There are no plans for anything more for The Blackout, so we hope you would like to come and party with us for the final time.

Once again, thank you for helping us live out our dreams.

Love
The Blackout”

The tickets to this final tour are on sale today at 9 AM.

Monday 23rd March 2015 – Birmingham Asylum
Tuesday 24th March 2015 – London Koko
Wednesday 25th March 2015 – Manchester Academy 3
Thursday 26th March 2015 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Saturday 28th March 2015 – Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre

 

Reading 2013: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 5th September 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

The second day of Reading 2013 was marked by a sudden influx of a creature I like to call the bellend. A bellend is normally attracted by loud drum n’ bass, Chase and Status and Eminem. The bellend’s natural habitat over the August Bank Holiday weekend is normally the area outside of Liverpool that hosts Creamfields. Tucked nicely into a steamy tent with a gentle supply off ketamine being drip fed into the bloodstream, they fist pump and gurn their weekend away.

With Reading and Leeds Festival looking to cater for a more varied audience than the heavy metallers/indie rockers of the past, these days the line-up choice was entirely justified and while it did lead to a far more diverse crowd, it also heightened the risk that in a mosh pit someone would, and I quote a rather lovely gentlemen in the crowd for Eminem, “twat me in the back of the ‘ead with a pen”.

As I navigated the mire of bellends, I actually managed to see some bands. The first of these, Night Works, were on the sparsely populated BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage. I’d been recommended these guys by a tweet before the festival, saying that as a hometown show for one of the band they would be pulling all the stops. If by pulling all the stops the band meant singing like a cat that was being wrung out like a sopping wet sponge, then it seemed I was in for a treat. Their lead singer wailed and moaned for about two songs before I really could take no more. The dancey beats were good fun, but that’s where any sense of joviality ended. Beer tent, please. (3/10)

After the mental trauma of Night Works, a pop-punky injection was required. Stat.

That medical procedure came courtesy of welsh sextet The Blackout, who were a booster shot of energy in a morning of lethargy. Sean Smith, with his utterly ghastly flock of reddish pink hair, started with some technical problems, which was probably caused by his insistence on flinging the microphone round. The brutal incisiveness of ‘STFUppercut’ was a great way to start a set, and the dual vocals of Sean Smith and Gavin Butler ensured that you always had something to affix your gaze to onstage. (7/10)

Speaking of looking at something on stage, the next band I caught on the BBC Radio 1/NME Stage were Deaf Havana. Frontman James Veck-Gilodi seemed intent that he didn’t want anybody to look at him on stage, sporting a eye-gougingly bright tye-died t-shirt. Their stage show has definitely evolved from the post-hardcore, grungey shows of 5 years previously, when they were touring ‘It’s Called the Easy Life’. They’ve got a backing singer who reminded me, in her sass alone of Beyoncé’s character in Austin Powers: Goldmember, Foxy Cleopatra.

They’ve grown into a really competent, soul-ish feeling band. Veck-Gilodi even managed a brooding smile throughout the set, and the roaring singlong that accompanied ‘Boston Square’ thoroughly put them in the same category as We Are The Ocean and The Gaslight Anthem. Real chest-pounding anthems for a group of twenty-something year olds to scream out while swilling cider. (8/10)

From heart-wrenching tunes, meant to uplift and inspire to a doom laden set on the Main Stage, it could only mean one thing: White Lies were back, touring their new record just released a few short weeks ago, ‘Big TV’. Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown brought their misery-laden set to the Main Stage with ease and even the new material, namely lead single ‘There Goes Our Love Again’, were received with welcoming arms by the now extremely pissed-up Reading audience.

The sound wasn’t all it could have been to fully encapsulate Harry McVeigh’s booming vocals, but that can’t be put down to the band, who were obviously putting their all into this set. As a band who I’ve seen dominate Wembley Stadium when warming up for Muse, it did appear apparent, that with only the three of them on stage the set lacks energy and movement. But that can’t detract from the sheer booming power of the vocals on show. (7/10)

Bands growing in prowess and live ability were the theme of the weekend it seemed, and no band has come further in the last 5 years than Foals (pictured at tip). From that annoying indie band with that catchy-as-balls song ‘Cassius’ with a frontman lacking the stones to look the crowd in the eyes, flash forward a good few years from ‘Antidotes’ and we’ve got a man in Yannis Philippakis, who in his slinking hips and screeching yelps has become a complete frontman. Leading the line a la Didier Drogba in his pomp (it’s transfer deadline day and I’m all footballed up), commanding the crowd and showing the movement of a seasoned pro.

Their triumphant set at Glastonbury was a high benchmark for UK festivals this year, and in comparison, they seemed a little flat. They erred on the side of the newer material when this varied crowd craved for the poppy stylings of ‘Cassius’ and ‘Balloons’. That’s not to say that ‘Inhaler’ didn’t go down a storm, in a set which saw them sound more like a grunge band than the indie band they began as. Post-punkers, indie rockers or whatever you call them, after their set there was no doubting their credentials. Higher billing awaits. (7.5/10)

Now, the entire music journalist inside me said that I should stay for Chase and Status. Sadly, the pessimist inside me had the inside track and whisked me back to camp for a pre-Eminem beer. For the best it seemed as Festival Republic head-honcho, Melvin Benn, had to instruct the crowd to step back.

Closing the Saturday night was Eminem, a man who is best known for live shows of chainsaw hackery and well foul-mouthed outbursts galore. Luckily, if you had your young ones watching (unlikely, but it’s Reading), The Real Slim Shady’s microphone was extremely low. Whether that was a sign of Eminem’s inability to perform live or dodgy sound work, is a case to debate. My opinion is it was a 60-40 kind of mix.

Oh and he brought on DIDO. FUCKING DIDO. Remember how fucking good ‘Life For Rent’ was/is? Remember how good ‘Stan’ is? WHY DID NOBODY UNCONTROLLABLY LOSE THEIR SHIT LIKE ME. I FELT LIKE AN OCTOGENARIAN REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLD DAYS. IT’S DIDO! DIDO!

I was definitely the only one going apeshit for that, I would have gone apeshit for a rendition of ‘Purple Hills’ with D12, however Slim-Shady decided to air a set of 50% new songs, with a sprinkling of the old hits. It was satisfying, and exactly what the vast majority of the crowd wanted, appeasing their teenage dreams that they concocted when they first ‘Lost Themselves’ to Eminem. But for the world’s most successful rapper alive at the moment, you expected perhaps a bit more theatrics, maybe something more inventive. But instead we got a bog standard Eminem set. Enough to appease the dickheads I suppose. (6/10) (DIDO GETS 10/10, FOR BEING DIDO.)

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Rock, punk and metal UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 15th January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2013 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

Carrying on with the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 to continue through January each Tuesday, today we’re bringing you the UK bands slated to perform at this year’s SXSW that play rock, punk, metal and every combination in between. (Last week, we brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list, which you can catch up on here.) Each part of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 is a handy resource if you’re wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music.

What do all these acts in the rock / punk / metal genre list have in common besides being from Britain? Powerful guitars, punishing bass and drums and in most cases, vocals worthy of idolatry. How they achieve this differs from act to act, as you will read and see/hear below.

Belligerence (added 10/01/13) – heavy metal from Portsmouth. I’m finding it hard to find information on them, as there’s another band – also metal – from Prague with the same name…

File next to: Biohazard, Clutch, Pantera

The Blackout – Welsh post-hardcore band who have been soldiering on since their formation in 2003. Right, that means they’ve been around a decade. How many other bands, no matter what the genre, still exist after 10 years? They must be doing something right. Their next album, ‘Start the Party’, is scheduled to be out on the 21st of January 2013. We won’t post the name of their sweary big hit, but John mentions it in his day 2 roundup of Leeds Fest 2011.

Brutality Will Prevail – This Cardiff hardcore band had been signed previously to Alex Fitzgerald’s Holy Roar label and are now with Purgatory Records (sensing a theme here?), who this year released their latest album, ‘Scatter the Ashes’. Expect something punishing.

Touring with: Cancer Bats and Empress in March 2013 (maybe now they won’t appear at some of the dates on this previous organised tour, since the middle of it is smack dab during SXSW).

China Rats – Leeds lad rock. Legend has it that thanks to the tour bus of Bat for Lashes breaking down on the way to this year’s Benicassim, the band found themselves headlining the Valencia festival. Is ‘(At Least Those) Kids are Getting Fed’ a commentary on the North East, or a wider problem across Britain?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52bv0BorhFM[/youtube]

The Crookes – The Crookes made their SXSW debut in 2011 and when I finally met them in Brighton in May 2012, they were eager to return, so I’m really pleased for them getting another SXSW nod. This time, they’ll have the good time sounds of ‘Hold Fast’ (my top album of 2012) under their belts and I’m sure there will be a gaggle of new American fans of theirs (mostly female?) following their every move. I’ll be catching them as many times as I can, so do come and say hello.

Seeing that I’ve been a fan of theirs since the ‘Dreams of Another Day’ EP in 2010, there is a boatload of Crookes coverage you can read on TGTF, starting here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TppUoY4zpFQ[/youtube]

Crowns – Coming off of their December tour raising awareness of UK homelessness, Cornwall’s Crowns will bring their fun rock ‘n’ roll sound to Austin. I missed their show at the Cornwall Pasty Company at last year’s Great Escape (really kicking myself over this…I mean, come on, that would have been the ultimate party conversation starter, right?) but I’m determined to catch them on American soil.

Read all of our previous Crowns coverage here.

The Enemy – my guess is that the Enemy are to be the younger equivalent of and will act like Kaiser Chiefs at last year’s SXSW: pulling in a good number of fans for their perfectly good but possibly unextraordinary sets in a post-Oasis breakup world. Since they’ve been around for a while (3 albums’ worth) in the UK, they’re not likely to be high on the average UK attendees’ must-see list, but I’ve never seen them before, so if they show up at Stubb’s, I might head on over.

Read our previous Enemy coverage here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lupg5BHzH34[/youtube]

Evans the Death – This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Sounds like: the Libertines, if they had a female out in front

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX8VcqY8qts[/youtube]

Gallops – why do I feel the need to mention Mogwai every time I hear a proggy band? Wrexham group Gallops aren’t nearly hard enough to warrant the comparison, although with titles like ‘Astaroth’ and ‘Hongliday’ their Blood and Biscuits’ debut ‘ ‘Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore’, you’d not be putting experimental band in the pop box anyhow. (Something interesting I found on the band’s Tumblr: the linked to the Kitsune Maison 11 compilation – didn’t see that coming at all.)

Gallows – they’re punks. They deliver punishing sets at festivals, such as at 2000 Trees last year. And Frank Carter left them in 2011 to start Pure Love. That’s all you really need to know, right?

Hawk Eyes – punishing hard rock from Leeds. Their 2012 album ‘Ideas’ got top marks from Kerrang! and Artrocker so you know where this is going…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1szIsuhqcUc[/youtube]

Nik Turner’s Hawkwind – the current incarnation of history’s first space rock groups.

Heaven’s Basement (added 10/01/13) – a hard rock band who has been soldiering on for quite a while (since 2008) and are releasing their debut album, ‘Filthy Empires’, this year. They’ve supported big names like Bon Jovi and Papa Roach, so is this an indicator of their hard rock prowess? We’ll see at this year’s event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP1u79wSdDY[/youtube]

The Joy Formidable – what can we say about Welsh rock band Joy Formidable that hasn’t already been said? When you’ve been hand-picked by Dave Grohl as the man’s own favourite band right now, calling them “a killer live band”, ’nuff said really, yeah? The other facts that they are truly some of the loveliest people we have met and are always so happy about our coverage of them? That’s just icing on the cake. I’ve seen them several times now but the only time I’ve seen them at SXSW was on a live stream in 2011, which doesn’t really count, so I’m making it a point to catch them this time around.

Read all our previous coverage of the Joy Formidable here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_t4s-HX3z0[/youtube]

Kassidy – some have called them the Scottish Kings of Leon, but that’s just lazy journalism. We’ve been following the folky rock hybrid band since their early EPs in 2010, and trust us, they’re way better than the Followills.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMiBIHqeoa4[/youtube]

Read our previous coverage of Kassidy here.

Kill It Kid – wow, I don’t have to write a piece on them, because they placed #10 on our 10 for 2013 list and Martin’s already done for me. Revivalist blues from Bath.

Klaxons – they’ve been around a while. They won a Mercury Prize in 2007 for ‘Myths of the New Future’. Their last album ‘Surfing the Void’ released in 2010 “>has a cat in an astronaut suit on the cover. Sorry, I’m having trouble sounding knowledgeable about Klaxons because I don’t really like them all that much.

Read our previous coverage on Klaxons here.

Little Barrie – ‘powerhouse’ is a word that seems to be following this Nottingham formed, London transplanted trio. But if you’re going to call Little Barrie a powerhouse trio, then surely you mean to compare to the greats of rock ‘n’ roll.

Sounds like: a more radio-polished Cream or at least a band that came out swinging in the Sixties, not in the Noughties

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/25333478[/vimeo]

LostAlone – Derby band who have been described as “breathtaking Queen-style harmonies and classic metal bite” and compared to Muse. How is it possible that we’ve never heard about them, then?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47rV458G-f4[/youtube]

New Ivory – according to MTV Iggy, these guys from London are the new knights of British indie rock. I am struggling to find a comparison, except maybe they sound like early Arctic Monkeys or Two Door Cinema Club, but not as catchy? (Yeah, I know. Damning with faint praise, aren’t I? Sorry.) Steve Aoki is a fan, having signed them to his Dim Mak Records. I dunno. Maybe they’ll actually sound better in person at SXSW.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHEJaMTQJv8[/youtube]

Orange Goblin (added 10/01/13) – formerly known as Our Haunted Kingdom, on first glance you have to wonder if the new name was for a cuddlier image. So imagine my surprise that this is a heavy metal band! Having put out their first album in 1997, they’re definitely the granddaddies of the rock/metal/punk group, but having changed their sound from stoner/doom to their current more metal sound proves that they aren’t willing to stand in one place musically. A special live album for their devoted, ‘A Eulogy for the Fans’, will be released in March.

Palma Violets – I’ve refrained about writing about Palma Violets from Lambeth, South London, as what I’ve heard from them makes me think of The Vaccines, who came out of an NME promotional campaign firestorm and their #3 placing on the BBC Sound of 2011 poll with loads of fans clamouring to see them at major festivals. It’s 2013 now and look what’s happened: Palma Violets are on the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist. Overhyped band leads to foregone conclusion…appearing as a support act to headliners Django Django on the 2013 NME Awards tour next month sounds like an NME mistake then…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poFXWUTEs1k[/youtube]

PAWS – Scottish three-piece banging out tunes in a garage-y, lo-fi style. It should come as no surprise that they have a strong DIY aesthetic, as they’re great fans of bands like Dinosaur Jr and the Pixies, even having a song called ‘Kim Deal’ in their arsenal.

Sounds like: the Cribs or Peace, if they were from far north of the border.

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

Peace – We won’t waste your time here, since the band have already been tipped on the BBC Sound of 2013 poll. Read our previous Peace coverage, including their 10 for 2013 profile (they placed #5 on this last readers’ poll), here.

Peers – 6music’s Tom Robinson was an early supporter of this Reading band in 2010, the year the young band, then all under the age of 18, played the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds. The unsigned band cite Bombay Bicycle Club as a major influence, and if you squeeze your eyes real tight, you can hear Jack Steadman’s impact on singer Matt Thompson’s vocals.

Savages – dissonant post-punk via an unusual package – four women from London. Is it their anti-establishment stance that attracted the BBC Sound of 2013 tipsters? We’ll never know for sure but I guess imitating Patti Smith and looking sullen are the highest form of flattery? They could have at least smiled for the photos on their Facebook…

Sounds like: trying too hard to be a 21st century Siouxsie and the Banshees

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y-cVzbBBQ8[/youtube]

Sharks – usually punk is associated with a lo-fi, scuzzy sound, but this band from Leamington Spa sound remarkably polished, with hybrid punk/pop songs that could have easily slotted in with the music I listened here in America in high school.

Sound like: a grown up Blink-182, or Green Day when they weren’t so political and were still fun

Tall Ships – math rock meets indie rock in an epic way via three high-spirited lads from Brighton. John adored their 2012 opus ‘Everything Touching’ and for a Foals loving nation, it’s a wonder they aren’t bigger in the UK. Foals? Who are they?

Read our previous coverage on Tall Ships here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JYt3eYDQY0[/youtube]

Tango in the Attic – Scottish band from Glenrothes having Two Door Cinema Club-type guitars with reverb.

File next to: Smith Westerns

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke9eHi6Ze_A[/youtube]

Throne – there’s not a lot known about this London band, except that they’re known to ‘level rooms’ with their bad boy riffage when they appear in the Capital. You have been warned.

TOY (added 10/01/13) – psychedelic rock from a band made up of some members for the group Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong. I don’t feel like it’s really necessary to write about them, considering nearly every friend of mine rates them quite highly. Not really my thing, but I’m pretty sure they will do well in Austin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcQ2nXDvWDY[/youtube]

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls (added 10/01/13) – I nearly put Frank Turner’s band in the singer/songwriter category, but since his appearances at this year’s SXSW will be louder and more raucous than his solo turn last year at the Xtra Mile Recordings showcase, in the end there was no contest.

We’ve written quite about the man on TGTF, and you can read all of that through here.

Virals – vehicle for Worcester’s Shaun Hencher, who with his live band have most recently supported #5 10 for 2013 band Peace in the UK. Now Hencher’s looking to make a big splash at their American live debut at SXSW.

Sounds like: a cross between Male Bonding, Two Wounded Birds (RIP) and the Vaccines. Get yer sunnies out!

The Virginmarys – Macclesfield will soon be known for more than Ian Curtis, if this trio have anything to say about it. Their sound? Hard rocking, arse-kicking tunes.

File next to: Kasabian, Biffy Clyro

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ehThdbXJs[/youtube]

Wet Nuns – even with quite possibly one of the silliest names for a band ever, Sheffield duo Wet Nuns had a spectacular 2012, getting attention not only for their silly name but their punk crossed with blues schizophrenic sound.

Sounds like: the evil child borne from Band of Skulls and the Black Keys

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAe5OFCuLxY[/youtube]

While She Sleeps – is heavy metal more your thing? Then I suppose you should look to Sheffield and a band like While She Sleeps for your jollies. Luke caught them last summer at day 2 of Slam Dunk South.

Young Guns – this band has been around for quite a while, but it wasn’t until summer 2012 that they had an American record deal. Radio-friendly, not too hard rock sound made by youngish, good-looking boys in leather: in short, an American label signing coup.

Read all our previous coverage of Young Guns here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk3vjIDuy9w[/youtube]

The Zombies – “What’s your name? / Who’s your daddy? / Is he rich like me?” All kidding aside, the Zombies have been around for over 50 years. Fifty effin’ years. They called themselves the Zombies before it was hip to like zombies. Though they’re down to only two original members – Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent – contrary to popular belief, it was they, not Friendly Fires, who put St. Albans on the musical map.

Read Braden’s interview with Colin and Rod from 2 years ago here.

Electronic bands and DJs are up next week. So catch us next Tuesday for the third chapter of the genre section of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013!

 

Leeds 2011: Day 2 (John’s Roundup)

 
By on Wednesday, 7th September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Five minutes of rain was all the heavens had in store for us on Saturday at Leeds. On a day which promised to be the heaviest of the weekend, with acts like Bring Me the Horizon, Rise Against and headliners My Chemical Romance gracing the main stage, the weather held off and it was primarily dry.

To kick off the day of music were the Blackout, who brought by far the Welshest set of the weekend. ‘STFUppercut’ was loud and hit with the ferocity of a festival goer with a full bladder running to the loo. ‘Children of the Night’, which in my humblest of opinions is their most solid track, sounded weak and laboured, no matter how much front men Sean Smith and Gavin Butler bounced about the stage.

New Found Glory were up next and found themselves in a familiar position to last time they played in 2009 where they were 3rd on the main stage once before. They opened with easily their best offering ‘All Downhill From Here’ and well… It really was. Nobody was expecting a set full of hits, because the band doesn’t have any. ‘My Friend’s Over You’ simply sounded like the whines of an unwanted child and the rest of the set just isn’t worth explaining. Poor throughout. As expected.

The failure of the Main Stage bands to whet my appetite led me to fresher pastures. My first port of call was the Festival Republic stage, where acts like Franz Ferdinand have cut their teeth and gone on to headline. A band familiar to TGTF were next up; they played 2nd on the bill on TGTF’s stage at Brighton’s Great Escape this year. Foster the People are currently riding on the crest of a wave with their hit single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ that has been played to death on Radio 1. This has done them a world of good though, because as with all hotly-tipped acts on the stage the tent was bursting to the brim. For good reason, these boys were fantastic and thoroughly deserve all the plaudits being given to them by the press at the moment. Even with the briskly cold weather Foster the People managed to create a ray of sunshine in the tent.

Back to the Main Stage I ventured then. Up next was punk rockers Rise Against, who immediately came out with a mission, it was going to be mosh pit central and I don’t think we had a choice about it. To go from Foster the People to Rise Against was a bit of a culture shock, but festivals are about diversity in music and I think there can be few similarities seen between these acts. Rise Against’s set was frantic, with guitars roaring above the wind, with ‘Savior’ sounded positively epic in the Main Stage’s surroundings and ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ had the entire crowd singing along.

Booze by this point was taking its toll on my body and my decision making capabilities, so it was to no surprise that I was convinced by my fellow festivalers that going to the Dance tent for some sweaty raving was a fantastic idea. Nero were playing a DJ set and with hits like ‘Promises’ and ‘Guilt’, they were going down an absolute storm in the confines of what the day before was the Lock Up Stage. It was the set afterwards that really, excuse the cliché, blew the roof off though. ‘Sub-Focus’ took the crowd in the palm of their hand and easily had people skanking to their will. The beats were infectious, dirty and the perfect mix for a bunch of booze infused teenagers with 90% attempting to pull.

With a quick dash/stumble across the site to the NME stage I was able to catch the spectacle that is Noah and the Whale. The nu-folk dealio had been done last year with Mumford and Sons, but while nobody can fully excuse Noah from being mainstream there was by far a more eclectic crowd gathered than for the heaving mob created by Marcus Mumford and co. The tracks from their new record didn’t seem forced upon the crowd: the masses received them with joy and while movement was low, the joy amongst the fans was apparent to all. They are a band on top of their game at the moment, playing beautiful music to fans who adore them.

Up next were gloom rockers White Lies. Opener ‘Farewell to the Fairground’s’ trademark drums got the people in the tent excited, and for good reason, as this was surely to be one of the sets of the festival so far. White Lies didn’t fail to disappoint; Harry McVeigh’s voice resonated among the punters with an eerie gloom, while the bass roared to life in the background. Set closer ‘Bigger Than Us’ for sure has to be nominated for the loudest song of the festival award, as I was surprised the people at Reading couldn’t hear the drum beat blasting along.

Headlining the evening was My Chemical Romance, another band with a troubled Reading and Leeds history. MCR were bottled off during their last visit to the Reading site in 2006 and vowed that they would never return to the festival unless they were headlining. Five years later and the emo pin-up boys had done it. They were headlining the Main Stage and wow, you could tell they loved it.
‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ was greeted to roars from the crowd, as Gerard Way patrolled around the stage akin to a general directing his troops. The energy was frantic during the opener; you could tell the boys on stage were playing like their lives depended on it. It was paying off though; naysayers and MCR skeptics all about the Main Stage crowd surely were having their heads turn by the display of blasé rock ‘n’ roll on show in front of them.

If that wasn’t enough they followed it up with their now classic ‘I’m Not OK (I Promise),’ fists were already pumping all around the crowd, flares being lit left right and centre. The band powered through a set with all the hits and songs from their newest record, with the highlights including the glorious sing-along that is ‘S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W’ and a ferocious rendition of ‘Famous Last Words’. To finish the set though there could only be one song. The anthem that saw them loved my millions, yet tarnished by the brand of a suicide cult. ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was everything it was meant to be though that night, a triumphant call to arms, awry with guitar solo’s that Queen would be proud off. A successful set then for MCR, one which can leave few doubting that this band deserves to headline bills like this.

 

Mencap Little Noise Sessions / November 2009

 
By on Sunday, 8th November 2009 at 3:50 pm
 

Following on from the amazing lineups of the past two years, the Mencap Little Noise sessions are back again this November to raise more money for the mental disability charity.

The lineup is almost complete, with a string of pretty amazing performances scheduled. Personally, I’m most excited about Editors day, along with the pop-tastic Alexandra Burke, Mika and Newton Faulkner days – all of the shows have great talent and with the promise of special guests, I say you should hop on down to Union Chapel to check out some great music. Head on over to the Little Noise Sessions website for more answers to your questions.

The artists so far announced include:

Monday 16th November
Editors
The Maccabees
Bombay Bicycle Club
Everything Everything

Tuesday 17th November
Alexandra Burke
Alphabeat
Marina and the Diamonds
VV Brown

Wednesday 18th November
Mika
Paloma Faith
Alex Gardner
Daisy Dares You

Thursday 19th November
Richard Hawley
I Blame Coco

Friday 20th November
Lostprophets
The Blackout
Egyptian Hip Hop

Saturday 21st November
Taio Cruz
Tinchy Stryder
Chipmunk

Sunday 22nd November
Florence and the Machine
Golden Silvers
Erik Hassle
Ellie Goulding

Monday 23rd November
David Gray
The Low Anthem
Lisa Mitchell

Tuesday 24th November
Newton Faulkner
Scouting for Girls
Little Comets
Stornoway

 
 
 

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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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