Looking for previews and reviews of SXSW 2019? Right this way.

SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Liverpool Sound City 2013: Mary’s Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 16th May 2013 at 3:00 pm
 

Third day at Sound City 2013, and I was flagging. Martin made the perfect suggestion that we should check out the Korean bands day showcase, where there would also be free food and booze on offer. Besides, I’d not been to the Kazimier Gardens yet, which both him and John had waxed philosophical on their home brew and laid-back atmosphere. Afternoon sorted then. I didn’t photograph any of the bands, as we had Martin with us there, so check out his review of day 3 for those. What I mostly recall was that the atmosphere was loud, fun and just what you needed on a sunny Saturday afternoon. (This is where I should probably point out that while some of the evenings were chilly, not a drop of rain fell the entire weekend. So take that, Brighton!) After being plied with sufficient food and drink – and running into Delphic of all people in the barbecue line! – it was then off to see the next band.

Common Tongues Liverpool Sound City 2013

Common Tongues are a folk pop band from Brighton. Folk pop may seem such a cliche these days but I can assure you that they are worth seeing for the beautiful harmonies alone. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to see a band who describes themselves on Facebook with the following: “Common Tongues are a Brighton based 5 piece that combine the belly fruit of Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys to tell compelling stories of their lives and loves. The band bring real gravitas to the folk scene with expansive instrumentation, cinematic arrangement and luscious 5-part harmony.” I’m always up for a bit of musical belly fruit. They just released an EP, ‘Tether and Twine’, which I’ve purchased to bring home with me to America, but if you fancy watching the band perform all the songs from the release, you can do so here. They will also be appearing at the Alternative Escape in Brighton on Thursday afternoon, so they are a band not to be missed.

Redolent Liverpool Sound City 2013

There’s just not enough bands named with adjectives, I say. This is where the next band comes in. I returned to the Brink Saturday afternoon, as it was May the 4th Be With You Day and they were offering up a C3 PO Boy sandwich (a joke probably lost on most Brits but I totally got it, having had many a po’ boy in my time and having once visited New Orleans). Redolent, a very young band from Edinburgh, is one I came across in my Sound City preview research, on the strength of their guitar playing in the many acoustic videos they’ve put on their YouTube account. I don’t think their songwriting craft is fully formed yet, but on the basis of how good they are on their instruments, I can see them being the Two Door Cinema Club of Edinburgh soon enough. Just you watch.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMVimqLk63s[/youtube]

Now is the time that I can reveal my shining stardom moment of the weekend. Shining stardom moment not in a “oh my god, I’ve met *insert band name here* and I can die happy now” way. No, as in “wow, I’ve made it!” While I speaking to the band members of Redolent after their set, I was approached soon after by Sid and Esme of the Oreohs, the young Halifax band who Martin had nothing but compliments for from the Thursday. “Are you Mary Chang? Do you run There Goes the Fear?” I was incredulous. And to be honest, pretty nervous and taken aback at having been identified. I am sure I was blushing. Sid explained that they had toured as support for the Crookes previously and she’d read my review of the Crookes’ ‘Bear’s Blood’ single and thought it was “absolutely amazing”. When you put your heart and soul into something, it is always heartwarming to hear that what you do is appreciated by someone else. It is also lovely to be reminded of good friends; even if you are hundreds of miles away from them, they will always be in your heart. I was absolutely beaming from this interaction.

Last Days of 1984 Liverpool Sound City 2013

I whinged initially at the lack of true dance bands at this year’s Sound City, so the salve of Dublin’s Last Days of 1984 at the Garage was more than welcome. Ever since Daft Punk made that pronouncement that they thought dance music was going in the wrong direction while they’d been away, I’ve been analysing and overanalysing what they perceive as going wrong in this genre. Charismatic frontman? Check. Mad beats? Check. Beautiful sonicscapes? Check. It’s a shame that more punters were out here earlier to catch them, but I thought they sounded fantastic, their music easily filling the cavernous Garage.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9SttTceg4k[/youtube]

I won’t speak about Willy Moon in my review, as Martin photographed him. I tried to be a trooper and squeeze my way into the crowded floor where he was playing at the East Village Arts Club but it was just too hot and claustrophobic, so I had to leave to catch my breath. And sit down with a cider. Smile.

The Hummingbirds Liverpool Sound City 2013

It just wouldn’t be Sound City for me if I didn’t see the Hummingbirds. The six man band are known for their incredibly melodic, skiffle-esque, early Beatles sound and it’s easy to see why they are fast favourites with locals young and old. I met them last year, after a considerable amount of time had passed since I had done a Bands to Watch on them. I’m a Liverpool FC supporter, and though my support for the club has been wavering with all this recent Suarez nonsense, it was with much appreciation that lead singer Jay Davies came out with a bright red club scarf around his neck with the word “Justice” emblazoned on it, laying it across an amp on the front of the stage, right in front of the band so everyone could see. Any true footy fan will never forget Hillsborough and especially for Liverpool fans, while that dreadful day will always stir up bad memories, it is also a reminder of the strength and solidarity of the city and its people coming together to demand justice for those whose lives were lost.

Maybe that is why ‘Back in Liverpool’ brings tears to my eyes when I hear it, and why I had that reaction Saturday night watching them play it. The song itself is about a man who’s wanting to have a serious conversation with a woman he was involved with, but he can’t do it until she returns to town because she’s left and gone away (to Cambridge, if you were wondering…I guess she went to uni?). In this overly social media-ed world, the fact that he’s not texting or WhatsApp-ing her is refreshing. “It’s not about me or you, or the things we used to do, like watching movies in the dark. All the places that we’d meet, all the scuffles under sheets that makes it hard to be apart. There’s things I’d like to say to you, when you’re back in Liverpool.” That is just about the most perfect chorus you could ever write, and I never could have predicted I would hear the song again later on that night.

The band will be releasing a new single ‘Emma’ in July, but that didn’t stop them from doing a raucous cover of ‘Day Tripper’ to pay homage to the Fabs. Check ’em out if you haven’t already, you won’t be disappointed.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq3q635TsxQ[/youtube]

Delphic Liverpool Sound City 2013

If you have been keeping up with the TGTF story since 2010, you will recall that Delphic‘s debut ‘Acolyte’ was my favourite album of 2010. Fast forward 3 years and they’ve released the follow-up, a r&b infused one called ‘Collections’, that neither John or I particularly liked. While I entirely understand the need to broaden your horizons and the desire not to stay in the same place musically, it was clearly evident at the Manchester quartet’s appearance Saturday night at the Arts Academy – now augmented live by a touring bass player, with singer James Cook now playing guitar instead – that the set suffered from the lack of cohesion between the two albums, and this was apparent to the punters as well. I’d seen Delphic several times in 2010 and every time I saw them I’d be surrounded by people who were singing along to the songs, and this just didn’t happen in Liverpool. I found myself not enjoying being pressed up against seriously pissed people down the front ended up extricating myself from the barrier to join John further back.

Starting with newer single ‘Baiya’ was a wise choice, as it is the song of theirs that’s gotten most airplay recently, but other tracks like ‘Freedom Found’ and ‘Atlas’ lumbered uncomfortably alongside the sheer pop goodness of ‘Doubt’ and the admirable ravey qualities of ‘Red Lights’. The pacing just wasn’t right; as soon as you thought the momentum was building in the set, a newer song would come into the mix and throw things off again. I don’t know if it was because they honestly had other bands to see or other places to go, but people would come into the venue for a couple songs, and then make a beeline to the door to leave. We stayed through the whole set, hoping for a build-up at the end, which didn’t come. Seeing them live confirmed to me my biggest worry for them, that in reinventing their sound, they managed to lose a good chunk of their fanbase who was into their electropop / rock sound they began with. Unfortunately, their new material is just not for me at all.

When we stumbled into the delegates bar at the Epstein Theatre at the end of the night to have a few celebratory brews that TGTF had come through the other side of Sound City, a local orchestra was playing in the main area and they ended their set with a splendid rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. John and Martin, knowing my team affiliation, both smiled and said, “it’s your song!” Grin. The orchestra was followed by Splintered Ukes, a 12-piece ukulele band. You really haven’t lived until you’ve heard a ukulele version of Radiohead‘s ‘Creep’. Haha. And they paid respect to fellow Liverpudlians the Hummingbirds by covering ‘Back in Liverpool’. What a fitting ending to our Liverpool Sound City. God and funds willing, we’ll see you all next year.

 

The Hummingbirds / October and November 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 8th October 2012 at 8:00 am
 

The Hummingbirds from Liverpool will be playing a couple dates around the UK in late October and November. Tickets can be purchased here.

Saturday 19th October 2012 – Liverpool Edge Hill University (free show, all ages)
Sunday 21st October 2012 – Sheffield Academy (all ages)
Monday 22nd October 2012 – Birmingham Academy (all ages)
Saturday 3rd November 2012 – Middlesbrough Mink
Friday 23rd November 2012 – Glasgow Stereo
Saturday 10th November 2012 – Liverpool Olympia (supporting the Tea Street Band)
Wednesday 28th November 2012 – Liverpool Cavern Club (free show with filming, all ages)

 

Interview: The Hummingbirds at Liverpool Sound City

 
By on Friday, 22nd June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Interview by Larry Heath of www.theaureview.com
Reproduced by permission

Having the opportunity to catch them several times live at Liverpool Sound City, Larry managed to grab the members of Liverpool outfit The Hummingbirds (not to be confused with the 80s Sydney band of the same name) to talk about their shows, performing for the Queen, The Beatles, their music and much more…

Let’s talk about what you’ve been up to the last couple of days. You were saying you had never busked before and you busked for the Queen!

Yeah, so it’s a good start to busk for the Queen. We didn’t know it was busking until an hour before, we thought it was going to be a full stage with amps and lights and we got a call just saying it’s completely acoustic, just take your guitars and just play. We always talked about busking though, we thought it’d be a cool thing to do with harmonies and acoustic guitars, we’re good live, it’s not like we’re a studio band. We couldn’t cancel, we couldn’t cancel on the Queen so we just decided to do it, and we’ve been busking all weekend basically.

Well you played the opening party a month ago and at the industry party Wednesday night, so you definitely are sort of ambassadors, official or otherwise!

It’s a big festival, so it’s great that they actually picked us to do the opening party in London and the party in Liverpool. The roof-top show today was a one-off so that was brilliant.

Read the rest of Larry’s interview with the Liverpudlian band here: www.theaureview.com/interviews/liverpool-sound-city-the-hummingbirds-liverpool

 

Live Gig Video: The Hummingbirds record a live version of ‘More to See’ on the way to Stockton

 
By on Friday, 8th June 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Last week the Hummingbirds headed to Stockton to play support to local band and the makers of one of my favourite albums last year, Young Rebel Set. The young Liverpudlians made good use of their time by recording this impromptu, a capella version of ‘More to See’. Watch it below.

Being a local band, naturally the Hummingbirds made loads of appearances in and around this year’s Liverpool Sound City; read about their appearance at the festival launch party here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvnbCQ6N1UI[/youtube]

 

Liverpool Sound City 2012: Day 1 Gig Roundup

 
By on Friday, 8th June 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Of the nights TGTF was not hosting a stage, Thursday night at Sound City was the most stellar. After the Taiwan reception at the Hilton, I consumed a high calorie pub dinner full of fried food (yes, I was hungry) and getting chatted up by an LFC supporter drinking wine at the bar. (Search me. What is it with Northerners, why am I always chatted up in the North?). A PR friend and I went searching for the Academy of Arts; my goal was to get to the Mystery Jets set on time. Liverpool is not a big city. Not really sure how we got lost; I’m going with “everything looks different at night” as my story.

We honestly were directed to the wrong entrance to the venue; during the early evening hours, the Screenadelica film showcase area was also playing host to bands, so we entered the building on the Screenadelica side. Suddenly my friend jerks my shoulder – while I was trying to put on my earplugs, so god only knows where the case went – and I can hear ‘Half in Love with Elizabeth’ from behind a really heavy and really dark curtain. In all my time of blogging, I’ve never gone to a gig through the backstage, either on purpose or by accident. Check that off my list, because now I can say I’ve arrived to a gig in that exact way.

To my knowledge, Mystery Jets have never played a headlining gig in Washington. So after getting shut out of Brighton Corn Exchange the previous week at the Great Escape in Brighton, no way was I missing this. I got my camera out just in time for the beginning of ‘Greatest Hits’, which in my opinion should be the next single off ‘Radlands’ (album review here) because it sounds like classic Mystery Jets. (We’ll see about that…) After I fired off quite a few shots, I decided to hang back and just absorb. Part of me couldn’t believe I was within an arm’s length of both Blaine Harrison and William Rees (drummer Kapil Trivedi was in the stage right back corner, which made photographing him difficult). And there they were.

I think I finally realised the gravity of the situation when they played ‘Serotonin’: despite my insistence to my mother, there is nothing like the feeling of being in the middle of a gig, the instrumentation vibrating across your ribs, the words coming out of the speakers and laying right in your ears. Sorry to anyone who was annoyed but ‘Serotonin’ will probably stand as one of the pivotal albums of my career and life in music, so naturally in terms of singing along, I went for it. A little disappointingly, the band didn’t seem as animated as I had expected, though musicianship-wise, they were peerless.

Surprisingly, I was never called back (or barked at, as is the case at SXSW) by security to leave, so I just stayed in the photo pit, enjoying my first-ever Mystery Jets spectacle. I know I’ll never get a completely brilliant experience like that ever again. Other new songs like title track ‘Radlands’, ‘Sister Everett’ and ‘Lost in Austin’, while they didn’t fall flat, just couldn’t stand up to the great Mystery Jets legacy that has built up over the years. I completely appreciate and respect their desire to break out of their mold and do something different, but I think ‘Radlands’ is just too left field for most long-time fans. ‘Two Doors Down’ (video below) had a huge fan response, as did ‘Serotonin’ showstopper ‘Show Me the Light’ and set closer ‘Behind the Bunhouse’ (videos to come on TGTF soon).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnu5hvSVelQ[/youtube]

A handy thing about most venues for Sound City generally: the venues are pretty close together. I literally walked across a small square to get to the Red Bull Studios at the Garage, which looked like an actual garage. I caught the last third of Stealing Sheep’s set; Martin had covered them in Newcastle opening for Field Music back in February. Maybe it was the sound levels but I had come expecting a ‘folky’ sound but instead got loud and brash rock, with the brashness best physically exemplified by the drummer’s very bright and heavily sequined shirt. The harmonies were a bit lost in the mix in the songs I heard, and maybe this was the place was so big, each member was so far away from the next on the massive stage. But there’s nothing like watching a band having the time of their lives. Below is some video from the Von Pip Musical Express from their performance.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz0-0snEoLo[/youtube]

Truth be told, on this stage I was most excited to was to be up next. When I first joined up as USA Editor of TGTF, we were right in the middle of a campaign with the now defunct Radar Maker for a French label I’d never heard of. In the ensuing weeks and months, I became very familiar with the then little-known bands they were hawking around the UK circuit, bands who would soon figure significantly in my blogging career: La Roux, Two Door Cinema Club, Delphic and some touring mates of Delphic’s, electronic duo Chew Lips.

It seems almost like ‘going home’ to be talking about Kitsune because out of all the labels and people we’ve had the pleasure to work with on TGTF over the years, I am proudest of our early promotion of their bands not just because I cut my blogging teeth on Kitsune, I’m sure at the beginning, it was tough going for Gildas Loaec and his crew to break out of the Parisian scene and get his bands played elsewhere. That man has quite the ear for talent and thanks to him we’ve got many acts that I imagine will continue to thrive in the years to come.

Chew Lips’ ‘Unicorn’ in 2010 was an acclaimed album, so now we’re looking to single ‘Do You Chew?’ (video below) to be a harbinger of things to come with their next album due out later this year. I’m so used to seeing press photos of lead singer Tigs with blonde hair, I was in for a bit of a shock when she arrived onstage…brunette. She commands the stage with ease, using her deep voice; what started as a paltry and rather embarrassing showing of punters quickly grew as their set wore on, no doubt mesmerised by what was going onstage. As some friends had suggested to me previously, yes, there is something very sexual about her performance.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0da7oqQcvc[/youtube]

But hey, I’m there for the music – or maybe the riffs of James Watkins instead! – but I now understand what people have said. ‘Salt Air’, a song I immediately latched on to when we were given the green light to give the Plastician remix of it, sounded amazing, as did songs like ‘Slick’ and ‘Gold Key’. Several new songs like ‘Hurricane’, ‘Rain’, and ‘Speed’, as part of the Tigs-described “99 percent a love album”, sound brilliant live. I can’t wait to hear the whole thing when it’s finally released. Maybe this time I’ll get a chance to see Chew Lips on my side of the pond instead of waiting another 3 years for another chance!

It should come as no surprise that I would hang around for Django Django. After the Blind Tiger human oven incident at the Great Escape, I welcomed being able to see the band and being able to breathe at the same time. (Thanks Liverpool.) I was so disappointed they weren’t wearing the Planet Cheeto outfits! But unlike the unfortunate placement at the tiny Blind Tiger club in Brighton, the Garage was a huge place for them to play to, and punters eagerly filled in to hear what I predict will be the most talked about band come the end of this year’s festival season.

While the massive stage proved to be a problem for Stealing Sheep, the four chaps of Django Django bridged this distance with no problem, with singer Vincent Neff assuming a position at the back at one point to play an enormous tambourine. This is a band that doesn’t do anything on a small scale, so if you’ve had the chance to see them in a small club, (I’m not including Blind Tiger!), consider yourself lucky.

And thus concludes the Thursday night of Sound City. If you’re wondering why I ended so early (around 1 in the morning), it’s because John and I had a big day ahead of us on Friday, when we played host to a Sound City stage of our own. Stay tuned…

 

Liverpool Sound City 2012: Day 1 Sessions Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 7th June 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Editor’s note: This is mostly for the geeks who are interested in what goes on during the day at Liverpool Sound City, when us delegates are actually ‘working’ and networking on ways to do what we do better. Although by sheer numbers there are a lot less people attending Sound City, I found being surrounded by more students and bands a completely different atmosphere than in Brighton for the Great Escape, and in many ways, preferred these more approachable groups and sessions.

Bright and early next morning (err…9 AM) I rolled out of bed and made it on time to pick up my badges from the Hilton. How nice to not have to wait for hours to get a delegates badge sorted (::cough:: SXSW ::cough::). I stepped into my first delegates session at Sound City and breathed a sigh of relief. Instead of worrying about rammed sessions at the Great Escape, these sessions were full, but not cramped. And I noticed there was definitely a higher proportion of students and young bands to self-important types, which made the whole affair far less pretentious. I sat in on a module being led by Martin Skelly of Uniform, a local Liverpool company that has been developing some interesting ways to merge paper, technology and music. You might wonder what exactly paper can do for music, since most everyone has switched over to digital downloads. Martin gave us two examples; one was an interactive calendar of gigs that one could press different dates and hear a sample of music of the band playing on that night. The other was an actual piece of paper with special inks pressed onto that when placed in a specially designed ink reader could play a track by Oxford band Jonquil. Dubbed ‘smart paper’, I was really impressed by both technologies as a means for bringing music in a physical way back to the masses, and I could tell from the looks on their faces that the students and bands listening in on the session were also pretty impressed.

After my first session, I crossed the street to pop over – admittedly way too late –to try and get a glimpse of the Queen and see the Hummingbirds again. HRH was late and people were definitely getting impatient. I figured I had little chance on grabbing an actual photo of ol’ Queenie (dressed in an orange sherbet outfit head to toe that day, if you were wondering) so I filmed some video instead.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Th4wdUSibI[/youtube]

After that flurry of excitement, it was time to grab a bagged lunch costing less than 4 quid (thanks, Tesco Express) and arrived just in time for an informal lunchtime lobby performance by Waa Wei, a Taiwanese pop star, part of a major Taiwanese contingent with the catchy name ‘Das ROCpool’. (More on them on Friday’s review.) It takes a lot of nerve to perform thousands of miles away from home, surrounded by people who speak a language you don’t completely understand and I guess being Oriental, their manager honed in on me and we chatted a bit in the mother tongue. Unusual experience that I doubt will be repeated anytime soon, but have to say it felt pretty nice.

Next, it was back in for a panel session moderated by Amazing Radio’s Shell Zenner, featuring indie label bosses. The more I hear guys like this speak, the more I’m convinced the music business is going to stay alive on the backs of people like them and not the big labels who treat their bands like numbers. Remember readers: support your favourite bands of course, but don’t forget to support your favourite indie labels, because we need them to stay in business so your favourite bands can put out albums! It hadn’t occurred to me that the Line of Best Fit came from a Death Cab for Cutie song (to be honest I’m not a fan of DCFC and just assumed it was an allusion to statistics); either way, it was cool to meet Rich Thane of Best Fit Recordings and have a meeting of the minds with another blog named after a favourite song.

At the recommendation of a new Manchester friend, I stayed around for a tech panel that I thought would not be up my alley. I thought it would go over my head, but I learned about three Web services I’d never heard of: WebDoc, which looks like a whole bunch of social media platforms combined into one but giving you the ability to put your own mark on it; Mobile Roadie, a practically DIY approach to making your own apps, and Rdio, a subscription music streaming service that has had better luck hooking major labels than Spotify has. But what turned out to be most directly handy to the TGTF vision was a chat I had afterwards with David Adams of Soundcloud, who appreciated my feedback on how our blog uses and benefits from Soundcloud so much, he offered me beta access to the Next version of Soundcloud, which if I do say so myself, looks so sleek and cool and has some very useful additions to the original make, I can’t wait until the new Soundcloud is fully realised and available to everyone.

A social media session was rammed yet wasn’t as interesting as I’d expected, so I ducked out of there and ducked into the Taiwan Panel. I don’t speak Chinese fluently, but I get by okay, and I can understand it if it’s not being spoken a mile a minute, so hearing three talks by heavyweights from the Taiwan music scene was pretty fascinating. There’s this whole world of music that we as Westerners know nothing or next to nothing about and it’s definitely a market that Western labels can tap into, while discovering homegrown talent from there. And where else at a music conference will you be served jasmine tea upon sitting down, I ask you? I hope the whole ‘Das ROCpool’ franchise returns to Sound City next year, bigger and better, and I will have more time to see and chat with all the bands they’ve brought over.

The Taiwan folks were also in charge of Day 1’s end of day party, and I hung around for a bit for free drinks (of course everyone was heading there!) and also was waiting around for the Hummingbirds for an interview, which unfortunately never materialised because they had a conflict with their soundcheck. But Day 1 had already been jammed packed with meeting so many new people and finding out about so many new things.

 
 
 

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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy