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

SXSW 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!

The Temper Trap / December 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd August 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Australian quartet The Temper Trap have announced UK dates as part of a larger European tour, set to take place this winter. The band are heading to the Continent, followed by Britain, in support of their third album ‘Thick as Thieves’, which was released back in June. (You can read my review of the record here.) It’s available now from Infectious Records in the UK and Glassnote Records in America. Tickets to the below tour dates go on sale this Friday, the 5th of August, at 10 AM. To read more on the Temper Trap on TGTF, go here.

Sunday 18th December 2016 – Glasgow Garage
Monday 19th December 2016 – Manchester Academy 2
Tuesday 20th December 2016 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Wednesday 21st December 2016 – Birmingham Institute 2

 

Album Review: The Temper Trap – Thick as Thieves

 
By on Thursday, 16th June 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The Temper Trap Thick as Thieves album coverIt’s been quite some time since we’ve heard from Aussies The Temper Trap. It’s been so long that frankly, after the way their second album ‘The Temper Trap’ was pretty much panned across the board for lack of a vision, I wasn’t really sure if they had it in them to continue. The band were hit out at for being uninspired, including on ‘London’s Burning’, painfully revisiting the London Riots that were on their doorstep during the time they lived in the Capital. Four years since that release and another incredible 7 years after their well-received debut LP, they’ve attempted to return to their earlier ‘Conditions’. The question is, will anyone be listening?

The name ‘Thick as Thieves’ is a reference to the band’s soldiering on as a four-piece following the amicable depature of lead guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto and the strong, brotherly bond that has grown between them since. Joseph Greer, who came aboard as a touring member around the time of ‘Conditions’, has grown into the lead guitarist position since Sillitto’s departure but is also still on keyboards. Structurally, the biggest change on this album compared to past efforts was their willingness to work with other outside songwriters.

An idea previously shunned by the band, it gives the LP somewhat of a patchwork feel, with so many (and possible too many) cooks in the kitchen. Early single ‘Fall Together’ is the result of a collaboration with frequent Lana Del Rey cowriter Justin Parker. Its bouncy, buzzy synths are innocuous, but the overall it’s a mainstream, feel good anthem led by frontman Dougy Mandagi’s massive vocals, recalling the best populist moments from their debut. Both the title track and ‘Lost’ are cut from a similar cloth, with even its lyrical content similar: all three explore the importance of unbreakable relationships.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oop2g5p1lIs[/youtube]

Speaking of, one will begin to notice a weird phenomenon after listening to the album all the way through more than once. There isn’t much variation to the topics being broached on ‘Thick as Thieves’. ‘Burn’, whose title might suggest the passion of a romance heating up, is less about anything salacious and more about taking a chance in a general sense. It begins on a nice, winsome note, building towards an upbeat tempo, perfect for ‘Sweet Disposition’-esque festival pogoing, if you were wondering. ‘Alive’ includes the trite lyrics of “it feels so good to be alive!”, which are not unlike those from ‘Burn’ (“you’ve got burn just to feel alive”). I realise that Carrie and I spend much more time looking at song lyrics than the average journo. However, anyone not a pedant like us would notice and be put off by what comes across as lazy songwriting.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hbr-I_FWDQ[/youtube]

‘Alive’ is followed by ‘Riverina’ and ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’. While neither is spectacular, the fact that they’re structurally different makes them of interest. The former has a very catchy melody and sees The Temper Trap on the anthem motorway once again. Hats off to Pascal Gabriel, famed for writing some of Dido and Kylie Minogue’s biggest hits, so it’s not a surprise this is one of the album’s standouts. Close your eyes, and the guitars of ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’ are lifted from ‘Science of Fear’, just slowed down. If you have spent any significant time with ‘Conditions’ like I have (I taught myself bass with it), you will get a sense of deja vu from time to time listening to ‘Thick as Thieves’. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your point of view: do you want something that’s comfortable, or something that’s beguiling in its newness?

Years ago, I had the pleasure of having a relaxed conversation with Mandagi outside the House of Blues in Boston in October 2010, hours before their headline show there. He asked me point-blank what I thought of their debut album, wanting my opinion of it. By that time, I’d seen them perform a few times but was still pretty much a rookie at covering live shows, let alone interacting with rock stars. I bit the bullet, somewhat painfully disclosing to him that I far preferred their live set to them on record, figuring he’d never read my review of it on TGTF. 

Instead of reacting badly, he appreciated my honesty, grinning and agreeing with me. He said that when the band were in the studio, he felt like they were holding themselves back, whereas live, they would leave everything behind onstage and give it their all. There’s certainly nothing objectionable here on ‘Thick at Thieves’, but like its 2012 predecessor, there is a weird lack of inventiveness and sheer excitement throughout, leaving the listener wanting so much more. However, having experienced them many times live, including their headline slot at the TGTF stage at Liverpool Sound City 2012, I will wait to cast further judgment until after I’ve seen them play this album live this autumn.

6/10

‘Thick as Thieves’, The Temper Trap’s third album, is out now on Infectious Records in the UK and Glassnote Records in America. For more coverage on TGTF on the Aussie band, follow this link.

 

Preview: Dot to Dot Festival 2016

 
By on Thursday, 19th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

In this day and age, there are an overwhelming number of music festivals big and small vying for your attention and your hard-earned cash. While we’ve been to the biggies such as SXSW and The Great Escape, there’s something to be said about the smaller events in the less likely places that offer incredible value. Seven years ago, I covered my first UK music festival and now in 2016, I’m chuffed to bits that we’ll be sending another of the TGTF writers out to cover Dot to Dot Festival 2016. If you find yourself not having any plans for the upcoming second May bank holiday weekend, Dot to Dot could, in a pinch, serve as a welcome musical salve to keep your weekend lively.

In case you’ve not heard of Dot to Dot, it’s like behemoth Reading and Leeds in that the bands move on to the next city of the festival, so that nearly all acts set to appear in the franchise will appear in all locations. However, for those who lack the endurance for a longer festival or indeed, for those lacking the desire to commit to more days of an event, Dot to Dot is a 1-day festival, put on at various venues in Manchester (Friday the 27th of May), Bristol (Saturday the 28th of May) and Nottingham (Sunday the 29th of May).

Heading the top of the bill are English indie darlings Mystery Jets, who released their fifth album ‘Curve of the Earth’ at the start of the year. You can read my review of their latest long player here; Rebecca caught some of the band’s set at Live at Leeds late last month too. Providing a welcome contrast, American trio Augustines (pictured at top) will also be appearing at Dot to Dot, ahead of their new album ‘This is Your Life’ out in June on Caroline International in the UK and PIAS America in America. If Steven’s impression of recent single ‘When Things Fall Apart’ is any indication, the synthesisers will be out in full force during their set.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRU8Gfi5mDU[/youtube]

Another big name scheduled to appear at the festival are The Temper Trap, who will be releasing their long-awaited third album ‘Thick as Thieves’ on the same day as Augustines’ LP drops, the 10th of June. They’ll be appearing at a super secret Amazon Music show this Saturday at the Great Escape 2016 in Brighton, but why wonder if you’re going to see them or not and just buy a ticket to Dot to Dot and ensure you will? Check out their teaser track ‘Fall Together’ above. Other inclusions on the lineup of note to us include Irish band Little Green Cars, whose second album ‘Ephemera’ was released in early March, and SXSW 2016 BBC Introducing stage alums The Sherlocks and ESTRONS, as well as Manchester’s SXSW 2015 BBC Introducing breakout band Spring King, whose debut album for Island Records will also drop on the 10th of June. Check out a stripped back Radio 1 Piano Sessions version of their track ‘The Summer’ they did live for Huw Stephens below.

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

There are, of course, a blindingly amazing list of other acts scheduled to appear at Dot to Dot in 2 weekends’ time, and we invite to check out the official Web site for the most current information on the event. Tickets are available for all three cities at the incredibly low price of £27.50 (including booking fee) directly from Alt-Tickets.

 

Top Gigs of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Friday, 21st December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Another year, and another top 5 gigs by bands that should not be missed live. How odd that three of them came one after another, but that’s the cool thing about Washington DC. Except for December through the beginning of February (the dead of winter) and June through August (festival season), there is always a reasonably good selection of bands coming through here. But that hasn’t always been the case.

I am often asked on my travels why I became a music blogger, and the simple answer has always been this: when I started covering shows in March 2009, I was getting increasingly upset about how many bands (American or international) would skip Washington entirely, either in favour of going to Philadelphia instead or would only consider New York, or maybe Boston, as the only cities worthy on the East Coast for a tour stop. I have had the opportunity to meet so many bands in the last 3+ years that Washington DC has now become considered on the list of cities bands sincerely wish to play in – or on the list that bands say they will definitely pass through on their next headline tours of North America. To know that I have been involved in making this paradigm shift a reality means so much. It means that I have done something for the city I’ve called home all these years and more importantly, have exposed thousands of music fans from varying walks of life who either work, go to school, or pass through our fine city to incredible music.

All five bands whose gigs landed them in my top 5 gigs of 2012 are worth every red cent you can put forward to go see them, either in their own gig or at a festival in 2013. Here’s the list…

5. Ash‘s 20th anniversary tour at DC9 (Thursday 15th November 2012) – what a surreal experience, finally seeing Ash live, in one of the smallest places to see bands in Washington. Even more surreal was after, when I actually got to talk to all of them and Tim Wheeler said I was a more appropriate panelist for Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable than he was. (This made me smile.) The set itself was brilliantly hard rocky, much more so than I ever would have imagined.

4. TGTF’s stage at Liverpool Sound City 2012, starring the Temper Trap, Clock Opera and Dear Prudence Liverpool Academy of Arts (Friday 18th May 2012) – maybe this is cheating, choosing our own stage at Liverpool. But this night couldn’t have been any better, starring our friends since I took over as Editor of this Web site, the Temper Trap, our new friends from SXSW, Clock Opera, and a band from Brighton destined to bigger things, Dear Prudence. All we can say is THANK YOU to all the bands for making it such a memorable night and THANK YOU Sound City for letting us host this amazing stage.

3. Husky at Red Palace (Friday 17th November 2012) – it’s a sad day in Washington, as Red Palace, similar in intimate size to DC9, will be closing its doors at the end of 2012. But before then, I managed to catch the Melbourne band we befriended at this year’s Great Escape. Just check out this video from the show of the band performing an a capella version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Lover Lover Lover’ and you’ll understand why they’re so good live.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqF6k9afzeM[/youtube]

2. the Joy Formidable at St. Stephen’s Church (Saturday 10th November 2012) – the Welsh band have consistently placed in my top 5 gigs of the last 2 years; last year they were at #4 and in 2010, they were at #2. What made the difference and put them higher up this year? Seriously, how often do you see such a power house band in a space as small as a church’s rec room? (Well, it was a little bigger than that…but still.) Absolutely fabulous. And their new album ‘Wolf’s Law’ will be huge next year; just check out this live version of first single ‘Cholla’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjwp3jV2PvM[/youtube]

1. Two Door Cinema Club at 9:30 Club (Tuesday 2nd October 2012) – I was having serious reservations about Two Door’s live show, or rather some of their less than nice fans, after seeing them in Baltimore in June and getting shoved – hard – out of our positions down the front. I almost swore I’d never see them again. But I’m glad I changed my mind.

What was the first date on the autumn 2012 North American tour to sell out? Washington DC, of course. There is still some confusion on whether or not Barack Obama is a fan, but one thing is clear: of all the bands that I’ve known and loved, I did right by Two Door Cinema Club – and helped them become the superstars that they’ve dreamt of being since they started as kids in grammar school. I used to be able to see them after shows and hang out with them, but even as those days are over, they’ve never forgotten me. They are true gents.

Honourable mentions:

St. Etienne at U Street Music Hall (Thursday 25th October 2012) – there’s something to be said for Sarah Cracknall, who may be over 40 but still rocks it out every night as if she was in her 20s.

Divine Fits at 9:30 Club (Thursday 18th October 2012) – it always feels incredibly validating when you see a ‘new’ band who hasn’t been touring much…and they turn out to be absolutely fantastic.

Keane with Mystery Jets at Strathmore Hall (Thursday 14th June 2012) – it’s effin’ Keane, for god’s sakes. And with Mystery Jets, who never tour in America! Win-win, really.

Paula and Karol at 93 Feet East in London (Tuesday 15th May 2012) – what do you do between music festivals? Go to a gig, of course. And at this one, I felt welcomed by the entire Polish population of London. What atmosphere.

First Aid Kit at Black Cat (Friday 30th March 2012) – this show was so spirited, the elder Soderberg lost her top right before the encore. Hardcore.

After the cut: the full list of all the gigs, in reverse chronological order, that I’ve been to in 2012 so you can have some idea how difficult my job was to choose favourites for the top 5 list. The runner-up gigs are also marked.
Continue reading Top Gigs of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 

TGTF Does ARIA Week 2012: The 26th ARIAs’ Media Room (Part 2)

 
By on Wednesday, 12th December 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Part 1 of my ARIAs media room coverage can be found here. Please note that this 2-part series doesn’t summarise every single artist who stopped by the media room: these are only ‘best of’ posts.

Aboriginal group Yothu Yindi were inducted in the ARIA Hall of Fame and also performed with rising r&b star Jessica Mauboy, singer/songwriter Dan Sultan, ex-INXS keyboardist Andrew Farriss and ex-Midnight Oil Peter Garrett, who now serves as Minister of Education. Recognition of the indigenous occupation of the land prior to modern settlement was the hottest button topic all week as the day before, by Premier Jay Weatherill to introduce a bill to Parliament to amend the South Australian Constitution to provide this recognition. All signs point to the government moving more swiftly the wishes of Yothu Yindi’s leader Mandawuy Yunupingu of this recognition to become law. Listen to the press conference below.

I was unfazed by the appearance of Taylor Swift but offered to look after the property of our new friends at ProjectU.tv, who ran off excitedly to see America’s latest sweetheart take the stage in their hometown. (Watch video of the performance below.) If I was unfazed by Taylor Swift, I was over Nicki Minaj’s surprise appearance even before it started. (But I’m sure you readers of TGTF already guessed that…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9t3ZdQMBPc[/youtube]

Russell Brand, who I wasn’t expecting at the ARIAs at all, appeared at the show to present two awards – the first one for Best Female Artist to Goyte’s protégé Kimbra (with him bringing his mum onstage for the occasion) and the second one for Album of the Year to Goyte himself. When it came time for him to be photographed, he entertained himself – and arguably, the photographers – by eating grapes and throwing some of them at the cameras. He had a quite funny exchange with the media when it was his turn for a press conference grilling, which was pretty tame I have to admit, but he made it hilarious. Listen in below.

The Temper Trap returned again when they won the Best Group gong, beating out heavy favourites The Jezebels. They made us all laugh when they recounted meeting Gotye in the loo earlier that night. Listen to their second press conference below.

Speaking of the man of the moment, I wasn’t even sure golden boy Goyte would even have time to stop by the media room; he didn’t stop on the red carpet for anyone. But I guess after four awards – Album of the Year, Best Male Artist (2 years running), Best Pop Release and Best Australian Live Act (the last voted by the public) – he felt a duty to talk briefly to the media, although his brain hadn’t fully adjusted back to Australian time yet. (Yeah, that’s what all that globetrotting does to you…) Listen to Wally’s thoughts below.

Kimbra also made an appearance in the media room, but I was preoccupied with her crazy-coloured ostrich feather skirt and tropical-inspired garb. She was exceptionally pleased with her and Gotye’s ARIA successes this year and said she never imagined they would go 2 for 2 in successive year for Best Male and Female Artists.

Chart-topping singer/songwriter Missy Higgins was one of the last stars to stop by the media room. I’ve really enjoyed her song ‘Set Me on Fire’, from her Best Adult Contemporary Album ARIA-winning album ‘The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle’ and was interested in what she had to say. When emcee Buck mentioned that she was all grown up, in my mind I drew a parallel to what has happened since TGTF humbly began in Phil Singer’s bedroom in 2006. We’ve grown up with all of you: our readers, the bands we write about, and all the behind the scenes people that make the success of those bands possible. If we could get ourselves to the ARIAs this year, what else in TGTF’s future? Much, much more. The sky’s the limit!

 

TGTF Does ARIA Week 2012: The 26th ARIAs’ Media Room (Part 1)

 
By on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

So after getting thoroughly sunburnt on the right hand side of my body during the red (err, black) carpet proceedings of the 26th ARIA Awards, us media were then shepherded into a bunker for the rest of the evening: the media room. In a bit of a comical scene, people ran for the electrical outlets (we’d been in the sun without electricity for hours, remember?) and one photographer, who rather stupidly set up and opened his laptop on the table where one of only three tvs in the room were sat, stepped down hard on my sandaled foot that I nearly shouted in pain.

But who gets back here in the media room? Certainly during my first time with such a privilege, I was not going to make a scene. I was going to enjoy it for what it was worth. If you were wondering what the tvs were for, they were to remind us that there was a delay in when the show would be broadcast on national Australian television. While two of them showed the live action, one at the start was showing the local network and only when we saw the show playing on actual tv were we allowed to Tweet or other social media the heck out of anyone who had won, once the embargo was lifted.

Like the Oscars, the media room for the ARIAs was kitted out with a media wall and a fake award for each of the winners pose with while countless photographers’ flashbulbs went off. (Just so you know, by my estimation an ARIA award must weigh at least 5 kilos, as when I tried holding the sample after most everyone had left the media room, it felt like I was holding an anvil.) As I’m not a photography nut, what was more interesting to me was what the winners had to say during their press conferences. They were welcomed to the stage by former triple j and current Radio National presenter Robbie Buck as they were sat along a pretty non-descript oblong table with a white tablecloth on the stage. While countless journalists had their backs to the stage, typing out on deadline pieces for their outlets, I could sit and listen to everything that was said.

The first exciting moment was when The Temper Trap won Best Rock Album for their second and self-titled album. It was news to me when our AU Review friends told they’re actually a much bigger deal outside Australia than they are *in* Australia. (Well, maybe this explains why they’ve all moved to London and in this interview in October, Toby and Jonny actually like being in London.) You can listen to most of the press conference below; the audio is slightly cut off at the beginning, but they were responding to Buck’s question of how it felt to receive an ARIA via video conferencing 2 years ago; for obvious reasons, they much preferred being in Sydney to accept their awards this time around.

As we’ve supported The Temper Trap ever since the first utterances of ‘Sweet Disposition’ began to make the rounds and had the pleasure of hosting them on our very own stage at this year’s Liverpool Sound City, it was a proud moment that TGTF could share in. This proud moment was made all the sweeter when it came time for the band to leave the stage and return to their seats in the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The eyes of guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto, who I first met in Boston 2 years ago, scanned the front row of journalists.

He stopped in front of me and gave me a puzzled look. “Mary, what are you doing here?” Having seen them play 8 times, 6 times outside of DC, I didn’t think it was any weirder to be seeing them in Sydney, so my reply was, “what do you think I’m doing here? I’m covering the ARIAs!” His initial shock wore off quickly, he grinned and then waved down the other guys. Suddenly I found myself in the middle of a massive Temper Trap band hug. I am one of those people that believe that things happen for a reason. What I have had trouble believing in lately: how life has a funny way of turning out just fine, even if it’s completely different from what your heart had hoped would happen and wanted. I went to Boston with a different intention; I had no idea 2 years later I would find myself in Australia, covering the famous ARIAs and toasting my prize-winning friends on their amazing awards. You can’t make this stuff up.

I hope I keep having opportunities to see the Temper Trap gig. They are genuinely nice chaps who have been appreciative of everything we’ve done for them. As I watched on one of the tvs just as they were playing ‘Trembling Hands’ for the thousands at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and the millions watching at home, I almost felt overwhelmed at what was enfolding right in front of me. I was so proud of them – and also proud for the role us here at TGTF have had in their path to stardom.

Stay tuned for part 2, to post tomorrow.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JktHbMT0aoU[/youtube]

 
 
 

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.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us