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MP3(s) of the Day #522: The Whip

 
By on Tuesday, 17th April 2012 at 10:00 am
 

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Whip. The Manchester group just appeared at his year’s Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen and finished an English tour before that. and it was from my looking over their upcoming tour dates that I came across this five-track freebie. Recorded in Leeds last year, a freebie is always a nice way to start your Tuesday, don’t you agree?

The Whip will appearing at other festivals in the coming months (visit their official Web site for all the details) but our writer John endeavours to catch up with them at this year’s Beach Break Live. Where’s the suncream?

 

Thirty One – Manchester Charity Compilation to Benefit CALM

 
By on Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Last year I started writing for a magazine called CALMzine, the publication of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a nonprofit charity that was founded with support from trustee (and of course, someone who looms very large in the story of Manchester’s musical heritage) Tony Wilson in 2006. CALM’s initial intention and continuing campaign has been to help fight the high suicide rate of men under the age of 35 in the UK.

While the campaign, Web site, magazine and online community targets men in this age group, the support system they have in place including a free, anonymous helpline is open to anyone who needs help. CALM began first with a helpline in the Northwest but in late November, they celebrated the launch of their London helpline at a special party at Topman Oxford Street on the 25th of November 2011, an event that I was glad to have the chance to take in firsthand.

Depression and stress are just two things that all of us have in our lives, yet they are main players in that final, desperate decision: when a person chooses to end his/her life. CALM had provided a safe haven for many of those on the brink, for people who are having difficulty coping with real issues in their lives and have nowhere to turn to.

Running these helplines cost money of course, and right now the helplines are open on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 PM to midnight. But here is where you can help: CALM’s goal is to have the helpline open every night of the week. Writer/DJ Dave Haslam has curated for the Factory Foundation a special collection of 31 songs, named aptly ‘Thirty One’. Being that it’s Factory related, you can probably guess where this is going…

Yes, ‘Thirty One’ is a compilation of tunes from some of ours here at TGTF and I’m sure some of your favourite Manchester-based artists. Elbow, busy now with work on making the London Olympics this summer sound good to the world, has provided a UK exclusive: a live version of ‘Lippy Kids’ from Pukkelpop. I Am Kloot, not a stranger to charity works as evidenced by their appearance at the Billie Butterfly Fund show I attended last year, have reworked their track ‘Bigger Wheels’ especially for this release. Everything Everything, who also performed at the Billie Butterfly show, offer up their cover of Gloworm’s ‘Carry Me Home’. (I’m quite interested to hear how that one turned out!) A remix of the Whip‘s ‘Secret Weapon’ is also in this collection; if you recall, their ‘Wired Together’ appeared at #5 on my Top Albums of 2011 list. Other bands we’ve banged on about, including Airship, Bad Lieutenant, Delphic, Dutch Uncles, Mr. Scruff and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds all make appearances on this compilation, plus many more. If the music isn’t enough for you, the album also includes art direction from Peter Saville and special photography by Tom Cockram, who’s done some ace shots of Delphic and Egyptian Hip Hop in the past, so I’m expecting the images included on this to be truly lovely.

Support this very worthy cause by buying this collection here, with all the proceeds going directly to CALM. Varying prices allow for different levels of donation: £10, £20 or £31 (get it?), with your choice of 320kbps MP3, FLAC and Apple Lossless, in fully digital (with instant download) and physical digipaks (released the 12th of March) are available. Limited edition vinyl is on sale at Townsend Records.

More often than not, suicide happens because someone has decided his/her life is hopeless. CALM’s mission is to help people in crisis, and your donation by purchasing this album will help them continue this mission.

 

Video of the Moment #703: The Whip

 
By on Monday, 6th February 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

While it may have Brave New World overtones, the video for the Whip‘s new single ‘Movement’ (out today on Southern Fried Records) stars some imaginative kids…being kids and having. Without being on the internet. What a concept. Except there is a bit of technology involved here, oops… The single includes remixes by The 2 Bears and In Flagranti.

The band’s ‘Wired Together’, released in September of last year and reviewed here, was one of my top 5 albums of 2011. You can read more about my list here.

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

 

The Whip / February 2012 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 5th January 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Manchester’s the Whip are playing a couple English gigs in February. Support will be from the Good Natured. Tickets to the below dates are available now.

The Whip are also making an appearance at Snowbombing 2012 in April in Mayrhofen, Austria.

Friday 24th February 2012 – Newcastle Riverside
Saturday 25th February 2012 – Leeds Cockpit
Sunday 26th February 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow
Monday 27th February 2012 – Brighton Green Door Store
Tuesday 28th February 2012 – London XOYO
Wednesday 29th February 2012 – Manchester Club Academy
Tuesday 10th April 2012 – Mayrhofen Snowbombing Festival

 

Top Albums of 2011: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Tuesday, 20th December 2011 at 1:00 pm
 

As we get ready to bid adieu to another year of fantastic music, your faithful editor has made a list and checked it twice to choose what she considers the best of the year. Agree? Disagree? As always on here on TGTF, comments are welcome.

1. Noah and the Whale – ‘Last Night on Earth’ (Mercury) – With all the bad news about the economy in our faces each day and scandals rocking public institutions and public figures, we could really use something that can lift our cynical spirits. The third album from Noah and the Whale was unfairly maligned by critics bemoaning that they sound “too American” on this effort; what’s more important to me is the strength of the songwriting on this outing compared to their previous sombre material.

Not only is Charlie Fink happy, his writing is so grand it could finally bring Noah and the Whale into the big time. The most emotional moment is proffered in ‘Waiting for My Chance to Come’: “when you’re walking next to me / I can feel my body speak”. While the song title appears in the tune ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.’, the defining lyric of the album is in here as well: “what you don’t have now will come back again / you’ve got heart and you’ll go in your own way”. In March, I stated this “will be 2011′s most optimistic, inspiring, life-affirming album” and months later, I still feel strongly about this album. Read my review here.

2. Lykke Li – ‘Wounded Rhymes’ (LL) – If you were expecting more of the same from Lykke Li based on her debut ‘Youth Novels’ (1 part strange ‘folk’ music, 1 part infectious dance), you’re sorely mistaken. Instead though, the Swedish songstress pushed new boundaries with her new partner in crime, Peter Bjorn and John’s Bjorn Yttling, and showed her songwriting abilities go far beyond a forgettable pop song. Maturity suits her, and even if she herself doesn’t like her fans being fixated on her in rapt attention at her concerts instead of dancing like they just don’t care, there’s no denying that her heartbreak makes for good song. Read my review here.

3. Young Rebel Set – ‘Curse Our Love’ (EMI) – Paul Lester damned this band with faint praise in this New Band of the Day feature in 2009 and I hope he ate his words upon listening to the band’s debut album on EMI. Singalong choruses in rock have become somewhat of a cliché in these Coldplay days but I like what these guys from Stockton-on-Tees are doing: a little bit of folk on rock. Sounds like what Noah and the Whale used to do, doesn’t it? ‘Walk On’ and ‘Fall Hard’ are ready made festival winners, and ‘If I Was’ is probably the prettiest love song you haven’t heard yet. If only the Brits took to them as much as the Germans already have…

4. Patrick Wolf – ‘Lupercalia’ (Hideout) – Multi-instrumentalist Patrick Apps presented himself to the world in 2003 with ‘Lycanthropy’, filled with teenage angst. This was followed by ominous autumnal musings in 2005’s ‘Wind in the Wires’, freewheeling happiness in 2007’s ‘The Magic Position’, and “stick it to the man” ‘The Bachelor’ of 2009. This year’s album is a celebration, literally (Wolf drew from on an old Roman holiday designed to avert evil spirits and for purification for his thematic inspiration) and absent is the brooding, pensive Patrick, a mode he knows well. But who cares? The man is in love, the songwriting is top notch and this is an album you can listen to again and again. Read my review here.

5. The Whip – ‘Wired Together’ (Southern Fried) – As the year went on, I was getting really worried that there wouldn’t be a dance album in 2011 to truly stir my restless soul, to make me feel alive again. Trust Manchester to come through with a corker: the Whip’s ‘Wired Together’ ticked all the boxes. ‘Shake’ is an in your face, dirty dancing delight. It starts slow and cool before you are compelled to put your hands in the air and you start seeing the coloured lights. Read my review here.

Under the cut: albums that almost made the top 5…as well as some albums that disappointed.
Continue reading Top Albums of 2011: Editor’s Picks

 

Album Review: The Whip – Wired Together

 
By on Friday, 30th September 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

The 2011 festival season may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the dancing should stop. The Whip, with their second album ‘Wired Together’, looks primed to be at the forefront of dance party shenanigans this autumn. Some of the songs have already been examined in my In the Post in June (read it here) so I’ll only be touching on songs not previously written about in this album review.

The album begins with ‘Keep or Delete’, a song rather apropros for the current digital generation and a good way to start the party. (You can get this song for free in this earlier MP3 of the Day post.) ‘Shake’ is the kind of song most dance music artists wish they could write; it sounds like a neverending explosion of sound and colours, arms waving the entire time. Unlike ‘Secret Weapon’ and ‘Movement’, which were good but less in-your-face affairs, you cannot escape ‘Shake’. “The only thing left to do is shake” – yes, please! For that reason, I think it’s the best track on the whole album. This track alone makes it better than Tom Vek’s ‘Leisure Seizure’ (my review here). That’s saying quite a lot.

‘Metal Law’, while lesser than ‘Shake’, is a worthy follower. ‘Best Friend’ will make your heart race, with a robotic Gary Numan-esque vocal, a carefully-placed minor chord progression in the chorus and relentless beats. ‘Intensity’, just like the name sounds, is a musical jackhammer, trying to beat itself into your brain. The first couple listens, it’s rather annoying. I think with headphones it’s probably made doubly annoying (especially since I usually turn the bass up) and when you’re in the club, this is a non-issue, so I’ll let this one slide. Altogether though, this is one fine set of tunes that you should be cranking up and dancing to. Not that you should have ever doubted the Whip. You see, this is how Manchester makes dance music look effortless.

9/10

‘Wired Together’, the sophomore effort from the Whip, is available now from Southern Fried Records. Stream all the songs below and if you like them, buy them.

 
 
 

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.

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