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Interview: Thee Vicars

By on Wednesday, 20th January 2010 at 12:00 pm

In February last year we introduced you to ’60s-nostalgo-four piece Thee Vicars. Over the course of the odd year that’s followed, the band have racked up gigs in the triple figures, set up a record label and released their second record. So it’s about time we caught up with them.

As a very standard opener…tell us a bit about yourselves.
I’m Mike, i play bass and scream and shout. I started the band along with Marcus about 2 and a half years ago, I’m 20 years old and this is pretty much all I do. *laughter*

You recently released your second LP, how’ve you found response to it?
We’ve had good responses to the latest LP, there’s been a lot of reviews online and in magazines and it’s all been positive stuff, which is great.

You played over a hundred gigs last year. What was your favourite gig of ’09, and who did you enjoy sharing the stage with most?
Hard to say. I really liked the Bassy Club in Berlin last year, great atmosphere and great sound! As for sharing the stage, I guess it would have to be when we toured with the Black Lips. We were already fans of their music and they’re great guys too.

With two brilliant albums and all those tours the labels must be kicking the door down to get your signatures…?
There’s been quite a lot of independent labels wanting to do releases with us but no major labels. Independent labels are far better to work with in terms of controlling your own songs so we’re not too fussed right now, but damn we would love some money.

Tell us more about your own label.
Myself and Lee, our manager, had the idea to start out own label to do a few 45s of us and other bands that we love. We put out our ‘Feel So Good’ single but have not had many funds to be able to put out many more 45s so we’ve been doing digital releases. We do have an LP called ‘Get Wyld!’ coming out soon of many different underground garage bands that are around today. We plan to try and do a few volumes of the compilation. It’s great to get brilliant unheard music out there.

You’re obviously stylish fellas, where’d you get your clothes?
Vintage stores, charity shops, eBay…whereever we find something of interest really.

What was your highlight of 2009?
It’s hard to pinpoint any one good point of last year, we worked bleedin’ hard but there were a lot of positives.

Have any tips for 2010?
Watch out for ‘The Wailin’ Yeahs’, we may let them fully off the leash in 2010…

What can we expect from Thee Vicars this year?
Lots of touring, a few singles, a couple of LPs maybe? Who knows.


Above is the video for ‘Back on The Streets’ from Thee Vicar’s album ‘Psychotic Beats’ out on Dirty Water Records now.


Album Review: Delphic – Acolyte

By on Monday, 11th January 2010 at 2:00 pm

Last year Manchester-based Delphic topped our “10 for 2010” poll (check out our interview with them last month here). Our voters weren’t the only ones who expected great things from this four-piece: the band scored high similarly in other (non-democratic) polls to determine the ‘sound of 2010’. The band derided the attention, with Richard Boardman claiming the word ‘backlash’ meant more to him than hype. And why shouldn’t it? The expectation and pressure that comes with list-topping media coverage is hard to deal with (just ask 2005 ‘sound of…’ toppers the Bravery).

On to the album then. As opener ‘Clarion Call’ unwinds, it seems hard to imagine where the potential backlash could come from. It invites the listener in, and like all great openers is archetypal of the record as a whole. However as the record progresses, it’s quick to see where they may stumble. Single ‘Doubt’ is catchy but lacks the substance of the opener, and ‘This Momentary’ is the lowest point (as far as songwriting) is concerned on the whole album.

Not the best of starts, but the album quickly recovers with ‘Red Lights’ before reaching the epic ‘Acolyte’, which clocks in at just under 9 minutes. The track steadily progresses in a journey-like fashion and is easily the highlight of the band’s musicianship. The record continues strong with the brilliant hook of ‘Halcyon’, followed by the songwriting peak ‘Submission’, keeps the consistency flowing. Concluding with the mellow ‘Remain’, the album bows out nicely, and the slight slip-ups at the beginning are forgotten if not forgiven.

Overall, the record may not be quite up to scratch with the Mancunian synth-heavyweights New Order, but importantly the record radiates potential. I don’t see Delphic being one of the casualties of the hype. This is not to say it’s a perfect record, but it’s clever without any pretension, making it accessible to both the elitists and the pop music lovers amongst us. One thing is for sure: in a country of new electro-wannabees, Delphic are the cream of the albeit gimmicky crop.


Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’ is out in the UK today.


Bands to Watch #155: Niteflights

By on Friday, 8th January 2010 at 12:00 pm

Carved out of the remains of Obviously 5 Believers (who released the single ‘The I’ll Be Leaving You’), 2009 proved a fruitful year for Niteflights. And with the release of their new EP that is already being well received, it seems 2010 could be better still. Performing blues rooted in folk, their debut EP titled ‘The Delightful Fall of Niteflights’ is out now. To support the release the band are to tour (dates below), and in-between it all is a support slot for Pete Doherty’s return to the Rhythm Factory later this month.

It’s been a while since a good hard working band have created anything even vaguely resembling ‘alternative’ (to what has become mainstream jangly-indie), so the arrival of this London five-piece is more than  welcome. They’re everything a new band should be, packed with hunger, dedication and best of all, tunes to make you merry. Get used to them as now you’re bound to hear more from them over the next 12 months!

Saturday 9th January 2010 – Edinburgh Ark
Sunday 10th January 2010 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Tuesday 12th January 2010 – Lancaster Yorkshire House
Wednesday 13th January 2010 – Manchester Dry Bar
Thursday 14th January 2010 – Bath Moles Club
Saturday 16th January 2010 – Cambridge Cornerhouse (free show)
Sunday 17th January 2010 – London Rhythm Factory (with Peter Doherty)
Wednesday 20th January 2010 – London 93 Feet East


In Defense of Chipmunk

By on Monday, 26th October 2009 at 6:00 am

I know as I’m writing this that when I hit ‘Publish’ I’ll lose much credibility in the eyes of many grime fans, but I’m not too bothered, some things need to be said. At the end of last year I tipped Chimpunk for big things in 2009. Obviously I hadn’t forecast the number one single and number two album, looking back it’s hard to believe that in the ten months or since I wrote that blog Chipmunk has gone from A Level student to chart topper. However success comes at a price, in this case a large chunk of his original fanbase and of course his grime rep – pop pleasers ‘Diamond Rings’ and ‘Oopsy Daisey’ were met with a vicious backlash from the grime community increasingly frustrated at artists dumping the style in favour of commercial approval (Tinchy Stryder, Dizzee etc.) However even in these circumstances the response was still brutal, despite their mainstream gains the masses still respect Dizzee and Tinchy and they’re viewed as champions of grime as opposed to ‘sell-outs.’

Why then all the hate on Chipmuck?! Of course ‘Oopsy Daisey’ when juxtaposed with ‘Whatever The Weather 1’ or ‘Fresh Out The Oven’ makes you cringe a little, but the REAL reason lies deeper beneath the surface. The truth is that the grime community grew to love Chipmunk. Sure there were always the cynics but if the question of best younger had been posed on the eve of ‘Guess Who?’ dropping most would have stood by the munk. Expectations were set high and so when ‘I Am Chipmunk’ finally arrived as a hip-pop package the same artist who once declared himself the “grime scene saviour” was disowned by the scene.

In my very irrelevant opinion the backlash is a step too far, the point is that Chipmunk earned his stripes before graduating to the mainstream (like Dizzee and Tinchy and Kano and Wiley) and so the hate is unwarranted. Chipmunk’s proved mixtape after mixtape that he can do grime, he’s no Master Shortie or N-Dubz who who entered the mainstream without having to prove themselevs first. I would have loved to hear a grime album but the point is if he’d have released one it would’ve fallen on deaf ears (look at Kano’s fall in popularity between albums!!) His success is encouraging labels to pick up more grime artists and slowly but surely the barriers will be broken and grime will finally be let into the mainstream, this is merely laying the foundations. Chipmunk’s success is proof that kids off estates can make it in the UK and whilst the scene may have turned against him it seems he’ll continue to work for it, saviour indeed.


Alex Cornish / November and December 2009 UK Tour

By on Wednesday, 14th October 2009 at 2:41 am

We’re a bit late with one. Earlier this year we reviewed the brilliant; ‘Until the Traffic Stops’ by singer-songwriter Alex Cornish. Since then he’s embarked on a tour and is currently on ANOTHER one. Set to round off the year with even more dates dotted around the country through til the end of December, check below for listings!!

Recently releasing single ‘Untied’ Alex has gained massive exposure since the release of his remarkable album earlier this year. Gaining airplay on Radio 1 (and 2!!) all off his own back, recording the sensational album in a spare room and taking care of promotion and distribution independently. A rare showing of dedication is much welcome in today’s music industry and the upcoming live shows are a celebration of all his hard work.

Wednesday 11th November 2009 – Ipswich Regent Theatre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Friday 13th November 2009 – Bristol Colston Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Saturday 14th November 2009 – Morecambe Library (with Alessi’s Ark)
Sunday 15th November 2009 – Grimbsy Auditorium (supporting Alison Moyet)
Monday 16th November 2009 – Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Tuesday 17th November 2009 – Manchester Salford Lowry (supporting Alison Moyet)
Thursday 19th November 2009 – Coventry – Warwick Arts Centre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Friday 20th November 2009 – Southend Cliffs Pavillion (supporting Alison Moyet)
Saturday 21st November 2009 – Brighton Dome (supporting Alison Moyet)
Monday 23rd November 2009 – Nottingham Royal Centre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Tuesday 24th November 2009 – Oxford New Theatre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Wednesday 25th November 2009 – Northampton – Derngate Theatre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Saturday 28th November 2009 – Cardiff – St David’s Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Sunday 29th November 2009 – Poole Lighthouse (supporting Alison Moyet)
Tuesday 1st December 2009 – Llandudno Venue Cymru Theatre (supporting Alison Moyet)
Wednesday 2nd December 2009 – York Opera House (supporting Alison Moyet)
Thursday 3rd December 2009 – Cambridge Corn Exchange (supporting Alison Moyet)
Friday 4th December 2009 – Salisbury City Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Sunday 6th December 2009 – London Royal Festival Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Tuesday 8th December 2009 – Sheffield City Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Wednesday 9th December 2009 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Thursday 10th December 2009 – Gateshead The Sage (supporting Alison Moyet)
Saturday 12th December 2009 – Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)
Monday 14th December 2009 – Dublin Olympia (supporting Alison Moyet)
Tuesday 15th December 2009 – Belfast Waterfront Hall (supporting Alison Moyet)


Bands to Watch #139: Mirror Kicks

By on Wednesday, 14th October 2009 at 2:03 am

Garage band Mirror Kicks have been about for a while. No doubt a creative bunch, their rendition of Bleeding Love (can be heard here) is more innovative than most the drab covers you hear on the livel lounge. Not so much a band “to watch” in that some already have their eyes stuck on their every move be it here or in Japan. Their recently released single ‘Turning Up’ is forcing people to cast an eye on a grafting band (video below).


As if that wasn’t enough their version of  ‘Bleeding Love’ plays backing to a 100 cheerleaders…. curious?? Another video for your viewing pleasure



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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.

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