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Tour Diary: Hot Toddies #3

 
By on Wednesday, 15th April 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Catch the first part of the The Hot Toddies’ Tour Diary here, and the second part here.

Fuck yeah, Liverpool! One the most lively crowds we have encountered. We were surprised to be greeted by Abraham Lincoln, Bono, and a plethora of sexy secretaries. The theme of the show was “politics” in honor of a friend’s birthday. We were excited to play with the host bands, Hilary & the Democrats and Town Bike, both incredibly fun and high energy, we couldn’t ask for more!

It was incredible to have the whole crowd singing and dancing along to our set. Foxes! were dancing up a storm and falling all over themselves. When the set was done, a chant began…”MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC!” and we had no idea what to do. Apparently, the crowd was demanding an encore, and we had no clue what to play. Sooooo . . . we rocked on with “Please, please me” by the Beatles, slightly scared that it might no go over so well. We were wrong! The conga line started and everyone was screaming along. We felt like true rockstars and can now claim that we played the fuckin’ Beatles in Liverpool!

Hot Toddies (Open Mic shot)

After the show was done, we were escorted to a pub that happened to be having an open mic night. There was a dude playing Tom Petty covers that we felt needed to take a break. Jessica and Heidi requested that we play a song the end the night, so a large portion of “The Fox Toddies” took stage and sang a guilty pleasure that we had been enjoying in the van since we arrived in England. Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” was the perfect song to end the night. Half of us were singing, the other half just drinking and enjoying ourselves on stage. The rest of the pub was yelling right along. Who knew that we all remembered the words to that song?!

We took the party to Jim’s house, where we spent the rest of the night singing and drinking Jameson (not a huge surprise). Around 3 PM the next day, the Toddies were all showers and finally ready to take the daylight hours. We hit up a few awesome vintage stores before getting on the road to Preston.

Hot Toddies (Preston)

 

The Hot Toddies Tour Diary #2

 
By on Sunday, 12th April 2009 at 6:00 pm
 

Catch the first part of the The Hot Toddies’ Tour Diary here.

Hot Toddies in ExeterIt was a sunny day when we arrived in Exeter – puffy white clouds and daffodils everywhere! We got to our venue the Phoenix and were welcomed by Jo, the promoter of the show and our biggest fan in Exeter. The venue was an arts and cultural center with paintings on display and one of the most impressive stages we’ve ever performed on.

The sound was amazing and the crowd was very excited –  a great combination for a very fun show. With an entire bottle of Southern Comfort fueling us, the night was off to a great start.  Art Brut headlined the show, and we rocked out to their high-energy set.

Hot Toddies (max)Afterward, Foxes!, Hot Toddies, and Art Brut plus some friends ended up closing down a pub before jumping into a couple of cabs and heading to Bishops Court where we resided for the evening. We just started calling it a castle because it was so huge and old (see photo #1). First we played some organ in the chapel (yes, chapel) and then spent the rest of the night playing songs and chatting in the library. Our hosts Jo and Pixie were fantastic. Their parents are both architects and had a really cool mix of modern and antique art and furniture throughout the castle.  We had two bedrooms all to ourselves and the most gigantic bathrooms we’ve ever seen. The next morning we didn’t want to leave! It felt like being princesses for a day and was a totally unforgettable experience. Uh-mazing.

Then we were off to Bristol! The bar we played at was cool, it had the best wallpaper ever. We also got home-cooked lentil curry and free margaritas from the owner. The stage was upstairs in a room that looked kind of like a large living room so the show was intimate and almost felt like a house party actually. Lots of dancing and friendly fans – it turned out to be one of the best sounding shows so far.  Our driver Max (see photo #2) was not in any position to drive, so Sylvia had to take the wheel – a bit scary! All 9 of us stayed with some very hospitable friends of Foxes! and squeezed in the living room for a giant slumber party. Before bed, we had a big sing along in the kitchen and came up with an idea for a group song “That’s How I Like It!”. In case you’re wondering, we like it sweet and strong.

 

Review: Go:Audio

 
By on Friday, 10th April 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Following in the lines of You Me At Six and Eliot Minor, Go:Audio are another band trying to capitalise on the success of scene-rock in the US. Opener ‘Made Up Stories’ sounds as though it could have been belted out by Cobra Starship themselves, the band are dead ringers both musically and lyrically for US pop punks.. ‘Brake! Brake!’ strenghtens  comparisons with Fall Out Boy with heavy guitars and rhythmic drumming.

The keys are ever present through the record and are well done, and the drums on ‘Save Me Now’ show the band do have some musical credentials, though songwriting is not thier forte – it never picks up through the record but the energetic musicianship diverts the listeners attention. Finals track ‘Forget About It’ is a calm one which eventually reaches climax and the stadium-atmosphere is present here rather than in any other track.

Leading single ‘Drive To The City’ is the worst offender in terms of both songwriting and americanism, despite this it’s still a floor-filling and should get a couple spins on radio here and there.. Their almost-sold-out tour starting in April marks the third time the band have gone up and down the country (previous tours both being sold-out..) They have earned quite a reputation as a live band and tracks like ‘Drive To The City’ would no doubt go down a treat in a room packed with 16somethings in the Electric Ballroom.

The debut is a good one, thought it’s still too americanised, it seems as though these new UK-Scene-Kids (beit [email protected], Eliot Minor or there guys) are grabbing hold of the American scene as opposed to trying to craft their own – their accents sound fake and their vocals therefore suffer.. a good step for all these bands would be to try and create something distinctly British rather than leech of the success of the US acts.. (Oh! and a bass player is needed.. every band needs one, tacky synth can’t cover the role of a bassist, I don’t know who the band think they’re fooling, but hiring a bassist should be top of their priority list, it would compliment their music FANTASTICALLY!!)

 

Reviw: Alex Cornish – Until The Traffic Stops

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

alexcornish045

Singer-songwriter Alex Cornish has delivered his much anticipated début album ‘Until The Traffic Stops.’ The independent effort has been impressive to say the least, touring the UK and getting radio play from BBC – a remarkable achievement for a truly ‘indie’ release.

First track ‘Until The Traffic Stops’ has a stringy intro until the acoustic and vocals combination enter to sum up the album in the first lines; “I’m not making a new sound/I’m not breaking new ground.” Whilst it is true, the quality of the record is still unquestionable. He might not get full marks on innovation but unlike other ‘conformist’ solo artists he has at least mastered his art.

‘Counting Chimney Pots’ is a particular highlight, Cornish displaying he can venture out of traditional solo-acoustic performances in this more upbeat and synth-filled breakdown which climaxes in a brilliant violin frenzy – indie-folk at it’s best. In ‘This One’s For You’ Alex yet again balances violins and guitars perfectly with a soft overlay of keys to deliver yet another faultless composition. The brilliance in recording makes it all the less believable that this was recorded in Alex’s own bedroom.

alexcornish826078990_l‘My Word What A Mess’ is equally brilliant, the gentle drum never overpowers the delicate vocals or soft strumming of the guitar. The chorus breathes fresh life into the song every time and the tempo changes compliment the song brilliantly. The song also brings out the lyrical playfulness; “I’ve got ten cigarettes left in a pack of  twenty.” That may not be the best example but the album is riddled with clever wordplay throughout, it’s only upon multiple listens or total concentration that the listener can identify these little pieces of lyrical genius.

The album continues strong, ‘Scotland The Brave’ being the next pick of the bunch. The mellow vocals against the marching-band drums provide an intriguing entrance before the psychedelic-acoustic chorus. Alex’s vocals are in top gear for the track as he moans on in a Chris Martin like fashion.

The consistency remains through to the end, before the eight minute epic ‘Untied’ Alex delivers ‘Same Ride Same Way.’ The song starts with creeping keys and dramatic violins – the vocals are again faultless. The track combines the playful lyrics; “It’s a long time since the weather broke;/I see black ties wrapped in leather coats,” with the (yet-again-brilliant) string’n’strum of the violin and acoustic guitar. The track sums up all that is brilliant about the album, it is an accumulation of everything the album has worked up towards. The composition is on top form and the teasing “even though I know and I even though I know,” of the vocals compliments it spectacularly. Whilst it’s not the concluding song it brings together the musical aspects of the rest of the album well.

Closing track ‘Untied’ is a bright yet bitter-sweet adventure which defines the album as a whole. It brings a fantastic sense of closure to a brilliant record – the strings reach new heights and add dramatic tension before the vocals resume on five minutes. This is definitely one of the better tracks off the record and is strongly recommended to anyone who is still unconvinced of this mans remarkable musical ability.

Alex Cornish started his album with a long list of things he couldn’t do, we think maybe he was a little modest, if he wanted to play that game he should have included the fact that he was an enthralling composer, highly intelligent songwriter and was capable of making a debut album of far better quality that released by the male solo artists belonging to any major labels.

 

Black Mercies / April 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 2:01 pm
 

Hailing from Portland, Oregon – Black Mercies are a new romantic/new wave four-piece who are set for their first ever tour of the UK. With a possible tour diary in the works we at TGTF are looking forward to see the impact this indie outfit make when they hit the UK later this month..

Thursday 16th April  2009 – Oxford – Jericho Tavern
Friday 17th April 2009 – Harlow – Club Quattroz
Saturday 18th April 2009 – Norwich – The Queen Charlotte
Sunday 20th April 2009 – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s
Monday 21st April 2009 – Doncaster – The Leopard
Wednesday 23rd April 2009 – Hertford – The Marquee Club
Thursday 24th April 2009 – London – Hope and Anchor

 

The Hot Toddies Tour Diary #1

 
By on Tuesday, 7th April 2009 at 7:11 pm
 

Hot Toddies (side)The Hot Toddies here, writing from our hotel in Portsmouth. Sylvia is dancing in her purple tights while we’re listening to the Dodos and feeling a little delirious from the jet lag and general sleep deprivation.  So far, we are still in love with each other, just really tired.

We flew in to Heathrow Thursday afternoon and found our driver Max about to be carted away by the police and the tour van about to be towed as well. Luckily the officers were easily persuaded by our delicate charm to let us leave with the van and we escaped with only a £40 parking ticket.

We drove straight to Brighton where we picked up our tour buddies, Foxes!, some tall cans of Stella, and headed to the Reverb radio studio for a quick interview before the show. We spilled beer on the floor of the studio. The DJ was very forgiving.

In Brighton, we played at the Latest Bar. We had a really nice crowd and even managed to get some people out of their chairs and dancing by the end of the show. What’s up with chairs at a rock show, by the way?? We finally felt awake by the end of the show and partied into the early morning hours – playing guitar and drinking Jameson in a park with a tunnel that apparently inspired Lewis Carroll’s the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland.

Friday was a slow start. Us girls did not want to wake up and Foxes! were still packing up a lot of last minute pieces of equipment. After a lot of traffic we rolled into London around 5pm and sound checked at the Lexington. The staff there were all super nice and hooked us up with a bottle of vodka, whiskey, and a case of 1664 backstage. The stage was awesome, great sound and a great crowd on a Friday night. We had a blast. Afterwards we took the party back to “Party Alex’s” house and got really drunk and met some really cool people.

Another night of crashing on the cold hard floor left us extra weary yesterday but as night approached we felt ourselves coming back to life… slowly.  Portsmouth is a really cute town. The venue promoters were really hospitable. We met several groups of American sailors that had just arrived after 7 months at sea. After the show, we went down to the beach and drank wine and sang songs by the water.

Tonight we’ll be at the Phoenix in Exeter playing with Art Brut! More on that later…

 
 
 

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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.

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