Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations,
no new content has been added here since February 2020.
Read more about this here. | April 2019 update
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
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

Live Review: Fenech-Soler at Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – 5th April 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 8th April 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

It’s in our blood, it’s in our blood,
It’s in our blood, in our blood tonight
Even if I have to dance alone,
I don’t want to go home,
don’t want to go home…

It took several years that felt like an eternity, but English electropop band Fenech-Soler are finally beginning to release their music here in America. Practically just as their debut EP ‘Stop and Stare’ released a long while ago in the UK became available in the States, the band lined a short stint including a Neon Gold club show appearance and headline shows in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and San Francisco. New York isn’t exactly my backyard but I am very fond of Fenech-Soler and made the trip up, trying to be as productive as possible, also lining up this brilliant interview with Ben and Ross Duffy while I was in Williamsburg.

Glasslands Gallery near the water in South Williamsburg isn’t that small (300 capacity with a balcony), but it has an almost urban rusticity, with wooden floorboards at the entrance, three well-maintained if oddly unisex toilets and a wonky DIY aesthetic with clusters of sawed off PVC pipe with bulbs inserted in them as makeshift chandeliers suspended above the stage. In my interview, Ross Duffy noted that they felt most at home at this size of venue, since that’s where they started when they first began gigging, and it was only recently that they headlined Shepherds Bush Empire in London before Christmas 2013.

I think the size and intimacy of the venue also benefitted the band: generally speaking, when it comes to dance music, it’s all about people being in the dark and crammed in – within health code regulations, of course – and having a certain critical mass of excited, entirely up for it dancegoers, not to mention the collective energy generated by that critical mass. Glasslands filled up admirably, so that by the time the band originally from Kings Cliffe took to the stage, there were quite a few very excited fans down the front, yours truly included. This is my kind of gig! And I was about to see songs from my 3rd favourite album of 2013 performed in a few short moments.

If there was ever any question whether Fenech-Soler are an electropop band, any confusion would be quickly brushed away as soon as you saw their complicated stage set-up. The Glasslands stage is not all that big, and I’m not sure how they managed to fit five people (the four guys in the band plus touring keyboardist and backing vocalist Tom Butler) and all their equipment, but somehow, they did it. It restricted singer Ben Duffy’s movement while onstage; I had become so sure that at some point, he was going to jump down into the crowd and dance with us. Sadly, that never happened, though I am positive with the kind of moves he had in what space he was offered, he wanted to.

The majority of my photos of the night are terrible, as the lighting wasn’t very good, but in my defence, I also have another very good excuse: none of the band members were ever stood even somewhat still long enough for me to snap any good ones. This included Ben Duffy, who was extremely charismatic, engaging the audience throughout the set, starting with the irrepressibly catchy pop number ‘Last Forever’ in its sun-kissed glory recalling carefree summer days, all backed by the punishing drumming of Andrew Lindsay. The amount of energy he and his bandmates throw into their performance is, in a word, stunning. This is what you want from a dance band: music that gets hands in the air in raising the roof fashion and bodies moving, and they achieved both of those goals, barely stopping for breath between songs.

By playing the hits from 2010’s ‘Fenech-Soler’ (the frenetically buzzing ‘Lies’, the glitter of ‘Stop and Stare’) along with the newer songs including single ‘Magnetic’, the ever expansive and dreamy ‘Maiyu’ and set closer and huge first single from 2013 ‘Rituals’, ‘All I Know’ (single review here), Fenech-Soler proved they didn’t suffer at all from the sophomore album slump and their talent in writing unforgettable melodies with strong, epic dance instrumentation underlying it all will continue to pay off for them. The crown jewels of the night for me were ‘In Our Blood’ (promo video here), their latest single off ‘Rituals’, the syncopation of its compressed synth lines as if running through Ben Duffy himself as his body contorted effortlessly to the infectious rhythm of the track, and ‘Somebody’, which I wasn’t a fan of when I reviewed the album last autumn but live, it proved a hugely wonderful surprise on the dance floor.

I’m not a big fan of being shoved around (call me crazy, but I’m little!). Mostly and thankfully, the fans I encountered were excited and dancing about, but also extremely respectful, so respectful that I never made it stage right to take photos of Ross Duffy on guitar, because I felt *I* would be rude doing so. This is how I found myself stood in front of Daniel Soler and his mad bass and analogue synth-playing skills all night. This is not at all a bad thing; as some of you know, I also play bass and so mesmerised by the nimbleness of his hands on his Fender P-bass for single ‘Magnetic’, I thought I might faint. I definitely need to compare notes with him when they come to DC, which the brothers Duffy have promised me will occur in due time. Hopefully this will happen sooner than later and America will finally come to realise what Radio 1 and the British music-buying public have been missing all these years and take to Fenech-Soler’s music in droves.

Many thanks to fellow fan Chris who kindly allowed me to use
these photos she took at the show; they were better than mine.

After the cut: Fenech-Soler’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Fenech-Soler at Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – 5th April 2014

 

Live Gig Video: Bruce Springsteen covers Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ in Dallas at March Madness Fest

 
By on Monday, 7th April 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Last week we posted this awesome cover of a Kanye West song by London’s Glass Animals while they were recently in Sydney, Australia, performing for triplej radio. Unfortunately, like all things in life, not all covers are created equal.

Bruce Springsteen has taken to doing covers at his live shows as of late and well, he is the Boss, and he can do what he wants, yeah? He was in Dallas this past weekend to perform at the March Madness Fest in Dallas, Texas, and he caught everyone off guard by doing this reinterpretation of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. Say what you want about Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, but I think you’ll agree the original is the way to go after feeling the discomfort of this cover. I suppose he felt that since it was a basketball-themed event, he had to come up with a cover that was peripherally related to the sport? Cringe. Watch it below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoGL2PsPEh8[/youtube]

 

Interview: Ben and Ross Duffy of Fenech-Soler

 
By on Monday, 7th April 2014 at 11:00 am
 

I’d been waiting to see a Fenech-Soler headline show for quite a long time. Years, actually. (I’ll be honest, it drove me nuts that Martin had seen and experienced them in Newcastle in 2011 and I still hadn’t.) So when I found out they were finally releasing music officially and playing some shows here in America – and even better, the show in Brooklyn was on a Saturday, and therefore entirely possible for a working stiff as myself – there was no other decision but to go up to New York for it.

Further, I decided what better way to welcome the guys to our country than to have a chat with them and find out firsthand from them how things have blown up for them since the release of their hugely popular self-titled debut album in 2010. Backstage at the Glasslands Gallery in South Williamsburg where they’d be playing their first headline show ever here in the States, brothers Ben (lead vocals) and Ross (guitar) Duffy sat down with me for an intimate conversation about coming out to America and getting to finally release material here, their experience with social media and connecting with their fans, the ‘difficult second album syndrome’, playing at the Winter 2014 Olympics in Sochi and so much more. If you’re wondering what those loud thuds in the middle of the interview, that would be drummer Andrew Lindsay soundchecking his kit directly below us onstage.

I sincerely thank both Ben and Ross for being so candid and taking the time out of their preparation for the Glasslands show to talk with me on Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t tend to post photos of myself when I meet bands, but they were just some of the loveliest people ever, I couldn’t not post that photo at top of us! Thanks also to Meghan and Ian for facilitating this interview. Stay tuned for the review of the Brooklyn show to follow shortly here on TGTF.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2hBeuE4][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48969111047_10a773a32a_o.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2hBeuE4]ben-and-ross-duffy-brooklyn-interview-top_13682167415_o[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]Couplet Angel[/url], on Flickr

 

Live Gig Video: Glass Animals cover Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’ for triple j

 
By on Friday, 4th April 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Even if you hate Kanye West, I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by this. Glass Animals are down under at the moment, and they decided to rearrange and redo Kanye’s ‘Love Lockdown’ when asked by national Aussie radio station triple j to play a cover for their Like a Version ongoing cover series.

White boy got groove. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq94NXeBOu4[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Howler at Newcastle Cluny – 1st April 2014

 
By on Friday, 4th April 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Jordan Gatesmith is an unlikely frontman – all gangly limbs and sharp features, mostly hidden by a mop of floppy blonde hair. He keeps banter to a minimum, letting the songs take precedence over personality in his band’s short, sharp, 45-minute set. The Cluny is half-full, a fact that the band seem nonplussed about, casually working out set lists on the stage floor way past their start time. They’re in no hurry, because between their two albums (2012’s ‘America Give Up’, and now the one-week-old ‘World Of Joy’), they’ve no more than a single hour of recorded music to their name. Even if they played every track of both albums (they won’t – of which more later), they’d be tucked up in the Travelodge with a cup of cocoa before the witching hour.

Howler are exactly what one could wish for from a U.S. garage band. Casual onstage, unconcerned with niceties, they knock out one deafening energy bolt after another. In case anyone was concerned that Howler might have overnight turned into a lounge band, the first few seconds of the performance assuage such doubts: ‘Drip’ is fast, furious, ramshackle. ‘Yacht Boys’, Gatesmith’s blunderbuss critique of the boat shoe-wearing American upper middle class, complete with spiked guitar work and roared vocal refrains, is perfectly suited to live delivery. However, subtlety is in inverse proportion to energy levels tonight – more down tempo pieces like ‘Don’t Wanna’ (“you don’t have to be a punk / date girls / listen to the Smiths if you don’t want to”) are given the same whirlwind treatment – introspection is dropped in favour of immediacy.

Also missing in action is the psychedelic tinge that infuses parts of the new album, most notably the title track. Notably penned by guitarist Ian Nygaard rather than Gatesmith, it hints at a potential brave new world where high-speed observational punk-rock coexists and even combines with spaced-out psychedelia. A Howler 2.1 that investigated these possibilities would add another dimension to the band’s sound. However, tonight it is the drum insanity of Rory MacMurdo is the powerhouse that drives Howler. The rest of the band are urged to play faster and louder by MacMurdo’s kit, transforming the whole into greater than the sum of its parts. There are moments when one can see through the artifice: a quartet of teenagers rehearsing in a parent’s garage, striving to stand out from the Graham’s number of other similarly housebound aspirants. But it’s their genuinely melodic, meaningful songs, paired with a delivery with just the right mixture of careless virtuosity and attitude, which confirm Howler’s membership of the big league.

 

Young Kato / April and May 2014 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Friday, 21st March 2014 at 9:30 am
 

Cheltenham’s Young Kato will be going on a UK and Irish tour in April through early May. Tickets are on sale now. They will also make an appearance on the Saturday of this year’s Liverpool Sound City.

Before that, they will also be supporting You Me at Six on their five-date March and April UK tour; details are here. Enjoy an acoustic video from the band – well, two of their members – performing next single ‘Help Yourself’, out on Monday (the 24th of March) on BMG/Chrysalis, for TMRW under the tour dates.

Tuesday 22nd April 2014 – Oxford Academy
Wednesday 23rd April 2014 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 24th April 2014 – Guildford Boileroom
Friday 25th April 2014 – Norwich Epic Studios
Saturday 26th April 2014 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Monday 28th April 2014 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Tuesday 29th April 2014 – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Wednesday 30th April 2014 – Belfast Limelight 2
Thursday 1st May 2014 – Dublin Academy 2
Saturday 3rd May 2014 Liverpool Sound City

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxoaa7aeQWY[/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 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

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.