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Live Gig Video: watch Luke Sital-Singh’s talk and performance from TED2018

By on Wednesday, 17th October 2018 at 4:00 pm

Back in April, singer/songwriter Luke Sital-Singh was invited to speak and perform at the TEDtalk conference TED2018. From an explanation by Sital-Singh himself, I understand that the husband of celebrated American writer Amy Krouse Rosenthal found incredible solace in Sital-Singh’s song ‘Killing Me’. In case you need a refresher, the inspiration for the English singer/songwriter when writing the song was his grandmother’s deep and enduring love for her late husband. Carrie goes into much more depth on the single; read what she had to say through here.

In the video from the conference in Vancouver back in April below, you can watch Sital-Singh performing ‘Afterneath’ and ‘Killing Me’ with only his own piano notes to accompany his beautiful voice. He also speaks in between the tunes, eliciting laughs when he admits he enjoys a depressing song. Watch, listen and enjoy the stirring performance below. The artist’s second album ‘Time is a Riddle’ is out now on Raygun Music; you can read my review of the long player . For all of our past coverage on Luke Sital-Singh on TGTF, go here.


Live Review: Banners with Ellevator at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 19th April 2018

By on Monday, 23rd April 2018 at 2:00 pm

Nothing beats the special satisfaction I get when one of the acts I tipped makes it, and I was lucky to see one of my tips ahead of SXSW 2016 and near home. While Liverpudlian Banners (real name Mike Nelson) might not be a household name, he’s getting pretty damn close: in addition to some high-profile American tv syncs, he recently starred as a guest mentor for aspiring pop upstarts on American Idol, a show seen by millions in our country. For an indie artist, that’s massive. Thursday night, he came back to earth to perform at the intimate Jammin’ Java in Northern Virginia.

Joining him on the evening were Hamilton, Ontario’s Ellevator, who had just arrived in Virginia after a half-day’s drive from home. Despite the long journey, they were buoyed by the mere fact that they were performing in a town that wasn’t covered in snow. They were also eager to show off their songs, namely those on a brand new, self-titled EP to be released the next day. They were performing a stripped-back set, as their usual keyboardist Elliott was sadly at home and in hospital. Drummer Mike was then tasked to play drums and synth with his right hand. If you’re like me and have enough trouble with patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time, you can imagine how difficult this may have been.

Ellevator Washington 3

Despite frontwoman Nabi Sue Bersche’s admittance that their barer setup was less muscular than they normally sound, it provided the unique opportunity for a more intimate performance that saw her chatting with Banners’ fans down the front. Their set included EP track ‘St. Cecilia’, the engaging ‘Easy’ and a surprisingly good cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. They finished on a high note with another one from the EP, the feel good track ‘New Survival’.

Banners and his band came prepared with an exciting, strobe-filled light show that would have felt right at home at any established electronic artist’s gig. To start, Nelson gave a nod to his Scouse roots with a clip of the Beatles’ schmaltzy ‘All You Need is Love’ as his walk-on music. There was loads of self-deprecating banter between songs, the kind that made the audience laugh (“I swam all the way here from Liverpool, that was quite tiring!”) or audibly “aww” (Nelson admitting he’d drop everything if his beloved Liverpool Football Club came calling for him to report to Anfield as a striker). You can take the boy out of Liverpool, but you can’t take Liverpool out of the boy. ‘Back When We Had Nothing’, from the first and eponymous ‘Banners’ EP, seems like another love letter to his days back in the Pool. The song is a sweeping, upbeat number much like the rest of Banners’ catalogue with Island Records so far: positive, based and love and inspiring.

We’re still waiting for a Banners album, but Nelson has released a series of singles and EPs for music fans to sink their teeth into in the meantime. His most recent EP, ‘Empires on Fire’ released last autumn, is full of catchy melodies. From verse to chorus, the title track smoulders and morphs from tentative pop to full-bodied pop/rock. Uplifting EP opener ‘Someone to You’ has thrust him into the national spotlight, being used by ABC in their advertising campaign for American Idol. (Read my review of the single through this link.) Instead of performing it in its normal guise, Nelson and band huddled at the front of the stage to perform it stripped back: only accompanied by Nelson’s acoustic guitar, the result was a harmonious beauty.

While the gig started slow, with the first two of three songs unknown to the audience, the three-song punch of stadium rockers ‘Start a Riot’, ‘Gold Dust’ and ‘Shine a Light’ was epic. Blowing the audience away with his memorable melodies and his band’s bombast, this was a performance the DC crowd would not soon forget.

Banners Washington 3

Continue reading Live Review: Banners with Ellevator at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 19th April 2018


Live Review: Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour 2018 featuring NoMBe, Mansionair and Mikky Ekko at Union Stage, Washington, DC – 13th April 2018

By on Monday, 16th April 2018 at 2:00 pm

The Wharf is a recently revitalised area of in Southeast Washington. So far, I’ve resisted coming to this area because I don’t agree with what’s been done to it. Not surprisingly and like other places in Washington like our club land of the U Street Corridor, it’s been grabbed hold of by developers and gentrified. As a music lover, you’re going to have to suck it up and come down here eventually. A prime reason? 9:30 Club’s promotion team IMP have moved many of the big shows to the Anthem so bands you might have seen before at 9:30 will now be down here. Groan. Last Friday night, I decided to finally check out the Wharf to see a show at the Anthem’s smaller and less ostentatious neighbour, Union Stage, owned by the same fine folks who run Jammin’ Java in Vienna in Northern Virginia. The first show at the venue for the night was the latest edition of Sirius XM’s Alt Nation Advanced Placement Tour, starring three rising acts.

Doors opened at 6 – ridiculous for workaholic Washingtonians, mind – but I was glad to see NoMBe (pronounced NOM-be) beginning his set to a reasonable-sized audience, even if it was 6:45. Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, singer/songwriter and producer Noah McBeth now calls Los Angeles home. He should be the poster boy for success off of syncs: Pharrell (yes, that Pharrell) hand-picked his song ‘Can’t Catch Me’, a upbeat rock foot-stomper, for HBO series Output. McBeth explained how grateful he was for money he earned from the sync, saying it’s paid for his touring following the release of his debut album at the start of 2017, ‘They Might’ve Even Loved Me’.

NoMBe Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 4

The LP is a tribute to the strong women in his life, from those he’s loved romantically and as family (notably including Chaka Khan, his godmother). As you might imagine, the spectrum of tributes is wide, going from the sweetness of falling in love in high school in hit single ‘Wait’, to the far less innocent and more obvious sultriness of ‘Sex’. The artist who oozed charisma went further back in his catalogue to deliver the slow burning r&b masterpiece ‘Miss Mirage’, while showing him and his band’s more alt-rock chops on ‘Drama’. The eclecticism of his music demonstrates he refuses to be placed in be confined in one box, a fact that was embraced by the mixed race, mixed ages crowd.

After a short break, it was now Mansionair’s turn. Like NoMBe before them, the Sydney trio were making their debut performance in Washington. In the middle of their set, they revealed that in an attempt to keep healthy in the first week of this Alt Nation tour, they’d gone for a run during the abnormally warm April day and were able enjoy our world-famous and transient spring display of cherry blossoms. It’s useful to remind everyone that Mansionair may have never happened: Jack Froggatt was a folk singer/songwriter with a guitar who got invited to top-line tracks by producer/guitarist Lachlan Bostock and drummer/producer Alex Nicholls. One of the early fruits of their combined efforts was single ‘Hold Me Down’, which proved to be a massive streaming hit. The song was performed in this set, as was their newest single ‘Violet City’, validating their continued songwriting prowess.

Mansionair Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 5

The secret to Mansionair’s success so far is their elegant pairing of Froggatt’s expressive vocals, sometimes soaring into falsetto, with electronic driven instrumentation that just adds to the overall emotional quotient. The sexy drawl of ‘Easier’ and their own version of ODESZA’s ‘Line of Sight’, on which Mansionair collaborated with the Seattle duo on last year, went down a treat, the DC crowd getting swept up by the band’s sonic loveliness. They finished their set strong with 2017 single ‘Astronaut (Something About Your Love)’, which I was lucky enough to hear them perform twice last year at BIGSOUND 2017 in Brisbane. It’s a perfect marriage of soulful vocals and electronic, and I really can’t wait for their debut album.

Last up was Mikky Ekko, who I admittedly entirely misjudged based on the one song of his I heard online and what I’d read about his release history. The American singer/songwriter is from the South (ah, so that’s where the soul comes from), has a big head of curly hair and beard, and is like a force of nature onstage. What sounds to me on Spotify like borderline annoying singing for hipsters comes across much more organic and genuine from him live. As advertised, his big hit ‘Smile’ elicited more than a few grins in the room.

Mikky Ekko Sirius XM Alt Nation Advanced Placement tour Washington 2

The energy he brought to a now-full Union Stage was undeniable, his voice going between r&b and rock, and he and his band delivered an exuberant performance. Many people were singing along to the tunes off his most recent ‘Advance Copy’ EP, and they were super excited when he jumped down into the crowd for his final song. As part of his final shoutout to the crowd, he yelled, “if you hadn’t heard of me, don’t forget me!” What an astute comment to make about all three of these acts on this Advanced Placement tour: each gave a lasting impression and a compelling argument to all present that they are ones to watch.


Video of the Moment #2796: Let’s Eat Grandma

By on Monday, 26th February 2018 at 6:00 pm

Header photo by Charlotte Patmore

Norwich electro-pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma, aka Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, have revealed details of their latest single ‘Hot Pink’, a collaboration with producers SOPHIE and Faris Badwan of The Horrors. ‘Hot Pink’ is the first taste of the follow-up to Let’s Eat Grandma’s 2016 debut LP ‘I, Gemini’.

The ‘Hot Pink’ video was directed by Balan Evans and produced by Try Hard. Describing the inspiration behind her visual interpretation, Evans says, “The song had a really strong digital feel, so I wanted to input that into the aesthetic. The image of a tall building with a strong coloured light was something from an old memory that has stayed with me, and it felt like a fun idea, another building block.” The band themselves explain the metaphor behind the video as follows: “We’re trying to navigate through a city where people’s perceptions of reality are becoming more and more distorted in the fear that we’ll end up the same way.” Take a look into Let’s Eat Grandma’s surreal ‘Hot Pink’ cityscape just below.

Just below, you’ll find a list of Let’s Eat Grandma’s upcoming live shows in the UK, starting with a one-off show in March and picking up in mid-April. Tickets for the following shows are available now. TGTF’s previous coverage of Let’s Eat Grandma is back through here.

Thursday 8th March 2018 – London Lightbox
Wednesday 4th April 2018 – Glasgow Stereo
Thursday 5th April 2018 – Newcastle Riverside
Saturday 7th April 2018 – Leeds Belgrave
Sunday 8th April 2018 – Sheffield Plug
Monday 9th April 2018 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Wednesday 11th April 2018 – Birmingham Castle and Falcon
Thursday 12th April 2018 – Cardiff Globe
Friday 13th April 2018 – Bristol Lantern


(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2793: Courtney Marie Andrews

By on Wednesday, 21st February 2018 at 6:00 pm

Arizona native alt-country singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews is set to follow her 2016 album ‘Honest Life’ with a new and powerful LP titled ‘May Your Kindness Remain’. The new record is due for release on the 23rd of March via Fat Possum/MamaBird (U.S.) and Loose Music (UK). In the interim, Andrews is scheduled to appear in Austin early next month for SXSW 2018. Last week, Andrews unveiled a new promo video for the uplifting, gospel-flavoured album track ‘Kindness of Strangers’, which you can view below.

Filmed in Los Angeles by The Brothers Wright, the ‘Kindness of Strangers’ promo has a muted lo-fi aesthetic created by the combined effects of a 35mm lens and super 8 film. Double exposed images of Andrews capture the internal sense of loneliness and introspection in the song itself, which she says was “written directly after some legendary musicians took their own life.” She continues, “It sparked this long and deep thought about how we all feel disconnected with each other at some point in our lives. When you’re at your lowest of lows, even a friendly cashier can make your month. Human connection is essential for survival, and I’ve felt that void at so many different points in my life. This song portrays that void, and how even the smallest amount of kindness can save you.”

Following her stop in Austin for SXSW, Courtney Marie Andrews will cross the pond to play a run of live dates in the UK and Ireland this April. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Wednesday 18th April 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Thursday 19th April 2018 – Edinburgh Summer Hall
Friday 20th April 2018 – Dublin Whelan’s
Saturday 21st April 2018 – Liverpool Arts Club
Sunday 22nd April 2018 – Manchester Gorilla
Monday 23rd April 2018 – Brighton Komedia
Tuesday 24th April 2018 – London Islington Assembly Hall


Natalie Prass / April 2018 UK Tour

By on Thursday, 15th February 2018 at 9:00 am

American singer/songwriter Natalie Prass has announced a list of headline dates in the UK for this spring, presumably to support a potential new album release. Stereogum reported back in April 2017 that Prass’ second LP was near completion, and she spent most of last summer and autumn on tour, playing dates with Whitney, The Head and The Heart and The New Pornographers. While there has been no official word from her yet on a new LP, Prass is also a recent addition to the lineup of showcasing artists for SXSW 2018 that, once again, might lead one to believe that new music is imminent. (ICYMI, we at TGTF first covered Natalie Prass at SXSW 2015; you can read about it back here.)

Ahead of her trip to Austin, Prass will be touring in America as support for Fleet Foxes. A full list of Prass’ upcoming shows can be found on her official Facebook. Tickets for the following shows in England and Scotland are available now. Our full past coverage of Natalie Prass can be found through this link.

Monday 23rd April 2018 – London Bush Hall
Thursday 26th April 2018 – Brighton Bau Wow
Friday 27th April 2018 – Manchester Band on the Wall
Saturday 28th April 2018 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Sunday 29th April 2018 – Glasgow Mono


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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.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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