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Bands to Watch #226: Courage Have Courage (at Leeds 2011)

By on Friday, 16th September 2011 at 12:00 pm

These boys are close to my hearts, not just because they all hail from the tiny little island of Guernsey as I do, but because three of their members were part of the Mid Carson Coalition, the first band I ever moshed too. Yes, I know, what a memory, one I will always have those three boys to thank for.

Courage Have Courage were formed last summer when the group of friends who had known each other, lived with one another and at one point or another played music together decided to record some tracks. The writing and recording took them a few months, and it was in March that Courage Have Courage finally stepped out of the studios and began to play live. Frontman Luke Vidamour said to me, “you only really become a band when you play your first gig.” Indeed.

This is a band who already have shared a stage with acts including Primal Scream, Example, Frank Turner and the Gaslight Anthem. At Leeds, they were on the BBC Introducing stage, where they were hoping to stamp their authority on the UK audience arrayed in front of them.

The boys describe themselves as “a British brand of pop/rock, which is fun, energetic and summery”, and after seeing them, it wasn’t difficult to see where they got that view from. The entire crowd all wore beaming grins towards this group who most of them probably wouldn’t have heard of before then.

But has the success gone to their heads already? No, not these humble Guernsey boys. They travel to gigs in what they call their ‘tour bus’ but they ended up admitting to me that it was a ‘Red Renault Scenic’. They also admitted that the reception has been surprising on their first stint touring: “there’s been someone at every gig we have played and sometimes a few people have gone, so it was just such a good experience to see how people react.” Vidamour continued, “it was nice to see how the songs went down, because until you play them live you just don’t know how people are going to react.”

‘Courage Have Courage’ are obviously then, a group of grounded lads who just enjoy playing their music and hope others will enjoy them too. With magazines like Kerrang! featuring them as well, it’s only a matter of time before acts like Frank Turner will be saying that he shared a stage with Courage Have Courage and what an experience it was.


Leeds 2011: Day 3 (John’s Roundup)

By on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 at 2:00 pm

The final day of Leeds Festival 2011 brought with it dryness and a relative calm that I hadn’t seen all weekend, no frantic rushing to tents. Just good music. Well, for most of the day anyway… Speaking of music that just is not good in the slightest, my first port of call for the day was the Main Stage to watch Pigeon Detectives. Beginning with their set with arguably their most popular track ‘I Found Out’ was their first mistake, as they had my attention for that brief point. But from then on though, it was as I expected. A set as tragically flawed as the band themselves, riddled with album tracks that nobody cares about at home, let alone at a festival. Truly a thoroughly dour start to my final day.

It was only fair that after such musical torture, I was gifted with the brilliant music of Seasick Steve, doing what he does best, getting crowds to love him with his brilliant style of DIY bluegrass rock ‘n’ roll. Halfway through his set he does what anybody who is third on the Main Stage at a festival wishes they can do to get the crowd going: nothing huge, just something like bring on a member of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time, Led Zeppelin. Yes. John Paul Jones. With JPJ on bass, Steve hammering his bizarre instruments and a drummer with a longer beard than Steve himself, the trio on stage was a force. ‘Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ sounded positively fierce and ‘Thunderbird’ was easily the highlight of the first few bands of the day.

Two Door Cinema Club strolled onstage, and within seconds girls all around me were clambering over each other to be as close to these Irish charmers. Two Door surely could not have anticipated what a success ‘Tourist History’ was going to be, so the thousands upon thousands of people mimicking every track back at them must have been quite a shock. [Editor’s note: not really to us at TGTF. We wrote about a couple of their songs in a Kitsune sampler in January 2010 and then mused on the actual album 2 months later.] Their delivery was fantastic though, and throughout the gig they had the crowd placed firmly within the palms of their hands.

To follow Two Door in the form they are in can hardly be seen as an undaunting task. So it probably helped that the guys to do it are the most seasoned pros on the bill: enter Madness. Beginning with classic ‘One Step Beyond’, the crowd were already in full swing, gone were the attempts at mosh pits and in their place, everyone doing a strange minimalistic rendition of the running man. Their set was riddled with classics: ‘Baggy Trousers’ was greeted to a huge reception and ‘House of Fun’ was literally the most ‘fun’ song of the day.

From a band centred on dancing about like there’s no tomorrow to a band who in all honesty aren’t exactly the jolliest fellows around, this of course was the pioneers of emo kids Jimmy Eat World. Their set was by far too long for the amount of material they had; while ‘Bleed America,’ ‘The Middle’ and ‘Sweetness’ were fantastic, nobody cared about ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’, let alone enough to hear it when you could be heading over to see Bombay Bicycle Club…hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a good idea! So I did!

Bombay’s crowd was, as expected, huge, as is the hype around these nervous little boys. While they may not look the most confident bunch, they still manage to capture the crowd brilliantly. Sure, it helps that they have some seriously solid tune,s but I think the nervousness plays well for them. New single ‘Shuffle’ from their new album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ (review here) sounded note perfect live and could easily grow into one of the biggest strings on their live bow. They finished with ‘Always Like This’ to bring an end to a set which they breezed through, the crowd hooked on every word.

Next up were co-headliners the Strokes (pictured at top), who turned out to be truly awful. They are a band with such a reputation but who managed to look as uninterested from the beginning as I became halfway through their dry, unimaginative set. Julian Casablancas looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but here and that was how I started to feel as the hits faded into plugging of the new album. The one highlight had to be ‘Juicebox’, which added some much needed energy to the proceedings. Bar that, disappointing is the only word I can use to describe their set. Devoid of any showmanship, any invention.


Leeds 2011: Day 2 (John’s Roundup)

By on Wednesday, 7th September 2011 at 2:00 pm

Five minutes of rain was all the heavens had in store for us on Saturday at Leeds. On a day which promised to be the heaviest of the weekend, with acts like Bring Me the Horizon, Rise Against and headliners My Chemical Romance gracing the main stage, the weather held off and it was primarily dry.

To kick off the day of music were the Blackout, who brought by far the Welshest set of the weekend. ‘STFUppercut’ was loud and hit with the ferocity of a festival goer with a full bladder running to the loo. ‘Children of the Night’, which in my humblest of opinions is their most solid track, sounded weak and laboured, no matter how much front men Sean Smith and Gavin Butler bounced about the stage.

New Found Glory were up next and found themselves in a familiar position to last time they played in 2009 where they were 3rd on the main stage once before. They opened with easily their best offering ‘All Downhill From Here’ and well… It really was. Nobody was expecting a set full of hits, because the band doesn’t have any. ‘My Friend’s Over You’ simply sounded like the whines of an unwanted child and the rest of the set just isn’t worth explaining. Poor throughout. As expected.

The failure of the Main Stage bands to whet my appetite led me to fresher pastures. My first port of call was the Festival Republic stage, where acts like Franz Ferdinand have cut their teeth and gone on to headline. A band familiar to TGTF were next up; they played 2nd on the bill on TGTF’s stage at Brighton’s Great Escape this year. Foster the People are currently riding on the crest of a wave with their hit single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ that has been played to death on Radio 1. This has done them a world of good though, because as with all hotly-tipped acts on the stage the tent was bursting to the brim. For good reason, these boys were fantastic and thoroughly deserve all the plaudits being given to them by the press at the moment. Even with the briskly cold weather Foster the People managed to create a ray of sunshine in the tent.

Back to the Main Stage I ventured then. Up next was punk rockers Rise Against, who immediately came out with a mission, it was going to be mosh pit central and I don’t think we had a choice about it. To go from Foster the People to Rise Against was a bit of a culture shock, but festivals are about diversity in music and I think there can be few similarities seen between these acts. Rise Against’s set was frantic, with guitars roaring above the wind, with ‘Savior’ sounded positively epic in the Main Stage’s surroundings and ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ had the entire crowd singing along.

Booze by this point was taking its toll on my body and my decision making capabilities, so it was to no surprise that I was convinced by my fellow festivalers that going to the Dance tent for some sweaty raving was a fantastic idea. Nero were playing a DJ set and with hits like ‘Promises’ and ‘Guilt’, they were going down an absolute storm in the confines of what the day before was the Lock Up Stage. It was the set afterwards that really, excuse the cliché, blew the roof off though. ‘Sub-Focus’ took the crowd in the palm of their hand and easily had people skanking to their will. The beats were infectious, dirty and the perfect mix for a bunch of booze infused teenagers with 90% attempting to pull.

With a quick dash/stumble across the site to the NME stage I was able to catch the spectacle that is Noah and the Whale. The nu-folk dealio had been done last year with Mumford and Sons, but while nobody can fully excuse Noah from being mainstream there was by far a more eclectic crowd gathered than for the heaving mob created by Marcus Mumford and co. The tracks from their new record didn’t seem forced upon the crowd: the masses received them with joy and while movement was low, the joy amongst the fans was apparent to all. They are a band on top of their game at the moment, playing beautiful music to fans who adore them.

Up next were gloom rockers White Lies. Opener ‘Farewell to the Fairground’s’ trademark drums got the people in the tent excited, and for good reason, as this was surely to be one of the sets of the festival so far. White Lies didn’t fail to disappoint; Harry McVeigh’s voice resonated among the punters with an eerie gloom, while the bass roared to life in the background. Set closer ‘Bigger Than Us’ for sure has to be nominated for the loudest song of the festival award, as I was surprised the people at Reading couldn’t hear the drum beat blasting along.

Headlining the evening was My Chemical Romance, another band with a troubled Reading and Leeds history. MCR were bottled off during their last visit to the Reading site in 2006 and vowed that they would never return to the festival unless they were headlining. Five years later and the emo pin-up boys had done it. They were headlining the Main Stage and wow, you could tell they loved it.
‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ was greeted to roars from the crowd, as Gerard Way patrolled around the stage akin to a general directing his troops. The energy was frantic during the opener; you could tell the boys on stage were playing like their lives depended on it. It was paying off though; naysayers and MCR skeptics all about the Main Stage crowd surely were having their heads turn by the display of blasé rock ‘n’ roll on show in front of them.

If that wasn’t enough they followed it up with their now classic ‘I’m Not OK (I Promise),’ fists were already pumping all around the crowd, flares being lit left right and centre. The band powered through a set with all the hits and songs from their newest record, with the highlights including the glorious sing-along that is ‘S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W’ and a ferocious rendition of ‘Famous Last Words’. To finish the set though there could only be one song. The anthem that saw them loved my millions, yet tarnished by the brand of a suicide cult. ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was everything it was meant to be though that night, a triumphant call to arms, awry with guitar solo’s that Queen would be proud off. A successful set then for MCR, one which can leave few doubting that this band deserves to headline bills like this.


Leeds 2011: Day 1 (John’s Roundup)

By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 2:00 pm

The heavens were open. The ground was softening. It looked to be another washout festival for me and my poor £10 wellies! My spirits would not be dampened (soaked) though. There were bands to be seen at Leeds 2011, and cider to be drunk out of silly paper cups.

First on my list was American band Taking Back Sunday. Don’t ask me why! The veteran pop-punkers have been here before, on this very spot at the very same time, hardly a fact that Taking Back Sunday will be proud of. However the Long Island boys jumped into ‘Cute Without the E’ with gusto. The crowd reacted well; regrettably, this reaction was to be short-lived. After the initial hit, the impetus was lost and the band sunk into album tracks and new record promotion, contributing to their own demise. The response was little more than silence or more turning around and scampering for another stage. Singles ‘Liar’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’ provoked some reaction from the subdued masses but it was too little to late and Taking Back Sunday skulked off stage to almost silence. Bar a few Alans and Steves.

To follow that was folk-punk troubadour and TGTF favourite Frank Turner, who immediately stated his intention with 1 and a half minute belter ‘Try This At Home.’ There really is nothing better then joining in with thousands of people and shouting the word ‘Dick’ at the height of your voice! It *is* part of the song, eh? Eton-educated Turner and his band the Sleeping Souls’ had the masses of muddy teens in the palm of their hands from the word go. With old favourites like ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’ being joined by new single ‘If I Ever Stray’, Turner’s set went down a storm. “I’ll be hanging round the Lock-Up Stage the rest of the day”, he says as he leaves. The crowd thinks, will you really? Secret set to follow.

A change in pace was in order after that. None better then UK DIY rockers Enter Shikari. If they can’t get you splashing around in the mud, it’s hard to tell what will get you shifting! For sure they delivered one of the surprises of the weekend: their wild mash-up of metal, dance and some cheeky dubstep made for essential festival listening.

Off to the NME tent next to survey whether Panic! At the Disco had recovered from their Reading Festival nightmare. For those who can’t remember here is the short version: “Band leave. Play songs. Be a bit whiny. Crowd not happy. Bottle of wee thrown. Bottle hits Brendan Urie. Urie knocked out cold. Set over.” So for them to return to the festivals was obviously a very brave move for the band. The move paid off; the band was greeted to rapturous applause and shouts of “Panic, Panic!” Urie immediately began to strut about the NME/Radio 1 stage as if it was his own back garden. The crowd loved him, screaming the words to ‘But It’s Better If You Do’ and lifting the roof at set closer ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies.’

One of the biggest success stories of this year has been the remarkable rise of Ed Sheeran, the ginger haired rap/acoustic/beat boxing/anything else cool kid of the moment has hit the ground flying and looks like a force to be reckoned with. No surprises then that his set in the Festival Republic tent was already spewing people out into the open air when I arrived. The audience was, as expected, composed primarily of young girls who all desperately “want to be Mrs. Sheeran” and other such morons. Hits ‘The A Team’ and ‘You Need Me Man, I Don’t Need You’ sound good. The remainder of the set plunges into obscurity. The loop pedal trick is cool, we know; Joe Driscoll did it about 5 years ago and was 1000% more interesting, just not as in such a “handsome” and “gorgeous” package. (Cue vomiting.) The rise of this ginger pop star is set in stone already: major label contract signed, videos out. So expect a number 1 this Sunday from Sheeran. Yes you heard it here first. (Yawn! Next please!)

Finally there was the spectacle that many had been waiting all day crushed at the barriers of the main stage for. Muse. It’s the 10th anniversary of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ and in celebration the Devon powerhouse played the album in its entirety. Too many punter faces were confused, wondering “Where’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole?’ Why aren’t they playing ‘Undisclosed Desires?” Answer to the latter: it’s garbage that’s why, OK? Answer to the former. Because it’s coming in the second half, along with ‘Desires.’ Philistines.

The first half of the set was majestic, as if they had been playing these songs on every tour, not just resurrecting them for these shows. ‘Dark Shines’ was triumphant, ‘New Born’ epic and ‘Plug in Baby’ thoroughly spellbinding, while ‘Feeling Good’ was one that everyone in the crowd could sing along to. The second half delivers hits and the same ol’ encore; a harmonica plays, Matt Bellamy spins a weird box and they tear into ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Queue the madness in the crowd. A successful set for Muse ends, but need I even write that. They’re always good. Guaranteed to tear the roof/stage/arena apart. True rock legends and they’ve got more to come.


Live Review: Little Roy with Prince Fatty and Hollie Cook at London 100 Club – 25th August 2011

By on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 at 2:00 pm

Despite the 100 Club’s punk rock heritage, tonight is a much more chilled affair. The reggae vibes coming through the PA system is soaked up by the slowly entering crowd. Headlining tonight’s show is the hottest name in reggae right now – Little Roy. Having had previous success throughout the 80s and 90s, Little Roy has managed to capture today’s young music fans with his fantastic Nirvana covers album, ‘Battle for Seattle’. This is his first performance of the Nirvana covers in the UK and the excitement can be heard buzzing around the room.

Before Little Roy takes to the stage, though, it is up to Prince Fatty to heat up the crowd. Almost as soon as Prince Fatty presses play the feet are moving and bodies swaying as London is given a true taste of Jamaica. With a whole host of MCs joining him on stage including Horseman, the stand-out performance comes from Hollie Cook, daughter of former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. Her soulful and rhythmic voice soars over the crowd and keeps the dancehall moving. As the Prince Prince Fatty Soundsystem gradually comes to a close, much to the dismay of the 100 Club, it’s time for the headliner of the third Converse curated free shows (recall the earlier Everything Everything gig I attended, review here) at the celebrated London venue – Little Roy.

A merger of reggae and grunge might not have been a conventional decision, but the outcome is outstanding. The coarseness and emotion of Kurt Cobain’s voice isn’t lost through Little Roy’s rendition, as he plays a selection of tracks from his upcoming ‘Battle for Seattle’ album. The new LP from Little Roy of 10 Nirvana covers and there’s no ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – hoorah! Originally angsty harder songs from Nirvana’s repertoire are suddenly much calmer and skanktastic thanks to the seven artists onstage contributing to this innovative sound.

The recent singles from the album ‘Sliver’ and ‘Come as You Are’ receive the best reception, as the 100+ people in this intimate setting sing and dance along to a song written by a hero and now sung by a dedicated fan and musician. The originally haunting ‘Polly’ is oddly brought to life and the meaning almost changed as Little Roy smiles incessantly as he sings “Polly wants a cracker…”. As the last notes ring out and the band leave the stage, the infectious rhythms of Little Roy and co. coupled with Cobain’s lyrics stick in the minds of the audience for the rest of the night. Whatever your opinion on Little Roy’s effort at a Nirvana covers album, he’s keeping the infamous status of Nirvana alive.


Interview: Hyde & Beast

By on Thursday, 25th August 2011 at 12:00 pm

It’s something of a cliché to denigrate the musical abilities of drummers, stretching back to the old “Is Ringo the best drummer in the world? He not even the best drummer in the Beatles!” joke, and probably far further than that. The drummer is more often than not the most wacky and unhinged member of their respective bands, the zenith of such virtues being the crazed and ultimately self-destructive antics of Keith Moon, who did very little to inhibit the stereotype of drummers as party fiends – out on the town while their peers are back in the hotel room, writing the next album.

One slightly less explored facet of the drummer’s mindset is that of frustrated musician: while their bandmates are debating chord sequences, melody lines, and harmony, they’re stuck behind the kit, with no notes to play. Dave Hyde, Futureheads’ sticksman, has clearly outgrown life behind the kit and is taking advantage of a break in the Futureheads’ output to put together a project of his own. Teaming up with Neil “Beast” Bassett, formerly of defunct Sunderland band the Golden Virgins and now running his own studio, Hyde & Beast last week released their debut album, ‘Slow Down’, and played a handful of launch gigs.

They make a slightly odd couple, the younger, slighter, more provocative Hyde in contrast to the tall, greying, bearded, more considered Bassett. But as will become clear, the partnership works well. TGTF caught up with them over a beer at the Cluny 2, their almost-homecoming gig, in Newcastle rather than their hometown of Sunderland. So chaps, given Dave already has a band, and Neil is busy with his studio, how did this all start?

Dave Hyde: We’ve known each other as buddies for twelve years or so, and when the ’Heads decided to take some time off, I was bored and decided to record a couple of songs I’d had for a while.
Neil “Beast” Bassett: Dave came into the studio just to record two of his songs, and that was going to be it, but we liked them, and Dave kept coming back. It’s a nice hideout, you can escape from the world in there, and I think Dave wanted to hide from the world for a bit.
Dave: I wanted to start paying rent!
Neil: So after Dave put down his first two songs, I got involved a bit more, in production and lyric writing, and it just grew from there. There was never an intentional plan to start a band, that only came about when we had about nine songs, and we thought, “Wait a minute, that’s almost an album!” But I think even then, we were just going to do an album for ourselves really, we never thought anyone else would be interested in it. But some people at the Futureheads’ management heard it and they spurred us on a little bit and said, this is actually good!

Dave: When we showed friends some of the songs, they thought it was good, and we were liking it ourselves, because we were making it, and listening to it a lot…
Neil: Everything I’ve ever done musically in the past I think is good – you wouldn’t do it otherwise. Whatever you’re doing at the time, if you finish it, must be good enough for you to finish. So it’s hard to figure out whether stuff actually is good. So it was when other people started to say it was good, we were like, “Really?”
Dave: It egged us on a bit, gave us that boost of confidence that we needed, without really asking for it.
Sounds like a nicely organic approach to songwriting.
Dave: A track a day without really any ideas at the start of the day, and at the end of the day we’d have a tune.
Neil: It almost feels like the songs wrote themselves. We didn’t know what we had at the start of the day, the next nine hours are a bit of a blur, because it’s a bit of a weird studio, it’s dark in there, you can go a bit crazy and a bit cabin feverish. Then there always seemed to be a moment at the end of the day where almost a light came on, and you listen back to it and say, “Wow! There’s a song! Where did that come from?”
Dave: Very organic. Very green!

How’s it translating live?
Dave: It’s different, I think it’s a little heavier than the album, only because we don’t want to make people go to sleep, we want people to dance every now and again.
Neil: It was odd when we first started rehearsing, because anything that we’ve both done in the past has been played as a band first, so when it comes to playing live, it’s easy, because you’ve already played them live, just not in front of people. Whereas here, Dave played 90% of the stuff on the album, and it was all thrown together, so we were like, “How did we do that?” But we worked it out.
Dave: The difficult thing was for me and him to remember what we’d played.

Neil: When we were recording, Dave would say, “I want to put a guitar on here, how about this?” and play some chord or other, and we’d record it, so lots of parts have literally been played once. So when it came to playing live, we had to pull up the session tracks on the computer and then listen though to work it out.
Dave: And when we heard it, half the time we were like, “What actually is that?”

There’s a lot of unusual sounds on the album.
Neil: There’s all sorts on there, like the sound of a balloon with a kazoo in being let down. A lot of the stuff we’d take normal sounds and pitch shift it down a couple of octaves. I tended to name things in an onomatopoeic way, so there’s something on there called “vibro-cymbal” with this whump-whump sound, and we had to try and figure out how we’d made that sound. And why it was even on there! I think there were studio pixies – we’d stop and lock up the studio, and they’d come out with some LSD and have a little pixie party and record vibro-cymbals over our songs without us there!

Were the Beatles and T. Rex stylings deliberate?
Dave: The sounds are deliberate, but we didn’t say beforehand, let’s make this sound like the Beatles.
Neil: That’s the sort of music we like to listen to, so it was fun for me to try and reproduce those sounds. There’s a little bass solo on Louis’ Lullaby, that we put in because we loved the bass sound so much. We put a drum head up against the bass amp, then we miked up the drum, which gave a slightly discordant, ‘Pet Sounds’ feel to the bass. We cleared a space in the song just for that sound because you can’t hear how beautiful it sounds with everything else on there. The sound of T. Rex guitars are a specific amp, and pedals, and guitar, which we didn’t have. So we tried different things, and ended up with a Hamptone valve pre-amp, hand-built in America, and it’s just got one big tank-like dial, that the more you turn it up the dirtier it gets. It’s a combination of that, and Dave’s £10 Woolworths guitar that he uses.
Dave: It’s a Japanese Audition guitar, which is a bag of shit, but it works!

What do you think about the North-East scene? It was a blow that the Ignition festival got cancelled.
Dave: We didn’t think it was going to happen, to be honest. It was a festival that got too ambitious, too soon.
Neil: The Futureheads run Split festival in Sunderland, which started off about 5,000 people and is growing very slowly. There’s too many festivals, people can’t afford to go to a festival every weekend.
Dave: We’ve got high hopes about Split, but it’s not a huge festival, we’re trying to cater for 5,000 or 6,000 people, instead of growing too quickly.

It would be nice for Sunderland to get one over Newcastle by having a festival that actually works!

Dave: Sunderland’s a vibrant place for music at the minute.
Neil: Newcastle as a city is very metropolitan. I like coming here for a night out, but I think because Sunderland isn’t so metropolitan, and it doesn’t have the good record shops, or the bars, or the venues, the people that are in bands aren’t following the current hot new thing. By the time bands get to hear the hot new thing, it was recorded a year ago, and the record industry are already onto something new. But because bands in Sunderland aren’t following that, they don’t know what’s fashionable, people just do their own thing. When the Futureheads came out, there wasn’t anybody else that had a sound like that, same with Field Music, same with Frankie and the Heartstrings, with their ’50s element, there was no-one doing that. And I think it comes across – people just do their own thing.
Dave: People are bored shitless in Sunderland it seems! So being in a band is the only thing to do. That and going to Nando’s.
Neil: I like the idea that your surroundings somehow subconsciously influence your sound. I like the story of this punky hardcore band from Northumberland, China Drum – they played about 1,000 miles an hour, their songs were so fast. And in an interview they were asked why the songs were so fast, and it turns out they used to rehearse in a pig barn on someone’s farm, which didn’t have any heating, and the only way to stay warm was to play fast songs! And my studio’s very warm, so we play very slowly!

Thanks to Natasha for her help in setting this interview up for us.


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.

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