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Video of the Moment #1997: City Reign

By on Monday, 25th January 2016 at 6:00 pm

Manchester’s City Reign are gearing up to release their ‘difficult second album’ in March. An early preview of ‘Dasein’, which follows their 2013 well-received debut ‘Another Step’, has already dropped in the form of teaser single ‘Sympathy’. Another single has now been announced and revealed: ‘Into the Night’, which the band themselves describe as them “return[ing] to these familiar themes of confusion and vulnerability which are fast becoming their hallmark” in a “soaring” new epic track.

Vulnerability, often paired with loneliness, is probably the best word to describe the promo video for ‘Into the Night’. Filmed by guitarist, songwriter and band co-founder Michael Grice, there is no main character in the video, unless you count the cold, hard entity that is the train car in which you’re riding in for the duration of the song. It is often said that in New York City, it’s much easier to feel lonely in a city filled with millions of people. I’m sure the same can be said of London where this promo was filmed on the Docklands Light Railway, but armed with the emotional vocals of Chris Bull and the feel good guitars of ‘Into the Night’ with you, you won’t feel so alone. Watch their new video for the single below.

‘Into the Night’, the upcoming new single from City Reign’, will be out on the 12th of February on the band’ own label Car Boot Records. Their second album ‘Dasein’ will follow on the 25th of March.



Video of the Moment #1670 (and more!): City Reign

By on Friday, 7th November 2014 at 6:00 pm

City Reign will be releasing their next single, ‘Disappear’, on their own label Car Boot Records on the 17th of November. Here is the animated black and white promo for the single. What are emotions? What are the words we say, and those we don’t? Do they haunt you, or can you sweep them under the rug, forgotten? Are we just robots going through the motions? These are the issues being grappled with in ‘Disappear’.

Like the single? You can grab it for free for a limited time from City Reign’s Bandcamp here. The band will play two shows this month: Upstairs at the Garage in London on the 14th on November, followed by a hometown show at Manchester Deaf Institute on the 15th of November. Tickets to both gigs are on sale now.



Single Review: City Reign – When You Got It All

By on Friday, 12th September 2014 at 12:00 pm

It’s been about a year and a half since Manchester’s City Reign released their well-received debut album ‘Another Step’. The band will be releasing a new single soon and unlike ‘See What It’s Worth’ b-side ‘Package It Up’ that I reviewed back in January of this year, this song sounds much less poignant, at least on the surface. The difference in tempo is obvious and the overall sound is much brighter and brasher as well, which should make it a firm radio favourite.

As you might have already guessed from its title, ‘When You Got It All’ is about how you look at the things you have in life. As a kid when I couldn’t get my way, my brother would annoyingly reference the Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. In the context of an up-and-coming band such as theirs, this single first addresses the thirst for success can seem unquenchable unless certain goals are met. The accompanying press release even begins with a joke by the writer: he says it would take owning a large yacht and a helicopter for him to have known he’d made it.

I have seen this kind of phenomenon happen before my very eyes with bands I have known when they were first starting up, watching them coming up the ranks of stardom. Fame and money, regardless what your vocation, can be addictive if you’ve been working so hard to get somewhere and it seems you’ve made it. But this single asks, “does it feel the same?” when you have it all? This isn’t asked gently. This is emphatically shouted during the powerful chorus. And really, once you reach a certain level of success, things don’t feel the same because they really are never the same again. To its credit, this single doesn’t favour the obvious direction for rock stars enjoying the spoils, that once ‘you have it all’, things might not actually be for the better. In that way, the song mirrors the sentiment of the Stones’ song probably more than they meant to.

And, just like the stock market and all bands’ trajectories, what goes up must come down. City Reign address this in verse 2, in which frontman Chris Bull emotes, “tell me a reason, there must be a reason / we all owe it to reason, to figure it out / why we’re coming down, why we’re coming down”. Is the forcefulness of this song supposed to reflect the frustration of having met those aforementioned goals and getting to the place you wanted, but finding out what is there is not what you wanted at all? Definite food for thought.


‘When You Got It All’, Manchester-based band City Reign’s next single, is out on the 22nd of September on Car Boot Records.


Video of the Moment #1456: City Reign

By on Friday, 21st February 2014 at 6:00 pm

TGTF favourites City Reign have a new single out on the 24th of March called ‘See What It’s Worth’. In early 2014, they gave us a sneaky listen to its b-side, ‘Package It Up’ (reviewed as an In the Post here). In your face are the driving rhythm and banging guitars that the Manchester-based band is known for, and this video takes you up close and personal, literally. Watch the video below.

City Reign will be playing a live set through on Sunday the 9th of March. Theirs previously announced gig at Manchester Castle Hotel on Friday the 21st of March that sold out has now been moved to Gulliver’s; get your tickets here.



In the Post #118: City Reign reveal b-side teaser ‘Package It Up’

By on Monday, 13th January 2014 at 12:00 pm

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from North West band City Reign, so here’s a quick recap. After releasing their album ‘Another Step’ in early 2013, the group are still based in Manchester. Good. They’ll be playing a hometown show at the Castle Hotel on the 21st of March, which I’ve been advised is close to selling out (well done, guys), so if you’re keen on going, you best get on that right away. Why all the excitement? Because there is a new City Reign single out in March, that’s why. Judging from their Instagram, the boys have been very busy recording in the studio, and to whet your appetite until the release next month, they’ve sent over the single’s b-side ‘Package It Up’ for us to listen to.

‘Package It Up’ begins very simply with just guitar chords and Chris Bull’s forlorn vocals; the chords continue throughout the song, with the addition of mournful strings coming into the song later. When I read the song title by itself, I wondered what “it” was, and I don’t think it’s meant to be a specific thing. Like many songs, this “it” can be interpreted and mean different things to different people. “Package it up and we’ll see what we have to / like there’s nothing we can do / package it up so we can all sleep at night / package it up because is not our fight”: there is a sad acceptance in whatever this song is referring to, it’s something that has been recognised as a problem. It feels to me that it’s something that cannot be or has become something that cannot be talked about.

In his last sweeping vocal gesture in the song, Bull’s voice soars with, “there’s nothing we can do”. Is it a secret that is killing you because you can’t tell anyone else? Is it about a situation that someone finds him/herself in that is so desperate, but he/she can’t say anything, for the risk of losing face? The fact that this song leaves the door open to interpretation and can have such universal application to each and every one of us makes it very intriguing indeed.

Clocking in at barely 3 minutes, ‘Package It Up’ is winter melancholia at its best.


Watch for ‘Package It Up’ to be released on City Reign’s own Car Boot Records as the flipside to forthcoming live single ‘See What It’s Worth’ on the 24th of March.


Live Gig Video: City Reign share live performance of ‘Making Plans’ at Manchester Night and Day

By on Friday, 18th January 2013 at 4:00 pm

Manchester’s City Reign have shared this video filmed of them performing their song ‘Making Plans’ at Manchester’s bar and performance space in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Night and Day. Watch the performance below.



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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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