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Live Gig Commentary: Stornoway at Black Cat, Washington DC – 1st May 2013 vs. at Schubas, Chicago – 11th May 2013

By on Wednesday, 5th June 2013 at 2:00 pm

Editor’s note: it pained me greatly that Stornoway was on tour in America the exact time I would be in Britain this month, but luckily the other two stateside writers, Cheryl and Carrie, admirably stepped in to cover the DC and and Chicago shows, respectively, and give the guys their due. Instead of two straight reviews, they decided they would discuss their experiences and join forces to produce one commentary on the two shows. What follows it the fruits of their labour.

Oxford folk rockers Stornoway have just finished their spring tour of America, and two of our writers, Cheryl Demas and Carrie Clancy, were lucky enough to see them along the way. Cheryl lives in the Washington, DC area, where she attends as many live gigs as she possibly can. Carrie lives in the Florida panhandle but is always willing to travel for gigs by her favorite bands. The two of them have attended several gigs together, but in this case, they saw Stornoway separately—Cheryl on 7 May at the Black Cat Backstage in Washington, and Carrie on 11 May at Schubas Tavern in Chicago, accompanied by friend and photographer Tina Willson (from who all the photos in this post are from). In this feature, Cheryl and Carrie discuss, via the technological wonder of Skype, the Stornoway shows they saw.

On venues…

Cheryl: I don’t know how big your place was, but my place was itsy-bitsy-tiny, like if Brian (Briggs, lead singer) put his hands on his hips, his elbows would touch Oli (Steadman, bass) and Jon (Ouin, keyboard). [laughing]
Carrie: Well, Schubas is a little bigger than that.
Cheryl: Yeah. No, this place is really little, and they, you know, cram everybody in. And ours was…was ours the first show of the tour? Oh, I do have it that we were their first show, because they had visa problems the previous morning. [laughing]
Carrie: Oh, so they might have been a little rattled.
Cheryl: Yeah, a little rattled. It’s always bad when you’re the first gig on a tour. You think, “are they going to make it?”

Carrie: I would love, at some point, to see the first gig and the last gig, and one in the middle.
Cheryl: To compare them all?
Carrie: Mm-hmm. Black Cat Backstage is the kind of venue I would have expected for Stornoway. I would have thought that they would do more of a, almost like a chamber set-up, with a small room. When we first got to Schubas, it was kind of set up like that, they had seats set up for Danielle Ate The Sandwich (who played the early show), because she was a solo acoustic show. So they had chairs set up, and there weren’t very many people there, maybe 50 people. But then as Field Report got started, more people started coming in, and by the time Stornoway played, it was full.
Cheryl: Yeah, our place, the room only holds 200 where we are, and I know it wasn’t sold out. But it was still full. And I talked to them afterwards, you know, they had played that very same room the last time they were here in DC, and I said, “I really hoped that you’d go up a step in venue size,” and Oli said that they actually had discussed it. They obviously, as anybody, would rather play a full room than saying they played a bigger place and not filling it.
Carrie: Well, they did a pretty good job in Chicago. I was surprised. I don’t know how many of those people might have just been wandering in or passing by, but it was a full room. We were up at the front, so it was kind of hard to tell what was going on behind us. There was a group of girls behind us who literally knew every word to every song, so they clearly had some fans.

On the opening acts…

Carrie: Stornoway was a late show (at Schubas), they didn’t start until 10:00. Field Report started at 10:00.
Cheryl: Wow. That is a late show. I think our doors were 7:00 and our gig started at 8:00.
Carrie: Our doors weren’t even until 9:30. That’s why we went to see Danielle Ate the Sandwich (a completely separate early show in the same venue), because we…
Cheryl: Needed something to do, yes.

Carrie: Something to fill in the time. [Something other than drinking beer, which we also did – Carrie] Tina did say she thought that (the beer) contributed to my emotionality, because I…I started crying during Field Report.
Cheryl: Did you? [laughing]
Carrie: I wasn’t drunk! But they played a song that was really good, and it just sort of took me by surprise. I think that was more it than anything. I was surprised by how good they were. I wasn’t really…I didn’t know what to expect from them at all.
Cheryl: I didn’t either, because I hadn’t made an effort to listen to them. I have a quote that said, “praying for the singularity to carry you?” [from ‘Chico the American’ – Carrie] Do you remember that line?
Carrie: That’s a song lyric, yeah, that’s a lyric.
Cheryl: That’s a good line!
Carrie: I can’t remember which song.
Cheryl: I guess, because I wrote it down, it really made an impression on me.
Carrie: I guess, I think the one that got me was “crippled by joy and pursuit thereof”. [from ‘The Year of the Get You Alone’ – Carrie] I was like, wow.
Cheryl: The other one I wrote down is, “A bird in the hand is worthless if you’re too scared.” [from ‘Taking Alcatraz’ – Carrie]
Carrie: Mm-hmm. So, there’s a little bit of a theme there.
Cheryl: Yeah.

Field Report Washington live

Carrie: I did end up buying their CD afterward, and it, it’s good, I like it. It’s kind of all the same, but it’s good stuff.
Cheryl: Is it on Spotify, did you check?
Carrie: I didn’t check, I just bought it at the gig. I mean, I was literally so blown away, I was like, “I have to give you some money for something”.
Cheryl: [laughing] I’ve done that.
Carrie: We were chatting with them after, and Tina said to them, “You know you made her start crying?” And the singer, Chris, was like, “oh, really, are you ok?”
Cheryl: [laughing]
Carrie: I said, “oh yeah, I’m good now, I’m recovered.”

Cheryl: Did you think that they sounded country at all?
Carrie: I don’t know if I would say country, but Tina said they reminded her of Johnny Cash a little bit, which I guess I can sort of see. They’re definitely sort of in that direction, they’re definitely more American-sounding.
Cheryl: Yeah.
Carrie: I wouldn’t say folk exactly either, but…
Cheryl: No, I definitely didn’t think that they were folk. However, what I thought was interesting, because I don’t see it a whole lot, is that the lead singer was finger-picking his electric guitar. That’s not always something I see.
Carrie: Mm-hmm. The whole thing was sort of unusual. I was really expecting them to be more like Stornoway, and they…were not so much.
Cheryl: Right.

Carrie: They don’t really seem to have a lot in common. I kind of wonder how they got hooked up.
Cheryl: I actually have more lyrics written down here. I must have really been taken by the words.
Carrie: I mean, I think the lyrics were really what set the songs apart, and the vocal harmonies. Nick, the keyboard player, was also singing the vocal harmonies, and they sounded really good. Apparently Chicago was their last show with Stornoway, because it was close to Milwaukee (where Field Report is from) and they were headed home.

Cheryl: Oh, why?
Carrie: Someone else is with Stornoway now. I can’t remember the other band’s name, that’s finishing the tour with them. [Horse Thief opened the western US shows. –Carrie]

Cheryl: Ok. Gotcha.

On stage setup and the set list…

Carrie: They didn’t have a hugely long break (after Field Report) before Stornoway came out. Just long enough to clear the stage, and they did have some stage set-up to do.
Cheryl: Yeah, just a little bit. [laughing]
Carrie: I was kind of impressed by how minimal that was, frankly. Just having heard (Stornoway’s) music before, I thought that it might be an extensive stage set-up. [laughing] It wasn’t. They played a pretty long set list. I mean, they covered pretty much all the bases, all the songs I would have expected, they played.
Cheryl: Oh, I missed ‘We Are The Battery Human’, though.
Carrie: Oh, they didn’t play that, we didn’t hear that. That’s, I guess that’s the only one. They started with ‘Knock Me on the Head’… I don’t have it in order, I just remember that one being first and I thought, “ok, they’re starting off with the hit single.” And it was a good way to get started.
Cheryl: I felt that ‘You Take Me As I Am’ was the second time that they really took everything all at once and, you know, stretched it right to the edge, and it was almost too much.
Carrie: Really? I love that song, so I don’t know that I would ever have too much of it.
Cheryl: I like that song a lot too, but I guess it was after that first one, which I believe was probably ‘Knock Me On the Head’, it was really (blaring sound effect).
Carrie: It was kind of huge.
Cheryl: And then this was the second time that they really went, I thought, way off to the edge, because I don’t think of Stornoway as being that way. The rest of the set was much more melodic, and mellow and slow.
Carrie: Yeah, I mean, even the sort of, like when they played ‘Zorbing’, that’s kind of a rockin’ song, but it didn’t get huge.
Cheryl: Right. The sound behind it didn’t get huge.

Stornoway Washington 2013 live

Carrie: Yeah. I guess ‘You Take Me As I Am’ is a pretty big song. I guess when they played ‘Watching Birds’, at our show they played that in the encore, that got big, they stretched that out a little bit. They played with the tempo, I think they were trying to be funny, I’m not sure how many people in the audience really appreciated that, but they cut the tempo in half and took it really slowly and kind of messed around with it.
Cheryl: Yeah, and like, they started the encore with just Rob playing the drum solo, and then Oli came on, and then Jon and then Brian and then they played ‘I Saw You Blink’.
Carrie: Yes. I kind of like that song too, I would not have expected it to be in the encore, necessarily. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know their songs well enough to be able to say, you know, what their normal set list would be.
Cheryl: I tried to think of, like when they’ve done a set, and if I don’t see a set list written down, I try to think, “what have they not played yet that I know is popular that they would do in the encore?” This was definitely one that was hugely popular the last time they played.

Carrie: The only song that kind of surprised me, on the set list, was, they played ‘The Coldharbour Road’. It was a little slow.
Cheryl: Really? That’s a huge one from the first album.
Carrie: Yeah. It just, it was a little slow, they played ‘Knock Me on the Head’, then they played that, and I started to get worried that they might lose steam. I guess, see, I didn’t really, I never heard their first album until after I had heard the second one, so I didn’t really know what would be popular, other than ‘Zorbing’. That’s sort of the obvious single, but clearly there were people in the audience who were waiting for other songs, and I did not find myself, you know, thinking, “what are they going to be playing next?” or, you know, trying to anticipate, because I really had no idea.
Cheryl: Mm-hmm.
Carrie: In that way, it was kind of nice, I was able to just sort of listen and take what they gave me. I was surprised, too, by how long their set list was. I wasn’t, I mean, I guess they don’t have a huge back catalog to draw from. They played just about everything.

On audience response…

Cheryl: It was funny to see (the band) eating in the bar when I arrived. [I don’t believe I missed this; in case you haven’t been keeping score, Stornoway were playing in DC the very night I flew out to Manchester – Ed.]
Carrie: And nobody knew it was them?
Cheryl: No. Well, I must say, there was another guy who was sitting at the bar eyeing them, and eventually did go up and said something. But for all I know, he could have said, “hey, are you the band?” But everybody else just walked right past them, it was so funny.
Carrie: I guess I could sort of see that. I mean, I’m not sure that I would recognise all of them if they walked up to me right now.
Cheryl: And it’s funny, because I’ve been to this room a couple of times, and I don’t know if it’s just the way people expect to behave when they’re in that particular room, is that Brian commented, “oh, you’re so respectful”. And I never know if bands mean that genuinely because they like how quiet you are, or if it’s the only thing they can come up with when you’re excessively quiet as a group.
Carrie: When they’re trying to tell you nicely, “please make some more noise, so we don’t feel like idiots.”
Cheryl: I can’t tell, because it’s not like people weren’t appreciative, they were.

Carrie: No…we had an appreciative audience, and I will say that I, personally, was fairly subdued after a certain point, after they played ‘Invite to Eternity’, because I started crying during that song too, and I don’t think that I ever really recovered.
Cheryl: Oh!
Carrie: I really, I was just sort of stunned by how beautiful the sound is, I mean, they really do re-create it so well live.
Cheryl: Well, good.
Carrie: There was a lot of singing along when they played ‘Fuel Up’ and ‘Here Comes the Blackout’.
Cheryl: Right.
Carrie: And ‘Zorbing’.
Cheryl: Yes, people definitely knew the first album.
Carrie: People really liked ‘Knock Me on the Head’, I mean, that was the single from the second album, and ‘The Bigger Picture’. But they didn’t sing along to that. There was, at one point on Tina’s video, I could hear myself singing. I might have been the only one.
Cheryl: [laughing] That’s always fun. There was a group of people, about 5 or 6 of them, like behind my right shoulder, that were actually, kind of, couples dancing most of the way through the thing. It was nice. I was like, hey, I didn’t know you could swing to Stornoway, but I guess you can!
Carrie: [laughing] I’m not sure I would have attempted it, but then, I mean, you know, they’re kind of all over the board style-wise, I guess you could.
Cheryl: [laughing]

Carrie: I just, I love that they have so many different, sort of, experiments going on in their music. I wonder, when they write it, if they’re thinking, “hmm, maybe I could insert a waltz…”
Cheryl: [laughing]
Carrie: You know, I’m going to say this with the utmost affection, they are, they’re such nerds, I could totally see them doing that.
Cheryl: Are they? What makes you think they’re such nerds?
Carrie: I mean, just talking to them, the little bit we did afterward, they seemed sort of shy and really in their own heads. And their music is kind of in its own head. If I had one criticism of ‘Tales From Terra Firma’, it would have been that some of the songs are a little cerebral and a little wrapped up in themselves. I was surprised by how much they were able to let it out in a live show.

On live arrangements…

Cheryl: Well, I have to say that I was kind of impressed with the ability that Stornoway had to make such a racket.
Carrie: Yeah. I mean, I really kind of thought that it might be more of a quiet, intimate set-up for them, and they kind of rocked it out. I was pleasantly surprised by that.
Cheryl: Yeah, because, with the second album, I think their second album is quite a bit different from the first one, with just, like, the amount of sound that they used…
Carrie: The size of the arrangements is huge on the album, I wasn’t really sure how that would translate, you know, knowing that they’re not going to be able to bring their full set-up. I didn’t know how that would translate to a venue like this. I wasn’t sure how they were planning to do it.

Cheryl: It turns out, I was standing right next to the violinist’s parents.
Carrie: Oh! [laughing]
Cheryl: I talked to him afterwards, he says, “Yeah, yeah, you know my parents are here, they live in the area. Um, they were right there in the front.” I was like, “You mean the couple that had their fingers in their ears?” [laughing]
Carrie: [laughing] Oh no! It must have just been too loud.
Cheryl: He said, “yes, that was my mom and dad.”
Carrie: Now what was the violinist’s name again?
Cheryl: Rahul Satija.
Carrie: Oh, no, they had someone else in Chicago. It was a woman, she was good. Yeah, it was someone different. I’ll have to double-check that. [The violinist in Chicago was Jean Cook. – Carrie] And they had another guy playing in the back, a guy named Tim.
Cheryl: Yeah, Tim was new. He’s also American. And he was in to play the keyboard, and the saw, and the piece of wood…
Carrie: [laughing] Everyone applauded at the saw part, and I think Brian was a little, sort of, nonplussed by that. He was like, “it’s the easiest part in the whole show.”
Cheryl: [laughing] You know, I saw the saw come out, well it came out twice, they played it like a saw with bow, like you usually see a saw, then did you see the other time, he was actually sawing a piece of wood?
Carrie: Yes, that was the bit where everybody started applauding.
Cheryl: Nobody could see it because he was stood directly behind Brian, and unless you had, like a side view, you couldn’t see what was going on, and I kept ducking under, and like bending over to look under Brian’s guitar to see what the heck they’re doing with a block of wood.
Carrie: Brian’s not a very big guy, so I was able to see around him pretty easily.
Cheryl: [laughing]

Carrie: We had a pretty good view from where we were. But, I mean, the thing that kind of shocked me, and it was nice having a good view, but I literally didn’t know where to look, you know, where the action was happening. It’s sort of all over the place all at once, and so I had trouble focusing my attention. Like, I think it was during ‘The Great Procrastinator’, when Tim was playing the trumpet, where he kept losing his music. The sheet music kept falling to the floor. But it didn’t seem like it bothered him, I didn’t hear a major issue in the trumpet part. He must have known it well enough to keep going.
Cheryl: Well enough at that point.
Carrie: Yeah. ‘The Great Procrastinator’ is my favorite, and it really worked well with the trumpet in place of the clarinet. I had been warned ahead of time of that, that they had to rearrange it. And it worked, I thought it was good. I don’t know if trumpet and clarinet are both B-flat instruments, I’m not sure what would have been involved in making that change.
Cheryl: [laughing] I don’t even know what you just said. No, don’t bother explaining it to me!
Carrie: I’m not going to, because I’m not 100% sure, but there may have been some transposition involved.
Cheryl: The notion that an instrument has its own letter and flatness just astonishes me.
Carrie: I should have asked that question! I would have sounded really intelligent if I had asked. [laughing]

On vocal technique…

Cheryl: Ok, how good was that last song, where they all came forward?
Carrie: ‘The Ones We Hurt the Most’.
Cheryl: Yeah.
Carrie: They really kind of nailed that one. It was beautiful, I mean, the vocal harmonies are beautiful, I think that’s what struck me the most, was that they were able to make that happen live. You can do it on an album, and you can take several takes and you can practice it and rehearse it, but when you have to stand up on stage and nail it in that atmosphere, it’s different. And they did it, I mean, every time. I didn’t hear one that was sour. Clearly, they’ve done some singing, all of them. Brian’s singing voice, I’m just, I’m amazed by it. He said he was a little croaky the night that we saw them. But he handled that well, I mean he, his voice broke a couple of times, but, you know, he, technically, he knew what to do about it, he backed off of it, you know, and he made it work.

Cheryl: Since you know technicalities much better than I do, what is it about Brian’s voice that makes it so good, wonderful, different, unique…?
Carrie: It’s, you know, it’s totally pure and untouched. I think he, if I had to guess, which I do, I would say that he probably did some singing as a child, and that he has just kept with that technique, he hasn’t messed with it, he hasn’t tinkered with it. It’s just a very pure, unadulterated sound. And he knows how to make it work when it’s not at its best. It’s just very pretty. He doesn’t try to do anything goofy, he doesn’t have weird diction things, he doesn’t have weird intonation things.

Cheryl: He doesn’t stretch out syllables? [Cheryl was referring to what she knows is one of my vocal pet peeves, emphasizing an unstressed syllable. – Carrie]
Carrie: Mm-hmm. [laughing] No, he pretty much sings. And, you know, ‘Invite to Eternity’ is a really difficult song, that’s really hard—I’ve tried singing it myself—it’s tough. It’s not an easy one. And so I’m impressed that he even attempted that in front of a room full of people. He didn’t make it easy on himself when he wrote it. But really, all of the songs are kind of like that, there’s good singing in all of them.

Stornoway is scheduled to play the Glastonbury Festival in late June.


Album Commentary: Dan Le Sac – Space Between the Worlds

By on Tuesday, 18th September 2012 at 12:00 pm

Editor’s note: Ben and Luke both asked to review the new Dan Le Sac album so instead of assigning it to one, leaving the other empty-handed, I decided the best approach, given the close proximity of their humble abodes, was to lock them into a room together and hash out exactly what they thought about this album, examining each track one by one. Read on…

Two world-weary, casual music observers on a Tuesday night sojourn through the passage of irreverence into the clearing of inconclusiveness with just an album, a bottle of wine and an unplanned conversation…

Disclaimer: Expect facts to be few and far between.

‘Long Night of Life’ (feat. Merz)
Ben: Well, the intro’s a bit like Stomp…but, would you say this crosses the border into pop music?
Luke: He’s an electronic musician with vocals over the top.
Ben: My point is, how does that differentiate from the majority of music in the charts at the minute?
Luke: It’s basically something the Antlers would do, but the Antlers would do better.
Ben: There’s a lot on the album that could be done better by someone else.
Luke: He’s not going out there to set the world on fire. He’s gone one way and Scroobius Pip’s gone another. Dan Le Sac’s just thinks “Well, I should probably get something done too!”
Ben: I suppose that’ll be the litmus test of this album. How he stands up without Scroobius Pip.

‘Play Along’ (feat. Sarah Williams White)
Luke: It’s more jilted than ‘Development’. There’s a lot of skipping and heading back. But it’s more fluid than the stuff he was doing with Scroobius Pip.
Ben: This track’s a lot techier.
Luke: The singer’s kind of like Katy B.
Ben: It’s that faux-cockney thing where they always turn out to be from public school.
Luke: Exactly, like Jessie J did ‘Do it like a Dude’, and then it was like, ‘oh’.
Ben: Who else is there? Kate Nash, Lily Allen.
Luke: Who is now a riot girl? Lily Allen’s having babies.
Ben: And, she’s’ retired’ from the music business…
Luke: No one wants to buy pop off posh people anymore.


‘Memorial’ (feat. Emma-Lee Moss [Emmy the Great])
Luke: This is the one with Emmy the Great. She’s about on a par with how famous Dan is in these circles.
Ben: It’s got a kind of Arabic feel to it, this one. Or, maybe a bit of James Bond; like a James Bond porno theme. The love gun aiming… You could dance to this though.
Luke: You could sway to this; it’s bass heavy.
Ben: But heavy enough?
Luke: Not for me. It’s heavy for a pop track… If he didn’t have the vocal track, he could have been tempted to just put in a massive drop like everyone else. But, he’s kept it steady. Not like a lot of other artists who are just about the WOBWOBWOBWOB.
Ben: Do you think a dubstep artist would have done it better?
Luke: It reminds me of ‘Haunted’ by Digital Mystikz.
Ben: How would you stack this against it?
Luke: Probably Digital Mystikz. But, that’s because they’re dubstep artists.
Ben: That’s exactly my point. Should he try it if he’s not qualified?
Luke: It’s a different scene now. Dubstep’s more accessible to the public. When you’ve got the internet explorer advert with it on, then you know something’s changed.
Ben: There’s a risk of being jack of all trades and master of none.

Ben: Heavier start! A bit Pendulum-y.
Luke: It sounds a lot like Thunder by the Prodigy.
Ben: The Prodigy kind of picked up on the Pendulum thing when they came back.
Luke: It’s ‘Insomnia’ but worse. You could see Rammstein walking on stage to this.
Ben: You could see Rammstein walk off to this… heads down; going to cheer each other up in whatever way Rammstein do. Four on the floor… with Rammstein.


‘Tuning’ (feat. Joshua Idehen)
Luke: I quite like it.
Ben: It does have the odd profound moment, but you wonder if that’s accidental against the rest of it. “Often looking for my keys”?
Luke: Well, aren’t you often looking for your keys? It’s relatable!
Ben: … I have a place for my keys. I don’t spend much time looking, they’re always there.
Luke: I think this would be better if it was done with Roots Manuva as the vocalist.
Ben: I agree. So Roots Manuva could have done it better?
Luke: Dan Le Sac didn’t write the lyrics. But it’s quite a decent beat to get involved with.
Ben: … I’m certainly feeling involved.
Luke: It’s got a pumping beat.
Ben: But, where would you pump to it?
Luke: An early ’90s rave hole.
Ben: Maybe a 2012 interpretation video of a 90s rave hole.
Luke: It reminds me of Clouds’ ‘Mighty Eyeball Rays’.
Ben: The first bit had swagger. This is a bit stupid, a bit happy hardcore.
Luke: This you hear glow sticks, before you heard grimy basement.
Ben: And, I liked that basement, Luke. It wasn’t a Fritzl basement. It was more of a…. wine cellar.

‘Good Time Gang War’ (feat. B. Dolan)
Luke: It reminds me of Digits but it’s not too dissimilar to ’05 dubstep.
Ben: I think it’s more snare heavy, there’s no real beat to it.
Luke: It could be darker, it would be better if he’d made it dirtier.
Ben: It needs to go somewhere and so far it hasn’t.
Luke: The songs with vocals are stronger than those without. There’s a lot of “that’s good but you know someone else could do it better.” This album was never going to be a 10/10. For me it’s currently 6/10, there’s definitely more positives than negatives.
Ben: I think it’s a 5 so far, it’s nothing special. It’s more of a showcase than one thing done incredibly well. He had the opportunity to carve out a niche but he didn’t take advantage of his audience.

‘Hold Yourself Lightly’
Luke: There are a few songs I’ll listen to again, but it’s more of an album you’d stick on in the background than gather your mates round to, because there are not enough original hooks.
Ben: I think Dan Le Sac’s fans listen to it on their own.
Luke: Harsh.

‘Zephyr’ (feat. Merz)
Ben: It reminds me of ‘Egyptic’ by L-Wiz.
Luke: It reminds me of Gorillaz in a way. Not vocally but if there was more twinkle to it, it could easily have been on ‘Plastic Beach’. The vocals aren’t hooking me in, though.

‘Breathing Underwater’ (feat. Fraser Rowan)
Ben: It’s not as good as Metric‘s song of the same name.
Luke: A nice, hazy, chill-out tune. It reminds me of Renton in Trainspotting.
Ben: It reminds you of an overdose? I’m not sure that’s a symbol of a good album. It’s bit like New Order and A Flock of Seagulls. But, it’s got that techy edge and if you remove the glitchy overtones it’s pretty much Kraftwerk.

‘Break of Dawn’ (feat. HowAboutBeth)
Luke: It sounds like the intro to a slow ’90s pop track. Atomic Kitten will come out in a minute.
Ben: It sounds like a Japanese car advert.
Luke: I think it’s too interesting to be on an advert.
Ben: I can see a Subaru cruising past in the rain to this; slow motion. Maybe we could send it in to Top Gear, it’ll get Clarkson’s juices going.
Luke: I’m still sticking to my 6/10.
Ben: You can imagine leaving a club to this. There’s too much ‘leaving’ on this album, either leaving a stage or leaving a club.
Luke: This is when everyone has stopped dancing and they’re having a conversation but no-one wants to turn the music off. When you leave the dance floor to go to the bar, this is the song you’ll hear.
Ben: Everyone else has got their coats on. It’s that sort of music. The barman is staring into an empty pint glass.
Luke: The barman has called last orders and there’s a few people on the dance floor – that’s this song.

‘Caretaker’ (feat. B. Dolan)
Luke: It’s an intergalactic funeral march.
Ben: This track’s been better than the past few. This is people returning to the dance floor music.
Luke: Maybe, the album is a journey?
Ben: It’s a transitionary album!
Luke: If you’re going to spend 51 minutes at a disco, this is the album you need to put on. It will guide you through. It’s an aural map to your night out.
Ben: Split the album into two and have the first 25 minutes at the beginning of your evening and the second 25 minutes at the end.
Luke: This song has counterbalanced the three before that weren’t very interesting. Not in a harsh way but it was needed to pick the album back up again.
Ben: I feel like it’s a rush to the finish after the lull.


Ben: It sounds like a David Firth cartoon.
Luke: There’s a dead guy on the floor with no-one else around.
Ben: And a cat is being used as an uzi.
Luke: That’s when you know you’ve made it, when you’re the soundtrack to an internet cartoon.
Ben: It’s sort of a shame the last song ended. The album has been a very mixed bag.

‘Cherubs’ (feat. Pete Hefferan)
Ben: This last track has pretty much passed without incident.

Final verdict:
Ben: Overall 5/10.
Luke: I’ll go 6/10. There’s more good bits than bad bits. There are hooks there and the vocals on some tracks are great.
Ben: He’s spread himself too thin. There are moments in it but it’s relatively forgettable.
Luke: There’s a few tracks there that stick with me.
Ben: The advert gets stuck in my head; that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Dan Le Sac’s debut album ‘Space Between the Worlds’ is out now on Sunday Best (Rob da Bank’s label). You can stream it in its entirety below.


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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