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Live Gig Video: Ryan Adams performs ‘Shine Through the Dark’ for Conan O’Brien

 
By on Tuesday, 18th December 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Ryan Adams recently appeared on the American late night television programme Conan O’Brien, where he performed a reworked version of ‘Shine Through the Dark’, featured on the new film This is 40 premiering in the States this Friday.

The original version appeared last year on charity compilation ‘Live From Nowhere Near You: Volume Two’, which raised money for homeless youth organization Outside In. Watch the performance below.



 

(Holiday!) Live Gig Video: Dan Croll covers Low’s ‘Just Like Christmas’

 
By on Monday, 17th December 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Ok, so this isn’t what you’d normally find in the Live Gig Video feature on TGTF, but being the holiday season, we couldn’t resist. Bespectacled Liverpudlian singer/songwriter Dan Croll, who was among the many singer/songwriters who recently got the nod for SXSW 2013, decided to challenge himself and record this cover of Minnesotan band Low’s ‘Just Like Christmas’. It’s not enough that he’s singing fully clothed from the bath; no, he’s also sauntering around his flat rather nattily dressed too. And if you’re feeling the festive spirit, you can even sing along with the track, as he’s made it karaoke style, with the lyrics panning across the screen. Warning though, it does get a little lonesome…

Dan will be playing alongside Bombay Bicycle Club and Trophy Wife this Saturday for a special Freedom from Torture charity gig; all the details are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J37ljqUdjkE[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The xx with Mmoths at Newcastle Academy – 11th December 2012

 
By on Thursday, 13th December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

The tail end of 2012 sees London’s BRIT award-winning minimalist three-piece the xx take on a handful of UK dates in promotion of sophomore long-player ‘Coexist’, before moving on to a far more substantial tour with the unspoken objective of cracking the notoriously fickle US market. TGTF caught their show in Newcastle upon Tyne, with the agenda of assessing how their darkly atmospheric sound would be received across the pond.

Mmoths Newcastle live

Support for the UK dates comes from Ireland’s Mmoths. Jack Colleran generates ethereal swathes of synths and found sounds, unnamed voices drifting with nary a care through his delicately spun melodies. Reminiscent of Baths at his somnambulent best, tonight he is occasionally backed by a live drummer and bassist; the weight which this adds to the sound is sorely needed live, the restless crowd silently pleading for something solid to alleviate their anticipation. Mmoths’ debut EP ‘Diaries’ is out next year.

The XX Newcastle live 1

The xx are a stylish band. Clad all in black, a complex white light show enhancing their studied, aloof manner, they carefully recreate much of ‘Coexist’, with selected pickings from lauded debut xx. Immediately it’s obvious that the live show brings a sense of soul and involvement that the records can sometimes lack. Romy Madley-Croft’s soft yet assertive vocal is entirely engaging, the delicacy of ‘Angels’ allowing her voice to gently whisper sweet somethings across the hushed audience. When the band are at their best, things soar majestically, but there’s always a metaphorical distance, an unseen foot on the brake. Their considerable appeal – bear in mind this is a big venue, fully sold out – is difficult to define. Such slow-burning subtlety isn’t usually a guarantor of mainstream appeal. Whether the Mercury nod, or the fashionable Bauhaus bleakness, there is something afoot here.

Despite the knowing stylings, and the adult themes, there’s something childlike about the simplicity on show tonight. Guitar chords are eschewed for singly-plucked notes, bass is straight as a die, rarely, if ever, wandering from root. There is more space than sound. The entirety of ‘VCR’ could be a child’s TV theme tune. But absent is the glee of childhood: this is the music of care; of thinking; of the architecture of love; of autism. Only Jamie Smith reveals and revels in anything resembling the conventional transcendentiality of music: only in his superb live drum machine work and real-time mangling of the entire band’s sound does anything approaching a release of emotion occur. But just when it seems that might inspire the entire band to shift to another gear of engagement, the song draws to a close, and the stage is shrouded in darkness once again.

The XX Newcastle live 2

The xx live experience is quite unique. It is elegant, distinctive, soulful and heartfelt. Yet at the same time aloof, knowing, and, at times, hollow. Rather a mixed bag then – more for thinking than dancing, more for savouring than devouring. Whether this suits the US taste in music is an impossible quandary – they’ve chosen mostly southern states, which one might lazily think not the perfect match. However, The xx have conquered all with their subtle charms – and it seems likely the US will be the next to succumb.

 

Live Review: Simian Mobile Disco at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 8th December 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

In 2009, I internally through a temper tantrum when I saw the line-up for Manchester Warehouse Project that autumn. My then biggest obsession, Friendly Fires, were playing and curating a night just days before my birthday. And the month before featured a night the first weekend of October starring Simian Mobile Disco, who were relishing in the popularity of ‘Temporary Pleasure’, released in August of that year. Such is the life of a music writer who lives a good 3,000 miles away from the land of music that she loves: I had to forgo both shows and always wondered when I’d get to see SMD live and not as DJs. Two years ago, they played a very late show at 9:30 Club on a Sunday night that I had to decline going to; you have to work to pay the bills (and pay for trips to music festivals abroad). So when I heard they were bringing a special tour to North America in late November into early December where they were playing live and not just DJaying, and there was a DC date on a Saturday night, I couldn’t have been more stoked. You see, DC isn’t known as the big dance city I wish it was, and many a dance act has passed over us in favour of the more traditional dance markets of New York, Miami and LA. So when opportunity knocks in the case of an electronic band I like, I take advantage whenever I can.

Starting the evening were two sets by DJs. The first was by Taxlo (Baltimore guys Simon Phoenix and Stereo Faith); the second was by JDH and Dave P, who have become famous for their Fixed dance night in New York City. While both sets brought heavy beats and there was plenty of bumping and grinding happening out on the dance floor and loads of people, straight and gay, were having a whale of a time even before the headline act, I couldn’t get past the use of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ being mixed and mashed up as dance music. Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands I hold very sacred and as much as I like dance music, it totally weirded me out. Just…don’t. I was also not impressed with the cans that the two sets of DJs had to share for the evening; was the sound really that bad, either through the headphones or through the club’s soundsystem that really required the DJ’s head to be so uncomfortably cocked to one side to hear properly? I’ve never DJayed myself so maybe this is just par for the course, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any one so uncomfortable with the gear being used.

Being winter, there were loads of people with their jackets and I know when most people dance, they need to get drunk first so they aren’t self-conscious with what they perceive as their less than great dance moves (you guys are all fine, I’m telling you! Let the music take your body where it wants to go!), but I didn’t appreciate getting bumped up against the wall by people making their way to the loo. And back. Watch where you’re going… But I stuck it out for Simian Mobile Disco.

To be honest, I hadn’t investigated what exactly “live” meant when it came to the SMD show, so when Cheryl asked me, I just said, “it’s got to be more than just turntables. I’m expecting at least a guitar.” Was a little disappointed to see a bunch of equipment cases stacked and opened out on stage? Yeah, I was some, even though I’m fully aware that SMD are an electronic act – I guess I was more thinking along the lines of Miike Snow, who are also electronic and play “live”. On the other hand, while James Ford and Jas Shaw did what they do best, you could see they were master technicians, knowing when and which buttons on sequencers to press, and whatever else they were doing to synths, dials and other magic boxes they had hidden in those equipment cases that we couldn’t see. They obviously had a lot of equipment, as they dabbled from case to case, sequencer to sequencer.

The complicated, multi-coloured lighting rig – which blinded poor Cheryl a number of times – reflected their higher stature on this visit to our country, as did their massive tour bus parked squarely in front of the club. (Which never happens, because the bands that do play RNR tend to be of the super indie variety, with insufficent funds to be driving around such a fancy vehicle around the States). While the light show wowed the crowd, I think we were too close to the stage to be able to really enjoy and take in the whole spectacle.

And then to the music. Love it or hate it, EDM (electronic dance music) is here to stay and judging from the inaugural Electronic Music Conference (EMC) 2012 that was taking place in Sydney during my time down under, everywhere – including the Asian-Pacific region – are looking to electronic music to be the next big thing in music. Until a brief slowdown in which Ford and Shaw regrouped and brought out the vocals of the Gossip‘s Beth Ditto from ‘Temporary Pleasure’ standout track ‘Cruel Intentions’ to massive crowd approval, for some odd reason I just wasn’t feeling the music as much as I thought I should have upon my first glimpse and listen to Simian Mobile Disco ‘live’. There was a high energy vibe to their whole show, but I guess because I was stuck on one side of the stage and pretty much had Ford’s back to me the entire time, and therefore never could see what Shaw was doing with his analogue modular synth, I missed out on that part of the action. Here’s a scary thought: I dunno, maybe I am growing up (and getting old) in my assessment of electronic music because I’ve heard so much different stuff in the last 3 years?

 

Live Gig Video: Stornoway preview new material in intimate set on a London boat for Sounds from a Room

 
By on Monday, 10th December 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Last Wednesday, Stornoway took to the stage for an intimate set in London for Sounds from a Room, who recorded the entire 48-minute set in a fabulous space: on a boat. The first number is all acoustic, with their gorgeous harmonising voices, Brian Briggs on guitar and Oli Steadman (sporting an epic – assumedly Movember inspired – mustache) on double bass. And then they take to their usual instruments to continue the set. Watch the set in all its beauty here. (Sorry, I’m not allowed to embed it on here.) ‘Tales from Terra Firma’, their second album for 4AD, drops in March 2013.

Also FYI, in case you hadn’t heard know, the band have started a new Twitter, @StornowayBand (@theoldblindman still exists, I guess they started the new one to not confuse any new fans).

 

Crowns / Big Issue awareness free gigs / December 2012

 
By on Monday, 10th December 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Cornwall’s Crowns are embarking on a tour to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless this holiday season. The band says of this series of free shows, “we respect the Big Issue’s motto of ‘a hand up, not a hand out’ – so we’ll do all we can on this trip to boost the vendors sales and raise awareness of the charity’s fine work”. What fine young gentlemen.

They will appear Thursday at the Big Issue distribution centre and have appearances scheduled in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham and London from Friday through next Tuesday. How can you get involved? If you want the band to come and play at your school, youth club, record shop, home, corner shop, then contact the band. If you can provide accommodation for the band, then get in touch, email email [email protected].

Crowns have also just been announced to appear at SXSW 2013 and we couldn’t be more pleased for them.

Thursday 13th December 2012 – Glasgow Big Issue distribution centre
Friday 14th December 2012 – Liverpool and Manchester
Saturday 15th December / Sunday 16th December 2012 – Sheffield and Leeds
Monday 17th December 2012 – Nottingham and Birmingham
Tuesday 18th December 2012 – London

 
 
 

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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