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Best Of 2008: Albums

 
By on Sunday, 28th December 2008 at 1:30 pm
 

It’s been a pretty amazing year for music around the UK, and following on from my top 10 of 2007, here is my top 10 of 2008.

Viva Stereo (roar lion roar album cover)10 – Viva Stereo – Roar Lion Roar
You’ve probably not heard much about this Scottish collective. However, their third album was a surprise favourite for me – anthemic, accessible, slightly My Bloody Valentine and yet still so gorgeous.

Read more about Viva Stereo here.

Favourite: Knee High Boots.

9 – Sigur RósMeð suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
As ever, an amazing collection from the Icelandic group. More pop than previous albums, their songs sound all the more amazing. I caught them live at Hydro Connect Festival in Scotland, where they preceded Franz Ferdinand and blew them out of the water. As the sun went down, they soundtracked the festival for us, showing their sense of humour and making beautiful music that had more than a few grown men in tears.

Favourite: Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

8 – Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line
Dark in places, Ra Ra Riot come from the same school of musical geekiness as Vampire Weekend, but with a bit more serious and a bit less money. Dark in places, the group are still recovering from the death of their drummer in summer 2007, which shows on tracks like “Winter ’05”.

Favourite: Dying is Fine

Continue reading Best Of 2008: Albums

 

Daily Roundup: Sunday 24th August

 
By on Sunday, 24th August 2008 at 6:16 pm
 

So, I’m trying a new thing this week: A “daily roundup” of everything that doesn’t merit a complete post of its own. It won’t be literally every day (I do go out sometimes you know), but will be a collection of new MP3s, Videos, music etc.

It’s scary how quickly this Reading and Leeds festivals have been and (almost) gone. I’ve not really caught much coverage on the BBC of the festivals, but have checked out some of the ace videos and pictures. Particuarly loving the fact that Red Light Company are getting so much coverage from Zane Lowe, following on from my live review and initial introduction. Bloc Party look to have been amazing too – check out their live set available here for 7 days.

MP3: Red Light Company – Fascination
MP3: Red Light Company – Scheme Eugene
MP3: Red Light Company – With Lights Out

This time next week I’ll be in Scotland at Hydro Connect Festival, getting mouth wettingly-excited for the closing nights combination of Sigur Ros and Franz Ferdinand. I’ve spent much of today sorting out some pretty mundane things about the festival, like driving and what sort of coverage we’ll be having. I’ve had a look at the brilliant Winston’s Zen, who was at last weekend’s V Festival and getting a few ideas about how to live-blog the festival, amount of coverage etc. It’s gonna be hard to judge just what’s best until we get there, so don’t be suprised if you get tonnes, or next to nothing coverage wise.

One thing we’ve been having to look at is how to camp – I originally requested camping tickets, but got non-camping tickets, so have been looking at other options for us, from Tangerine Fields‘ bespoke camping options, to the goregous wendy-house style Podpads via the eco-friendly myhab‘s – I’d honestly never really considered anything other than a tent, or a hotel for the posho’s.

Traditionally, August is quite a quiet time for the music industry – bands are off playing the festivals, people are on holidays, and generally the live music biz is taking a well-earned break ahead of the onslught of year-end tours. However, this week we’ve had no end of new tour announcements, with The Fratellis, Kaiser Chiefs, The Whip, Laura Marling, Joan as a Policewoman, Slipknot and Martha Wainwright all announcing stints around the UK this winter. I’m not expecting this week to have quite as many new tour announcements, but fingers crossed – this winter’s shaping up to be a great live experience.

 

Live Review: Franz Ferdinand and Panico at Bristol Thekla

 
By on Wednesday, 25th June 2008 at 2:08 am
 

Franz Ferdinand live at Bristol Thekla - 24th June 2008“We’re only two songs in and already Paul’s broken the drums!” smirks Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos as drummer Paul Thomson attempts to re-assemble his broken kit. This turned out to be a recurring theme of the evening, as later on Nick’s guitar amp and strings gave up the ghost. However, regardless of all of that it was nice to see a stadium-filling band play a tiny boat in Bristol’s harbour and deal with the problems of playing a tiny stage and going back to their roots.

Kicking off the evening was Chilean five piece Panico. At first I was sceptical – South American party band supporting British indie kings? Really? But somehow, it worked. Starting off carefully, they quickly began to woo the crowd with their CSS / Gogol Bordello / Ladytron / The Music mixture of sounds, and energy laden front-man in the shape of the (ingeniously named) Memo.

Initially I was going to compare them solely to CSS, the Brazilian party stars of 2007, but realised pretty soon that that would be doing Panico an injustice. They’re much more talented, and their songs have more depth, and a sense of urgency that would put others to the test. The gorgeous Carolina held it all together more than capably on bass, providing some calm next to Memo’s crazy shapes. Whilst Carolina held it together, each member clearly is quite talented, and collectively they’re definitely ones to watch in coming months and years.

Lyrically they switch between Spanish and English, which certainly makes for interesting listening, and a more exotic feel than a typical British evening in inner city Bristol. By the end of the set they had everyone bouncing, and were the perfect warm up for Franz Ferdinand – everyone was ready to party.

9:45 rolled around and Franz marched on stage, self assuredly and immediately plunged into a new song, “New Thrill”, which went down a storm, and got them off to a good start, before peppering the rest of their set with newer tracks.

“Tonight, we’re going to play you some new songs, some old songs, and…” “some songs!” yelled a heckler as Alex was introducing themselves, to much laughter around the venue, and smirks from the band. “Yes, yes, we’ll play you some songs, if you want, they’ll be good ones!” smiled Alex, clearly in his element and enjoying the intimate surroundings of the Thekla.

Many of the older tracks sound just as good now as they did when they first arrived on our airwaves back in 2004. Take Me Out has renewed vigour, and surprisingly didn’t have the crowd bouncing the most. That award went to the set closer, This Fire, which saw the Thekla start to sway quite scarily as the boat rocked in the water with 350 people bouncing to the encore closer.

Keeping the set short left us all wanting more from the headliners, though Panico surprised me and could be ones to watch for the future.

After the jump: setlist and pics

Continue reading Live Review: Franz Ferdinand and Panico at Bristol Thekla

 

Connect Festival / Now with Guillemots / Ladytron and friends

 
By on Thursday, 19th June 2008 at 12:26 pm
 

Hydro Connect Festival LogoI promised myself I wouldn’t mention the festivals this summer, with the vast majority of them having shockingly awful lineups (yes, Reading / Leeds / Wireless / Glastonbury, I’m looking at you). However one festival has consistently attracted my attention: Connect.

I’ve already mentioned it before, but the new bands they’ve added to the lineup this week means I have to mention it again: it’s like my dream festival lineup.

Not only do they already have Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, Gossip and friends, they now have the amazing Ladytron, Guillemots and NME favourites Glasvegas. Quite honestly, I’d give anything to see this lineup, as it looks pretty darned good compared to the rest of the festivals. All they need to do is add Delays and The National, and I’ll be up there in a flash.

If I were you, come payday I’d get a weekend ticket, which are priced £120 and weekend tickets with camping are £140. To buy, log onto their website or call Ticketmaster on 08444 999 990

 
 
 

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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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