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General Fiasco / January and February 2013 UK Tour

By on Monday, 7th January 2013 at 3:00 pm

Update 24/01/2013: this tour has been cancelled while the band takes a break, according to the band’s Facebook. “There are currently no plans to reschedule the dates. If anything changes we will let you know.” Read all about it here.

General Fiasco have announced a UK tour starting at the end of this month in Glasgow. Tickets are available now. All shows are 18+, except where noted.

The Belfast band released their latest album, ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, in summer 2012; the album made my top 10 albums of 2012. Read more about that here.

Thursday 31st January 2013 – Glasgow King Tuts (14+)
Friday 1st February 2013 – Manchester Castle Hotel
Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Wigan Indiependence (16+)
Sunday 3rd February 2013 – York Duchess
Tuesday 5th February 2013 – Newcastle Think Tank Hoults
Wednesday 6th February 2013 – Leeds Cockpit 2
Thursday 7th February 2013 – Hull Fruit
Friday 8th February 2013 – Chester Compass
Saturday 9th February 2013 – Birmingham Institute
Sunday 10th February 2013 – Leicester Soundhouse
Monday 11th February 2013 – London Camden Barfly
Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Brighton Haunt
Wednesday 13th February 2013 – Bristol Louisiana
Thursday 14th February 2013 – Gloucester Guildhall
Friday 15th February 2013 – Swansea Sin (16+)


Top Albums of 2012: Editor’s Picks

By on Tuesday, 18th December 2012 at 11:00 am

Wowsers, has this year flown by or what? I can scarcely believe we’re ready to celebrate Christmas in a week’s time, but you know what that means, boys and girls. It’s time for the editor’s top picks of 2012. Unlike most lists that have already published either in print or online, there will be no mentions of Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar or DIIV. Sorry. No, and this year, I tried to get away from dance as I could, which seems really odd considering where I found myself 2 years ago; this is probably good commentary on the music scene at large, where beats – either urban or poppy – have invaded nearly every facet of radio and except for the odd album or two, I found these to be completely devoid of heart. Or character. (But there were 3 in my top 10 that were arguably dance albums, so maybe there’s still hope…) Without further delay, here are my picks for 2012.

The-Crookes-Hold-Fast-cover1. The Crookes – ‘Hold Fast’ (Fierce Panda) – In the shadow of love – in its electric (2010’s #1, Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’) and nostalgic, life affirming (2011’s #1, Noah and the Whale’s ‘Last Night on Earth’) forms – my #1 this year goes as far back to basics with the good ol’ pop-tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Sheffield’s Crookes. I’ve always thought that the smartest songwriters are those that can write catchy tunes while also offering up thought-provoking, intelligent lyric; guitarist Daniel Hopewell fits this description to a T.

This album would feel equally at home in the 1960s as it does in 2012. There is no studio trickery or fancy production here, just heartfelt (and heartbroken in ‘Maybe in the Dark’) feelings being sung to memorable melodies that can help to remind you of simpler times. Or simply remind you of the important people who have coloured your life. Do yourself a favour and get this album. If you’re not sold yet, read my review of ‘Hold Fast’ here.

Keston-Cobblers-Club-cover2. Keston Cobblers’ Club – ‘One, for Words’ (Beatnik Geek) – It has been shown to us time and time again that family members who sing together make some incredible music. (For one, the Beach Boys.) In Julia and Matthew Lowe, we have familial alchemy at work again, this time on some incredible folk pop. When one album can make you laugh, make you cry, make you wistful for a former lover, make you remember through happy tears your life experiences, that is truly special indeed, and that’s what I’ve gotten out of ‘One, for Words’. I expect to be playing this album again and again until my final days. You can read my review of their debut album here.

Grimes-Visions-cover3. Grimes – ‘Visions’ (4AD) – Claire Boucher is now one of the hottest commodities in the music business these days, and surely the biggest game changer from Canada since Arcade Fire. Every time I tried to catch the baby-voiced master of synths and sequencers in 2012, I never actually managed to get in. Thankfully though, I have this album to keep me company whenever things have gone boring in my life. Variety is the key word of this album, with ambient, industrial, pop and minimalist genres all touched on for one eclectic group of songs. Every time you pick up this album, you’ll hear something exciting you missed the last time around, and I don’t think it’s possible for ‘Visions’ to get old. Read my review here.

Casiokids-Aabenbaringen-over-aaskammen-cover4. Casiokids – ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ (Moshi Moshi) – There’s no way I could have forgotten the craziness of Casiokids’ third album. Even in the middle of winter, thoughts of a pineapple-shaped maraca, the sheer wonkiness of ‘Det Haster!’ and ‘Dresinen’, and disco and jungle beats working in harmony on the same album easily warmed my heart. This is controlled chaos, in a way that only Nordics manage to do it. And even if you go into this album thinking, “no way is this album going to lift my mood”, trust me, it will. You’ll even leave it with a knowing yet silly grin on your face.Read more here.

Husky cover5. Husky – ‘Forever So’ (Sub Pop) – The Husky debut album was an example of when you keep hearing the name of a band so many times, you’re wondering what the fuss is all about. Well, wonder no more. If you’re the first-ever signing to a indie label as storied as Sub Pop, then you better bring the goods, and Husky Gawenda and co. do just that in a Fleet Foxes meets the sadness of Nick Drake vehicle. If you’ve ever been slayed by gorgeous harmonies, this album’s for you. Read my review of it here.

After the cut: some albums that just missed the top 5 cut, and others that disappointed.

Continue reading Top Albums of 2012: Editor’s Picks


Live Gig Video: General Fiasco perform ‘Brother Is’ at Belfast Start Together studios

By on Wednesday, 5th December 2012 at 4:00 pm

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the General Fiasco chaps. They released their second album ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ this past summer, and it looks like right before it was released, they recorded this live version of ‘Brother Is’ from the album at Belfast’s Start Together studios and it’s only now seen the light of day. Watch it below.



Album Review: General Fiasco – Unfaithfully Yours

By on Monday, 30th July 2012 at 12:00 pm

General Fiasco have done a good job in the last year to stay in the public’s consciousness. After signing to new label Dirty Hit (run by their London-based manager) in late 2011, they released the ‘Waves’ EP in November, followed by the EP ‘Don’t You Ever’ in March just after their appearances at SXSW 2012. The Olympics even gave the band a special nod: they were chosen to headline a special show in Belfast in early June, when the Olympic relay passed through the Northern Irish capital.

After releasing the promo video for new single ‘Bad Habits’ on the 20th of June, the band is ready to unleash their second album (and their first with Dirty Hit), ‘Unfaithfully Yours’. While several songs will be familiar to fans as EP and/or single tracks, there is plenty enough freshness to make this one of most cheered about releases of 2012. Ex-Panama Kings keyboardist and guitarist Stuart Bell joined last year as well, adding another axe as well as another dynamic to the mix, giving this album a different feel from 2010’s ‘Buildings’ put out on Infectious Records.

I was so sure the title suggested that the direction of this record was based on bad relationships, but in an interview earlier this month with Chris Jones of Alternative Ulster, drummer Stephen Leacock explained the title came from a nasty letter they wanted to send to an amplifier company. This company gave them an endorsement but the band wanted to write them a note, with a completely unlaudatory signature of “unfaithfully yours” to emphasise that their products proved completely unreliable. They never ended up sending the letter, but Leacock said the two words “unfaithfully yours” felt like a good fit for the album title.

The name also likely alludes to the fact that as reported in Jones’ article, they were dropped by Infectious Records, who were pushing for an album to be released quicker than the band could produce one of a caliber they were happy to put out. I think it’s safe to say us music bloggers are all too aware of the bands we know and love being pressured to put out material more quickly than they want to and not necessarily at the high standard (or even style) they want. (For more discussion of this, see my interview/review of the new Olympic single by Delphic.) In the case of General Fiasco, it sounds like they had groups of songs written at different time points and had plenty of material, but the breathing room the signing to Dirty Hit afforded them proved crucial, allowing the band to put out the album they wanted to this summer.

The quickfire pace is set with first track ‘Gold Chains’. (A live version is embedded in this MP3 of the Day and more post.) This could prove to be the band’s ‘I Can Talk’; it’s begging for an equally frenetic video (if it becomes a single as I suspect it will be, that is). Just a bit less in the frantic department is ‘Closer’, which could very well be Owen Strathern’s “close-up” song with the hordes of girls already in love with him; these girls will know all the words to this song, you just know it from his emphatic singing of “I wanna be closer…you should be right here”.

All joking aside, like all of General Fiasco’s catalogue, ‘Closer’ has a happiness that only happens when their guitars and drums come to together with Owen’s voice. I can’t scientifically or not, explain it better than that; songs like this and ‘Sleep’, previewed at SXSW this year (video in my review of their appearance on the Thursday afternoon Music in Ireland showcase in an Irish pub on 6th Street here), will get your toes tapping, if not up and out of your chair to dance. ‘Temper Temper’ sounds like it could be the brother of ‘Don’t You Ever’; if you liked the latter, you will for sure love this one. That said, if loud, fast, in your face songs are not your thing, I don’t think you’re going to like this album very much. And I can see that this is probably where this effort is going to be unfairly judged by mainstream media critics.

A funky guitar riff pervades ‘Brother Is’, Owen sings, “you should stay cool when you’re heating up / you’re a delicate boy / not a delicate man” and “we’re up against a firing line / just waiting to die”. Not exactly pop lyrics, are they? However, the song strikes me as a good example of the maturity of the songwriting; I think it’s best described as an “advice” kind of song, coming from a big brother or father figure, explaining how important it is to be your own man, thinking for yourself and acting your age. ‘Hollows’, a definite highlight on ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, also feels more mature. Instrumentally, it’s rich with another funky riff plus fantastic drums and percussion from Leacock and what sounds like a violin but might just be guitar (?); add all of that with Owen’s chorus of “I go, I go, I go for it / my heart, my heart, and my heart beats less / I want, I need somebody else” and his resignation of “I know this won’t get better / it’s all right, we won’t get better” make for a compelling song. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is “just a pop band”; General Fiasco is proving with smart songwriting that they’re far more than that.


‘This is Living’, the one slow song on this album, is just Owen’s voice and piano. It’s too early to say if Chris Martin should be getting worried. While it starts slow, ‘The Bottom’, beginning as a heartfelt, almost wistful ballad at being at the end of your rope, breaks open into a powerful, rousing number. “We’ve done to ourselves / nobody will know / what we’ve done to ourselves” are the last, emotional words. Below is an acoustic version of it; if you think this version is full of feeling, just wait for the album version. That’s right: go get this album. Immediately. Once they get an American label contract – something I bet they will have soon enough – Two Door Cinema Club, watch out.


‘Unfaithfully Yours’, General Fiasco’s second album, is out today on Dirty Hit. If you purchase the album from iTunes, you will receive a bonus track, ‘Maybe I Might’.



MP3(s) of the Day (and more!) #589: General Fiasco

By on Thursday, 26th July 2012 at 10:00 am

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, General Fiasco release their second album, ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, Monday on Dirty Hit Records.

To help introduce tracks from the new album, the band will be releasing a series of live videos, one a week; for those of you that need instant gratification, all of the songs in this treatment are available for free download now in the widget below. For this week’s video, we’ve got the live version of ‘Gold Chains’ in video form for you. If this doesn’t get you excited about the new release…I think I need to check your head. And for a pulse. Seriously.



Single Review: General Fiasco – Bad Habits

By on Thursday, 21st June 2012 at 12:00 pm

It’s exciting times for General Fiasco. On Wednesday the 6th of June, the band headlined a free concert to celebrate the Olympic torch passing through the Northern Irish capital city. Considering they could have chosen any Northern Irish band for this special event, the Fiasco lads should feel very proud indeed for being bestowed this honour.

Besides the Olympic nod, SXSW, and outings of a newer track called ‘The Age You Start Losing Friends’ that they’ve been airing on tour this spring, the young four-piece are gearing up to release their next album to be released in a few short weeks, called ‘Unfaithfully Yours’. Ahead of the big release day, they’ve already given us another taster to the material on this highly anticipated second album, in the form of the single ‘Bad Habits’.

Their 2010 debut ‘Buildings’ was comprised of singles like ‘Rebel Get By’ and ‘Ever So Shy’ and bubbled with the sprightliness of youth and youthful abandon, imploring “let’s get wasted”. Some have suggested that ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ may be a stark contrast to this ethos. After all the drinking and partying and you’ve been given some time to mull over what has come before, you might come to some realisations that you perhaps weren’t ready to believe. Or accept.

The start of ‘Bad Habits’ is heavy: a crashing riff that’s repeated, as if taken together they were part of a bigger wake up call. It’s interesting that in the first verse, Owen Strathern states that people’s bad habits aren’t thought out and show a lack of self-restraint; in the next verse he indicates some bad habits are “costly”, which makes me think he’s either talking about cigarettes, drugs, or some other contraband along those lines, something that you can get “tangled” in. He asks again and again throughout the song, “are you gonna let me in?” There is conflict here, of wanting to start a relationship. With someone with an expensive habit that seems to be clouding her judgment.

The best line, hands down, of this song is this one: “You’re smart enough to figure it out.” This is the end of the chorus, after the in your face “hey! / be my world / you’re all I ever wanted / hey! / take my heart / but I’m not here to spend and pay”. I take that to mean, I’m available, I’m trying to help. But if you can’t get it through your thick skull (and heart) that I’m the one for you and you can’t beat this bad habit, then maybe we’re not supposed to be together. He’s putting his heart out on the line, making it evident that she is the girl of his dreams, yet she’s wrestling with a wallet-busting thing in her life that she can’t shake. Or maybe the high costs of this habit are a metaphor for something else? The crashing riffs are so jarring, I almost feel like musically, they’re a clear sign General Fiasco have grown up, showing off these manly riffs. Strathern’s vocals are strong and emphatic too. Verdict: practically flawless, it’s a winner, folks.

Special thanks to @Jancey_ for making the lyric video at the end of this post, which was not only useful for ‘translating’ most of the lyrics to the song correctly but was also highly entertaining, with appearances by Pinocchio. I salute you.


‘Bad Habits’, the first single from General Fiasco’s second album ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, will be released on the same day as the album, the 30th of July, on Dirty Hit.




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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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