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John Grant / January and February 2016 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Thursday, 1st October 2015 at 8:00 am
 

Header photo by Michael Berman

Following on his already sold out November dates in the UK and Ireland, singer/songwriter John Grant has announced a full UK and Irish tour for the early part of 2016.  Grant’s third album ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ is due out on Friday the 9th of October and will include the current single ‘Disappointing’, featured below the tour date listing.

Tickets for the following shows will go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 2nd of October, at 10 AM.  In addition to these shows, Grant will play a special one-off date later in the year at London’s Royal Albert Hall on the 15th of June.

TGTF’s previous coverage of John Grant, including live performance reviews, can be found right back here.

Tuesday 26th January 2016 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Wednesday 27th January 2016 – Belfast Mandela Hall
Thursday 28th January 2016 – Cork Opera House
Saturday 30th January 2016 – Galway Seapoint
Monday 1st February 2016 – Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Thursday 4th February 2016 – Southampton Guildhall
Friday 5th February 2016 – Leeds Town Hall
Sunday 7th February 2016 – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Monday 8th February 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Wednesday 10th February 2016 – Gateshead Sage
Thursday 11th February 2016 – Sheffield Octagon Centre

[youtube]https://youtu.be/U2Ig4sMURdc[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Mallory Knox and PVRIS at Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ – 24th January 2015

 
By on Friday, 30th January 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Cambridge alt-rock quintet Mallory Knox have signed on as support for punk rock bands Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens on the second leg of their American co-headline tour, which began on the 23rd of January and runs through the 4th of March.

Doors for the double support, double headline show at the Marquee Theatre were opened at the obscenely early hour of 5 PM, and when I arrived at the venue, the queue for entry was already around the block. As soon as I saw the massive throng of teenagers standing outside, I understood the reason for the early start. I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I bravely soldiered my way in. Luckily for me, Mallory Knox were the first opener, and despite having to play at 6:30 PM, they were right on form to set the tone for the evening.

Judging from the overwhelming number of Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens hats and t-shirts in the crowd, I wasn’t sure how well Mallory Knox would be received. Most of the kids in attendance didn’t seem to know or care who the opening bands were. But their anxious enthusiasm for the headliners quickly transformed into enthusiastic appreciation as Mallory Knox opened with the energetic ‘Beggars’, from their 2013 album ‘Signals’. I wasn’t very familiar with Mallory Knox’s back catalogue, but I did recognize in the set list three of the singles from the band’s recent LP ‘Asymmetry’, namely ‘Shout at the Moon’, ‘When Are We Waking Up?’ and ‘Ghost In The Mirror’.

Mallory Knox at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

Lead vocalist Mikey Chapman was confident and animated in his performance but endearingly self-effacing as he thanked the crowd for showing up early to hear only the band’s “second ever U.S. show”. If Mallory Knox were at all nervous, it didn’t show in their onstage demeanour. All five band members were lively and self-assured, and they beamed with pride at the overwhelmingly positive audience response. After their set, I overheard several young ladies whispering about sneaking out to the merch table to meet the “cute English boys”, so I suspect Mallory Knox may have already won over at least a few new American fans.

Mallory Knox at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

The second support act of the evening was Boston, Massachusetts rock band PVRIS, which according to frontwoman Lyndsey Gunnulfsen is pronounced as “Paris”. PVRIS is a darker, more synth-oriented rock band who released their latest single ‘St Patrick’ last summer ahead of their debut full-length album ‘White Noise’, which came out in November 2014. It was ‘St Patrick’ that generated the most excitement among the crowd, after earlier hits ‘Fire’ and ‘White Noise’ sparked mild recognition.

PVRIS at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

The band apparently had some technical difficulties in the transition between Mallory Knox’s set and their own, and a missed lighting or sound cue made the start of their set awkwardly anti-climactic. Gunnulfsen attempted to draw the crowd back in by prefacing every chorus of every song with the interjection “put your hands up”, and her audience did oblige, but her annoyance with the tech glitches was evident, and overall PVRIS’ set was a bit listless after the fresh ebullience of Mallory Knox.

PVRIS at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

There was a lengthy delay after PVRIS finished playing, as the tech crew began the elaborate set up process for the first headliner, Pierce the Veil. During the transition, I decided to move from my central spot on the main floor and find a position in front of the soundboard, where the sloped floor would give me a better sight line and where I hoped I could avoid the crush of sweaty strangers invading my personal space.

Pierce the Veil at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

I will admit here that I don’t know a single song by either Pierce the Veil or Sleeping with Sirens, and I was completely unable to catch a song title or even a snippet of lyrics in either set, except for the oft-dropped F-bombs. By the time Sleeping with Sirens came onstage, I had moved even farther to the back of the venue and found myself standing among a group of stunned, bleary-eyed parents who were waiting for their adolescent offspring to finish moshing/passing out/puking on the general admission floor. But once again, I must commend the Marquee Theatre for its sound quality, even so far removed from the stage. Both the visual effects and the sound were excellent throughout the venue, and the fans who remained upright were clearly able to enjoy the performances from all vantage points.

Sleeping with Sirens at Marquee Theatre 24 Jan 2015

The contrived, trying-so-hard-to-be-punk atmosphere of the show (commercially sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink) was a bit too much for me in the end, but the opening support slot was unquestionably a huge opportunity for an on-the-rise band like Mallory Knox. Having already headlined their own UK tour as well as supporting bands like Don Broco and Biffy Clyro, Mallory Knox have clearly honed their live skills over the course of releasing their two LPs. Their style straddles the line between alternative rock and post-hardcore punk, and with the exposure provided by this support slot, their natural onstage charisma could easily win them legions of new fans among both genres.

Mallory Knox will be on tour in America with Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens through the 4th of March. They are scheduled to appear at Southampton’s Takedown Festival on the 7th of March . A full listing of live shows can be found on Mallory Knox’s official Web site. PVRIS will visit the UK and Ireland in April, taking on a support slot with Lower Than Atlantis; you can find those dates here.

 

(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Live Review: Alvvays with Moon King at Newcastle Think Tank – 23rd January 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 27th January 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Tonight, Alvvays return to Newcastle after a triumphant first gig in the city in 2014 supporting Real Estate, where they impressed as much, if not more, as the headliners. But can they handle the pressure of drawing a crowd under their own steam? That most of the tour sold well in advance, the evidence suggests yes. This is how they did it.

First up are Moon King, a Toronto spacey-pop four-piece, based around the complimentary boy-girl vocals of Maddy Wilde and Daniel Benjamin, who, due to Benjamin’s boyish voice, both sing in the same register. He acknowledges that as a reasonably obscure Canadian outfit, the crowd are unlikely to know any of their tunes, which is largely true, but the songs themselves have enough drive and melody to warm up the crowd. Their approach is casual, ramshackle at times – everyone knows the guitar is going out of tune, but they don’t care to tweak it, presumably thinking that it adds to the ‘ambient’ nature of the sound.

Which, to be fair, it does. Benjamin is clad in baggy black pants and t-shirt, teamed with black work boots that are literally falling apart at the seams. Even though at times he seems directionless, moping about the stage, at others he throws some genuine frontman shapes with the mic stand. An intriguing combination of attributes. Moon King trade in slackerism then, with the obligatory climax of hectic guitar and synth sweeps, and it all works nicely as an introduction to the headliners.

Where Moon King are relaxed, Alvvays are (up)tight. Their foundation is Phil MacIsaac’s Ringo Starr-esque drumming: tik-tik-tiki-tik goes his hi-hat, as precise as a metronome, and, on first hearing, as imaginative as a stone. But as one listens deeper, there comes a realisation that, even though Alvvays’ sound is made up of modest contributions – for instance, lead singer Molly Rankin’s guitar is just a thin, fuzzed noise throughout – all the pieces fit into a neat whole that is rather impressive indeed. The only part that isn’t modest is Rankin’s voice; her slight frame and blonde bob are the visual focal point, and her voice similarly dominates the sound.

The crowd liven up considerably when ‘Archie, Marry Me’ unveils its modestly strummed intro chords. And rightly so, for it’s a clever observational ditty, accurately describing the confused interregnum between college and commitment. Blessed with a killer chorus, which alvvays helps. They play the whole album, plus the hazy, surrealist ‘Archie’ B-side ‘Underneath Us’, and a freshly-minted number that continues in the same vein (‘Your Type’). Mention should go to Alec O’Hanley’s guitar work: he treads a clever line between playing in deference to the song, and really breaking out the distortion and feedback that every lead guitarist secretly yearns to show off. By the time the set climaxes with the melancholia of ‘Party Police’, both band and audience are warmed up sufficiently to treat its yearning vocal line with the rapture it deserves.

The surname of each member of Alvvays is, at least superficially, Celtic – Rankin, MacLellan, O’Hanley, Murphy, MacIsaac – which makes more sense of O’Hanley’s comment that on this night on their tour they’re closer to home than they’ve been for a while, which puts their ostensibly Canadian sound into some sort of context. Is there, instinctively buried inside their DNA, the code to generate some Scots arch-pop? They certainly share more familial attributes with Camera Obscura than Bryan Adams. And in their combining their Celtic-pop influences with heavily-reverbed, shoegazy guitar and lo-fi synth washes, they’ve come up with something rather lovely indeed.

Alvvays will be appearing at SXSW 2015, and you can read Carrie’s preview of their showcasing in Austin here. Their current tour in the UK finishes up in Bristol this Saturday; details of this tour are this way.

 

Vision Fortune / January and March 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 15th January 2015 at 9:00 am
 

London experimental trio Vision Fortune will play a warm-up show in Bristol this weekend ahead of their March UK tour and their scheduled appearance at SXSW 2015.

Vision Fortune’s new album ‘Country Music’, presumably named for its recording site in Tuscany, is due out on the 9th of February via ATP Recordings. You can watch the video for ‘Dry Mouth’ below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Saturday 17th January 2015 – Bristol Arnolfini Gallery (with The Naturals and Killing Sound)
Wednesday 4th March 2015 – Leeds Library
Thursday 5th March 2015 – Glasgow Nice and Sleazy’s
Friday 6th March 2015 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Saturday 7th March 2015 – Sheffield TBA
Tuesday 10th March 2015 – London Ace Hotel (to be confirmed)
Wednesday 11th March 2015 – Brighton Bleach

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fw9uyFaMcS4[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Catfish and the Bottlemen make their American tv debut, performing ‘Kathleen’ on David Letterman

 
By on Friday, 9th January 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

Having already made plenty of waves back home in the UK, Welsh band Catfish and the Bottlemen marked a major milestone last night. They made their American late night tv debut appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in New York City, playing their hit single ‘Kathleen’ from 2014 album fan favourite ‘The Balcony’. Watch the performance below.

Read all of TGTF’s past coverage on the band, including Martin’s interview with frontman Van McCann at Kendal Calling 2014, here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkItty1SwX4

 

Alvvays / January and September 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 22nd December 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Canadian alt-pop quintet Alvvays have had an impressive year in 2014, with their self-titled debut album listed among NME’s Albums of the Year and their singles ‘Archie, Marry Me’ and ‘Next of Kin’ making the A-list on BBC 6music. You can watch the video for ‘Next of Kin’ at the bottom of the page; the full album is out now via Transgressive Records.

Alvvays are set to begin 2015 with a tour of the UK and have already sold out their January shows in Manchester and London. But if you missed out, have no fear, as the band have just announced a second show in each of those cities for next September. Tickets for the following dates are available now.

Wednesday 21st January 2015 – Manchester Deaf Institute (sold out)
Thursday 22nd January 2015 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 23rd January 2015 – Newcastle Think Tank
Saturday 24th January 2015 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Monday 26th January 2015 – Nottingham Bodega
Tuesday 27th January 2015 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Wednesday 28th January 2015 – London Scala (sold out)
Friday 30th January 2015 – Oxford Academy 2
Saturday 31st January 2015 – Bristol Thekla
Thursday 10th September 2015 – Manchester Academy 2
Friday 11th September 2015 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

[youtube]http://youtu.be/TOS2HcQ0soM[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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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