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Twin Atlantic / May 2017 UK Tour

By on Thursday, 2nd March 2017 at 9:00 am

Glaswegian alt-rockers Twin Atlantic will be touring the UK in May. They’ll be bringing their autumn 2016 album ‘GLA’ for another spin out on the road. Tickets for this tour are on sale now. Below the tour dates, you can watch the group cover Kings of Leon‘s ‘Waste a Moment’ from their BBC Radio 1 Lie Lounge appearance in January. To catch up on all of TGTF’s coverage of Twin Atlantic, use this link.

Thursday 18th May 2017 – Aberdeen Beach Ballroom
Friday 19th May 2017 – Inverness Ironworks
Saturday 20th May 2017 – Coventry Copper Rooms
Monday 22nd May 2017 – Bristol Academy
Tuesday 23th May 2017 – London Electric Brixton
Wednesday 24th May 2017 – Cambridge Junction
Friday 26th May 2017 – Exeter Lemon Grove
Tuesday 30th May 2017 – Wrexham William Aston Hall
Wednesday 31st May 2017 – Swansea Sin City



Live Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls with Will Varley and The Arkells at Livewire, Scottsdale, AZ – 27th January 2017

By on Wednesday, 8th February 2017 at 2:00 pm

Show #2015, in which yours truly makes intentional physical contact with a complete stranger

. . . but that happens later in the story. What happened first was a trip north from Tucson to Scottsdale, accompanied by my brother. Entirely certain that Casey would love Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls as much as I do, I had bought tickets for the two of us months ago. The host venue for the evening was Livewire, where I recently saw Kaleo with The Wind and the Wave and Bishop Briggs. I mentioned my opinion of the venue in that earlier review, but I’ll add here that its mild level of pretention was perhaps at odds with an artist like Turner, whose shows have never pretended to anything more or anything less than folk-punk-rock at its finest. The main criteria for the venue choice might have been capacity. Turner and his colleagues had played a slightly smaller Phoenix venue, the Press Room, on their last visit, and they apparently made a good impression. On this night they sold out Livewire, to their own credit and much to the benefit of their special guests, Will Varley and The Arkells.

Will Varley photo

The amber glow of Livewire’s initial stage lighting was a perfect match for the warm, organic timbre of singer/songwriter Will Varley’s acoustic guitar and singing voice. The effect was marred slightly by the fact that Varley took the stage with the zipper of his trousers clearly open, sending a small ripple of giggles through the crowd gathered near the stage. Though Varley acknowledged the zipper midway through his set, he never bothered explaining it, instead effectively focusing his audience’s attention squarely on his music. Varley’s songs fluctuated between facetious absurdity (‘Talking Cat Blues’) and sincere sentimentality (‘From Halcyon’), and while he never took himself too seriously, it quickly became clear to the rest of us that his was not a talent to be overlooked. His latest album ‘Kingsdown Sundown’ is available now from Xtra Mile Recordings.

Canadian rock band The Arkells took the stage next, with a brash swagger and confidence more suited to a proper headline act. Lead singer Mike DeAngelis commanded his audience’s attention from beginning to end, punctuating the band’s energetic anthems with a combination of spontaneous banter, well-rehearsed yarn-spinning, and musical improvisation.

The Arkells photo

The Arkells started with three strong, high energy tracks from their 2016 album ‘Morning Report’ before dipping back into previous LPs ‘High Noon’ and ‘Jackson Square’. Keyboard player Anthony Carone’s impromptu mini-set of crowd-sourced Elton John covers, including ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Tiny Dancer’, and ‘Bennie and the Jets’ was among the most memorable moments of the evening, but it didn’t overshadow the end of The Arkells’ set, which they ended with latest single ‘My Heart’s Always Yours’ and the older favourite ‘Leather Jacket’.

Frank turner band photo

Frank Turner opened the headline set of his Show #2015 with a politically-tinged song written specifically for the current tour cycle, titled ‘The Sand in the Gears’. Starting with the lyric “Can’t I just spend the next four years at a punk show?” and ending with the line “let’s be the sand in the gears for the next four years”, the new track is best described as a call to action. Building on the crowd’s ever-growing energy, Turner and The Sleeping Souls swept through a vigorous set of crowd-favourite tunes from across his prolific back catalogue. Songs from Turner’s most recent album ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’ included ‘The Next Storm’ and an impressive full band version of ‘Glorious You’. After American radio hit ‘The Way I Tend to Be’, Turner paused for breath, taking a solo-acoustic moment for a fan request with ‘Least of All, Young Caroline’ and ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’.

Frank Turner solo

Between songs, Turner spent a lot of time proselytising about music as an area of common ground among fans in the current societal swirl of divisive social and political issues. It was a notable, if mildly condescending, departure from the typical artist-vs-politician banter, but it also turned out to be carefully scripted, leading his audience to a specific and pointed conclusion.

At the end of the set proper, during crowd-favourite track ‘Photosynthesis’, Turner split the general admission audience down the middle and prepared us to enact a “wall of death”. I was unfamiliar with the term, and my brother explained, to my horror, that a wall of death is a mosh pit ritual typically reserved for metal shows, in which the two sides of a divided crowd rush at each other during the heaviest part of a song and collide with extreme force. At the last suspenseful second, Turner recanted his wall-of-death wish, instructing his crowd to instead institute something possibly more scary: a “wall of hugs”. (The video below is from Turner’s San Francisco show a couple of nights later, posted by YouTube user Brian Greenaway.)


Which brings me back to the opening lines of this review. Frank Turner was asking each of us to hug another punter. Not a friend or companion; no, we were to hug someone we didn’t know. My ever-stoic brother flatly refused. But I was so swept away in relief at not having to participate in a wall of death the spirit of the moment that I turned and exchanged a warm embrace with the person standing on the other side of me. I’m not 100% sure if the person was male or female (or neither or both), but I’m 100% sure it didn’t matter. Gender, race, age, political persuasion—none of it made any difference. We were both fans, experiencing a moment of FTHC rapture, and we shared a glorious moment of fellowship. Hmm . . . maybe this is what Turner was getting at all along.

TGTF’s previous coverage of Will Varley is back here and our archived coverage on Frank Turner is right through here. For a full list of Frank Turner’s upcoming live shows, including his Lost Evenings at the London Roundhouse this May, consult his official Web site by clicking here.

After the cut: Will Varley, The Arkells, and Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls’ set lists.
Continue reading Live Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls with Will Varley and The Arkells at Livewire, Scottsdale, AZ – 27th January 2017


TGTF’s Spotify Playlist: January 2017

By on Wednesday, 8th February 2017 at 11:00 am

Better late than never, we at TGTF present to your our first Spotify playlist of the new year! We’ve rounded up all the music featured on TGTF in the month of January and compiled it into one handy playlist for your listening pleasure.

We’re gearing up for our annual pilgrimage to Austin for SXSW 2017, and our playlist this month naturally involves a number of the festival’s scheduled showcasing artists Johnny Flynn, VANT, Sundara Karma, SOHN, IAN SWEET, San Fermin, Happyness, Hiccup, Diet Cig, Menace Beach, Delicate Steve, Tei Shi and Alex Lahey. (You can catch up on all of our SXSW 2017 coverage so far by clicking this link.) The January list also finds us catching up on new music by SXSW alums from the recent past, including Rosie Carney, PINS, Get Inuit and Laura Marling.

If you haven’t been following our monthly playlists, we suggest make it one of your New Year’s resolutions! You can subscribe to the TGTF Spotify account by plugging “spotify:user:tgtftunes” (no quotes) into the search bar and clicking the Follow button. Happy listening!


Live Gig Video: Biffy Clyro dodge fireworks performing ‘Flammable’ from ‘Ellipsis’ LP

By on Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 4:00 pm

I’m beginning to think that Scottish pop-rockers Biffy Clyro don’t actually own any shirts. In the last promo video of theirs we posted here on TGTF, for ‘Re-arrange’ before the new year, Simon Neil had no qualms about showing the top half of his tattooed body. For their latest video for ‘Flammable’, the Glaswegian trio are again sans clothing from the waist up, though you could argue begin shirtless actually has a purpose in this context. Playing the song in a metal box frame of a stage while fireworks are shooting out from the stage, you wouldn’t want any of them to have to stop, drop and roll in the middle of the performance, would you? Didn’t think so. Watch the fiery (no pun intended) promo for the pop/rock masterpiece ‘Flammable’ below. Read Steven’s review of ‘Ellipsis’ through this link; the rest of TGTF’s coverage of Biffy Clyro can be accessed here.



Live Review: Bear’s Den with Gill Landry at Doug Fir Lounge, Portland – 20th January 2017

By on Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 2:00 pm

My first live review of 2017 took me north to Portland, Oregon, where the cold and rainy weather was a shock to my system, coming from the fairly mild winter we’ve had at home in Tucson. However, Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge proved to be a cozy place to catch a show, with a lovely log-cabin themed bar and restaurant upstairs and a small, but sonically spectacular, music venue nestled below. As it turned out, the venue’s crisp, clear sound was perfectly suited to the new FM-radio rock-leaning sound of last Friday evening’s headline act, London alt-folk duo Bear’s Den.

Gill Landry

Bear’s Den were preceded on the Doug Fir Lounge stage by singer/songwriter Gill Landry, with whom they had shared a bond years earlier on Communion Music’s Austin to Boston tour. Formerly a member of the Americana collective Old Crow Medicine Show, Landry also has three solo albums under his belt. The most recent of those is a self-titled LP released in 2015, which, interestingly, includes a duet with Laura Marling called ‘Take This Body’.

Landry started his set with a couple of relatively uptempo numbers, even dedicating one song to the newly inaugurated American president (in a less-than-complimentary fashion, it must be said). But it soon became clear that Landry’s catalogue of bluesy folk rock leans to the self-described “tender” side, and the chatter of the still-gathering Doug Fir Lounge audience became a bit of a distraction from his subdued and somber acoustic balladry. Those of us near the front of the stage, though, got the full effect of Landry’s warm baritone in feminine muse-inspired songs like ‘Emily’ and Old Crow Medicine Show cover ‘Genevieve’.


The restless crowd had filled to capacity by the time Bear’s Den made their dramatic entrance to the stage, opening with the first two tracks from their recent album ‘Red Earth & Pouring Rain’. Officially pared down from a trio to a duo consisting of Andrew Davie and Kev Jones, the band presented here as a six-piece, and their arrangements of the new songs were immediately lush and full, true to the recorded album versions.

Davie Jones photo
The band made a subtle change of course mid-set with an interlude of older songs, including a pair of tracks from their 2014 album ‘Islands’. ‘Stubborn Beast’ was a particular treat, as it’s been a mainstay of the band’s repertoire for several years now. (We at TGTF featured this live version of it back in 2011.) Also thrown in for good measure was the poignant ‘Don’t Let the Sun Steal You Away’, which I hadn’t heard since the band released it on their EP ‘Without/Within’ back in 2013.

Naturally, Bear’s Den’s newer songs dominated the setlist, with ‘Roses on a Breeze’ and ‘Dew on the Vine’ making an especially strong impact. But Davie and Jones also took full advantage of their four touring members in expansive live orchestrations of ‘The Love that We Stole’ and ‘When You Break’, which fit seamlessly into their recently modernised sonic milieu. Their drummer and keyboard player even pulled double duty on several songs, taking on brass arrangements in addition to their primary instruments.

brass photo

After closing the set proper with a singalong chorus in ‘Above the Clouds of Pompeii’, Bear’s Den played a generous four-song encore, starting with ‘Napoleon’. Davie and Jones briefly descended into the crowd, along with touring bandmate Christof, for a fully acoustic rendering of ‘Gabriel’, then returned to the stage for a well-chosen cover of ‘Paul’s Song’, originally by M. Ward, in reference to the pervasive “Portland rain.” Cementing their warm reception in chilly Portland, the band closed with their instantly recognisable alternative radio hit ‘Agape’.

Friday evening marked Bear’s Den’s third appearance at the Doug Fir Lounge, but their first time selling it out, and they were clearly quite pleased by their audience’s positive response. The attention is well-deserved for a band who have spent most of the past five years on the road, cultivating and evolving their sound, whilst never losing track of the quality musicianship and songwriting that got them started in the first place. Bear’s Den are a band very decisively coming into their own, and this live performance bore full witness to their confidence and capability. A pure joy to behold.

Bear’s Den will be on tour in North America through mid-February. They will play a run of live dates in Ireland and the UK later this spring; you can find the details for those shows right back here. TGTF’s archived past coverage of Bear’s Den is through here.

After the cut: Bear’s Den’s set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Bear’s Den with Gill Landry at Doug Fir Lounge, Portland – 20th January 2017


Live Gig Video: watch White Lies’ new promo for ‘Don’t Want to Feel It All’, from 4th album ‘Friends’

By on Friday, 20th January 2017 at 4:00 pm

White Lies seem to be enjoying the live promo video format a wee bit too much. I used to think this all too familiar trend of using films from live shows was simply because the band was too lazy. Maybe they’re just getting old, or they think scripted videos are cheesy? Following the release of ‘Friends’, their fourth album, back in October, they released this live video for ‘Morning in LA’.

Two months on from that video, they’ve got another live one (no pun intended) for ‘Friends’ track ‘Don’t Want to Feel It All’. Like several of the tracks on their latest LP, it’s got a throwback feel and an ’80s vibe, with handclaps and synth marimbas. Yet the song still has that swaying grandeur that makes White Lies who they are and what they’ve always sounded like. There’s that feeling of loneliness, the anxiety settling in about losing hope, losing something of importance. It’s something this band captures oh so well, and seeing what’s happening in America today, the sentiment seems entirely fitting. Catch up on my review of the ‘Friends’ album through this link; for more of TGTF’s ongoing coverage of White Lies over the years, go here. They begin a tour of North America in DC on the 1st of February at the 9:30 Club; stay tuned for a post-gig report and an interview with Harry McVeigh from the night.


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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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