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TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Rock, punk and metal UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Tuesday, 15th January 2013 at 11:00 am

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2013 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

Carrying on with the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 to continue through January each Tuesday, today we’re bringing you the UK bands slated to perform at this year’s SXSW that play rock, punk, metal and every combination in between. (Last week, we brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list, which you can catch up on here.) Each part of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 is a handy resource if you’re wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music.

What do all these acts in the rock / punk / metal genre list have in common besides being from Britain? Powerful guitars, punishing bass and drums and in most cases, vocals worthy of idolatry. How they achieve this differs from act to act, as you will read and see/hear below.

Belligerence (added 10/01/13) – heavy metal from Portsmouth. I’m finding it hard to find information on them, as there’s another band – also metal – from Prague with the same name…

File next to: Biohazard, Clutch, Pantera

The Blackout – Welsh post-hardcore band who have been soldiering on since their formation in 2003. Right, that means they’ve been around a decade. How many other bands, no matter what the genre, still exist after 10 years? They must be doing something right. Their next album, ‘Start the Party’, is scheduled to be out on the 21st of January 2013. We won’t post the name of their sweary big hit, but John mentions it in his day 2 roundup of Leeds Fest 2011.

Brutality Will Prevail – This Cardiff hardcore band had been signed previously to Alex Fitzgerald’s Holy Roar label and are now with Purgatory Records (sensing a theme here?), who this year released their latest album, ‘Scatter the Ashes’. Expect something punishing.

Touring with: Cancer Bats and Empress in March 2013 (maybe now they won’t appear at some of the dates on this previous organised tour, since the middle of it is smack dab during SXSW).

China Rats – Leeds lad rock. Legend has it that thanks to the tour bus of Bat for Lashes breaking down on the way to this year’s Benicassim, the band found themselves headlining the Valencia festival. Is ‘(At Least Those) Kids are Getting Fed’ a commentary on the North East, or a wider problem across Britain?


The Crookes – The Crookes made their SXSW debut in 2011 and when I finally met them in Brighton in May 2012, they were eager to return, so I’m really pleased for them getting another SXSW nod. This time, they’ll have the good time sounds of ‘Hold Fast’ (my top album of 2012) under their belts and I’m sure there will be a gaggle of new American fans of theirs (mostly female?) following their every move. I’ll be catching them as many times as I can, so do come and say hello.

Seeing that I’ve been a fan of theirs since the ‘Dreams of Another Day’ EP in 2010, there is a boatload of Crookes coverage you can read on TGTF, starting here.


Crowns – Coming off of their December tour raising awareness of UK homelessness, Cornwall’s Crowns will bring their fun rock ‘n’ roll sound to Austin. I missed their show at the Cornwall Pasty Company at last year’s Great Escape (really kicking myself over this…I mean, come on, that would have been the ultimate party conversation starter, right?) but I’m determined to catch them on American soil.

Read all of our previous Crowns coverage here.

The Enemy – my guess is that the Enemy are to be the younger equivalent of and will act like Kaiser Chiefs at last year’s SXSW: pulling in a good number of fans for their perfectly good but possibly unextraordinary sets in a post-Oasis breakup world. Since they’ve been around for a while (3 albums’ worth) in the UK, they’re not likely to be high on the average UK attendees’ must-see list, but I’ve never seen them before, so if they show up at Stubb’s, I might head on over.

Read our previous Enemy coverage here.


Evans the Death – This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Sounds like: the Libertines, if they had a female out in front


Gallops – why do I feel the need to mention Mogwai every time I hear a proggy band? Wrexham group Gallops aren’t nearly hard enough to warrant the comparison, although with titles like ‘Astaroth’ and ‘Hongliday’ their Blood and Biscuits’ debut ‘ ‘Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore’, you’d not be putting experimental band in the pop box anyhow. (Something interesting I found on the band’s Tumblr: the linked to the Kitsune Maison 11 compilation – didn’t see that coming at all.)

Gallows – they’re punks. They deliver punishing sets at festivals, such as at 2000 Trees last year. And Frank Carter left them in 2011 to start Pure Love. That’s all you really need to know, right?

Hawk Eyes – punishing hard rock from Leeds. Their 2012 album ‘Ideas’ got top marks from Kerrang! and Artrocker so you know where this is going…


Nik Turner’s Hawkwind – the current incarnation of history’s first space rock groups.

Heaven’s Basement (added 10/01/13) – a hard rock band who has been soldiering on for quite a while (since 2008) and are releasing their debut album, ‘Filthy Empires’, this year. They’ve supported big names like Bon Jovi and Papa Roach, so is this an indicator of their hard rock prowess? We’ll see at this year’s event.


The Joy Formidable – what can we say about Welsh rock band Joy Formidable that hasn’t already been said? When you’ve been hand-picked by Dave Grohl as the man’s own favourite band right now, calling them “a killer live band”, ’nuff said really, yeah? The other facts that they are truly some of the loveliest people we have met and are always so happy about our coverage of them? That’s just icing on the cake. I’ve seen them several times now but the only time I’ve seen them at SXSW was on a live stream in 2011, which doesn’t really count, so I’m making it a point to catch them this time around.

Read all our previous coverage of the Joy Formidable here.


Kassidy – some have called them the Scottish Kings of Leon, but that’s just lazy journalism. We’ve been following the folky rock hybrid band since their early EPs in 2010, and trust us, they’re way better than the Followills.


Read our previous coverage of Kassidy here.

Kill It Kid – wow, I don’t have to write a piece on them, because they placed #10 on our 10 for 2013 list and Martin’s already done for me. Revivalist blues from Bath.

Klaxons – they’ve been around a while. They won a Mercury Prize in 2007 for ‘Myths of the New Future’. Their last album ‘Surfing the Void’ released in 2010 “>has a cat in an astronaut suit on the cover. Sorry, I’m having trouble sounding knowledgeable about Klaxons because I don’t really like them all that much.

Read our previous coverage on Klaxons here.

Little Barrie – ‘powerhouse’ is a word that seems to be following this Nottingham formed, London transplanted trio. But if you’re going to call Little Barrie a powerhouse trio, then surely you mean to compare to the greats of rock ‘n’ roll.

Sounds like: a more radio-polished Cream or at least a band that came out swinging in the Sixties, not in the Noughties


LostAlone – Derby band who have been described as “breathtaking Queen-style harmonies and classic metal bite” and compared to Muse. How is it possible that we’ve never heard about them, then?


New Ivory – according to MTV Iggy, these guys from London are the new knights of British indie rock. I am struggling to find a comparison, except maybe they sound like early Arctic Monkeys or Two Door Cinema Club, but not as catchy? (Yeah, I know. Damning with faint praise, aren’t I? Sorry.) Steve Aoki is a fan, having signed them to his Dim Mak Records. I dunno. Maybe they’ll actually sound better in person at SXSW.


Orange Goblin (added 10/01/13) – formerly known as Our Haunted Kingdom, on first glance you have to wonder if the new name was for a cuddlier image. So imagine my surprise that this is a heavy metal band! Having put out their first album in 1997, they’re definitely the granddaddies of the rock/metal/punk group, but having changed their sound from stoner/doom to their current more metal sound proves that they aren’t willing to stand in one place musically. A special live album for their devoted, ‘A Eulogy for the Fans’, will be released in March.

Palma Violets – I’ve refrained about writing about Palma Violets from Lambeth, South London, as what I’ve heard from them makes me think of The Vaccines, who came out of an NME promotional campaign firestorm and their #3 placing on the BBC Sound of 2011 poll with loads of fans clamouring to see them at major festivals. It’s 2013 now and look what’s happened: Palma Violets are on the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist. Overhyped band leads to foregone conclusion…appearing as a support act to headliners Django Django on the 2013 NME Awards tour next month sounds like an NME mistake then…


PAWS – Scottish three-piece banging out tunes in a garage-y, lo-fi style. It should come as no surprise that they have a strong DIY aesthetic, as they’re great fans of bands like Dinosaur Jr and the Pixies, even having a song called ‘Kim Deal’ in their arsenal.

Sounds like: the Cribs or Peace, if they were from far north of the border.


Peace – We won’t waste your time here, since the band have already been tipped on the BBC Sound of 2013 poll. Read our previous Peace coverage, including their 10 for 2013 profile (they placed #5 on this last readers’ poll), here.

Peers – 6music’s Tom Robinson was an early supporter of this Reading band in 2010, the year the young band, then all under the age of 18, played the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds. The unsigned band cite Bombay Bicycle Club as a major influence, and if you squeeze your eyes real tight, you can hear Jack Steadman’s impact on singer Matt Thompson’s vocals.

Savages – dissonant post-punk via an unusual package – four women from London. Is it their anti-establishment stance that attracted the BBC Sound of 2013 tipsters? We’ll never know for sure but I guess imitating Patti Smith and looking sullen are the highest form of flattery? They could have at least smiled for the photos on their Facebook…

Sounds like: trying too hard to be a 21st century Siouxsie and the Banshees


Sharks – usually punk is associated with a lo-fi, scuzzy sound, but this band from Leamington Spa sound remarkably polished, with hybrid punk/pop songs that could have easily slotted in with the music I listened here in America in high school.

Sound like: a grown up Blink-182, or Green Day when they weren’t so political and were still fun

Tall Ships – math rock meets indie rock in an epic way via three high-spirited lads from Brighton. John adored their 2012 opus ‘Everything Touching’ and for a Foals loving nation, it’s a wonder they aren’t bigger in the UK. Foals? Who are they?

Read our previous coverage on Tall Ships here.


Tango in the Attic – Scottish band from Glenrothes having Two Door Cinema Club-type guitars with reverb.

File next to: Smith Westerns


Throne – there’s not a lot known about this London band, except that they’re known to ‘level rooms’ with their bad boy riffage when they appear in the Capital. You have been warned.

TOY (added 10/01/13) – psychedelic rock from a band made up of some members for the group Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong. I don’t feel like it’s really necessary to write about them, considering nearly every friend of mine rates them quite highly. Not really my thing, but I’m pretty sure they will do well in Austin.


Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls (added 10/01/13) – I nearly put Frank Turner’s band in the singer/songwriter category, but since his appearances at this year’s SXSW will be louder and more raucous than his solo turn last year at the Xtra Mile Recordings showcase, in the end there was no contest.

We’ve written quite about the man on TGTF, and you can read all of that through here.

Virals – vehicle for Worcester’s Shaun Hencher, who with his live band have most recently supported #5 10 for 2013 band Peace in the UK. Now Hencher’s looking to make a big splash at their American live debut at SXSW.

Sounds like: a cross between Male Bonding, Two Wounded Birds (RIP) and the Vaccines. Get yer sunnies out!

The Virginmarys – Macclesfield will soon be known for more than Ian Curtis, if this trio have anything to say about it. Their sound? Hard rocking, arse-kicking tunes.

File next to: Kasabian, Biffy Clyro


Wet Nuns – even with quite possibly one of the silliest names for a band ever, Sheffield duo Wet Nuns had a spectacular 2012, getting attention not only for their silly name but their punk crossed with blues schizophrenic sound.

Sounds like: the evil child borne from Band of Skulls and the Black Keys


While She Sleeps – is heavy metal more your thing? Then I suppose you should look to Sheffield and a band like While She Sleeps for your jollies. Luke caught them last summer at day 2 of Slam Dunk South.

Young Guns – this band has been around for quite a while, but it wasn’t until summer 2012 that they had an American record deal. Radio-friendly, not too hard rock sound made by youngish, good-looking boys in leather: in short, an American label signing coup.

Read all our previous coverage of Young Guns here.


The Zombies – “What’s your name? / Who’s your daddy? / Is he rich like me?” All kidding aside, the Zombies have been around for over 50 years. Fifty effin’ years. They called themselves the Zombies before it was hip to like zombies. Though they’re down to only two original members – Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent – contrary to popular belief, it was they, not Friendly Fires, who put St. Albans on the musical map.

Read Braden’s interview with Colin and Rod from 2 years ago here.

Electronic bands and DJs are up next week. So catch us next Tuesday for the third chapter of the genre section of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013!


Guernsey Festival 2012: Day 2 Roundup

By on Friday, 6th July 2012 at 2:00 pm

Words by Hannah Saul

I woke up on the second day of Guernsey Festival to the soul-destroying sound of rain. My heart sank at the thought of spending my Sunday standing in a muddy, cold field. Nonetheless, I battled on in the thought of seeing the Kaiser Chiefs later on in the day.

I arrived at an empty festival site. It looked as though everyone had the same thought as I had. Forward and onward, I decided. How bad could it be? Everyone else couldn’t have been more wrong. Sunday’s acts had some of the best performances that I had seen the whole weekend.

My day began by watching Remedysounds whilst waiting for local heroes Courage Have Courage to come on the Main Stage. Remedy Sounds drew up a crowd of around 30 or so. So okay, maybe not the largest audience ever, but they were in for a treat. He played a mix of originals and covers, including a medley of different songs from artists such as Jamie T and Ed Sheeran. Using a guitar and a loop for his beat boxing, he managed to create distinctive copies of songs. By the time his set had finished he had successfully managed to draw up an acceptably large crowd.

Courage Have Courage came on with gusto, but sadly, the sound wasn’t up to scratch. I couldn’t help sorry for them as the sound of feedback nearly ruined it for them. But they pulled it back for themselves. Their poppy tunes they began to bring out the sun. ‘Lioness’ is their newest single and was also their finale. The guitar and keyboard complemented each other nicely and paired up with beautiful harmonies; the song seemed to make up for the awkward start.

As soon as they had finished, quickly I made it over to the Centre Circle Stage to go and see Mt. Wolf from London. The dream folk band played songs such as ‘Life Size Ghosts’. Their truly mesmerizing performance took hold of the audience, bringing the summer feel to the festival. Stevie McMinn (guitarist) and Kate Sproule (vocals) are from Guernsey, and the other members are also from seaside towns, and this meant that the ‘beachy’ vibe was definitely there.

The sun was finally shining; all I wanted to do was dance. All I needed now was music. It came in the form of Wrongtom Meets Deemas J, the ultra-cool reggae trio. Freestyling, their frontman greeted the audience by getting off the stage to dance with them. Their enthusiastic performance rang out across the field. Looking around I could not see a single person without a smile on their face or tapping their toes. It was the perfect opportunity to sit on the muddy ground and soak up the rays.

After an incredibly unfortunate drink spillage, I rushed home to change and back in time for Kassidy. The bluesy rock band, comprising of four singers, each of them playing guitar, was electric. Their presence was out of this world. I nearly had a heart attack when they began throwing their guitars to the roadies mid-performance. There was definitely a buzz in the air, and the crowd looked as if they couldn’t hold in their enjoyment. Playing some of their older songs such as ‘Stray Cat’ and their newer tracks such as ‘Waking up Sideways’, I would unquestionably say that Kassidy is a definite band to look out for. Energy and tunes, exactly what any festival needs.

Sadly, for a few hours after Kassidy had finished, it seemed as though the festival had been hit by a male apocalypse, as all of the menfolk seemed to have left their girlfriends, wives, daughters and friends to go and watch the football. The Fusion Dance Tent played host to many of these refugees; there were two projectors for the beer-soaked footy lads. It was lovely to see the very large amount of topless and painted me joining in harmony to watch the game originally rumoured not to be shown anywhere on the grounds.

Despite England’s loss, spirits were not dampened. There was quite literally a stampede to the Main Stage to witness the Kaiser Chiefs’ excellent performance. The Main Stage Tent was the most packed I had seen it all weekend and Ricky Wilson gave them what they wanted, putting his all into his performance. With a mix of old and new, everyone sang along to their favourites. All their greatest hits – ‘Ruby’, ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Oh My God’ – were played, including songs off their new album ‘Souvenir’.

Overall, Guernsey Festival weekend is a great day out or festival break for families, couples and groups of friends. There is loads to do and see, and what better place to do it in warm Guernsey. I have a feeling that we will be hearing more and more about Guernsey Festival in the future. Hopefully this will also mean that it will be back again next year. A few tickets go on sale early every year, so make sure you get yours.


Video of the Moment #721: Kassidy

By on Tuesday, 28th February 2012 at 6:00 pm

In this era of fancy animated videos, I have to say the new one from Kassidy, for the single ‘I Can’t Fly’ now out on Vertigo, is pretty cool in its Matisse cutout-like simplicity. And it’s got lyrics! Watch it below.

Their new album ‘One Man Army’ comes out on the 30th of April, so stay tuned. Already announced tour dates for later this month are as follows:

Saturday 10th March 2012 – Liverpool Academy 2
Monday 12th March 2012 – Birmingham Academy 3
Tuesday 13th March 2012 – Oxford Jericho Tavern
Wednesday 14th March 2012 – Bath Moles
Thursday 15th March 2012 – Leicester Soundhouse
Friday 16th March 2012 – York Fibbers



Live Review: Kassidy with Young the Giant and Kill it Kid at Camden Barfly – 7th February 2011

By on Friday, 18th February 2011 at 2:00 pm

HMV’s Next Big Thing festival took over London’s live venues for a fortnight to showcase the best in new music. Tonight at Camden’s Barfly, three fantastic rock acts are ready to take the stage. The evening starts in high form. The White Stripes announced their split last week, however their spirit and influence lives on in multiple forms. Kill it Kid are one of the brightest sparks out of the embers of the Stripes. Heralding from Bath, England, their mix of rock, blues and musical intelligence is demonstrated by a hugely energetic set which features new single, ‘Pray on Me’ that is out in March, along with the near anthemic ‘Lord Send me an Angel’. The knowledge that they’re the opening and least famous band on stage barely dampens the mood and I wouldn’t be surprised if many left the room with Kill it Kid on their lips and eager for their second album in the coming months.

Not that that’s the only name they’ll be spouting to their friends though. Next in tonight’s proceedings are a Californian band that we at TGTF have been keeping our eye on lately.  Our recent interview with Young the Giant left us with no option but to check them out live in their limited run of London shows before they skipped over to Europe. Young the Giant’s music is full of bold colours and huge amounts of passion mixed with the relaxing sound of California’s finest rock and roll. They’ve got a growing following across the globe right now, so their first shows outside American borders are a big step onto a small stage with everything to gain, and Young the Giant are more than willing to impress. Bouncing through album tracks and some yet unreleased material, the five-piece look more than comfortable swinging the crowd into life. Highlights include ‘Apartment’ and single ‘My Body’ (watch the promo video for this below).  They’ll be returning to the UK when the weather gets warmer, so be sure to catch them then.


The final act at tonight’s sold out show are Kassidy. With an interesting blend of folk and rock forming something that sounds like the cool uncle of recent BRIT winners Mumford and Sons with a strong feel for their acoustic rock roots. Their four part harmonies in some tracks mixed with a strong beat at all times creates an atmosphere that could fit in both tavern and sunny festival stage over a pint of cider. New track ‘I Don’t Know’ (watch the video here) went down a storm, but my highlights aren’t necessarily in each individual track. After a while, the evening sort of gets me a bit carried away and I find myself engulfed in the feeling that Kassidy give off on stage. They’re not out to prove anything, it just looks like they’re here to have a good time. ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Stray Cat’ are both hugely catchy and get great responses from the crowd, whilst the whole set seems to have a similar feel without ever getting boring. With their album out on the 21st of March and having sell out crowds on tour from their first 3 EPs alone, Kassidy are a band I hope to see multiple times through the summer, if just to relive that atmosphere they bring with them.

No one leaves the room without a new name on their lips. And whilst they may not fly off the shelves at HMV stores across the country, they all deserve to.


Video of the Moment #407: Kassidy

By on Wednesday, 16th February 2011 at 6:00 pm

For Kassidy‘s song ‘I Don’t Know’, it’s a bit off the beaten path of the traditional love song. Actually, it’s not a love song at all. They sing, “I’ll be fine without you.” And sometimes, that’s ok.

The premise for this promo video – the band providing their expert advice on love in a mental institution – is also untraditional, but it works on several levels. (For one, just think about it. Sometimes a relationship will do your head in.)


Catch Emmy’s coverage of Kassidy here.


Album Review: Kassidy – The Rubbergum EP Vol. 3

By on Tuesday, 14th December 2010 at 12:00 pm

With current airwaves being flooded with an overflow of electrosynth bands coupled with ever-growing popularity in the dubstep genre, it’s always nice to step away from the dropping beats and enjoy some good old fashion guitar strumming.

And that’s where Kassidy kicks in. The big hair and occasional western style clothing may be deceiving, but this acoustic rock four piece hail straight from Glasgow. The Word dubbed the Scottish lads as being the “authentic sound of the wild west of Scotland”, and Q described them as the “British Kings of Leon.” Once you hear their latest EP, ‘The Rubbergum EP Vol. 3’, it’s pretty obvious why such glorious claims are well justified.

Their latest collection of work kicks off with ‘Oh My God’, which may upon first listen echoes something akin to indie rock band Cherry Ghost, but a stomping melody and a belting chorus from the quartet remind listeners that this that the band have shaped a song in their own unique and infectious way. Moving on to ‘That Old Song’, listeners will hear a song that starts off in a stripped down manner, only to gradually skip and jump to a distant tumbleweed (metaphorically speaking, of course), rapidly building up to climatic anthem of sweeping harmonies to create a wind-blown, country-pop tune.

Keeping in line with the acoustic catchiness, ‘Gamble Does The Gambler’ is a strong EP standout, with its rapid, razzle-dazzle vocal delivery neatly layered on top of the guitar plucks and mandolin strings. One can almost with the sympathize with the drunken ramblings spewing from the singer’s lips, and the harmonious vocals nearing the song’s end, results in an overall impressive track. ‘The Next Move On’ ultimately displays an overly up-beat song that is accompanied by nothing but boot stomping and random clicking and snapping. Although the song is extremely peppy, it’s a tad too over the top to make it worth repeating anytime soon.

‘Heart’ closes out the five-track EP. With lines like “I should I have listened to your heart”, the song is drenched in regret and echoes of those slightly cheesy rock songs of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Call it a guilty pleasure if you will, but this album closer is also extremely likeable if not the most sensitive of the pack and a great way to finish out an LP.

Clocking in just over 15 minutes, ‘The Rubbergum EP Vol. 3’ is a continuation of genuinely great songs from an extremely talented band. Let’s hope a full album comes to fruition in the new year, and a better album title to boot.

‘The Rubbergum EP Vol. 3? by Kassidy is available now from Amazon UK.


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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.

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