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Live Review: Lucy Rose at Lincoln Engine Shed – 30th April 2013

 
By on Monday, 6th May 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

At just 23 and sizing up at just a shade over 5 feet tall, you can be forgiven for thinking that onstage a sense of presence may elude Lucy Rose. The Warwickshire-born folk singer may only have one album to draw from, but extensive experience with Bombay Bicycle Club and on her own mean that she performs with the ability of a seasoned veteran of the scene.

She ambles awkwardly onto The Engine Shed’s Platform stage acoustic across her slight form and with an uncomfortable glance to the arrayed mass of 300 fans who stand affixed to the podium she sits atop she speaks: “I had to make this little contraption because I get worried that people can’t see me at the shows.”

So sitting poised she began as the show was to go on, as understated as an act of her billing can be. Letting her beautiful lyrics and sultry tones become the spectacle that the fans had waited for. After the opener her band join her on stage, with a 6-foot tall dreadlocked black man called ‘Simba’ on the bass proving to be a fan favourite without even uttering a word. [He was quite a favourite at SXSW 2013 too; read the review of her appearance on Huw Stephens’ UK Trade and Investment showcase here – Ed.]

Lines soar across the sweaty venue, with Rose noticeably entranced in the words, ”tell me if you love someone / she told you how to live your life / looking for something more / Don’t wanna be nobody else/and you let them know that”. Lucy’s charm is her daintiness and her sense of vulnerability, and that’s discounting the fact that she is immensely talented as a songwriter and a live performer. She connects with her audience effortlessly, as she engages in some casual banter with a punter who may have had one too many fizzy drinks and inadvertently fallen in love with the auburn songstress.

As the night progresses a song that has no name and barely any lyrics was debuted to mass applause. Whilst the best reception was reserved for ‘Bikes’ as every chorus of “the colours, they merge, they scream, they shout” is met by an increasingly loud wall of cheers. But for a solo artist who is in the infancy of her career, what impressed me throughout is that she never stopped thanking her fans. She takes nothing for granted and the set she played, which was heavy on her most well-known tunes was testament to the respect she bestows on her loyal supporters who chant every lyric back feverishly, each punter trying to lock eyes with Lucy when her gaze falls near them.

After the gig, she of course comes out to meet fans; she’s not a larger than life rock star, she’s a girl with brilliant songs, who knows what her audience appreciates, and by the evidence on show, they appreciate her a helluva lot back.

 

Live Review: Enter Shikari at Lincoln Engine Shed – 22nd April 2013

 
By on Friday, 26th April 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Photos by Jess Mason (@jessislost)

*clap, clap, clap*

In 2007, Enter Shikari arrived sporting a sound which defied boundaries, smashed genres together like they barely existed and gave the term ‘DIY’ new meaning. I mean, for one, the recordings sounded phonically shaky and that was their charm. It gave every tween and twenty-something the idea that even without the pro equipment, you can record an album which changes people’s lives.

Their sound has evolved in the 6 years after ‘Take to the Skies’ release and now the band dabble in dubstep, with firm roots in their hardcore background still obvious. They still encapsulate what people loved about their debut though, their boundless energy, frenetic changes of pace and cheeky, chappy charm.

Enter Shikari Lincoln 1

At the Engine Shed on Monday the 22nd, four St Albans lads descended upon the venue with a force. The two support acts Hacktivist and Baby Godzilla had worked their charms on the assembled swaying masses of punters, meaning that as soon as Enter Shikari stepped foot on the Engine Shed’s stage, pandemonium ensued.

‘System… Meltdown’ had everyone bouncing in unison with the sweaty hordes repeating everything faux chav frontman Rou Reynolds can shout. For a band of 6 years though, their set rushes forward at breakneck pace, with Reynolds, Rory Clewlow, Chris Batten and Rob Rolfebarely barely coming up for air between each song as the pace daggered from dubstep wubs to intense breakdowns.

One particular highlight for any seasoned Shikari fan was the airing of debut single ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’. This happening is quite a rarity these days, as the band seemingly fell out of love with playing it after constant requests at shows, much like Placebo’s refusal to play ‘Nancy Boy’ ever again. Whether it’s the right thing for a band to do for paying customers is the question it raises, but that’s a debate for another day, I think.

The set continued at the hectic pace it had begun with, with the light show accompanying the band so good it deserves a mention of its own. But that’s the thing with a Shikari live set; you get treated to an absolute cornucopia for the senses, an aural assault of then highest level, combined with the spatterings of electronica and huge bass riffs.

I struggle to find a band that combine sounds with such brilliance as Shikari at times, they can leap from the conventional to the utterly ridiculous and their live performance just accentuates their eccentricity.

From bounding about the stage like a mad man, to standing erect atop the speakers conducting the swelling masses beneath them, their live performance has an edge to it that you just don’t see all to often. Each song is played with ferocity unbeknownst to most bands and the audience relate in toe, with circle pits and mosh pits galore.

By set closer ‘Mothership’, the energy has barely dipped and they pull off one of their most well-known tunes with the ease of a band in the prime of their career. Which to all observers, they must look like. But they’ve been in this prime for 6 years now, as every live show is of this quality. There is no dips, no drags, just quality from the St. Albans quartet.

So take note new bands, as if you yearn for success. These boys are the model to aim for.

 

Interview: Huw Stephens at Propaganda Lincoln

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Photo above of Huw Stephens holding court at SXSW 2012‘s UK Trade and Investment showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012

After our lengthy discussions about the BBC Sound of 2013 acts, it only seems right that TGTF spoke to one of Radio 1’s big hitters to find out who they ‘really’ thought was going to make musical inroads this year. Luckily for me, one of those just happened to pitch up on my doorstep, if only briefly. Huw Stephens, the youngest DJ to ever have had a slot on Radio 1 at the time, popped into Propaganda Lincoln at The Engine Shed last Saturday night (the 19th of January).

So we know what he tells the airwaves what he enjoys, but what would he tell me? “There’s a band called The 1975 [who we’ve written quite a lot about! – Ed.] that I really rate very highly who didn’t make the Sound of 2013 list, and there’s a band called Bastille [who popped up at #2 on the TGTF 10 for 2013 poll – Ed.] around at the moment that should do quite well.”

Being tipped by a Radio 1 DJ, though, can often be enough to properly make it in the big bad world of modern music. But Huw argues that while being on the BBC Sound of… list mat be a good start, it depends on a variety of factors whether you can hit it big.

“It depends on how commercial they can sound and if they are going to end up scaring people away by doing that. There are some bands on the Sound of… list who might find it difficult to sell records, but who are really good. But I am really enjoying at the moment The 1975 and they aren’t on the list. I also just bought an album by a guy called Matthew E. White, which is something I am really enjoying at the moment. He’s kind of a very soulful guy from America and he’s made a really good record.”

While Huw may spend a lot of his time scouting out and championing new music, sets like the one he played at Lincoln’s Propaganda aren’t really the place for the new tunes.

“Well, at nights like Propaganda, you’ve got the fact that it’s Saturday night, people want to have a good time. I’ve tried playing some of the new stuff before and it doesn’t always go down well. It’s great on the radio playing the more innovative new stuff, and it’s great at live gigs if that’s what you’re going for. But Propaganda is famed for like the big indie hits so I try and keep it to that.
“Obviously a few bands do make it into the playlist.”

So with Huw aiming to take the crowd by storm in Lincoln, I popped the question, what’s his biggest Propaganda banger?

“I always play ‘Song 2’ by Blur, and ‘Fat Lip’ by Sum 41 always makes an appearance along the line.

 

Interview: Frank Turner

 
By on Wednesday, 12th December 2012 at 3:00 pm
 

Feature by guest interviewer Alexandra Foxley-Johnson

Frank Turner walks into the room with a friendly smile and shakes my hand. It’s one of the qualities he’s known best for, ever kind when he meets someone. It’s probably also one of the reasons that his fans are so dedicated to him as a person, and not just his talent.

So you’ve done over a thousand gigs, which is an incredibly impressive amount; but how’s this tour comparing to the others?

“This tour’s really great actually, I’m really enjoying it. It’s the longest UK tour I’ve done in years, and in terms of sheer numbers, it’s probably the biggest UK tour I’ve ever done.

Frank says that this tour is about revisiting a lot of the places he hasn’t played for a couple of years. “For my own benefit, I wanted to get out and see my own country again, and also just let people know that I’m not going to be one of those bands that retreats into doing only massive shows.”

“One of the other things as well is that I keep hanging out with people who I haven’t seen since I was doing kind of tours on the train, with a rucksack and guitar.”

“We get together and we have dinner and we laugh at how ridiculous it is that the plan worked.”

What’s been one of your favourite gigs to play this tour?

“Oh, to pick one. What a loaded question. I don’t know, I mean it’s funny; in terms of my playing and me and the band’s performance, I think Norwich was the best show. In terms of the audience, I think Wolverhampton was the best show so far. The two are not by any means always synced.”

You’ve been all over the place, you even toured China a few years ago. Do you have any intention of touring in Asia again?

“Yeah, absolutely. We’ve got some stuff coming up next year, hopefully with the band this time round. That Chinese tour was really cool, it was technically illegal…I was playing like punk shows, you know? And it was a really, really fantastic and interesting experience. One of the best things about what I do is that I’ve had the chance to do stuff like that.”

Is there anything that you particularly like about touring abroad?

“It’s nice to see the world, you know? And to sort of meet people. I mean, it’s a cliche about touring that you tour around the world and all you see are dressing rooms and car parks, and it’s true to a degree. But the flipside is that you meet people.”

“You can make friends and learn something about the world through talking to people. It’s a great pleasure to me that if I wanted to just go and kind of sofa surf around the world with friends that I’ve met, not playing shows or whatever, I could do that.”

Still on the subject of touring; do you have a comfort food on tour?

“Yeah, I mean, this tour we’re lucky enough to have some guys out with us cooking for us, which is amazing. They’re brilliant, and Dylan’s a lovely man who cooks me what I like.”

“I love Italian food, so he’ll cook me Italian food a lot which makes me happy. I mean, nothing more specific than that. Toast and marmite, for breakfast, makes me feel good.”

Finally, as it’s something I’ve always wondered about, can I ask you what the tattoos on your hands mean?

“These two (Frank motions to the Greek letters of his little fingers) are alpha and omega which are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet. The phrase ‘alpha and omega’ was a kind of cipher to mean, a shorthand to mean, the entirety of creation.”

“It just means the entirety of creation, and I use my hands to make a living so it seemed appropriate. I can go on for hours about my tattoos; (pointing to the number thirteen tattooed on one of his middle fingers) it’s a lucky 13. It’s circus culture, which is where most tattoo culture comes from in the West, 13 was considered a lucky number because in circus’ [people] were very much social outcasts, and the reasoning was that if it was an unlucky number for normal people, then it will be our lucky number.”

“And there’s still a tradition today, if a tattooist is a particularly traditional guy, then on any Friday 13th he’ll give out free 13 tattoos to anyone who asks.”

 

Live Review: Lostprophets with Pure Love at Lincoln Engine Shed – 13th November 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Lostprophets returned to Lincoln as part of their Weapons Realoaded 2012 tour on the 13th November, so my first duty is to apologize for the lateness of this review. My calendar has been mad and well… inexcusable as it may be! Here’s the review only less than a month later. But here we are, casting my mind back to the gig in Lincoln’s vast Engine Shed…

Opening the show were Frank Carter and Jim Carroll’s new band, Pure Love, who are out touring before the release of their debut album. (Read my pre-gig interview with the band here.) Now, one thing you should always expect from a Frank Carter-fronted band is well, the unexpected if you get my drift. Carter as the bands focal point’s job is the causing of chaos. After two songs, the ginger haired ex-punk rocker leapt into the crowd to perform the rest of the bands livewire set amongst the crowd. Whether it was to get a photo with the mad lead singer or just get close to someone with a mic, everybody homed in on Agro-Frank, much to his amusement.

The intregration of Frank into the crowd had everybody; even the partisan fans, interested and as Carter unleashed the snail-pit, a rock move where instead of getting rowdy for a circle pit, where fans crawl around on their hands and knees in a circle around Frank. Mad but safe, effective and definitely a crowd-pleaser. I definitely got a cheap kick out of it, as obviously did Frank as he told off a girl, “did I tell you, that you could fucking stand up?” Grinning from ear to ear.

It was always going to be a difficult equation following up Pure Love’s almost primal show of force. However, We Are The Ocean’s maturing brand of radio-friendly, post-hardcore was always worth a shout. The band remind me of a younger and a lot more likeable version of Jimmy Eat World standing on that fine line between The All American Rejects’ levels of rubbishness and Jimmy’s brand of brilliance. Luckily, they come out on the good side with their catchy choruses and riffs winning the crowd easily before the main event.

Now, Lostprophets are a band that will always hold an extremely fond alcove in my heart. I listened to them when I got into rock music, along with My Chemical Romance. (Don’t judge me.) Now while albums like ‘Start Something’ and ‘Liberation Transmission were instant classics’ with some huge tunes on them, the last two efforts from the Welsh band, ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Weapons’ have been anything but impressive: instantly forgettable and lacking any real substance. They haven’t really produced anything good since when I’d say Muse have produced good material but hey, that’s just me. Sure, ‘It’s Not the End of the World’ was a good track but bar that, I can barely name a song from their past two records.

It was to my delight then, that Lostprophets broke out a set dripping with their classic songs. ‘Rooftops’ was aired, and echoed by every member of the thousand-strong audience. The seething mass of pre-adolescents, who were barely even at secondary school when ‘Last Train Home’ was released, went ballistic at scales of almost One Direction levels as the opening chords were strummed.

But while the classics went down a storm, the new records outings were taken to with the kind warmth that Lostprophets fans can dish out. It was a gig for the fans. The vets. And I, for one, loved it. Although I will say that Lostprophets need to be careful booking a band like Pure Love to open as they almost stole the show… before it had even begun.

 

Live Review: Frank Turner with Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun and Tim Barry at Lincoln Engine Shed – 25th November 2012

 
By on Monday, 3rd December 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Any Frank Turner gig must without avail be regarded as a spectacle. This guy just doesn’t do bog standard, or just ‘one more gig’ kind of shows. No, he storms the stage every time he steps in front of an audience with his trademark grin and acoustic guitar.

Warming up for Frank is not an enviable task, but one Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun take to like a duck to water. (Mary caught Lockey solo at the Xtra Mile Recordings showcase this year on the first night of programming at SXSW.) The band are heralded by Mr. Turner himself as, “the best new band around at the moment”, and their new EP ‘Death’ is causing a stir at the moment. Singles ‘Warriors’ and ‘Home’ have the threat of becoming something very different and exceptional. Live they work as a well-oiled unit and are a promising warm-up act, especially as they were on at 7:30.

The next man up also was hailed during the show by Turner as “someone who wrote a song so brilliant, it had me painstakingly close to just giving up songwriting altogether”. Richmond, Virginia’s Tim Barry has been making music for 22 years now and with his years come the earnest look of experience and the slight resemblance of Seasick Steve. But with non-handmade instruments…although hey, I think it’d suit him. But that’s just me.

Frank Turner entered the stage around a quarter past nine and the amassed faithful through up their hands in worship to their musical god. Turner didn’t mess about as well. He came on and roared into ‘I am Disappeared’ from his most recent album ‘England Keep My Bones’, a slow builder where Turner sings about how he “keeps having dreams/ of pioneers/ pirate ships and Bob Dylan”. He then burst into his tale of gigging across every continent and sleeping on every couch going with ‘The Road’.

The crowd know every word and in their Church of Frank at which they have come to worship, they utter every syllable of the hymns that they have come to recite as preacher in chief Turner and his Sleeping Souls power through a set opening full of hits, like ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’ and his tribute to atheism ‘Glory Hallelujah’. Not very churchlike now, eh Frank?

The ex-Million Dead frontman and lead screamer of new hardcore outfit Mongol Horde (who I caught on the third day of Reading this year) came across as the ever likeable journeyman of rock ‘n’ roll, engaging in a bit of banter with the fans and getting them all riled up for the next song as it came around. As far as lead singers go at the moment, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who can so effortlessly seize an audiences imagination with just a couple of verses and a guitar. Throughout the set we’re invited into a bit of the Turner tour banter, just as his lighting man runs on stage in an elephant costume and we’re told that the sound man is dressed as a tiger just for “shits and giggles”.

Frank also debuted two new songs at his gig at The Engine Shed in Lincoln. One being ‘We Shall Not Overcome’ and the other being probably the highlight of the gig. That being ‘Four Simple Words’, what were those words? “I want to dance.” And with that, everything onstage goes mad. The audience start frothing a bubbling with the ferocity of water when I’m overboiling my pasta after a long day at work and not paying attention. The song is just as mad as it sounds. With pitch and speed changes galore, it’s a track that goes from ballroom twinkles to the roaring throng of a NOFX track. It’s a winner though. Trust me.

Shenanigans aside, the gig was a triumph in all senses of the word. Not a single soul (even the sleeping ones) left The Engine Shed without a smile on their face and for this reviewer, after around 150-ish gigs, was something I’d never seen before. A crowd in unity getting together of their own accord and just having an amazing time. Nothing sinister, nothing wrong. Just one man, the music and his followers.

Where next, Frank?

 
 
 

About Us

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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