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Live Gig Video: Stella Donnelly previews upcoming debut album with video tour diary for ‘Lunch’

 
By on Wednesday, 6th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

Welsh/Australian singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly is previewing her upcoming debut album out at the start of March. Just prior to a North American tour to support the new LP, ‘Beware of the Dogs’ will be out on the 8th of March on Secretly Canadian. ‘Lunch’ is an early taster of what’s to come: it’s a melancholic study of the disconnect from real life musicians feel being so far away from home when on tour. What saves this video from going into truly depressing territory are the visuals of Donnelly and her band hanging out and their shenanigans on tour, reminding us all that none of us are an island and human interaction is key to mentally keeping things together. Watch the promo for ‘Lunch’ below, and stay tuned for Donnelly’s big debut release in about a month. Past coverage here on TGTF on Stella Donnelly can be viewed through this link.

 

Live Gig Video: Lucy Rose shares shadowy promo for single ‘Conversation’ from upcoming fourth album

 
By on Wednesday, 16th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

The uncompromising Lucy Rose will be releasing a new album this March. The follow-up to 2017’s ‘Something’s Changing’ and its associated 2018 remix album, ‘No Words Left’ will be with us in March. (I wonder if she’ll be appearing at SXSW 2019 to promote the new LP?) Speaking about the upcoming release, she said, “…sincerity really is the key to this record. It’s my truth. Sincerity is the truth of a person, not just the good but the bad: the flaws, the realness, which can never be ‘perfect’. This album reflects the reality of my life, the toughness life throws at you, and for a period of time it did become too much for me to handle alone.”

An early taster, the single ‘Conversation’ is a song about – yup, you guessed it – the words you longed to say to someone but couldn’t. She goes through the conflicting feelings of love and hate for someone she clearly adores but who has also hurt her deeply. (I’m so intrigued by Lucy’s word choices here, I’m considering doing a full analysis over on my other site Music in Notes.) The treatment given to the song, with her emotive voice and acoustic guitar, augmented by a sweetly gentle orchestration in the background, is sheer perfection. If this is Lucy Rose being honest and beautifully so, then ‘No Words Left’ should be an incredible record indeed. Watch the monochromatic, beguilingly shadowy performance video for ‘Conversation’ below. It’s scheduled for release on the 22nd of March on Communion Records. She has announced UK tour dates for mid-April and Continental ones for early May. Past coverage on TGTF on Lucy Rose can be read through here.

 

Live Gig Video: The Twilight Sad perform single ‘VTr’ from upcoming fifth album and some other places

 
By on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

In case you’ve somehow missed this, Friday sees the release of The Twilight Sad‘s fifth album. The band have previewed several tracks from ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ as singles in their own right and in session, notably for Seattle’s KEXP during their North American tour in October, then BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway in December. In the official video for single ‘VTr’, the Scottish band rock out in what has become their characteristic sombre color tones. Then I thought, why the heck would I not post the BBC Scotland live session for the song, as well as KEXP’s full performance recording in all its glory? You can never have *too* much Twilight Sad, am I right? Enjoy all of the tuneage in visual form below.

Stay tuned for ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ to be released on Rock Action Records this very Friday, the 18th of January. The group will be making live appearances this week and next in record shops; actual full gigs in the UK will be taking place in Edinburgh (29th of January), Manchester (27th of February), London (28th of February) and Glasgow (2nd of March). Details of all their scheduled live appearances can be viewed on the band’s official Web site. All of our past coverage of The Twilight Sad, including my review of their autumn 2018 North American tour-closing gig in Washington, DC, can be read through here.

 

Live Gig Video: Picture This share live performance video of single ‘One Drink’

 
By on Tuesday, 8th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

We first came across Picture This when previewing their appearance at SXSW 2017. They were part of the strong, annual Irish contingent to Austin, chatting to Carrie and appearing at the full Irish breakfast showcase at B.D. Riley’s. A lot has happened to the duo since. That year, they won an RTE Choice Music Prize award for Best Song for ‘Take My Hand’ and released their self-titled album that August. Next month, Picture This will be releasing their sophomore effort on Republic Records. ‘MDRN LV’, presumably pronounced ‘modern love’ but offered up in a more textspeak friendly format, will drop on the 15th of February, rather conveniently timed to be an appropriate post-Valentine’s gift, or perhaps a preorder ahead of Cupid’s big day.

‘One Drink’, the first single taken from the upcoming LP, has already made its mark on both the American Alternative and Hot Adult Contemporary charts. (For another taster, check out the promo for Everything or Nothing’.) With its inherent catchiness, it’s not hard to see or hear why. Last month while I was in hibernation, they revealed a live performance of the song, which I’ve wanted to share for a few weeks. For good measure, I am also including below the original promo video for the song, so completists can compare and contrast the two versions. Watch, enjoy and share how you like. They’re scheduled to go on tour on the Continent in early March, after which they will head to the UK for a string of shows. Following 5 nights (yes, really) at the 3Arena in Dublin at the end of March, the duo and their backing band will then embark on their first major North American tour in mid-April, which starts in Toronto on the 22nd; the tour concludes on the other side of the continent on the 18th of May in Seattle. For all of our past coverage here on TGTF on Picture This, use this link.

 

(Charity!) Live Gig Video: Gang of Youths’ David Le’aupepe plays acoustic version of Ryan Adams’ ‘My Winding Wheel’ for Bedstock 2018

 
By on Wednesday, 12th December 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

Bedstock touts itself as “the first and only online music festival”. You may be wondering, what’s the fun in that? It’s got a specific purpose: it’s designed for kids who are too poorly to leave their beds and in solidarity with them, musicians have performed on a bed with limited equipment to help raise money for Children’s Cancer Association and their MyMusicRx program. Many artists you’ll know by name have already shown their support, including UK acts The 1975, Aquilo and Jacob Banks. In the below video filmed during his offstage time at Austin City Limits in October, frontman David Le’aupepe of Aussie band Gang of Youths decided to cover a Ryan Adams’ song, ‘My Winding Wheel’ while sat on a bed with his acoustic guitar. Check it out below. You can donate to Bedstock’s efforts through this link; more on Gang of Youths (a band I knew would blow up big) on TGTF is through here.

 

Live Review: Ignite #004 starring Cara Rose, BETA WAVES, November Lights and Walt Disco at Glasgow St. Luke’s Church – 27th of November 2018

 
By on Monday, 10th December 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

In the ‘dear green place’ live some very dear friends, so it’s no surprise I found myself the day after my birthday at a gig in a church. A “delightful church renovation habit” seems to be a ‘thing’ in Glasgow (see Oran Mor for probably the most feted). St. Luke’s in particular is pretty cool, as it’s adjacent to the Winged Ox bar, named for the fanciful creature the saint has been portrayed as in art. I’d been in here once before, its American feel oddly welcoming. This show was particularly special as it was the fourth in a series of them put on by the artist development project Ignite Scotland funded by Help Musicians UK and PRS Foundation. It was explained to me that acts chosen for these shows are some of Scotland’s best up-and-comers.

In Buchanan yellow tartan, Glaswegian blonde chanteuse Cara Rose (surname Dickson) opened the night with her soulful vocals. Her voice only accompanied by keyboard, the performance recalled the poppier vibes of Adele and the late Amy Winehouse. Turns out that Winehouse, along with Lianne La Havas and Lauryn Hill, are named on her Facebook as her primary influences. ‘No Safe Place’ is “an older song” Rose wrote about the plight of Syrian refugees. As Dickson notes in a sad tone, the sentiment is still as apt as when she first wrote it. Below is an amateur-shot video of the song being performed at St. Luke’s back in August.

‘Ready to Fall’ was a set standout, the staccatoing notes on the keyboard adding a touch of the dramatic while she showed off her impressive vocal range and control. Still, every young girl aspiring to be a singer wants to be the next Adele. Can she set herself apart from the rest of the pack? I’ll be keen on hearing more from her as she progresses.

Cara Rose IGNITE 004 2018

On paper and if judged solely by their stage setup alone, Dundonian duo (say that five times fast) BETA WAVES seemed made for me. Don’t get me wrong: the programmed beats and those played were indeed catchy, providing a needed energetic boost after Cara Rose’s set. I found their New Wave-leaning backing mesmerising. However, I felt the singer/guitarist’s vocals weren’t forceful or bright enough to stand up to the instrumentation.

‘Another Mad Crab’ (DIY promo video above) is their latest and final single to be released this year, and I wish it just had a bit more oomph both live and on recording. Previous single ‘Love Love Love’ fares better live, with a disco beat that’s head-bop worthy and a bit more life vocally. Soldiering on after a delay in start due to a wonky second-hand Macbook, I admire how they didn’t let the technical difficulties faze them.

Beta Waves IGNITE 004 2018

Glasgow via Ayrshire duo November Lights, augmented live by two additional band members, appear to be fully formed. I’m sure it must have taken a lot of time and effort to get to this place, but I had to admit I stood there wondering to myself why they haven’t been featured on BBC Radio 1 yet. The story goes that frontman and keyboardist James Hopkins was a solo artist initially, then tapped friends to put together a band to move forward with his musical vision. The American pop influence is palpable, with Hopkins having a Brandon Flowers’ like presence and charisma.

November Lights IGNITE 004 2018

The anthemic feel of their music bears striking resemblance to the TGTF-tipped Kodaline (check out ‘Talk’ below) and The 1975. Hopkins’ energy as he busted out the dance moves on ‘Pray’ and their other uptempo tunes kept things lively; he looks remarkably like a young Ed Macfarlane from Friendly Fires. I’m expecting to wake up tomorrow and find out they’ve been signed to a major. I guess you gotta just watch this space.

The band chosen to close the Ignite Scotland show were Glasgow via Perth band Walt Disco, whose name I’m assuming is a Scottish pun on the Mickey Mouse creator. Lead singer James Potter has a theatrical, at times yelpy, at times warbly voice like David Bowie’s (see ‘Sling’ below). Bowie’s influence seems to have seeped into the band’s stage attire, which is proudly androgynous and eclectic. Seriously, how many musicians have you seen walking around with a crushed velvet shirt and golfing trousers?

With squealing guitars and a rhythm section much more muscular than that of the preceding acts, they were a welcome kick in the arse ending. While their off-kilter jangly guitar rock weren’t my cup of tea, I can totally see those looking for something different and willing to break out of the usual genre boxes to enjoy them. I went to a similar kind of young emerging acts’ night this time last year in York and in comparison, this night in Glasgow felt far more electric and better organised. I reckon it speaks to the level of talent and quality of acts that Ignite Scotland can put together a weeknight show like this and have a good turnout.

Walt Disco IGNITE 004 2018

 
 
 

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