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Interview: Lucy Rose

By on Wednesday, 2nd October 2013 at 11:00 am

Before playing an opening set for City and Colour in Washington, Cheryl had a chance to chat to the lovely Lucy Rose at the 9:30 Club about blending tea, tow trucks and what’s up next for this rising star.

Over the summer you worked really hard on getting your album released in the U.S., and it’s out today, so congratulations!
Thank you very much.

Can you tell me a little about what it was like touring America when the album wasn’t out yet, it must have been tough. Were people responding to the music when they didn’t have anything to go off of?
I think it was difficult mainly because I didn’t even know if it ever would happen so when people were asking about it, and you’re touring, especially when I was with Bombay Bicycle Club. Part of me was like, I just have to do it, I have to get it out. If I made a big enough deal about it then it would happen, touch wood. It has been one of those things that I’ve had to be insistent about with my label. It’s really complicated in ways. But now, knowing it’s out is nice to be able to play my show and people can go find it if they want it.

Earlier you were here supporting your good friends Bombay Bicycle Club but now you are on tour with City and Colour, how does it feel different since it’s not with your mates from home?
This is really different because I was singing with Bombay Bicycle Club and they were nice enough to let me sing. Because I was singing with them so much, I wasn’t concentrating on my own music as much as I wanted to and they knew that. So they let me be first on with a 20-minute acoustic of my own. Which was super kind of them. But this time it’s different. Before it was almost like my friends doing me a favour, helping each other out. And now I’ve got the whole band and I’ve been asked by people I’ve never know before. You sort of feel a bit like”, oh, an actual real respected band wants us to come and play music with them” and they don’t even know us. I mean, they must like the music. We’ve been really lucky with supports. We just did a UK tour with Counting Crows. That was just mental when you get an email from the Counting Crows to support them. How are we even on their radar?

Have you noticed any significant difference between American audiences and those back at home? How they react to your work?
Well, so far we’ve only done two shows with City and Colour and the audience has blown our mind, they seem to be so much more vocal. The UK crowds, well normally at festivals they’re drunk and merry and in the mood. Whereas we were going on super early and I don’t think there was too much time to get drunk. We played Northampton (Massachusetts) and at the end of our 45 minutes we just thought hopefully some people would like it and we had a full standing ovation at the end of our set. Everyone’s so ridiculously nice, it was very important to us to have people openly supportive of us.

Seems like you had a really good festival season, can you tell me a highlight?
Festival season is so weird because you’ve got the main ones everyone’s heard of like Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, all those big ones. But most bands doing festivals, like us, we did festivals every weekend for 3 months so we were doing a lot of obscure smaller festivals with just few thousand people each. So it’s really different. Every weekend, every day. You can do a small one on Friday and then suddenly you’re at a ridiculous one. The highlight for us has to be Glastonbury. It was so early on in the festival season and there were so many bands playing at Glastonbury. We knew we were up against massive, massive bands playing at the same time as us. And we had a full tent – it was amazing. Not only did we play Glastonbury, but we got a full tent.

Any lowlights to admit to?
Yes, don’t let me re-live that day! We were playing a weird festival, headlining it. A tiny one called Lemonfest. Tiny, as you can tell if we were headlining it. It was just on a Friday and we were in a terrible van and our van broke down on the way to the festival. It wasn’t a completely bad festival, but to sum up, their headliner turned up on the back of a tow truck with huge yellow lights being towed right onto the field. It was so ridiculous that we just decided to enjoy the laugh.

What’s the genesis of your tea? How did it come about, why tea? How well does it sell?
I didn’t bring any to America. But in the UK, obviously, it sells really well. Some people come up to me and say “Where’s your tea?” I’ll get tweets that say, “I’m on my last teabag and I’m freaking out, where can I get some?”

If you had brought some, I would have bought it.
Really? That’s what I’m talking about, it’s only £5. It’s pretty cheap for a tin and it’s really good tea. It’s a mixture between English Breakfast and Earl Grey, I don’t know why no one else has done it. It came about because I was obsessed with having this blend.

So developed the mixture yourself?
Yeah, but there is no genius there, I was putting one of each in a teapot. But I went to a tea factory and asked. “could you just get the leaves and blend it for me?” So they did that in this tiny tea factory, I bought the tins, and got the stickers made for me. And I had to assemble these things on my own for hours and hours on end. I thought I haven’t got any CDs, I haven’t actually recorded anything yet, but I’ve got tea. So I took the tea to these tiny gigs. I even got a tweet the other day that said, “I’m not really into your music, but your tea is incredible”.

Do the songs that you are working on now have a different flavour now that you’ve got some renown going, probably because you are writing on the road? What do you think the difference will be?
When I was writing the first songs, they were just written in my bedroom, just me and an acoustic guitar, really not knowing if anyone would ever hear them. I also had another job at the time. When you get signed, you can quit your job and just go into music 100%. Until then that’s something you can’t do. Since then, I have been playing music every day and learning more every day. It’s built my confidence, I think. I think I feel a bit braver to try different things than I would when it was just me with my acoustic guitar. The new songs are going to be a bit louder, a little rockier than the first album. Yeah, much rockier than the first album. It’s due to the confidence. I think the first album was my heart, and hopefully this next one will be my development.

Are you still writing everything on your own, or with members of the band?
I don’t like writing with anyone else. Just because….

Are you a bit of a control freak?
I’m a huge control freak! I like getting people’s ideas, I like to ask them for advice, what do you think of this song. But there are things I like. That’s the thing with music, there is no wrong or right so if one person thinks the bass should go up to an A instead of C, that’s not necessarily better, it’s just different. So I think it’s important to stick with what feels right for you.

Who are your musical influences?
They are changing all the time. The first albums I was like a sponge taking in were Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Joan Armatrading, Carole King. Discovering all this stuff. I had just moved away from home, stopped listening to the radio and what was current and went into the past. That was massively influential to me. Now it’s looped on a full 360 and I’m listening to a lot of new indie stuff like the Maccabees, the Foals’ new album, Arctic Monkeys’ new one. So my influences aren’t just from one place. My collection has grown of what I listen to and what I can use.

Who would you like to duet with if you could sing with another woman?
There are so many brilliant women artists out there. I love Feist. Feist is like my hero. I would hate to meet her though because then she would see how incessantly uncool I am. She’s awesome.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year when you get back home? More touring, in the studio?
I am flying back just in time for my sister’s wedding! And then hopefully jumping straight into the studio. I’d like to get as much of the next album done before Christmas as possible.

Thanks for talking with me and good luck with the rest of the tour.
Brilliant, thank you.

Thank you to Lucy for taking the time to chat with us, and thank you also to Victoria for helping sort this interview.


MP3 of the Day #785: Lucy Rose

By on Friday, 27th September 2013 at 10:00 am

Somehow I think it’s unlikely you’ve not heard ‘Middle of the Bed’ by Lucy Rose before. But, in the off chance you haven’t, or you’ve been too skint to get it or the accompanying album, you’re in luck. With ‘Like I Used To’ starting to get traction in America, American music mag Rolling Stone is offering the track up as a free mp3. Get it here.

Cheryl just caught Lucy opening for City and Colour last week in Washington; read her review here.


Live Review: City and Colour with Lucy Rose at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 17th September 2013

By on Thursday, 26th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

Adorable Lucy Rose has truly steeped out from behind the veil of backing vocalist with Bombay Bicycle Club. Still a relative unknown on our shores, Rose was snapped up by Canadian City and Colour for a support slot around North America.

This tour finds Rose on stage with a full band for the first time in America. My excitement grew as I waited for them to start, having heard amazing things about her backing band. I was not disappointed. I also talked her up among the punters around me. Just has she had done with me, by the time she had finished up with her first song, ‘Lines’, the people around me loved her. Rose then shone in the simple treatment of ‘Place’ that offered her the opportunity to show off some stunning fingerpicking. Clearly, the ‘Middle of the Bed’ EP had some listens from the crowd (her album was released only that day in the U.S.) because the title track from that had shouts throughout the room as they played it.

Lucy Rose Washington live

Rose described for me in an interview that her next album will show a much rockier side. This can be seen in spades in her live show. I was taken with the enormity of her sound. The album is a delicate thing, clearly written by an extremely talented girl. But when she has the opportunity to flesh out her work with the likes of Simba Bhebhe on bass and Björn Ågren on guitar live, the power of her music takes on a whole other life. Mid-set, they turned the typical Lucy Rose sound on its ear and had a wildly thrashy couple of moments with the bassist taking the lead in rocking it out.

Closing out the set was a rousing version of ‘Bikes’ that put a smile of the faces of everyone in the band. Near the end of the song, the line “everybody scream out loud” was indeed met with a roar that grew each time she repeated it. She admitted that it was the first time that had ever happened in America and it tickled her quite.

City and Colour Washington live

City and Colour then took the stage to a rapt, sold-out crowd but I was less than impressed. The best word I can find to describe it was sleepy. I have nothing bad to say about the music, it was all quite lovely. Dallas Green came on stage to thunderous applause and was clearly adored by the assembled throng. But they were so quiet. Perhaps that is his crowd though, respectful fans who do not sing along or shout out. He sounded beautiful and delicate and gave the crowd a wide ranging set that amply spanned his four album solo career. I doubt that anyone was disappointed. However, having recently been to a show where I was even less familiar with the performer, I know what it is like to be grabbed by the throat by a live performance that is full of wonderful surprises. This set left me curiously disengaged.

Putting the two platters next to one another, Lucy Rose was an excellent choice to pair up with City and Colour, but live there was a stark difference. As has happened before, I think the junior outshone the master when it came to performance. Rose’s set was electrifying and new fan inducing. Green and company delivered what was expected, but it just didn’t have the same kind of energy. I hope the rest of Rose’s stint here in the U.S. garners as much praise as I feel she deserves.


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.


SXSW 2013: Day 1 – Huw Stephens / UK Trade and Investment showcase at Latitude 30 – 12th March 2013

By on Friday, 22nd March 2013 at 4:35 pm

Last year, I spent the majority of my time at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. It was so long ago now, I don’t really remember if it was more because it was a safe place for me because I knew exactly where it was on San Jacinto Boulevard, or if it was the line-ups that drew me there. In any event, at SXSW 2013 I was mildly disappointed by the programme being presented over the week, with a lot of bands that I just didn’t care for. Traditionally, Tuesday is the ‘easiest’ day of the festival, as there aren’t as many showcases put on because that’s the day the festival begins and a lot of the professional folks don’t make it into town until that afternoon. That said, that means every decent showcase will be rammed, which was the case with the Huw Stephens-curated UK Trade and Investment showcase that very night. I got in there early, figuring I wanted to hit the ground running, covering a whole slew of notable UK acts hand-selected by Huw himself.

Y Niwl SXSW 2013 live

The first band up was Y Niwl, an alternative surf pop band from Wales. First impression: their bass player was wearing a red knit hat that made me laugh, because the week prior our John Fernandez was trying to win a similarly epic winter hat in a Facebook contest. They don’t talk between songs and Huw even said in his introduction of them, “they told me to tell you ‘thank you’ now”, because they wouldn’t be stopping to chat. So between this statement and the hat, I went into this set chuckling.

I don’t speak Welsh so I can’t read you the titles of their songs or tell you what they mean, but all you need to know is that they’ve got a blend of the Shadows, the Ventures, the Surfaris and the Beach Boys (sans lyrics), with a penchant for both slower burning numbers and widely contrasting speedy ones that will remind you of the themes to Peter Gunn and the James Bond franchise. Y Niwl could definitely could be considered quirky on the basis of their handwritten set list that consisted solely of numbers (a special band code?) and not any recognisable words. Not even ones that looked like Welsh. Mysterious…

Lucy Rose SXSW 2013 live

Folk pop singer/songwriter Lucy Rose was up next, wearing an Adidas t-shirt, black jeans and some kick-arse–looking trainers. I kept in mind from John’s interview with her at Reading last year that deep down he’s a metal / rock loving girl and that this outfit made more sense in that context. Being so slight, she had brought with her a special stool and all her pedals were placed on top of an equipment case so her feet could reach them. (Bless.)

What became immediately apparent from the first song out of the gate was this was not the same anxious, timid as a mouse girl I saw open for Bombay Bicycle Club in DC just a year ago. If there was a time for her to bring the goods, this was it, her first big American music industry appearance in Austin for her SXSW 2013 close-up. ‘Middle of the Bed’ wowed the folks I was with who had never seen her before. She offered up a brand new song, and in her usual self-deprecating self, she organised her band to play another song that they never play live, saying “this is going to be bad!” But there was no indication of anyone, much less Rose herself, of dropping the ball. Maybe the first time she came to America, she wasn’t confident in her performing abilities, but this night, no one could touch her.

Tall Ships SXSW 2013 live

Tall Ships from Falmouth were a jarring yet welcome band to follow the folk of Lucy Rose. John had nothing but compliments for their debut album ‘Everything Touching’ from last year, and generally speaking, our rock tastes differ quite a bit, so I was expecting something loud and frenetic. In that respect, they did our John proud, guitars and hair flying all the place. A little loud for me but the crowd were loving it. I almost didn’t want to leave, but I had a date with another band elsewhere.

This is where things went pear-shaped. I was supposed to be on the guest list for the big Media Temple-sponsored SXSW Interactive closing party at Stubb’s. For a month prior, the internet had been abuzz about the headline set by deadmau5 vs. Richie Hawtin. As you can imagine, it was one of the biggest draws of the entire week and while I do like deadmau5, I was more interested in seeing the band directly before me, our friends the Joy Formidable. With a press wristband, I knew I hadn’t a hope in the world of getting in, and they had arranged for me to get in through the guest list. I arrived a half-hour early, figuring that would be plenty of time to get into the venue and get a good vantage point. Something went wrong though, as when I went up to the guestlist line and the man with the list – all 12 pages of it – flipped through the list with lightning speed, said I wasn’t on it and could I call the people who put me on the list to get in touch with them?

Uhhh, that would be a little difficult to achieve because it was 30 minutes from the Joy Formidable’s set list and us bloggers are all too aware that bands get psyched up for their performances right before and we cannot expect them to be near their phones. A kind request for the man to look over the list one more time, more slowly, was met with a curt shout of “you’re not getting in!” Okay, then. I was also bristling as some women behind me, barking at security that they should be let in immediately because they were from the BBC. Sorry, but no-one was getting in unless you were on the guest list, whether you’re from the Beeb or not. The experience soured me on Stubb’s for the rest of the week and I refused to return. This was really disappointing to me as last year I had a very good night there seeing Kaiser Chiefs and the Temper Trap. While I realise that especially on that night when they were being shouted at by drunk festival-goers desperate to get in to deadmau5 that tempers all around were frayed, but being professional is part of running a venue, SXSW or no SXSW, and I don’t think any punter acting reasonably and civilly to staff deserves to be screamed at. Respect people, whoever they are. I walked back down Red River Street, defeated, hearing the faraway strains of ‘Cholla’ and wishing I was inside Stubb’s instead of kicking dirt down the sidewalk.

Well, what to do now but to return to Latitude 30? Remember that I said earlier in this piece that Tuesday night was light with showcases. I’ve never seen so many people outside Latitude 30, trying to get in. Then again, nearly every band I wanted to see there at SXSW 2012, I had arrived well ahead and managed to get inside with no problem. It became eminently clear that with my press wristband, I wasn’t getting back in for the 1975. Considering how much we’ve written about them on TGTF and the fact that I was probably one of few people who knew several of their songs, let alone heard of them, I was fuming. Those of you who have met me know exactly how short I am. Despite standing on my tippy toes, I couldn’t see a thing. They sounded amazing though, and judging from the screaming after each song, they got in and did what they needed to do: wow the Austin crowd.

Willy Moon SXSW 2013 live

The crowd significantly thinned out after the 1975’s set, allowing me to squeeze in to the side for Willy Moon. One of his songs was recently featured on an Apple advert here in America, so I imagined there would be a decent buzz around him. However, it appeared everyone I was in close proximity to was there to wait for Bastille, who I’d read in a press release the day before had hit #1 in the UK albums chart with their debut. In that respect, I thought Moon had an uphill battle ahead of him.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like him live, as I had always thought on record he was a bit gimmicky and too reliant on ‘50s style. But surprisingly I liked him a lot. As I had imagined in my head, he has a Little Richard / Jerry Lee Lewis frenzied throwback vocal style about him. But what I was not expecting was how animated he’d be on stage, hips swinging like a 21st century Elvis, crooning and preening. With a huge quiff and dressed to the nines in a smart suit, he just oozed cool. He had played a show in DC when I was poorly in February and boy, was I glad to have finally seen live.

Bastille SXSW 2013 live

I still don’t get the appeal of Bastille. Being Tuesday night, it was the last hurrah for the SXSW Interactive conventioneers, and I met several of them who were ending their last night in Austin with this rousing night with Huw Stephens. A new friend from London said that the Bastille sound is the sound of London right now, and maybe that is why I’m not getting it. Having heard the new Dan Croll single ‘Compliment Your Soul’ on BBC 6music earlier today, I am not so sure it is limited to London.

Since it had been such an arduous task to get back into Latitude 30 after the 1975’s set and after a ridiculously early night the night before not getting into Peace at Viceland, I couldn’t be bothered to leave the venue where I’d managed a cosy spot down the front for the evening’s headliner. Initially when I saw Dan Smith, he reminded me of one of my friends Matt, and I immediately starting missing him. There are synths and lots of percussion that make up the Bastille set-up, and make no mistake, Smith’s music is a lot of fun and it incites wild dancing wherever he goes. Surrounded by folks who were obviously into this kind of music, their arms in the air to the beats, I felt like a wet blanket. I just don’t fully understand why their debut album hit #1 on the UK albums chart. While I am not saying it is entirely soulless, there seems to be something missing there, at least for me, and it’s that block that keeps me from enjoying the music fully.

Overall impression of the evening: most bands very good, but Stubb’s security loses them at least a thousand points.


TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Singer/songwriter and folk UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Tuesday, 29th 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.

So here we are, the last week of January. Each Tuesday we’ve been bringing you genre ‘chapters’ of the UK bands that have been given the all important shout for this year’s SXSW 2013 taking place in venues across Austin the 12th to the 17th of March 2013. On the 8th of January, we brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list, with a follow-up addendum on the 14th of January after the SXSW people updated their books on the 10th. The 15th of January saw the posting of the sound heavyweights, on the list of rock, metal and punk acts. Last week, on the 22nd, we wanted to showcase the wizards of the music world with the list of electronic and electronic-based bands and DJs.

This week? Possibly the genre that is most prolific – and the most crowded: the singer/songwriters and folk artists. Last week it was interesting to read that in an interview with SPIN, singer Scott Hutchinson of Scottish band Frightened Rabbit complained of being compared to current folk rock behemoths Mumford and Sons. Love ’em or hate ’em, they brought folk rock to the forefront of popular music and proved that that brand of ‘popularised’ bluegrass could be popular around the world. There is no doubt a whole new generation of folk rock artists that are being given a second glance, instead of being ignored, thanks to the hard work of Mumford and other acts soldiering on in this genre. And then there are the singer/songwriters: we may romanticise the image of a solitary, guitar-wielding man in front of a crowd, the reality is that there are both men and women who are pouring their hearts out into song, sitting in their bedrooms wondering what might be. In that respect, SXSW does its best in giving these folks the proper credit – and surely the proper platform – that might propel them into the big time.

What I had envisioned this weekly guide to be was simply a handy resource if you were wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But even if you’re not attending the big event, 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. And that isn’t limited to one place or one event. You can find new music anywhere. And without further adieu…

‘Allo Darlin – Australia collides with Britain in this folk pop band fronted by Elizabeth Morris. Their songs are so cute, you wish you could just pinch their cheeks! Martin caught them at the End of the Road Festival in 2011.

Sounds like: the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, with a female lead

Read our previous coverage of the band here.

Lauren Aquilina – This 17-year old is from Windsor, but knock off the Royal Family jokes, please. She independently released her debut EP ‘Fools’ in October, so what a coup to get the SXSW nod when you’re still unsigned!

Sounds like: Lucy Rose, Ellie Goulding (but minus the synths)


Jake Bugg (added 10/01/13) –Noel Gallagher’s young protégé who has already found fame in the last year at the Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City, the Nottingham native has made folk and country guitar rock popular again with his debut album

Read our previous coverage of Bugg here.

Bo Saris – blue-eyed soul delivered in a falsetto. It’s difficult for me to listen to, but if a Dutchman described as ” the new, male equivalent of the late Amy Winehouse” doesn’t make you shrink in horror…


Bwani Junction – Edinburgh band invoking the Afrobeat spirit of Vampire Weekend with their jaunty guitars. They even describe themselves as “Big Country were from the Soweto”. They made their Great Escape debut in 2012 with the Scottish contingent, so it seems only fitting that they make their SXSW debut this year.


Matt Cardle (added 10/01/13) – the winner of the 7th season of the UK’s X Factor, it’ll be interesting if his popularity in Britain will translate into fame in America.

Jamie N Commons – Has singing the blues, just like plaid shirts, become trendy again? If yes, then Jamie N Commons is its poster boy. And if for some reason you miss him and you live in America, don’t fret: he’ll be supporting Lianne La Havas (his fellow BBC Sound of 2012 longlist alum also at SXSW) on her North American tour directly following the festival.

The Dunwells – it is unfortunate that in the post-Mumford and Sons world, other folk bands that came out in 2009 were left behind. Hopefully, Leeds’ Dunwells will use this opportunity in Austin (and New York in January and Colorado in March post-SXSW) to show everyone just how talented they are and they’re not Mumford wannabes.


Paloma Faith – imagine my surprise to hear that Paloma Faith is now on my mum’s approved list, after watching her perform on Graham Norton. I’m kind of interested to see what kind of people would show up to see her in Austin: Amy Winehouse fans?

Read our previous coverage on Paloma here.


Fossil Collective – If you transported the Byrds to Leeds, what would they sound like? Probably something similar to Fossil Collective. I might have compared them to Fleet Foxes, except that in the press shots I’ve seen of Dave Fendick and Jonny Hooker, only one of them has a beard so…


For some mp3s and John’s review of their EP ‘On and On’, head here.

Goldheart Assembly – Having loved their 2010 debut album ‘Wolves and Thieves’, I felt like it’d been nearly forever since I last heard anything about Goldheart Assembly. When I checked on TGTF, the last thing I’d written on them, a post about their single ‘Harvest in the Snow’, was posted in March 2011. It’ll be 2 years, then, when they make their way to Austin, and not a moment too soon. Were they waiting for the Fleet Foxes love – and expected backlash – to die down? We’ll never know for sure, but I for one will be eager to see them live for the first time.

Catch all our previous Goldheart coverage here.


Ed Harcourt – Compared to the other singer/songwriters on the SXSW list, Ed Harcourt is a relative granddaddy – at 35, he’s released five studio albums to date, with an sixth, ‘Back into the Woods’, to follow in late February 2013. ‘The Man That Time Forgot’, the first song to be offered up from the new album, can be downloaded for free here.

Robyn Hitchcock – When your own Web site is called ‘a museum’, you know you’ve paid your dues to the music industry. This is where cult singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock finds himself, revered in the UK for his English eccentricity, though I am very curious at the kind of turnout for his shows at SXSW and indeed, where they will have him play.

Jesca Hoop (added 10/01/13) – to some of us, she’s better known associated with Elbow. Not actually British (she’s a Californian transplant to Manchester after Guy Garvey discovered), she started with a very eclectic sound which turned decidedly poppier with ‘Hospital (Win Your Love)’, the last time we checked in with her.

Read our previous coverage of Hoop here.

James Hunter – from the same town as Lammo (Colchester) comes this r&b and soul singer, previously nominated for a Grammy for his 2006 album ‘People Gonna Talk’. This is exactly the kind of music I don’t usually seek out, so I’m rather keen to see him play. I’m imagining the scene to be as hopping as JD MacPherson’s at last year’s Great Escape.

Josephine – if Morrissey was a young black woman, he might just sound like Josephine. (And yes. I didn’t believe Paul Lester either until I heard ‘What a Day’.) I haven’t heard her debut album but I’ve been told the rest of it doesn’t sound Smiths-esque, so you can’t blame Manchester for it.


Kodaline – Gary Barlow’s favourite new band from Dublin doesn’t show any signs of slowing down after getting a BBC Sound of 2013 longlist nod, We’ve written quite a bit about this band, so you can read all of that here. They have new EP out in March, and the promo video for its title track ‘High Hopes’ is below.


Cate Le Bon – Cate Le Bon is a breath of fresh air compared to most of the other Welsh acts tipped for 2013’s SXSW, which appear to all be thrashy, hard rock bands made up of men.


Sounds like: Beth Jeans Houghton with a fixation on death

Let’s Buy Happiness – happy guitar rock/pop band from Newcastle.

Sounds like: ‘Allo Darlin, without the harmonies.


Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun – Jim Lockey sans band was the first band of the Xtra Mile Recordings showcase on my first night at SXSW 2012, so let’s see if he can manage to bring his entire band out for 2013. I think of his as ‘Frank Turner lite’, if that helps you imagine what he sounds like.

Read our previous live coverage of Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun here.

My Darling Clementine – ‘country/soul’ duo from Birmingham by husband/wife coupling Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. Long Facebook profiles seem overdone to me, so…

Willy Moon (added 10/01/13) – placing #6 in the TGTF 10 for 2012 readers’ poll, signing to Jack White’s Third Man Records, having one of his songs play on a new iPod advert in America? Willy Moon’s life just gets better and better. A little bit pop, a little bit soul, a little bit ‘50s styling for one hip sound.

Read our previous coverage on Willy here.

Tom Odell (added 10/01/13) – Having already won the BRITs 2013 Critics’ Choice award, the sky’s the limit for this Chichester-born singer/songwriter.


Christopher Rees – Cardiff singer/songwriter that NME describes like this: “It’s not easy to achieve noise metal god status accompanied by a cello but Christopher Rees makes an awesome, bloody fist of it. Pumped up and snarling but managing to wrench beautiful tunes out of the wreckage… This is seriously amazing stuff”. This description has us intrigued!

Roo Panes – ‘classical folk pop’ is not a genre normally explored here, but I’m always up for a challenge. This is Andrew ‘Roo’ Panes’ project with a strong backing and voal harmonising band. He has already been singled out for his handsomeness, as Burberry chose him to model their autumn/winter 2012 collection. Given Mumford and Laura Marling‘s recent meteoric rise to fame in America, Roo Panes is the odds-on favourite to follow in their footsteps.

Sounds like: he should be signed to Communion, if Ben Lovett hasn’t come sniffing round yet


Lucy Rose – We, of course, already knew how talented she was. But 2013 could just be the year that Lucy Rose breaks out of Bombay Bicycle’s shadow and becomes a huge worldwide success in her own right. Though I worry what would happen to Lucy if she suddenly became massive; would she stop doing the things like Tweet at her mother on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable that make me go, “oh, bless!”? A scary prospect…

Read our previous coverage on Lucy Rose here.


Paul Thomas Saunders – it must be hard to be Paul Thomas Saunders, a Leeds singer/songwriter in his late twenties and allergic to alcohol. But I guess he must use all that extra free time not boozing at the pub to write. Evidently I missed a “triumphant” appearance at last year’s Great Escape. Need to rectify that.


Jack Savoretti – part Italian, but that’s where any comparison to Paolo Nutini ends. Savoretti has already been on the road with Corinne Bailey Rae and shored up Radio2 support, but why isn’t he massive? Just wait until one of his songs gets synced on a major film soundtrack.

Sounds like: a harder, more pop Bob Dylan, a gentler Bruce Springsteen


Skinny Lister – this London folk band have already made quite an impact on America, through a previous appearance at SXSW and then an even more surprising appearance last year on the Vans Warped tour of North America. Could they be riding the Mumford wave? Possibly. Their debut album ‘Forge and Flagon’ gets an American release this month, so we’ll see if the momentum lasts.


The Staves – three harmonising sisters with guitars from Watford who are no stranger to America, having toured here a couple times now with the (now defunct?) Civil Wars, I was surprised to see them get another turn at SXSW. If they do get an opportunity to sing in St. David’s again like in 2012, go, go, GO. You won’t be disappointed.

Story Books – Kent band sounding at times haunting and at times bombastic. Not really sure why they’re not more popular or, frankly, why we haven’t heard of them yet.


Richard Thompson – like Robyn Hitchcock, I’m not entirely sure what Richard Thompson is doing on a list of acts scheduled to perform at SXSW. Having already made a name for himself as a member of Fairport Convention and then with his wife Linda and now as a solo artist, I suspect he’ll be using the guest spot to advertise his latest album ‘Electric’, out in February.

Washington Irving – jaunty folk rock wrapped around a Scottish accent.

File next to: Arcade Fire


That’s it for the genre chapters in the TGTF Guide to SXSW in January. To not miss any of our SXSW 2013 coverage, bookmark this tag and of course, keep it here on TGTF for even more great content in the weeks leading up to the big event in March!


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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