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MP3 of the Day #594: Lucy Rose

 
By on Thursday, 2nd August 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Like Lucy Rose? Well then, I think you’re going to love this. The lovely lady recorded a live version of ‘Middle of the Bed’ a while ago at London Heaven, and wants to give it away to all of you. Where can you find this free download, you ask? Through this Facebook app. You’re welcome.

 

Video of the Moment #843: Lucy Rose

 
By on Wednesday, 13th June 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Singer/songwriter and Bombay Bicycle Club collaborator Lucy Rose has revealed the video for ‘Lines’, a song off her forthcoming debut album ‘Like I Used To’, which will drop on the 23rd of July. Watch it below. (I would, except it’s not available in my country.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4EWd1XyG4g[/youtube]

 

Live at Leeds 2012: Roundup

 
By on Thursday, 24th May 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

With the festival season beckoning, the seasonal weather up north has brightened up as some of the brightest upcoming stars look to start their summer crawl on Saturday the 5th of May at Live at Leeds, the same weekend as Camden Crawl and ahead of other upcoming major city festivals. With this 1-day line-up arguably looking stronger than the London weekend this year, it’s difficult to see why you wouldn’t drop up for the day, especially with so many bustling venues in the Leeds city centre within a short walking distance.

Beginning TGTF’s day in the city are Manchester dance band Swiss Lips. Whilst the venue may be difficult to navigate, that may be because it’s rammed in the early afternoon. With indie hit ‘U Got the Power’ having given them some heat, the crowd stay for their infectious breed of ‘sexy pop’ and the band are sure to make some friends with their upcoming debut record.

After this, it’s the atmospheric, but not hugely entertaining iLikeTrains at the O2 Academy. Later, Niki and the Dove also suffer the same fate with a great sound that’s not really matched up front in entertainment. Luckily, there’s so much to see at Live at Leeds that you can never be bored for long. Opening up the Met Uni are Bastille. Their recent mixtape has proved popular with the hundreds that have quickly assembled, and away from their own electropop, the tender vocals of Bastille are the highlight, especially in the cover of City High’s ‘What Would You Do’.

Back at the O2 Academy, Spector flounce about the stage with overly polished indie rock. There’s potential here but the act never really materialises to greater things in the songs, being much more annoying than hoped in the process. This leads to TGTF seeing the end of a powerful Dan Mangan set in Holy Trinity Church followed by a packed show from Lucy Rose. The young singer/songwriter’s music fits perfectly in these surroundings and even the more energetic songs such as ‘Red Face’ sound fitting to her increasingly confident set. With a band behind her, Rose has depth to match her stunning voice and the crowd agree, shh-ing anyone that talks, even in between songs. There’s a muted singalong early on to ‘Middle of the Bed’ and throughout the set there’s a real quality to Lucy Rose’s set that shines in this church. As soon as it starts though, it seems to be over and it’s quickly down to the Cockpit for part one of tonight’s two headliners.

With Ladyhawke making her return to the UK with album two, Lianne La Havas stepping up to the headline mark left by Marina and the Diamonds, there’s a lot of talent on display across the headliners of the festival. TGTF’s route is one of a blend of safety and guaranteed fun in the form of the Subways, followed by Scroobius Pip. First up, the Subways rock out a venue half the size of their most recent tour, making the room sweatier than a sauna and more energetic up-front than most football teams. Blending tracks from all three of their diverse records, noughties classics ‘Rock and Roll Queen’ and “Oh Yeah” fit in with the likes of ‘Shake Shake’ and new single ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ as ‘It’s A Party’ turns lead singer Billy Lunn’s trademark stage dive into a venue-long crowdsurf to the back, up onto the sound-desk and then a dive from 10 feet back down and towards the stage (did you follow that, we nearly didn’t). The man’s got balls, and the Subways still rock.

Closing the night with a set starting long past 11, Scroobius Pip executes a well thought out and powerful set of his solo material to the underground venue. Even without B Dolan by his side on tour, Pip’s tracks have venom and everyone present joins in with every lyric from last year’s record. There’s crowd surfing, huge men bashing each other about and one man with an MCA-stolen VW badge on his necklace up front leading the events. It’s a fitting way to end the night, and TGTF can’t help but feel that the right decisions were made. It’s going to be a bright summer for so many of the artists on the bill at Live at Leeds, there’s no doubt about that, but definitely watch out for the likes of Lucy Rose and Swiss Lips, and by no means underestimate those who’ve been around the block.

 

Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lianne La Havas at London Alexandra Palace – 28th April 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 8th May 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

They grew up just down the road. They’ve had two, well, three popular records, and their meteoric rise doesn’t show any signs of stopping tonight as Bombay Bicycle Club top the bill at Alexandra Palace. The atmosphere’s as friendly as the music in Ally Pally as Lianne La Havas comes on stage. Her rising star flying over her homeland tonight as her reception is immense. Ever since her appearance on Jools Holland, the singer-songwriter’s endearingly personal EP ‘Lost and Found’ has been played to a wide array of fans. Starting on her own and being joined by a live band a few songs in, Havas’ sound is nowhere near as small as you might imagine and there’s scattered polite singalongs accompanying her.

Half an hour down the line, Steadman and company arrive on stage behind a curtain as Apache: Jump on it blends into the opening purr of ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’. As it kicks in, the curtain comes down and tonight really begins. There’s a slight timidity about the 10,000 strong crowd tonight but quickly the band’s simple light show and stage set up becomes their stomping ground as they get into the swing of things. At points this evening, front man Jack Steadman casts off his quaint demeanour and becomes a rocker in his own right as Bombay’s sound is deepened by Lucy Rose on vocals for much of the evening and an appearance from a brass band.

‘Flaws’ tracks ‘Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Ivy and Gold’ split the night’s feel up a bit, but rather than Mumford-ing up for live response, the band instead add an almost Friendly Fires-style jovial samba to it, extending the tracks with small percussive dance parties. It’s a nice touch,  (especially the man in a Kigu with a spare snare) but you can’t help but feel it’s slightly unnecessary.  ‘Evening/Morning’ comes as if you’ve turned over a side on the band’s life and arrived back at one of their finest tracks. Its bass line and singalong “I am ready to owe you anything” sounds as big as the band ever will and the crowd agree.

At times it feels like a festival. Thousands of people are crammed in, standing under one roof. There’s people dancing on shoulders (Lucy Rose on guitarist Jamie’s shoulders is just one of many) and their silhouettes cut as if by sunset. It’s even raining outside! The only thing reminding you that this isn’t the case is the regal surrounding. That, and the choices of ‘Beggars, Still’ and ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ bonus track ‘Beg’ filling time in the set. They don’t make a huge amount of sense in the live setting, but with only two proper albums, they have to find a way of filling such a demanding space, and each track in its own right is at least well written.

Of course, the set is back-loaded for added effect as ‘Always Like This’ gets an incredible response from front to back and ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’ sets up for the encore. It was always going to end one way and as ‘Shuffle’ kicks in, everyone does. The band’s biggest track to date inspires everyone to get moving as their last chance is approaching. It comes in the form of ‘What If’: it’s poignant and powerful and it shows that given a bit more material, Bombay can challenge the top. Humbled, they leave the stage. They’ve not been the best show you’ll see, but in time, they could be.

 

Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lucy Rose and the Darcys, 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 7th March 2012

 
By on Monday, 12th March 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

I’m not sure how the rest of 2012 will go, but so far this year I’ve already seen two bands making their Washington debuts. First was Slow Club at DC9 in February. And last Wednesday, it was Bombay Bicycle Club’s turn to make the rounds at 9:30 Club (I don’t count their appearance early in the day on the main stage at September 2011’s Virgin Free Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion – yes, *that* Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective…) The show was sold out and while I had been warned I’d be surrounded by kids, all in all I was impressed by the local enthusiasm for the Londoners. The night hadn’t started out so well; for one, singer Jack Steadman had left the venue and gone for a walk, only to return and not be recognised by 9:30 staff. Fail.

For sure, it was going to be a very special evening, as Bombay Bicycle Club had brought Lucy Rose, aka the woman who had guested on vocals on both 2010’s ‘Flaws’ and 2011’s ‘A Different Kind of Fix’, along with them on this North American campaign. The question mark was Toronto band the Darcys. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, but surprisingly, it did. Lucy was first; she came onstage looking very chill in jeans with a rip at the knee, a black jumper and a simple gold chain around her neck. The song ‘Night Bus’ appropriately brought a bit of London to Washington, and the punters assisted with ‘Refect’ (???) shortly after soon as she told us, “this song sounds bigger in my head than I can play it, so I’m going to need your help. (from **7-track EP). When she explained she and Bombay stopped by local rock radio station DC101 and didn’t make it to the White House, she made everyone laugh when she asked if it was worth seeing. The resounding answer, predictably, was no. The only evidence of nerves: she didn’t introduce herself until the end,before finishing with ‘Middle of the Bed’. Even though she was extremely soft spoken, she had plenty of (male) admirers, with lots of “I love you, Lucy!” being shouted out.

It was a bit of a shock to switch gears to the Darcys. Except for their clean-shaven lead guitarist, they could have been mistaken for Kings of Leon who’d been hiding out in a cave and this was their first surfacing and chance to rock out to every emotion. And whoever wrote their Wikipedia entry made a mistake, I think; they’re listed as being of the art rock genre, and when I think of art rock, I think of Roxy Music and Art Brut. No, these Canadians can be loud and can shred on command, yet in perfect harmony. I usually shun “jam bands” but I actually welcomed the drawn out outros of their songs. Wow. I was very pleasantly surprised as they sometimes sounded like psych rock but mostly just rock that’s balls to the wall, but held back enough to just skirt the boundary of chaos. Controlled, yet highly enjoyable chaos.

Amusedly, young girls in front of me with their bouncing hair chanted “BBC! BBC!” (how strange this sounded!), as strange disco and earlier dance music played on the PA in the intervening time between acts. Having had not witnessed Beatlemania firsthand, I can only guess that the reaction to Bombay taking the stage probably approximated the craziness. Good lord. I made the mistake of not putting in my right ear’s earplug until after the first couple gently guitar notes of ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ and I think I almost lost my eardrum. The screaming was that loud. As I predicted, Lucy Rose returned to duet with Jack Steadman on ‘Leave It’ and one of my personal favourites, ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’. One song was arranged to allow the spotlight to be squarely on drummer Suren de Saram; everyone else on stage brought over various decidedly not usual percussion instruments (recycling bin, anyone?) for him to beat on in turn. Fantastic. Guitarist Jamie **last name dedicated a song from ‘Flaws’, played semi-acoustically on this night, to his grandmother who’s from Washington. Who knew?

Not sure if this is a regular part of a Bombay show, but it confirmed the craziness was not confined to the audience only. And what did the crowd do? Screamed their heads off. Generally I do not see boys at DC shows dancing, but fans of both sexes were cutting a rug to Bombay Bicycle Club’s’ patented brand of off kilter indie rock when they returned with an encore of ‘Shuffle’ and ‘What You Want’. We learned from Steadman that this was the largest show they’d played in America yet and that he thought we “were fucking amazing”. I thought the two young girls in front of me were going to faint from the excitement, half of the time yelling and attempting to grab at the band, the other half of the time looking like they were going to die because Jack Steadman was standing so close to them. I have to be honest, I’ve never been a massive fan of Bombay Bicycle Club (I liked their first album ‘I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose’ the best) and while I was aware they have a devoted following at home, I had no idea that Bombaymania existed in America. Need evidence? A girls’ bra, scrawled presumably with her name and mobile number, was thrown onstage and shortly after Steadman and MacColl shared a grin as if they could say to each other, “they love us. They really love us!” Bless. Could they follow in the footsteps of their 2011 North American tourmates Two Door Cinema Club? Quite possibly.

After the cut: Bombay Bicycle’s set list in DC.
Continue reading Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lucy Rose and the Darcys, 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 7th March 2012

 

In the Post #62: Bombay Bicycle Club

 
By on Monday, 7th June 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Bombay Bicycle Club‘s more radio friendly previous hits include ‘Always Like This’ and ‘Magnet’. However, with their upcoming second album ‘Flaws’ to be released in mid-July, they’ve decided to take a completely different tack. By deciding to record an entirely acoustic album. Will this sink or swim? (No pun intended whatsoever with respect to the cover art.)

As a taster to the full-length, the band are offering up ‘Ivy and Gold’ and ‘Flaws’ (the song), to be released the first week of July. ‘Ivy and Gold’ sounds simplistic, but sometimes the simplest pleasures are the greatest. The rhythm jaunty, propelled by soft brush drumming, and the vocals clear, it’s the kind of cheerful record you want to whistle to on a sunny day out in the beautiful countryside. ‘Flaws’ is more introspective, with Bombay Bicycle Club’s lead singer Jack Steadman duetting with London songbird Lucy Rose (whose ethereal voice I mistook for Laura Marling initially). Just gorgeous.

You might think this was a sudden change of direction. But you would be wrong. Apparently these songs have been bubbling inside their heads for a while now, as evidenced by this amateur video of ‘Ivy and Gold’ from last year at the Union Chapel. Judging from the overwhelmingly positive reaction to this song on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable on 03 June (listen here until 10 June), the new direction is being welcomed by the 6music listenership.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO-BGFOoa30[/youtube]

Bombay Bicycle Club’s ‘Ivy and Gold’ single will be out physically on 05 July in the UK but is available now for download from Amazon. ‘Flaws’, their sophomore album, will be released on 12 July.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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