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Preview: Kendal Calling 2016

 
By on Thursday, 7th July 2016 at 10:00 am
 

As Glastonbury fades into the distance, the only evidence that it ever happened being clods of mud on the soles of one’s wellies, hours of BBC catch-up to plough through, and the occasional sweaty 3 AM nightmare featuring a gurning Charlotte Church. Oh, and several acres of Somerset farmland piled high with litter and abandoned tents. I’m sure we all had a blast. Whether you were there in body or only in spirit, those wishing to relive the hedonistic peaks and chilled-out troughs of a top-class festival, without, shall we say, the negatives of an enormo-fest like Glasto, should look no further than Kendal Calling.

Less crowded, less pretentious, (slightly) less muddy, and, most importantly, more Northern, Kendal Calling has occasionally been called the Glastonbury of the north. And in spirit, that’s certainly true. Fair enough, it can’t attract the likes of Adele as a headliner, but if you want a sweary Londoner there’s always Rat Boy. Kendal’s biggest strength is its party atmosphere: wherever you are, you’re never very far away from the hoedown that goes on in front of the main stage all day. This year will climax with sets from d’n’b stars Rudimental, Brit-ska legends Madness and a prime slice of dad rock from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (pictured at top). There’s something for everyone on the main stage: hard rock from Band Of Skulls, The Hives and the Darkness, urban sounds from Sugarhill Gang and Too Many Ts. And, um, authentic North West humour in the shape of the inimitable Lancashire Hotpots.

Having said all that, TGTF’s favourite stage is the Calling Out tent. Want to know who’s going to be big next year? Look no further. From burgeoning youngsters like Sundara Karma, The Amazons and Rosie Lowe, through acts on the verge of mainstream breakthrough like Teleman, Eagulls and Spring King, this is where the smart money hangs out. Headliners Blossoms, Ghostpoet, and, astonishingly – if he turns up! – Pete Doherty, make Calling Out a mini-festival all of itself.

That’s not to mention the other little nooks and crannies of the beautiful Lowther Deer Park. Those fond of a hot spiked beverage can chill in the always-reliable Chai Wallahs. Obscurantists and beard-strokers are to be found in the Riot Jazz tent, hosting the unique brilliance of Gideon Conn (again, hurrah!), with the Riot Jazz Brass Band performances always a Kendal highlight. If you fancy a Tim Burgess-themed bacon sandwich, then head to the Tim Peaks diner. If, instead, you’re partial to a sit-down and some profound spoken words, Carvetti’s your spot (last year’s Aziz Ibrahim interview was particularly instructive). And let us not forget the 3 AMm intensity of the Glow Tent’s beats. There’s only a handful of tickets left at the time of writing. What are you waiting for?

The last few adult weekend tickets to Kendal Calling 2016 are available for £135 plus fees. To purchase yours, get them from Ticketline.

 

Leeds 2011: Day 3 (John’s Roundup)

 
By on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

The final day of Leeds Festival 2011 brought with it dryness and a relative calm that I hadn’t seen all weekend, no frantic rushing to tents. Just good music. Well, for most of the day anyway… Speaking of music that just is not good in the slightest, my first port of call for the day was the Main Stage to watch Pigeon Detectives. Beginning with their set with arguably their most popular track ‘I Found Out’ was their first mistake, as they had my attention for that brief point. But from then on though, it was as I expected. A set as tragically flawed as the band themselves, riddled with album tracks that nobody cares about at home, let alone at a festival. Truly a thoroughly dour start to my final day.

It was only fair that after such musical torture, I was gifted with the brilliant music of Seasick Steve, doing what he does best, getting crowds to love him with his brilliant style of DIY bluegrass rock ‘n’ roll. Halfway through his set he does what anybody who is third on the Main Stage at a festival wishes they can do to get the crowd going: nothing huge, just something like bring on a member of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time, Led Zeppelin. Yes. John Paul Jones. With JPJ on bass, Steve hammering his bizarre instruments and a drummer with a longer beard than Steve himself, the trio on stage was a force. ‘Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ sounded positively fierce and ‘Thunderbird’ was easily the highlight of the first few bands of the day.

Two Door Cinema Club strolled onstage, and within seconds girls all around me were clambering over each other to be as close to these Irish charmers. Two Door surely could not have anticipated what a success ‘Tourist History’ was going to be, so the thousands upon thousands of people mimicking every track back at them must have been quite a shock. [Editor’s note: not really to us at TGTF. We wrote about a couple of their songs in a Kitsune sampler in January 2010 and then mused on the actual album 2 months later.] Their delivery was fantastic though, and throughout the gig they had the crowd placed firmly within the palms of their hands.

To follow Two Door in the form they are in can hardly be seen as an undaunting task. So it probably helped that the guys to do it are the most seasoned pros on the bill: enter Madness. Beginning with classic ‘One Step Beyond’, the crowd were already in full swing, gone were the attempts at mosh pits and in their place, everyone doing a strange minimalistic rendition of the running man. Their set was riddled with classics: ‘Baggy Trousers’ was greeted to a huge reception and ‘House of Fun’ was literally the most ‘fun’ song of the day.

From a band centred on dancing about like there’s no tomorrow to a band who in all honesty aren’t exactly the jolliest fellows around, this of course was the pioneers of emo kids Jimmy Eat World. Their set was by far too long for the amount of material they had; while ‘Bleed America,’ ‘The Middle’ and ‘Sweetness’ were fantastic, nobody cared about ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’, let alone enough to hear it when you could be heading over to see Bombay Bicycle Club…hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a good idea! So I did!

Bombay’s crowd was, as expected, huge, as is the hype around these nervous little boys. While they may not look the most confident bunch, they still manage to capture the crowd brilliantly. Sure, it helps that they have some seriously solid tune,s but I think the nervousness plays well for them. New single ‘Shuffle’ from their new album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ (review here) sounded note perfect live and could easily grow into one of the biggest strings on their live bow. They finished with ‘Always Like This’ to bring an end to a set which they breezed through, the crowd hooked on every word.

Next up were co-headliners the Strokes (pictured at top), who turned out to be truly awful. They are a band with such a reputation but who managed to look as uninterested from the beginning as I became halfway through their dry, unimaginative set. Julian Casablancas looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but here and that was how I started to feel as the hits faded into plugging of the new album. The one highlight had to be ‘Juicebox’, which added some much needed energy to the proceedings. Bar that, disappointing is the only word I can use to describe their set. Devoid of any showmanship, any invention.

 

Madness / November and December 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 28th July 2010 at 8:30 am
 

The cult band known as Madness will be touring the UK this winter. Support will be Paul Heaton (formerly of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South but now solo). Special presale tickets will be available from the Madness official Web site starting at 9 AM today. Regular tickets go on sale this Friday, 30 July.

Friday 26th November 2010 – Blackpool Empress Ballroom
Saturday 27th November 2010 – Glasgow Academy
Sunday 28th November 2010 – Newcastle Academy
Tuesday 30th November 2010 – Manchester Apollo
Wednesday 1st December 2010 – Sheffield Academy
Friday 3rd December 2010 – Hull Arena
Saturday 4th December 2010 – Leicester De Montfort Hall
Sunday 5th December 2010 – Leeds Academy
Tuesday 7th December 2010 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 8th December 2010 – Bournemouth BIC
Friday 10th December 2010 – Reading Rivermead
Saturday 11th December 2010 – Birmingham Academy
Monday 13th December 2010 – Cardiff International Arena
Tuesday 14th December 2010 – Plymouth Pavilions
Wednesday 15th December 2010 – Brighton Centre
Friday 17th December 2010 – London Earls Court

 

Madness / December 2009 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 3rd September 2009 at 5:38 pm
 

Madness have announced a string of tour dates at the end of the year.

Tickets go on sale at 9am tomorrow, 4th September.

Tuesday 1st December 2009 – Bournemouth Intl Centre
Wednesday 2nd December 2009 – Brighton Centre
Friday 4th December 2009 – Plymouth Pavilions
Saturday 5th December 2009 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Monday 7th December 2009 – Swindon Oasis
Tuesday 8th December 2009 – Leeds O2 Academy
Wednesday 9th December 2009 – Sheffield O2 Academy
Thursday 10th December 2009 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Saturday 12th December 2009 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Sunday 13th December 2009 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Tuesday 15th December 2009 – Manchester Apollo

 

MTV’s Greatest Album Ever: Results

 
By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 1:10 am
 

MTV Greatest album (side)We introduced a few weeks ago MTV’s hunt to find “The Greatest Album Ever“. It raised a fair few questions, and a lot of angry responses from you guys as you listed your favourite bands who weren’t included.

Rather unsurprisingly, Michael Jackson topped the poll, having announced his sensational run of London shows between the announcement of the show and the results. Almost one in three of all votes went to the crazy American. In a shock move, Craig David was number 2 in the poll, and has been deemed more popular than Radiohead and Nirvana, receiving more votes than the Oxford based quintet and Seattle grungers combined. Surely that’s got to be some kind of mistake?

Over forty thousand votes were cast, which gives a pretty good perspective of what people think. Many in the comments of the previous post asked about some pretty seminal albums, however it should be noted that these are the best albums since 1981 – when MTV began, so many classics (Pink Floyd, Smiths, Who etc) aren’t eligible for the list. However, as Thom so rightly commented…. no Libertines? Crazy, no?

Speaking of wacko Jacko’s win, Trevor Nelson commented

I don’t think there’ll ever be another album like it ever in the history of music. There will never be a marriage of producer and artist and song writing and pop sensibility – it just won’t happen again. And also, due to the way people buy records now, there’ll never be an album that sells as many copies – and that’s the thing that will keep it at number one.

Interestingly, Zane Lowe didn’t agree with Craig David’s high ranking, commenting

The guy was hugely successful and there’s no denying that album is a great listen from start to finish as a pop record. It probably stands up as the greatest British urban pop record of the last twenty years. Still no one’s really topped it – apart from Winehouse. Should it be number two in The Greatest Album of all time? No, in my opinion, but I’m not going to begrudge anyone’s success, and if his fans voted for it then what’s encouraging for me is that they still consider that record to be an important part of their lives and that’s what music is.

After the jump: the complete list of albums
Continue reading MTV’s Greatest Album Ever: Results

 

MTV’s Greatest Album Ever

 
By on Thursday, 26th February 2009 at 3:42 pm
 

MTV Greatest album (side)It seems every awards season we have another “Greatest album” survey, most of them from one random source who have basically surveyed their friends to see what they like best that day.

However, when MTV do a survey you know it’s going to be the right choice. They’ve just launched their hunt to find the “Greatest Album Ever“, after they crowned Duran Duran’s Rio as having the “Greatest Video Ever” last year.

In conjunction with music industry experts, MTV’s flagship music channels VH1, MTV Two and MTV Base have each collated their top ten greatest albums since 1981, the year MTV launched. The debates to select the albums were chaired by channel presenters Edith Bowman (VH1), Zane Lowe (MTV Two) and Trevor Nelson (MTV Base).

Suggs (of Madness fame) was one of the key contributors to the shows, talking about Amy Winehouse’s decline and then subsequent rejuvenation:

It’s great to see her looking marvellous again. There was quite a gap between her first and second album and I used to see her around Camden a lot, and when you see someone regularly its harder to notice their demise. I’m so glad she looks well again. It was fate putting her together with Mark Ronson for Back to Black, and was so good for her putting her voice right in the middle of it.

Meanwhile, as only MTV can, Pete Burns gave us an, erm, “intriguing” insight into his friendship with Morrissey, who failed to make the top 10 for any of his solo albums, but whose Smith’s classic “The Queen is Dead” appeared in both VH1 and MTV 2’s top 10’s:

I knew him personally back in the day, he gave me a copy of this album. I loved it from track one. He has a very unique sense of irony and humour. As a person he’s very difficult and awkward to get on with. He stopped talking to me over a fur coat, and still to this day he holds a grudge about it!

Personally, I’d love to see REM get the award. All the others are great, but people seem to underestimate the consistency of REM. Plus, Michael Stipe is a legend in my eyes. Either that or Human League, but I can’t see them beating the big boys – can you?

Voting for the top album is now open over on MTV’s website. Each channel’s review of the top 10 albums can be seen this weekend, with Trevor Nelson presenting the MTV Base run down Saturday 28 February at 9pm, followed by Edith Bowman presenting VH1 and Zane Lowe MTV Two both on Sunday 1 March at 9pm. The final winner will be announced on Sunday 12th April.

After the jump, check out the top 10 albums chosen by each channel.
Continue reading MTV’s Greatest Album Ever

 
 
 

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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.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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