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Live Review: Laura Marling with Pete Roe and Smoke Fairies at Iota, Arlington, VA – 16 May 2010

By on Wednesday, 19th May 2010 at 2:00 pm

Good folk singer/songwriters show that they can play their instrument well along with singing to tell a compelling story. Iota is ‘the’ place for country / folk-type acts to play in the D.C. area (for example, the venue played host to Fanfarlo last December). So for Laura Marling‘s first appearance in the Washington DC area, what better place to see her than at the smallish club in the Clarendon neighbourhood of Arlington, Virginia?

Pete Roe, ‘discovered’ by London independent record label Communion probably as he was playing piano for Marling live in concert, started the evening off right with a short but enjoyable set of well-crafted folk songs. If you want to see true talent, listen to a singer/songwriter stand in front of a microphone with nothing but his voice and guitar. In the case of Roe, the warm timbre of his voice perfectly complemented his dexterity on acoustic guitar. Just gorgeous. His EP entitled ‘The Merry-Go-Round’ is set to be released on 07 June.

The second act to play, Smoke Fairies, seemed to be a mismatch for Pete Roe and Laura Marling. They’re a four-piece band fronted by two very fetching women, Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire, singing amazing harmonies. I say they were a mismatch because their songs generally are harder than what is normally considered ‘folk’ and at times even skirt the line for rhythm and blues, as in the song ‘Sunshine’. Blamire in particular shone with her mastery of the guitar, whether she was picking notes or playing slide guitar, making me wonder if she’s studied Jimmy Page’s style. For example, see their ‘River Song’, sounding like Led Zeppelin’s softer numbers, like ‘The Battle of Evermore’ or ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’.

People had been milling about, getting drinks from the bar, and quietly chatting during the first two acts. But when it came time for Laura Marling, everyone stayed put where they were as if children at school assembly. Marling came onstage, putting on one of several acoustic guitars, and looked over the crowd nervously. I was surprised to see that she was back to blonde hair, as all the promos she’s done for her current album ‘I Speak Because I Can’ (reviewed on TGTF here) she is a brunette. Come to think of it, this change in hair colour actually made her more human and less massive folk star, because no longer was she this mysterious woman framed by long brown hair – she’d turned into the girl next door, looking as innocent as a priest’s daughter.

I’ve never been a huge fan of her work but I was taken by the song ‘Rambling Man’ that seems to be a mainstay on 6music as of late. But I can say for certain that as soon as Marling opened her mouth I was bewitched by this woman. She stood in front of us, at first looking anxious, playing her guitar and singing about life and love effortlessly and brilliantly. She became visibly more comfortable as the night wore on, spurred on by the clapping, whistling and shouts of “I love you!” coming from the appreciative crowd. It seems to me that nearly every man I know in England is in love with her, and I can see why. She isn’t even of legal drinking age in America yet, but she sings with wisdom as if she has lived several lifetimes.

The title track of her Mercury Prize-nominated debut, ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’, is a simple, sweet, yet quite astute look on life, and newer tracks ‘Devil’s Spoke’ and ‘I Speak Because I Can’ are hauntingly beautiful. The highlight of the night for me was ‘Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)’, which Marling prefaced asking if anyone had been to England before (many people in the audience whooped delightedly to affirm this) and explained it was a song that she sings because she is homesick for England. I nearly wept. Not just because I miss England as well but because the song is just a gorgeous piece of music and live, it completely blew me away.

After the cut: more photos and Laura Marling set list.

Continue reading Live Review: Laura Marling with Pete Roe and Smoke Fairies at Iota, Arlington, VA – 16 May 2010


Javelin / May 2010 UK Tour

By on Wednesday, 19th May 2010 at 11:00 am

Brooklyn-based cousin duo Javelin will be on a short tour of the UK starting at the end of the week.

Friday 21st May 2010 – Stag & Dagger @ Camp, London
Saturday 22nd May 2010 – Stag & Dagger @ Art School, Glasgow
Monday 24nd May 2010 – Now Wave @ Deaf Institute, Manchester
Tuesday 25th May 2010 – Bardens Boudoir, London


WIN: Tickets to see Beatbullyz in London

By on Tuesday, 18th May 2010 at 7:54 pm

When I read the phrase “They’ve just finished supporting N-Dubz on their UK tour” in an email, normally I can’t press delete fast enough. However, this time it was different – Beatbullyz are one of the few “urban” acts I don’t mind. They’ve got a more laid back vibe about them – not so angry, a bit more melodic – like Just Jack if he was in a band. Take a listen to last year’s single, “Golden City” below:


They’re playing London’s Water Rats next Wednesday, 26th May, and we’ve been given a slot on the guestlist for one lucky person and their friend to go along and check out Beatbullyz before they start headlining Hammersmith Apollos in the not too distant future. Enter your name and email below and we’ll pick one person at random next Tuesday evening (25th May).

This competition is now closed, we’ve contacted the winners. Thanks to all that entered!


WIN: Tickets to see Fun. in London

By on Friday, 14th May 2010 at 2:00 pm

New Yorkers fun. are hitting the road next week around the UK for a quick tour, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky person for their London show on Wednesday 26th May at the Islington O2 Academy2.

Haven’t heard of them before? Well, you have now – they’re a contemporary rethinking of classic 70s pop, a bit Beach Boys-esque, a bit Saturday Night Fever. Not to everyone’s tastes, I’ll admit, but I quite like them. Watch the video for their new single below, catch the tour dates and enter the competition – you won’t regret it.

The competition closes at 6pm on Sunday (23rd May) and we’ll get in touch with the winner on Monday (24th May).

This competition is now closed. Thanks to all those that have entered – we’ll be in touch with the winner shortly

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Friday 21st May 2010 – Liverpool Sound City
Saturday 22nd May 2010 – Glasgow Stag and Dagger
Sunday 23rd May 2010 – Leeds Cockpit 2
Monday 24th May 2010 – Brighton Prince Albert
Wednesday 26th May 2010 – London Islington Academy
Thursday 27th May 2010 – Kingston New Slang
Saturday 29th May 2010 – Bristol O2 Academy (dot2dot festival)
Sunday 30th May 2010 – Nottingham Rock City (dot2dot festival)
Monday 31st May 2010 – Manchester Academy (dot2dot festival)


Album Art Exclusive / Competition: Win Detroit Social Club Tickets

By on Thursday, 6th May 2010 at 6:30 pm

Newcastle-upon-Tyne rock band Detroit Social Club is about to release their debut album, ‘Existence’, on Fiction Records on 31 May. We were given an exclusive sneak peek of the cover art – check it out on the right! The single ‘Prophecy’ will precede the album’s release by 1 week (24 May).

NME has described their sound as ‘a maelstrom of thundering drums and sleazy guitars capable of making you fly higher than Icarus’. And I heartily concur. If you’re sick and tired of the frou frou stuff being flogged on the music charts, this band just might be the antidote you’re looking for.

We’ve got one pair of guestlist tickets each for the band’s appearances on the New to Q tour this month when the tour calls at Leeds Cockpit (Thursday 13 May), Bristol 02 Academy (Sunday 16 May) and Birmingham 02 Academy (Monday 17 May) for three lucky winners chosen at random. So what are you waiting for? Enter the contest below by 8 PM on Wednesday 12 May and you’re in the running. Good luck!

And if you don’t win, not to worry. There are still tickets available from this Web site.

This competition is now closed. Thanks to all that entered.


Live Review: NME Radar tour with Darwin Deez, Everything Everything and Hurts

By on Wednesday, 5th May 2010 at 11:54 pm

NME Radar tours always have a lineup of amazing bands –La Roux, Friendly Fires and Marina and the Diamonds have all traipsed around the country plying their trade in their formative days. This month, Hurts, Everything Everything and Darwin Deez are joining together in one happy (but rather mismatched) musical family to head up 2010’s NME Radar tour, which I caught at Bristol’s Thekla tonight.

As I arrived, Bristol’s very own Out Like A Lion were finishing off their set to a rather tepid response and awkward banter (“well, this, is, erm, nice…”). As they exited the stage the boat began to fill up with a throng of Darwin Deez Obsessives. After listening to his debut album, I kinda liked him, but wasn’t a huge fan. The live Darwin Deeez experience however pisses all over the album. Exuberant, crazy and a lot of fun barely covers it. On paper, it shouldn’t have worked on an NME tour: dance routines to Bart Simpson’s Do The Bartman, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Miike Snow’s Animal? Having a “shared” band apple that they all took turns to eat out of? Errrrrrr?! Well, honestly nothing I write will be able to persuade you of the fun we had, the exuberance and entertainment Darwin Deeez offered. Make sure you see them live if you get a chance – utterly enthralling, really quite good.

From them to Everything Everything was quite a jump – We named Everything Everything one of our 10 for 2010, as a great rising talent. Sure, they’ve got some tunes, but live they lacked the sheer fun of Darwin Deez and didn’t manage to thrill the crowd as much.

Finally, time for Hurts. I was sceptical of them headlining the tour after only playing two UK shows and a handful of YouTube videos. However, in all honesty they completely ruled the show. None of the boyish “we’ll-do-what-the-hell-we-like-‘cos-we’re-having-fun” of Deez, they were incredibly aloof and self confident for a band with not much in the way of released material to their name. However, after the opening duo of “Silver Lining” and “Wonderful Life” (incidentally a song written all about Bristol, and the only song that inspired a pre-song introduction), there was no doubting that Hurts are the real deal. 80’s synths ahoy, they’re never going to win prizes for “most entertaining” band or suchlike, but they do have some amazing pop tunes that I wouldn’t be surprised if they overtake our airwaves this autumn. By the end of their set any qualms I had about them headlining this early in their career were firmly quashed.

Continue reading Live Review: NME Radar tour with Darwin Deez, Everything Everything and Hurts


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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