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Video of the Moment #695: Phenomenal Handclap Band

By on Sunday, 29th January 2012 at 10:00 am

The Phenomenal Handclap Band‘s new video for ‘The Right One’ is trippy but not in the conventional sense. For example, this is entirely in black and white. While New York’s Baeblemusic thinks you should be on something to enjoy it, we don’t necessarily agree. (And if you were wondering, the band replied back to Baeblemusic, saying it was a “very rare substance” anyway. Ha!)


Video of the Moment #660: Phenomenal Handclap Band

By on Sunday, 18th December 2011 at 10:00 am

The first single from the new album by the Phenomenal Handclap Band, ‘The Unknown Faces at Father James Park’, released this past Monday has a promo video made up of clips of public service advertisements (PSAs) strung together. It provides a grainy, trippy backdrop perfect for the groove of the song.

The bands ‘Form and Control’ will be out on the 30th of January on Tummy Touch.



MP3 of the Day #429: Phenomenal Handclap Band

By on Friday, 28th October 2011 at 10:00 am

Phenomenal Handclap Band will be releasing their new album in 2012, and we’ve got a freebie from them to give away. ‘Following’ is their new single released this week from the forthcoming album called ‘Form and Control’, out at the end of January 2012 on Tummy Touch.

Read my recent review of them opening for Bryan Ferry over here.


Live Review: Bryan Ferry with Phenomenal Handclap Band at Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD – 3rd October 2011

By on Thursday, 13th October 2011 at 4:00 pm

Editor’s note: I would like to thank my fellow Washington area writer Cheryl Demas for being a model of calm and composure during what was a bit of a crazy night.

Years ago on the then-new internet, I started a Duran Duran mailing list / eGroup with a new internet friend. I found out about Roxy Music through Duran Duran, who idolised the band and the sharp dressing of their frontman Bryan Ferry in his immaculate Antony Price designer suits. So adding to my calendar “covering Bryan Ferry” was a bit surreal, and showing up for the gig at the suburban retreat of Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, Maryland, was making me go a bit mad.

Opening for him was the Phenomenal Handclap Band, whom I’ve only seen multiple times but always in a club setting. Them playing a massive stage like Strathmore didn’t suit them: even though they have a relatively big band numbers-wise and have a lot of equipment, they only took up a fraction of the stage. I thought they were a strange fit for an opener for Bryan Ferry, and I was right. The line-up has changed; the have a new female guitarist but have lost one of their two female vocalists. I think the line-up change and the setting affected their sound: it’s just not as warm and full as it once was. They began with ‘You’ll Disappear’ and played their hit from 2009 ’15 to 20′ (prefaced by leader Daniel Collas quipping, “this is a song you may know, or at least your teenager does?”). A couple new songs like ‘Sun and Moon’ went down okay but none were particularly notable. I’ll wait for the new album to be released in 2012.

After the very glam Roxy Music broke up in the early ’80s, Bryan Ferry went on to have a successful solo career. His most recent release ‘Olympia’ (review here) showed him sidling up to a more urban sound admirably. While he did play ‘Alphaville’ from the newest album, the set list was an odd mixture of covers with recognisable Roxy and Ferry solo numbers. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Avalon’ was great, as was ‘Love is the Drug’, the song that finally got people on their feet and dancing. But those came so late in the performance when Ferry should have gotten things started with guns blazing.

Also disappointing was the reliance on his touring bandmates’ solos, during which time the spotlight was directed on someone playing a saxophone, a guitar, etc. People had come to see Bryan Ferry perform, not see someone other than Ferry noodling on a guitar or playing trills on a clarinet while Ferry is playing piano in a darkened corner of the stage. With two quality back catalogues, someone like Bryan Ferry needs not rely on covers, yet he ended with a cover of Sam and Dave’s ‘Hold On, I’m Comin’ when he had plenty of other gems he could have chosen. The encore felt more like an afterthought, with everyone left pondering on how it should have been ‘More Than This’.

More photos and set list after the cut.
Continue reading Live Review: Bryan Ferry with Phenomenal Handclap Band at Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD – 3rd October 2011


Preview: Glastonbury 2010

By on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 12:00 pm

Surely I don’t need to explain to you what Glastonbury is – it’s simply LEGENDARY. Even as an American (though, admittedly, an Anglophile), every year I drool over the lineup, despair at not being able to attend and then scour the internet for pictures and videos when it’s over. Each summer, the enormous site at Worthy Farm (about a mile and a half in diameter) turns into a mini-city for the  largest greenfield festival in the world. Since the first Glasto was held 40 years ago in 1970, the festival has come to be known for its truly amazing lineup, and this year is no different.

One of the perks of being the biggest festival around is that you can get the biggest artists around. This year, the Pyramid Stage will be graced by some of the most recognizable names in music. On Friday night, Irish rockers U2 are headlining, with support from Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Saturday night sees headliner MUSE share the stage with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Shakira and Jackson Browne. And on the final night, legend Stevie Wonder tops the bill, closing out the festival after performances from Paloma Faith, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and guitar legend Slash.

But it’s not only the main stage that’s worth visiting. Punters will get quite a workout running between that and the other 12 stages, of which the Other Stage, the John Peel Stage and the Park Stage look the most promising. Over the course of the weekend, the Other Stage lineup reads like the index page of NME: The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Hot Chip, Phoenix, the Courteeners, the Cribs, Kate Nash, Editors, Two Door Cinema Club, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, We Are Scientists, Temper Trap, the Hold Steady and more.

Originally called the “New Bands Tent,” the John Peel Stage features a mix of old and new favourites. Friday night sees Groove Armada share the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and Bombay Bicycle Club. Saturday night is jam-packed with bands we’ve featured here on TGTF, like the xx, Foals, Marina and the Diamonds, Delphic, Wild Beasts and Field Music. And Sunday night remains epic with sets by Ash, Julian Casablancas and the Drums.

All the way across the site, the Park Stage will play host to buzz bands like the xx, Broken Bells, the Big Pink, Midlake, Laura Marling, Stornoway, Beach House, Frankie & the Heartstrings and Dirty Projectors, ending with a headlining set by Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun on Sunday night. And at the risk of making your heads explode by listing even more bands, at the other stages festival-goers will be treated to performances by Mos Def, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Turin Brakes, Imelda May, DJ Fatboy Slim, Crystal Castles, Good Shoes, Fanfarlo and Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip.

If you’re not already overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the festival, then you can click here to view the complete lineup. But if you don’t already have tickets for the sold out spectacular, then be warned, it will turn you green with envy.

Glastonbury 2010 is completely SOLD OUT. It will be held from Wednesday, 23rd June to Sunday, 27th June 2010 at Worthy Farm, Pilton.


Video of the Moment #223: The Phenomenal Handclap Band

By on Wednesday, 17th February 2010 at 6:00 pm

Beyond being a great group musically, the Phenomenal Handclap Band are a bunch of really good-looking people. But you would have never guessed this really based on their previous video for ’15 to 20′, because you never get a good look at any of their members. This is somewhat rectified by their new promo for ‘Baby’.

Directed by Stephen Agnew, this video shows off the band members as they escape to what appears to be an idyllic house in the woods, and there’s a man there that isn’t one of them (that’s all I’m going to say). Maybe this video with its highly unexpected ending would have been better off released at Halloween? Check it out below.


‘Baby’, the Phenomenal Handclap Band’s next single, will be released digitally on 08 March in the UK. The band’s self-titled album is available everywhere now.


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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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