Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations,
no new content has been added here since February 2020.
Read more about this here. | April 2019 update
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Interview: Devon Portielje and Dylan Phillips of Half Moon Run at Reading 2013

By on Tuesday, 1st October 2013 at 11:00 am

On the most overcast afternoon of Reading 2013, as the sweaty mugginess drips off my nose mixing with the coagulated Gaymers ‘tache forming on my upper lip, I had the fortune of a brief chin-wag with Canadian alt-rockers Half Moon Run. At a rickety picnic table in the mysterious (it wasn’t, but I wish it was) guest area of Reading Festival I parked my bum opposite from two of the band, Devon Portielje and Dylan Phillips. Immediately they struck me as the uber-cool their music suggests they are, shades firmly wrapped around their heads, trendy vests donned – staring back at them they had me: a distended mess suffering from a lack of sleep, the effects of the night before and a serious lack of vitamin C.

Their reaction was to be polite and amicable as anything, a sign of true gents from across the pond if I’ve ever seen it. But I expected a kind of humility from this band, because of where they hail from – Canada, kind of like the USA’s less shouty and brash brother. [I’m trying not to take offence at this. – Ed.] Half Moon Run were typically the British’s view of Canadians, easy going and cool as finely diced cucumbers.

Did they seem out of their depth for a band making their bow at Reading, in their show on the Festival Republic Stage? The crowd was *almost* as packed out as it was for Radio 1 darlings the 1975, which is testament to just how well thought of Half Moon Run are in the UK. Whether that was because one of their songs has been used in the trailer for Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, which looks wicked cool, or for the fact that their inimitable brand of warbling harmonies has struck a chord with UK audiences already, it doesn’t matter. How do they feel about the reception they’ve received in the UK? Devon thinks it’s just great: “I think the audience in the UK have really warmed to us, which is nice as we were a bit nervous coming over here.”

What nerves, as they cruised through their eight song set and a triumphant version of ‘Call Me in the Afternoon’ which had every lyric shouted back from the crowd, to their immense finale of ‘She Wants To Know’. “We’ve been excited about Reading since we knew we were booked for it, as we know how special it is in the UK, and worldwide, it has a great reputation. I mean, doing Glastonbury was obviously very special too, because well IT’S GLASTONBURY! But to play Reading Festival so early on in our career is really, really special.”

After a recent tour with bonafide stars and now (somehow) Glastonbury headliners Mumford and Sons, this Canadian four-piece look set upon perhaps not the same path as the British country rockers, but one which could lead them on the same trajectory, perhaps at a more manageable rate? The boys certainly have their feet on the ground: “Touring with Mumford and Sons was one hell of an experience, coming out for the encore almost every night with them and playing in front of huge crowds like they do. Can we see ourselves doing something like that, one step at a time, please?”


Interview: Arcane Roots at Reading 2013

By on Monday, 23rd September 2013 at 11:00 am

To say Arcane Roots have only just hit the scene would be incredibly naïve. The arrival with ‘Blood and Chemistry’ in 2013 can only be likened in senses of arrival to the impending noise of a bomb whistling above your head and crashing down near you, with the sonic boom passing over you and sending your eardrums into overload. ‘Blood and Chemistry’ has to be described as their breakthrough, but for a band who have been around since 2005, the dues have most definitely been paid by the Kingston-on-Thames hailing three-piece.

I was lucky enough to watch the band at their most raucous and raw, when they played at Liverpool Sound City 2013 at Screenadelica. Our head photographer Martin Sharman, who up to then had been enjoying the acts from a distance, jumped headfirst into the undulating, sweating masses of writhing flesh who were enjoying the heaven for head-banging that was Arcane Roots’ set.

A few months on and they’ve conquered stadiums with titans of progressive rock, Muse and now Daryl Atkins and Adam Burton find themselves face to face with me, backstage at Reading Festival, following a chaotic set on the Lock Up/Rock Stage. Frontman Andrew Groves is busy attending to other media commitments, but that doesn’t keep him away for long.

With the Sunday performance being their first-ever show at Reading Festival it was obvious that drummer Atkins had thoroughly enjoyed the experience: “We played Leeds on Friday which was alright, but with Reading it seems like we are all really happy with it.” To anyone who had the privilege to watch their set, that answer will probably be met with a big shrug and a “well duh!” Why? Well you only had to look on the math-rocking threesome to see the Cheshire Cat-style grins creeping across their faces every time a circle pit opened up.

“It’s really good when people are passionate about our music, they go crazy and they get into it. You can only tell so much when you are on stage, what things sound like. I mean, you have a sort of monitor engineer and a house engineer and we brought our own front of house engineer who mixed the album and knows it well, so it sounded great.”

Bassist Burton chipped in with his perspective on how well the set went, in the tight confines of the Lock-Up, with limbs flailing in front of him: “As long as everyone is having a good time out front and they want to go crazy with the sun out and everything, then we’re going to have fun.”

Normally when you talk to a band after a triumphant Reading Festival set, the answer you’re inevitably given is that THIS was the festival they went to. A kind of Mecca for rockers, misfits and the men and women destined to grace the stages of the future? Not Arcane Roots though. “We’ve never been to the festival, never at all and everyone seems really surprised about it. In fact, the only major festival I’ve been to is the Isle of Wight Festival.” As an islander myself, I resist the urge to gush about proper sand, island life and sheep.

After explaining to the duo of Daryl and Adam that ‘Blood and Chemistry’ has effectively been the soundtrack to the last 2 months of my life, waking me up for those harsh breakfast shifts and delivering a sucker-punch to my eye ducts to remove the sleep dust during the commute to work- we’re joined by a splendidly-dressed Andrew Groves (the nicest man in rock, sorry Dave Grohl).

Andrew is resplendent in the gear he wears for the ‘Belief video’, which if you haven’t watched it yet, is Arcane Roots at their best. We reminisce about how I chatted with Andrew in May at the Great Escape 2013 for about half an hour about how the band’s name came about, how the album came together and why fish and chips in Brighton are fucking great, we move on to more important matters. Namely the burrito pedal, which Atkins explains: “Andrew was probably smiling so much on stage because he found the burrito pedal, which is a pedal for your rack which I’ve invented. You press it and then, WHOOSH out comes a burrito.”

The discussion quickly moves to the festival food of choice, a burrito, a pulled pork baguette? Suddenly I’m explaining to the band how I was watching Green Day on Friday covered in pulled pork and absolutely loving it. Slob rock, people, it’s the future.

Two weeks on from the festival ,and Arcane Roots as promised by the band on site have delivered a succulent headline tour to whet anyone’s appetite and after the experience of playing in stadiums with Muse has galvanised their sounds, can you imagine what the band will sound like in a small club, bar or venue?

Stop imagining. See you in November.

I’ll be in the pit.


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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.