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Live Gig Video: Young Rebel Set perform ‘The Lash of the Whip’ on ARD Morgenmagazin German tv programme

By on Tuesday, 1st October 2013 at 4:00 pm

Na klar! I always love an excuse to practise my German. Young Rebel Set were in Germany recently, even stopping in on the ARD Morgenmagazin morning breakfast tv programme. Frontman Matty Chipcase chatted with a female presenter (sorry if you don’t understand German, but they dubbed over his lovely Stockton accent with a German translation) before they started into playing their current single out now, ‘The Lash of the Whip’. Watch the performance below. Toll!

‘Crocodile’, Young Rebel Set’s second album, is out now on Ignition Records.



Live Gig Video: Arcade Fire preview ‘Here Comes The Night Time,’ ‘We Exist’ and ‘Normal Person’ in Saturday Night Live special clip

By on Monday, 30th September 2013 at 4:00 pm

This past Saturday, Canadian band Arcade Fire appeared on American late night weekend programme Saturday Night Live to preview some new songs – ‘Here Comes The Night Time,’ ‘We Exist’ and ‘Normal Person’ – in this Roman Coppola-directed free for all. This seems like such a WTF moment to me, but maybe you beg to differ. Watch it below.



Live Review: Savoir Adore with Miracles of Modern Science and French Horn Rebellion at DC9, Washington DC – 25th September 2013

By on Friday, 27th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

Though the Sister Sledge disco anthem ‘We Are Family’ comes from the ’70s, you could argue a real 21st century version of it unfolded before our very eyes Tuesday night at DC9. Dance / dream pop duo Savoir Adore, who had just returned from a whistle stop tour of South America and their largest headline show ever just 3 nights before at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, returned to DC for the first time since October, when they played the much more difficult to get to Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel. With them were fellow Brooklyn bands and literally family, at least for Savoir’s Deidre Muro and French Horn Rebellion’s David Perlick-Molinari and the band he has with his brother Robert, as well as Princeton University-borne band Miracles of Modern Science, whose Australian violinist explained they’ve all now decamped to Brooklyn, which is how they know the other two bands.

Miracles of Modern Science Washington live

And yes, I said violinist. Probably the most famous classical string instrument-playing musicians out there today are Patrick Wolf and the Airborne Toxic Event‘s Anna Bulbrook, but the aforementioned and oddly named (to me as a trained scientist) Miracles of Modern Science are about to turn the world on its ear. You don’t find too many bands with a violin, mandolin, and double bass this side of the music world post-Bill Black in his Elvis days. From my internet research, I learned that the group decided to blend indie with classical string quartet, which doesn’t sound like a winning combination on paper.

They have an EP out this year, ‘MEEMS’, and one of the tracks on there, ‘The Singularity’, is absolutely brilliant. An organised chaos of frenetic strings with interesting, science-related lyrics? I can get on board with that. You’d think with a cheesy band name like theirs, their songs would be uptight. Not at all. Toe-tapping and eclectic, they’ve managed to sound different, fresh and inspired. With Mumford and Sons going on hiatus, it just could be this band’s time to shine.

French Horn Rebellion Washington live

If you’ve never seen French Horn Rebellion live – and I hadn’t until Tuesday night, but former contributor Coco had in Hong Kong 2 years ago – you would never know that the French horn actually is a prominent part of their live set, and not just in gimmicky name. I really can’t remember if the mirrorballs in DC9 have always been there but if they have been and I just didn’t notice, it’s because it’s only on a night like this that they would be spinning and shining in all their glory. The brothers Perlick-Molinari put on a dance party like no other, and their live band brought the funk and warmed up the crowd for their brothers/sister in arms.

French Horn Rebellion with Deidre Muro Washington live

New song ‘California’, along with older favourites, had punters cutting a rug and at times, some bumping into me while they were doing it. I’m fine with that: I love people who are dancing, having a good time and being polite to other patrons. A surprising yet entirely giddy cover version of the Human League’s classic hit ‘Don’t You Want Me, Baby’, complete with a star turn on female vocals from Muro, went down an absolute treat. Their short set closed with ‘Love with Dangerous’, with a super sick bass line and pulse-tickling percussion, and allowed them to end on a high note.

Savoir Adore Washington 2013 live 2

After leaving New York on Saturday afternoon and feeling pretty bummed I was missing Savoir Adore, to be surrounded by all their local friends no doubt, in Williamsburg, I felt slightly better that I could catch them in my hometown instead. I’m not sure if it was sheer luck, or Savoir Adore’s equipment, but at times in the past, the sound at DC9 hasn’t been great. However, I am happy to report that on Tuesday night, Savoir sounded huge; I even told Paul Hammer that they sounded loads better than they did at RNR last year, even without lighting that was colour-coordinated by track. (Well, instead they and their live band decided to all dress in white, which looked smart and sharp.) I was expecting the set to heavily feature tracks from latest album ‘Our Nature’, but that didn’t really happen. While we were given a super energetic version of ‘Regalia’, ‘Dreamers’ and ‘Loveliest Creature’, the latter with Muro sporting a tinsel-laden cape, I was shocked that my favourite ‘Empire of Light’ was left out.

Savoir Adore Washington 2013 live

Instead, the band chose to delve further back into Hammer and Muro’s back catalogue and to songs I imagine they haven’t played all that often lately. One such decision was to include ‘Transylvanian Candy Patrol’ from their 2009 album ‘In the Wooded Forest’; with its softer moments punctuated by sections of just plain, all out rocking out, if you thought Savoir Adore was merely a dream pop band, you’d be sorely mistaken. That said, the breathy beauty that is ‘Sea of Gold’, which sounds like it could feature on an advert of any number of gorgeous island escapes, is a testament of where the duo were when ‘Our Nature’ came out. Where will they be for album #4? I can’t wait to find out. And since they live in New York and relatively close to us, I am sure they will be back to play for us soon.


Live Review: City and Colour with Lucy Rose at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 17th September 2013

By on Thursday, 26th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

Adorable Lucy Rose has truly steeped out from behind the veil of backing vocalist with Bombay Bicycle Club. Still a relative unknown on our shores, Rose was snapped up by Canadian City and Colour for a support slot around North America.

This tour finds Rose on stage with a full band for the first time in America. My excitement grew as I waited for them to start, having heard amazing things about her backing band. I was not disappointed. I also talked her up among the punters around me. Just has she had done with me, by the time she had finished up with her first song, ‘Lines’, the people around me loved her. Rose then shone in the simple treatment of ‘Place’ that offered her the opportunity to show off some stunning fingerpicking. Clearly, the ‘Middle of the Bed’ EP had some listens from the crowd (her album was released only that day in the U.S.) because the title track from that had shouts throughout the room as they played it.

Lucy Rose Washington live

Rose described for me in an interview that her next album will show a much rockier side. This can be seen in spades in her live show. I was taken with the enormity of her sound. The album is a delicate thing, clearly written by an extremely talented girl. But when she has the opportunity to flesh out her work with the likes of Simba Bhebhe on bass and Björn Ågren on guitar live, the power of her music takes on a whole other life. Mid-set, they turned the typical Lucy Rose sound on its ear and had a wildly thrashy couple of moments with the bassist taking the lead in rocking it out.

Closing out the set was a rousing version of ‘Bikes’ that put a smile of the faces of everyone in the band. Near the end of the song, the line “everybody scream out loud” was indeed met with a roar that grew each time she repeated it. She admitted that it was the first time that had ever happened in America and it tickled her quite.

City and Colour Washington live

City and Colour then took the stage to a rapt, sold-out crowd but I was less than impressed. The best word I can find to describe it was sleepy. I have nothing bad to say about the music, it was all quite lovely. Dallas Green came on stage to thunderous applause and was clearly adored by the assembled throng. But they were so quiet. Perhaps that is his crowd though, respectful fans who do not sing along or shout out. He sounded beautiful and delicate and gave the crowd a wide ranging set that amply spanned his four album solo career. I doubt that anyone was disappointed. However, having recently been to a show where I was even less familiar with the performer, I know what it is like to be grabbed by the throat by a live performance that is full of wonderful surprises. This set left me curiously disengaged.

Putting the two platters next to one another, Lucy Rose was an excellent choice to pair up with City and Colour, but live there was a stark difference. As has happened before, I think the junior outshone the master when it came to performance. Rose’s set was electrifying and new fan inducing. Green and company delivered what was expected, but it just didn’t have the same kind of energy. I hope the rest of Rose’s stint here in the U.S. garners as much praise as I feel she deserves.


Live Review: Sky Larkin at London Lexington – 17th September 2013

By on Wednesday, 25th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

The sumptuous surroundings of The Lexington in London’s Kings Cross, with its deep claret walls, raised mezzanine and Victorian charm, always seems to yield a civilised affair. Especially when set against the floorboard-ripping antics of Camden’s many boozer/venue crossovers that lay just the other side of the station. And, here again, a diverse crowd of loyal fans and curious new-bloods converged for Sky Larkin’s first London show in 3 years; an intimate airing of their already acclaimed third studio album ‘Motto’, released just a day earlier on Wichita Recordings – “the only label that will bring you a whiskey on stage”. (Read Carrie’s review of ‘Motto’ here.)

Opening with ‘Still Windmills’ from their second album ‘Kaleide’, it was fitting that the first lyrics uttered that night were: “I know there’s potential”. Not only was their live sound a nicely fattened, foie gras extension of the playfully whimsical vocals and multi-level guitar fog of their studio sound, but, as we were soon to find out, their latest material represents an effortless slide into musical maturity. ‘Treasury’, the first offering from their new album, was transformed into a kind of call-and-response meeting of tempos that hadn’t been half as evident on the album. It’s a racy number, dripping with feedback, which climaxes with lead singer and guitarist Katie Harkin wailing at the mic from six inches away to add a new realm of reverb.

Their next track, ‘Loom’, carries the same kind of infectious potential you’re warned about in sex ed classes, with an accompanying video that playfully juxtaposes the sense of frustration through inactivity elicited in the lyrics. Their live interpretation had an air of Giant Drag about it, and for such a streamlined guy, bassist Sam Pryor managed to produce a behemoth bass line more reminiscent of rolling thunder. In so many ways this song sums up Sky Larkin’s approach to music; forgoing the passions of love and hate for an investigation into the nuances of normality.

A flutter of high-hat and snare from drummer Nestor Matthews gave the chorus of their next track, ‘Carve It Out’, a sense of brevity that lifted it above the more conventional indie rhythms that had been on display so far. A busy number with a thousand components, the track showcased the versatility that, in part, is the reason ‘Motto’ is on an upward trajectory. Next up, ‘Bravo Dodo’ was a lesson in how to make a two word chorus imply more than any Meatloaf-like barrage of language; sitting back on the beat, confident in its own majesty.

‘Frozen Summer’, a slow burner centred around just two chords, built progressively into an epic closing section that married interstellar cyclic arpeggios and a lumbering, comedy dinosaur bass line. The interaction between the three present band members during this track gave the biggest indication yet of the kind of rapport that can be cultivated from spending 8 years onstage together (although Sam Pryor only stepped in last year, and guitarist Nile Marr was absent). Between jibes about Sunderland Sam’s “why-aye phone”, and the hilariously cutting query over whether “anyone here was from London”, it could be seen that such comfort suggests that this album, as the lyrics suggest, represents the summer of their own souls.

Harkin got lost somewhere in the stripped-back simplicity of at the start of ‘Newsworthy’, focused squarely on a single spot on the back wall to the extent that you didn’t want to turn round in case you saw a rogue 747 making a beeline from Heathrow. By the end of the track – a standout on the new album – she was beating on her guitar with fervour, a theme that continued (with just a hint of indie irony) into ‘Matador’, from their 2009 debut ‘The Golden Spike’. A well placed cover can tell you so much about a band’s influences and mission statement. And, so it was that the band descended into X-Ray Spex’s ‘The Day the World Turned Day-Glo’; a choice that signifies a move away from bigoted feminine pop archetypes and towards a more tongue-in-cheek, lyrically challenging concoction. Oh bondage, up yours!

One last sojourn into ‘The Golden Spike’ with ‘Summit’ was clearly appreciated by the old faithful and, after a wrangle over whether an encore was worthwhile if you had to walk through the crowd to get out, they decided to plunge straight into their closing number, the title track of their latest album ‘Motto’. Quite a statement for a final track, and likely to be the only song that has had the time to be fully digested by their fans, ‘Motto’ built out of three lonely chords with a bass line reminiscent of the opening of The Doors’ ‘LA Woman’. It is not a similarity that continued, however, and the freedom Katie was able to express through her wandering vocal melodies kept raising that same X-Ray Spex inspired flag. Seemingly somewhat of a satire on the music industry’s promise to deliver “the mottos to mutter” (or, more accurately “the catchphrase of the cash cow”), it was evident by now that Sky Larkin had given everything in an hour-long burst of energy; creating something that no amount of pay advances and larynx insurance could conjure – real world emotion.


Live Review: The Crookes at Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY – 19th September 2013

By on Tuesday, 24th September 2013 at 2:00 pm

Union Hall chalkboardGetting to the further reaches of Brooklyn, away from the bright lights of Manhattan that are more familiar to the regular NYC tourist, can be a bit of a daunting task if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Like if you’re not from around there. However, I do my research and knew exactly where Union Hall in Park Slope was.

The problem was the subway: due to nightly reconstruction of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last autumn, my friend Lizzie and I had to take a train from Queens back into Manhattan and around again to the bottom half of Brooklyn to make it. Then we realised we had to get off much further away than we thought, then needed to hoof it to some 10 blocks south to get to the place. To say I was perspiring and nervous we’d be late would be putting it mildly. I’m sure the bouncer at the door was amused by my wheezing.

Compared to the show 2 nights previous at Bowery Electric in the East Village that Carrie captured perfectly in this review, this time the Crookes weren’t headlining but the second support band to local band Los Encantados (whose name, by the way, was embarrassingly misspelled on the chalkboard outside the entrance to the performance space). Because of the entirely unforeseen fiasco with the subway, we arrived at Union Hall too late to catch Young Rising Sons, the first opener from New Jersey, though it was a nice, unexpected touch to find venue staff Jack, a native of Brighton (and therefore possessing a beautiful English accent in the middle of Brooklyn) at the door when we went in.

While the set list was identical to the one at Bowery Electric, there were two main positive differences in the Union Hall show. First was singer George Waite’s less nervous manner, which led to funnier onstage banter. Early on in the set, he commented that they had expected American crowds to be less stoic and the audience being “so polite” reminded them of being back home in England. ‘American Girls’ was dedicated to “1/2 of this country’s population”.

The Crookes Brooklyn 2013 2

Then immediately prior to guitarist/lyricist Daniel Hopewell’s star turn with the opening and closing notes of ‘Sal Paradise’ on an acoustic guitar, Waite reminded everyone that it was the week of Hopewell’s birthday. First he told everyone how old he was, but then went back on his word, saying with a grin, “…he’s actually only 21”, eliciting a similar grin on Hopewell’s face. A excited fan down the front next to me kept shouting for ‘Hold Fast’ (an egregious omission at these two shows, in my opinion) and Waite initially pretended to not understand the request and then offered up ‘Honey’ as a suitable alternative.

To be honest, the songs are two entirely different animals and therefore we do the band no favours to compare them side by side like that. But I appreciate being given ‘Honey’ twice in a 3-day span, because the ‘Afterglow’ b-side is probably one of the most emotionally charged songs of theirs lyrically that Daniel Hopewell has written. It is the story of every self-conscious, self-loathing individual who wishes he/she could “rip out my pages to be somebody else”, while hearing from a loved one that it’s all in their head and “oh honey, you’ll be fine, it just takes time”, the last thing that person wants to hear. Like newer single ‘Dance in Colour’, it too is worthy of further introspective contemplation as Waite alluded to at the London Scala show in May. Also, the Crookes had good reason to play ‘Honey’ too: it is one of three bonus tracks on the American version of ‘Hold Fast’, digitally available on the 30th of September here in the States.

The Crookes Brooklyn 2013 1

Musically, they sounded very tight. Straight out of the gate, the band wowed with ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’, with its infectiously brilliant one-liner, “we don’t dance alone”. The sheer rocking goodness of lead guitarist Tom Dakin’s solo in new-ish single ‘Bear’s Blood’ was simply kick arse, as he threw his entire body into its energy. Beer spillage occurred during the band’s closing number, an acoustic version of the crowd-pleasing ‘The Cooler King’ that had punters clapping enthusiastically in time. Admittedly, it was during this number that someone else’s beer got spilt all over my sandals and my feet were wet, but I barely cared. This is the kind of music I find real to me now, true to who I am as a person in this point in time. I feel it in my feet and my head, and most importantly, in my heart.

Perhaps it being the second of their two gig commitments, the band sounded better in the smaller, one-level format of the Union Hall downstairs room versus the disjointed two-floor setup at Bowery Electric because there would be no further gig anxiety after this one. After the Brooklyn show, I caught up with Waite to ask him which show he felt went down better; he said he thought the first one, though I disagreed. The newer converts at the Union Hall show were certainly more excited to see the band, hanging out afterwards to chat with the band to learn more about them. As a music editor, this was really great for me to witness first-hand, as I’ve heard and seen so much potential from the Crookes from the very beginning, and now they’re starting on the next chapter of what I’m sure will be a long, brilliant career.

The Crookes Brooklyn 2013 3

After the cut: the Crookes’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Crookes at Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY – 19th September 2013


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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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