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Hydro Connect: Day 3 review: Sigur Rós

By on Saturday, 6th September 2008 at 7:28 pm

Just before Sigur Rós took to the Oyster stage as the penultimate band of 2008’s Hydro Connect festival on Sunday, an enchanting must swirled around the mountain, perfectly setting the surroundings for the forthcoming musical extravaganza. The warm up music changed from the usual NME houseparty tape to something a bit mellower, and suprisingly quickly Sigur Rós wandered onto stage to rapturous reception.

Rumoured to be having pyrotechnics after having originally been asked to headline, they pulled out all the stops for their 75 minute display of beauty. There weren’t any substantial pyrotechnics other than glitter exploding from the stage halfway through the set, but they’ve never exactly been a band who needs a fancy stage set-up to get people to like them.

Lead singer Jónsi Birgisson was largely unchatty as I’d expected, however did speak a bit in Icelandic to a few dedicated fans who’d made the trek to Scotland from Iceland. Joined by a brass section wearing ‘See You Jimmy’ hats – a well known Scottish joke hat for songs early in their set, the certainly played like headliners, even if they didn’t have the billing.

Playing all the expected tunes, they gracefully marched their way through such modern classics as Hoppípolla, Inní mér syngur vitleysingur (inside me a lunatic sings), Festival and Gobbledigook, I felt like this was a band I could obsess over, follow around the world, and be amazed everytime at their beauty and elegance, whilst blown away by the aural noise they could make.

Hopefully my first time seeing Sigur Rós won’t be my last.

After the jump: big photos

Continue reading Hydro Connect: Day 3 review: Sigur Rós


Daily Roundup: Sunday 24th August

By on Sunday, 24th August 2008 at 6:16 pm

So, I’m trying a new thing this week: A “daily roundup” of everything that doesn’t merit a complete post of its own. It won’t be literally every day (I do go out sometimes you know), but will be a collection of new MP3s, Videos, music etc.

It’s scary how quickly this Reading and Leeds festivals have been and (almost) gone. I’ve not really caught much coverage on the BBC of the festivals, but have checked out some of the ace videos and pictures. Particuarly loving the fact that Red Light Company are getting so much coverage from Zane Lowe, following on from my live review and initial introduction. Bloc Party look to have been amazing too – check out their live set available here for 7 days.

MP3: Red Light Company – Fascination
MP3: Red Light Company – Scheme Eugene
MP3: Red Light Company – With Lights Out

This time next week I’ll be in Scotland at Hydro Connect Festival, getting mouth wettingly-excited for the closing nights combination of Sigur Ros and Franz Ferdinand. I’ve spent much of today sorting out some pretty mundane things about the festival, like driving and what sort of coverage we’ll be having. I’ve had a look at the brilliant Winston’s Zen, who was at last weekend’s V Festival and getting a few ideas about how to live-blog the festival, amount of coverage etc. It’s gonna be hard to judge just what’s best until we get there, so don’t be suprised if you get tonnes, or next to nothing coverage wise.

One thing we’ve been having to look at is how to camp – I originally requested camping tickets, but got non-camping tickets, so have been looking at other options for us, from Tangerine Fields‘ bespoke camping options, to the goregous wendy-house style Podpads via the eco-friendly myhab‘s – I’d honestly never really considered anything other than a tent, or a hotel for the posho’s.

Traditionally, August is quite a quiet time for the music industry – bands are off playing the festivals, people are on holidays, and generally the live music biz is taking a well-earned break ahead of the onslught of year-end tours. However, this week we’ve had no end of new tour announcements, with The Fratellis, Kaiser Chiefs, The Whip, Laura Marling, Joan as a Policewoman, Slipknot and Martha Wainwright all announcing stints around the UK this winter. I’m not expecting this week to have quite as many new tour announcements, but fingers crossed – this winter’s shaping up to be a great live experience.


Daily Roundup: Friday 22nd August

By on Friday, 22nd August 2008 at 8:56 pm

So, I’m trying a new thing this week: A “daily roundup” of everything that doesn’t merit a complete post of its own. It won’t be literally every day (I do go out sometimes you know), but will be a collection of new MP3s, Videos, music etc.

I first got sent Dan Black‘s HYPNTZ back at the end of July, and fell in love with it, however couldn’t help but feel it was a tiny weeny bit too cheesy – sounded like some schoolboy rapper from North London trying to be ghetto. Then I heard it on Zane Lowe the other night and then heard the new one, “These Things Take Time”, which sounds like it has a sample of Nelly Furtado‘s Maneater in it.

Dan says:

“I knew what kind of music I wanted make, but at first I found it hard to get these conflicting desires to blend well outside of my head. I’d been making these weird remix/mashups for my occasional Djing, so I thought, I’ll take the method I’ve been using for that but use it for song writing instead. The very first thing I tried was HYPNTZ.”

Download and enjoy.

MP3: Dan Black – HYPNTZ
MP3: Dan Black – These Things Take Time

We found out earlier this week that we’re off to Hydro Connect festival in Scotland next weekend, so you can expect a lot of coverage next week from the festival. However, this weekend of course is the mighty Reading and Leeds festivals, where many of the bands I’ll be catching next weekend are playing. Friendly Fires went down a storm, and I can’t wait to see their show after only getting into their album the other week. Meanwhile Crystal Castles caused chaos – I’m not a big fan of them musically, but might have to catch them just for the entertainment factor.

The two bands however that I’m looking forward to most at Hydro Connect are Sigur Ros and Bloc Party. Sigur Ros’ new video for ‘Inní mér syngur vitleysingur’ (‘Within me a lunatic sings’)is pretty bland, but my God I love that song! Next Sunday, as the sun sets around Inveraray I can see them completely capping my weekend, and providing an amazing atmposphere. Bloc Party’s album has been on repeat since I downloaded it yesterday morning at 9am – I’m yet to be as hooked as I was by “A Weekend in the City”, but it’s definately a grower (in a good way).

On a slightly different musical side of things, Dido has released a new song ahead of releasing a whole new album in early November. Needless to say, it sounds pretty much the same as her previous two albums of stuff, with a bit more musical accompaniment (is that an orchestra we hear?) Yes, some might say it’s bland and boring, but I love it.

MP3: Dido – Look No Further


Live Review: Sigur Ros @ Westminster Hall

By on Monday, 14th July 2008 at 2:41 pm

We’ve recently teamed up with those lovely people over at the 405 and today bring you the first of a (hopefully) regular series of guest posts from their team of amazing authors. Below is a review of Sigur Ros at Westminster Hall by Lois, which I really hoped I’d be able to get to, but didn’t. Enjoy.

Sigur Ros at Westminster Hall

So, Tuesday night Im surrounded by people in silence, watching this insane looking man go crazy whilst using a cello bow to conduct his orchestra of beauty.

I’ve never been to a gig where people have been so silent. It was all for Sigur Ros, to speak would have been to spoil what was happening.

The beauty of Sigur Ros’ music is almost never rivalled by the beauty of the venues they choose to play, Tuesday night was an exception. Westminster Methodist Central Hall played host to the night and was magnificent. The high ceiling and 60 ft organ poking out at the top made it so atmospheric Im sure God probably popped in to see the show.

The nicest thing about the venue minus all the decor was the fact even those sat right at the back were still intensely close to seeing this huge band that can sell out 5000 plus venues. Lucky for me I was stood at the barriers so I can literally say I have stood at their feet!

Support came from the trumpet player in Sigur Ros’ brass section Helgi Jonsson who sang 6/7 songs using a manner of instruments but most impressively his own voice. With eyes closed and in another planet you could be sat in Iceland in a field listening to this voice swirl around you. He mastered the crowd and recieved well earned praise.

8.30 lights went down, cheering and stomping began, lights wnet back on and everybody laughed. 8.35 lights went down, cheering grew louder, stomping got harder and Sigur Ros walked onto the stage and people fell quiet.

The set list went as follows;

* Svefn-g-englar
* Glósóli
* Sé Lest
* Ný Batteri
* Við spilum endalaust
* Hoppípolla
* Með Blóðnasir
* Fljótavík
* Viðrar vel til loftárása
* Sæglópur
* Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
* Olsen Olsen
* Hafssól
* Gobbledigook
* Popplagið [encore]
* All alright [second encore]

Even if I wanted to I couldnt fault a thing, all musicians were on top form and so were the brass section and Amiina were all on form and looking lovely. The sound was fantastic, reverbs and acoustics were all spot on. During Olsen Olsen (my personal fave!) I saw three men crying, which made me cry, which made the girl next to me turn and hug her boyfriend, who in turn patted his friend on the back, who then hugged his girlfriend. I’ve never seen love spread so fast, but we were all watching something so special it made perfect sense.

I dont even think I can review it much further cause it was so dreamy that it doesnt seem real.

Photo is taken from James Welsh’s Flickr Stream under the creative commons license.


Sigur Ros / November UK tour

By on Thursday, 26th June 2008 at 6:14 pm

Sigur Ros have announced a string of five dates around the UK throughout November.

Tickets are on presale now, though are going quickly, and go on general sale tomorrow, Friday 27th June at 9am.

Tuesday 4th November – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Wednesday 5th November – Blackpool Empress Ballroom
Friday 7th November – Bristol Colston Hall
Saturday 8th November – Bournemouth International Centre
Thursday 20th November – London Alexandra Palace


Connect Festival / Now with Guillemots / Ladytron and friends

By on Thursday, 19th June 2008 at 12:26 pm

Hydro Connect Festival LogoI promised myself I wouldn’t mention the festivals this summer, with the vast majority of them having shockingly awful lineups (yes, Reading / Leeds / Wireless / Glastonbury, I’m looking at you). However one festival has consistently attracted my attention: Connect.

I’ve already mentioned it before, but the new bands they’ve added to the lineup this week means I have to mention it again: it’s like my dream festival lineup.

Not only do they already have Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, Gossip and friends, they now have the amazing Ladytron, Guillemots and NME favourites Glasvegas. Quite honestly, I’d give anything to see this lineup, as it looks pretty darned good compared to the rest of the festivals. All they need to do is add Delays and The National, and I’ll be up there in a flash.

If I were you, come payday I’d get a weekend ticket, which are priced £120 and weekend tickets with camping are £140. To buy, log onto their website or call Ticketmaster on 08444 999 990


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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.

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