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

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City TGTF stage 2012 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #29: Dan Armstrong of Clock Opera

 
By on Thursday, 10th May 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Clock Opera will be busy the next two Fridays, playing Brighton Dome at the Great Escape this Friday (11 May) at 20.30, then playing the TGTF stage at the Liverpool Academy of Arts on Friday 18 May, where they will go on at 20.30. We asked Dan Armstrong, sticksman for Clock Opera, to answer our Quickfire Questions. His answers follow.

1. What song is your earliest musical memory?
The theme tune to the original Moomins. It’s beautiful. If you search for it, all you’ll find are later, inferior pieces. But here it is, starting annoyingly in the middle but still right enough to reach into my earliest synaptic pathways.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyTHKu8QUz0[/youtube]

2. What was your favourite song as a child?
‘Say A Little Prayer’ – Aretha Franklin. It’s still right up there for me.

3. What song makes you laugh?
‘Jenny’ – Flight of the Conchords (live). There’s also a song in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace episode ‘Skipper The Eye Child’ which is hard to beat.

4. What song makes you cry?
Too many. It’s a form of emotional self-medication.

5. What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)

‘No. 41’ – Dave Matthews Band. They’re not respected much in England but for me as a writer, a singer, a performer, a man and as a band they are phenomenal.

6. What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
When I was at secondary school a boy in the year below died when he fell onto a greenhouse while retrieving a football. It was a shocking tragedy. He was extremely charismatic and popular and the whole school was devastated. For some reason I was imprinted by Annie Lennox’s ‘No More I love Yous’ and ‘Just Another Day’ by John Secada which I assume were both being played on the radio at the time. If I ever hear them now, I only think of him.

7. Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Always On My Mind’ (Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson…whoever they were). Or ‘Lover You Should’ve Come Over’ – Jeff Buckley.

8. Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Watts. They were all thinkers as much as writers but each one was super human. No time spent listening to their words is wasted. Milan Kundera is my favourite novelist. Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan.

9. If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
No idea.

10. If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why?
One album in heaven is a hell.

 

(Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Single Review: I Dream in Colour – London

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

I Dream in Colour are back with their single ‘London,’ with vocals that manage to pierce your heart effortlessly and with the kind of riffs which wouldn’t sound unfamiliar on ‘The Joshua Tree’.

They’ve done it again, producing music that is just so uplifting in nature that it can never fail to put a smile on your face, whether it’s the subtle drips of piano underlying the track or just the fact that through being quite minimalist it manages to just sound gorgeous. Now anyone who knows me will know I love a good belting chorus, screamed at the top of your voice ala Foo Fighters. But I Dream in Colour have won me over with pure catchiness and a simplicity. It’s easy to make your way as middle of the road indie band these days, but this band, while not being particularly out there and groundbreaking, have the ability to portray serious emotion, in a catchy and generally uplifting way.

While the airwaves are crammed full of Cheryl Coles and other generically rubbish acts, I Dream in Colour again with ‘London’ have produced something refreshingly real, showing real craft and vision and exceptional thought.

It’s a real treat to listen to, I recommend you do.

8/10

I Dream in Colour’s next single ‘London’ will be released on the 21st of May. The band will appear at the Alternative Escape in Brighton this Friday (11 May) at 14.00 at LIFE, then at Liverpool Sound City on Thursday (17 May) at Zanzibar Club at 21.00. They are also on tour this month starting next Monday at Sheffield Soyo; all the details are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI6UbkAGGZM[/youtube]

 

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #243: Django Django

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

You’re probably wondering why it’s taken us so long to cover Django Django officially. I already had an inkling they were going to be a big deal after their self-titled debut album came out at the end of January, following on the strength of the very poppy and very infectious ‘Default’. However, it wasn’t until I caught them at the Vic Galloway-curated SMIA night at Easy Tiger Patio on the Wednesday of this year’s SXSW that I felt had a better informed opinion of the band. Now that I have that, I feel comfortable talking about them with some level of authority. That and I figured it wasn’t worth fighting with everyone else over the last 3 months, every other outlet that was anointing them just solely based on ‘Default’ that they were the best thing since sliced bread. So here goes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDjpOrlfh0Y[/youtube]

The basics: they met at art college in Edinburgh but didn’t actually get together until later, and in London; they’re not named after Django Reinhardt but ‘Son of Django’, a rave record that caught the attention of singer Vincent Neff, who turned his back on a probably lucrative and successful architecture career; Neff is from Northern Ireland (Templegrove, Derry to be exact), a tidbit gleaned out of an interview he did with RTE 2fm’s Jenny Huston at SXSW; ginger drummer David Maclean acts as their producer. Got all that?

I’d now like to dispel the ‘psychedelic’ label. While there’s a definite detached air of cool pervading their music, I think ‘psychedelic’ is a too simple genre for Django Django. The psychedelic age back in the ’60s is probably best remembered for stoned hippies, smelling of hash and going round with their flower power, and the music of the times, which seemed to be made by slightly better looking, better dressed musicians who were also under the influence. What seems to be forgotten is that even with the drug haze that hung in the air, there were some really lovely harmonies that came out of the period, typified best by bands like the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, and later on the Eagles. The harmonies on ‘Django Django’ make this album transcend any other pop album; there’s a richness just on the vocals alone that have few real competitors in the music market today.

But it’s not just the harmonies that shine on this fine debut. The music, which is rhythmic and wholly engaging at times, mesmerising and beguiling at others, sometimes fights with the vocals for centre stage on this album. In other cases, I’d say this is not a good situation of the two halves of a song being at odds with each other. But instead, Django Django plays the lyrics off the music and vice versa, creating a mini-world with each song. Take for example, ‘Storm’ (video below), their latest single that was on this past Monday. Yes, it’s psychedelic looking with its bright colours and unfocused images, but forget that for a moment.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny67ABAGKh4[/youtube]

Listen to the beginning rhythms right from the start. Hypnotising. There’s a verse that goes “you are made / of complex sums / I’m counting all my fingers now I’m down to my thumbs” – it’s witty in the droll funny way Morrissey did it with the Smiths, but Django Django have the benefit of an even more earworm-y melody. ‘Waveforms’ follows a similar rhythmic path, though the vocals lift off from the ground to reach the heavens, with admittedly a trippy lyric of “and you wanna know why / all the rivers run dry / when I see you again / I see the look in your eyes…”, before heading back into percussion land, bouncing in such a way you’d have to be dead not to bop your head around and chair dance. Incredible, memorable pop. Good stuff.

What I hope you take from this piece that Django Django is far, far more than just ‘Default’. You’d be doing yourself a grave disservice if you didn’t check our their debut album, which is guaranteed to be an album everyone will be talking about in years in come, as well as appearing on top albums of 2012 lists. They’re not just psychedelic. They’re timeless.

Catch Django Django at the Great Escape on Thursday 10 May at the Pavilion Theatre at 23.45 and Friday 11 May at 22.15 at Blind Tiger as part of the Fly Magazine showcase. They will also appear at the Red Bull Studios Live at the Garage at Liverpool Sound City on Thursday 17 May at 23.30.

 

TGTF to host stage at Liverpool Academy of Arts, Friday 18th May at Liverpool Sound City 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 1st May 2012 at 2:31 pm
 

This year Liverpool Sound City will take place from Thursday the 17th to Saturday the 19th of May. We are pleased to announce that TGTF will be hosting a stage at this year’s festival on Friday at the Liverpool Academy of Arts on Seel Street.

The night’s headliner will be the Temper Trap, making their first appearance in the UK in 2 years this month. They are set to go on at 22.00 (10 PM). Pop rhythmic sensations Clock Opera, who have just released their debut album ‘Ways to Forget’ (read John’s review of the album here), have also been confirmed for our stage at 20.30 (8:30 PM). Additional bands will be announced soon. Watch this space!

To mark this down on your calendar and to keep up to date with the goings-on, join up at our Facebook event. We’ll be having some exclusive giveaways and of course there will be some extraordinary performances you won’t want to miss, so save the date and spend the evening with us. See you there!

 

(Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Live Review: Spring Offensive at Newcastle Head of Steam – 3rd April 2012

 
By on Thursday, 26th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Oxford has form when it comes to birthing important bands: from influential noisegaze pioneers Ride, through the sadly defunct Supergrass, always in the kitchen at the Britpop party, to Radiohead, who not content with redefining the scope of modern rock several times, have seen fit to bless the world with a number of excellent solo works. Recently, revivalist dance-pop BBC Introducing favourites Fixers and math-rock futurists Foals have been upholding the reputation of the city of the dreaming spires.

Tonight sees the latest in this distinguished bloodline of musicians hit Newcastle. Spring Offensive have released but a handful of tracks; they are still at the beginning of their career, so any claims of belonging to the pantheon of Oxfordian greatness must be tempered with the chance that they might split up, get bored, or fall pregnant before anything of any particular note happens. But…let’s hope not.

In town to promote their second single, ‘Worry Fill My Heart’ (live video below), TGTF caught up with them over a coke in the incongruous environs of Newcastle’s only American-style burger joint, on a mission to find out a thing or two about Spring Offensive.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZyMKy095-M[/youtube]

We learn that the drummer is called Pelham. That they met at school and live together in Oxford. That they count appropriately underground acts Menomena and Silver Mt. Zion in their influences, along with Cumbrian darlings Wild Beasts. Some of their songs deal with being dissatisfied with you’re doing with your life. They’re nervous people, easily frightened. They’re named after the Wilfred Owen war poem, which they were asked to recite live on German radio. They dress as they do (part war evacuee, part ’70s dad, fashion by charity shop consent) so people can’t judge them on their appearance. Or, heaven forfend, accuse them of being Foals fanboys.

They are a superb live band. The Oxford sound is present and correct – there’s a bit of white-boy funk, edgy mathy bits, anthemic choruses – but thankfully all filtered through a clear personality of their own. They have a talent for arrangements, and not just of the quiet-loud-quiet version, either – the songs ebb and flow with the oily fluidity of a calm midnight sea. This is the genuine soundtrack to how the Titanic really sank – gently, undemonstratively, imperceptibly sinking into inky black, all the while a quiet, unspoken unease hanging in the air. There’s lashings of deckhand vocal harmonies; in one memorable moment, the band leave the stage and play with acoustic guitar and voices only. It’s a brave insight into their capabilities; shorn of amplification the effect is if anything even more emotionally powerful.

They haven’t always dressed as they do now – somewhere in the last twelve months the band ditched the checked shirts, stripy t-shirts and skinny jeans for frayed cardigans, woollen tank tops, and beige slacks. Whether this is a genuinely spontaneous rejection of fashion, or a cleverly-worked decision, their sartoriality suits both demeanour and sound perfectly. The very epitome of Dave Gilmour’s famous ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ lyric, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”, the whole package evokes a post-war shabbiness, of desolate Anglian marshes interspersed with the skeletons of abandoned hangars: an atmosphere of bleakness punctuated by the hope of regeneration. Simultaneously, they speak to the contemporary retail park mole, the burger flipper, the call centre operative: is this all life has to offer? Could things have been better sixty years ago? Is modern life indeed rubbish? These are the most important questions a band can ask; it falls to Spring Offensive to ask them.

Spring Offensive will appear on the Friday (18 May) of Liverpool Sound City, time and place TBA.

 

(Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City 2012 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #240: The Big Sleep

 
By on Thursday, 26th April 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Not to be confused with the chain of hotels, the 1946 Howard Hawks film staring Humphrey Bogart, nor any other act of the same name past or present (yeah, there’s plenty of confusion to be had), the Big Sleep are one of New York’s latest exports and they’re of the dark indie rock variety. Their third album launched in America at the end of January and will be out in Europe at the end of the month, but with a huge UK and European tour coming up to promote it, it seems that the Big Sleep are finally going to be making some waves on the venues and festivals of Britain.

It’s atmospheric, it’s powerful, it’s grungy without being grunge.  They’re more Metric than Sonic Youth, more 2:54 than the xx, but they could fit alongside any of the aforementioned, as long as you’re into dark guitar lines. Their sound to date has been a bit on the rough side, but with years under the belt, it seems the act have steadily tuned into exactly the sound they want to create. The promise that came with the last two LPs has a few months to materialize and with ‘Nature Experiments’, it may well do.

The band are hitting up the Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City this year, as well as a host of other UK dates below and there’s no doubt they’ll be bringing a tension-destroying atmosphere with them. In case this still hasn’t sold you, the video for new single ‘Ace’ is also below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yza-e4rjMpQ[/youtube]

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 – Brighton Hope (Great Escape Festival)
Monday 14th May 2012 – Manchester Castle
Tuesday 15th May 2012 – Glasgow Nice ‘n Sleazys
Wednesday 16th May 2012 – London Camden Barfly
Thursday 17th May 2012 – Liverpool Arts Academy (Liverpool Sound City)

 
 
 

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.