Nick Mulvey: “Cause you got lost in comparison Always pretending you knew When everything you were looking for Was already looking at you… This moment is a mountain to move…Wake up now” – Swedish American Hall (Nov 17, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I couldn’t believe when Nick Mulvey said “I’ve seen you before!” after his Swedish American Hall show on Nov 17. He musta remembered the puppet face! I was hooked ever since that first night at Barfly and just kept showing up everywhere he played, from Green Man Festival to Shepards Bush empire (opening for Laura Marling) to O2 Brixton Academy (opening for London Grammar) to XOYO (where he played with the talented Fiona Bevan). His song ‘Fever to the Form‘ was legitimately my LIFE ANTHEM for most of 2013-2014, and that first verse “So whether music or madness, We live by one of the two… So Go on an fill your heart with gladness, not a moment too soon” will forever be my GUIDING LIGHT. It is a TIMELESS TRACK that I know will still bring me the same peace of mind and clarity (“cause the very thing you’re afraid, afraid of, It keeps you clean but unclear”) 20 years from now as it did back in 2013. ‘Fever to the Form’ was released alongside other tops tracks (First Mind, I Don’t Want to Go Home, Meet Me There, Juramidam, Cucurucu) on his debut album, First Mind, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize (well deserved!) in 2014. Nick has become a dad since the release of that album, and he considers this step to have had a positive influence on his music writing: “Putting music as a secondary priority to that (the challenge of making new music) was a really healthy thing for me.” Well, we are glad to reap the benefits of that positive influence, for his newest (sophomore) album, Wake Up Now, is freaking AWESOME. Standout tracks for me are: Mountain to Move, Remembering, In Your Hands, Transform Your Game, and Unconditional. In fact, Nick has a really cool story to go along with ‘Mountain to Move’ and I hope he continues to share it during his live performances. Cheers to the super talented British musician who studied music in Cuba and who continues to weave styles from all over the world into his musical quilt. ❤

 

More Nick Mulvey videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz/search?query=nick+mulvey

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Sun Kil Moon- “She wanted love like anyone else…She had dreams like anyone else.”

Sun Kil Moon– Green Man Festival, Wales

(Aug 15, 2014)

A review by Erica Andreozzi
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Sun Kil Moon (aka Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters) was one of the top 3 artists at Green Man who I was REALLY EAGER to see live, and it was crazy odds that they just so happened to be the act right before Augustines, one of my other top bands of the festival. I made sure to get to the front, posting up on the left side facing the stage…only to later realize (mad luck!) that this side would land me directly opposite Mark, with the BEST VIEW in the house. That lucky strike is what prompted my little “Look at us!” comment during the beginning of I Watched The Film the Song Remains the Same (video below), when I turned to the giddy older couple standing next to me.

Ever since a friend had told me about Mark’s new album (Benji) back in June, I had been listening for days on end and had been utterly transfixed by all of the personal narratives cleverly laced within his beautiful guitar melodies. Mark is brutally honest in this record, unveiling a repository of deep-seated emotions: relentless love for his mother (I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love), troubled confusion over the death of his cousin (Carissa), sexual confessions (Dogs), discomfort of misfortune (Micheline), death marking time (Richard Rameriz Died Today of Natural Causes), coming-of-age insecurities (Ben’s my friend), etc. And of course there’s much dressing in between the meat of these songs….So much subtle detail that you might think is random and out-of-place, but then later (after letting it marinate) you realize you were wrong- there is indeed a distinct method to Mark’s madness. He truly is a master of his craft.

One of the first songs that Mark kicks of his Green Man set with is a heartfelt track from Benji that he wrote about his mother: I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s LoveHe’s also wrote a track about his father on the same album, but it was not nearly as sentimental and loving. You have to think that this brought her much tear-shed:

“I can live with the sky falling out from above
I can live with your scorn, your sourness, your smug
I can live growing old alone if push comes to shove
But I can’t live without my mother’s love
….
I can live without watching the classic old fights
I can live without a lover beside me at night
I can live without what you might call a charmed life
But I can’t live without my mother providing her light.”  (slayed)

Funny thing was, immediately following this heartfelt track — a track that would almost prompt you to wanna give him a big bear hug– he makes a racy comment that most of the crowd found funny, but some found kind of vulgar: “They cancelled Jabberwocky tomorrow, so I’m gonna hang out here and try to get laid.”  Referring to a “slew of ex-lovers” in one of his songs, it’s definitely clear that Mark likes to put off a ‘bad-boy’ image. Right after he made this comment about trying to get laid, he chugged some vodka from a bottle he had on stage; he re-visted this bottle several times throughout the set.

Next up was Dogs, which was very fitting since it’s about Marks’ sexual confessions/desires. I like this one, but it was kind of a strange choice for a festival that has a large demographic of families and children. I would have actually swapped this one out for Ben’s My Friend, one of my favorites from Benji that talks about the time he went to see his friend Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service) play at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California but how he felt too old amongst the crowd so he “gave his backstage pass to two cute Asian girls” and “drove to his place near Tahoe.” I love all of the references to San Francisco (Union Street), Berekely, and Tahoe in this one. Definitely takes me down memory lane and gets me a bit ansty to get back to California.

After Dogs came MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE from the Benji album: Micheline- a gnarly narrative that that is nothing short of GENIUS. Mark cleverly threads 3 different life accounts into one heartfelt journey of whit, irony, shock, despair, and gratitude, and you are left stunned and yet eager to hear more. I was SO STOKED to finally witness the live performance of Micheline at Green Man, although I was a bit thrown off by the beginning. I’m used to Mark’s acoustic guitar part kicking off the song, and it was a bit odd that he sat this one out. His vocals were incredible, but I still do enjoy his guitar!

“She wanted love like anyone else…
She had dreams like anyone else.”   (flood of chills every time)

Soon following Micheline was another top Sun Kil Moon track (Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes) from Benji, although you couldn’t really hear the cool electric guitar part that comes in after Mark’s last verse (one of my favorite parts!). I turned my head toward the electric guitarist and stared at him with a “pick up your game!” kinda stare. Maybe it was a bit harsh, but come on!

“Richard Ramirez died today of natural causes
These things mark time and make us pause…
at 53 Richard Ramirez died but in 83 he was very much alive
he was the scariest killer in the bend
he had a pentagram
in the center of his hand.” (WOAH…creepy)

Another favorite was A Film The Song Remained the Same, and I can never seem to get enough of those gorgeous guitar melodies in the beginning. Such an incredible narrative that Mark weaves in this one, and the “thank you” verse (although more annunciated on the recorded version) slays me every time.

“I don’t know what happened or what anyone did
From my earliest memories I was a very melancholic kid
When anything close to me at all in the world died
To my heart, forever, it would be tied

And since that time so much has happened to me
But I discovered I cannot shake melancholy… (love this line)
..
I got a friend who lives in the desert outside Santa Fe
I’m going to visit him this Saturday
Between my travels and his divorces and our time not being what it was
It’s been 15 years since I last saw him
He’s the man who signed me back in ’92
And I’m going to go there and tell him face-to-face, ‘thank you.” (Favorite part! Mad chills…)

A few other songs from other albums that I would have love to hear him play are Elaine, Natural Light, UK Blues, and A Song for Richard Collopy. These festival sets often tend to be very short 45-60 min, and so I felt rest assured knowing that I would be able to hear much more at his solo gig scheduled for Aug 28th at St. James church in London. However, it was announced on Aug 23rd that this show had been cancelled. MAJOR DEVASTATION. I was REALLY looking forward to a much longer set, and of just him and his guitar. He’s playing festival in Sweden right now (from his song lyrics it’s clear he really loves it there), and maybe just decided he wanted to stay there for longer. Who knows, but WHAT A BUMMER. Luckily, my buddies in San Francisco will get to see him FOR FREE (along with Jonathan Wilson, another stand-out act at Green Man) at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival on Oct 3-4 in Golden Gate Park. Catch him WHEN YOU CAN…he doesn’t tour often!

VIDEOS:

I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love:

Micheline:

Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes:

I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same:

PICTURES:

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Augustines’ Birthday Cheer at Green Man!

Augustines’ BIRTHDAY CHEER at Green Man Festival in Wales

(Aug 15, 2014)

A review by Erica Andreozzi

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 I am STILL on CLOUD NINE from last weekend’s Green Man Festival in South Wales. This was my favorite UK festival of last year, so it was only fitting that it would be my last and favorite (STILL) UK festival of 2014. It might even be my last Green Man for a while, as I’ll be leaving the UK in a few months, but as least I ended it full circle. Set in the heart of the idyllic Brecon Beacons, the environment, scenery, band selection, people, and just overall vibe is really something special. PLUS, last but not least…(I thank the Green Man gods for this!), Augustines were added to the festival lineup with short notice, making this festival EVEN MORE highly anticipated than ever before. NOT ONLY THAT, but the night that Augustines were scheduled to play the Mountain Stage (pics below), was the night of both Billy’s birthday and the birthday of his brother James (who inspired the emotive track, Book of James). Grab a helmet cause there’s more! Billy and James’ double-wammy birthday is further compounded by Eric’s birthday at the strike of midnight. CRAZY ODDS. I mean, it wasn’t already enough that I was seeing Augustines in THEIR MONTH (their August birthdays inspired the name), I was seeing them at THE PINNACLE (pretty much) of THEIR MONTH. (one lucky lil’ lady) Seeing them at their summit, IN FRONT OF a summit (yes, that beautiful mountain behind the stage that everyone’s refers to as “Sugarloaf”), was just way too surreal. So many good vibes going on, so much beauty brewing around us…it was definitely one of those “pinch me” moments where I had to convince myself that YES, this was all really happening. AND, to top it off, the act preceding Augustines just happened to be Sun Kil Moon (aka Mark Kozlek), the artist that I had been listening to for weeks on end (that Benji album is ACE) and anxiously waiting to see live for the first time. I distinctly remember both Billy and Rob poking their heads out from behind the stage curtain during Mark’s performance of The Film the Song Remains the Same (one of my favorites), and I couldn’t help smile at their eager eyes and beaming grins. They were more than ready to get on stage and do what they DO BEST: Entertain crowds with stadium-size sound that somehow maintains an intimacy/inclusiveness of a small room. Unlike most bands, they SHARE THE STAGE and are genuinely excited by fans dancing and singing their songs along WITH THEM. They feed off that energy and participation, making it one big joyous sing-a-long for everyone. WE ALL WIN. 🙂

When the clocked struck 8 pm for Augustines’ set to start, the tenacious trifecta (Billy, Eric, Rob) came running out on stage like gazelles, ready to celebrate Green Man AND THEIR BIRTHDAYS with the 10,000+ grateful Green Man audience. Billy introduces the band and then shouts into the microphone: “It’s my birthday!” This immediately prompted the entire crowd to sing him ‘Happy Birthday’ while he stood up on stage grinning ear-to-ear. If this was the first time you were seeing Augustines (hard to believe from my end), you would immediately be drawn to the deep appreciation that they have for their fans. Billy was BEAMING, as if he could hear every single fan’s individual birthday cheer like it was coming from his best friend. Later on, he posted this Facebook message alongside a photo of him standing up in the sea of people: “Wales my eternal thanks. Bloodied knees and hoarse voice and an unbelievable joy in my heart. Best birthday ever…that’s me in the middle having the time of my life…

Although their set seemed way too short to me (especially in comparison to their usual 2+ hr set), they served up a handful of hearty sing-a-longs, kicking off with Nothing to Lose but Your Head and soon following with Cruel City (it was so cool to be in front of Eric and watch him do the beats for this one). They also played Chapel Song and Headlong into the Abyss, both of which got the crowed roaring and all warmed them up on this crisp, chilly night. They then freed everyone of all their ghosts with the always compelling Now You are Free before rounding out the set. BUT BILLY, chock full of surprises, SURPRISED US ALL with an impressive BIRTHDAY DANCE (below), shouting: “I was getting fucking worried you guys were sleeping the past two hours!…”  HELLS NO. Never.

Billy’s Birthday Dance:

Soon after the birthday dance, I heard a girl behind be scream a request of Philadelphia, and although I’m from ‘the City of Brotherly Love’ and do love that song, I quickly  screamed Book of James because I knew it was coming down to the wire and I REALLY WANTED to hear my favorite. They usually save this heavy hitter for the end, so I had a feeling it was coming anyways. These lyrics forever resonate in my mind: “Here lies, my green eyes, rolled back in my head, but their ALIVE.” (so good) I actually thought they would close out on Book of James, but they decided to give us one more hit. Home run. For this one, Rob ditches his drums and comes close to the front of the stage to be apart of the acoustic encore that will forever be etched in our memory. Billy also ditches guitar, leaving Eric the one to hold down the fort and lead the rhythm for The Avenue. This is when Eric’s smile was EAR-TO-EAR; he was just STARING OUT at the cheerful crowd of 10,000+ with that look of, “YES, we’ve finally made it. They FINALLY GET IT.” Yes, we certainly do, and we truly hope Augustines continue to RISE UP as a band and made beautiful music that touches hearts every day. For the encore of The Avenue, Billy asks the crowd to be a ‘Green Man Choir’ and sing along with “oooo’s” during the chorus, stating: “It only works when everybody does it.” Before he knew it, the entire Green man choir was full force, leaving him “impressed” and ready to end his birthday on a verse that celebrates the wonderful human being that he is:

“Yeah, haven’t seen all the good inside me yet, I know
Maybe I should see that in myself again
See that in myself and go.”       🙂

The Avenue:

After the show, I was lucky enough to catch (and finally meet!) Rob and give him a pen-and-ink sketch that a women named Pauline Williams drew of Augustines on-the-spot during their set — although she said she had a hard drawing it because standing behind me…(I do get a tad rowdy). I initially saw her drawing sketches for other bands earlier that day and mentioned that she should return that night for the Augustines set. Not only did I want her to see the band, but I knew they would really appreciate her unique sketch. I got to TONS of gigs, but I never ONCE saw someone do what she does…there are always load of photographers, but never free-sketch artists. Check out the rest of her collection: http://www.paulinewilliamsart.com/collections/pen-ink

I would have been nice to wish Billy and Eric a happy birthday in person, but Rob said the band was off to Germany that night for another festival. At least we can rest assured from their Facebook post that this year’s birthday would always hold a special place in their hearts: “…such an amazing experience for us. The crowd spontaneously sang Happy Birthday to us under the night sky. Its hard to describe to you how big our smiles were. Special thanks to Wales, and cheers to all of you. Best birthday ever.” -Bill, Eric, and Rob

If you want to read more about Augustines, I posted a piece on them just last week. It might be the greatest review I ever write: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/augustines-to-rise-up-from-some-dirty-ashes/

Check out the kickstarter project that Big Vulture productions is running to support a film (“RISE“) documenting the band’s incredible story: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1638587871/rise-the-story-of-augustines

 

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PICTURES:

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Sketch of Augustines drawn on-to-spot by the talented Pauline Williams

Augustines: “To RISE UP from some dirty ashes…”

Augustines

  “To RISE UP from some dirty ashes…”

A review by Erica Andreozzi  (Aug 13, 2014)

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“It’s not how slow you go, it’s that you never stop.”
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in RISING every time we fall.”
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” 

–Confucius (500 BC)

 These simple truths, voiced thousands of years ago by a great Chinese philosopher, remain the vein of Augustines existence and the “duende” that continue to invigorate their diehard fans (who fly from other countries to see them). “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without” (also Confucius), and when it comes to Augustines music, this pleasure percolates the crowd like the sweat seeping through every pore on our body. Sounds intense, and IT IS. Their live shows strip you bare, break you down, and build you back again, as if some sort of REBIRTH. Those that have never seen Augustines live can’t comprehend the sort of exhaustive catharsis and resurrection that accompanies their set. Each song will awake the soul and revitalize the heart, and by the end, you will feel like you are on the verge of a heart attack (at least I do). Not only is this because my carotids have been bulging from my neck from belting out the chorus so loud, but because my heart fills up like a balloon that is about to burst. This American Beauty quote describes it perfectly: “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.” Augustines have that same effect. 

Billy McCarthy, the beating heart of Augustines, perpetuates an endless cascade of positivity EVERY SINGLE SHOW, leaving fans feeling loved, understood, and validated. “And all you want is something to believe in… just for a little bit. And we’re here tonight because of music. And music’s a funny thing because you can’t fucking own it. It doesn’t exist. It’s just matter. You can’t hold onto it. It’s a moment. This is your moment with music. And we’re sharing this moment with you right now through our music and we really appreciate it. We all need something to believe in and I want to tell you something tonight: at the end of this tour, I’ve been waiting my whole fucking life for this,” says Billy at the end of their gig in Birmingham (Feb 2014). Spoken like a true genius –one with the ability to creatively use your intellect—Billy knows exactly how to heal every wounded person in the audience. Armed with upbeat rhythms and uplifting lyrics (“soak your scars in the ocean”), he delivers an intoxicating dose of musical medicine with healing powers that are beyond belief. Music, ‘mere vibrations through the air,’ can somehow unite people all across the globe– people of different language, race, and background. Music is a way to explain things where there are no words, and the mood it elicits becomes common denominators for those ‘mere vibrations’– vibrations that chill our bones, strike chords in our soul, and resonate mantras in our minds. When it comes to Augustines, that mantra is to RISE. To “soak your scars in the ocean… to put away all our sobs…to let go all of your ghosts…to RISE up from some dirty ashes.”

I am always conscious of the notion that “everyone’s got a story to tell,” but the story of Augustines (Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson, Rob Allen) is something short of a MIRACLE— how they rose up from their ashes (e.g. death, neglect, deceit) and “overcame massive adversity & personal tragedy to become the most critically acclaimed indie band in the world.” Just last week, Big Vulture Productions announced a kickstarter campaign to fund a DOCUMENTARY FILM (called “RISE”) on this miracle of a story behind Augustines: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1638587871/rise-the-story-of-augustines (donate!)

If you do ANYTHING SENSIBLE this August (the month of Augustines!), it would be to donate to this incredibly rewarding cause and to help their story get told. Just as the great Maya Angelou once proclaimed, There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you,” and I whole-heartedly agree. She also said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” I cannot think of a band that exemplifies this MORE so than Augustines, and SHARING THEIR STORY WITH THE WORLD has the potential to EMPOWER THE MASSES and to help people RISE UP from devastating tragedy. Tod Howe, the direct of “RISE,” states: It is our intention that RISE transcends both music and band to stand on it’s own as a truly compelling film…To me, what makes this film so unique are the band members. The fact that they have been through so much in their history makes the success they now have inspirational on another level altogether.” If we truly believe that life is an echo, it makes sense that the generosity Augustines has sent out to fans for years is finally coming back to them. Let’s fortify this echo by donating to this film.

While my fervid film fever for this band might have you thinking that I am part of the creative collective behind “RISE,” don’t be fooled. Nope. I am just DIE-HARD fan (lil’ lady, BIG HEART) that feels utterly compelled to give MY EVERYTHING to making sure the music and story of Augustines is heard around the world. Although I am a MAD SCIENTIST by day (Biomedical Engineering: BS, PhD), I am a MUSIC JUNKIE by night that’s been gripped by the power of music and has felt its ability to heal. With a day job that encourages me to think analytically (aka “overanalyze”) and to use equations/formulas to study uncertainty and solve scientific problems, it’s nice to let my mind escape at night. Live music is indeed my escapism, and it has let my mind fly away to wonderful places when physical escape was not possible. Unlike science, there are no “formulas” for creating the “perfect song,” and I LOVE THAT. There are endless possibilities to crafting combination of keys, chords, rhythms, but none of which are “right” or “wrong.” Music is formless power whose only measure of its existence is the heightened sensation it provokes. Some songs resonate more with us during moments in our lives, and our favorite song one month might not be so the next. As with karma, I truly do believe that different music comes in and out of our lives at certain times FOR A REASON; the reason for Augustines coming back into my life (new album/tour) when it did was obvious: to RISE.

When I encounter life-changing music like Augustines, I am overwhelmed by such strong impulse to share it. Sharing music with others has always given me this insatiable high, this sense of euphoria that’s almost indescribable to those who aren’t music junkies like myself. Music is my drug, and I am definitely an addict– it’s my fuel when energy levels are low, and it’s my meditation when thoughts need reorganization; It’s my rhythmical road map to peace of mind and self discovery, my passport to the heart and soul; It’s my appetite for life. After moving to London and quickly averaging 2-3 shows a week, I started to joke that I might need an “intervention” from all of this live music. But then I realized that this would be like taking away my oxygen…my very life force. While I really do enjoy my day job as a scientist, this job does come with certain pressures and responsibilities that can sometimes overwhelm me to the point of paralysis; And that’s when music steps in. “Keep your head up kid, I know you can swim, But ya gotta move your legs.” YES. Thank you for reminding me, Billy. Not only does music keep me swimming in the face of adversity, but it also gives life a certain rhythm that keeps me dancing. In honor of the legendary actor, comic, BRIGHT SOUL that we lost yesterday—Robin Williams—I recall his memorable line from a scene in Dead Poet’s Society: “We read and write poetry because we are part of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion…Medicine, law, business, engineering…these are all noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life…But poetry (MUSIC), beauty, romance, love …These are what we STAY ALIVE FOR.” Eerie enough, about an hour before Robin William’s suicide death was announced to the public, Billy had posted on facebook that it was the 5 year death anniversary of his brother James, who also happened to die from suicide. HEAVY HEART. Although a person may look happy, you sometimes have to look past their smile and see how much pain they may be in. We all need to start looking out for one another more, and starting show that we care.  ❤

No matter how transient or unpredictable life gets, some music will ALWAYS remain a CONSTANT, an extension of something familiar (people, places, things). That is how I –and others– feel about Augustines. Their music is safe territory for people to find their voice, express themselves, and heal their wounds inside and out. It is a mainline to Billy’s heart and a conduit for people to connect with his experience in a very real and very personal way. Earnest Hemingway once said that a person’s virtue” (what makes them great) is also “what makes them more vulnerable” and “they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” It’s this very vulnerability that make us fans able to connect with Billy in ways that most other frontman would never know. I’m not sure if Billy’s watched Brene’ Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability (I hope he has!), but it’s an excellent reminder that “shame is the fear of disconnection” and that, no matter the past, we must “fully embrace vulnerability in order to make connection happen.” THIS is why the music of Augustines is SO powerful, and why Billy has received fan letters from people proclaiming that their music has cured grief and prevented suicide. There are not many bands whose emotions are brimming so close to the surface (ready to boil over) that you can nearly taste their pain. Despite everything that makes us fragile humans, Augustines reminds us that DREAMS DO COME TRUE. Their music is the very vessel that carries people forward through hardship and helps them harness the strength to “rise ye (own) sunken ship.”

It was not until I first saw Augustines at The Lexington (150 capacity) in London for an impromptu pre-album release show (selling out in 4 min), that I finally understood what it feels like to RISE, Augustines’ style. I remember that night so clearly because it was such a rat race to get to the venue and I almost did not make it. After an exhausting 12+ hr day (no food/drink) of injecting/imaging mice as the mad scientist, the music junkie kicked into full gear and I was off in a mad dash to arrive on time. Profusely dripping with sweat as a entered the door, I heard Billy’s voice upstairs realized that they had ALREADY STARTED. With panic mode soon kicking in, I became flooded with adrenaline and somehow (it’s sill all a bit hazy to me), I dodged through the crowd like a dark phantom in the night and was able to glide along the perimeter walls before magician-ing myself to the front. This scrappy, lil’ Italian ain’t no rookie, and although I normally wouldn’t be so rude, it was AUGUSTINES, and I had a HARD DAY. The fact that I even MADE IT there was shocking, so I wasn’t about to TWINKLE TOE in. If I got there, I was GETTING TO THE FRONT. And a sweet spot at the left corner of the stage (facing front) is where I landed. (like A BOSS) 😛

I thank EVERY HIGHER POWER out there, because that show was one of the most blistering, raw, cathartic performances from a rock group that I HAD EVER SEEN. (I see tons of bands). Seriously UNREAL on SO MANY LEVELS. Although I missed Augustines‘ opening song of Headlong into the Abyss–which is a real shamed because I love shouting along the chorus (“Call the police, go ahead call your shrink…Call whoever you want but I won’t stop the car…Call the police, go ahead call your priest…Call whoever you want, call in the National Guard”)–I was there for the full rundown of Chapel Song, one of my favorites from their debut album, ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships.’ Rob’s opening drums remind me of a racing heart beat, while Eric’s vacillating chords remind me of an apprehensive mind– both of which are very fitting for a song about a man standing indecisive on his wedding day:

“Well there goes my girl
Into the chapel
Now she’s walking down the aisle
And it feels just like a mile
And I shake shake shake like a leaf
And I’m lyin’ lyin’ lyin’ through my teeth.”

Sung out with desperation and inner rebellion, Billy’s brutally honest vocals will have you feeling his every inch of emotion. The same goes for the line in Augustine when he pleads, “Keep your head up kid, I know you can swim, But ya gotta move your legs” (love the trailing guitar part), and when he shouts (my personal favorite), “New York City can go to hell!” I am always wondering if the “kid” he sings about is himself; if so, then Juarez helps explain why it might not be so easy to keep his head up: “Lord I see red…and I think my Daddy’s dead…Lord I see red and I’m prayin on my bed…I got a drunk for a mother…Got a saint for a brother.” Also early in the lineup that night was Cruel City, one of the first new songs delivered to the audience that night. This one was devoted to NYC, and Billy describes the meaning behind its name: “We did 255 shows over 23 countries for the last record, and I would come back beaten to a pulp…and I would get back to New York and there would be all these honking horns, and ‘Fuck You Buddy’, it was all really rough. I couldn’t relax; I would walk down the street feeling tense.” Although you might expect this tension to transpire into a harsh, angry song, it’s quite the opposite. Cruel City feels more upbeat than the others on the new album, and it has a distinct levity to it – a lightheartedness that can be attributed the influence of West African rythyms. Eric learned many new styles after studying music in Ghana, and the bouncy beats he brought back definitely give Cruel City its resilience: “Hey, I miss your skin…I still reach for you in the dark.”

As Billy looks out the crowd with his “weary” green eyes (although they did not play Weary Eyes that night), you can’t help feel compassion for him in a real and personal way. This ‘my heart feels your heart’ compassion is most evident during You Got Nothing to Lose But Your Head when he shouts at the top of his lungs: “Have you ever felt lonely?…Like your hollow heart is hanging in the wind…Your black lungs can’t breath…You got nothing to lose but your head.” But, the verse that really had my heart sinking to the pit of my stomach and on the verge of tears is:

“Have you ever lost someone,
Screamed Holy Mary down the hall
Or cried against the steering wheel,
and hated every mirror you ever saw.
Have you reached out in a cold cold night,
Waved goodbye into headlights,
Thought you were wrong your whole life,     (slayed)
The day you found true love…” 

That first line about losing someone really hits home, as my best friend lost her father just over a year ago to cancer (horrible). But, instead of using his emotional carnage to harness sympathy, Billy uses it as a sort of SOS to rescue those still consumed by grief. “This song is about “the realization that now is the time. Gone are the days of wandering around waiting for that right time. There is no right time, so go — ya got nothing to lose but your head,” he says. It’s clear that he’s convinced the entire audience of this when he has them all belting out the last chorus: “HEY! You gotta get me outta here…Running circles in my brain.” Billy got so carried away that he actually LOST HIS HEAD and plummeted into the drums during the closing of the song. Funny thing was, Rob CONTINUED TO PLAY the symbols over Billy’s head to end the song, and immediately after –once climbing out the drum mess— Billy says to the crowd all nonchalantly, “Well THAT was a bit unnecessary…” HAHA. We all enjoyed the academy award winning performance. x

Another song where we feel compassion for Billy is in Hold On To Anything, when he holds up his hand ups as if being resurrected and wails: “Holes in my hands, can’t hold onto anyone…Can’t hold onto anyone…Soooo, call you friends…Cause I can’t hold onto anyone….hands full of holes.” Although the lyrics are a bit oppressive, the triumphant trombone of Al Hardiman keeps us clinging on, and we can’t NOT join Billy when he roars “YEEE–EEAH!” throughout. Al Hardiman is not a full-time Augustines member, but he joins them on some of their tours and it was a real treat to have him along that night at the Lexington. “He’s a very talented artist who we have a strong connection with,” explains Eric. “He’ll play trombone and sing, and play keyboards as well. We decided, with the nature of the music that we made on this record, that we wanted someone else to come out for the journey with us, because the walkabout hasn’t stopped, now that we’re learning to play these songs live. So as we go out into America and Europe and the rest of the world, this idea of a walkabout, of finding yourself, is going to carry on, and Al’s going to be joining us, for however long it lasts.” Not only did Al play trombone for some of the songs, but he also played cello for Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), a song whose very lyrics serve as the key mission statement for the band: “To RISE up from some dirty ashes.” Eric’s opening piano instantly dissipated any heaviness I was carrying around with me that day, and I felt a thousand times lighter as I joined Billy in singing:

“It’s the same people
Just different faces
All lost in a fog
And we could disappear just as easy
And I’m already gone
To rise up from some dirty ashes,      (YES))
To put away all our sobs
And now we’re choking on the years
But this is not your fault…
It’s the city of brotherly love…” 

Having been born in West Philadelphia and raised just outside, I very much commiserate with other’s who’ve faced the austerity/turmoil of this rough city. Although I could never move back after moving to the West Coast (I’ve surely left my heart in San Francisco), I do appreciate where I came from, the dirt and the roots. Philly’s cultivated in me a natural scrappiness/toughness that is unparalleled to many (we don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and we often ‘hustle’ to get our way), and so I thoroughly enjoyed belting out “Soak your scars in the ocean…YEEE-AH!’ with the rest of the crowd. Chills all over my body for this one, cause you know the scars that Billy refers to RUN DEEP. And to have this song bleed even more emotion with Al’s stunning cello howling in the background?…DEAR GOD.

But for me, the most moving moment in the show –one the evoked the strongest visceral sense of sincerity–was when Billy described his disbelief of the show’s record 4-min sellout: “Four minutes to walk to the subway that used to take me to my last shitty job, two and a half to three years ago; Four minutes to tie the boots that would take me to that subway; Four minutes to queue for coffee before starting the job I had before Augustines…and…FOUR MINUTES TO SELL OUT THIS ONE OFF UK GIG.” (heart racing as if it might come through my chest!) This same thread of appreciation and devotion reminded me of Billy’s comment in an previous interview: “I think that art gets really good when you need to do it…I could drive a truck again, and I’d survive, but my soul wouldn’t survive. I need this music for my soul to make sense.” GOD I love this frontman and THIS BAND. Billy’s voice and lyrics are like a lifeline to the heart, and his live performances are concrete evidence of this NEED for music. He recently elaborated: “Music, some people enjoy it…blah blah…but something interesting happens when you need it…I NEED IT…I need music…music has made me become a better person…I just kept playing guitar and it gave me focus…I couldn’t afford a therapist, and my guitar and my heart and my band mates, it’s allowed me to not completely destroyed by some of the things that happened.”

And with survival often being the mother of invention, this need for music sparked the very FLAME that would become Augustines—who rose from the ashes of Billy and Eric’s previous group, Pela (which broke up in 2009). Billy and Eric were joined by British drummer, Rob Allen, and together they grew immensely as they ignited the ashes of Pela to a new success. Eric says, “As individuals, we hit rock bottom after our dream of becoming musicians evaporated with Pela’s demise. We started drinking the pain away and gave up on mostly everything.” But, they DIDN’T GIVE UP. Using Pela’s defeat as sort of a fresh stimulus to create their debut alum, ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships.’ The very crux of that album was the loss/longing that deteriorated Billy as he suffered the death of his brother (James) to suicide and his mother (a schizophrenic) to a drug overdose.

“During that record (Rise Ye Sunken Ships),” Eric explains, “we spoke openly about a deeply personal time period in our lives, especially Billy’s.” Eric, Rob, and Billy all became each other’s therapists and wound-healers, reminding me of a quote I once heard from a famous rock climber: “Experiences that require that much struggle and involve that much raw human emotion, really expose us. When you’re that exposed, you can’t help but either love or hate the people you’re with. It just happens that way. When you’re rubbed raw, your partners are going to be salt in your wound, or they’re going to be Bandaids. (love this) Together, Augustines was able to transform this tragic past into emotional emancipation— emancipation from pain endured by others with similar tragedy. Their struggles only built them a stronger warrior, adding more metal to their armor. They’d beaten off every unfortunate circumstance thrown their way, spinning every negative into a positive, and eventually shouting this message to the world with renewed spirit and vitality. “By the end of that tour,” explains Allen, “we had people at festivals dancing and singing words back to us. It was incredible. I don’t think we were fully expecting that. But by the end of it, it was so inspiring that, after two and a half years, we were able to look at the past with a positive attitude. And that’s really what this new record is about – capturing those feelings and positive energy. It made us a unit. It made us a band.”

The positive reaction and excitement from Augustines first album (Augustines) ended up overpowering the tragedy and darkness that inspired it, and they realized that they wanted to feed off that excitement. The new album doesn’t deal with the despair of the first,” Billy said. Instead, it’s about the excitement that he, Eric and Rob felt as they grew the band from the ashes of another project and made it its own success. After playing >250 shows in 2011, they feel they’ve become better live performers, and have enjoyed the fans’ reciprocation of their on-stage passion. “For me,” says Eric, “the core of the record is the concept of a walkabout. Going on a journey to find– re-find–yourself after going through a life changing experience. What do you do when you make it through the other side?  When you can confidently say that you’ve worked through the tragedy? When your life actually starts to mirror the belief you have in yourself?” It’s an album of rebirth, renewal, and regeneration, as well as growth, exploration, and moving on from the past. Robs adds: “The whole point is finding who you are and finding yourself, taking in everything that happened and moving on. Because by the end of it, we felt so many positive vibes and we wanted to put that into the record. There are loads of big sing-alongs and choruses, and it’s all because, when we were playing, we’d get that back from the crowds and it was so inspirational for us. It was a wonderful feeling and we wanted to make sure that got put onto the record.”

For Billy, finding himself and moving on from the past meant to re-visit it (old schools, old teachers) and to visit places FAR from “home”: Turkey, Mexico, Kenya, Alaska. My good friend Allie once told me that you “never know what ‘home’ is until you travel away from it,” and I couldn’t agree more. Before playing Walkabout at the Lexington that night (yes, I definitely went on a tangent), Billy talked about how he was unsure where “home” was, and so he decided to do a “walkabout” and explore the world. He drove his motorcycle all across the States, up to Alaska (“exploring isolated territory of caribou and dogsled packs”), and even went as far as Turkey, Mexico and Kenya (“I played the demo of ‘Cruel City’ to Kenyans in Kenya”). He made everyone laugh with his witty story, but soon these giggles became tears as he wailed this melancholy majestic ballad in stride with Eric’s beautiful piano (during the beginning and end):

“Into the arms of the sea,
Where my tide had carried me,
I walked out of the waves,
To be quiet with storms inside.”   (slayed)

While I do love ALL of the songs on the new album (Augustines), Walkabout –the albums’ key track– strikes a special chord in me. Although I didn’t flee Brooklyn and ride a motorcycle down to Mexico and up to Alaska like Billy, I did leave California for international work and have been traveling around Europe (17 countries in 15 months) in search of new adventure, paying close attention to where I could see myself calling “home.” Walkabout was released right about when I needed to start making some hard fast moves regarding my decision to stay in London (or go back home), and I can’t help but tear up every time Billy roars “COME ON HOME” during the middle. And “roar” means ROAR– Billy feels every word and relives every moment of every lyric that he vocalizes on stage, and YOU feel it too. Knowing this, he asked the audience after Walkabout“Was that too much?” This apprehension reminded me of something I heard Billy discuss in an interview: “If I’m not mistaken, life aches…It’s like when I hear flamenco, I like it when those women go [he imitates a wail]. I didn’t wake up one day and go, ‘Hey, I’m going to sing like I’m nearly crying’. It’s just that that’s how it makes me feel.” Life sometimes DOES ache, and although we often travel (“walkabout”) to make sense of this life, travel too, can hurt. I quote Anthony Bourdain: “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

Aside from Walkabout, the other standout track to me is Now You are Free, and I only just found out that it was previously considered for the album’s title: “When we started working on this record it was called ‘Now You Are Free’. Because when you invest all your time and heart and passion into getting somewhere and overcoming obstacles and finding a sense of peace and you finally get there, you’re free to do whatever you want. We’re free to finally prove ourselves to people and live life the way it should be,” Eric says. Adding to this, Billy comments, “You’re free to walk the walk you always said you could walk.” Now You Are Free is one of those universal songs that most ANYONE can relate to and make sense of in their own unique way. Everyone has ghosts from their past that they need to “let go,” and so when Billy belted out this ballad, we couldn’t help throw our fists in the air and belt along too:

“You got to let go
Let go all of your ghosts
You got to let go
Or more will come around…
Alright, now go easy on yourself..
Alright, now you are free…”

As if that verse didn’t satisfy your inner rockstar, the next one would. Fast-forwarding from the Lexington gig to the much larger gig at KOKO (a few months later), I lucidly recall my anxious anticipation as the entire crowd (1,500+ screaming fans) shouted “WHAT AM I RUNNIN’ FROM?” over and over –echoing Billy in a call-and-response kind of manner– right before the highly climatic response of: “Myself and everyone….LET GO!” Hands down one of the most CATHARTIC musical experiences of my life. And to top it off, Billy introduced the song with some inspirational words that will forever stay present in my mind: “THIS IS YOUR FUCKING LIFE!…Don’t give up on your shit I promise.” I DID have ghosts, but now they’re gone. x

I’ve always found that the most powerful way to SAVOR is to share feelings and events with others as they unfold. This is EXACTLY what makes Augustines different from any of the other bands I’ve seen. They SHARE THE STAGE with their fans. “Action for me is in the crowd,” Billy says. “If we can minimize the distance between the artist and the crowd and make it for more of crowd participation, then that’s really something.” Eric adds, to us “It’s not (about) musicians up on a pedestal…The audience is singing, the audience is dancing, they’re all making music together…That’s what we’ve been trying to do our whole lives as musicians, but only recently have we been able to embrace that.” On the recent Augustines tour in particular, the band had developed a reputation for playing their encore (~5 songs) IN THE CROWDS, some of which are also IN PARKING LOTS. I mean, you can’t get anymore public than that. When asked to comment on this, Billy explains: “This is us handing it over to those people that sang our songs back to us all over the world…It’s all about being inclusive…Interaction is the lifeblood of what we think music is.” This inclusiveness is what sucks us fans into the Augustine vortex and has us roaring in a vehement sing-a-long to their lyrics, gasping for air at the end of each verse. You feel exhausted at the end, but it’s an exhaustion that you crave because it’s made you heal. The best medicine out there.

New Drink for the Old Drunk was one of those songs that they played IN THE CROWD that night at the Lexington, and in fact, Billy was standing RIGHT in front of me. (Dying). There are many caustic lines in that song, but this one always stands out: “And you cringe as you binge to forget how you hate…All the doom in the pitiful room you create. Wow. Aside from New Drink for the Old Drunk, Augustines later added The Avenue, Weary Eyes, and East Los Angeles, as songs they would play in the crowd as part of their encore. They also learned some cover songs, like Guns of Brixton by the Clash, which they played at KOKO. That KOKO gig was MENTAL, and while The Avenue was played on one of the theater balconies, the rest of the encore was played with Billy, Eric, and Rob surfing (pretty much) in the middle of a SEA OF FANS. This highly anticipated gig surely escalated into one night of EPIC MUSICAL ESCAPE, and I could not be more captivated by a band who’s honesty and pure passion is more tangible than most bands will ever know. By the end of the show, every fan looked as if they had been spellbound by the Augustine fever. I nearly died when Rob, a London native (usually very shy), shouted to the crowd with his hands raised high in the air, “LONDAAAAN, you MAKE ME PROUD.” Yup, THESE is these are the moments I live for. Like Billy was saying all night: “This is your FUCKING LIFE!”

And if there is ONE SONG, one song that Billy breathes life into MOST, it’s Book of James. He’s commented before that Book of James was the most meaningful song of the first album: “I think anybody that’s a writer… well, sometimes the closest distance between what you want to say and how it’s being perceived, sometimes that can be a big gap or it can be very immediate: right from your heart, out of your hands, into a page and the person gets it. I think that happened in that song. I needed it to happen in my life that kind of straightened me out. It’s kind of an interesting thing that you can set a four-minute piece of music and it can change your life. I needed to say some things. I needed to reach out to somebody that wasn’t treated well. I needed to restore some innocence to somebody who I didn’t think it was his/her fault. It gave me a platform to move through the process of adjusting what had happened. It was a bit of a gift. I’m really proud of it.” As a listener, this song encourages you to be with Billy as he grieves his brother’s loss and lives to honor it—to be somewhere between life (hope) and death (fear): Here lies, my green eye, rolled back in my head…but they’re ALIVE.” (SLAYED) And, if that doesn’t lather your skin with chills, this next verse will: “And all these words can all get spoken…just know we tried…and you’re forgiven.” (could be a Hail Mary) They extended the instrumental intro to Book of James that night at KOKO in order to build up rapture and lure us in even more. Billy has definitely made the legacy of his brother live in him during this song. That’s obvious. For me, Book of James was the ONE SONG in particular that kept my legs moving and had me cross that finish line for my first marathon (Gran Canaria) a week after the Lexington gig. Each Augustines song (especially Don’t Look Back, Kid You’re On Your Own, and This Aint’ Me) contributed a mile to that marathon, but Book of James found my ‘SUPER HUMAN.’

There is no denying that Augustines has changed me for the better, and that their WALKABOUT into my life came at a perfect time. Just like they give it THEIR ALL at each and every gig (playing every second as it if was their last), I wanted to give MY ALL in writing about them. This review had brewing in my bloodstream for a WHILE –ever since I first saw them at the Lexington back in January– But, it wasn’t something that I wanted to rush. I wanted to exhaust all of my efforts to convey my appreciation for this band, and to lead others to do the same. I find that the most beautiful/extraordinary things in life are often the most difficult to convey, so this review was surely a challenge. If you’ve stood next to me at an Augustines’ show, then you would UNDERSTAND. Some emotions, feelings, and experiences just CAN’T be transcribed, and so my best advice would be to GO SEE FOR YOURSELF. Every Augustine gig has been branded in my memory as a ‘moment I’ve LIVED for,’ moments that DO last a lifetime. “This is your FUCKING LIFE.” The music and story of Augustines has given us SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN, and for more than just a moment. Don’t forget to RISE UP in helping to make their story heard.  🙂

I won’t be able to make their Roundhouse gig in Dec cause I’ll be in Melbourne, Australia, so I need to SAVOR EVERY MOMENT at GREEN MAN festival this weekend! Augustines will play on Friday, August 15th. This also happens to be BILLY’S BIRTHDAY!! (with ERIC’S BIRTHDAY the next night!) WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!! I mean, REALLY. We BETTER make sure we HELP THEM CELEBRATE!  xxx

All of my pictures and videos from their gigs can be found below.

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Augustines– The Lexington (Jan 21, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Augustine

City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia):

Walkabout

Book of James:

New Drink for the Old Drunk:

PICTURES:

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Augustines– KOKO (April 14, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Walkabout

Nothing to Lose But Your Head

The Avenue:

Now You are Free:

Hold On To Anything: 

Book of James

PICTURES:

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Augustines– Great Escape (May 8, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Book of James:

 

Ben Howard: “So happy hearted in the warmth…Free as a bird that flies.”

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters of all time who I discovered waaaaay before (from my buddy in the UK) he was known in the states (now a global icon). So glad I got to see him twice (Sasquatch music festival and The Independent) before he blew up in the states. His story is very much a Cinderella one, and it’s cool to think the he was a hard-core surfer (Cornwall’s coast) that never thought his campfire guitar sessions with friends at the beach could ever lead to global RockSTARDOM. We have London’s independent record label, Communion, for scooping him up early and helping him develop international success. He’s now already headlined many major festivals (Bestival, Latitude, Green Man, GLASTONBURY…) and has won many critically acclaimed awards all over the world. His fan base has grown IMMENSELY since seeing him back in the states (May 2012), and so seeing him a year later at Summer Stampede (London) and Green Man (Brecon Beacon, Wales) was a much different experience. In fact, I met two girls up at Sumer Stampede who came all the way from SWEDEN to see Ben (since their Peace and Love festival was cancelled). People from ALL OVER THE WORLD to become “so happy hearted in the warmth….free as a bird that flies.”

VIDEOS:

Only Love:

Promise:

Black Flies:

Old Pine:

PICTURES:

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Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard had been on my radar for over a year and so to see him TWICE IN ONE WEEK at Sasquatch and The Independent was absolutely SURREAL. He is seriously one of the most TALENTED and unbelievably HUMBLE musicians I’ve seen. Last night was even further confirmation that I am in love with his music, and everything he represents. And better yet that I got to share it with Jen!  🙂

He opened the show with Depth Over Distance, an unreleased song that showcases his lap top percussion-style guitar skills. (SO GOOD, and wish I got a video!)….Another unreleased song that I love of his is called Soldier. MAGICAL, just magical…

VIDEOS:

Old Pine:

Only Love:

“Untitled”:

The Wolves:

Everything:

Black Flies:

Keep Your Head Up (Part 1):

Keep Your Head Up (Part 2):

Promise:

The Fear:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den: “I didn’t know when I started runnin’…I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”

Bear’s Den– Nice N’ Sleazys, Glasgow

(Feb 10, 2013)

I first saw this London-based indie/folk trio (Andrew Davie, Kev Jones, Joey Haynes) with my friend Mairi at a popular, tiny venue in Glasgow called Nice N’ Sleazy’s. We we pretty much ON STAGE for that gig (super close up), and simply mesmerized by their beautiful folk ballads, especially Bad BloodPompeiiA Year Ago Today, and Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away. When I first heard Bad Blood that night, I knew it would become one of those few (and very powerful) LIFE ANTHEMS that I would revisit on a regular basis. An then to later hear a stripped down reincarnation of it at the Village Underground (see video below) with no amps or mics was pure divinity. Brutally honest lyrics that I can remember always remember in a heartbeat: “Forgive me for I am not acting myself, I’m just trying to rid all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.” 

It was at this Glasgow gig that I first met the Bear’s Den drummer, Kevin Jones, who also happens to be the founder of the record label and music community Communion (along with Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons). I saw him again at their next London gig (St. Stephen’s Church) a month later and ended up sitting next to his cousin! Haha. It really is a small world when you consider the loyal fan base of many UK bred bands. 

I later went on to see Bear’s Den SIX more times, my favorite gig being the one at Village Underground. This was right after the release of their new EP, ‘Sahara,’ and  the title track was my anthem for a good month. Sooooooo freaking good. Opening as a slow, mournful ballad, this song suddenly breaks out into a joyful, folk-drive shuffle that oozes all sorts of empowerment. YES. Hands down my favorite track on the new Bear’s Den EP, ‘Without/Within.’

“All of my life
I wasn’t honest enough
and I thought I would never get over you.
I’ll never get over you.

You said that I’d always feel alone
Well it’s the life that I chose
You said I could never be happy with anyone
Well I found looooove. 
I found looooooove.”

I saw this gig was my friend Belle, another music junkie who had first spotted the incredible talent of Andrew Davie when he was the frontman for a Cherbourg in 2010. Again, SMALL WORLD! Good music doesn’t just come and go. It sneaks back up on you with a vengeance! 😉

Here are some of my favorite Bear’s Den lyrics that still slay (or claw) me:

“Sever the ties, Cut me up. Fill up the hole that I tried and I tried and I tried to fill.         
Forgive me for I am not acting myself, but these B’s in my breath have to come out…
I’m just trying to drain all this bad blood. All this baaaaad blood.”   (soooo good)
*

“Don’t let the sun steal you away,
Don’t let your mind speak louder than your heart.”  –Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heart Away

*

“I didn’t know when I started runnin’
I’d be runnin’ my whole life.”  –Sophie
(very relevant to my  nomadic postdoc life right now)

*

Check out the live videos and pictures of the SEVEN  (insane, I know) Bear’s Den gigs I’ve seen (Nice N’ Sleazys, St. Stephen’s Church, Great Escape, Bushstock, Village Underground, Green Man, Electric Brixton). You need to see these BEARS then they come GROWLIN’ INTO YOUR TOWN. 🙂

 VIDEOS:

Brother:

Hard Life:

Stubborn Beast:

Pompeii:

Don’t Let the Sun Steal Your Heat Away:

Isaac:

The Writing’s On The Wall:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– St. Stephen’s Church, London (March 20, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

 PICTURES:

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Getting myself in the BEAR DEN.  😉

Bear’s Den– Great Escape (May 18, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Bushstock (June 1, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Davy (new song?):

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Green Man (May 18, 2013)

Motherhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqn-wG2-fIg

Isaachttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qypTDZGHvSU

Bad Bloodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXdNJyQwUyM

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Village Underground (Nov 6, 2013)

 VIDEOS:

Sophie:

Writings On The Wall:

Sahara II:

Bad Blood:

PICTURES:

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Bear’s Den– Brixton Electric (May 13, 2013)

 

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