It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 18th – Jul 24th 2018

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX Wednesday July 18th The King Billy, Northampton Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who…

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX
Wednesday July 18th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who trade in rockabilly/surf-flavoured garage punk. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

SHARKTEETH GRINDER + DRINSIPA + ACOLYTES + LA FOLIVORA
Thursday July 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The gang are back. Another ‘core night; that being mathcore, hardcore, synthcore. ‘Core blimey, it’s gonna be sweaty! Doors 8pm, free entry

DK + SEVERE + BIG G + MORE [LAY IT DOWN]
Thursday July 19th
The Lab, Northampton
After the immense success of the launch night Lay It Down brings NN another instalment of the rap, spoken word, and singing showcase. The talent is strong, go check it out. Doors 8pm, free entry

CORNERSTONE
Thursday July 19th
The King Billy, Northampton
Melodic rock from Austria. Regular festival players, in 2016 the band released their third studio album Reflections. Doors 9pm, free entry

SCREAM BLUE MURDER + THE WEIGHT OF ATLAS + DARKEST DAYS + THE CREATURE WITHIN
Friday July 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Headliners are a four-piece metalcore band from Coventry. Also: Scottish emo, East Midlands metalcore, and NN weird grunge-punk. Doors 7.30pm, £6 entry

STORMBRINGER + HAEMA + REDNECK JESUS
Friday July 20th
The White Hart, Corby
A band on a roll after many successful years of gigging [including shows at Download and Bloodstock], Stormbringer are still plugging latest album Born A Dying Breed. Support from ShoeCounty industrial groove merchants and Corby stoners. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

BUG JAM FESTIVAL
Friday July 20th – Saturday July 21st
Santa Pod Raceway, Podington
A celebration of all things VW, they have five arenas of live music and DJs. Friday night sees The South [a Beautiful South spin-off band] performing, whilst Saturday welcomes Noisettes, Doctor & The Medics, and Killa Kela to the various stages. Weekend tickets are £70 with a VW, or £90 without

HANNAH FAULKNER + TIM JON BROPHY + REBECCA RYAN + THE BLUE FOUNDATION
Friday July 20th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
An acoustic showcase of talent from around the county congreagte in Kettering. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

SIXFIELDS ROCK FESTIVAL
Saturday July 21st – Sunday July 22nd
Duston Mill Sixfields, Northampton
Born in 2016, it consisted of a one day event with a trailer stage and a small beer tent.​ In 2017 it expanded drastically and the organisers consolidate its position on the rock calendar in this its third year. 18 bands over two days, including Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Stormbringer, White Coast Rebels, Over The Influence, Spreading The Disease, Empyre, Via Dolorosa, Numb [Saturday], Austin Gold, Sacrilege, Satan’s Empire, Family Of Noise, and The Hero Dies First [Sunday]. Gates 11am: £15 for a single day, £25 for both. Tickets here

THE SOAPGIRLS
Saturday July 21st
The Prince of Wales, Kettering
On their ‘Stinks Like Punk’ tour 2018, the duo return to Kettering with their own brand of punk rock and merchandise. The SoapGirls provide unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses. Performing continuously, these fearless French Born sisters Millie and Mie have slayed countless countries and earned a dedicated group of follower known as the ‘The SoapSuds’ who follow them all over the UK and Europe. Doors 9pm, free entry

SKIRT + THE BARRATTS + MUNDAYS + TOUCAN
Saturday July 21st
The Hut, Corby
The Corby indie punk trio throw their own birthday bash, with their besties on board too. It’s at the reopened Hut too, which might well be cause for further celebration. There’s an after party too, with Flash Peasants playing. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

THE TOUCH
Saturday July 21st
The Three Cocks, Kettering
More live entertainment from the 80s rock stlyings of The Touch. Doors 9pm, free entry

 

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Founder member of Brian Jonestown Massacre plays Northampton

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September. Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists…

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September.

Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists when the band formed in 1990. His latest project is Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings, which blends blues, country and psychedelia into a Lee Hazlewood/Serge Gainsbourg-style mould. Hear ‘Ghost Ghost’ below.

Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings play The Lab on Sunday September 2nd. Tickets are now on sale.

https://www.matthollywoodandthebadfeelings.com

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New Music Friday: Wishing Wolf

Kettering emo rockers Wishing Wolf have a new single with accompanying video out, entitled ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’. The five-piece – Danny Ray Holmes on vocals, Ben Essam and…

Kettering emo rockers Wishing Wolf have a new single with accompanying video out, entitled ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’. The five-piece – Danny Ray Holmes on vocals, Ben Essam and Kyle on guitar, Jazza Wallace on bass and James Angelo Moodie on drums – have been tearing up the local hardcore scene these past couple of years. It was time New Boots got the lowdown.

How did you get together?
Danny: We got together early 2017. Wishing Wolf was originally just me and a few acoustic tracks that I threw together, and while I loved doing that, I wanted to take it in a new direction with more energy, I was listening to a lot of pop punk at the time, and really wanted to throw my own take on it. So I asked Moodie, Jazza and at the time Skye to join, who were all happy to jump on. Moodie then introduced me to Kyle, and he jumped on too. After a few member changes we now have Bessie on lead guitar, and Kyle on rhythm after leaving for a short time.

How would you describe your sound?
Bessie: We take a lot of inspiration for a whole multitude of artists and I think that is reflected in our sound. I don’t think there is a single genre we fit into. We speak amongst ourselves about it and people ask us at shows, ‘what genre are Wishing Wolf?’, and we just say ‘our own’.

Who would you say are your main influences?
Danny: We’re influenced by a lot of different bands, being that all of us listen to a diverse range of music. Most of the songs start from me and the guys add in the their own touches at the end. Our most obvious ones are the older post-hardcore/emo bands such as The Used, My Chemical Romance, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, as well as newer bands like Neck Deep and State Champs. There’s a lot of lead parts as well, since most of us have come from metal bands in the past, and I’m also really into the orchestral sounds of music, like strings and pianos, that I like to throw in too.

What was the reaction like to last year’s ‘True Eyes’ EP?
Moodie: We felt that even though we didn’t have much of a following at the time we did have quite a few positive reactions from various people, whether that was from people buying our EP, or just leaving good reviews for us. On the build up to the release we were all quite anxious about whether people would actually enjoy the music we created. However our current rhythm guitarist Kyle wasn’t in the band when the EP was released but was still good mates with us all. So it was helpful to have someone on the other side. As for the feedback from social media it was nice too hear that people really enjoyed it, as well as others giving constructive criticism on certain things the audience would like too hear/see.

Tell us about the new single.
Moodie: We were all nervous and excited about it. The EP had a mixture of different sounds and ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’ was the first song we’ve released with much more of an established sound. We decided to go further in the direction of emo rather than the pop punk songs from the EP. From the get go we were nervous about people’s reactions. Thankfully people gave us some great feedback! The reaction was overwhelming and overall made us very proud of the release. We felt this song was the first one to really put us out there and getting gigs and interviews like this off of the back of it only continued the good vibes.

What are your live shows like?
Kyle: We certainly aim to keep a nice balance with our live show, of course as musicians it’s important for us to play to the best of our ability, however as fans it’s important for us to put on a great show. We put a lot of energy into our live show and that’s because we love doing it. We take a lot of inspiration from some of the classic bands of the genre in terms of both music and stage presence – Paramore, My Chemical Romance, The Used – as well as new bands in the scene such as State Champs and Neck Deep.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Jazza: We would say we are part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, although we think we have a unique sound from other pop punk/emo bands from around here. We are very close with a select few local bands including Last Chance and The Young and Restless; we love to play shows with those guys. So far we’ve been lucky enough to work with a few local promoters as well including Metal Wave Promotions, Rocked Up and HOP Events. We also love putting our own shows on: choosing who we want to play with and helping out some of the smaller local bands that are just starting out, for example PT-33, who killed it on their first ever gig!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Danny: It’s hard for us to really say. Just the joy of jamming together at practice and gigs, and just generally hanging out is the best part of being in a band. It’s essentially a second family when you’ve got the right chemistry. Releasing the music that we’ve got and playing all the shows we have up to this point is probably the most exciting things we’ve done, but we love just being a part of Wishing Wolf all the same.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Kyle: My Chemical Romance The Black Parade
Jazza: I Prevail Lifelines
Moodie: Panic! At the Disco A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Bessie: Polyphia Renaissance
Danny: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Don’t You Fake It

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Jazza: Play as many shows as we can and try to build a bigger fan base. We’d love to have the chance to play festivals in the future and have fans show up to our set and sing along with us. We’re also looking forward to bringing out a full album, so we would love to have the chance to make a tour or mini tour out of it when released.

As Long As You’re Here Tonight is out now via the usual platforms

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Enter Shikari announce Roadmender return as part of 28-date UK tour

Enter Shikari are heading back to the Roadmender in January as part of a huge 28 UK tour. Tickets for the show on Monday, January 28, go on sale this…

Enter Shikari are heading back to the Roadmender in January as part of a huge 28 UK tour.

Tickets for the show on Monday, January 28, go on sale this Friday at 9am and cost £25.

Frontman Rou Reynolds said: “Our most recent UK tours have been of the ‘eight or nine shows in arenas / big sheds’ variety, so we consciously wanted to switch it up a bit going into 2019.

“Enter Shikari have always kept dipping back into more intimate venues over the years, no matter how big our headline shows have become.

“That’s where we cut our teeth. The heat-sweat-and-visceral-human-connection of smaller gigs is every bit the equal of the impressive-scale-and-expensive-production of arena shows.

“We’ve never seen the latter as an evolution away from the former. They exist on opposite sides of the same coin for us.

“It’s also no secret that austerity and the looming potential disaster of Brexit have seen people having to be a lot more careful with how they spend their money.

“With things being what they are right now, it doesn’t seem fair for only those who can afford the travel to a major city for a night out (plus the inevitable other costs that go along with it) to be able to see a show.

“Playing 28 dates across the UK is our way of taking what we do back to as many people as possible, in the most intimate and direct way.”

Enter Shikari are currently in the midst of festival season which has seen them play to huge crowds at Germany’s Rock Am Ring / Rock Im Park and Vainstream festivals, Austria’s Novarock and Czech Republic’s Rock For People.

Tickets will be available from www.entershikari.com/shows

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 11th – Jul 17th 2018

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY Wednesday July 11th The Lab, Northampton A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band…

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY
Wednesday July 11th
The Lab, Northampton
A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band Birdeatsbaby, Mishkin Fitzgerald plays darkly tinged pianos ballads and melancholic alt-pop tunes.  Feline & Strange are a “theatrical punk” duo from Berlin with a powerful female voice, cello, piano and synths. And Corinne Lucy sings her melodic, “embarrassingly earnest” songs. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

BULLETS & OCTANE + LAST HOUNDS
Thursday July 12th
The White Hart, Corby
Southern Californians Bullets and Octane exploded onto the hard rock scene twenty year ago, and this year hit the road to support new album Waking Up Dead. Support from midlands hip-hop-infused punks. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

GEOFF CARNE & THE HATZ
Friday July 13th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blues rock duo with several albums to their name, including Get Close. Doors 9pm, free entry

STEREO SKULL + DEAF TRAP
Saturday July 14th
The Lab, Northampton
Last minute announcement: a celebration of NN noise from two locally-loved metal and alt-rock acts. Doors 7pm, free entry

LUKE CONCANNON
Sunday July 15th
Engine, Northampton
Formerly one half of Nizlopi, and one of Ed Sheeran’s closest pals, Luke Concannon is playing a “house concert” at the co-work space in Abington. Concannon had a number one single in 2005 with ‘JCB Song’. BYOB. Doors 6.30pm; it’s a ‘gift economy’ gig so you “pay what you think it’s worth”.

 

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Record review: Tom Grennan ‘Lighting Matches’

TOM GRENNAN Lighting Matches [Insanity/Sony] There’s something very endearing about the rise and rise of Tom Grennan. Firstly, five years ago he didn’t even play an instrument. Or consider himself…

TOM GRENNAN
Lighting Matches [Insanity/Sony]

There’s something very endearing about the rise and rise of Tom Grennan. Firstly, five years ago he didn’t even play an instrument. Or consider himself much of a singer. And like Richard Ashcroft before him he had a talent for football which almost took him on a different path. But then fate – and Chase & Status – intervened and boom; everyone wanted a piece of him. Confidence grew and he now carries that party-time swagger that thankfully is backed up with the talent.

The Bedford native has a rasping bluesmen voice that defines him as an artist. Musically he has a few different facades, largely reflecting who we works with on each song. Overall you’d probably categorise him as a sort of widescreen indie pop machine. His aim seems effortless and accomplished with a definitive joie de vivre. He’s the Harry Kane of pop! Not that the story of this album is purely one of joy. It’s triumph over adversity, as his words reflect a distressed young soul finding his way in a frightening big world. And who doesn’t relate to that? “I was made out of nothing, you were made out of gold” is one telling phrase on the ballad ‘Lucky Ones’.

Adam Gammage, Danny Connors and Tom Grennan on stage at Bedford Esquires

The album holds great interest for anyone connected to Northampton, as it contains the talents of two local luminaries. Danny Connors plays guitar, provides vocals and co-wrote recent single ‘Barbed Wire’, whilst Adam Gammage plays drums and percussion. They both tour with him too. It’s a terrific match-up, their chemistry clear to anyone from any of their recent live performances. In Fraser T Smith and Dan Grech he’s gone with producers who has crafted humongous hits for Adele, Stormzy, Plan B, Liam Gallagher and Tom Odell [to name just five]. The music is probably closer to a Blossoms though in structure – keeping it pop by focusing on a simple guitar or horn riff, and letting Grennan’s delivery take centre stage.

Almost everywhere you look here you will find gold. Opener ‘Found Out What I’ve Been Looking For’ is a bouncy anthem that will set the festivals alight this summer. ‘Royal Highness’, with its syncopated rhythms and inherent grit, repeats the Ibiza-soul trick that John Newman had going on fairly recently. ‘Barbed Wire’ displays a similar motif, making that retro-soul, horn-inflected sound comeback into the mainstream, just when it had seemed its time had passed. It should come with a warning: this song is likely to cause an outbreak of grinning and kitchen singalongs.

‘Aboard’ has a real maturity to it, Grennan promising not to “fuck around no more”. The band certainly don’t mess about with a tight arrangement that carries enough light and shade drama to make you think he’s a shoe-in for a  future Bond theme. The title track is another catchy yet bravely honest homage to his determination to strive for a better life. If it’s not the next single then heads need to roll somewhere – it will win over a million hearts from the first playback. ‘Sober’ is a touch Hollywood with it’s string parts darting everywhere, but still works out lovely as Grennan’s charm is undeniable. ‘Something in the Water’ was his debut release and reflects his initial soul balladry background. He’s outgrown that format now, but this number still contains the magnetism which bought the world to him.

Lighting Matches is not 100% fireproof though, which is no major surprise for an album that runs to a value-for-money 56 minutes. ‘Run In The Rain’ is Adele-saccharine cliche, ‘Lucky Ones’ can’t decide what it wants to achieve as it plods along alchemy-free [like late-period Oasis], and ‘I Might’ is singer-songwriter mundanity that he should have left on the cutting room floor. There’s always a worry that this collaborative creation-through-committee approach, so prevalent in modern music, might stifle the flow, but Grennan holds it all together even during the weaker moments. And even after all the dancefloor anthems the album puts forth he can leave you emotionally floored at the end, via his X-Factor-style offering ‘Sweet Hallelujah’.

It’s sixteen tracks feel like drinking stops on a big night out. They’ll be exultation and laughter, they’ll be a disagreement or two along the way, moments to think about packing it in. Then they’ll be redemption and hugs at the end. New Boots’ message to Tom is simple: nice one son, the next round is on us.

Words Phil Istine, photos David Jackson

Tom Grennan signing copies of his debut album at Bedford Esquires

 

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Record review: Tim Muddiman ‘Domino Blitz’

TIM MUDDIMAN Domino Blitz [Gun Street] Modern ShoeTown legend Muddiman grew up musically on Elvis first, before a New York electro and reggae phase took hold. In some way that’s…

TIM MUDDIMAN
Domino Blitz [Gun Street]

Modern ShoeTown legend Muddiman grew up musically on Elvis first, before a New York electro and reggae phase took hold. In some way that’s all you need to know in advance to get a grip around this often manic, sometimes debauched, and certainly never serene sophomore album from Muddiman. Once you throw in the knowledge that he has been obsessed by the twin beasts of Cave and Waits in more recent years, and that he shares a stage with Gary Numan for a ‘day job’, and the pieces all fall into place. A record this dense, claustrophobic and littered with ’80s references would only come from a musical magpie devouring these sonic worlds.

Muddiman’s first album, Paradise Runs Deeper from 2016, was a more lo-fi ‘straight’ alt-rock record, with the industrial edges that are still audible on the follow-up. But why try and fit in with the alt-rock world when you clearly have so much to say? And make no mistake, Domino Blitz is big on ideas. There’s a loose thread of a story of rock’n’roll redemption from the characters that inhabit this 21st Century version of the Blitz. It gives a voice to vice, to inner demons, and the battle to win them over.

The album opens, with a nod to Depeche Mode, in fine fettle via the glam stomp of ‘Broken Down Superstar’. It’s tempting to say it recalls Morrissey in his Your Arsenal pomp: tempting even though he is such a toxic touchstone right now, whose very name makes almost everyone wince. But it is accurate! Lead single ‘Get It On’ follows a similar path, adding some terrace anthem shouting bits. The rolling story of reprobates Muddiman eulogises about in the verses is nothing short of a call to arms. A reaction to the corporate takeover, the gentrification of iconic places like Soho. Unite and take over seems the order of the day.

The title track is a slow-burning post-punk electro throb, an apocalyptic theme tune in an album full of dark foreboding about where Western society has led us. ‘Summer Moon’ leaves little room for wriggle with lines like “I am the heroin inside your veins/A warm glow”; all-too-personal sorrow cast over elegiac guitar lines. ‘From the Hills’ is a cascading, 4am country-blues lament, something The Bad Seeds would have gone to town on back in the day. ‘Rat Ballads’ weaves similar magic, adding a cool ’60s jazz touch to the tale of Irish adventures in New York. It lacks a little focus, but that suits the story well one could argue. If that song dropped us off the ship and into the new world, then ‘White Dove’ takes us further south, into the desert badlands where anything can and will happen.

Domino Blitz lists a little musically around ‘Burn the Witches’, though it’s message is all true, railing at anti-immigration rhetoric that leads us to post-Brexit worlds. Where is the love, is all it asks. But the final one-two punch of ‘Clark Gable’ and ‘Out Of This World were worth waiting for; the former an urgent and hypnotic paean to learning from the mistakes of former relationships, and the last song ending on the most positive note possible. Out of the darkness comes truth and light, Muddiman preaches.

This album is magic and medicine, on a personal level for Muddiman and for the blessings of tortured souls throughout the land. If you sail the seven seas on the Domino Blitz and return to land in Northampton, there’s evidently a price to pay and lessons to learn. And, it seems, love to share.

Phil Istine

Domino Blitz is out now

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New Music Friday: Loose Tooth

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua…

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and
Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua Goff-directed video below, after reading this here interview about all the Loose things.

How/why/what/when did the project begin?
Adam: Loose Tooth began two and a half years ago. We’d all just come from bands that had drained us emotionally and needed something a little more honest and cathartic. We had started with no clear intentions, just hung out and wrote some music together. At first we were considering getting a singer but we were too tight-knit to add another member. We hope that desire for honesty comes through in the music.

How would you describe your sound?
Oli: We’re a rock band, there’s certain connotations that come with that we try to avoid when writing. We’re not trying to take the path of least resistance when writing, we push our abilities to come up with something that is hopefully interesting and different, whether that be off-kilter time signatures, chord progressions or scales. There’s a certain amount of depth invested with our writing style that we hope translates into music that interests and excites.

Who are your main influences? Musical and non-musical
Josh: I’ve got a bunch, musical influences include: And So I Watch You from Afar, Reuben, 65daysofstatic, Every Time I Die, Toe, The Cure, Father John Misty, Dillinger Escape Plan, Alkaline Trio, Interpol, Crowded House, Nine Inch Nails. Non-musical thinkers that inspire me are Henry Rollins and David Attenborough.
Oli: As a lyricist I always tried to follow the Martin Gore [Depeche Mode] school of thought, but found it to be disingenuous to myself. Since then I’ve taken to a more ‘kitchen sink’ lyrical style in the vein of Jamie Lenman, who is also a big musical influence.
Adam: My musical influences would be Story Of The Year, From First To Last, Underoath, Reuben and Every Time I Die. My non-musical inspiration would be my dad.

What’s the reaction been like to last year’s self-titled mini-album?
Josh: Really great; people are still discovering it and enjoying it. From the reactions we’ve had people seemed to enjoy the honesty. We left a lot of mistakes in and recorded it having not long written and learned the songs, so it came out quite raw I think. Nowadays with a lot of rock music having a serious level of sheen some listeners enjoyed something a bit grittier than usual.

Tell us about ‘Castles’.
Oli: ‘Castles’ is a really simple song: the chord progression churned around in my brain for a while, and that’s why most of the song is those four chords. I felt the lyrics should speak for themselves, so we took a stripped back approach and left all of the craziness for another day. It’s about the frustrations of modern working life, with external pressures to live a middle class existence, despite the fact the middle class has eroded. The ‘castles held up in the sky’ are just a mortgage, or they’re a yearly holiday, something the average low income worker may feel is out of their grasp. Not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder – why should they be denied a more comfortable life? We recorded the track with Jay Russell again at Parlour Studios. It’s super comfortable with Jay; he understands our weirdness and he’s a complete pro. The video we shot with Joshua Goff and it was done at at our Josh’s work yard where we rehearse weekly. We built the set and Joshua lit it wonderfully.

Is your record label – Undead Collective – and its roster a tight-knit community?
Adam: Undead Collective is a great group of people, we’re in contact most days and their support and advice beyond the remit of label responsibilities has been amazing. Currently there’s only three bands on the roster. We’re yet to meet the newest additions Seasonal, but we’ve chatted online and they’re great guys.

Would you consider your local scene something to be proud of? On the flipside, what’s your biggest frustration with it all?
Oli: Northampton is rich with talented musicians, the scene is definitely one to be proud of. Northampton can be grey and that can be oppressive, but go to The Lab, The Garibaldi or The Black Prince on a Friday night and you’ve got a few hours away from the desolation. I think our frustrations are more with ourselves rather than the scene, this goes for anywhere. Inclusion to scenes is always reliant on being charismatic and outgoing. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to us, so we try to be as personable as possible when networking but we’re quiet by nature. That doesn’t always endear yourself to people and ultimately that’s as important as putting on a killer show.

What has been your favourite band moment so far?
Oli: Probably just how many gigs we played last year. We just hired vans and shot off. It was a dream come true for me to finally feel like I was in a touring, hard-working band.
Josh: Everything about being in this band, but mainly writing and recording.
Adam: Playing a show in a rehearsal room in Wales.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Oli: Arc by Everything Everything
Josh: Braille by Palm Reader
Adam: Logic by Bobby Tarantino

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What solid plans do you have?
Oli: Our burning desire is to one day be able to turn up anywhere in the UK and play to a guaranteed 50 or so people. That’s enough for us. Now ‘Castles’ is out we’ll be thinking about the next single, we’ve got a lot to do until then but we’re excited about the future. For now though it’s all coming up Loose Tooth.

Castles is out now via the usual platforms

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Record review: Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra

TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA [self-released] Orchestral arranger. Bookseller. Gravedigger. As careers go that’s not a bad palette of experience from which to…

TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA
TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA [self-released]

Orchestral arranger. Bookseller. Gravedigger. As careers go that’s not a bad palette of experience from which to paint your tales of humankind. And Tom Rose has done them all. As leader of this Northamptonshire five-piece twisted blues ensemble he’s learnt to weave a consistently absorbing narrative on the freaks and weirdos that walk amongst us.

This twelve-tracker was recorded live last October at Parlour Studios near Kettering, and displays some Hammond-heavy dark forbodings that bring to mind some of the greats of the nu-blues genre: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan, Captain Beefheart, The Pogues, with various nods to the original US bluesmen of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. The opening track ‘Keep Your Demons’ is the heaviest thing on here, and is reminiscent of noughties blues trio the 22-20s; and before them, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It feels like the sky will cave in over it’s three minute duration, which is probably the point. ‘Dance To Hell’ keeps the sweaty intensity up, coming across like a potent rockabilly version of ‘Red Right Hand’. It’s on this song that Roses’ preacher sensibilities come to the fore, with references to ‘demons’ and ‘hell’; the morality theme is later returned to on ‘Bible Morals’. If you’re going to tell stories you might as well make them biblical in scale…

On ‘Clay On Wood’ the voodoo punk spirit that has inhabited Jim Jones for thirty-odd years – most recently with his Righteous Mind – comes to mind. The band is really smoking on this number, cutting loose with joyous abandon. ‘Maggots’ slows things down a bit, bringing some smooth 60s atmospherics to rival Dylan with The Hawks, or perhaps The Doors. The grotesque nature of the song that Rose is chronicling is one to listen in sharply for, you get your just rewards. The album continues in a similar vein over its second half: ‘Falling Over’ and ‘All Of You People’ add some nifty guitar licks to enliven, ‘Garden Designs’ decides to add profanity to the spicy mix, and there’s some excellent garage-punk dynamics on ‘Trouble’s What You Got’.

This record is a spirited success and one you can’t ignore, for it has you by the throat from those opening notes. It has a timeless quality too – it could conceivably be ignored in 2018, only to be hailed as a minor classic by future scribes. One thing is for sure, however; we are much better off having it in our lives than not. Praise be.

Phil Istine

Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra is out now

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 4th – Jul 10th 2018

FRACTAL UNIVERSE Wednesday July 4th The King Billy, Northampton One to make a midweek effort for – progressive death metal quartet from France. Doors 8.30pm, free entry SHELLY CARE +…

FRACTAL UNIVERSE
Wednesday July 4th
The King Billy, Northampton
One to make a midweek effort for – progressive death metal quartet from France. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

SHELLY CARE + KEIRON FARROW + WOOLFORD SCOTT
Friday July 6th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
The Songwriter Sessions sees three carefully chosen original acts sharing their music each month. This is run as a pin-drop event. Doors 7.30pm, £3 on the door

UNDYING HEADS + THE RANDOM MURPHYS
Friday July 6th
The Lab, Northampton
Born in early 2018 on the busking scene in the Algarve, Undying Heads are Frank and Kev – the travelling hobos, making and playing music as they go. The duo have come together to play a mix of Folk, Irish, Country, Blues and more.  Plus Irish tunes from Skinner, Chris Startup and Boatman John. Doors 7pm, free entry

CYCLAMEN + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + LAY SIEGE
Friday July 6th
The White Hart, Corby
In the UK for a run of shows on the run up to Tech-Metal Fest, Cyclamen deliver a mix of melodic math rock mixed with tech death metal. The band were formed in London but are now based in Tokyo. Support from the flag bearers for Corby’s hardcore scene and Northampton’s much-loved sludge metallers. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

TANNERFEST
Friday July 6th – Saturday July 7th
Loddington Grange, nr. Kettering
The annual independent music festival supports Rainbows, the hospice for children and young people. Over two stages you get a smorgasbord of music from near and far: HubCap, Tokyo Taboo, SpaceDogs, Bonfire Radicals, and Litmus play on the Friday. Saturday brings Powderhead, Delphini, Jack Ellister, Captain Starfighter and the Lockheeds, Happy Graveyard Orchestra, NUKLI, Music of the Andys, Magic Bus, and The Hare and Hoofe. Gates open at midday on the Friday. There’s a handful of tickets left as we went to publish.

NORTHAMPTON TOWN FESTIVAL
Saturday July 7th – Sunday July 8th
The Racecourse, Northampton
The ever reliable ShoeTown festival gives plenty of space for showcasing all sorts of music talent. This year on the main stage first day you can witness: The 2 Tones, Leburn Maddox, The Keepers, Deep Sea Mountains, Moulton 77 Brass Band, and King’s Gambit. Second day is Mystic Crew, Shed Machinery String Band, The BigheadHubCap, Cool Jazz Collective, Just Friends, Pure Genius, Banter, and the Theatretrain Community Group. The music is from 1.30pm each day, and it’s free entry

TIGERSTYLE + SAFEST SPACES + KRÖKER + ASHLEY FALLS
Saturday July 7th
The Lab, Northampton
Northampton pop punk quartet bid the world adieu after six years with a goodbye show. Mates in support include an emo duo from MK and fellow pop punkers from ShoeTown and Bedford. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

DEPARTMENT S + FIRST WAVE + THE RONG’UNS
Saturday July 7th
The White Hart, Corby
Psychedelic punk funkers from London Town always give good show. Support from two Leicester area punk acts. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

THE COSMIC DEAD + PETE BASSMAN
Sunday 8th July
The Lab, Northampton
A real treat for a Sunday: exceptional Glaswegian space rock quartet bring the noise like a millennial Hawkwind. Support from former Spacemen 3 bassist. Doors 7.30pm, £3 on the door

STACY MITCHART
Sunday 8th July
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Legendary award-winning Nashville bluesman playing songs off his latest album Live My Life. Set is around 2.30pm, free entry

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