Photos: Nailbreaker, Worry, Ex-Pets at The Garibaldi, Northampton

Nailbreaker celebrated the release of his debut EP ‘Spectrum Songs’ at The Garibaldi Hotel in Northampton last night.  New Boots were in attendance at the venue’s recently converted basement for…

Nailbreaker celebrated the release of his debut EP ‘Spectrum Songs’ at The Garibaldi Hotel in Northampton last night. 

New Boots were in attendance at the venue’s recently converted basement for the show which saw the Rushden-based purveyor of digital hardcore joined by Worry, Ex-Pets and fellow NN10 Noise Club scene man Dylon Dean [apologies to Dylon for not getting there in time to get some photos; his performance was excellent though, as were all the acts].

Here’s a few photos from the night courtesy of @davidtjackson

Check back with New Boots for an interview with Nailbreaker on April 5th

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New Music Friday: Beth Munroe

Wellingborough-raised, Northampton College [and BIMM] graduate Beth Munroe is back with her second EP of intensely personal indietronica. New Boots couldn’t wait to hear it, nor the story behind the…

Wellingborough-raised, Northampton College [and BIMM] graduate Beth Munroe is back with her second EP of intensely personal indietronica. New Boots couldn’t wait to hear it, nor the story behind the artist. So here’s a little history and more from our conversation.

How did you first begin writing songs and performing?
I remember writing songs as soon as I picked up the guitar, before I could even play, honestly. I pressured myself to get better every day, but as soon as I would touch the neck my first instinct always was to just muck about and write and sing. I wrote heavier stuff and performed in rock bands when I was 18, searching for the right band members who were dedicated enough. When I realised I was going to have to go it alone I rethought my sound, and took my rock influences into a darker pop/indietronica sound.

How would you describe your current sound? Who are your main influences?
Someone called my music “indietronica” and I’ve been rolling with that ever since. I took my early guitar influences of Muse, Radiohead and Biffy Clyro and pushed into a more modern electronic dark-pop sound – more influenced by CHVRCHES, Billie Eilish or Tash Sultana.

You moved to Brighton for a while to continue your artistic pursuits, was that a useful learning curve?
Yes. I studied guitar and songwriting for four years, but I think I learned my most useful lessons just as a human being. When I came back I had a whole new world of experiences to write about; I wasn’t a naive nerdy kid holed up in my room anymore. I had my heart broken, I sank a boat, I was homeless for a while, I was fired, I made lifelong friends, I pissed other people off, I grew up, and I messed up so many times the ego-driven perfectionist in me was hammered out, failure by failure.

What was the reaction like last year’s University of Northampton-assisted debut EP, ‘The Euphoria Of Losing Everything’?
It’s nearly a year on and I’m still overwhelmed by the response. Especially at gigs: when I played the EP live there was such an incredible reaction. I remember the first time I came offstage and people were queuing to buy the EP I had to fight so hard not to cry. It meant to much, and still does.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘i amok’.
This couldn’t have been done more differently than the ‘Euphoria’ EP. Everything you hear was recorded in a different place. Some of it was recorded in my home; the backing vocals were recorded lying down in bed under the duvet! Some stuff was recorded in different studios, some at friends houses. It was absolute chaos. I produced and mixed some parts, other parts were done by three different talented friends of mine. The songs themselves changed constantly, and entire songs were scrapped and replaced twice. Each song ended up being about something completely different, meaning running themes and cohesion went out the window. It was all over the place and an absolute nightmare to keep on top of, and keep the momentum going. It was supposed to be released last September!
My personal life couldn’t have been more chaotic either, punctuated by an awful few weeks when my mum became so critically ill we really thought we were going to lose her. Of course everything else was dropped, and when finally I came back to the EP it was with the addition of the song ‘Brave’, in honour of her, and the moments that I absolutely begged the universe to let her live.
The feeling of absolute hopeless, endless chaos ended up being quite an inspiration for the name, artwork, and overall vibe of the EP. Ambitious projects can get messy very quickly, and life is messy enough as it is. More than anything else it just becomes a test of character to just carry on, even though everything’s imperfect and feels wrong and frustrating, and there’s just endless setbacks and obstacles. That’s how life just is, and in the end I absolutely love the fight this EP has been, and the fact that it represents standing in a hurricane inferno of complete mess and know that everything is OK. I am OK.

How are your live shows going in London and around the UK?
They’re incredible; every gig feels like the best night of my life, and they keep getting bigger and better and more terrifying. Not going to lie: touring the UK as a solo artist is exhausting, especially working a full-time job as well. I remember playing Eastbourne one night, Edinburgh the next night and then rushing back to London for work at 7am (poor tour management on my part). The feedback and support from the tour was more than anything I could have asked. I can’t explain how grateful I am to everybody who came, and everybody who bought an EP to support this.

Any favourite Northamptonshire acts and/or venues to you wanna give a shout out to?
I’ve been keeping an eye on Kilamojo for a long time. I love that they’re unique, and I’m super honoured to be playing with them at the end of this month. [sane] are another; a beautiful Northampton ambient-electro act that deserve more recognition. I went to college and university with Ashe O’Hara from Voices from the Fuselage, so I root for them as a friend but I’m also blown away by them as a fan. Their new album [Odyssey: The Founder Of Dreams] came out last year and it’s just stunning.
I’ve had a lot of help from people in Northampton, and for that I’m super grateful. Particularly SBD Promotions, Northampton University, WMTH Records, Audio Works and NLive Radio for all their help getting me where I am now.

What has been your favourite musical moment of the past year?
I would say one of the tour dates, but I’m not sure which one! Otherwise probably when my single ‘Masochist’ was played on BBC Introducing. That was a really surreal moment to hear myself on the same radio station I listen to every day on the way to work – till the day I die I won’t forget that night.

What was the last album/EP you bought/streamed?
Been listening to Paradise by [Canadian punk band] White Lung the last couple of days. They’re such unique and talented songwriters, they deserve so much more recognition.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I do my best to run everything on my own but I do really need help, whether it’s a manager, record label, or another musician. I need to keep climbing the ladder and get to a point where I can earn a living as an artist and musician. If I have to do it on my own I will, I just need to reach the biggest audience possible so I can carry on doing what I’m made to do. I pour so much of myself into this, I have no doubt I can get a lot further, with the right people.

Beth’s UK tour runs from March 27th to June 6th, and the EU leg June 8th-22nd.

https://www.bethmunroemusic.co.uk

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Mar 20th – 26th

DEAD RESTLESS + SEVEN STORIES HIGH + LOOSE TOOTH + THRIFT STREET Thursday March 21st The Black Prince, Northampton Northampton quartet The Young and Restless have slightly changed their name…

DEAD RESTLESS + SEVEN STORIES HIGH + LOOSE TOOTH + THRIFT STREET
Thursday March 21st
The Black Prince, Northampton
Northampton quartet The Young and Restless have slightly changed their name and embark on a brief tour with fellow heavy hitters from Swansea. Expect pop-punk and hardcore from all concerned. Doors 7.30pm, £4 tickets

DEATH GOALS + ILL-INFORMED + BLOOD-VISIONS
Friday March 22nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Two London boys making hardcore noise, Herts/Beds quartet doing similar, and our own NN Kings of Noise opening up the night [and your ears]. Doors 8pm, free entry

TU-KAY & RYAN + ANDY GRIFFITHS + KENNETH J NASH + HAZEYJANE
Friday March 22nd
St Mary The Virgin Church, Stoke Bruene
A special Audio Vendor night in a church! A quartet of top local singer-songwriter talent on offer. The event will be recorded, and the subsequent resulting videos will be made publicly available after the event. Doors 6.30pm, £10 tickets [or call  on 01604862428]

KING’S GAMBIT + BENJAMIN WILLIAM PIKE + MATT WOOSEY + JOE CORKRAM
Friday March 22nd
Earls Barton Working Men’s Club
Northampton’s accomplished good-time folk band, plus a critically acclaimed acoustic roots musician and virtuoso guitarist, plus multi-award winning Woosey. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

MUNDAYS + MONARCHS + BAD GIRLFRIEND 
Friday March 22nd
The White Hart, Corby
Stoner trio release trippy new single ‘Fantasea’ and celebrate with a hometown show. Kettering alt-rockers and DIY-punk Brum trio come along for the ride. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

THE TOUCH + WISHING WOLF + HER BURDEN
Friday March 22nd
The Harlequin, Kettering
Gut-busting classic rockers headline, local pop-punkers play first show of the year, and fellow Leicester types also rock up with mid-noughties sound. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

ANNA RYDER
Friday March 22nd
Bradden Village Hall, Towcester
Respected singer-songwriter comes to the sticks for your entertainment. £10 in advance [email hillyanne@btinternet.com or call 01327 860800]

NAILBREAKER + WORRY + EX-PETS + DYLON DEAN
Saturday March 23rd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Rushden’s digital hardcorer releases his debut EP ‘Spectrum Songs’, and throws a little party to celebrate. Featuring support from hardcore Oxford punks, ShoeTown noise rockers and the NN10 punk-rapper. Doors 8pm, free entry

SANE + ZIZANY
Saturday March 23rd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Full band live set from the catchy electronic collective, joined on the bill by the trip-hop solo brainchild of Zachary Bullock. Doors 9pm, free entry

YELLOW DOG RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Saturday March 23rd
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Northampton’s No.1 R&B band play originals and vintage material to dance all night to. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

WARD & PARKER + KENNETH J NASH
Saturday March 23rd
Kettering Arts Centre at St Andrews Church
Ward and Parker are John Parker [previously of’ JCB song’ fame in Nizlopi] and Cliff Ward, founding member of folk super group The Willows. The combination of JP’s soaring double bass and beatboxing style accompanying Ward’s songs and guitar playing is a strong mix. Rushden-based Nash brings his smooth, emotive voice to the songs he has released over five LPs. Doors 7.30pm, £12 tickets

TONY WRIGHT + ELIJAH MILLER + KELLY BARNES
Saturday March 23rd
Windmill Club, Rushden
Acoustic tour  from the the man better known as the fronting Terrorvision will be playing songs from his solo albums and Terrorvision. This is a up close and personal show with tales of the life on the road. Special guests are two talented singers from Bedford and Rushden respectively. Doors 7pm, £12.50 tickets

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Joe B. Humbled

When he’s not furiously lashing at his guitar and spitting into a microphone [in firstly The Mobbs and latterly GoGo Loco] Joe Martin likes to show off his softer side with…

When he’s not furiously lashing at his guitar and spitting into a microphone [in firstly The Mobbs and latterly GoGo Loco] Joe Martin likes to show off his softer side with his Joe B. Humbled solo project. His new single might be his best song yet, the melancholy widescreen retro-pop of ‘To Be True’. New Boots gets the lowdown on the Northamptonians latest movements.

Please give us a bit of background to your solo project.
Playing as a solo artist came way before The Mobbs. I have a wide musical taste, so my solo projects have usually been an aside to experiment with lots of different styles. I started writing, playing and recording folk acoustic songs in my bedroom in 2003. From there I became obsessed with perfecting a finger-picking style. I was very interested in keeping everything as basic as possible. I’d try to write songs that wouldn’t need any other instruments or musicians – just my acoustic guitar and my voice. It remained like this for a long time. The Mobbs became the real backbone for my songwriting, but I continued to perform and record occasionally as an acoustic act. Right now I am in a sort of songwriting haven. I suddenly have the technology to multi-track properly, and can record and perform everything myself. I have been on quite a personal musical journey since The Mobbs finished last year. I’ve gone back to the music I grew up listening to, and have also opened myself up to a lot of contemporary music.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences for this solo work?
I’ve found myself back in love with 1960s soul and the funkier side of rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve also been highly influenced by the work of Dan Auerbach [The Black Keys] and his record label Easy Eye Sound. Due to my love of analogue recorded sounds I’ve got into artists on Daptone Records, and most recently a label called Big Crown. Traditional and contemporary American roots music has always been something that I get excited about. I’m digging everything from Sam Cooke to Alabama Shakes at the moment. My new experiments in sound are quite soulful, I would say, and there is still a blues influence in some of the songs too. I’m perhaps showing off my ability to sing and do harmonies as oppose making a two minute rock ‘n’ roll noise. Although I still have that outlet with GoGo Loco.

What was the reaction like to the Ten Odes LP of 2015, and also the more recent EP from last year?
Ten Odes was a quick demo collection of the acoustic folk/blues songs I had been performing from 2010 to 2015. It was just a stage in time where I thought I’d better record something. It was nice working with Nick Ellison (on fiddle) and doing a vocal duet with Leila Jane. I didn’t push Ten Odes too much so the reaction was as small, as I intended it to be. This was also the case with the How Did The Folly Begin EP. It was just a point where I needed to make a record of the songs I had been working on. I lost interest pretty quickly with that EP to be honest.

Tell us about this new song, ‘To Be True’.
‘To Be True’ is quite an old song that I hadn’t been able to use for anything previously. This was the first thing I recorded toward the end of last year. When I had finished recording ‘To Be True’ I kept on writing and recording fresher material spurred on by the success of how it had turned out.

Any plans for Joe B. Humbled shows?
I am hoping to put a Joe B. Humbled band together this year. I can just say [at the moment] I have some very talented musicians interested – which is very exciting. We shall see what happens!

Any favourite bands and/or venues in Northamptonshire?
I’ve had a lot of fun playing percussion and knocking about with The Keepers. Those guys have the lust for music that I had at that age and it’s a tonic to be around them and feel inspired by their enthusiasm for it all. For this reason as well as their brilliant songs these guys are probably my favourite band at the moment. I do also like seeing Kilamojo live. The thing about Northampton music is that there has always been a sea of genres and something for everyone, everywhere – long may it continue. I like The Pomfret Arms as a venue, and The Lab. There’s masses of positivity around and plenty of support for Northampton music – same as ever. There’s always new music popping up all the time too!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
American Love Call by Durand Jones & The Indicators

What is your burning desire for this project in the future? What plans do you have?
I want to perfect some aspects of the recording side of it. I’m always working hard to get the right drum sound. Now that I am a drummer and obsessed with rhythm I realise that the drumming is really the most important part! My desires and plan is to have a fully rehearsed and tight backing group so I can perform my new songs to an audience with a full band. There are more songs ready and I will be releasing these online over the next couple of months.

To Be True is out now via Bandcamp [see below]

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Sarpa Salpa single ‘Casanova’ picked as Tune Of The Week on Radio 1

Northampton indie-popsters Sarpa Salpa have had something of a result: they’ve been chosen for the Radio 1 ‘Tune Of The Week’ slot! Latest single ‘Casanova’ was picked out by BBC Introducing and…

Northampton indie-popsters Sarpa Salpa have had something of a result: they’ve been chosen for the Radio 1 ‘Tune Of The Week’ slot!

Latest single ‘Casanova’ was picked out by BBC Introducing and put forward for rotation on the flagship BBC station. Starting this Saturday, March 16th, ‘Casanova’ will be played on at least one show every day for seven days. Radio 1 has over 9 million listeners each week.

“Honestly it’s crazy!”, reacted Bassist Ethan Whitby. “It came as a big surprise to us and it still hasn’t fully sunk in. Getting Radio 1 airplay means so much as it will help get our music to a whole new audience. We’ve put in a lot of hours over the last few years, so for this to happen makes feel even more worthwhile!”

Since 2016 Sarpa Salpa have been gigging regularly in the UK and have built an excellent reputation. ‘Casanova’ was preceded by singles ‘Smith’ and ‘She Never Lies’.  The quartet play London’s Camden Assembly on April 15th. There is another Northampton show to be announced soon; check their social media for all their latest news.

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Mar 13th – Mar 19th

DIRTY SOUND MAGNET + WAX LYRICAL SOUND Thursday March 14th The Lab, Northampton Psychedelic rock power trio from Switzerland with multi-faceted compositions and virtuosity, playing songs from their album Western Lies….

DIRTY SOUND MAGNET + WAX LYRICAL SOUND
Thursday March 14th
The Lab, Northampton
Psychedelic rock power trio from Switzerland with multi-faceted compositions and virtuosity, playing songs from their album Western Lies. Support from energetic ShoeTown rap-rockers. Doors 7pm, £4 entry

BEDLAM BREAKOUT FESTIVAL
Friday March 15th – Sunday March 17th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The bi-annual psychobilly festival  is upon us. #27 is headlined by Restless on Friday, Nekromantix on Saturday, and Batmobile on Sunday. Local interest on the Friday courtesy of GoGo Loco. Friday opens at 7pm and is £15 on the door. Saturday and Sunday begins at 12.30pm, £30 tickets [or £60 for the whole weekend]. After-parties at The Bear too!

LAY IT DOWN
Friday March 15th
The Lab, Northampton
The usual crew perform at the urban night, now on a Friday[!] with special guest local garage MC Champagne Bubblee. Doors 8pm, free entry

TU-KAY & RYAN
Friday March 15th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Harmonising singer-songwriter duo play a live set. Doors 8pm, free entry

CASSINI CIRCLES + MAKOBI
Friday March 15th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Formally known as Fugues, CC are a local electronica and trip hop trio. Now featuring multi-instrumentalist songwriter Yoshe Watson! Electronic wizard Makobi of [sane] provides the suitable support. Doors 9pm, free entry

EXP + DJ VERSATILE + FLASH PEASANTS + REALM CREW feat TUNGA, GUIGS, H & OG
Friday March 15th
The White Hart, Corby
A set from the main man from West Yorkshire rap crew Flame Griller, which will feature tunes from the critically acclaimed debut album, Remarkable/Unremarkable. Joining EXP on stage is veteran turntable technician Versatile aka DJ Leach, who will be providing first-class turntablism. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £4

ODDITY ISLAND + MUNDAYS
Saturday March 16th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Two of the most criminally underrated bands with an NN postcode, get some psych into you at t’Horse. Doors 8pm, free entry 

JESS ORESTANO
Saturday March 16th
The Old House, Wellingborough
Local blues-rock singer-songwriter returns to performing live in NN after a short break. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

CHRIS QUINN + HUMBLEBEE
Saturday March 16th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranford
Shrewsbury singer-songwriter Quinn has been receiving glowing reviews in the  music press for his debut solo release Across The Divide. He has carved his trade for over a decade touring worldwide, and had a stint as the opening act for the Jools Holland Orchestra. Support from Kettering folk duo. Doors 7pm, £10 tickets [call 01536 330014].

CHRIS FOX + CORRINE LUCY
Tuesday March 19th
Old White Hart, Northampton
Accomplished Cambridge-based guitar player, Fox’s songwriting is centred on contemporary stories reflecting life, love, loss, and humour, as heard on debut album Parallel Crossing and follow-up Loose Ends. Supported by the chart-bothering local singer-songwriter. Doors 7.45pm, free entry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Broken Empire

Broken Empire are rockers from the Towcester and Oxford area. Ieuan Owen is on vocals, Matt Stevens on guitar, Marco Arena on bass, and Ricky Hill on drums. New Boots…

Broken Empire are rockers from the Towcester and Oxford area. Ieuan Owen is on vocals, Matt Stevens on guitar, Marco Arena on bass, and Ricky Hill on drums. New Boots celebrates their recent two singles by asking them what them tick in our patented in-depth conversation/interview.

How did you guys get together?
Ricky Hill: In 2017 Ben [band manager] put out an advert online about starting a new band project and that we require a guitarist, bass player and vocals. Matt got in contact and we had a jam together which just clicked straight away. A few months after that we found Marco and we knew he would fit perfectly. After starting to put together a few complete songs we found Ieuan. His influences on the songs we had roughly written was spot on for what we were looking for.
Marco Arena: I remember it was one day before my birthday! The day before I had a chat with Ben, and he asked me if I was available to join the guys for a jam the next day!

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
Ieuan Owen: I’d describe our sound as hard rock/metal, although we don’t tend to fit into a set subgenre. We’re a very riff driven band!
Matt Stevens: Our sound is modern but with plenty of influences from history. It’s a sweeping range of bands from Killswitch Engage to Alter Bridge, and I personally like throwing in Petrucci and Jason Becker touches.
Ricky Hill: Personally my main influences are Alter Bridge, Disturbed, Periphery, Tremonti…the list could go on and on! I think our sound reflects on all of our influences and creates a great combination of heavy metal and hard rock.

What was the reaction like to your self-titled EP from last year?
Ieuan Owen: The reaction was exceptional. Considering it was recorded quickly just to get it out there, it has exceeded our expectations, and the songs themselves are still largely staples in our set!
Ricky Hill: I was blown away from the reaction that we have received for our EP. It definitely helped having a lot of online radio stations playing it, which gave us a wider audience, and as for the streams on Spotify I think it’s done extremely well for a self promoted and produced EP.
Marco Arena: As a new, self promoted band in the music scene I would say we got really decent feedback from our previous record. Hopefully it’s going to be even better in the future! Fingers crossed!
Matt Stevens: The reaction was awesome as we self promoted, and over several months picked up almost 20,000 streams across the record. Really appreciate the promotions from local radio and online radio stations and Facebook reviewers.

Tell us everything about these new singles, ‘No More Light’ and ‘Hearts Of Damaged Men’.
Ricky Hill: ‘Hearts Of Damaged Men’ is definitely the most commercial out of the two I’d say: quick fast, short and punchy with meaningful lyrics – which of course can be interpreted in different ways and would mean different things to different people. ‘No More Light’ has a touch of our heavy side but still stays true to our sound, both portraying the battle people have with mental struggles.
Matt Stevens: From a music standpoint we wanted ‘Hearts Of Damaged Men’ to be in your face, make you listen and keep driving all the way to the end. ‘No More Light’ goes through a range of emotions, from steady rhythms to staccato, to minor/major feels and dark dissonant sections to really portray the difficulties people suffer internally.
Ieuan Owen: Both of these singles are fun to play, and to listen to. Both are lyrically coming from the battles people struggle with, a war of the mind as such, and I hope that people who delve into the lyrics can find there own meaning, for whatever hits home for them.

What are your live shows like?
Matt Stevens: Our live shows are all about the music; we focus on making the sound and the tracks as good as possible so people will want to listen!
Ricky Hill: Full of high energy and definitely keeps people interested throughout. We all have a unique stage presence and this definitely comes across when we’re playing live. Come and see us and find out for yourselves!
Ieuan Owen: They are fun, and as a band we pride ourselves on being tight and polished live. We enjoy performing and hopefully it shows.
Matt Stevens: We try as much as we can to have the most similar sound that you can hear when you listen to our studio songs. We also used to add some live intros and some interludes in our live show which you can’t find in the studio songs.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire, playing with like- minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Marco Arena: O2 Academy Oxford is a cool venue for sure! Stormbringer is definitely a band that I would gladly play again with. Which is good as we are playing with them again very soon!
Ricky Hill: We play at a variety of venues with loads of different bands. It’s always good to get gigs with similar bands so that the energy is in the room throughout the night. But equally playing with different bands is just as good. Playing at the O2 Academy Oxford was amazing but I really enjoy playing at small, intimate venues as well – one of my favourites being Fat Lil’s, Witney.
Matt Stevens: Northants and Oxford are doing a lot to support rock music. Of course things could always be better, but there’s a lot of dedication from the rock promoters out there. Dedicated rock venues are always killer.
Ieuan Owen: Some of our favourite venues are The Wheatsheaf in Banbury, Fat Lils in Witney, and Wheatsheaf in Oxford. I personally enjoy going to local and larger gigs as and when I can, inspiration and influence can come from anywhere! Stormbringer were probably my favourite band to play with so far, they are such nice guys, and our music fitted well together. We’ll always enjoy gigs supporting them!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Ieuan Owen: Probably headlining the 02 Academy, because not only was it awesome to do, but we didn’t feel out of place being there!
Ricky Hill: Marco deciding to set fire to someone else’s bass amp on stage – albeit not his fault, but still a hilarious moment.
Matt Stevens: Marco showing us what is under the hood! You won’t see him without a hat.
Marco Arena: Playing the Finals of Metal 2 The Masses was probably my top moment!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ricky Hill: Of Mice and Men – Restoring Force: Full Circle
Ieuan Owen: Reverence by Parkway Drive – can’t get enough of that album!
Marco Arena: Pantera discography. (I felt a bit nostalgic!)
Matt Stevens: Twelve Foot Ninja – Outlier

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Matt Stevens: Download Festival main stage with a three-part harmonised solo with Jason Hook, Mark Tremonti and Matt Stevens!
Marco Arena: Trying to share a stage with Alter Bridge would be pretty good!
Ricky Hill: Would love to play some big festivals and just generally get our name out there a bit more to a wider audience. Would be amazing to record a live session in a world famous studio and if I’m not asking too much, then maybe go on tour with Alter Bridge as well! Loads of gigs coming up and plenty of recording happening though so who knows what the future holds for Broken Empire.
Ieuan Owen: In the future we hope to play further away, as well as bigger local shows. We’d love to do a small tour of some sort should we get the chance. But one step at a time, we’re proud of how far we’ve already come!

‘No More Light’ and ‘Hearts Of Damaged Men’ are out now via the usual digital platforms

 

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Album review: Thee Telepaths ‘The Velvet Night’

THEE TELEPATHS The Velvet Night [Mighty Fuzz] Here ’tis! The first full length album from the Kettering space/psych/noise rock quartet follows a couple of 12” EPs in 2016 and 2017….

THEE TELEPATHS
The Velvet Night [Mighty Fuzz]

Here ’tis! The first full length album from the Kettering space/psych/noise rock quartet follows a couple of 12” EPs in 2016 and 2017. Those excellent releases has meant no little anticipation has been building amongst the psych/alt community for The Velvet Night.

The band have developed their sound to arrive here; this album came out of a lengthy jam session when an extra track was required. Once the hour-long jam had been poured back over it was abundantly clear to the four that, recorded and edited properly, there was actually an elpee of coherent material right there. So far, so Hawkwind. But what makes this album so fascinating from beginning to end is they have tightened the sonics and the songwriting into something bigger than they had previously achieved. Any prevailing ghost of Spacemen 3 or Neu! or Sabbath has been wholly exorcised; all that comes through is their own unique signal. And it’s one that should put them nearer the front of the current psych revival too.

Pulling the album apart is a very hard job. It is very difficult to separate any part from it’s whole. The band know this, and they have tried to avoid any disjunction by simply creating three acts: ‘Alpha’, ‘Epsilon’, and ‘Delta’. Within those movements you get ‘parts’. ‘Alpha Part 1’, for example, is a heavy krautrock epic, pushing the limits of what the brain can take. Dean’s ethereal vocals ride the wave of the Loop/Suicide style repetitive synth swells. Pummelled by the metronomic drums and bassline from Vincent and Tim, Tom sends stabbing notes of guitar fuzz through the mix. It’s conclusion makes way for a breather, as the calmer, floating ‘Part 2’ bring respite from the onslaught that was ‘Part 1’. The tempo is ramped up for ‘Part 3’, and a Floydian synth line takes charge. ‘Part 4’ is a timestamp, a precursor to the onslaught of ‘Part 5’, which returns to the themes of ‘Part 1’, but this time with even more emotion from everyone involved.

‘Epsilon’ is eleven minutes that sounds a tad more contemporary. The Wooden Shjips/Hookworms pulse of ‘Part 1’ is spirit-level steady, and allows Dean room for some vocal manoeuvres. You don’t ever really catch what he’s singing about, you just feel it in the gut. In ‘Part 2’ the proggy guitar lines send the listener leftfield, whilst ‘Part 3’ pulls things back, and we’re into Sonic Youth or ’90s stoner territory. It’s another peak in a song cycle full to the brim with ideas that gel better than you’d imagine from any description a writer could provide.

‘Delta’ feels like a reset button has been pressed, and a bit of intentionally aimless flow opens up. ‘Part 1’ gives you Wah Wah Land, and a vocal seemingly in freefall. Is this where the trip turns bad? ‘Part 2’ suggests not, as we realign our chakras and forge onwards with new energy and renewed belief. The sonic breakdown here is akin to a vortex of sound, a whirlpool to let oneself be lost in. The instrumental ‘Part 3’ brings us firmly out on the other side, the guitar fuzz blurring our vision somewhat as we stand on our musical shore basking in solarized warmth. The final movement, ‘Part 4’, is a brief howl of joy that we have survived the entire thing.

It’s certainly not an album you can get on one listen, but The Velvet Night is surely an early contender for album of the year. There’s no come down allowed here. Just a widescreen, ecstatic, symphonic journey backwards into tomorrow that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Phil Istine

The Velvet Night is out now on vinyl and download

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Mar 6th – Mar 12th

ACOUSTIC-US + WARD & PARKER + RUBY MUSE Wednesday March 6th Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Kontra Roots night: with Northants country act led by Tammy Levy, a new duo who play alternative…

ACOUSTIC-US + WARD & PARKER + RUBY MUSE
Wednesday March 6th

Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Kontra Roots night: with Northants country act led by Tammy Levy, a new duo who play alternative jazz-pop, and a Huntingdon duo who play a rootsy blend of blues, jazz, folk, rock, and alt-country. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

HAZEYJANE
Wednesday March 6th
Kettering Library
The folk-pop quartet will be playing two 45 minute sets. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

ROCKIN’ DAVE
Thursday March 7th
The King Billy, Northampton
Hard rock solo artist. Doors 9pm, free entry

LOIS AMY + HER SONIC FRUIT + GINHOUSE GYPSIES + FOSSILHEADS
Friday March 8th
The Lab, Northampton
An inspiring clutch of excellent musicians, together to celebrate International Women’s Day. All door money will be donated to Northampton Domestic Abuse Services. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

DEAF TRAP + THE SNAKEMEN 3
Friday March 8th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Alt-rock and garage punk ahoy from this pair of reprobates. Doors 8pm, free entry

HUBCAP
Friday March 8th
The King Billy, Northampton
Local blues-rock duo shred hard and get you dancing. Music from 9pm, free entry

LEW BEAR + RAY BECK
Friday March 8th
Olde England, Northampton
The local singer-songwriters perform a night full of originals, classics, singalongs and comedy at the Olde England’s Real Ale Festival. Doors 8pm, free entry

MERRY HELL + CRYBB
Friday March 8th
Silverstone Recreational Association [Church St]
Joyous folk-rock explosion from the North West of England, plus folk-rock duo from ShoeTown. Doors 7.30pm, £12 tickets in advance only [available from the SRA or email/call Jenny on 07738826618/JenJayneMusic@gmail.com]

THE ABRAHAMS + ANTOINE & OWENA + DAN HARTLAND + SHELLY CARE
Friday March 8th
Earls Barton Working Men’s Club
Kettering’s cleverly off-kilter headliners make a rare [and acoustic] live appearance; support from multi-instrumental folk duo, an Americana singer-songwriter, and a local songstress. 8pm start, £3 on the door 

EASTFIELD
Friday March 8th
Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Birmingham/Northants three-chord punk rock with catchy tunes. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE KEEPERS + MUNDAYS
Saturday March 9th
Club 43, Northampton
Northampton indie-psych quartet, plus three-piece psychedelic garage rock band from Northants. Doors 8pm, free before 9pm then £4

LIFEWRECKER + ATROCITY EXHIBIT + 72% + FERAL STATE + KITTIE SHITTER + NAILBREAKER
Saturday March 9th
The Lab, Northampton
London grind/d-beat/noise, Northampton grind/crust, ShoeTown noise-rock riffs, Leicester d-beat, fast hardcore from Leicester, and digital hardcore noise. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

STEVE HARLEY ACOUSTIC TRIO
Saturday March 9th
Corby Cube
Steve Harley, the original Cockney Rebel, tours frequently with his Acoustic Trio, playing an intimate, unique and atmospheric show. The performance promises subtle lyricism, mingled with great improvisation and rocky rhythms. Steve will be accompanied by his Cockney Rebel band-mates of long- standing, Barry Wickens [violin & guitar] and James Lascelles [piano and percussion]. The set will be built around tracks from any or all 13 of Steve’s original albums. Doors 7pm, tickets £28.50

THE HURRICANES
Saturday March 9th
Coach & Horses, Wellingborough
Long-running indie night Retro-Beat has found a new home, and kick off this run with Northants mod power-poppers who say “Let’s Go!” Doors 9pm, free entry

KOMODO QUARTET
Sunday March 10th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Original swing/Latin/jazz music, as well as some arrangements of good old jazz standards.  Doors 7pm, free entry

KT TUNSTALL
Tuesday March 12th
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Brit and Ivor Novello Award winning singer and songwriter returns to her regular haunt, in order to play songs that inlcude material from sixth studio album Wax. Doors 7pm, tickets from £17.50

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Album review: Shorty ‘The Northampton Underground’

SHORTY The Northampton Underground [ShoeTown Records] Northampton singer-songwriter Shorty [aka Chris White] has quickly followed up his enticing 2017 album Abington Park with a big collaborative effort. It’s an album…

SHORTY
The Northampton Underground [ShoeTown Records]

Northampton singer-songwriter Shorty [aka Chris White] has quickly followed up his enticing 2017 album Abington Park with a big collaborative effort. It’s an album almost thirty years in the making [at least the concept – of a big group effort with strings and brass – is a long held desire of White].

The title is reference to the 2014 spoof that Northampton once had an underground train system in the early 20th century, which has the immediately impact of warmth towards the album. It surely also works as a metaphor for many of the players on the this album and what they represent. And make no mistake, this is a very Northampton album. The inlay artwork has the London Underground map with stations annotated with ShoeTown places of interest to Shorty [everything from ‘Cobblers and ‘Semilong’ to in-jokes like ‘John’s House’].

White, a former member over the years of The Clique, Happy in Heaven, and Abbey Park,  has assembled some of the town’s best talent to bring his vision to life. Some of P-Hex are here, for example. Local cheesemonger Stevie Ward serves up guitar left right and centre. And so on and forth. Musically over fourteen tracks and forty-seven minutes there’s a little something for everyone. Let’s delve in, shall we?

(I’ll Be Your) Plus One’ is a 70s style glamish romp with ELO harmonies. Roxy-style sax solo is a touch too. ‘It’s Alright’ and ‘Out In The Sun’ later on cover similar ground [aural comfort blankets for the winter months]. ‘How Can This Be Love?’ is the first of two performances featuring Californian singer Danie Hollobaugh, who shares leads vocal on this nice, if saccharine, duet. ‘I’ll Find A Place’, the other song, is sadly a flat, rather derivative outing. ‘Feeding the Duchess’ is an alt-country with rasping bluesy harmonica intro from Dom Strickland [The Clique]. It’s melodic and inviting, as it details domestic bliss [“I’ll buy you a Chinese on Friday night”]. ‘I Wish’ contains more Wilco-esque musings, and White has this style down pat. 

‘Caravan’ has Lindsay Spence and Nathan Bundy from P-Hex joining in on the baggy dystopian stomper that is a lot of fun. Stay with Me’ is pure soft-rock with Fleetwood Mac vocals. ‘There Was a Time’ has Andy Orr (drummer with The Scene and Small World) on it. It is Beatles-esque psychedelia on the production side [backwards guitar, compressed Hammond, etc], it’s very charming in its period detail. ‘Ticket by Chance’ brings on the soul-jazz flavours – plenty of flute! – a Weller meets Mayfield sort of thing. Lovely too it is.

‘Thank You’ is gorgeous stringed pop that really needs to be heard by everyone who reads this review. Go stream right now in fact. ‘As I Wait Alone for You’ and ‘I Said a Thing or Two’ finish the album in melancholic balladry style, both featuring Martin Stephenson [of The Daintees fame] on piano and guitar. They are quietly affecting; the mariachi trumpet opening the final song setting the mood just right. 

The Northampton Underground is a sprawling, often very pleasing, piece of work. Dip in and find your version of Shorty that’s suited to you, then spread the good word amongst your NN friends. 

Phil Istine

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