It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 26th – Mar 3rd

SHARKTEEH GRINDER + DEAD KIWIS + CROW + BADDREAMS + INDIFFERENT ENGINE Wednesday February 26th The Black Prince, Northampton Hardcore bands from Corby, France, Cambridge, and Birmingham. Doors 7.15pm, £5…

SHARKTEEH GRINDER + DEAD KIWIS + CROW + BADDREAMS + INDIFFERENT ENGINE
Wednesday February 26th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Hardcore bands from Corby, France, Cambridge, and Birmingham. Doors 7.15pm, £5 entry

BOB WHALE + DAN MCCARRY + JODI MCCARTHY + MEG SHIPMAN + CAMERON GRACE + HANNAH FAULKNER + WAX LYRICAL
Wednesday February 26th
The Golden Horse, Northampton
Ni Ni acoustic singer-songwriter sessions. From 8pm, free entry

ANDY CROFTS + VELVET ENGINE + JOE B. HUMBLED
Friday February 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
A Northampton musical ledge [The Moons, Paul Weller, etc.] returns to an old haunt to play songs both old and new. Support from local singer-songwriters that are major talents in their own right. Doors 7.30pm, £9.50 tickets

FRANCISCO
Friday February 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
An intimate night of soulful originals by the Cousin Avi singer. Doors 8pm, £7 tickets

THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND + TRAGIC + L30 ROBINSON + JACK Vs HOTDOG
Friday February 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Rap-rockers showcase new material, plus the punk trio, NN rap mainstay and the irreverent singer-songwriter. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

LUCY SHAW+ JACOB BRATHWAITE + RUSSELL HEYWORTH
Friday February 28th
The Lab, Northampton
Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Birmingham, plus similar NN talent too. Doors 7pm, free entry

THE BIG DIRTY + MOJO CITY REBELS + STONE PIT DRIVE
Friday February 28th
The King Billy, Northampton
From 8.30pm, free entry 

SPRING.FALL.SEA + DEAD FREQUENCY + BROKEN EMPIRE + DESCENDANT OF ODIN
Friday February 28th
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
Pop-punk from London and Daventry, plus metal from Oxford and viking death metal from Bedford. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

KING’S GAMBIT + GLOVE COMPARTMENT + DAVY POO + SHELLY CARE
Friday February 28th
Earls Barton Working Men’s Club
High-octane Norfamtun folkies, plus the solo project of keysman Anthony Shiels [“pop music for grown-ups”]. In the middle is the fingerpicking songwriter from Bedford, and the warm-up slot is reserved for a local songstress. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

THE COMMS
Saturday February 29th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [upstairs]
New indie rockers from ShoeTown reveal their shifted line-up. R U Indie tunes and lashings of fuzz for a Saturday night. Doors 8pm, free entry

NAILBREAKER + EX-PETS + THE PARKS DEPT
Saturday February 29th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [basement]
An evening of disgusting noises. Headliner plays a set of entirely new material [hopefully still in the digital hardcore vein]. Plus noise rock veterans, and “high frequency synths and groovy bangers” from electropunk Luke Farmer. Doors 8pm, free entry

RAY LEWIS
Saturday February 29th
The Deco, Northampton
One of the original Drifters , this show covers six decades of classics, such as ‘Under the Boardwalk’, ‘Kissing in the Back Row’, ‘On Broadway’, ‘Like Sister and Brother’. Doors 7.30pm, £25 tickets

LUNAXIS
Saturday February 29th
Hopmaster The Reserve, Rushden Lakes
Northampton folk-rock group play the snazzy new bar down at the Lakes. From 9pm, free entry

STEVIE JONES + CELINE ELLIS + ADAM DE SANTIS
Sunday March 1st
Hare and Hounds, Great Addington
Wildfire Sessions acoustic open mic with featured sets from the above. 4pm – 7.30pm, free entry

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Live review: The Rezillos

THE REZILLOS + THE MEMBERS The Roadmender, Northampton February 21st Tonight The Members are performing as a power trio and, stripped back with the absence of a second guitar, proves…

THE REZILLOS + THE MEMBERS
The Roadmender, Northampton
February 21st

Tonight The Members are performing as a power trio and, stripped back with the absence of a second guitar, proves the band to be a multifaceted animal. Lively opener ‘Soho-A-Go-Go’ pulls the slackers in from the bar as the bass heavy ‘Offshore Banking Business’ follows. Not only is that song vitally relevant 40 years later but it’s a perfect example of how punk and reggae cross-pollinated and created a little harmony in a time of racial strife. The high energy rhythm and blues of ‘Working Girl’ swings like Dr Feelgood, and precedes the groove-laden and punchy ‘Muzak Machine’. Next they take the cool Germanic brittleness of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’ and infuse it with the warmth of reggae, which sounds like a strange combination, but The Members make it work by creating a whole new beast. ‘The Sound of the Suburbs’ is a song they must’ve performed thousands of times, yet they play it with an energy and respect that a song which defined a generation deserves.

Eschewing the nihilism of their peers, The Rezillos always stood apart from the prevailing punk scene into which they were birthed. Preferring to call themselves a ‘new wave beat group’ they meshed ’50s rock n’ roll and ’60s garage to ’70s glam rock, and added a touch of retro sci-fi imagery. While the Clash sang ‘No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones’ The Rezillos were busy exploring their roots, which is why they sound timeless and much of their generation seems of its time. Aided by a clear, crisp sound ‘Destination Venus’ finds them on top form with the original twin vocal attack of Fay Fife and Eugene Reynolds firing off each other. By second track ‘Flying Saucer Attack’ they’re firmly in the groove, and are propelled forward by hard-hitting drummer Angel Patterson. In a set that’s always shifting gears the high octane rockabilly of ‘It Gets Me’ sits effortlessly along side the reverb soaked ‘(Take Me To The) Groovy Room’. It’s all killer and no filler as The Rezillos play with an energy and effervescence that’d put many younger bands to shame.

A crowd pleasing set touches all bases from their debut album [1977’s Can’t Stand the Rezillos] to their critically acclaimed 2015 opus Zero with two following from that record in the shape of ‘Spike Heeled Assassin’ and the title track. Attesting to their deep roots an amphetamine-charged cover of The Beatles ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ is played with so much velocity it veers into psychobilly territory. The distinctly garage-rock feel of ‘20,000 Rezillos Under the Sea’ is paired with another cover, a song they helped to revive: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite’. Like The Members ‘The Sound of the Suburbs’ The Rezillos ‘Top of the Pops’ is a song that has a life of its own, appearing on almost every punk and new wave compilation that it’s overshadowed much of their other work, and with a discography as good as they’ve displayed tonight that seems a trifle unfair. Nevertheless they treat it with the respect it deserves, and there couldn’t be a better way to end the set.

However the band return for a well-earned encore. When they were forced to change their name to The Revillos [for contractual reasons] there was no drop in quality, and it’s one of those gems that closes the show in the shape of ‘Do The Mutilation’. Like The Cramps mating with the 13th Floor Elevators it provides a suitably largess conclusion that sends all home happy.

Peter Dennis

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New Music Friday: Evolution

Young Northampton EDM artist Evolution has been busy – firing up a debut album and hot new single ‘Dark Paradise’ in quick succession. New Boots went in search of the…

Young Northampton EDM artist Evolution has been busy – firing up a debut album and hot new single ‘Dark Paradise’ in quick succession. New Boots went in search of the lowdown.

How did you begin this project?
I began working on my new single in December. I was learning how to produce house music with in my college classes. I wanted to make more house music, but with my own spin on things. So I began working on my brand new album Late Night Dreaming. This record is all about raving, partying and having a care-free time in your youth. I began this album as a part of my portfolio for when I apply to university in 2021, so I can show what I’ve done with in my teens. And how I’ve became an independent artist with in Northampton.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound is EDM, mixed with rap and pop elements.

Who are your main influences in music?
My main influence from a young age has always been Example. It’s was 2011. I had just finished watching the Phineas and Ferb movie and I then flicked the channel to the box. And that was when I was first introduced to Example and his number one single “Changed The Way You Kiss Me”.

What has the reaction been like to 2019’s album ‘Infectious Dreams’?
The overall reaction for my debut album has been really positive. It allowed me to show what I’m like as an artist and shows what I’m about.

Tell us everything about this new single, ‘Dark Paradise’.
‘Dark Paradise’ is a mixture of house, EDM and rap. It’s about coming back from the dark times and what I’m trying to do as a independent artist in a small town. It’s the lead single off of my upcoming album, and serves as my first single of the new decade.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
I’m a solo artist. I tend to keep to myself and I work independently. I love to collaborate with people. But it has to make sense to me.

Any acts you wanna give a shout out to?
I’d love to give an shot out to slowthai. For giving me hope in the future!!

What has been your favourite artistic moment of the past year?
Producing my last two albums have been my favourite moments. Also releasing and preforming ’04:00AM’. This is my best single to date [next to my new single]!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Employment by The Kaiser Chiefs.

What is your burning desire to do in the future?
My burning desire for the future is to go to university and go full time with the music.

What plans do you have for 2020?
I plan to do more gigs. And maybe some more interviews and releasing album two!!

Dark Paradise is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

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Live review: Half Man Half Biscuit

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT + WEST WICKHAMS The Roadmender, Northampton February 15th Originally hailing from Tresco, Isle of Scilly [but now residing in sunny Richmond, Surrey]. the West Wickhams are…

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT + WEST WICKHAMS
The Roadmender, Northampton
February 15th

Originally hailing from Tresco, Isle of Scilly [but now residing in sunny Richmond, Surrey]. the West Wickhams are a rather tasty garage rock/psychedelic noir duo. Attired all in black and white (as if a negative photograph) opener ‘Every Moving Picture’ is the perfect introduction, with vocalist John Othello wrapping his chords in glorious fuzz and Elle Flores pulling a fine retro sound from the keyboard. Like the love children of Patti Smith and The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Kick the Habit’ is delivered with foot heavy on the distortion pedal, before ‘Where the Creatures Rule’ captures the sinisterness of early Cure. Each song is a succinct ball of warped sound; but dig to its core and you’ll find a strong melody. Case in point being their debut single, ‘He’s Acquired a New Face’, which is simultaneously discordant and catchy and which will, undoubtedly, ensure we’ll be hearing more from the Wickhams very soon.

Alongside the Clash, Half Man Half Biscuit are surely England’s finest folk group. Exploring the minutiae of modern life and deconstructing current popular culture, they’ve given voice to the sidelined, the maligned and the just plain weird. They tell the tales of the bus station drunk or the Big Issue seller who nevertheless have great insight into the absurdism of the world. But it’s also life’s cruel ironies: it is tending the wrong grave for years [‘Excavating Rita’] or the sudden realisation of tonight’s opener: ‘The Light at the End of the Tunnel [is the Light of an Oncoming Train]’. Evolving from their early post-punk roots to incorporate blues and folk tonight’s set includes all stages of their 35 year career, with ‘Venus in Flares’ and ‘Bad Losers on Yahoo Chess’ following in quick succession. The festival nightmare that is ‘Running Order Squabble Fest’ raises a few smiles as does ‘Ode to Joyce’.

Once the rallying cry of students everywhere ‘Fuckin ‘ell it’s Fred Titmus’ is sung by a raucous, near capacity crowd as is a lively ‘The Bastard Son of Dean Friedman’. Slackers anthem ‘Floreat Inertia’ provides a nice change of pace before we arrive at the foil to The Doors’ ‘The End’, ‘Footprints’. Slightly surreal in meshing a biblical tale with Junior Kickstart vocalist [and guitarist] Nigel Blackwell sings with just the right amount of bemused cynicism. It is Nigel’s ability to get under the skin of the character’s that inhabit songs like ‘All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit’ that prevent Half Man Half Biscuit becoming pastiche or a parody. It’s that plus Nigel’s attention to detail, a conscientious proofreader, that give the lyrics backstory and depth. And don’t forget the biting satire and deadpan delivery of songs like ‘We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune’ and set closer ‘National Shite Day’ [“Overhead a rainbow appears, in black and white”].

The band return for four [count ‘em!] well deserved encores, the highlight of which is a brutally heavy reading of Killing Joke’s futurist nightmare ‘Wardance’, on which they capture the monolithic enormity of the original. That stands in marked contrast to closer ‘Everything’s AOR’ which, with its references to leather swivel chairs, Kendo Nagasaki and tennis racquets, sends all home happy.

Peter Dennis

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 19th – Feb 25th

SMOKIN’ DONUTS Wednesday February 19th The Lab, Northampton Doozer McDooze [“the underground festival hero”] and Les Carter [Carter USM, Abdoujaparov, Ferocious Dog] join forces to create Smokin’ Donuts. The concept…

SMOKIN’ DONUTS
Wednesday February 19th
The Lab, Northampton
Doozer McDooze [“the underground festival hero”] and Les Carter [Carter USM, Abdoujaparov, Ferocious Dog] join forces to create Smokin’ Donuts. The concept is simple: they play one of Les’s songs, then play one of Doozer’s songs, from their back catalogues combined, until they get to the end of the set. It’s a lot of fun, and they decided to take it on the road. Doors 8pm, £5 entry

CODENAME COLIN + THE BOPHINS
Thursday February 20th
The King Billy, Northampton
Ska-punk from Hertfordshire. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

MARC FROM THE PARK
Thursday February 20th
The Lab, Northampton
An act that has soaked up 18 festival seasons of fun and created his own genre called Ambient Gabba. Doors 7pm, free entry [we guess]

THE REZILLOS
Friday February 21st
The Roadmender, Northampton
“Rezillomania” tour. Scottish punk/new wave legends. Doors 7pm, tickets £17.50

THE FEENS + LUNA ROSA + SKYFLOOD + SKIRT
Friday February 21st
The Black Prince, Northampton
National promoters of indie rock’n’roll give ShoeTown a go. Headliners hail from Scarborough, the supports are all great acts from Corby and Northampton. Doors 7.30pm, £7 tickets

PIECES + EGO
Friday February 21st
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
ShoeTwon’s disco-punk trio, plus Sean Grant’s MK hardcore behemoths in support. From 8pm, free entry

LAY IT DOWN
Friday February 21st
The Lab, Northampton
Urban music open mic. Featured artists this time around: Smiley and Reality. Doors 8pm, free entry

SALLY BARKER + ANNA RYDER
Friday February 21st
Bradden Music Hall, nr Towcester
Sally Barker (vocal, guitar & percussion) sang to millions as Tom Jones’ finalist on The Voice UK but the singer-songwriter has entertained for years as a member of revered fem-folk group The Poozies, in the re-formed Fotheringay and as a solo artist supporting Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Richard Thompson. Anna Ryder (vocal, keys, accordion, guitar & banjo) is a musical dynamo; an original and inventive singer-songwriter with a musical style that, although based in folk, spans an array of genres. Amongst others Anna has worked with Fairport Convention, Eddi Reader, Julianne Regan (All About Eve). Sally and Anna are band mates in the trio IOTA with Marion Fleetwood. Doors 7.30pm, £12 from 01327 860800

PHANTOM ISLE + ROLLING THUNDER + JACK Vs HOTDOG
Saturday February 22nd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
The Twinfest Road to Marburg fundraising event. All money raised goes into providing transportation, accommodation and food etc for the Northampton bands taken to Germany and France, and our visiting guests from the ShoeTown twin towns. From 8pm, free entry

WOVENLUNG + FANGS + OMEGA INITIATIVE + WHEN WE WAKE + THE TROPHY LIFE
Saturday February 22nd
The Black Prince, Northampton
Hometown metalcore headliners return for an overdue show, plus similar from Bristol, Southampton, and Northants. Doors 6.30pm, £6 tickets

SKYBEARD
Saturday February 22nd
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Proggy instrumental rock. From 8pm, free entry

THE DRONES CLUB + LOOK NO HI HAT + KATIE PATON
Saturday February 22nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A night of world music and strange vibes. Headliners play their usual mix of world and ancestral music to a backing of eastern and dub rhythms. Guests in the form of a new group featuring Jonny Mattock [Spiritualized, Slipstream, Spacemen 3, Massive Attack] and John Lynch [The Telescopes] will be performing their first ever show. Paton (P-Hex, King’s Gambit) will kick the evening off performing some of her solo tunes. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE DEATH ALLEY DRIVERS + CANYONS + KENNETH J. NASH
Saturday February 22nd
The Lab, Northampton
Growling bluesy alt-rock from Nathan Harris & co., plus country-rock and singer-songwriter gorgeousness, both from the Shire. From 8pm, free entry

THE BIGHEAD + ADRIAN STRANIK
Saturday February 22nd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Acoustic trio set with reggae ska band The Bighead, playing material from their upcoming new album and recent vinyl release ‘Hangover Cure’. Support is a solo set from the Broadway Twisters mainman. From 9pm, free entry

ASKARI + FLASH PEASANTS
Sunday February 23rd
The Lab, Northampton
Electronic/nu-metal/grime collective return to ShoeTown, with support from the hip-hop punks from Corby. Doors 8pm, price…? [probably free]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 12th – Feb 18th

AM SAMSTAG + RIFFERSPOCK + THE CERVELLONES + EARBONES Friday February 14th The Lab, Northampton An “alternative Valentine’s Day”, featuring grunge from Switzerland, hard rock from Coventry, punk pop new…

AM SAMSTAG + RIFFERSPOCK + THE CERVELLONES + EARBONES
Friday February 14th
The Lab, Northampton
An “alternative Valentine’s Day”, featuring grunge from Switzerland, hard rock from Coventry, punk pop new wave [ex-Bophins], and heavy blues rock from Northampton. Doors 7pm, pay as you want

SOYBOMB + JOSHUA ZERO
Friday February 14th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Berlin-based headliners bring the noisy alt-pop, with support from new Leeds-based literate alt-rockers. From 9pm, free entry

THE SCHLAGERLOUTS + BURNING SALT + DARYL KIRKLAND + GARY PAINTING
Friday February 14th
Earl’s Barton Working Men’s Club
An incarnation of local folk legends Ock ‘n’ Dough headline, who re-create the authentic sound of a 1930s Eastern European dance hall in Latvia, with a Cajun twist. Main support is from Hannah Hull, who draws on folk, country and blues. Then it’s Leicester singer-songwriter, plus a local one. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

THE RAMONAS + SPRING PARK
Saturday February 15th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The four ladies play a mix of Ramones covers and their own take on speed punk. Support from Northampton’s really-rather-good punks. Doors 7.30pm, £9.50 tickets

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
Saturday February 15th
The Roadmender, Northampton
1980s indie treasures return to a favourite haunt, playing songs from Back In The DHSS and more. Doors 7.30pm, £23 tickets

THE TRIBE + DIRTY VERTEBRAE + THE BLUE CARPET BAND + BALDHEAD & THE DREADS + MIFFY ENGLEFIELD
Saturday February 15th
The Lab, Northampton
Hip-hop reggae ska energy collective from Wiltshire, post-melodic grunge from the North-West, primordial punk from London, ska-punk from London, and acoustic punk singer/actor. Doors 7pm, free entry

HANNAH FAULKNER + CELINE ELLIS + TIM JON BROPHY + ANDY CLARKE + MARIEKE VINK
Saturday February 15th
The Fox & Hounds, Northampton
Ni Ni acoustic singer-songwriter night. From 9pm, free entry

CHRIS CONWAY + DAN BRITTON
Saturday February 15th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranfield
Frontmen of top UK Celtic band Govannen, Chris & Dan are two of the finest musicians in the East Midlands and a powerful combination. Each a distinguished singer-songwriter in his own right, they blend American and Celtic styles. Doors 7.30pm, £9 tickets from 01536 330014

EMPYRE + STILL REMAINS + YESTERDAY’S GONE
Sunday February 16th
The King Billy, Northampton
Local rising hard rockers play a regular haunt; plus local metallers, and bluesmen from Chesterfield. From 5pm, free entry

JOHN WHEATCROFT + MARTIN WINNING
Sunday February 16th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Top UK exponents of gypsy jazz, Wheatcroft and Winning return to The Pomfret for another afternoon of virtuosity. Django fans rejoice! From 7pm free Entry

MIDGE URE
Monday February 17th
Derngate, Northampton
Brought to life by Midge Ure and Band Electronica, this is the very first time in the 40 years since it was made that the ‘Vienna’ album will be performed in its entirety. It is also the first time that many of the songs from the debut ‘Visage’ album will be played live. Doors 7pm, tickets from £27.75

GREEN LEAVES DOWN
Tuesday February 18th
The Old White Hart, Northampton
Folkies GLD return to the Great Knight Folk Club. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

 

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New Music Friday: Andy Crofts

Andy Crofts is a name synonymous with the Northampton music scene: from those late-90s teenage days with Circa, through The Hi-Drivers and The On-Offs, to his current occupations with The…

Andy Crofts is a name synonymous with the Northampton music scene: from those late-90s teenage days with Circa, through The Hi-Drivers and The On-Offs, to his current occupations with The Moons, Paul Weller, and now some solo work. On the eve of his just-for-fun covers project and another solo tour New Boots asked him to take stock of his 2020 visions.

Hi Andy. How is your mood for 2020?
Well I’m actually feeling very positive and excited about the year. For the first time I’ve been seriously considering getting out there as a solo artist – I guess I feel a sense of anything can happen.

You did your first ever solo tour in December. How was the experience?
It was a real eye opener for me. I definitely got more confidence from it and learnt a lot in a small amount of time. I felt I needed to go back to basics and almost learn again. I never take for granted how lucky I am to work alongside one of my idols, but I feel to do music you have to appreciate the trip. I mean you can’t just expect to carry on from where you are without building more foundations. So this is where I’m at; starting again in small venues up and down the country. I guess it’s not a complete true start, as I have built some appreciation up from The Moons and Weller audience over he years. But going out alone with my guitar is as raw as I can be. I’m not hiding behind anything, and what you see is what you get.

Do you feel you can achieve something unique under your own banner now?
Yes I think so. Before I started The Moons I was gonna go for it alone, but felt I hadn’t earned it yet. I needed to get something going, so I started a band. Now, I’m at a stage where I think I’m ready. I guess some of it is a maturity thing, as you kinda naturally grow into this, but it’s also a necessity. I’m certainly not getting younger and I have many things in my head that I feel I need to do, such as go it alone. I’m actually very excited about it all to be honest. I love The Moons completely and the boys in the band and it’s certainly not me waving goodbye. It’s just me adding another chapter to my life. It no biggie in the grand scheme of life, but for me it’s something I must do next.
I have a good bunch of demos together that I think will be the songs for my first album but I need to get into a studio to record them. Time is something I do struggle with lately so I have to wait for a window to open and go for it ,if you know what I mean. It is gonna be great though and I can’t wait!

To see you join Paul Weller’s band on keys back in 2008 was a thrill. The bigger thrill was seeing you step forward to play a bigger role in the music, helping with arrangements, plus stepping out front /switching to bass in 2017. Has that deeper, creative involvement kept things fresh and exciting for you after all these years?
Paul has this ability of not making you feel like a hired hand or a spare part. He really involves us and listens to our opinions, and this is strong leadership on his behalf. I think he’s very particular about who he chooses in his band, and chose all of us for our own individual styles, so that together we can paint a bigger picture. Over the years I have personally put a lot of input into his albums and live shows and I’m pretty proud of that, but I respect him and am happy to be directed. When I think back to being a kid with a Weller poster on my wall who would have thought all of this was going to be my fate. Some would say I am lucky and yes I am I guess, but I’ve also worked and played hard over the years to earn this position. It is possible to make your luck.

The forthcoming covers album, The Boogloo Radio Sessions, tell us all about it. It comes out of the radio show, doesn’t it?
Ok so let me explain. As some of you may know I have my own weekly radio show on Boogalooradio.com in London. Boogaloo Radio is broadcast 24/7 from The Boogaloo pub in Highgate. Now with my show I came to an agreement with them that as I am never in one place for long enough that I would record my show from my own studio at home and if I can make it into the London studio I can. Over many weeks I did this thing in my show where I asked the listeners to choose a song for me to cover, and this became the ‘Crofty Covers’ section of my show. After having a pretty good response from people I thought it would be a waste to just let the recordings just disappear, so I thought I’d make them into a little album. I only wanted this to be digital as they are just covers, and I wanted it out faster.
Let me just say that this certainly is not meant to be my attempt at releasing my first solo record. Not in the slightest! This is just a bit of fun to be honest and fills a hole whilst I’m writing and recording songs and demos for my actual album. There are 15 songs on it and some of them were thrown in to give people their money’s worth. I’m not to hung up about it – it is there if people are interested. I renamed it The Boogaloo Radio Sessions as ‘Crofty Covers’ just sounds daft.

The Moons are coming back with a new album this year, Pocket Melodies, recorded at Abbey Road. 
I’ll go more into detail about the album another time, but all I can really say about this is time has not been on our side. Things have got in the way here and there, and have delayed the album like crazy. I’m kinda bored of telling people it’s gonna be out and then nothing happens. Ironically our favourite album recorded live at Abbey Road has become the hardest to finish. All I can say is that it will happen when it’s ready. It’s difficult to tour because of the Weller thing too, so The Moons are sort of stuck in limbo. Maybe we will just put our the album without a tour. Maybe we will only become a studio band. All the answers are in the air at the moment. The album will eventually be heard though, in some way or another.

How’s your view of Northampton now, from a distance?
Well even though I’m currently living down near Brighton my mother and my family are all still in Northampton, so I don’t really feel so far away. My honest thoughts though is that I do actually love Northampton, BUT – and a huge but – it has been seriously neglected. Boarded up shops, more homelessness, and in general just a lack of attention spent on the town centre. It really is a beautiful town, and it frustrates me to see this. The music and arts scene has always been the saviour of the town for me, and is still fighting strong. I’m really happy to see that silly Jesus centre disappear! That was a horrible cult eyesore, but has huge potential now. The town just needs some wise decisions I think. If I was in charge I would lower all shop rent in the town centre to give more independent shops are chance, as having more of a boutique style town would really benefit the town, making a cooler shopping atmosphere. This would include cleaning up the the place and just making it look pretty. Yes it may sound a minor issue but making the place attractive would attract visitors and certainly not more pound shops! Then I’d put more funding into helping the town’s creative people, as this has always been important for Northampton and I think is overlooked [this would include schools]. Last of all I would put funding into helping the homeless and giving them a chance to work or have accommodation. Kinda like a get-back-on-your-feet type thing that helps them fit into society with counselling and a clothing fund, to not feel alienated. No one knows their story, but they deserve a chance. There are good people working at the shelters, but with more help it could make more of a difference. Getting them off the streets into a warm place with a hot meal in their tummy is the priority!

Any musical tips for those just starting out?
The first thing I’d say is “play play play”! Keep playing and rehearsing with your friends. Hang out, have fun and keep rehearsing. Starting out in a band and hanging out with your mates are golden times that you cannot buy, and will be the foundation to everything. Once you have a band work on your songs and instrumentation. Get some local pub gigs. Make a little EP of your best songs, and sell them at your gigs. Be social on the internet, and make the most of it all. Upload regular videos of you performing even if it’s in your living room. Just make the effort for people to see. Get a good photoshoot and make sure you all look the part and not fresh out of the office. Contact local papers in the town for reviews or features, as I know personally that they support the arts in the town. Just treat everything you do as making new steps. Become the best you can be in Northamptonshire, and then take it to another town and the next and the next. If you’re good people will take notice. Just put the time in and don’t be half arsed about it. Just be yourself and don’t try and change you to be like a fashionable trend if you think that will help you “make it”. You yourself are much more priceless than any fad. Last of all: embrace the independent side of the music business. They days of the dream major record deal are dead, as they mainly sign crap and don’t care about developing artists. Make your own world and people will wanna be part of it.

Who are you currently digging?
Well doing my radio show I come across lots these days. So I’m just gonna list a few of them without going into to much detail. I really like the sound of these bands though:
Babe Rainbow
Juniore
Flamingods
Black Pumas
Creatures
Foxygen
La Femme
Jack Gardner
Sugar Candy Mountain
The Mysterines
I could go on but where would I stop! Doing my radio show I have found a new found love towards new music. For years I was so stuck into my old stuff that it closed my vision, but now the boundaries are down and I get excited about new music again. I just hope I can end up on people’s favourite lists in the future.

The Boogaloo Radio Sessions is released on all digital platforms March 2nd, and available for pre-order now from iTunes. Andy goes on another short tour later this month, beginning at Northampton’s Black Prince on Feb 28th. Tour tickets from www.andycrofts.com

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Independent Venue Week 2020; photo report

We’re still trying to catch up on sleep from another cracking Independent Venue Week. There were great gigs taking place at The Black Prince, The Roadmender and The Lab in…

We’re still trying to catch up on sleep from another cracking Independent Venue Week.

There were great gigs taking place at The Black Prince, The Roadmender and The Lab in Northampton with Esquires and the Craufurd Arms across the border, as you’d expect, putting on solid shows throughout the week.

Working Men’s Club at The Black Prince

It was probably the strongest IVW Northampton has had to date and we got around to as much as we could / were allowed to by significant others.

It was six gigs for photo editor Dave and five for editor-in-chief Phil.

Billy Lockett pulled in the biggest crowd of the week at the Roadmender which was a top homecoming show for the Northampton native at the start of his UK tour.

The Black Prince saw hundreds of people through its doors during IVW, with Working Men’s Club and No Music among the highlights.

Over at Esquires, Wamduscher proved a great end to the week with a sold-out show.

Apologies to The Lab and the Craufurd Arms. Promise we’ll get to some of your shows next year! We might have to recruit a bit more help!

Below is a gallery featuring some of Northampton’s finest playing alongside the acts who headed to the region, featuring headline gigs by

ROAM / SPQR / King Purple / Billy Lockett / Working Men’s Club / Warmduscher

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Across The Border: Feb 6 – Feb 13

It’s back. Our somewhat regular look at what’s going on elsewhere, highlighting some of our favourite places outside of Northamptonshire. Need to get out of the county next week for…

It’s back. Our somewhat regular look at what’s going on elsewhere, highlighting some of our favourite places outside of Northamptonshire.

Need to get out of the county next week for you music fix? Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

One of the stand outs of the week is the chance to see Fairport Convention (pictured) at The Stables. Usually seen playing to crowds of thousands on a regular  basis, this is a chance to see them up-close and personal.

 

PROJECT NOISE
Friday, February 7
The Craufurd Arms
Doors 7.30pm, tickets £7

JOHN
Friday, February 7
Esquires, Bedford
Doors 8pm, tickets £8.50

EMILY CAPELL
Saturday, February 8
Esquires, Bedford
Doors 8pm, tickets £8

LOS PACAMINOS
Saturday, February 8
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Doors 8pm, tickets £25

ROSWELL
Saturday, February 8
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Doors 8.45pm, tickets £11

LEBROCK
Sunday, February 9
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Doors 7.30pm, tickets £8

OLCAY BAYIR: DREAM FOR ANATOLIA
Sunday, February 9
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Doors 8pm, tickets £16.50

FAIRPORT CONVENTION
Tuesday, February 11
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Doors 8pm, tickets £31.50

AMIGO THE DEVIL
Wednesday, February 12
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Doors 7.30pm, tickets £12

METAL 2 THE MASSES: HEAT 3
Thursday, February 13
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5

GILL LANDRY
Thursday, February 13
Esquires, Bedford
Doors 8pm, tickets £11.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 5th – Feb 11th

FLASHBACK PHOTOGRAPH + JACK LONDON + IRENE RAE Wednesday February 5th The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Acoustic night with open mic slots. This month: hugely popular foot-tapping folk-rock band from…

FLASHBACK PHOTOGRAPH + JACK LONDON + IRENE RAE
Wednesday February 5th
The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Acoustic night with open mic slots. This month: hugely popular foot-tapping folk-rock band from Peterborough ,and a couple of charismatic singer-songwriters. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

BETH PARKER + LAURA BAKER + DREW GUBBINS + JACKSBORO HIGHWAY + CAMERON GRACE + MARIEKE VINK
Thursday February 6th
The Walnut Tree, Blisworth
Ni NI acoustic sessions. From 8pm, free entry

CRASH INDUCTION + SPITTING FEATHERS + DEAD FREQUENCY + CRAWLSPACES
Friday February 7th
The King Billy, Northampton 
Four NN punk bands raising funds for Young Minds [mental health charity] and Spotlight Dance [dance school]. From 8.30pm; it’s free entry but there will be plenty of opportunity to donate.

HANNAH FAULKNER + DREW GUBBINS + CAMERON GRACE + ANDY CLARKE + CELINE ELLIS + JACKSBORO HIGHWAY
Friday February 7th
The Sun Inn, Hardingstone
Ni NI acoustic sessions. From 8.30pm, free entry

THE VINCENT VEGA BAND + CANYONS
Saturday February 8th
The Black Prince, Northampton
A double helping of NN rootsy indie rock, in celebration of John Cox’s birthday. Doors 7pm, free entry

ROLLING THUNDER + SKYFLOOD + WHERE’S MITCHELL
Saturday February 8th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Indie-flavoured good times with these three. Music from 8pm, free entry

THE BARRATTS
Saturday February 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Energetic live performances and observant songwriting from the ShoeTown lads. Doors 8pm, free entry

TU-KAY & RYAN
Saturday February 8th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Lush harmonies and heartfelt lyrics from the NN duo. From 9pm, free entry

VELVET INSANE + THE BIG DIRTY + INDYA + WE DON’T KNOW ANYONE CALLED RUFUS
Sunday February 9th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Swedish rock band with inspirations from 70’s glam to more modern music. New single features former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick! Plus the much-loved “sex rock” four-piece from Northampton, the Kent fivesome with the sensational ‘Goddess of Rock’ frontwoman, and  a new Northampton outfit who mix of classic rock and punk. Doors 6.30pm, £5 tickets

HANNAH FAULKNER + LAURA BAKER & BOB + TIM JON BROPHY + MALCOLM DUNN + MEG SHIPHAN + JOE CORKRAM
Sunday February 9th
The Sevens, Northampton
Ni NI acoustic sessions. 6.30pm start, free entry

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