New Music Friday: L30 Robinson

L30 Robinson is a young Northampton-based tongue-in-cheek rapper who began releasing music in 2014, regularly collaborating with long-term friend and DJ Charlie Borthwick [aka CB]. In 2017 he released his first…

L30 Robinson is a young Northampton-based tongue-in-cheek rapper who began releasing music in 2014, regularly collaborating with long-term friend and DJ Charlie Borthwick [aka CB]. In 2017 he released his first studio album Wish U Were Here. He’s just dropped another of his masterful efforts, ‘3’7 – Size Don’t Matter’. New Boots chose the occasion to have a few words.

When did you start rapping, and when did you first take it out of your bedroom into the world?
Attending Weston Favell and having supply teachers was a regular occurrence, and one of the supplies used to play songs in his classes to get the kids on board and make him seem cool. I always tried to freestyle over the instrumental sections of the songs. Then when Charlie moved to my school in about 2011 he heard me in one of those lessons and said “yo I’ve just started making beats you should make a song with one” so I did and it all began there. I used his beat for a YouTube video shot in my bedroom then started making and uploading like 2-3 vids a week.

What were those crucial early influences that made you think, “this is for me”?
As a beginner I always struggled with flow, but I compared myself to rappers my level and I didn’t sound like any of them lyrically. I was always more mature with my lyrics and then people who watched me generally had the same feeling. I remember after a year or so I was shooting a freestyle for a media channel called SoSoBlessed and the cameraman Tera D said “Leo your flow needs work but your lyrics are crazy” and that’s really stuck with me to this day.

How would you describe your sound?
Straight to the point, lyrical storytelling.

What was the reaction like to last year’s Wish U Were Here album?
The feedback was really positive, but I think I came across way too dense. There’s one feature in the first song so it’s all me and it’s got like 18 tracks. I would’ve been better off staggering it into four EPs or something, but you live and you learn and it just means I’ve got 20 sick songs on Spotify.

Tell us everything about this new song, “3’7 – Size Don’t Matter”.
The song follows no direct story, it’s just one liners. The beat was made by Bak Beats [check him out on YouTube] and when I heard it I was just drawn into being aggressive with the lyrics but in a playful way as to not come across too harsh. For instance “Mistaken identity/Are you p*****?/That guy’s white and 6’6” is actually a true story about how Charlie got beat up in a nightclub in Kettering and the bouncers walked straight past the guy who did it, threw me out, then the police arrested me – only to release me later on. Chaos.

How do you approach your live performances? Faithful recreations your thing, or do you improvise?
We rehearse our sets. I always change the song order and try to add something different to each show. At NMF 2016 me and Charlie finished our set with a screeching flat line sound playing and walked down the road for a beer leaving everyone confused about what was going on.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Northampton? Any favourite acts or venues?
I feel more connected with the local bands that any rap scene, although Lay it down is changing that. Shout out to Leon Denton he’s working hard to form a rap scene. I don’t wanna start naming acts then forget someone but I’ll give you this: when me and Charlie won Northampton’s Best Young Musical act in 2016 at the Roadmender that was special, not just to win it but I’m the only rapper to ever win it. As a rapper I was already at a disadvantage because people would put me in a box and say “it’s not hard”, as I wasn’t playing an instrument, yet some of the bands they were supporting played a couple covers standing still with no stage presence whatsoever – not exactly difficult.

You were recently on ITV2 show ‘Don’t Hate The Playaz’. Tell us about that.
That was hooked up by Leon from Lay It Down. He was contacted by ITV and he passed on some details to me. They liked my material and it all went from there. It’s an amazing thing to see of course, but normal people are on TV everyday. I’m just glad I took my opportunity, but I’m hungry for more.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Jay Rock – Redemption. Awesome album, literally complete. It’s got hits, deep songs; it makes you want him to win. Jay Rock is so underrated.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for 2019?
I need to perform more out of town. I’m thinking if I can bag like two shows a month then I’ll be happy with that. The music I’ve got stored will take care of me online, so I now want to make a more physical reach out.

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Nov 14th – Nov 20th

HAFDIS HULD Wednesday November 14th The Kettering Arts Centre Iceland’s premier acoustic pop/folk singer regularly performs around the world and is a BBC 6Music favourite. Accompanied on stage by the…

HAFDIS HULD
Wednesday November 14th
The Kettering Arts Centre
Iceland’s premier acoustic pop/folk singer regularly performs around the world and is a BBC 6Music favourite. Accompanied on stage by the beautiful guitar-playing of her English husband, Alisdair Wright. Doors 7.30pm, £11 tickets

SKYFLOOD
Wednesday November 14th
The King Billy, Northampton
Four-piece alternative [post]rock band from Corby/Northampton. Music from 9pm, free entry

STEREO SKULL + A TITAN, A DEITY + THE CREATURE WITHIN + BROKEN EMPIRE
Thursday November 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
Cyber metal from Wellingborough, prog metal from Brum, grungey trio from ShoeTown, and hard rock from Oxford. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

LAY IT DOWN
Thursday November 15th
The Lab, Northampton
Featured artist this month at the popular urban night is Anonymous Impact. The night finishes with MC Cypher, and DJ Towner will be doing the mixing. Doors 8pm, free entry

HAZEL O’CONNOR
Thursday November 15th
The Core At Corby Cube 
An evening with the award-winning singer-songwriter Hazel O’Connor, featuring a rare screening of the digitally re-mastered uncut version of the film Breaking Glass, followed by an intimate Q&A and live performance of some of the films best-loved songs. There’s a Meet & Greet immediately after the show too. Doors 7pm, £26 tickets

THE PRIMEVALS + VENUS FLY TRAP
Friday November 16th
The Lab, Northampton
Glaswegian garage rockers, who toured with The Cramps and The Gun Club and did a John Peel session back in the day, are still a tour de force live. Support from Alex Novak’s dark wave duo, promoting new album Icon. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

TERRY & GERRY + JAMES WATT & THE AVENUES
Friday November 16th
The White Hart, Corby
Birmingham-based cult skiffle cow-punk band Terry and Gerry have been reformed for over three years and are now more popular than ever. Support on the evening will be from Corby surf-twangsters. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

TU-KAY & RYAN
Friday November 16th
The Spread Eagle, Piddington
A local musical duo: expect lush harmonies and “heartfelt lyrics touching at both matters of the heart and encouraging a positive and optimistic outlook on society and life in its entirety”. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

CHARLOTTE CARPENTER + ALESSI’S ARK + BETH MUNROE
Saturday November 17th
The Playhouse, Northampton
Long time friends and soul sisters, Carpenter & AA embark on a run of UK & EU shows this month. They’ll be celebrating releases, new & old, sharing the stage and revealing a brand new project, Blood Moon. Expect cinematic stompers, whimsical storytelling, and a whole lot of love. Plus, the ‘Masochist’ singer opens proceedings. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

THE BIG DIRTY + THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND
Saturday November 17th
Club 43, Northampton
The Northampton hard rock quarter launch their album Sex Rock City at the ‘Rebel Waltz’ clubnight. Support from much-loved returning rap-rockers TWLS. Doors 8pm. Free entry before 9.30pm, £4 after that, £5 after 11pm.

DAVE CLEMO
Saturday November 17th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
A solo performance from the former Left Hand Drive man. Clemo is a sixty something singer-songwriter, whose music contains elements of country, folk, and gospel. He will also be signing his new book Too Old For Punk. Music from 9pm, free entry

LIZZIE AND THE BANSHEES + FAMILY OF NOISE + PROJECT REJECT
Saturday November 17th
The White Hart, Corby
Tribute band to Siouxsie and the Banshees, local purveyors of post-punk / alternative rock instrumental noise nuggets, and a Parisian-based three-piece doing 1979-83 U.S. punk-style material focusing on historical events and distant hardships. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

LAY SIEGE + DARKEST DAYS + EXILES + MUTINY + THE CREATURE WITHIN
Saturday November 17th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
ShoeTown metalcore outift promoting debut album hopeisnowhere, more metalcore from the East Midlands from DD, melodic post-hardcore band from Wolverhampton, and grungey Northampton three-piece with a passion for the dirty, weird and loud. Doors 6pm, £5 tickets

GOGO LOCO
Saturday November 17th
The Old House, Wellingborough
The maraca-centric rock’n’roll duo from Northampton help The Old House celebrate their first birthday. Free entry

BEFORE BREAKFAST + GREGG CAVE
Sunday November 18th
The Lab, Northampton
Sheffield indie-popsters, on the road supporting debut EP ‘Sticky Sweet’, support from local singer-songwriter. Doors 7.30pm, £3 tickets

LITTLE BITBOY + JASMINE BURNS + JOEL HARRIES + ZACK BULLOCK
Sunday November 18th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The beginning of the Sunday Solo sessions night. Each bringing something different: from trip-hop piano, electric guitar loops, to 8-bit chiptune electronic music. Including an EP launch from the recently featured Jasmine Burns. Doors 7pm, free entry

TU-KAY & RYAN + VICKII STOCKER + STEVE BIRKS + CORINNE LUCY
Sunday November 18th
The Boat Inn, Stoke Bruene
Audio Vendor presents a night of singers and songwriters. The event will be recorded and the recordings will be made available to event attendees at their request [sign up to their mailing list at the event and get sent a link to download the recordings]. Doors 6.30pm, £10 tickets

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Competition: Win a pair of tickets to see From The Jam at The Roadmender

From The Jam – comprised of legendary former bassist for The Jam, Bruce Foxton, as well as vocalist/guitarist Russell Hastings, drummer Mike Randon and pianist Andy Fairclough – will celebrate…

From The Jam – comprised of legendary former bassist for The Jam, Bruce Foxton, as well as vocalist/guitarist Russell Hastings, drummer Mike Randon and pianist Andy Fairclough – will celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Jam’s album All Mod Cons with a series of live shows, which will see them perform the record in its entirety. They play a sold-out show at Northampton Roadmender on Friday November 30th. New Boots has a pair of tickets for the show to give away.

To enter, email the answer to the following question to: competitions@newboots.uk
What is the title of the third song on the All Mod Cons album?

The subject field of the email must be ‘From The Jam Competition’
You must include your full name and daytime contact phone number.
Entries must be received by 11.59pm on Sunday, November 25.

Competition Terms & Conditions:
This competition closes at 11.59pm on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Entries submitted after this time will not be counted.
A winner be selected at random from all correct entries received by the closing date and notified within 24 hours of the competition deadline.
Responsibility for prizes lies with promoters AGMP and not with New Boots.
Only one entry per person is permitted.
Prizes are non–transferable and there is no cash alternative.
The competition winner is responsible for all travel and transport costs to and from the venue.
If the concert is postponed and the winner is unable to attend a rescheduled date, a new winner will be drawn.
New Boots reserves the right to disqualify any entrant if there are reasonable grounds to believe any of the rules have been breached.

PHOTO CREDIT: Derek D’Souza

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slowthai picked as one of YouTube Music’s ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2019

slowthai has been picked by YouTube Music as one of its ’10 top acts for 2019′. The Northampton-born rapper has been included on the streaming service’s ‘Ones To Watch’ artist…

slowthai has been picked by YouTube Music as one of its ’10 top acts for 2019′.

The Northampton-born rapper has been included on the streaming service’s ‘Ones To Watch’ artist spotlight.

Other acts on the list include Mahalia, Octavian, Grace Carter, Kojey Radical, Sam Fender, L Devine, Dermot Kennedy, Samm Henshaw and Jade Bird.

This list has been compiled by YouTube Music based on a variety of factors, including YouTube views, engagement from global music fans and YouTube Music analytics.

slowthai said: “It’s a blessing to be shortlisted by YouTube Music for Ones to Watch in 2019. Love to YouTube and everyone else supporting me.”

The list is dominated by a mix of individual singer-songwriters and is notable for not featuring any groups, comprising ten solo artists – reflective by trends, views and insights on YouTube.

Over the course of the past year, slowthai has released a steady string of singles including ‘North Nights’ / ‘The Bottom’, ‘Ladies’, ‘Drug Dealer’ and ‘Rainbow’ – mixing rap, grime and garage influences.

In October, slowthai announced the Brexit Bandit tour which will see him play across the UK and Europe in March and April next year.

While there’s no Northamptonshire gig, the closest the tour comes is Birmingham’s O2 Institute on Wednesday, March 27th.

For more details, visit https://slowthai.com and https://www.youtube.com/user/slowthai

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New Music Friday: Jasmine Burns

She lives on a narrowboat that travels back and forth between Northants and Bucks. She creates bluesy Americana. She has a fabulous new EP out. She is Jasmine Burns, and…

She lives on a narrowboat that travels back and forth between Northants and Bucks. She creates bluesy Americana. She has a fabulous new EP out. She is Jasmine Burns, and New Boots had a chat with her.

How did you get into music, and then begin to play an instrument and write?
I grew up in a family where no one was a musician or could sing, but my folks were lovers of music. From a very young age I could hold a tune. I vividly remember my Mum playing Blondie and David Bowie tapes in the car and I would sing along on the way to nursery. During primary school I took trumpet lessons, which I absolutely hated at the time. But there was a fellow student that could play guitar and I was instantly inspired. I begged my folks to pay for tuition, but they could only afford to buy me a guitar. So I took it upon myself and took out a book from the local library and sat down each afternoon after school and practiced simple chords until I could just about play a song. I still have said book at home! I’m scared that a librarian is going to find me one day at one of my upcoming gigs with a massive fine! From practicing simple chords I started learning favourite songs, and soon enough wrote my first song at the age of 13. It was god awful, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

How would you describe your sound?
My sounds is very much a mixture of a lot of genres. I take inspiration from a lot of sources, and not only music that is similar to what I write. I really struggle to put myself into that one box. My material varies so much from something that is distinctly country, to other songs that would be considered bluegrass or Americana. But, I feel I’ve really churned them all up and put my own stamp on it. My sound is sassy and strong. 
 
Who are your main influences in music?
My influences have changed so much throughout the years. In the early days of my writing I would listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Neil Young. Recently, I have been heavily influenced by a lot of early blues artists, such as Otis Rush and Son House. But, most notably, Shakey Graves has been my main source of inspiration over the last four years. I’ll be seeing Shakey Graves on the November 13th at KOKO in Camden.
 
You live on a narrowboat – how does that effect your creativity?
A lot of my songs are based around my life and thoughts, so occasionally living on a narrowboat will come up in the subject of my songs. But I wouldn’t say its affected the style of my writing. I do a lot of other creative things, such as painting, sewing and crocheting, which are influenced by traditional canal culture. Music has always remained sort of separate. But I suppose there must be some kind of relationship, as boating is part of me, as is writing songs. 
 
Tell us everything about this new EP, Homesick.
My new EP came about when my local venue asked me if I wanted to put on an event with me as the headline. I jokingly said, “why don’t we make it an EP launch?”. At that point some of the songs weren’t even written, let alone recorded. Hah! But that’s how it all got started. I decided right there and then to release this new EP. Two years ago  I released a live EP that was really well received. So I figured, what the hell? It’s bluesy and it’s gritty. With a few tearjerkers thrown in for good measure. The EP is somewhat of a concept, in that all the songs reference the word Home. Everything that has gone towards making this EP has come out of my own pocket. It has all been recorded by myself on my Laptop using Garageband. The majority of it was recorded at home on my humble little narrowboat, and in my friend Craig’s living room. Featuring on the EP is Craig Stoker and John Cadden-Lawrence from local Northampton band Mojo Mules. They brought a really great energy to the record.
 
What are your live shows like?
I would say that my live shows are a space for people to have a good time and dance around. A lot of my songs reference a lot of life’s troubles. So I’d like to think it’s a space for us all to relate to one another. 
 
Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire/Buckinghamshire? Any favourite acts/venues?
I have been frequenting a local open mic night called The Sunset Lounge, in Newport Pagnell, for the last three years now. It’s an incredible space for all musicians to showcase their music and themselves. The room always has a great vibe and welcoming feel. The guys that run the night have made me feel like a part of the family these last few years. I wouldn’t hesitate to say its my favourite music night or venue out there at the moment. Every Thursday at the back of The Cannon in Newport Pagnell. Be sure to check it out on Facebook for weekend events too.
 
What has been your favourite moment of the past year?
I’m going to have to say the process of making the new EP. I really threw myself into the deep end with that one. It was so much fun, but a real learning curve. One thing that I’ve really taken away from this situation is that it’s OK to ask for help.
 
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I have been listening to Songs Of The Plains by Colter Wall a lot lately, and revisiting his back catalogue. His voice to me is so soothing. It’s like a warm coat on a winters day.
 
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m the sort of person that it’s all or nothing. So the plan is to just keep going. Keep pushing the EP and keep fighting the good fight. Oh, but if anyone can help me make it happen, I’d love to play some small stages at big named festivals in 2019.
 
 
 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Nov 7th – Nov 13th

TRIPLE J TRIO Wednesday November 7th The Malt Shovel, Northampton A night of classic blues from the power trio. Triple J features drumming powerhouse Jeff Rich, best known as a…

TRIPLE J TRIO
Wednesday November 7th
The Malt Shovel, Northampton
A night of classic blues from the power trio. Triple J features drumming powerhouse Jeff Rich, best known as a former drummer for Status Quo. Joined on blues guitar and vocals by Jamie Godfrey and Andy Pearson on bass. Doors 7pm, free entry

FAHRAN + THE MOJO CITY REBELS
Wednesday November 7th
The King Billy, Northampton
Hard rock quintet from Nottingham and similar support from Rugby. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

KATIE SPENCER
Wednesday November 7th
Karmana Restaurant, Northampton
A return to the vegan restaurant of the Hull-based alt-folk singer-songwriter. “Drawing on influences such as John Martyn, Roy Harper and Laura Marling, Spencer creates modern folk music which owes as much to East Riding as it does to the American greats”. Doors 8pm, £10 tickets. Karmana is a small place and limited seating available, so do book.

SKAM + THEIA
Thursday November 8th
The King Billy, Northampton
Hard rock trios from Leicester and Burton Upon Trent embark on their ‘Magic Number Tour’. Doors 7pm, £8 tickets

DANSMALL + CORINNE LUCY
Thursday November 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Folkie singer-songwriter Dan and friends help raise money for both Campaign Against Arms Trade and the Peace Pledge Union. Doors 7.30pm, donations of £5 or more requested

JONAH MATRANGA + OXYGEN THIEF + VEINS
Friday November 9th
The White Hart, Corby
Matranga comes to Corby for a full band show as part of his ‘Water and Solutions’ tour, celebrating 20 years since the release of Far’s legendary album. Support from riffy trio from Bristol and the local alt-rock trio. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

CLUB ECLECTICA
Saturday November 10th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Andy Skank presents an evening of diverse and varied sounds featuring live electronic performance and DJ. Synths and samples from [sane], digital hardcore from Nailbreaker, ambient instrumental triphop from Zizany, and neck-cracking boom bap with live MC’s LJ You & Grene Rockafella. Doors 8pm, free entry

JET LAGGED JEFF & THE SWAMP DONKEY + JASMINE BURNS + ADRIAN STRANIK
Saturday November 10th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A night of roots and rockabilly. Existential urban cowboy songs from Bedford to begin, bluesy Americana singer from the Newport Pagnell area up next, and gritty blues rock to finish you off. Music from 9pm, free entry

P-HEX
Saturday November 10th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
The long-running baggy-funk conglomerate play their Quantum Funkanics ditties to many dancing feet. Doors 8pm, free entry

BIG COUNTRY
Saturday November 10th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The Crossing was the first studio album released by Scottish band Big Country, in 1983. The band broke massively worldwide with the release of the album’s classic singles ‘Fields Of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and signature song ‘In A Big Country’, which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over two million copies. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £22.50

AUGER + UNQUIET DEAD
Saturday November 10th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Darkwave duo from the north, and gothic-electro garage rock punk duo from Bedford.  Dancers later too [“be prepared for music, nudity and dancing”]. Doors 8pm, £10 entry

SHIREFEST 2018
Saturday November 10th – Sunday November 11th
The Shirehorse, Kettering
Local artists all giving up their time voluntarily to raise awareness and funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Expect to see on Saturday: JD Blues, Humblebee, Epigone Jazz Ensemble, Cameron Grace, Hippolyta’s Moon, and The Touch. On Sunday it’s A Time Of Day, Jacob Braithwaite, Dan Boddington, Jo-Jo Newton, Eric Cobain, Liam Ferguson, The Fevers, Midnight Honey Club, The Abrahams, Aldous Pinch, Oddity Island, and Solarise. Doors 5pm on Sat, 1pm on Sun, free entry

MARTIN ATKINS
Monday November 12th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Atkins was a member of Public Image Ltd and Killing Joke. He founded industrial supergroup Pigface, The Damage Manual, and Murder Inc., and has contributed to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. He will be talking about his 35+ year music career, focusing on his time in PiL, and playing some drums too. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

 

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Interview: Heaven 17

Heaven 17 begin a ten-date UK tour this week with a sold-out show at Northampton’s Roadmender, performing their celebrated and acclaimed 1983 album The Luxury Gap. To mark the occasion Noel…

Heaven 17 begin a ten-date UK tour this week with a sold-out show at Northampton’s Roadmender, performing their celebrated and acclaimed 1983 album The Luxury Gap. To mark the occasion Noel Draper spoke to founder Martyn Ware about his past and present.

How did you and Glenn first meet?
We met at an arts workshop that was created by the Labour council in Sheffield called Meatwhistle, and it was an opportunity to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds who were interested in being creative. I was introduced to this by an old friend called Paul Bower, who was responsible for sending our original demo of ‘Being Boiled’ to Fast Records. We were both trainee managers at the Co-Op, and through Meatwhistle I met Glenn. We were kindred spirits from the off. I found out later that the Co-Op job, that I had left 6 months previously, Glenn had taken. How weird was that?

Is it true that Glenn was supposed to be the original singer for The Human League?
Yes. It was bad timing really. Just before we were forming The Human League he had decided to go to London to seek his fame and fortune as a photographer/musician. He was the natural choice as he was full of charisma but as he wasn’t around, and we couldn’t ask him to come back up to Sheffield as he had only just settled in, we asked my best mate from school, Philip Oakey, I heard he could sing a bit, he looked great and to be honest he always looked and acted like a rock star so that’s how we formed.

How do you get on with The Human League/Philip Oakey now, considering you had quite a well publicised split ?
We see each other once or twice a year now, It’s always nice to see them. We live in London now and he lives in Sheffield, he’s quite a private person, but it’s nice to see him when we do meet up.

Where did the name Heaven 17 come from?
From the film A Clockwork Orange. When Alex walks into the record store on the wall is a chart with ‘The Heaven Seventeen’ on it. It’s actually mentioned in the book as well, which was written in 1960 and, according to Anthony Burgess, about a time around 20 years in the future which was the time we formed Heaven 17. Kind of a poetic self-fulfilling prophecy.

Did you want an unusual name?
I just loved that name. In the charts on that wall were names like ‘The Sparks’, ‘Johnny Zhivago’ and ‘Goggly Gogol’, all sorts of weird names, and that was favourite film at the time, it probably still is my favourite film actually, and I just really liked the name. Not the ‘Heaven Seventeen’ but ‘Heaven’ and then the numbers, ’17’. To me it sounded like a really obvious pop group name, cheesy, but the content had a bit more edge to it. I quite liked that dichotomy.

What made you decide to use synths and not guitars?
I was always obsessed with electronic music from an early age. I was always fascinated with anything that sounded futuristic. My sisters are a lot older than me, and had a big record collection, and I was always keeping a look out for things like the theremin in ‘Good Vibrations’ or ‘Sparky’s Magic Piano’ and anything that sounded like the future. It might have been because we were used to hearing industrial sounds in Sheffield growing up.

Why did you make the decision not to tour in the 1980s?
It was a conscious decision on our part. We had toured extensively with The Human League, and it cost us a lot of money, not directly but through the record company and we were living on advances from them. It just seemed that we were getting further and further in debt, so when we started Heaven 17 we decided to just make videos. It was near the start of MTV, so we could service every territory individually and spend good money on expensive videos. We didn’t tour live until 1995 but we did do TV shows and live television, stuff like that, but not proper live concerts.

What is the favourite song you have written?
‘Let Me Go’. It’s the best song we have written. Both myself and Glenn agree. It’s something about the melodic structure of the song, the vocal harmonies, the melody, the funkiness of it, it’s also got a haunting chord to it. I honestly believe that the greatest songs that have the most emotional impact are the ones that sit on the edge between major to minor. Is it a happy song, is it a sad song, you are never quite sure. It gives it poignancy. You can take that song and play it on guitar, piano or acapella and it still sounds fantastic and I don’t think you can say that about any of our other songs.

You are probably best known for the song ‘Temptation’. Does this annoy you, considering your other output?
No. There have been several “Greatest Songs of the 80’s” compilations and we always seem to crop up in there with ‘Temptation’ which I find incredibly flattering. We always try to make a song timeless. Being able to use a big orchestra means you quite can’t pin it down when it was made, and you could probably re-release that song with a few tweaks and it would be a hit.

Who were your musical influences growing up?
Too many to mention but definitely Bowie, Roxy Music, Georgio Moroder and then all the German experimental pop bands like Can, Amon Duul, a lot of prog rock, loved King Crimson, ELP, all sorts of amazing stuff.

Who excites you today musically?
There’s quite a lot of exciting hip-hop I like and there’s a few bands that I’m quite fond of, like Everything Everything. I also like Frank Ocean and D’Angelo.

Do you think that with a lot of today’s music being drip-fed cheese pop that you have to go and find good music yourself?
Yes, although I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I am completely anti-Spotify but I use it all the time: it’s a great thing for research, and I know that makes me a hypocrite. I like finding new music and music is just as good if not better these days. The trouble is, when we were growing up you only had a few channels of TV or radio and so everyone was listening or watching similar sort of things. Out of a class of 30 you knew that probably 23 of them saw Top of the Pops the night before, for instance, but now everyone listens to their own stuff. It’s very hard to create a common purpose, like the punk movement, as it’s hard to get a critical mass these days, which is what the whole of popular music was based on, right up until the early 1990s. You built up a head of steam, released a record and then were catapulted into the charts. That model doesn’t work any more. Britain has always been historically very good at creating new scenes quickly because it’s a densely populated small island where ideas spread quickly, but that has been dissipated by the new technologies. 90% of the people that you and I love musically are struggling to make a living in the music industry now.

Who have been your favourite people to work with?
Firstly the Phoenix Horns who are the Earth, Wind and Fire’s horn section. We used them on the ‘Luxury Gap’ and ‘How Men Are’ and they were just phenomenal, the best horn section I have, and will ever, work with. Secondly Tina Turner, she was the ultimate professional, her performance on ‘Let’s Stay Together’ was all first take. Then Terence Trent Darby, he was just an incredibly talented guy at the peak of his powers.

Are you still in contact with Ian Craig Marsh and is he still never working again with Heaven 17?
Ian is doing his own thing, and that’s it. He’s not spoken to us for years, we still have the same phone numbers, email etc., but we’ve haven’t heard anything from him. We still care about him, we know he’s OK, he’s just doing what he does.

heaven17.com

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New Music Friday: The Touch

Kettering rockers The Touch today release their second EP, entitled ‘Runaway’. The launch show has sold out, and the band are really making a name for themselves as a hot…

Kettering rockers The Touch today release their second EP, entitled ‘Runaway’. The launch show has sold out, and the band are really making a name for themselves as a hot live draw. Naturally New Boots needed to get some nitty gritty on them.

How did you guys get together?
We got together in January 2017, originally just a group of mates, when Ryan [bass] and Jamie [vocals] started writing songs. They roped in Andy and Matt [both guitar], and then all we needed was a drummer. Having worked with Dave previously we got in touch, and everything went from there.

How would you describe your sound?
Our sound is combination of ’80s influenced rock/pop/punk, incorporated with a modern tone and powerful vocal melodies.

Who do you feel are your main influences?
Each member has different influences which have contributed to our sound. Jamie is really into 80 cheesy rock; Matt has a bizarre combination of Shania Twain and Status Quo; Ryan is really into his pop-punk; Andy has heavier influences such as Audioslave and Alter Bridge, and Dave is into his classic rock. All these components have allowed to form what we believe to be an original tone amongst modern bands.

Tell us about this new EP, ‘Runaway’.
This new EP is rockier than our first, featured some of our best songs to date including our title track ‘Runaway Baby’ – which is guaranteed to get the crowd dancing and singing.

What are your live shows like?
Our live shows are what can only be described as bonkers. We have numerous lights and even a song to get the crowd involved. We have been noticed by the fact that our show interacts the crowd in a very different way to other bands.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We have played in the likes of Northampton, Brackley and Milton Keynes. MK11 especially is a phenomenal venue, and we would really like to spread further. At the moment we are working a lot with local band Wishing Wolf, and we have previously done work with close friends of ours Empyre.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
That would have to be Rocked Up Hootenanny and our military base gigs, which have been especially fun to get involved with and a great experience for us.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The band wishes to expand but remain loyal to fans and keep our interactive performance. We would like to branch out into cities and playing larger festivals as our next step, and then who knows where it might take us. We believe we are doing something that is different to other bands, and we have a fair bit of success catching the attention of people, due to us almost being in a genre of our own.

Runaway is out now via the usual digital platforms

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Across The Border: gig guide Nov 2nd – Nov 8th

Our Across the Border round up is back for another quick look at some of the best gigs taking place at venues in neighbouring counties over the next seven days….

Our Across the Border round up is back for another quick look at some of the best gigs taking place at venues in neighbouring counties over the next seven days. Here’s a quick run down on some of the shows you should have your eye on.

DREADZONE
Friday, November 2nd
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Electro-dub pioneers Dreadzone are back in the region. The band formed in the early 1990s and released their latest album Dread Times last year. Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets cost £17.50 in advance.

WISHBONE ASH
Friday, November 2nd
The Assembly, Leamington

Blues rockers Wishbone Ash are one of the most enduring bands in British rock and are headlining Leamington’s Assembly. They have sold millions of albums and are famed for their iconic twin guitar sound. Doors open at 6.30pm, tickets cost £22.50 in advance.

THE ESKIES
Saturday, November 3rd
Esquires, Bedford

Dublin purveyors of folk noir, gypsy jazz and sea shanties The Eskies are back in the region for another headline gig at Esquires. Their second album And Don’t Spare The Horses was released last year. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £14 in advance.

KATEY BROOKS
Sunday, November 4th
The Stables, Wavendon, Milton Keynes

Singer-songwriter Katey Brooks’ sound epitomizes the culturally diverse environment in which she grew up. Born and raised between Bristol, London and Arizona to musical parents, the Indie Award nominee is best described as Joni Mitchell meets a female Hozier. Doors open at 8.45pm, ticket cost £10 in advance.

BRIX & THE EXTRICATED
Sunday, November 4th
Esquires, Bedford

Brix & The Extricated were formed in 2014 by vocalist / guitarist Brix Smith-Start and the legendary bass player Stephen Hanley. Stephen’s brother Paul joined on drums reigniting the Hanley Brother powerhouse rhythm section. The addition of Steve Trafford on guitar brought together these influential, former members of The Fall. The line-up was completed with the addition of Irish guitarist Jason Brown. Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets cost £15 in advance

ZEBRAHEAD
Monday, November 5th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

California punk rockers Zebrahead are out on the road ahead of their latest release The Bonus Brothers which is out later this month. The record is a compilation of songs only available on Japanese editions of some of their previous LPs. Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets cost £16 in advance.

SALLY BARKER WITH CHRIS CONWAY & DAN BRITTON
Tuesday, November 6th
The Stables, Wavendon, Milton Keynes

Whether singing as Tom Jones’ finalist on BBC TV’s The Voice, the songs of Sandy Denny in the reformed Fotheringay, revered fem-folk group The Poozies or as a solo artist supporting Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Richard Thompson, Sally Barker has the ability to bring songs gloriously to life. At The Stables she’ll be joined by Chris Conway and Dan Britton. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £15 in advance.

DRONES + HAGGARD CAT + BITCH FALCON
Wednesday, November 7th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Described as one of the most exciting new punk bands emerging from the UK, Drones combine socio-politically charged messages with a revered live reputation. Their latest LP Exiled was released this year. They have previously supported the likes of Neck Deep, Marmozets and Gallows. Doors open at 7.30pm, ticket cost £8 in advance.

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Live review: Ctrl Alt Fest Delete

CTRL ALT FEST DELETE Various venues, Kettering Friday October 26th – The Three Cocks Tonight, Ctrl Alt Fest Delete kicks off the party with three incredible bands. This is a well-loved…

CTRL ALT FEST DELETE
Various venues, Kettering

Friday October 26th – The Three Cocks
Tonight, Ctrl Alt Fest Delete kicks off the party with three incredible bands. This is a well-loved pub, but it’s not just regulars in tonight – the place is packed with both old and new faces, all buzzing with excitement to hear Kettering’s (and Corby’s) finest.

Female-fronted My Mate Dave take to the stage with endless energy and relentless enthusiasm, starting their set with an unbelievable cover of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’. The band seems to specialise in pop songs, but they perform the tracks with a rocky, razor-sharp quality, adding bouncing riffs and gravelly vocals to songs that were once smooth and clear. It’s an element of talent that a lot of bands seem to miss, but My Mate Dave hits the mark every single time. Corby instrumentalists Family Of Noise clearly have a lot of fans present tonight, as many people are waiting with anticipation for the trio. It’s not hard to see why, as they make their entire set look effortless, playing their instruments with as much ease as the most experienced of professionals. It’s easy for instrumental bands to fall into a trap of repetition, but with strong bass lines, smooth riffs and pounding drums, Family Of Noise make each and every song sound as fresh as the last.

Ending the night with a bang, The Fevers play with finesse and style. Covering well-loved tracks from bands like The Ramones and Buzzcocks, there’s not a single person in the crowd that isn’t bopping along. Although The Fevers are a covers band, they each possess intense amounts of talent, with a clear cut, professional sound. They are the perfect band for this festival, and truly define what it’s all about: a love of music, for all ages.

Saturday October 27th – The Prince of Wales
Here in one of Kettering’s oldest pubs the music is loud and the drinks are flowing. People of all ages have turned out to see the two bands playing tonight – one with a unique, original sound, and the other an Iron Maiden tribute band. It knits together the two sides of the town’s music scene, and The Prince of Wales is the perfect setting.

Unitra, a heavy metal three-piece, embody the energy of Steel Panther but the talent of musicians that have been around for decades. Taking to the stage with a dramatic intro track, Unitra’s smashing drums and polished riffs make for excellent listening. Inciting mosh pits and dancers alike, the space in front of the band is packed with all kinds of people, from old to young, and those celebrating Halloween to those that have just turned up for this gig. The banter between songs may be balancing on the wrong edge of cringy, but when the music is this good, you can’t quite bring yourself to care. Besides, they slot into place at The Prince of Wales with perfect ease, and the punters are loving it.

Judging by the amount of Iron Maiden t-shirts in the crowd, Iron 2 Maiden are going to go down a treat, and the highly anticipated set does not disappoint. Kicking off Saturday’s closing set with ‘Can I Play With Madness’, they storm this tiny pub with all the enthusiasm of the real thing. The guitar and drums are a perfect match, coming together to create the tunes we all know and love, and while the vocals aren’t quite true to the original band, it’s an admirable effort from Iron 2 Maiden. If you’re a fan of Bruce Dickinson and co, this tribute is definitely worth a watch.

Sunday October 28th – The Shire Horse
The Shire Horse is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon gig. With comfortable wooden chairs and a roaring fireplace in the corner, it’s a nice reprieve from the bitterly cold weather outside, and with several acoustic sets taking place across the room, it’s the right setting for winding down Ctrl Alt Fest Delete and bringing it to close.

Jacob Brathwaite fits this evening’s mood perfectly. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a gentle voice, he mixes his own songs with covers from the likes of The Kooks. Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ is a highlight of the set, and the singer makes every track he performs his own. He is undeniably talented; featuring professional riffs and a clear voice that wraps around you like a comfort blanket, his set is unforgettable. Kettering’s own hazeyjane are up next, with a set that promises ‘ambient acoustic material’. The description fits the band to perfection, as they play well right from the very first song. The music is ethereal, almost otherworldly, with a strong acoustic sound that fills The Shire Horse, but it stands out against the rest. Underneath the surface, you find strong percussion and haunting vocals, creating a calming atmosphere that blends well with the open fire and warm wood decorating the pub.

From the outside, it seems as though Aldous Pinch does not quite fit this line-up. He is neither calming nor gentle, instead bringing to the stage a vaudeville performance that has the whole crowd on their feet. His music is somewhere between sea shanties and poetry, and every song is a complete story. Featuring tails of boozy nights and prostitutes, it would be very easy for the performer to get lost in repetition, but instead, it’s enthusiastic, exciting, and something entirely fresh. Aldous Pinch is definitely one to watch out for in the future. To close the festival Kettering duo Dem Urban Foxes take to the stage with a captivating sound. The music is polished and practiced, and the band clearly knows what they’re doing with their catchy hooks and intense vocals. The music is neither boring nor depressing: instead it is energetic, and most of all, sincere. It’s a great headlining set, and the perfect send-off to such an exciting festival.

Lucy Wenham

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