Record review: Paul Weller ‘True Meanings’

PAUL WELLER True Meanings [Parlophone] He’s always been a hard worker, but still: these feel like prolific times for Weller. Working in continuous collaboration seems to fire him up, as…

PAUL WELLER
True Meanings [Parlophone]

He’s always been a hard worker, but still: these feel like prolific times for Weller. Working in continuous collaboration seems to fire him up, as this is his third album in 20 months. It’s a song from the first of those, ‘The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabe’ from his Jawbone soundtrack, which revealed a slight return to Weller’s folk balladeer side, after years of experimenting with the cutting up of rock this way and that. 

It was composing, a few years back, ‘Gravity’ – the lush, orchestrated, melancholic centre of True Meanings – that gave Weller the determination to construct an album in a far more bucolic style. ‘Gravity’ truly is a stunning, delicate 150 seconds of music, with an immaculate and precise string arrangement courtesy of decade-long sideman Andy Crofts. This sideman/woman influence is repeatedly important to this, his 14th solo album, as fairly demonstrated on bubbling opener ‘The Soul Searchers’: a modern string arrangement by the avant-garde musician Hannah Peel, multiple contributions from Villagers’ Conor O’ Brien, and an old-school Hammond solo by Rod Argent.

The album settles in well. Jazzer ‘Mayfly’ has a deft bluesy guitar solo from the former Jam guitarist Steve Brookes to enliven proceedings, whilst ‘Old Castles’ has a soul-stirring strings-assisted group arrangement that recalls his Heliocentric days back in the year 2000. ‘What Would He Say?’ is a lounge-shuffler that seems directed at the importance of keeping positive when bitterness is the easier option. It’s also the sole “The Moons track” on the album, as it unites bassist Crofts with Ben Gordelier on drums and Tom Heel on his Rhodes piano. Though the flugel horn solo means you aren’t mistaken who’s in charge!

‘Aspects’ is a serious piece of rumination, a Buddhist-like realisation of beauty/God coming from within. It’s a nod to Leonard Cohen and Cat Stevens, minor-chord patterns facing off with choral harmonies and swooping string lines. It also is, to put it bluntly, gorgeous, and worth the entry price alone. As the second half of the album begins there’s a couple of Erland Cooper [of prog-folkies Erland and the Carnival] collaborations that don’t quite hit the mark, and the album briefly drifts. Nothing to worry about though: here’s folk royalty Danny Thompson and Martin Carthy to breathe life into the ornate melody of ‘Come Along’, with Peel producing a fine Robert Kirby-style orchestral adjunction to some already heavily emotive moments in sound.

The last section of the album is a full of discovery, too. ‘Books’ adds sitar, Tampoura and Noel Gallagher on, er, pump organ to send us eastwards on a kaleidoscopic journey, whilst ‘Movin On’ has a lovely soaring vocal performance from the main man, who clearly still cares about what he has to deliver. ‘May Love Travel With You’ brings things around again: voice, guitar, and some widescreen Disney orchestration. Weller soundtracking your kids bedtime? Why not, he knows quite a bit about parenting. Closer ‘White Horses’ brings back Cooper, Argent and Gallagher for a finale that seals the deal: a fable about generosity directed at a younger audience, it’s a touching finish to an album that surprises throughout.

It was interesting to hear Weller dismiss last year’s well-received A Kind Revolution as merely “alright” in a recent issue of Mojo. Perhaps he knew how good the follow-up was going to be, and felt a moment of guilt. Maybe he was right though: whilst everyone has a different take on what the best Weller album/period is, True Meanings makes a robust case for being his best since his last 22 Dreams/Wake Up The Nation-era highpoint. Certainly there’s little doubt it will score high in many end of year polls.

Phil Istine

Live photo of Weller/Crofts by David Jackson

 

No Comments on Record review: Paul Weller ‘True Meanings’

KT Tunstall returns to Northampton Derngate

Following her 2017 performance KT Tunstall returns to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton as part of her 2019 UK tour. Her forthcoming album, Wax, focuses on the body and our complex relationships with physicality,…

Following her 2017 performance KT Tunstall returns to the Royal & Derngate in Northampton as part of her 2019 UK tour. Her forthcoming album, Wax, focuses on the body and our complex relationships with physicality, and she will be performing these shows with an all-female band for the first time.

The Derngate performance is on Tuesday March 12th, and tickets are available now, priced from £20.50 right through to £112 for the VIP package. Book here 

The Wax album, featuring ‘The River’, is released October 5th.

No Comments on KT Tunstall returns to Northampton Derngate

New Music Friday: Ginger Snaps

Northampton pop artiste Ginger Snaps – aka Jay Brook and friends – has been regularly treating us to his three minute ditties since 2016. The latest served up from the…

Northampton pop artiste Ginger Snaps – aka Jay Brook and friends – has been regularly treating us to his three minute ditties since 2016. The latest served up from the former OhBoy!, My Pilot and Bruises man is ‘With Or Without Her’. New Boots ventured into the heart of ShoeTown to meet up with Brook in his natural domain – the studio – and go over the project with a fine tooth comb. Listen in below

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: Ginger Snaps

Interview: Charlotte Carpenter brings us Babywoman Records

Kettering singer-songwriter Charlotte Carpenter has earlier in the summer launched her own record label, Babywoman Records, and today  announces the first release on it from Alessi’s Ark. New Boots Editor Phil…

Kettering singer-songwriter Charlotte Carpenter has earlier in the summer launched her own record label, Babywoman Records, and today  announces the first release on it from Alessi’s Ark. New Boots Editor Phil Istine met up for a coffee and spoke to Carpenter all about it, in our first ever audio interview just below. Full single release details are below too.

The Alessi’s Ark single is entitled ‘Devant Moi’, and is released digitally on September 27th. A fresh dreamy, French pop sound comes from Londoner Alessi Laurent-Marke, and is a follow up to her fourth studio LP Love Is The Currency [2017]. Delivered in French (a mother tongue for Alessi), she remarks of the song:
“’Devant Moi’ is the connection felt between true partners, taking that leap and being open to love with another being. I feel such a strong connection to water when swimming, the ground when walking, it’s so visceral, physical, intimate, medicinal… but only to a point. ‘Devant Moi’ is about being ready, at last, to share intimacy after a long period spent alone in connection with nature only”.

Alessi has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, US and Japan: with Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, John Grant, Jenny Lewis and M.Ward amongst others. Her releases have won acclaim from BBC London, BBC 6, XFM, WFMU, DubLab, KEXP and previous LP ‘Love Is The Currency’ was warmly welcomed by MOJO, Guardian, Best Fit, Clash, and The 405. ‘Devant Moi’ is produced by fellow Ark member Jason Santos, and mixed by Jag Jago. 

Alessi heads out on a run of UK & EU shows with Carpenter this November:

Saturday 17th – The Playhouse, Northampton
Monday 19th – The Islington, London
Tuesday 20th – The Castle, Manchester
Wednesday 21st – Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield
Thursday 22nd – Prince Albert, Stroud
Saturday 24th – De Log, Ghent
Sunday 25th – Kulturcafe Lichtung, Cologne
Tuesday 27th – Freundlich+Kompetent, Hamburg
Thursday 29th – Feinkost Lampe, Hannover

Babywoman Records on Facebook. Artwork design by Rogue Ink and CC/AA photo by Wild Sisters

No Comments on Interview: Charlotte Carpenter brings us Babywoman Records

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide, Sep 19th – Sept 25th

LAY IT DOWN Thursday September 20th The Lab, Northampton Open mic/live performance for the urban music scene of Northampton. MC Daddy S, DJ Towner, HarQ, BigG, Tre Ventour, Reality, Anonymous, J-DON,…

LAY IT DOWN
Thursday September 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Open mic/live performance for the urban music scene of Northampton. MC Daddy S, DJ Towner, HarQ, BigG, Tre Ventour, Reality, Anonymous, J-DON, J.P, Troops, Freddie Fred & TJ Easy, RDot, JaiiDee, Ell. MS, E Double U, Torvic, and LBcerti all confirmed to perform. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BARRATTS + MONARCHS + MIO FLUX & PATCHY, THE ROCKSTAR
Friday September 21st
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Independently-spirited indie rock from the county, plus the great electronic/rap pairing who always know how to start a party. Doors 8pm, free entry

JOHN WISEMAN
Friday September 21st
The Hub, Northampton
The singer-songwriter’s first performance in the Northamptonshire area, showcasing a selection of his music, including previous albums and upcoming songs. Doors 7pm, £7 tickets available to buy directly from the Hub Cafe [ticket includes a refreshment]

KENNETH J NASH
Friday September 21st
The Old House, Wellingborough
Renowned local singer-songwriter Nash’s latest album Luna was three years in the making. Tonight he will be running through the whole album, in order, and talking through the songs. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

STRAYLINGS + LUNAXIS + THE ORCHARDS
Saturday September 22nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
“psych tweaked slice of country-twang-wired folk” from the headliners from London. A double dose of folk-rock support from the Northampton area to open proceedings. Doors 8pm, free entry

GOLDIE LOOKING CHAIN – LEGENDS
Saturday September 22nd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Northampton welcomes the finest hip-hop outfit to ever come out of Newport, Wales, Goldie Lookin Chain arrive as part of their ‘Legends’ tour. Expect bangers like ‘Your Mothers Got a Penis’, ‘Half Man Half Machine’, ‘Your Missus is a Nutter’, ‘Straight Outta Newport’ and their top three hit ‘Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers do’. Support from DJ OP1. Doors 9pm,  £10 tickets

LITTLE BITBOY
Saturday September 22nd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
8-bit wonderment to accompany the “Retro Games Fest” day. Music from 8.30pm [event starts at 2pm], free entry

CONTEMPT + SPRING PARK + EM UENDO + JIMTOM SAY + HELEN VERILL 
Saturday September 22nd
The Lab, Northampton

In honour of the inspiring local activist Lisa Thornton, this is a fundraiser for some of her greatest causes – Hunt Saboteurs and Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary. Doors 7pm, donations to the charities requested.

THE SHED MACHINERY STRING BAND + JONO & THE UKE DEALERS
Saturday September 22nd
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
A night of folk and gentle rock. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THEE TELEPATHS
Saturday September 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
The hometown cosmonauts playing a rare Kettering show, previewing songs from their upcoming album The Velvet Night. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

SKIRT + WISHING WOLF + EARBONES + LAST CHANCE + ODDITY ISLAND + TOUCAN + BECKI YATES + JACOB BRAITHWAITE + A TIME OF DAY + MORE
Saturday September 22nd
The Yards, Kettering
A Kettering Pride event, with raffle ticket funds going to Mind in Kettering. Bands, DJs, and food throughout the days. Doors midday, free entry

GARSHKOTT + POINT OF EXTINCTION + VENGEFUL  ATONEMENT + LOKI
Saturday 22nd September
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Groove metal band from MK, thrash/power metal from MK, hard rock from Coventry, and more Northants-based rock to open. Doors 7pm, £4 tickets

 

 

 

 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide, Sep 19th – Sept 25th

Album review: Gerald Claridge

GERALD CLARIDGE Frisson [self-released] Claridge is a prominent face of the Northants folk scene, who has played with many cohorts in many guises over the years. A cursory glance around…

GERALD CLARIDGE
Frisson [self-released]

Claridge is a prominent face of the Northants folk scene, who has played with many cohorts in many guises over the years. A cursory glance around Discogs shows how he once made a folk-rock album way back in 1975 [with Nick Salomon, no less] as Oddsocks, makes reference to a private press solo album from 1990, and shows him as part of Tickled Pink during the noughties. He plays in a professional Ceilidh band as of now, and has seen fit to release another solo album of his own songs.

It is fortunate enough for us that he has recorded and released Frisson, for the Northampton singer has a deft touch with melody and arrangement that has not withered with age. Yes this is a ‘thin’ record [low production values, keyboard strings, some drum machines in place of actual drums] but it matter not a tot when you’re listening in. On Frisson we witness Claridge’s joie de vivre writ large; his folk spirit of bonhomie rising above any restrictions of time and finance. ‘So Far So Good’ sets off on the path of optimism, that continues on ‘Upside Down’, and indeed is rarely deviated from. 

‘Plain Clothes’ pays homage to McCartney-esque melody and guitar-picking, whilst ‘Rainy Day’ shows off his celtic soul/Kevin Rowland lilt to maximum effect. The middle of the album brings some light relief, with the nursery rhyme style of ‘Ten A Penny’, and an oompah ode to drinking and farting in a ‘Hot Tub’! Later still we get a tribute to the Beach Boys [‘Sound Of The Ocean’], which is a very un-Northampton thing to do, so much respect for that, Gerald. Squelching keys and clomping hooves introduce the lounge goodness of ‘Good Night’, and Frisson is completed with an instrumental ‘Wedding March’, hauntingly played on church organ by John Miller.

There’s a nice touch in the CD liner notes where Claridge gives a little explanation of the song, making the project feel intimate, the warm comfort blanket to accompany a glass of whiskey at the end of the day. For folk fans this is a “must investigate”.

Phil Istine

Frisson is out now on CD, available from Spiral Archive and Claridge directly

No Comments on Album review: Gerald Claridge

More Bauhaus releases, with album series on coloured vinyl

Hot on the heels of the news of ‘The Bela Session’ EP is more Bauhaus 40th anniversary releases. To celebrate the milestone Beggars Arkive is reissuing records from the band’s…

Hot on the heels of the news of ‘The Bela Session’ EP is more Bauhaus 40th anniversary releases. To celebrate the milestone Beggars Arkive is reissuing records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl. In The Flat Field and Mask will be released on October 26, The Sky’s Gone Out and Press The Eject And Give Me The Tape follow on November 23, and the Arkive series ends with releases of Burning From The Inside and Crackle on December 7.

In The Flat Field – bronze vinyl
The band’s debut studio album, released by 4AD and considered to be one of the very first “goth” albums. This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes
Mask – yellow vinyl
The band’s second album, and was released by Beggars Banquet in 1981. This album is mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes
Press The Eject And Give Me The Tape – white vinyl
Released in 1982, this is a live album, compiled from shows across the UK from 1981–82. This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes.
The Sky’s Gone Out – violet vinyl
The band’s third album and was released in 1982; mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes
Burning From The Inside – blue vinyl
Bauhaus’ fourth album and was the last of their studio albums of this era, released just after the band’s breakup in 1983. Mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes
Crackle – ruby vinyl
A selection of Bauhaus’ finest from their catalogue. Includes the “Tomb Raider Mix” of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’.

For more info visit the Beggars site.

As previously reported, Peter Murphy will be joined by Bauhaus co-founding member and featured guest David J for a series of shows in Europe and the UK, including Northampton’s Roadmender on December 2nd. They will play In The Flat Field in its entirety, plus an extended encore of Bauhaus classics.

No Comments on More Bauhaus releases, with album series on coloured vinyl

New Music Friday: Weirdoe

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat….

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat.

How did Weirdoe come into existence?
My names Aaron Weir, the name Weirdoe came along from childhood and I eventually just embraced the name and ran with it. It just stuck from there really.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d say unique, obviously weird and lastly real. I don’t stunt in my lyrics, I talk about my life and experiences.

Who are your main influences/heroes?
Would have to be Eminem for lyricism, but there also guys like Lil’ Wayne, Frank Ocean, Ghetto, Wiley. Russ, he influences me in the way I release my music, the guy never stops! The way Russ moves as well has made me realise that all I need to do is trust my instinct.

You’ve been quite prolific recently. What has been the reaction to the recent ‘Wasted Talent’ EP?
The reaction has been good, as expected, from the people who have followed me since the early days. I think a lot of people want to hear Weirdoe doing grime, but a lot of people have embraced the new sound and trust that I’m only going to deliver my best. I feel with the right exposure I’d get a much better response.

Tell us everything about ‘Shepherd’.
The track was made spontaneously, very in the moment. It was at the end of a studio session and Harlz was playing around with the chords and I just started humming the melody. Once the chorus was created I pretty much grasped the concept of what the song was going to be about. The song is really about people being followers, following trends, fashion etc, and I’m just giving my thoughts on it all really!

You collaborate often. How do you find yourself hooking up with, say, Harlz or Westy?
Both are different. Westy I’ve never collaborated with in person, so it was just a case of me recording over the beat. But a lot of the newer stuff with Harlz is made together in the studio which I find much better for being creative, it also means you build up certain relationships that are stronger then just over emails or social media.

Any plans for live appearances? Do you reckon what you do translates to performing in venues?
100 percent. Live shows are definitely on the cards, but right now it’s just more about recording and releasing new music so when I do put on a show people will leave satisfied. Trust me though, the shows will be epic so keep an eye out for dates.

What has been your favourite Weirdoe moment to date?
For me, it was my grime clash on ‘Don’t Flop’. I met a lot of people through that and did a lot of networking! There’s been quite a few though, such as when my first single and EP was available on iTunes, and my JDZ videos on YouTube [see one below] getting the response they did.

Who are you listening to currently?
Right now I’m listening to Brockhampton, but recently I’ve been going back to a lot of old school grime such as Roll Deep ‘Sidewinder’ sets. Except for the ones mentioned I try not listen to the same artists to much, I like to take away certain ideas from tracks but overall I want my music to very much sound like me.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
My burning desire is always to impress myself, to an extent where I no longer need to succeed, more just the case that I have succeeded. You won’t be able to top that. But the music and videos are going to keep coming, I want everyone to know who Weirdoe is.

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: Weirdoe

Photo Round Up: Rocked Up Hootenanny

OK, this is a long post full of photos,  but we wanted to include as many as possible in our Hootenanny round up. Last weekend, the Rock Up, YUK and…

OK, this is a long post full of photos,  but we wanted to include as many as possible in our Hootenanny round up.

Last weekend, the Rock Up, YUK and Enabler Promotions guys pulled off quite frankly a great day of live music at Rockingham Speedway in Corby.

The line up featured rock, indie and hip-hop spread across three stages mixing some of the best local and national aacts.

There were some fantastic performances and we tried to capture as much as we could. Hopefully, what follows is a bit of (almost) everything.

 

No Comments on Photo Round Up: Rocked Up Hootenanny

Video premiere: Sarpa Salpa ‘Smith’

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa release their new single ‘Smith’ tomorrow, and we can exclusively reveal the video today. The band have also chosen to make this a vinyl release, on…

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa release their new single ‘Smith’ tomorrow, and we can exclusively reveal the video today.

The band have also chosen to make this a vinyl release, on a limited red 7″. The video was shot by director Bella Evans.

Bassist Ethan Whitby on ‘Smith’: “The song is about a relationship that was just starting before being split suddenly by one person leaving the other confused, upset and angry! So a really feel good track as you can imagine… We recorded this with Ben ‘Faz’ Farestvedt over at Damage Audio in Bedford back in early spring time.We’ve worked with him on all records since ‘She Never Lies’ way back last in August last year, and we are back in the studio with him over the next few weeks. We are very lucky to work with someone not only very talented and who gets our sound, but generally just a really nice guy as well!

Guitarist George Neath on the video: “‘Smith’ is a fairly angry track and we wanted the video to reflect that! The red and white imagery was intended to represent love / anger simultaneously! We shot the video with Bella Evans, she does a lot of art/design for the band so was fun working with her! We wanted to stick to the DIY approach lot of the props for the video we created / painted ourselves!”

And Whitby again, on the appeal of vinyl: “It’s hard to deny that in the last few years vinyl has had a pleasant comeback, so instead of printing CDs, like we’ve done for the last singles, we decided to try something new! As well with a vinyl you get a lot more options for design; not only do you have more area to work with but things like coloured vinyl and all that kind of jazz”.

‘Smith’ is available digitally from Friday September 14th. Sarpa Salpa Facebook

 

 

No Comments on Video premiere: Sarpa Salpa ‘Smith’

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search

error: Content is protected !!