Author: Dave

Across The Border: Sept 18th – Sept 25th

Here’s our now regular Across The Border weekly round up of what’s going on at some of our favourite venues in neighboring counties. VICTORS Thursday, September 19 The Craufurd Arms,…

Here’s our now regular Across The Border weekly round up of what’s going on at some of our favourite venues in neighboring counties.

VICTORS
Thursday, September 19
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Leeds based four-piece Victors blur the lines between 1980’s synth pop, indie rock and atmospheric electronica. Forming in 2016, Harry Irving, Simon Appleson, Leon Davies and Dominic Brooks have been featured on BBC Radio 1, Spotify Weekly Discover and had tracks playlisted in Topman / Topshop stores. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £6.

CLIVE CARROLL
Thursday, September 19
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Expect a night of medieval lute music, Spanish guitar classics, Delta Blues and hints of Chet Atkins and Django Reinhardt, through to the Beatles. Having started playing guitar aged nine, Carroll graduated from Trinity College with a First Class Honours Degree in Composition & Guitar and is now regarded as one of the leading acoustic guitar players in the world. Doors 8.45pm, tickets £10.

MR B THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER
Friday, September 20
Esquires, Bedford
From deepest darkest Surrey and with a decade of gentlemanly catterwalling under his belt, Mr B brings you Chap-Hop, re-acquainting hip-hop with the Queen’s English. His legendary live recitals have earned him plaudits, largely from top shelf gentlemen’s quarterlies. Support is by Thomas Benjamin Esq who went stratospheric earlier this year, with his single No More F’s To Give hitting several viral video channels, racking up tens of millions of views and propelling his album into the charts. Doors 8pm, tickets £10.

HANNAH SCOTT
Friday, September 20
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Hannah Scott performs contemporary folk music and is picking up a loyal following thanks to her distinctive voice, strong melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. She has found her musical home with creative partner Stefano Della Casa and their well-received album Pieces Of The Night was released in 2018. Doors 8.45pm, tickets £10.

THE TOTAL STONE ROSES
Saturday, September 21
Esquires, Bedford
We don’t regularly feature cover acts on New Boots, but The Total Stone Roses are the UK’s leading tribute act to the seminal band. They will be marking the 30th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut by playing it in full. Doors 8pm, tickets £13.

THE VELVETEERS
Saturday, September 21
Esquires, Bedford
The Velveteers are an American Rock trio from Denver, Colorado that is the epiphany of punk with the aggressive sound and grungy wisdom that transcends through 21-year-old guitarist and lead singer Demi Demitro and her two drummers. Through fuzzed out guitar riffs and thunderous drums they lure their audience with vibes that come right out of a classic horror flick. In 2018 the band released their self-titled debut EP and have since been busy on the road touring. Support is by Coldharbour and Joyland. Doors 8pm, tickets £10.

STEVE WINCH & THE INCEPTION
Saturday, September 21
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Inspired by mod fashion and culture, punk attitude and 1960s melodies and harmonies, Steve and the boys are a retro-fuelled, high octane shot of adrenaline. Expect an evening of catchy, killer tunes married to insightful lyrics covering life, love and everything in-between. Doors 8:45pm, tickets £12.

ROYAL SOUTH
Sunday, September 22
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Combining southern twang, a British accent and three-part harmonies, Royal South mix country and bluegrass influences with acoustic contemporary sounds. The trio of SaraBeth, Glen Mitchell and Vickie Vaughn are Individual artists in their own right, with chart topping songs, Grand Ole Opry performances, industry awards, a fiercely loyal social media following and world tours between them. Doors 8pm, tickets £16.00.

PAUL GILBERT
Tuesday, September 24
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Acclaimed American guitarist Paul Gilbert is co-founder of the hard rock band Mr. Big and a founding member of the now-defunct heavy metal band Racer X. He’s heading to the Craufurd Arms as part of his Behold, The Electric Guitar tour. He has previously been named among GuitarOne magazine’s Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time and Guitar World’s 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £22.50.

THE LEISURE SOCIETY
Tuesday, September 24
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Even before you get to the music there’s plenty to pique one’s interest with The Leisure Society. Main-man Nick Hemming began his career in shoegaze band The Telescopes and shared a further outfit with Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows. They’ve had two consecutive Ivor Novello nominations for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, and have enjoyed the endorsement of everyone from Guy Garvey to Brian Eno. Their long-awaited fifth album, Arrivals & Departures, was released this year. Doors 8pm, tickets £16.

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Across The Border: Sept 11th – Sept 18th

Three in three weeks! Across The Border is well and truly back. Here’s what we think you should be considering going to see at venues in our neighbouring counties in…

Three in three weeks! Across The Border is well and truly back. Here’s what we think you should be considering going to see at venues in our neighbouring counties in the coming days.

GRYPHON
Thursday, September 12th
The Stables, Milton Keynes,
Prog rockers Gryphon are headlining The Stables. Since their last appearance at the venue, the band have released the LP ReInvention, a studio album of new material and their first for more than 40 years. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £18.50.

CHILDCARE
Friday, September 13th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
London’s softcore-psych quartet Childcare head to the region next week for two gigs, the first at the Craufurd Arms. Childcare are on the road touring in support of their debut album Wabi-Sabi. They were formed by Ed Cares, formerly one of West London’s most in-demand male nannies. Cares enlisted bassist Emma Topolski, guitarist Rich Le Gate and drummer David Dyson to complete the group. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £8.

JOE BROWN
Friday, September 13th to Sunday, September 15th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Rock‘n’roll legend Joe Brown is out on his 60th anniversary tour and playing three nights at The Stables. His Very Best Of album achieved Gold Record Status and was on the UK charts for eight weeks staying four weeks in the Top 20. Ten years ago, he celebrated with a sell-out show at the Royal Albert Hall and his Ukulele Album caused a similar stir breaking new territory for Joe. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £33.

SARA SPADE
Saturday, September 14th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Hailed as ‘Britain’s New Age Vintage Nightingale’, Sara Spade brings her new show to The Stables on Saturday. It will feature songs from her latest album and selections from early 20th century music. Doors 8.45pm, tickets £10.

SOLSTICE
Saturday, September 14th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
More prog – this time in the form of progressive folk rockers Solstice who are heading to the Craufud Arms for a hometown gig. They recently played at The Secret Widget Festival and New Day Festivals. Their latest LP Prophecy was released in 2013. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £8

SPEAR OF DESTINY ‘ONE EYED JACKS’ 35TH ANNIVERSARY
Saturday, September 14th
Esquires, Bedford
Spear of Destiny are returning to Esquires to play their classic LP One Eyed Jacks in full.
With the exception of a few songs, all of the songs had been played by the original line-up for nearly a year prior to the LP’s recording and the record remains a classic in Kirk’s back catalogue and a firm fan favourite. Doors 8.00 pm, tickets £19.

CHILDCARE
Sunday, September 15th
Esquires, Bedford
The second of this week’s gig by Childcare, this time the quartet are at Esquires and will be joined by Jeana and Among The Citizens. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £8.

DEITWEILER
Sunday, September 15th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Deitweiler are launching their new single How Can I Make A Difference on Sunday as well as playing other new material. Support by Leopard Rays. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5.

ED ARM
Wednesday, September 18th
MK11, Milton Keynes
Eduardas Armonas is an award-winning guitarist from Lithuania, based in the UK. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, he performs regularly in London and across Europe. He will be playing with the venue’s house band who also host a jam session in the second set. Doors 8.30pm, free.

VICTORS
Thursday, September 19th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Leeds based pop / electronic quartet Victors have been busy playing festivals this summer and are now out on a UK tour which is heading to Milton Keynes. Their latest single I’ve Been Missing You was released in June. Support is by Jeana and Garden. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £6.

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Across The Border: Sept 4th – Sept 11th

Across The Border is back with its second edition in consecutive weeks! If you didn’t see last week’s, it’s same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s great…

Across The Border is back with its second edition in consecutive weeks! If you didn’t see last week’s, it’s same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s great venues across the border who are putting on cracking gigs which deserve shouting about.

Fewer gigs this week, but here’s what you should have your eyes on outside Northants over the next seven days.

VALIS ABLAZE
Wednesday, September 4th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Valis Ablaze set out to provide an intriguing alternative to the progressive metal norm, low end grooves juxtaposed with soaring vocal lines, and atmospheric synths, all driven by intricate rhythm work and growling bass. Their sophomore album, Render was released in July. Support by Derange. Doors 7.30pm, Tickets £8.

IAN W BROWN
Thursday, September 5th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Former pig farmer and Ivor Novello Award nominee Ian W Brown is headlining The Stables. Daniel Mays plays a better-looking version of him in the Fisherman’s Friends film and Gregor Fisher’s downtrodden manager character in 2003’s Love Actually may have been based on how he transported an ex-prog rocker to the top of the Christmas charts in real life in 2001, but folk’s favourite former farmer and secret hit maker Brown is on tour playing some of the songs which have graced the charts and many more that haven’t. Doors 8pm, tickets £10 in advance.

THE OUSE VALLEY SINGLES CLUB – LP LAUNCH
Friday, September 6th
Esquires, Bedford
The Ouse Valley Singles Club are launching their new LP Gammonista at Esquires. The five-piece band use sounds and traditions of 1950’s skiffle combined with the energy of punk and a splash of rub ‘n’ dub reggae to relay hilarious folk-like story-telling within their infectious songs, often crossing the parameters of what is deemed to be socially acceptable. Support is by Skimmington Ride. Doors 8pm, tickets £8.

KARIBOW
Friday, September 6th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
KariBow play neo-progressive melodic rock, with shades of Marillion, reflecting AOR giants such as Toto, Journey and Asia. With a string of award-winning albums, their latest LP Supernatural Foe Rebirth was released this year. Support by This Winter Machine. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £15.

THE DEKKERTONES
Saturday, September 7th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Members of Nine-piece ska reggae rocksteady band The Dekkertones have been involved in the ska scene for more than 30 years. Since forming in 2013, they have supported the likes of The Neville Staple Band The Dualers. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £10.

CREAM OF THE CROP – PUNK ALL-DAYER
Saturday, September 7th
Esquires, Bedford

Dozens of acts will be playing at the Cream Of The Crop All-dayer at Esquires on Saturday. Music is across two floors and will feature Peter & The Test Tube Babies, Infa-Riot, The Crack, East End Badoes, Arch Rivals, The Angry Agenda, Guitar Gangsters, The Warriors, Rat’s Nest, Murdaball, Jack The Lad, Feckin Ejits, Charred Hearts, Hazard, The Tendons, Dogtown Rebels, Terminal Heads, Out Of Order (Both British and Canadian bands), Bleach Boys, Subculture, The Mistakes, Spring Park, Johnny & The Mental Breakdowns and L.O.A.D. Doors 1pm, tickets £27.50.

GORDON GILTRAP
Sunday, September 8th
The Stables, Milton Keynes.
The recipient of an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honour List for services to Music and Charity, legendary British Guitarist Gordon Giltrap is headlining The Stables. Over five decades, Giltrap has graced the music business with his dedication to his craft. He will be playing songs from his latest album, The Last Of England. Doors 8pm, tickets £17.50.

DOUGIE MACLEAN
Wednesday, September 11
The Stables, Milton Keyes
Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters and a national musical treasure. His performance during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with Kylie Minogue and Lulu was viewed by more than one billion people worldwide. Doors 8pm, tickets £18.50.

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Across The Border: Aug 28th – Sept 4th

REJOICE! The New Boots ‘Across The Border’ gig guide is back. We started this last year but it didn’t last (mainly because its writer kept forgetting to do it). Anyway,…

REJOICE! The New Boots ‘Across The Border’ gig guide is back. We started this last year but it didn’t last (mainly because its writer kept forgetting to do it). Anyway, he’s promised to do better this time and we thought now festival season is coming to an end, it was worth bringing it back. Same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s some mega venues across the border who are putting on cracking gigs which deserve shouting about.

So, without further ado, here’s some things you should have your eye on which are taking place over the next seven days.

POTTERY / EGYPTIAN BLUE
Wednesday, August 28th
Esquires, Bedford
There’s tons of hype around Montreal five-piece Pottery and Brighton’s Egyptian Blue who both play Esquires this week. Pottery recently released The Craft, taken from their debut EP, No. 1, which was released in May while Egyptian Blue recently released their debut EP Collateral Damage. Doors 8pm, tickets £8.

BODEGA / WORKING MEN’S CLUB
Thursday, August 29th
Esquires, Bedford
Not content with one hugely hyped gig this week, Esquires also hosts New York art punks Bodega and Working Men’s Club on Thursday. Bodega’s debut album Endless Scroll was released to rave reviews earlier this year. Doors 8pm, tickets £12.50.

ERICA DRIVE / SLACKRR / BASEMENT LEAGUE
Thursday, August 29th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Yes, they’re playing at The Black Prince in Northampton as well, but if you can’t make that show, you’ve another chance to see Bournemouth emo punk five-piece Erica Drive, Basement League and Slackrr who are on a co-headline tour across the UK. Erica Drive’s latest single The Fall is out now. Support is by Lost Without A Cause. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5.

HEAVY PETTIN’
Friday, August 30th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Heavy Pettin’ return to The Craufurd Arms to kick off part two of their Back On The Road Again Tour with special guests rockers Tytan. If you like 1980s Scottish NWOHM, this one’s for you. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £12. Another band who think they’re playing the Crauford Arms…

BEN WATERS BIG BAND
Saturday, August 31st
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Following a 30-year career, Ben Waters has decided to retire from public performances and will be joined by a line-up of top musicians one last time for a night of boogie woogie, rock ‘n’ roll and blues in Wavendon. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £18.50.

AN EVENING WITH RICHARD JOBSON OF THE SKIDS
Sunday, September 1st
The Stables, Milton Keynes
From school punk to modern day film producer, Richard Jobson has lived a full and colourful life. A harrowing incident as a child left him suffering with epilepsy but he was a mere 15 year old when he launched the punk rock band The Skids in 1977 with his songwriting partner Stuart Adamson. Support is by Bruce and Jamie Watson from Big Country who will play their own set before joining Richard for acoustic versions of his back catalogue. Doors 8pm, tickets £20.

THE SOAP GIRLS
Sunday, September 1st
Esquires, Bedford
Armed with unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses, punk duo The SoapGirls’ energy, rawness and authenticity has earned a formidable reputation. The French born sisters Millie and Mie been touring relentlessly since 2015 and released their latest album Elephant In The Room in July. They head to Bedford as part of their Sniff My Strap tour. Support is by Trouble County and Cuecliche. Doors 7.30 pm, tickets £10.

LIFESIGNS
Sunday, September 1st
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Founded in Leighton Buzzard, in 2008, veteran keyboard player John Young realised he had never done a pure prog album. The band Lifesigns is the direct result of that realisation. John started writing the music for the album in 2008 working closely with sound engineer and next door neighbour Steve Rispin. The band has a modern sound with lush, multi layered keyboards. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £20.

INDIA ELECTRIC COMPANY
Wednesday, September 4th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Folk duo Joseph O’Keefe and Cole Stacey return to The Stables next week. The pair use traditional instruments in contemporary styles, exploring diverse themes from Eastern Europe, Irish traditions and modern urban alienation. After releasing their debut album The Girl I Left Behind Me in 2015 they began extensively supporting and accompanying Midge Ure across the world. Doors 8pm, tickets £15.

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Twinfest organisers reveal the acts visiting from Northampton’s twinned towns

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July. There will be three acts from…

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July.
There will be three acts from Marburg and two from Poitiers joining other musicians from across Northampton for the four day festival.

Visiting from Marburg will be:
Oclairewww.facebook.com/oclairemusic
Cressy Jawwww.facebook.com/Cressy.Jaw
Bazooka Groove Clubwww.facebook.com/bazoukagrooveclub

Visting from Poitiers will be:
The Arieswww.facebook.com/lesariesmusique
Full Fictionwww.facebook.com/fullfictionband

Organisers are currently finalising the acts from Northampton which will be playing Twinfest.
Twinfest is from Thursday, July 25, to Sunday, July 28, and will include performances at venues across Northampton.

For more details, visit www.fb.com/twinfest.northampton

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Live Review: The Barratts, The Covasettes, Fox Chapel, Krankhead at The Roadmender

THE BARRATTS The Roadmender, Northampton April 13th 2019 Regular music scene champions, the well-loved Same Old Kids from ShoeTown with the ShoeName have now grown up quite a bit. Their…

THE BARRATTS
The Roadmender, Northampton
April 13th 2019

Regular music scene champions, the well-loved Same Old Kids from ShoeTown with the ShoeName have now grown up quite a bit. Their maturity into season, travelled musicians wowing crowds with their nifty guitar ditties and exciting live show is established now. A big hometown show in front a few hundred fans feels both rather deserved and gloriously celebratory. It would be amiss to miss it, frankly.

As people who know what’s what they have tonight bought along their besties to join in. The opening set from Krankhead, the rising hip-hop pairing of Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar is sweary and sweaty, and they are absolutely on it. The likes of ‘SNL’ and ‘Sabo’ are party starters, and they will be headliners in their own right if things play out the way New Boots suspect it might.

Fox Chapel are ace tonight. They’ve been away, Lying Low – this is their first show in almost 12 months – but they are still tight as. Rumours abound this might be their last show, and if so then their bouncy post-punk will be sorely missed. Yet they promise from the stage to release some new material soon, so maybe this isn’t the last we have seen of them. Like gluttonous toddlers we collectively remain hopeful for more ‘Ice Cream’.

The Covasettes are four good-looking lads from Manchester with a line in bass-driven ditties. They are a strong match for our headliners, but they are lacking bite. ‘Like You’ and ‘This Feeling’ and ‘Top Drawer’ are indebted to noughties guitar rock and, further back, The Smiths, but the melodies and hooks are a little too polite and predictable, perhaps. A great live show though; their enthusiasm for what they do is unquestionably infectious. Northampton seems to appreciate them, and ultimately here and now that’s all that matters. There is space and time to grow and make their mark, and make New Boots take a second look.

By the time The Barratts come on the party is in full swing. Frontman James Faulkner is resplendent in black cape, feathered hat and tailored cream jacket – the dandy frontman transported in from 1890 that you never knew you needed. He conducts the crowd from start to finish with confidence, which is immediately needed as guitarist Brandon Essom has a broken cable before we’ve even begun. No matter. That the band have only released six of the 15 songs they play over their hour onstage does present them with a significant problem. But winning over a sizeable crowd who don’t know a lot of the material is all in a days’ work apparently, as no one seems to lose interest at any point. This is helped by a constant change in pace: new songs coming thick and fast from different sonic places, but all clearly the work of the same band. From the spiky indie dancefloor numbers to the ballads the public give their love back to every one, and in spades. 

‘Match Of The Day’, from 2016, brings the first round of moshing. But it’s the five song finale, all tunes in the public domain, that feels like one big cup final goal celebration – and deftly recalls all that’s best in British guitar music from the last four decades. ‘Satellites’ has a double chorus that’s heaven sent, all whilst Faulkner dissects society’s woes. New single ‘Lights Out In London’ is the Doherty/Morrissey-esque missive that should see them take big steps forward towards the nation’s heart. They save their jewel in their crown, ‘The Garrison’, to the very end. Not only does it contain a colossal heavy backbeat from the engine room of Will Smith and Evan Bridgstock that’s pummels anyone within earshot into easy submission, it’s exactly the sort of rowdy singalong anthem they seem to excel at.

The five Barratts seem to be having the times of their young lives. Long may it continue.

The Barratts setlist in full:
The Crooked Mile
Marooned
Lift Song
Certain Time Of Night
Name Badge
Smokey Ghosts
Backache
Emotional Machine
Match Of The Day
Self-Inflicted 
Satellites
Lights Out In London
Encore:
IV
Same Old Kids
The Garrison

Words by Phil Moore. Photos by David Jackson

 

 

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Photos: Hands Off Gretel, Wishing Wolf, Deaf Trap, EGO at The Black Prince, Northampton

Barnsley quartet Hands Off Gretel brought their I Want The World album tour to Northampton last Friday [April 5th], and didn’t Northampton enjoy it. Terrific support from Wishing Wolf, Deaf…

Barnsley quartet Hands Off Gretel brought their I Want The World album tour to Northampton last Friday [April 5th], and didn’t Northampton enjoy it. Terrific support from Wishing Wolf, Deaf Trap and EGO too. Here’s pictorial evidence, courtesy of David Jackson

Hands Off Gretel



 

Wishing Wolf

 

Deaf Trap

 

EGO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy Mondays to headline Roadmender in December

The Happy Mondays will bring their Greatest Hits Tour to the Roadmender in December as part of a mammoth 29 date UK tour. The band’s classic line up of Shaun…

The Happy Mondays will bring their Greatest Hits Tour to the Roadmender in December as part of a mammoth 29 date UK tour.

The band’s classic line up of Shaun Ryder, Bez, Rowetta, Gary Whelan, Paul Ryder, Mark Day and Dan Broad will be playing all of their hits such as Step On, Kinky Afro, Hallelujah, W.F.L., Loose Fit, Judge Fudge and 24-Hour Party People among many others.

After signing to Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, the late 1980s saw the Happy Mondays become the pioneers of the Madchester sound as they blended their love of funk, rock, psychedelia and house with the sounds of the UK’s emerging rave scene.

The band’s third album, 1990’s platinum-selling Pills ‘n’ Thrills And Bellyaches, led to the Happy Mondays crossing over into the mainstream to become icons of Britain’s biggest cultural phenomenon for a generation.

In 2016, the Happy Mondays won the Ivor Novello’s Inspiration Award, further cementing their reputation as one of Britain’s most influential and loved bands.

The tour begins on October 23 in Inverness and ends on December 21 in Lincoln, stopping off along the way London’s Roundhouse on October 31.

Happy Mondays bring their greatest hits tour to the Northampton Roadmender on Friday, December 13.

Tickets cost £35 in advance before fees.  There is a pre-sale on Wednesday, February 20, at 10am via the Roadmender website before tickets go on general sale on Friday, February 22 at 10am.

For more details, visit www.alttickets.com/happy-mondays-tickets

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The New Boots Review Of 2018

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level. To celebrate, we’ve had…

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level.

To celebrate, we’ve had a run though of some of our favourite things this year. Before we get going, a quick caveat. We love all the acts we write about, but we can’t include everyone and talk about everything. If you or your favourite are not in there, just remember; there’s always next year…

So, without further ado here’s the ramblings of New Boots editors Phil Moore and David Jackson. Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year to all. [most photos by David Jackson]

SONG OF THE YEAR
Phil: “For me it’s Tom Grennan and ‘Barbed Wire’. Yes, Tom’s from Bedford but his backing band includes Northants musicians Danny Connors and Adam Gammage. Danny is a long-time local songwriter and musician and he co-wrote the single with Tom. I think it’s the best thing on his debut album Lighting Matches that came out earlier this year.”

Dave: “For me, it’s ‘The Modern Man’ by Ginger Snaps. Jay Brook has been putting out great records for years in Gingers Snaps, and with previous bands. I think ‘The Modern Man’ was an almost a perfect mix of what Ginger Snaps is about: great beats, scratching and guitar hook all rolled into one.”

Phil: “I also want to mention The Barratts‘ second comeback single from this year ‘The Garrison’. The band came back after a break from recording and that tune still has the essence of The Barratts but it’s moved the sound on with a bit of a harder edge. Luckily they’ve still got a brilliant way with a chorus.”

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Phil: “This is a much harder category because we’ve had fewer albums out than singles, but the quality of those I’ve heard has been excellent. Three stood out most for me. Firstly Domino Blitz by Tim Muddiman & The Strange. It is a serious piece of art which he clearly put his heart and soul into. “It has a sort of Nick Cave / Tom Waits dark blues/noir rock feel, and has some great arrangements.

“Secondly Venus Fly Trap and Icon. This is possibly the best album they’ve done, which was a bit of a surprise. “It’s a diverse record with lots of memorable hooks, both guitar parts and vocal lines.

 
“It’s also worth mentioning P -Hex, who have been together for almost 30 years now and finally put out nan album, Quantum Funkanics, this year. I think they have previously not bothered to do an album because they thought they were predominantly a live act, but I’m glad they did because it is brilliant.”

Dave: “There’s not much I can add to what you’ve said, but the album I’ve probably listened to the most has also been Domino Blitz. I really enjoyed Tim’s previous record Paradise Runs Deeper so was looking forward to this one and it really didn’t disappoint. As you said, a great, dark bluesy record which I really rate. It was great to have him here this year playing some of those songs as well.”

BEST LIVE ACT
Dave: “Sharkteeth Grinder were one of the highlights at the Rocked Up Hootennany this summer, and one of the best local live bands I’ve seen this year. They were probably a band I saw photos of before hearing them live and knew they were someone I’d love.

“There’s a fantastic controlled chaos about them, and even with the disconnect of a main stage and barrier at the Hootenanny, Bobbo was out in the crowd, screaming his heart out putting everything into that performance. They’re just fantastic to watch live.”

Phil: “They refer to their performances as exhibitions and yes, they’re very passionate and seriously and in love what they do. They’ll play anywhere to anyone wherever there’s an audience. They’re one of the sincerest bands I’ve ever spoken to. If you like hardcore they’re absolutely a band for you.

“I’d also like to mention Karl Phillips and The Rejects. I’ve only seen Karl and krew a couple of times this year, but they are very tight and very entertaining. Karl has tons of personality, and the band went on a massive tour this year, which takes guts in this day and age. Each venue that books them seems to fall in love with them and want them back.

“More new songs in 2019 please Karl.”

EVENT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I’ve just mentioned it, but the Rocked Up Hootenanny was amazing and without doubt one of my highlights of the year. What Marc Collins and the Rocked Up team and other promoters involved achieved in 2018 was fantastic. 

“The Hootenanny has been growing year by year and the ambition to create something on that scale has to be massively applauded.
“There was a fantastic mix of local and national touring acts and to get the final full show by Arcane Roots was as huge coup.

“Yeah, it was a bit windy, but it was a great day and the organisers did a great job of pulling together a really diverse day of music with rock, alternative and hip-hop across three stages. Hopefully, despite his pending move to Hamburg, Marc and the team will be back next year with another Hootenanny.”

Phil: “The event of the year for me has to be the return of Bauhaus – if only under the name of Peter Murphy and David J. “The pair hadn’t played Bauhaus material together in this town for 36 years and that in itself was a huge moment for Northampton – and they played two shows!

“I went to the first and it was fantastic tour de force. Their music, which was always visceral and revolutionary, sounded great and I feel it was a moment you had to revel in.”

Dave: “We also have to mention Twinfest, as each year it goes from strength to strength.
“It opened for the first time on the Thursday in the Guildhall’s Great Hall, which felt really special. It was a great opening night, and I hope they’re able to do something similar again next year.”

Phil: “The organisers were very on it this year, and utilised each of the venues really well. It’s a very small-scale organisation working on a small budget and they are maximising the results. All power to them for achieving that – I hope they can keep it up in the future.”

BEST TOURING ACT TO COME TO NORTHANTS
David: “I think it’s been another strong year for bands coming to the county, and for me a couple stick out. It was great to see post-hardcore legend and former Far frontman Jonah Matranga play all of Water & Solutions at the White Hart in Corby.

“Jonah seems to be over in the UK every couple of years and besides being one of the nicest guys his work rate is incredible. It was the first time I’d seen Jonah play with a band as he normally just tours acoustically. Rob Reeves from Run Your Tongue also deserves a ‘thanks’ for making that gig happen.

“My second choice would probably be Gary Numan at the Roadmender. When you look at the size of shows Numan is playing it was a real coup for Northampton to get a show. He’s still writing fantastic songs and his last couple of albums I think have been among the best of his career. Another mention must go to Tim Muddiman representing Northampton on bass for Numan.”

Phil: “It was a big, big deal for him to come and play a show that size and we’re lucky. I’m sure Tim helped make that happen.

“I’d like to pick Don Broco. They’ve had a massive year with their album Technologyand they’re playing to packed audiences. The Roadmender gig sold out almost immediately and they’re from the region so a big shout out must go to them for their amazing efforts and great live show.

“Also, The Lovely Eggs. One of my favourite DIY bands, who also came to the Roadmender. They’ve been growing year by year and are releasing quality albums and playing quality shows. The atmosphere at their gigs is always extremely friendly, and you feel like you’re part of their family. Which is apt, as they also bring their kid on tour as well!”

ACT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I think there’s two we need to talk about here: Sarpa Salpa and slowthai.

“The Sarpa lads put in an incredible amount of work this year. They played more than 20 festivals, countless regular shows and supported some big acts along the way, while also headlining the MaNo-Musikfestival in Germany, playing to about 2,000 people.

“They’ve released a couple of great singles and filled venues across the region.”

Phil: “They’ve had a fantastic year and are the whole package really. “They’ve gigged their asses off and are a great representation of what you can achieve. We love them and will continue to support them as much as we can.

“Next for them, I think, is start to get getting more national press/radio exposure, and then we can expect big things beyond conquering the east Midlands.”

Dave: “Onto slowthai – who currently is gracing the cover of numerous major publications while featuring in a lot of ‘2019 hype’ lists.

Phil: “While he’s not been working the local scene as such,  he is very much a product of Northampton and is heading for the stars as we speak.

“2018 has been a phenomenal rise and breakthrough year for him. He’s put out a succession of riotous singles, and the snowball just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We may not see him locally much more, but he’s a guy with bucket loads of charm and we should all love him.”

FLYING THE FLAG – REPPING NORTHANTS AROUND THE GLOBE
Dave: “Billy Lockett. He’s had a hell of a year, hasn’t he. Seeing the ELO tour poster with his name on, playing every major stadium in the UK and Europe was great.

“I went to one of the London O2 Arena shows and it was incredible to see Billy’s name in lights either side of the stage, and the reaction he was getting from fans. It was only a few years ago it seems he was still trying to work out exactly who he wanted to be, trying different line-ups and formats and it all seems to have clicked this year for him.

“He’s released some cracking songs along the way as well.”

Phil: “This year was a real moment for him. I think you could tell how much it meant to him to come and fill the Royal back in May I really think now the sky is the limit for him.”

Dave: “We must also mention Alistair Wilkinson who has been playing drums with him as well.”

Phil: “Yeah, he’s a great guy with a lot of talent. He’s very in demand as a session drummer and I hope they continue to work together because it will really feel like a Northampton band then.”

Phil: “We’ve already mentioned Adam Gammage and Danny Connors playing with Tom Grennan, and it’s worth pointing out guys have been rehearsing at Stalkers Rehearsal Studio in Northampton. It’s amazing when you think we have top ten artists on our doorstep like that.

Greg Coulson is now playing keyboards in Spiritualized, which is fantastic for him, and you have to continually mention Ben Gordelier and Andy Crofts recording and playing with Paul Weller.

“Weller released his best album in years in 2018 with True Meanings, and they played some fantastic gigs. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them two next year with the return of The Moons.”

Dave: “There’s then also people we’ve previously discussed like Tim Muddiman touring across the world with Gary Numan.”

ONES TO WATCH IN 2019
Dave: “Two bands I’ve been really impressed with this year have been King Purple and The Keepers.

“It’s an interesting one, because both kinda occupy genres which aren’t my immediate ‘go to’. ‘Stuck In The Rough’ is a cracking tune and I know King Purple have been gaining a lot of traction. I’ve seen them a few times and every time they’ve really impressed.

“They’re clearly really talented guys and I hope they going to have a good 2019.

Phil: “I think their sound is very ‘now’ and a mixture of American and English influences and that always translates and travels quite well in this day and age.

Dave: “I met up with The Keepers recently and was very impressed with frontman Jordan’s drive and determination. He clearly knows exactly where he wants to take the band, and how he wants to achieve it.

“I just think with that drive and work ethic, they’re halfway there. They’ve got a good live show and are writing some good music.”

Phil: “I can see them getting better and better and I hope they get the support they deserve locally. They mix a few genres; there’s a bit of indie, psych and mod in there, and there’s enough going on in the pot there to satisfy anyone really.”

Phil: “I want to mention Weirdoe and That Joe Payne. “Weirdoe is a local rapper who seems to be a great character, and has built an impressive YouTube following. Aaron’s got some mad rhyming skills and his flow is always on point. His music is truthful, with some gallows humour, which inevitably brings [healthy] comparisons to Eminem.

“With Joe Payne – I think you are obligated to say ‘Joe Payne, former vocalist of The Enid‘ to give him some context! He left The Enid a couple of years ago now though. He already has fans and the press on his side from those times, he has a great voice and great piano skills. He’s got enough self-awareness to take everything with a pinch of salt, and that’s really important in this industry.

“Joe, and everyone else, New Boots hopes you have a kick-ass 2019.”

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