Author: Newbootsnorthants

New Music Friday: Joe Miles

Northampton resident Joe Miles grew up in Milton Keynes, and lived in Olney for a number of years. The youngest grandson of British jazz legend, Terry Lightfoot, he spent his…

Northampton resident Joe Miles grew up in Milton Keynes, and lived in Olney for a number of years. The youngest grandson of British jazz legend, Terry Lightfoot, he spent his childhood ‘growing up’ in the wings of theatres and music festivals. Miles has self-released five EPs, and toured with the likes of Shane Filan. After a break he’s back with new single ‘Change Your Mind’. New Boots went in search of answers.

How  did you first get the musical bug and begin to play, and then later write?
I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life, growing up watching my Granddad [Terry Lightfoot] & Mum [Melinda Lightfoot] play theatres all across the UK when I was a child. It’s the only thing I’d say I’m naturally best at amongst all the things I do in my life. I love playing guitar, and singing. It’s a release for me. I just like to entertain people, and always have. I’d say from the first time I heard the intro to John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ I thought ‘I want to play that’. The first songs I heard that inspired me to play guitar and sing how I do were: ‘Gravity’, ‘Waiting On the World to Change’ and ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’, all by John Mayer.
I’ve always been singing in the car, whether that be to a Wham song on cassette in my Mums old VW Golf when I was little, to even now. I’m self-taught at guitar, starting at the age of 13, when I borrowed a 3/4 size classical guitar from my brothers’ friend. I didn’t realise doing it for a living was what I wanted to do until I was three months into my mechanics course at college, were I quickly learned mechanics wasn’t really for me. A month later, in January 2013, I performed at my first open mic, at Ken’s Diner. It was only in the March of that year my Grandad passed away. I was due to perform at a memorial concert for him and I wanted to be able to sing a song that I could really connect to lyrically. Not knowing how to write, I looked up the songwriters of some of my favourite tunes. I contacted Amy Wadge to write a song for me about him. Since then I’ve been co-writing with some incredibly talented writers, as well as writing songs by myself.
The first time I actually performed in public was as a surprise for my Dad at his 50th Birthday, back in 2010 (sorry Dad!). I learnt ‘Why Georgia’ by John Mayer, and joined my brothers band [at the time] on stage and performed for him.

Who are your main influences?
Musically it’s John Mayer, Allen Stone, Jamie Cullum & Maroon 5. But as far as production, I’d say Kwabs, The 1975, Tom Misch & Sam Smith.

You started out very young and had five EPs out by your 21st birthday. Then came this break from public view of almost three years. What have you been up to since we last saw you?
I have done a lot of thinking as to who I want to be and how I’d like to be perceived by music lovers. I got my heart broken [haven’t we all], which finally gave me something I could write a lot about, and also finding love, which gave me the spark I needed to start again.

Tell us everything about this new single, ‘Change Your Mind’.
I feel it’s a combination of everyone I’ve listened to over the last 3-5 years. Sam Smith/Kwabs/The 1975 in particular are very present in this song, I’d say. They are artists I love listening to. I’m usually drawn to the vocals/performance in a song rather than the guitar work, despite being a guitarist, which is very clear in this new song. It’s definitely different from what I’ve released before, but most importantly it’s very ‘me’ in how I have developed as an artist and I am really happy with that now.
‘Change Your Mind’ – everyone’s been there. Its about asking yourself and that other person ‘what was the point in putting in all that effort, for you to just change how you feel without any explanation’. It was at a time where I had so many questions left unanswered. I was so confused and so hurt. I didn’t know someone could turn their back in such a way, never to see or hear from them again after spending so much time with them. It’s about telling myself ‘I can’t change your mind. So I’ll stop trying’. The song is a release for me, and a statement. I don’t need those answers anymore.

Will there be live shows soon?
Hopefully, yes! I have some festivals pencilled in already, just awaiting confirmation. I’d love to perform in Northampton again too. In terms of line-up, things have changed a lot. Typically my music was very organic and performed by a live band. This new song, and the ones following it, may benefit from the introduction of track elements too. Time will tell!

Are you part of the wider scene locally? Any acts you want to give a shout out to?
I wouldn’t say so, not of late anyway. I know a lot of the local artists and at one point or another have performed with them at various open mics and gigs in the county. I’ve grown up loving Cousin Avi and a shout out always goes to Hannah Faulkner for getting me started in the open mic scene back in 2013. I’ve had brilliant support from Lal Muttock, our local BBC Introducing presenter, and the work he does in championing local talent is fantastic.

Tell us the main pro and con of being so intrinsically well connected in the music industry.
I’d say the main ‘pro’ is being able to get valid opinions from people who have been there, seen it, done it, and having options to be able to try well known avenues. The last two years especially have been full of really useful conversations and advice and you only get into these by networking.
The con is assuming they will help you personally. Only a handful will/have. I’m sure loads of artists have also been promised things that have never been delivered. Never has it been more important to either be able to do everything by yourself or have a very small, close knit team, who all share the same goals and passion.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
It was Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone. Since its release, I listen to it weekly for sure. I love it!

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have in 2020 after this release?
I want to be able to tour for a living. I enjoy songwriting and recording, but nothing comes close to performing live on big stages. I live for it! Watch this space. More music dropping throughout the year and I’ve never been so excited!

‘Change Your Mind’ is out now via the usual digital platforms


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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 22nd – Jan 28th

JIMTOMSAY + ROB FARMER + BEN FAIRINGTON Thursday January 23rd The Lab, Northampton JimTom is a massive part of the local Bardic scene; 30 years of music, poetry and performance…

Thursday January 23rd
The Lab, Northampton
JimTom is a massive part of the local Bardic scene; 30 years of music, poetry and performance contained within. Support from folk singer-songwriters. From 8.30pm, free entry

Friday January 24th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The 22 year-old Northampton rapper celebrates his birthday and previews his debut EP, out next month. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday January 24th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Northampton artist who plays a style of modern pop mixed with American blues – think John Mayer mixed with The Black Keys. Doors 9pm, free entry

Friday January 24th
The Rising Sun, Kettering
80s-inspired classic rock. From 9pm, free entry

Saturday January 25th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Metal night, with Southampton fivesome headlining above two local forces. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Saturday January 25th
Audio Works, Northampton
It’s back! Three secret bands; one solo, two duos. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

Saturday January 25th
The Lab, Northampton
“Punkdown” kickstarter part-two features the pop-punk/melodic hardcore Kent quartet, plus punk trio [also Kent], melodic-skate-punk from London, and teenage punks and future ShoeTown legends to open. Doors 7pm, free entry

Saturday January 25th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Brighton’s Greg Feldwick brings the mind-melding beats to the Gari, with the amazing Harries playing songs from her recent eponymous debut album. Plus hosts Lift Tower do their electronic-jazz-fusion thing. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Saturday January 25th
The Romany, Northampton
The Northampton band have just confirmed they are heading to South X Southwest Festival in Texas in April. But before that the indie-mod rockers play a favourite haunt, supported by the rock’n’roll duo with the great tunes and the flailing limbs. From 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday January 25th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Ni Ni acoustic session. 3pm-6pm, free entry

Sunday January 26th
The King Billy, Northampton
Fund raising to help rescue sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in Australia’s bushfires. Performances from [deep breath] Loki, Haydees, Derade, In Plain Sight, Push To Open, Charlie Tarry & The Outlaws, Stonepit Drive, Rockin’ Dave, Family Of Noise, Grande Quattro, Impetus, Jenna & Did Coles, Andrew Van Garratt, and Chris Vernon. Doors 12.30pm, donation of £5+.

Sunday January 26th
The Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne
Audio Vendor presents an evening of high quality original music in the intimate surroundings of Woodward’s Restaurant. Doors 6.30pm, £10 tickets [call The Boat Inn on (01604) 862428]

Monday January 27th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Eastbourne’s big deal pop-punkers take a trip around the country’s smaller venues for Independent Venue Week. Equally banging support from Bristol, Northampton and Kettering types. Doors 7pm, £10 tickets


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New Music Friday: Francisco

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw…

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw the release of a series of solo singles, all of which have now combined for an EP, entitled ‘Wild Is…’ New Boots spoke to the main man for the lowdown.

How’s the move to London gone?
London is buzzing. It’s a creative Mecca, but in reality, it’s hard to break the back of it. The fish aren’t just big, they’re huge and they don’t want you or like you. It’s been a hard and lonely few years but I’m getting through that and finding my rhythm.

Why the move to recording/writing/releasing under your own name?
It was time. I had things I wanted to say, lyrically and musically and they weren’t appropriate for Avi, so yeah – it was time.

How would you describe this sound?
The sound is good. The songs are good, but they can always be better. If you mean in terms of feel, I don’t know. I’m really bad at that and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I was listening to a lot of David Ryan Harris when I wrote them and a lot of Natalie Prass and a Tim Atlas when we recorded them, so a kind of ‘soulful pop’ I guess.

How does it differ to your Cousin Avi work?
It’s probably rooted a lot more in a traditional singer-songwriter-R&B-kinda thing than that Avi’s balls out funk-pop. It’s also more in my singing range, where as with Avi it is five brains bringing different melody ideas and saying “I hear this, make it happen…” and I have to make it happen. It’s really really hard actually. Basically: Cousin Avi makes you sweat, whereas Francisco makes you wet…

Tell us everything about this EP.
I wrote three of the four songs – ‘Wild Is The Wind’ is a cover [David Bowie]. They are songs I’ve had for a while, so thematically they feel a bit outdated actually. I wrote them all before I moved to London. I considered never releasing them, but I had to satisfy the mid-20s version of me that was screaming to be remembered.
Ross and Stuart – fellow Avi boys – donated their time and guidance, which was invaluable. They have kind of taught me the craft, so I figured it was wise to have them on board a bit if I could. Obviously Ollie Needham came in on production for this one, his insight and work is what got this done really. We recorded six songs in total; I chose these three first because, frankly, the other three were newer and fresher and better – so I wanted to sit on them. I added ‘Wild is The Wind’ to make it a four-track EP – and it was probably the best decision I could’ve made. It went on to inform the whole aesthetic of the record, really. Either way this was really an experiment  – not so much musically, but artistically. It focused me and I have a lot more clarity about who I am and what I want to be because of it.

How are the live shows going? Is it you and guitar?
Just me and guitar. They’re hard getting people to sit and listen is the hardest thing to achieve in a live setting. I’m lucky I have the years of band experience which has informed me a lot on reading a room and connecting. Mostly all the shows have been really positive and incredibly moving for me on a personal level. The next plan would be getting together with a few more people and seeing how my stuff would come to life in a full band setting.

Whose idea was going on ‘The Voice’ TV show? Is it an experience you’d recommend to others?
It wasn’t anybody’s idea. I was approached by both producers of the X-Factor and The Voice and I said no to both. Then I had the worst three or four months I’ve ever had in my musical life, with friends and industry alike rejecting me for anything and everything: from going for a friendly beer to gigs. And I realised that I had nothing – at least that’s how it felt at the time. I was really really low and at the point of quitting entirely. Then The Voice approached me again and so, in the state I was in, I said yes. I’m yet to really figure out what it was all about for me. Whatever it was didn’t pay off in the end. It goes to show what happens when you let your vanity get the better of you. Hey ho. Lesson learned.
I certainly wouldn’t deter anyone from doing it. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in for and be prepared.

What has been your favourite “Francisco” moment of the past year?
I did a home town show at the Pomfret Arms, for about 60 of my closest friends and family and, well, fans I suppose. It was incredible. I’m very lucky to have people around me; it’s no exaggeration to say they’ve saved my life in many ways.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Bought: Theo Katzman – Modern Johnny sings: songs in the age of vibe

What is your burning desire to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
2020 is Avi, Avi and more Avi. We have so much recorded material. It’s wonderful and it’s time that it see the light of day. I have burning desire to gig more. I really really love playing live. I actually prefer it to recording or producing records. I feel like it’s what I was born to do.

The ‘Wild Is…’ EP is out now from the usual digital playforms


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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 15th – Jan 21st

PHANTOM ISLE + BABY LUNG Friday January 17th The Black Prince, Northampton Neo-psychedelia from London-via-Northampton. Catchy and infectious stadium choruses feature on the long awaited new single ‘I Am Urs’,…

Friday January 17th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Neo-psychedelia from London-via-Northampton. Catchy and infectious stadium choruses feature on the long awaited new single ‘I Am Urs’, the last recording to feature Matt Marchant. Support from the excellent ShoeTown bluesters. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Saturday January 18th
The Lab, Northampton
The first “Reggae Town” event, bringing up-and-coming reggae-influenced bands to The Lab. Luton’s Easydread combine sounds drawn from a range of influences, from reggae and ska, to soul, punk and rap. They seamlessly blend powerful political imagery with sweet harmonies and heavy grooves to get you thinking as well as skanking. Plus eight-piece ska band from Hinckley bring bass, brass ‘n booze. Free entry

Sunday January 19th
The Carpenters Arms, Irchester
Wildfire Sessions’ acoustic open mic, featuring some serious female singer-songwriting talent. From 4-7pm, free entry




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New Music Friday: Dreadz

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to…

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to get to the man behind the music.

What’s your Northampton story?
My family is actually from Northampton, born and bred; my grandmother [rest her soul] moved here in the 1950’s, she was secretary to former prime minister of Jamaica Alexander Bustamante. My mum lived up here the majority of her younger days, before moving to London where she had my two older sisters and then me , so since I was young I’ve always been in-between London and Northampton. At 14 I moved up to Northampton to live and which is where I reside currently with my girlfriend. I always said to my mum that I wanted to experience the town for myself and so I did. I put on for Northampton so much because of my family being from here and is my second home.

How did you start on this musical journey?
Musics always been in my blood: literally, as my dad was a sound technician and worked with many artists while he was alive, from Toots & The Maytals to Bob Marley & The Wailers to Dennis Brown. His music journey was legendary. My dad passed away when I was three so I don’t remember much of him, but the stories I hear of the man he was is who I aspire to be and that’s brought me onto the musical journey which I embark on today. I always had a love for music, but never really knew what my talent in it was like what would I do. It was when I was 14 when I discovered I could spit a few lyrics having always liked poetry; I used to always go to a Benjamin Zephaniah book when in the library. My friend Eli, our families are very close, he brought me to his uncles studio hussla d, and that’s where it all started.

How would you describe your sound ? Who are your main influences?
I would describe my sound as a Afro Dancehall, pop, rap, R&B style. I’m very versatile in what I do, and can switch up my style at any given moment. It’s hard put me into one category as I can do the majority. My main musical influences…I would say number one is Wretch 32 without a doubt. I could listen to Wretch all day – slick lyricism, different flows, but the bars they’re deep and that’s what always catches me about Wretch. So he definitely influenced me to apply to my work them killer lines that make you think. Vybz Kartel also on the dancehall side for me someone I listen to – just straight raw with it, what can I say his the worldboss, innit. Growing up I listened to a lot of music at family parties; you hear it all and I just stuck with whatever stood out to me. I’m not really fussy when it comes to music as long and I can bop and nod my head I’m nice.

‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’, your 2018 singles, got a lot of traction, which really set you up for what followed. That must have been very satisfying, to get that immediate audience…?
2018 was actually my first year doing music properly in terms of actual music videos. My friend Ridwan who I went school with in Northampton hit me up and said “I’m doing a few music video projects bro like what you saying you want to work on a project together?” And me at the time I was like “well boy I haven’t put out a video before so why not trial it now”, so I sent him a few songs with ‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’ being amongst that. Those were the two which stood out to him the most. I decided to go with ‘Magnet’ first and that got very good reception; I dropped it on my own channel and the views shot up within the hour. I couldn’t believe it – just goes to show that people will really support you when they know you got talent. ‘Magnet’ is now on 10k views on my own channel, which I’m very proud of due to the fact that in that year I had no YouTube channel. I made it so I could put the video on there to test the waters, and it worked since creating my YouTube channel I am now on over 500 subscribers and just aim to keep getting more. ‘Fever’ was my favourite song all the while then, and when I dropped that I wanted it to be heard so I dropped it on Linkup TV to appeal to a audience different from my own with all my views on my channel being a majority of people I knew mainly. With both them tracks being dropped within a short time span of each other helped grow my social media, also I had new people reaching out to me to tell me I’m good and keep up the work it will pay off. It also opened doors to new opportunities and new collaborations with artists. For people to just love the music I make is enough for me, I don’t need anything else; that alone makes me happy.

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘This Wave’.
My latest single is a vibe I created one day when I was having a smoke – I put the beat on and it came to me. This track just describes how I’m going to take over, hence the words “but you might drown tryna get on this wave” and how I want to grow in life and prosper, but we all know that comes with hard work. “But to be a king got to work like slave” and that’s the seed I’m planting in ‘This Wave’. I got to give a big shouts to the video director Witness his artistry and smooth edit really brought the video to life. Got to give him big props for that the beat producer as well -daniyelbepo who reached out to me through Instagram sent me a few beats and I use one for ‘This Wave’. Eli San: goes without saying never a complain when he mixes and masters my track, perfection always.

You sometimes perform at the Lay It Down nights locally. How is playing live for you, does it teach you more about what you can do artistically?
Yeah I support the Lay It Down movement, I respect what they’re doing so whenever they got an event I’ll come and support, whether that’s in the audience or on the stage. Doing events like that help you build your stage presence and confidence and that’s the main reason I do it, because practice makes perfect. I love interacting with the crowd and making them sing my song back to me; that’s one of the few techniques I’ve picked up since performing live – just making the stage yours. We all have one chance to step up on there and perform, so when you do you have to make sure you leave an imprint on the crowd. Big up the Lay It Down crew for showing me love, also they can shout me whenever the weather.

How do you see the ‘scene’ in Northampton currently? Are we truly building something here?
The scene here in Northampton is amazing, so many talented artists of all ages and being up here for a while I’ve got the chance to see the growth in them too . I would say we’re building a strong musical platform for sure; the only thing we’re lacking right now is the support from outside, and sometimes for one another too. We’re all gonna win, just at different times.

Favourite Dreadz moment of the past year?
I would say is performing at my cousin J Kaz headline show [in London last July]. It was a memorable moment for me, because I was performing to a new crowd and a big one too so the nerves did kick in. But when I got on stage they just drifted. I performed one of my unreleased songs called ‘Moonlight’ and it just went off the feedback was amazing. Out of my many memorable moments last year that’s one of my favourite.

What was the last album you bought or streamed?
Stormzy Heavy Is The Head; a wicked body of work from start to finish.

What is your burning desire for to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
My plans is just to kill it. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m just gonna show you. We have a lot planned.

This Wave is out now on all major platforms

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 8th – Jan 14th

RUSSELL HEYWORTH + KEV WILETT Thursday January 9th The Lab, Northampton Local singer-songwriters. Music starts 8.30pm, free entry RISKEE AND THE RIDICULE + VATICAN ROMP + HEADSTONE HORRORS + MATT…

Thursday January 9th
The Lab, Northampton
Local singer-songwriters. Music starts 8.30pm, free entry

Friday January 10th
The Lab, Northampton
‘Punkdown!’ is a series of live music events showcasing the fine array of modern punk, alternative and indie rock music located nationwide. Part one features grime-punk from Kent, experimental punk from Salisbury, fast-paced street punk horror, and psycho-analytical melodic rap. Doors 7pm, free entry

Friday January 10th
Earl’s Barton WMC
Kontra Roots’s very own ‘Cambridge Folk Festival’, featuring the veteran troubadour, a singer-songwriter who writes and performs folk songs flavoured with soul, jazz funk, country and more, plus a singer-songwriter “noted for her conversational style, classy lyrics and crisp, listing vocals”. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

Friday January 10th
The Witch & Sow, Guilsborough
Ni Ni. 8.30pm start, free entry

Saturday January 11th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Bruce Foxton and friends play Setting Sons for this 40th anniversary concert. The critically-acclaimed album reached #4 in the UK and the album became a big commercial success, earning them their first top ten hit single ‘The Eton Rifles’.

Saturday January 11th
Well Cottage House, Daventry
Award-winning singer-songwriter Payne brings his acoustic show, showcasing new music from his debut solo album ‘By Name, By Nature’ ahead of it’s release later this year. He is best known for demonstrating an impressive 5-octave range, plus his work within progressive rock as frontman of The Enid (2011-2016). Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

Saturday January 11th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Wildfire Sessions, an acoustic showcase. 3-6pm, free entry

Sunday January 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Alt-rock night, featuring Oxford based Semper Vera and Bristol based Vicarage on their first UK tour. Plus two NN younglings with high hopes and taller talents. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Photo credit: Cris Watkins

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New Music Friday: DeBe

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his…

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his sound, incorporating elements of grime, R&B, dubstep and garage. Debut EP ‘The Life Of Reilly’ has just landed, and New Boots went in search of answers.

How/when did you start making music?
I started spitting bars in school and discovered GarageBand in 2008. I just had a lot of ideas in my head for songs that I’d thought I’d try and lay down.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
I’d describe my sound as out the box, unorthodox, left, slightly skits? I had a lot of musical influences from young. I knew the Nas album from back to front, I remember listing to his music on my Walkman CD player. In at the Deep End by Roll Deep had a big influence as well. When I was young I remember my Aunty catching joke at me singing Alicia Keys when I was in the shower, so I guess her too.
My Mum listened to baseline and garage a lot – I wasn’t fixated on DJ EJ, but to this day his tag is still stuck in my head. There’s always been different types of music around me and I appreciate it all, there’s a lot of music that I wouldn’t put in a playlist or vibe to, but when I hear it I know it’s sick. When it came to making music myself I always take pride in making sure I kept things original. Being so critical I guess that’s how I’ve been able to develop my own style.

Do you collaborate with others on the beats, or fly solo?
Early on majority of my music was done by myself, but as I got older my friendship group kind of all chipped in. I’ve been making music for years but I never really put stuff out, as soon as I did I started collaborating a lot more.

Tell us about this EP, ‘The Life of Reilly’.
To start off T.L.O.R is a start of a trilogy – so you heard it here first. There’s a lot of songs on the project that was made a while ago; I’ve got over 100 tucked away. Each track on the EP represents an emotion that I’ve had to deal with whilst grafting to put together the EP. There was a time when I was going back and forth to London everyday, being in the studio till late and having to go back to the ends for work. I was running on like four hours sleep daily. Once I found a team to work with it was our priority to build a catalogue of songs which came over a period of like a year or so. I had a lot of other stuff going on outside of music that effected me in different ways on different days, so going into the booth was like therapy for me.
The EP cover took a good couple of months to think of. I said to my manager that I liked how Giggs done his visuals for his ‘187’ track, which is also produced by Machine Baby, and I wanted to pay homage to NN. We sat down and came up with a concept that ending up taking inspiration from the original King Kong artwork. I’m using the Express Lift Tower as my Empire State Building.
My cousin Meks actually came up with the title for my EP. Reilly is my last name and “The Life of Riley” is a popular saying for someone who has it easy, which is kind of ironic.
Earbuds & Nick French worked on ‘Enough’. Earbuds also did ‘Comatose’ and ‘Front Row’. Sammy Byrne made ‘Nuffin Long’, I made ‘Vamp’ and Baga finished the EP off with ‘Uprising’ – he also chipped in on the mixing and mastering.

The videos are well thought-out and have a punchy vibe that fits the music just right. Do you storyboard these things in depth?
It’s a collaborative effort: everyone will give their ideas and whatever sounds good gets shot, whatever looks good gets edited. It’s the same with the music; I’m just lucky to have a friendship group who have a lot different skills.

It feels like a great time for Northampton rap.
It’s just great to see the whole NN scene thriving, and the hometown getting behind homegrown music.

Any live shows yet?

Favourite DeBe moment of 2019?
There’s been a few. I’d say not long after I put out ‘Keep Da Pound’, which was produced by Machine Baby, someone hit me up saying that I had inspired them and to be honest this is what makes me want to do what I do. If you take time to listen to my music it’s mainly me venting, and kind of reiterating my mantras in art form for your ears.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last project I listened to was Schoolboy Q – Crash Talk.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The plan for the foreseeable future is to be able tour internationally. I’d like to eventually be in a position give people opportunities back in NN too [ones who deserve it anyway].

The Life Of Reilly is out now via the usual platforms



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New Music Friday: Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra

Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra are Northamptonshire’s fine twisted blues purveyors. Tom is on guitar/vocals, Neil on drums, Toby on percussion, Dan on synths/backing vocals, and Matt on bass/backing…

Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra are Northamptonshire’s fine twisted blues purveyors. Tom is on guitar/vocals, Neil on drums, Toby on percussion, Dan on synths/backing vocals, and Matt on bass/backing vocals. After impressing with their debut album, new EP ‘Tail and Fins’ offers up another blast of great songs played with fire and skill. New Boots spoke to Tom to get the lowdown.

How did you guys get together?
The Heathen Orchestra didn’t so much get together as evolve over what seems like an epoch. We are I would say an inevitable accident of time; five musical organisms that emerged from the soup to create something greater than the sum of our parts. Though Matt [bassist] did remind me that I approached him in a graveyard on a wet Thursday morning and asked him to join [true story].

How would you describe your sound?
We sound like a group of people who have been around long enough to realise our own insignificance! For this reason we play because we love to play. I think this comes across in the raw, unfiltered nature of our music.
For purposes of classification, pigeonholing and hyperbole filled biographies we declare that we stand tall and testify from the gospel of visceral, blues-inflected alternative rock. We tell twisted tales of terrible injustices, crimes of passion, despair and strange goings-on. Our music is often filled with dread and torment, but we do not suffer melancholia – with our music we fight melancholy. Our songs are born of a love of life, and bristle with blistering, elemental energy and a drive to advance to better days.

Who has influenced the songs?
As a band, we each have wildly differing influences and spend hours ridiculing each other for our respective crimes against taste! Personally I am influenced as much by other musician’s attitudes to creativity as I am by their actual music. I love Bowie’s restlessness and need to keep moving forward. I see Dylan’s bloody-mindedness as thing to aspire to [the band would probably say I have achieved it]. Most of all though, I admire Leonard Cohen’s humility and dedication to his craft; if I ever think I’m doing alright I listen to his ‘Avalanche’ and remind myself how much I have left to learn, and get straight back to work!

What was the reaction like to your eponymous debut album of 2018?
Well, we are people who love to get together and play music. However we are not people who love to do hours of promotion! So the few who heard our debut album were overwhelmingly positive about it. We are trying hard to mend our ways!

Tell us all about the new EP.
It’s called ‘Tail and Fins’, it’s approximately sixteen minutes long and it’s a taut, muscular account of the last eighteen months as seen through my eyes: torn apart, fed into a wood-chipper, set on fire then reassembled through the medium of song by the immensely talented Heathen Orchestra. It’s highly personal, deeply political and a whole lot of fun to play.
These are incredibly fractious and dangerous times, I think any writer with a pulse would be hard pressed not to find inspiration! The challenge I set myself when working on these songs was to not shy away from the darkness or severity of the problems we all face, but to find a way of documenting them and turning them on their heads. Kind of like saying, “fuck you, we know you’re out there and that you want us to roll over, but you will not break our spirit, we will not give you that victory – and here’s some goodtime music to listen to while we’re working out how to kick your buttocks”.
I don’t like to go into too much detail of what individual songs are about. I think anything I reveal can only steal a bit of the song away from the listener. If I ever find out what Don Van Vliet was trying to tell us with ‘Bat Chain Puller’ I’m sure it would lose a little magic! That is part of the joy of music and why it should not be discussed in minutiae.
I will say that we are incredibly proud of this EP; it is a clear step forward from our previous recordings. I think we have managed to retain the energy and passion of our debut album, but with the extra focus and dynamism that an additional eighteen months of playing live has brought to the band.
We decided to record at Parlour Studios again for the simple reason that Neil [our drummer] owns the studio and he is a brilliant engineer so we would be foolish to go anywhere else [though Neil may appreciate the holiday]!

Describe the live show in five words or less.
Universal redemption.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
I really wouldn’t want to sully the reputation of any other bands by saying they were of similar mind to us!
To be honest, we are quite reclusive, we love playing in Northampton and the music community is the most welcoming and vibrant around. Every time we venture out, people are kind, friendly and supportive but we could not claim to be part of any scene. We are akin to the strange vaguely familiar uncle who crawls out of the woods once a year and everyone watches nervously, unsure what they might do and then they disappear again, only to return when you least expect it with a new tale to tell.

Favourite bands/venues?
We are very fortunate that we have just signed to Old Hotel Records, which is home to some of our favourite bands including Humblebee and Kenneth J Nash. I am a big fan of Jono and the Uke Dealers; Jono is the very essence of everything that is good about Northampton, I enjoy the strange grooves and melodies of The Drones Club, and obviously The Jazz Butcher himself – Pat Fish. Without a doubt though, if I could bring one Northampton hero back for one night it would be the wonderful Liam Dullaghan; his shows were among the best I have seen anywhere.
As for venues, Northampton is awash with great places for music but I would absolutely love to perform at the Playhouse Theatre. I think it would be the perfect setting in which to bring our songs to life.

What has been your favourite band moment of last year?
This is an easy one! Twinfest at the Pomfret was incredible. We are huge fans of everything Twinfest does and stands for, so to play for a barn packed full of people clapping and cheering along to our music was absolutely life-affirming.

What was the last album you bought or streamed?
I recently bought A Bunch of Meninos by Portuguese band Dead Combo. I highly recommend searching them out; they play sinister sounding Latin instrumental music and have collaborated with people like Marc Ribot (my guitar hero) and Mark Lanegan.

What is your burning desire for the band? What plans do you have?
We have no great Machiavellian plan! Playing music and writing songs is something I have always done and will always do. I think it’s innately human to want to share our stories and I am in no way a great talker; hence music is where I tell my truth [admittedly often couched in metaphor, allegory and a maelstrom of noise].
We do hope to play as many shows as possible this coming year. Live is without doubt where our songs come into their own. Standing up and singing in front of a crowd is such a terrifying and unnatural thing to do, but once we take to the stage we revert to our lizard brains and play as if our lives depend on it. It’s utterly cathartic and makes for an exciting show! Ultimately though, having a band of friends in the Heathen Orchestra who want to help bring my songs to life is a real privilege and so long as that continues I’ll be happy.

The Tail and Fins EP is available on Spotify, iTunes/Apple music, Amazon and Tidal. All proceeds from first year of the EP’s release are going to Amnesty International.

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New Music Friday: Baby Lung ‘Shoetown Blues’ EP

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed…

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed tones all year, and to cap it off a great 2019 with this work is fitting, and should see their star ascend. New Boots editor Phil Moore sat down with Maxx Riley, Mat Day, Harry Dinnage and Matt Willett to talk about the band and EP.

The ShoeTown Blues EP is out now from all the usual digital outlets. Baby Lung play The Black Prince in Northampton tonight, and then again on February 1st as part of Independent Venue Week. Thanks to The Charles Bradlaugh for hosting the filming, and Ryan Johnson for putting it together. 



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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 18th – Jan 7th

FUELED HATE + THE MOJO CITY REBELS + AXIS ERAZED + 521 Thursday December 19th The King Billy, Northampton Rock and metal night, headlined by Corby fivesome. Doors 8pm, free…

Thursday December 19th
The King Billy, Northampton
Rock and metal night, headlined by Corby fivesome. Doors 8pm, free entry 

Friday December 20th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The indie-blues group celebrate their first EP release, ShoeTown Blues, with a show at the Prince. Support from the well-respected, emerging NN jazz singer, and opening will be the teen grunge sensations, whose EP launch show last week was a sell out. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Friday December 20th
The Lab, Northampton
The urban music night hosted by Leon Denton, with plenty of open mic slots should you be interested in bringing your skills. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
“The Greatest Pop Band Of All Time” [their words, not ours] reunite to play their indie hits, with support from the newish alt-rock trio. From 9pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A one hour set of motorin’ dirty psychedelic blues. Support from a new act from Northampton/Leamington Spa. From 9pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Quality vintage metal from London and Northants, plus a couple of covers bands. From 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Mat brings his unique blend of solo raw n roots blues for a Saturday afternoon. 3pm-6pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Melbourne Arms, Northampton
Live acoustic music from Hannah Faulkner, Celine Ellis, Tim Jon Brophy, and Cameron Grace. From 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Stitching Pony, Kettering
The local classic rockers bring the party, big stylee, for Christmas. From 8.30pm, free entry

Sunday December 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Sunday blues vibes with added jazz inflections, gospel power and field hollers. Also an abundance of furious finger-picked guitar. 3pm-5pm, free entry

Tuesday December 24th
The Olde England, Wellingborough
A Christmas Eve acoustic extravaganza. From 4pm, free entry

Tuesday December 24th
Bar Encore, Towcester
Ni Ni acoustic session. 7.30pm to 9pm, free entry

Friday December 27th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Sarpa return to The Roadmender to celebrate the release of their debut EP “Say Something” on January 3rd. Support from London singer-songwriter, ShoeTown’s bluesy indie quartet, and the rockin’ hip-hop duo. Doors 7pm, £6 tickets

Saturday December 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Sick metal dudes The Darkhorse have organised a big end of year blast out. Bands from Northampton, Corby, and MK feature. Doors 7pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Bedford’s incendiary brand of noir-country trash-R&R – think Allen Ginsberg meets Link Ray. From 8pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The Last Gang In Town will be delivering a high octane set, with a touch of funk, a touch of punk and a LOT of unadulterated Dealerism. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
Steel Park, Corby
The promoters know as Yuk have a new home for their nights. Expect absrasive and melodic indie rock and psych from these three NN talents. Essential! Doors 9pm, £5 tickets

Saturday December 28th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Northampton’s unmissable live band, and a hometown show for Karl. Expect a mashup of ska, punk & grime with a hip-hop nod to The Clash, The Specials & Mike Skinner. Imperial Leisure sound system. Free entry

Sunday December 29th
The Talisman, Corby
Coalville rockers and fellow Midlands punks support the Sex Pistols Experience. Doors 7.30pm, £11.50 tickets

Monday December 30th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
End of year exhibition to end them all. Six hardcore/punk/trap/extreme noise acts playing short sets. From 6pm, free entry

Tuesday December 31st
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton 
The Northampton hardcore outfit ended the year on the high with an EP to be proud of, and a t-shirt everyone is talking about. They say goodnight to 2019 in the basement of the Gari. Skank and Fanny Pack DJ upstairs. From 8pm, free entry


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