Author: Newbootsnorthants

Record review: Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra

TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA [self-released] Orchestral arranger. Bookseller. Gravedigger. As careers go that’s not a bad palette of experience from which to…


Orchestral arranger. Bookseller. Gravedigger. As careers go that’s not a bad palette of experience from which to paint your tales of humankind. And Tom Rose has done them all. As leader of this Northamptonshire five-piece twisted blues ensemble he’s learnt to weave a consistently absorbing narrative on the freaks and weirdos that walk amongst us.

This twelve-tracker was recorded live last October at Parlour Studios near Kettering, and displays some Hammond-heavy dark forbodings that bring to mind some of the greats of the nu-blues genre: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan, Captain Beefheart, The Pogues, with various nods to the original US bluesmen of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. The opening track ‘Keep Your Demons’ is the heaviest thing on here, and is reminiscent of noughties blues trio the 22-20s; and before them, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It feels like the sky will cave in over it’s three minute duration, which is probably the point. ‘Dance To Hell’ keeps the sweaty intensity up, coming across like a potent rockabilly version of ‘Red Right Hand’. It’s on this song that Roses’ preacher sensibilities come to the fore, with references to ‘demons’ and ‘hell’; the morality theme is later returned to on ‘Bible Morals’. If you’re going to tell stories you might as well make them biblical in scale…

On ‘Clay On Wood’ the voodoo punk spirit that has inhabited Jim Jones for thirty-odd years – most recently with his Righteous Mind – comes to mind. The band is really smoking on this number, cutting loose with joyous abandon. ‘Maggots’ slows things down a bit, bringing some smooth 60s atmospherics to rival Dylan with The Hawks, or perhaps The Doors. The grotesque nature of the song that Rose is chronicling is one to listen in sharply for, you get your just rewards. The album continues in a similar vein over its second half: ‘Falling Over’ and ‘All Of You People’ add some nifty guitar licks to enliven, ‘Garden Designs’ decides to add profanity to the spicy mix, and there’s some excellent garage-punk dynamics on ‘Trouble’s What You Got’.

This record is a spirited success and one you can’t ignore, for it has you by the throat from those opening notes. It has a timeless quality too – it could conceivably be ignored in 2018, only to be hailed as a minor classic by future scribes. One thing is for sure, however; we are much better off having it in our lives than not. Praise be.

Phil Istine

Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra is out now

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 4th – Jul 10th 2018

FRACTAL UNIVERSE Wednesday July 4th The King Billy, Northampton One to make a midweek effort for – progressive death metal quartet from France. Doors 8.30pm, free entry SHELLY CARE +…

Wednesday July 4th
The King Billy, Northampton
One to make a midweek effort for – progressive death metal quartet from France. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Friday July 6th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
The Songwriter Sessions sees three carefully chosen original acts sharing their music each month. This is run as a pin-drop event. Doors 7.30pm, £3 on the door

Friday July 6th
The Lab, Northampton
Born in early 2018 on the busking scene in the Algarve, Undying Heads are Frank and Kev – the travelling hobos, making and playing music as they go. The duo have come together to play a mix of Folk, Irish, Country, Blues and more.  Plus Irish tunes from Skinner, Chris Startup and Boatman John. Doors 7pm, free entry

Friday July 6th
The White Hart, Corby
In the UK for a run of shows on the run up to Tech-Metal Fest, Cyclamen deliver a mix of melodic math rock mixed with tech death metal. The band were formed in London but are now based in Tokyo. Support from the flag bearers for Corby’s hardcore scene and Northampton’s much-loved sludge metallers. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

Friday July 6th – Saturday July 7th
Loddington Grange, nr. Kettering
The annual independent music festival supports Rainbows, the hospice for children and young people. Over two stages you get a smorgasbord of music from near and far: HubCap, Tokyo Taboo, SpaceDogs, Bonfire Radicals, and Litmus play on the Friday. Saturday brings Powderhead, Delphini, Jack Ellister, Captain Starfighter and the Lockheeds, Happy Graveyard Orchestra, NUKLI, Music of the Andys, Magic Bus, and The Hare and Hoofe. Gates open at midday on the Friday. There’s a handful of tickets left as we went to publish.

Saturday July 7th – Sunday July 8th
The Racecourse, Northampton
The ever reliable ShoeTown festival gives plenty of space for showcasing all sorts of music talent. This year on the main stage first day you can witness: The 2 Tones, Leburn Maddox, The Keepers, Deep Sea Mountains, Moulton 77 Brass Band, and King’s Gambit. Second day is Mystic Crew, Shed Machinery String Band, The BigheadHubCap, Cool Jazz Collective, Just Friends, Pure Genius, Banter, and the Theatretrain Community Group. The music is from 1.30pm each day, and it’s free entry

Saturday July 7th
The Lab, Northampton
Northampton pop punk quartet bid the world adieu after six years with a goodbye show. Mates in support include an emo duo from MK and fellow pop punkers from ShoeTown and Bedford. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Saturday July 7th
The White Hart, Corby
Psychedelic punk funkers from London Town always give good show. Support from two Leicester area punk acts. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

Sunday 8th July
The Lab, Northampton
A real treat for a Sunday: exceptional Glaswegian space rock quartet bring the noise like a millennial Hawkwind. Support from former Spacemen 3 bassist. Doors 7.30pm, £3 on the door

Sunday 8th July
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Legendary award-winning Nashville bluesman playing songs off his latest album Live My Life. Set is around 2.30pm, free entry

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New Music Friday: Lunaxis

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots…

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots caught up with Loasby for the lowdown.

How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
This is a question we always struggle to answer! We like to think our music is perfect for big festivals – hence us overusing the phrase ‘festival sound’! Because of all our different influences, we are a mash up of indie-pop, blues, folk and country. We love big vocals with lots of harmonies, and memorable bluesy guitar solos.

Who are your main influences?
As mentioned, we all have our own individual tastes in music. Lunaxis as a whole are influenced by artists such as Arcade Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Lucius and Lorde when it comes to creating the large festival feel we are all about. I am very much into lyrical giants like Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman and Patti Smith. I enjoy telling a story and using personal experiences as inspiration.

Tell us about the What Good Is Their Love EP.
The EP is a story based on the stages of being the victim of narcissistic abuse in a relationship. It begins with the track ‘Big Love’, which is all about falling very quickly, and deeply in love, so much so that you believe you wouldn’t be anything without that person. As the EP progresses, it reveals more about the reality of that feeling, and how vulnerable it can make you. It describes how the mask slowly slips from the romantic partner, and how the victim keeps trying to put it back into place. Eventually, something so catastrophic happens that there is no coming back from it. The EP ends with the title track, ‘What Good is Their Love’, which is all about the epiphany of realising the person you love is only ever going to keep you in a circle of toxicity. The last poignant lyric is “the only way to win this game is not to play”.

What are your live shows like? Any favourite places to play?
Our live shows are awesome! We have a great time on stage and gel really well with each other. As a new band we are currently building our name in the Northamptonshire area, and are looking to expand from there. There are a few smaller venues we have coming up over the next month, but now it’s festival season. The next festival we have is actually my favourite local event of the year, which is Woodfest at Irchester Country Park. We will be playing on the main stage on Saturday August 12th.

What has been your favourite band moment of this first year?
This has to be at our EP launch [last week] when we finished the set. The crowd cheered and rushed to the stage to buy CDs, it was manic! After six months of hard work with the EP it was such a great feeling to see the positive response we had. It was by far one of our favourite band moments!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Howlin’ Wolf – The Absolutely Essential

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want to carry on making great, authentic music. The big dream is to eventually to be playing alongside our hero’s at all the big festivals. Headlining Glastonbury maybe?! Until then we will be putting in the hard work to perfect our art, and focus on getting our name out there. We believe in Lunaxis, and are looking forward to the future!

What Good is Their Love is out now: stream/buy from the usual platforms, or purchase a CD from the band at a show.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jun 27th – Jul 3rd 2018

THE CREATURE WITHIN + LIMITS TO INFINITY Wednesday June 27th The King Billy, Northampton Formed in 2017, TCW are three mates who decided to make something dirty, punky, grungey, weird and…

Wednesday June 27th
The King Billy, Northampton
Formed in 2017, TCW are three mates who decided to make something dirty, punky, grungey, weird and loud. Support from Luton’s five-piece melodic groove core band. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Thursday June 28th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Sold Out Seven, more like. Have fun if you managed to get a ticket.

Thursday June 28th
The Lab, Northampton
Local cult quartet playing an infectious – and this time, acoustic – mix of “CelticDanceDubSkaFunkPunk”. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

Friday June 29th
The Lab, Northampton
A night of riffage to rattle loose the cobbles of ShoeTown’s nearby market square. A couple of local bands that have a live reputation to envy, plus opening newcomers from MK. Doors 8pm, £3.50 tickets/£4 door

Friday June 29th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The final[?] VFT album Icon is out on this day via Glass Modern. Alex Novak and Andy Denton continue to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and celebrate their excellent new album with a live show. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 29th to Sunday July 1st
Rushden Athletic Club
House Of Pain Promotions run their biggest event yet over three days in Rushden. Playing on Friday is Psychostick, Stormbringer, Outright Resistance, Lay Siege, The Darkhorse, Everyday Sidekicks, The Hero Dies First, Numb, and Bring The Onslaught. On Saturday its Crazy Town, Carcer City, Sworn Amongst, TrueHeights, Ashborn, Prognosis, and Acolytes. Finally on Sunday you got Oceans Ate Alaska, Kingdom Of Giants, Shields, Dead Man’s Chest, From Eden To Exile, Crow, Sharkteeth Grinder, Confessions Of A Traitor, Asphodel, Casket Feeder, Life Against Time and King Abyss. Doors 2pm Friday, day tickets are £20, weekend are £35.

Friday June 29th
The White Hart, Corby
The royal duo wrap up their UK tour with a hometown show for the headliners. Support from Market Harborough dub/hip hop sextet and Corby/Kettering noisey-but-progressive three-piece. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

Friday June 29th
The Yards Bar, Kettering
Hard-hitting Northampton rockers to headline; emo pop-punkers both in the middle and to open. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday June 30th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Northampton soul-jazz sextet are back from working on their studio tan to play live down at the Pom. Doors 8pm, free entry




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Record Review: Venus Fly Trap ‘Icon’

VENUS FLY TRAP Icon [Glass Modern] Much like their beloved Dr Who, it’s been a long, strange, bewildering trip for Northampton’s long-term purveyors of dark wave. Formed in 1986 as…

Icon [Glass Modern]

Much like their beloved Dr Who, it’s been a long, strange, bewildering trip for Northampton’s long-term purveyors of dark wave. Formed in 1986 as a trio from the ashes of their other projects by Novak brothers Alex and John, they rose phoenix-like to be a central part of the local scene of the late-80s [and you can read all about those early days in the latest, fourth, instalment of the Have Guitars…Will Travel book series]. Fifteen or so ex-members later and the last three albums have been the work of core duo Alex Novak and Andy Denton. Indeed Icon completes their trilogy that began with Zenith in 2004 and continued with Nemesis in 2011.

This record is probably the strongest of the trio, taking all the ideas explored so far and crystallising them into short, sharp, energised songs. If you are unfamiliar with the music, then imagine a PiL-like band playing Taffey Lewis’ bar in the original Blade Runner film. A sound rooted in the dark wave/electronica sounds that emerged post post-punk, but one that isn’t confined only to that world. Dystopian sci-fi rock from Northampton means everything from Bauhaus to The Cramps, The Stooges to Sisters of Mercy. The VFT sound is instantly recognisable, but never falls into the trap of being too repetitive. Indeed, after the scene-setting instrumental title track that pulses with film dialogue, each of the remaining eight tracks could be pulled off the album and released as a single. The one track that already has been, ‘Vitesse’ [see below], is pure Blitz kids synth-pop with a memorable hook placed above the motorik underbelly, whilst Novak mixes up his automobile and love interest metaphors to great effect.

The love theme continues on the crunchy ‘Voodoo Voodoo’ and the cinematic ‘Flashback’, both which revel in the VFT interest in the psychedelic. The characters within this pair reveal themselves more and more on each playback, as you catch new parts of the story. The middle of the album is dominated by the slightly epic ‘Deadly Nightshade’, which warms of the dangers in human relationships, where you can find “instant karma in the perfumed garden”. The track is the most sonically pleasing on Icon, as it transforms from beatific to angry and back again continually on its six minute journey.

‘Return of the Sidewinder’ kicks off a trio of culturally-referencing tunes. This song, named after a 1968 TV episode, gives nods to fellow Midlands heavyweights: Bauhaus in the lyrics, and The Specials in the ‘Ghost Town’-esque musical pallete of smokey dub reggae. ‘The Genesis Of The Daleks’, meanwhile, was a 1975 Dr Who series, and the Delia Derbyshire-indebted opening gives way to post-punk guitars and throbbing synth patterns. The song is surely a love letter to those childhoods that were both scarred and enlivened by existential television dramas.

‘Puppet’ seems to take the lead from ’50s pulp fiction from Philip K. Dick, but this time taking the music in another direction into dream pop. It’s a tender lullaby – well it would be if the intonation of Novak [“you’re just my puppet”] wasn’t quite so unsettling. Icon finishes with ‘In The Moonlight’: a Paisley Underground-style acid-folk slow waltz with a Hammond organ dominating the canvas, and some superb background harmonies that drifts us ever farther away from the darkwave idea from whence they came. It’s a fitting ending to a formidable album that, if it is to be their swansong, sees them very much go out on a high.

Phil Istine

Icon is out June 29th via Glass Modern

*Interview with frontman Alex Novak*
NB: You’ve said this is the last studio album.
AN: Probably; more than likely. Never say never. It’s just the length of time it takes to write and mix tracks seems to take longer each time. Does the world need another VFT album? We will see…

There’s quite a bit of diversity going on here; musical references to reggae and dream pop, for example.
We never set out to write in one particular style, just see what comes out of various ideas, see where it takes us. Our inspiration comes from many points of reference.

That’s always been a VFT strength – you always look beyond the “dark wave” tag.
VFT certainly has a dark psyche at the core, but we like to layer it or dress up with different costumes. We tap into many influences.

Keeping one band going for over three decades without a break is remarkable. What’s your secret – sheer, bloody-minded drive?
Its had more twists and turns than a rattlesnake, shedding many skins over the years. Change keeps it fresh. We are the Doctor Who of music – transforming a constant metamorphosis.

‘Icon’ is out via Glass – a label who you have history with, via your old band Religious Overdose.
Full circle – my very first release was on Glass. There’s a symmetry to it all. I like Dave Barker the label boss, and the band’s he has released over the years. It feels like home for us.

Will you continue the band as a live concern in future years?
We will see what reaction this album gets, and take it from there…

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New Music Friday: Sarpa Salpa

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa have been slaying the Midlands with their infectious party indie anthems for the past two years, and celebrate another milestone today with the release of their…

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa have been slaying the Midlands with their infectious party indie anthems for the past two years, and celebrate another milestone today with the release of their third single, ‘Circuits’. New Boots asked them all about it, and about the whirlwind build-up.

Can you give us a quick run down of how and why and where you got together?
Ethan: Well Marcus & George had previously played together in another band, so they started Sarpa as a new project with a new sound/image to their previous outing. Then they snared Charlie shortly after a chat at a pub one day. I had met George through a very short lived band/project that I think that did two practices and one meal out before it fell apart. Then a month or two later saw him looking for a bassist again, I drop him a message and here we are! This was all around the last month or two of 2015.

In case there’s anyone left who doesn’t know SS, can you briefly sum yourselves up in a nice soundbite? Or whats maybe better is what’s the best way you’ve seen yourself described in publicity material…?
Marcus: That’s such a hard question, one we always have trouble answering, I think the answer is Indie Pop! Or pop? Or alternative pop? We don’t know!! People say all sorts, we have been told we remind people of Sticky Fingers, Kasabian & Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I don’t even like some of those bands… I even once was told ‘Craig David’? So we just don’t know anymore! In summary: we are four guys trying to not write songs that sound the same as each other, and as different as other musicians music as possible! If you want to find out what that sounds like, come and hear it for yourself .

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for you. Personal highlight please.
Charlie: There have been so many amazing moments we’ve all shared as a band, but our recent trip to MaNo Festival in Germany definitely stands out for me! The love we were shown over in Marburg was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, although with the amount of beer we all washed down, I’m honestly surprised we remember a thing!

‘She Never Lies’ was a real moment for you. Is that single release last autumn when it all began to click for you, or has something else felt more significant?
George: ‘She Never Lies’ was definitely a stand out moment for us, It feels like a turning point for the band. Although we had been a band for a little while when we recorded it, it was a bit of a new beginning for us. We’d just got a manager and started recording with a new producer so it kind of felt like the beginning of Sarpa Salpa. We still have a long way to go though and a lot more we all want to achieve

Tell us about ‘Circuits’.
Marcus: ‘Circuits’ got its name from thinking about how humans are wired up. ‘Circuits’ is a mash up of a cry for help from addiction, and a change in character in relationships! The classic combo!! I wrote the lyrics when I was literally hiding by the bin area in work smoking a cigarette, hiding from people who care for me and wouldn’t want to see me doing that or knowing I do it! In that moment I almost looked at myself and thought “what am I doing?” It all became so pathetic, hiding alone in a stinking pen of beer bottles and soggy cardboard just so I can breath in some burnt leaves? So I wrote the first line, and like my anger, the lyrics just kept flowing out of me. “And again and again and again and again and again and again” I remember standing typing that and the repetitive tapping of the same keys over and over very much summed up the relentless rut I was in!
The chorus very much sums up relationships from a brief gaze; people sometimes try and change their partners, for selfish reasons, for good reasons, whatever the reason, there may not even be a reason. People can just sometimes morph into new people over time, new interests, new hobbies, change of politics or fashion! The chorus is just one large chant of uncertainty, disguised in confidence! “Something has changed, and I think it’s you.” Or is it me? Later in the song the lyrics develop into “I think it’s me”.
I took these separately written concepts to a rehearsal one evening. Upon my arrival George said “I’ve got a new riff”. It all took shape very quickly, especially when the bass and drums teamed up, the words were no longer just text on a screen, they were melodies flying around in my head! Circuits was born

You filled the small room at the Roadmender twice in 6 months. What’s the formula, that you might want to share, for making this happen? “Be nice guys with sweet tunes and great management” would be our guess…
Ethan: I think it’s a combination of a few things. Firstly our sound is quite pop-orientated, so it’s easy to bob along to. We also have been lucky to meet some great bands, who very kindly played with us! I also like to think that we put on a good little show these days. Because of the amount of gigs we have done it really has started to come quite naturally to us now, and we can enjoy it a little more instead of worrying about remembering the parts. If the band are having fun there is a good chance the audience will do too.
And as you mentioned since we picked up our manager Kev in August last year he’s really helped push us and keep us focused. He’s always the first to give us honest criticism and point out things we could improve! He also introduced us to our producer Faz, who really helped nail the sounds and idea’s we had in our head! So I guess I would say it’s a mixture of luck and a tonne of hard luck at the end of the day. But always be nice to people, that goes without saying!

You play lots of shows, all across the Midlands. What’s your favourite place to play outside of Northants?
Marcus: I do like The Horn in St. Albans, that’s got a really nice PA system and always sounds crisp! And also Club 85 in Hitchin – there are these great, gigantic, colourful, glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling above the stage and I think that’s awesome when you have the crowd in front of you and space above your head! Of course Esquires in Bedford, that has become a second home to us in recent months! Also any festival stage! The feel of that plasticity wooden-ish material gets me so excited! SUMMER TIME SHOWS!! Except for recently at a festival when the stage was so wonky it looked like a ship mid-sinking, that show was cancelled funny enough!! Haha.

Best and worst thing about your own scene here in ShoeTown.
Charlie: The best thing about our ShoeTown scene has to be all of the people who attend local shows, and spread the word about small bands to their friends and families! The worst thing about our ShoeTown scene is the lack of venues that are playable for local bands, it just seems to be the same gigs at the same 3 venues every week!

What are you grooving to currently? 
Charlie: I’ve been really in to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest album Sex and Food, it’s one of those albums that you find yourself listening to 4 to 5 times a day! George has recently introduced me to a band called Porches also, and they have become my synth-caked guilty pleasure.

You’ve got Twinfest coming up, but what else can we expect from the second half of 2018?
George: We’re hoping to be putting out another new single and potentially an EP at the end of the year. We’re also playing a whole bunch of cool festivals like Rocked Up Hootenanny, so there’s a lot to look forward to!

Circuits is out today from the usual digital platforms

Sarpa Salpa selected live dates
June 22nd – The Lab, Northampton
June 23rd – The Music Barn Festival, Kettering
July 6th – Daxtonbury Festival, Podington
July 26th – The Guildhall, Northampton [Twinfest]
August 11th –  Woodfest, Irchester Country Park
September 8th – Rocked Up Hootenany, Rockingham

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jun 20th – Jun 26th 2018

XYHON + CHECK THE SUGGESTIONS + SHAUN GIBBS Wednesday June 20th The King Billy, Northampton Original band Wednesday at the Billy featuring MK metal and new ShoeTown indie rockers. 8.30pm,…

Wednesday June 20th
The King Billy, Northampton
Original band Wednesday at the Billy featuring MK metal and new ShoeTown indie rockers. 8.30pm, free entry

Thursday June 21st
The White Hart, Corby
An enigmatic singer-songwriter from Tupelo, Mississippi, Murry works in a spare, literate style that blends ragged-edged indie rock with warmly melancholic folk. Alt-country Londoner in support. Doors 8pm, £9 tickets

Friday June 22nd
The Roadmender, Northampton
The Royal Tour hits ShoeTown! Both the joint headliners have featured on this site in recent weeks, so need little in the way of introduction. Corby and Kettering supports too, making this an invasion of the highest order. Doors 7.45pm, £5 tickets

Friday June 22nd
The Lab, Northampton
To celebrate the release of their new single ‘Circuits’ on this day, dancefloor-friendly indie types Sarpa Salpa are hosting a hometown launch party. Support from Nuneaton alt-rockers and Kent indie-rock quartet. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Friday June 22nd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Two-piece, maraca driven rhythm & roll from the ex-Mobbs boys. Main man Novak DJing too. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 22nd
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
More ‘Club Eclectica’ shenanigans. Sad Drone are new: three local guys trying a live improvised ambient soundscapes approach with guitar, synths and tape loops. Plus 8-bit chiptune dance tunes from the Boy, and a Sane solo set too. Plenty of DJs too. Doors 10pm, £5 entry

Friday June 22nd
The White Hart, Corby
The ‘Road to the Hootenanny’ continues…After the four April heats to win a slot at the Rocked Up Hootenanny festival on Saturday 8th September…it’s time for the grand final. Your vote on the night counts towards who bags the prize. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 22nd
The Olde Forge Tea Room, Kettering
“Like Tom Waits singing Ryan Adams if they both had the good fortune to grow up in Yorkshire”, says The Fly. Support  from local minstrel of The Abrahams. Doors 7pm, £10 entry – call 01536 330014 to reserve your spot

Friday June 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Midland Railpunkers go full throttle on their own. Doors 9pm, free entry

Saturday June 23rd
Steel Park, Corby
Corby’s biggest music event in years, held at Corby Town Football Club. Music in four areas, including The Farm, Big Minds, The Fevers, Solarise, Spitting Feathers, Family of Noise, The Modern Age, Skirt, Redneck Jesus, and Stonepit Drive. Doors midday, £10 for Adults, £5 for 16 & 17 year olds from

Saturday June 23rd
Cranford Road, nr Kettering
One of the best local independent festivals celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Music from Kenneth J Nash, Toffees, The Abrahams, Charlotte Carpenter, Sarpa Salpa, Orange Clocks, Josh Wylie, Ouse Valley Singles Club, Boss Caine, and hazyjane. Doors 2pm, £25 tickets

Saturday June 23rd
The Roadmender, Northampton
Ford takes to the road with his new album Animal Spirits, a collection of songs that cements his reputation as one of Britain’s finest songwriters and social commentators. A pioneer of the loop machine, Ford’s incredible one-man show brings the noise. Doors 7.30pm, £12 tickets

Saturday June 23rd
The Black Prince, Northampton
Grunge, groove metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, and more all make themselves known at the second semi-final of Metal 2 The Masses. Doors 6pm, £7 entry

Saturday June 23rd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
The eighteen-legged funk machine bring the general funkiness and grooveocity to the Lamp, playing tunes from their newly released album on King Genius Records. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday June 23rd
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Lunaxis launch their debut EP ‘What Good is Their Love?’ as part of the Retro-Beat night. Physical copies are available to buy on the night. Lunaxis do big soulful vocals and bluesy guitar solos. Alt-folk support. Doors 8.30pm, free entry


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New Music Friday: Family Of Noise

Corby instrumental post-punk types Family Of Noise have a mini-LP/EP entitled II out now. New Boots spoke at length to the trio – Jim Holland [guitar], Andy Holland [bass] and Darren Starmer [drums]…

Corby instrumental post-punk types Family Of Noise have a mini-LP/EP entitled II out now. New Boots spoke at length to the trio – Jim Holland [guitar], Andy Holland [bass] and Darren Starmer [drums] – about the bands history and the EP release.

How/why/what/when did you guys get together?
Andy: We need to turn the clock right back to 1992 to get to the genesis of the band, when myself and James Brennan (original drummer) had been playing together in another band: The Gift. After a couple of months, however, the band split, but we continued jamming together, honing some ideas I had been dabbling with myself. Having put together the rhythm parts of a few tunes, there was only one person in mind to play guitar and that was my brother and James’ ex-band mate (in Obscurity), Jim Holland. So in mid-1993 Family Of Noise (named after the Adam and the Ants song from their debut album Dirk Wears White Sox) were formed. Over the next few years we played a relatively small number of [mainly local] gigs and without officially splitting up, played our last gig in the summer of 1996.
Leap forward to the late noughties and the itch to play again nagged at me. By this time though James had moved out of the country, so the tub-thumping duties were offered to a good pal, Darren Starmer, who duly accepted.
Darren: In a heartbeat!
Andy: For a couple of years after, we jammed the original FON tunes now and then, but no real plans were ever put in place to actually play live again.
Jim: Don’t forget the time we considered doing covers.
Darren: god forbid…
Andy: We were at a memorial for a friend who had passed away in late 2012 when it was suggested (in an alcohol induced reverie, no doubt) that we should be playing again, so we made the decision there and then that it was time to get back in the rehearsal room and set our sights on playing live.
Darren: Give or take a month or two.
Andy: Yeah, it’s safe to say that we got off to a slow start, but something suddenly clicked and we were all buying new gear and chomping at the bit to play again.
Jim: Our first gig was at a friend’s birthday party in April 2013. The rest as they say, is history.

How would you describe your sound?
Darren: psychedelic post-punk
Andy: That translates as a strong rhythm section with the guitar snaking through its guts with phasers set to stunning 😉
Jim: We do get a lot of references to psychedelic bands, mainly due (we believe) to the use of phaser. But it’s great that different people hear different things in our sound.
Andy: That’s one of the benefits of being instrumental; people listen to the music instead of singing along with the front man’s musings.

Who are your musical touchstones?
Jim: Those stalwarts of the post-punk era: Bauhaus, Killing Joke, New Model Army, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Southern Death Cult, Theatre of Hate and The Stranglers, to name but a few.
Andy: If anyone says to us that they can hear the influence of those bands in our sound, we accept it with a big smile. We don’t mind that our influences are clearly worn on our sleeves.
Darren: I came from a more metal background, so it often made me chuckle when they would dissect a tune, explaining the inspiration for each section. For me the local scene and just wanting to play was a major influence.
Andy: And me chanting ‘more toms and more flams’ I hope that’s an influence..?

What prompted the decision to bypass vocals when you began? Was that a common or unusual scenario at that time?
Andy: It was never our intention to be instrumental. In fact, at our first ever gig (in Channel 2 in Corby in ’93) we had a mannequin at the front of the stage with a ‘Situation Vacant’ sign around its neck. We did try out with a couple of singers too (Darren being one of them), but things didn’t work out and as we had played the tunes instrumentally for so long, we decided to go with it, full time.
Darren: I got in eventually.
Jim: I don’t remember there being any instrumental bands on the scene back then. With only a couple now for that matter. Locally anyway.
Andy: It certainly seems to be an unusual and uncommon scenario today, given the number of times we are told we need a singer, but suffice to say, since the reformation, vocals have never been a consideration.

Tell us everything about the ‘II’ release.
Andy: The product of a Rose of the Shires endeavour, having been recorded and mixed in various locations within Corby and Kettering and the CDs printed and duplicated by local company []. Engineered by local musician and long mover, Lee Freer, it was a long time in the making because we were attacking it as and when we were all free at weekends, but we feel the wait was worth it. For the moment it’s only available on CD, with the first 50 being numbered and including an extra track, written and recorded specifically for the release.
Darren: With all 50 copies having now been all been sold!
Andy: Indeed, we’re really chuffed about that. Although at seven tracks long on the standard release, it could be argued that this constitutes a mini album, we’ve continued with the EP moniker. Purely for consistency more than anything really. We’ve tried to order the tracks to mimic one of our gig set lists, so hopefully, those that have seen us live get a feel of being there when they listen and those that haven’t are encouraged to change that fact as quickly as possible. We plan to make it available to download directly from our website at some point, with Spotify and iTunes and the like a little way off again.

What are your live shows like?
Darren: Sweaty and loud!
Andy: We’re in that weird position now where because we have a healthy collection of tunes under our belts and on average only 35 minutes to play, it becomes a bit of a head-scratcher putting a set list together for a gig. We have some staples that are generally always included, but we like to mix things up to keep it fresh for ourselves as well as the good folk coming to see us.
Jim: Especially the opener. Sometimes we like to ease the crowd (and ourselves) into a gig and start with a track with a moderate tempo, then on other occasions, just light the touch paper and go.
Darren: Sometimes starting a little too fast that I’m praying for that slow(er) track to come round in the set.
Andy: With our recent and future summer gigs, we’ve been including as many of the tracks that appear on the EP that time will permit. Where possible we try to use a projected video backdrop, so that what we are playing becomes a soundtrack to all kinds of weird and wonderful imagery. But when that’s not available we rely on Jim to keep the audience entranced with his impish twists and turns as he grinds out each tune.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Corby and Northamptonshire? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Andy: Ask any band from this town what their favourite venue is/was and I’m sure 99% of them will say the Zombie Hut. It was a proper venue and the chaps running it were always committed to giving you the band and the audience the best gig possible. Sadly, that’s all gone now, but Chris at the White Hart in Corby is doing his darnedest to give the town a great little venue again and certainly succeeding.
Darren: We’re forever grateful for any venue and/or promoter asking us to play, or accepting our request to play, so they all become favourites for different reasons.
Jim: We’ve played a few times with the likes of Thee Telepaths, The Bophins and Veins – all local to Northamptonshire and always a pleasure to play with.
Andy: Both as punters to watch them and as a band, as we know we won’t get any nonsense with things like big egos, or tedious interminable soundchecking. A great bunch of chaps.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Darren: Scotland, playing with Lizzie and the Banshees & The Media Whores last September.
Andy: Indeed! The month had started with a Scottish flavour having played our 100th gig as support to Edinburgh’s finest: The Filthy Tongues – which was great enough, to say the least. However it continued when we were invited to play with Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band, Lizzie and the Banshees in their hometown of Bathgate at the end of the month too. On the lead up to the gig we were chatting to the aforementioned Media Whores’ manager, lamenting the fact that we had missed the opportunity to play alongside them in June at a great little independent Punk festival in Lancaster: Punk ‘n’ Disorderly, so he asked that if they put a gig on, would we be interested in supporting them?
Jim: Needless to say the answer was yes.
Andy: So flash forward to the end of the month, we played our support to LATB at the Dreadnought in Bathgate, which was a belter, both for us as punters and a band! A cracking little venue, great crowd and a most entertaining evening. Incredibly hung over the next morning, we made the trek to Bridge of Allan. Now what we weren’t fully aware of until a couple of days before the gig was that we were going to be the opening band for the night’s proceedings and that we were to be on stage at 7:30 in the evening. Having been witness to opening acts going on an hour / an hour and a half later than that and seeing the venue fill up during their set, but with most of the audience missing it, we had visions of us playing to the bar staff only. However, by 7:15 the venue was teaming with an audience who really made every minute of the 15 hours we spent in a car that weekend worthwhile.
Darren: As much as we enjoyed the night before in Bathgate, it had to be said that most of the crowd there were on a nostalgia trip, eager to relive the sights and sounds of Siouxsie, but with the Bridge of Allan gig what we had was an amazing crowd of people supporting live, original music, and all from 7:30 in the evening!
Jim: Even after the gig too, it was easier to count those who didn’t come up to us to say how much they enjoyed the set.
Andy: The lore of Scottish crowds being the best was certainly enforced that night.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Darren: Belly Dove
Jim: Love and Rockets  Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Andy: A Perfect Circle Eat The Elephant

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Andy: Ultimately it’s all about playing live for us, so the desire is for those gig opportunities to keep coming in.
Darren: Bigger venues with bigger bands would be the icing on the cake.
Andy: And maybe someone on board to be dealing with that side of things, so we can be left to concentrate on writing more.
Darren: Hey, maybe even a tour.
Jim: I think a tour would break us.
Darren: Maybe a tour split over a series of weekends, over a series of months. Our old bones could cope with that.
Andy: We have a fairly busy summer of gigs with us making a racket at some local festivals, among them – Steelfest in Corby on the 23rd of June, where we’ll be in the Alt Corner Tent and Tannerfest in Loddington on the weekend of the 6th / 7th of July where we’ll be headlining the Wildfire Stage on the Saturday night. July sees us play the Sixfields Rock Festival in Northampton on the 22nd and then a return to Lancaster for this year’s Punk ‘n’ Disorderly, which is now in its 7th year on the 28th.
Jim: We also have another eight tracks recorded at Pennington Street Studios, which we’ll be going back to very soon to mix down for another EP release for later in the year, or early next.

EPII is currently available on CD from Family Of Noise gigs, or can be ordered from their website:

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jun 13th – Jun 19th 2018

SANE + LITTLE BITBOY Thursday June 14th The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton The Northampton Music Festival celebrations kick off with this ancillary event: electronica with a dash of rock from the…

Thursday June 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The Northampton Music Festival celebrations kick off with this ancillary event: electronica with a dash of rock from the headliners, mind-blowing chiptune dance beats from Josh in support. Doors 8pm, free entry

Thursday June 14th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Local singer-songwriter of much repute brings a gentle start to the NMF festivities. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 15th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
After a sell out show last year Bronze Nazareth et. al will be back at The Garibaldi, bringing fresh, gritty and soulful hip hop sounds. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 15th
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Volume 4 of Derek Thompson’s musical history of Northampton covers 1988-1996, and it’s out on this day. Two nights of music to celebrate, with a selection of acts that are covered in the book. It marks the live return after almost a year off of Venus Fly Trap as they gear up for their final album, Icon. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

Friday June 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
High energy three-piece glam punk band from Daventry play possibly their last ever ShoeTown show. Support from MK party punkers and a brand new outfit. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Friday June 15th
The Duke Of Wellington, Stanwick
The return of the Triangle! Having been locked away in the studio creating new tunes they return to the stage once again with their warm urban soul-jazz sounds.  Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday June 16th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Reading quartet recently tipped by This Feeling and Fred Perry Subculture to be ‘Big in 2018’. Local supports include a grooveadelic trio, catchy alt-rock shenanigans, and lo-fi instrumental noiseniks. Doors 7.30pm, £4.50 tickets

Saturday June 16th
The White Hart, Corby
Ten bands to get completely drunk to, including Tom Wallington, Sarpa Salpa, Mundays, Rory McDade (Luna Rosa) acoustic set, Broken Lamps, and Handwaxx. Special guests to be announced on the morning of the show, so keep an eye on social media for them. 2pm-8pm in the beer garden, 9pm-12am in the live room. Free entry

Saturday June 16th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Kinship is a collision of two worlds: delicate vocals, pianos and guitars juxtaposed with drum machines, samples and synths. Usurp Rise bring musical landscapes of Acid Jazz, trip hop and funk. Burrowing Bees “take a delicate mix of trip hop, electronica, soul and R&B they create something which needs to be mulled over and carefully examined”. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday June 16th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Volume 4 of Derek Thompson’s musical history of Northampton covers 1988-1996, and it’s available at this event. Acts are Soul Patrol, Backbeat, K3, Sleepwalkers, Beer Parlour Jivers, Homelanders +, and Jumpworld. Doors 2.30pm, free entry [there is a raffle too]

Saturday June 16th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Recently back in the game with a new song, the socially-conscious ‘Satellites’, The Barratts return to bring the good times to your rock’n’roll party. Support from everyone’s favourite indie-mods, and a set of London “club rock”. Doors 7pm, £6 tickets

Saturday June 16th
Barnwell Country Park, Oundle
The musical line-up is Dunn wiv Whiskey, Acoustic Supper Club, The Bophins, Black Hawkdown, Family Of Noise, Deep Sea Mountains, and Skyflood. Midday to 8pm, free entry [parking charges apply]

Sunday June 17th
Various locations, Northampton town centre
We all know the drill for this by now. Main stage brings everything to everyone, headlined by The Jets. BBC Introducing Acoustic Stage has Lunaxis, Kenneth J Nash, Sarpa Salpa, Dan Knight, Little Bitboy, and The Barratts. Umbrella Stage has Kings Gambit, amongst TBA others. Plus a bit of classical and jazz is always a treat, and the Northampton University stage does what you’d expect. Just GO. Noon til 9pm, free entry

Sunday 17th June
The Black Prince, Northampton
Metal 2 The Masses Northamptonshire Semi Final heat one. Metal and hard rock of various hues from Kent, Corby, and Oxford. Doors 3pm, £7 entry







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New Music Friday: HubCap

Two-piece Northampton garage blues unit HubCap – Dave ‘Badbones’ Harker on guitar and vocals, Dan Foolme on drums – have released Too Little Too Late, an eight-track mini-album/EP. New Boots asked them…

Two-piece Northampton garage blues unit HubCap – Dave ‘Badbones’ Harker on guitar and vocals, Dan Foolme on drums – have released Too Little Too Late, an eight-track mini-album/EP. New Boots asked them all about it.

How/why/what/when did you guys get together? 
Dan used to have house parties/jam nights and Dave was up from Bristol. We had a jam and instantly clicked by laying down some dark psych blues grooves. Later the following year Dave moved to Northamptonshire, so getting together was a must.

How would you describe your sound? 
The darker side of blues, having a feel of voodoo with a thread of psychedelic funkiness. The songs quite often tell a story of delusion, with Dave’s vocals reminiscent of root blues singers.

Who are your main influences?
Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Walters, RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Hendrix, Captain Beefheart, Beck, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Tell us everything about ‘Too Little Too Late’.
Being unsigned and a little tight for cash we wanted to get something down that was honest and captured our energy. This mini-album/EP was mainly recorded in a four hour session at Brickworks Studios in Market Harborough. We had the pleasure of Martin Whitehead from The Lo Fidelity Allstars as engineer and recording the session. This allowed us to crack on and get the session down. Martin knew exactly what we were after – ‘no thrills’ – being a lo-fi guru himself. The session was recorded through some great analogue pre-amps and some repro vintage mics which complemented the session. We mixed the tracks ourselves and had it analogue mastered to digital. The opening track takes you on a journey of a woman’s betrayal and a man’s twisted expectation of forgiveness, his mind clouded by anger and jealousy leading to irrational thought. ‘Sugar Pt1’ – experimenting with LSD to shift the blues.

Has “LSD set you free”?
Wow! An incriminating question. The mind is always free; doors can be opened with or without help, although some approaches are a quicker path. However, often when you do go down the quicker path of hallucinogenic experimentation there could be someone darker behind the door – hence ‘Sugar Pt2’, the darker side. ‘RedLady’ is about the path where the middle part opens into a soundscape that offers the listener a guitar riff that is influenced by Buddhism – to hopefully open some of the more enlightening doors.

Back into the lighter side, ‘Fuckin With My Head’ is a Beck cover – a classic of our youth and a great interpretation.
‘Backdoor Woman’ intros with a harmonica and slide guitar piece that is the blues, swiftly progressing to a guitar stomp and a reverse sounding drum thud pounding like a dysfunctional train. Lyrically it’s a twist on the traditional ‘Backdoor Man”. Interestingly this track is being used for a film due for release in the USA featuring stars from the Netflix series Ozark.

‘Love To You’ is our interpretation of the Etta James classic – always a crowd pleaser we just had to get down. Then we finish with ‘Drop Deed’, which tells the tale of jealousy and what it can drive someone to do, the middle guitar and drums piece takes you on a journey and then dumps you back in to the consequences. This track already has label interest, as this could definitely be a movie soundtrack.

What are your live shows like?
Each one is different, they are fluid and enchanting. We try not to stick to a set list and try to respond to the crowd to capture them in the experience. We may throw in mind bending riffs, we may play a track differently. Being a two-piece that can play their instruments well we are able to fold and manipulate the tunes to fit its audience and our mind set at the time.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northampton? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Not really part of a Northampton music scene, but we appreciate the local musical talent. The opportunity to play with like-minded bands has never really presented itself. We have a good rapport with GoGo Loco so watch that space! We are playing the Northampton festivals this year (the County Beer Festival, The Umbrella Fair on the Racecourse, Northampton Town Festival). We love the Umbrella Fair Organisation, the work they do and their support. Our favourite venues have to be The Pomfret Arms and The Lab. They have always supported us and there is such a good buzz there.

What has been your favourite band moments so far?
The biggest sense of achievement is Too Little Too Late. When you listen to many albums the artists would have spent hundreds of pounds on them, hours and hours of overdubs, editing and manipulating the music to something, that is not necessarily achievable live. This album is an honest, well-recorded, produced and mixed recording that sounds almost on par with high-end produced material from other renowned two-piece bands. The artwork and mixing is also our own creation – and managing to get such a good engineer working with us was great. Thing is we still have loads left in us, we just need time to write. We seem to get a lot of gigs which can be time consuming, but always a good thing!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Probably Junior Kimbrough material or RL Burnside

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We would like to be playing to larger audiences, larger venues and earn a living from our something we love sharing.

Too Little Too Late  is out now: via the Soundcloud stream, or on CD directly from the band at a show

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