Author: Newbootsnorthants

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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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jun 6th – Jun 12th 2018

KOYO + VEINS + FAMILY OF NOISE Thursday June 7th The White Hart, Corby Leeds experimentalists – “Radiohead meets Hawkwind”, says The Guardian. This is their Download warm-up show. Support…

Thursday June 7th
The White Hart, Corby
Leeds experimentalists – “Radiohead meets Hawkwind”, says The Guardian. This is their Download warm-up show. Support from local rockers / noiseniks help make for an unmissable midweek gig. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

Thursday June 7th
The Lab, Northampton
A ‘Lay It Down’ open mic-style night of hip hop and grime: freestyle, spoken word, it’s all here. Get in touch with them if you want to perform! Doors 8pm, free entry

Thursday June 7th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Roadhouse blues with a rock’n’roll heart, from Leicester, playing songs from 2017 album The Mileage. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Friday June 8th
The White Hart, Corby
French group, active since the 90s, playing bluegrass, folk, Western Swing, and ragtime. Nu-blues duo from Leicester in support. Doors 7.30pm, price TBA

Friday June 8th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Josh and Matt, formerly of ShoeTown cult-favourites Jubilee Courts, are returning to their favourite local for a one-off hometown show with their new project. Expect melodic guitar riffs, profound lyricism, and baggy vibes. Corby support playing some of the new tunes they’re about to unleash into the world. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday June 8th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
New vibrant Northampton act who bring the funk and mix up swing , Latin, and groove in the melting pot. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Friday June 8th
The Cube, Corby
An Irish singer and musician who first turned heads in 2011 with her debut album Celtic Lady, Vol. 1, Donna Taggart’s fluid voice and comforting interpretations of classic Celtic ballads and country-folk songs have drawn comparisons to artists like Mary Black, Eva Cassidy, and Alison Krauss. Based out of Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Taggart’s popularity soared in 2016 when her rendition of American country-gospel singer/songwriter Jenn Bostic’s ‘Jealous of the Angels’, which appeared on 2013’s Celtic Lady, Vol. 2, became an international hit. Doors 7.30pm, £21 tickets

Friday June 8th
The King Billy Rock Bar, Northampton
A night of metal, local headliners and fellow east Midlanders in support. Doors 9pm, free entry

Saturday June 9th
The Horseshoe, Wellingborough
Punk night at the Horseshoe: headliners from Gloucester/Cheltenham, openers from Cambridge, and a local act in the sandwich middle. Doors 8pm, free entry

Sunday June 10th
The Umbrella Fair Pavillion, Northampton
A Samaritans fundraiser featuring the cream of the NN songwriter scene. Their ‘rucksack project’ provides essentials to the town’s homeless, such as woolies and tin openers, so really something to get along to. Doors 7pm, £3.50 tickets



No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jun 6th – Jun 12th 2018

New Music Friday: Thrift Street

This week Northampton pop-punkers Thrift Street release their latest EP ‘These Kids’ on all major platforms. The EP contains ‘Nocturnal Behaviour’, ‘Quite Frankly (You’re A Prick)’, ‘Wayne’s Hurled’, ‘Classic Grayley’…

This week Northampton pop-punkers Thrift Street release their latest EP ‘These Kids’ on all major platforms. The EP contains ‘Nocturnal Behaviour’, ‘Quite Frankly (You’re A Prick)’, ‘Wayne’s Hurled’, ‘Classic Grayley’ and ‘Stay’.  New Boots spoke to guitarist/vocalist Callan for the lowdown.

How did you guys get together?
Jack and I went to school together and played in bands since we were young. On the way back from a show in Birmingham in March 2017 we were talking about how we missed playing in bands together. We joked about starting a pop-punk band because we both love it, and Jack said ‘only if we have a song called ‘Wayne’s Hurled'”. I got back that night and wrote ‘Coming Home Heroes’.

I was playing bass in another band at the time, and Harvey was the drummer. He was always wearing a Neck Deep top, so I low-key asked if he wanted to join. The three of us clicked together naturally and it feels like Thrift Street was supposed to happen. We have become the cliché we dreamed of becoming.

How would you describe your sound?
This is the hardest question to answer – we really just try to write songs that we’d want to listen to, but we listen to a lot of different music. I guess we’d say we’re edgy but relevant, emotional, and ambitious – just ya classic pop punk bois. We’re still trapped in 2003!

Who are your main influences?
We have a lot of different influences which I really hope comes across in our music. We listen to a fair amount between us, but to name a few:
Callan – Boston Manor, Gnarwolves, Seaway, Microwave, Basement
Jack – Sorority Noise, Creeper, A Day To Remember, Seaway, Modern Baseball
Harvey – Green Day, Neck Deep, The Story So Far

It sounds like the words reflect everyday battles/moments, would that be fair?
I write music about things that I feel at the time that I write them. Generally I try and write as accurately and true to what’s going on in my head as possible, which I guess means that a lot of what I write is based on everyday struggles like meeting people, relationships, drinking. Things that I hope will relate to a lot of people, and the things they go through and feel on a day-to-day basis. Just trying to connect, yo!

Tell us everything about the EP.
The EP is kind of a parody of ourselves. We know we’re a cliché, and we can’t help but embrace it. We decided to call the EP ‘These Kids’ because it’s something we said a lot to ourselves, when we saw someone doing something funny or silly (including us), we’d just kind of look at each other and say ‘These Kids’. It kinda made sense that we kept it as something personal to us! Our band is named after a street we’ve spent a lot of amazing times on, and we’re just trying to carry the sentimentality over!

The EP opens on ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, which is about too many bad nights in a club in Northampton. The chorus in the song is basically about getting your hopes up, it’s nothing specific – just a catchy tune that’s fun to play.

‘Quite Frankly (You’re a Prick)’ is a bit more anthemic. The song is a bit heavier than ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, and to me is a bit more meaningful. I think that it’s about wanting to spend time with someone but only for their validation, like you need them to you that everything is ok, all the time. When we wrote the song it didn’t have a name, but then someone got a message from their ex, about two months after they split, that opened with “Quite Frankly, You’re a Prick”. We found it funny. It stuck.

So earlier on we mentioned ‘Wayne’s Hurled’ was always going to be a Thrift Street song, even before we were a band. It was the second song we ever wrote – we did actually record it already but thought we could do with making it sound like the other recordings we’d done with Jon at Stalkers Studio. In all fairness, we just really love Wayne’s World – the song itself is just an emo anthem for being indecisive.

‘Classic Graley’ is our favourite of the EP – it’s a stereotypical song about being forgotten after a breakup. It features our close friend Will (Unlit Bones, Iridescence). He and Jack used to play in a band called Persona together, which we referenced just before his verse: “A different Persona today/I lost my Will to carry on, anyway”.

The song comes from Thrift Street’s most important member, Jordie Graley. She does our artwork, takes our photos, comes to all our shows and is an all round angel. Again, we started calling the song ‘Classic Graley’ as a joke – Jordie used to get annoyed whenever we’d say it to her. But we thought we’d immortalise it by naming our song ‘Classic Graley’.

The final song on the EP, ‘Stay’, is probably the most emotional. It’s about a family friend who passed a way about a year and a half ago. It was painful to experience, let alone for her to live through it, and the only way I knew how to deal with it was write a song. It’s one of my favourites to perform live.

What are your live shows like? Who are your favourite bands to play with?
Our live shows tend to be really energetic. We’re only a three-piece, but we don’t let that stop us. I like to have a laugh, joke about a bit with Harvey, and Jack just runs around and starts mosh pits. We really get into it – we love performing and I think it shows. The live community is amazing in Northampton. We are part of a larger network and everyone is amazing. We’ve played with so many amazing bands it’s unfair to pick just a few! Some honourable mentions are Tigerstyle, Safest Spaces, Iridescence, Wishing Wolf, and (though not quite Northampton) Sharkbait and Last Hounds. We’d really love to play a show with Young and Reckless and Wax Lyrical Sound at some point too!

What has been your favourite band moments in the past year?
There have been a couple moments over the last year that make us proud of what we do. We’re all super close, which I guess you can expect after a year of playing shows and writing music together. What stands out to us is our first EP launch – we filled the back room of the Black Prince, which really showed us that people actually like our music. It’s surreal watching a room full of people sing the words to songs we’ve made. We also won the battle of the bands there a couple of months ago, which was an amazing experience, and it just makes us proud to do what we do.

Another moment that will stick with us is after a Doncaster show, we had a three hour drive home. We were all tired and started singing along to ‘Sex in the City’ by Hobo Johnson in a really growly troll voice, it’s something that still makes us laugh and just sums Thrift Street up really.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Callan – Either Deadweight by Wage War, or Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
Jack – x (Mwah) by Hellions is my banger at the minute. Just really enjoy it. Might have also been Hobo Johnson’s Peach Scones, or the Devil Wears Prada Space
Harvey – Don Broco Technology (still on a high from seeing these at The Roadmender), or What You Don’t See by The Story So Far

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want exactly what you’d expect; we want to be the next big thing! Our passion is music – we try our best to put everything we have into it. Ultimately we just want to help and inspire people to be their best self. We want people to relate with us, to sing with us and to just have a laugh with us. We want people to get in on our inside jokes and just for everyone to feel part of Thrift Street. We’d be nothing without the people who listen to us!

We haven’t got any major plans yet – we have a few gigs lined up dotted around the country. I guess the next step for us to really focus on direction and song writing, and maybe throw a little tour together. Just waiting for our big break!

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 30th – Jun 5th 2018

DEAF TRAP + GOGO LOCO Friday June 1st Club 43, Northampton Another edition of The Barratts ‘Green Carnation’ club, this time with two of ShoeTown’s finest new noise makers. This…

Friday June 1st
Club 43, Northampton
Another edition of The Barratts ‘Green Carnation’ club, this time with two of ShoeTown’s finest new noise makers. This is a late night event [post beer fest/Miles Kane] with two floors of DJs afterwards. Doors 10pm, live music from 11pm, £4 on the door

Fri June 1st – Sun 3rd
Beckett’s Park, Northampton
The annual beer festival is a great place for live music. The line-up this year includes Donnybrook Fair, GoGo Loco, The 2Tones, The Keepers, Cool Jazz Collective, HubCap, The Bighead, Goldwater, The Shed Machinery String Band, Banter, Deep Sea Mountains, Goldwater, Moulton 77 Brass Band, The Bighead, Jono and the Uke Dealers, Velvet Engine, Houses In Motion, Kenneth J Nash and many more. Doors 11am-11pm Fri and Sat, 11am-6pm on the Sunday. £5 entry [free to CAMRA members]

Friday June 1st
The Roadmender, Northampton
Miles Kane is back with a new single ‘Loaded’ and a 16 date UK tour. Previewing songs from his work-in-progress new record, which is his first solo material since 2013’s Don’t Forget Who You Are. Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

Friday June 1st
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Corby metallers, late ’70s riff rage, post-hardcore from London, cyber/prog metal from Northants. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Friday June 1st
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
The Songwriter Sessions is run as a “pin-drop event”, to fully immerse in the music of these three local acoustic singer-songwriters. Doors 7.30pm, £3 entry

Friday June 1st
The Lab, Northampton
The MK headliners launch their new EP Scalps ce soir. Corby grindcore and more bring the noise before. Doors: 8pm, £5 OTD (£3 members)

Saturday June 2nd
The Lab, Northampton
Balkan “psychedelic ethno rock infusion” who bring the party big time, with Lab regulars in support. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Sunday June 3rd
The King Billy, Northampton
“Triumphant, chest beating rock” from Brackley/Northampton, plus Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist making avant-garde soundscapes [mostly with guitar]. Covers bands on the bill too. Doors 2pm, free entry

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 30th – Jun 5th 2018

New Music Friday: Monarchs

Kettering alt-rock trio Monarchs have a new single out today, entitled ‘You Got Me’. New Boots spoke to Sam Amos [guitar/vocals] about the new song and their current adventures. Listen…

Kettering alt-rock trio Monarchs have a new single out today, entitled ‘You Got Me’. New Boots spoke to Sam Amos [guitar/vocals] about the new song and their current adventures. Listen below, and watch the Marc Collins directed video too!

How/why/when/where did you guys get together?
We came together through a mutual love of writing and performing. About two years ago was the first time we all got together in a rehearsal room in Kettering, and it bloomed from there.

How would you describe your sound?
Lyrically-focused dark sex funk n roll….think that about covers it all.

How do you write as band: together, separate? What usually comes first: words, melody, a riff?
Sometimes together, sometimes separate. Depends on the weather…Most of the time it comes from a riff first, but there’s no set equation so to speak.

Tell us about this third single, ‘You Got Me’.
Probably the song at the moment we’re proudest of, it started as riff and naturally developed from that point on. It almost feels like we’ve arrived at our sound with this one.

You are prolific giggers. Do you live for the live shows ?
Absolutely! We feel when we play the songs live they take on a new character. However we are really enjoying writing together at the moment as well. We’ve got the best of both worlds.

What’s your take on the Kettering/wider Northants music scene?
There’s a variety of bands all playing really different and unique stuff which is always positive. Most importantly everyone is very supportive of each other.

What has been your favourite band moment so far?
I think we all agree it was our headline gig at Roadmender, it felt really good putting on your own gig, picking the supports and selling it out!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Arctic Monkeys Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino. I better not say anymore, we all love it but not everyone likes Marmite I suppose.

What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
We’re getting geared up to hit the road with our Corby brothers King Purple. Playing eight dates together around the county and surrounding areas, hoping to play to some new faces and make new friends along the way. Followed by more writing and relentless gigging to help promote the new single!

THE ROYAL TOUR [with King Purple] DATES:
26 Swan Revived Hotel | Newport Pagnell
27 The Marrs Bar | Worcester
2 Phoenix Bar | High Wycombe
8 The Craufurd Arms | Milton Keynes
15 Bedford Esquires | Bedford
22 The Roadmender | Northampton
23 The Cookie | Leicester
29 The White Hart | Corby

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 23rd – May 29th 2018

JOHN HEGLEY + THE JAZZ BUTCHER QUINTET Thursday May 24th The Lab, Northampton The poet, comic, singer, and songwriter aids Northampton in celebrating CND’s 60th anniversary, ably assisted by Pat Fish…

Thursday May 24th
The Lab, Northampton
The poet, comic, singer, and songwriter aids Northampton in celebrating CND’s 60th anniversary, ably assisted by Pat Fish and his superb crew. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

Friday May 25th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
The soulful garage trio of ShoeTown sadly are slithering off into the darkness forever, but leave us with one final blast of rock’n’roll to sooth the soul. Support from the GoGo Loco frontman. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday May 25th
The Lab, Northampton
A rare live outing for NN’s “Hendrix bagpipes with medieval drum and bass” quartet, with twisted blues tales from Rose and co in support. That’s a treat, and no mistake. Doors 8pm, donations welcomed on the door

Friday May 25th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The first day of the venue’s Brewers Shindig Beer Festival. 15 beers, BBQ food available, and live music each night – starting with Jono and his magic gang. Music from 8pm, free entry

Friday May 25th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Another Metal 2 The Masses heat. Groove metal from MK, female-fronted glam Rock, Metalcore from the South-East, noisy progressive riffy fuzzy hot mess from Northampton, and London alt-rock to open. Doors 7pm £5 entry

Friday May 25th
The Prince Of Wales, Kettering
The original sound of rock and blues; greatly influenced by Rory Gallagher. Music at 9.30pm, free entry

Saturday May 26th
The Lab, Northampton
Samurai Cop occasionally do DIY/noise gigs in Northampton, and here’s one. Featuring: Suffolk riff machine, Boston D-beat crust ragers, Leicester ragers, grindcore crust sludge, doom total crush, and Birmingham thrash. Doors 7pm, £5 on entry

Saturday May 26th
The White Hart, Corby
Another Yuk indie night, with new members, new tunes and a new attitude from the local headliners. Toucan bring the psych from Kettering, and Skyflood bring the post-rock. Doors 8pm, £3 on the door

Saturday May 26th
Auden Factory Outlet, Nene Court, Wellingborough
An in-store performance from the magical Cumbrian singer-songwriter. She’ll be performing songs off her new album Book Songs. Doors 1pm, free entry

Saturday May 26th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Brothers in arms, these two. Mod indie rock from the pair; expect hi-octane hi-jinks. Doors 8pm, free entry

Sunday May 27th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Bank holiday Sunday fun courtesy of New York City! F&F deliver art rock: sultry vocals, surf rock riffs, and fuzzy bass. Garden worry that you ‘Hate Me’, which is ironic as everyone seems to love them. Doors 8pm, music from 9pm, free entry

Sunday May 27th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
An acoustic matinee performance from Mr Payne, after his March show was hit by the snow and thus some people couldn’t make it. Special guests include Nikitas Kissonas [Methexis], Oliver Day, and duo Pete & Dunk. New Boots understands ticket numbers are very low now, so advise checking before turning up. Doors 2pm, £10 tickets

Sunday May 27th
The Roadmender, Northampton
London-based Ink. is the new venture from McFly bassist Dougie Poynter. Post-punk meets classic rock by all accounts. Doors 7pm, £8 tickets

Sunday May 27th
The King Billy, Northampton
May Bank Holiday alldayer, with hogroast available. Doors 2pm, free entry 2pm

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 23rd – May 29th 2018

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