Author: Newbootsnorthants

Levellers to headline opening night of Cropredy Convention

Folk aficionados will already have heard the news, but the Levellers have been revealed as the first headliners of next year’s Cropredy Convention which takes place next August on the Northants…

Folk aficionados will already have heard the news, but the Levellers have been revealed as the first headliners of next year’s Cropredy Convention which takes place next August on the Northants border.

As usual, the three day festival will feature two sets by hosts Fairport Convention who will open the festival on Thursday with a short acoustic set then take the stage again on Saturday to close the event with their traditional two-hour headline set.

Organisers are expected to announce the Friday night headliners next month.

Levellers recently announced their new acoustic album, We The Collective, is due out in March.

New single, The Shame, from the record is out now.

The Saturday will feature Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart, while Fish will be making his second appearance at Cropredy.

Other acts announced by organisers include award-winning band Le Vent du Nord, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam Kelly and BAFTA nominee Richard Digance who will return for his traditional Saturday slot.

As always, Cropredy will present a set by the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner.

Tickets are on sale now and three-day tickets cost £135. Camping tickets cost £45 for three nights.

The first 1,000 orders will receive a Christmas card signed by all five members of Fairport Convention and the first 2,000 will get a souvenir Cropredy car window sticker.

Cropredy runs from Thursday, August 9 to Saturday, August 11.

More acts will be announced in January. Tickets are available from www.fairportconvention.com

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New Music Friday: The Keepers, Charlotte Carpenter, Drinsipa

So you survived the snow and ice? Great, your reward is more new quality tuneage. Northampton indie/mod/psych rockers have been working hard all of 2017 and this is the final…

So you survived the snow and ice? Great, your reward is more new quality tuneage.

Northampton indie/mod/psych rockers have been working hard all of 2017 and this is the final present to you, a new single – with a proper A-side and B-side!

Charlotte Carpenter just gets better and better, as the recent Shelter EP ably demonstrated. And she’s generous enough to drop a final song for 2017, ‘Cheer’, for our festive listening pleasure. Sublimely haunting stuff.

And heavy hitters Drinsipa have quietly dropped a six-track mini-album/EP Poppy Fields on Bandcamp. And they’ve only gone and made it free as well to download, you lucky dawgs [technically it’s name your price, so be generous and give them a few shekels] . The stoner/grunge/metal duo wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered the thing in Poppy Fields estate in Kettering, hence the title.

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Record Review: Alex Novak: META 1977-2017

Alex Novak META 1977-2017 (VUZ Records) To celebrate a 40-year career in art and music and tied in with his recent gallery exhibition, VUZ Records release a strictly limited edition…

Alex Novak
META 1977-2017 (VUZ Records)

To celebrate a 40-year career in art and music and tied in with his recent gallery exhibition, VUZ Records release a strictly limited edition commemorative compilation cassette/download to showcase the work of Northampton artist and musician Alex Novak. To sustain a 40 year career in any field is difficult and even more so in the alternative arts. Alex’s secret of longevity is to be something of a musical chameleon. Constantly evolving and shape-shifting he is one of those rare, eclectic musicians (like Killing Joke or PiL) who produce markedly different work yet it has a certain ingredient that makes it easily identifiable.

Assembled by the guys at VUZ Records this compilation features a host of rare, remixed and unreleased tracks that make the collection a veritable treasure trove. Thus this offering has that ‘mix tape’ feel, like the kind of tape a friend would dub for you back in the day. Kicking things off we have two tracks from one of Northampton’s first punk bands, Isaws. On a subconscious level the original punks knew their tenure was going to burn brightly but briefly so there was a real urgency to make their mark with haste. ‘No Admittance’ and the rarity ‘Nightlife’ are typically fast, furious and powered by a youthful enthusiasm. Imagine The Ramones meeting The Clash.

With Religious Overdose Alex moved onto post-punk, perhaps the most, for awhile, unshackled of musical genres. Post-punk was often angular and brittle mirroring the fragile state of society, and Religious Overdose captured something of that zeitgeist. Like much of their work ‘Control Addicts’ has a hypnotic feel, reeling in the listener before landing a surprise punch. In that respect the band foreshadowed electronic trance (albeit played organically) and like much of the music contained in this collection Alex and his cohorts seem to be ahead of the musical curve uncannily anticipating the direction of alternative music.

Alex’s tenure with UK dark wave pioneers Attrition proved very fruitful and it could be argued that they’re the missing link between Killing Joke and Godflesh. Here ‘Feel The Backlash’ shows the band influenced by their surroundings: it’s cold and monolithic like brutalist architecture, crushing the listener beneath its enormity. Both Spore and The Den took the raw energy of punk and fused it with electronica, two musical genres that at one time were diametrically opposed. It took a mad scientist to fuse them and the effect was literally electric. The Den in particular are like PiL filtered through The Covenant, The Sword…-era Cabaret Voltaire, offering a disturbing glimpse of a dystopian Orwellian future.

In an age when popular culture was accelerated The Tempest perfectly captured that shift from post-punk to gothic and like all the bands on this compilation they stand apart in their originality yet are still connected by thin gossamer threads: the hypnosis that was pioneered with Religious Overdose is evident here in ‘Low Ebb’ and was later transferred to Alex’s Nova State Conspiracy. The two tracks here from the Conspiracy, ‘Definitive Item’ and ‘Life in the Basement’, feature electronics with surgical precision overlaid with organic vocals and the effect is quite disarming. Like all good art it is the tension of opposites that makes it so intriguing.

Like PIL before them Venus Fly Trap had a constantly revolving line-up, more through necessity than design, but unlike PiL the VFT was a democracy and this flux resulted in an ever-changing sound as evidenced by the three tracks presented here. From the bruising rock of ‘Moscow Menagerie’ (again with that hypnotic riff) to the electronic enthusiasm of ‘Achilles Heel’ what did remain constant was the cinematic nature of the music: the combination of music and lyrics combine to imprint a powerful image on your mind. Each track plays out like a ’60s French film noir or Tarantino flick in your imagination. Of course if I assembled this tape I’d have included ‘Pulp Sister’ but maybe you’d pick ‘Morphine’ and that’s the whole point – and fun – of mix tapes.

With a new Venus Fly Trap album tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2018 release there is still more to come from Alex Novak, but ‘META 1977-2017’ is the perfect way to celebrate the closure of one volume just as another begins.

Sargent

META 1977-2017 is available here.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 13 – Dec 19 2017

SKANDAL + LORD OF WORMS Wednesday December 13th The King Billy, Northampton Power trio Skandal are on the final leg of their international tour, promoting their latest release Year of…

SKANDAL + LORD OF WORMS
Wednesday December 13th
The King Billy, Northampton
Power trio Skandal are on the final leg of their international tour, promoting their latest release Year of the Cicada. They define their style as “doom ’n’ roll”, with influences from classic rock ’n’ roll bands and doom metal groups. Bristol’s progressive grunge quartet Lord of Worms support. Doors 7pm, free entry

DREADZONE
Thursday December 14th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The dub heavyweights return to ShoeTown to promote their 2017 release Dread Times, which mixes their trademark heavy dub and roots reggae sound with fresh beats and electronic flourishes. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £16.50 

PARLIAMENTS + FOX CHAPEL + PHANTOM ISLE
Friday December 15th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Psychedelic groove-rock trio headliners have excellent new single ‘Red Sun Dead Moon’ to promote, with support from the superb Fox Chapel and London/Northampton psych-poppers Phantom Isle. Radio Northampton DJ Lal Muttock will be behind the decks too. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5

THE KEEPERS + PRESLEY JOHNSON
Friday December 15th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
‘Another Night’ is the new single from the moddy/indie/Britpop/psych boys, and this is the launch. Support from local stalwarts Presley Johnson. Doors 8pm, free entry

FAMILY OF NOISE + THEE TELEPATHS + CHUCK THE POET
Friday December 15th
The White Hart, Corby
Instrumental racket merchants Family Of Noise join forces again with psychic fuzz marauders Thee Telepaths to bring a night of muzak and merriment. Also expect a reading from Chuck The Poet. Doors 8pm, free entry

CENTURY CITY + PUPPET REBELLION + PIECES
Friday December 15th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Classic-rock and alt-rock shapes and sounds from locally-adored headliners, plus Manchester rockers [with a hint of ShoeTown in them] Puppet Rebellion make the trip down. Openers are new band Pieces [ex-Army Of Lights]. Doors 8pm, free entry

BURROWING BEES + JOE PAYNE feat. DUNCAN MCLAUGHLIN + STUART BRUCE
Saturday December 16th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Winter warmer organised by smooth, minimalist r’n’b/pop duo headliners. Former Enid singer plays “a set of his favourite xmas R&B bangers”, whilst opener Bruce, former front-man of Sympathy State, Decibels and Lennoxx, plays a solo set. Doors 8pm, £4 on the door

GARDEN + MONARCHS + HUSSY
Saturday December 16th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The fast-rising alt-rock quartet celebrate the release of debut EP ‘City People Are Weird’ with a party, with stellar support from Kettering rockers Monarchs and south London’s Hussy. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

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New Music Friday: Parliaments, Blood-Visions, Puppet Rebellion

The shops might be heaving right about now, but these bangers are the only presents you need to concern yourselves with. A-grade fuzzy, hypnotic rock from Parliaments, courtesy of their…

The shops might be heaving right about now, but these bangers are the only presents you need to concern yourselves with.

A-grade fuzzy, hypnotic rock from Parliaments, courtesy of their new single ‘Red Sun, Dead Moon’. The video was directed by Northampton film-maker Jacob Austin-Lavelle and gets quite unsettling as it unfolds over its dark and brooding six and a half minutes. Anyone who enjoys Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, or King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard should hit play right about now. The song is out now on the usual streaming/purchase music sites. There’s a launch gig at The Roadmender on the 15th too.

Not to be outdone in the growly stakes anytime soon are Blood-Visions. Their new EP is out now on Bandcamp and on CD directly from the band at their shows (like The Garibaldi one this evening). One of the tracks is this lovely raucous blaster, ‘Ed Reckless’.

Finally a shout out for Puppet Rebellion, the Manchester band who include Northamptonian guitarist Craig Gibson. The new single/video ‘Dark Thoughts’ is a track from their just released debut album Chemical Friends.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 6 – Dec 12 2017

FIGURE OF SIX + NEXT TIME MR. FOX Wednesday December 6th The King Billy, Northampton A night of schizophrenic metal shenanigans with touring Italians Figure Of Six and Next Time…

FIGURE OF SIX + NEXT TIME MR. FOX
Wednesday December 6th
The King Billy, Northampton
A night of schizophrenic metal shenanigans with touring Italians Figure Of Six and Next Time Mr. Fox. Doors 8pm, free entry.

BLOOD VISIONS + ACOLYTES + LA FOLIVORA + BIG BAG OF SADS WITH THE LADS
Friday December 8th
The Garibaldi, Northampton
Local punks Blood Visions launch their latest EP in their favourite ShoeTown gig venue, with support from the equally uncompromising Acolytes, La Folivora, and Big Bag of Sads With The Lads. Doors 8pm, free entry.

AMY TRUE + LOGIC + BIG CAKES
Friday December 8th
The Ex, Corby
Amy True will be performing alongside drummer Giuliano Osella fresh from the new release of her debut album #11. DJ Snuff wil be providing the music for these artists plus creating the vibes to see out the end of the night. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £9

CANDIDATES + DEEP SEA MOUNTAINS + TEMPLE LAKE
Friday December 8th
The Black Prince, Northampton
New MK outfit Candidates bring their hard hitting indie rock and roll sound to the Prince, with local support from DSM and new London rockers set to open proceedings. Doors 8pm, £2 on the door

BROADBAY + POSSUM + FUTURE LOVE
Saturday December 9th
UFO @ The Pavilion, Northampton
Headline show from the Brighton/Northampton trio with raucous energy and heavy riffs, plus Possum from Leeds and melodic alt-rock from ShoeTown’s Future Love.  Doors 7.30pm, £4 on the door

CASKET FEEDER + CONSTRUCT + GARSHKOTT + APRIL IN ASHES + STEREO SKULL
Saturday December 9th
The Lab, Northampton
Soundman Ollie’s birthday bash: a night of rock and metal with Casket Feeder, Construct, Garshkott, April In Ashes, and Stereo Skull. Doors 8pm, free entry

JAZZ COLOSSUS 
Sunday December 10th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
If you feel like an afternoon of festive cheer the 20-piece Jazz Colossus play all the Christmas standards from Bing Crosby through to Frank Sinatra in a big band style. Special guest singers are promised. Doors 2pm. All ages show. Tickets £10

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Kettering’s alternative rock venue reopens

Only a month ago it closed its doors. Now The Prince Of Wales in Kettering has reopened under new stewardship. The team that have taken over the Prince have history…

Only a month ago it closed its doors. Now The Prince Of Wales in Kettering has reopened under new stewardship.

The team that have taken over the Prince have history with the pub. Harry Kelly, of HK Taverns, ran the Prince and 52 other premises in the east Midlands until his death in 2013. His son Martin Kelly and his wife Leah Kelly, the new landlord and landlady, still hold the venue in high regard as it was one of Harry’s first venues.

New Boots spoke to the new team, who like Harry’s other family members, “have drank here, heard live bands here and know the Prince has a history of being the go to place for alternative music – and wish to restore that again”.

Nina Hammond was the outgoing publican, who ran it from 2015 until last month. “It’s not for us to disrespect Nina; she tried her way with there being a heavy helping of emo/ screamo and it hasn’t worked so well. The ‘POW’ franchise she envisioned failed for whatever reason”.

So what’s the plan for venue now, asked New Boots. “We believe the main stable diet of the Prince of Wales should be more appealing classic rock / rock/ metal, with a diverse influx with the fringe metals/ music from all genres in one place. Diversity we believe will be the key. We are willing to try our best and bring a more appealing, wider range of entertainment to the area – be it tribute bands, more mainstream rock, metal, hard rock, blues, punk, ska, D&B, with a hint of punk rock 101 with a feel good cheese sprinkling. We want to appeal to the all ages of music lovers.”

“We want customers to feel safe, welcomed and like its a home from home; not like they are an inconvenience”.

The Facebook page remains the same. The venue will this weekend host three nights of rock DJs. Keep an eye on social media for more of what’s to come, and no doubt you’ll see some of its gigs in our weekly county gig guide, out each Wednesday.

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New Music Friday: Garden, Izzie Gibbs, Howlin’ Owls, The Abrahams

The year may be drawing to a close, but the music doesn’t. Here’s four Northants corkers to, erm, uncork. Young alt-rock four-piece Garden release their much anticipated debut EP City…

The year may be drawing to a close, but the music doesn’t. Here’s four Northants corkers to, erm, uncork.

Young alt-rock four-piece Garden release their much anticipated debut EP City People are Weird today. Available on iTunes, Spotify, etc. There will be CD copies to buy at shows too. The tracks – recorded at local studio The Lodge – are ‘Such A Shame’, ‘White Wolf’, ‘I Love You And I Want You To Stay’,  and ‘We Need Guns’.

Rising grime star Izzie Gibbs always gives it both barrels, as displayed on ‘Obviously’. The mercurial and prolific 21 year-old Northamptonian won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the UK Urban Music Awards in 2016. Check the video below.

Rootsy rockers Howlin’ Owls have dropped the first single ‘Lucy’s Lagoon’, from the forthcoming self-recorded debut album Until The Moon Goes Blind – all while gigging across the region on a regular basis. Howlin Owls comprise of drummer Dave Webb, bassist Graham Park, lead singer and guitarist Morad Samaloussi, guitarist Stuart Paterson, percussionist Jamie O’Neill and keyboard and banjo player Chris Startup. You can download the song for free here, but only for a limited time. Credit to Wobblylobster for making the accompanying video.

And last but not least come Kettering’s The Abrahams, with their woozy, Flaming Lips-channelling song ‘Darling’. The four-piece “progressive folk rock skiffle beat combo” release their debut album very soon, and on this evidence that’s an exciting prospect.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Nov 29 – Dec 5 2017

Party season time. The gigs just keep on coming… Monarchs + The Barratts + Hussy Friday December 1st The Roadmender, Northampton Off the back of their latest single ‘Darker Shade…

Party season time. The gigs just keep on coming…

Monarchs + The Barratts + Hussy
Friday December 1st
The Roadmender, Northampton
Off the back of their latest single ‘Darker Shade Of Black’ Kettering alt-rock trio Monarchs headline a show at the Roadmender, with stellar support from locals The Barratts and south London grungers Hussy. This is sure to be busy, advance tickets recommended. Doors 7.30pm, £4 tickets

Drones + Loose Tooth + Calling The Kidd Wednesday + Wishing Wolf
Friday December 1st
The Ex, Corby
Exhilarating London punk/hardcore group Drones and Northampton grungey riffers Loose Tooth are hitting the road together in December for a handful of shows, including this one. Local support comes from Calling the Kidd Wednesday and Wishing Wolf. Doors 8pm, tickets £3

Unqualified Nurse Band + Moon Face
Saturday Dec 2nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
On the back of the release of their critically acclaimed new album Trashland, Unqualified Nurse Band return to Northampton. Trashland serves up energetic, rampant, exciting rock’n’roll, as the band fuses 60s girl groups, late 70s punk, 80s new wave and 90s grunge. Plus support from psychedelic pop/minimal/drone soloist Moon Face. Doors 8pm, free entry.

The Blue Foundation + Hannah Faulkner + Corinne Lucy + MyJaike
Saturday Dec 2nd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Acoustic/folk night from a selection of local delights. Starts at 8.30pm, free entry.

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New Music Friday: Hana Brooks, Deaf Trap, Jordan Mackampa

More new sounds for a Friday. Hana Brooks has released her debut single, ‘Leave It’. Watch the video below (shot in the US, no less). The anthemic synth-pop number has…

More new sounds for a Friday. Hana Brooks has released her debut single, ‘Leave It’. Watch the video below (shot in the US, no less). The anthemic synth-pop number has plenty of spark and personality, and will no doubt win her many plaudits as the Northampton singer/songwriter travels far and wide to work with the hottest producers and play more of her already-renowned live shows.

Brooks told the Urban Hustle site: “’Leave it’ is about being with someone who doesn’t know what they want. The feeling of being played hot and cold and when you try to walk away they try and stop you. I wrote the song coming to the point where I was ready to walk away and that’s what leave it’s about, walking away from something that isn’t good for you”.

Also out now is the second EP from Deaf Trap. The Northampton alt-rockers have put out a three-tracker entitled ‘Miscreants‘, featuring ‘From The Floor’, ‘Real Nice Night’ and ‘Guillotine’. The EP, recorded by Jon Martin at Stalkers Studios, contains more top notch emotional rock’n’roll with distorted guitars, rumbling rhythms and anthemic choruses. It’s available to download and stream from iTunes, Spotify, etc., plus there are CDs to be purchased from their upcoming shows (such as The King of Hearts Festival at The Black Prince tomorrow).

And finally another song has appeared on Spotify from Jordan Mackampa, ‘Battlecry’. It’s taken from the Live From The Grand Cru EP, out early 2018.

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