Author: Newbootsnorthants

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 11th – Dec 17th

DEADWOOD + THE BLOODY RACKET Thursday December 12th The Lab, Northampton Electro blues duo from France have earned legendary status on the European underground festival scene with their wild shows…

Thursday December 12th
The Lab, Northampton
Electro blues duo from France have earned legendary status on the European underground festival scene with their wild shows and demonic sound. Support from new synthy-noise outfit. Doors 7pm, £4 entry

Thursday December 12th
The King Billy, Northampton
Spanish female-fronted band which plays a melodic death metal base, with some nu-metal and metalcore influences
Support from Leicestershire hardcore punks. From 8.30pm, free entry

Friday December 13th
The Lab, Northampton
Tragic are a punkish trio from Northampton, giving the complacent a kick in the eye. Their first, self-titled EP is out tonight, featuring the songs ‘Walking’, ‘Sloppy Kiss’, ‘Sammy Set His Bed On Fire’ and ‘Dirty Glitter’. Support from Corby’s punk-psych trio, and ShoeTown’s blitzkreig noisecore lads. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £3.50

Friday December 13th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Melodic death metal from Cardiff, thrash metal from Newcastle, and death metal from Northampton. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Saturday December 14th
The Roadmender, Northampton
“Are We There Yet?” 40th Anniversary Tour. One of the UK’s finest Rhythm & Blues Bands, formed in 1979, they moving from selling out the Marquee to selling out the Hammersmith Odeon. Sussex singer-songwriter in support. Doors 7pm, £17.50 tickets

Saturday December 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Ramshackle rock and roll and post punk/synths [both from London], plus Northants songwriter and band providing snaking lo-fi music with groove. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday December 14th
Athletic Club, Rushden
A night of pop-punk and alt-rock, featuring bands from Southampton, Loughborough, Northampton, and Kettering. Doors 5pm, £5 entry

Saturday December 14th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
In the afternoon get beautiful harmonies from the duo, and proggy folk in the evening from the local heroes. 3-6pm for Humblebee, 9pm for Abrahams. Free entry

Saturday December 14th
The Duke of Wellington, Stanwick
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic showcase. From 9pm, free entry






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New Music Friday: Primal Holocaust

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band. Where are…

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band.

Where are you all based? All over the county?
We are based mostly out of Northampton, but James [guitar] comes from Daventry and Olegs [bass] is from Kettering.

How did you guys get together?
Dave and Jack were friends already, and both had experience playing music and would jam together fairly regularly was the start of Primal. On a night out at The Lab in Northampton they met Olegs for the first time and became friends. It wasn’t long before Olegs then joined the band, and some of the really early material started to take shape. When it became clear a second guitarist was needed Jack got in touch with James as they had both studied music together at college. James was [and still is] in another band at the time [Woadraider] and after a few jam sessions was welcomed into Primal. Once things had started to really take shape the search began for a vocalist. I got in touch via an ad I saw on a local musicians page, and eventually joined the group. This was my first time being in a band, and after a few sessions was formally welcomed into the group. So we officially became a five piece band in July of 2018!

How would you describe your sound?
It’s like blackened death but with a thrash metal attitude. We play fast and fun music for people to enjoy and bang their heads to. It’s heavy, it’s aggressive, and it’s honest. Our main influences are bands like Immortal, Behemoth, Anaal Nathrakh, Gojira, Skyforger, Carcass, Foetal Juice, Hate Eternal, Iron Maiden, Marduk, and King Diamond.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘Triple Headed Goat Machine’.
The EP marks the end of a year’s hard work for us. It’s a collection of the earliest songs that we created together. When we’d been together about a month we recorded two demos that we handed out at shows and put up online, so it’s been cool to finally rerecord those tracks, plus a bunch more, and show how far we’ve come. Conceptually the EP is a mixed bag! Goats with three heads and twelve tits, 40ft frost priestesses, planet-swallowing ocean demons, and of course, love. No one song is the same and we cover a good breadth in terms of style.
The artwork is a full-on indicator to the track listing, and those who’ve been following us know the origins well. The cover features the birth of the Triple Headed Goat Machine. The scourge of the earth, plague to the universe, multi-galaxy engulfing beast! The person birthing it is the 40ft frost priestess we mentioned earlier.
We’d been debating the art for a good few weeks and then one day at practice James said ‘we should have the Frost Priestess giving birth to the Triple Headed Goat Machine’. We all stopped and looked at each other, knowing this was always destined to be true, and James had just made it so. Within a week we’d had the initial designs created by Elliot [EwT Creations] which we tweaked as we went on [ i.e. told Elliot to add more boobs].
Recording was interesting as we did it all ourselves with the help of our metal Sherpa, Arthur Sambars[ of Stereoskull]. He has been a continued supporter of Primal and has produced some excellent music of his own, so we were thrilled when he said he’d help us record and produce this release through his own organisation Salamander Productions. Guiding us through the processes with ease, he captured the raw energy we were trying to give the EP, and has done a great job mastering it. We’re really happy with it and feel lucky to have such supportive team mates.
This really added another dimension to the songs as a whole, there’s adjustments to all of them so they’re not quite as you’ve heard them before, which is really exciting for us.

What are your live shows like?
Sweaty! We love a good floor show where we can be right up in people’s faces screaming and banging heads and causing chaos. We’ve had many rowdy gigs now, and we can’t get enough. Guaranteed if you come to our show to mosh, we’ll be in the pit right there with you. Live music is one of the greatest things any place can offer, and we try and make the most of that by giving people the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time with us.

Whats your take on the Northants scene?
Northampton has a great scene and we’re proud to be part of it. We’ve played with a number of excellent ‘local’ bands like Stereoskull, The Darkhorse, Caliburn, and loads more, all of whom have shown us nothing but kindness. As someone that’s never been in a band before, I’ve been blown away by the level of talent that our town has to offer, and it’s really encouraging for us to try and push Primal as hard and far as we can. Similarly the venues too, we love playing The Black Prince [and will be there again on December 28th], as well as The Lab, and Raff’s in Wellingborough.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
We’ve had some really memorable gigs this year [Metal 2 The Masses, London, Oakfest in Derby) but getting the EP complete is one of our favourite moments, as it feels like it’s taken us forever to get this together, but now it’s here! Getting to play The King Billy for the first time was awesome too. I’d always gone there as a youngster and it was great to finally be on the other side causing chaos. We were supporting German/Latvian metal band Mara with Stereoskull on a mini tour right before the Metal 2 The Masses final and it was a blast.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was Apotheosis by Necronautical, a fantastic black metal band from up North. Their last album The Endurance at Night is one of my favourites and I wasn’t let down by Apotheosis either. Proper atmospheric and melodic black metal that’s incredibly miserable – its great. The last album I streamed was actually the ‘Scalps’ EP by Casket-Feeder. Another great local talent.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We’re about to start planning for next year, but it’s our goal to do some festivals that we’ve had our eye on as well as creating new material. We’ve just completed about three new songs so we’re going to keep pushing with that to add more ammunition to the Primal live arsenal. We’re also considering what other elements we can add to our stage show. As much as we like enjoy just thrashing out with the crowd, we have some big ideas that would be really cool to bring to life on stage that would add a whole other element to our shows.

Triple Headed Goat Machine EP is out now via the usual online spaces. 

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

TC & THE BOBCATS + SLACKSTRING BAND + MATT CARTER Wednesday December 4th The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Final Rooftop Acoustic show of the year, a Christmas Special which sees…

Wednesday December 4th
The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Final Rooftop Acoustic show of the year, a Christmas Special which sees the return of great local blues band,  with support from the Brigstock proggers and the Northants troubadour. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Friday December 6th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Clothing brand launch – with DJs and secret live acts. We know who’s playing – and trust us, you need to be there. Doors 7pm, free entry

Friday December 6th
The Roadmender, Northampton
‘The Bookmark Show’, as this will be last gig from the Kettering rockers for “quite a while”. Support from the teenage punk trio. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Friday December 6th
The Lab, Northampton
Spanish headliners do death metal grind; before them its intense hardcore from Leicester, metal/hardcore from MK, and Northampton’s thrashpunk powerviolence men. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

Friday December 6th
Old Five Bells, Northampton
The award-winning soulful singer Liane Carroll provides some pre Christmas rush therapy, along with Tim Harries (Bass) and Alan Savage (Drums). Doors 8pm, £10 tickets

Friday December 6th
The Sun Inn, Hardingstone
Acoustic singer-songwriters – Leo Shirley, Celine Ellis, George Holmes, Jacksboro Highway, Chris Kent, Steve Birks, and Hannah Faulkner – perform. Starts 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 7th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Chester metal quartet and Essex hardcore fivesome do the co-headline tour thing, with support from the hotly-tipped Northants metalcore gang. Doors 7.30pm, £7 tickets

Saturday December 7th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The Minnesota trio were one of the biggest RNB boy bands in the 1990s. Doors 9pm, £12.50 tickets 

Saturday December 7th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
London psych quartet come to town – their next single ‘Demons’ will help you unload. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Chloe Spence, “her soaring vocals intertwine with a heavy dose of spontaneous musical carnage”. New jazz fusion quartet in support. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday December 7th
The Kingfisher, Corby
The “Lips Can Kill” tour of edgy and vibrant London bands. Punk, rock and grunge sounds ahoy! Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

Saturday December 7th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Acoustic harmonising duo back at a favourite haunt. 3pm-6pm, free entry

Sunday December 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Psychedelic rock from Switzerland, as part of their Transgenic album release tour. Rugby’s awesome psychedelic Hillbilly junk music act in support, along with ShoeTown singer-songwriter. Doors 7pm, £4 members and £5 everyone else.

Sunday December 8th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
Christmas fair, with live acoustic acts. 2pm-6pm, free entry

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New Music Friday: Blood-Visions

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing…

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing to True Friend Tapes label and today releasing their new, self-titled EP. New Boots can’t get enough of them, so here’s us talking to singer Joss Kieran about it all.

How/why did the band get together?
I’ll try to keep this brief, as the band has undergone several line-up changes over our time together and I’ll miss something important if I attempt to go into things in full. Harry, Lewis, Becca and I all attended a youth group ran by Mel and Magnus of the Northampton band Tarantism, where kids were given the task of forming bands and playing a show once a school term. It was a great initiative that really helped us, along with a few other Northampton musicians, find our footing in terms of performing. The band initially consisted of myself, Lewis, Harry and Kirsty McEwan, who left around 2013 to focus on photography/studying. Becca had already joined at that point and we were playing with two drummers, so it wasn’t the band-rupturing problem that sort of thing can be, though.

Rufus joined a few years later after having recorded a couple of EPs with us. After the first EP we did with him we kind of already knew he was the perfect guy for the job and the band has been massively improved by having him on board. Having Rufus, and super-sub Daniel Church, allows us to stay versatile as everyone with some form of guitar knows each other’s parts, so if at least four of us are available we’re good to play where-ever.

Who were the sort of acts the nascent band bonded over?
I’m not certain, to be honest. This was nine years ago, so our tastes have all changed quite significantly. Personally, I remember having conversations about Cap’n Jazz, Dananananaykroyd, Desaparecidos and Deftones. But at that point we were between 13 and 15 years of age – when you’re that age you’re just aggressively hoovering up all the music you can possibly hear. This would have only been exacerbated by the internet and unlimited access to music, so it’s hard to say if there were any specific jumping-off points.
We mostly bonded over a shared interest in playing loud and upbeat punk songs, it didn’t really matter what we were drawing from. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jay Reatard, though, who we took the BV name from.

Fast-forwarding to more recent times, what was the reaction like to the ‘Make Good Choices’ EP of 2017?
I think it reached the people it needed to reach in Northamptonshire. We’ve had a few shows outside of Northampton off the back of that record that were a lot of fun – Drug Church, Single Mothers, and a couple of others I’m forgetting – but those songs inevitably always go down best in this neck of the woods. That’s why I’m really grateful for True Friend Tapes [their label] getting behind us and pushing us to people further afield. We’re honestly always just happy to have the songs out, and to have the chance to move on to the next project. I don’t think any of us really took stock of what people were saying about those songs. There were some songs on that record I’ve noticed becoming sing-alongs in Northampton, though, so I think people must have responded pretty well to it.

How did you approach this new EP?
I think the plan with this was to make something a little more cohesive than what we’ve put out in the past. What tends to happen with us is that songs pile up, we record what we can and then get together a great, but often jumbled, set of songs. This time there was a real attempt to make something that felt like it was coming from a streamlined, precise place. There’s a specific tone and energy to the record that I think actually has a lot more in common with the first demo Rufus recorded with us that I really like. It’s not the latest stuff as we’re writing for the next project, and we’ve demoed one of the tunes before. We move fairly slowly, so this is a collection of the best songs we’ve written since the last record, not just the freshest.
I initially thought that lyrically this was quite scattershot, but listening back all the songs revolve around discomfort, where we choose to call home and the relationships you build when somewhere like Northampton is your hometown. I’ve been quite surprised I was able to reign in my brain enough to focus on a fairly limited pool of themes. Then again, it could just be evidence that I need to broaden my horizons a bit.

Where did you record it?
We recorded it in our friend Ant’s basement. We had a lovely time: we hung out, played a lot of Mario Kart, drank and messed around with amps for three days straight. Dan dropped by to record vocals on one of the tunes, which was nice. I think we averaged four falafel-based meals a day between us if I remember correctly. I’d thoroughly recommend recording with him.

What’s first EP single ‘01604ever’ about? Have you written your long-awaited love letter to ShoeTown?
It’s my ‘Northampton, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’. It’s about minimum wage jobs, alcoholism and trying to forget your dumb relationship mistakes. Obviously, Northampton isn’t anywhere near as damaging to me as the song makes it out to be, but there’s definitely a mood of “I’m drinking through it” to the lyrics. There are definitely love letters to Northampton littered throughout the recordings we’ve made, but I think I’m done writing them. I’ve found that I’m a lot more influenced by narrative these days, so ‘01604ever’ and the songs on the new EP are probably the last time I’m going to write about the general feeling of Northamptonshire.
I’ll obviously still go to bat for Northampton forever; it’s a wonderful place that doesn’t deserve the shit it’s been handed by Conservative rule, but I don’t think I have any more “this is about Northampton” songs in me. The name itself was my twitter name for a little while – we just tend to name songs after shite that makes us laugh. There’s another song on the record called Norfo, which is named after this awful Cosmo article.

What are your live shows like? Give us your best adjectives and superlatives.
I know that in the past our live shows have been described as chaotic, although I think we’ve become a fairly well-oiled machine in the past two years or so. Our shows are direct, aggressive and, hopefully, joyful. You should come out and watch us, readers.

What has been your favourite band moment of 2019?
I think it has to be closing out the first ‘Lift Tower Presents’. That show was ridiculously well attended, and a bunch of our favourite Northampton bands played [Lift Tower, La Folivora, 72%, Tragic, Nailbreaker, Big Loss AND Ivory Yardsale]. Our best bud Chris did an excellent job on the sound that night, and there was a really energetic crowd at The Garibaldi that night, which always helps. Joel from 72% came up and did vocals on ‘NVR-BCK-DWN’ with us as well, and was ace at that.
Other than that, the Jeffery Lewis show we opened up at The Black Prince was great. Lewis and I have been fans of his music since we were in school, so it was fun to get to play with him. Those two weekends were back to back and were definitely the tightest shows we’ve played to date. The idea is to replicate that level of energy and execution going forward, and we’re working towards that goal.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m currently listening to Rain on Lens by Smog. Bill Callahan is a genius, and I’m very glad his songs exist.

You’ve been going almost a decade now – what advise would you give to any new band starting out?
Just try to make friends with the bands you play with and like. Keeping going is so much easier if there’s a whole community around you. No one is going to like you more for coming across as aloof, so just try to be friendly to the people you’re playing with. You should also watch Inside Llewyn Davis because 80% of music is something that most people just don’t see a lot of money in, and that’s okay.
I’m kidding, of course, all young musicians should be demanding significant sums of money. Equipment isn’t acquired through bartering, and the haircut that Later… With Jools Holland necessitates, well, it doesn’t come cheap. Secure the bag, kids…

The Blood-Visions EP is out now via True Friend Tapes from all the usual places. Tonight [Fri Nov 29th] the band launch the EP at The Black Prince, with support from Tragic and Lift Tower.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Nov 27th – Dec 3rd

DANNI VIRGO + DAISY & THE WORKFORCE + SUNSHINE ALLIANCE Thursday November 28th The Lab, Northampton Highly acclaimed pop-rock vocalist from Birmingham headlines, new four-piece with gravelly vocals in the…

Thursday November 28th
The Lab, Northampton
Highly acclaimed pop-rock vocalist from Birmingham headlines, new four-piece with gravelly vocals in the middle, and debut show for ShoeTown trio led by Aisha Daisy [Ginhouse Gypsies]. Doors 8pm, free entry
Friday November 29th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Northampton art-punks bring their new self-titled EP out via True Friend Tapes, a record label set up by Katie Malco. Support from really-rather-good teenage punks, and new enigmatic group that is quite hard to describe right now, but trust us they’re something to get excited about. Doors 7pm, £5 entry
Friday November 29th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Established Leicester punk band with four successful/critically-acclaimed albums under their wings. Doors 8pm, free entry
Friday November 29th
The Lab, Northampton
Back for a fourth time., the three piece from Leeds have a growing national reputation and are proving to be one of the most interesting, unpredictable, and exciting acts on the circuit. BBC 6Music’s Gideon Coe regularly plays their tunes, Tom Robinson also. A mix between John Shuttleworth, John Cooper Clarke and Jake Thackray. The band say they are influenced by people like Reeves & Mortimer, Half Man Half Biscuit and The Fall but their mix of rock ’n’ roll & dry West Yorkshire wit is unique. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets
Friday November 29th
The Red Lion, Broughton
Kettering-based psychedelic folk-rock band fronted by Alex Gardner. Doors 8pm, free entry
Friday November 29th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Corby metallers back on the scene. Doors 8.30pm, free entry
Friday November 29th
Podington United Services Club, Podington
Bedford’s popular punk-skiffle troupe, with a Music Hall twist. 9pm start, free entry
Saturday November 30th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The annual charity event [this year its supporting Mind Northampton], featuring “Northampton’s greatest ever band” The Jackal Nine, plus German warriors Hyll, plus The Comms debut gig, Deaf Trap, Pieces, EGO, Duncan Bisatt, Keiron Farrow, and Jack Vs Hotdog. Doors 3pm, £5 entry
Saturday November 30th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Atmospheric alt-rock from the headlining quartet, new Hertfordshire singer releases her debut single ‘Little Nerves’. Doors 8pm, free entry
Saturday November 30th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Macclesfield punk stalwarts are reborn. Doors 7pm, £21.50 tickets
Saturday November 30th
The Lab, Northampton
Hosted by the United African Association Northamptonshire, a fun event of African and Caribbean culture and heritage – featuring live bands, African and Caribbean food, stalls, and fashion. Doors from 1pm [music in the evening], free entry
Saturday November 30th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Blues, rock and Americana from the local six-piece band. Doors 8pm, free entry
Saturday November 30th
Steel Park, Corby
Rocked Up return after a brief hiatus with a line up of heavy riffs and solid bands – and its the first live music event in Corby’s newest live venue at Steel Park. You get London hardcore, atmospheric post-hardcore from Oxford, veteran sludge-metal Northampton quartet, and the rather good new Northants metalcore band. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets
Saturday November 30th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Foot-stompin’ front porch music from the “boys”. From 3pm-6pm, free entry
Sunday December 1st
The King Billy, Northampton
Headliners are Yorkshire rockers who feature Jax Chambers from Girlschool, Cambridger hard rockers in the middle, and “baroque metal” from the Suffolk area. Doors 4pm, £5 entry
Sunday December 1st
The Roadmender, Northampton
Featuring Buster Bloodvessel, the band scraped into the Top 40 with their debut single ‘Ne-ne-na-na-na-na-nu-nu’. The follow up single ‘Special Brew’ went top 10 at the height of the 2-Tone movement, and was the first of many anthemic songs for which the band are known. In 1980 alone the band released two more chart-topping singles ‘Lip Up Fatty’ and ‘Lorraine’, along with their debut album Ska‘n’B and it’s follow up Loonee Tunes. Support from Splodgenessabounds frontman. Doors 7pm, £20 tickets
Sunday December 1st
The Lab, Northampton
Norfolk duo headliners mix poetry, politics, and comedy within their music. King’s Lynn rock songwriter also in the mix. Doors 6pm, free entry
Tuesday December 3rd
The Roadmender, Northampton
Indie legends back again, for the 30th Anniversary of Bizarro. Doors 7.30pm, £18 tickets
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New Music Friday: Joel Harries

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a…

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a prolific solo artist, and has just released his latest EP, the intriguingly-titled I Am Not What I Seem. Let’s talk!

How did you first start writing your own music?
I borrowed a few Dinosaur Jr records from my Dad’s collection in my early teens and that was the beginning really. From then on I was always searching for new music and formed a number of bands. My Luna Vacation was the first serious one, where I actually wrote some songs. We played an odd mash-up from hardcore/metal/emo with the odd trumpet part, funky sections and a lot of screaming. I have very fond memories of that band, as daft as it was. From then on I joined and formed LOTS of other bands. I started writing solo material when I was maybe 18-19. Being surrounded by music as a child was definitely a huge part of how I ended up where I am!

There’s some busy musical people in ShoeTown, but I think you might be top of the pile – you have solo work, plus No Music, Big Loss, Sad Drone, and 72%, and your sister Nina’s extraordinary album. What drives you? Do you find time to sleep?!?
I just love recording music. Everything about it. Playing live is great but I think my main passion is being in the studio. I have a reasonably diverse taste in music, and have always felt I needed multiple avenues to express myself through. I couldn’t really go from singing sweetly to screaming blue murder in the space of one solo song, so having each of the these projects with the wonderful people in them allows me to indulge myself! My work revolves around recording music, so I am very lucky to be able to have such a creative life. Sleep on the other hand is a luxury I often miss out on!

Let’s talk about the latest solo release, ‘I Am Not What I Seem’. How would you describe this iteration of what you do?
I Am Not What I Seem is a collection of songs I wrote for a band I started called Low Acre. Initially I was recording with a wonderful producer in London called Emre Ramazanoglu. I then started working with a manager and he suggested that the project became a band. We worked on it for a year or two, and then life became quite complicated, or me, and the pressure of the band kind of overwhelmed me a little. I had to step away from it at that point. After a while I did a few solo gigs playing the later material I had written, and decided I wanted to record some proper versions. So I spent a week recording them in Ireland with Quincey Brown singing backing vocals, and then got Dave Crawford, who had played in Low Acre, to add some of his synth parts. Iʼm really pleased with how they turned out. It is great that the songs didn’t vanish into the void, as some of my old solo stuff has done. I hope to release the music from the sessions with Emre in the future, as there was some really special music in there. We shall see!

You’ve been putting out solo bits and bobs for a decade, is that right? How’s things changed for you over that time?
When I first started there was a kind of folky edge to what I was doing, this disappeared immediately once I made my second album. Each subsequent release has kind of had its own style/identity, just with the only constant being my voice. This material is always the most candid and honest version of my music, I think.

You posted something about Cineworld. Your music featured in something…
That was from a Cast & Crew screening of a locally made feature film called Nene made by Screen Northants. I composed and recorded the score. Hopefully it will see a public release of some kind in 2020. It was a wonderful experience and something I really want to do more of.

Any live shows coming up?
Big Loss will be playing at the Lamplighter on the 20th December, and then No Music will be playing a Christmas Eve show at the Garibaldi. In the new year 72% will be doing a few short tours before thinking about making another record. I will be playing guitar in my sisters band for a few festivals also. Iʼm sure there will be a few solo gigs here and there too!

What has been your favourite personal musical moment of the past year?
Recording the new 72% album How Is This Going To Make It Any Better? with Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse studios is probably the one. We spent four days in June holed up in there, and I am so proud of what we accomplished.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I have been listening to the most recent Coilguns album Watchwinders a lot. Great band!

What are your burning desires for 2020? What plans do you have?
In 2019 I put out 9 releases from my various projects. In 2020 I want to try and beat that number. Hopefully including a new 72% full length, a steady stream of solo EPs, new Big Loss EP, more Sad Drones and a No Music full-length would be nice too!

I Am Not What I Seem is out now via BandCamp and the usual digital platforms

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

DOOZER McDOOZE & KARL PHILLIPS Wednesday November 20th The Lab, Northampton Last Orders At Bar acoustic tour, featuring Essex’s cheeky troubadour and the ShoeTown man for whom “a night off”…

Wednesday November 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Last Orders At Bar acoustic tour, featuring Essex’s cheeky troubadour and the ShoeTown man for whom “a night off” does not register. Doors 7pm, free entry

Thursday November 21st
The King Billy, Northampton
Belgium’s quintet who incorporate elements of all the classic styles of Metal from the past four decades to deliver music that is heavy, melodic, virtuosic, catchy and conceptual. Also: German metallers promoting debut album Freedom In Fire. Plus opener is new band from Tim O’Neill and friends. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday November 22nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [upstairs]
Double header at the Gari tonight, up and downstairs. In the bar you get country rockers [fka Real Live Owls], the Pat Fish-led world music quartet, and ShoeTown ledge, singer-songwriter Miss Paton. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday November 22nd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [basement]
Urban music night/open mic. Featured artistes this time around: Napps and Dreadz, plus many more. Doors , free entry

Friday November 22nd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
A rare night of original music at the Brad, to celebrate International Men’s Day – plus comedy, in aid of The Grey Dog Trust. Local acoustic acts Tammerlane and Ray Beck open, The Comedy Crate’s Edd Hedges and Ross Smith will then take over, before the local full-band pairing do their thing. Doors 7pm, £7 advance tickets

Friday November 22nd
The Lab, Northampton
A trio of blues bands, from ShoeTown and MK. Doors 7pm, free entry [donations requested]

Friday November 22nd to Sunday November 24th
The Headlands, The Garibaldi Hotel, The Dukes Arms [Northampton and Kettering]
‘Uncle Eric’, The White Rabbit’, ‘The Singing Gnome’, The Staggering Bavarian’, ‘The Backstairs Creeper’, The Red ‘Otter’, The Beer Parlour Jiver’, ‘The Grosvenor Player’, ‘Echo’…the list goes on…all are Mr Eric Whitehouse; a man whose contribution to the musical life of of ShoeTown is inestimable. Three consecutive gigs in honour of Eric and musicians, past and present, that have shared his rootsy philosophy. Free entry gigs, but donations to ‘Hospice at Home’ accepted.

Friday November 22nd
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Folk-rock joy from the ShoeTown group. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday November 23rd
The Roadmender, Northampton
“The Funk is Back” Tour. They release their brand new album “TBNH” this autumn on Acid Jazz, which features guest appearances from Beverley Knight, NDea Davenport, AngieStone, Siedah Garrett, Laville, Angela Ricci and more. The lead single from the album is a cover of Kendrick Lamar song ‘These Walls’, lovingly produced by Mark Ronson. Doors 7pm, £25 tickets

Saturday November 23rd
The Lab, Northampton
DARKNESS OVER NORTHAMPTON! Blasphemy Sound presents four bands of the death metal persuasion, from Leeds, Birmingham, and of course Northampton. Primal Holocaust are celebrating the release of their EP too. Doors 7pm, £6.50 tickets

Saturday November 23rd
The Sargeants Memorial Hall, Brafield-On-The-Green
Madrid-born, Chicago-raised, Cornwall-based singer/songwriter has expanded her battery of instruments to include piano, electric guitar and drum on fifth solo album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, and it’s drawn critical raves internationally. Doors 6:30pm, £10 tickets 

Saturday November 23rd
The Romany, Northampton
Northampton originals with a few reggae classics thrown in for good measure. Plus DJ Dekka [Set It Off Sound]. From 9pm, free entry

Saturday November 23rd
The Talisman, Corby
Hung Like Hanratty are the most talked about band on the punk circuit. Last year saw the Hanrattys pull the biggest ever crowd for an opening band at the Great British Alternative Music Festival. Spalding garage punks in support. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

Saturday November 23rd
The Shire Horse, Kettering
An acoustic showcase hosted by Ni Ni Sessions. Featuring Celine Ellis, Ray Beck, Andy Clarke, and Hannah Faulkner. From 3pm to 6pm, free entry

Monday November 25th
The Derngate, Northampton
Pop icon Ant performs his landmark solo album Friend Or Foe for the first time live in its entirety, as well as classic chart-topping singles and personal favourites. The Friend or Foe album was Adam’s first release as a solo artist and included three hit singles. ‘Goody Two Shoes’ reached #1 in the UK, ‘Friend or Foe’ was another top ten hit, while ‘Desperate But Not Serious’ was the album’s third smash. Doors 7.30pm, £45.50 tickets

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Live review: DragonForce

DragonForce / Lovebites / McRocklin & Hutch November 13th 2019 The Roadmender, Northampton Metalheads over a certain age will remember guitarist Thomas “McRocklin” McLaughlin as the child prodigy who made…

DragonForce / Lovebites / McRocklin & Hutch
November 13th 2019
The Roadmender, Northampton

Metalheads over a certain age will remember guitarist Thomas “McRocklin” McLaughlin as the child prodigy who made numerous TV appearances back in the 1980s when he was a young pup barely in double figures. I’m pleased to report that time has aged his skills like a fine malt whiskey, and tonight he appears as half of duo McRocklin & Hutch. They’re an interesting tension of opposites that fuse a love of 80s rock to 21st century technology, and in welding organic guitars to surgical synths they’ve created a new genre termed ‘shredwave’. With an inherent groove ‘Wasted’ adheres this pair to the crowd, and the following ‘Locked In’ only increases the affection. Sometimes I find guitar virtuosity can be sterile when it’s practitioners become lost in intricate webs, but no fear with McRocklin & Hutch, who combine to create a sound that’s both ethereal and emotive. ‘Don’t Need Nobody’ ensures they bow out on a high.

Dressed all in white and arriving like avenging angels Japan’s Lovebites are all smiles and opening salvo ‘The Hammer of Wrath’ finds them getting off to a blistering start. Without pausing for breath ‘Pledge of the Saviour’ is unleashed along with ‘Rising’ which is the perfect vehicle for Asami’s operatic vocals. Those only familiar with Japan’s vapid idol scene might be surprised at Lovebites musical proficiency, but these five women can really play and in truth they rock harder than most guys. ‘Above the Black Sea’ features some fine interplay between guitarists Midori and Mi-ya and, with a bass player much in the Steve Harris mould, the band proceed to deliver a foot-on-the-monitor, fist-in-the-air metal fest. New track debuted ‘Signs of Deliverance’ bodes well for the forthcoming album Electric Pentagram, and the following ‘Under the Red Sky’ flies like a stealth bomber. With songs like set closer ‘We Are United’ in their arsenal I’m sure we’ve witnessed future headliners.

An unbearably long intro, coupled with the black sheets hiding the set, builds a palpable tension that stretches many present to breaking point. It’s broken when DragonForce hit the stage amid a shower of ticker tape and jets of pyro that shoot ice white plumes of smoke to the rafters. Opening with ‘Highway to Oblivion’ it’s immediately obvious this isn’t going to be an ordinary rock concert as vocalist Marc Hudson fires a faux flame thrower at the audience. Two oversized retro arcade games flank the stage and there’s a real ‘80s feel to the set as the band are encased in a cornucopia of neon pink and bright blue strobe lights. It’s nice that DragonForce make an effort with their stagecraft but their songs would hold up without all the smoke and mirrors as ‘Fury of the Storm’ attests. ‘The Last Dragonborn’ follows, with it’s East Asian flourishes, along with the insanely catchy ‘Heart Demolition’. What comes next is an instrumental section, as Marc swaps mic for guitar to play some gaming themes – and the six stringers from Lovebites return along with a banjo toting hillbilly for a fun-filled, if rather surreal, interlude.

It’s back to the rock action with a ferocious rendition of ‘Black Fire’ as the band show no signs of flagging. ‘Razorblade Meltdown’ is accompanied by more phosphorous flares and then more ticker tape showers the crowd during ‘Cry Thunder’. DragonForce titled their latest opus Extreme Power Metal for good reason: like Iron Maiden or Helloween, only played at 78rpm, their songs are amped up slabs of metal yet they retain a strong sense of melody. However the band are far from one trick ponies as the obligatory power ballad, ‘Remembrance Day’, proves. It’s been a night for fans of guitars which each band displaying technical skill and, not to be outdone, Herman Li and Sam Totman trade solos and shred ferociously on fan favourite ‘Valley of the Damned’. The band return for two well deserved encores, including an amphetamine run through of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ which initiates a huge circle pit. ‘Through the Fire & the Flames’ is attended by more ticker tape and pyrotechnic flares and when the party streamers fly it seems a fitting way to bring down the curtain.

Words by Peter Dennis. Pictures by Peter Dennis and Ben Gregory-Ring



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New Music Friday: Anieshi Pearl

From the dark streets of Northampton, shaded by dimly lit street lamps, an alternative electronic musical wonderland is thrown up by Anieshi Pearl. On the eve of her new EP,…

From the dark streets of Northampton, shaded by dimly lit street lamps, an alternative electronic musical wonderland is thrown up by Anieshi Pearl. On the eve of her new EP, New Boots shares her new video ‘Understand’ and has a quick word or two with her and collaborator Brett Redvers.

How did you start making/writing/recording music?
Brett: AP started around 2009 after I worked with Ani’s previous band on a song. They split up and I blagged her into working with me. On a personal level I have been writing since ’88, working as an engineer / producer and doing my best to stay out of the music industry at the same time. The old music business model is now almost completely dead: however, so I see many doors and possibilities where I once only saw walls.
Ani: I was itching to sing from an early age; for some reason I felt like I needed permission to give it a go! YEARS later, someone told me I had a nice voice, and that was it! It was all I needed to hear. Brett and I started working together, experimenting with covers of the 80’s group Five Star! It went from there basically.

How would you describe your sound? Influences?
Brett: The current sound is synthwave/synthpop. Mostly based on my love for the analog synths and drum machines of the 80s/90s, and how they blend with Ani’s voice so well. AP has been through many sound developments over the years, but has always maintained a synthpop edge. I’m influenced by genres and scenes mostly… synthwave, vaporwave, Britcore, glitch, breakbeat hardcore… I also listen to a lot of horror movie soundtracks.
Ani: I love all music, I change my mind daily on my favourite style/song/band. I wouldn’t say I am influenced by any specific bands anymore, more emotions and life experiences. I tend to create according to how I feel on the day.

Why the break in releases since 2015, and why comeback at this juncture?
Brett: There has never really been a break in the music creation, we have always been creating. We have just taken a while to package some tunes up and release them. We create for ourselves first and foremost, and sometimes the push to show the world what we do just gets lost in the matrix.

Tell us everything about this new single and video ‘Understand’, and the follow-up EP.
Brett: This new release is all going to be on an EP, we are looking at getting this out by the end of the year. We also have an additional EP we plan to release just before this, that consists of a bunch of tunes we completed over the past years that have yet to see the light of day. These songs have a darker flavour, but are some of our favs from the ‘lost tracks’ of yesteryear.
Ani: We try not to be specific with deadlines anymore, I’m laughing as I type this, because I put ‘AW2019’ on the release date of the EP, so I can set an actual date the second I am happy with it all. The video was, as predicted, a major operation! The work that goes into making them happen is intense, but the results are always so good, so it’s worth it! Paul Michael Hughes is a filmmaking visionary and a genius DOP, so when he agrees to take on a music video, you know that track is going to get sprinkled with fairy dust to make it fly. We made the recent video for ‘Understand’ quite spontaneously, so it was shot in 4 hours, and turned out to be something we are proud of.

Are there live shows?
Brett: It’s been a while since we performed live. Not sure if this will be on the cards in the future, we have yet to see. It’s hard because we have an international audience, so if we played in Northampton for example, one man and his dog might turn up to watch us play! Online performances are in our minds however, but we shall see how this pans out moving forward.
Ani: I’m not a performer sadly. Never have been. I just made myself do it in the past, because I thought I had to in order to make music. I love this new era of music we are in: I get to create, and put it out there with zero pressure. I wish I was a superstar performer! Online would be the only way I think we would go for now.

Are you part of a music scene in Northamptonshire? Anyone you wanna give a shout out to?
Brett: Personally I am part of the online synthwave, rave and hip-hop scenes. The people and artists I know in music are based all over the globe. It’s been a very long time since I spent any time at local venues. I used to be part of the Racehorse band community, and worked at The Lodge recording studio in Northampton back in the 90’s tho – so shout out to everyone from those days!
Ani: I’ve got lots of friends doing great things in music…but here are a few bands/musicians that stand out to me at the moment. Meg Amirghiasvand – anything she touches turns to gold – recently joined Sarpa Salpa, which is a hit with me. I’m also keeping an eye out for Baby Lung, they’re destined for great things! And, the legendary Billy Lockett should be called ‘Billy Rocket into stardom!’.

What has been your favourite AP moment of the past year?
Brett: Writing, recording and mixing. For me, all the fun is in the studio. 😉
Ani: “I like the bit in space”.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Brett: Anything by John Carpenter.
Ani: I’m not sure I can put an honest answer for this… If I was trying to be cool, I’d say PLYA, but honestly, it was probably ‘the sounds of the rain’ soundtrack. I stream that every night to get to sleep.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Brett: I don’t ever intend on leaving the studio. You’d have to tempt me with lots of sweets to step outside!
Ani: Might take up a new art form. Pottery or something. I did just start learning pole dancing too. Got the bruises to prove it! No future plans with music [other than get this EP out]. I fall in and out of love with it. Brett waits patiently, I snap out of it and the music continues. So I guess we’ll keep going as long as I keep showing up to the studio!

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

DRAGONFORCE + LOVEBITES Wednesday November 13th The Roadmender, Northampton Grammy-nominated extreme power metal legends from London come to slay Northampton, and why not. Japanese metallers in support. Doors 7pm, £18…

Wednesday November 13th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Grammy-nominated extreme power metal legends from London come to slay Northampton, and why not. Japanese metallers in support. Doors 7pm, £18 tickets

Thursday November 14th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Swiss punk/noisecore gang headline: American post-metallers are in the middle, plus NN heaviness from yer favourite pair to kick things off. Immense. Doors 7pm, £8 on entry

Friday November 15th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Indie bangers from Stoke-on-Trent [“more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box”], they’ve even performed at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. Plus equally as catchy indie-rock band from Northampton newcomers, plus raw power duo from London, and the return of Skyflood to open. Doors 7.30pm, £5.50 tickets

Friday November 15th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The legendary Charlie Harper formed the Subs out of his then R&B outfit The Marauders, late in 1976. In 1979, they signed to Gem Records and surprised everyone by becoming one of the most consistently and visibly successful punk bands, with seven consecutive UK Top 30 hits between 1979-81 – ‘Stranglehold’, ‘Tomorrows Girls’, ‘She’s Not There’, ‘Warhead’, ‘Teenage’, ‘Party In Paris’, and ‘Keep On Running’. They also scored two UK top ten albums – Brand New Age and Crash Course. Plus ShoeTown punks in support. Doors 7.30pm, £11 tickets

Friday November 15th
The Lab, Northampton
The Skankdown night is back for its fifth instalment. Local skanking heroes headline, with hand picked support from Nottingham, Brighton, and Southampton. Doors 7pm, £5 entry.

Saturday 16th November
The Black Prince, Northampton
Progressive metallers from Scotland with three albums under their belt headline, with fellow movers from Northampton and Cambridge in support. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Saturday 16th November
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Leicester blues band. In 2005 Smith put together a backing band with the intention of forming his dream ‘road band’ able to deliver the type of drivin’ roots rock that has always been the backdrop to his songwriting. From 9pm, free entry

Sunday November 17th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Fresh from touring Nashville this summer, the Bedford-born Americana singer-songwriter comes to Ecton in support of third album The Melted Morning. From 3pm, free entry


📸 Joe Berisford

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