Author: Newbootsnorthants

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

PIQUED JACKS Wednesday May 8th The Lab, Northampton Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry SONARS + SAD DRONE Thursday May 9th The Lamplighter, Northampton…

PIQUED JACKS
Wednesday May 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry

SONARS + SAD DRONE
Thursday May 9th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Two-piece electro-psych outfit from Brighton/Italy, plus improvised ambient soundscapes from the team of Joshua Ryan, Joel Harries and Joe Brown. Doors 8pm, free entry

NORTHAMPTON FOLK FESTIVAL
Friday May 10th – Sunday May 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Three days of acoustic strumming and real ale. Perfect for these Game Of Thrones end days. Times vary, £2 per day

SECRET AFFAIR + SQUIRE
Friday May 10th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Glory Boys 40th anniversary tour for the mod revivalists, whose debut single ‘Time For Action’ reached number 13 in the UK chart. Squire released the first single of the genre, ‘Get Ready to Go’, in March 1979. Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

CAPTAIN ACCIDENT & THE DISASTERS + THE BIGHEAD + JIMMY PIKE & THE REDSTARS
Friday May 10th
The Lab, Northampton
Cardiff ska/reggae headliners come to Northampton for the first time to get people up and dancing. Support from Northants pop-reggae group, and the left-leaning political dub/reggae instrumentalists. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

MONARCHS + BLOOD-VISIONS + NAILBREAKER
Saturday May 11th
Club 43, Northampton
Loud and heavy Kettering three-piece headline the ‘Rebel Waltz’ night. Support from ShoeTown “technicolour hardcore” band and the NN10 digital hardcore man of the moment. Doors 8pm; free before 9pm, £4 after

ORANGE CLOCKS + TRIPSPACE
Saturday May 11th
Windmill Club, Rushden
A night of psychedelic delights, with all proceeds going to Rushden Mind, a local charity. Doors 7.30pm, donations

EXPETYA + PRIMAL HOLOCAUST + THE CREATURE WITHIN + WOVENLUNG
Saturday May 11th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Bloodstock Festival’s Metal 2 The Masses gives unsigned acts the chance to play the New Blood Stage at the festival. Doors 6pm,  £5 tickets

THE ELECTRIC SIX
Tuesday May 14th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
One of the best live bands around, the band have a range of influences from new romantic to metal and a bit of disco thrown in for good measure. The Jack White-featuring breakthrough single ‘Danger! High Voltage’ was a disco-laden indie club banger that thrust the band into international acclaim and MTV stardom. The band followed up with one of the most quotable songs of all time, ‘Gay Bar’, and it’s tongue-in-cheek video took the band into another stratosphere completely. Doors 7.30pm, £16.50 tickets

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: EGO

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the…

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the band are on a mission to get down and dirty with your rock’n’roll desires. Their new eponymously-titled EP, featuring lead single ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’, is a real treat, and New Boots went and got all the background titbits from Mr Grant.

How did you guys get together?
EGO was born from a love of heavier music and boredom. It was an inbetweeny moment of having some free time and throwing together some music which I really enjoyed. Originally it was me and Mark, but it had no future unfortunately, so I recruited some mates that just so happened to play the required instruments. Three mates playing in a band having a laugh, just like when we all aspire to start our first band with starry eyes.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Angry sexy shouty punky rock. Definitely if Jamie Lenman had a gangbang with Idles and Frank Carter.

What was the reaction like to your ‘Social Media SUX’ single last year? It seems the social media backlash is in full effect these days…
Yeah it was good; I think people were digging it as it was a bit different. BBC Introducing gave it some love, which we’re always appreciative of. Ah social media, we all love and hate you. It’s still a great platform to reach a fan base, although now you mainly have to pay for advertising to reach that fan base. Although I can’t see it going anywhere.

Tell us everything about this new EP
It is mind blergh from my brain. Whatever’s in there comes out in my writing. It’s heavy, but it’s melodic and screamy – but hopefully in the right places. It’s angry and it’s cheeky, but it has its sombre moments. It’s the whole flipping spectrum in five tracks. It’s fundamentally EGO. It’s not taking itself too seriously, it’s having fun. It’s remembering why you want to make music, and loving it again. I fundamentally write all the tracks with embellishment from the lads, and in the same way I record and produce all of it too. It’s something that I’ve played at before, and with this project wanting to to have complete control it just made sense to to do it myself. That’s why we’ve birthed Alt:Disco Records too; it’s all our vehicle and we’re looking forward to being at the steering wheel. ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’ was from Friday nights DJing the club night Alt:Disco [at The Craufurd Arms]. Seeing the endless pursuit by men of the women on the dancefloor, and thinking “man that girl is going to kill you”…or “that girl is literally going to kill you”. I love a play on words, a double-edged sword… And a song was born.

What are your live shows been like so far?
Amazing noisily horribly fun. It definitely has a more interesting stage dynamic with myself just screaming / singing, a guitarist guitaring and a drummer drumming. We have our own little bubble, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the freedom of just being a frontman.

What has been your favourite EGO moment of the past year?
Mark and I did a northern tour which was pretty cool and 100% laughs, and I’m just looking forward to this new release and unleashing the new live setup for the world to see!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northants/Bucks, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues you wanna give a shout out to?
Definitely; I’m always open to collaboration and helping each other out. Definitely The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton, and the most recent band who’ve jumped on the bill at our EP show Loose Tooth – SICK BAND.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m a big fan of local music, so it was actually the new release from Big Loss! Bloody lovely stuff by three lovely people. Apart from that then the new Crows album Silver Tongues is colossus.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
All we aspire to is to be bigger than Ginger Snaps.

The EGO EP is out now on Alt:Disco Records via the usual download and streaming platforms

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Album review: Mali Mae

MALI MAE Personal [self-released] Now this is how to start the summer properly. Mae is a young singer-songwriter from Northamptonshire who has, with little fanfare, put together a collection of…

MALI MAE
Personal
[self-released]

Now this is how to start the summer properly. Mae is a young singer-songwriter from Northamptonshire who has, with little fanfare, put together a collection of breezy pop that is as good as anything you’ll hear on top 40 radio.

Personal, her full debut album, is a celebration of love and loss, of young hopes and dreams coming to fruition, or wishing them to. The opening song, ‘Up’, is both an exceptional and ever-so-slightly haunting pop song, but also an immediate showcase for a voice that will regularly stop your heart. The instrumentation here, and indeed throughout the album, is generally quite sparse: all minor chord piano lines, brief sections of snare playing, programmed keys. Yes her sudden mood and melody shifts are very much from the handbook of modern pop. Yet it sounds natural; and she seems totally in control of it all. Owning a song with this sort of confidence should takes years to develop. She’s barely out her teens and she’s there already. It’s actually all a bit frightening.

‘Remind Me’, which adds soft strings that come in and out of focus, ratchets up the drama a little, the chorus delivering a sustained moment of vulnerability. It doesn’t take a huge imagination to envision her sat behind a piano playing it on the X-Factor. And that’s no dig: it would melt even Cowell’s frosty heart. ‘Get It Right’ has some attractive background harmonies on it, presumably her own voice doing all the parts. The track has some real sass to it; the soulful lines at the end making New Boots think of Joss Stone in her early days. ‘This One Too’, meanwhile, is a song that drives home a defiant note, aiming higher and higher with each verse. It’s followed up with ‘Try Again’, which aims in a completely different direction. 1970s-style finger-picking acoustic guitar, and a spiritual feel. “I keep falling in and out of love/With somebody I don’t know” is a pretty heartbreaking line delivered in her hands.

Her previous mini-LP All I Know, from 2017, only hinted at what Mae could do on Personal. She’s tightened the songwriting for sure, but crucially projected a stronger presence in all areas. Like on ‘Keep Me High’, the slow-burning and sparse blues-pop number which draws favourable comparisons with another NN artist, Charlotte Carpenter.

‘Something Else’ bring a certain Joni Mitchell-esque yearning to the album, but again with that melodic certainty that all the big game popstars have in their locker. Before the album is over you get a country stummer in ‘Down To Me’, whilst ‘Bones’ darker colours hints at domestic violence and general bad relationship times. It’s a nice counterweight to some of the lighter material actually, though you’d hope it’s not too autobiographical. Closer ‘Perfect’ is perhaps sequenced incorrectly – it’s crystalline, gospel vocal really needs highlighting earlier on. It would make a terrific single, for sure.

Regardless, Personal is a true triumph; the diamond that shines from the shadows. It’s discoveries like Mae that keeps the chase in new music alive. Someone sign her up!

Phil Moore

Personal is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 1st – May 7th

CORDWAINERS + THE SECRET MAGPIES + HUMBLEBEE Wednesday May 1st Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Kontra Roots present the highly accomplished Earls Barton-based folk band, a multi-instrumental prog-folk duo from Loughborough, and delicate,…

CORDWAINERS + THE SECRET MAGPIES + HUMBLEBEE
Wednesday May 1st
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Kontra Roots present the highly accomplished Earls Barton-based folk band, a multi-instrumental prog-folk duo from Loughborough, and delicate, quirky songs from the Kettering harmony duo. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

VELVET ENGINE + AMII DAWES
Thursday May 2nd
The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton
A night of acoustic storytelling. VE is the brainchild of Latina Northamptonian San-D Godoy, who plays yearning alt-folk. Dawes is a singer-songwriter from Northampton, inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. Doors 7pm, £5.50 tickets

DEEP SEA MOUNTAINS + THE BOPHINS
Thursday May 2nd
The King Billy, Northampton
Art rock and new wave sounds from a pair of Northampton’s unsung heroes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THE BIG DIRTY + THE DRUNKEN MANDEM + KRANKHEAD + WE ARE GIANTS
Friday May 3rd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
‘Swine’ music video fundraiser, with some rock, rap and a little bit of trap. Help the Northampton team of producers, directors, musicians and more create an explosive music video for The Big Dirty. This show is notable for the return to the live scene of The Drunken Mandem, so shake a leg folks. Doors 7pm, £7.50 tickets

DAN PIGEON + BABY LUNG + BRAZEN FOXES
Friday May 3rd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Local music to set your 2019 to. Lo-fi art-rock from Rushden way, ShoeTown’s jazz-inspired indie-pop, and the Daventry-area indie rock trio open proceedings in the basement. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

KING PURPLE + THE BARRATTS + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday May 3rd
Our Lady’s Catholic Social Club [aka the KK Club], Corby
‘Time Alone’ EP release show from the fast-rising local blues-grunge trio, with indie support from the towns of Northampton and Kettering. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

THE VINCENT VEGA BAND + NAKED NEXT DOOR + BABY LUNG + HUBCAP
Saturday May 4th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Bank holiday beer festival time at the Pomfret. Stellar Northampton and MK rock and indie music to accompany the process. Doors 7:30pm, free entry

LUNAXIS + TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA + HUMBLEBEE
Saturday May 4th
The Lab, Northampton
Lunaxis are a local indie-pop band with influences of folk and blues, fronted by Carly Loasby. Rose conveys his twisted brand of good-time rock and blues. Harmony duo openers offer delicate, quirky songs. Doors 8pm, £3 members/£4 guests

THE FILTHY TONGUES + FAMILY OF NOISE + SPIKE THE POET
Saturday May 4th
Our Lady’s Catholic Social Club [aka the KK Club], Corby
“Country Goth”/post-punk from Edinburgh. Featuring ex members of Angelfish and Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. Elements of Bowie and Nick Cave, but very much doing their own thing. Support from excellent local instrumental trio, and local poetry to begin with. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

MIA & THE MOON
Saturday May 4th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
The Ratcliffe sisters Laura and Mary are a harmony folk/pop duo from Leicester. 3pm to 6pm, free entry

THE ROCKET DOLLS + RYDERS CREED + EMPYRE
Sunday May 5th
The King Billy, Northampton
The ‘RPM Take Over Tour’ involves three killer bands from the Rock People Management stable.  Post-grunge from Brighton, hard rock from Staffordshire, and powerhousre rock from ShoeTown. Music kicks off 6pm, free entry

KOMODO QUARTET
Sunday May 5th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
More beer festival entertainment, with original ShoeTown jazz band. Time TBA, free entry

GINA PULBOS + CIARAN REDMOND + JD BLUES + CAMERON GRACE + JACOB BRAITHWAITE
Monday May 6th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Acoustic music from a variety of sources. Again, do drink beer. Time TBA, free entry

CHRIS CLEVERLY + STAINED GLASS BLUEGRASS
Tuesday May 7th
Old White Hart, Northampton
The alt-folk songwriter offers an exposé of new material. Cleverly has four years of extensive touring under his belt, and follows the blueprint of heroes Nic Jones and John Martyn. Support are a lively bluegrass quartet based in Warwickshire. Doors 8pm, £8 entry

 

 

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Harry Mockett

Harry Mockett is a 20 year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Northampton, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to wow us with his first two singles. ‘Circles’ was quickly…

Harry Mockett is a 20 year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Northampton, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to wow us with his first two singles. ‘Circles’ was quickly followed by new one ‘Into Night’, and New Boots had to find out more behind his journey so far.

How did you develop your music to this point in 2019?
I started playing the guitar at quite a young age, 5 or 6 I think, and singing just went hand in hand with that as time went by. As a teenager I gigged a lot, and sang in a band for five years, but it wasn’t until college I really found my love for music production and having total control over how my music sounded. It changed the way I write music, and it became a big part of the creative process for me.

How would you describe your sound? What are your main influences?
I’ve always been a big fan of old school hip-hop and disco music, and I feel like that shows in my music in that I like using nice chords and some busy guitar parts. But at the same time I make sure not to overdo it, and keep things simple. A less-is-more kind of thing. I think that’s important, production wise; to have everything in its own pocket. More importantly, what I write needs to feel good to play.

What was the reaction like to first single ‘Circles’?
The reaction to ‘Circles’ was amazing. As my first single I was nervous about how it would be received initially, especially after having not released any music for so long. But when it made the national ‘BBC Introducing Hot List’ [on April 9th] it made it sink in how well it’s going down. It’s definitely given me some confidence that people will like my EP that comes out in May.

Tell us about this new one, ‘Into Night’.
‘Into Night’ all grew from a bass line I’d been messing with for a while, you can hear a part of it at the start. That bass originally played throughout the verse, but I decided to strip it back and have it come in more infrequently. I’d had the idea for the chorus vocal melody for a long time as well, and this just turned out to be the perfect track to use it on. After I first recorded the song, in my shed/studio where I make all my demos, I knew I wanted to make the arrangement bigger. So when I was recording this along with the rest of my EP at Numen Studios we tracked some keys [from Joe Nix], percussion [Matt Brettle], and female vocals/harmonies [Lauren Dejey], which really brought the chorus to life. It was a great place to be creatively. We were all throwing ideas into the mix, and I’m really happy with the finished product.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
I’ve been out the loop recently due to getting diagnosed with a brain tumour last May, so nearly a year ago now. It was quite a hectic year, seven weeks spent in the John Radcliffe in Oxford, and then seven weeks receiving Proton Beam Therapy in Essen, Germany. At one point I was given a 50/50 chance of making it through the night, so it definitely wasn’t a smooth ride. Despite all of that going on I was still making music throughout my recovery, and it was a huge relief that I hadn’t lost my ability and drive, post neurosurgery.  Whilst it has been the biggest challenge imaginable, my music has been a driving force of positivity, and has really given me something to look forward to and focus on even when times were tough.

Whilst the tumour has left me with lifelong damage, I am now back to my old self and have a changed outlook on life. This experience has really shown me how powerful music can be in healing, and the importance of always looking forward and never giving up on what you want to do. Amazingly I got the all clear at the end of February just after I released ‘Circles’, and now that I’m putting music out again I’m excited to get gigging later this year and seeing more local artists.

What have you been digging recently? What was the last album you streamed?
I really love stuff from the likes of Vulfpeck, Anderson Paak, Jamiroquai to name a few. Anything with groove. I’m a big fan of Tom Misch; he also has a love for disco/jazz/hip-hop kind of stuff. I came across him when he was just a beat-maker on Soundcloud, so it’s crazy to have seen him get to where he is now. It’s so great seeing other songwriter-producers blow up, it really motivates me to just make the music I want to make and have faith in it. Last album streamed was Fantastic, Vol. 2 by Slum Village.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m dropping a new single called ‘Windows’ in early May. It’s without a doubt the longest I’ve ever spent on a track, especially on the production front. I’ve been excited about this one for a while, so I’m very happy to finally be sharing it. I’m looking forward to releasing an EP in May, and following that I’m planning to start gigging it which I can’t wait for. It’s been way too long. That’s the goal for me really. Of course it’d be amazing if more opportunities came my way and more people hear my music, but as long as I’m recording music and playing shows I’ll be content. Anything else that comes along with it is just a bonus.

Harry Mockett on Spotify

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 24th – Apr 30th

STEREO MC’s + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS (acoustic) Thursday April 25th  The Picturedrome, Northampton Born out of the mid 80’s hip-hop scene and the UK acid house/club scene, Stereo MC’s reputation…

STEREO MC’s + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS (acoustic)
Thursday April 25th 
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Born out of the mid 80’s hip-hop scene and the UK acid house/club scene, Stereo MC’s reputation grew slowly. After early chart success in America for their second LP Supernatural, they recorded the album Connected which became an international hit in 1992. This period culminated with a Mercury prize nomination and two Brit awards for Best Album and Best Live Act. The band these days are very busy with albums and collaborations, with a stronger and bolder electronic slant to the material. Support from the much-loved local ska-punk band. Doors 7.30pm, £18 tickets

ROZI PLAIN + AOIFE FOLEY
Friday April 26th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Off-kilter pop from London singer-songwriter, celebrating the release of her fifth album, What A Boost. The album was tweaked and refined during a year spent touring the world playing bass in This Is The Kit. Support from ShoeTown’s beguiling [and slightly reluctant] chanteuse. Doors 7.30pm, £9 tickets

KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS + EASYDREAD + THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND + KING ALIAS
Friday April 26th
Fiddler’s Elbow, Northampton
The Northampton headliners mash up ska and punk with hip-hop for a full-on party. Support from reggae boys of the Luton and Chepstow persuasion, plus ShoeTown rap rockers sandwiched in between. Doors 7pm, free entry

ROMINA JOHNSON
Friday April 26th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Live PA from Johnson, performing the Artful Dodger smash hit ‘Movin’ Too Fast’. DJs play throwback UK and speed garage from back in the day. Doors 9pm, £9 tickets

SNAKERATTLERS + THE SHAKIN’ NIGHTMARES + THE HURRICANES + GOGO LOCO
Saturday April 27th
The Lab, Northampton
Four incendiary rock’n’roll/trash bands. Married couple Dan and Naomi hail from York and bring their trash to headline The Lab. The next lot are from Redcar. Bringing up the rear is a pair of ShoeTown great, in the shape of mod garage quartet and the two piece, maraca driven – rhythm & roll reprobates. Doors 7.30pm, £4 tickets

LUNAXIS + SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday April 27th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Lunaxis are a festival vibe indie-pop band with influences of folk and blues, fronted by Carly Loasby. Support from ShoeTown singer-songwriter. Doors 9pm, free entry

THE BOPHINS
Saturday April 27th
The Coach & Horses, Wellingborough
The ShoeTown garage/new wave punks hit their neighbouring town with force at this Retro-Beat night. Doors 8pm, free entry

FATEFUL FINALITY + SIDERIAN + POINT OF EXTINCTION
Saturday April 27th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Original thrash metal night, with bands from Germany, Northampton and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

TRADARRR
Sunday April 28th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
An intimate concert with one of Northampton’s, and indeed Britain’s, top folk-rock bands. Expect a modern take on traditional UK folk music. Doors 7pm, £12.50 tickets

JOEL HARRIES
Sunday April 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The 72%/Big Loss man plays a solo set in the cellar. Doors 8pm, free entry

AMELIA WHITE
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Sunday April 28th
East Nashville singer-songwriter brings her ‘How It Feels’ tour to the Shire. Scott Warman plays double bass too. Doors 2pm, free entry

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slowthai to play Milton Keynes next month

Northampton rapper slowthai heads out on his fan-chosen ’99p Tour’ next month, and he plays The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton as one of six dates. Those that pre-order the Nothing…

Northampton rapper slowthai heads out on his fan-chosen ’99p Tour’ next month, and he plays The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton as one of six dates.

Those that pre-order the Nothing Great About Britain album via slowthai.com before 9pm on April 28th will receive exclusive access to tickets for the tour [existing pre-orders are already eligible]. Tickets cost just 99p.

slowthai plays the 300 capacity Milton Keynes venue on Tuesday May 7th. Tickets go on sale Monday April 29th.

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New Music Friday: The Very Lazy Sundays

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan…

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan McLaughlan aka Tramp D’Addy is a busy ShoeTown man, and he gets a moment to shine here with their new EP ‘Love…a Lot’. New Boots keeps the work rate up by asking them to tell us all about it.

Who is in the band?
We are:
Diyar Abdullah – guitar and lead vocals
George Harvey – guitars 
Pete White – Cajon and backing vocals
Duncan McLaughlan – bass and backing vocals

How did you guys get together?
Diyar and George founded The Lazy Sundays in 2010. The band went through a couple of incarnations before Pete and Dunk joined in 2017. George and Diyar have been the crux of the band since inception, turning Diyar’s poems and ideas into songs. Meanwhile, Pete and Dunk had been gigging together since 2013, and met George through mutual friends. He asked them to do some backing vocals on a few songs they were recording, which evolved into George and Diyar asking them to join them.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We’re often compared to having a similar sound to Paul Simon, Eels, Jack Johnson, and The Streets. Our songs cover a lot of different styles and influences, but the common thread is storytelling with groove, hooks, melody and harmonies

Tell us everything about this new EP.
The first EP, ‘Live…a Little’, from January 2018, was recorded and mixed in a day, and we’d recorded it exactly as we’d play it at gigs. Essentially a well-produced demo. We knew these new songs needed a little more panache in the production if we wanted to get them played on the radio, so we booked two days to record and another two days to mix. We were really lucky to have Mark McCann at The Lodge Studios in Northampton producing us. He spent a lot of time – even before we got into the studio – listening to our influences and sussing out how they got their sound. It was a real education watching him listen to Simon & Garfunkel and discovering how their sound on ‘The Boxer ‘was achieved – what mics they used, how the instruments and voices were blended. He was really excited about recreating classic analogue recording processes in the Lodge’s studio, and the results are fantastic.

We played everything live as a group – the guitars, cajon, bass and Diyar’s vocals, which gives the overall organic feel. No click tracks, no autotune, all mics and no DI – your standard recording setup for 1969! Mark had mic’d us up so perfectly we barely needed any post production to the core performance. We recorded the core tracks in a day at the Lodge, and spent the following day adding extra instrumentation – the piano and mandolin on ‘Sometimes A Broken Heart’, the B52’s-ish electric guitar lick at the end of ‘Higher Love’, and the eerie backward-backing-vocals on ‘Café de Paris’. We wanted to keep the vibe of a live performance, so were really careful not to overstretch or go too Pet Sounds with the overdubs. Essentially the sound of the EP is us playing live – if we had a budget for a mandolinist, pianist and a couple of extra backing singers.

As for the songs on ‘Love…a Lot’, we’d written nearly a dozen songs since the first EP, many of which had become part of our live set. However we’d opted for four songs we knew were good but hadn’t yet road-tested. ‘Blow Wind Blow’ is a lullaby we put together in an AirBnB we stayed in when we toured around the East Coast last Spring. ‘Higher Love’ reflects our love of soul and gospel, like a Stax rhythm section without the horns, documenting the beginnings of a love affair, whilst simultaneously lambasting London’s property prices (”Rare find/Circle Line/Two stops/Paid bucks/Bought yourself a bloody shoebox!”). But the track we really wanted to take our time with during the recording was ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’, about the healing process after a relationship ends. It’s probably our best group performance so far, and we’ll release it as a single once we’ve made a video for it.

What are your live shows like?
We absolutely love playing live. We’ve played to hundreds at festivals, we’ve played to tens at kebab houses, and there’s no difference to us; it’s the challenge of connecting with the audience. Though we probably gig a lot less than most bands, we try and make each show unique and special. We played a show last week with Space; our first big gig since we’d hit the studio. We played to hundreds of people, and it was just as raw and intimate as if we were playing in a tiny club. Diyar is a great frontman, and though he’s perched on a stool most of the time he actually stood up during the rap section of ‘Higher Love’, which was hilarious for us, and totally galvanised the crowd. We usually open our shows with an acapella song from the first EP: three-part harmony singing without a safety net is always daunting, but it’s a great attention-grabber.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
Not yet! Dunk runs the monthly Open Mic’s at The Black Prince, and also the Sunday Acoustic sessions that run throughout the summer in the Black Prince garden. He always gets a mixture of poets, singer/songwriters, story-tellers and instrumentalists to play with us, and we’re looking forward to playing there over the summer on August 17th. We’re also really stoked to be involved with Kontra Roots, who put on some great live music events around Northamptonshire featuring local, national and international artists.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Recording at The Lodge the second time around was a real game changer for us. It was when we realised we’d come a long way as a band since our last visit. The first playback of ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ was a proper “Eureka!” moment!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
George: The Macabees – Marks to Prove It
Dunk: The Soft Boys – The John Peel Sessions
Diyar: Roxette – Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus
Pete: The Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up the Girl

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
You mean aside from having Blue Plaques erected to each of us in Northampton, Tring, Reading and Ashford? Firstly we want to spread the word about our EP as widely as possible, make a video for ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ and release it as a single in the spring. We’ve got loads more songs in the pipeline, and can’t wait to get back to The Lodge again. We can’t wait to play to a ShoeTown crowd again, either!

Love…a Lot is out via BandCamp, or on CD from the band directly

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New Boots to curate stage at the Northampton Music Festival 2019

New Boots is pleased to be able to finally share the news – we are hosting a stage at this year’s Northampton Music Festival. The six stage event attracts tens…

New Boots is pleased to be able to finally share the news – we are hosting a stage at this year’s Northampton Music Festival.

The six stage event attracts tens of thousands of people to Northampton town centre each summer and has been going since 2007.

New Boots has it’s own space for the 2019 event, in the courtyard of the NN Contemporary Art Gallery, on Guildhall Road. It’s all set to happen on Sunday June 16th. Doors open at midday, then at half past the hour every hour they’ll be some NN-related music for you. Covering all the musical bases of this diverse musical town, our stage sees live performances from:

GINGER SNAPS
THE BIG DIRTY
L30 ROBINSON, WITH ANONYMOUS & XOV
PHANTOM ISLE
GOGO LOCO
KINSHIPS
KIAN RUSSELL

Jay Brook of Ginger Snaps, the man behind BBC Radio playlisted smashes like ‘The Modern Man’ and ‘Number Crunching’, has spoken of how rarely they play live, so this is something to be especially pleased about. “It’s a one-off special show” he explained, “where I’ll be playing mainly stuff off the forthcoming album.”

They’ll also be an outside bar serving alcohol, plus street food for sale. It’s going to be the best thing you can experience in an NN postcode this summer. FACT.

The Facebook Event is the place to keep an eye on all the latest developments, so please go and click ‘attending’ over on that if you can.

The objective of the Northampton Music Festival is to raise the profile of Northampton through music. It provides a showcase for the broad range of musicians and artists that are based in the town and as a community-focused gathering, invites all to join in a festive celebration of our music scene. The official site is here.

A big thank you to Natasha Booluck [Fuel + Fire Films] for the poster design.

SEE YOU THERE.

Phil & Dave

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 17th – Apr 23rd

SLEAFORD MODS Thursday April 18th The Roadmender/Spun Out, Northampton The Notts duo show at the Roadmender has sold out, but at 5pm they are doing a record signing event at…

SLEAFORD MODS
Thursday April 18th
The Roadmender/Spun Out, Northampton
The Notts duo show at the Roadmender has sold out, but at 5pm they are doing a record signing event at Spun Out Records on Gold Street. A great opportunity to get your Eton Alive on vinyl and get it signed!

THE ANTELOIDS + LOVE CANS
Thursday April 18th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Hailing from Rugby, headliners give you space rock with a killer groove. Their back-porch blues hillbilly psych gumbo has been showcased on six albums, including 2016’s Let Your Mind Grow Long. Love Cans  is a psych garage blues trio from Switzerland. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BIGHEAD [ACOUSTIC]
Thursday April 18th
The Artizan, Northampton
The open mic night will have a core trio of the ska/reggae outfit playing an acoustic set. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

LAY IT DOWN
Friday April 19th
The Lab, Northampton
New Breed of open mic showcasing the urban music world: grime, hip-hop, spoken word, singers. Featured artists this month include Severe and Theo Chanetsa. Doors 8pm, free entry

IMMERSE + WOVENLUNG + ONE LAST DAYBREAK + TAKE REFUGE + THRIFT STREET 
Friday April 19th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Post-hardcore quartet from Bristol headline. Metalcore and pop-punk from ShoeTown, London and MK in support. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

DAN PIGEON + POLAR* + SPACETOAST + LAURA COX
Friday April 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel [basement], Northampton
Lo-fi indie man and his art-rock band headline, alternative rap from Northants, and indie-punk from Leicster. Doors 8pm, suggested donation of £3

STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES + SABOTEURS + WOODS & GILL
Friday April 19th
The Romany, Northampton
Modern alternative rock from Northants, centred around powerful acoustic-based songwriting. Lincoln-based support who bring darkness with alt-rock, post-punk and folk. Opening with Phil Woods and Mark Gill playing a few covers. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

BOWYANG + MAKOBI + KINSHIPS + SOUL GROOVE + SUB CLOWNS + ZIZANY
Friday April 19th
Club 43, Northampton
BowYang are a new local deep bass, house and techno duo, and here they launch their ‘Goes To 11’ EP. Electronica supports from across the NN spectrum, plus a few house DJ sets thrown in too. Doors 9pm, £5 entry [£3 with NN Card]

MUSICIAN’S AGAINST HOMELESSNESS ALLDAYER
Saturday April 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The ‘Pomfret Versus Poverty’ event asks that, instead of charging an entrance fee, patrons bring items they can give to the homeless of Northampton. Many acts play the outside stage and the barn. Expect sets from Grande Quattro, The Blue Foundation, The Maybz, Ciaran Redmond, Jono and the Uke Dealers, Cameron Grace, One Leaf Falls, Wildflower Rogue, Jam Basket, Corinne Lucy, Thrift Street, Miller and Walker, Axis Erazed, and Rogue RubyGarden opens at 1pm for the music

SPRING PARK
Saturday April 20th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Local punk rockers, who formed in June 2014 and play all over this fair isle. Doors 8pm, free entry

ROLLING THUNDER
Saturday April 20th
The Drunken Duck Bar, Kislingbury
Up and coming indie rock band from Northants. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

KRYSTHLA + FROM EDEN TO EXILE + ASHBORN + REAPER-X + POINT OF EXTINCTION
Saturday April 20th
Athletic Club, Rushden
The first event of ‘Metal Mania’, featuring intense heavy metal from Northampton [times three], and similar from Corby [from a band have just released their new album, Rise]. Openers bring their thrash from MK. Doors 5pm, £8 tickets

THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH + THE VENUS FLY TRAP + BABY LUNG
Sunday April 21st
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Back in ShoeTown by popular demand, the Berlin band’s primitive gothic psychedelia can be heard on new, ninth album Montage Images of Lust & Fear. Darkwave icons, who are about to reissue their debut album Mars, are the special guests in support, plus best of the new breed to open. Doors 7.30pm, 

SARPA SALPA + ALFIE TEMPLEMAN + AMONG THE CITIZENS + JEANA
Sunday April 21st
The Roadmender, Northampton
SS return to their second home for a victory lap, after getting Radio 1 ‘BBC Introducing Tune Of The Week’ last month for new single ‘Casanova’. Talented Bedford teenager Templeman had a surprise breakthrough hit with 2018 EP ‘Like An Animal’. Plus you get Peterborough indie, and the Ginger Snaps-produced singer who recently released her debut single ‘The Feelin’. Doors 7pm, £6 tickets

THE TOUCH + ROOM10
Sunday April 21st
The Stitching Pony, Kettering
The rockers return to the Stitch for bank holiday madness, bringing their mates in to support. Music from 9pm, free entry

JACK SHARP + MRS PILGRIMM + JOE WOOLLEY
Monday April 22nd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Time for some folk holiday sounds. The singer and guitarist with successful British psych folk-rock band Wolf People has developed a keen side interest in interpreting folk songs from his home county of Bedfordshire. Mrs P – aka Sophie Williams – is a ShoeTown artist best known for her solo sets that combine cello, voice and looping. Opening up is a singer-songwriter from the Graham/Jansch school. Having recently worked with Bonnie Dobson and Miranda Lee Richards in his band the Lords of Thyme, Woolley returns to the Lamp to air some of his solo repertoire. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

 

 

 

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