Author: Newbootsnorthants

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 9nd – Oct 15th

ALESSI’S ARK + KATIE MALCO + HANA BROOKS + MALI MAE Friday October 11th The Black Prince, Northampton A night of strong female musicians, headlined by the London avant-folk queen….

ALESSI’S ARK + KATIE MALCO + HANA BROOKS + MALI MAE
Friday October 11th

The Black Prince, Northampton
A night of strong female musicians, headlined by the London avant-folk queen. Support from a Northamptonshire trio of singer-songwriters who regularly take the breath away with their latest output. If you want tingles you go to this. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

CODENAME COLIN + ASKARI + EASYDREAD
Friday October 11th
The Lab, Northampton
Ska pop-punk from Hemel Hempstead, plus an electronic/nu-metal/grime collective, and opening with Luton’s reggae groove machine. Doors 7pm, ?

THE BARRATTS + BABY LUNG + ROLLING THUNDER + LEFT HAND LANE
Friday October 11th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A night of Northampton indie rock’n’roll – headlined by a band everyone should know by now, plus 2019’s new stars in the making. Doors 8pm, free entry

WISHING WOLF + LAST CHANCE + SLOW BURN
Friday October 11th
The Fiddlers Elbow, Wellingborough
Pop-punk fun from a couple KTown’s best live bands. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

THE ABRAHAMS + HUMBLEBEE
Friday October 11th
The Red Lion, Broughton
Doors 8pm, free entry

PHOBOPHOBES + EGO + NAKED NEXT DOOR + AULD
Saturday October 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
South London psychedelic punk’n’roll outlaws roll into town, ably abetted by Milton Keynes noiseniks and indie rockers, plus the debut ShoeTown show of a NN band who previously resided in London. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

TU-KAY & RYAN
Saturday October 12th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
The duo are back at The Shire Horse for an afternoon session of acoustic harmonies. From 3pm, free entry

CASCADE + BASEMENT CLUB + GARDEN + THE MAYBEZ
Sunday October 13th
The Lab, Northampton
Indie rock bands from Guildford, Swindon, ShoeTown and MK supporting their new releases. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 2nd – Oct 8th

LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER + LITTLE BITBOY Wednesday October 2nd The Black Prince, Northampton Live electronic artist who takes his home-made machines on the road to play loud analogue synths…

LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER + LITTLE BITBOY
Wednesday October 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton
Live electronic artist who takes his home-made machines on the road to play loud analogue synths to opened-mouthed audiences. Has made his name with adventures on YouTube with Star Wars Lego, Gameboys, and Furbies. One of those “you need to see it to believe it” type acts. Support from Joshua the Nintendo-abusing ShoeTowner. Doors 7.30pm, £8.50 tickets

RED RUM CLUB + WEIRD MILK + CUSP
Friday October 4th
The Black Prince, Northampton
An indie sextet from Liverpool on their breakthrough year, channelling Tarntino-esque wild western vibes with the help of a solitary trumpet. Their 2019 debut album Matador is a word-of-mouth hit. Support from two MK bands; one that focuses on vocal harmonies, another that’s classic songwriting with crunching guitars. All worthy of your attention. Doors 7.30pm, £8.50 tickets

ED DOWIE + THE NATURE CENTRE + LITTLE BITBOY
Friday October 4th
The Lab, Northampton 
London headliner’s beguiling songs have regularly appeared on BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Brummie’s The Nature Centre plays three-minute pop songs [think Cardiacs, XTC and other pop- psych]. OpeNNer Joshua Ryan creates recognisable tunes using all kinds of blips, blops, samples and gadgets. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

HATTIE HATSTAR + THE LAB COLAB
Saturday October 5th
The Lab, Northampton
Comedy-folk-punk-cabaret star Hattie covers many subjects: sex, drugs, murder, underwear, drink, Armageddon and much more. Support from a collaborative band of Lab’s own DubSka Murphys and Ginhouse Gypsies! Doors 5.30pm, £3.50 entry

IRENE RAE
Saturday October 5th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Following the conker classic event, here comes the Stamford singer-songwriter who combines jazz with country [playing as a duo tonight]. From 8pm, free entry

HANNAH FAULKNER + CRYBB + OAKLEAS RISE
Saturday October 5th
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic goodness from the above selection. From 8.30pm, free entry

THE KING BISCUIT BOYS
Sunday October 6th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Craig [harmonica] and Jonathan [guitar]  are both influenced by the same blues and roots music of the 40’s 50’s and 60’s, and this comes together to influence their sound of country-blues music. From 3pm, free entry

LOKI + BERLYN TRILOGY
Sunday October 6th
The King Billy, Northampton
Northamptonshire hard rock /grunge quartet, plus Wakefield synth-pop/darkwave trio. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

LAY IT DOWN UNI-TY
Monday October 7th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A university-focused night for freshers, musicians, lyricists, spoken word and vocalists. Confirmed so far: Har-Q and L30 Robinson. Doors 7pm, free entry

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New Music Friday: Red Rum Club

Liverpool sextet Red Rum Club have had a grassroots-led breakthrough year in 2019. Beginning in January with the release of the widescreen debut album Matador, the band are now on…

Liverpool sextet Red Rum Club have had a grassroots-led breakthrough year in 2019. Beginning in January with the release of the widescreen debut album Matador, the band are now on their biggest UK tour to date, and celebrate with a brand new single, ‘Kids Addicted’. Before their Northampton appearance on October 4th New Boots took tea and biscuits with them.

A busy time for you 2019. Can you summarise how your [presumably crazy] year has been? And any particular highlight you can pinpoint?
This year has been very special to us, from our debut Album ‘Matador’ coming out in January and getting to number 1 in the alternative iTunes charts, and charting in the official UK album, and vinyl charts, to selling out shows around the country, having people sing our songs back to us, and playing on stages in festivals all over the county, plus our first European festival in Romania with the likes of The 1975, and Jungle. 
Glastonbury was definitely a highlight; it was the first time going for most of us, never mind playing. A few of the lads hit it a little too hard there so we can’t remember as much as we’d like. We recently got the luxury of going to the Maida Vale studio and doing a live session there, that was a surreal moment, I know some of us were just as excited for that than for Glastonbury.

The album sounds huge. Parr Street Studios and Chris Taylor; have you struck gold there?
Massively, Chris Taylor has been brilliant with us, we’ve done everything with him; in the early days we released singles through his label ‘Rooftop Records’, so when Modern Sky signed us for an album we all knew it made sense to continue with him, and thankfully working with him means we get Parr Street, so we’re very happy with that.

Selling out the 02 Academy is no mean feat. Can you still walk the streets of Liverpool freely, or has the fame bit hard there now?
Selling out five months in advance was amazing, we were over the moon with and a little surprised with that. The good looking members get recognised now and again, but I’ll let you decide who they are! 

What you looking forward to most about this autumn tour?
We’re playing some bigger venues than we have in the past outside of Liverpool, particularly in Sheffield, and playing in cities we haven’t been to be before like Northampton, Norwich and Hull which is exciting! It helps that we love being on tour seeing old fans, meeting new fans, and we’re always up for a drink afterwards, so if you fancy one after one of our shows let us know.

What can you tell us about your 2020 plans?
2020 will be interesting to say the least. There will be more music, more tours and some very exciting news coming your way soon. We can’t give too much away, but have just released a new single ‘Kids Addicted’, so hopefully that’ll keep you interested for the time being!

Kids Addicted is out now. Red Rum Club are on tour now, and play The Black Prince in Northampton on Friday October 4th, with support from Weird Milk and Cusp.

 

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 25th – Oct 1st

THUMPER + DEAF TRAP + JJ MOON Wednesday September 25th The Black Prince, Northampton THUMPER [all capitals] are the band everyone’s talking about in Ireland, delivering bubblegum pop through a…

THUMPER + DEAF TRAP + JJ MOON
Wednesday September 25th
The Black Prince, Northampton
THUMPER [all capitals] are the band everyone’s talking about in Ireland, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows and penchant for howling feedback and pounding rhythm, each show is an exercise in unpredictability. Support from beloved four-piece alternative/indie band from ShoeTown, and new and jazzy indie/alt-rock band from Northampton/MK. Doors 7.30pm, £5.50 tickets

ASPHALT + BADDREAMS + LA FOLIVORA
Wednesday September 25th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Japanese hardcore punks, Brummy post-hardcore, and Northampton synth-grindcore duo. Doors 8pm, free entry

ONE LEAF FALLS + FREAK CITY + TONY MEAD
Friday September 27th
The Lab, Northampton
The local new-for-2019 indie rock quartet headline, an even newer local indie-rock trio in the middle, with the Vincent Vega Band vocalist on a solo tip to open up. Doors 7pm, free entry

ACODA + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + PALMIST
Friday September 27th
The KK Club, Corby
Local anthemic hardcore punk faves make a welcome return to the live fold, with similarly heavy support sounds. Unmissable. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

THEE TELEPATHS + THE VENUS FLY TRAP
Friday September 27th
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Superlative sounds on offer: psych-driven fuzz from KTown, and post-punk electronica from the ShoeTown legends. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

MATTHEW McGHIE + ANDY GRIFFITH+ STEVIE JONES
Friday September 27th
The Red Lion, Broughton
Wildfire Sessions present an Acoustic Showcase, featuring much Midlands talent.

ASHBORN + HELGRIND + CADENCE NOIR + EXPETYA
Saturday September 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Energetic metallers [from Northampton/Birmingham] play their debut album Awakening release show! Support  om London thrash metallers and the goth folk’n’rollers from Nottingham. Opening up are the five-piece death metal ShoeTown band from Northampton. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

THE KEEPERS
Saturday September 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Northampton’s indie/psych quartet, influenced by The Beatles, Small Faces, The Kinks, The Jam, Oasis, The Moons and many more. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE STRAYS + GOGO LOCO
Saturday September 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A unique vintage sound with a gritty, modern edge from your Cheltenham headliners – described as ‘No Doubt meets Imelda May’. Bernie Keith is a big fan we hear. With a Bo Diddley beat and a rockabilly flair the two-piece maraca driven combo of trash rattle ’n’ roll in support are worthy of your time too we suspect [wink wink, nod nod]. Music from 9pm, free entry

BOO HEWERDINE + ODETTE MICHELL
Saturday September 28th
The Core At Corby Cube
Acclaimed Ivor Novello Award-nominated English singer-songwriter Hewerdine comes to Corby for an acoustic session. He is well known for working with Brit Award-winning, former Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader and Chris Difford of Squeeze. Doors 8pm, £11.50 tickets

CAMERON GRACE + TIM JON BROPHY + TOM & SOPHIE
Sunday September 29th
St. Giles Ale House, Northampton
Ni Ni acoustic sessions in the very heart of teyn. From 1pm, free entry

FAMILY OF NOISE
Sunday September 29th
The King Billy, Northampton
Corby’s instrumental post-punk trio of heavy repute do the afternoon thing at the Billy. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

JOE CORKRAM
Sunday September 29th
Castle Ashby Gardens
Northampton singer-songwriter plays as part of “Northamptonshire Day”. 2pm, free entry

TEMPLES
Tuesday October 1st
HMV store, Kettering
Celebrating the release of Hot Motion with an instore performance from KTown pop-psychsters. You need to go into  the store to buy the album [out this Friday] in order to attend. From 5.30pm
 

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Album review; Ashborn

ASHBORN Awakening [self-released] A band of four Polish émigrés now residing in Northampton, Ashborn have achieved much in their two year history. Highlights include winning Metal 2 The Masses which…

ASHBORN
Awakening [self-released]

A band of four Polish émigrés now residing in Northampton, Ashborn have achieved much in their two year history. Highlights include winning Metal 2 The Masses which culminated in an appearance at 2018s Blooodstock Open Air, and performing at Northampton’s own HopFest. What they’ve achieved in under 24 months shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider that band members have appeared in metal heavyweights Ghost, Grin and also DieRevers. It’s a pedigree Ashborn have brought to their debut album and ensures that Awakening is a full-on, no holds barred, metal assault.

Opening with ‘Mute’, an almost ambient piano introduction that’s textured with shades of Bach and Mozart, it’s an instrumental of ethereal beauty, poetry without words, that lulls the listener into a false sense of security. In an intelligent use of light and shade ‘Mute’ contrasts with the next track ‘Monsters’ that tumbles over the listener like a landslide. Ashborn race out the blocks with pedal pressed firmly to the metal, as drummer Marcin K fires his drums with piston-like precision and vocalist Marcin D delivers his words with a mixture of the clean and guttural. A riff-heavy affair ‘Monsters’ is akin to a five minute musical pummelling, with little respite. Again the use of sonic dynamics is put to good use on ‘Crushed Ant’, a track which bassist Peter bookends with two solos which makes the contuse music sandwiched between even more weighty. It’s a punchy song that’s given a modern hardcore feel by the lack of guitar noodling.

To record Awakening the band spent two weeks holed up at Initiate Audio and Media with Neil Hudson at the helm, and his expansive production finds the band attacking the listener from all angles. On ‘If The Walls Could Speak’ the guitars fire from different speakers creating the feeling of being under fire. Like Pantera at their most brutal it’s a song that seems to breathe as the guitar ululates in a groove metal way. The aptly titled ‘Light That Creates Darkness’ was the albums lead single. Lyrically it details the subject of nuclear Armageddon, and it’s a theme that’s mirrored in the music as the riffs erupt like mushroom clouds then fan out like radiation – the soundtrack to global apocalypse.

The album is kept interesting by tempo changes which pepper the record and also by changes of pace, most notably on the mean and moody ‘Awakening From The Death’. Like an anchor tied to a drowning man it swirls around a whirlpool while the song is punctuated with haunting interludes. The artillery barrage ‘This Is Slowly Killing Us’ picks up the pace again, and shells the listener for five minutes and with an air guitar inciting solo curtailing the song it’s all very whiplash inducing. This warlike theme continues on closer ‘We Are Going To Die’. A musical maelstrom in which drums fire relentlessly, guitars squeal as if shocked by electricity and tortured vocals float atop. It fairly races along and musically captures that brief moment in time just before a head-on car crash when there’s no chance of aversion.

Two bonus tracks appear on the end of the album and in truth they wouldn’t be out of place if they were shoehorned in anywhere on Awakening. Both of these songs appeared on the bands Demo CD with ‘Every Word’ being a more measured affair and has a metalcore feel very much in the vein of Hatebreed and Merauder. With Mietek’s guitar ringing like sirens ‘When Darkness Comes’ brings the disc to a suitably cataclysmic conclusion.

As a genre metal is much maligned and often overlooked. However along with Krysthla’s Worldwide Negative Ashborn’s debut album proves the subculture is alive and kicking and in Awakening [alongside Worldwide Negative] I’d argue they’ve not only produced one of this year’s best metal records unleashed in ShoeTown but one of the county’s best albums released this year regardless of category.

Peter Dennis

Awakening is out this Friday. Order here

Cover photo by Artur Tarczewski

 

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New Music Friday: Katie Malco

Scottish-born, Northampton-based Katie Malco writes confessional music: somewhere between eternal sadness and a hopeful determination, delivered with expert wit. This is ably demonstrated on new her new alt-rocky single ‘Creatures’,…

Scottish-born, Northampton-based Katie Malco writes confessional music: somewhere between eternal sadness and a hopeful determination, delivered with expert wit. This is ably demonstrated on new her new alt-rocky single ‘Creatures’, with a chorus that laments “Lose the battle/And then lose the war”. Floored by its aching quality, New Boots shares it below, plus we went to her in search of more answers.

How do you answer when that vague acquaintance asks what “sort of” music do you make?
“Sad lonely girl having a breakdown kinda vibes”.

Bar a Christmas single, this is your first release in six years. What have you been up to in that time?
I spent a long time writing, scrapping, writing, working, hiding….for a long time I didn’t really think I would ever put anything else out. I lost a lot of confidence at one point, and stopped even playing shows. It’s been weird getting back into it all again. To be honest I sort of surprised myself when I ended up with a load of recorded tracks.

After years in London you’re back in Northampton. How you finding the music world here?
To be honest I haven’t really ventured into the Northampton music world much since moving back. I happened upon a Blood-Visions show one time, and decided to start a little label to help them with their EP. But other than that my knowledge of the current Northants music scene is kind of rubbish. I’m actually playing my first Northampton show in ages soon, with Alessi’s Ark at The Black Prince on 11th October!

‘Creatures’ is a bit of a triumph, isn’t it. What can you tell us about the track?
Oh thanks! I recorded it with my friend Andy Jenkin, who also plays drums on it, and my friend Stephen Davidson from Tellison plays bass on the track too. I wrote a whole bunch of songs when I lived in Peckham and this was one of them. I had a week of not sleeping properly because I had a lot going on at the time, and I just felt like I was failing at life. I didn’t see a way forward.

What’s the last album you bought/streamed?
Black Midi – Schlagenheim

Do you still have the cat?
Yes! She sang backing vox on ‘Creatures’. I think the attention has gone to her head though, I’m trying to keep her grounded.

What’s next for you? Is their an album being worked on?
There is an album, there will be news. But I don’t know when exactly yet. What’s next in the immediate future is just playing a lot of shows hopefully….

Creatures is out now. Katie plays Northampton’s The Black Prince on October 11th alongside Alessi’s Ark, Hana Brooks and Mali Mae.

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Interview: THUMPER

THUMPER are the Dublin band everyone’s talking about, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows and penchant for howling…

THUMPER are the Dublin band everyone’s talking about, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows and penchant for howling feedback and pounding rhythm, each show is an exercise in unpredictability. ‘Out of Body Auto-Message’ is the first studio record, produced by Dan Fox (Girl Band). In this new phase, THUMPER step away from their early days of lo-fi bedroom recordings into a more widescreen effort – without losing any of the grit that defined the early material.

The band are consistently topping the “Ones To Watch” lists, touring relentlessly – headlining Hard Working Class Heroes well, joining Fangclub on a national tour, playing their first UK show at a sold-out Shacklewell Arms. Following this year’s festival packed summer they hit the road this month with seven back-to-back dates in established music venues of major UK cities. And Northampton [we lucked out there, huh].

New Boots spoke to singer Oisin Leahy Furlong about what makes THUMPER tick.

How  did you guys get together?
THUMPER started off as a solo bedroom recording project in 2015. I recorded three extremely lo-fi and gnarly EPs myself and distributed them around Dublin. After deciding to tour the songs a bit, THUMPER gradually morphed into the band you see today.

Growing up, who gave you the “eureka” moment?
There’s been a few eureka moments for sure. Hearing Nirvana and Sonic Youth for the first time was definitely an awakening. Being exposed to Jeffrey Lewis and the Moldy Peaches, and other NY anti-folk stuff was a big thing for me also. The warts-n-all approach they took to mining poetry out of mundane situations was a game changer. When I heard Parquet Courts and King Gizzard, though. That was when I literally turned around and said “I have to start a band”.

Fontaines DC, The Murder Capital, you. This jugular music is a thrilling addition to the music scene. Can you begin to pinpoint why this “voice of Ireland” moment is happening now?
I’m not sure either of the bands mentioned set out with the intentions of being an authentic voice of anything. We’ve all played shows together before any sort of attention was being payed, and the only goal was to be an authentic voice for yourself. There’s always been and still is undiscovered artists here with just as much vitality as anything the heavy hitters are producing, just have to keep your ear to the ground.

Is the spirit amongst the rock bands in Dublin collegiate; “high tides raise all ships” type of idea?
There’s such a vibrant scene in Dublin and Ireland at the minute that there’s no cookie cutter mentality in terms of careerism or competition. But the one thing that is true of all these bands is that the standard of music being created is booming. I don’t think this can be chalked up to rising to meet industry interest, it’s more so the quality of the records that are being put out is so fucking inspiring you can’t help but walk away inspired to aim higher.

Three guitar-players and two drummers is taking things to the limit. What’s the appeal?
Once you go two drummers you won’t go back! We never put much thought into it being a novelty, it just always felt right for us. We’ve a large sound, we’d be selling our audience short if we had any less people on stage [but bring earplugs!]

Describe your live show in five words or less.
Six boys get very weird.

This is your first tour of the UK – exhilarated by that idea right now?
Very much looking forward to meeting the real humans that our Spotify numbers represent, and making a night of it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The Murder Capital’s debut [When I Have Fears]. Stunning piece of work.

What can we expect from the THMUPER debut album?
The goal is to subvert all expectations while giving you exactly what you hoped for.

THUMPER play The Black Prince on Wednesday September 25th.

THUMPER Facebook

THUMPER Spotify

cover photo by Keith Currams

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 18th – Sep 24th

BETH MUNROE Thursday September 19th The Lab, Northampton Talk by Maja of Queers To The Front Booking about being a trans-woman. Followed by music from the NN indietronica solo artist….

BETH MUNROE
Thursday September 19th
The Lab, Northampton
Talk by Maja of Queers To The Front Booking about being a trans-woman. Followed by music from the NN indietronica solo artist. Doors 8pm, £4 entry [£3 members]

KING PURPLE + CENTURY CITY+ MONARCHS + BABY LUNG
Friday September 20th
The Roadmender Northampton
The Purps are now a quartet with the addition of second guitarist Jacob, and to celebrate the release of latest single ‘Warning Signs’ they play their biggest headline show to date – in the main room of the Roady. Choosing three amazing support acts too means we’re in for a special one. Doors 7pm, and just £5 for a ticket

LAY IT DOWN
Friday September 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Your regular friendly urban music night, featuring the talents of Har-Q, Reality, Blistery, L30 Robinson, Thunder, Infinite Lore, Smiley, Anonymous, and more. Doors 8pm, free entry

FRANCISCO + JOE MILES
Friday September 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The Cousin Avi frontman returns to Northampton for a special solo set of sultry Latino soul. A rare show from local bluesy singer-songwriter in support. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

JASMINE BURNS + HUMBLEBEE + CHRIS FOX + WARD & PARKER
Friday September 20th
St Mary the Virgin Church, Stoke Bruerne
An enticing night of roots music from artists of this region [or should we say parish?]. Doors 6.30pm, tickets £10 [from http://www.audiovendor.com or call The Boat Inn on (01604) 862428]

SATAN’S EMPIRE + MODES + CATALYST  + LåGëRSHøP
Friday September 20th
Fiddler’s Elbow, Wellingborough
Scottish NWOBHM band that have recently reformed headline, plus brand new Medway metalcore, a groove metal trio from MK, and the opening entertainment is “foul language shouted over driven, anthemic state-side punk rock riffs”  [also from MK]. Doors 7pm, free entry

ROLLING THUNDER + THE STOKES
Friday September 20th
Towcestrians RFC, Towcester
A couple of local-ish bands to rock your weekend, all in aid of Sponne Schools Uganda. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

THE GREY DOG FESTIVAL
Saturday September 21st
The Roadmender, Northampton
A day of music, workshops and more that puts young people’s mental health centre stage. Lucy Spraggan, The Death Alley Drivers, Roses & Pirates, That Joe Payne, Jamie Lee Harrison, Candidates, Jono & The Uke Dealers, Amii Dawes, Adam Thomas, Tu-Kay & Ryan, Homeless Shakespeare, and Lunaxis is your entertainment. Doors midday, free entry

JEFFREY LEWIS & THE VOLTAGE + BLOOD-VISIONS
Saturday September 21st
The Black Prince, Northampton
The New York “anti-folk” singer-songwriter has become a firm favourite of the Northampton scene. With The Voltage they play scuzzy urban indie-rock-folk, like “a 21st Century mash-up of Sonic Youth, Pete Seeger and R. Crumb”. Their new album Bad Wiring was recorded in Nashville, and will be released November 1 on Moshi Moshi Records. Support from everyone’s favourite local noisy art-punks. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

SULVAIN + TAKE REFUGE + AKILLA
Saturday September 21st
Earl’s Barton WMC
New Northants metallers Sulvain make their debut appearance, with past members of The Darkhorse and Garshkott teaming up with other local musicians. Support from Milton Keynes metallers, and the Cambridge-based melodic death metal band. Doors from 7pm, free entry

HANNAH FAULKNER + CAMERON GRACE + TIM JON BROPHY + LAURA BAKER
Saturday September 21st
The Old Swan, Earl’s Barton
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic night. From 9pm, free entry

CHARLIE DORE WITH JULIAN LITTMAN + JESS ORESTANO
Saturday September 21st
The Sargeant Memorial Hall, Brafield-On-The-Green
Best known for her world wide smash ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’, Dore’s music has led to worldwide critical acclaim. This will be an relaxed evening, with special guest singer songwriter Orestano. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

THE KING BISCUIT BOYS
Saturday September 21st
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Blues-wailin’ duo play their popular afternoon slot. 3pm-6pm, free entry

 

Cover photo by Chloe Milne

 

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New Music Friday: Zandr

Northampton’s Zandr is 20 year-old producer Alex Howard, who pops up with these fascinating and euphoric chillwave beats, and DJ Shadow-style sonic journeys. Punchy new single ‘Void’ is just out…

Northampton’s Zandr is 20 year-old producer Alex Howard, who pops up with these fascinating and euphoric chillwave beats, and DJ Shadow-style sonic journeys. Punchy new single ‘Void’ is just out and already making people sit up and notice. New Boots has a chat to help joins the dots.

You’re at the university, studying music.
I am just about to top up my recently acquired HND in music production, to the full degree of ‘Popular Music’ by completing the third and final year. I would strongly recommend a course like this to anybody that is after a well-rounded approach to music. What you can learn from the different pathways you choose is eye-opening.

How did you start the Zandr project?
During the time of my two year HND we were encouraged to make music outside of the scheduled sessions to better our skills and begin to make what came naturally to us. I took the full advantage of having my chosen DAW [Logic Pro X] accessible to me at any time, and began to craft my sound and practice all the time . Whilst doing so I decided it was a good idea to choose a name to release music/ produce under. After some research I decided I wanted a two syllable catchy name that was visually recognisable and easy to remember. I had been thinking of shortening my name or making something out of it, but when my mates started jokingly calling me “DJ Xander” which is obviously a play on my full name “Alexander” it just fitted perfectly. To make it stand out more and look dynamic I then changed the spelling to something more out-there and abstract. And that’s where the name originated.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Whenever I’m asked to describe my sound I always struggle to answer because I make quite an array of different styles under the electronic umbrella. I think as far as what I have released: chilled electronic music, with catchy melodies and punchy drops would be a good description. Although I’ve showcased that I can make more hard hitting tracks such as ‘Void’ also. I have so many influences in music, from big producers such as Pharrell Williams and Timbaland, who’s online MasterClass I took earlier this year. To the other end of the spectrum; course-mates and musicians I have as friends that are just starting out like myself. Listening to them starting to find their sounds is inspiring in itself. I feel a standout artist for me is Diplo – his sound is so versatile and he works with so many different artists whilst covering countless styles of music. Something I aspire to do one day for sure.

What was the reaction like to the ‘Cloud 9’ EP earlier this year?
The reaction was surprisingly positive, as I had no clue how people would react to it whatsoever. ‘Cloud 9’ in a nutshell was supposed to be a small collection of feel-good tracks, with euphoric vibes that reflected the project title. Bar the introductory song ‘3AM Brainstorm’ – that was included to create a contrast and set the tone for the songs that followed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of my first proper piece of work, especially as I mix and mastered it all myself as well.

The meaning of the tracks:
‘Epiphany’ – I was originally going to do a course in marketing and advertising after completing A-levels as academically I suppose it’s what I’m interested in, but after reading a life changing book on holiday I literally had an “epiphany” and something told me to follow music. Easily the best decision I ever made.
‘Cloud 9’ – doesn’t really have a deep meaning, and definitely isn’t about anyone in particular. The aim was to make a simple but catchy club-style drop with my chopped up and pitched vocals driving the drop.
‘Nostalgia’ – this was the first electronic track that I ever made after learning the basics of production, and I called it Nostalgia as it’s my oldest track and It’s crazy to think how long ago it was!
‘Higher’ – a track I wanted to have a really cool ambient vibe to it. The simple and relatable lyrics aren’t meant to mean anything in particular, it’s more just to blend into the rest of the song and enhance it slightly. And to my complete surprise, amongst my peers it seems to be the most popular song from the E.P!

Tell us everything about this new release ‘Void’. You must be ecstatic it’s had so many listeners already?
It’s a track I’ve been working on for a while, it’s something I started, but put off finishing until I thought it was just right. The goal was to make a single that had quite a distinct feel to it, and I really wanted to incorporate this into a house song because it’s one of my favourite genres. I feel with making music it’s so important that you love the sound of what your making and that your doing it for yourself before anything, otherwise what’s the point? Although the response of listeners is important to me, I’m making what I want to make, any positive comments are a bonus. I’ve been over the moon with the response to the track, it seems like people are really loving the feel of it which honestly makes me feel amazing.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Do you have many peers you’re in contact with?
I would say I am part of a wider scene in Northampton, having grown up performing in bands as a drummer and building up the amount of people I know through music. Musicians I have met through college that I’ve became friends with have come round to my personal studio to jam or lay down melodies for me, etc. This along with attending local events has all contributed to being a part of the scene ! I feel producing and releasing music helps in itself. As far as peers I’m in contact with, I’ve been lucky enough to be the “resident producer” at a small events company called Yellowbrick, ran by one of my good friends in Nottingham. This means if they need any music for anything promotionally, or they have clients contact them for beats or anything like that – they get sent to me!

Any live shows on the horizon?
Doing live shows is something I want to start getting into, I need to further develop my DJ skills as I’m still relatively new to it all. However this is all in the very near future as I have a couple of small events in the works that will be perfect for me to get started.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I listened to in full was Tyler the Creator’s IGOR. I’m a huge fan of him as an artist as he isn’t afraid to be different and explore innovative production styles, the album was a breath of fresh air.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’ve got quite a lot I want to do, I’m really looking forward to hopefully working with different artists and getting some features after I’ve crafted my sound a bit more. I want to also explore different genres as I produce a lot of experimental stuff and hip-hop as well. Following doing all of the vocals on Cloud 9 I want to really push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things and see what I can come up with, possibly implementing all of this into an E.P within the coming months.

Void is out now to stream and buy on the voidesque internet thingy machine you’re reading this on

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

WEIRDOE + SAMUEL LOX + CEEPZ Friday September 13th The Black Prince, Northampton Debut headline show from the Northampton rapper with the mad fast flow, with similarly talented NN supports….

WEIRDOE + SAMUEL LOX + CEEPZ
Friday September 13th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Debut headline show from the Northampton rapper with the mad fast flow, with similarly talented NN supports. Only a few tickets remaining – this one is going to go off. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

WALKING CORPSE + ATROCITY EXHIBIT + BINGE DRINKER + FILTHxCOLLINS + SKULLFUCKED + IRON GRAVE
Friday September 13th 
The Lab, Northampton
Death grind from Gothenburg headline, plus ShoeTown grindcore crust [last show with Matt on drums!], crust ‘n’ roll from London, powerviolence from Nottingham, death grind from Stevenage, and some more local “total crush battle doom” from the returning IG. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

ILL-INFORMED + NEGATIVE FRAME + TRAGIC
Friday September 13th 
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
South-east hardcore/metal/math rock group on top, then London’s raging metallers, plus ShoeTown’s young punk rockers open up. Nice. Doors 7pm, free entry

IVORY YARDSALE + LIFT TOWER + [SANE] + TRAGIC + BLOOD-VISIONS + 72% + NAILBREAKER + LA FOLIVORA
Saturday September 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A one day mini-fest held over two stages at the Gari, featuring some of Northampton’s best artistic talents. Highlights are the unexpected return to the game by Ivory Yardsale, and the debut show from the slightly mysterious Lift Tower collective. Doors 3pm, free entry

CAGEWORK + JUNODEF + PIECES
Saturday September 14th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Physical Education Recordings present a night of live music. You get: London indie/hardcore trio, dark-but-melodic Swedes, and incendiary ShoeTown trio with a rare live show. What’s not to like? Doors 8pm, free entry

CANDIDATES
Saturday September 14th
The Coach & Horses, Wellingborough
Retro Beat welcomes MK powerhouse indie rockers, who mix the 90’s scene with a modern rock’n’roll twist. Doors 8pm, free entry

SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday September 14th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Acoustic singer-songwriter in an afternoon setting. 3pm-6pm, free entry

ROCKIN’ ROADRUNNER
Sunday September 15th
Abington Park Bandstand, Northampton
The 8th annual Rockin’ Roadrunner mini festival. This community event is focused towards people with special needs, their families and carers. Performances from Elvis Tribute, Charles, Hollie May, Show time at the musicals, Performing Room, Dance with a Difference, The Cube Disability, Arts Academy, Encompass Arts, Y-Not Arts, The Autistix, plus loads of other fun and creative things to do. 12pm-5pm

THE BARDIC PICNIC
Sunday September 15th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
The Bard Of Northampton gets chosen for the year. On the outside stage will be live performances from P-HEX, Katie Paton, Kenneth J. Nash, Jono and The Uke Dealers, Taylor Smith, Helen Verrill, Yoshe, Jacob Braithwaite, and The Whistling Dandies. From midday, free entry

THE LURKERS + WHO KILLED NANCY JOHNSON + SPRING PARK + CRASH INDUCTION
Sunday September 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
An afternoon of punk, headlined by original West London punks who were Top Of The Tops regulars. Doors 4pm [finishes at 9pm], £5 entry

 

 

 

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