Author: Newbootsnorthants

New Music Friday: Josh Wylie

Northants singer-songwriter Josh Wylie creates catchy melodies that mix folk with indie-pop. His latest single ‘Rockets In Your Mind’ is his best yet, so New Boots took the time to…

Northants singer-songwriter Josh Wylie creates catchy melodies that mix folk with indie-pop. His latest single ‘Rockets In Your Mind’ is his best yet, so New Boots took the time to get some background from him.

How did you start writing and performing?
I began performing from an early age treading the boards at my local theatre in Finedon, Northamptonshire. When I was in my teenage years I began to write down lyrics that came to me and I’d record the melody on my phone and experiment with that. After pursuing a career in theatre and performing on the West End Stage I decided to follow my singer-songwriter roots. I picked up the guitar late, when I was twenty-one, at university, following a handful of lessons with a mate and a few beers – and self-taught myself from there. I’m by no means a Jimi Hendrix, but the acoustic guitar has helped me to forge my melodies and fuse them with my vocals; providing a new way of expressing myself.

How would you describe your sound?
Indie acoustic pop with a folky edge. I don’t really think about what genre I’m creating when I do it, it just sort of falls into that category I guess. Having an open mind to what you’re about to create is the secret I’d say. I never set out to ‘create a folk song’. I think I’d be limiting myself. Influence wise the main artist that I would go as far to say is my ‘idol’ [and I don’t use that term very often] is Frank Sinatra. The man had it all. The voice. The charisma. The stage presence. [I’ve released a swing covers album too, I like to be versatile].

What have you put out so far? What has been the reaction like?
I released my first major music video ‘Waiting Game’ in 2015 whilst at uni. I never expected the reaction it got. It’s hit over 30 thousand views to date. I don’t really know how it happened, but I’ll take it! University was a big social hub at the time. It was a massive creative community at the London College of Music and I think all the students really took note of each other’s work and there was a massive respect for ‘new music’.

Tell us everything about this new single, ‘Rockets In Your Mind’.
‘Rockets In Your Mind’ has been in my back catalogue for years! I think I actually wrote it way back in 2012 when I split with my ex-girlfriend. Breakups always make successful songs. It sounds cliche, but it’s true! It tells the story of a relationship that has reached breaking point. “Seems I’ve woke the rocket’s in your mind” is used metaphorically speaking to describe rocket-propelled missiles. These missiles are representative of the sheer destructive power of one’s mind, and the deadly damage it can cause. I’ve written a lot of songs but there’s just something about this song that makes it my favourite. It’s everything I’m about when it comes to music. It’s catchy, relatable and it make you want to grab the nearest chair, table or box and use it as a drum.

What are your live shows like?
My live shows vary. Acoustically speaking I often play small and intimate gigs. This year I’m focusing more on the studio and developing my songwriting. I want to have enough fresh music for the next decade! Last year was a really cool breakthrough year for me. Having performed my first so called ‘mini tour’ across Northamptonshire it was great to hit the scene sharing my music, but also to listen to the diverse talent that’s out there. Certain festivals that stood out for me were the likes of ‘Bardic Picnic’ in Northampton and ‘The Music Barn’ in Cranford. I’d definitely recommend either to any festival goer!

A proud moment was when I did a show at the Old Nag’s Head in Wollaston, now the Wollaston Inn. During the 60s and 70s it was famous for showcasing progressive bands of that era. Performing at any venue like that with such rich music history is an absolute blessing.

What has been your favourite Wylie musical moment of the past year?
Can I be cheeky and say two? I think having the opportunity to be a support act to Musical Youth has to be up there! Secondly, working with ‘Live in The Woods’ to film the music video to ‘Girl from Rosario’ was so much fun! Nature and music is just the best combination. I dare anyone to name a better one…

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
‘Hounds of Love’ by Kate Bush. One of the first artists I remember listening to, as my dad used to play all the concert and music videos. I think ‘Cloudbusting’ has to be my favourite from her. Anytime I play her music there’s a big feeling of nostalgia.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
To just bring a smile to many people’s faces. Wherever I play and wherever I go. Playing abroad in Argentina was pretty cool. I have family in Australia and South Africa. They’re itching for me to play a show in their parts. Maybe it’ll happen one day!

‘Rockets In Your Mind’ is out now on the usual digital platforms

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The White Hart in Corby closes

Sad news for the Corby music scene: The White Hart has ceased trading. These days the main venue for music in the town, proprietors Chris and Tina Glackin have today [Thursday]…

Sad news for the Corby music scene: The White Hart has ceased trading.

These days the main venue for music in the town, proprietors Chris and Tina Glackin have today [Thursday] put out this statement.

“It’s with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that The White Hart has closed with immediate effect and apologies to anyone with bookings for the near future but unfortunately these will not be going ahead!

I would like to thank everyone for there support over the last few years! From all the music promoters. Mars . Yuk . Foncey foncey . Rocked up . Grievous promotions and many more. Also all the sporting associated clubs! The golf section . Corby locos . Corby town youth and Darts and pool teams. Also like to take the time to thank all the staff past and present for there efforts and support during our time And lastly thank you to each and every customer, be it old or new for the for there custom and friendship over the years”.

The fate of The White Hart is at this point unknown.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 10th – Apr 16th

FUELED HATE + CATALYST Thursday April 11th The King Billy, Northampton Metal duel, featuring contenders from Corby and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS + BLOOD-VISIONS +…

Thursday April 11th
The King Billy, Northampton
Metal duel, featuring contenders from Corby and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

Friday April 12th
The Lab, Northampton
London headliners have a fearsome reputation as a most exciting and volatile live act, the group take their cues from the early DIY punk and post-punk pioneers to keep everything in-house. They take influences from  Crass, Flipper, Wire and The Fall. Support from fellow noise travellers from ShoeTown, plus indie punk from Corby. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Friday April 12th
The UFO, Northampton
An exhibition of work by Nathan Mark Jones. Opening event with music and verse from Nathan Jones, Sami Stuart E Tite, Justin Porter, Anthony, Duncan Craven, Kenneth J Nash, Jay Kells, The Antipoet and Hubcap. A blend of music and spoken word, intertwined with some DJing. Doors 6pm, free entry

Friday April 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
With a debut album due this spring, heavy punk/metal North-East headliners will be showcasing tracks in ShoeTown. Support from progressive metallers from Oxford and melodic punks from MK. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Friday April 12th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
French headliners make dense lo-fi pop. New Bletchley band in support, featuring ex-members of Action Beat and The Crease, play heavy synth pop; they sound somewhere between Buddy Holly and Lightning Bolt. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday April 13th
The Roadmender, Northampton
‘Lights Out In London’ single release show for the local indie upstarts. Support from indie Manchester quartet, the exhumed local leg ends Fox Chapel, and the hip-hop duo formerly known as Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Saturday April 13th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The popular local indie-mod group head to the Gari, bringing with them the York-based alt-rockers and a brand new Northants indie-rock outfit to open. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday April 13th
Spunout, Northampton
Record Store Day 2019 celebrations, with a live set from the local folk-rockers. Shop opens at 8am,  expect them to play around about 2.30pm, and it is free entry

Saturday April 13th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranford
Wildfire Sessions present a special seated show. Manchester singer-songwriter Borowski has had four albums released in his own right, and has been produced by the legendary Martin Hannett. Hewick is an English singer-songwriter who was an early member of the Factory Records roster. Today he is known for his recordings on Pink Box Records, an independent label based in Leicester, and his work with Venetian collective Unfolk. Hard-working Jones has been playing live music and entertaining audiences for over 25 years. He set up the live music service Wildfire Sessions in 2011, putting on gigs and open mics across the East Midlands. The Feds are a local guitar/piano duo with great harmonies. There are only 45 seats available. Doors 7pm, £8 tickets

Saturday April 13th
Althorp Coaching Inn
Official launch party for Gary and Kate’s new Northamptonshire inspired folk album Fortune & Folly, taking place at the historic 16th Century pub. Music starts at 6pm, free entry





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Record Store Day 2019

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 13th, and Peter Dennis looks at what Northampton has to offer. In comparison to say Milton Keynes and Leicester, here in ShoeTown we are…

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 13th, and Peter Dennis looks at what Northampton has to offer.

In comparison to say Milton Keynes and Leicester, here in ShoeTown we are lucky to have three independent record shops who will all be participating in Record Store Day. I took a stroll around town to visit the stores.

At the bottom of Gold Street you’ll find Spun Out records. In a nice piece of symmetry Spun Out occupies 57 Gold Street, the premises that previously housed the much loved John Levers record shop. Owner Chris Kent gives a brief history: “We’ve been here over 19 years, and over the years we’ve always sold vinyl. Obviously to some degree we’ll be selling the vinyl what’s in favour. At the moment we’re selling lots of rock, reggae, soul and indie. In the past we sold a lot more dance music, which we still sell plenty of, but at one point that was a massive boom industry. The shop has always been predominantly vinyl with us. There’s plenty of other places that do alright with CDs, but for us it’s always been about the vinyl”.

Chris explains the importance of Record Store Day: “Having seen a slump in the vinyl market from 2007 I’d say it’s been THE godsend, because it’s pointed out to people who have an interest that you still have this resource out there. These independent shops where you can go and get immersed in music rather than pick at it from a distance, this is all about being involved in it. Once that awareness was raised by Record Store Day it gathered momentum and it’s down to the fact that there’s this really exciting day that would give you access to your local record shop; it should be yours. We run it, but in essence we should be proving a service to people who are into music”.

Walk through the Market Square and at 80 Abington Street you’ll find A. Watts & Sons Ltd. Enter the furniture shop and climb two flights of stairs and you’ll find Vinyl Underground. Founded by Aidy Harland primarily as an outlet to sell his beloved Detroit and Chicago imports the business is now 26 years old. Despite the specialised nature of his interests he fully grasps the concept. “Record Store Day, that’s crazy because there’s such a demand for it, we extend the shop and we blitz the shop every year and we have 3 to 400 people coming through here on a Saturday, it’s quite a lot to cope with so we change it up. We have a big sale and we have a lot the Record Store day things, we are an official Record Store Day outlet. We pick and choose, but we have a lot of the releases. There’s a big queue outside at 4am, all that kind of stuff, which is quite strange because a lot of them aren’t our regular customers. But we have a few who do come in all the time and everybody gets quite keen. For me it’s more about filling the demand, because we have Spun Out who are big on Record Store Day. But there are still so many people who come from Milton Keynes – they just don’t have any shops, so Northampton is quite good for representing Record Store Day”.

How does Aidy value Record Store Day? “I’d say for an independent shop selling more rock and indie I would say it’s been a lifeline. For us I’d say it’s been something we have to do. If we didn’t do it wouldn’t be the worst thing, but I love the fact that it supports independent and local businesses. So because of that I really want to get behind it and join in with it. From what I see Record Store Day runs really well. A lot of people come in here who aren’t regular customers just to enjoy the day. That’s what it’s all about for me: people coming in and enjoying it and talking about music, and then obviously the business is great”.

Adjacent to St. John’s Car Park you’ll find Spiral Archive at 4 St. Michael’s Road. Housed in an old print workshop Spiral Archive has an estimated 40,000 items in stock, so you’re sure to find something of interest. The shop is owned by local artist and musician Alex Novak, who opened his shop in 1999 when sales of vinyl was at a low ebb and CD sales were in the ascent. Was it a risky venture? “It’s always been a bit of a niche thing anyway” Novak explains. “I think if you can survive the lowest point you can survive any period. I think if you look at it as a niche thing those people don’t go away. The people who are interested in records will always be there, while other people kind of dip in and out of it. People keep saying vinyl is on the way back, or it’s come back, but the number of new releases. There’s more of them, but they’re more limited: they are runs of 500 or 1,000 and that’s it. The market is not going to be huge anyway”.

More than just a record shop Spiral Archive serves as a local information point. “I take flyers and posters and promote my own and other people’s events, so I’m an information source. It’s connected to local music. I do take in local bands stuff, it doesn’t sell loads but I do take it in. I do advise bands the best way to sell stuff is to play live, that’s your best outlet. I’m not going to sell huge numbers, but I do sell some stuff online as well and if I see a band live I tend to buy a record and get it signed and get some posters to get something slightly different in opposition to what’s already available.”

Spiral Archive will be open from 11am to 4pm and there will be a half price sale on everything. Then, after a hard days recording shopping head on down to The Lamplighter pub where there’ll be a record fair with DJs spinning vinyl ’til 1am.

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EP review: Duncan Bisatt

DUNCAN BISATT CAPTAINS AND KINGS [Massive Rodent Records] Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan…

[Massive Rodent Records]

Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan is a classically trained guitarist. He is also a member of Northamptonian band Bushpigs, formed from the ashes of 1980s/90s era act Marabar Caves. Duncan is also a singer-songwriter in his own right and has his own solo venture. He has recently returned home from an extended week of musical shenanigans, whilst performing in Marburg, Germany – Northampton’s twinned town – for Manofest Musik Fest.

‘Captains and Kings’ is his latest EP, the title track released off his latest album, Reality and Abstraction. Made and produced in Northampton, the EP consists of four tracks; ‘Captains and Kings’, ‘White Shoes’, ‘My Mistakes’ and ‘Toc’. New Boots asked Duncan about writing this new material. “I write the music first, then I spend months and months agonising over lyrics. I have the music, the structure, perhaps a tune, a hook or a line in my head, but lyric writing and me is a constant battle really. I’m a man of lots of tunes and few words, which is strange as my job is all words. I’m a lawyer during the day. I’m incredibly self-critical. I’m working on something at the moment and I think I’m on set of lyrics number five. I have loads of half written notebooks, lying around in pockets, in bags. It’s just finding the bit you remember writing last year. That’s the tricky bit!”

Title track ‘Captains and Kings’ is of a dream-like, folk sound; a bitter sweet reminiscence. The beautifully shot, minimalist music video that accompanies the single was produced by Tramp D Addy [those dancing guitars, swaying and merging, is a particularly nice touch]. Bisatt’s prog rock influences show through in the melancholic, more visceral sound of ‘My Mistakes’, whilst ‘Toc’ provides something of a musical interlude. Its rhythmic beat replicates a clock ticking. Both demonstrate entrancing layers and panoramic depth.

The upbeat, acoustic rendition of ‘White Shoes’, recorded at Northampton’s legendary small venue The Lab, is a finishing flourish to the EP. “A friend asked me why don’t you write any happy songs, so I wrote a happy song. This is a tale of going to discos in the 1980s”. Despite Duncan’s own self-criticism, ‘White Shoes’ is an impeccably well-written track, drenched with nostalgic references intricately interwoven into the lyrics. A favourite line is “And I found your Tainted Love/Fitted me just like a glove/Almost drowned out by Japan/You hit upon This Charming Man”. See if you can spot them all…

You can catch Duncan performing at various open mic nights and festivals, as well as performing with the Bushpigs at various venues throughout the summer.

Rachel Thomas

‘Captains and Kings’ is released on Duncan’s own label Massive Rodent Records, and is available on all good streaming and download sites

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Album review: John Wiseman

JOHN WISEMAN Filling The Void [self-released] ShoeTown’s electrocore music scene is alive and kicking at the moment, with the likes of Krankhead, [sane], Zizany, and Little BitBoy [to name but…

Filling The Void

ShoeTown’s electrocore music scene is alive and kicking at the moment, with the likes of Krankhead, [sane], Zizany, and Little BitBoy [to name but a few]. The Garibaldi Hotel is the place to be on a given Friday/Saturday night, particularly with the students of the town. John Wiseman’s Filling The Void makes a valiant effort as part of that line-up.

John is a Northampton musician, composer and producer, and also manages the blog, Wise The Music, which aims to promote national independent musicians and artists. “I wanted to make people aware of what people are doing and who they are. I wanted to help promote others”.

Filling The Void combines political and everyday themes with a new wave pop sound, and is a collection of both new material and material that John has been meticulously refining over time, all coming together in its entirety as a self-produced 12-track album. John was raised on a diet of Classical music and rock, and discovered grime and DnB whilst studying away at university. “All these influences come together in a melting pot of music”, he explains, and can be traced throughout the album. John is also a classically trained musician, on both the guitar and the piano.

New Boots was lucky enough to hear John performing a few tracks in their original, raw acoustic form. We asked about the writing and production process that goes into taking that original idea, the initial score, right through to the finalised track we hear on the album. “All of it, no matter how electronic a song gets starts with the piano, I maybe play a little bit on the synthesizer and the guitar. Then I put it all into the computer and just play around with it and see what works, have some fun with it”.

John’s music is mostly inspired by everyday life and experiences. “As famous composer Stravinsky once said; ‘good composers borrow, great composers steal’. Steal may be the wrong word, but you take from everyday life. If someone says ‘grow up’, or a friend says we’re going to give your girlfriend the nickname ‘Paragraphs’ it becomes a song. It’s taking those moments and putting your own viewpoint on it, and from whose point of view will you tell it from. It all comes down to storytelling”.

This certainly rings true of ‘On Your Side’, inspired by some well-placed familial advice. John’s classic rock influence shines through in this piano-drenched track, laced with guitar riffs reminiscent of some of the finest cuts from Queen’s repertoire. ‘Calling Out’ once again shows Wiseman’s sentimental side, in nostalgia of his university days, it experiments with a pulsing, trippy DnB beat. “It’s about the importance of supporting each other, being there for people and letting them know that you’re there for them”. With it’s entrancing vocals and techno beat, the upbeat ‘Little Games’ assimilates the albums themes. John says that “it began as a political song, and became also a love song, all incorporated into a catchy, dancy tune. It’s a pop song at heart”.

Let us show some local support to John, and hopefully we’ll see him performing live on a stage near you very soon!

Rachel Thomas

Filling The Void is available on all good streaming and download sites, including BandCamp and iTunes.

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Live review: Shakin’ Stevens

SHAKIN’ STEVENS + J. LEE & THE HOODOO SKULLS The Derngate, Northampton March 2nd Openers J. Lee and the Hoodoo Skulls hail from Surrey, but you would never guess. They wed…

The Derngate, Northampton
March 2nd

Openers J. Lee and the Hoodoo Skulls hail from Surrey, but you would never guess. They wed a distinctly American sound to some huge bluesy riffs and manage to sound both retro and contemporary. Cloaked in black, like disgraced preachers, they dispense a 30 minute masterclass in good time rock’n’roll. Vocalist Jason Lee Barratt is the quintessential frontman who, along with the Hoodoo Skulls, play the perfect soundtrack for a Saturday night. Closing with a blistering cover of ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ is a thing of genius, and they should definitely be on your watch list.

Tonight perennial rock’n’roller Shakin’ Stevens brings his ‘Greatest Hits and More’ tour to Northampton. It’s hard to remember a time when Shaky wasn’t around, and his brand of rock n’ roll is the kind of music that’s made for everyone. It effortlessly straddles genres and generations. The tension that’s been building since doors opened is finally released when Shaky takes to the stage and by second track ‘Turning Away’ all but the infirm are grooving. With a voice that’s aged like fine wine ‘Give Me Your Heart Tonight’ and ‘It’s Raining’ are sung with the same conviction as they were decades ago. A nice cover of James Ray’s ‘(Got My Mind) Set on You’ follows along with a spirited ‘You Drive Me Crazy’. Shaky’s latest LP Echoes of Our Times was quite a risk, but it certainly paid off and the bluesy ‘Suffer Little Children’ from that record provides a nice change of pace yet sits easily with the more rocky material. ‘A Love Worth Waiting For’ and ‘Cry Just a Little Bit’ take us to the interval in the best possible style, and ensures the first half of the show ends on a peak.

Two tracks from that latest album open the second half: the title track, then ‘Down into Muddy Waters’ – both of which blend Cornish folk with Americana. This theme is continued with a nice cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival standard ‘Have You Ever Felt the Rain’. Ably backed by a seven-piece band who provide a suitably beefy sound, Shaky proceeds to blast through his greatest hits: ‘A Letter to You’, ‘Marie, Marie’ and ‘Oh, Julie’ all to get the audience on their feet and evidence what a well loved performer Shaky is. Two female backing vocalists provide a nice foil to Shaky’s oak-aged voice as the set is closed with ‘Lipstick, Powder and Paint’ and ‘Green Door’.

Of Course it wouldn’t be a Shakin’ Stevens show without ‘This Ole House’, which is the first of two encores, and then new track ‘Fire Down Below’ which draws a nice symmetry between the past and present. While Shaky doesn’t have the stage moves of yore he still moves well for a man approaching his 71st birthday. And while his current show is devoid of flashy leaps and splits it has the benefit of bringing the songs to the fore. And with songs this good it’s exactly where they should be.

Peter Dennis

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New Music Friday: Nailbreaker

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first…

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first EP, entitled Spectrum Songs. New Boots locked him in a basement for a thorough interrogation.

How did you start this project?
I started playing around with the idea of doing something more electronic-centric around August-September 2018, in the downtime of my other band Acolytes not really doing anything. I don’t think there was anything particular in my listening habits that inspired me to start this project. I had just come out of a really difficult period in my personal life, I didn’t have anything interesting to say in Acolytes, I just wanted to make something different and unique and not look back. I put out my first single, ‘Shawn Michaels Circa 1999’, and the reaction was way more positive than I was expecting, so I just kept moving.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Generally I find it difficult citing main influences for my music; I have a pretty broad taste in music and film so I pick up lots of different things from different places. I think my music fits most accurately under subgenres like digital hardcore or cyberpunk, so I reckon there’s some inherent influence from bands in those styles; bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Death Grips, Machine Girl, Deli Girls, etc. It’s the energy and ethos of hardcore punk put through a filter of industrial, harsh noise, breakcore, power electronics, maybe some rap. I don’t know, it’s very impulsive.

What has the reaction been like to your singles so far? Great to see BBC Introducing behind ‘Friday Aesthetics’.
Yeah it was well weird seeing BBC Introducing be so positive about it. In a good way obviously, it just wasn’t something I expected. I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received so far from everyone; sometimes I have a hard time viewing my music in a context outside of ‘me dicking around and maybe some people might like it’. So seeing people say all this positive stuff, and seeing how many people have reacted well, has been really reassuring. Had a dude in America send me some anime fan art, which was wild for a project where I mostly work on my phone. But it’s shit like that that’s so cool about doing this project; that people feel inspired to create after hearing this stuff. That’s why I’ve also been really grateful for receiving requests for collabs and remixes and stuff. If I want people to take away one thing from my music, it’s to create their own art and creatively push themselves as much as possible.

Tell us everything about this ‘Spectrum Songs’ EP
I recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP in my house over an eleven day period. I didn’t leave the house, drink, smoke, use social media, or listen to other music until it was finished. As much as those things can help fuel creativity, I thought it was important [especially with a self-imposed deadline] to not put any kind of filter on my ideas so I could be as artistically raw as possible. That probably sounds bare pretentious, but it worked for me.
I wanted to make sure that every song on the EP had its own distinct sound and style, without sounding out of place in the context of an overall piece. When I put out ‘Friday Aesthetics’ as a single, I didn’t want people to take it as a teaser track because [other than being aggressive and noisey] none of the other tracks sound like that. Lyrically I didn’t want to be as message-orientated as I am in Acolytes; I think there are a lot of social and personal things that aren’t addressed in that band that I wanted to address here. On the EP I wrote about internet culture, sexuality, personal issues I face, whatever else. The lyrics are available to read on my Bandcamp page. I’d encourage anyone interested to read them themselves and come away with their own interpretation.

What are your live shows like?
I don’t really put a lot of thought into gigs in terms of things like, I don’t know, particular movements or whatever, I don’t want it be choreographed. I see bands do that kind of thing and it completely takes me out of it. The only thing I think I stay aware of is interacting with other people. I try to talk as little as possible during my sets, so making people feel personally involved in what’s going on is important to me, so physically I’m always as upfront and confrontational with the people there as possible. Other than that I like to climb and jump off of stuff. I bleed quite a lot during my shows. I normally have a drummer playing along live as well, either Marcus [from Acolytes] or Dan [from La Folivora]. I don’t know. Every single set I play is different so describing them is difficult; if anyone wants a better idea of what my shows are like then they should come join the party themselves.

Tell us a bit more about the NN10 Noise Club? Is Acolytes likely to come back at some point?
I’ve been asked the Acolytes question a lot recently and I’ve not really been able to give a proper answer. Right now none of us really have any desire to do anything Acolytes related. That doesn’t mean we’re not gonna play more shows or release more music at some point, but right now we’re all more interested in doing other things. Bewlay’s releasing music under the name Dylon Dean, Marcus has just started releasing his own solo material, Tom is playing bass in his brother band, Dan Pigeon.
NN10 Noise Club was an inside joke that got out of hand. Now it’s a collective of Rushden-based musicians. We use that name to put on shows, as a label name for releases, to shitpost on social media. We’ll figure out what it is eventually.

What has been your favourite Nailbreaker moment so far?
My second ever gig was a highlight. It was a house show in Bournemouth and was probably the most intimate space I’ve ever played in [the address of the house is also the title of the closing track on ‘Spectrum Songs’]. I also played a show at The Library in Oxford last month which was probably one of my favourite shows ever. Honestly I don’t reflect on things a lot, I just keep moving. I think I probably should reflect on things more often but it’s always more important to me to think about the present and the future. Maybe I’d call myself a futurist if I wasn’t so pessimistic.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was a cassette copy of Veteran by JPEGMAFIA, it’s my favourite album from 2018 and I’d been meaning to get a physical copy of it for a while. The last album I streamed was We Choose Pretty Names by Kermes, another one of my favourites from last year. Can’t recommend either of those albums enough. I think Kermes have some new material on the way from what I can tell, so keep an eye out for that.

What is your burning desire for Nailbreaker to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Play as many shows as I possibly can, I wanna bleed in as many venues and houses as possible before the year’s up [so if you’re reading this and you put on shows, contact me via social media. I would call that a shameless plug but this is an interview about my EP anyway, so fuck it]. Other than that, I’m recording new music but it’s not gonna be out for a while. I might be involved with another project this year, but I can’t talk about it yet. I’ll probably keep posting stuff on Acolytes’ Instagram account without having any plans to play or record music. Maybe there’ll be some collabs in the works, who knows.
All I’ll say is keeping watching. I said it was impulsive music and I wasn’t lying.

Spectrum Songs is out now on BandCamp and the usual digital platforms. Feature photo by David Jackson

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 3rd – Apr 9th

GLYMJACK + THE CAMPBELLS + PHIL RILEY Wednesday April 3rd Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby The folk-roots headliners feature award-winning songwriter Greg McDonald, plus appearances from Northampton-based Americana trio and the veteran singer-songwriter. Doors…

Wednesday April 3rd
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
The folk-roots headliners feature award-winning songwriter Greg McDonald, plus appearances from Northampton-based Americana trio and the veteran singer-songwriter. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Friday April 5th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The much-loved alt-rock/ post-grunge quartet from South Yorkshire come to ShoeTown to promote sophomore album ‘I Want The World’. With support from energetic pop-punk/emo gang from Kettering, the four-piece alt-rock band from Northampton, with two EPs to their name, and an MK trio, the brainchild of Sean Grant, who are “heavier, sexier & angrier than Royal Blood”. Doors 7.30pm, £7 tickets

Friday April 5th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The Corby trio return to the Roadmender for a headline show, to support the release of their debut EP ‘Time Alone’. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Friday April 5th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Return of the Ni Ni Sessions, highlighting great local singer-songwriter talent. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Friday April 5th
The White Hart, Corby
The psych/drone/kraut/space rock band from Kettering continue to promote their excellent debut album The Velvet Night. ShoeTown darkwave legends in support will play highlights from 2018 album Icon, plus local instrumental surf trio. Music from 8pm, free entry

Friday April 5th
The Green Dragon, Higham Ferrers
Kettering’s hardest working rock’n’roll gang head to Higham to provide good times. Music from 9pm, free entry

Saturday April 6th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
The former Prisoner [and not forgetting one of the great Hammond players] returns to a favourite haunt of his to play his rare-groove and jazz-funk tunes. Doors 8pm, £17 tickets

Saturday April 6th
The Lab, Northampton
Party time! Headliners are a four-piece gypsy swing folk band from Bristol; support bring the Gyp-Hop from Leicester, and gypsy-folk from a group of Lab members themselves. Doors 8pm, £3 entry for members, £4 guests

Saturday April 6th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Toyah returns to the Roadmender. This revealing show comes in the form of Toyah performing an unplugged set of her well-loved hits and classic songs, alongside recalling stories from her colourful, thirty-five year career. A talented duo of guitarists, Chris Wong and Colin Hinds, accompany her on meticulous and melodic acoustic versions of the hits. Doors 7.30pm, £22 tickets

Saturday April 6th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Mancunian slam crew Ingested have built a reputation as one of the most savage death metal acts to come out of the UK. Appropriate support from Northamptonshire. Doors 6pm, £12 tickets

Saturday April 6th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Level Records presents the ‘Big Mike’ EP launch. Expect soulful electonica/house, with chiptune support. DJs too, to give it the party vibes. Doors 8pm, £3 entry [£2 with an NN Card]

Saturday April 6th
The Carriage House, Higham Ferrers
Ferrers fun part two! A night of dirty indie rock’n’roll from the Rushden and ShoeTown boys. Intelligent indie from Leicester sandwiched in the middle. Doors 7pm, free entry

Saturday April 6th
The Prince Of Wales, Kettering
The local metallers are back on stage to entertain. Music from 9pm, free entry

Sunday April 7th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Berlin-based alt-pop trio headline. Support from Swiss singer and songwriter influenced by quirky 60s sounds and modern beat driven production. Doors 8pm, free entry


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New Music Friday: Crybb

Gary Painting and Kate Beresford are Northampton folk duo Crybb, who have just released mini-LP Fortune And Folly. Since 2016 the pair have been very active in Northamptonshire, playing shows and…

Gary Painting and Kate Beresford are Northampton folk duo Crybb, who have just released mini-LP Fortune And Folly.

Since 2016 the pair have been very active in Northamptonshire, playing shows and releasing the album Aubade in 2017, and now return with the Kenneth J Nash-produced follow-up. New Boots asked the pair some searching questions.

How did you guys get together?
We first met around 2010. We were both playing with other bands at the time, and really liked what each other was doing, so discussed collaborating at some point in the future.vGo forward to 2015, we both had young children; me triplets and Kate a little girl. As the stay-at-home parents we both needed a valve/hobby to relax, and so through sheer determination to overcome lack of sleep and a need for folk in our lives, Crybb was born.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences do you feel?
A lot of people tell us that we are unique and we have our own sound. I would say we are warm, melodic, engaging, upbeat and thoughtful. Contemporary folk, but with ‘Traditional Sensibilities’. Our influences are vast and varied between the pair of us, but include Show of Hands, Anne Briggs, All about Eve, Bert Jansch, Suzanne Vega, and The Dubliners.

What was the reaction like to your first album, Aubade? Were you happy with how it turned out?
We were blown away by the positive response Aubade was met with. We garnered some great reviews and gained radio and podcast plays, it still sells well as we reach new audiences. Yes we’re both happy with what we accomplished with Aubade. Playing live at folk clubs and events allows you to establish your sound, so recording the album ‘as live’ gives you a real picture of Crybb, and it is the better for it. There is no way to overstate the personal achievement we feel in completing our first album together.

Tell us about this new release, Fortune And Folly.
It’s produced by Kenneth J. Nash. We owe him a huge debt of thanks for this album for doing such a fantastic job.
It started life as just one song, and pretty soon we had four tracks for an EP. That was our original intention. Kenny said he heard ‘more’ and a fifth song was forthcoming. This was in November, and we were hoping to have the album finished for January when we played at The Great Knight Folk club in Northampton. Kenny was still encouraging us to write more. He said he heard an album at least. He was right! And there’s still more to come!

Lyrically you say you have used Northamptonshire as a source of inspiration. Could you expand on that for us please?
This album is written and inspired by stories and places from within Northamptonshire. The original first song came to us from an interest into our own history and where we came from. Having moved here from Kent around 2008 I [Gary] have fallen in love with the county that I now feel is home. Kate is originally a Finedon girl who was in Dolben House at the village school and so research discovered the extraordinary story of William Digby Dolben, the subject of our song and perhaps Northampton’s first ever sea shanty!
‘Downtrodden’ is based on the shoe industry when mechanisation was brought in to replace most of the home studios that were previously used. ‘Eleanor’ is a love song from Edward the 1st to his wife Eleanor of Castile. It was inspired by the Queen Eleanor Crosses in Northamptonshire and, in particular, the Hardingstone cross that is sadly in such a sorry state of disrepair, as anyone passing it can testify. ‘Lyveden’ is about Lyveden New Bield, an Elizabeth building that was never completed. It is partly where the ‘Folly’ element in the album title came from. We’ve used it as an analogy of best laid plans that, through circumstance, do not play out in the way we intended.

Our only cover is ‘Too Close to the Wind’, written by Stuart Marson, which we were introduced to by our friends Cherrington and Ward. It follows the story of the Culworth Gang, a notorious bunch of robbers and thieves who plagued the south of the County, “From Daventry down to the southern byways”, as the song says. ‘Lighthouse’ is an instrumental. Its inspired by the Lift tower, which I [Gary] can see from my living room window. It’s like a beacon for me, it means “I’m home”. ‘I Am’ was written around a John Clare poem. John Clare was known as the Peoples Poet, having not had the formal, private education like many of his contemporaries. He spent a large amount of time in the Asylum at St Andrews in Northampton, and struggled with mental health all his life. This poem was in response to someone corresponding ‘How are you?’ to him.
‘Meadow’ follows the last Abbess of Delapre, Clementina, as she tried to stop Henry the VIII from taking the abbey as part of the Reformation, taking wealth and land away from the Catholic churches as the Church of England came into being. The fact that she held him off for quite some time is remarkable, and deserves to be recognised.

We were very aware that there weren’t many trad/folk songs attributed to our county. We wanted to change that. We wanted to sing and show people; this is your history, these are your stories and they are worth celebrating and being proud of.

What are your live shows like?
Growing! (LOL) Our shows are quite upbeat, harmonious, melodic and personable. We get a great response from people hearing us for the first time, as well as those that regularly attend our gigs. Many people have preconceptions as to what folk music is. Many times it’s because they have never really heard any. Hopefully we leave them wanting to know more.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded acts?
Northamptonshire has a huge repository of talent! You name it, you can find it in the town. We’ve been concentrating more on folk clubs this last six months or more, and are currently a resident band at the Wurzel Bush Folk Club in Rugby every Tuesday, so haven’t been around the circuit for a while. We play at the Great Knight Folk Club in Northampton whenever the opportunity allows, and appeared recently at Kontra Roots in Earls Barton.
Fellow Northants acts that we love are, amongst others, Straw Horses, hazeyjane, Kenneth J Nash, Chris Duckett, Mark Gill, TuKay and Ryan and whatever guise Ross Alexander plays in (Humble Bee, The Abrahams etc.).

What has been your favourite Crybb moment of the past year?
We supported Merry Hell ( Awards 2018 Best Live Act winners, 2019 Awards Best Band nominee) at a couple of gigs recently. Their talent is outstanding and their enthusiasm is infectious. We found ourselves right at home; fantastic audience, and buzzing with energy and achievement.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ninebarrow Releasing The Leaves on CD. Fantastic musicality and vocal harmonies. I tend to stream an album before purchase, and then continue to stream once purchased. Last one I streamed would be Anthems to the Wind by Merry Hell.

What is your burning desire for Crybb to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We hope to continue to grow and make new friends and fans. We are humbled by how far we have already come, and grown as a band, and we both want to push and see how far Crybb can take us. We want to continue flying the flag to champion Northamptonshire and its stories, and to bring more of our kind of folk music to our county.

Fortune And Folly is out now on Old Hotel Records via Bandcamp

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