Author: Newbootsnorthants

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

JEREMY PORTER & THE TUCOS + RUFUS GOODLOVE Wednesday October 10th The King Billy, Northampton A rock’n’roll trio on tour from Detroit, USA. You’ll find everything from Cheap Trick to Gram…

JEREMY PORTER & THE TUCOS + RUFUS GOODLOVE
Wednesday October 10th
The King Billy, Northampton
A rock’n’roll trio on tour from Detroit, USA. You’ll find everything from Cheap Trick to Gram Parsons on their third album [from last year], Don’t Worry, It’s Not ContagiousDoors 8pm, free entry

THE DUALERS
Thursday October 11th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Much-loved ska/reggae duo. This show has sold out, check with venue for returns.

MISCREANT + THE TROPHY LIFE
Thursday October 11th
Club 43, Northampton 
Miscreant  bring a sinister and dark vibe to the UK metal scene, while achieving bouncy riffs with grooves. Support from five-piece post hardcore/metal band from Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire. Doors 8pm, £5 entry

NEIL BROPHY BAND + SIR REG
Thursday October 11th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Two of the busiest touring folk-rock and Celtic punk bands of ex-pats based in Denmark and Sweden have joined forces and are on the road in the UK on a 10 day tour. Brophy is originally from Moulton. They had a single ‘The Record Collector’, based on Northampton record shop Memory Lane. Their forthcoming album True Stories covers songs of travel, revelry and life growing up in Northampton in the 1980s. Swedish six piece Sir Reg are fronted by Irishman Brendan Sheehy, and they are plugging their latest release The Underdogs. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

JENNY JOY
Thursday October 11th
The King Billy, Northampton
The voice of Joyrides, flying solo. Music from 9pm, free entry

PHANTOM ISLE + EARBONES
Friday October 12th
Club 43, Northampton
The alternative club ‘Rebel Waltz’ returns for a second outing, with Northampton/London psych rockers headlining and heavy blues duo Earbones opening DJs til the early hours playing all the anthems of rock’n’roll through the ages. Doors 8pm. Free before 9.30pm, £4 before 11pm/with flyer, £5 after

[sane] + GLITCH OUT
Friday October 12th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Recent New Music Friday stars [sane] create catchy, electronic music with a smattering of synths, samples and guitar riffs over crunchy, textured beats. Glitch Out is Far Cotton local Oscar Baldwin, who makes mind-bending breakbeats and Aphex Twin-influenced IDM. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

ODDITY ISLAND + ROSS ALEXANDER & STEPH ASHCROFT + JACOB BRAITHWAITE
Friday October 12th
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
A night of gentle strumming. Oddity Island are a five-piece psychedelic/folk -rock band, and currently recording a second EP for release soon. The Abrahams singer teams up with Ashcroft, and folkie Braithwaite opens proceedings. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BLACK DELTA MOVEMENT + BLOODY KNIVES + KILAMOJO + SKYFLOOD
Saturday October 13th
The Lab, Northampton
A night of experimental music from Hull [psych/garage], Austin Texas [space rock/post-punk], Northampton [groove/psych] and Corby [post-rock]. Gotta be done really. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR + KRIS BARRAS BAND
Saturday October 13th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Taylor has established herself as a star of the UK blues-rock world. The girl with the big voice from the Black Country released her debut album White Sugar back in 2009. Latest, critically acclaimed album Wild [2016] included promotional performances on Later With Jools Holland and saw her part of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage. Doors 7pm, £22.50 tickets

LEVEL 42 + THE BLOW MONKEYS
Saturday October 13th
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
The 1980s/’90s hit-makers embark on a 19-date ‘Eternity Tour’ of the UK, with special guests The Blow Monkeys. Doors 7pm, £29.50 tickets

LUCKY SHIVERS + SH DAVIDSON + NIKOLAS GRAY
Saturday October 13th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Headlining quartet bring to mind Pavement and Grandaddy, whilst Davidson is the songwriter and driving force behind  acclaimed indie rocker Tellison. A solo Gray [with a full band assisting him] is known for his Kapowski, New Cassettes, Motherdeer, and Century City smashers. Doors 6pm, free entry

JONO & THE UKE DEALERS + TOBY STARKIE 
Saturday October 13th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The socially-conscious folk-rockers plus new single ‘Spring Boroughs’, plus solo support set from the former VHS Pirates man. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

TWISTED WHEEL + SKIRT + LUNA ROSA
Saturday October 13th
The White Hart, Corby
Noughties Oldham indie rockers continue their successful live comeback trail with a return visit to Corby, plus they celebrate the release of their ‘Jonny Guitar’ single. Local support of the same fevered variety as the headliners. Doors 7.30pm, £9 tickets

CLIMAX BLUES BAND + BIG WOLF BAND
Saturday October 13th
The Raven Hotel, Corby
It’s now 50 years since the band were formed by the late Colin Cooper. CBB now have 18 albums of jazz and blues to plunder. Support is a blues-rock powerhouse quartet from Birmingham. Doors 7.30pm, £15 tickets

FALSE IDOL + LARGERSHOP + EX-PETS
Saturday October 13th
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
Headliners are an alternative rock band from Milton Keynes, formed in January 2015 from the ashes of Atonements. Punkish supports. Doors 7pm, £6 entry

WISHING WOLF + ODDITY ISLAND + JD BLUES + A TIME OF DAY + more
Saturday October 13th
The Old House, Wellingborough
Hart Family Brewers’ annual celebration of the harvest will have live music all day, headlined by a couple of Kettering bands: emo rockers, and a quartet that fuse folk, psychedelia with a punky edge. Doors midday, free entry
 
ROBIN NOLAN TRIO
Saturday October 13th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranfield
Robin Nolan is one of the world’s best known and most admired Gypsy Jazz guitarists of the last 20 years, having played with every major Gypsy Jazz artist and headlined every major Gypsy Jazz festival across the globe. Nolan is accompanied by returning guitarist Chris Quinn and Dutch double bassist Arnoud Vandenberg. Doors 8pm, tickets?
 
CHICKN + THE RED TRIANGLE
Sunday October 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Greek art-psych noisesters plug their second album “Wowsers!, with support from the neo-soul/hip-hop six-piece. Doors 8pm, free entry
 
EMPYRE + THE SNATCHERS + THESE FIVE YEARS + MANAKING + MOLLY KARLOFF + WHO SAVES THE HERO?
Sunday October 14th
The King Billy, Northampton
A day of rock in celebration of OktoberFest. Doors 2pm, free entry
 
CRYWANK + KERMES + SAFEST SPACES + LUKAS SHARP
Tuesday October 16th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Antifolk/sadcore from Manchester, Leicester alt-rockers, an acoustic MK emo duo, and an indie-folk [also from MK]. Doors 7:30pm, £5 entry
 
THE SHACKLETON TRIO
Tuesday October 16th
The Old White Hart, Northampton
Hailing from East Anglia, the Trio play a blend of Americana, folk and self-penned material. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

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Ten Of The Best: The Lovely Eggs

Ten Of The Best, with The Lovely Eggs, who play the Northampton Roadmender on Sunday October 21st. Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It) [2011] Have You Ever Heard…

Ten Of The Best, with The Lovely Eggs, who play the Northampton Roadmender on Sunday October 21st.

Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It) [2011]

Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion? [2008]

Fuck It [2011]

Wiggy Giggy [2018]

I Just Want Someone To Fall In Love With [2012]

Magic Onion [2015]

People Are Twats [2011]

Allergies [2011]

I Like Birds But I Like Other Animals Too [2008]

Big Sea [2018]

 

 

 

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

ROCKET SCIENCE + JO ASH + RESTRUNG Wednesday October 3rd Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Another acoustic session acoustic brought to you by Kontra Roots. Open mic slots available between acts, so…

ROCKET SCIENCE + JO ASH + RESTRUNG
Wednesday October 3rd
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Another acoustic session acoustic brought to you by Kontra Roots. Open mic slots available between acts, so get in touch. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

BONNIE DOBSON
Thursday October 4th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Canadian folk music legend, a star of the Greenwich Village scene and best known for her brooding post-nuclear war story ‘Morning Dew’. Bonnie will be backed by Lords of Thyme. Simply unmissable. Doors 7pm, free entry

LAST HOUNDS + THE YOUNG & RESTLESS + THRIFT STREET
Thursday October 4th
The King Billy, Northampton
Midlands lads Last Hounds produce music that is raw and provocative, fusing elements of punk, hardcore and hip-hop. Double dose of ShoeTown pop-punk in support. Doors 8pm, free entry

MR MORSKI + VHS PIRATES
Friday October 5th
The Lab, Northampton
Mr Morski is the head honcho of Balkan ethno rockers Gipsydelica and a huge force in The Turbans. He brings his eclectic blues, funk and jazz tunes to lift the soul. Locals VHS Pirates have been working on some new songs to move your feet. Doors 7pm, £5 entry [or £3 for members]

RAGING SPEEDHORN + SCURGE + SHARKTEETH GRINDER
Friday October 5th
The White Hart, Corby
Corby metallers play their first hometown show in four years. This is very intimate, and it’s first come first served on the door, so no messing around now. Doors 7pm, £8 entry

TONE LOCKED + SYCAMORE ROW + THE KITES
Friday October 5th
The Dun Cow, Daventry
Three rock bands and a DJ, in aid of local charity A Very Special Journey, who spread awareness of spinal muscular atrophy. Doors 7pm, free entry

MIK ARTISTIC’S EGO TRIP
Saturday October 6th
The Lab, Northampton
Three-piece from Leeds are proving to be one of the most interesting, unpredictable, and exciting acts on the circuit, with their mix of rock’n’roll & dry West Yorkshire wit. Plenty of BBC 6Music support – and Glastonbury regulars! Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

BLOOD-VISIONS + NAILBREAKER
Saturday October 6th
The Garibaldi Hotel [basement], Northampton
Hardcore locals bring their unique noise and incredible live show to the Gari, with new Rushden solo punk project in support. Doors 8pm, free entry

JANET ROBIN + STEVIE JONES + REBECCA RYAN
Saturday October 6th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranford
Top US guitarist and songwriter returns to the UK to play this special intimate show. Her latest solo CD Take Me As I Am was produced by John Carter Cash (Johnny & Juneʼs son). She continues to tour nationally and internationally and averages 150 dates a year. Support from local singer-songwriters. Doors 7pm, tickets £7

ALEX GARDNER + JAMIE DARNELL + ERIN HARRIET COBAIN + WILL BATES-HARRISON
Saturday 6th October
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
An evening of talented singer songwriters. Doors 7pm £5 entry

OLIVER DAWSON SAXON
Sunday October 7th
The King Billy, Northampton
English heavy metal band formed in 1995 by former members of Saxon, guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve Dawson. Doors 4pm, £7 tickets

SKY ARCHITECTS
Sunday October 7th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Five-piece progressive symphonic rock from Rotterdam. Doors 7.30pm, free entry[?]

WILL ROGERS + IRENE RAE + OAKLEAS RISE
Sunday October 7th
The Drunken Duck, Kislingbury
Another edition of Songwriter Sessions at its new home, with another trio of quality acts. Doors 7.30pm, free entry 

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Karl Phillips & The Rejects UK tour begins this week

Northampton ska-punk wasters Karl Phillips & The Rejects head out on a two month tour this October and November. The ‘Plastic Gangsta’ stars begin their run of shows this Saturday…

Northampton ska-punk wasters Karl Phillips & The Rejects head out on a two month tour this October and November.

The ‘Plastic Gangsta’ stars begin their run of shows this Saturday night, October 6th, at London’s Islington 02 Academy, and the dates wind up on November 30th at Bedford Esquires. In between you can catch the six-piece at The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton on November 2nd [acoustic performance], The Three Cocks in Kettering on November 22nd, and The Lab in Northampton on November 23rd. 

Go see why Phillips is the ‘greatest roadman’ for yourself.

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Record review: The Hurricanes

THE HURRICANES Let’s Go! [self-released] Recorded in their practice room, Northampton quartet The Hurricanes – aka Robert Jones [singing/guitar], Dammo Clarke [guitar], Neil Robinson [drums], and Tony Norton [bass] – have unleashed…

THE HURRICANES
Let’s Go! [self-released]

Recorded in their practice room, Northampton quartet The Hurricanes – aka Robert Jones [singing/guitar], Dammo Clarke [guitar], Neil Robinson [drums], and Tony Norton [bass] – have unleashed their debut album after a quiet period of gestation. Songs were worked on, refined, and put to tape over the past year, away from the glare of expectation. 

Three-quarters of the band cut their teeth in local ’90s Britpopish band Collide, but it is the mod revival sound of ’79 onwards that The Hurricanes mine for their sound. The Prisoners probably sit at the head of that table, as the opening [title] track sets out. Slashing power chords, agitated vocals, a pummelling rhythm section: it’s all here. And the band The Prisoners are usually mentioned alongside – The Jam – is there on track two, ‘This Is The Time’, with the 100 Club spit’n’pogo energy, alongside a no holds-barred rumbling bassline. A handclap breakdown appears mid-song too, giving it a dose of The Chords-esque soul in amongst the bludgeoning guitar noise.

‘Felicity Paige’ has a great, undeniable chorus chant, straight out of the Graham Day handbook. Robinson’s drumming is the key to this stomper, all elbows flying about in the authentic Moon-style. ‘Is There A Why In Your Mynd?’ gives a nod to The Creation, The Eyes and John’s Children with a ’60s freakbeat vigour and stinging fuzz solo. It goes a bit psychedelic at the end too, which is a nice touch. The aggression is toned down somewhat on ‘Staring At The Stars’, with a forlorn lead vocal and some sweet Who-esque backing vocal lines. It’s quite reminiscent of former Prisoner Allan Crockford’s contemporary band The Galileo 7, actually. ‘Taking Care of Business’ is a good summation of what’s happening throughout this album.

Considering this is effectively a home production, with resultant occasionally muddy sound [proper authentic garage-band, you might say] Let’s Go! is something to be properly proud of. It’s direct hits from the past, yesterdays’s sound tomorrow. And jolly, vibrant good fun it is too. They ain’t half bad live too, should you get a chance to catch them.

Phil Istine

PS. current Northampton Saints coach Chris Boyd was appointed whilst still boss of New Zealand team The Hurricanes, based in Wellington. A cosmic coincidence, worthy of a brief mention.

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Raging Speedhorn play first hometown show in four years next week

Next weekend Corby metallers Raging Speedhorn celebrate their 20th anniversary with a show at London’s Electric Ballroom. In order to prepare for that they’ve just announced they will play their…

Next weekend Corby metallers Raging Speedhorn celebrate their 20th anniversary with a show at London’s Electric Ballroom. In order to prepare for that they’ve just announced they will play their hometown the night before, Friday October 5th.

The last time RS played Corby was back in 2014, at The Zombie Hut, so this is undoubtedly a big deal. The show at The White Hart will see The Amazing Scurge and SharkTeeth Grinder support. They are no advance tickets, its simply £8 on the door once they open at 7pm. Good luck.

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New Music Friday: [sane]

[sane] is the name for a Northampton electronic quartet consisting of Gabriel Halford, Tim Robinson, Adam Bullock and Connor Webb. New single ‘Stitching’ sees the band return from the studio…

[sane] is the name for a Northampton electronic quartet consisting of Gabriel Halford, Tim Robinson, Adam Bullock and Connor Webb. New single ‘Stitching’ sees the band return from the studio with music after a bit of a hiatus. New Boots spoke to the guys to get up to speed.

How did you guys get together?
Gabriel: We formed the band about four years ago, off the back of these four songs I’d made as part of my music tech degree. When I moved back to Northampton and got to see so many bands I was really inspired to start performing again. I asked my old bandmate Adam first because I knew he could nail it and we shared similar tastes, then asked Northampton’s busiest drummer/musician Josh to join. I asked my friend Tim from school to join as we shared very similar tastes in music and I knew he could play keys. In all honesty I didn’t know what to expect as he’d never played in a band before, but when he learnt so much so quickly it became obvious that it was a great bet. The other guys were very keen to try another singer for a song, and after I eventually pushed my ego as singer aside, we got him on ‘Born Lever Puller’ and the difference was undeniable.
Connor: I was drafted into the band a little after its creation, I was originally a guest vocalist on a track (‘BLP’), did a couple of gigs with the guys where I sang on said track, as well as a couple others. I was made an official member sometime after that.
Adam: I was in a band with Gabriel when we were young. We had a break for a couple of years before starting [sane]. Gabriel had written an EP and wanted a band to do live performances and that’s where we started.
Tim: Gabriel had been making music under the moniker ‘sane machine’ for a little while before deciding that he wanted to put the band together in order to play live shows. At the back end of 2014, he assembled Me, Adam and Josh (our old drummer) to fulfil that. Gabs had previously been in a band, called Black Friday, with Adam whilst teenagers, and all four of us have been kicking around together for years. Josh left the band a while back and we gained a vocalist in Connor. He brought so much to the song and had a great feel for the music so we asked him to join .

How would you describe your sound?
Tim: That’s a tough one really. We dread having to associate ourselves with any particular genre because nothing quite fits! We usually tend to go with electronica/ambient techno, but there are elements from all sorts of different places.
Connor: Danceable, emotional electronica.
Adam: Electronic, moody, dance, infectious.
Gabriel: Poorly.

Who are your main influences do you think?
Gabriel: All the guys on Monkeytown Records (esp Siriusmo), Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Country Teasers, Flying Lotus.
Tim: We are all big Radiohead fans, so some of the songwriting is influenced by them for sure. Artists such as Siriusmo, Modeselektor and Alex Banks are huge influences in terms of production style. Most of what is put out by labels like Monkeytown, and Ninja Tune, is usually a pretty good bet. Bonobo, Machinedrum, Amon Tobin. Maribou state, Dark Sky, and vocalists such as Jono Mcleery, Thom Yorke and Sampha. To be honest, we all just really love listening to music. Our tastes are fairly eclectic, and massively overlap, but we each bring something individual to the table.

What was the reaction like to ‘help your self’ EP? Also, why the two year gap in releases?
Gabriel: It was generally really positive! We put a lot of effort into every song and making sure the CDs looked swanky and professional. We also learnt a lot about how to improve for our next release, mainly simplifying the arrangements. The main reason for the long gap is that we’ve been wanting to make an album. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and it’s taken a long time to create material I’d be proud enough of to release.
Adam: We had a good response to HYS. I spent six months travelling around India at the back end of last year, so the band was a man down for a while also.
Tim: Generally pretty well received. ‘Holy Poly’ got a fair bit of radio play and is the one people tend to anticipate at live shows. It took us a long time to put together and we have definitely progressed a long way since then, in terms of production and songwriting. We did release another song, ‘Born Lever Puller’ the following year, which was the one that featured Connor. The big gap is down to a combination of perfectionism, lack of time, and various life events that slow the whole process down. Our drummer left the band, so we had to regroup a bit after that as it changed both the type of music we make and the way in which we make it.. And also just miscellaneous work commitments and trying to fit music around a functioning life. It would be great to be able to dedicate more time, but once or twice a week is about all usually manage.

Tell us everything about this new track, ‘Stitching’.
Gabriel: The song is about the feelings you go through after losing something and trying to put yourself back together again. The aches of grieving and trying to also be grateful for having had something worth losing in the first place. ‘Good grief’ I suppose you could call it.
Connor: Very melodic, multi-sectional, fun to play live.

What are your live shows like?
Gabriel: Kinetic.
Connor: Big in sound, lots of emotion.
Tim: For live shows, we have synths, guitar, vocals and a couple of midi controllers to deal with the drums and various samples. The recorded stuff adds piano in to the mix, so we have those on Ableton to drop in for added texture. There’s normally quite a lot going on!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
Gabriel: We’ve played with Usurp, Rise quite a few times. There’s a lot of mutual respect there I think. Those guys are amazing musicians. I have a side project called Mr Mulvaney with Angus McAlpine (formerly of Adolphus Tips), which is high energy stuff.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Gabriel: Playing at The Garibaldi Hotel earlier this year, no doubt. Our live setup is technically pretty complicated so we’ve been haunted by very distracting issues a few too many times. It was about first gig since Adam got back and motivated us all to keep going!
Connor: Our most recent gig: everything ran smoothly, everyone performed well, it was our most successful gig up to that point and it felt like we’d really nailed it .

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Gabriel: Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy
Connor: Khruangbin – Con todo el mundo
Adam: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food
Tim: Djrum – Portrait with Firewood, and Maribou State – Kingdoms in Colour

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Adam: Have bigger gigs with bigger bands and get more releases out on Spotify etc. Work towards an album.
Tim: To get our music out there, really. Its really satisfying to hear positive feedback. Its also incredibly gratifying seeing people dancing when we play live, so more of that. It would be nice to be playlisted somewhere, to get ourselves heard outside of the local scene.
Gabriel: We want to tour off the back of our next release and get some good shows and recognition. I myself want to do more solo live sets (Ableton live) in some different environments. Basically though, play Glastonbury!

‘Stitching’ is out now via the usual platforms

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 26th – Oct 2nd

DEARIST + PUSHING DAISIES + BLOOD-VISIONS + DAN PIGEON Wednesday September 26th The Lab, Northampton Dual tour headliners: alt-rock/emo from Wolverhampton and emo/grunge from Bristol. Plus Northampton hardcore punk and local Lo-fi/weirdo rock to…

DEARIST + PUSHING DAISIES + BLOOD-VISIONS + DAN PIGEON
Wednesday September 26th
The Lab, Northampton
Dual tour headliners: alt-rock/emo from Wolverhampton and emo/grunge from Bristol. Plus Northampton hardcore punk and local Lo-fi/weirdo rock to kick off. Doors 7pm, £5 on the door

P-HEX + ROZISM
Saturday September 29th
UFO Pavillion, Northampton
This is a clothes swap and gig for charity [Epilepsy Society and Narcolepsy UK]. Experimental indie-folk from Rozism, followed by Northampton’s funkiest funk masters P-Hex, with DJs Phil Istine and Alex Novak through til the early hours.Clothes Swapping 3- 6pm, doors for gig 8pm, £3 entry.

MATT KING MEMORIAL EVENING
Saturday September 29th
The Lab, Northampton
Following the death of Matt King last month this is a night for his loved ones to join together for a celebration of his short life and a chance to share memories. There’s an open mike policy for performances on the night. The evening will also be to raise funds with all proceeds going to mental health charities. Doors 7.30pm, pay what you like [or alternatively donate through this link]

QUO VADIS + UNITRA + SOULRIDE + LIQUID BAND
Saturday September 29th
Devonshire Club, Northampton
Legendary Polish metal band celebrate 30 years of frontline action, with blues rock and metal supports. Doors 7pm, price ?

THE RED TRIANGLE + THE MODERN AGE
Saturday September 29th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Neo-jazz soul headliners and indie rock support at the regular Retro-Beat night. Doors 8pm, free entry

CONFESSIONS OF A TRAITOR + PLACEHOLDER + MUTINY
Saturday September 29th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Metalcore from London and Southampton. Doors 7pm, £4 tickets [MOTD]

BENNETT WILSON POOLE
Saturday September 29th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Danny Wilson (Danny and the Champions of the World, Grand Drive) and Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires, Goldrush, Saint Etienne) joins forces with king of the electric twelve-string Rickenbacker Tony Poole (Starry Eyed and Laughing). Doors 8pm, free entry

JORDAN ALLEN + MONARCHS + MUNDAYS
Saturday September 29th
The White Hart, Corby
Yuk join forces with Fightback for a fundraiser show in support of the Music Venue Trust. Allen has emerged from the Manchester indie scene. Kettering alt-rock trios in support. Doors 8pm, £8.50 tickets

WISDOM OF A SPEAKER
Sunday September 30th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
An intimate afternoon of music live from subterranean surroundings of the Gari cellar. No mics, no amps, just the electricity of human voice and heart. Doors 3pm, free entry

THE VERY LAZY SUNDAYS
Sunday September 30th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Dunc and co bring a blend of slam poetry, acoustic hip-hop, three-part harmonies and catchy songs. Doors 3pm, free entry

DEL BROMHAM’S BLUES DEVILS
Sunday September 30th
The King Billy, Northampton
Bromham is singer/guitarist/songwriter from ’70s rockers Stray. Del is something of a raconteur, often telling stories relating to his career and the songs he performs. Del has just finished recording his new album White Feather. Doors 4pm, free entry

TOM LEWIS
Tuesday October 2nd
The Old White Hart, Northampton
Tom’s repertoire – from traditional shanties to songs fashioned out of his own seafaring background – recruits his audience for a voyage by turns reflective, dramatic and humorous. Born in Northern Ireland, Tom’s Celtic heritage is obvious in his clear, strong voice, evoking quiet sorrow for a fisherman lost to the sea just as honestly as it powers out a shanty “to be heard above the gales.” Doors 8pm, free entry

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Record review: Paul Weller ‘True Meanings’

PAUL WELLER True Meanings [Parlophone] He’s always been a hard worker, but still: these feel like prolific times for Weller. Working in continuous collaboration seems to fire him up, as…

PAUL WELLER
True Meanings [Parlophone]

He’s always been a hard worker, but still: these feel like prolific times for Weller. Working in continuous collaboration seems to fire him up, as this is his third album in 20 months. It’s a song from the first of those, ‘The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabe’ from his Jawbone soundtrack, which revealed a slight return to Weller’s folk balladeer side, after years of experimenting with the cutting up of rock this way and that. 

It was composing, a few years back, ‘Gravity’ – the lush, orchestrated, melancholic centre of True Meanings – that gave Weller the determination to construct an album in a far more bucolic style. ‘Gravity’ truly is a stunning, delicate 150 seconds of music, with an immaculate and precise string arrangement courtesy of decade-long sideman Andy Crofts. This sideman/woman influence is repeatedly important to this, his 14th solo album, as fairly demonstrated on bubbling opener ‘The Soul Searchers’: a modern string arrangement by the avant-garde musician Hannah Peel, multiple contributions from Villagers’ Conor O’ Brien, and an old-school Hammond solo by Rod Argent.

The album settles in well. Jazzer ‘Mayfly’ has a deft bluesy guitar solo from the former Jam guitarist Steve Brookes to enliven proceedings, whilst ‘Old Castles’ has a soul-stirring strings-assisted group arrangement that recalls his Heliocentric days back in the year 2000. ‘What Would He Say?’ is a lounge-shuffler that seems directed at the importance of keeping positive when bitterness is the easier option. It’s also the sole “The Moons track” on the album, as it unites bassist Crofts with Ben Gordelier on drums and Tom Heel on his Rhodes piano. Though the flugel horn solo means you aren’t mistaken who’s in charge!

‘Aspects’ is a serious piece of rumination, a Buddhist-like realisation of beauty/God coming from within. It’s a nod to Leonard Cohen and Cat Stevens, minor-chord patterns facing off with choral harmonies and swooping string lines. It also is, to put it bluntly, gorgeous, and worth the entry price alone. As the second half of the album begins there’s a couple of Erland Cooper [of prog-folkies Erland and the Carnival] collaborations that don’t quite hit the mark, and the album briefly drifts. Nothing to worry about though: here’s folk royalty Danny Thompson and Martin Carthy to breathe life into the ornate melody of ‘Come Along’, with Peel producing a fine Robert Kirby-style orchestral adjunction to some already heavily emotive moments in sound.

The last section of the album is a full of discovery, too. ‘Books’ adds sitar, Tampoura and Noel Gallagher on, er, pump organ to send us eastwards on a kaleidoscopic journey, whilst ‘Movin On’ has a lovely soaring vocal performance from the main man, who clearly still cares about what he has to deliver. ‘May Love Travel With You’ brings things around again: voice, guitar, and some widescreen Disney orchestration. Weller soundtracking your kids bedtime? Why not, he knows quite a bit about parenting. Closer ‘White Horses’ brings back Cooper, Argent and Gallagher for a finale that seals the deal: a fable about generosity directed at a younger audience, it’s a touching finish to an album that surprises throughout.

It was interesting to hear Weller dismiss last year’s well-received A Kind Revolution as merely “alright” in a recent issue of Mojo. Perhaps he knew how good the follow-up was going to be, and felt a moment of guilt. Maybe he was right though: whilst everyone has a different take on what the best Weller album/period is, True Meanings makes a robust case for being his best since his last 22 Dreams/Wake Up The Nation-era highpoint. Certainly there’s little doubt it will score high in many end of year polls.

Phil Istine

Live photo of Weller/Crofts by David Jackson

 

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