Category: Feature

New Music Friday: Fugues

Northampton/London electronic duo Fugues have just dropped their Merge EP. New Boots gets the lowdown How did you get together? Fugues started as Shannon and Chris O’ Conner with a piano and…

Northampton/London electronic duo Fugues have just dropped their Merge EP. New Boots gets the lowdown

How did you get together?
Fugues started as Shannon and Chris O’ Conner with a piano and voice around mid-2016. We always knew we were electronic focused, having similar interests such as Massive Attack, Hope Sandoval, Unkle, Coco Rosie, Moderat, etc. But it really developed in to what it is today when Jo Burns-Russell joined as co-producer, and we explored more techno and bass music to go with our songs. Since then Fugues has moved forward as a duo with Shannon and Jo. You can still hear Chris’s piano on the EP, but the end result has been more electronically focused. Musically we’re a blend of electronica, heavy basslines with Shannon’s ethereal vocals, and Chris’s classically influenced piano.

How would you describe your sound? The term “trip-hop” seems to be inadequate and do it a disservice.
It’s quite difficult to pin what we are doing into a genre really, which I think happens with electronic music, particularly when it’s not club-focused. There are elements of trip hop, house, glitch, techno…just interesting music. Shannon’s vocals are very poetic and meaningful, which is juxtaposed with the more electronic edge. Generally we’d say just give it a listen and see what you think!

How do you divvy up the work: do you both come up with musical and lyrical ideas?
It’s very much a joint effort. Our vocals were all recorded in a bedroom studio in Clapton, at Tobias Lawrence’s house. The piano at Chris’s home studio in Kimbolton. The other elements were created by Jo at her home in Duston, then it got married together.

Tell us about the EP.
‘Low Bass Lives’ was something Shannon came up with at a music festival and upon her move to Northampton. ‘No longer’ was written by Shannon and Jo in one night that just clicked, then Jo continued to develop it from there. ‘Smokey Red’ was another that was done in Kimbolton with piano and voice, drum and bass samples then developed by Jo over the coming months.

You’ve just started being a live band. How’s that going? Does being an electronic duo bring its own challenges?
Its definitely interesting trying to translate what is 90% computer-generated into a live show. We use Ableton with a series of controllers, Shannon plays synth and has a vocal FX unit, but luckily her vocal performance carries it. We’re investing in more synths and a drum machine soon to try and make the live experience as dynamic as we can. We’re also quite theatrical and want to bring lighting shows and projection mapping over the coming months. We want it to be an experience!

What has been your favourite Fugues moments so far?
We’re really pleased with how the final EP is sounding, at the last stages we bought in an engineer to help with the final mix down, Chris Pettifer [who is a Northants resident also]. He’s really bought what we have done to life. We played our first festival last weekend which was an incredible experience, and something we really want to do more of.

What is your burning desire to do in the future?
I think continuing to develop the show to make it an experience-led thing, with music, lights, projections etc. We are also really keen to keep the momentum going on our releases and hope to have more tracks ready by the autumn.

Merge is out now via Bandcamp. Fugues play the Wonderland Garden Party festival in September in south London

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New Music Friday: Drinsipa

Corby mathcore trio Drinsipa have just released a new single, ‘DOP’. Hear it below, along with an interview with singer/guitarist Beb Reed. How did you guys get together? Why the switch…

Corby mathcore trio Drinsipa have just released a new single, ‘DOP’. Hear it below, along with an interview with singer/guitarist Beb Reed.

How did you guys get together? Why the switch to a three-piece after so long as a duo?
Beb: Josh and I are cousins, and basically in 2013 he came down from up north to live here! And we didn’t really know any other musicians in the local area who wanted to do the same sort of stuff we wanted to do, and had no connection to the local music scene, but we enjoyed jamming and rehearsing, so we started a band with our mate Arran. We played a few gigs, and we were really in to it. We started to write some songs on our own aside from that band, and then we got a gig and had to think of a name, thus Drinsipa was born. We started getting a lot of gig offers quite soon which we’d never had before, and we haven’t really stopped since then. We just love playing gigs and being around the people involved in the music scene. We started writing some more complex and experimental songs mainly due to different influences from different bands we were listening to. Having recorded a full length album, we felt it was time to switch things up a bit. We recorded the Poppy Fields EP from home at our old flat in Poppy Fields in Kettering. We played some gigs with the new songs and we had a really good response, but felt we’d benefit from a bass player to fill some of the more chordy and harmonic parts of the songs from the EP. We had toyed with the idea of having our mate Myles come and play bass for us, so when we decided we were going to get a bass player, we instantly thought of Myles. We taught him the songs and he picked up on them really quickly. We started playing some more shows and writing some new stuff and here we are now.

How would you describe your sound?
We find it hard to describe our sound as we try to make the songs sound as non-traditional as possible. We play with a lot of time signatures and obscure song structures, mainly for a laugh and to keep it interesting not just to perform, but to play, or in some cases just to listen back to ourselves. I’d say dynamics are a big part of the sound, as we have a lot of different sounding sections in songs, so they can go from oober brutal to melodic clean within the space of 4 bars, or in our case every 1 and 3/4 bars [that’s a joke]. But if someone asks, I usually say mathcore because it’s the probably the biggest influence of ours.

What was the reaction like to your debut album 42, from 2016?
The reaction was fantastically amaze balls. The album launch show was especially good. We played at The Hut in Corby, and it went fuckin’ mental!!! We didn’t push the album as much as people thought we should have done, but in all honesty, we only do things as a band we think are fun, because we really don’t want it to turn in to a chore for us. We just appreciate that people loved what we were doing and bought our album. We still get comments about it today, and it’s really cool that people dig it. We were quite out of touch with social media back then too, but it’s a lot easier to do now we have an extra helping hand.

Tell us everything about the new single, ‘DOP’.
It’s titled after the practice studio in which it was written; shout out to the The Pod in Corby! It was the first song we wrote after the Poppy Fields EP. We were going for a more visceral, aggressive sound and with the added help of Myles we were able to work out some pretty interesting sounds. The track is full of fuzzy bass and crazy weird riffs and time sigs. It has a cool major-key riff that floats in and out of the track between the more aggressive section and really stupidly stupid heavy section at the end, which is always fun to play live.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We play with a lot of different kinds of bands in Northampton, too many to name all of them! We don’t let a difference in genre stop us from playing with bands so it’s just one big mates fest! Skirt, King Purple, Monarchs, Sarpa Salpa are just a few of our local favs!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
We just recently played The Guildhall as part of Twinfest, that was crazy! Huuuuuge hall with huge sound, had a great time! We also flew over to Germany as part of Twinfest and played some gigs over in Marburg, which was phenomenal. Probably one of the highlights our musical lives let alone the past year! We made some great friends and connections over there and it’s cool to be part of the Twinfest family.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We don’t have too many burning desires for the band. We love playing gigs and hearing feedback about our intentionally confusing music. We know it’s not for everyone, which is part of the reason we write the music we do. I think writing and recording is a big part of why we do what we do, and we like to have a physical copy of music that we have written and recorded, there’s something quite special about that. I guess we will have to see what happens, but for now it’s just a barrel o’ laughs!

DOP is out now for ‘name your price’ here

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New Music Friday: Jono & The Uke Dealers

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano]…

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano] and Jono Bell [ukulele/vocals] – have been getting rave reviews over the past few years, so New Boots were keen to get the lowdown on their past and this cracking new song.

How did you guys get together?
Originally formed by Jono & Darren, who had got together as a songwriting team and had written a pocket full of songs together. There was never any intention of getting a band together in the early days. It sort of happened organically, and like most bands we had a few line-up changes on the way, finally becoming what is now The Uke Dealers when Dayrl And Louis joined adding their songwriting talents. Both had collaborated with Darren and Jono in the past. The main motivation for the band is simply to write songs in any genre; we want to no rules. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

How would you describe your sound?
Describing our sound is a hard one so we will quote the Rev D Wayne Love of the Alabama 3 who collaborated on our debut EP on Grassroots Records. “You’re an amazing songwriting band who can’t afford guitars”.

Tell us everything about the single, both sides, ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ and ‘Beautiful Young Things’.
The A-side ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ is based on the great producers’ myth more than the actual facts, which strangely enough are themselves mythical. We had a ball recording this track with our producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Studio in Wolverhampton. Joe Meek’s innovations and inventions are still used today in recording studios. Gavin plays guitar and theremin on the track, which has been already played a few times by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music we are happy to say.
The B-side ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is a celebration of Northamptonshire’s amazing music scene and a nod to its past. It’s a old musician talking to a young musician. About the amazing natural high that live gigs give you no matter how old you are. The shared buzz that makes us all equals.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve been gigging not just here in our home town but all over the country. Our first gigs here were supporting bands such as Kings Gambit , P-Hex and The Repro Jammers. Members of the above bands we’ve known for years and are part of the extended musical family we belong to here in Northampton. Birmingham has become our second home town and we love our gigs there, often along with indie sensation Paper Buoys who share the same producer as us. A lot of our home gigs are at the usual music venues but our hearts will always remain with The Lab – an independent music venue both currently and historically. We see a lot of local musicians at our gigs and the feedback to our songs has been overwhelming. Recognition from your peers is as good as a paid gig. We often perform at The Umbrella Fair. We believe community is all we’ve really got in the end, and our gigs for them have been the most memorable. It’s lovely having two local venues that bring out the best in your music as soon as you walk through the door.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Jono getting stung by a wasp on the lip three songs before the end of a festival set and the instant morph into the singing creature from the black lagoon. Great gig by the way!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The long awaited P-Hex album, which is a funky masterpiece.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We will continue, track by track, to complete our album with Gavin. Work on new songs. Go with the flow. No rules.

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New Music Friday: Luna Rosa

Corby’s alternative, groovy, abrasive indie rockers Luna Rosa have a new single out, the polemic ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’. All money generated from the single as well as merchandise…

Corby’s alternative, groovy, abrasive indie rockers Luna Rosa have a new single out, the polemic ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’. All money generated from the single as well as merchandise sales will be going to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. You can watch the video below. New Boots speaks to the quartet to delve deep.

How did you guys get together?
Rory: This line-up [Rory McDade (guitar/vox), Aidan Furey (guitar), Charlie Thorneycroft (bass)] got together around Christmas 2017 and then Jack Connolly joined us on drums a couple months ago. We all met at a local community centre, in a class on origami. Mr. Binley who ran the class sat us all together and we just got to talking. We were shit at origami so soon dropped that and got on with the music instead.

How would you describe your sound?
Rory: It can be quite brash and raucous at times but with quiet and more tender moments. We try to make each song stand on its own, so we try to make them sonically different whilst still keeping the same attitude and feel. Its hard to pigeonhole it yourself. Maybe ‘Speedfreak punkadelia’, that sounds good.

Who are your main influences in music?
Aidan: John Squires’ left hand
Jack: Foals to Stereophonics
Charlie: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Causa Sui
Rory: James Brown’s funky chicken move

Tell us everything about the new single ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’.
Rory: Its sad to say that the song pretty much wrote itself over the course of two days. I’d read an article about life before the NHS and one of the quotes was “Hunger, Filth, Fear And Death”. The next day I was driving to Nottingham, the news came on about the fire at Grenfell Tower and by the time I got to Nottingham it was pretty much all over, in a flash all these lives had been lost and there was nothing anyone could do about it. It was surreal and truly awful. I stood with my friends just in silence and shock really. It could’ve happened anywhere to anyone. That night I watched a doc about a nurse who was living out of food banks and just struggling everyday whilst she worked as hard as she could to help people, and this similar quote popped up again – “Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death”. I think it all just hurt too much, knowing that living in a country that’s supposed to be further evolved still suffers because the facts remain the same: the state stays in control and gets rich no matter the consequence. It was actually recorded last year but with a few change ups we did it again this year at The Lodge Studios in Northampton with Colde & Loveless behind the desk. I think they knew the significance of the song and, like always, really got behind us.

A great gesture to give the proceeds to the Grenfell fund. Why make that decision?
Rory: We feel that this song hits on a few sensitive subjects with everything that’s happened and is going on in the UK at the minute. We didn’t think it’d be right to sing about these things and try to gain from them. It’d be like making money off of someone’s pain. We’re under no illusion that we can change whats happened or give the victims what they need, as I don’t think anyone will ever be able to. But if we can bring people together by showing our support at the time of the Grenfell Inquiry it may help and keep peoples attention on the matter.

What are your live shows like? Is it really true you’ve done 300 shows since 2015?
Rory: It’s just over the 250 mark I think. When our EP came out in 2015 we were doing 3-4 shows a week. Playing anywhere that would have us! Our shows are just full on; all the songs are played with an intensity because that’s just how they should be played. They’ve been known to get a bit rowdy, leading to us being barred from a few places, but I don’t think that’s our fault – too many nutcases follow us about! We’re quite calm zen people…

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Rory: Yeah I think Corby & Northampton have scenes that are getting much better. We always try and play with similar bands from around the way. There’s far too many acts to mention, there’s far more to the local music scene than people realise. So much good stuff out there. We love playing Corby obviously, The White Hart is always good to us. We played The Angel in Nottingham the other week and that was a nice venue.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year or so?
Rory: We played Dot to Dot and that was pretty fun, but it’s probably – and probably always will be – coming home and playing Corby to a crowd that know the songs. It always feels good. And then after just getting to go out with all your mates. We did break down on the motorway for 10 hours after Jack’s first gig with us, drank some dodgy water and things got weird. Wouldn’t say it was a favourite moment, but I doubt we’ll forget it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Aidan: DMA’s For Now
Charlie: Muddy Waters  Before The Rain
Jack: War On Drugs  A Deeper Understanding
Rory: Ray Charles I’m All Yours Baby

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Just to keep going, hopefully play bigger and better shows, record and release better songs. There will be another single coming in October, and then we plan to release a new EP by the end of the year – and we have a few things up our sleeve for that, touring wise. Just ride it like you stole it till the wheels fall off, no other real way to do it!

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New Music Friday: S.G. Wolfgang

An MK-based band with Northampton heritage, S.G. Wolfgang have been planting twisted blues seeds since 2014. The four malcontents are led by the eponymous Sean Grant, who New Boots spoke…

An MK-based band with Northampton heritage, S.G. Wolfgang have been planting twisted blues seeds since 2014. The four malcontents are led by the eponymous Sean Grant, who New Boots spoke to about new single ‘Souls Out’.

How did the band get together?
Myself and Fiske [guitarist] are both born and bred Northamptonians, born in our very own Northampton General Hospital. I grew up in the little village of Sywell, and Fiske the not so little village of Parklands. We both got jobs in the bright lights of Milton Keynes so we relocated together, renting our first place. Romantic really. Myself and Fiske have played in various guises over the years. S.G. Wolfgang begun after many of these years of experimentation when I just sat down with a guitar and decided to write some simple songs to go out and play myself in local pubs. It grew from there. Fiske was the first addition: he’s the left hand, I’m the right. Phil, our multi-instrumentally talented organ grinder, was added, and Matty is the third drummer but was always the guy we wanted. If you haven’t seen him drum live I’d highly reccomend it, he’s incredible.

How would you describe your sound?
Queens of the Nick Cave Turners

Who are your main influences in music?
It’s so vast. Fiske has a huge vinyl collection, I DJ everything and anything, Phil likes real intricate instrumental stuff and Matty is the Spotify find king. Deeply routed in the band is Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Queens of the Stone Age with a song smithery edge. My favourite album of last was Idles Brutalism. It really is a gem; the tenacity of the delivery and political slant at a time last year with a disillusioned country.

How did you hook up with Fierce Panda? How do you look back on the 7 Deadly 7 EP now?
Fondly. This EP was a real turning point for us, it felt like we’d reached our sound and feel, recording it at Konk Studios [London studio owned by Ray Davies] too, with Guy Massey producing was an incredible experience. We ended up supporting one of the Fierce Pandas bands at the 100 Club. Mr Simon “Panda” Williams was there and we began a dialogue which later turned into a relationship, which again was a dream after buying Fierce Panda releases as a music fan to being signed to the label ourselves.

Tell us everything about ‘Souls Out’.
It’s a punchy little number, and that’s we wanted for a first single back. Songwriting for me is my form of release / therapy so the songs are very much true to how I feel inside when writing. Before, during and after the writing and recording of this album I went through a tough time dealing with depression and made a lot of changes in my life and learnt a lot about myself. ‘Souls Out’ is the end of the rope: nowhere else to go, exposed to the world, what you are and who you are. I think the instrumentation represents this too with the eerie jerky riff churning its way through the majority of the song.

What are your live shows like?
Miserably fun. I wish I wrote more happy upbeat music that people could get down to! The live setup is a huge sound, Matty is an incredible hard hitting drummer, Fiske is the “octavepus” and Phil has so many cables and pedals and keyboards, which he runs all into a bass amp and a Micro Korg into the PA – which changes up a regular sound somewhat. I think we come across heavier live than we do on record, we certainly class ourselves as a live band.

Are you part of a scene in MK, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands to play with?
We certainly are. Our local venue is The Craufurd Arms which is an incredible venue run by some great guys. I DJ there too. There’s some great bands about. Not a lot doing what we’re doing but there’s Dan Stock recently signed to Heavenly, personal faves Our Man In The Bronze Age, although they’re heavier, but the Craufurd is the hub for it all. It’s great to have a place like that in the area; like-minded people and friends alike.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
The first single finally coming out! It had been such a long process, and it popped into the iTunes Alt chart again which was nice to see people still downloading it / streaming it, however that dark magic works these days.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ah so much. I’m a sponge for new music, all kinds of genres too. I’ve been playing Childish Gambino ‘This Is America’ on repeat. So good: the message behind it, breaking musical boundaries, the video too. Super super cool.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m looking forward to having our debut album out end of this year, and I’m looking forward to playing some shows in support of this. I’d love for it to be successful enough for us to make another one, that’s all I want: not much, just to be able to keep creating and pushing out some music that we really love.

Souls Out is available via The Shipping Forecast. Album The Shadows are Lengthening will be released in October. They play the Grey Dog Festival at Roadmender August 18th

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New Music Friday: Wishing Wolf

Kettering emo rockers Wishing Wolf have a new single with accompanying video out, entitled ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’. The five-piece – Danny Ray Holmes on vocals, Ben Essam and…

Kettering emo rockers Wishing Wolf have a new single with accompanying video out, entitled ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’. The five-piece – Danny Ray Holmes on vocals, Ben Essam and Kyle on guitar, Jazza Wallace on bass and James Angelo Moodie on drums – have been tearing up the local hardcore scene these past couple of years. It was time New Boots got the lowdown.

How did you get together?
Danny: We got together early 2017. Wishing Wolf was originally just me and a few acoustic tracks that I threw together, and while I loved doing that, I wanted to take it in a new direction with more energy, I was listening to a lot of pop punk at the time, and really wanted to throw my own take on it. So I asked Moodie, Jazza and at the time Skye to join, who were all happy to jump on. Moodie then introduced me to Kyle, and he jumped on too. After a few member changes we now have Bessie on lead guitar, and Kyle on rhythm after leaving for a short time.

How would you describe your sound?
Bessie: We take a lot of inspiration for a whole multitude of artists and I think that is reflected in our sound. I don’t think there is a single genre we fit into. We speak amongst ourselves about it and people ask us at shows, ‘what genre are Wishing Wolf?’, and we just say ‘our own’.

Who would you say are your main influences?
Danny: We’re influenced by a lot of different bands, being that all of us listen to a diverse range of music. Most of the songs start from me and the guys add in the their own touches at the end. Our most obvious ones are the older post-hardcore/emo bands such as The Used, My Chemical Romance, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, as well as newer bands like Neck Deep and State Champs. There’s a lot of lead parts as well, since most of us have come from metal bands in the past, and I’m also really into the orchestral sounds of music, like strings and pianos, that I like to throw in too.

What was the reaction like to last year’s ‘True Eyes’ EP?
Moodie: We felt that even though we didn’t have much of a following at the time we did have quite a few positive reactions from various people, whether that was from people buying our EP, or just leaving good reviews for us. On the build up to the release we were all quite anxious about whether people would actually enjoy the music we created. However our current rhythm guitarist Kyle wasn’t in the band when the EP was released but was still good mates with us all. So it was helpful to have someone on the other side. As for the feedback from social media it was nice too hear that people really enjoyed it, as well as others giving constructive criticism on certain things the audience would like too hear/see.

Tell us about the new single.
Moodie: We were all nervous and excited about it. The EP had a mixture of different sounds and ‘As Long As You’re Here Tonight’ was the first song we’ve released with much more of an established sound. We decided to go further in the direction of emo rather than the pop punk songs from the EP. From the get go we were nervous about people’s reactions. Thankfully people gave us some great feedback! The reaction was overwhelming and overall made us very proud of the release. We felt this song was the first one to really put us out there and getting gigs and interviews like this off of the back of it only continued the good vibes.

What are your live shows like?
Kyle: We certainly aim to keep a nice balance with our live show, of course as musicians it’s important for us to play to the best of our ability, however as fans it’s important for us to put on a great show. We put a lot of energy into our live show and that’s because we love doing it. We take a lot of inspiration from some of the classic bands of the genre in terms of both music and stage presence – Paramore, My Chemical Romance, The Used – as well as new bands in the scene such as State Champs and Neck Deep.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Jazza: We would say we are part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, although we think we have a unique sound from other pop punk/emo bands from around here. We are very close with a select few local bands including Last Chance and The Young and Restless; we love to play shows with those guys. So far we’ve been lucky enough to work with a few local promoters as well including Metal Wave Promotions, Rocked Up and HOP Events. We also love putting our own shows on: choosing who we want to play with and helping out some of the smaller local bands that are just starting out, for example PT-33, who killed it on their first ever gig!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Danny: It’s hard for us to really say. Just the joy of jamming together at practice and gigs, and just generally hanging out is the best part of being in a band. It’s essentially a second family when you’ve got the right chemistry. Releasing the music that we’ve got and playing all the shows we have up to this point is probably the most exciting things we’ve done, but we love just being a part of Wishing Wolf all the same.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Kyle: My Chemical Romance The Black Parade
Jazza: I Prevail Lifelines
Moodie: Panic! At the Disco A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Bessie: Polyphia Renaissance
Danny: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Don’t You Fake It

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Jazza: Play as many shows as we can and try to build a bigger fan base. We’d love to have the chance to play festivals in the future and have fans show up to our set and sing along with us. We’re also looking forward to bringing out a full album, so we would love to have the chance to make a tour or mini tour out of it when released.

As Long As You’re Here Tonight is out now via the usual platforms

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New Music Friday: Loose Tooth

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua…

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and
Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua Goff-directed video below, after reading this here interview about all the Loose things.

How/why/what/when did the project begin?
Adam: Loose Tooth began two and a half years ago. We’d all just come from bands that had drained us emotionally and needed something a little more honest and cathartic. We had started with no clear intentions, just hung out and wrote some music together. At first we were considering getting a singer but we were too tight-knit to add another member. We hope that desire for honesty comes through in the music.

How would you describe your sound?
Oli: We’re a rock band, there’s certain connotations that come with that we try to avoid when writing. We’re not trying to take the path of least resistance when writing, we push our abilities to come up with something that is hopefully interesting and different, whether that be off-kilter time signatures, chord progressions or scales. There’s a certain amount of depth invested with our writing style that we hope translates into music that interests and excites.

Who are your main influences? Musical and non-musical
Josh: I’ve got a bunch, musical influences include: And So I Watch You from Afar, Reuben, 65daysofstatic, Every Time I Die, Toe, The Cure, Father John Misty, Dillinger Escape Plan, Alkaline Trio, Interpol, Crowded House, Nine Inch Nails. Non-musical thinkers that inspire me are Henry Rollins and David Attenborough.
Oli: As a lyricist I always tried to follow the Martin Gore [Depeche Mode] school of thought, but found it to be disingenuous to myself. Since then I’ve taken to a more ‘kitchen sink’ lyrical style in the vein of Jamie Lenman, who is also a big musical influence.
Adam: My musical influences would be Story Of The Year, From First To Last, Underoath, Reuben and Every Time I Die. My non-musical inspiration would be my dad.

What’s the reaction been like to last year’s self-titled mini-album?
Josh: Really great; people are still discovering it and enjoying it. From the reactions we’ve had people seemed to enjoy the honesty. We left a lot of mistakes in and recorded it having not long written and learned the songs, so it came out quite raw I think. Nowadays with a lot of rock music having a serious level of sheen some listeners enjoyed something a bit grittier than usual.

Tell us about ‘Castles’.
Oli: ‘Castles’ is a really simple song: the chord progression churned around in my brain for a while, and that’s why most of the song is those four chords. I felt the lyrics should speak for themselves, so we took a stripped back approach and left all of the craziness for another day. It’s about the frustrations of modern working life, with external pressures to live a middle class existence, despite the fact the middle class has eroded. The ‘castles held up in the sky’ are just a mortgage, or they’re a yearly holiday, something the average low income worker may feel is out of their grasp. Not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder – why should they be denied a more comfortable life? We recorded the track with Jay Russell again at Parlour Studios. It’s super comfortable with Jay; he understands our weirdness and he’s a complete pro. The video we shot with Joshua Goff and it was done at at our Josh’s work yard where we rehearse weekly. We built the set and Joshua lit it wonderfully.

Is your record label – Undead Collective – and its roster a tight-knit community?
Adam: Undead Collective is a great group of people, we’re in contact most days and their support and advice beyond the remit of label responsibilities has been amazing. Currently there’s only three bands on the roster. We’re yet to meet the newest additions Seasonal, but we’ve chatted online and they’re great guys.

Would you consider your local scene something to be proud of? On the flipside, what’s your biggest frustration with it all?
Oli: Northampton is rich with talented musicians, the scene is definitely one to be proud of. Northampton can be grey and that can be oppressive, but go to The Lab, The Garibaldi or The Black Prince on a Friday night and you’ve got a few hours away from the desolation. I think our frustrations are more with ourselves rather than the scene, this goes for anywhere. Inclusion to scenes is always reliant on being charismatic and outgoing. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to us, so we try to be as personable as possible when networking but we’re quiet by nature. That doesn’t always endear yourself to people and ultimately that’s as important as putting on a killer show.

What has been your favourite band moment so far?
Oli: Probably just how many gigs we played last year. We just hired vans and shot off. It was a dream come true for me to finally feel like I was in a touring, hard-working band.
Josh: Everything about being in this band, but mainly writing and recording.
Adam: Playing a show in a rehearsal room in Wales.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Oli: Arc by Everything Everything
Josh: Braille by Palm Reader
Adam: Logic by Bobby Tarantino

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What solid plans do you have?
Oli: Our burning desire is to one day be able to turn up anywhere in the UK and play to a guaranteed 50 or so people. That’s enough for us. Now ‘Castles’ is out we’ll be thinking about the next single, we’ve got a lot to do until then but we’re excited about the future. For now though it’s all coming up Loose Tooth.

Castles is out now via the usual platforms

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New Music Friday: Lunaxis

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots…

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots caught up with Loasby for the lowdown.

How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
This is a question we always struggle to answer! We like to think our music is perfect for big festivals – hence us overusing the phrase ‘festival sound’! Because of all our different influences, we are a mash up of indie-pop, blues, folk and country. We love big vocals with lots of harmonies, and memorable bluesy guitar solos.

Who are your main influences?
As mentioned, we all have our own individual tastes in music. Lunaxis as a whole are influenced by artists such as Arcade Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Lucius and Lorde when it comes to creating the large festival feel we are all about. I am very much into lyrical giants like Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman and Patti Smith. I enjoy telling a story and using personal experiences as inspiration.

Tell us about the What Good Is Their Love EP.
The EP is a story based on the stages of being the victim of narcissistic abuse in a relationship. It begins with the track ‘Big Love’, which is all about falling very quickly, and deeply in love, so much so that you believe you wouldn’t be anything without that person. As the EP progresses, it reveals more about the reality of that feeling, and how vulnerable it can make you. It describes how the mask slowly slips from the romantic partner, and how the victim keeps trying to put it back into place. Eventually, something so catastrophic happens that there is no coming back from it. The EP ends with the title track, ‘What Good is Their Love’, which is all about the epiphany of realising the person you love is only ever going to keep you in a circle of toxicity. The last poignant lyric is “the only way to win this game is not to play”.

What are your live shows like? Any favourite places to play?
Our live shows are awesome! We have a great time on stage and gel really well with each other. As a new band we are currently building our name in the Northamptonshire area, and are looking to expand from there. There are a few smaller venues we have coming up over the next month, but now it’s festival season. The next festival we have is actually my favourite local event of the year, which is Woodfest at Irchester Country Park. We will be playing on the main stage on Saturday August 12th.

What has been your favourite band moment of this first year?
This has to be at our EP launch [last week] when we finished the set. The crowd cheered and rushed to the stage to buy CDs, it was manic! After six months of hard work with the EP it was such a great feeling to see the positive response we had. It was by far one of our favourite band moments!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Howlin’ Wolf – The Absolutely Essential

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want to carry on making great, authentic music. The big dream is to eventually to be playing alongside our hero’s at all the big festivals. Headlining Glastonbury maybe?! Until then we will be putting in the hard work to perfect our art, and focus on getting our name out there. We believe in Lunaxis, and are looking forward to the future!

What Good is Their Love is out now: stream/buy from the usual platforms, or purchase a CD from the band at a show.

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New Music Friday: Sarpa Salpa

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa have been slaying the Midlands with their infectious party indie anthems for the past two years, and celebrate another milestone today with the release of their…

Northampton quartet Sarpa Salpa have been slaying the Midlands with their infectious party indie anthems for the past two years, and celebrate another milestone today with the release of their third single, ‘Circuits’. New Boots asked them all about it, and about the whirlwind build-up.

Can you give us a quick run down of how and why and where you got together?
Ethan: Well Marcus & George had previously played together in another band, so they started Sarpa as a new project with a new sound/image to their previous outing. Then they snared Charlie shortly after a chat at a pub one day. I had met George through a very short lived band/project that I think that did two practices and one meal out before it fell apart. Then a month or two later saw him looking for a bassist again, I drop him a message and here we are! This was all around the last month or two of 2015.

In case there’s anyone left who doesn’t know SS, can you briefly sum yourselves up in a nice soundbite? Or whats maybe better is what’s the best way you’ve seen yourself described in publicity material…?
Marcus: That’s such a hard question, one we always have trouble answering, I think the answer is Indie Pop! Or pop? Or alternative pop? We don’t know!! People say all sorts, we have been told we remind people of Sticky Fingers, Kasabian & Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I don’t even like some of those bands… I even once was told ‘Craig David’? So we just don’t know anymore! In summary: we are four guys trying to not write songs that sound the same as each other, and as different as other musicians music as possible! If you want to find out what that sounds like, come and hear it for yourself .

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for you. Personal highlight please.
Charlie: There have been so many amazing moments we’ve all shared as a band, but our recent trip to MaNo Festival in Germany definitely stands out for me! The love we were shown over in Marburg was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, although with the amount of beer we all washed down, I’m honestly surprised we remember a thing!

‘She Never Lies’ was a real moment for you. Is that single release last autumn when it all began to click for you, or has something else felt more significant?
George: ‘She Never Lies’ was definitely a stand out moment for us, It feels like a turning point for the band. Although we had been a band for a little while when we recorded it, it was a bit of a new beginning for us. We’d just got a manager and started recording with a new producer so it kind of felt like the beginning of Sarpa Salpa. We still have a long way to go though and a lot more we all want to achieve

Tell us about ‘Circuits’.
Marcus: ‘Circuits’ got its name from thinking about how humans are wired up. ‘Circuits’ is a mash up of a cry for help from addiction, and a change in character in relationships! The classic combo!! I wrote the lyrics when I was literally hiding by the bin area in work smoking a cigarette, hiding from people who care for me and wouldn’t want to see me doing that or knowing I do it! In that moment I almost looked at myself and thought “what am I doing?” It all became so pathetic, hiding alone in a stinking pen of beer bottles and soggy cardboard just so I can breath in some burnt leaves? So I wrote the first line, and like my anger, the lyrics just kept flowing out of me. “And again and again and again and again and again and again” I remember standing typing that and the repetitive tapping of the same keys over and over very much summed up the relentless rut I was in!
The chorus very much sums up relationships from a brief gaze; people sometimes try and change their partners, for selfish reasons, for good reasons, whatever the reason, there may not even be a reason. People can just sometimes morph into new people over time, new interests, new hobbies, change of politics or fashion! The chorus is just one large chant of uncertainty, disguised in confidence! “Something has changed, and I think it’s you.” Or is it me? Later in the song the lyrics develop into “I think it’s me”.
I took these separately written concepts to a rehearsal one evening. Upon my arrival George said “I’ve got a new riff”. It all took shape very quickly, especially when the bass and drums teamed up, the words were no longer just text on a screen, they were melodies flying around in my head! Circuits was born

You filled the small room at the Roadmender twice in 6 months. What’s the formula, that you might want to share, for making this happen? “Be nice guys with sweet tunes and great management” would be our guess…
Ethan: I think it’s a combination of a few things. Firstly our sound is quite pop-orientated. so it’s easy to bob along to. We also have been lucky to meet some great bands, who very kindly played with us! I also like to think that we put on a good little show these days. Because of the amount of gigs we have done it really has started to come quite naturally to us now, and we can enjoy it a little more instead of worrying about remembering the parts. If the band are having fun there is a good chance the audience will do too.
And as you mentioned since we picked up our manager Kev in August last year he’s really helped push us and keep us focused. He’s always the first to give us honest criticism and point out things we could improve! He also introduced us to our producer Faz, who really helped nail the sounds and idea’s we had in our head! So I guess I would say it’s a mixture of luck and a tonne of hard luck at the end of the day. But always be nice to people, that goes without saying!

You play lots of shows, all across the Midlands. What’s your favourite place to play outside of Northants?
Marcus: I do like The Horn in St. Albans, that’s got a really nice PA system and always sounds crisp! And also Club 85 in Hitchin – there are these great, gigantic, colourful, glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling above the stage and I think that’s awesome when you have the crowd in front of you and space above your head! Of course Esquires in Bedford, that has become a second home to us in recent months! Also any festival stage! The feel of that plasticity wooden-ish material gets me so excited! SUMMER TIME SHOWS!! Except for recently at a festival when the stage was so wonky it looked like a ship mid-sinking, that show was cancelled funny enough!! Haha.

Best and worst thing about your own scene here in ShoeTown.
Charlie: The best thing about our ShoeTown scene has to be all of the people who attend local shows, and spread the word about small bands to their friends and families! The worst thing about our ShoeTown scene is the lack of venues that are playable for local bands, it just seems to be the same gigs at the same 3 venues every week!

What are you grooving to currently? 
Charlie: I’ve been really in to Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest album Sex and Food, it’s one of those albums that you find yourself listening to 4 to 5 times a day! George has recently introduced me to a band called Porches also, and they have become my synth-caked guilty pleasure.

You’ve got Twinfest coming up, but what else can we expect from the second half of 2018?
George: We’re hoping to be putting out another new single and potentially an EP at the end of the year. We’re also playing a whole bunch of cool festivals like Rocked Up Hootenanny, so there’s a lot to look forward to!

Circuits is out today from the usual digital platforms

Sarpa Salpa selected live dates
June 22nd – The Lab, Northampton
June 23rd – The Music Barn Festival, Kettering
July 6th – Daxtonbury Festival, Podington
July 26th – The Guildhall, Northampton [Twinfest]
August 11th –  Woodfest, Irchester Country Park
September 8th – Rocked Up Hootenany, Rockingham

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New Music Friday: Family Of Noise

Corby instrumental post-punk types Family Of Noise have a mini-LP/EP entitled II out now. New Boots spoke at length to the trio – Jim Holland [guitar], Andy Holland [bass] and Darren Starmer [drums]…

Corby instrumental post-punk types Family Of Noise have a mini-LP/EP entitled II out now. New Boots spoke at length to the trio – Jim Holland [guitar], Andy Holland [bass] and Darren Starmer [drums] – about the bands history and the EP release.

How/why/what/when did you guys get together?
Andy: We need to turn the clock right back to 1992 to get to the genesis of the band, when myself and James Brennan (original drummer) had been playing together in another band: The Gift. After a couple of months, however, the band split, but we continued jamming together, honing some ideas I had been dabbling with myself. Having put together the rhythm parts of a few tunes, there was only one person in mind to play guitar and that was my brother and James’ ex-band mate (in Obscurity), Jim Holland. So in mid-1993 Family Of Noise (named after the Adam and the Ants song from their debut album Dirk Wears White Sox) were formed. Over the next few years we played a relatively small number of [mainly local] gigs and without officially splitting up, played our last gig in the summer of 1996.
Leap forward to the late noughties and the itch to play again nagged at me. By this time though James had moved out of the country, so the tub-thumping duties were offered to a good pal, Darren Starmer, who duly accepted.
Darren: In a heartbeat!
Andy: For a couple of years after, we jammed the original FON tunes now and then, but no real plans were ever put in place to actually play live again.
Jim: Don’t forget the time we considered doing covers.
Darren: god forbid…
Andy: We were at a memorial for a friend who had passed away in late 2012 when it was suggested (in an alcohol induced reverie, no doubt) that we should be playing again, so we made the decision there and then that it was time to get back in the rehearsal room and set our sights on playing live.
Darren: Give or take a month or two.
Andy: Yeah, it’s safe to say that we got off to a slow start, but something suddenly clicked and we were all buying new gear and chomping at the bit to play again.
Jim: Our first gig was at a friend’s birthday party in April 2013. The rest as they say, is history.

How would you describe your sound?
Darren: psychedelic post-punk
Andy: That translates as a strong rhythm section with the guitar snaking through its guts with phasers set to stunning 😉
Jim: We do get a lot of references to psychedelic bands, mainly due (we believe) to the use of phaser. But it’s great that different people hear different things in our sound.
Andy: That’s one of the benefits of being instrumental; people listen to the music instead of singing along with the front man’s musings.

Who are your musical touchstones?
Jim: Those stalwarts of the post-punk era: Bauhaus, Killing Joke, New Model Army, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Southern Death Cult, Theatre of Hate and The Stranglers, to name but a few.
Andy: If anyone says to us that they can hear the influence of those bands in our sound, we accept it with a big smile. We don’t mind that our influences are clearly worn on our sleeves.
Darren: I came from a more metal background, so it often made me chuckle when they would dissect a tune, explaining the inspiration for each section. For me the local scene and just wanting to play was a major influence.
Andy: And me chanting ‘more toms and more flams’ I hope that’s an influence..?

What prompted the decision to bypass vocals when you began? Was that a common or unusual scenario at that time?
Andy: It was never our intention to be instrumental. In fact, at our first ever gig (in Channel 2 in Corby in ’93) we had a mannequin at the front of the stage with a ‘Situation Vacant’ sign around its neck. We did try out with a couple of singers too (Darren being one of them), but things didn’t work out and as we had played the tunes instrumentally for so long, we decided to go with it, full time.
Darren: I got in eventually.
Jim: I don’t remember there being any instrumental bands on the scene back then. With only a couple now for that matter. Locally anyway.
Andy: It certainly seems to be an unusual and uncommon scenario today, given the number of times we are told we need a singer, but suffice to say, since the reformation, vocals have never been a consideration.

Tell us everything about the ‘II’ release.
Andy: The product of a Rose of the Shires endeavour, having been recorded and mixed in various locations within Corby and Kettering and the CDs printed and duplicated by local company [Demomaster.co.uk]. Engineered by local musician and long mover, Lee Freer, it was a long time in the making because we were attacking it as and when we were all free at weekends, but we feel the wait was worth it. For the moment it’s only available on CD, with the first 50 being numbered and including an extra track, written and recorded specifically for the release.
Darren: With all 50 copies having now been all been sold!
Andy: Indeed, we’re really chuffed about that. Although at seven tracks long on the standard release, it could be argued that this constitutes a mini album, we’ve continued with the EP moniker. Purely for consistency more than anything really. We’ve tried to order the tracks to mimic one of our gig set lists, so hopefully, those that have seen us live get a feel of being there when they listen and those that haven’t are encouraged to change that fact as quickly as possible. We plan to make it available to download directly from our website at some point, with Spotify and iTunes and the like a little way off again.

What are your live shows like?
Darren: Sweaty and loud!
Andy: We’re in that weird position now where because we have a healthy collection of tunes under our belts and on average only 35 minutes to play, it becomes a bit of a head-scratcher putting a set list together for a gig. We have some staples that are generally always included, but we like to mix things up to keep it fresh for ourselves as well as the good folk coming to see us.
Jim: Especially the opener. Sometimes we like to ease the crowd (and ourselves) into a gig and start with a track with a moderate tempo, then on other occasions, just light the touch paper and go.
Darren: Sometimes starting a little too fast that I’m praying for that slow(er) track to come round in the set.
Andy: With our recent and future summer gigs, we’ve been including as many of the tracks that appear on the EP that time will permit. Where possible we try to use a projected video backdrop, so that what we are playing becomes a soundtrack to all kinds of weird and wonderful imagery. But when that’s not available we rely on Jim to keep the audience entranced with his impish twists and turns as he grinds out each tune.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Corby and Northamptonshire? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Andy: Ask any band from this town what their favourite venue is/was and I’m sure 99% of them will say the Zombie Hut. It was a proper venue and the chaps running it were always committed to giving you the band and the audience the best gig possible. Sadly, that’s all gone now, but Chris at the White Hart in Corby is doing his darnedest to give the town a great little venue again and certainly succeeding.
Darren: We’re forever grateful for any venue and/or promoter asking us to play, or accepting our request to play, so they all become favourites for different reasons.
Jim: We’ve played a few times with the likes of Thee Telepaths, The Bophins and Veins – all local to Northamptonshire and always a pleasure to play with.
Andy: Both as punters to watch them and as a band, as we know we won’t get any nonsense with things like big egos, or tedious interminable soundchecking. A great bunch of chaps.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Darren: Scotland, playing with Lizzie and the Banshees & The Media Whores last September.
Andy: Indeed! The month had started with a Scottish flavour having played our 100th gig as support to Edinburgh’s finest: The Filthy Tongues – which was great enough, to say the least. However it continued when we were invited to play with Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band, Lizzie and the Banshees in their hometown of Bathgate at the end of the month too. On the lead up to the gig we were chatting to the aforementioned Media Whores’ manager, lamenting the fact that we had missed the opportunity to play alongside them in June at a great little independent Punk festival in Lancaster: Punk ‘n’ Disorderly, so he asked that if they put a gig on, would we be interested in supporting them?
Jim: Needless to say the answer was yes.
Andy: So flash forward to the end of the month, we played our support to LATB at the Dreadnought in Bathgate, which was a belter, both for us as punters and a band! A cracking little venue, great crowd and a most entertaining evening. Incredibly hung over the next morning, we made the trek to Bridge of Allan. Now what we weren’t fully aware of until a couple of days before the gig was that we were going to be the opening band for the night’s proceedings and that we were to be on stage at 7:30 in the evening. Having been witness to opening acts going on an hour / an hour and a half later than that and seeing the venue fill up during their set, but with most of the audience missing it, we had visions of us playing to the bar staff only. However, by 7:15 the venue was teaming with an audience who really made every minute of the 15 hours we spent in a car that weekend worthwhile.
Darren: As much as we enjoyed the night before in Bathgate, it had to be said that most of the crowd there were on a nostalgia trip, eager to relive the sights and sounds of Siouxsie, but with the Bridge of Allan gig what we had was an amazing crowd of people supporting live, original music, and all from 7:30 in the evening!
Jim: Even after the gig too, it was easier to count those who didn’t come up to us to say how much they enjoyed the set.
Andy: The lore of Scottish crowds being the best was certainly enforced that night.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Darren: Belly Dove
Jim: Love and Rockets  Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Andy: A Perfect Circle Eat The Elephant

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Andy: Ultimately it’s all about playing live for us, so the desire is for those gig opportunities to keep coming in.
Darren: Bigger venues with bigger bands would be the icing on the cake.
Andy: And maybe someone on board to be dealing with that side of things, so we can be left to concentrate on writing more.
Darren: Hey, maybe even a tour.
Jim: I think a tour would break us.
Darren: Maybe a tour split over a series of weekends, over a series of months. Our old bones could cope with that.
Andy: We have a fairly busy summer of gigs with us making a racket at some local festivals, among them – Steelfest in Corby on the 23rd of June, where we’ll be in the Alt Corner Tent and Tannerfest in Loddington on the weekend of the 6th / 7th of July where we’ll be headlining the Wildfire Stage on the Saturday night. July sees us play the Sixfields Rock Festival in Northampton on the 22nd and then a return to Lancaster for this year’s Punk ‘n’ Disorderly, which is now in its 7th year on the 28th.
Jim: We also have another eight tracks recorded at Pennington Street Studios, which we’ll be going back to very soon to mix down for another EP release for later in the year, or early next.

EPII is currently available on CD from Family Of Noise gigs, or can be ordered from their website:

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