Category: Feature

New Music Friday: Joe Miles

Northampton resident Joe Miles grew up in Milton Keynes, and lived in Olney for a number of years. The youngest grandson of British jazz legend, Terry Lightfoot, he spent his…

Northampton resident Joe Miles grew up in Milton Keynes, and lived in Olney for a number of years. The youngest grandson of British jazz legend, Terry Lightfoot, he spent his childhood ‘growing up’ in the wings of theatres and music festivals. Miles has self-released five EPs, and toured with the likes of Shane Filan. After a break he’s back with new single ‘Change Your Mind’. New Boots went in search of answers.

How  did you first get the musical bug and begin to play, and then later write?
I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life, growing up watching my Granddad [Terry Lightfoot] & Mum [Melinda Lightfoot] play theatres all across the UK when I was a child. It’s the only thing I’d say I’m naturally best at amongst all the things I do in my life. I love playing guitar, and singing. It’s a release for me. I just like to entertain people, and always have. I’d say from the first time I heard the intro to John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ I thought ‘I want to play that’. The first songs I heard that inspired me to play guitar and sing how I do were: ‘Gravity’, ‘Waiting On the World to Change’ and ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’, all by John Mayer.
I’ve always been singing in the car, whether that be to a Wham song on cassette in my Mums old VW Golf when I was little, to even now. I’m self-taught at guitar, starting at the age of 13, when I borrowed a 3/4 size classical guitar from my brothers’ friend. I didn’t realise doing it for a living was what I wanted to do until I was three months into my mechanics course at college, were I quickly learned mechanics wasn’t really for me. A month later, in January 2013, I performed at my first open mic, at Ken’s Diner. It was only in the March of that year my Grandad passed away. I was due to perform at a memorial concert for him and I wanted to be able to sing a song that I could really connect to lyrically. Not knowing how to write, I looked up the songwriters of some of my favourite tunes. I contacted Amy Wadge to write a song for me about him. Since then I’ve been co-writing with some incredibly talented writers, as well as writing songs by myself.
The first time I actually performed in public was as a surprise for my Dad at his 50th Birthday, back in 2010 (sorry Dad!). I learnt ‘Why Georgia’ by John Mayer, and joined my brothers band [at the time] on stage and performed for him.

Who are your main influences?
Musically it’s John Mayer, Allen Stone, Jamie Cullum & Maroon 5. But as far as production, I’d say Kwabs, The 1975, Tom Misch & Sam Smith.

You started out very young and had five EPs out by your 21st birthday. Then came this break from public view of almost three years. What have you been up to since we last saw you?
I have done a lot of thinking as to who I want to be and how I’d like to be perceived by music lovers. I got my heart broken [haven’t we all], which finally gave me something I could write a lot about, and also finding love, which gave me the spark I needed to start again.

Tell us everything about this new single, ‘Change Your Mind’.
I feel it’s a combination of everyone I’ve listened to over the last 3-5 years. Sam Smith/Kwabs/The 1975 in particular are very present in this song, I’d say. They are artists I love listening to. I’m usually drawn to the vocals/performance in a song rather than the guitar work, despite being a guitarist, which is very clear in this new song. It’s definitely different from what I’ve released before, but most importantly it’s very ‘me’ in how I have developed as an artist and I am really happy with that now.
‘Change Your Mind’ – everyone’s been there. Its about asking yourself and that other person ‘what was the point in putting in all that effort, for you to just change how you feel without any explanation’. It was at a time where I had so many questions left unanswered. I was so confused and so hurt. I didn’t know someone could turn their back in such a way, never to see or hear from them again after spending so much time with them. It’s about telling myself ‘I can’t change your mind. So I’ll stop trying’. The song is a release for me, and a statement. I don’t need those answers anymore.

Will there be live shows soon?
Hopefully, yes! I have some festivals pencilled in already, just awaiting confirmation. I’d love to perform in Northampton again too. In terms of line-up, things have changed a lot. Typically my music was very organic and performed by a live band. This new song, and the ones following it, may benefit from the introduction of track elements too. Time will tell!

Are you part of the wider scene locally? Any acts you want to give a shout out to?
I wouldn’t say so, not of late anyway. I know a lot of the local artists and at one point or another have performed with them at various open mics and gigs in the county. I’ve grown up loving Cousin Avi and a shout out always goes to Hannah Faulkner for getting me started in the open mic scene back in 2013. I’ve had brilliant support from Lal Muttock, our local BBC Introducing presenter, and the work he does in championing local talent is fantastic.

Tell us the main pro and con of being so intrinsically well connected in the music industry.
I’d say the main ‘pro’ is being able to get valid opinions from people who have been there, seen it, done it, and having options to be able to try well known avenues. The last two years especially have been full of really useful conversations and advice and you only get into these by networking.
The con is assuming they will help you personally. Only a handful will/have. I’m sure loads of artists have also been promised things that have never been delivered. Never has it been more important to either be able to do everything by yourself or have a very small, close knit team, who all share the same goals and passion.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
It was Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone. Since its release, I listen to it weekly for sure. I love it!

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have in 2020 after this release?
I want to be able to tour for a living. I enjoy songwriting and recording, but nothing comes close to performing live on big stages. I live for it! Watch this space. More music dropping throughout the year and I’ve never been so excited!

‘Change Your Mind’ is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

 

http://www.joemilesofficial.com

 

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New Music Friday: Francisco

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw…

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw the release of a series of solo singles, all of which have now combined for an EP, entitled ‘Wild Is…’ New Boots spoke to the main man for the lowdown.

How’s the move to London gone?
London is buzzing. It’s a creative Mecca, but in reality, it’s hard to break the back of it. The fish aren’t just big, they’re huge and they don’t want you or like you. It’s been a hard and lonely few years but I’m getting through that and finding my rhythm.

Why the move to recording/writing/releasing under your own name?
It was time. I had things I wanted to say, lyrically and musically and they weren’t appropriate for Avi, so yeah – it was time.

How would you describe this sound?
The sound is good. The songs are good, but they can always be better. If you mean in terms of feel, I don’t know. I’m really bad at that and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I was listening to a lot of David Ryan Harris when I wrote them and a lot of Natalie Prass and a Tim Atlas when we recorded them, so a kind of ‘soulful pop’ I guess.

How does it differ to your Cousin Avi work?
It’s probably rooted a lot more in a traditional singer-songwriter-R&B-kinda thing than that Avi’s balls out funk-pop. It’s also more in my singing range, where as with Avi it is five brains bringing different melody ideas and saying “I hear this, make it happen…” and I have to make it happen. It’s really really hard actually. Basically: Cousin Avi makes you sweat, whereas Francisco makes you wet…

Tell us everything about this EP.
I wrote three of the four songs – ‘Wild Is The Wind’ is a cover [David Bowie]. They are songs I’ve had for a while, so thematically they feel a bit outdated actually. I wrote them all before I moved to London. I considered never releasing them, but I had to satisfy the mid-20s version of me that was screaming to be remembered.
Ross and Stuart – fellow Avi boys – donated their time and guidance, which was invaluable. They have kind of taught me the craft, so I figured it was wise to have them on board a bit if I could. Obviously Ollie Needham came in on production for this one, his insight and work is what got this done really. We recorded six songs in total; I chose these three first because, frankly, the other three were newer and fresher and better – so I wanted to sit on them. I added ‘Wild is The Wind’ to make it a four-track EP – and it was probably the best decision I could’ve made. It went on to inform the whole aesthetic of the record, really. Either way this was really an experiment  – not so much musically, but artistically. It focused me and I have a lot more clarity about who I am and what I want to be because of it.

How are the live shows going? Is it you and guitar?
Just me and guitar. They’re hard getting people to sit and listen is the hardest thing to achieve in a live setting. I’m lucky I have the years of band experience which has informed me a lot on reading a room and connecting. Mostly all the shows have been really positive and incredibly moving for me on a personal level. The next plan would be getting together with a few more people and seeing how my stuff would come to life in a full band setting.

Whose idea was going on ‘The Voice’ TV show? Is it an experience you’d recommend to others?
It wasn’t anybody’s idea. I was approached by both producers of the X-Factor and The Voice and I said no to both. Then I had the worst three or four months I’ve ever had in my musical life, with friends and industry alike rejecting me for anything and everything: from going for a friendly beer to gigs. And I realised that I had nothing – at least that’s how it felt at the time. I was really really low and at the point of quitting entirely. Then The Voice approached me again and so, in the state I was in, I said yes. I’m yet to really figure out what it was all about for me. Whatever it was didn’t pay off in the end. It goes to show what happens when you let your vanity get the better of you. Hey ho. Lesson learned.
I certainly wouldn’t deter anyone from doing it. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in for and be prepared.

What has been your favourite “Francisco” moment of the past year?
I did a home town show at the Pomfret Arms, for about 60 of my closest friends and family and, well, fans I suppose. It was incredible. I’m very lucky to have people around me; it’s no exaggeration to say they’ve saved my life in many ways.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Bought: Theo Katzman – Modern Johnny sings: songs in the age of vibe
Streamed: KAYTRANADA – BUBBA

What is your burning desire to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
2020 is Avi, Avi and more Avi. We have so much recorded material. It’s wonderful and it’s time that it see the light of day. I have burning desire to gig more. I really really love playing live. I actually prefer it to recording or producing records. I feel like it’s what I was born to do.

The ‘Wild Is…’ EP is out now from the usual digital playforms

 

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New Music Friday: Dreadz

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to…

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to get to the man behind the music.

What’s your Northampton story?
My family is actually from Northampton, born and bred; my grandmother [rest her soul] moved here in the 1950’s, she was secretary to former prime minister of Jamaica Alexander Bustamante. My mum lived up here the majority of her younger days, before moving to London where she had my two older sisters and then me , so since I was young I’ve always been in-between London and Northampton. At 14 I moved up to Northampton to live and which is where I reside currently with my girlfriend. I always said to my mum that I wanted to experience the town for myself and so I did. I put on for Northampton so much because of my family being from here and is my second home.

How did you start on this musical journey?
Musics always been in my blood: literally, as my dad was a sound technician and worked with many artists while he was alive, from Toots & The Maytals to Bob Marley & The Wailers to Dennis Brown. His music journey was legendary. My dad passed away when I was three so I don’t remember much of him, but the stories I hear of the man he was is who I aspire to be and that’s brought me onto the musical journey which I embark on today. I always had a love for music, but never really knew what my talent in it was like what would I do. It was when I was 14 when I discovered I could spit a few lyrics having always liked poetry; I used to always go to a Benjamin Zephaniah book when in the library. My friend Eli, our families are very close, he brought me to his uncles studio hussla d, and that’s where it all started.

How would you describe your sound ? Who are your main influences?
I would describe my sound as a Afro Dancehall, pop, rap, R&B style. I’m very versatile in what I do, and can switch up my style at any given moment. It’s hard put me into one category as I can do the majority. My main musical influences…I would say number one is Wretch 32 without a doubt. I could listen to Wretch all day – slick lyricism, different flows, but the bars they’re deep and that’s what always catches me about Wretch. So he definitely influenced me to apply to my work them killer lines that make you think. Vybz Kartel also on the dancehall side for me someone I listen to – just straight raw with it, what can I say his the worldboss, innit. Growing up I listened to a lot of music at family parties; you hear it all and I just stuck with whatever stood out to me. I’m not really fussy when it comes to music as long and I can bop and nod my head I’m nice.

‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’, your 2018 singles, got a lot of traction, which really set you up for what followed. That must have been very satisfying, to get that immediate audience…?
2018 was actually my first year doing music properly in terms of actual music videos. My friend Ridwan who I went school with in Northampton hit me up and said “I’m doing a few music video projects bro like what you saying you want to work on a project together?” And me at the time I was like “well boy I haven’t put out a video before so why not trial it now”, so I sent him a few songs with ‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’ being amongst that. Those were the two which stood out to him the most. I decided to go with ‘Magnet’ first and that got very good reception; I dropped it on my own channel and the views shot up within the hour. I couldn’t believe it – just goes to show that people will really support you when they know you got talent. ‘Magnet’ is now on 10k views on my own channel, which I’m very proud of due to the fact that in that year I had no YouTube channel. I made it so I could put the video on there to test the waters, and it worked since creating my YouTube channel I am now on over 500 subscribers and just aim to keep getting more. ‘Fever’ was my favourite song all the while then, and when I dropped that I wanted it to be heard so I dropped it on Linkup TV to appeal to a audience different from my own with all my views on my channel being a majority of people I knew mainly. With both them tracks being dropped within a short time span of each other helped grow my social media, also I had new people reaching out to me to tell me I’m good and keep up the work it will pay off. It also opened doors to new opportunities and new collaborations with artists. For people to just love the music I make is enough for me, I don’t need anything else; that alone makes me happy.

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘This Wave’.
My latest single is a vibe I created one day when I was having a smoke – I put the beat on and it came to me. This track just describes how I’m going to take over, hence the words “but you might drown tryna get on this wave” and how I want to grow in life and prosper, but we all know that comes with hard work. “But to be a king got to work like slave” and that’s the seed I’m planting in ‘This Wave’. I got to give a big shouts to the video director Witness his artistry and smooth edit really brought the video to life. Got to give him big props for that the beat producer as well -daniyelbepo who reached out to me through Instagram sent me a few beats and I use one for ‘This Wave’. Eli San: goes without saying never a complain when he mixes and masters my track, perfection always.

You sometimes perform at the Lay It Down nights locally. How is playing live for you, does it teach you more about what you can do artistically?
Yeah I support the Lay It Down movement, I respect what they’re doing so whenever they got an event I’ll come and support, whether that’s in the audience or on the stage. Doing events like that help you build your stage presence and confidence and that’s the main reason I do it, because practice makes perfect. I love interacting with the crowd and making them sing my song back to me; that’s one of the few techniques I’ve picked up since performing live – just making the stage yours. We all have one chance to step up on there and perform, so when you do you have to make sure you leave an imprint on the crowd. Big up the Lay It Down crew for showing me love, also they can shout me whenever the weather.

How do you see the ‘scene’ in Northampton currently? Are we truly building something here?
The scene here in Northampton is amazing, so many talented artists of all ages and being up here for a while I’ve got the chance to see the growth in them too . I would say we’re building a strong musical platform for sure; the only thing we’re lacking right now is the support from outside, and sometimes for one another too. We’re all gonna win, just at different times.

Favourite Dreadz moment of the past year?
I would say is performing at my cousin J Kaz headline show [in London last July]. It was a memorable moment for me, because I was performing to a new crowd and a big one too so the nerves did kick in. But when I got on stage they just drifted. I performed one of my unreleased songs called ‘Moonlight’ and it just went off the feedback was amazing. Out of my many memorable moments last year that’s one of my favourite.

What was the last album you bought or streamed?
Stormzy Heavy Is The Head; a wicked body of work from start to finish.

What is your burning desire for to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
My plans is just to kill it. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m just gonna show you. We have a lot planned.

This Wave is out now on all major platforms

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New Music Friday: DeBe

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his…

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his sound, incorporating elements of grime, R&B, dubstep and garage. Debut EP ‘The Life Of Reilly’ has just landed, and New Boots went in search of answers.

How/when did you start making music?
I started spitting bars in school and discovered GarageBand in 2008. I just had a lot of ideas in my head for songs that I’d thought I’d try and lay down.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
I’d describe my sound as out the box, unorthodox, left, slightly skits? I had a lot of musical influences from young. I knew the Nas album from back to front, I remember listing to his music on my Walkman CD player. In at the Deep End by Roll Deep had a big influence as well. When I was young I remember my Aunty catching joke at me singing Alicia Keys when I was in the shower, so I guess her too.
My Mum listened to baseline and garage a lot – I wasn’t fixated on DJ EJ, but to this day his tag is still stuck in my head. There’s always been different types of music around me and I appreciate it all, there’s a lot of music that I wouldn’t put in a playlist or vibe to, but when I hear it I know it’s sick. When it came to making music myself I always take pride in making sure I kept things original. Being so critical I guess that’s how I’ve been able to develop my own style.

Do you collaborate with others on the beats, or fly solo?
Early on majority of my music was done by myself, but as I got older my friendship group kind of all chipped in. I’ve been making music for years but I never really put stuff out, as soon as I did I started collaborating a lot more.

Tell us about this EP, ‘The Life of Reilly’.
To start off T.L.O.R is a start of a trilogy – so you heard it here first. There’s a lot of songs on the project that was made a while ago; I’ve got over 100 tucked away. Each track on the EP represents an emotion that I’ve had to deal with whilst grafting to put together the EP. There was a time when I was going back and forth to London everyday, being in the studio till late and having to go back to the ends for work. I was running on like four hours sleep daily. Once I found a team to work with it was our priority to build a catalogue of songs which came over a period of like a year or so. I had a lot of other stuff going on outside of music that effected me in different ways on different days, so going into the booth was like therapy for me.
The EP cover took a good couple of months to think of. I said to my manager that I liked how Giggs done his visuals for his ‘187’ track, which is also produced by Machine Baby, and I wanted to pay homage to NN. We sat down and came up with a concept that ending up taking inspiration from the original King Kong artwork. I’m using the Express Lift Tower as my Empire State Building.
My cousin Meks actually came up with the title for my EP. Reilly is my last name and “The Life of Riley” is a popular saying for someone who has it easy, which is kind of ironic.
Earbuds & Nick French worked on ‘Enough’. Earbuds also did ‘Comatose’ and ‘Front Row’. Sammy Byrne made ‘Nuffin Long’, I made ‘Vamp’ and Baga finished the EP off with ‘Uprising’ – he also chipped in on the mixing and mastering.

The videos are well thought-out and have a punchy vibe that fits the music just right. Do you storyboard these things in depth?
It’s a collaborative effort: everyone will give their ideas and whatever sounds good gets shot, whatever looks good gets edited. It’s the same with the music; I’m just lucky to have a friendship group who have a lot different skills.

It feels like a great time for Northampton rap.
It’s just great to see the whole NN scene thriving, and the hometown getting behind homegrown music.

Any live shows yet?
2020.

Favourite DeBe moment of 2019?
There’s been a few. I’d say not long after I put out ‘Keep Da Pound’, which was produced by Machine Baby, someone hit me up saying that I had inspired them and to be honest this is what makes me want to do what I do. If you take time to listen to my music it’s mainly me venting, and kind of reiterating my mantras in art form for your ears.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last project I listened to was Schoolboy Q – Crash Talk.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The plan for the foreseeable future is to be able tour internationally. I’d like to eventually be in a position give people opportunities back in NN too [ones who deserve it anyway].

The Life Of Reilly is out now via the usual platforms

 

 

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New Music Friday: Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra

Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra are Northamptonshire’s fine twisted blues purveyors. Tom is on guitar/vocals, Neil on drums, Toby on percussion, Dan on synths/backing vocals, and Matt on bass/backing…

Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra are Northamptonshire’s fine twisted blues purveyors. Tom is on guitar/vocals, Neil on drums, Toby on percussion, Dan on synths/backing vocals, and Matt on bass/backing vocals. After impressing with their debut album, new EP ‘Tail and Fins’ offers up another blast of great songs played with fire and skill. New Boots spoke to Tom to get the lowdown.

How did you guys get together?
The Heathen Orchestra didn’t so much get together as evolve over what seems like an epoch. We are I would say an inevitable accident of time; five musical organisms that emerged from the soup to create something greater than the sum of our parts. Though Matt [bassist] did remind me that I approached him in a graveyard on a wet Thursday morning and asked him to join [true story].

How would you describe your sound?
We sound like a group of people who have been around long enough to realise our own insignificance! For this reason we play because we love to play. I think this comes across in the raw, unfiltered nature of our music.
For purposes of classification, pigeonholing and hyperbole filled biographies we declare that we stand tall and testify from the gospel of visceral, blues-inflected alternative rock. We tell twisted tales of terrible injustices, crimes of passion, despair and strange goings-on. Our music is often filled with dread and torment, but we do not suffer melancholia – with our music we fight melancholy. Our songs are born of a love of life, and bristle with blistering, elemental energy and a drive to advance to better days.

Who has influenced the songs?
As a band, we each have wildly differing influences and spend hours ridiculing each other for our respective crimes against taste! Personally I am influenced as much by other musician’s attitudes to creativity as I am by their actual music. I love Bowie’s restlessness and need to keep moving forward. I see Dylan’s bloody-mindedness as thing to aspire to [the band would probably say I have achieved it]. Most of all though, I admire Leonard Cohen’s humility and dedication to his craft; if I ever think I’m doing alright I listen to his ‘Avalanche’ and remind myself how much I have left to learn, and get straight back to work!

What was the reaction like to your eponymous debut album of 2018?
Well, we are people who love to get together and play music. However we are not people who love to do hours of promotion! So the few who heard our debut album were overwhelmingly positive about it. We are trying hard to mend our ways!

Tell us all about the new EP.
It’s called ‘Tail and Fins’, it’s approximately sixteen minutes long and it’s a taut, muscular account of the last eighteen months as seen through my eyes: torn apart, fed into a wood-chipper, set on fire then reassembled through the medium of song by the immensely talented Heathen Orchestra. It’s highly personal, deeply political and a whole lot of fun to play.
These are incredibly fractious and dangerous times, I think any writer with a pulse would be hard pressed not to find inspiration! The challenge I set myself when working on these songs was to not shy away from the darkness or severity of the problems we all face, but to find a way of documenting them and turning them on their heads. Kind of like saying, “fuck you, we know you’re out there and that you want us to roll over, but you will not break our spirit, we will not give you that victory – and here’s some goodtime music to listen to while we’re working out how to kick your buttocks”.
I don’t like to go into too much detail of what individual songs are about. I think anything I reveal can only steal a bit of the song away from the listener. If I ever find out what Don Van Vliet was trying to tell us with ‘Bat Chain Puller’ I’m sure it would lose a little magic! That is part of the joy of music and why it should not be discussed in minutiae.
I will say that we are incredibly proud of this EP; it is a clear step forward from our previous recordings. I think we have managed to retain the energy and passion of our debut album, but with the extra focus and dynamism that an additional eighteen months of playing live has brought to the band.
We decided to record at Parlour Studios again for the simple reason that Neil [our drummer] owns the studio and he is a brilliant engineer so we would be foolish to go anywhere else [though Neil may appreciate the holiday]!

Describe the live show in five words or less.
Universal redemption.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
I really wouldn’t want to sully the reputation of any other bands by saying they were of similar mind to us!
To be honest, we are quite reclusive, we love playing in Northampton and the music community is the most welcoming and vibrant around. Every time we venture out, people are kind, friendly and supportive but we could not claim to be part of any scene. We are akin to the strange vaguely familiar uncle who crawls out of the woods once a year and everyone watches nervously, unsure what they might do and then they disappear again, only to return when you least expect it with a new tale to tell.

Favourite bands/venues?
We are very fortunate that we have just signed to Old Hotel Records, which is home to some of our favourite bands including Humblebee and Kenneth J Nash. I am a big fan of Jono and the Uke Dealers; Jono is the very essence of everything that is good about Northampton, I enjoy the strange grooves and melodies of The Drones Club, and obviously The Jazz Butcher himself – Pat Fish. Without a doubt though, if I could bring one Northampton hero back for one night it would be the wonderful Liam Dullaghan; his shows were among the best I have seen anywhere.
As for venues, Northampton is awash with great places for music but I would absolutely love to perform at the Playhouse Theatre. I think it would be the perfect setting in which to bring our songs to life.

What has been your favourite band moment of last year?
This is an easy one! Twinfest at the Pomfret was incredible. We are huge fans of everything Twinfest does and stands for, so to play for a barn packed full of people clapping and cheering along to our music was absolutely life-affirming.

What was the last album you bought or streamed?
I recently bought A Bunch of Meninos by Portuguese band Dead Combo. I highly recommend searching them out; they play sinister sounding Latin instrumental music and have collaborated with people like Marc Ribot (my guitar hero) and Mark Lanegan.

What is your burning desire for the band? What plans do you have?
We have no great Machiavellian plan! Playing music and writing songs is something I have always done and will always do. I think it’s innately human to want to share our stories and I am in no way a great talker; hence music is where I tell my truth [admittedly often couched in metaphor, allegory and a maelstrom of noise].
We do hope to play as many shows as possible this coming year. Live is without doubt where our songs come into their own. Standing up and singing in front of a crowd is such a terrifying and unnatural thing to do, but once we take to the stage we revert to our lizard brains and play as if our lives depend on it. It’s utterly cathartic and makes for an exciting show! Ultimately though, having a band of friends in the Heathen Orchestra who want to help bring my songs to life is a real privilege and so long as that continues I’ll be happy.

The Tail and Fins EP is available on Spotify, iTunes/Apple music, Amazon and Tidal. All proceeds from first year of the EP’s release are going to Amnesty International.

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New Music Friday: Baby Lung ‘Shoetown Blues’ EP

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed…

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed tones all year, and to cap it off a great 2019 with this work is fitting, and should see their star ascend. New Boots editor Phil Moore sat down with Maxx Riley, Mat Day, Harry Dinnage and Matt Willett to talk about the band and EP.

The ShoeTown Blues EP is out now from all the usual digital outlets. Baby Lung play The Black Prince in Northampton tonight, and then again on February 1st as part of Independent Venue Week. Thanks to The Charles Bradlaugh for hosting the filming, and Ryan Johnson for putting it together. 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Tragic

Tragic are three uncompromising and worldly teenagers. Their grunge-punk self-titled debut EP is brimming with life, and everyone who has heard/seen them so far immediately joins the fan club. There’s…

Tragic are three uncompromising and worldly teenagers. Their grunge-punk self-titled debut EP is brimming with life, and everyone who has heard/seen them so far immediately joins the fan club. There’s simply no denying they’re here to shake things up. New Boots speaks to singer/guitarist Cameron Godfrey about how we got here.

How did you guys get together?
Me and Lewis were bored of all the music we were listening to and playing at the time, and then we found the culture of punk and we found it as a convenient release from all the stresses of life. A way to let out what we are thinking and feeling without words; leaving it all behind us so we could have a happier day. Then when Will joined the band and we played our first gig at the Garibaldi Hotel we realised we can use that feeling of release and share it with everyone who listens and comes to see us live. And that became what we strive to do with everything to this day.

How would you describe your sound?
Post-punk/90s grunge. We love bands such as Nirvana, Idles, Metz, Wire, Joy Division and Surf Curse, but we’re also big fans of Chicago and Portishead.

What was the reaction like to the ‘Walking’ single, and the video too? We saw quite a lot of video shares last month…
We were massively surprised by about the amount of support we were getting from it, and it made us feel like we were part of something so much bigger than three teens jamming in my garage.

Tell us about this self-titled EP.
This EP is our first EP, showing our earlier work when the band started, as we recorded it soon after. It’s a raw representation of what we think is pulling people down in their lives, such as toxic media. We our very proud of what we have accomplished with this EP, and are ready to show everyone what else we can do. It was recorded with Jay Russell at Parlour Studios, who did an amazing job and was so easy to work with and may be one of the nicest people I know.

You like to get out there and play live as often. What’s makes for a good Tragic live show?
A good show for me is when were all looking at each other at the end drenched in sweat, tired as fuck and knowing that we enjoyed ourselves, knowing we have accomplished something. It doesn’t matter to us what the audience thinks of us; the only thing that matters to me is knowing that we have played the best we can – and we just hope that they have as much fun as we do.

Any favourite bands to play with?
Blood-Visions is way up at the top of our list of favourite bands to play with, but we also fucking love playing with Nailbreaker – he’s such an easy person to work with, and is such a lovely guy.

What has been your favourite band moment of 2019?
At the last Garibaldi Hotel show in November, when everyone sang back the lyrics to ‘Walking’. It was the most surreal experience of my life.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Sessions (live) by Pond

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Our plans are to spread the word, and keep releasing and making music because it’s what we love to do and it’s a beautiful thing when you have the freedom to do this. With all the technology we have we will be making music no matter how much money we have.

The Tragic EP is out now via the usual digital platforms. Tonight [Dec 13th] they play The Lab with Skirt and Ex-Pets.

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New Music Friday: Primal Holocaust

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band. Where are…

Northants death metallers Primal Holocaust have put together a powerhouse debut EP to be mighty proud of. New Boots spoke to singer Sonny King about the nascent band.

Where are you all based? All over the county?
We are based mostly out of Northampton, but James [guitar] comes from Daventry and Olegs [bass] is from Kettering.

How did you guys get together?
Dave and Jack were friends already, and both had experience playing music and would jam together fairly regularly was the start of Primal. On a night out at The Lab in Northampton they met Olegs for the first time and became friends. It wasn’t long before Olegs then joined the band, and some of the really early material started to take shape. When it became clear a second guitarist was needed Jack got in touch with James as they had both studied music together at college. James was [and still is] in another band at the time [Woadraider] and after a few jam sessions was welcomed into Primal. Once things had started to really take shape the search began for a vocalist. I got in touch via an ad I saw on a local musicians page, and eventually joined the group. This was my first time being in a band, and after a few sessions was formally welcomed into the group. So we officially became a five piece band in July of 2018!

How would you describe your sound?
It’s like blackened death but with a thrash metal attitude. We play fast and fun music for people to enjoy and bang their heads to. It’s heavy, it’s aggressive, and it’s honest. Our main influences are bands like Immortal, Behemoth, Anaal Nathrakh, Gojira, Skyforger, Carcass, Foetal Juice, Hate Eternal, Iron Maiden, Marduk, and King Diamond.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘Triple Headed Goat Machine’.
The EP marks the end of a year’s hard work for us. It’s a collection of the earliest songs that we created together. When we’d been together about a month we recorded two demos that we handed out at shows and put up online, so it’s been cool to finally rerecord those tracks, plus a bunch more, and show how far we’ve come. Conceptually the EP is a mixed bag! Goats with three heads and twelve tits, 40ft frost priestesses, planet-swallowing ocean demons, and of course, love. No one song is the same and we cover a good breadth in terms of style.
The artwork is a full-on indicator to the track listing, and those who’ve been following us know the origins well. The cover features the birth of the Triple Headed Goat Machine. The scourge of the earth, plague to the universe, multi-galaxy engulfing beast! The person birthing it is the 40ft frost priestess we mentioned earlier.
We’d been debating the art for a good few weeks and then one day at practice James said ‘we should have the Frost Priestess giving birth to the Triple Headed Goat Machine’. We all stopped and looked at each other, knowing this was always destined to be true, and James had just made it so. Within a week we’d had the initial designs created by Elliot [EwT Creations] which we tweaked as we went on [ i.e. told Elliot to add more boobs].
Recording was interesting as we did it all ourselves with the help of our metal Sherpa, Arthur Sambars[ of Stereoskull]. He has been a continued supporter of Primal and has produced some excellent music of his own, so we were thrilled when he said he’d help us record and produce this release through his own organisation Salamander Productions. Guiding us through the processes with ease, he captured the raw energy we were trying to give the EP, and has done a great job mastering it. We’re really happy with it and feel lucky to have such supportive team mates.
This really added another dimension to the songs as a whole, there’s adjustments to all of them so they’re not quite as you’ve heard them before, which is really exciting for us.

What are your live shows like?
Sweaty! We love a good floor show where we can be right up in people’s faces screaming and banging heads and causing chaos. We’ve had many rowdy gigs now, and we can’t get enough. Guaranteed if you come to our show to mosh, we’ll be in the pit right there with you. Live music is one of the greatest things any place can offer, and we try and make the most of that by giving people the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time with us.

Whats your take on the Northants scene?
Northampton has a great scene and we’re proud to be part of it. We’ve played with a number of excellent ‘local’ bands like Stereoskull, The Darkhorse, Caliburn, and loads more, all of whom have shown us nothing but kindness. As someone that’s never been in a band before, I’ve been blown away by the level of talent that our town has to offer, and it’s really encouraging for us to try and push Primal as hard and far as we can. Similarly the venues too, we love playing The Black Prince [and will be there again on December 28th], as well as The Lab, and Raff’s in Wellingborough.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
We’ve had some really memorable gigs this year [Metal 2 The Masses, London, Oakfest in Derby) but getting the EP complete is one of our favourite moments, as it feels like it’s taken us forever to get this together, but now it’s here! Getting to play The King Billy for the first time was awesome too. I’d always gone there as a youngster and it was great to finally be on the other side causing chaos. We were supporting German/Latvian metal band Mara with Stereoskull on a mini tour right before the Metal 2 The Masses final and it was a blast.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was Apotheosis by Necronautical, a fantastic black metal band from up North. Their last album The Endurance at Night is one of my favourites and I wasn’t let down by Apotheosis either. Proper atmospheric and melodic black metal that’s incredibly miserable – its great. The last album I streamed was actually the ‘Scalps’ EP by Casket-Feeder. Another great local talent.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We’re about to start planning for next year, but it’s our goal to do some festivals that we’ve had our eye on as well as creating new material. We’ve just completed about three new songs so we’re going to keep pushing with that to add more ammunition to the Primal live arsenal. We’re also considering what other elements we can add to our stage show. As much as we like enjoy just thrashing out with the crowd, we have some big ideas that would be really cool to bring to life on stage that would add a whole other element to our shows.

Triple Headed Goat Machine EP is out now via the usual online spaces. 

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New Music Friday: Blood-Visions

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing…

Blood-Visions are the Northampton hardcore quintet who once seen are never forgotten. One of NN’s truly great live acts, the band are more visible than ever, helped by the signing to True Friend Tapes label and today releasing their new, self-titled EP. New Boots can’t get enough of them, so here’s us talking to singer Joss Kieran about it all.

How/why did the band get together?
I’ll try to keep this brief, as the band has undergone several line-up changes over our time together and I’ll miss something important if I attempt to go into things in full. Harry, Lewis, Becca and I all attended a youth group ran by Mel and Magnus of the Northampton band Tarantism, where kids were given the task of forming bands and playing a show once a school term. It was a great initiative that really helped us, along with a few other Northampton musicians, find our footing in terms of performing. The band initially consisted of myself, Lewis, Harry and Kirsty McEwan, who left around 2013 to focus on photography/studying. Becca had already joined at that point and we were playing with two drummers, so it wasn’t the band-rupturing problem that sort of thing can be, though.

Rufus joined a few years later after having recorded a couple of EPs with us. After the first EP we did with him we kind of already knew he was the perfect guy for the job and the band has been massively improved by having him on board. Having Rufus, and super-sub Daniel Church, allows us to stay versatile as everyone with some form of guitar knows each other’s parts, so if at least four of us are available we’re good to play where-ever.

Who were the sort of acts the nascent band bonded over?
I’m not certain, to be honest. This was nine years ago, so our tastes have all changed quite significantly. Personally, I remember having conversations about Cap’n Jazz, Dananananaykroyd, Desaparecidos and Deftones. But at that point we were between 13 and 15 years of age – when you’re that age you’re just aggressively hoovering up all the music you can possibly hear. This would have only been exacerbated by the internet and unlimited access to music, so it’s hard to say if there were any specific jumping-off points.
We mostly bonded over a shared interest in playing loud and upbeat punk songs, it didn’t really matter what we were drawing from. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jay Reatard, though, who we took the BV name from.

Fast-forwarding to more recent times, what was the reaction like to the ‘Make Good Choices’ EP of 2017?
I think it reached the people it needed to reach in Northamptonshire. We’ve had a few shows outside of Northampton off the back of that record that were a lot of fun – Drug Church, Single Mothers, and a couple of others I’m forgetting – but those songs inevitably always go down best in this neck of the woods. That’s why I’m really grateful for True Friend Tapes [their label] getting behind us and pushing us to people further afield. We’re honestly always just happy to have the songs out, and to have the chance to move on to the next project. I don’t think any of us really took stock of what people were saying about those songs. There were some songs on that record I’ve noticed becoming sing-alongs in Northampton, though, so I think people must have responded pretty well to it.

How did you approach this new EP?
I think the plan with this was to make something a little more cohesive than what we’ve put out in the past. What tends to happen with us is that songs pile up, we record what we can and then get together a great, but often jumbled, set of songs. This time there was a real attempt to make something that felt like it was coming from a streamlined, precise place. There’s a specific tone and energy to the record that I think actually has a lot more in common with the first demo Rufus recorded with us that I really like. It’s not the latest stuff as we’re writing for the next project, and we’ve demoed one of the tunes before. We move fairly slowly, so this is a collection of the best songs we’ve written since the last record, not just the freshest.
I initially thought that lyrically this was quite scattershot, but listening back all the songs revolve around discomfort, where we choose to call home and the relationships you build when somewhere like Northampton is your hometown. I’ve been quite surprised I was able to reign in my brain enough to focus on a fairly limited pool of themes. Then again, it could just be evidence that I need to broaden my horizons a bit.

Where did you record it?
We recorded it in our friend Ant’s basement. We had a lovely time: we hung out, played a lot of Mario Kart, drank and messed around with amps for three days straight. Dan dropped by to record vocals on one of the tunes, which was nice. I think we averaged four falafel-based meals a day between us if I remember correctly. I’d thoroughly recommend recording with him.

What’s first EP single ‘01604ever’ about? Have you written your long-awaited love letter to ShoeTown?
It’s my ‘Northampton, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’. It’s about minimum wage jobs, alcoholism and trying to forget your dumb relationship mistakes. Obviously, Northampton isn’t anywhere near as damaging to me as the song makes it out to be, but there’s definitely a mood of “I’m drinking through it” to the lyrics. There are definitely love letters to Northampton littered throughout the recordings we’ve made, but I think I’m done writing them. I’ve found that I’m a lot more influenced by narrative these days, so ‘01604ever’ and the songs on the new EP are probably the last time I’m going to write about the general feeling of Northamptonshire.
I’ll obviously still go to bat for Northampton forever; it’s a wonderful place that doesn’t deserve the shit it’s been handed by Conservative rule, but I don’t think I have any more “this is about Northampton” songs in me. The name itself was my twitter name for a little while – we just tend to name songs after shite that makes us laugh. There’s another song on the record called Norfo, which is named after this awful Cosmo article.

What are your live shows like? Give us your best adjectives and superlatives.
I know that in the past our live shows have been described as chaotic, although I think we’ve become a fairly well-oiled machine in the past two years or so. Our shows are direct, aggressive and, hopefully, joyful. You should come out and watch us, readers.

What has been your favourite band moment of 2019?
I think it has to be closing out the first ‘Lift Tower Presents’. That show was ridiculously well attended, and a bunch of our favourite Northampton bands played [Lift Tower, La Folivora, 72%, Tragic, Nailbreaker, Big Loss AND Ivory Yardsale]. Our best bud Chris did an excellent job on the sound that night, and there was a really energetic crowd at The Garibaldi that night, which always helps. Joel from 72% came up and did vocals on ‘NVR-BCK-DWN’ with us as well, and was ace at that.
Other than that, the Jeffery Lewis show we opened up at The Black Prince was great. Lewis and I have been fans of his music since we were in school, so it was fun to get to play with him. Those two weekends were back to back and were definitely the tightest shows we’ve played to date. The idea is to replicate that level of energy and execution going forward, and we’re working towards that goal.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m currently listening to Rain on Lens by Smog. Bill Callahan is a genius, and I’m very glad his songs exist.

You’ve been going almost a decade now – what advise would you give to any new band starting out?
Just try to make friends with the bands you play with and like. Keeping going is so much easier if there’s a whole community around you. No one is going to like you more for coming across as aloof, so just try to be friendly to the people you’re playing with. You should also watch Inside Llewyn Davis because 80% of music is something that most people just don’t see a lot of money in, and that’s okay.
I’m kidding, of course, all young musicians should be demanding significant sums of money. Equipment isn’t acquired through bartering, and the haircut that Later… With Jools Holland necessitates, well, it doesn’t come cheap. Secure the bag, kids…

The Blood-Visions EP is out now via True Friend Tapes from all the usual places. Tonight [Fri Nov 29th] the band launch the EP at The Black Prince, with support from Tragic and Lift Tower.

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New Music Friday: Joel Harries

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a…

Northampton music man Joel Harries is hard to sum up in a pithy sentence or two. Central to so many bands over the past decade or so, he’s also a prolific solo artist, and has just released his latest EP, the intriguingly-titled I Am Not What I Seem. Let’s talk!

How did you first start writing your own music?
I borrowed a few Dinosaur Jr records from my Dad’s collection in my early teens and that was the beginning really. From then on I was always searching for new music and formed a number of bands. My Luna Vacation was the first serious one, where I actually wrote some songs. We played an odd mash-up from hardcore/metal/emo with the odd trumpet part, funky sections and a lot of screaming. I have very fond memories of that band, as daft as it was. From then on I joined and formed LOTS of other bands. I started writing solo material when I was maybe 18-19. Being surrounded by music as a child was definitely a huge part of how I ended up where I am!

There’s some busy musical people in ShoeTown, but I think you might be top of the pile – you have solo work, plus No Music, Big Loss, Sad Drone, and 72%, and your sister Nina’s extraordinary album. What drives you? Do you find time to sleep?!?
I just love recording music. Everything about it. Playing live is great but I think my main passion is being in the studio. I have a reasonably diverse taste in music, and have always felt I needed multiple avenues to express myself through. I couldn’t really go from singing sweetly to screaming blue murder in the space of one solo song, so having each of the these projects with the wonderful people in them allows me to indulge myself! My work revolves around recording music, so I am very lucky to be able to have such a creative life. Sleep on the other hand is a luxury I often miss out on!

Let’s talk about the latest solo release, ‘I Am Not What I Seem’. How would you describe this iteration of what you do?
I Am Not What I Seem is a collection of songs I wrote for a band I started called Low Acre. Initially I was recording with a wonderful producer in London called Emre Ramazanoglu. I then started working with a manager and he suggested that the project became a band. We worked on it for a year or two, and then life became quite complicated, or me, and the pressure of the band kind of overwhelmed me a little. I had to step away from it at that point. After a while I did a few solo gigs playing the later material I had written, and decided I wanted to record some proper versions. So I spent a week recording them in Ireland with Quincey Brown singing backing vocals, and then got Dave Crawford, who had played in Low Acre, to add some of his synth parts. Iʼm really pleased with how they turned out. It is great that the songs didn’t vanish into the void, as some of my old solo stuff has done. I hope to release the music from the sessions with Emre in the future, as there was some really special music in there. We shall see!

You’ve been putting out solo bits and bobs for a decade, is that right? How’s things changed for you over that time?
When I first started there was a kind of folky edge to what I was doing, this disappeared immediately once I made my second album. Each subsequent release has kind of had its own style/identity, just with the only constant being my voice. This material is always the most candid and honest version of my music, I think.

You posted something about Cineworld. Your music featured in something…
That was from a Cast & Crew screening of a locally made feature film called Nene made by Screen Northants. I composed and recorded the score. Hopefully it will see a public release of some kind in 2020. It was a wonderful experience and something I really want to do more of.

Any live shows coming up?
Big Loss will be playing at the Lamplighter on the 20th December, and then No Music will be playing a Christmas Eve show at the Garibaldi. In the new year 72% will be doing a few short tours before thinking about making another record. I will be playing guitar in my sisters band for a few festivals also. Iʼm sure there will be a few solo gigs here and there too!

What has been your favourite personal musical moment of the past year?
Recording the new 72% album How Is This Going To Make It Any Better? with Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse studios is probably the one. We spent four days in June holed up in there, and I am so proud of what we accomplished.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I have been listening to the most recent Coilguns album Watchwinders a lot. Great band!

What are your burning desires for 2020? What plans do you have?
In 2019 I put out 9 releases from my various projects. In 2020 I want to try and beat that number. Hopefully including a new 72% full length, a steady stream of solo EPs, new Big Loss EP, more Sad Drones and a No Music full-length would be nice too!

I Am Not What I Seem is out now via BandCamp and the usual digital platforms

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