Category: Feature

New Music Friday: Kilamojo

Northampton trio Kilamojo have a new single out, their first official release, entitled ‘Tock Tick’. New Boots spoke to frontman Alex Lillyman about the development to this point. How long…

Northampton trio Kilamojo have a new single out, their first official release, entitled ‘Tock Tick’. New Boots spoke to frontman Alex Lillyman about the development to this point.

How long has Kilamojo been together now? You’re long-term mates, right?
Kilamojo has been going for around 3 to 4 years. We spent a long time just playing together and making music. We didn’t bother with social media or even telling anyone what we were doing for the first couple of years. We were all just buzzing off of the ideas and tunes that, for whatever reason, seemed to be coming together really easily. We’ve all known each other since we were kids. Drummer Phil and I played in our very first band together as teenagers with the exact same lineup! We were 13/14. Funnily enough the main riff in our tune ‘The Reinvention Of The Wolf’ came into existence then and hasn’t changed one bit since. My first meeting with Dio (Dom), our bassist, was when we were probably even younger; 11 or 12 maybe. I used to knock about with his older brother and went round to his house one afternoon and ended up mistakenly shooting Dio in the face with a BB gun!

And what bought you together, musically?
Our shared love of the same bands really; Zeppelin, The Stones, The Police, The Who, James Brown, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Motorhead, Flying Lotus, The Mars Volta, The Clash & Amanda Houston! The first incarnation of the band died when me and Phil left school and went our separate ways, and we didn’t end up getting back together again until around ten years later. I went off and did god knows how many jobs and got heavily into techno music, and Phil went to uni. About a decade passed since I saw them both again properly. Dio was sat around a mutual friend of ours noodling around playing Black Sabbath riffs on the bass. At that time I’d written some riffs and had a lot of song ideas, however no one to play them with. So I thought I’d ask Dio if he fancied getting together to see if we could make something of them. Shortly after that we needed a drummer and I thought I’d give Phil a buzz. He didn’t even ask for demos to listen to – he was immediately in. The next time I saw Phil was back in the exact same place I’d seen him last when we were 15 or so, in my Mum & Dads loft, where for some reason they allowed us to do our first few rehearsals. From there on in we became Kilamojo.

Tell us about ‘Tock Tick’.
We recorded it all in one day and all live. There are very few overdubs etc in there; in fact from memory I think there are two guitar ones which is laughable when you consider its pushing nine minutes. Its an incredibly simple song at its core: intro, verse, pre-chorus and chorus. We just chose to put a fucking ridiculous psychedelic section in the middle because it feels great and why not. We would describe ‘Tock Tick’ as an eight-minute odyssey that has no real intention, other than to take you somewhere. Think Sly & The Family Stone grooves, Sabbath-esque darkness, Sgt Pepper psychedelia – with a healthy dose of melody thrown in for good measure. The video is basically just us in our favourite place (our rehearsal space) playing the arse off of the thing.

You have quite an elaborate stage set-up, what ‘s the deal with that?
We get this a lot whenever we gig. It always seems to blow peoples minds how much shit we have when we turn up to gigs. We have a stage set-up for four people; however there’s only three of us. I cover the keys as well as guitar and vocals so I essentially cover two peoples worth of kit when we play live. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an old 1968 Vox Jaguar organ a few years back and had it shipped all the way from Detroit. The thing was an absolute wreck when I first received it. So much so that the first time I turned it on it blew the electrics in my house, and I had to get my brother, who luckily is a sparky, round to fix my house. My girlfriend was not pleased. Even though most people would be terrified for it to leave the house I thought it’d be great to write a tune especially for it so I could use it live and incorporate it into the live set up. So I did and creatively called it ‘Organ Song’….I’m sure it’ll have a proper name one day!

We’re very old fashioned in how we approach things. With regards to actual kit all of us use minimal pedals etc. and try to get the most out of our gear for each song. We do this by EQing with amps and tone-switches on guitars. Every song we seem to play is very different to the next, so constant tinkering is required live. Also, for us, the lack of effects forces us to write riffs/songs based on their melody and groove as apposed to the actual tone etc. If a riff sounds shit on an acoustic then chances are its a shit riff, however, if it sounds great on an acoustic then its gonna sound great on any guitar. The same applies to the bass in that sense. Me and Dio try to write counter melodies/riffs to one another as apposed to just bass lines that help push the rhythm. That way because there’s only three of us it adds so much more to the overall sound of Kilamojo.

You played with Band Of Skulls last year, how was that?
That was a pretty amazing experience, purely because of the fact that they personally chose us to play with them based on a self (and shoddily) produced demo EP that they heard. The actual gig itself was amazing and the guys in the band were lovely folks. The drummer they had with them at the time (Julian Dorio) has played with Josh Homme, The Whigs and Eagles Of Death Metal so that was an extra cherry on the cake. He was coincidentally the drummer with The Eagles Of Death Metal at The Bataclan when the terrorist attacks occurred. The gig overall was an amazing experience.

Last album you bought/streamed?
Alex: Hiatus Kaiyote Choose Your Weapon. Its got a song called ‘Shaolin Monk Mother Funk’ on it: whats not to like.
Dio: Beck, Bogert and Appice Beck, Bogert and Appice
Phil: Vulfpeck Mr Finish Line

What’s next for the band?
Hopefully more gigs, we just want to play live. Once ‘Tock Tick’ is out there we want to get back in the studio asap to record a follow-up, and just keep making the music we love. Our next hometown show is supporting Mellor at The Black Prince on Saturday June 16th.

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New Music Friday: Garden

Northampton alt-rock quartet Garden follow up their 2017 debut EP with new single ‘Hate Me’, which you can hear below. Here’s some background on the band and song, courtesy of a…

Northampton alt-rock quartet Garden follow up their 2017 debut EP with new single ‘Hate Me’, which you can hear below. Here’s some background on the band and song, courtesy of a quick chat with singer/guitarist Cam Pike.

How/why/when did you guys get together?
We first got together in sixth form as we were all friends and discovered we all liked similar music and so we naturally started writing together.

For those who don’t know Garden, how would you describe your sound? Any major influences you want to share?
We find it difficult to pin ourselves down in a single genre as we are influenced by such a wide range of music and styles such as Wolf Alice, Alex Ebert and Band of Skulls. Although we would describe ourselves as fairly undefinable the genre we often get referred to as would be alternative rock.

What has the reaction to the ‘City People Are Weird’ EP been like?
The reaction has been really humbling. We’ve seen a lot of support in our home town especially, with every song being played on BBC Introducing Northampton and ‘We Need Guns’ receiving Track of the Week. For us it’s been a great experience to actually release our music, as the writing and recording process is so important to us.

Tell us about ‘Hate Me’.
‘Hate Me’ was recorded at The Lodge in Northampton, the same place that we recorded our EP. It was something we realised we wanted to be our next release whilst recording City People Are Weird. We all believe in it and felt it was the right next step.

‘Hate Me’ has some strong words. Is writing a song like that a cathartic process for you?
Yes it really is, the lyrics are very important to us as the issues and feelings in the lyrics are all real and something personal to me, and so it is important to express that. The process of writing a song as a band has become very therapeutic for us, it’s a distinct part of who we are and it’s amazing to be able to share that with your best friends.

You have a great live following. What do you think makes people keep coming back to see you?
We can’t say for sure what keeps people coming back but we hope it’s because people see the human in us, but we guess our live following comes down to our indescribable sound and the fact that it’s probably better to watch four friends doing what they love together. Also, it must be funny to watch something different go wrong every time we play.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Cam – Lil Peep ‘Come Over When You’re Sober’
Jake – Whitney ‘Light Upon The Lake’
Tom – Of Monsters and Men ‘Beneath The Skin’
Will – Wolf Alice ‘Visions Of A Life’

What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
Another single, another EP, and lots of touring.

 

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New Music Friday: The Big Dirty

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James…

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James Cutler.

How/when/why did you guys get together?
We have been in bands together in some form for the past 15 years! Dave and Chris were played together at school/college and myself and James have been in a few bands since the age of 15. We gave it a rest for a few years until we started to get the itch for the rock n roll lifestyle again. So we started up The Big Dirty! We called on Dave to play the drums as our previous guitarist had played with him before and couched for his abilities. It was only this year that Chris joined as our new guitarist. Chris composed the score for the Rhythm Of My Drum music video and we have been working with him on an up and coming collaboration project with local rapper Tony Ceasar. We instantly clicked and haven’t looked back.

How would you describe your sound?
We like to say it’s Sex Rock! we all have massively different influences which we like to think gives us a fresh sound! We like to sing about all things sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

Who are your main influences?
We all have a wide range of influences such as He is Legend, Underoath, Pink Floyd, Matt Corby, Emery, Breathe Caroline, Buck Cherry, Pendulum, Led Zep, Dead Sara, Alter Bridge, Ozzy, Dream Theatre, The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Bloc Party & The Libertines.

Tell us about the new songs
‘Safeword’ is the first track we have written with new guitarist Chris. In our first practice he showed us the riff and two hours later we had the track! Everything we’ve written has just felt natural and fun which we think shows in the music. ‘Safeword’ is a good example of how our sound has changed and what to expect.

We are releasing ‘Queen of Hearts’ this Monday so make sure you pop in and check it out.

What are your live shows like? They look pretty wild from some of the footage we’ve seen…
For us music is about the live show! It’s no good having a great energetic track then standing there like lemons while playing it live. Nothing is planned, we just get up on stage and whatever happens happens! Things do get pretty wild!

What has been your favourite band moment?
This is a tough one! Being on tour with Synergy Protocol from Denmark was an amazing experience, it showed us that being in a band can be hard work and we loved it! All our live shows are our favourite moments, it’s why we do it! We have amazing loyal fans and watching them go nuts is the best!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
JC…Underoath ‘Erase Me’
Chris…Deadmau5 ‘Wheres The Drop?’
James…Marshmellow’
Dave…Justin Bieber ‘Baby’

What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
We have a lot of great shit going on already this year! We are working on a colab track with Northampton rapper Tony Ceasar and Giant Dwarf, who directed and filmed our Rhythm Of My Drum music video for us. Keep an eye out for this cause its different than anything else you’ve heard! We have a new booking agent so loads of shows to come and we’re currently working on a new EP which will hopefully be released end of summer/autumn time!

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Northampton shops ready for the return of Record Store Day

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 21st. Ahead of the annual race for limited edition vinyl New Boots contributor Peter Dennis took a trip around Northampton’s independent record stores…

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 21st. Ahead of the annual race for limited edition vinyl New Boots contributor Peter Dennis took a trip around Northampton’s independent record stores to find out more about the day and what it means to local shops.

Older readers will recall fondly the plethora of independent record shops that peppered the town centre. Abel & Sons on the Market Square, which at one time boasted the largest stock of records in the East Midlands. John Lever on Gold Street, with its popular listening posts and own record label. Memory Lane began life in the much missed Emporium Arcade, while Spinadisc on Abington Street was a popular destination for vinyl aficionados. In fact music was such an integral part of the cultural fabric that records could be purchased in chemists, newsagents and supermarkets.

The lamentable decline of the independent record shop has been a national phenomenon, but compared to towns of a similar size Northampton still has several independent sellers and attracts buyers from surrounding areas like Milton Keynes and Leicester – who are void of such amenities.

If you arrive in town by train then your first port of call will be Spun Out on Gold Street. Coincidentally the store occupies the premises that was John Lever’s, so the fact that it’s another record shop provides a nice symmetry. “We’ve been here 18 years” explains manager Chris Kent. “At the moment we’re selling lots of rock, reggae, soul and indie. Having seen a slump in the vinyl market I’d say Record Store Day has been a godsend. It’s pointed out that you still have this resource, these independent shops where you can get immersed in music”.

“It’s all about getting involved”, he continues. “The initial Record Store Day has gained momentum and a lot of it is down to the fact there’s this exciting day that will give you a ticket into this club at your local record shop. We get a fair amount of people queuing up early because they know we try our hardest to have a good selection of all that’s released. This year we’ve also got Thee Telepaths playing live in store at midday, and DJs playing all day long.”

Walking up Abington Street next to the library you will find Watt’s furniture shop. Enter the store, ascend two flights of stairs and you will discover Vinyl Underground. Now in its 25th year they became a record shop almost by default, after selling specialist Detroit and Chicago imports unavailable anywhere else. The shop which has a reputation as a ‘digger’s paradise’ where you can browse through thousands of records. Owner Aidy Harland: “I love the fact that RSD supports independent and local businesses so I really want to get behind it and join in with it. We extend the shop and we have 300-400 people through here on a Saturday. We have a huge variety of releases and there’s a queue outside from 4am. People come in here who are regular customers just to enjoy the day. That’s what it’s all about; people coming in and talking about music”.

Behind Northampton College, on St Michael’s Road, you will find Spiral Archive. The shop is housed in an old printing works building, with approximately 35,000 items. The shop was founded in 1999 by local artist and musician Alex Novak when vinyl sales were at their nadir.  “I think if you look at it as a niche thing those people don’t go away”, he elaborates. “The people who are interested in records will always be there while other people kind of dip in and out”. While Spiral Archive doesn’t stock official Record Store Day releases, it instead opens from 11am until 4pm with half-price sale on everything. Novak also organises a record fair around the corner at The Lamplighter on Overstone Road – open from midday until 4pm – with local DJs playing vinyl right through until 1am.

To find out more about this year’s event and the limited edition releases, visit the official RSD site at https://recordstoreday.co.uk

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New Music Friday: Last Chance

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about…

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about the band and this release.

A quick synopsis of the band, if you please. How/why/when? 

So we are Last Chance from Kettering and we have Matt on vocals and guitar, Harry on bass, Dan on lead guitar and backing vocals and Luke on drums. We started back in March 2017. Originally we was to learn a few punk covers to play at a friend’s memorial party, but just didn’t have enough time to get our shit together to perform. But we stuck with it and actually wrote a few good songs which we thought people would like to see and hear so went out looking for gigs.

I think it’s fair to say you wear your influences on your sleeve, do you not?

Our influences are definitely delivered well throughout our tracks. Were all stuck in the 00s pop punk time zone. Bowling For Soup, Box Car Racer, Blink 182, New Found Glory and Green Day to name a few.

Tell us everything about this new EP ‘Shut Down’

Well our EP was recorded at Parlour Studio in Kettering by Jay, and we had an absolute blast. He made us sound great! The artwork was done by a good friend of the band Ant who lives in Australia and plays in the band Baltimore Gun Club. We’re currently selling the EP for £5 which automatically puts you into a raffle to win a REAL bright pink guitar which we have all scribbled on, so get buying people.

Do you all skateboard, like the artwork suggests? Is it an important band of the band culture?

Skateboarding is what originally brought us all together, apart from Matt who lived in Australia where surfing was his forte. I think now though with two of us being parents and the other two being reprobates, falling off a plank of wood onto hard concrete is definitely not the one no more.

It’s look like incredible fun being at your live shows. 

Oh yeah definitely, our gigs are a right laugh. The easiest thing to do for crowd entertainment is to just give Dan a microphone and he will entertain people for hours. But we all have a good crack doing what we do at live shows. We set each other challenges before we play like most amount of lunges and how many times can Luke the drummer stand up during the set. We just have a good crack and take the piss out of each other.

Do you hit the road very often?

Hitting the road and going on tour is something we really want to do but at the moment we’re still trying to find our way into local venues and continue writing more tracks for an upcoming album.

What’s the connection with Baltimore Gun Club?

Baltimore Gun Club are from the Gold Coast, which is where Matt moved from. His brother Christian (Ronnie) plays drums in this band and they came over to do a UK tour last winter and we supported them at the King Billy. It was so cool for Dan being Christian’s cousin and Matt being his brother to actually appreciate each others music live.

Best/worst thing about Kettering is…?

Where’s all the music shops and live venues gone? If you want to buy strings or even plectrums you’re then off on a 20 mile trip to Northampton. Such a shame; this town used to have some brilliant shops for musicians. They just all vanished one after another.

Who is your big tip from Northants for 2018?

Our tip is to support all local music venues and promoters. The promoters put on all the top local events like Marc and his guys at Rocked Up! These guys still work day jobs have family’s at home and still support the local music scene. Good on them.

What you got coming up next?

We’re looking forward to playing at the Pop Punk Pile Up in Selby at the end of April. Playing alongside Coast To Coast, The Bottom Line and Malory Knox just to name a few is going to be awesome. Then also we’re opening one of the tents at the Rocked Up Hootenanny in September which is also great news. With other gigs at other venues being booked it looks like a busy year for us. Were looking at hitting the studio again in September to record some more, and hopefully have the album out before Christmas. What we want to be doing is push this band as far as we can and see what happens. We don’t want to be just random people who blend in with the surrounding, we want people to come see our band and have a great night with us.

Shut Down is available on Spotify and the other usual online formats. Message the band at lastchancebanduk@gmail.com for a physical version at £5.

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New Music Friday: Deep Sea Mountains

Northampton indie-rock types Deep Sea Mountains have just released a new, Stalkers Studios-recorded EP entitled Pipe Dream. Watch the video for the title track below, but first New Boots spoke…

Northampton indie-rock types Deep Sea Mountains have just released a new, Stalkers Studios-recorded EP entitled Pipe Dream. Watch the video for the title track below, but first New Boots spoke to singer and guitarist Will Sey about it – and the bands’ past and future.

How/why/when did you guys get together?
Deep Sea Mountains have been playing together for four years now. When I first started playing live I was a solo acoustic act. As the songs grew my peers and I recognised the need for a bigger sound. I put together a band (all friends) to perform and record with. We played together for a bit, then two of the band members followed their hearts and left the island. The band was still young and Al Humphries and I were keen as ever to get going again, so I asked my friend Joe [Martin] to try out on the drums and my father-in-law Robin [Pugh] to try out on the bass. Both Joe and Robin were new to their respective instruments but took to them like a duck to water. It worked, we were happy – and are still creating now!

How would you describe your sound?
I would describe our sound as somewhere between indie, punk, britpop and grunge. That would describe the EP sound. The 2016 album spans many more genres, but we had to find ‘our sound’ and I believe this Pipe Dream release has done so (or at least helped).

Who/what are your main influences in and out of music?
Musical influences for me come from many sources. I am a huge Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Muse fan, have always loved heavy music, even a bit of hip hop and dubstep. Although I believe most inspiration has been drawn from the Northamptonshire music scene. Non-musical influences are drawn from the desire to help people, urging folk to get a big dose of nature therapy on the regular as I genuinely believe it brings peace to the body and mind.

Tell us about ‘Pipe Dream’.
‘Pipe Dream’ is the result of a bad time at work. I was in need of change and hadn’t acted, the result was a sense of gloom I couldn’t seem to shake. So I signed off with stress, headed out for a long walk and returned with a song about the comfort zone.

Do you feel there’s been a progression since the self-titled 2016 album?
I feel we have progressed. I’ve started playing electric now so the sound has grown. We are now writing as collective too so that adds many new dimensions. The album was mostly written when we started rehearsing so now there’s a freedom with the new material. It all feels a lot fresher.

What are your live shows like? Do you feel part of a music scene here in Northamptonshire?
The live shows are a lot of fun, we all know what we need to do and seem to get a lot of good feedback. We’re lucky enough to have had considerably more good gigs than bad ones too! We’ve been a part of the local music scene for many years now and have had the pleasure of playing alongside many superb artists. I don’t know what it is about this town but we are spoilt rotten on the music front.

What has been your favourite band moments so far?
Recording the album was a huge deal for me. After writing and playing for so long with no releases under my belt it felt like a huge milestone had been reached. Its a great feeling knowing that our songs are out and available, across the globe. In 2015 we had a headline show for Twinfest; this also felt like a huge milestone for me.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
‘Science Fiction’ by Brand New.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What immediate plans do you have?
My desire for the band probably has to be a tour of some kind, preferably global. More shows, more festivals and more releases. Immediate plans are to put ‘Pipe Dream’ on a hard copy and then plan a launch night. Meanwhile, we have three new songs to work on ready for our next trip to the studio!

Pipe Dream can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp

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New Music Friday: Keiron Farrow

Northampton singer-songwriter Keiron Farrow today releases his new EP, Roundabout Queen Eleanor. Have a listen to it below.  New Boots speaks to him about the journey to here. What did…

Northampton singer-songwriter Keiron Farrow today releases his new EP, Roundabout Queen Eleanor. Have a listen to it below.  New Boots speaks to him about the journey to here.

What did you grow up listening to?
Well, my folks were really into soul and also ska and reggae. My dad was a collector, so mainly their records; lots of Stevie Wonder, Jr Walker – The Temptations were an astonishing group to me. I was also a massive Glen Miller fan and I loved The Beach Boys. I was heavily into James Brown at 14, but it was my aunt lending me Sgt. Pepper when I was 16 that really opened up the world of music making for me.

Give us a bit of background to your musical adventures that led you to now…
I started playing guitar two months before I turned 17, so quite late. But then I played pretty much every day for the next two years – even taking my guitar to work. I got a lot of stick from my mates and whatnot, who where mainly into rave music; whilst I was devouring everything I could get hold of in Daventry Library: from Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, to Led Zeppelin, Bert Jansch and Bob Dylan. Then I played in local bands, started writing my own songs and kinda meandered along. I’d become quite jaded with playing in a band, trying to ‘make it.’ I’d started getting very serious about acoustic guitar after becoming obsessed with Nick Drake. I figured that playing solo would be the best way forward for me. I managed to establish myself fairly well in Northampton in the noughties as ‘The Bugs’ and played some great gigs, did some radio. Then other things – children, poetry, work – started to pull me in other directions. I got the urge again once my lad started school. I started a band, played some gigs, got frustrated with having to organise everything and everyone and decided to go out on my own again, so I guess I’ve come full circle.

This Brit folk/folk baroque style of music has fallen from favour, but it’s hard to imagine why. What led you to it?
Honestly, I don’t know what’s ‘trending’, as the kids might say! So whilst there are certainly influences I just sit down with my guitar as much as possible and enjoy doing whatever I want musically. To paraphrase Charles Mingus ‘Its the place I’m most free’. My style is basically me not being good enough to play or sing like the musicians I admire!

What’s the most personal song of the collection? Danny is about your boy, yes…? And the famous Eleanor Cross statue in town inspired you too?
I would say they all are really. I was going through a lot when they were written: ‘Danny’ is about my son and I dealing with being apart from each other after his mum and I separated. ‘What Lurks’ – mental illness. ‘No Harm’ about the trials of a 20th Century bloke trying to connect in the social media age. ‘The Quickening’ – falling in love again and being real. The title track, ‘Roundabout Queen Eleanor’, was really just a guitar motif that I nicked from Bert Jansch and developed. I used to live near the Cross and being a Northampton native wanted to tie in some way with the landscape. I think its a travesty that Northampton’s historical and cultural impact has been neglected so badly since, in many ways, the English Civil War.

How was playing at the Marburg edition of Twinfest?
It was magical – the town scenery itself is straight out of a fairy tale – apt as ‘The Bothers Grimm’ were denizens. I met so many fascinating, talented, warm-hearted people. There was definitely a vibe that permeated the whole week – love and friendship basically, and the crowds and venues were so supportive – no studied cool whatsoever. I still feel very humbled that I was considered worthy of a place on the bill. The only drawback was not being able to see some of the other artists I wanted to, because I was already on stage somewhere else! Having said that, seeing Sarpa Salpa play to 1500 people at KFZ was brilliant. Like an old-school Roadmender gig!

Do you enjoy playing live? What’s your take on the Northants singer-songwriter scene?
I love nothing more than playing live. This EP was recorded live in my dining room, all first takes; Ben Jennings did his bass afterwards as he was really buzzing to add some lines. The majority of music I listen to was recorded with all the players together on the floor going for it – Blue Note Jazz, for example. I just want to play live as much as possible. In terms of the Northants scene, there are some ridiculously talented people. I love what Charlotte Carpenter is doing. Only last week, I saw a guy – Blood Moon at The Garibaldi. Corrine Lucy – she’s such a beautiful singer, a great writer and a lovely down to earth human being. Her drive to create music is on a par with William Blake’s illuminated works and epic poetry. What Northants seems to lack are venues which are receptive to what I would call the ‘roots’ side of things: folk, jazz, blues and singer-songwriters. Despite being able to spin 360 and fall into a coffee shop in Northampton we do not have a ‘coffee shop culture’, where traditionally players of our ilk congregate.

Tell us your upcoming gigs. What you up to for the rest of 2018?
I’m doing a turn as part of a triple header called ‘Music in Rugby’ tonight [March 30th], which will be ace. Then the Harmonics Collective night in Corby on April 27th , followed by Vintage Retreat’s third Vegan Festival on April 28th. As for the rest of 2018, I’d like to build on what I’ve achieved over the last year and hopefully connect with more listeners. I’d like to put on gigs locally and bring together more solo performers – see where that goes.

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New Music Friday: Skirt

Corby rock trio Skirt – Liam Finan, Alex Huxtable, and Leia Cameron – have an EP ‘Is It?’ out in a few days time, and today they share the video for one of…

Corby rock trio Skirt – Liam Finan, Alex Huxtable, and Leia Cameron – have an EP ‘Is It?’ out in a few days time, and today they share the video for one of the tracks, ‘Easy Tiger’. New Boots quizzed them, and here are the [cryptic] answers.

Who are Skirt?
3 best buds from Corby tryna do some special things

How did you get together?
Mad story actually

Tell us about the ‘Is It?’ EP, and the launch shows to accompany it.
It’s our baby. We love it. A fusion of all our preferences, no two tracks the same. Fast and loud when deemed appropriate. EP release weekend begins the 30th March with a hometown show followed by date in Kettering then finished with our biggest headline to date at The Cookie in Leicester. We’re bringing along Luna Rosa, King Purple, Fatmate, and Drinsipa plus others to support our release and we can’t wait because they’re obviously the best bands about, and it only seemed necessary to get the best. That and because we love ’em all.

You seem to work hard, playing plenty of live shows. Is that where the band come alive, the stage?
As much as we enjoy playing live, wouldn’t necessarily say it’s where we come alive. Would like to say we share that quality when it comes to writing and recording

How ‘Sarcastic’ exactly are Skirt?
It’s just a song we have x

How does Corby inspire you?
Inspires us to get the fuck out

What’s the last album you bought/streamed?
The Garden’s new records are wicked

What’s the plan now for the rest of the year?
Wear skirts and write songs

Skirt on Facebook

 

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New Music Friday: Over The Influence

Northampton hard rock band Over The Influence today share their debut video to recent EP track ‘Can’t We Love’, filmed by Joshua Goff. Katie Montford marked the occasion for New…

Northampton hard rock band Over The Influence today share their debut video to recent EP track ‘Can’t We Love’, filmed by Joshua Goff. Katie Montford marked the occasion for New Boots by speaking to the band.

When and why did you form?
James: I went about looking to form the band in 2015; my last band split up from members moving away so I wanted to start a new venture.

What music inspired the band?
James: Too much to put into one list but to name a few: Guns n’ Roses, Motley Crue, Black Stone Cherry, Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Led Zeppelin, Buckcherry, Monster Truck, The Dead Daisies, etc.

Growing up who did you listen to? Has your musical tastes changed?
James: The first band I ever really got into was The Rolling Stones. Their track ‘Brown Sugar’ is the song that turned me on to music, and then, when I discovered Guns n’ Roses my life changed, haha! Been listening to the same kind of bands ever since.

Do you remember your first band gig?
James: The first ever OTI show was held in my back garden – we decided to set the band up under a marquee and invite like 80-odd people over, BYOB. Safe to say we had a few angry people from the neighbourhood interrupt. If it’s too loud, you’re too old!

Who is on your playlist right now?
Bex – My choices change on a daily basis, but I’d say: Santa Cruz, Alter Bridge, Stone Sour, The Cruel Knives, Massive, and even some heavier bands like Feed the Rhino! To be honest as long as it’s got some killer riffs, a sweet groove and some awesome vocals it’ll usually find its way onto my playlist.
James: At the minute i’m playing a lot of Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge, The Dead Daisies, Lynch Mob, Skid Row and Ratt.

What inspired ‘Can’t We Love’?
Bex – ‘Can’t We Love’ is probably our most pissed-off song, because it’s all about being fed up with the way the world is ran and how it needs to change! There’s hints to the government and their decisions to prioritise money over human life, the media and the web of lies they spin around their viewers and audience and just the general lack of empathy we have for one another. We’d just hear about yet another terrorist attack from ISIS and were just so angry and ‘Can’t We Love?’ was born from that anger.

Do you change persona when you perform?
Bex: I wouldn’t say I change ‘persona’ per-say, but I would say that my general attitude and personality is just more exaggerated. There’s always got to be an element of performing, so I think you can’t ever truly be the person you are at work/home etc. But I also think it’s so important to be yourself on stage as that’s who your audience connects with and builds a relationship with.

Do you feel the band has changed with time?
Bex: Absolutely! I think as we’ve matured as musicians, so have our songs both musically and lyrically. If you listen to songs like ‘Take Control’, which is one of our older songs, you get that more classic rock and bluesy feel, whereas ‘Can’t We Love’ is far heavier and meatier and shows influences from modern rock and even some of the softer sides of metal, which is more in the direction of the next EP’s sound.
James: I agree with Bex, we’ve definitely naturally developed a heavier, more ‘modern’ edge to the sound which I think will shine properly on EP #2.

What was the musical process like? Did you have the idea of the whole song? Lyrical content, instrumentation?
Bex: If I’m honest we don’t really have a set ‘process’ for writing. For ‘Can’t We Love?’ James wrote the riffs and set the structure of the song. All that was left were the lyrics, and this was actually the first song I’d had any lyrically input on. The lyrics were written when me and James were sat in his dining room after hearing the news about the most recent ISIS attack and just needed to write this song.

Who writes the music/lyrics?
Bex: Generally speaking, James writes the main riffs, but each instrument takes ownership of their parts. We like to all sit in a room and bounce ideas off one another, as that tends to create the most ‘OTI sounding’ songs. Previously, James wrote all the lyrics too, but pushed me to take over that role from him once I joined the band on a permanent basis.

What made you make ‘Memories’ so different to the rest of your EP? Both vocally and musically.
Bex: This is actually quite a funny story. So I went to Reading festival with James and of course he found himself in a mosh pit at Five Finger Death Punch’s set, and he broke his finger! This meant he lost all real movement and strength in his bottom two fingers, so really struggled to play guitar for a good couple of months. Whilst he was in a cast he was playing around with an acoustic guitar and wrote the chorus for ‘Memories’. Me previously being an acoustic singer songwriter I fell in love with the song, and myself and James wrote the lyrics and finished the song together. We played it to a few of our friends and family and they loved it too, so we ended up gigging it at a few acoustic shows we played and it got such great feedback we knew it had to go on the EP. We love that it shows our softer side, and I love that I’ve been able to bring my ‘lighter’ vocals to the band, and we feel it just shows a different and more vulnerable side of us to our audience.
James: I’m a big fan of bands that can write both a killer, heavy rock song and also tame it to acoustic when needed. Alice in Chains are a great example of this. Like Becky said I’d broken my finger so the chorus was accidentally written, I went to play a power chord and realised i didn’t have enough fingers, this strange inverted sorta sound came out and i played with it for a bit and got ‘Memories’. In terms of the song itself: I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my life so I wrote the song about regret, Bex came in and helped write a lot of the lyrics too.

Did you always want perform rock?
Bex: Not at all! Previously I performed as a solo artist playing self-written acoustic pieces. Although rock music was always a huge passion of mine I never thought I had a ‘rock voice’. I never intended to join OTI but I was asked to fill in some shows on a last-minute basis as James knew I was a singer, and I’ve never looked back!
James: Always have and always will!

Do you have any upcoming shows?
Bex: We’re honoured to be supporting Stormbringer for the second time, playing at our local and legendary venue The Roadmender at the end of April. We love playing with those guys, they’re tight as hell and they’ve got some wicked tunes! In terms of other shows, we’ve got some exciting things booked including some festival slots, but at the moment we’re really focusing on getting some new material written in preparation for our newest EP.

What can we expect next?
Bex: We’re currently in the process of writing the next EP, which we’re hoping will continue to demonstrate that slightly more heavier side that we feel ‘Can’t We Love?’ has begun to show. Think fatter, riffier and more groovy beats that’ll get your head nodding and your heart racing. We might even throw in another acoustic number 😉
James: The majority of the 2nd EP is written and sounding massive now, so it’s just a case of writing the last couple of tracks and then recording it, mixing, mastering and the usual bullshit that goes with releasing an EP.

 

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Deaf Trap: interview and new video for ‘Real Nice Night’

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather…

Following the release of their second EP, Miscreants, Peter Dennis spoke at length to Northampton alt-rockers Deaf Trap. The band comprises of Matthew Wetherill (guitar), Rob Gray (drums) and, rather confusingly, the band has two Tom Wrights: Thomas (vocals) and Tom (bass). The lads tell New Boots about their songs, their scene, and their plans for the future. Plus, the new video for Miscreants track ‘Real Nice Night’ is below.

How easy was it to find three other guys with similar musical tastes who you could tolerate?
Matthew Wetherill: For me it comes down to genuinely being really good friends. It’s probably a clichéd thing to say…
Thomas Wright: We basically met up as mates and then Matthew started playing guitar and we used to cover things where I’d sing along and then we used to write songs about the hotel that we worked for and how much we absolutely hated it! [laughs]
Matthew: That was it. It was almost like Billy Bragg protest songs about a posh conference centre. We’d go for a night out and because we didn’t have any money we’d go round someone’s house, drinking, playing guitar, singing…
Tom Wright: Many years later…here we are! [laughs]
Thomas: We’re late bloomers.
Tom: It took us a long time to get our first gig. We were practising for over two years.
Matthew: That’s one of the good things. It’s like a slow build. You’re not forcing anything.
Tom: You see all these young bands, we play with them and they’re awesome.
Thomas: It’s depressing, isn’t it? [laughs] That band who were on at The Lab [The Keepers], they were really good and The Barratts were saying how young they were and The Barratts are younger than us! The Barratts were getting annoyed at how young The Keepers were and I thought, ‘Shit! That’s exactly how I used to feel about you!’
Matthew: That’s it. We have a closeness. I say it all the time but you have to be comfortable falling out with people. And that way when you do fall out with people, although it’s not always nice, because you’re comfortable enough you just go past it, because you’re that good friends, you’re happy to tell each other what you think. It means you don’t hold things in so much, there’s no tension. It’s a much more natural progression because of it.
Thomas: There is the occasional strop in this band and it usually takes a couple of beers to get over. [laughs]
Rob Gray: That’s a Deaf Trap recommendation. A good conflict and resolution solution. Always resolve it.
Thomas: [laughs] No punching!

Can we talk about your musical influences? What do each of you bring to the Deaf Trap sound?
Rob: My pretentious answer to that is everything I’ve ever heard. I know the stuff I like but it doesn’t necessarily influence what I’m doing here. It’s whatever you hear at the time. Within this band the style I play there’s a lot of Chad from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the way he whacks those drums. I can’t think of a nice way to say it but he slams those drums, he fucks them up, he really hits them. I’m influenced by hip hop and trip hop beats, it doesn’t play out in this band apart from some break parts. More recently Foals or Bloc Party, they’re both heavily tom-based, they don’t just do the straight beats, they’re almost dance beats with some rocky bits and then a lot of tom’s to make it sound tribal. The Trail of Dead do some awesome stuff and Ginger Baker is one of those guys with that swing.
Thomas: I suppose in terms of things I listen to, it’s traditional indie. I like a lot of Britpop, I like indie bands. These guys write some basic music first and I have to adapt and put my mark on it so… I kind of experiment with my voice and then it just comes out. I don’t draw on anything specific. I’m not a musician! I just keep trying until something good comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t!
Matthew: For me very, very early on it would have been The Cribs and The Libertines, that’s the age I was when I first picked up a guitar. I’d go to watch bands at The Soundhaus and always be a bit in awe and when I saw those bands and the carelessness with which they played but still generated more emotion out of me than any of the other bands did that made me think, maybe I could do that. As I got older I really listened to The Pixies and Sonic Youth. That’s where, if I need a bit of inspiration, it’s down that route. I wouldn’t write a whole song and come to practice and say ‘Right, how can you guys add to this?’ I might start off with something and then it will change so much from what it was with everybody’s input. It doesn’t come from one particular influence. By the time a song’s finished you can’t trace it back to anything because the ideas are so collected now.
Tom: This might come as a shock to the band but I listen to a lot of Nirvana, Foo Fighters. I listen to a lot of Rolling Stones, I like the bass in Royal Blood. I get a lot of my bass riffs and ideas from Royal Blood and stuff like that.
Rob: That drummer is sick, the Royal Blood drummer. I saw him live. Solid.

It sounds like you all have disparate influences. How do you bring them together and make them work cohesively?
Matthew: It tends to to be, I’ll have a guitar riff, Tom will have a bass riff and then we’ll loop and throw guitars and things over the top. In doing that and having a bit of a jam you can usually work out two or three different ways it could go because we don’t fall out as much now.
Thomas: Sometimes it does reach a point where, say, two of the band have got completely different ideas and at the end of a practice everyone’s a bit disjointed because it keeps going round because nobody can decide. Usually everyone goes home, has a sleep on it, comes back and says “Actually, that’s a good idea after all. We’ll try that”. There are certain points where there’s a bit of stubbornness .
Matthew: You have to draw a bit of a line, don’t you? But when you do come back to it and everyone thinks there’s two different ways we can do it, retry everything. That’s the thing these days, there’s no “We’re not doing that”. If one person thinks something and another the other, we’ll do two different ways. It’s very rare at the end of that we don’t agree.
Tom: We tend to go through at least ten ideas before we get to a song.
Rob: We do drop a lot because there’s too many things going on in there so we can’t agree so what’s the point in sticking with it if we can’t agree? We move on and we end up with the stuff we can agree on and when we have that one idea we can all agree on, that’s what makes it cohesive.
Thomas: I think that because everyone’s a bit different does slow down the process of writing a song, but it adds to the end product. We’re all usually happy with the way it sounds and at the beginning nobody thinks it’s going to sound like that, it’s always something completely different.
Matthew: Obviously when you listen back to some of our songs and you know the influences then as much as you wouldn’t say “That song sounds like Foals” or “That song sounds like Sonic Youth” if you really pick it apart and pay attention you can see where those ideas were spawned.

Your recent single ‘From the Floor’ is quite dark, and not what I expected.
Rob: I wasn’t aware that ‘whore’ was a swear word. It’s not in America.
Matthew: The interesting thing with that is, it’s worth putting on record, it’s a song about having struggles with alcohol, drugs, that sort of thing.
Rob: It’s a massive metaphor.
Thomas: Actually the core line in that came from Rob.
Rob: It was the first time we really started to sing together. That’s what really pushed it as a song. The original lyric was ‘Need somebody to love’ – it was too George Michael for us. So I sang ‘Please stop being a whore’ instead. It just sounded a bit rougher, a bit rock and about not going too far with things.
Thomas: We toyed with the idea of changing it to something that would be played on the radio, and then we thought ‘Fuck that!’; we’re not pandering to society. The thing is everybody’s offended all the time about whatever and to be offended is somebody’s choice and how they interpret our lyrics is how they interpret our lyrics. If they’re offended by that it’s because they’ve taken something from the lyric and it reflects on them rather than us.
Rob: It’s not necessarily talking about a woman. It could be talking about yourself, about a friend of yours. It’s just a general sense of going to far.
Thomas: When I sing it I think of it as a kind of battle. A first person singing to himself: “I’m going out tonight, I don’t want to do this, I’m always a whore when I go out”. That’s the avenue I take mentally when I’m on it. Obviously it’s a fictional character…I’ve never been a whore! [laughs]
Rob: We’ve got to make it clear that it’s not a re-imagining of The Police’s ‘Roxanne’. It’s not that. You don’t have to put on the red light. It’s not the same thing.
Thomas: No. We’ve got a lot of respect for whores and we’d never sing about them in a derogatory manner.
Rob: We’ve got respect for all ladies of the night!

While we’re on the subject of ‘From the Floor’ it’s accompanied by a great video. How involved were you in that?
Rob: We did it all. I tried to take the lead because I’ve got a little bit of video making experience, but it was all of us.
Thomas: Jack, the lead in the video, always comes to our gig dressed as a hot dog so we thought that because he’s been so committed to the band we’d give him a lead role in our first video.
Rob: He was really creative in that, he was full of energy, God bless him, he was up for anything and always available and we can’t thank him enough really.
Matthew: We all really like it. It came out really well considering we had no budget.
Rob: Zero budget. It was just an idea to do something like Peep Show. For me it’s a bit like a cheap version of The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ video. Someone goes out and gets wasted and we just tried to put an extra element to it…a hot dog!
Matthew: The point being, not being able to get over your addictions. You fall into it at the start and at the end you are trying to recover and you fall back again.

What do you think of the local music scene?
Thomas: It’s underrated. There’s loads of great bands around. It’s not just Northampton, it’s Kettering, Corby and all the surrounding towns. I think we’re overlooked towards this end of the country.
Tom: Northampton’s really strong musically.
Matthew: We’ve got so many good bands like Monarchs, Thomas mentioned The Barratts earlier. The Keepers are doing really well.
Thomas: And they’re all nice guys. We get along well with all the bands. There’s no egotistical band where they’re all wankers and they don’t talk to or want to have anything to do with the other bands. They’re all really decent, sound people who’ll have beers with everyone.
Matthew: That’s true. I can’t think of any band in the town who I don’t like. I mean there’s obviously styles that you don’t prefer but in terms of any band we’ve played with I can’t think of anyone who’s been iffy.

There’s some cracking small venues in the town but what we really need is a good, medium size venue that has bands on every night.
Thomas: Bring back The Soundhaus basically. That’s what we all feel like. I was devastated when it closed.
Matthew: The Lab, at the moment, is the best venue in town for bands being able to play. They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get a great sound system set up, it’s really starting to take off and that’s why we’re here today. It’s Independent Venue Week but the only other real venue I would say is The Roadmender, but that seems to be club nights.
Rob: They’ve got the main hall and a side room. If you want to do a bigger gig in that type of venue then… The Picturedrome have had their entire room refitted. Our next video is due to come out, it’s done at The Lodge with Max, and he renovated The Picturedrome for it’s acoustics. I can’t wait to hear a band there. It’s a difficult place to play because it was originally a cinema, so I can’t wait to hear a band there because if he’s done a good job then that would be a major higher class venue rather than a pub.
Matthew: It was a travesty when The Soundhaus closed because that was 380 capacity and that was perfect because you used to get bands who were about to break playing there and they booked some great bands. The list of bands from The Arctic Monkeys to The Libertines and so on. They all played there and whoever booked them at the time had all the contacts and we’re crying out for someone who knows what they’re doing. The town’s missing that. The Lab’s great but it has a lower capacity.
Rob: The town is fine for that: The Garibaldi’s putting bands on, The Lamplighter putting bands on, you can get a couple of hundred people in there but they’re all squashed. They’re not venues that are originally designed for that.. The main venues are shutting down because of neighbours who’ve moved in and want quiet and venues are also struggling financially.
Thomas: I think that’s where a lot of local bands get their break by supporting touring bands and there’s no major bands passing through. That’s where you get most of your exposure. When our old band supported Space at The Picturedrome we had a whole new crowd to play to. It was a great opportunity and it got us loads of new fans but without the touring bands we never would have had that. That’s what it’s like pretty much all the time.
Rob: I think if you look at what some of the surrounding towns are doing like Corby, Bedford, Milton Keynes even, they’re always supportive of their bands. Some of those things are out there which we’re keen to play this year to open thing up for us. My friend Karl was saying it’s a shame Northampton’s got all these bands coming up but unfortunately the surrounding areas are doing more. I think in time it’ll come up. The Lab is doing a lot. I don’t think it’s dying, it’s on its way up but it’ll take time. For the time being it’s worth driving to play 20 miles out of town to play somewhere that’s got venues of a decent size.

How do gauge your music development between the your two EPs? Is one an extension of the other, or is it more a quantum leap?
Matthew: We talked about this not so long ago. The first EP felt more ‘demo-ish’ because we needed something to go “Right! We’ve got new music, we’re technically a new band, here’s what we’ve got for you to listen to”. It wasn’t rushed but it was a case of, you want to give people something to check out, to decide if they want to come and see you, there was an element of that, whereas with the second it’s a lot more precise in the way it was written. We could have done five songs again but, no; these three we’re really happy with.
Rob: At this time it’s also an economic thing as well, to get an album done in a top recording house it’s gonna cost you hundreds of pounds, that’s realistic. We’re lucky to get the bargains we have, working with the people we have. We can go in there with a short time frame and they do great jobs. I think now the reaction we’ve got from these EPs…in a way people are waiting for an album and I think that’s next on the cards.
Thomas: We probably won’t release any more EPs, will we? We’ve done physical copies for the two EPs. I think now, until we get to the album stage, we’ll release things as a digital single.
Matthew: we can go and record a song in two or three hours because we live-take it generally – then we sing the vocals over the top. We don’t do it bit by bit, we have it quite organic and because of that we can do it really quick. So if we wanted to get something out there it won’t cost us a fortune. It’s working out the best way to do it. We’ve got a good amount of material out there [with those eight songs]. I don’t feel we need to jump into something straight away.

That was going to be my final question. What are your future plans?
Rob: We haven’t really talked about it so we may disagree. I’d like to record more this year, stick everything on that because we’ve got enough EPs. Maybe double down on them and get a couple more singles out this year. Then we could work more on them, rather than doing them in a day, if we can have that luxury of doing them in a week or a month then we can concentrate on getting our best sound, then maybe next year look at getting a full album out.
Thomas: I think it’s important to stay on the radar releasing smaller amounts of stuff more often so people don’t forget about you.
Matthew: That’s a good theory. Whatever the end goal is, along the way making sure people don’t lose touch with you.
Rob: Like we said, go to other places and raise our fan base and this year we’re going to concentrate a lot more on festivals, to enjoy that element of it.

https://www.facebook.com/DeafTrap

 

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