Category: Feature

New Music Friday: Har-Q

Northampton rapper Har-Q has been building a strong name for himself with his many releases, and 2018 was a big moment with two albums released. New single ‘Big Money’ is…

Northampton rapper Har-Q has been building a strong name for himself with his many releases, and 2018 was a big moment with two albums released. New single ‘Big Money’ is equally worthy of attention, and New Boots asked a few pertinents to the man himself.

How, when, and why did you become Har-Q?
Well initially I went through some corny names, here’s a couple for e.g – Genesis, T.money, and w.a.s.p. “I was 16 you have to forgive me.” But while I was working at a call centre “big up space designs”, where I mainly wrote rhymes and occasionally answered the phone, one time a guy can’t remember his first name but it came up on the call screen called something “harq” and I complimented his name as I wrote his surname down and alas something I could work with that wasn’t lame. The meaning came not long after that, it was “HAR-Q when I leave the stage it will be a hard cue to beat.” Over the years as I grew in knowledge and the name evolved, it became H.A.R-Q which means the H = herald: messenger, A = ark: the message, R = returns/renaissance and Q = quadrivium, which alienates the hell out of people. I watch them squirm when I tell them this as its a bit geeky and probably out of the scope of their interest, but basically it’s saying that it’s a return to the original principle of university when the scholars focused on the four arts “arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy” and I came to spot the familiarity of that in the early hip-hop culture: breakdancing, graffiti, DJ, emcee and these are the pillars of education and advancements in life as the quadrivium / liberal arts gave birth to the renaissance out of the dark ages.

How would you describe your sound?
I go through a range of sounds if you listen to my back catalogue. But don’t: the production isn’t that great, good content but poor recording, so my goal over the years probably became to have a clear audible sound that mimics that of people on the radio.

In terms of content I would describe it as lyrical; often finding myself jumping on the spoken word because people by default don’t like to think too much while listening to music. It always has a storytelling theme because I binge watch and read a lot. I almost give a synopsis on the subject in song form or fully immerse my self into the character and do it first person, trying to embody the tale. I aim for entertainment value.

Composition wise I love heavy melodic music and multiple thumping bass.

Who are your influences?
Hip hop: all the elements when combined 
Cap-com: love games 
Crunchy-roll: worship anime 
Robert Greene: for his accounts of history and what to take from it
Stan Lee for his characters 
Big dreamers: anyone with goals ambitions and direction because without the direction they are just dream
Myself: as I sit back and watch myself battle their life and surprise myself with my willpower, creativity, and resilience to the point I think most of the time I’m just a spectator in my own life.
books: because its facts / imagination/ history etc
Nas, for his mastery over the language 
Anderson Paak, for his creative style

What was the reaction to the two albums you released in 2018?
Trapped Hop was the first album that was released in twelve years. The first album was done by the record label Big Tuff Ent. So I didn’t really know what to expect with this one with no promotion, no shows, no marketing, no money.

I saw while doing research that you can get your songs streamed on sites like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc and thought: sweet, if I get it on their boom that’s my label and manager right there I’m going to get millions of plays while I sit back and get paid, and boy was I wrong. For the first five months it bombed. I had wasted half the year and had nothing to show for it. I was stumped so I got to promoting it: sharing it, making flyers and going to open mics then it slowly started to pick up in the late half of the year. I have seen a subsequent rise in the second quarter of the year, especially ‘Neo Yokio’ [from Trapped Hop]. 

The Creed has through looking at my analytics, geeking out, it holds most of the top spots, but it’s because I never wasted time when I released it. I was a bit more prepared or knew at least a bit more what to do and consistency is defiantly the key. Ad not just online: you have to hit the streets, if you stop sharing and stop looking for new people your progress slows down. I’m still in my infant stage really, even though I have never stopped working my craft artistically for what feels like a lifetime already. But in a nutshell it has been as successful as it could be in my eyes. Trying to watch my own achievements and not put it in comparison to people further in their career, that’s the quickest way to giving up. And hopefully I have started enough of a buzz for the up and coming material.

Tell us about your new single, ‘Big Money’.
‘Big Money’ is about the grind that we all go through, we always bump into people we know on the street, in a store etc who we haven’t seen in a minute and the hook kind of embodies a call an response theme of the generic questions people often ask. I’ve had a lot of changes in the latter half of this year: I’ve changed jobs after seven years, currently separated from my partner of 12 years, finally back in the studio diligently after eight years, so the grind has been immense. Thinking, learning and working towards where I want to be in the next five-ten years, so right now I’m just like ‘yyyyyooooo let me tell you about it’, but in the way an artist does. It’s a very relatable tune I feel, and felt it had a very human element to it as I’m always rapping about fantasy and stories.

What are your live shows like?
I’ve only this year got back to performing constantly working with the “Lay It Down” team [Northampton] and “Soapbox” spoken word [Milton Keynes] “ Breakmission” hip-hop collective [Birmingham]. So I’ve had some good shows, some shows where the liquor problem got the better of me, shows where my insecurities won. But I love to bring the energy whenever possible, but as I’m developing I want to integrate and bring more to the performance because I focus so much on the lyrical content I feel it can zap my focus on the stage. Forgetting my lyrics is probably the thing I fear the most in the whole world, as well as the socializing aspects afterward. I can be quite socially awkward sometimes, lol, but back to the point when I drop tracks like ‘Gang Gang’ and ‘Akuma’, it can get lit.

Do you feel part of the wider scene in Northampton and like-minded people, any shoutouts?
I think to be a part of the community you have to throw yourself into it. With that said the scene could also do with a shot of adrenaline to bring it to life. Yes I’m trying to immerse myself into it more, and be more involved. Lay it Down has been a massive part of this, and I’ve been out to Rugby doing some shows with Benny & The Jango Massive. I think if we work together, not necessarily as a team but toward a common cause, and combine our strength I think we got a great opportunity here for music lovers of the north.

What has been your favourite moment in 2018?
It has to be, hands down, going to Comic-Con Birmingham and rocking the Har-Q get-up mask and all then hearing someone call my name in the distance thinking it was my boy. By boy I mean friend, not son, as the rest of the sentence would sound like neglect lol. As I tend to wander off I looked round to see a guy with his son and he was like Har-Q, right ? I was taken aback, but was like “HELL YER” and he went to his son [who didn’t seem the faintest bit interested] “Its har-q”. But we stopped, spoke for a minute took a photo and ‘GASSED’ is an understatement.

What was the last album that you brought or streamed?
Well I haven’t brought an album in yonks, but I do listen to Spotify release radar and discovery every Monday where they drop something new that relates to something I’ve been listening to all week just to see what’s good. But I will say new artist wise I like Denzel Curry: love his raspy gravely voice, his content and delivery is furious. Reminds me of that raw era of hip-hop.

What is your burning desire of the future, what plans do you have?
My main desire is to create a comic book to anime, its always been one of my major goals. Other than that to keep working my craft and actually get in the studio with some session musicians and producers and create some classics on an unplugged vibe, and just to get bigger and better, more elaborate.  

Big Money is out now. Image courtesy of AudioStage

No Comments on New Music Friday: Har-Q

Audio exclusive: Baby Lung ‘Casualty’

Baby Lung are a fresh new Northampton quartet, mixing minimalist emotional indie with a hint of jazzy vibes. Their debut single from back in November, ‘She’, laid out the agenda:…

Baby Lung are a fresh new Northampton quartet, mixing minimalist emotional indie with a hint of jazzy vibes. Their debut single from back in November, ‘She’, laid out the agenda: an atmospheric ’80s sound [like your man Ryan Adams might do], with a steady hypnotic rhythm backing dreamy guitars and synths to create a sum greater than its parts. New Boots spoke to singer/bassist Maxx Riley about these early days of the band, and we can exclusively reveal the audio to follow-up single, the harder-hitting ‘Casualty’, below.

How  did you guys get together?
Back in November 2017 I was pretty much done with music. My previous band [We Animals] was playing a few good shows and putting out some good music, but we couldn’t get to that next level. I had just come out of a relationship so I wasn’t focused on making music and at the time I was also working in the music industry, so music had become a chore more than a passion. Me and Mat [Day], who plays lead guitar in Baby Lung, were setting up some acoustic guitars for work, and I remember watching him play these jazz chords that I hadn’t heard before – I was very much ‘the same four chords with a capo on’ type of songwriter. I asked him to teach me a few chords and I managed to write a song with them. One song became a couple and then a few and so on. I managed to get the buzz of writing back and I straight away knew that Mat had to play guitar in the band. I had worked with Harry [Dinnage], who plays drums for Baby Lung, in my previous band so I was aware of how talented he was. I asked if he wanted to come and jam with us and we instantly clicked and had three songs complete in our first practise. For the next year we decided that we weren’t going to rush into gigging and instead we spent six months being unknown, with no social medias, just perfecting the songs and finding our sound. After recording our first two singles we were introduced to Matt [Willett], our saxophonist/rhythm guitarist, who has added so much to our songs already. It has only been a couple months with Matt but instantly we’re all on the same page with writing, and we’re all equally as committed to pushing ourselves and making music that we want to hear.

Who are the main influences that make up this project, do you think?
We all bring something completely different to the table, so I think this would need to be answered individually. For me personally it was Paul Weller, Jamie T, Mike Skinner (as well as others) that turned me from a drummer to a songwriter. I learnt that you could have fun with the lyrics whilst also keeping them relatable for everyone. I was very late in discovering the greats of music, and only in the last two years I’ve discovered geniuses such as Nat King Cole, Vera Lynn, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jnr., as well as many others which has really opened my eyes to a new way of writing. Luckily we’re all quite open minded people so we could be listening to Charlie Parker one day and then The Beatles the next. There’s currently a rise of current artists putting their twists on genres such as Yellow Days, Puma Blue, King Krule etc. I think they’ve influenced us to write what we want to write and to not be afraid to flirt between genres. I think as a band we unintentionally take different musical characteristics from different genres, such as the change of dynamics used in grunge to the catchy choruses used in indie or the real bluesy guitar solos mixed with jazz chords etc. We see no point in restricting ourselves and at the same time manage to keep ‘our sound’.

What was the reaction like to your first release, ‘She’?
I was real nervous about releasing ‘She’, and we actually waited around five months to release the single. We were unknown, so it was important to us to have a good single to release accompanied with an equally as good music video, which our close friend Ryan Johnson shot for us, in order to get people’s attention – which I believe we have done. Off the back of this we’ve received compliments from friends, family, members of the public, some high up people in the music industry and we’ve received numerous gig offers which we’re thrilled with. I think ‘She’ was the first song we ever worked on as a band, so I’m happy it’s gone down so well.

Tell us about this new song, ‘Casualty’.
The one piece of criticism we’ve received from a review was that ‘She’ was basic in terms of song structure, i.e verse chorus verse chorus etc. Although it was intentionally written like that I can’t wait for people to check out ‘Casualty’. Structurally this song is miles apart from ‘She’, and really shows our songwriting skills. I don’t like to go into too much details about what the song means as I hope they are subjective to whoever is listening. However the main premise is falling in love, and having that fear that at any minute it could end.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Maxx – Julie Is Her Name by Julie London
Mat – Carolina Confessions by Marcus King
Harry – Con Todo El Mundo by Khruangbin
Matt – Skylight by Pinegrove

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Our burning desire is the same as any other band; play big shows, record albums, etc. At the minute we’re happy with staying low and writing more and continuing to be perfectionists. We’re heading into the studio in early 2019 to record an EP, with a number of music videos to follow. We’re at the stage now where we can start to look for gigs and we plan to gig all across the UK.

Casualty hits the streaming/download services on January 4th

 

No Comments on Audio exclusive: Baby Lung ‘Casualty’

New Music Friday: The Atrocity Exhibit

Grindcore trio The Atrocity Exhibit are a MK/Northampton act who have recently released their first “proper” full length album, Extinction Solution. The band  – James Caygill [vocals/guitar], Olly Edwin [bass/vocals] and Matt…

Grindcore trio The Atrocity Exhibit are a MK/Northampton act who have recently released their first “proper” full length album, Extinction Solution. The band  – James Caygill [vocals/guitar], Olly Edwin [bass/vocals] and Matt [drums/vocals] – have been ploughing their unique furrow for many a year and now have a refined piece of work to shout about. New Boots gets the skinny on everything from Caygill.

How did you guys get together?
The band kinda started around late 2005 with myself and Lee (ex-guitarist) just jamming out some ideas, just mashing everything we liked together.  It was a lot less cohesive then, but now it’s been more reformed into our own style. Just a bunch of people who wanted to make some noise.  Our first gig was six months later and a shambles really, a pretty standard story for most bands I’m sure.  We’ve been through a lot of changes over the years and the current line-up has been going about nine months.
 
How would you describe your sound?
Grindcore mixed with crust punk.  Blastbeats and d-beats, and occasional awkward angular riffs in silly timings. We try and write interesting energetic songs, but also avoid conventional song structures.
 
Who do you feel are your main influences?
Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Soilent Green, Acid Bath, Melvins, Hard To Swallow, Iron Monkey, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, 80’s punk.
 
How has the band progressed since 2006? Is it a case of sticking to your core values throughout that time despite all the natural changes bands go through?
I think we quickly became a lot more focused musically, when we started all the songs felt completely different but now it’s more part of a ‘sound’.  Every line-up change has had a bit of an influence on shaping it though.  As for values we’ve always been sticking to a rigid DIY ethic.  We try and do as much as possible ourselves rather than paying someone else to make the effort; it’s harder work but a lot more rewarding and personal. When we do work with other people then it’s usually involving our mates. The UK DIY scene is small but pretty healthy and self-sustaining, everyone helps each other with organising gigs, recording, artwork, printing, etc.
 
You’re a fan of the EP, but this is your first studio album. Is it hard to decide in what format to release your songs?
It’s actually our first proper full length! We did a live tape (a split with Atomck) for a European tour back in 2011 but I think we only actually made 30 copies of that, and it was a live recording anyway. All the copies sold out on tour but then we got quite a bit of attention from it being distributed online by Randall from Agoraphobic Nosebleed, on his Grindcore Karaoke Bandcamp page. Most of the time the EPs were a result of us trying to release things fairly quickly, we’ve played a lot of gigs and between live shows and changing line-ups it was good to try and keep new music out there.  It also makes it more affordable for smaller bands, especially when its working together with split releases.
In terms of format vinyl has always been the preferable option for our scene, or maybe cassette.  CDs always sell much slower. Having a Bandcamp page is essential, but otherwise I never really pay much mind to the digital end of things.
 
Tell us everything about Extinction Solution.
We recorded it with Boulty up at Stuck On A Name Studios in Nottingham.  SOAN is a fantastic place and a real sweet spot for the DIY scene, covering practice rooms, live shows and recording.  Every town needs somewhere like this, but sadly they’re incredibly rare these days. It was probably the easiest recording I’ve ever been involved with, we just set everything up as we would at practice and smashed out 19 songs together.  All the music was basically done in about 90 minutes.  Vocals were recorded after a quick breather, and by the time we were finished I think Boulty pretty much had it all mixed. We’d played those songs live a lot so I think almost everything was done first take: we’d just listen to it and have another go if it wasn’t fast enough.
Releasing it took slightly longer. We worked with nine DIY labels from around the UK, Europe and America, it involved a lot of juggling and many many emails back and forth, but it was worth it in the end. The labels are Woooaargh (Germany), Give Praise (USA), Let The Bastards Grind (UK), Rip-Roaring Shitstorm (UK), FHED (UK), Aktiver Ausstand In Plastik (Germany), Praise Saitan (Austria), Visions Of Warning (Northern Ireland), and Existential Dread (UK).  Released on LP (pink or black vinyl), cassette, and CD, as well as digitally in the usual places. Spotify and that are a bit crap though so I’d rather you just stole it and sent us a quid.
The illustration for the front cover was by my good friend and old housemate Amy Edwards, she’s a brilliant artist and works in a tattoo studio in Birmingham – one of the best portrait artists I’ve seen.  We collaborated a bit on the front cover: she did the hard work of the original black and white ink drawing, and I basically coloured it in. W did a similar thing for our self-titled EP a few years before.
Lyrically most of the songs cover a range of ways that human beings seem addicted to aspects of apathy and self-destruction.  Things are crumbling and systems are failing people everywhere, but it’s easier for everyone to pretend it’s going to be okay.  It’s fairly nihilistic, but it just seems to get more relevant each year.
 
What are your live shows like?
A load of sweaty screeching feedback and noise!  No messing about.  We’ll bang out 20 songs back to back in 20 minutes and get out of the way.
 
Are you part of a wider scene in Northants/Bucks, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
It’s pretty much non-existent around here really in terms of similar bands – there was the great Let It Die from Kettering, but they sadly retired a few months ago. Matt also plays in Casket Feeder from over Milton Keynes way, and I have another band Hot Cops with our old drummer Danny.  There are definitely like-minded bands with a solid DIY ethic here though. One that immediately springs to mind is 72%, who’ve always been consistently excellent and interesting. I used to really like Operatives as well, with their Frank Zappa playing the Melvins mix up.  Iron Grave are great too on the slow heavy end of things.  There’s a local metal scene but we’ve never really been a part of that.  In terms of venues, The Lab is the main DIY venue these days and I always enjoy it there.  The UFO Cafe is a good spot too, but I think they’ve been limited with sound levels recently.
The UK grind scene is pretty strong at the moment, there’s a bunch of really wicked bands around and each one has their own sound.  I’m sure I’ll miss out a few but well worth checking out are;   Gets Worse, Afternoon Gentlemen, Human Cull, Atomck, Nothing Clean, Evisorax, Boak, Groak, Endless Swarm, Wheelchair x4, Famine, Gout, Ona Snop, Negative Thought Process.
 
What has been your favourite moment of 2018?
Finally releasing the album!  There was a hell of a lot of work involved behind the scenes in getting that out there so it was a great relief when it happened.
 
Last album you bought/streamed?
I think the last album I bought was DaDhelo by Chepang, which is banging! Recently I’ve mostly just been listening to a lot of Tom Waits, Hawkwind, Melvins and early Queen.  That probably applies most of the time to be honest.
 
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for 2019?
We’d been a bit quiet for a while this year whilst releasing the album and getting the new line-up ready for shows.  So I’m keen to get back on it in 2019 and hopefully head back to Europe and Ireland for some gigs, and I’d love to play Obscene Extreme Festival in Czech Republic as that’s always been a goal since we started.  We’ve already been confirmed for Dreadfest in Leeds in March, and Chimpyfest in London for September. 
Otherwise we’re finishing off a load of brand new songs for the next recording session.  It’s been a slow process but we’ve got about 20 new songs almost there.  So that’s hopefully a new album, and we’ve been talking about doing a split with Human Cull for a while.
 
Extinction Solution is out now
 
 

No Comments on New Music Friday: The Atrocity Exhibit

The New Boots Review Of 2018

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level. To celebrate, we’ve had…

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level.

To celebrate, we’ve had a run though of some of our favourite things this year. Before we get going, a quick caveat. We love all the acts we write about, but we can’t include everyone and talk about everything. If you or your favourite are not in there, just remember; there’s always next year…

So, without further ado here’s the ramblings of New Boots editors Phil Moore and David Jackson. Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year to all. [most photos by David Jackson]

SONG OF THE YEAR
Phil: “For me it’s Tom Grennan and ‘Barbed Wire’. Yes, Tom’s from Bedford but his backing band includes Northants musicians Danny Connors and Adam Gammage. Danny is a long-time local songwriter and musician and he co-wrote the single with Tom. I think it’s the best thing on his debut album Lighting Matches that came out earlier this year.”

Dave: “For me, it’s ‘The Modern Man’ by Ginger Snaps. Jay Brook has been putting out great records for years in Gingers Snaps, and with previous bands. I think ‘The Modern Man’ was an almost a perfect mix of what Ginger Snaps is about: great beats, scratching and guitar hook all rolled into one.”

Phil: “I also want to mention The Barratts‘ second comeback single from this year ‘The Garrison’. The band came back after a break from recording and that tune still has the essence of The Barratts but it’s moved the sound on with a bit of a harder edge. Luckily they’ve still got a brilliant way with a chorus.”

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Phil: “This is a much harder category because we’ve had fewer albums out than singles, but the quality of those I’ve heard has been excellent. Three stood out most for me. Firstly Domino Blitz by Tim Muddiman & The Strange. It is a serious piece of art which he clearly put his heart and soul into. “It has a sort of Nick Cave / Tom Waits dark blues/noir rock feel, and has some great arrangements.

“Secondly Venus Fly Trap and Icon. This is possibly the best album they’ve done, which was a bit of a surprise. “It’s a diverse record with lots of memorable hooks, both guitar parts and vocal lines.

 
“It’s also worth mentioning P -Hex, who have been together for almost 30 years now and finally put out nan album, Quantum Funkanics, this year. I think they have previously not bothered to do an album because they thought they were predominantly a live act, but I’m glad they did because it is brilliant.”

Dave: “There’s not much I can add to what you’ve said, but the album I’ve probably listened to the most has also been Domino Blitz. I really enjoyed Tim’s previous record Paradise Runs Deeper so was looking forward to this one and it really didn’t disappoint. As you said, a great, dark bluesy record which I really rate. It was great to have him here this year playing some of those songs as well.”

BEST LIVE ACT
Dave: “Sharkteeth Grinder were one of the highlights at the Rocked Up Hootennany this summer, and one of the best local live bands I’ve seen this year. They were probably a band I saw photos of before hearing them live and knew they were someone I’d love.

“There’s a fantastic controlled chaos about them, and even with the disconnect of a main stage and barrier at the Hootenanny, Bobbo was out in the crowd, screaming his heart out putting everything into that performance. They’re just fantastic to watch live.”

Phil: “They refer to their performances as exhibitions and yes, they’re very passionate and seriously and in love what they do. They’ll play anywhere to anyone wherever there’s an audience. They’re one of the sincerest bands I’ve ever spoken to. If you like hardcore they’re absolutely a band for you.

“I’d also like to mention Karl Phillips and The Rejects. I’ve only seen Karl and krew a couple of times this year, but they are very tight and very entertaining. Karl has tons of personality, and the band went on a massive tour this year, which takes guts in this day and age. Each venue that books them seems to fall in love with them and want them back.

“More new songs in 2019 please Karl.”

EVENT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I’ve just mentioned it, but the Rocked Up Hootenanny was amazing and without doubt one of my highlights of the year. What Marc Collins and the Rocked Up team and other promoters involved achieved in 2018 was fantastic. 

“The Hootenanny has been growing year by year and the ambition to create something on that scale has to be massively applauded.
“There was a fantastic mix of local and national touring acts and to get the final full show by Arcane Roots was as huge coup.

“Yeah, it was a bit windy, but it was a great day and the organisers did a great job of pulling together a really diverse day of music with rock, alternative and hip-hop across three stages. Hopefully, despite his pending move to Hamburg, Marc and the team will be back next year with another Hootenanny.”

Phil: “The event of the year for me has to be the return of Bauhaus – if only under the name of Peter Murphy and David J. “The pair hadn’t played Bauhaus material together in this town for 36 years and that in itself was a huge moment for Northampton – and they played two shows!

“I went to the first and it was fantastic tour de force. Their music, which was always visceral and revolutionary, sounded great and I feel it was a moment you had to revel in.”

Dave: “We also have to mention Twinfest, as each year it goes from strength to strength.
“It opened for the first time on the Thursday in the Guildhall’s Great Hall, which felt really special. It was a great opening night, and I hope they’re able to do something similar again next year.”

Phil: “The organisers were very on it this year, and utilised each of the venues really well. It’s a very small-scale organisation working on a small budget and they are maximising the results. All power to them for achieving that – I hope they can keep it up in the future.”

BEST TOURING ACT TO COME TO NORTHANTS
David: “I think it’s been another strong year for bands coming to the county, and for me a couple stick out. It was great to see post-hardcore legend and former Far frontman Jonah Matranga play all of Water & Solutions at the White Hart in Corby.

“Jonah seems to be over in the UK every couple of years and besides being one of the nicest guys his work rate is incredible. It was the first time I’d seen Jonah play with a band as he normally just tours acoustically. Rob Reeves from Run Your Tongue also deserves a ‘thanks’ for making that gig happen.

“My second choice would probably be Gary Numan at the Roadmender. When you look at the size of shows Numan is playing it was a real coup for Northampton to get a show. He’s still writing fantastic songs and his last couple of albums I think have been among the best of his career. Another mention must go to Tim Muddiman representing Northampton on bass for Numan.”

Phil: “It was a big, big deal for him to come and play a show that size and we’re lucky. I’m sure Tim helped make that happen.

“I’d like to pick Don Broco. They’ve had a massive year with their album Technologyand they’re playing to packed audiences. The Roadmender gig sold out almost immediately and they’re from the region so a big shout out must go to them for their amazing efforts and great live show.

“Also, The Lovely Eggs. One of my favourite DIY bands, who also came to the Roadmender. They’ve been growing year by year and are releasing quality albums and playing quality shows. The atmosphere at their gigs is always extremely friendly, and you feel like you’re part of their family. Which is apt, as they also bring their kid on tour as well!”

ACT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I think there’s two we need to talk about here: Sarpa Salpa and slowthai.

“The Sarpa lads put in an incredible amount of work this year. They played more than 20 festivals, countless regular shows and supported some big acts along the way, while also headlining the MaNo-Musikfestival in Germany, playing to about 2,000 people.

“They’ve released a couple of great singles and filled venues across the region.”

Phil: “They’ve had a fantastic year and are the whole package really. “They’ve gigged their asses off and are a great representation of what you can achieve. We love them and will continue to support them as much as we can.

“Next for them, I think, is start to get getting more national press/radio exposure, and then we can expect big things beyond conquering the east Midlands.”

Dave: “Onto slowthai – who currently is gracing the cover of numerous major publications while featuring in a lot of ‘2019 hype’ lists.

Phil: “While he’s not been working the local scene as such,  he is very much a product of Northampton and is heading for the stars as we speak.

“2018 has been a phenomenal rise and breakthrough year for him. He’s put out a succession of riotous singles, and the snowball just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We may not see him locally much more, but he’s a guy with bucket loads of charm and we should all love him.”

FLYING THE FLAG – REPPING NORTHANTS AROUND THE GLOBE
Dave: “Billy Lockett. He’s had a hell of a year, hasn’t he. Seeing the ELO tour poster with his name on, playing every major stadium in the UK and Europe was great.

“I went to one of the London O2 Arena shows and it was incredible to see Billy’s name in lights either side of the stage, and the reaction he was getting from fans. It was only a few years ago it seems he was still trying to work out exactly who he wanted to be, trying different line-ups and formats and it all seems to have clicked this year for him.

“He’s released some cracking songs along the way as well.”

Phil: “This year was a real moment for him. I think you could tell how much it meant to him to come and fill the Royal back in May I really think now the sky is the limit for him.”

Dave: “We must also mention Alistair Wilkinson who has been playing drums with him as well.”

Phil: “Yeah, he’s a great guy with a lot of talent. He’s very in demand as a session drummer and I hope they continue to work together because it will really feel like a Northampton band then.”

Phil: “We’ve already mentioned Adam Gammage and Danny Connors playing with Tom Grennan, and it’s worth pointing out guys have been rehearsing at Stalkers Rehearsal Studio in Northampton. It’s amazing when you think we have top ten artists on our doorstep like that.

Greg Coulson is now playing keyboards in Spiritualized, which is fantastic for him, and you have to continually mention Ben Gordelier and Andy Crofts recording and playing with Paul Weller.

“Weller released his best album in years in 2018 with True Meanings, and they played some fantastic gigs. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them two next year with the return of The Moons.”

Dave: “There’s then also people we’ve previously discussed like Tim Muddiman touring across the world with Gary Numan.”

ONES TO WATCH IN 2019
Dave: “Two bands I’ve been really impressed with this year have been King Purple and The Keepers.

“It’s an interesting one, because both kinda occupy genres which aren’t my immediate ‘go to’. ‘Stuck In The Rough’ is a cracking tune and I know King Purple have been gaining a lot of traction. I’ve seen them a few times and every time they’ve really impressed.

“They’re clearly really talented guys and I hope they going to have a good 2019.

Phil: “I think their sound is very ‘now’ and a mixture of American and English influences and that always translates and travels quite well in this day and age.

Dave: “I met up with The Keepers recently and was very impressed with frontman Jordan’s drive and determination. He clearly knows exactly where he wants to take the band, and how he wants to achieve it.

“I just think with that drive and work ethic, they’re halfway there. They’ve got a good live show and are writing some good music.”

Phil: “I can see them getting better and better and I hope they get the support they deserve locally. They mix a few genres; there’s a bit of indie, psych and mod in there, and there’s enough going on in the pot there to satisfy anyone really.”

Phil: “I want to mention Weirdoe and That Joe Payne. “Weirdoe is a local rapper who seems to be a great character, and has built an impressive YouTube following. Aaron’s got some mad rhyming skills and his flow is always on point. His music is truthful, with some gallows humour, which inevitably brings [healthy] comparisons to Eminem.

“With Joe Payne – I think you are obligated to say ‘Joe Payne, former vocalist of The Enid‘ to give him some context! He left The Enid a couple of years ago now though. He already has fans and the press on his side from those times, he has a great voice and great piano skills. He’s got enough self-awareness to take everything with a pinch of salt, and that’s really important in this industry.

“Joe, and everyone else, New Boots hopes you have a kick-ass 2019.”

No Comments on The New Boots Review Of 2018

New Music Friday: The Wax Lyrical Sound

Northampton’s gritty rap-rock quartet The Wax Lyrical Sound have re-emerged after a fairly quiet twelve months to finish 2018 strongly, including the release of ‘Precious Little Things’ [hear it below]….

Northampton’s gritty rap-rock quartet The Wax Lyrical Sound have re-emerged after a fairly quiet twelve months to finish 2018 strongly, including the release of ‘Precious Little Things’ [hear it below]. New Boots spoke to singer Simon Meekey about this new beginning.

How did you guys get together?
TWLS were formed in 2013 by drummer Ryan Ashmore. He recruited his old bassist, Neil Bland, from Princes Street and after some persistent pestering, frontman Simon Meekey joined. Initially a three-piece, the puzzle was complete when guitarist Ali King joined onboard a month later. The band formed because Ryan wanted to achieve more and wanted to produce a more unique sound. Our sound is eccentric, unique and not like any generic music. It has a balance which works like no other and from the feedback we get, most people like it.

What was the reaction like to the first couple of EPs?
The first few EP’s were good. It’s funny when you make a record and think its the dogs dinner at first glance. When you develop and become technically better in what you do, everything becomes more nitty gritty and every little detail counts. Its small margins and its those small margins that determine whether you achieve a ticket sale for a show or not.

Who are the current influences that are getting the guys fired up? You’re a bit heavier these days, aren’t you…
In terms of influences, we have many that have inspired us along the years. Beastie Boys, The One Hundred, Rage Against the Machine, Crazy Town, System of a Down, Scroobius Pip, Jamie T bigger artists such as Eminem, Dr. Dre. Funnily enough, the whole band started due to an influence by Skindred. Much is not related to music either, most influences comes from day to day life, current affairs, media and things happening in the brain. There is no specific style we have though or we aspire to have, we just do what we feel is right at the time. I think our natural progression has made us heavier and I think we needed a part of that to appeal to more crowds and be able to play more shows.

Tell us about this new song ‘Precious Little Things’. It’s the first of a bunch of singles from you, right?
So the next release will be sometime in 2019! No set date, we’re not in a rush. We take things at our pace and we control what we want to do. Some say there’s a demand but, as we’ve learnt from previous experiences, music shouldn’t be rushed. We have ‘Precious Little Things’ currently out on all platforms, soon to be followed by ‘Human Race’ and others. Keep your eyes and ears peeled and keep streaming!

What are your live shows like?
Well the only way we can describe them is if you’re there to soak them in. Normally full of energy and bespoke, we aim to capture audiences and engage them with our lyrics and raw sounds. I used to be much more energetic but due to excessive alcohol intake, my gut has decided to slow down for now!

How was the Skindred support show at The Roadmender?
The show with Skindred and Sonic Boom Six at Roadmender was mint! Collectively couldn’t of asked for anything better. We didn’t expect a very large crowd because a majority don’t really watch the first acts or are late arriving. To our surprise however, and fair play to the crowd, the room was packed and we received some nice comments and feedback. Benji from Skindred even caught some of the set! Hopefully gigs like that will open some doors for us and get us similar support slots in the future!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We take things as they come. A lot of bands are stuck up their own arses nowadays and we haven’t got time for it. Its a shame really, but each to their own. Some see it as competition and its not: the music scene should be a hub where artists influence each other. Luckily we have made some good friends from the scene, and always look forward to playing shows together. There’s some cracking promoters on the scene too who really look after set bands. In terms of favourite venues, Roadmender is always good, The Craufurd Arms, Bedford Esquires, The Lab are all great little spots – and the list goes on!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Last album I physically bought was Pray for the Wicked by Panic! At The Disco. Prior to that was Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino by Arctic Monkeys, and what a belter it was! Very different, but all do excellent things!

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want to continue to enjoy what we do, continue to entertain and continue to create good music! I think those three things are vital to bands and artists, because when it feels like a chore, it might be time to have a reshuffle. We collectively had a reshuffle this year, and are happy with the outcome and where we want to be. We plan to continue to build our reputation and play some of the best stages across the UK, and even overseas!

Precious Little Things is out now across the digital platforms

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: The Wax Lyrical Sound

New Music Friday: King’s Gambit

Chris Startup – songwriter, lead vocals, guitar and harmonica – is the musical director of King’s Gambit, the decade-old Northampton folk-rock collective. They are now drip-releasing a live album, and…

Chris Startup – songwriter, lead vocals, guitar and harmonica – is the musical director of King’s Gambit, the decade-old Northampton folk-rock collective. They are now drip-releasing a live album, and New Boots spoke to him about the band’s history and this live project. 

How did King’s Gambit get together?
In 2006 I met Katie [Paton] and Cheese at separate events as I was playing full time with Tarantism. Katie agreed to sing a few songs of mine, and I convinced her to do more backing singing in 2008 as we got a few gig in the local pubs and local festivals. I remember our first ever King’s Gambit gig playing at The Umbrella Fair in the summer of 2009: we played songs such as ‘Carry Out Some More’ and ‘A Girl Called Moira’. The audience loved it.

In 2006 I did a separate gig with cheese and a few other friends of mine. We played a TwinFest gig in Beckets Park and I can only imagine now it sounded very ‘folk-rock’, as I had a drumkit that was played by a great friend Mr Will Stevens – and bass by Matt Clayson. Cheese then disappeared and came back later in 2014 to become a massive part of our sound that you here now.

Early in 2010 I met up with Helen Turton she was playing with InVocal at the time and travelling all over playing different festivals and clubs. We met during a ‘TEACHERS’ drinks party and I asked if she wouldn’t mind playing the cello with me… she said yes! Later that year Katie, Helen and I started to take it seriously and started to practice once a week with Katie not realising I will soon ask her to play bass guitar. 

King’s Gambit was formed out of friendship, festivals and great times. The origin of our band name ‘gambit’ means to “trip over your opponent” (the Italian is Gambetto), or chess move. It also means to me a reference to the King Tripping LSD style lover. I loved the fact we all have a dance-infused sense of rhythm within us, and I hope we now achieve the same vibe for our audience

How would you describe your sound?
Folk-rock dance anthemic party music 🙂

You’ve put out three albums since 2012. What’s been the reaction to them? Do you feel there’s a narrative progression with them?
We first released Lines and Verses in 2012. These were all my first songs I wrote during 2001 – 2006. I had recorded some of these songs before, but without success. When I started working with Katie and Helen I knew the time was right. I recorded all of this album myself, except for Helen’s cello and Katie’s vocals, and at home. I didn’t know my audience, or who I was trying to reach to. I just wanted to record music and share it. To my surprise we sold out all our CDs in the first 4 weeks.

In 2014 FolkBeat was a huge deal for all of us. We had worked hard with our ‘live’ sounds now for a few years and had been gigging these songs at pubs and festivals. I began almost immediately after Lines and Verses teaching Katie the bass guitar, and finally we started to progress as a group. Helen Turton played the cello, I played the kick drum, vocals and harmonica, and Katie Paton played bass and vocals. It was also great to ask Cheese to come and guest on a few tracks ‘Andrews Song’ and ‘Dressed To White’ with his own hand-crafted Mandola. When we released this album we saw the difference with many more festivals and venue bookings. We had gone to France, Germany on Twinfest gigs and had been started to play the festival circuit on the back of Tarantism.

Over the next few years Cheese joined us full-time. All our previous albums had progressed and changed by his amazing sound and ability to play the mandolin, mandola and banjo. We started playing folk clubs around Banbury and Brackley and other parts of the UK, and working a lot in the summer at small festivals – and now in 2018 working with the likes of Continental Drifts.

From One To Another, from 2016, I feel is OUR album. We individually play all the way through on it. I asked my father-in-law Mr Chris Hewett to guest as the accordion player on the album, so I really feel it has family vibe for me.
The songs are so important to me and represent what we do best: playing original folk tunes such as ‘Old Town’ ‘Charles Baker’ and ‘From One To Another’. It is also in some ways an expression of rebellion and protest: ‘The Only One’, ‘Mary Jane’ and ‘Clockworks’.

I’ve been on the underground festival scene for so long with Tarantism I take inspiration from them and other bands such as AOS3, Back To The Planet, RDF. These groups have been the back bone of what I am and was a part of for many years on the festival circuit. Each year has progressed well with King’s Gambit. We have learnt so much from each album and I guess so do the audience. I think that we have had a very natural narrative progression with our band and the music and sound reflects this. We are of course a LIVE band and now play for around 2 hour sets.

With From One To Another you said that this is the album that provides the full picture you’ve been working towards since the beginning. Do you think you achieved that?
Yes it does in one way, but doesn’t in another. I feel I have achieved my goal of writing original folk tunes with arranging vocal melodies. But I still feel it’s just the beginning of the whole picture. I want to create a dance-fuelled party atmosphere. The last three albums is what we do collectively as a group, and will always play them live, but I want to push new boundaries and explore more dance tunes with a banging kick beat.

One review of the album declared “I’m surprised they’re not better known”. Do you share this assessment? Hell, how does a folk group break through; Radio 2?
I do wish we were better known. I feel over time we will be and that our albums and live sound will see more and more people come and see us and dance. The bigger the stage the better. We are totally self sufficient. I am the manager, promoter, designer, songwriter, record producer. It doesn’t take 8 years. I believe it takes a lot longer to achieve goals such as Radio 2, and that is why we are starting to release a live album over the next year and anyone can hear or view it.

Tell us everything about these two new performances that have appeared online. On Facebook recently you said it was “the start of our live album”…so more to come?
Earlier this year I set up my recording equipment and had a meeting with a great friend of mine who is a camera and video editor, Dom – and got to work in creating a live album. I wanted to ask around 50 people to come along on a Sunday and see us live. They sat down during the whole gig and listened to what we asked, so I really feel it captures a cool Sunday vibe. I press record and we start to film. I think a lot of the audience thought it was for a music video, and that they had to listen to one song 50 times over a two-hour period. This wasn’t the case. We play 12 songs in total for just over an hour. I go back home and start to produce and couldn’t quiet believe what we captured. We will be slowly releasing the whole album over the next year on Youtube and other streaming services whilst we concentrate on our next album.

What made you do the Open Stage performance in the first place?
I make a living teaching music. I teach 12 instruments and also teach singing workshops around the county; singing4breathing , people with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], and I also have a 30 + piece choir at Open Stage. To me Open Stage was the perfect opportunity to use this venue as I have strong links and also it is central for people to come and watch us in Northampton.

Are you part of a wider roots scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with? Favourite local festivals?
We love working with any local bands and yes we are definitely part of the wider roots scene…Jono and Uke Dealers, VHS Pirates, Howling Owls – we also had a great new talent Jacob Braithwaite perform at our From One To Another album launch. We play at least once or twice a year at The Lab, The Lamplighter and The Umbrella Fair.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I was listening to was Fat Freddie’s Drop – Dr Boondigga and the Big BW. I have recently been streaming CamelPhat and loving a track called ‘Gypsy King’. And Jacob Collier ‘With The Love In My Heart’ – great tracks…

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I want to record our next collection of songs at a studio and mix from home. I think we deserve to now move out of the bedroom and into a recording studio to record the next album. I would love to put it on vinyl too. It will be a very dance-lead euphoric sound, and will include songs called ‘Patterns’, ‘Le Bop’, ‘Ballad of a Man’ and ‘Songs in June’. e are also hoping to support a few bands next year, headline new festivals, go on a mini-tour around the UK and generally reach out to as many people as possible.

King’s Gambit Live at Open Stage is available for streaming now, and more tracks will be added over time

 

 

 

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: King’s Gambit

New Music Friday: Brazen Foxes

Brand new outfit Brazen Foxes have spent 2018 honing their craft, and finish it with their first single, ‘Fool’. The indie-rock trio will be ones to watch in 2019, but…

Brand new outfit Brazen Foxes have spent 2018 honing their craft, and finish it with their first single, ‘Fool’. The indie-rock trio will be ones to watch in 2019, but for now let Benson Fox tell you all about their development.

How did you guys get together?
“This project is an ambition we’ve shared since we were quite young. We met and started jamming together at Foxhill Music School in our mid-teens. To some extent or another we all have a connection with that place. We used to help out with the annual music festivals they put on, work with some of the younger students, and older for that matter. It was a really nice place to grow up as musicians, and we all learned a hell of a lot during that time. After that the three of us went our separate ways musically for a while. We’ve played in various bands, had lives, got jobs; the usual stuff. Then in November last year Ben seemed to have some kind of divine moment of clarity, messaged both Sam and I, said “Right, we’re doing this” and that was that. We’ve been writing and working together ever since.

How would you describe your sound?
We set out to write songs with anthemic catchy choruses but with a technical, almost post-hardcore edge to them.  We wouldn’t go so far as to put a stick in the ground and say “this is us”, however. There’s so much music and influence out there at the moment. It’s so easy to just put stuff out and see what happens. Three words that spring to mind to describe our current sound: soulful, hard-hitting and melodic.

Who are your main influences do you think?
We took some inspiration from bands like At The Drive In, Cursive and Biffy Clyro but we’re also huge fans of some of the great songwriters and producers of the last 50 years. Quincy Jones, Nile Rodgers and David Bowie just to name a few, so there’s also a really big funk, soul and Motown influence. Then artists like Twenty One Pilots, Public Service Broadcasting and Bruno Major are doing some really interesting things at the moment as well. There’s so much music, so much inspiration out there at the moment it’s impossible to cover all of it.

Tell us about this new release, ‘Fool’.
‘Fool’ is the first song we wrote together as a band, and has almost set the trend for the songs we’ve written since then. For us though this song is just the tip of the iceberg. ‘Fool’ is about misguided love and the feeling you get when your delusions begin to unravel. We’ve all been there: you meet someone, you get to know them for a while, they lead you on and then throw you away like nothing happened. ‘Fool’ is about going through this transitional period between fantasy and reality. The loss, confusion and pain you feel but also the liberation once you come out the other side and realise what a fool you’ve been.

What are your live shows like?
Here’s a review by Jacob Barnaby of the second Brazen Foxes second gig at The Pomfret Arms [November 3rd]
“Modern music often falls into two categories: overly-simple-repetitive-commercial tracks lacking innovation; or music so complex that you need a degree to understand the time-signatures and harmonies. Brazen Foxes found the sweet spot in the middle of that Venn Diagram. In the last few months, I have not heard music so diverse and complex yet so easy to enjoy. The three Foxes bring a stellar repertoire of experience from playing professionally to running jam nights in towns. Through spending so much time immersed in different types of music and the need to please crowds they have developed a unique but familiar tone. One that instantly resonates with your old, rusty memories of certain tracks, but still surprises you by coating those sounds with a new coat of paint”.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
We’re just starting out at the moment so no, we’re not particularly well established amongst any local scene. We’re really only just working towards that now. With the release of our first single this month and our emergence on the scene we’ve had a really strong end to our first year as a band. We’re looking forward to our fourth gig coming up at Club 43 in Northampton on the 15th of December – and even more so what next year has to offer.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Sam Thorne: Outlandos D’Amour – The Police
Benson Fox: Mekong Delta Sunrise – Astronomy Class
Ben Hood: A Song For Every Moon – Bruno Major

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future?
The biggest one for all of us is to be able to earn a living: writing, recording and playing music. We’ve all got jobs, we’re all financing this project at the moment so the first goal is to get the project paying for itself. After that who knows. Hopefully play some big festivals, make the music we love making and most importantly; have fun!

What plans do you have?
We really want to branch out with our sounds and influences. In the new year we’re taking on a studio space where we can set up all our gear permanently. Hopefully this will enable us to start making decent quality recordings in our own space, rather than spending thousands in the studio. This should give us the freedom to create and release music that appeals to a variety of audiences. We believe the joy of writing music in the 21st century is you don’t have to conform to a genre, sound or set of influences. To quote the old adage, “The whole world is watching”. Throw enough paint at the wall and something might stick.

‘Fool’ is available to stream and buy on all the usual platforms

1 Comment on New Music Friday: Brazen Foxes

New Music Friday: The Sunchymes

The Sunchymes is the psychedelic/power-pop project of Northamptonshire artist Aaron. Three albums over seven years have been met with much critical acclaim, and he’s back with a brand new single…

The Sunchymes is the psychedelic/power-pop project of Northamptonshire artist Aaron. Three albums over seven years have been met with much critical acclaim, and he’s back with a brand new single ‘Masquerade’. Time for a New Boots chat, then.

How did you get this project together?
I started in 2007 after a band I was in split up. I had lots of songs written and I wanted to record some albums and release them.

How/where do you record?
Mainly in my home studio.

How would you describe your sound? You had a very particular mission statement when you set out to “distill the songwriting and musical values espoused by The Beach Boys on ‘Pet Sounds’ and The Beatles on ‘Sgt Pepper'”.
My main influences are definitely The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Byrds. I think there are influences from all these bands in my music, but with my take on those sounds.

There’s been three albums since 2009. The reaction to them has been fantastic, that must spur you on…
Yeah, it was a pleasant surprise that there are people out there that like my music. It does spur me on, but I love writing songs in any case.

You’ve dropped your toe back in the water this year with ‘Try’ and now ‘Masquerade’. Do you like this approach to putting music out, i.e. whenever you feel like it?
I do and it’s great that anyone can do this in the modern age with the likes of Bandcamp and CDBaby, etc.

What is ‘Masquerade’ about, may we ask?
It’s basically about a toxic relationship where the bad person pretends they have changed but ultimately it’s found they have not and the person is unmasked.

You began a side project last year, an indie-psych trio called The Paperweight Array. Can you tell us briefly about that, and how you approach it as a separate thing from The Sunchymes?
Yeah, I have really enjoyed doing that. I wanted to do something with a slightly darker edge, so I called up some old friends. Luckily they were up for doing the project. The Sunchymes has probably taken a back seat over the last couple of years as a result of it though.

Being a solo artist it must be tough to bring the full sonic vision to the stage?
Yeah definitely. I do solo acoustic gigs, so the songs are really stripped back. However some of them work really nicely, and it’s good to get out and play them to new audiences and meet people on the scene.

What has been your favourite Sunchymes moment to date?
That’s a difficult one. On one hand I would say recording the second album was the best time [2012’s Let Your Free Flag Fly]. On the other hand playing at the International Pop Overthrow Festival at The Cavern Club [2014] was great too.

What was the last “new” album you bought/streamed?
Cabin Life by Linus of Hollywood

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for 2019?
To keep writing songs, and hopefully do another album, as well as playing a few gigs.

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: The Sunchymes

New Music Friday: Corinna Jane

Corinna Jane is a singer and songwriter who did most of her growing up in Northamptonshire. Known mostly for her pop-rock style [see her ‘Hard In Love’ EP from 2015,…

Corinna Jane is a singer and songwriter who did most of her growing up in Northamptonshire. Known mostly for her pop-rock style [see her ‘Hard In Love’ EP from 2015, for example], in recent times she’s dabbled in dance music, collaborating with renowned DJ Mark ‘Oh. Their single ‘That Feeling’ has just been released, already racking up over 40,000 hits on Spotify. Time then for New Boots to catch up for a chat…

Tell us about your upbringing. How did you get into music and begin singing?
I was born in Germany and lived the until I was eight years old. My mother is French and my father is British. I think music was always going to be in my blood, particularly seen as my father named me after a Bob Dylan song called ‘Corinna Corinna’! I owe all my love for music to my father. He would play piano and we would have singsong sessions; a particular favourite was ‘Streets Of London’ by Ralph McTell, which my guitarist and I have since covered on YouTube for sentimental reasons. This is when I began to start picking out melodies by ear as a toddler. MTV and knock-off tapes from his travels to China were other contributing things that my father would subject me to. However the desire to really want to become a singer-songwriter came from having seen Sheryl Crow on MTV and wanting to be as cool as her!

How did you get to work with German producer Mark ‘Oh?
Getting to work with Mark ‘Oh was a very luck twist of fate! He and his team discovered me on Soundcloud. They found it quite amusing that they specifically wanted to get a British singer, only to find that I spent my formative years in Germany and spoke the language fluently! I was very excited to work with him, as he’s a well-known DJ out there whose career has spun over twenty years, with a few number 1’s under his belt. They flew me out a couple of times and we worked on numerous tracks (some that are yet to be released), but this one was the one that had something about it that we knew was a bit of an ear worm – or “Ohrwurm”, as the Germans say [in fact we stole that term from the Germans!]

Tell us about ‘That Feeling’.
‘That Feeling’ is a very uptempo melodic dance track. For me it was particularly enticing to work with a genre that wasn’t what I had typically done before. Usually those who follow me know me to be a piano-driven, pop-rock kind of singer songwriter, but this was tapping into a different side. Mark ‘Oh and I wrote a catchy melody and I was keen to tell a simple romantic, yet relatable story. At the time of writing it, I was quite infatuated with a guy and for me it was a song of hope and just depicting “that feeling” you get when you are falling for someone. The sense of comfort and feeling safe when you’re with them.

Will you do more of this dance-orientated work in the future do you think?
I’d love to do more dance tracks. We’ve got another track coming out in the future, but I’ve also been approached by some other DJs to work on their tracks – so it’s quite an exciting new venture!

Most favourite and least favourite thing about the Northamptonshire music scene?
My favourite thing has to be the talent there. We are actually home to a lot of talented artists like Will Rogers, Hannah Faulkner, Greg Coulson and of course Billy Lockett, who is doing tremendously well now! I guess the downside to our music scene is that there isn’t enough to cater for us. Venues have closed down, some are more like clubs now than gig venues. Plus the public need to support musicians more by actually going to the shows! I guess this is the reason why many of us, like myself, have moved to London recently to seek more opportunities.

What plans do you have for 2019?
Solo wise I will be gigging across London and releasing some unreleased material that I’ve been sitting on. I’m currently making plans to shoot a music video/short film around my song ‘The Train’ – something glamorous and cinematic. This is a seed of an idea that I’m developing with some people, which will result in a crowd funding campaign. Aside from music I’m also a travel presenter, and we are about to launch a brand new travel show – stay tuned for that!

‘That Feeling’ is out now across all digital platforms. Visit https://www.corinnajane.com

No Comments on New Music Friday: Corinna Jane

New Music Friday: L30 Robinson

L30 Robinson is a young Northampton-based tongue-in-cheek rapper who began releasing music in 2014, regularly collaborating with long-term friend and DJ Charlie Borthwick [aka CB]. In 2017 he released his first…

L30 Robinson is a young Northampton-based tongue-in-cheek rapper who began releasing music in 2014, regularly collaborating with long-term friend and DJ Charlie Borthwick [aka CB]. In 2017 he released his first studio album Wish U Were Here. He’s just dropped another of his masterful efforts, ‘3’7 – Size Don’t Matter’. New Boots chose the occasion to have a few words.

When did you start rapping, and when did you first take it out of your bedroom into the world?
Attending Weston Favell and having supply teachers was a regular occurrence, and one of the supplies used to play songs in his classes to get the kids on board and make him seem cool. I always tried to freestyle over the instrumental sections of the songs. Then when Charlie moved to my school in about 2011 he heard me in one of those lessons and said “yo I’ve just started making beats you should make a song with one” so I did and it all began there. I used his beat for a YouTube video shot in my bedroom then started making and uploading like 2-3 vids a week.

What were those crucial early influences that made you think, “this is for me”?
As a beginner I always struggled with flow, but I compared myself to rappers my level and I didn’t sound like any of them lyrically. I was always more mature with my lyrics and then people who watched me generally had the same feeling. I remember after a year or so I was shooting a freestyle for a media channel called SoSoBlessed and the cameraman Tera D said “Leo your flow needs work but your lyrics are crazy” and that’s really stuck with me to this day.

How would you describe your sound?
Straight to the point, lyrical storytelling.

What was the reaction like to last year’s Wish U Were Here album?
The feedback was really positive, but I think I came across way too dense. There’s one feature in the first song so it’s all me and it’s got like 18 tracks. I would’ve been better off staggering it into four EPs or something, but you live and you learn and it just means I’ve got 20 sick songs on Spotify.

Tell us everything about this new song, “3’7 – Size Don’t Matter”.
The song follows no direct story, it’s just one liners. The beat was made by Bak Beats [check him out on YouTube] and when I heard it I was just drawn into being aggressive with the lyrics but in a playful way as to not come across too harsh. For instance “Mistaken identity/Are you p*****?/That guy’s white and 6’6” is actually a true story about how Charlie got beat up in a nightclub in Kettering and the bouncers walked straight past the guy who did it, threw me out, then the police arrested me – only to release me later on. Chaos.

How do you approach your live performances? Faithful recreations your thing, or do you improvise?
We rehearse our sets. I always change the song order and try to add something different to each show. At NMF 2016 me and Charlie finished our set with a screeching flat line sound playing and walked down the road for a beer leaving everyone confused about what was going on.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Northampton? Any favourite acts or venues?
I feel more connected with the local bands that any rap scene, although Lay it down is changing that. Shout out to Leon Denton he’s working hard to form a rap scene. I don’t wanna start naming acts then forget someone but I’ll give you this: when me and Charlie won Northampton’s Best Young Musical act in 2016 at the Roadmender that was special, not just to win it but I’m the only rapper to ever win it. As a rapper I was already at a disadvantage because people would put me in a box and say “it’s not hard”, as I wasn’t playing an instrument, yet some of the bands they were supporting played a couple covers standing still with no stage presence whatsoever – not exactly difficult.

You were recently on ITV2 show ‘Don’t Hate The Playaz’. Tell us about that.
That was hooked up by Leon from Lay It Down. He was contacted by ITV and he passed on some details to me. They liked my material and it all went from there. It’s an amazing thing to see of course, but normal people are on TV everyday. I’m just glad I took my opportunity, but I’m hungry for more.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Jay Rock – Redemption. Awesome album, literally complete. It’s got hits, deep songs; it makes you want him to win. Jay Rock is so underrated.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for 2019?
I need to perform more out of town. I’m thinking if I can bag like two shows a month then I’ll be happy with that. The music I’ve got stored will take care of me online, so I now want to make a more physical reach out.

 

No Comments on New Music Friday: L30 Robinson

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search

error: Content is protected !!