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

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 19th – Dec 25th

LAY IT DOWN VOLUME 7 Thursday December 20th The Lab, Northampton The grime/hip-hop/spoken word open mic night is now a fixture on the calendar. Featured artists this time round are…

LAY IT DOWN VOLUME 7
Thursday December 20th
The Lab, Northampton
The grime/hip-hop/spoken word open mic night is now a fixture on the calendar. Featured artists this time round are Napps and Jay Mac. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BIG DIRTY + THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND
Thursday December 20th
The King Billy, Northampton
Bringing some seriously big rock, red and black check shirts, and their ‘Whiskey Solo’s’ (can you finish the bottle before C-diddy finishes the solo?), they also are promoting brand new mini-album Sex Rock City. Doors 8.30pm, free entry
 
AOIFE FOLEY, WITH JOSHUA RYAN
Friday December 21st
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
After playing with Northampton band Lucky, Foley decided to channel the inspirations from that group project into a personal one. She is joined by Joshua Ryan on guitar. This is part of The ‘This Is What Makes Us Girls’ Christmas special, which also features DJs Gutta Versayce and morechapatti, and poets Katie Higgins and Chloe Minnie Mayo. Doors 8pm, free entry
 
HUBCAP + THE MARKUS REEVES BROTHERHOOD + MOJO MULES
Friday December 21st
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A night of rip roaring bluesy rock. The night kicks off with John and Craig: local multi-instrumentalist musicians who perform as a two-piece upbeat blues duo. If Wilco Johnson, Neil Young and Billy Bragg had a Leicester baby they’d call it The MRB. Headlined by ShoeTown psychedelic blue rockers Dave and Dan. Doors 9pm, free entry
 
STORMBRINGER + REAPER-X + WE ARE GIANTS + PROTEUS
Saturday December 22nd
The Black Prince, Northampton
Northants hard rockers who just get better and better top the bill. Plus metallers from Corby, riff giants from ShoeTown, and opening with more metal – from Gloucestershire. Doors 6pm, £6 tickets
 
THE VINCENT VEGA BAND + SKYFLOOD
Saturday December 22nd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Skewed alternative low-fi indie flavourings in a Lloyd Cole style, with support from Craig O’Donnell’s band of alternative pop-rock brothers. Doors 9pm, free entry
 
BLUE CARPET BAND + WRECK-AGE + DIABLOFURS + REBEL STATION
Saturday December 22nd
The White Hart, Corby
Have a punkin’ Chrimbo with this lot. Doors 6.30pm, £7 tickets
 
THE BIG DIRTY + ANNIE’S CHAPTER + IN LIMBO
Saturday December 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
A night of different shades of rock, from ShoeTown and Kettering. Doors 8pm, free entry
 
SEX PISSED DOLLS
Sunday December 23rd
The Roadmender, Northampton
All-female, all-action rockers who since 2014 have been wowing audiences with their edgy, high octane performance of classic rock and punk mixed in with their own original material. New single ‘Maniac’ was recorded at Peter Gabriel‘s famous Real World Studios and was produced by Steve Brown [Manic Street Preachers, The Cult]. Doors 7.30pm, £13 tickets
 
SACRILEGE + METAL MESSIAH + SATAN’S EMPIRE
Sunday December 23rd
The King Billy, Northampton
A night of three NWOBHM bands from the 1980s who have reformed in recent years. Doors 4pm, £4 tickets
 
DESOLATION ANGELS
Sunday December 23rd
The King Billy, Northampton
A second King Billy show today: this time it’s a melodic, classic, chorus-driven metal band from London. Doors 7pm, free entry
 
USURP, RISE + SANE (solo)
Monday December 24th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton 
Usurp, Rise are a 4 piece experimental, trip-hop ensemble from Brighton/Northampton, UK. Sane are not too far away from that description either: soothing electronic sonic landscapes…Doors 8pm, free entry
 
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Billy Lockett finishes breakthrough year with new song

Singer-songwriter Billy Lockett has capped a big twelves months by releasing new song ‘Covered In Chaos’ today. The song was the opening number for his Royal Derngate show back in…

Singer-songwriter Billy Lockett has capped a big twelves months by releasing new song ‘Covered In Chaos’ today.

The song was the opening number for his Royal Derngate show back in May of this year, and it’s lyrical content – “Living on no sleep/Barely alive” – accurately reflects his recent hectic schedule. The year began for the Northampton singer with a sold-out London show at Union Chapel, before tours of Europe and much recording/promo work in the summer months. He ended the year with two tour supports: arena’s with Jeff Lynne’s ELO and theatres with Lewis Capaldi. A live session on Radio 2 seemed to confirm his status as a guy to pay serious attention to. 

Following his moves into AOR and dance-pop at various moments in 2018, this song is a return to the role of confessional balladeer that he made his name with. It’s very affecting, as you would expect from a man at the top of his game right now.

2019 will see Lockett out on a headline UK and European tour in his biggest venues yet.

https://www.billylockett.com

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 12th – Dec 18th

SKIRT + MUNDAYS + EX-PETS Friday December 14th The Lab, Northampton Corby indie-punks come to ShoeTown, plus excellent stoner-psych and punk supports. Doors 8pm, price TBA SKINDRED + SONIC BOOM…

SKIRT + MUNDAYS + EX-PETS
Friday December 14th
The Lab, Northampton
Corby indie-punks come to ShoeTown, plus excellent stoner-psych and punk supports. Doors 8pm, price TBA

SKINDRED + SONIC BOOM SIX + THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND
Friday December 14th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Welsh ragga punk metallers promote new album Big Tings. Support from London ska rockers and local rap rockers. Doors 7.30pm, £21.50 tickets

WALKWAY
Friday December 14th
The King Billy, Northampton
Three albums in, East Anglian classic rockers who tour a lot. Doors 9pm, free entry

THRIFT STREET + BRAZEN FOXES
Saturday December 15th
Club 43, Northampton
Two bangers at the Rebel Waltz clubnight. The ‘These Kids’ band make pop-punk with every fibre of their beings, taking from bands such as Microwave, Boston Manor, Seaway, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day. Support from new ShoeTown alt-rock trio. Doors 8pm. Free before 9pm, £4 after

KATIE MALCO + VELVET ENGINE + JOEL HARRIES
Saturday December 15th
The Lab, Northampton
“Some Christmas songs, joy and merriment with the least merry musicians ever to grace the streets of this town”. Former ShoeTown resident Malco brings an old telecaster and her voice along. The singer-songwriter has since been in the studio writing and recording her as-yet-untitiled debut album. Velvet Engine is the brainchild of Latina Northamptonian San-D Godoy, described as “yearning pop folk, with a sprightly but reflective soul”. Harries is a well-know local musician and songwriter. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

SPITTING FEATHERS + JAMES WATTS & THE AVENUES
Saturday December 15th
The White Hart, Corby
Christmas party as two local bands join forces: one brings the “glunk rock”, the other the twanging riffs. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

LASTELLE + BLACK INK + EXPETYA + THE DEAD MELODY
Saturday December 15th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Atmospheric post-hardcore from Oxford, metalcore from Nottingham, five-piece ShoeTown thrash metal band, and a rock trio from Milton Keynes. Doors 7pm, free entry

MISTY’S BIG ADVENTURE + BENNY & THE JENGO MASSIVE + WINSTON ECHO
Sunday December 16th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Eight-piece band from Birmingham, made up of brothers and sisters and twins and saxophones and trumpets and cute, weird dancers. Their music is an eclectic mix of jazz, lounge, psychedelia, two tone, pop and punk. Plus support from three brothers from Rugby who mash up funk, disco, and hip-hop, and local solo guitar indipopper.
Door 7.30pm, £8 tickets

FOSSILHEADS + AMII DAWES + HARRISON COLEMAN
Sunday December 16th
The Drunken Duck, Kislingbury
Songs from Rosie Swayne’s eco-political satirical show, newly evolving into a super exciting musical double act with long term singing collaborator Rachel Duncan. Dawes folk/pop debut album ‘Little Blue Book’ is out now Opening is a singer-songwriter who offers a jazzy style. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

BINYAMIN + MARK CORBETT + Ms PILGRIMM
Sunday December 16th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Bringing you solo vibes including country music, ambient cello jams and a downtempo korg volca set. Doors 7pm, free entry

DANNY WILSON
Sunday December 16th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
The troubadour – of Bennett Wilson Poole / Grand Drive / Danny and the Champions of the World fame – plays a solo show at 2.30 pm. Free entry

 

 

 

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Rapper slowthai included in annual ‘BBC Sound Of’ longlist

Only a matter of weeks after been named in YouTube Music’s ‘Ones to Watch’ list, Northampton rapper slowthai is making national headlines again with his inclusion in the ‘BBC’s Sound…

Only a matter of weeks after been named in YouTube Music’s ‘Ones to Watch’ list, Northampton rapper slowthai is making national headlines again with his inclusion in the ‘BBC’s Sound Of 2019’ list.

BBC Music today revealed the 10 acts which make up this year’s long list.

Joining slowthai is Dermot Kennedy, Ella Mai, Flohio, Grace Carter, King Princess, Mahalia, Octavian, Rosalía, Sea Girls and Dermot Kennedy. The longlist was chosen by a panel of industry experts including Stormzy, BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, Emily Eavis and Olly Alexander.

slowthai started out freestyling with the older kids from his estate and has cemented himself as one of the most exciting new rappers in Britain. This year he has released a slew of singles and will take his Brexit Bandit tour across the UK and Europe in March and April next year.

Previous ‘Sound Of’ nominees include 50 Cent, Adele, Florence +The Machine, Frank Ocean, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Rag‘n’Bone Man.

The daily countdown of the Top 5 will kick off on Monday, January 7 and the winner announced on Friday, January 11.

The list was compiled using recommendations from 136 influential music experts, who were asked to name their three favourite new acts.

The music experts included radio DJs and producers, TV producers and music supervisors, newspaper critics, magazine and website editors and respected bloggers.

 

 

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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

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 5th – Dec 11th

TC & THE BOBCATS + MATT CARTER + DAVE CLEMO & KAREN ANGELA Wednesday December 5th Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Another Kontra Roots acoustic night. Open mic slots available between…

TC & THE BOBCATS + MATT CARTER + DAVE CLEMO & KAREN ANGELA
Wednesday December 5th
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Another Kontra Roots acoustic night. Open mic slots available between acts. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

LUNAXIS
Thursday December 6th
The Carriage House, Higham Ferrers
Northampton folk-rockers take a small trip east to bring the good times. Doors 8pm, free entry

THEE TELEPATHS + PSYCHIC LEMON
Friday December 7th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Psych-driven fuzz four-piece from Kettering play tracks from their forthcoming LP The Velvet Night. Plus special guests, the Cambridge-based kraut-funk space rockers Psychic Lemon. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE KEEPERS + DEAF TRAP + KILAMOJO
Friday December 7th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Northampton’s very own small faces do the headline show thing at the Roadmender, ably supported by fellow local rock boys. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

TU-KAY & RYAN
Friday December 7th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Lush harmonies on the original songs of this local duo. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THE SPITFIRES + NICK CORBIN
Saturday December 8th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Watford-based quartet who take in a wide range of influences from reggae and ska through to punk and soul. Third album ‘Year Zero‘ came out last July. Last ShoeTown show rocked, and this will do likewise. Support from former New Street Adventure frontman. Doors 7.30pm, £13.50 tickets

GROOVY UNDERWEAR
Saturday December 8th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Local, 1980s-formed anti-fascists with a nice line in rocking songs. Doors 8pm, free entry

PIECES
Saturday December 8th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Relatively new alt-rock trio bring the Xmas spirit to the Lamp. Doors 8pm, free entry

WISHING WOLF + LADY JANE’S REVENGE + A NEW HOPE
Saturday December 8th
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
Energetic pop-punk/emo from Kettering, alt-rock from the south-west, and “easy-core” from Newbury. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

FROM INSIDE + CALIBURN + WOVENLUNG + DARKEST DAYS
Sunday December 9th
The Lab, Northampton
Metal night. Headliners are launching their new record When I’m Breathing Without You, with fine ShoeCounty support. Doors 7pm , £6 tickets

HAZEYJANE
Sunday December 9th
The Drunken Duck, Kislingbury
Acoustic folk ambience from the Kettering-based project. Music 6.30pm-8.30pm, free entry

CHRIS WILKINSON + JOSH HARDACRE + more
Tuesday December 11th
Zapato Lounge, Northampton
Get the festivities started with a mid-week song and food extravaganza. Doors 7pm, free entry

 

 

 

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Live review: From The Jam

From The Jam / Nine Below Zero Northampton Roadmender November 30th 2018 Some bands age like fine wine and that’s certainly the case with Nine Below Zero. Opening their set…

From The Jam / Nine Below Zero
Northampton Roadmender
November 30th 2018

Some bands age like fine wine and that’s certainly the case with Nine Below Zero. Opening their set with an energetic version of fan favourite ‘Riding on the L&N’ the band deliver a masterclass in rhythm’n’blues. ‘I’m in the Doghouse’ follows and simply swings while evergreen vocalist Dennis Greaves makes his guitar sing on a hard edged rendition of blues standard ‘Killing Floor’. With his partner-in-crime, the harmonica maestro Mark Feltham the pair have been performing together for four decades and share an obvious chemistry – as evidenced by a tight but fun rendition of ‘Tequila’. Nine Below Zero turn in a crowd pleasing, greatest hits set with ‘Wipe Away Your Kiss’ and ‘You Can’t Say Yes, You Can’t Say No’, both from their seminal Third Degree album, following in quick succession. As you’d expect a fiery run through of ‘Eleven Plus Eleven’ sets the venue alight and ensures they end on a high.

From The Jam are touring the classic All Mod Cons album to celebrate it’s fortieth anniversary. Nowadays a word like ‘classic’ is thrown around casually but All Mod Cons is certainly worthy of such a title. More than just an album it really captured the spirit of the times, both musically and lyrically, and the triumph of tonight’s show is that some of that essence is replicated. The short, sharp shock of opener ‘All Mod Cons’ is performed with the aggression it warrants, before the band ease off the throttle with ‘To Be Someone’. In the live environment it becomes evident what a kaleidoscopic album All Mod Cons is. From the power-pop of ‘David Watts’ to the neo-psychedelia of ‘The Place I Love’ to the primitive punk of ‘Billy Hunt’, From The Jam paint each song with the appropriate shade.

‘English Rose’ affords the opportunity for an acoustic interlude and the band deviate from the original track listing to include ‘Smithers Jones’ and ‘Private Hell’. The latter, when stripped bare, reveals a lyrical depth hidden in the original. Then it’s back to All Mod Cons for the Orwellian ‘A Bomb in Wardour Street’ and the poetic ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’.

What follows is a ‘best of’ set full of songs that defined a generation. ‘A Town Called Malice’ turns the venue into a huge dancefloor, before we’re treated to the “too good to be a b-side” ‘The Butterfly Collector’. Vocalist Russell Hastings sounds uncannily like Paul Weller, but he still manages to impart his own stamp on proceedings. Bruce Foxton has cut down on the trademark leaps and bicycle kicks but he still turns in an energetic, lively performance and his vocal on ‘News of the World’ sounds vital and fresh.

The band return for three well-deserved encores: ‘In The City’, ‘Eton Rifles’ and a rousing ‘Going Underground’. Purists may dismiss From The Jam as a glorified tribute act (albeit with an original member), but they obviously haven’t seen the joy their performance brings. Thankfully Bruce Foxton cares enough about his past so we can relive a little of ours.

Peter Dennis

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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.

 

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