New Music Friday: Temples

One of the biggest acts from Northamptonshire this decade are embarking on their third era. Temples emerged from Kettering in 2012 with earworm single ‘Shelter Song’, and never looked back….

One of the biggest acts from Northamptonshire this decade are embarking on their third era. Temples emerged from Kettering in 2012 with earworm single ‘Shelter Song’, and never looked back. Having released a couple of singles recently on the eve of third album Hot Motion it was time for New Boots speaks to bassist/songwriter/lyricist Thomas Walmsley – and ask if the band are on something, or onto something.

It’s been a little over two years since second album Volcano. What have you been up to since then?
After the last record, it was the first time that our existence as Temples came to a dead stop. We’d toured Volcano as much as we were going to, and numerous changes hit us all at once. Things came to a head and we’ve ended up with a new label, booking agents, and more importantly a new drummer, so its really felt like the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
We really had to rebuild and define what we wanted Temples to be, and I think more than anything Hot Motion is our work of doing that.

Volcano was a real triumph, arguably better than Sun Structures, but it didn’t seem to get the traction in the press it deserved. Does that feel like an accurate summation?
I think with any record a large degree of how its received is expectation and momentum. Volcano for us was a reaction to Sun Structures. I think we didn’t want to be one of those bands that repeats their first record, and we wanted to explore more sounds beyond the walls of creating an ‘authentic’ sounding record. I think perhaps that was lost on some people. It’s definitely a more intricate record, where we weren’t too concern with it being lead by its aesthetic.

On the journey between Volcano and now you lost drummer Sam and now have Rens Ottink [from Dutch band Pauw ]onboard. What’s he brought to the table?
Yeah, I think when things are chronically dysfunctional for quite some time, you have to respond to that for the greater good. It was a sign to look forward, and along with everything else that was changing at the time, it was something that had to happen. I think we played a show with Pauw in Utrecht back in 2013, and since we have remained friends and in touch, he was the first person we could think of fitting in with the band. He’s a great musician, and has a really unique playing style. I think how we play with him live is quite different, and he’ll be a great influence on how we go forward.

Tell us all about this latest single. And there’s been a local video shoot, yes?
Our new single is called ‘You’re Either On Something’, and the video is directed by Sam Kinsella. We can’t give too much away, but it’s a local setting in Northampton where surreal happenings start to corrupt your moral sanity. We wanted to celebrate the myths of our home county again with this record, it was recorded here. We’ve featured The Royal Theatre & 78 Derngate on the LP sleeve, and wanted the videos to follow suit.

Is it a good representation of the album? What can we expect?
Yes and no. It’s always been difficult for us to summarise one of our records, with influences being so different with each song. There’s definitely a stronger theme with Hot Motion as a whole record this time around. Its darker, theatrical and holds a stronger atmosphere. It’s probably some of the most energetic music we’ve recorded to date.

Any new and/or surprising influences on the new album you might want to reveal? What’s been on the band stereo this past year?
I think stripping away layers, we were more drawn to guitars on this record, and rather than building on that, we have just pushed them to the forefront and made the bare bones sound as grand as possible. There’s more theatrics in there, more of a darker tone, visually bands like Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music were an influence. More experimental in detail, but first and foremost a guitar heavy sound.

You’re still self-recording, right? With [singer/songwriter/guitarist] James producing from his Rutland hideaway? Does it still offer you the best sanctuary for creativity?
Yes we’ve graduated from bedroom to garage/outhouse now. I think being at the desk ourselves will always be most comfortable. When time or money, or studio time isn’t an issue it allows you to really develop an idea, and follow your own creative process and direction. The three of us manage to steer each other on a fairly solid course.

You keeping an eye on Northamptonshire still? Any new favourite acts?
Yes we’re still back here to rehearse, and keep a close eye on whats happening locally. Slowthai is fabulous, isn’t he?

What can you tell us about your upcoming plans?
We’re soon to be releasing the new album Hot Motion, and then were going to tour as much as humanly, physically and chemically is possible. We will be playing a Northampton show in the extremely near future.

Hot Motion is out September 27th [pre-order here], and the band play in-store at HMV Kettering on Tuesday October 1st

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 4th – Sep 10th

JINDER + TU-KAY & RYAN + JOE CORKRAM Wednesday September 4th  Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Sensational  Sherbourne Americana singer-songwriter, NN harmonising duo, and accomplished Northampton performer promoting his exciting new…

Wednesday September 4th 
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Sensational  Sherbourne Americana singer-songwriter, NN harmonising duo, and accomplished Northampton performer promoting his exciting new EP. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Thursday September 5th
The Walnut Inn, Blisworth
Acoustic joy from Just Mike, Corinne Lucy, Woolford Scott, Oakleas Rise, Wax Lyrical, Ant Richards, and Nigel Lewis. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday September 6th
The Roadmender, Northampton
2019 for the Northants rockers heralds a new chapter, with the addition of Darren Caven-Quantrill on guitar and the much anticipated return of original vocalist Mike Stockley, not to mention prepping a fourth album! Come celebrate at this one, local bands in the main room is a very healthy state for the scene to be in. Doors 7.30pm, £6.50 tickets

Friday September 6th – Sunday September 8th
Deene Park Estate, nr Corby
The beats weekender is back for its sixth year. Hostings multiple stages of DJs, and The Badger’s Sett stage has live performances from Spunge, Imperial Leisure, Popes of Chillitown, Jerremia Ferrari, Riskee & The Ridicule, and a certain Karl Phillips & The Rejects. Tickets £130. Full line-up:

Friday September 6th
Peggotty’s Lounge, Towcester
The much anticipated return of the ‘John Doe’ indie rockers to Peggotty’s. Music from 8pm, free entry

Saturday September 7th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Superlative sounds on offer here tonight: psych-driven fuzz from Kettering, post-punk electronica from ShoeTown legends, and local proggish stoner rock brings the heavy vibes and stylings. Doors 8pm, £5 entry

Saturday September 7th
The Sun Inn, Northampton
Yet more acoustic wonderment from a strong selection: Cameron Grace, Andy Clarke, Marieke Vink, Ant Richards, and Rogue State Circus. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday September 7th
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Those urban rail punks named after the ShoeTown suburb are in KTown for some righteous fun. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday September 7th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Surf and Rock’n’Roll trio, playing reverb-drenched instrumental songs that evoke the sound of crashing waves and covering songs from the early days of rock and roll. Playing from 3pm to 6pm, free entry

Saturday September 7th
The Red Lion, Broughton
Celebrated blues harp duo do their thang over in the Broughton boozer that’s under new management. Doors 8pm, free entry






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Across The Border: Sept 4th – Sept 11th

Across The Border is back with its second edition in consecutive weeks! If you didn’t see last week’s, it’s same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s great…

Across The Border is back with its second edition in consecutive weeks! If you didn’t see last week’s, it’s same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s great venues across the border who are putting on cracking gigs which deserve shouting about.

Fewer gigs this week, but here’s what you should have your eyes on outside Northants over the next seven days.

Wednesday, September 4th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Valis Ablaze set out to provide an intriguing alternative to the progressive metal norm, low end grooves juxtaposed with soaring vocal lines, and atmospheric synths, all driven by intricate rhythm work and growling bass. Their sophomore album, Render was released in July. Support by Derange. Doors 7.30pm, Tickets £8.

Thursday, September 5th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Former pig farmer and Ivor Novello Award nominee Ian W Brown is headlining The Stables. Daniel Mays plays a better-looking version of him in the Fisherman’s Friends film and Gregor Fisher’s downtrodden manager character in 2003’s Love Actually may have been based on how he transported an ex-prog rocker to the top of the Christmas charts in real life in 2001, but folk’s favourite former farmer and secret hit maker Brown is on tour playing some of the songs which have graced the charts and many more that haven’t. Doors 8pm, tickets £10 in advance.

Friday, September 6th
Esquires, Bedford
The Ouse Valley Singles Club are launching their new LP Gammonista at Esquires. The five-piece band use sounds and traditions of 1950’s skiffle combined with the energy of punk and a splash of rub ‘n’ dub reggae to relay hilarious folk-like story-telling within their infectious songs, often crossing the parameters of what is deemed to be socially acceptable. Support is by Skimmington Ride. Doors 8pm, tickets £8.

Friday, September 6th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
KariBow play neo-progressive melodic rock, with shades of Marillion, reflecting AOR giants such as Toto, Journey and Asia. With a string of award-winning albums, their latest LP Supernatural Foe Rebirth was released this year. Support by This Winter Machine. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £15.

Saturday, September 7th
Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Members of Nine-piece ska reggae rocksteady band The Dekkertones have been involved in the ska scene for more than 30 years. Since forming in 2013, they have supported the likes of The Neville Staple Band The Dualers. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £10.

Saturday, September 7th
Esquires, Bedford

Dozens of acts will be playing at the Cream Of The Crop All-dayer at Esquires on Saturday. Music is across two floors and will feature Peter & The Test Tube Babies, Infa-Riot, The Crack, East End Badoes, Arch Rivals, The Angry Agenda, Guitar Gangsters, The Warriors, Rat’s Nest, Murdaball, Jack The Lad, Feckin Ejits, Charred Hearts, Hazard, The Tendons, Dogtown Rebels, Terminal Heads, Out Of Order (Both British and Canadian bands), Bleach Boys, Subculture, The Mistakes, Spring Park, Johnny & The Mental Breakdowns and L.O.A.D. Doors 1pm, tickets £27.50.

Sunday, September 8th
The Stables, Milton Keynes.
The recipient of an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honour List for services to Music and Charity, legendary British Guitarist Gordon Giltrap is headlining The Stables. Over five decades, Giltrap has graced the music business with his dedication to his craft. He will be playing songs from his latest album, The Last Of England. Doors 8pm, tickets £17.50.

Wednesday, September 11
The Stables, Milton Keyes
Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters and a national musical treasure. His performance during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with Kylie Minogue and Lulu was viewed by more than one billion people worldwide. Doors 8pm, tickets £18.50.

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New Music Friday: Caliburn

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New…

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New Boots had to go and have a word or five.

Where are you all based in Northamptonshire?
We’re from all over in a way. Joe and Bailey live over in Corby, Jake in Kettering, Niall in Northampton and Ewan’s from Irthlingborough. We’re a bit all over the place, but we all get together every other week in Rushden to chill and jam our tracks together, vibe idea’s and just have a good time.

How did you guys get together?
The band initially formed around two years ago with Ewan and Niall, after they’d been toying with the idea for many years and eventually jam sessions started to become a regular occurrence. They have been close friends from a young age and have been in previous bands together after leaving school, so the likelihood of another project was inevitable at some point. The next key component for us was a bassist. As far as we’re concerned Bailey is one of the founders of the band and has been with us from the beginning.
Caliburn has spent the first years of its life exploring different styles and sounds, which meant that we parted ways with previous members as the sound and the band has developed. We were in need of a new drummer in 2018, and we found Jake. Jake’s drumming skills were already known to us, Ewan has been mates with him outside of the band and he’s renowned locally for being a super technical drummer, and he didn’t disappoint.
Now with the four of us we could really get down to laying the foundations of the material we were jamming with. But it soon became apparent there was one last piece missing- the lead guitar. Unbeknown to us it wouldn’t be until Joe joined that everything would take form and fall into place in full force. Joe’s talent for writing music pulled all the elements together.
We spent the last year playing shows, and producing our first EP, ‘Outskirts’, which we are all very proud of.

How would you describe your sound?
To put it bluntly, “Painfully generic Metalcore”…but with a twist! The synths and strings on top of the guitars creates the perfect melodies, and catchy choruses ensures that we make an imprint on the music society. Our sound is changing from when the band had first started and the album will be different to the EP. We all look forward to what the future for Caliburn has to offer.

Who are your main influences in music?
We all listen to a bit of everything, so our songs could go in any direction in terms of style and sound. For example our song ‘Outskirts’ has really catchy and melodic sections almost like a pop song, as well as hard hitting heavy riffs similar to bands like Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine. I think those last two are definitely big influences on us as a sort of baseline for our sound, and we like to take that element and build on it with other influences that we feel lends to the song. While She Sleeps is another band we take inspiration from too. Killer guitar riffs, massive sounding vocals, raw screaming, there is just so much passion in their music and its fantastic! Hopefully the passion we have for our own music comes across that way as well.

Tell us everything about this debut EP, ‘Outskirts’?
So the EP has a little bit of all of us. Joe has the lead role of writing the demos to our tracks, and then we all add a bit of ourselves from there. Its a heartfelt EP, all the cliche you could ever need!
Track 1 ‘Vena Cava’ when translated to Latin is “hollow veins”, and is basically about feeling empty within yourself like nothing could ever matter, we really are “sad bois” for life.
Track 2 ‘Outskirts’ follows on from that and is about searching for better things. Then when you eventually find it, whether it be love, success or finally belonging. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Track 3 ‘Letting Go’ is basically about struggling with heartbreak and finding it hard to move forward.
Track 4 ‘Seasonal’. Now, this is a sad one. Where to start. Its a really personal song to Niall. A few years ago he was having a really bad time with mental health, but like to think of himself as mentally strong and persevered. However in the space of about eight months, two friends of his didn’t and this track goes out to them. Niall really struggled understanding why they hadn’t reached out to anyone. This song is as close to what he can get in his own mind as to how they were feeling. I like to think it’s written by them through Niall.
Track 5 ‘Pray For Me’ has done pretty well. It’s been played on BBC Introducing twice, and forwarded to BBC 1 Rock Show, so here’s to hoping! The tracks about the end. How you never know when it’s coming, and any day could be your last. It’s one of our favourites on the EP and the ending finishes the EP nicely.
Its like a simplified story all together and it gives a little bit of closure within us. It’s a heartfelt EP.

Recorded down in Southampton with Nick from Our Hollow, Our Home. A great guy to work with and we feel he captured exactly what we wanted out of our first release. We’d highly recommend hitting up Six Point Media if you’re looking to release.

What are your live shows like?
We really enjoy playing live. Its our favourite thing to do together [as well as going to the pub of course]. We give it our all when we’re out there, no matter what the occasion is. We’re passionate about our music and we want to put on the best show possible for returning fans, as well as hopefully gaining some new ones. Its all well and good listening to a band online or on Spotify, but you really need to go to the live show to really see what a band is about.

Congrats on your freshly inked ‘Weathers Management’ deal. what can you tell us about that?
So the management deal was something Niall and Dan (the owner of Weathers management) had spoken about before. Niall met Dan at All Points East through bumping into Stone from Behind Blue Eyes. So they spent most of the day chilling together and through him is where Niall met Dan for the first time. It wasn’t until about a week later Niall noticed he was friends with Dan on Facebook for a while and it sparked the conversation about management. We’re trying to push our sound further afield so joining Weathers management sounded like a good deal to us. It catered to us all being busy but also wanting to get more shows. There’s a few things in the pipeline at the moment in terms of new venues for us, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Are you part of a musical community, playing with like-minded bands?
We like to play anywhere we can really. Helps spread our wings and meet new people in the process. We’ve done a few shows over at The Shed in Leicester, and we’ll be back there at some point soon without a doubt! And of course we’ve met some great bands in the process as well. Like the guys from A Hundred Crowns who always put on a great show. We’ve played with them a couple of times and now and they’re really nice guys as well. Same goes for a band called The Lunar Process [formerly Edge Of Apollo]. Had the pleasure of playing with those guys in the north and they made us feel welcome to somewhere totally new to us! We also have to give props to the local boys in Primal Holocaust as well. We’ve shared the stage with them a number of times since they started up and their shows are just full of energy and aggression. It really is a good show to watch.

Of course we love playing in Northampton, The Black Prince is one of our favourites to play. We spent a good amount of this year playing there, and the shows we’ve been involved in has been have been killer! Raffs over in Wellingborough is also a fun one for us to pay as well. It was the first venue we played in this new era of the band with Joe and Jake, and its just generally a good laugh when we play there as well.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
There has been a lot of good moments with the band. A lot has happened the past year with the EP dropping and we couldn’t be happier! But going back to good moments there is one that stands out the most is one gig we had played at Raffs bar, Wellingborough, for a heat of “Metal 2 The Masses’. We had started playing and people seemed to be enjoying what we had wrote. It was in that moment knew we had something special. To see the sight of people enjoying what we offer and being part of something more than just a band, means it will always be one of our favourite memories.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Well there’s been some pretty big albums drop recently! Of course the brand new Slipknot album We Are Not Your Kind came out a few weeks ago and that album has some absolutely killer tracks on it! You always know that when Slipknot go away for a little while that they’re gonna come back with a bang. Its the same deal with Atonement by Killswitch Engage, even featuring their old singer on one of the best tracks on the album ‘The Signal Fire’ as well! Metalcore fans can live happy now they’ve seen both Jesse Leech and Howard Jones on a Killswitch album, we never thought we’d see the day.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We have a lot of ambition going forward with our music. Obviously we’re gonna keep on playing shows up and down the country and continue getting our name out there. We’ve played some really great shows in the north and over in Leicester so its about time we conquered London and the south of England now! But a big ambition we have for the future is taking ourselves overseas into Europe, and play some shows over there. We see videos and pictures of friends of ours who have done that with their bands and the crowds and atmosphere looks insane! So hopefully we’ll get the same reception that they do when we make our way over into the continent.

As well as playing shows, we may even have some new music to bring to your ears in the new year. Maybe even experiment with some new sounds, increase the heaviness, make the guitar shred even shreddier and very possibly give an old song from 2017 a new lease on life. If you know you know! We’re really looking forward to what the end of year has in store for us, but we’re eagerly anticipating what the new year hold for us as well!

Outskirts is out now

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Aug 28th – Sep 3rd

PALMIST + ORKA Wednesday August 28th The Black Prince, Northampton Alt-rock/pop-punkers from Southampton headline, with Doors 7pm, £5 tickets BASEMENT LEAGUE + SLACKRR + ERICA DRIVE + DEAD RESTLESS Friday…

Wednesday August 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Alt-rock/pop-punkers from Southampton headline, with Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Friday August 30th
The Black Prince, Northampton
A mighty quartet for your eager ears: pop-punk from London, Southampton, Bournemouth, and go old ShoeTown itself. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Friday August 30th
The Lab, Northampton
MK indie rock, plus new indie-punkers from Northampton. Lewis Beahan opens with an acoustic set. Doors 7pm

Friday August 30th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Original band night, featuring alt-rock from Banbury, melodic power rock band from Cambs, and pop-punk from Bedford. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday August 31st
The Roadmender, Northampton
UNITY Fest is about bringing everyone together from all different social and religious backgrounds through music. Main Stage bands include VICE SQUAD, JANUS STARK, ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER, TARA REZ, and KARL PHILIPS & THE REJECTS. The Acoustic Den includes several local acts and speakers from Hope Not Hate, Unite the Union, The Labour Party, CND, JVL & Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Unity Fest is sponsored by Unite the Union. Doors midday, free entry [enter code 4419]

Saturday August 31st
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Once again local people get together to raise money for the Hope Centre. A full day of live music, with the main stage featuring One Leaf Falls, Marabar Caves, Tukay & Ryan, Family of Noise, Hopsons Kaffee, Hub Cap, and The Markus Reeves Brotherhood. Meanwhile the acoustic stage features Rogue Ruby, Nigel Lewis, Ciaran Redmond, Wildflower Rogue, Maria Craven, Cameron Grace, and Corinne Lucy. Doors 2pm, donations requested [including food!]

Saturday August 31st
The Lab, Northampton
Pop-punk extravaganza, and unbelievably all for free, the generous lovelies. Headlined by Kettering’s best kept secret, plus bands from Middlesborough, Cardiff, Leicester, and Northampton itself. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Saturday August 31st
The Lab, Northampton
Daventry’s vintage rock’n’roll trio with two albums to their name will make you dance dance dance. Doors 7pm, £10 tickets

Saturday August 31st
Abbots, Weekley Wood Lane, Weekley
Festeveal is an event which showcases local talent in the Northamptonshire area, along with raising money for the amazing local non-profit organisation Picture The Difference. This organisation provides a creative outlet for people with additional needs! Doors 2pm, entry is FREE but they ask for donations






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Across The Border: Aug 28th – Sept 4th

REJOICE! The New Boots ‘Across The Border’ gig guide is back. We started this last year but it didn’t last (mainly because its writer kept forgetting to do it). Anyway,…

REJOICE! The New Boots ‘Across The Border’ gig guide is back. We started this last year but it didn’t last (mainly because its writer kept forgetting to do it). Anyway, he’s promised to do better this time and we thought now festival season is coming to an end, it was worth bringing it back. Same idea as before – we love NN, but there’s some mega venues across the border who are putting on cracking gigs which deserve shouting about.

So, without further ado, here’s some things you should have your eye on which are taking place over the next seven days.

Wednesday, August 28th
Esquires, Bedford
There’s tons of hype around Montreal five-piece Pottery and Brighton’s Egyptian Blue who both play Esquires this week. Pottery recently released The Craft, taken from their debut EP, No. 1, which was released in May while Egyptian Blue recently released their debut EP Collateral Damage. Doors 8pm, tickets £8.

Thursday, August 29th
Esquires, Bedford
Not content with one hugely hyped gig this week, Esquires also hosts New York art punks Bodega and Working Men’s Club on Thursday. Bodega’s debut album Endless Scroll was released to rave reviews earlier this year. Doors 8pm, tickets £12.50.

Thursday, August 29th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Yes, they’re playing at The Black Prince in Northampton as well, but if you can’t make that show, you’ve another chance to see Bournemouth emo punk five-piece Erica Drive, Basement League and Slackrr who are on a co-headline tour across the UK. Erica Drive’s latest single The Fall is out now. Support is by Lost Without A Cause. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5.

Friday, August 30th
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Heavy Pettin’ return to The Craufurd Arms to kick off part two of their Back On The Road Again Tour with special guests rockers Tytan. If you like 1980s Scottish NWOHM, this one’s for you. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £12. Another band who think they’re playing the Crauford Arms…

Saturday, August 31st
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Following a 30-year career, Ben Waters has decided to retire from public performances and will be joined by a line-up of top musicians one last time for a night of boogie woogie, rock ‘n’ roll and blues in Wavendon. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £18.50.

Sunday, September 1st
The Stables, Milton Keynes
From school punk to modern day film producer, Richard Jobson has lived a full and colourful life. A harrowing incident as a child left him suffering with epilepsy but he was a mere 15 year old when he launched the punk rock band The Skids in 1977 with his songwriting partner Stuart Adamson. Support is by Bruce and Jamie Watson from Big Country who will play their own set before joining Richard for acoustic versions of his back catalogue. Doors 8pm, tickets £20.

Sunday, September 1st
Esquires, Bedford
Armed with unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses, punk duo The SoapGirls’ energy, rawness and authenticity has earned a formidable reputation. The French born sisters Millie and Mie been touring relentlessly since 2015 and released their latest album Elephant In The Room in July. They head to Bedford as part of their Sniff My Strap tour. Support is by Trouble County and Cuecliche. Doors 7.30 pm, tickets £10.

Sunday, September 1st
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Founded in Leighton Buzzard, in 2008, veteran keyboard player John Young realised he had never done a pure prog album. The band Lifesigns is the direct result of that realisation. John started writing the music for the album in 2008 working closely with sound engineer and next door neighbour Steve Rispin. The band has a modern sound with lush, multi layered keyboards. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £20.

Wednesday, September 4th
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Folk duo Joseph O’Keefe and Cole Stacey return to The Stables next week. The pair use traditional instruments in contemporary styles, exploring diverse themes from Eastern Europe, Irish traditions and modern urban alienation. After releasing their debut album The Girl I Left Behind Me in 2015 they began extensively supporting and accompanying Midge Ure across the world. Doors 8pm, tickets £15.

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New Music Friday: We Are Giants

Northampton trio We Are Giants, with the huge sound and quirky style, keep coming up with the goods. Following last years well-received debut album The Empire they are back with…

Northampton trio We Are Giants, with the huge sound and quirky style, keep coming up with the goods. Following last years well-received debut album The Empire they are back with new single ‘Respond’. Time to ch-ch-chat…

How did you guys get together?
We first started in mid-2015, originally connecting through adverts on Our first gig was on NYE of that year. We started off as a four-piece playing softer rock and practising in Griffs lounge, but soon found our heavier sound and transitioned into a trio. Alex came on board as a WAGlad [and drummer] last summer. We play together as good friends and because of our passion for writing and playing original rock music.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
This is the question that usually throws people off! Our sound is heavy modern rock but with gritty vocals rather than any screaming. That being said….Griff can sing quite beautifully as well. Our influences range from Alexisonfire, old-school Biffy Clyro, Don Broco and Press to Meco and we certainly think that you can hear a little bit of each of those bands in our tunes.

What was the reaction like to The Empire?
Lee’s Nan loved the artwork but not so much the music. Being serious, it’s tough being a small unsigned originals rock band, and unless you’re pumping money into pushing your stuff it’s difficult to get heard. That’s why it’s always fantastic when people grab a CD from us at gigs or stumbling across us on the streaming platforms. BBC Introducing has also played some tracks off of The Empire, which is cool! We’re proud of the songs that we’ve created and recorded together, and if nothing comes from it then at least we’ve had some good times doing it all and have something for our grandkids to listen to [and hate].

Tell us about this new song, ‘Respond’.
‘Respond’ was written by all three of us pretty much as soon as Alex came on board. Griff came up with the riff at 1am when we were all pissed, and we never looked back. We recorded the song at the WAG studio and had a great time adding all of the layers….especially the ukulele in the breakdown! When it was time to release the song, we thought about ideas for a music video and being the lazy bastards we are, we decided to stand in front of a green screen and shoot a one take dancing video…..but it turned out great! It seems that when we run out of ideas we always turn to the comedy, crazy costumes, green screen video approach. We probably did the main video in one take but also created five or six bonus clips that we released before the launch and those probably took the most time because we were laughing so much! Recording and shooting videos is the most fun part of being in a band for us because we get to have a laugh and record whatever idea pops into our heads.

What are your live shows like?
We like to have fun and bring energy to the stage, it’s usually a weekend so why would we want to be all serious and moody? Crowd wise, it’s always hit or miss. We’ve played some absolutely insane gigs, and also played to practically no one on many occasions. Our proudest moment has to be when we were runners up in MK11’s battle of the bands competition, but we won the best bassist and guitarist award. We also got a cool support slot for a CJ Ramone gig from that show.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve had the opportunity to play with 100s of bands in 10s of venues in our brief history. We’ve made great friends playing shows in Northants and always enjoy playing at The King Billy, The Roadmender and the cool pubs in Daventry. These days there are a lot of gigs where the majority of the crowd is the bands that are on the line-up, so it’s important to drop the egos, have a beer and enjoy each other’s show.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Shooting the music video for our next single…coming out soon! The video was soooo much fun to film and we hope that comes across on camera. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details soon on that.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Lee – Biffy Clyro Balance Not Symmetry
Alex – Press To Meco Here’s To The Fatigue
Griff – Acoda Truth Seeker

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We have a new single coming out soon with an awesome video to match. We think that this is possibly our best work to date so we’re excited to release it! After that we’re just going to focus on having a good time being in a band: whether that’s working on new tracks, jamming or recording and shooting video content. We’re not ruling out the odd live show but we live busy lives and the rewards for the time, effort and money that you put into playing shows is slim, but that’s cool….we have a laugh together and do what we want, when we want.

Respond is out now

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Aug 21st – Aug 27th

THE GREG COULSON BIG BAND Thursday August 22nd The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton Northampton’s own king bluesmeister, when he isn’t busy touring the world with Spiritualized, continues to wow us with…

Thursday August 22nd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Northampton’s own king bluesmeister, when he isn’t busy touring the world with Spiritualized, continues to wow us with his own sounds, as heard on last year’s debut album, What’s New?.  He presents his big band with the big sound for the first time in 2019 tonight. Doors 8pm, £10 tickets

Thursday August 22nd – Monday August 26th
The King Billy, Northampton
No creative juice spared with that title, the second of the Billy’s 2019 garden extravaganza’s runs over five nights!  You get ODS SAXON, DIRTY DEEDS, BURNT OUT WRECK, THE BIG DIRTY, STILL REMAINS UK, SILVER STEREO , EL BRONSON, STAR LIZZY, DREAM DROP, WISHING WOLF, SAFEST SPACES, STANDING LIKE STATUES, CRAWLSPACES, CHARLIE TARRY & THE OUTLAWS, MOLLY KARLOFF, and more TBC. Thursday and Friday are free entry, Saturday to Monday is £5 on the door. A ticket for 3 days is £10.

Friday August 23rd – Sunday August 25th
Next to Naseby Reservoir
The last big weekend of the year for festivals in 2019, and this is a firm favourite on the calendar. Music is the main focus of the festival, so this year you get Friday delights from The Evil Usses, The Anteloids, The Yes Mess, Diego Brown & The Good Fairy, and Chris Duckett. The evening finishes with a late night Lay It Down special hosted by Troopz. Saturday brings Benny & The Jengo Massive, Dubi Dolczek, Zayk, Laetitia Sadier [ex-Stereolab], [sane], A Noble Ghost, Slide Machine, Ben Jennings, and James Grady. Finally the Sunday sees C Joynes, Nim Chimpsky, Wax Myrtle’s Special Structure, Nick Jonah Davis, Ji & The Rainbirds, and Nina Harries perform. Day tickets are £15 [Fri and Sun] or £20 [Sat], or £30 for a weekend camping ticket. See all the info here

Saturday August 24th – Monday August 26th
The Umbrella Fair, Northampton
Kaya breaks down the borders within the Arts and Music and celebrates World Music, Diversity, Community and Family. Showcasing many world music artists over three days, including Kiziah & The Kings, Thabani & The African All Stars, The Repro Jam Squad, Drones Club, and Jono & The Uke DealersTickets are £25 for the weekend, £50 for a family ticket, or £5 per child over six.

Saturday August 24th – Monday August 26th
The Sun Inn, Northampton
A Ni Ni Sessions hosted event over three days. Performances from Hannah Faulkner, Nigel Lewis, Rebecca Ryan, Dem urban foxes, Marieke Vink, ‪Andy Clarke, Ant Richards‬, Cameron Grace‬, Harrison Coleman, The Laura Baker Band‬, George Holmes, Amii Dawes, Way Bak Then, Break‬, Just Mike, Tom & Sophie‬, J D Blues , Uncovered‬, Tim Jon Brophy, Scott Walters, Lew Bear, Dan Hughes, and Terry Slade. From lunchtime each day, free entry

Saturday August 24th
The Lab, Northampton
Big celebration and iration. Conscious reggae star Tiggy will be joining the roots reggae Londoner. Doors 8pm, £5 entry [£4 for members]

Saturday August 24th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
MLR was our first ever gig review two years ago, so we’re excited she returns from Los Angeles to perform upstairs at the Lamp. Support from her occasional folkie collaborator and talented NN mainstay. Music from 8.30pm, £7.50 entry

Saturday August 24th
The Shire Horse, Corby
A great line-up of local musicians: Ethan Kenna, The 182s, Veins, Deeper Cut, Rock Follicles and Kushty. From 1.30pm, free entry

Saturday August 24th
The Red Lion, Brackley
The Self-Aware rockists continue their album campaign trail by returning to a favourite haunt, and are joined by the Nuneaton riffy trio, plus the Northants acoustic blues duo. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday August 24th
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
Special co-headline show from the two MK metal outfits. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Sunday August 25th
The Raven Hotel, Corby
An outdoor event, featuring Machines, The T100s, Prisoner, James Watt & The Avenues, and The Rising Suns. Doors midday. All proceeds go to Prostaid.

Sunday August 25th
The Prince Of Wales, Kettering
In superhero costumes no less! Stick around after the jam to watch their rock moves. Doors 4pm, free entry


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Spiral Archive celebrates 20 years of making Northampton better

This Saturday is a day to celebrate a Northampton music institution. Spiral Archive has been selling records and showcasing local bands for a whole 20 years now. In a world…

This Saturday is a day to celebrate a Northampton music institution. Spiral Archive has been selling records and showcasing local bands for a whole 20 years now.

In a world in which vinyl has taken a back seat to first CDs, and latterly streaming, that’s nothing short of miraculous. Inside an industrial-looking building on St. Michael’s Road lies approximately 50,000 items for sale.  Seriously. New and old music-related records, CDs, tapes, DVDs, books, t-shirts, mugs, badges, it’s all there. The man to thank? Alex Novak of course. He’s been at the helm since the very beginning, the first shop location on Wellington Road.

This Saturday August 25th you can join the celebrations two-fold

1. Spiral Archive the shop offers a one-day half-price sale on ALL STOCK. The shop opens at 11am for that.

2. Alex Novak plus guests will have a DJ party upstairs in the function room at The Charles Bradlaugh [1 Earl St] from 10pm to 3am, and it’s free entry.

SPIRAL ARCHIVE RECORDS 1999-2019. The record shop was opened in 1999 by Alex Novak (of The Venus Fly Trap fame) as an alternative to the mainstream stores. It is one of the few independent record shops left in the area.
Open WED-FRI 11-4pm/SAT 11-5pm [tel.07974 885450]
Or alternatively online;

To commemorate this auspicious milestone Peter Dennis caught up with proprietor Alex for a chat.



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New Music Friday: Rolling Thunder

West Northampton outfit Rolling Thunder are the fresh-faced assassins come to kick in your ears on the grubby indie dancefloors of 2019 and beyond. Seemingly fully-formed already, New Boots asked…

West Northampton outfit Rolling Thunder are the fresh-faced assassins come to kick in your ears on the grubby indie dancefloors of 2019 and beyond. Seemingly fully-formed already, New Boots asked singer Charlie Smith about how they got here and how music gives them their kicks.

How did you guys get together?
The band was formed in a history class at school in 2015 by Ryan and myself as a bit of a joke. No one took us seriously because only Ryan could play an instrument. We were studying the Vietnam War at the time and that’s where the name came from. We were just a bit obsessed with the idea of being in a band and thought it would be pretty cool, so we have just gone from there really. Joe and Harry were also proper keen to be in a band despite no music background or experience at all, so they learned their instruments from scratch by themselves – which again was another reason I think people didn’t take us very seriously. We’ve only really called ourselves a proper band since 2018 when we started doing local open mics. Harry asked his cousin Josh to drum for us when we got some gigs and has recently become a fully fledged member of the band. He was the missing piece and brings so much experience and level headedness. He holds everything together when the rest of us are getting a bit overexcited and making mistakes and stuff.

How would you describe your sound?
Definitely heavily guitar-driven. The sound is quite varied though, and there’s all sorts coming from different decades. Predominantly like an indie 80’s jangle, a more raw 90’s rock ‘n’ roll sound and then some early 00’s indie. What’s interesting is that when people try describing our sound we get completely different responses. We’ve had comparisons to all sorts, from Mod to post-punk to Britpop.

Who are your main influences in music?
The likes of Oasis, Kings of Leon and The Strokes influence the songwriting and guitars. The guitars are also influenced by Harry’s love of early Arctic Monkeys and obsession with Interpol. Joe on the bass idolises Peter Hook [Joy Division/New Order] and Bruce Foxton [The Jam], so there’s definitely some older new wave and post punk vibes there. Josh on the drums is influenced by Radiohead and Counting Crows, which is different again, and then my main influences in terms of vocals are people like Bernard Sumner [New Order], David Byrne [Talking Heads] and Damon Albarn [Blur].

What was the reaction like to the first single, ‘Break In At The Nachtwinkel’?
It’s been mental; we were completely taken aback by the positive response we got. People had only ever heard us live, so we weren’t sure how they’d take to the studio version of the track. But they seem to love it, and it means so much to us. We were on holiday the night it came out and so things got pretty silly. We were just so overwhelmed that something we had made was now out and available on the same platforms we all get our favourite music from, it was unreal. Josh has been in lots of other local bands and said he’s never seen such a quick online uptake of a track, so that seems really promising and gives us the confidence we need.

Tell us about this new one, ‘John Doe’.
At the time Ryan was struggling to write any songs, he wanted to try and write in a different way. He was listening to a lot of Paul Weller and the Kinks so he wanted to write a song in a more observational way. He looked at some of his neighbours and saw how well kept their gardens were and how clean their cars were, and that gave him the idea of writing a song based on people we’ve seen out in Northampton and Nottingham [our uni location]. The idea of a bloke who has all these outward possessions and a seemingly perfect life, but on the inside their life is a bit of a mess. We’re not saying his neighbours are actually like that either, before they try and kick his door down.
From this general idea the whole track has grown into what I suppose you could call almost a concept piece with the artwork, promotional pictures etc…all elaborating on the lyrics and initial idea. Things escalated when I even wore John Doe’s tattered suit and tie on stage. Sound wise it’s pretty big: definitely heavier than ‘Break In At The Nachtwinkel’, with a more rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Especially with the lyrics and vocal delivery the whole track has a lot more attitude. It also has a groovy bass line, driving drums and the usual big guitars. The recording of it was a good laugh, and the overall sound is massive thanks to the great work of Jon Martin at Stalker Studios.

Describe your live show in five words?
Energetic, Entertaining, Endearing, Exciting and Sweaty.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
We’re definitely becoming more and more integrated, our first gig in town was supporting The Keepers and we’ve supported them again since. They’re really good guys and we’re big fans of them. We recently played at TwinFest which was an awesome experience, and it meant we got to meet a lot of the other bands from Northampton and we got a really good reception which was cool. The more we play the more connected we feel which is really promising, so hopefully the scene will continue to reveal itself to us or grow around us. In terms of venues Peggotty’s Lounge in Towcester is our Cavern Club; an awesome place for us to do our own thing, as its proper local, so we get silly.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Playing live is our favourite thing, the best reception we’ve had was at a local gig at Peggotty’s Lounge. The place was totally packed and there was mosh-pits and pints going everywhere. To have people singing and screaming our own words back to us was really special. We loved every second of it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Charlie: It was a 12” single rather than an album – ‘Life During Wartime’ by Talking Heads
Ryan: Dogrel by Fontaines D.C.
Harry: Part 1: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost by Foals
Joel: Joy as an Act of Resistance by Idles
Josh: The Fall of Hobo Johnson by Hobo Johnson

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The ambition is just to be as big as possible. Ideally we want to be on tour supporting bands and playing festivals as soon as possible. Hopefully in the not too distant future a gig at the Roadmender will be on the cards. An ultimate dream of ours would to be become proper successful and do a big homecoming gig either at Sixfield’s Stadium or Franklins Gardens. As well as big live gigs we want to push ourselves technically and develop the songwriting. Even though we think the current songs are pretty awesome we’ve only just got going and think it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

‘John Doe’ is out there now on the usual digital shelves


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