Album review: The Venus Fly Trap

THE VENUS FLY TRAP Mars [Glass Modern] Last year Northampton’s gothic darkwave pioneers [theoretically] called time on their recording career with their eighth studio album, Icon. Whilst a strong finish…

THE VENUS FLY TRAP
Mars
[Glass Modern]

Last year Northampton’s gothic darkwave pioneers [theoretically] called time on their recording career with their eighth studio album, Icon. Whilst a strong finish to proudly rank alongside any of their previous output, it now has also cleared the decks to allow the band to return to the source, and reissue the first run of albums from the 1980s and 1990s. It begins here, the debut from 1988.

Indelibly linked to Bauhaus [through art-school connections] and the ShoeTown scene in general [he helped shape what it became], Alex Novak trod a singular path in the post-punk era, sending out snappish, gothic pulses as part of Religious Overdose and The Tempest, before settling into his long-term project, The Venus Fly Trap. Formed initially in 1986 with brother John and bassist Tony Booker, line-up changes saw Booker moving across to guitar to replace John, with Chris Evans and Dave Freak coming in on bass and percussion.

Early forays into France were received well enough to bag a recording contract with local label Danceteria, and a vinyl album was cobbled together from their first two singles. This was quickly expanded in length for a CD version a few months later, and this is what has been remastered for 2019. Ten stories high, Mars came at a time when spiky lo-fi guitars merged with experimental electronic desires; the slipstream of Pil, Joy Division, and New Order allowing folks to lap up this record as part of what we now collectively call the “alternative 80s”.

Ebullient pop this is not. Mars is more akin to weeds coming up through the Midlands cracks, and breathing new life into a guitar music scene that had reset all notions of ‘limitations’. Where anything not only seemed possible, but contractually obligatory. Novak’s pithy vocals have always reflected his film and scholarly interests, and you really need to visualise a copy of freshly-released comic The Watchmen under one arm amongst the cognoscenti to fully appreciate it’s cultural refractions. The mid-80s was a pretty dire time for many, and radical ideas in Britain were manifestly offering another viewpoint as she headed towards a Hazy Future.

The music zig-zags from the speakers, a series of dizzying, unsettling and occasionally polemic mantras. Feedback sets off ‘Shadow Whisper Mecca’, before the discotized punk-funk groove kicks in. The verve encased in the “Everybody happening” refrain gives off the confident – and very accurate – manifesto for what follows throughout ‘Mars’. Second track ‘I Get Flowers’ takes on the mantle and delivers perhaps the album highlight. It’s a pleasure to argue which is mightier over it’s five minutes – the huge R.E.M.-ish vocal harmonies, or the Cure-ish spidery guitar solo that gloriously jolts above the insistent bassline.

The two single releases became live favourites, to this day. ‘Morphine’ sees Novak being both decadent and threatening at once, deeply intoning about a desperate character over the top of their most garage band moment. ‘Desolation Railway’ meanwhile took things in a completely different direction. Seven minutes of psychedelic swirl that brings wavering synths to a morse code melody, ducking and weaving as it goes, adding explosions and film samples to ratchet up the tension even higher.

On ‘How The Mighty’ they misdirect with a soft Del Shannon-style opening minute, before the drum machine turns on and panic sets in. “Nothing remains the same” goes the chorus, which considering the twists and turn of the band over the next three decades feels rather apt. ‘Catalyst’ is some twisted dark pop that would sit happily on a Jesus & Mary Chain album. And you have to mention the experimental ‘Violins & Violence’, where the funeral pace reflects the desolate mood of a song concerning the JKF assassination and how it blandly encapsulates society’s continual bad news bulletins.

At the time Melody Maker said The Venus Fly Trap make “despair infectious”. It’s still true. Mars affects you in the gut, like all good music should. It is a sublime piece of that “alternative 80s” the industry likes to harp on about. This 2019 re-release gives us a chance to take stock and truly give them the credit they deserve.

Phil Moore

Mars is reissued by Glass Modern on May 31st

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Live review: slowthai

slowthai The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes May 7th 2019 It’s Champions League semi-final second leg night. slowthai’s second favourite team Liverpool [he’s a Cobbler, don’t you know] are already 3-0…

slowthai
The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
May 7th 2019

It’s Champions League semi-final second leg night. slowthai’s second favourite team Liverpool [he’s a Cobbler, don’t you know] are already 3-0 down from the first leg. They have been belittled everywhere over the past week. And for Liverpool you could read slowthai’s hometown of Northampton in the past couple of years. The football team were relegated in 2018, amid bafflement at how they’ve managed to lose a £10.25 million loan from the Borough Council. On top of all that the County Council declared itself “effectively bankrupt”. The bottom of the pile is real gritty, as slowthai tells us.

As tonight’s show progresses our 99p rapper is getting score updates. “It’s 3 nil to us now! No way!” That wide smile creeps just a little wider. He’s fired up for this short run of small venue dates: his way of connecting with the fans he loves so dearly, on as even keel as can be had. Everyone expects him to go interstellar when his debut album Nothing Great About Britain drops, and fans will struggle to get such close-ups again.

This gig is an explosive mix of righteous anger at the state our nation, and a celebration of youth recognising one of their own flawed companions. The man born Tyron Frampton is a constantly whirling physical presence, aided by his balaclava-clad hype man [and regular producer] Kwesi Darko. Sweat levels get exponential pretty much from the off, when ‘Polaroid’s “Kodak moment/Polaroid picture/Shake it, yeah yeah yeah” refrain initiates.

Over eleven songs here his people bounce, take videos, and shout choreographed banter/faux abuse at each other. He splits the crowd, sets up mosh pits, and generally directs us with the touch of an old-style film auteur. His Freddie Mercury-esque vocal call-and-response bit is so funny even he can’t get to the end of it without falling into hysterics. Then mid-set he reveals a unnamed and unreleased collaboration with US rapper Denzel Curry, hinting at future travels beyond the album already. The two 24 year-olds reaching across the Atlantic sounded like an enticing prospect.

‘Doorman’ is blistering, natch, and once the swirling mosh settles there’s a dozen people up on stage with him. It’s his party and we can most definitely come in, it seems – and all for the price of a cone with flake.

slowthai is the 4-0 surprise victory that changes the course of history. This is another gorgeous moment to highlight him. The Shoe Army marches on.

SETLIST:
Polaroid
Drug Dealer
GTFOMF
Mayday
IDGAF
North Nights
Inglorious
T N Biscuits
Doorman
Unnamed collaboration with Denzel Curry
Gorgeous

Words by Phil Moore. Photos by David Jackson.

Nothing Great About Britain is out May 17th. Pre-order here

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 8th – May 14th

PIQUED JACKS Wednesday May 8th The Lab, Northampton Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry SONARS + SAD DRONE Thursday May 9th The Lamplighter, Northampton…

PIQUED JACKS
Wednesday May 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry

SONARS + SAD DRONE
Thursday May 9th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Two-piece electro-psych outfit from Brighton/Italy, plus improvised ambient soundscapes from the team of Joshua Ryan, Joel Harries and Joe Brown. Doors 8pm, free entry

NORTHAMPTON FOLK FESTIVAL
Friday May 10th – Sunday May 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Three days of acoustic strumming and real ale. Perfect for these Game Of Thrones end days. Times vary, £2 per day

SECRET AFFAIR + SQUIRE
Friday May 10th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Glory Boys 40th anniversary tour for the mod revivalists, whose debut single ‘Time For Action’ reached number 13 in the UK chart. Squire released the first single of the genre, ‘Get Ready to Go’, in March 1979. Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

CAPTAIN ACCIDENT & THE DISASTERS + THE BIGHEAD + JIMMY PIKE & THE REDSTARS
Friday May 10th
The Lab, Northampton
Cardiff ska/reggae headliners come to Northampton for the first time to get people up and dancing. Support from Northants pop-reggae group, and the left-leaning political dub/reggae instrumentalists. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

MONARCHS + BLOOD-VISIONS + NAILBREAKER
Saturday May 11th
Club 43, Northampton
Loud and heavy Kettering three-piece headline the ‘Rebel Waltz’ night. Support from ShoeTown “technicolour hardcore” band and the NN10 digital hardcore man of the moment. Doors 8pm; free before 9pm, £4 after

ORANGE CLOCKS + TRIPSPACE
Saturday May 11th
Windmill Club, Rushden
A night of psychedelic delights, with all proceeds going to Rushden Mind, a local charity. Doors 7.30pm, donations

EXPETYA + PRIMAL HOLOCAUST + THE CREATURE WITHIN + WOVENLUNG
Saturday May 11th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Bloodstock Festival’s Metal 2 The Masses gives unsigned acts the chance to play the New Blood Stage at the festival. Doors 6pm,  £5 tickets

THE ELECTRIC SIX
Tuesday May 14th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
One of the best live bands around, the band have a range of influences from new romantic to metal and a bit of disco thrown in for good measure. The Jack White-featuring breakthrough single ‘Danger! High Voltage’ was a disco-laden indie club banger that thrust the band into international acclaim and MTV stardom. The band followed up with one of the most quotable songs of all time, ‘Gay Bar’, and it’s tongue-in-cheek video took the band into another stratosphere completely. Doors 7.30pm, £16.50 tickets

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: EGO

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the…

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the band are on a mission to get down and dirty with your rock’n’roll desires. Their new eponymously-titled EP, featuring lead single ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’, is a real treat, and New Boots went and got all the background titbits from Mr Grant.

How did you guys get together?
EGO was born from a love of heavier music and boredom. It was an inbetweeny moment of having some free time and throwing together some music which I really enjoyed. Originally it was me and Mark, but it had no future unfortunately, so I recruited some mates that just so happened to play the required instruments. Three mates playing in a band having a laugh, just like when we all aspire to start our first band with starry eyes.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Angry sexy shouty punky rock. Definitely if Jamie Lenman had a gangbang with Idles and Frank Carter.

What was the reaction like to your ‘Social Media SUX’ single last year? It seems the social media backlash is in full effect these days…
Yeah it was good; I think people were digging it as it was a bit different. BBC Introducing gave it some love, which we’re always appreciative of. Ah social media, we all love and hate you. It’s still a great platform to reach a fan base, although now you mainly have to pay for advertising to reach that fan base. Although I can’t see it going anywhere.

Tell us everything about this new EP
It is mind blergh from my brain. Whatever’s in there comes out in my writing. It’s heavy, but it’s melodic and screamy – but hopefully in the right places. It’s angry and it’s cheeky, but it has its sombre moments. It’s the whole flipping spectrum in five tracks. It’s fundamentally EGO. It’s not taking itself too seriously, it’s having fun. It’s remembering why you want to make music, and loving it again. I fundamentally write all the tracks with embellishment from the lads, and in the same way I record and produce all of it too. It’s something that I’ve played at before, and with this project wanting to to have complete control it just made sense to to do it myself. That’s why we’ve birthed Alt:Disco Records too; it’s all our vehicle and we’re looking forward to being at the steering wheel. ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’ was from Friday nights DJing the club night Alt:Disco [at The Craufurd Arms]. Seeing the endless pursuit by men of the women on the dancefloor, and thinking “man that girl is going to kill you”…or “that girl is literally going to kill you”. I love a play on words, a double-edged sword… And a song was born.

What are your live shows been like so far?
Amazing noisily horribly fun. It definitely has a more interesting stage dynamic with myself just screaming / singing, a guitarist guitaring and a drummer drumming. We have our own little bubble, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the freedom of just being a frontman.

What has been your favourite EGO moment of the past year?
Mark and I did a northern tour which was pretty cool and 100% laughs, and I’m just looking forward to this new release and unleashing the new live setup for the world to see!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northants/Bucks, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues you wanna give a shout out to?
Definitely; I’m always open to collaboration and helping each other out. Definitely The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton, and the most recent band who’ve jumped on the bill at our EP show Loose Tooth – SICK BAND.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m a big fan of local music, so it was actually the new release from Big Loss! Bloody lovely stuff by three lovely people. Apart from that then the new Crows album Silver Tongues is colossus.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
All we aspire to is to be bigger than Ginger Snaps.

The EGO EP is out now on Alt:Disco Records via the usual download and streaming platforms

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Album review: Mali Mae

MALI MAE Personal [self-released] Now this is how to start the summer properly. Mae is a young singer-songwriter from Northamptonshire who has, with little fanfare, put together a collection of…

MALI MAE
Personal
[self-released]

Now this is how to start the summer properly. Mae is a young singer-songwriter from Northamptonshire who has, with little fanfare, put together a collection of breezy pop that is as good as anything you’ll hear on top 40 radio.

Personal, her full debut album, is a celebration of love and loss, of young hopes and dreams coming to fruition, or wishing them to. The opening song, ‘Up’, is both an exceptional and ever-so-slightly haunting pop song, but also an immediate showcase for a voice that will regularly stop your heart. The instrumentation here, and indeed throughout the album, is generally quite sparse: all minor chord piano lines, brief sections of snare playing, programmed keys. Yes her sudden mood and melody shifts are very much from the handbook of modern pop. Yet it sounds natural; and she seems totally in control of it all. Owning a song with this sort of confidence should takes years to develop. She’s barely out her teens and she’s there already. It’s actually all a bit frightening.

‘Remind Me’, which adds soft strings that come in and out of focus, ratchets up the drama a little, the chorus delivering a sustained moment of vulnerability. It doesn’t take a huge imagination to envision her sat behind a piano playing it on the X-Factor. And that’s no dig: it would melt even Cowell’s frosty heart. ‘Get It Right’ has some attractive background harmonies on it, presumably her own voice doing all the parts. The track has some real sass to it; the soulful lines at the end making New Boots think of Joss Stone in her early days. ‘This One Too’, meanwhile, is a song that drives home a defiant note, aiming higher and higher with each verse. It’s followed up with ‘Try Again’, which aims in a completely different direction. 1970s-style finger-picking acoustic guitar, and a spiritual feel. “I keep falling in and out of love/With somebody I don’t know” is a pretty heartbreaking line delivered in her hands.

Her previous mini-LP All I Know, from 2017, only hinted at what Mae could do on Personal. She’s tightened the songwriting for sure, but crucially projected a stronger presence in all areas. Like on ‘Keep Me High’, the slow-burning and sparse blues-pop number which draws favourable comparisons with another NN artist, Charlotte Carpenter.

‘Something Else’ bring a certain Joni Mitchell-esque yearning to the album, but again with that melodic certainty that all the big game popstars have in their locker. Before the album is over you get a country stummer in ‘Down To Me’, whilst ‘Bones’ darker colours hints at domestic violence and general bad relationship times. It’s a nice counterweight to some of the lighter material actually, though you’d hope it’s not too autobiographical. Closer ‘Perfect’ is perhaps sequenced incorrectly – it’s crystalline, gospel vocal really needs highlighting earlier on. It would make a terrific single, for sure.

Regardless, Personal is a true triumph; the diamond that shines from the shadows. It’s discoveries like Mae that keeps the chase in new music alive. Someone sign her up!

Phil Moore

Personal is out now via the usual digital platforms

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 1st – May 7th

CORDWAINERS + THE SECRET MAGPIES + HUMBLEBEE Wednesday May 1st Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Kontra Roots present the highly accomplished Earls Barton-based folk band, a multi-instrumental prog-folk duo from Loughborough, and delicate,…

CORDWAINERS + THE SECRET MAGPIES + HUMBLEBEE
Wednesday May 1st
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Kontra Roots present the highly accomplished Earls Barton-based folk band, a multi-instrumental prog-folk duo from Loughborough, and delicate, quirky songs from the Kettering harmony duo. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

VELVET ENGINE + AMII DAWES
Thursday May 2nd
The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton
A night of acoustic storytelling. VE is the brainchild of Latina Northamptonian San-D Godoy, who plays yearning alt-folk. Dawes is a singer-songwriter from Northampton, inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. Doors 7pm, £5.50 tickets

DEEP SEA MOUNTAINS + THE BOPHINS
Thursday May 2nd
The King Billy, Northampton
Art rock and new wave sounds from a pair of Northampton’s unsung heroes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THE BIG DIRTY + THE DRUNKEN MANDEM + KRANKHEAD + WE ARE GIANTS
Friday May 3rd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
‘Swine’ music video fundraiser, with some rock, rap and a little bit of trap. Help the Northampton team of producers, directors, musicians and more create an explosive music video for The Big Dirty. This show is notable for the return to the live scene of The Drunken Mandem, so shake a leg folks. Doors 7pm, £7.50 tickets

DAN PIGEON + BABY LUNG + BRAZEN FOXES
Friday May 3rd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Local music to set your 2019 to. Lo-fi art-rock from Rushden way, ShoeTown’s jazz-inspired indie-pop, and the Daventry-area indie rock trio open proceedings in the basement. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

KING PURPLE + THE BARRATTS + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday May 3rd
Our Lady’s Catholic Social Club [aka the KK Club], Corby
‘Time Alone’ EP release show from the fast-rising local blues-grunge trio, with indie support from the towns of Northampton and Kettering. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

THE VINCENT VEGA BAND + NAKED NEXT DOOR + BABY LUNG + HUBCAP
Saturday May 4th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Bank holiday beer festival time at the Pomfret. Stellar Northampton and MK rock and indie music to accompany the process. Doors 7:30pm, free entry

LUNAXIS + TOM ROSE & THE HEATHEN ORCHESTRA + HUMBLEBEE
Saturday May 4th
The Lab, Northampton
Lunaxis are a local indie-pop band with influences of folk and blues, fronted by Carly Loasby. Rose conveys his twisted brand of good-time rock and blues. Harmony duo openers offer delicate, quirky songs. Doors 8pm, £3 members/£4 guests

THE FILTHY TONGUES + FAMILY OF NOISE + SPIKE THE POET
Saturday May 4th
Our Lady’s Catholic Social Club [aka the KK Club], Corby
“Country Goth”/post-punk from Edinburgh. Featuring ex members of Angelfish and Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. Elements of Bowie and Nick Cave, but very much doing their own thing. Support from excellent local instrumental trio, and local poetry to begin with. Doors 7.30pm, £8 tickets

MIA & THE MOON
Saturday May 4th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
The Ratcliffe sisters Laura and Mary are a harmony folk/pop duo from Leicester. 3pm to 6pm, free entry

THE ROCKET DOLLS + RYDERS CREED + EMPYRE
Sunday May 5th
The King Billy, Northampton
The ‘RPM Take Over Tour’ involves three killer bands from the Rock People Management stable.  Post-grunge from Brighton, hard rock from Staffordshire, and powerhousre rock from ShoeTown. Music kicks off 6pm, free entry

KOMODO QUARTET
Sunday May 5th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
More beer festival entertainment, with original ShoeTown jazz band. Time TBA, free entry

GINA PULBOS + CIARAN REDMOND + JD BLUES + CAMERON GRACE + JACOB BRAITHWAITE
Monday May 6th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Acoustic music from a variety of sources. Again, do drink beer. Time TBA, free entry

CHRIS CLEVERLY + STAINED GLASS BLUEGRASS
Tuesday May 7th
Old White Hart, Northampton
The alt-folk songwriter offers an exposé of new material. Cleverly has four years of extensive touring under his belt, and follows the blueprint of heroes Nic Jones and John Martyn. Support are a lively bluegrass quartet based in Warwickshire. Doors 8pm, £8 entry

 

 

 

 

 

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New Music Friday: Harry Mockett

Harry Mockett is a 20 year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Northampton, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to wow us with his first two singles. ‘Circles’ was quickly…

Harry Mockett is a 20 year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Northampton, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to wow us with his first two singles. ‘Circles’ was quickly followed by new one ‘Into Night’, and New Boots had to find out more behind his journey so far.

How did you develop your music to this point in 2019?
I started playing the guitar at quite a young age, 5 or 6 I think, and singing just went hand in hand with that as time went by. As a teenager I gigged a lot, and sang in a band for five years, but it wasn’t until college I really found my love for music production and having total control over how my music sounded. It changed the way I write music, and it became a big part of the creative process for me.

How would you describe your sound? What are your main influences?
I’ve always been a big fan of old school hip-hop and disco music, and I feel like that shows in my music in that I like using nice chords and some busy guitar parts. But at the same time I make sure not to overdo it, and keep things simple. A less-is-more kind of thing. I think that’s important, production wise; to have everything in its own pocket. More importantly, what I write needs to feel good to play.

What was the reaction like to first single ‘Circles’?
The reaction to ‘Circles’ was amazing. As my first single I was nervous about how it would be received initially, especially after having not released any music for so long. But when it made the national ‘BBC Introducing Hot List’ [on April 9th] it made it sink in how well it’s going down. It’s definitely given me some confidence that people will like my EP that comes out in May.

Tell us about this new one, ‘Into Night’.
‘Into Night’ all grew from a bass line I’d been messing with for a while, you can hear a part of it at the start. That bass originally played throughout the verse, but I decided to strip it back and have it come in more infrequently. I’d had the idea for the chorus vocal melody for a long time as well, and this just turned out to be the perfect track to use it on. After I first recorded the song, in my shed/studio where I make all my demos, I knew I wanted to make the arrangement bigger. So when I was recording this along with the rest of my EP at Numen Studios we tracked some keys [from Joe Nix], percussion [Matt Brettle], and female vocals/harmonies [Lauren Dejey], which really brought the chorus to life. It was a great place to be creatively. We were all throwing ideas into the mix, and I’m really happy with the finished product.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
I’ve been out the loop recently due to getting diagnosed with a brain tumour last May, so nearly a year ago now. It was quite a hectic year, seven weeks spent in the John Radcliffe in Oxford, and then seven weeks receiving Proton Beam Therapy in Essen, Germany. At one point I was given a 50/50 chance of making it through the night, so it definitely wasn’t a smooth ride. Despite all of that going on I was still making music throughout my recovery, and it was a huge relief that I hadn’t lost my ability and drive, post neurosurgery.  Whilst it has been the biggest challenge imaginable, my music has been a driving force of positivity, and has really given me something to look forward to and focus on even when times were tough.

Whilst the tumour has left me with lifelong damage, I am now back to my old self and have a changed outlook on life. This experience has really shown me how powerful music can be in healing, and the importance of always looking forward and never giving up on what you want to do. Amazingly I got the all clear at the end of February just after I released ‘Circles’, and now that I’m putting music out again I’m excited to get gigging later this year and seeing more local artists.

What have you been digging recently? What was the last album you streamed?
I really love stuff from the likes of Vulfpeck, Anderson Paak, Jamiroquai to name a few. Anything with groove. I’m a big fan of Tom Misch; he also has a love for disco/jazz/hip-hop kind of stuff. I came across him when he was just a beat-maker on Soundcloud, so it’s crazy to have seen him get to where he is now. It’s so great seeing other songwriter-producers blow up, it really motivates me to just make the music I want to make and have faith in it. Last album streamed was Fantastic, Vol. 2 by Slum Village.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m dropping a new single called ‘Windows’ in early May. It’s without a doubt the longest I’ve ever spent on a track, especially on the production front. I’ve been excited about this one for a while, so I’m very happy to finally be sharing it. I’m looking forward to releasing an EP in May, and following that I’m planning to start gigging it which I can’t wait for. It’s been way too long. That’s the goal for me really. Of course it’d be amazing if more opportunities came my way and more people hear my music, but as long as I’m recording music and playing shows I’ll be content. Anything else that comes along with it is just a bonus.

Harry Mockett on Spotify

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Twinfest organisers reveal the acts visiting from Northampton’s twinned towns

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July. There will be three acts from…

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July.
There will be three acts from Marburg and two from Poitiers joining other musicians from across Northampton for the four day festival.

Visiting from Marburg will be:
Oclairewww.facebook.com/oclairemusic
Cressy Jawwww.facebook.com/Cressy.Jaw
Bazooka Groove Clubwww.facebook.com/bazoukagrooveclub

Visting from Poitiers will be:
The Arieswww.facebook.com/lesariesmusique
Full Fictionwww.facebook.com/fullfictionband

Organisers are currently finalising the acts from Northampton which will be playing Twinfest.
Twinfest is from Thursday, July 25, to Sunday, July 28, and will include performances at venues across Northampton.

For more details, visit www.fb.com/twinfest.northampton

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 24th – Apr 30th

STEREO MC’s + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS (acoustic) Thursday April 25th  The Picturedrome, Northampton Born out of the mid 80’s hip-hop scene and the UK acid house/club scene, Stereo MC’s reputation…

STEREO MC’s + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS (acoustic)
Thursday April 25th 
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Born out of the mid 80’s hip-hop scene and the UK acid house/club scene, Stereo MC’s reputation grew slowly. After early chart success in America for their second LP Supernatural, they recorded the album Connected which became an international hit in 1992. This period culminated with a Mercury prize nomination and two Brit awards for Best Album and Best Live Act. The band these days are very busy with albums and collaborations, with a stronger and bolder electronic slant to the material. Support from the much-loved local ska-punk band. Doors 7.30pm, £18 tickets

ROZI PLAIN + AOIFE FOLEY
Friday April 26th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Off-kilter pop from London singer-songwriter, celebrating the release of her fifth album, What A Boost. The album was tweaked and refined during a year spent touring the world playing bass in This Is The Kit. Support from ShoeTown’s beguiling [and slightly reluctant] chanteuse. Doors 7.30pm, £9 tickets

KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS + EASYDREAD + THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND + KING ALIAS
Friday April 26th
Fiddler’s Elbow, Northampton
The Northampton headliners mash up ska and punk with hip-hop for a full-on party. Support from reggae boys of the Luton and Chepstow persuasion, plus ShoeTown rap rockers sandwiched in between. Doors 7pm, free entry

ROMINA JOHNSON
Friday April 26th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Live PA from Johnson, performing the Artful Dodger smash hit ‘Movin’ Too Fast’. DJs play throwback UK and speed garage from back in the day. Doors 9pm, £9 tickets

SNAKERATTLERS + THE SHAKIN’ NIGHTMARES + THE HURRICANES + GOGO LOCO
Saturday April 27th
The Lab, Northampton
Four incendiary rock’n’roll/trash bands. Married couple Dan and Naomi hail from York and bring their trash to headline The Lab. The next lot are from Redcar. Bringing up the rear is a pair of ShoeTown great, in the shape of mod garage quartet and the two piece, maraca driven – rhythm & roll reprobates. Doors 7.30pm, £4 tickets

LUNAXIS + SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday April 27th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Lunaxis are a festival vibe indie-pop band with influences of folk and blues, fronted by Carly Loasby. Support from ShoeTown singer-songwriter. Doors 9pm, free entry

THE BOPHINS
Saturday April 27th
The Coach & Horses, Wellingborough
The ShoeTown garage/new wave punks hit their neighbouring town with force at this Retro-Beat night. Doors 8pm, free entry

FATEFUL FINALITY + SIDERIAN + POINT OF EXTINCTION
Saturday April 27th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Original thrash metal night, with bands from Germany, Northampton and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

TRADARRR
Sunday April 28th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
An intimate concert with one of Northampton’s, and indeed Britain’s, top folk-rock bands. Expect a modern take on traditional UK folk music. Doors 7pm, £12.50 tickets

JOEL HARRIES
Sunday April 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The 72%/Big Loss man plays a solo set in the cellar. Doors 8pm, free entry

AMELIA WHITE
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Sunday April 28th
East Nashville singer-songwriter brings her ‘How It Feels’ tour to the Shire. Scott Warman plays double bass too. Doors 2pm, free entry

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slowthai to play Milton Keynes next month

Northampton rapper slowthai heads out on his fan-chosen ’99p Tour’ next month, and he plays The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton as one of six dates. Those that pre-order the Nothing…

Northampton rapper slowthai heads out on his fan-chosen ’99p Tour’ next month, and he plays The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton as one of six dates.

Those that pre-order the Nothing Great About Britain album via slowthai.com before 9pm on April 28th will receive exclusive access to tickets for the tour [existing pre-orders are already eligible]. Tickets cost just 99p.

slowthai plays the 300 capacity Milton Keynes venue on Tuesday May 7th. Tickets go on sale Monday April 29th.

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