Tag: jaykae

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 22nd – May 28th

RUFUS GOODLOVE + BLACK SURF + ANDREW VAN GARRETT Thursday May 23rd The King Billy, Northampton Original trio of acts: anthemic rock from the Banbury man, rising London trio with…

Thursday May 23rd
The King Billy, Northampton
Original trio of acts: anthemic rock from the Banbury man, rising London trio with hooks dangling everywhere, and alt-rock from Leicester. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Friday May 24th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Manchester-based trio playing gritty, guitar led psychedelia that it first-rate. Support from MK indie rockers with a reputation for great songs and charisma. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday May 24th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The Britpop veterans didn’t head off for long in 2001, reuniting to tour in 2010 and releasing album Troubled Times in 2012. Expect All Change classics and more. Doors 7.30pm  £25 tickets

Friday May 24th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Real Ghost Records special. Headliners from Brighton are a dirty pop trio with infectious melodies. Boxing Day are a five-piece pop punk band from Belgium. Openers are an indie punk band from Paris. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday 24th May
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Bloodstock Festival’s Metal 2 The Masses gives unsigned acts the chance to play the New Blood Stage. Heat 4 brings bands from Aylesbury, Birmingham and Hertfordshire, as well as ShoeCounty. Doors 6pm, £5 tickets

Friday May 24th
The Malt Shovel, Northampton
“The Pogues of the Midlands with a paddy punk twist”. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

Friday May 24th
Bradden Village Hall, nr Towcester
An acoustic duo consisting of Paul Tuthill on accordion, bodhrán and vocals, and Paul Mitchell on guitar and vocals. They play a blend of modern and traditional acoustic music combining instrumentals with ballads, both covers and original material covering Celtic and Alt.Country/Americana styles. Doors 8pm, £12 tickets from 01327860800.

Saturday May 25th
The Lab, Northampton
Raw bass punk noise from Brighton, thrash grind from Braintree, hardcore from Portsmouth, sludge doom from Birmingham, and noise drone from Kettering. Doors 6pm, £5 entry

Saturday May 25th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
NI NI Sessions in Kettering, showcasing great NN singer-songwriters. 3pm til 6pm, free entry

Sunday May 26th
The Loft Club, Kettering
One of the hottest names in the grime scene, from Birmingham, will play ‘Toothache’, ‘Moscow’, ‘Heartache’ and more. V.I.P packages/tables available. Doors 10pm, £7 tickets

Monday May 27th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
An evening of folk blues. Dan Davies is bassist for Wolf People, and He has recently finished recording his debut solo album. Guitarist and singer Joe Woolley has worked some seriously talented people, Bonnie Dobson, Tim Harries and Davy Graham, among others. He will mostly be performing material reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt and JS Bach. Music from 9pm, free entry









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Album review: slowthai ‘Nothing Great About Britain’

slowthai Nothing Great About Britain [Method Music/True Panther Sounds] What do you say about slowthai now he’s gone international? He might have ‘NN’ tattooed on a finger, but more importantly…

Nothing Great About Britain
[Method Music/True Panther Sounds]

What do you say about slowthai now he’s gone international? He might have ‘NN’ tattooed on a finger, but more importantly it’s splat across every part of his debut album. The self-confessed former drug dealer knew he had to change his world, and music was his salvation. The boy in the corner – of Spring Boroughs, of Lings, of Abington – is now centre stage, catapulted into our ears and our hearts over the past year or so, with a slow drip feed of streaming singles that finally went nuclear once ‘Doorman’ gave him the sort of radio hit that can’t be ignored. His punky guileful sneer at “Great Britain” in this strangulated Brexit landscape is some great timing. The press all want a piece of him: his counter-culture quotes, his tattooed torso and his maniacal smile are all right for 2019.

“Nothing great about Britain/Tea ‘n’ biscuits/Mash, jellied eels and a couple little trinkets”

The opening salvo, the title track, pulls no punches. The video spoofs the mythology of Excalibur, and sees him – gloriously, ludicrously – knighting kids in King’s Heath. Mocking British things like royalty is a very slowthai trait; a great bit of hip-hop détournement to make you question what role things and people play in modern society. And those vivid, HBO-drama, minor chord synth stabs that precede the skittering beats is slowthai’s sound in a nutshell. Mostly recorded with producer Kwes Darko in East London, his Eski grime/00s UK rap style is brought up to date with his own particular delivery that continually fluctuates between mumbling and threatening. His flow often goes out of time intentionally for dramatic purpose, making you focus harder.

The Mura Masa-produced ‘Doorman’ is the one most will have already heard. It’s banging electronic punk attitude lights up a room when on full tilt, and brings to mind The Prodigy and The Streets as much as the grime scene. It’s spoken-word samples about glue-sniffers that begin and end the track is funny rather than cautionary, though his rhymes are more about the culture clash between the rarified west London world he now travels in rubbing up against his NN persona.

“I run my town/But I’m nothing like Boris/Tyron for PM”

‘Dead Leaves’ is pure bravado, a twitchy club bassline over tales of night-time hedonism being an everyday occurrence that doesn’t require a nightclub. ‘Gorgeous’ is a musically-dense number, another semi-autobiographical tale of running around as kids and getting up to the usual nonsense, and looking back with fondness. He quotes all those ShoeTown places that sound somehow elevated with his delivery: Southfields, Toby Fields, Blackthorn, Moulton, Spring Boroughs. Franky it’s all a bit surreal to know people in Mexico City or Los Angeles will be hearing these reference points.

‘Crack’ has an American low-slung gangsta rap/slow R&B feel, and it doesn’t really suit him. It doesn’t even sound like him. Let us move on. ‘Grow Up’ sees a guest spot from Birmingham rapper JayKae, and we’re back in familiar territory [well, the Midlands]. The two of them have different styles, the hyper-speed of JayKae seemingly forcing slowthai to hasten his  patter. They clearly connect in the middle; the track just burns throughout.

“I ain’t about that gang shit/I’m a lone wolf”

The second album collaboration follows immediately: Skepta brings his experience to ‘Inglorious’ with style, delivering with confidence and speaking random things like “directing movies like Gaspar”. The track weaves and ducks throughout, with Darko’s production skills deftly holding it all together. ‘Toaster’, meanwhile, is a little more folky, a clean guitar line backing another ShoeTown story of redemption.

“Walking through the blocks, I see the cracks/Dodge syringes”

‘Peace Of Mind’ has the catchiest hook on the album, and it’s a gem of a track. Hyping up the contradictions between your daily battles and the dreams you have at night, it’s a moment that shows how anxiety and stress can only be released through mindful rest and recuperation. That’s not a person on this planet that wouldn’t relate to that.

The Slaves-produced ‘Missing’ is as thick and pungent as you can imagine from them being involved, with a unsettling cacophonous chorus that elevates the track from the norm. Which brings us to the final song, ‘Northampton’s Child’. It’s the story of his childhood: the home moves, the booze madness, the death of his young brother. And most importantly – the love of his mother, that centred him and gave him hope. She has clearly given him strength to persevere, so shout out to Ma for her role in giving the world the talents of Tyron Frampton.

Nothing Great About Britain is a tour de force precisely because slowthai’s personalty is forceful, and the beats sharp enough to create a coherent whole. Where he goes from now – he can’t rap about NN life forever, you imagine – is just as fascinating as this piece of work.

But for now, in this game of thrones, we have a new prince in town; one that everyone can fight for.

Phil Moore

Nothing Great About Britain is out Friday / order now, or visit Spun Out on Gold St on Friday at 1pm for an album signing session



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