Tag: Northampton

Northampton Lab offers bands live recording opportunity

Community venue The Lab in Northampton will begin to offer acts the opportunity to be recorded live. Their statement: “We are thrilled to finally be opening up the field for…

Community venue The Lab in Northampton will begin to offer acts the opportunity to be recorded live.

Their statement:

“We are thrilled to finally be opening up the field for all acts of Northamptonshire to apply to be part of our exciting new project! We have been funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation to host this live recording project, in which we are committed to providing opportunities to up to 48 acts in the first year to be involved. All acts can apply, to perform live at a ‘Lab Presents’ event, where they will be filmed and recorded, and will receive two mastered tracks with video to use as they please. We hope this will enable acts to improve their social media presence, use the material to get gigs, and observe and improve their own performance. The footage will also be added to The Lab’s YouTube channel. In the main, the events will be hosted on Thursday nights, once a month”.

To apply follow the link here. For more information or queries then do e-mail the venue here.

Photo credit: The Lovely Eggs by David Jackson

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

SNAKERATTLERS + JOE GO LOCO Friday August 10th The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton A couple of primitive rock’n’roll duos who have emerged from previous forms. York-based Snakerattlers were recently The Franceens, and…

SNAKERATTLERS + JOE GO LOCO
Friday August 10th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A couple of primitive rock’n’roll duos who have emerged from previous forms. York-based Snakerattlers were recently The Franceens, and the duo mix-up rockabilly, garage and gum-chewing greaser rock and roll. Closer to home are ex-Mobbs ShoeTown duo Joe and Cheadle, who dish out maraca-driven rhythm’n’roll [tonight it’s a solo set from Joe though]. Doors 8pm, free entry

STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES + FAMILY OF NOISE + FATBWOI
Friday August 10th
The Romany, Northampton
Acoustic-driven rock from ShoeCounty, Corby instrumental post-punk types, and gonzo alt-rock from MK way make up a formidable-sounding night out. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

VINCENT VEGA BAND + THE SUNCHYMES
Friday August 10th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Lo-fi indie quartet – with added violin – play the front bar. Sunshine pop support. Doors 8pm, free entry

MYSTIC CREW
Saturday August 11th
Barratts, Northampton
Reggae outfit Mystic Crew headline a day of music, with rum cocktails and Jerk BBQ available. Show at 9pm, free entry

WOODFEST
Saturday August 11th – Sunday August 12th
Irchester Country Park, Irchester
A beautiful, tranquil setting with some humdingers to listen and watch: Oddity Island, Lunaxis, Sarpa Salpa, Reggaematik, Vikki Clayton, Kenneth J Nash, Luke Broughton, The Bighead, The Abrahams, Stevie Jones & The WildfiresKezzabelle Ambler, The Red Triangle, Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra, Crybb, Rebecca Ryan, Jess Orestand, Veins, Hazeyjane, James Watt & The Avenues, Tim Brophy, Carterdolby, Lew Bear, Whale, Blood Moon, Steve Birks, Kevin Hewick, Sam Stopps, Rogue State Circus, Vickii Stocker, Dunn Wiv Whiskey, Woolford Scott, Hippolyta’s Moon, Ian Lynn Palmer, The Secret Magpies, Andy Griffiths, Paul Strummer, Michael Kinder, Helen Verrill, Mark Carver, and Josh Wylie. 11am-7pm, free entry [parking charges apply]

EQUATA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Saturday August 11th
EquATA, Grafton Underwood [nr Kettering]
Equata use horses as part of therapy treatment, and they host their annual Fun Day. There’s an Old Hotel Records showcase in the evening, with Kenneth J. Nash, Oddity Island, Miyagi Car Wash, The Abrahams, Veins, Crybb, Kezzabelle Ambler, and Rebecca Ryan. Event from 10am, music from 8pm. Free entry

LISA O’NEILL + PAUL McCLURE
Saturday August 11th
The Old Forge, Cranford
The last ever Sofa Sessions see the singer-songwriter from Ireland play songs from her latest, Potholes In The Sky. Support from the Rutland troubadour with his Americana sounds. Doors 7.30pm, tickets available from thesofasessions@live.ie via PayPal (£15)

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Photos: The Schizophonics

San Diego fuzz rock trio The Schizophonics returned for a second Northampton show last night [August 6th], this time at The Garibaldi Hotel. It was the hottest of nights, in…

San Diego fuzz rock trio The Schizophonics returned for a second Northampton show last night [August 6th], this time at The Garibaldi Hotel. It was the hottest of nights, in both senses. They left town with a even more fans than before, with another jaw-dropping incendiary performance.  Here are a few photos taken by David Jackson.

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Record review: Greg Coulson

GREG COULSON What’s New [self-released] Coulson is still only in his mid-20s but he’s crammed an awful lot in so far. He joined local Northampton band Danny Connors and The…

GREG COULSON
What’s New [self-released]

Coulson is still only in his mid-20s but he’s crammed an awful lot in so far. He joined local Northampton band Danny Connors and The Ladders at just 17, he hooked up with Two-Tone legends The Selecter at 19 – and stayed there for five years. He’s toured America, playing both South by SouthWest and Coachella festivals, and he even did a stint in a Burt Bacharach-themed West End show. Even now he’s gone solo, he is still called upon by The Blockheads to fill in on guitar when needed. Talk about paying your dues off early…

Finally the multi-instrumentalist has fulfilled the dream of a debut album. It’s full of vim and blues-funk energy, as demonstrated on the jive-tastic opener ’10/10′ [Adam Gammage’s drums propelling the whole thing to its peaks]. Follow-up ‘Girls’ sees the Flat Pack Horn Co give it some Daptones swing, plus Coulson lets loose on his Hammond to great, Stevie Winwood-esque effect. The pop melody vocal is so spot on it could give most of the Stax singles a run for their money.

‘Stitch Me Up’, a co-write with Danny Connors, is their idea of Stevie Wonder if he roamed The Mounts. The rhythm playing is as steady as a metronomic beat, though the feel of the lead instruments is a little on the wild side. Coulson runs through a ’60s reggae-styled Farfisa solo in the middle – completely changing the feel of things for a minute – before relaunching into that soulful groove chorus. The words are a treat too. It’s a seriously impressive five minutes, and should be the first thing you listen to on the album if in a rush. ‘Love Nest’ is the only really cheesy moment on the album, the ’80s blues-rock sound a tad too close to function band for comfort [nice guitar lines though]. All is quickly forgiven though as the title track roars into view, with it’s modern rock’n’roll feel [Jack White, Black Keys] and great call-and-response chorus. The fuzzy guitar from Staurt Dixon practically launches out of the speakers, such is his enthusiasm. And New Boots isn’t sure if there’s a word that could sufficiently sum up the outrageous Hammond solo.

The second half of the album is more of the same, and the quality never lets up. ‘Someone To Be There’ swaggers over the horizon with a great [or should that be Wonder-ful] soaring chorus in it’s back pocket. ‘End Of The Line’ introduces Coulson’s ability with a Michael Jackson-mimicked falsetto. It’s perhaps the most emotional song on the album, a plea to return to the past glories of love. Indeed it’s a song that seems to effortlessly amalgamate the last 50 years of blues rock into a coherent whole; and that’s no mean feat. ‘Ran Out And Ready’ is a slice of staccato Hammond-funk that would have been issued in 1968 on some obscure mid-Western label. In other words, very special. Great percussion movements on this too, muso fans.

Closer ‘Sick Note’ returns the horns to the fore, and is a fun-if-familiar number to sign off with. And there you have it: 40 minutes of blues-funk bliss from one of its newer exponents. Greg takes on the often unfashionable R&B sound and makes an album with personality, finesse and fine songs. We should all get behind him.

Phil Moore

What’s New? is out now on CD and the usual downloading/streaming sites

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New Music Friday: Jono & The Uke Dealers

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano]…

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano] and Jono Bell [ukulele/vocals] – have been getting rave reviews over the past few years, so New Boots were keen to get the lowdown on their past and this cracking new song.

How did you guys get together?
Originally formed by Jono & Darren, who had got together as a songwriting team and had written a pocket full of songs together. There was never any intention of getting a band together in the early days. It sort of happened organically, and like most bands we had a few line-up changes on the way, finally becoming what is now The Uke Dealers when Dayrl And Louis joined adding their songwriting talents. Both had collaborated with Darren and Jono in the past. The main motivation for the band is simply to write songs in any genre; we want to no rules. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

How would you describe your sound?
Describing our sound is a hard one so we will quote the Rev D Wayne Love of the Alabama 3 who collaborated on our debut EP on Grassroots Records. “You’re an amazing songwriting band who can’t afford guitars”.

Tell us everything about the single, both sides, ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ and ‘Beautiful Young Things’.
The A-side ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ is based on the great producers’ myth more than the actual facts, which strangely enough are themselves mythical. We had a ball recording this track with our producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Studio in Wolverhampton. Joe Meek’s innovations and inventions are still used today in recording studios. Gavin plays guitar and theremin on the track, which has been already played a few times by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music we are happy to say.
The B-side ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is a celebration of Northamptonshire’s amazing music scene and a nod to its past. It’s a old musician talking to a young musician. About the amazing natural high that live gigs give you no matter how old you are. The shared buzz that makes us all equals.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve been gigging not just here in our home town but all over the country. Our first gigs here were supporting bands such as Kings Gambit , P-Hex and The Repro Jammers. Members of the above bands we’ve known for years and are part of the extended musical family we belong to here in Northampton. Birmingham has become our second home town and we love our gigs there, often along with indie sensation Paper Buoys who share the same producer as us. A lot of our home gigs are at the usual music venues but our hearts will always remain with The Lab – an independent music venue both currently and historically. We see a lot of local musicians at our gigs and the feedback to our songs has been overwhelming. Recognition from your peers is as good as a paid gig. We often perform at The Umbrella Fair. We believe community is all we’ve really got in the end, and our gigs for them have been the most memorable. It’s lovely having two local venues that bring out the best in your music as soon as you walk through the door.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Jono getting stung by a wasp on the lip three songs before the end of a festival set and the instant morph into the singing creature from the black lagoon. Great gig by the way!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The long awaited P-Hex album, which is a funky masterpiece.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We will continue, track by track, to complete our album with Gavin. Work on new songs. Go with the flow. No rules.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Aug 1st – Aug 7th 2018

DAN KNIGHT + BURNING CODES Friday August 3rd The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton Northampton singer-songwriter who tugs at the heartstrings launches his ‘Breakthrough’ EP with a live show.  Support from Peterborough-based…

DAN KNIGHT + BURNING CODES
Friday August 3rd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Northampton singer-songwriter who tugs at the heartstrings launches his ‘Breakthrough’ EP with a live show.  Support from Peterborough-based Snow Patrol-esque band. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

HATSTAND BAND + AMII DAWES + KENNETH J NASH
Friday August 3rd
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
Monthly ‘Songwriter Sessions’ night to celebrate the art of songwriting. “Listen without being disturbed by rowdy chatterboxes”. Hatstand Band bring you dark songs with stomping beats delivered with a warm smile. Amii Dawes is inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. Nash has an intuitive gift for self-reflection and humble view of the world woven into a stream of beautiful melodies. Doors 7.30pm, £3 entry

FUTURE LOVE + EX-PETS + CITRUS
Friday August 3rd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Warming up for the release of their third EP, you should expect the usual emo, noise, sweat, and falling over each other from the headliners. Even more noise from the main support, and openers are the new kids on the block who are impressing everyone so far. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE TOUCH + WISHING WOLF + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday August 3rd
The Yards, Kettering
Classic pop-rock from your headliners, emo/pop-punk from the middle pack, and psychedelic folk from your starters. All three are worthy of your time, so no excuses. Doors 6.30pm, free entry

GARDEN OPEN MIKE
Saturday August 4th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Mike Kinder has gotten together another cracking line-up for his one-day festival, booking 20 acts over the two outdoor stages at the Prince. Main stage performers include Stephen Ridley, Jump The Shark, John Dhali, The Covasettes, Elle Delaney & The Komodo Quartet, Alex Hulme, Robyn Wilson, Ryan Nicklin, Jonathan Parks, Mio Flux & Patchy The Rockstar, Vincent J Rigney, Dan Zeshan, and The Barbershop Boys. Over on the Yard stage is Sam Wray, Anna-Sophie, Romain Trojani, Marcus Marooth, Georgina Timms, Leslie Wink, Yohan Yohan, and Josh Hardacre. Doors 12.30pm, £8 tickets

DRINSIPA + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + I CAN, I CAN’T + ACOLYTES
Saturday August 4th
The Lab, Northampton
Corby lads launch their epic, raucous new single [which you can hear this Friday on this very site], with support from their similarly-inclined hardcore friends. Doors 7pm, £4 entry

REPRO JAM SQUAD
Saturday August 4th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The NN funk machine support ’70s jazz-funk legends Fatback Band at a ‘Back To The Old School’ party. Doors 9pm, £20 tickets

HANNAH FAULKNER + CORINNE LUCY + REBECCA BUCKLY + OAKLEAS RISE
Saturday August 4th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Another Ni Ni sessions night of acoustic singer-songwriters. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

PAT FISH [THE JAZZ BUTCHER]
Saturday August 4th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Do you like your melodies sweet and your humour as black as pitch? Then The Jazz Butcher is your man. Doors 9pm, free entry

THE BARDIC PICNIC
Sunday August 5th
Beckets Park, Northampton
The annual festival to find a Bard of Northampton. There will be stages for bands, solo musicians, dance, as well as spoken word performers of all kinds. Confirmed musical performers are Mark Gresty, Helen Verrill, Kimmerbelly, Cameron Grace, Billy Nomad, Ian Lovell, Lew Bear, Kenneth J Nash, Woolford Scott, Taylor Smith, Jono And The Uke Dealers, Josh Wylie, and The VHS Pirates. Kicks off at midday, free entry

KIERON FARROW + JOE WOOLEY + GLYN FINCH + BLOOD MOON
Sunday August 5th
The Garibaldi Hotel [basement], Northampton
An intimate afternoon of live acoustic music from the local talent of the shire. There’s a vintage apparel fair on upstairs concurrently too. Doors 2pm, free entry

THE YOUNG & RESTLESS + THRIFT STREET + BETWEEN THE LINES
Sunday August 5th
The King Billy, Northampton
Four-piece ShoeTown pop-punks up top and in the middle, with five-piece Bedfordshire heavy pop-punk band below to get you in the mood. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE SCHIZOPHONICS + THE BOPHINS
Monday August 6th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Explosive San Diego band. Their frenzied live performances tap into the same unstoppable combination of rock ‘n’ roll energy and showmanship that fuelled the MC5 and James Brown. Support from ShoeTown glam-garage rockers The Bophins. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

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Twinfest 2018: The Review

TWINFEST July 26th – 29th 2018 Northampton THURSDAY, THE GUILDHALL So here it is, Northampton’s best reason to believe in grassroots culture. The annual event celebrates all that is special…

TWINFEST
July 26th – 29th 2018
Northampton

THURSDAY, THE GUILDHALL
So here it is, Northampton’s best reason to believe in grassroots culture. The annual event celebrates all that is special about the acts from the twin towns of Poitiers, Marburg, and Northampton. It’s the antithesis of Brexit. Twinfest is *deep breath* truly something to believe in, that gives short shrift to any notion of this town being a “cultural black hole”. Twinfest is the actualisation that this is, indeed, a talented music town.

This year the excitement was more pronounced once it was announced that the opening night’s festivities would take place at the Guildhall, the neo-gothic council building at the heart of this market town. The Great Hall there hasn’t seen regular gigs for around 25 years, and many people present tonight remark that this is their first concert here. Let’s hope it isn’t their last…

Keiron Farrow kicks off proceedings on the warmest day of the year so far. It was toching to see people make the effort to come to this indoor event so early, as it was still about 30 degrees at this point! Farrow has the sort of voice that was built to soar in such environs. His jazzy blues numbers, played with much dexterity on his acoustic guitar, transfix the audience. His recent EP title track ‘Roundabout Queen Eleanor’ is apt, considering there’s a mural of said queen a few metres from where he stands. He slips in a cover of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ at the end – bringing local music heritage into the present [Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley was born and raised in ShoeTown, you see].

Hyll are a desert rock trio from Marburg, and they crank things up a gear immediately. They lock into a groove straight away and never let up, giving the growing audience an opportunity to witness heavy rock that could shake the very foundations of this building. And whilst walls remain solidly in place, the Twinfest banner does decide to fall on their drummer during their opening song. They continue on regardless, and such stoicism wins the crowd over immediately.

Drinsipa have something to measure themselves by then, and they do their utmost to reciprocate the intensity of Hyll. They achieve this with aplomb, showcasing their grungy hardcore to the sweaty hordes. Now playing as a trio rather than a duo, new single ‘DOP’ is a raucous, epic number, and a definite set highlight.

Drinsipa

The Flims are an indie-pop quartet from Marburg, running a nice line in group harmonising. The sound is very much of the ’00s variety, the songs of Mumford & Sons or Razorlight played to a disco beat. The party vibes are in attendance when they play ‘Sometime Forgetting Is Better Than Healing’, and they can be sure they’ve made many new fans tonight.

The final of the travelling trio tonight is Poitiers trio Mantras. Guitarist-singer Pierre does what anyone on holiday in a hot country does: go topless. His band strike up elongated psychedelic stoner rock and play their hearts out. It’s as doomy as the best of them, rearranging a few of the heads present over their half-hour allotted time. This sort of rock works best in the live environment, and tonight they work us out right and proper.

Sarpa Salpa are swiftly becoming the hardest working band in showbusiness, playing all over the Midlands every weekend, taking men women and children hostage with their funky contemporary guitar pop. Songs about desperation with a disco beat, they are the epitome of the ‘sad and sexy’ movement sweeping popular music. These days they are treated a bit like homecoming heroes, and they know how to light up a dancefloor, as ‘She Never Lies’ comfortably does. If you’ve never checked them out and like acts such as The Killers or Foals, now is the time to do so.

It is gone midnight before The Barratts come on stage to finish the evening off. Those who have stuck it out are treated to a band who can still raise the energy level of any sun-beaten cordwainer or cobbler. They have never sounded so good, as their anthemic indie songs – ‘Satellites’ and ‘Same Old Kids’ amongst them – are played with spiky confidence and verve. James Faulkner’s word encapsulate all the small town ennui in poetic form you could hope for, matched with all the firepower his four brother-in-arms can muster. They send us home with Twinfest love beating heavily in our hearts.

The Barratts

FRIDAY, THE LAMPLIGHTER
This Mounts institution is busy, the vibe celebratory. Ready for the second evening of the Twin Town’s finest, the stage area at The Lamplighter is quickly filled by music fans from across the town and beyond.

Hailing from Northampton’s French twin city of Poitiers, Mantras take to the stage with a barrage of stoner rock. The band’s raw talent and synchronicity make playing live seem effortless and certainly seamless. Featuring melodic riffs and endless amounts of energy, the three-piece set the highest of bars for the evening.

German indie band The Flims were full of energy and strength during their set, providing Northampton with a unique sound. With memorable riffs and pounding drums, the band wouldn’t seem out of place in arenas. It’s the perfect music to finish a relaxing day.

Rapper Leo Robinson doesn’t play live that often, and probably will reminisce on tonight as a reason to keep it like that. He himself is on fire, his lyrical flow nothing short of magnificent. His freestyle bars have listeners hanging off his every word. But his right-hand man Charlie Borthwick is struggling with some technical issues, and the music’s power is lost to a frustrating degree and it affects concentration all round. Robinson does his best but he’s honest enough to know when he’s beat. A missed opportunity then, but one that still shows his strengths – and he continues to dazzle with his recorded output. He really might be “the best thing out of Weston Favell”.

Leo Robinson

Hyll continue to impress tonight, with a later set than the previous night. The crowd is respectful for half their set, but once singer-guitarist Martin takes off into the audience for a wander it heightens the excitement levels and from then on in it’s head-banging and hand-horns all the way to the end. With flawless guitar solos and pounding drums, they’re a band you won’t forget in a hurry. “Breathlessly magnificent rock” probably just about sums up their performance.

Headliners this evening are everyone’s favourite NN party starters, Century City. Regular drummer Tommy is absent, and Jake Crawford [Future Love, Acoda] ably deputises. They are on fine fettle, singer Nik Gray making jokes throughout and egging on his compadres to higher levels. Andy Convey from fellow alt-rockers Future Love jumps up to join in the chorus on one number. Gray does his bar walkabout thing, naturally. We all go home sweaty and happy. Can Northampton be like this every night, please?

Century City

SATURDAY, THE POMFRET ARMS
With a raised stage in the pub’s stunning beer garden, this Cotton End pub is the perfect place for some sunny Saturday afternoon acoustic singalongs. First up Duncan Bisatt uses his music as a way of storytelling. Featuring only his acoustic guitar and his voice, he strums gently as he sings about relatable experiences. Whether it’s climate change or dedications to his hometown, he does it well, including catchy riffs and a soothing voice.

After an issue or two with the line-up, Michael Kinder played earlier than expected. He takes it all in his stride, however – his hoarse, yet trained voice compliments the sun shining on Northampton, and later in the set experiments with using his guitar as percussion. He’s fun, fresh, and definitely funky.

Two piece Crybb are exactly what you’d expect from folk music. They stick to traditions while introducing a modern twist with a flute, so the tracks they perform don’t sound dated. It’s political music with a gentle sound: the very idea of a peaceful protest.

Straw Horses turn the afternoon into something gentile. Their music is calm and quiet, with mellow guitar riffs and the perfect harmonies, but it’s not boring, and nor is it downbeat. Instead, it’s tender and smooth, and they slot in with the rest of the afternoon nicely.

Following the issues with his set yesterday, Leo Robinson has been invited back to perform properly this time. Immediately you can hear the improvement, and he sounds much better. With diverse backing tracks complimenting his rapping, and several collaborations, it’s clear that Leo Robinson is going to go far.

On into the evening session in the barn, Deep Sea Mountains kick things off with their discordant fuzz rock. They are both a bit shouty and offer plenty of sweet harmonies. You could compare their set to watching an angsty Teenage Fanclub, or someone who should be signed to Sub Pop. They play cracking recent single ‘Pipe Dream’ and debut a rather good new song, ‘Five Mile Stroll’, which displays some measured feedback and punk attack – but then suddenly becomes all Television-esque in the arty middle section. This band is a multi-layered onion, and no mistake.

Deep Sea Mountains

Hyll, with the rain pouring outside, are even better here than the previous two nights, which is hard to believe. They bring out the moshers in all of us, and their interactions – coming into the crowd, getting everyone to sit down, being hoisted aloft during the climax – break down the separation between band and audience. Band of the weekend? Quite possibly.

The beautiful droney Mantras mix things up tonight, as guitarist Pierre has brought his slide guitar and an ironing board and proceeds to cook up all manner of beatific instrumental passages to delight the aural passages. The audience are silent in respect and awe. Northampton doesn’t really have a Mantras-type band, could they perhaps just move here? They’d be well-loved.

The Flims follow just as the sun sets, and they bring their best performance of the weekend yet. The intimate setting helps create an affectionate space, and their confidence looks up. They once again have everyone dancing along to ‘Emma’ and all their other Germanic indie-pop tunes.

Deaf Trap have the unenviable task of trying to top all these great performances. They aren’t helped by some power problems which regularly turn the lights on and off, but they persevere to bring Twinfest a dark, feedback-laden, somewhat chaotic, but ultimately joyous set of intense rock. All the mess feels very beautiful: bodies everywhere, a dancing Hotdog, a party at the end of the world. Long may their reign continue.

SUNDAY, THE BLACK PRINCE
Twinfest this year is proving to be one of the best, with the finale taking place at the well-esteemed Black Prince. The atmosphere has been incredibly social and friendly so far, with all of the bands – British, German and French – exchanging words of encouragement with each other and always making sure to catch one another’s sets.

Sunday’s proceedings kicks off with Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra, a group that takes elements of shock-rock and blues-rock to create a unique, horror-inspired sound that is reminiscent of the likes of Screaming Jay Hawkins and Space.

Next is Yodaclub, who are definitely unafraid to show their influences, taking notes from The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen [and dressing all in black accordingly]. These lot will be right at home to those who are fans of ’80s post-punk, with a standout track in the dream-poppy ‘Don’t Fall’.

Though today is The Keepers debut performance at Twinfest they certainly display no nerves. The band’s energy and enthusiasm is palpably infectious. They have got the mid-nineties mod revival, wall-of-sound down to a tee. Jordan Jones (vocals) and Liam Taylor (lead guitar) have Gallagher-like swagger by the bucket-load, while Oli Rumens (bass) and Steve Smith (drums) impress with rhythms reminiscent of ‘Elephant Stone’-era Roses. An excellent show; be sure to catch them again at another of their gigs.

The Keepers

After them we have Corby’s King Purple, a grungy three-piece with a hint of psychedelia, who are no stranger to genre mixing. Despite there only being three of these guys they manage to create a sound that is much larger than the sum of their parts. The highlight of their set is the track ‘Wasting Away’, a doomy number that feels like an early ’90s grunge throwback, with long instrumental sections that build up to a frantic, fast-paced finish. After being played and praised on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio 6, its safe to say that we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.

Pieces then take the stage, an indie three-piece brimming with melodic vocal harmonies and buzzsaw guitars play with a punk ferocity that’s not too dissimilar to acts like the Buzzcocks [as well as more modern bands like Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon]. These local lads take the phrase “three chords and the truth” and proudly wear it on their sleeves. With massive, infectious pop choruses and tight as nails musicianship that would put major-label acts to shame, the future is bright for the fledgling trio.

The first German band of the day is Hyll, an act who have continuously proven over the course of this Twinfest that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their songs are punctuated by an abrasive post-punk edge, with blistering guitars, floor-thumping bass lines and primal drumming with the occasional breakdown that always gets the audience headbanging. It’s safe to say that Hyll have well and truly earned the respect of their Northamptonian counterparts!

We’re then back to the British bands with Skirt, who, after their recent triumphant gig at the reopening of The Hut in Corby, bring their high-octane set to Twinfest. Bursting with raw, youthful energy, these lads combine punk with late ’80s Madchester and garage rock presented with a boisterous Gallagher brothers-style swagger that certainly left an impression on today’s crowd. A definite highlight is the menacing ‘Easy Tiger’, a track that could easily sound at home on a Stooges record.

Next up is Marburg’s The Flims, an indie-pop four-piece bursting with class and an upbeat stage presence that reflects the upbeat nature of the music they play. With jangly guitar riffs that feel like a fusion between Johnny Marr and the alternative British bands of the noughties, The Flims are a standout amongst the foreign bands. They’ve managed to get the crowd moving on each day of this festival without fail, and this evening is no exception.

Changing things up are Mio Flux with Patchy The Rockstar, a hip hop duo with elements of trap music, and a bass that would shake the foundation of even the sturdiest venues. The drastic change in genre going from The Flims to these two definitely sets them apart from the guitar bands of the day. They open with a tasteful trap remix of Sarpa Salpa’s belter ‘She Never Lies’, and it’s an unexpected but creative rendition of the track.

For the penultimate act we again have Poitiers’ Mantras, a band that mixes dark blues and psych while taking some clear cues from Black Sabbath. It’s a change in mood that certainly turns a few heads in their direction. Their songs are mostly instrumental, with only the occasional, shrieking vocal that wouldn’t sound too far removed on a Scandinavian black metal record. Like many bands relying on their instrumentation, they are no stranger to speed and volume changes, sonically making them one of the more unique and left field bands of this weekend.

Last, and most certainly not least, we have the homegrown Monarchs to close the weekend. Fresh off of their tour with King Purple, they play what feels like a grand homecoming gig, performing a selection of old and new tracks. The highlight of their set is the recently released ‘You Got Me’, a tune which the local crowd and fellow outsiders alike are clearly familiar with, shown through what has to be one of the most intense mosh pits at a Northampton gig in recent memory. This is surely a testament to the appreciation that the scene has for this band. With a large and macabre indie sound and some Queens of the Stone Age-inspired riffs, chock full of breakdowns and siren-like guitars, Monarchs give Twinfest the finale it deserves.

Monarchs

This years Twinfest has proven to be a special one – with an array of brilliant bands coming from Marburg and Poitiers and excellent performances from local talent, Northampton has once again proven its musical and cultural diversity in spades.

Words by Phil Istine, Lucy Wenham, Oliver Rumens, Tom Rose

Photos by David Jackson, Nallie Simpson, Phil Istine, Kenny Precious

 

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Photos: Twinfest 2018, Thursday, The Guildhall

Twinfest 2018 got under way at The Guildhall on Thursday night. Headliners The Barratts were joined by Sarpa Salpa, Mantras, The Flims, Drinsipa, Hyll and Kieron Farrow. We’ll have a…

Twinfest 2018 got under way at The Guildhall on Thursday night.

Headliners The Barratts were joined by Sarpa Salpa, Mantras, The Flims, Drinsipa, Hyll and Kieron Farrow.

We’ll have a full review on Twinfest in the coming days, but in the meantime, he’s some photos from its opening night courtesy of David Jackson.

 

The Barratts

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Sarpa Salpa

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Mantras

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

The Flims

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Drinsipa

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Hyll

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Kieron Farrow

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 25th – Jul 31st 2018

THE FERRETS + BIRD’S EYE VIEW Wednesday July 25th The King Billy, Northampton Hailing from Italy, the pop-punk band visit the UK for the first time, in support their new…

THE FERRETS + BIRD’S EYE VIEW
Wednesday July 25th
The King Billy, Northampton
Hailing from Italy, the pop-punk band visit the UK for the first time, in support their new album Another Planet. Bringing a European flavor to their Cali brand of pop-punk, the band ooze fun and energy. For fans of Blink 182, Sum 41 and Simple Plan. Doors 8pm, free entry

TWINFEST DAY ONE
Thursday July 26 
The Guildhall, Northampton
Twinfest kicks off 2018 with a special event in the The Great Hall of The Guildhall. From Marburg witness The Flims and Hyll, from Poitiers comes Mantras, and representing ShoeTown are Sarpa Salpa, The Barratts, Drinsipa, and Keiron Farrow. Doors 7pm, £6 for a weekend wristband

GREG COULSON
Thursday July 26th
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Coulson’s What’s New? album launch show. Greg will be playing the album in it’s entirety. He will be joined by his band: Stuart Dixon on guitar, John Thompson on bass, Adam Gammage on drums and Miles Hancock and Ryan West on horns. Doors 8pm, £8 tickets

TWINFEST DAY TWO
Friday July 27th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
We move onto The Lamp for day two, with party rockers Century City headlining, rap star Leo Robinson in effect, plus the three visitors again: The Flims, Hyll, and Mantras. Doors 7pm, free entry [donations requested]

JONO & THE UKE DEALERS + THE VINCENT VEGA BAND
Friday July 27th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
Interesting and original folk-rockers with ukes plug new single ‘Beautiful Young Things’, plus the return of the slightly skewed lo-fi indie rockers. Music from 9pm, pay what you can entrance fee [proceeds go to the Umbrella Fair Organisation]

THE DARKHORSE + TEMPLE RENEGADE + EVEREST QUEEN
Friday July 27th
The King Billy, Northampton
Rushden doom sludgers headline. Dutch alternative rockers, drawing on influences from the likes of Karnivool, Audioslave, Alter Bridge, and Twelve Foot Ninja, stand in the middle. Prog metal from Stevenage opens proceedings. Music from 9pm, free entry

MEDICI + ROTHMAN JACK + THE TOUCH + THRIFT STREET + KAT GOUGH
Friday July 27th
The Lab, Northampton
Midlands indie boys make their way back to Northampton, car crash blues-rock from Manchester, Kettering rock-pop-punk, an acoustic set from the ShoeTown pop-punkers, and opening with a sweet lyrical voice mixed with some mean ukulele playing. Doors 7pm, £3 entry

TWINFEST DAY THREE
Saturday July 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The weekend brings all the alldayers. Deaf Trap, Deep Sea Mountains, Michael Kinder, Duncan Bisatt, Kilamojo, Crybb, Kenneth J Nash, The Straw Horses, The Flims, Hyll, and Mantras play the Cotton End venue. Doors 1pm, free entry [donations requested]

TWINFEST INTERNATIONAL JAM & AFTER PARTY
Saturday July 28th
Club 43, Northampton
A new event on the Twinfest calendar; the International Jam. Hosted by local band The Barratts, the jam/ open mic session will run from 11pm – 1am, followed by DJs until the small hours! Doors 10pm, free entry for Twinfest wristband wearers, or £4 on the door

TAYLOR SMITH + MUDDY BOOTS + THE RANDOM MURPHY + BILLY NOMAD + LEW BEAR
Saturday July 28th
The Lab, Northampton
The Bardic Chair hosts an evening of live music in aid of The Bardic Picnic 2018, which takes place at Becket’s Park on August 5th. Doors 8pm, donations requested

PRESCRIPTION HAPPINESS
Saturday July 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
London industrial metal quartet play alongside DJs and burlesque performers. Doors 9pm: free entry, but you need to add yourself to the event guestlist and the dress code is goth/fetish/alternative.

FUELED HATE + REAPER + XYHON + THE FANGS OF THE DODO
Saturday July 28th
The Hut, Corby
Metal, hardcore and heavy rock bands assemble in Corby at the newly reopened Hut. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

GARDEN + ODDITY ISLAND
Saturday July 28th
The White Hart, Corby
Recent single ‘Hate Me’ provided proof that indie rock is very much alive and kicking within the county in the hands of Garden. Support from psychedelic-folk quintet Oddity Island. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

3D + BLACK WAVE + THE 182s + MIX TAPES + THE MODERN AGE + ENABLERS + GOOD APPLES + TOM WALLINGTON + SCOTT LATTA + RICHARD CRABB
Saturday July 28th
The Shire Horse, Corby
Third annual event, raising money for a local boy with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Midday doors, donations requested

SILVERSHORES + SHAUN GAMBOWL WALSH & THE PLAGIARISTS
Saturday July 28th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Headliners from Birmingham bring their eclectic mix of indie and shoegaze, with support from fellow Brummies, who ply audiences with dirty rotten space punk. Doors 8pm, free entry

I SEE HAWKS IN L.A.
Saturday July 28th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Cosmic California country-rock stylings from some powerhouse LA musicians, with several albums and soundtracks to their name. Doors 7.30pm, free entry [donations requested]

SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday July 28th
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Indie-folk singer-songwriter from Northampton plays Rushdens best drink stop. Live Music from 8:30pm, free entry

TWINFEST FINALE
Sunday July 29th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The second alldayer to finish off the weekend utilises the two outside areas of the Prince. Expect to see and hear and marvel at Tom Rose And The Heathen Orchestra, Pieces, Yodaclub, The Keepers, Monarchs, King Purple, Skirt, Mio Flux & Patchy The Rockstar, The Flims, Hyll and Mantras. Doors 1pm, £5 weekend wristband

THE SOAPGIRLS + THESE FIVE YEARS
Sunday July 29th
The King Billy, Northampton
Armed with unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses, The SoapGirls energy, rawness and authenticity live has earned them a formidable reputation. Support from Cardiff pop punkers. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

MARK HARRISON
Sunday July 29th
The Olde Forge Tea Room, Cranford
A couple of hours of rootsy blues, original and unique songs & stories. 2pm, £5 entry [call 01536 330014 to reserve your spot]

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Twinfest 2018 – Your guide to who’s playing where and when

Twinfest is back at venues across Northampton from Thursday with bands from Marburg in Germany and Poitiers in France joining some of the best acts from across the town. For…

Twinfest is back at venues across Northampton from Thursday with bands from Marburg in Germany and Poitiers in France joining some of the best acts from across the town.

For the first time this year, Twinfest kicks off at The Great Hall in Guildhall with the Lamplighter, The Pomfret Arms and The Black Prince also hosting gigs.

Another first this year will see Club 43 hosting an ‘international jam night’ and Twinfest after-party on the Saturday night.

Heading to Northampton this year are The Flims and Hyll from Marburg and Mantras from Poitiers.

Below is a full guide to who who’s playing where and when.

For more information about the festival, visit fb.com/twinfest.northampton

 

Thursday:

The Great Hall, Guildhall, St Giles Square
Music from 7.30pm.

The Barratts
Sarpa Salpa
Mantras
The Flims
Drinsipa
Hyll
Kieron Farrow

 

Friday:

The Lamplighter, Overstone Road
Music from 7.40pm

Century City
Hyll
Leo Robinson
The Flims
Mantras

 

Saturday:

The Pomfret Arms, Cotton End
Music from 1pm

Deaf Trap
Deep Sea Mountains
Michael Kinder
Duncan Bisatt
Crybb
Kenneth J Nash
Straw Horses
The Flims
Hyll
Mantras

Club 43, Gold Street
International jam hosted and after party
From 10pm


Sunday:

The Black Prince, Abington Square
Music from 1pm.

Monarchs
Mantras
Mio Flux
The Flims
Skirt
Hyll
Pieces
King Purple
The Keepers
Yodaclub
Tom Rose and the Heathen Orchestra.

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