Tag: Northampton

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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New Music Friday: S.G. Wolfgang

An MK-based band with Northampton heritage, S.G. Wolfgang have been planting twisted blues seeds since 2014. The four malcontents are led by the eponymous Sean Grant, who New Boots spoke…

An MK-based band with Northampton heritage, S.G. Wolfgang have been planting twisted blues seeds since 2014. The four malcontents are led by the eponymous Sean Grant, who New Boots spoke to about new single ‘Souls Out’.

How did the band get together?
Myself and Fiske [guitarist] are both born and bred Northamptonians, born in our very own Northampton General Hospital. I grew up in the little village of Sywell, and Fiske the not so little village of Parklands. We both got jobs in the bright lights of Milton Keynes so we relocated together, renting our first place. Romantic really. Myself and Fiske have played in various guises over the years. S.G. Wolfgang begun after many of these years of experimentation when I just sat down with a guitar and decided to write some simple songs to go out and play myself in local pubs. It grew from there. Fiske was the first addition: he’s the left hand, I’m the right. Phil, our multi-instrumentally talented organ grinder, was added, and Matty is the third drummer but was always the guy we wanted. If you haven’t seen him drum live I’d highly reccomend it, he’s incredible.

How would you describe your sound?
Queens of the Nick Cave Turners

Who are your main influences in music?
It’s so vast. Fiske has a huge vinyl collection, I DJ everything and anything, Phil likes real intricate instrumental stuff and Matty is the Spotify find king. Deeply routed in the band is Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Queens of the Stone Age with a song smithery edge. My favourite album of last was Idles Brutalism. It really is a gem; the tenacity of the delivery and political slant at a time last year with a disillusioned country.

How did you hook up with Fierce Panda? How do you look back on the 7 Deadly 7 EP now?
Fondly. This EP was a real turning point for us, it felt like we’d reached our sound and feel, recording it at Konk Studios [London studio owned by Ray Davies] too, with Guy Massey producing was an incredible experience. We ended up supporting one of the Fierce Pandas bands at the 100 Club. Mr Simon “Panda” Williams was there and we began a dialogue which later turned into a relationship, which again was a dream after buying Fierce Panda releases as a music fan to being signed to the label ourselves.

Tell us everything about ‘Souls Out’.
It’s a punchy little number, and that’s we wanted for a first single back. Songwriting for me is my form of release / therapy so the songs are very much true to how I feel inside when writing. Before, during and after the writing and recording of this album I went through a tough time dealing with depression and made a lot of changes in my life and learnt a lot about myself. ‘Souls Out’ is the end of the rope: nowhere else to go, exposed to the world, what you are and who you are. I think the instrumentation represents this too with the eerie jerky riff churning its way through the majority of the song.

What are your live shows like?
Miserably fun. I wish I wrote more happy upbeat music that people could get down to! The live setup is a huge sound, Matty is an incredible hard hitting drummer, Fiske is the “octavepus” and Phil has so many cables and pedals and keyboards, which he runs all into a bass amp and a Micro Korg into the PA – which changes up a regular sound somewhat. I think we come across heavier live than we do on record, we certainly class ourselves as a live band.

Are you part of a scene in MK, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands to play with?
We certainly are. Our local venue is The Craufurd Arms which is an incredible venue run by some great guys. I DJ there too. There’s some great bands about. Not a lot doing what we’re doing but there’s Dan Stock recently signed to Heavenly, personal faves Our Man In The Bronze Age, although they’re heavier, but the Craufurd is the hub for it all. It’s great to have a place like that in the area; like-minded people and friends alike.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
The first single finally coming out! It had been such a long process, and it popped into the iTunes Alt chart again which was nice to see people still downloading it / streaming it, however that dark magic works these days.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ah so much. I’m a sponge for new music, all kinds of genres too. I’ve been playing Childish Gambino ‘This Is America’ on repeat. So good: the message behind it, breaking musical boundaries, the video too. Super super cool.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m looking forward to having our debut album out end of this year, and I’m looking forward to playing some shows in support of this. I’d love for it to be successful enough for us to make another one, that’s all I want: not much, just to be able to keep creating and pushing out some music that we really love.

Souls Out is available via The Shipping Forecast. Album The Shadows are Lengthening will be released in October. They play the Grey Dog Festival at Roadmender August 18th

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 18th – Jul 24th 2018

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX Wednesday July 18th The King Billy, Northampton Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who…

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX
Wednesday July 18th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who trade in rockabilly/surf-flavoured garage punk. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

SHARKTEETH GRINDER + DRINSIPA + ACOLYTES + LA FOLIVORA
Thursday July 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The gang are back. Another ‘core night; that being mathcore, hardcore, synthcore. ‘Core blimey, it’s gonna be sweaty! Doors 8pm, free entry

DK + SEVERE + BIG G + MORE [LAY IT DOWN]
Thursday July 19th
The Lab, Northampton
After the immense success of the launch night Lay It Down brings NN another instalment of the rap, spoken word, and singing showcase. The talent is strong, go check it out. Doors 8pm, free entry

CORNERSTONE
Thursday July 19th
The King Billy, Northampton
Melodic rock from Austria. Regular festival players, in 2016 the band released their third studio album Reflections. Doors 9pm, free entry

SCREAM BLUE MURDER + THE WEIGHT OF ATLAS + DARKEST DAYS + THE CREATURE WITHIN
Friday July 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Headliners are a four-piece metalcore band from Coventry. Also: Scottish emo, East Midlands metalcore, and NN weird grunge-punk. Doors 7.30pm, £6 entry

STORMBRINGER + HAEMA + REDNECK JESUS
Friday July 20th
The White Hart, Corby
A band on a roll after many successful years of gigging [including shows at Download and Bloodstock], Stormbringer are still plugging latest album Born A Dying Breed. Support from ShoeCounty industrial groove merchants and Corby stoners. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

BUG JAM FESTIVAL
Friday July 20th – Saturday July 21st
Santa Pod Raceway, Podington
A celebration of all things VW, they have five arenas of live music and DJs. Friday night sees The South [a Beautiful South spin-off band] performing, whilst Saturday welcomes Noisettes, Doctor & The Medics, and Killa Kela to the various stages. Weekend tickets are £70 with a VW, or £90 without

HANNAH FAULKNER + TIM JON BROPHY + REBECCA RYAN + THE BLUE FOUNDATION
Friday July 20th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
An acoustic showcase of talent from around the county congreagte in Kettering. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

SIXFIELDS ROCK FESTIVAL
Saturday July 21st – Sunday July 22nd
Duston Mill Sixfields, Northampton
Born in 2016, it consisted of a one day event with a trailer stage and a small beer tent.​ In 2017 it expanded drastically and the organisers consolidate its position on the rock calendar in this its third year. 18 bands over two days, including Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Stormbringer, White Coast Rebels, Over The Influence, Spreading The Disease, Empyre, Via Dolorosa, Numb [Saturday], Austin Gold, Sacrilege, Satan’s Empire, Family Of Noise, and The Hero Dies First [Sunday]. Gates 11am: £15 for a single day, £25 for both. Tickets here

THE SOAPGIRLS
Saturday July 21st
The Prince of Wales, Kettering
On their ‘Stinks Like Punk’ tour 2018, the duo return to Kettering with their own brand of punk rock and merchandise. The SoapGirls provide unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses. Performing continuously, these fearless French Born sisters Millie and Mie have slayed countless countries and earned a dedicated group of follower known as the ‘The SoapSuds’ who follow them all over the UK and Europe. Doors 9pm, free entry

SKIRT + THE BARRATTS + MUNDAYS + TOUCAN
Saturday July 21st
The Hut, Corby
The Corby indie punk trio throw their own birthday bash, with their besties on board too. It’s at the reopened Hut too, which might well be cause for further celebration. There’s an after party too, with Flash Peasants playing. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

THE TOUCH
Saturday July 21st
The Three Cocks, Kettering
More live entertainment from the 80s rock stlyings of The Touch. Doors 9pm, free entry

 

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Founder member of Brian Jonestown Massacre plays Northampton

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September. Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists…

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September.

Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists when the band formed in 1990. His latest project is Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings, which blends blues, country and psychedelia into a Lee Hazlewood/Serge Gainsbourg-style mould. Hear ‘Ghost Ghost’ below.

Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings play The Lab on Sunday September 2nd. Tickets are now on sale.

https://www.matthollywoodandthebadfeelings.com

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Enter Shikari announce Roadmender return as part of 28-date UK tour

Enter Shikari are heading back to the Roadmender in January as part of a huge 28 UK tour. Tickets for the show on Monday, January 28, go on sale this…

Enter Shikari are heading back to the Roadmender in January as part of a huge 28 UK tour.

Tickets for the show on Monday, January 28, go on sale this Friday at 9am and cost £25.

Frontman Rou Reynolds said: “Our most recent UK tours have been of the ‘eight or nine shows in arenas / big sheds’ variety, so we consciously wanted to switch it up a bit going into 2019.

“Enter Shikari have always kept dipping back into more intimate venues over the years, no matter how big our headline shows have become.

“That’s where we cut our teeth. The heat-sweat-and-visceral-human-connection of smaller gigs is every bit the equal of the impressive-scale-and-expensive-production of arena shows.

“We’ve never seen the latter as an evolution away from the former. They exist on opposite sides of the same coin for us.

“It’s also no secret that austerity and the looming potential disaster of Brexit have seen people having to be a lot more careful with how they spend their money.

“With things being what they are right now, it doesn’t seem fair for only those who can afford the travel to a major city for a night out (plus the inevitable other costs that go along with it) to be able to see a show.

“Playing 28 dates across the UK is our way of taking what we do back to as many people as possible, in the most intimate and direct way.”

Enter Shikari are currently in the midst of festival season which has seen them play to huge crowds at Germany’s Rock Am Ring / Rock Im Park and Vainstream festivals, Austria’s Novarock and Czech Republic’s Rock For People.

Tickets will be available from www.entershikari.com/shows

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 11th – Jul 17th 2018

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY Wednesday July 11th The Lab, Northampton A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band…

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY
Wednesday July 11th
The Lab, Northampton
A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band Birdeatsbaby, Mishkin Fitzgerald plays darkly tinged pianos ballads and melancholic alt-pop tunes.  Feline & Strange are a “theatrical punk” duo from Berlin with a powerful female voice, cello, piano and synths. And Corinne Lucy sings her melodic, “embarrassingly earnest” songs. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

BULLETS & OCTANE + LAST HOUNDS
Thursday July 12th
The White Hart, Corby
Southern Californians Bullets and Octane exploded onto the hard rock scene twenty year ago, and this year hit the road to support new album Waking Up Dead. Support from midlands hip-hop-infused punks. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

GEOFF CARNE & THE HATZ
Friday July 13th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blues rock duo with several albums to their name, including Get Close. Doors 9pm, free entry

STEREO SKULL + DEAF TRAP
Saturday July 14th
The Lab, Northampton
Last minute announcement: a celebration of NN noise from two locally-loved metal and alt-rock acts. Doors 7pm, free entry

LUKE CONCANNON
Sunday July 15th
Engine, Northampton
Formerly one half of Nizlopi, and one of Ed Sheeran’s closest pals, Luke Concannon is playing a “house concert” at the co-work space in Abington. Concannon had a number one single in 2005 with ‘JCB Song’. BYOB. Doors 6.30pm; it’s a ‘gift economy’ gig so you “pay what you think it’s worth”.

 

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Record review: Tom Grennan ‘Lighting Matches’

TOM GRENNAN Lighting Matches [Insanity/Sony] There’s something very endearing about the rise and rise of Tom Grennan. Firstly, five years ago he didn’t even play an instrument. Or consider himself…

TOM GRENNAN
Lighting Matches [Insanity/Sony]

There’s something very endearing about the rise and rise of Tom Grennan. Firstly, five years ago he didn’t even play an instrument. Or consider himself much of a singer. And like Richard Ashcroft before him he had a talent for football which almost took him on a different path. But then fate – and Chase & Status – intervened and boom; everyone wanted a piece of him. Confidence grew and he now carries that party-time swagger that thankfully is backed up with the talent.

The Bedford native has a rasping bluesmen voice that defines him as an artist. Musically he has a few different facades, largely reflecting who we works with on each song. Overall you’d probably categorise him as a sort of widescreen indie pop machine. His aim seems effortless and accomplished with a definitive joie de vivre. He’s the Harry Kane of pop! Not that the story of this album is purely one of joy. It’s triumph over adversity, as his words reflect a distressed young soul finding his way in a frightening big world. And who doesn’t relate to that? “I was made out of nothing, you were made out of gold” is one telling phrase on the ballad ‘Lucky Ones’.

Adam Gammage, Danny Connors and Tom Grennan on stage at Bedford Esquires

The album holds great interest for anyone connected to Northampton, as it contains the talents of two local luminaries. Danny Connors plays guitar, provides vocals and co-wrote recent single ‘Barbed Wire’, whilst Adam Gammage plays drums and percussion. They both tour with him too. It’s a terrific match-up, their chemistry clear to anyone from any of their recent live performances. In Fraser T Smith and Dan Grech he’s gone with producers who has crafted humongous hits for Adele, Stormzy, Plan B, Liam Gallagher and Tom Odell [to name just five]. The music is probably closer to a Blossoms though in structure – keeping it pop by focusing on a simple guitar or horn riff, and letting Grennan’s delivery take centre stage.

Almost everywhere you look here you will find gold. Opener ‘Found Out What I’ve Been Looking For’ is a bouncy anthem that will set the festivals alight this summer. ‘Royal Highness’, with its syncopated rhythms and inherent grit, repeats the Ibiza-soul trick that John Newman had going on fairly recently. ‘Barbed Wire’ displays a similar motif, making that retro-soul, horn-inflected sound comeback into the mainstream, just when it had seemed its time had passed. It should come with a warning: this song is likely to cause an outbreak of grinning and kitchen singalongs.

‘Aboard’ has a real maturity to it, Grennan promising not to “fuck around no more”. The band certainly don’t mess about with a tight arrangement that carries enough light and shade drama to make you think he’s a shoe-in for a  future Bond theme. The title track is another catchy yet bravely honest homage to his determination to strive for a better life. If it’s not the next single then heads need to roll somewhere – it will win over a million hearts from the first playback. ‘Sober’ is a touch Hollywood with it’s string parts darting everywhere, but still works out lovely as Grennan’s charm is undeniable. ‘Something in the Water’ was his debut release and reflects his initial soul balladry background. He’s outgrown that format now, but this number still contains the magnetism which bought the world to him.

Lighting Matches is not 100% fireproof though, which is no major surprise for an album that runs to a value-for-money 56 minutes. ‘Run In The Rain’ is Adele-saccharine cliche, ‘Lucky Ones’ can’t decide what it wants to achieve as it plods along alchemy-free [like late-period Oasis], and ‘I Might’ is singer-songwriter mundanity that he should have left on the cutting room floor. There’s always a worry that this collaborative creation-through-committee approach, so prevalent in modern music, might stifle the flow, but Grennan holds it all together even during the weaker moments. And even after all the dancefloor anthems the album puts forth he can leave you emotionally floored at the end, via his X-Factor-style offering ‘Sweet Hallelujah’.

It’s sixteen tracks feel like drinking stops on a big night out. They’ll be exultation and laughter, they’ll be a disagreement or two along the way, moments to think about packing it in. Then they’ll be redemption and hugs at the end. New Boots’ message to Tom is simple: nice one son, the next round is on us.

Words Phil Istine, photos David Jackson

Tom Grennan signing copies of his debut album at Bedford Esquires

 

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New Music Friday: Loose Tooth

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua…

Northampton three-piece grunge/hardcore outfit Loose Tooth – Adam Cator [bass], Oli Knight [guitar/vocals] and
Josh Miller [drums] have followed up last year’s mini LP with a new single, ‘Castles’. Watch the Joshua Goff-directed video below, after reading this here interview about all the Loose things.

How/why/what/when did the project begin?
Adam: Loose Tooth began two and a half years ago. We’d all just come from bands that had drained us emotionally and needed something a little more honest and cathartic. We had started with no clear intentions, just hung out and wrote some music together. At first we were considering getting a singer but we were too tight-knit to add another member. We hope that desire for honesty comes through in the music.

How would you describe your sound?
Oli: We’re a rock band, there’s certain connotations that come with that we try to avoid when writing. We’re not trying to take the path of least resistance when writing, we push our abilities to come up with something that is hopefully interesting and different, whether that be off-kilter time signatures, chord progressions or scales. There’s a certain amount of depth invested with our writing style that we hope translates into music that interests and excites.

Who are your main influences? Musical and non-musical
Josh: I’ve got a bunch, musical influences include: And So I Watch You from Afar, Reuben, 65daysofstatic, Every Time I Die, Toe, The Cure, Father John Misty, Dillinger Escape Plan, Alkaline Trio, Interpol, Crowded House, Nine Inch Nails. Non-musical thinkers that inspire me are Henry Rollins and David Attenborough.
Oli: As a lyricist I always tried to follow the Martin Gore [Depeche Mode] school of thought, but found it to be disingenuous to myself. Since then I’ve taken to a more ‘kitchen sink’ lyrical style in the vein of Jamie Lenman, who is also a big musical influence.
Adam: My musical influences would be Story Of The Year, From First To Last, Underoath, Reuben and Every Time I Die. My non-musical inspiration would be my dad.

What’s the reaction been like to last year’s self-titled mini-album?
Josh: Really great; people are still discovering it and enjoying it. From the reactions we’ve had people seemed to enjoy the honesty. We left a lot of mistakes in and recorded it having not long written and learned the songs, so it came out quite raw I think. Nowadays with a lot of rock music having a serious level of sheen some listeners enjoyed something a bit grittier than usual.

Tell us about ‘Castles’.
Oli: ‘Castles’ is a really simple song: the chord progression churned around in my brain for a while, and that’s why most of the song is those four chords. I felt the lyrics should speak for themselves, so we took a stripped back approach and left all of the craziness for another day. It’s about the frustrations of modern working life, with external pressures to live a middle class existence, despite the fact the middle class has eroded. The ‘castles held up in the sky’ are just a mortgage, or they’re a yearly holiday, something the average low income worker may feel is out of their grasp. Not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder – why should they be denied a more comfortable life? We recorded the track with Jay Russell again at Parlour Studios. It’s super comfortable with Jay; he understands our weirdness and he’s a complete pro. The video we shot with Joshua Goff and it was done at at our Josh’s work yard where we rehearse weekly. We built the set and Joshua lit it wonderfully.

Is your record label – Undead Collective – and its roster a tight-knit community?
Adam: Undead Collective is a great group of people, we’re in contact most days and their support and advice beyond the remit of label responsibilities has been amazing. Currently there’s only three bands on the roster. We’re yet to meet the newest additions Seasonal, but we’ve chatted online and they’re great guys.

Would you consider your local scene something to be proud of? On the flipside, what’s your biggest frustration with it all?
Oli: Northampton is rich with talented musicians, the scene is definitely one to be proud of. Northampton can be grey and that can be oppressive, but go to The Lab, The Garibaldi or The Black Prince on a Friday night and you’ve got a few hours away from the desolation. I think our frustrations are more with ourselves rather than the scene, this goes for anywhere. Inclusion to scenes is always reliant on being charismatic and outgoing. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally to us, so we try to be as personable as possible when networking but we’re quiet by nature. That doesn’t always endear yourself to people and ultimately that’s as important as putting on a killer show.

What has been your favourite band moment so far?
Oli: Probably just how many gigs we played last year. We just hired vans and shot off. It was a dream come true for me to finally feel like I was in a touring, hard-working band.
Josh: Everything about being in this band, but mainly writing and recording.
Adam: Playing a show in a rehearsal room in Wales.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Oli: Arc by Everything Everything
Josh: Braille by Palm Reader
Adam: Logic by Bobby Tarantino

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What solid plans do you have?
Oli: Our burning desire is to one day be able to turn up anywhere in the UK and play to a guaranteed 50 or so people. That’s enough for us. Now ‘Castles’ is out we’ll be thinking about the next single, we’ve got a lot to do until then but we’re excited about the future. For now though it’s all coming up Loose Tooth.

Castles is out now via the usual platforms

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