Tag: Northampton

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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New Music Friday: The Very Lazy Sundays

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan…

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan McLaughlan aka Tramp D’Addy is a busy ShoeTown man, and he gets a moment to shine here with their new EP ‘Love…a Lot’. New Boots keeps the work rate up by asking them to tell us all about it.

Who is in the band?
We are:
Diyar Abdullah – guitar and lead vocals
George Harvey – guitars 
Pete White – Cajon and backing vocals
Duncan McLaughlan – bass and backing vocals

How did you guys get together?
Diyar and George founded The Lazy Sundays in 2010. The band went through a couple of incarnations before Pete and Dunk joined in 2017. George and Diyar have been the crux of the band since inception, turning Diyar’s poems and ideas into songs. Meanwhile, Pete and Dunk had been gigging together since 2013, and met George through mutual friends. He asked them to do some backing vocals on a few songs they were recording, which evolved into George and Diyar asking them to join them.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We’re often compared to having a similar sound to Paul Simon, Eels, Jack Johnson, and The Streets. Our songs cover a lot of different styles and influences, but the common thread is storytelling with groove, hooks, melody and harmonies

Tell us everything about this new EP.
The first EP, ‘Live…a Little’, from January 2018, was recorded and mixed in a day, and we’d recorded it exactly as we’d play it at gigs. Essentially a well-produced demo. We knew these new songs needed a little more panache in the production if we wanted to get them played on the radio, so we booked two days to record and another two days to mix. We were really lucky to have Mark McCann at The Lodge Studios in Northampton producing us. He spent a lot of time – even before we got into the studio – listening to our influences and sussing out how they got their sound. It was a real education watching him listen to Simon & Garfunkel and discovering how their sound on ‘The Boxer ‘was achieved – what mics they used, how the instruments and voices were blended. He was really excited about recreating classic analogue recording processes in the Lodge’s studio, and the results are fantastic.

We played everything live as a group – the guitars, cajon, bass and Diyar’s vocals, which gives the overall organic feel. No click tracks, no autotune, all mics and no DI – your standard recording setup for 1969! Mark had mic’d us up so perfectly we barely needed any post production to the core performance. We recorded the core tracks in a day at the Lodge, and spent the following day adding extra instrumentation – the piano and mandolin on ‘Sometimes A Broken Heart’, the B52’s-ish electric guitar lick at the end of ‘Higher Love’, and the eerie backward-backing-vocals on ‘Café de Paris’. We wanted to keep the vibe of a live performance, so were really careful not to overstretch or go too Pet Sounds with the overdubs. Essentially the sound of the EP is us playing live – if we had a budget for a mandolinist, pianist and a couple of extra backing singers.

As for the songs on ‘Love…a Lot’, we’d written nearly a dozen songs since the first EP, many of which had become part of our live set. However we’d opted for four songs we knew were good but hadn’t yet road-tested. ‘Blow Wind Blow’ is a lullaby we put together in an AirBnB we stayed in when we toured around the East Coast last Spring. ‘Higher Love’ reflects our love of soul and gospel, like a Stax rhythm section without the horns, documenting the beginnings of a love affair, whilst simultaneously lambasting London’s property prices (”Rare find/Circle Line/Two stops/Paid bucks/Bought yourself a bloody shoebox!”). But the track we really wanted to take our time with during the recording was ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’, about the healing process after a relationship ends. It’s probably our best group performance so far, and we’ll release it as a single once we’ve made a video for it.

What are your live shows like?
We absolutely love playing live. We’ve played to hundreds at festivals, we’ve played to tens at kebab houses, and there’s no difference to us; it’s the challenge of connecting with the audience. Though we probably gig a lot less than most bands, we try and make each show unique and special. We played a show last week with Space; our first big gig since we’d hit the studio. We played to hundreds of people, and it was just as raw and intimate as if we were playing in a tiny club. Diyar is a great frontman, and though he’s perched on a stool most of the time he actually stood up during the rap section of ‘Higher Love’, which was hilarious for us, and totally galvanised the crowd. We usually open our shows with an acapella song from the first EP: three-part harmony singing without a safety net is always daunting, but it’s a great attention-grabber.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
Not yet! Dunk runs the monthly Open Mic’s at The Black Prince, and also the Sunday Acoustic sessions that run throughout the summer in the Black Prince garden. He always gets a mixture of poets, singer/songwriters, story-tellers and instrumentalists to play with us, and we’re looking forward to playing there over the summer on August 17th. We’re also really stoked to be involved with Kontra Roots, who put on some great live music events around Northamptonshire featuring local, national and international artists.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Recording at The Lodge the second time around was a real game changer for us. It was when we realised we’d come a long way as a band since our last visit. The first playback of ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ was a proper “Eureka!” moment!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
George: The Macabees – Marks to Prove It
Dunk: The Soft Boys – The John Peel Sessions
Diyar: Roxette – Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus
Pete: The Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up the Girl

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
You mean aside from having Blue Plaques erected to each of us in Northampton, Tring, Reading and Ashford? Firstly we want to spread the word about our EP as widely as possible, make a video for ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ and release it as a single in the spring. We’ve got loads more songs in the pipeline, and can’t wait to get back to The Lodge again. We can’t wait to play to a ShoeTown crowd again, either!

Love…a Lot is out via BandCamp, or on CD from the band directly

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New Boots to curate stage at the Northampton Music Festival 2019

New Boots is pleased to be able to finally share the news – we are hosting a stage at this year’s Northampton Music Festival. The six stage event attracts tens…

New Boots is pleased to be able to finally share the news – we are hosting a stage at this year’s Northampton Music Festival.

The six stage event attracts tens of thousands of people to Northampton town centre each summer and has been going since 2007.

New Boots has it’s own space for the 2019 event, in the courtyard of the NN Contemporary Art Gallery, on Guildhall Road. It’s all set to happen on Sunday June 16th. Doors open at midday, then at half past the hour every hour they’ll be some NN-related music for you. Covering all the musical bases of this diverse musical town, our stage sees live performances from:

GINGER SNAPS
THE BIG DIRTY
L30 ROBINSON, WITH ANONYMOUS & XOV
PHANTOM ISLE
GOGO LOCO
KINSHIPS
KIAN RUSSELL

Jay Brook of Ginger Snaps, the man behind BBC Radio playlisted smashes like ‘The Modern Man’ and ‘Number Crunching’, has spoken of how rarely they play live, so this is something to be especially pleased about. “It’s a one-off special show” he explained, “where I’ll be playing mainly stuff off the forthcoming album.”

They’ll also be an outside bar serving alcohol, plus street food for sale. It’s going to be the best thing you can experience in an NN postcode this summer. FACT.

The Facebook Event is the place to keep an eye on all the latest developments, so please go and click ‘attending’ over on that if you can.

The objective of the Northampton Music Festival is to raise the profile of Northampton through music. It provides a showcase for the broad range of musicians and artists that are based in the town and as a community-focused gathering, invites all to join in a festive celebration of our music scene. The official site is here.

A big thank you to Natasha Booluck [Fuel + Fire Films] for the poster design.

SEE YOU THERE.

Phil & Dave

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 17th – Apr 23rd

SLEAFORD MODS Thursday April 18th The Roadmender/Spun Out, Northampton The Notts duo show at the Roadmender has sold out, but at 5pm they are doing a record signing event at…

SLEAFORD MODS
Thursday April 18th
The Roadmender/Spun Out, Northampton
The Notts duo show at the Roadmender has sold out, but at 5pm they are doing a record signing event at Spun Out Records on Gold Street. A great opportunity to get your Eton Alive on vinyl and get it signed!

THE ANTELOIDS + LOVE CANS
Thursday April 18th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Hailing from Rugby, headliners give you space rock with a killer groove. Their back-porch blues hillbilly psych gumbo has been showcased on six albums, including 2016’s Let Your Mind Grow Long. Love Cans  is a psych garage blues trio from Switzerland. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BIGHEAD [ACOUSTIC]
Thursday April 18th
The Artizan, Northampton
The open mic night will have a core trio of the ska/reggae outfit playing an acoustic set. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

LAY IT DOWN
Friday April 19th
The Lab, Northampton
New Breed of open mic showcasing the urban music world: grime, hip-hop, spoken word, singers. Featured artists this month include Severe and Theo Chanetsa. Doors 8pm, free entry

IMMERSE + WOVENLUNG + ONE LAST DAYBREAK + TAKE REFUGE + THRIFT STREET 
Friday April 19th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Post-hardcore quartet from Bristol headline. Metalcore and pop-punk from ShoeTown, London and MK in support. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

DAN PIGEON + POLAR* + SPACETOAST + LAURA COX
Friday April 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel [basement], Northampton
Lo-fi indie man and his art-rock band headline, alternative rap from Northants, and indie-punk from Leicster. Doors 8pm, suggested donation of £3

STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES + SABOTEURS + WOODS & GILL
Friday April 19th
The Romany, Northampton
Modern alternative rock from Northants, centred around powerful acoustic-based songwriting. Lincoln-based support who bring darkness with alt-rock, post-punk and folk. Opening with Phil Woods and Mark Gill playing a few covers. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

BOWYANG + MAKOBI + KINSHIPS + SOUL GROOVE + SUB CLOWNS + ZIZANY
Friday April 19th
Club 43, Northampton
BowYang are a new local deep bass, house and techno duo, and here they launch their ‘Goes To 11’ EP. Electronica supports from across the NN spectrum, plus a few house DJ sets thrown in too. Doors 9pm, £5 entry [£3 with NN Card]

MUSICIAN’S AGAINST HOMELESSNESS ALLDAYER
Saturday April 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The ‘Pomfret Versus Poverty’ event asks that, instead of charging an entrance fee, patrons bring items they can give to the homeless of Northampton. Many acts play the outside stage and the barn. Expect sets from Grande Quattro, The Blue Foundation, The Maybz, Ciaran Redmond, Jono and the Uke Dealers, Cameron Grace, One Leaf Falls, Wildflower Rogue, Jam Basket, Corinne Lucy, Thrift Street, Miller and Walker, Axis Erazed, and Rogue RubyGarden opens at 1pm for the music

SPRING PARK
Saturday April 20th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Local punk rockers, who formed in June 2014 and play all over this fair isle. Doors 8pm, free entry

ROLLING THUNDER
Saturday April 20th
The Drunken Duck Bar, Kislingbury
Up and coming indie rock band from Northants. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

KRYSTHLA + FROM EDEN TO EXILE + ASHBORN + REAPER-X + POINT OF EXTINCTION
Saturday April 20th
Athletic Club, Rushden
The first event of ‘Metal Mania’, featuring intense heavy metal from Northampton [times three], and similar from Corby [from a band have just released their new album, Rise]. Openers bring their thrash from MK. Doors 5pm, £8 tickets

THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH + THE VENUS FLY TRAP + BABY LUNG
Sunday April 21st
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Back in ShoeTown by popular demand, the Berlin band’s primitive gothic psychedelia can be heard on new, ninth album Montage Images of Lust & Fear. Darkwave icons, who are about to reissue their debut album Mars, are the special guests in support, plus best of the new breed to open. Doors 7.30pm, 

SARPA SALPA + ALFIE TEMPLEMAN + AMONG THE CITIZENS + JEANA
Sunday April 21st
The Roadmender, Northampton
SS return to their second home for a victory lap, after getting Radio 1 ‘BBC Introducing Tune Of The Week’ last month for new single ‘Casanova’. Talented Bedford teenager Templeman had a surprise breakthrough hit with 2018 EP ‘Like An Animal’. Plus you get Peterborough indie, and the Ginger Snaps-produced singer who recently released her debut single ‘The Feelin’. Doors 7pm, £6 tickets

THE TOUCH + ROOM10
Sunday April 21st
The Stitching Pony, Kettering
The rockers return to the Stitch for bank holiday madness, bringing their mates in to support. Music from 9pm, free entry

JACK SHARP + MRS PILGRIMM + JOE WOOLLEY
Monday April 22nd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Time for some folk holiday sounds. The singer and guitarist with successful British psych folk-rock band Wolf People has developed a keen side interest in interpreting folk songs from his home county of Bedfordshire. Mrs P – aka Sophie Williams – is a ShoeTown artist best known for her solo sets that combine cello, voice and looping. Opening up is a singer-songwriter from the Graham/Jansch school. Having recently worked with Bonnie Dobson and Miranda Lee Richards in his band the Lords of Thyme, Woolley returns to the Lamp to air some of his solo repertoire. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

 

 

 

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Live Review: The Barratts, The Covasettes, Fox Chapel, Krankhead at The Roadmender

THE BARRATTS The Roadmender, Northampton April 13th 2019 Regular music scene champions, the well-loved Same Old Kids from ShoeTown with the ShoeName have now grown up quite a bit. Their…

THE BARRATTS
The Roadmender, Northampton
April 13th 2019

Regular music scene champions, the well-loved Same Old Kids from ShoeTown with the ShoeName have now grown up quite a bit. Their maturity into season, travelled musicians wowing crowds with their nifty guitar ditties and exciting live show is established now. A big hometown show in front a few hundred fans feels both rather deserved and gloriously celebratory. It would be amiss to miss it, frankly.

As people who know what’s what they have tonight bought along their besties to join in. The opening set from Krankhead, the rising hip-hop pairing of Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar is sweary and sweaty, and they are absolutely on it. The likes of ‘SNL’ and ‘Sabo’ are party starters, and they will be headliners in their own right if things play out the way New Boots suspect it might.

Fox Chapel are ace tonight. They’ve been away, Lying Low – this is their first show in almost 12 months – but they are still tight as. Rumours abound this might be their last show, and if so then their bouncy post-punk will be sorely missed. Yet they promise from the stage to release some new material soon, so maybe this isn’t the last we have seen of them. Like gluttonous toddlers we collectively remain hopeful for more ‘Ice Cream’.

The Covasettes are four good-looking lads from Manchester with a line in bass-driven ditties. They are a strong match for our headliners, but they are lacking bite. ‘Like You’ and ‘This Feeling’ and ‘Top Drawer’ are indebted to noughties guitar rock and, further back, The Smiths, but the melodies and hooks are a little too polite and predictable, perhaps. A great live show though; their enthusiasm for what they do is unquestionably infectious. Northampton seems to appreciate them, and ultimately here and now that’s all that matters. There is space and time to grow and make their mark, and make New Boots take a second look.

By the time The Barratts come on the party is in full swing. Frontman James Faulkner is resplendent in black cape, feathered hat and tailored cream jacket – the dandy frontman transported in from 1890 that you never knew you needed. He conducts the crowd from start to finish with confidence, which is immediately needed as guitarist Brandon Essom has a broken cable before we’ve even begun. No matter. That the band have only released six of the 15 songs they play over their hour onstage does present them with a significant problem. But winning over a sizeable crowd who don’t know a lot of the material is all in a days’ work apparently, as no one seems to lose interest at any point. This is helped by a constant change in pace: new songs coming thick and fast from different sonic places, but all clearly the work of the same band. From the spiky indie dancefloor numbers to the ballads the public give their love back to every one, and in spades. 

‘Match Of The Day’, from 2016, brings the first round of moshing. But it’s the five song finale, all tunes in the public domain, that feels like one big cup final goal celebration – and deftly recalls all that’s best in British guitar music from the last four decades. ‘Satellites’ has a double chorus that’s heaven sent, all whilst Faulkner dissects society’s woes. New single ‘Lights Out In London’ is the Doherty/Morrissey-esque missive that should see them take big steps forward towards the nation’s heart. They save their jewel in their crown, ‘The Garrison’, to the very end. Not only does it contain a colossal heavy backbeat from the engine room of Will Smith and Evan Bridgstock that’s pummels anyone within earshot into easy submission, it’s exactly the sort of rowdy singalong anthem they seem to excel at.

The five Barratts seem to be having the times of their young lives. Long may it continue.

The Barratts setlist in full:
The Crooked Mile
Marooned
Lift Song
Certain Time Of Night
Name Badge
Smokey Ghosts
Backache
Emotional Machine
Match Of The Day
Self-Inflicted 
Satellites
Lights Out In London
Encore:
IV
Same Old Kids
The Garrison

Words by Phil Moore. Photos by David Jackson

 

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 10th – Apr 16th

FUELED HATE + CATALYST Thursday April 11th The King Billy, Northampton Metal duel, featuring contenders from Corby and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS + BLOOD-VISIONS +…

FUELED HATE + CATALYST
Thursday April 11th
The King Billy, Northampton
Metal duel, featuring contenders from Corby and Milton Keynes. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS + BLOOD-VISIONS + SKIRT
Friday April 12th
The Lab, Northampton
London headliners have a fearsome reputation as a most exciting and volatile live act, the group take their cues from the early DIY punk and post-punk pioneers to keep everything in-house. They take influences from  Crass, Flipper, Wire and The Fall. Support from fellow noise travellers from ShoeTown, plus indie punk from Corby. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

FROM NOWHERE TO NOW HERE
Friday April 12th
The UFO, Northampton
An exhibition of work by Nathan Mark Jones. Opening event with music and verse from Nathan Jones, Sami Stuart E Tite, Justin Porter, Anthony, Duncan Craven, Kenneth J Nash, Jay Kells, The Antipoet and Hubcap. A blend of music and spoken word, intertwined with some DJing. Doors 6pm, free entry

FALLEN MAFIA + LESTWEFORGET + NURSE HOOCH
Friday April 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
With a debut album due this spring, heavy punk/metal North-East headliners will be showcasing tracks in ShoeTown. Support from progressive metallers from Oxford and melodic punks from MK. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

FUN FUN FUNERAL + THE REMI MARTINI QUARTET
Friday April 12th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
French headliners make dense lo-fi pop. New Bletchley band in support, featuring ex-members of Action Beat and The Crease, play heavy synth pop; they sound somewhere between Buddy Holly and Lightning Bolt. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE BARRATTS + THE COVASETTES + FOX CHAPEL + KRANKHEAD
Saturday April 13th
The Roadmender, Northampton
‘Lights Out In London’ single release show for the local indie upstarts. Support from indie Manchester quartet, the exhumed local leg ends Fox Chapel, and the hip-hop duo formerly known as Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

THE KEEPERS + THE SEROTONES + ROLLING THUNDER
Saturday April 13th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The popular local indie-mod group head to the Gari, bringing with them the York-based alt-rockers and a brand new Northants indie-rock outfit to open. Doors 8pm, free entry

LUNAXIS
Saturday April 13th
Spunout, Northampton
Record Store Day 2019 celebrations, with a live set from the local folk-rockers. Shop opens at 8am,  expect them to play around about 2.30pm, and it is free entry

GEORGE BOROWSKI & MORA + KEVIN HEWICK + STEVIE JONES + THE FED SISTERS
Saturday April 13th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranford
Wildfire Sessions present a special seated show. Manchester singer-songwriter Borowski has had four albums released in his own right, and has been produced by the legendary Martin Hannett. Hewick is an English singer-songwriter who was an early member of the Factory Records roster. Today he is known for his recordings on Pink Box Records, an independent label based in Leicester, and his work with Venetian collective Unfolk. Hard-working Jones has been playing live music and entertaining audiences for over 25 years. He set up the live music service Wildfire Sessions in 2011, putting on gigs and open mics across the East Midlands. The Feds are a local guitar/piano duo with great harmonies. There are only 45 seats available. Doors 7pm, £8 tickets

CRYBB
Saturday April 13th
Althorp Coaching Inn
Official launch party for Gary and Kate’s new Northamptonshire inspired folk album Fortune & Folly, taking place at the historic 16th Century pub. Music starts at 6pm, free entry

 

 

 

 

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Record Store Day 2019

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 13th, and Peter Dennis looks at what Northampton has to offer. In comparison to say Milton Keynes and Leicester, here in ShoeTown we are…

Record Store Day returns this Saturday April 13th, and Peter Dennis looks at what Northampton has to offer.

In comparison to say Milton Keynes and Leicester, here in ShoeTown we are lucky to have three independent record shops who will all be participating in Record Store Day. I took a stroll around town to visit the stores.

At the bottom of Gold Street you’ll find Spun Out records. In a nice piece of symmetry Spun Out occupies 57 Gold Street, the premises that previously housed the much loved John Levers record shop. Owner Chris Kent gives a brief history: “We’ve been here over 19 years, and over the years we’ve always sold vinyl. Obviously to some degree we’ll be selling the vinyl what’s in favour. At the moment we’re selling lots of rock, reggae, soul and indie. In the past we sold a lot more dance music, which we still sell plenty of, but at one point that was a massive boom industry. The shop has always been predominantly vinyl with us. There’s plenty of other places that do alright with CDs, but for us it’s always been about the vinyl”.

Chris explains the importance of Record Store Day: “Having seen a slump in the vinyl market from 2007 I’d say it’s been THE godsend, because it’s pointed out to people who have an interest that you still have this resource out there. These independent shops where you can go and get immersed in music rather than pick at it from a distance, this is all about being involved in it. Once that awareness was raised by Record Store Day it gathered momentum and it’s down to the fact that there’s this really exciting day that would give you access to your local record shop; it should be yours. We run it, but in essence we should be proving a service to people who are into music”.

Walk through the Market Square and at 80 Abington Street you’ll find A. Watts & Sons Ltd. Enter the furniture shop and climb two flights of stairs and you’ll find Vinyl Underground. Founded by Aidy Harland primarily as an outlet to sell his beloved Detroit and Chicago imports the business is now 26 years old. Despite the specialised nature of his interests he fully grasps the concept. “Record Store Day, that’s crazy because there’s such a demand for it, we extend the shop and we blitz the shop every year and we have 3 to 400 people coming through here on a Saturday, it’s quite a lot to cope with so we change it up. We have a big sale and we have a lot the Record Store day things, we are an official Record Store Day outlet. We pick and choose, but we have a lot of the releases. There’s a big queue outside at 4am, all that kind of stuff, which is quite strange because a lot of them aren’t our regular customers. But we have a few who do come in all the time and everybody gets quite keen. For me it’s more about filling the demand, because we have Spun Out who are big on Record Store Day. But there are still so many people who come from Milton Keynes – they just don’t have any shops, so Northampton is quite good for representing Record Store Day”.

How does Aidy value Record Store Day? “I’d say for an independent shop selling more rock and indie I would say it’s been a lifeline. For us I’d say it’s been something we have to do. If we didn’t do it wouldn’t be the worst thing, but I love the fact that it supports independent and local businesses. So because of that I really want to get behind it and join in with it. From what I see Record Store Day runs really well. A lot of people come in here who aren’t regular customers just to enjoy the day. That’s what it’s all about for me: people coming in and enjoying it and talking about music, and then obviously the business is great”.

Adjacent to St. John’s Car Park you’ll find Spiral Archive at 4 St. Michael’s Road. Housed in an old print workshop Spiral Archive has an estimated 40,000 items in stock, so you’re sure to find something of interest. The shop is owned by local artist and musician Alex Novak, who opened his shop in 1999 when sales of vinyl was at a low ebb and CD sales were in the ascent. Was it a risky venture? “It’s always been a bit of a niche thing anyway” Novak explains. “I think if you can survive the lowest point you can survive any period. I think if you look at it as a niche thing those people don’t go away. The people who are interested in records will always be there, while other people kind of dip in and out of it. People keep saying vinyl is on the way back, or it’s come back, but the number of new releases. There’s more of them, but they’re more limited: they are runs of 500 or 1,000 and that’s it. The market is not going to be huge anyway”.

More than just a record shop Spiral Archive serves as a local information point. “I take flyers and posters and promote my own and other people’s events, so I’m an information source. It’s connected to local music. I do take in local bands stuff, it doesn’t sell loads but I do take it in. I do advise bands the best way to sell stuff is to play live, that’s your best outlet. I’m not going to sell huge numbers, but I do sell some stuff online as well and if I see a band live I tend to buy a record and get it signed and get some posters to get something slightly different in opposition to what’s already available.”

Spiral Archive will be open from 11am to 4pm and there will be a half price sale on everything. Then, after a hard days recording shopping head on down to The Lamplighter pub where there’ll be a record fair with DJs spinning vinyl ’til 1am.

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Photos: Hands Off Gretel, Wishing Wolf, Deaf Trap, EGO at The Black Prince, Northampton

Barnsley quartet Hands Off Gretel brought their I Want The World album tour to Northampton last Friday [April 5th], and didn’t Northampton enjoy it. Terrific support from Wishing Wolf, Deaf…

Barnsley quartet Hands Off Gretel brought their I Want The World album tour to Northampton last Friday [April 5th], and didn’t Northampton enjoy it. Terrific support from Wishing Wolf, Deaf Trap and EGO too. Here’s pictorial evidence, courtesy of David Jackson

Hands Off Gretel



 

Wishing Wolf

 

Deaf Trap

 

EGO

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EP review: Duncan Bisatt

DUNCAN BISATT CAPTAINS AND KINGS [Massive Rodent Records] Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan…

DUNCAN BISATT
CAPTAINS AND KINGS
[Massive Rodent Records]

Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan is a classically trained guitarist. He is also a member of Northamptonian band Bushpigs, formed from the ashes of 1980s/90s era act Marabar Caves. Duncan is also a singer-songwriter in his own right and has his own solo venture. He has recently returned home from an extended week of musical shenanigans, whilst performing in Marburg, Germany – Northampton’s twinned town – for Manofest Musik Fest.

‘Captains and Kings’ is his latest EP, the title track released off his latest album, Reality and Abstraction. Made and produced in Northampton, the EP consists of four tracks; ‘Captains and Kings’, ‘White Shoes’, ‘My Mistakes’ and ‘Toc’. New Boots asked Duncan about writing this new material. “I write the music first, then I spend months and months agonising over lyrics. I have the music, the structure, perhaps a tune, a hook or a line in my head, but lyric writing and me is a constant battle really. I’m a man of lots of tunes and few words, which is strange as my job is all words. I’m a lawyer during the day. I’m incredibly self-critical. I’m working on something at the moment and I think I’m on set of lyrics number five. I have loads of half written notebooks, lying around in pockets, in bags. It’s just finding the bit you remember writing last year. That’s the tricky bit!”

Title track ‘Captains and Kings’ is of a dream-like, folk sound; a bitter sweet reminiscence. The beautifully shot, minimalist music video that accompanies the single was produced by Tramp D Addy [those dancing guitars, swaying and merging, is a particularly nice touch]. Bisatt’s prog rock influences show through in the melancholic, more visceral sound of ‘My Mistakes’, whilst ‘Toc’ provides something of a musical interlude. Its rhythmic beat replicates a clock ticking. Both demonstrate entrancing layers and panoramic depth.

The upbeat, acoustic rendition of ‘White Shoes’, recorded at Northampton’s legendary small venue The Lab, is a finishing flourish to the EP. “A friend asked me why don’t you write any happy songs, so I wrote a happy song. This is a tale of going to discos in the 1980s”. Despite Duncan’s own self-criticism, ‘White Shoes’ is an impeccably well-written track, drenched with nostalgic references intricately interwoven into the lyrics. A favourite line is “And I found your Tainted Love/Fitted me just like a glove/Almost drowned out by Japan/You hit upon This Charming Man”. See if you can spot them all…

You can catch Duncan performing at various open mic nights and festivals, as well as performing with the Bushpigs at various venues throughout the summer.

Rachel Thomas

‘Captains and Kings’ is released on Duncan’s own label Massive Rodent Records, and is available on all good streaming and download sites

Useful Links:
facebook.com/duncanbisattmusic
duncanbisatt.bandcamp.com

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