Scarlet. brought their UK tour to a close at The Lab in Northampton on Saturday night. They were joined by Northampton’s Sarpa Salpa and Presley Johnson.
RELIGIOUS OVERDOSE Glass Hymnbook (1980-1982) (Glass Redux) This retrospective compilation is very early post-punk, the Northampton band having formed in 1979, the year in which the very notion of post-punk…
Glass Hymnbook (1980-1982) (Glass Redux)
This retrospective compilation is very early post-punk, the Northampton band having formed in 1979, the year in which the very notion of post-punk (or “new musick” as it was first coined) was first being talked about, and its ideas being explored. Guitarist Richard Formby would move onto work on In Embrace, Spectrum, The Jazz Butcher and more, before becoming a studio producer. Vocalist Alex Novak would move onto The Tempest, Attrition and his long-term project Venus Fly Trap. But there and then they were experimenters in noise and emotion, taking on board the contemporaneous sounds of PIL, Joy Division, fellow midlanders Bauhaus et. al – alongside the psychedelic kraut bands (primarily Can and Neu one can presume).
The heady mix saw strange, often bleak, gothic lo-fi abstraction poured forth from the studio. Over three singles and a compilation track they briefly burned strong before the individuals moved onto other, equally-interesting projects. John Peel supported the trailblazing Relgious Overdose debut 45: the drum machine-heavy, hypnotic dirge of ‘25 Minutes’, which came backed with the industrial fuzz of ‘Control Addicts’. The second single ‘I Said Go’ bought the kraut influence to the fore in the unsettling 5/4 rhythms and complex vocal arrangements. It could have been a hit, in a certain light. ‘Alien To You’ continued the serious ambience of the earlier single, with some avant-garde, Vini Reilly-esque spiky guitar lines alongside Novak’s vocal in-and-out flights of fancy. Also from 1981 came the synth-led new wave of ‘Blow The Back Off It’, which appeared on a Glass Records compilation – and was good enough/should have been a single itself. ‘The Girl With The Disappearing Head (I’ve Got To Adjust To It)’ was the final A-side from 1982, the band now confident enough to be putting out 7-minute songs of jittery punk-funk that holds it’s head up well against their competition of the time. New drummer Pete Brownjohn does some striking patterns throughout.
It’s their final B-side, ‘In This Century’, which cements their legacy though. After almost two minutes of abstract noise (drum machine, triangle, violin, real world sounds) the songs kicks in with their most affecting song; a hypnotic, funereal off-beat jangle that would not have sounded out of place on Closer. There are four bonus tracks to round up this release, of which the ten minute demo version of ‘In This Century’ is the most exciting revelation. ‘Hazaal’ and ‘Talk Talk’ are unreleased recordings that stand up in comparison to the released songs, and only suffer a little for the demo quality of the recordings.
It all builds up to an impressive work of a band who freely admit they were making it all up as they went along. Bold, experimental sounds from a Northants past that can be treasured by all in this excellent compilation. Make sure you pore over the visuals in the CD case too – they create another world of their own.
Glass Hymnbook (1980-1982) is out now
Hotly-tipped north-west quartet Scarlet are currently on a UK tour and finish their run at The Lab Northampton on Saturday October 14th. New Boots speaks to them about alt-rock, feminism and getting to America. New…
Hotly-tipped north-west quartet Scarlet are currently on a UK tour and finish their run at The Lab Northampton on Saturday October 14th. New Boots speaks to them about alt-rock, feminism and getting to America.
New Boots: For the uninitiated could you let us know a bit of background about who are you as people and how you formed?
Jessie: We are SCARLET, an unsigned DIY band that sounds like if Nirvana, Blondie and The Pixies had a band baby. I’m Jessie, the singer and guitarist, Adam is guitar man, Jake is our drummer and we have a bassist called G.
Adam – We’re a bunch of northerners dotted around Manchester Liverpool and St Helens who are all obsessed with writing and performing live music. Me and Jessie got things going through out our time at Chester uni and eventually we got a band together who could all meet up and rehearse in Liverpool and we’ve kept our rehearsal space there ever since!
NB: How would you describe your sound? It’s pretty anthemic to our ears.
Jake: To me our sound is pretty unique. I feel like we’ve taken the late grunge, alt rock sound from the 90’s (think the Pixies) and really modernised it. We have that same energy and riff driven sound, but with an intelligence and level of sophistication that feels fresh and modern, not just a throwback.
NB: Jessie, you recently spoke out on the difficult experiences of being a female in the music business. Can you elaborate some more for those that didn’t see the article.
Yeah, I wrote a piece for Alternative Press magazine along with some other brilliant girls, about our experience in the music industry surrounding sexism. We literally spoke about the facts, things that have actually happened to us at shows and how we are treated in comparison to how men are treated. The comments on the article pretty much backed up what we were all talking about. Angry men calling us all kinds of names and pigeon-holing us into a criteria that they think fits a woman that has the nerve to talk about her experiences. I was shocked at the response to be fair. The reaction to the word ‘Feminist’ is often a defensive/aggressive one. “Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” (Nicole Kidman said that). I never think of myself as different to the boys. I forget I have boobs most of the time. It would be great if
everyone could forget that I have bobs.
NB: What was the last album you bought on vinyl? What was the last thing you downloaded?
Adam: Last album I bought was DAMN by Kendrick Lamar (the GOD)
Jessie: The last album I bought…If were telling the truth on this one, it was Little Mix – haha – them girls can sing! I love how fun they are. But I’m into all kinds of music, the last vinyl album I bought was Enter Shikari’s new one on pre order
Jake: I’ve gotten quite into my vinyl purchases recently. The last albums I bought were Currents by Tame Impala and Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave. Last album I downloaded was More Life by Drake. I love hip hop.
NB: What are your main influences/interests outside the world of music?
Jessie – I’m an animal nerd. I think animals are amazing. I love watching films, I got so into Kick Ass 2 that I literally forgot to breathe and almost passed out, haha. Films draw me in massively, I throw all my emotions into films. I am also really into science… like, specifically the anatomy of the voice… I’ve only recently got into it and its the best thing to geek out over.
Jake – I love reading: I’m a big ol’ nerd when it comes to fantasy books and stuff. I think I’ve read Lord of the Rings about three times, so that gives you an idea! I also love quirky independent films and tend to like the low-budget, coming-of-age type stuff. My biggest soft spot is American comedy shows though, I can’t get enough. Shows like Rick and Morty, Archer, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Bojack Horseman are just brilliant.
NB: What can folk expect from your live show?
Jessie: Sweat… and uncontrollable mashing, haha!
Jake: Expect loads and loads of energy! Our live performances go down really well as we put our blood, sweat and tears into every song.
NB: There’s a lot of great new guitar music around. Who is your ‘tip for the top’?
Jake: There’s a great band who we played with in Blackpool called Seegulls, they’re really great and we loved playing with them.
Adam:- I tip Purple Merlin from Stockport to have a great year.
Jessie: Seegulls all the way, their live energy is something else. I have no idea how they aren’t massive yet. There’s a few incredible bands about right now: Occoeur, Witch Fever, and Seegulls are my faves.
NB: What is your burning desire for the band to do next? What plans do you have for 2018?
Jessie: I want to keep building a team around us. And I want to go to America and get on all the festivals next year. A handful isn’t enough, I want to do them ALL.
Jake: for me I want to get an EP or a single recorded. Promote that. The next year or so will be huge for this band. I can feel it. Something big is coming, I can feel it in my bones!
After more than two years, from humble support act with flare to headlining a new local festival, the alt-pop four-piece Flyte return to Northampton with an exclusive run through of…
After more than two years, from humble support act with flare to headlining a new local festival, the alt-pop four-piece Flyte return to Northampton with an exclusive run through of their upcoming debut album. Back in early 2015 Flyte supported folk artist Lucy Rose at a sold-out Roadmender gig, leaving their first impression on the town…and it was a good one.
Since then they have only become tighter as a band and more thought-provoking with their lyrics, and it shows in their set here at Garden Open Mike 2017.
Opening their set with the sharp oscillating guitar rhythm from lead vocalist Will Taylor on track ‘Echoes’ they instantly command the swinging shoulders of the crowd.
Like the track suggests the distorted guitar reverb and sublime four-part harmonies bounce off the stone walls that surround the BP garden, allowing the music to envelop the audience.
Track after track, Flyte’s faultless set pulls the crowd closer to the stage. The most popular tracks of the night appear to be their new single ‘Cathy Come Home’ with its ever-so-catchy chorus drop, as well as their final two tracks ‘Faithless’ and a stripped-back acoustic version of one of their older tracks ‘Light Me Up’.
On the final song sky lanterns are fittingly let off into the night. Well some of them were: a comical “fuck” comes from Taylor’s microphone as one lantern floats just above the stage and briefly nests in a tree behind whilst the band kicked off their final song.
A bit of final commotion to a unique experience – and New Boots can’t think of anyone we would like more to round off a great day and night of music.
Tonight Flyte are a truly mesmerising headline, and great things must follow their debut albumThe Loved Ones, released later this week.
Former Catfish and The Bottlemen guitarist/song-writer Billy Bibby brought his new band to Northampton’s Charles Bradlaugh last weekend, and he didn’t disappoint. Playing recent singles including ‘Are You Ready?’, ‘Substitute’, ‘Always Something’,…
Former Catfish and The Bottlemen guitarist/song-writer Billy Bibby brought his new band to Northampton’s Charles Bradlaugh last weekend, and he didn’t disappoint.
Playing recent singles including ‘Are You Ready?’, ‘Substitute’, ‘Always Something’, and new one ‘Hamburg’ his band are a tour de force of good time guitar rock’n’roll.
The support wasn’t too shabby neither, with locals The Barratts and Kettering’s Monarchs up to their usual high standard.
If you are going to go out midweek in Northampton and get a good gig in you then chances are it’s going to be hosted by either The Roadmender [expensive…
Served up are a twin serving of Brighton, sandwiched between a more immediate ensemble in the shape of Blood-Visions. New Boots had been led to believe the locals were one of Northampton’s finest. That report, it unfolds, is pretty bang on the money. The quintet [4x guy, 1x gal] oscillate between hardcore punk and pop-punk/emo, and it is not immediately clear whether they are a “message band” [in the time-honoured tradition of Black Flag, Fugazi, etc.], or simply in it for shits and giggles [as they’re named after a Jay Reatard album let us assume the latter]. Regardless of intent the performance is carried to another level by the ferocious-yet-witty presence of frontman Joss. The songs lock into a simple riff-based groove and batter you into submission. If you like your music literally in your face you’ll find plenty to love with these visions.
Before that though the evening opens with The New Tusk, the Brighton trio that look quite like Husker Du and Soundgarden. Their sound is lot more indie though, with Cribs-style jittery guitar patterns sprinkled liberally throughout. Doomy bass lines propel the whole thing forward, and you can appreciate the live arena is their natural domain. It’s imperative to nod your head on this journey their on. It’s a solid rather than world beating start to the evening, and do definitely keep an eye on the name for future releases as they have all the classic makings there.
Headliners Birdskulls – Jack [guitar and vocals], James [normally/formerly Rory, bass] and Sam [drums] – are our second Brighton band tonight. With one solid album under their belts tonight they share their Lemonheads/Nirvana-indebted grunge pop with the uninitiated, and the audience and New Boots are ever so pleased they did, for they got it going on, as ably demonstrated on new song ‘Over It‘. There’s a self-titled EP released this autumn via Art Is Hard Records [and recorded with Theo Verney, no less]. Do check it out when it drops.