Tag: northamptonshire

New Music Friday: Francisco

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw…

Born in Buenos Aires and brought up in Jimmy’s End in Northampton, Francisco Iannuzzi has spent the last decade being the lead singer of funk-popsters Cousin Avi. Then 2019 saw the release of a series of solo singles, all of which have now combined for an EP, entitled ‘Wild Is…’ New Boots spoke to the main man for the lowdown.

How’s the move to London gone?
London is buzzing. It’s a creative Mecca, but in reality, it’s hard to break the back of it. The fish aren’t just big, they’re huge and they don’t want you or like you. It’s been a hard and lonely few years but I’m getting through that and finding my rhythm.

Why the move to recording/writing/releasing under your own name?
It was time. I had things I wanted to say, lyrically and musically and they weren’t appropriate for Avi, so yeah – it was time.

How would you describe this sound?
The sound is good. The songs are good, but they can always be better. If you mean in terms of feel, I don’t know. I’m really bad at that and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I was listening to a lot of David Ryan Harris when I wrote them and a lot of Natalie Prass and a Tim Atlas when we recorded them, so a kind of ‘soulful pop’ I guess.

How does it differ to your Cousin Avi work?
It’s probably rooted a lot more in a traditional singer-songwriter-R&B-kinda thing than that Avi’s balls out funk-pop. It’s also more in my singing range, where as with Avi it is five brains bringing different melody ideas and saying “I hear this, make it happen…” and I have to make it happen. It’s really really hard actually. Basically: Cousin Avi makes you sweat, whereas Francisco makes you wet…

Tell us everything about this EP.
I wrote three of the four songs – ‘Wild Is The Wind’ is a cover [David Bowie]. They are songs I’ve had for a while, so thematically they feel a bit outdated actually. I wrote them all before I moved to London. I considered never releasing them, but I had to satisfy the mid-20s version of me that was screaming to be remembered.
Ross and Stuart – fellow Avi boys – donated their time and guidance, which was invaluable. They have kind of taught me the craft, so I figured it was wise to have them on board a bit if I could. Obviously Ollie Needham came in on production for this one, his insight and work is what got this done really. We recorded six songs in total; I chose these three first because, frankly, the other three were newer and fresher and better – so I wanted to sit on them. I added ‘Wild is The Wind’ to make it a four-track EP – and it was probably the best decision I could’ve made. It went on to inform the whole aesthetic of the record, really. Either way this was really an experiment  – not so much musically, but artistically. It focused me and I have a lot more clarity about who I am and what I want to be because of it.

How are the live shows going? Is it you and guitar?
Just me and guitar. They’re hard getting people to sit and listen is the hardest thing to achieve in a live setting. I’m lucky I have the years of band experience which has informed me a lot on reading a room and connecting. Mostly all the shows have been really positive and incredibly moving for me on a personal level. The next plan would be getting together with a few more people and seeing how my stuff would come to life in a full band setting.

Whose idea was going on ‘The Voice’ TV show? Is it an experience you’d recommend to others?
It wasn’t anybody’s idea. I was approached by both producers of the X-Factor and The Voice and I said no to both. Then I had the worst three or four months I’ve ever had in my musical life, with friends and industry alike rejecting me for anything and everything: from going for a friendly beer to gigs. And I realised that I had nothing – at least that’s how it felt at the time. I was really really low and at the point of quitting entirely. Then The Voice approached me again and so, in the state I was in, I said yes. I’m yet to really figure out what it was all about for me. Whatever it was didn’t pay off in the end. It goes to show what happens when you let your vanity get the better of you. Hey ho. Lesson learned.
I certainly wouldn’t deter anyone from doing it. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in for and be prepared.

What has been your favourite “Francisco” moment of the past year?
I did a home town show at the Pomfret Arms, for about 60 of my closest friends and family and, well, fans I suppose. It was incredible. I’m very lucky to have people around me; it’s no exaggeration to say they’ve saved my life in many ways.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Bought: Theo Katzman – Modern Johnny sings: songs in the age of vibe

What is your burning desire to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
2020 is Avi, Avi and more Avi. We have so much recorded material. It’s wonderful and it’s time that it see the light of day. I have burning desire to gig more. I really really love playing live. I actually prefer it to recording or producing records. I feel like it’s what I was born to do.

The ‘Wild Is…’ EP is out now from the usual digital playforms


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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 15th – Jan 21st

PHANTOM ISLE + BABY LUNG Friday January 17th The Black Prince, Northampton Neo-psychedelia from London-via-Northampton. Catchy and infectious stadium choruses feature on the long awaited new single ‘I Am Urs’,…

Friday January 17th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Neo-psychedelia from London-via-Northampton. Catchy and infectious stadium choruses feature on the long awaited new single ‘I Am Urs’, the last recording to feature Matt Marchant. Support from the excellent ShoeTown bluesters. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

Saturday January 18th
The Lab, Northampton
The first “Reggae Town” event, bringing up-and-coming reggae-influenced bands to The Lab. Luton’s Easydread combine sounds drawn from a range of influences, from reggae and ska, to soul, punk and rap. They seamlessly blend powerful political imagery with sweet harmonies and heavy grooves to get you thinking as well as skanking. Plus eight-piece ska band from Hinckley bring bass, brass ‘n booze. Free entry

Sunday January 19th
The Carpenters Arms, Irchester
Wildfire Sessions’ acoustic open mic, featuring some serious female singer-songwriting talent. From 4-7pm, free entry




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New Music Friday: Dreadz

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to…

Smooth Northampton Afro-dancehall man Dreadz brings the goodness wherever he goes, and latest single ‘This Wave’ is no different. With momentum building for him New Boots took a moment to get to the man behind the music.

What’s your Northampton story?
My family is actually from Northampton, born and bred; my grandmother [rest her soul] moved here in the 1950’s, she was secretary to former prime minister of Jamaica Alexander Bustamante. My mum lived up here the majority of her younger days, before moving to London where she had my two older sisters and then me , so since I was young I’ve always been in-between London and Northampton. At 14 I moved up to Northampton to live and which is where I reside currently with my girlfriend. I always said to my mum that I wanted to experience the town for myself and so I did. I put on for Northampton so much because of my family being from here and is my second home.

How did you start on this musical journey?
Musics always been in my blood: literally, as my dad was a sound technician and worked with many artists while he was alive, from Toots & The Maytals to Bob Marley & The Wailers to Dennis Brown. His music journey was legendary. My dad passed away when I was three so I don’t remember much of him, but the stories I hear of the man he was is who I aspire to be and that’s brought me onto the musical journey which I embark on today. I always had a love for music, but never really knew what my talent in it was like what would I do. It was when I was 14 when I discovered I could spit a few lyrics having always liked poetry; I used to always go to a Benjamin Zephaniah book when in the library. My friend Eli, our families are very close, he brought me to his uncles studio hussla d, and that’s where it all started.

How would you describe your sound ? Who are your main influences?
I would describe my sound as a Afro Dancehall, pop, rap, R&B style. I’m very versatile in what I do, and can switch up my style at any given moment. It’s hard put me into one category as I can do the majority. My main musical influences…I would say number one is Wretch 32 without a doubt. I could listen to Wretch all day – slick lyricism, different flows, but the bars they’re deep and that’s what always catches me about Wretch. So he definitely influenced me to apply to my work them killer lines that make you think. Vybz Kartel also on the dancehall side for me someone I listen to – just straight raw with it, what can I say his the worldboss, innit. Growing up I listened to a lot of music at family parties; you hear it all and I just stuck with whatever stood out to me. I’m not really fussy when it comes to music as long and I can bop and nod my head I’m nice.

‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’, your 2018 singles, got a lot of traction, which really set you up for what followed. That must have been very satisfying, to get that immediate audience…?
2018 was actually my first year doing music properly in terms of actual music videos. My friend Ridwan who I went school with in Northampton hit me up and said “I’m doing a few music video projects bro like what you saying you want to work on a project together?” And me at the time I was like “well boy I haven’t put out a video before so why not trial it now”, so I sent him a few songs with ‘Magnet’ and ‘Fever’ being amongst that. Those were the two which stood out to him the most. I decided to go with ‘Magnet’ first and that got very good reception; I dropped it on my own channel and the views shot up within the hour. I couldn’t believe it – just goes to show that people will really support you when they know you got talent. ‘Magnet’ is now on 10k views on my own channel, which I’m very proud of due to the fact that in that year I had no YouTube channel. I made it so I could put the video on there to test the waters, and it worked since creating my YouTube channel I am now on over 500 subscribers and just aim to keep getting more. ‘Fever’ was my favourite song all the while then, and when I dropped that I wanted it to be heard so I dropped it on Linkup TV to appeal to a audience different from my own with all my views on my channel being a majority of people I knew mainly. With both them tracks being dropped within a short time span of each other helped grow my social media, also I had new people reaching out to me to tell me I’m good and keep up the work it will pay off. It also opened doors to new opportunities and new collaborations with artists. For people to just love the music I make is enough for me, I don’t need anything else; that alone makes me happy.

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘This Wave’.
My latest single is a vibe I created one day when I was having a smoke – I put the beat on and it came to me. This track just describes how I’m going to take over, hence the words “but you might drown tryna get on this wave” and how I want to grow in life and prosper, but we all know that comes with hard work. “But to be a king got to work like slave” and that’s the seed I’m planting in ‘This Wave’. I got to give a big shouts to the video director Witness his artistry and smooth edit really brought the video to life. Got to give him big props for that the beat producer as well -daniyelbepo who reached out to me through Instagram sent me a few beats and I use one for ‘This Wave’. Eli San: goes without saying never a complain when he mixes and masters my track, perfection always.

You sometimes perform at the Lay It Down nights locally. How is playing live for you, does it teach you more about what you can do artistically?
Yeah I support the Lay It Down movement, I respect what they’re doing so whenever they got an event I’ll come and support, whether that’s in the audience or on the stage. Doing events like that help you build your stage presence and confidence and that’s the main reason I do it, because practice makes perfect. I love interacting with the crowd and making them sing my song back to me; that’s one of the few techniques I’ve picked up since performing live – just making the stage yours. We all have one chance to step up on there and perform, so when you do you have to make sure you leave an imprint on the crowd. Big up the Lay It Down crew for showing me love, also they can shout me whenever the weather.

How do you see the ‘scene’ in Northampton currently? Are we truly building something here?
The scene here in Northampton is amazing, so many talented artists of all ages and being up here for a while I’ve got the chance to see the growth in them too . I would say we’re building a strong musical platform for sure; the only thing we’re lacking right now is the support from outside, and sometimes for one another too. We’re all gonna win, just at different times.

Favourite Dreadz moment of the past year?
I would say is performing at my cousin J Kaz headline show [in London last July]. It was a memorable moment for me, because I was performing to a new crowd and a big one too so the nerves did kick in. But when I got on stage they just drifted. I performed one of my unreleased songs called ‘Moonlight’ and it just went off the feedback was amazing. Out of my many memorable moments last year that’s one of my favourite.

What was the last album you bought or streamed?
Stormzy Heavy Is The Head; a wicked body of work from start to finish.

What is your burning desire for to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
My plans is just to kill it. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m just gonna show you. We have a lot planned.

This Wave is out now on all major platforms

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

RUSSELL HEYWORTH + KEV WILETT Thursday January 9th The Lab, Northampton Local singer-songwriters. Music starts 8.30pm, free entry RISKEE AND THE RIDICULE + VATICAN ROMP + HEADSTONE HORRORS + MATT…

Thursday January 9th
The Lab, Northampton
Local singer-songwriters. Music starts 8.30pm, free entry

Friday January 10th
The Lab, Northampton
‘Punkdown!’ is a series of live music events showcasing the fine array of modern punk, alternative and indie rock music located nationwide. Part one features grime-punk from Kent, experimental punk from Salisbury, fast-paced street punk horror, and psycho-analytical melodic rap. Doors 7pm, free entry

Friday January 10th
Earl’s Barton WMC
Kontra Roots’s very own ‘Cambridge Folk Festival’, featuring the veteran troubadour, a singer-songwriter who writes and performs folk songs flavoured with soul, jazz funk, country and more, plus a singer-songwriter “noted for her conversational style, classy lyrics and crisp, listing vocals”. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

Friday January 10th
The Witch & Sow, Guilsborough
Ni Ni. 8.30pm start, free entry

Saturday January 11th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Bruce Foxton and friends play Setting Sons for this 40th anniversary concert. The critically-acclaimed album reached #4 in the UK and the album became a big commercial success, earning them their first top ten hit single ‘The Eton Rifles’.

Saturday January 11th
Well Cottage House, Daventry
Award-winning singer-songwriter Payne brings his acoustic show, showcasing new music from his debut solo album ‘By Name, By Nature’ ahead of it’s release later this year. He is best known for demonstrating an impressive 5-octave range, plus his work within progressive rock as frontman of The Enid (2011-2016). Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

Saturday January 11th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Wildfire Sessions, an acoustic showcase. 3-6pm, free entry

Sunday January 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Alt-rock night, featuring Oxford based Semper Vera and Bristol based Vicarage on their first UK tour. Plus two NN younglings with high hopes and taller talents. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Photo credit: Cris Watkins

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New Music Friday: DeBe

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his…

DeBe, a moniker that originates from his teenage days as a graffiti artist, was born in Northampton – Kingsthorpe specifically. The unorthodox rapper often plays fast and loose with his sound, incorporating elements of grime, R&B, dubstep and garage. Debut EP ‘The Life Of Reilly’ has just landed, and New Boots went in search of answers.

How/when did you start making music?
I started spitting bars in school and discovered GarageBand in 2008. I just had a lot of ideas in my head for songs that I’d thought I’d try and lay down.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
I’d describe my sound as out the box, unorthodox, left, slightly skits? I had a lot of musical influences from young. I knew the Nas album from back to front, I remember listing to his music on my Walkman CD player. In at the Deep End by Roll Deep had a big influence as well. When I was young I remember my Aunty catching joke at me singing Alicia Keys when I was in the shower, so I guess her too.
My Mum listened to baseline and garage a lot – I wasn’t fixated on DJ EJ, but to this day his tag is still stuck in my head. There’s always been different types of music around me and I appreciate it all, there’s a lot of music that I wouldn’t put in a playlist or vibe to, but when I hear it I know it’s sick. When it came to making music myself I always take pride in making sure I kept things original. Being so critical I guess that’s how I’ve been able to develop my own style.

Do you collaborate with others on the beats, or fly solo?
Early on majority of my music was done by myself, but as I got older my friendship group kind of all chipped in. I’ve been making music for years but I never really put stuff out, as soon as I did I started collaborating a lot more.

Tell us about this EP, ‘The Life of Reilly’.
To start off T.L.O.R is a start of a trilogy – so you heard it here first. There’s a lot of songs on the project that was made a while ago; I’ve got over 100 tucked away. Each track on the EP represents an emotion that I’ve had to deal with whilst grafting to put together the EP. There was a time when I was going back and forth to London everyday, being in the studio till late and having to go back to the ends for work. I was running on like four hours sleep daily. Once I found a team to work with it was our priority to build a catalogue of songs which came over a period of like a year or so. I had a lot of other stuff going on outside of music that effected me in different ways on different days, so going into the booth was like therapy for me.
The EP cover took a good couple of months to think of. I said to my manager that I liked how Giggs done his visuals for his ‘187’ track, which is also produced by Machine Baby, and I wanted to pay homage to NN. We sat down and came up with a concept that ending up taking inspiration from the original King Kong artwork. I’m using the Express Lift Tower as my Empire State Building.
My cousin Meks actually came up with the title for my EP. Reilly is my last name and “The Life of Riley” is a popular saying for someone who has it easy, which is kind of ironic.
Earbuds & Nick French worked on ‘Enough’. Earbuds also did ‘Comatose’ and ‘Front Row’. Sammy Byrne made ‘Nuffin Long’, I made ‘Vamp’ and Baga finished the EP off with ‘Uprising’ – he also chipped in on the mixing and mastering.

The videos are well thought-out and have a punchy vibe that fits the music just right. Do you storyboard these things in depth?
It’s a collaborative effort: everyone will give their ideas and whatever sounds good gets shot, whatever looks good gets edited. It’s the same with the music; I’m just lucky to have a friendship group who have a lot different skills.

It feels like a great time for Northampton rap.
It’s just great to see the whole NN scene thriving, and the hometown getting behind homegrown music.

Any live shows yet?

Favourite DeBe moment of 2019?
There’s been a few. I’d say not long after I put out ‘Keep Da Pound’, which was produced by Machine Baby, someone hit me up saying that I had inspired them and to be honest this is what makes me want to do what I do. If you take time to listen to my music it’s mainly me venting, and kind of reiterating my mantras in art form for your ears.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last project I listened to was Schoolboy Q – Crash Talk.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The plan for the foreseeable future is to be able tour internationally. I’d like to eventually be in a position give people opportunities back in NN too [ones who deserve it anyway].

The Life Of Reilly is out now via the usual platforms



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New Music Friday: Baby Lung ‘Shoetown Blues’ EP

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed…

Today Baby Lung release their first EP, entitled ‘Shoetown Blues’ – five tracks of indie-blues-pop that moves you and improves you. The Northampton band have been talked about in hushed tones all year, and to cap it off a great 2019 with this work is fitting, and should see their star ascend. New Boots editor Phil Moore sat down with Maxx Riley, Mat Day, Harry Dinnage and Matt Willett to talk about the band and EP.

The ShoeTown Blues EP is out now from all the usual digital outlets. Baby Lung play The Black Prince in Northampton tonight, and then again on February 1st as part of Independent Venue Week. Thanks to The Charles Bradlaugh for hosting the filming, and Ryan Johnson for putting it together. 



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The New Boots Year In Review – 2019

It’s been a fantastic 12 months for Northamptonshire’s music scene, with the county in the national and international press more than it maybe ever has been. We’ve had the return…

It’s been a fantastic 12 months for Northamptonshire’s music scene, with the county in the national and international press more than it maybe ever has been. We’ve had the return of Bauhaus who reunited for trio of gigs in LA and who have now announced a London show, slowthai who has been taking over the world, Billy Lockett repping NN on The Late Late Show in the US – all while Temples have been circling the globe again. Amid all this, we’ve had dozens of other musicians playing great shows and releasing inspiring music.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine a year with more musical focus on Northamptonshire than this one. And that’s something to be rightly proud of.

So, without further-ado, here’s the second annual New Boots round up of the last 12-months, bought to you by site founders Phil Moore and David Jackson.
We decided this year to hand this one over to you and 900 of you voted over seven days. We were watching the voting unfold in the background and are hugely grateful to everyone who took part. The lead and top five changed hands several times. Here the top five based on the final count:

1. King Purple ‘Warning Signs’
2. Sarpa Salpa ‘Before It Goes Dark’
3. Kenneth J Nash ‘The Explorer’
4. Krysthla ‘Zero Sum Game’
5. The Barratts ‘Lights Out in London’

In the end it was King Purple who took the top spot with their psychedelic, slow-burning single ‘Warning Signs’. Congratulations guys. We told frontman Callum Connachie and he said: “It feels great to win. We would like to thank every single soul that voted for ‘Warning Signs’, it means a lot. We will be back in 2020 with even bigger and better tunes.”

What did we think? Phil also went for ‘Warning Signs’, with Dave opting for ‘01604Ever’ by Blood Visions.


slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
Krysthla – Worldwide Negative
Thee Telepaths – The Velvet Night
Nina Harries – Nina Harries

Dave: “There’s two albums which stood out for me this year, without doubt clocking up the most hours on Spotify for me were slowthai’s Nothing Great About Britain and Krysthla’s Worldwide Negative. Although some of my favourite slowthai songs are the likes of ‘T N Biscuits’ and ‘Drug Dealer’ [which aren’t really considered proper LP tracks] the record is incredible and absolutely worthy of the critical acclaim it received. There’s obvious comparisons to Mike Skinner but 17 years on from his debut, I think this record stands shoulder to shoulder with it. There’s an excellent mix of grime and punk-influenced music peppered with a great sense of humour and story-telling throughout it.

Phil: “I’ve listened to Nothing Great About Britain a lot and really enjoyed it – it’s totally deserving of the praise. It’s an album which has really redefined a lot of people’s relationship with modern hip-hop and grime and made people think about Northampton in a different way – both positive and negative. Seeing a guy brought up in Lings become this international superstar is just so heart-warming.”

Dave: “Last year we talked about an absence of metal on our lists, and I think Krysthla totally delivered on third record. They took their sound in a few different directions but it’s an album full of brutal riffs and great songs and a reminder of what a great band they are. They deservedly got to open the main stage at Bloodstock Festival this year and I’m sure it was in part down to the strength in this LP.”

Phil: “For sure – you know Krysthla are a band which can stand tall against any band at any festival. One of the albums for me was The Velvet Night by Thee Telepaths. It came out at the beginning of the year and it’s an incredible piece of art really. There’s only three tracks spread out over twelve different ‘parts’, but it takes you on a real krautrock/psychedelic/drone/noise journey. It’s got so much going on and even after several plays I’m still finding something new buried within. Second to meniton is an album, which probably hasn’t really had much impact locally I’m afraid to say, is the self-titled effort by Nina Harries. Her debut album is something just so unique. She plays double bass and sings and she gets her brother and her dad and a couple of friends to play on the album. It’s very haunting and ethereal, just beautiful and really feels very like she’s opened herself up to get the best piece of art she can. I don’t think people here know enough about, and absolutely it’s worth checking out.”

Dave: “I also want to quickly want to mention Hot Motion by Temples. Indie-psych isn’t my ‘go to’, but Temples have rediscovered their guitars on this record and there’s just some really great songs on it.

The Big Dirty

Phil: Here’s two very different ones from me. Firstly, it’s The Big Dirty. The last time I saw them I remembered why they’re now bringing fans to their Northampton shows from all over the country. They’re such a fun and powerful and energetic live act, with the ability to get everybody to hone in on what they’re doing. They’re one of these bands you just can’t take your eyes off. They’re working hard now to get to the next level, they’ve got management for example, and are doing really well going into the new year.”

Dave: “The Big Dirty are just great fun and deservedly were taken by BBC Introducing in Northampton to the BBC’s Maida Vale studios to record a session, and those tracks have recently been aired. They’re just undeniably, unapologetic fun. Great rock – how it’s meant to be. And they look kinda fantastically ridiculous.”

Phil: “If there’s a Trousers of the Year competition, all four of them would win in.”

Dave: “I don’t think they’ve got their own boxer shorts yet, though?”

Phil: “Secondly I must mention George Hammond aka Nailbreaker. It’s “digital hardcore”; he’s manipulating sounds with his laptop and stalks around venues and screams a lot, basically. It’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever see.”

Dave: “He’s joined Sharkteeth Grinder, right? They opened for ACODA in Corby and adding George into Sharkeeth has given that band another dimension, which you didn’t even know they needed. Without a doubt, two of the most exciting bands to watch live, so seeing them sort of combine has been great.


slowthai – LP launch at The Garibaldi Hotel
The New Boots stage at the Northampton Music Festival
Local acts in the Roadmender’s main room

Dave: “This is a simple one, slowthai’s album launch at The Garibaldi. From seeing fans queue up in the morning at Spun Out Records to get a wristband, to Skepta walking in at the end for ‘Inglorious’ – it was amazing. The place was absolutely rammed and it just felt an amazing celebration of the album. One of the hottest gigs ever. Ty spent most the gig aloft a speaker stack, or among the audience. Within minutes he was just down to his pants and socks and the venue was full of family and friends. It just felt a really special occasion. You just get the impression it’s going to be one of those gigs people talk about for years to come and about 10 times the number claim they were at.”

Phil: “Ty – you absolutely smashed that one from all accounts. I wasn’t there [I was working, what a tool!]. I want to talk about two events. The first one is slightly self-congratulatory. The New Boots stage at the Northampton Music Festival was a new thing we did for the first time, and I didn’t know how it was going to go. However I’m pleased to say it went really well, and I’m really grateful to everyone involved and everyone who came. We’re going to have another stage in 2020 it looks like. Things will be slightly different this year, you’ll find out early in the new year. I’d like to think we got to show what original music in Northampton sounds like, and stuck it on a stage.”

Dave: “I don’t think it’s a secret there’s been some criticism of the direction of NMF in recent years with some people thinking it’s not for them. The New Boots stage hopefully reminded people it is and will be in the future. It’s always going to be serving a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be for you.”

Phil: “Also, we have some local bands that are so popular now they can play the main room at the Roadmender. In recent years you’ve had a lot of local bands playing the smaller room and that’s been an “aim”, to be at that level. And then four bands this year took it a step further! Sarpa Salpa, King Purple, Stormbringer and The Barratts all did it, they all played to hundreds of people. The general thing in the music press these days is that guitar bands are not interesting anymore. “No one cares about guitar bands – people only care about hip-hop, singer-songwriters and pop music”. This year showed guitar music can bring big numbers, and long may that ring true.”


Sleaford Mods
Enter Shikari
Red Rum Club

Dave: “The two for me are actually bands who have headlined here before, Enter Shikari and Sleaford Mods – both at the Roadmender. Enter Shikari are always great live and didn’t disappoint. I wasn’t really a big fan of their last album, but I think they’ve evolved amazingly over the years and they’re always such an assault on the senses and amazing to see live. They’re also a band which can play arenas, but open talk about the importance of playing towns like Northampton. Additionally, much like Gary Numan, they’re a band who’ll cram as many lights on stage as possible. Then, the other end of the visual spectrum, we have Sleaford Mods. They released one of my favourite albums this year so to see them come back was great. They feel like a very important band right now.”

Phil: “I’m going to mention three gigs of different sizes. Madness at Franklin’s Gardens – it was incredible to see so many people having a fantastic time and skanking away to great pop hits. Sleaford Mods at the Roadmender again – Eton Alive was such a statement record to lose yourself in. And I must mention Red Rum Club at The Black Prince. That was a superb live show – a six-piece band with trumpet. Loads of energy, great tunes and lovely lads to boot. They played to 1400 people in Liverpool the week before, so to come to play to 150 in Northampton and be really pleased to be here was great. Three gigs of very different sizes – but all great nights out.”



Dave: “It’s difficult to not make this this the New Boots slowthai awards. However, he’s had an amazing year and that’s gotta be recognised. He’s had some iconic moments: watching him in front of so many people at Glastonbury, selling out Brixton Academy, and two tours. He was by far the most entertaining person on the red carpet at the Mercury Music Prize, and he’s always looks like he’s having so much fun. Holding the severed head of Boris Johnson is one of the defining music images of the year.”

Phil: “I love the story that’s being woven with him, and hope we’ll be talking about him for years to come. I agree, it’s been a huge year for slowthai and it’s hard to look beyond him. I’ve seen him three times, he’s been on the front of magazines and newspapers everywhere. Just incredible. I do also want to mention Izzie Gibbs. He had some health issues at the start of the year, and in fact he hasn’t played any shows this year, but what he has done is put out five singles and they’re all banging pieces of work. He’s got an audience now that love him and I think that perhaps in the slipstream of slowthai he could do great things in 2020. I hope he’s got a masterplan. I hope it all comes to fruition for him, he deserves it.”


Billy Lockett

David: “There’s a few to mention here. Ty, again for all the reasons we’ve discussed. We’ve had no one who has had the national and international impact which he has. Then, there’s the return of Bauhaus who have finally hopefully realised they have a legacy to claim.”

Phil: “No-one saw this coming, Peter Murphy had a heart attack in the summer, there was the big tour with David J in 2018, but out of the blue we had those LA shows with all four of Bauhaus. Their last live show was 2006 so it’s been a while, and I don’t think anyone ever expected it to happen again. If you remember how acrimonious the previous reformation was in the end – no one suspected anything else at this point. I’m so glad they’re back on it, even if it is only for a short while.”

Dave: “Billy, on The Late Late Show with James Corden was another huge moment.”

Phil: “If you’re going to take on America, what a great start. He’s moved back to Northampton. The move to London really helped him, but he said it was time to come home. And what has he done? He immediately records four tracks, puts them out and now he’s playing one on James Corden in America to millions! Also, Temples have gone around the world on the ‘Hot Motion’ tour, it’s great to see them back on it.”

Dave: “Temples went away after that second album, wrote a great third album, gold-plated a load of equipment and toured the world. Good work lads.”


Baby Lung
Wishing Wolf
Mali Mae

Dave: “Tragic. I don’t know a lot about them and haven’t managed to see them yet but they’ve released a great debut EP which features the singles ‘Walking’ and ‘Sammy Set His Bed On Fire’. I know they’re young guys but hopefully they’re going to carry on doing good things next year.

Phil: “I’m going to mention three other artists I’m really buzzing for. Baby Lung put a stunning single out at the start of the year, ‘Casualty’, and are about to release the ‘ShoeTown Blues’ EP. They’ve played a bunch of shows locally, and are like nothing else around really. They’re an indie-lounge-jazz thing, with songs to get the pulse racing. It’s good to see them slow everything down a bit, and up the drama. I also want to mention Caliburn. I don’t know a lot about them, but they put this EP out and they have such a ‘pinned against the wall’ sound, we couldn’t ignore them.

Dave: “I’d like to get a mention in for Wishing Wolf. With a lot of bands concentrating on singles and EPs it was great they put out their debut album out, which sounded incredible. It’d be great to see them take that leap forward next year.”

Phil: “Finally from me Mali Mae. She’s a singer songwriter from south Northamptonshire. She’s put an album out called Personal and I was just blown away at how a 20-year-old could write such amazing, affecting songs.
I just think people should keep an eye out on all that’s going on round these parts. Generally I think there’s been a lot of seeds planted this year. We’ve talked about it been very good nationally and internationally, but I hope we all can build on that and help bring some more of these acts up to the next level in 2020.”

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Dec 18th – Jan 7th

FUELED HATE + THE MOJO CITY REBELS + AXIS ERAZED + 521 Thursday December 19th The King Billy, Northampton Rock and metal night, headlined by Corby fivesome. Doors 8pm, free…

Thursday December 19th
The King Billy, Northampton
Rock and metal night, headlined by Corby fivesome. Doors 8pm, free entry 

Friday December 20th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The indie-blues group celebrate their first EP release, ShoeTown Blues, with a show at the Prince. Support from the well-respected, emerging NN jazz singer, and opening will be the teen grunge sensations, whose EP launch show last week was a sell out. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Friday December 20th
The Lab, Northampton
The urban music night hosted by Leon Denton, with plenty of open mic slots should you be interested in bringing your skills. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
“The Greatest Pop Band Of All Time” [their words, not ours] reunite to play their indie hits, with support from the newish alt-rock trio. From 9pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A one hour set of motorin’ dirty psychedelic blues. Support from a new act from Northampton/Leamington Spa. From 9pm, free entry

Friday December 20th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Quality vintage metal from London and Northants, plus a couple of covers bands. From 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Mat brings his unique blend of solo raw n roots blues for a Saturday afternoon. 3pm-6pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Melbourne Arms, Northampton
Live acoustic music from Hannah Faulkner, Celine Ellis, Tim Jon Brophy, and Cameron Grace. From 8.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 21st
The Stitching Pony, Kettering
The local classic rockers bring the party, big stylee, for Christmas. From 8.30pm, free entry

Sunday December 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Sunday blues vibes with added jazz inflections, gospel power and field hollers. Also an abundance of furious finger-picked guitar. 3pm-5pm, free entry

Tuesday December 24th
The Olde England, Wellingborough
A Christmas Eve acoustic extravaganza. From 4pm, free entry

Tuesday December 24th
Bar Encore, Towcester
Ni Ni acoustic session. 7.30pm to 9pm, free entry

Friday December 27th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Sarpa return to The Roadmender to celebrate the release of their debut EP “Say Something” on January 3rd. Support from London singer-songwriter, ShoeTown’s bluesy indie quartet, and the rockin’ hip-hop duo. Doors 7pm, £6 tickets

Saturday December 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Sick metal dudes The Darkhorse have organised a big end of year blast out. Bands from Northampton, Corby, and MK feature. Doors 7pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Bedford’s incendiary brand of noir-country trash-R&R – think Allen Ginsberg meets Link Ray. From 8pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The Last Gang In Town will be delivering a high octane set, with a touch of funk, a touch of punk and a LOT of unadulterated Dealerism. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Saturday December 28th
Steel Park, Corby
The promoters know as Yuk have a new home for their nights. Expect absrasive and melodic indie rock and psych from these three NN talents. Essential! Doors 9pm, £5 tickets

Saturday December 28th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Northampton’s unmissable live band, and a hometown show for Karl. Expect a mashup of ska, punk & grime with a hip-hop nod to The Clash, The Specials & Mike Skinner. Imperial Leisure sound system. Free entry

Sunday December 29th
The Talisman, Corby
Coalville rockers and fellow Midlands punks support the Sex Pistols Experience. Doors 7.30pm, £11.50 tickets

Monday December 30th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
End of year exhibition to end them all. Six hardcore/punk/trap/extreme noise acts playing short sets. From 6pm, free entry

Tuesday December 31st
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton 
The Northampton hardcore outfit ended the year on the high with an EP to be proud of, and a t-shirt everyone is talking about. They say goodnight to 2019 in the basement of the Gari. Skank and Fanny Pack DJ upstairs. From 8pm, free entry


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New Music Friday: Tragic

Tragic are three uncompromising and worldly teenagers. Their grunge-punk self-titled debut EP is brimming with life, and everyone who has heard/seen them so far immediately joins the fan club. There’s…

Tragic are three uncompromising and worldly teenagers. Their grunge-punk self-titled debut EP is brimming with life, and everyone who has heard/seen them so far immediately joins the fan club. There’s simply no denying they’re here to shake things up. New Boots speaks to singer/guitarist Cameron Godfrey about how we got here.

How did you guys get together?
Me and Lewis were bored of all the music we were listening to and playing at the time, and then we found the culture of punk and we found it as a convenient release from all the stresses of life. A way to let out what we are thinking and feeling without words; leaving it all behind us so we could have a happier day. Then when Will joined the band and we played our first gig at the Garibaldi Hotel we realised we can use that feeling of release and share it with everyone who listens and comes to see us live. And that became what we strive to do with everything to this day.

How would you describe your sound?
Post-punk/90s grunge. We love bands such as Nirvana, Idles, Metz, Wire, Joy Division and Surf Curse, but we’re also big fans of Chicago and Portishead.

What was the reaction like to the ‘Walking’ single, and the video too? We saw quite a lot of video shares last month…
We were massively surprised by about the amount of support we were getting from it, and it made us feel like we were part of something so much bigger than three teens jamming in my garage.

Tell us about this self-titled EP.
This EP is our first EP, showing our earlier work when the band started, as we recorded it soon after. It’s a raw representation of what we think is pulling people down in their lives, such as toxic media. We our very proud of what we have accomplished with this EP, and are ready to show everyone what else we can do. It was recorded with Jay Russell at Parlour Studios, who did an amazing job and was so easy to work with and may be one of the nicest people I know.

You like to get out there and play live as often. What’s makes for a good Tragic live show?
A good show for me is when were all looking at each other at the end drenched in sweat, tired as fuck and knowing that we enjoyed ourselves, knowing we have accomplished something. It doesn’t matter to us what the audience thinks of us; the only thing that matters to me is knowing that we have played the best we can – and we just hope that they have as much fun as we do.

Any favourite bands to play with?
Blood-Visions is way up at the top of our list of favourite bands to play with, but we also fucking love playing with Nailbreaker – he’s such an easy person to work with, and is such a lovely guy.

What has been your favourite band moment of 2019?
At the last Garibaldi Hotel show in November, when everyone sang back the lyrics to ‘Walking’. It was the most surreal experience of my life.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Sessions (live) by Pond

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Our plans are to spread the word, and keep releasing and making music because it’s what we love to do and it’s a beautiful thing when you have the freedom to do this. With all the technology we have we will be making music no matter how much money we have.

The Tragic EP is out now via the usual digital platforms. Tonight [Dec 13th] they play The Lab with Skirt and Ex-Pets.

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

DEADWOOD + THE BLOODY RACKET Thursday December 12th The Lab, Northampton Electro blues duo from France have earned legendary status on the European underground festival scene with their wild shows…

Thursday December 12th
The Lab, Northampton
Electro blues duo from France have earned legendary status on the European underground festival scene with their wild shows and demonic sound. Support from new synthy-noise outfit. Doors 7pm, £4 entry

Thursday December 12th
The King Billy, Northampton
Spanish female-fronted band which plays a melodic death metal base, with some nu-metal and metalcore influences
Support from Leicestershire hardcore punks. From 8.30pm, free entry

Friday December 13th
The Lab, Northampton
Tragic are a punkish trio from Northampton, giving the complacent a kick in the eye. Their first, self-titled EP is out tonight, featuring the songs ‘Walking’, ‘Sloppy Kiss’, ‘Sammy Set His Bed On Fire’ and ‘Dirty Glitter’. Support from Corby’s punk-psych trio, and ShoeTown’s blitzkreig noisecore lads. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £3.50

Friday December 13th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Melodic death metal from Cardiff, thrash metal from Newcastle, and death metal from Northampton. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

Saturday December 14th
The Roadmender, Northampton
“Are We There Yet?” 40th Anniversary Tour. One of the UK’s finest Rhythm & Blues Bands, formed in 1979, they moving from selling out the Marquee to selling out the Hammersmith Odeon. Sussex singer-songwriter in support. Doors 7pm, £17.50 tickets

Saturday December 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Ramshackle rock and roll and post punk/synths [both from London], plus Northants songwriter and band providing snaking lo-fi music with groove. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday December 14th
Athletic Club, Rushden
A night of pop-punk and alt-rock, featuring bands from Southampton, Loughborough, Northampton, and Kettering. Doors 5pm, £5 entry

Saturday December 14th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
In the afternoon get beautiful harmonies from the duo, and proggy folk in the evening from the local heroes. 3-6pm for Humblebee, 9pm for Abrahams. Free entry

Saturday December 14th
The Duke of Wellington, Stanwick
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic showcase. From 9pm, free entry






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