Tag: northamptonshire

New Music Friday: The Bighead

Northampton-based The Bighead ply a fine line in smooth old-school reggae with soulful vocals. Frontman Da Costa talks us through the band and their sparkling new single package, featuring lead…

Northampton-based The Bighead ply a fine line in smooth old-school reggae with soulful vocals. Frontman Da Costa talks us through the band and their sparkling new single package, featuring lead single ‘Hangover Cure’.
 
How did the band begin?
The band formed in 2010 with its original lineup. A line-up change in 2015 completely changed the band, whilst retaining a fusion of ska and roots reggae, first wave ska and 2 Tone influences. I originally worked with the Mad Professor in south London as a teenager playing bass.
 
You have a reggae sound with soulful vocals. Who do you feel are your main influences in music?
The main influences, I would say, are Delroy Wilson , The Clash, Black Uhuru, and The Beatles.
 
You released the Outlaw Verses album in 2013, is that your sole album, or is there a whole discography I’m missing?
There’s a second album, from 2016 and on ITunes, called This Is The Bighead.
 
Tell us about this single release, ‘Hangover Cure’.
‘Hangover cure’ is a stand alone single, in a traditional vinyl jukebox hit, influenced by 1965 ska and doo wop simplicity: think Smokey Robinson recording for 2 Tone in 1965. We are the missing gap between The Specials and the best beat. It’s about “boy meets girl and cheats on girl”.
 
What are your live shows like? Any fave towns/venues to play?
Favourite shows are probably Tommyhaus in Berlin, and the Northampton festivals around the county.
 
Do you identity with the Northamptonshire music scene at all?
We stand as unique to the Northampton scene, with most bands playing covers, though we love Kenneth Nash, Johnny Pike & The Red Stars, and Phantom Isle.
 
What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Well the favourite show was the Leicester Barefoot festival…
 
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The Four Tops ‘greatest hits’, 1967, on vinyl
 
What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We are already living the dream after supporting Madness at The County Ground in 2013. Playing a big show in London would be cool and back to the 100 club is our target. Then more vinyl and acoustic dates are our next concern doing the record store tour.
 
‘Hangover Cure’ is out now digitally. A vinyl/cd pack is £10 through Black Circle Records, and at the bands shows. They also play record shop in-stores: Sat 2nd Nov at Black Circle [Leighton Buzzard] and Sat 23rd Nov at Soul Trader [Brixton, London]. More of those to follow too.
 

No Comments on New Music Friday: The Bighead

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 16th – Oct 22nd

CLEM BURKE & BOOTLEG BLONDIE Wednesday October 16th The Roadmender, Northampton A living legend in the house. Blondie drummer joins the band to play the whole of Parallel Lines and…

CLEM BURKE & BOOTLEG BLONDIE
Wednesday October 16th
The Roadmender, Northampton
A living legend in the house. Blondie drummer joins the band to play the whole of Parallel Lines and more. Doors 7.30pm, £18 tickets

INGLORIOUS + LOKI
Thursday October 17th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Hard rock London fivesome: big guitar riffs and soulful vocals a go-go, on the campaign trail promoting their latest album Road To Nowhere, with local rockers in support. Doors 7pm, £15 tickets

THE DEATH ALLEY DRIVERS + JONO & THE UKE DEALERS + CASSINI CIRCLES + KENNETH J NASH + KATIE PATON
Friday October 18th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
A quintet of ShoeTown musical favourites on offer; rock, folk and electronic sounds all served up, and there’s no doubt you need to there for it. Doors 7pm, free entry

LAY IT DOWN
Friday October 18th
The Lab, Northampton
The urban music / spoken word open mic night this month features Smiley, Reality, and loads more. Doors 8pm, free entry

LIFT TOWER PRESENTS
Saturday October 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The second instalment of Lift Tower Presents – seven bands over two stages, plus DJs. Upstairs you have Lift Tower, Big Loss, and Sad Drone. In the basement you can experience Sharkteeth Grinder, Nailbreaker, Brazen Foxes, and Dan Church.

HUE & CRY
Saturday October 19th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Stripped Bitter Suite 30th anniversary show. Brothers Patrick and Gregory Kane formed Hue and Cry in 1983 and the duo made a huge impact in the late 80’s with the albums ‘Seduced and Abandoned’ and ‘Remote’, as well as massive hit singles such as ‘Labour of Love’ – and now have sold in excess of two million records worldwide. Doors 7.30pm, £18 tickets

THE VINCENT VEGA BAND
Saturday October 19th
The Black Prince, Northampton
A night of original music with one of the country’s oldest boy bands. Expect lo-fi widescreen loveliness [think Richard Hawley, XTC, The Wedding Present]. Doors 8pm, free entry

DAN WYLLIE QUARTET, feat. NICO WIDDOWSON
Sunday October 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Contemporary jazz from Shoe Town’s finest. Doors 7pm, free entry
 
THE SELECTER + DJ RHODA DAKAR
Tuesday October 22nd
The Roadmender, Northampton
The one-time Two-Tone troupe head on tour in 2019 to celebrate their 40-year career. Support from DJ Rhoda Dakar. Doors 7pm, £25 tickets
 
JONAH MATRANGA + DAMN CARGO +ROB REEVES
Tuesday October 22nd
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
The former Far and new End Original frontman kicks of the UK leg of his ‘Halfway to a Hundred’ tour in K-Town. “50 Songs For 50 Years” is the theme. Derbyshire alt-rock band and local singer-songwriter in support. Doors 7.30pm, £9 tickets

 

 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 16th – Oct 22nd

New Music Friday: ghostofblu

Northampton-born ghostofblu is making everyone sit up and take notice with his digital hardcore. With the SPECTRE EP now out New Boots had to go find out more behind the…

Northampton-born ghostofblu is making everyone sit up and take notice with his digital hardcore. With the SPECTRE EP now out New Boots had to go find out more behind the enigma.

Can you tell us how/when/why this project started?
I’d played guitar in local bands for about 4/5 years prior to all this and always enjoyed performing live shows. I’m sure it was some time in late 2016 where my best friend Ronan showed me this sick music video he found scrolling through his Facebook one night, which was actually Paris by $uicideboy$. After that we slowly started becoming obsessed with them and were soon to discover the likes of Ghostemane, Pouya, Keith Ape and so so many more artists which was kind of weird for me as I’d never really been that interested in a whole lot of rap music prior to all this.
Admittedly I probably thought it looked cooler than I thought it sounded at the time but that was soon to quickly change. I then started delving into the lyrical content of a lot of these rappers and realised it was more my kind of thing; It wasn’t all about the drugs, money, gangs and whatever else you would stereotype rap to be, which was the point where I felt most inspired. So I started trying to make crappy trap beats on a cracked copy of FL, just experimented with sounds and getting used to hearing my own voice a lot more attempting to rap about anything that was on my mind. Very shortly after I decided to make it into the what became the first phase of this project called “blu boy”.

Was there a “eureka” moment that opened up a door inside of you to be able to do this?
Not exactly. Shortly after doing the rap thing and releasing a few (dead) songs I had the idea of maybe trying to add some screaming on a track or something which happened to be around the time I started talking to a new friend from Las Vegas called “goth” who I believe I met through Soundcloud. We ended up releasing a pretty angry song together called ‘Not That Easy’, which is still on the original blu boy Soundcloud page now. That song got me a little bit of traction thanks to goth, and I think that’s where I ended up getting my first 20 or so followers on Soundcloud. Shortly after that when I renamed to ghostofblu, goth and I went even harder on another collaborative track, I went full throttle with higher pitched screaming and people seemed to love it! I think that was the moment where I thought “I like where this is going and I’m enjoying it. Let’s see what happens.”

You’ve been prolific since 2017. Are the ideas just tumbling out of you?
Thanks to the producers and other artists I’ve made friends with and have been fortunate enough to work with over the past couple of years, I feel inspired more often than not nowadays which was something I struggled with in bands and projects in the past. I don’t release new music as often as I’d like to but there are often plenty of ideas floating around. I’ve recently started learning to plan ahead a lot more which is helping me remain consistent, and maintain a clearer vision of where I want to go next with things.

What’s the general reaction like to your releases? You have a lot of people listening in, I can imagine your social media is lit up all the time, especially as the music feels so personal.
I’m both very lucky and thankful to be such a tiny artist but have such an awesome, dedicated fanbase. As of late I only seem to be releasing one new track each month whereas a lot of friends and other artists are putting out a good few songs a month, sometimes even a week. But the people that listen to me are always patient and appreciate new music when it does happen. I like to spend a lot of my social media time on Instagram because I feel it’s a lot more personal than other platforms, and it’s easier to stay in contact with friends and fans I feel.

Tell us everything about this new EP, SPECTRE. Where do you hook up with all these different producers – do you fileshare back and forth?
So I’d been toying with the idea of an album for about a year at this point, but every time I finished up a song I had a habit of releasing it a soon as possible which to be fair hasn’t gone against me in any way. But I was working on my debut album [which to some of my fans is common knowledge] called Phantom Season, but because I kept releasing tracks I ended up with a few remaining songs that I just couldn’t work out how to perfect. So rather than trickling them out as singles all the time I thought I should at least release a few at the same time as an EP or something, so here we are. SPECTRE is comprised of 5 tracks all with strong meanings to them. From kids with no manners to my Father having Alzheimer’s Disease and how it frustrates me at times. Like I have already mentioned I’m very fortunate to have the people around me that I do. People that want to work with me and reach out to me, often first, which is incredible. I’ve got to know a lot of great people and will continue to work with these producers. How it generally works for me is I’ll end up chatting with somebody on Twitter or Instagram or something and they’ll send me over a .wav file beat to see what I think to a beat, or collection of beats. I’ll then stick that in the production software that I use an record some vocals on top and mix them in and it’s as simple as that really. I will never take full credit for the tracks I’ve released, and I will always preach that producers do in most cases more work than the performer. So I like to share whatever success comes from anything that is released by ghostofblu.

You’ve started on some live shows. What are they like?
Live shows are interesting really, I’ve had great local support and people turn up to my sets who know my songs, know the words, jump about and have a good time which is all I could really ask for. But I’ve noticed and appreciate it’s still a bit alien to some, as I always find myself on rock/metal shows which suits me fine. But as the scene grows I can see more people like myself on these kind of shows. Whatever the weather I just enjoy playing and moving like I think I can dance, and having the freedom to do as I please. I’ve already got some many songs to choose from when it comes to live shows. I’m in the process of branching out, playing a bit further away from Northampton and will be pushing to play overseas come 2020.

Are you part of a scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite acts your wanna give a shout out to?
Sadly not as much as I’d like to be. I’m Northampton born and bred, however I live up in Yorkshire now. I’ll take any opportunity that arises to come down, see my friends and play some music but I suppose I’m not as affiliated as I could be in the N-Town music scene in general. I will always support my friends and bands coming out of our town, but I can’t always show the physical support as much as I’d like to.
I would like to shout out a couple of people actually. I owe a lot to Sharkteeth Grinder, who have put me on most of the shows I’ve played up until now and they are CONSTANTLY on the grind, making some mad music. Tragic are good friends of mine, who again are constantly pushing themselves. Though relatively new, they’ve made a name for themselves around town already. Nailbreaker is pretty much a one band band as well like myself, I’m inspired by his confidence and “no fucks given” attitude – especially when he’s up on stage on his own. Finally my old band/best friends band CROW, who are making moves towards releasing their debut EP and set to play some sick shows this year.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’ve been obsessed with Loathe’s latest release(s) “Gored / New Faces in the Dark” – truly incredible metal songs. Loathe are constantly pushing the boat out with their new music and their imagery/vibe is unmatched by any other band I know. So check those guys out if you haven’t already.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The dream is fairly simple for me. I want to keep pushing everything I’m doing now to a point where I can just make enough to not have to work a full-time job. I know that’s what everybody might want, but I’m confident I can make it work. Like I said I’ll be playing more shows overseas next year, and want to be able to reach more and more people, make more great music and have a fucking blast on the way. For now, I’ll continue to release new songs, work on my album and see what happens. The whole money thing doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t end up working out like that because I understand what a difficult industry music is nowadays. Especially given the fact it’s absolutely monolithic and it’s so easy to fall off at any given moment. The sole purpose of all this is my enjoyment, if I stop enjoying it then that’s where it stops.

SPECTRE is out now via the usual digital platforms

No Comments on New Music Friday: ghostofblu

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 2nd – Oct 8th

LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER + LITTLE BITBOY Wednesday October 2nd The Black Prince, Northampton Live electronic artist who takes his home-made machines on the road to play loud analogue synths…

LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER + LITTLE BITBOY
Wednesday October 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton
Live electronic artist who takes his home-made machines on the road to play loud analogue synths to opened-mouthed audiences. Has made his name with adventures on YouTube with Star Wars Lego, Gameboys, and Furbies. One of those “you need to see it to believe it” type acts. Support from Joshua the Nintendo-abusing ShoeTowner. Doors 7.30pm, £8.50 tickets

RED RUM CLUB + WEIRD MILK + CUSP
Friday October 4th
The Black Prince, Northampton
An indie sextet from Liverpool on their breakthrough year, channelling Tarntino-esque wild western vibes with the help of a solitary trumpet. Their 2019 debut album Matador is a word-of-mouth hit. Support from two MK bands; one that focuses on vocal harmonies, another that’s classic songwriting with crunching guitars. All worthy of your attention. Doors 7.30pm, £8.50 tickets

ED DOWIE + THE NATURE CENTRE + LITTLE BITBOY
Friday October 4th
The Lab, Northampton 
London headliner’s beguiling songs have regularly appeared on BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Brummie’s The Nature Centre plays three-minute pop songs [think Cardiacs, XTC and other pop- psych]. OpeNNer Joshua Ryan creates recognisable tunes using all kinds of blips, blops, samples and gadgets. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

HATTIE HATSTAR + THE LAB COLAB
Saturday October 5th
The Lab, Northampton
Comedy-folk-punk-cabaret star Hattie covers many subjects: sex, drugs, murder, underwear, drink, Armageddon and much more. Support from a collaborative band of Lab’s own DubSka Murphys and Ginhouse Gypsies! Doors 5.30pm, £3.50 entry

IRENE RAE
Saturday October 5th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Following the conker classic event, here comes the Stamford singer-songwriter who combines jazz with country [playing as a duo tonight]. From 8pm, free entry

HANNAH FAULKNER + CRYBB + OAKLEAS RISE
Saturday October 5th
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic goodness from the above selection. From 8.30pm, free entry

THE KING BISCUIT BOYS
Sunday October 6th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Craig [harmonica] and Jonathan [guitar]  are both influenced by the same blues and roots music of the 40’s 50’s and 60’s, and this comes together to influence their sound of country-blues music. From 3pm, free entry

LOKI + BERLYN TRILOGY
Sunday October 6th
The King Billy, Northampton
Northamptonshire hard rock /grunge quartet, plus Wakefield synth-pop/darkwave trio. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

LAY IT DOWN UNI-TY
Monday October 7th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A university-focused night for freshers, musicians, lyricists, spoken word and vocalists. Confirmed so far: Har-Q and L30 Robinson. Doors 7pm, free entry

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Oct 2nd – Oct 8th

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 25th – Oct 1st

THUMPER + DEAF TRAP + JJ MOON Wednesday September 25th The Black Prince, Northampton THUMPER [all capitals] are the band everyone’s talking about in Ireland, delivering bubblegum pop through a…

THUMPER + DEAF TRAP + JJ MOON
Wednesday September 25th
The Black Prince, Northampton
THUMPER [all capitals] are the band everyone’s talking about in Ireland, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows and penchant for howling feedback and pounding rhythm, each show is an exercise in unpredictability. Support from beloved four-piece alternative/indie band from ShoeTown, and new and jazzy indie/alt-rock band from Northampton/MK. Doors 7.30pm, £5.50 tickets

ASPHALT + BADDREAMS + LA FOLIVORA
Wednesday September 25th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Japanese hardcore punks, Brummy post-hardcore, and Northampton synth-grindcore duo. Doors 8pm, free entry

ONE LEAF FALLS + FREAK CITY + TONY MEAD
Friday September 27th
The Lab, Northampton
The local new-for-2019 indie rock quartet headline, an even newer local indie-rock trio in the middle, with the Vincent Vega Band vocalist on a solo tip to open up. Doors 7pm, free entry

ACODA + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + PALMIST
Friday September 27th
The KK Club, Corby
Local anthemic hardcore punk faves make a welcome return to the live fold, with similarly heavy support sounds. Unmissable. Doors 7.30pm, £5 tickets

THEE TELEPATHS + THE VENUS FLY TRAP
Friday September 27th
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Superlative sounds on offer: psych-driven fuzz from KTown, and post-punk electronica from the ShoeTown legends. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

MATTHEW McGHIE + ANDY GRIFFITH+ STEVIE JONES
Friday September 27th
The Red Lion, Broughton
Wildfire Sessions present an Acoustic Showcase, featuring much Midlands talent.

ASHBORN + HELGRIND + CADENCE NOIR + EXPETYA
Saturday September 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Energetic metallers [from Northampton/Birmingham] play their debut album Awakening release show! Support  om London thrash metallers and the goth folk’n’rollers from Nottingham. Opening up are the five-piece death metal ShoeTown band from Northampton. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

THE KEEPERS
Saturday September 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Northampton’s indie/psych quartet, influenced by The Beatles, Small Faces, The Kinks, The Jam, Oasis, The Moons and many more. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE STRAYS + GOGO LOCO
Saturday September 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A unique vintage sound with a gritty, modern edge from your Cheltenham headliners – described as ‘No Doubt meets Imelda May’. Bernie Keith is a big fan we hear. With a Bo Diddley beat and a rockabilly flair the two-piece maraca driven combo of trash rattle ’n’ roll in support are worthy of your time too we suspect [wink wink, nod nod]. Music from 9pm, free entry

BOO HEWERDINE + ODETTE MICHELL
Saturday September 28th
The Core At Corby Cube
Acclaimed Ivor Novello Award-nominated English singer-songwriter Hewerdine comes to Corby for an acoustic session. He is well known for working with Brit Award-winning, former Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader and Chris Difford of Squeeze. Doors 8pm, £11.50 tickets

CAMERON GRACE + TIM JON BROPHY + TOM & SOPHIE
Sunday September 29th
St. Giles Ale House, Northampton
Ni Ni acoustic sessions in the very heart of teyn. From 1pm, free entry

FAMILY OF NOISE
Sunday September 29th
The King Billy, Northampton
Corby’s instrumental post-punk trio of heavy repute do the afternoon thing at the Billy. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

JOE CORKRAM
Sunday September 29th
Castle Ashby Gardens
Northampton singer-songwriter plays as part of “Northamptonshire Day”. 2pm, free entry

TEMPLES
Tuesday October 1st
HMV store, Kettering
Celebrating the release of Hot Motion with an instore performance from KTown pop-psychsters. You need to go into  the store to buy the album [out this Friday] in order to attend. From 5.30pm
 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 25th – Oct 1st

New Music Friday: Katie Malco

Scottish-born, Northampton-based Katie Malco writes confessional music: somewhere between eternal sadness and a hopeful determination, delivered with expert wit. This is ably demonstrated on new her new alt-rocky single ‘Creatures’,…

Scottish-born, Northampton-based Katie Malco writes confessional music: somewhere between eternal sadness and a hopeful determination, delivered with expert wit. This is ably demonstrated on new her new alt-rocky single ‘Creatures’, with a chorus that laments “Lose the battle/And then lose the war”. Floored by its aching quality, New Boots shares it below, plus we went to her in search of more answers.

How do you answer when that vague acquaintance asks what “sort of” music do you make?
“Sad lonely girl having a breakdown kinda vibes”.

Bar a Christmas single, this is your first release in six years. What have you been up to in that time?
I spent a long time writing, scrapping, writing, working, hiding….for a long time I didn’t really think I would ever put anything else out. I lost a lot of confidence at one point, and stopped even playing shows. It’s been weird getting back into it all again. To be honest I sort of surprised myself when I ended up with a load of recorded tracks.

After years in London you’re back in Northampton. How you finding the music world here?
To be honest I haven’t really ventured into the Northampton music world much since moving back. I happened upon a Blood-Visions show one time, and decided to start a little label to help them with their EP. But other than that my knowledge of the current Northants music scene is kind of rubbish. I’m actually playing my first Northampton show in ages soon, with Alessi’s Ark at The Black Prince on 11th October!

‘Creatures’ is a bit of a triumph, isn’t it. What can you tell us about the track?
Oh thanks! I recorded it with my friend Andy Jenkin, who also plays drums on it, and my friend Stephen Davidson from Tellison plays bass on the track too. I wrote a whole bunch of songs when I lived in Peckham and this was one of them. I had a week of not sleeping properly because I had a lot going on at the time, and I just felt like I was failing at life. I didn’t see a way forward.

What’s the last album you bought/streamed?
Black Midi – Schlagenheim

Do you still have the cat?
Yes! She sang backing vox on ‘Creatures’. I think the attention has gone to her head though, I’m trying to keep her grounded.

What’s next for you? Is their an album being worked on?
There is an album, there will be news. But I don’t know when exactly yet. What’s next in the immediate future is just playing a lot of shows hopefully….

Creatures is out now. Katie plays Northampton’s The Black Prince on October 11th alongside Alessi’s Ark, Hana Brooks and Mali Mae.

No Comments on New Music Friday: Katie Malco

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

BETH MUNROE Thursday September 19th The Lab, Northampton Talk by Maja of Queers To The Front Booking about being a trans-woman. Followed by music from the NN indietronica solo artist….

BETH MUNROE
Thursday September 19th
The Lab, Northampton
Talk by Maja of Queers To The Front Booking about being a trans-woman. Followed by music from the NN indietronica solo artist. Doors 8pm, £4 entry [£3 members]

KING PURPLE + CENTURY CITY+ MONARCHS + BABY LUNG
Friday September 20th
The Roadmender Northampton
The Purps are now a quartet with the addition of second guitarist Jacob, and to celebrate the release of latest single ‘Warning Signs’ they play their biggest headline show to date – in the main room of the Roady. Choosing three amazing support acts too means we’re in for a special one. Doors 7pm, and just £5 for a ticket

LAY IT DOWN
Friday September 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Your regular friendly urban music night, featuring the talents of Har-Q, Reality, Blistery, L30 Robinson, Thunder, Infinite Lore, Smiley, Anonymous, and more. Doors 8pm, free entry

FRANCISCO + JOE MILES
Friday September 20th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The Cousin Avi frontman returns to Northampton for a special solo set of sultry Latino soul. A rare show from local bluesy singer-songwriter in support. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

JASMINE BURNS + HUMBLEBEE + CHRIS FOX + WARD & PARKER
Friday September 20th
St Mary the Virgin Church, Stoke Bruerne
An enticing night of roots music from artists of this region [or should we say parish?]. Doors 6.30pm, tickets £10 [from http://www.audiovendor.com or call The Boat Inn on (01604) 862428]

SATAN’S EMPIRE + MODES + CATALYST  + LåGëRSHøP
Friday September 20th
Fiddler’s Elbow, Wellingborough
Scottish NWOBHM band that have recently reformed headline, plus brand new Medway metalcore, a groove metal trio from MK, and the opening entertainment is “foul language shouted over driven, anthemic state-side punk rock riffs”  [also from MK]. Doors 7pm, free entry

ROLLING THUNDER + THE STOKES
Friday September 20th
Towcestrians RFC, Towcester
A couple of local-ish bands to rock your weekend, all in aid of Sponne Schools Uganda. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

THE GREY DOG FESTIVAL
Saturday September 21st
The Roadmender, Northampton
A day of music, workshops and more that puts young people’s mental health centre stage. Lucy Spraggan, The Death Alley Drivers, Roses & Pirates, That Joe Payne, Jamie Lee Harrison, Candidates, Jono & The Uke Dealers, Amii Dawes, Adam Thomas, Tu-Kay & Ryan, Homeless Shakespeare, and Lunaxis is your entertainment. Doors midday, free entry

JEFFREY LEWIS & THE VOLTAGE + BLOOD-VISIONS
Saturday September 21st
The Black Prince, Northampton
The New York “anti-folk” singer-songwriter has become a firm favourite of the Northampton scene. With The Voltage they play scuzzy urban indie-rock-folk, like “a 21st Century mash-up of Sonic Youth, Pete Seeger and R. Crumb”. Their new album Bad Wiring was recorded in Nashville, and will be released November 1 on Moshi Moshi Records. Support from everyone’s favourite local noisy art-punks. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

SULVAIN + TAKE REFUGE + AKILLA
Saturday September 21st
Earl’s Barton WMC
New Northants metallers Sulvain make their debut appearance, with past members of The Darkhorse and Garshkott teaming up with other local musicians. Support from Milton Keynes metallers, and the Cambridge-based melodic death metal band. Doors from 7pm, free entry

HANNAH FAULKNER + CAMERON GRACE + TIM JON BROPHY + LAURA BAKER
Saturday September 21st
The Old Swan, Earl’s Barton
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic night. From 9pm, free entry

CHARLIE DORE WITH JULIAN LITTMAN + JESS ORESTANO
Saturday September 21st
The Sargeant Memorial Hall, Brafield-On-The-Green
Best known for her world wide smash ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’, Dore’s music has led to worldwide critical acclaim. This will be an relaxed evening, with special guest singer songwriter Orestano. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

THE KING BISCUIT BOYS
Saturday September 21st
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Blues-wailin’ duo play their popular afternoon slot. 3pm-6pm, free entry

 

Cover photo by Chloe Milne

 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 18th – Sep 24th

New Music Friday: Zandr

Northampton’s Zandr is 20 year-old producer Alex Howard, who pops up with these fascinating and euphoric chillwave beats, and DJ Shadow-style sonic journeys. Punchy new single ‘Void’ is just out…

Northampton’s Zandr is 20 year-old producer Alex Howard, who pops up with these fascinating and euphoric chillwave beats, and DJ Shadow-style sonic journeys. Punchy new single ‘Void’ is just out and already making people sit up and notice. New Boots has a chat to help joins the dots.

You’re at the university, studying music.
I am just about to top up my recently acquired HND in music production, to the full degree of ‘Popular Music’ by completing the third and final year. I would strongly recommend a course like this to anybody that is after a well-rounded approach to music. What you can learn from the different pathways you choose is eye-opening.

How did you start the Zandr project?
During the time of my two year HND we were encouraged to make music outside of the scheduled sessions to better our skills and begin to make what came naturally to us. I took the full advantage of having my chosen DAW [Logic Pro X] accessible to me at any time, and began to craft my sound and practice all the time . Whilst doing so I decided it was a good idea to choose a name to release music/ produce under. After some research I decided I wanted a two syllable catchy name that was visually recognisable and easy to remember. I had been thinking of shortening my name or making something out of it, but when my mates started jokingly calling me “DJ Xander” which is obviously a play on my full name “Alexander” it just fitted perfectly. To make it stand out more and look dynamic I then changed the spelling to something more out-there and abstract. And that’s where the name originated.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Whenever I’m asked to describe my sound I always struggle to answer because I make quite an array of different styles under the electronic umbrella. I think as far as what I have released: chilled electronic music, with catchy melodies and punchy drops would be a good description. Although I’ve showcased that I can make more hard hitting tracks such as ‘Void’ also. I have so many influences in music, from big producers such as Pharrell Williams and Timbaland, who’s online MasterClass I took earlier this year. To the other end of the spectrum; course-mates and musicians I have as friends that are just starting out like myself. Listening to them starting to find their sounds is inspiring in itself. I feel a standout artist for me is Diplo – his sound is so versatile and he works with so many different artists whilst covering countless styles of music. Something I aspire to do one day for sure.

What was the reaction like to the ‘Cloud 9’ EP earlier this year?
The reaction was surprisingly positive, as I had no clue how people would react to it whatsoever. ‘Cloud 9’ in a nutshell was supposed to be a small collection of feel-good tracks, with euphoric vibes that reflected the project title. Bar the introductory song ‘3AM Brainstorm’ – that was included to create a contrast and set the tone for the songs that followed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of my first proper piece of work, especially as I mix and mastered it all myself as well.

The meaning of the tracks:
‘Epiphany’ – I was originally going to do a course in marketing and advertising after completing A-levels as academically I suppose it’s what I’m interested in, but after reading a life changing book on holiday I literally had an “epiphany” and something told me to follow music. Easily the best decision I ever made.
‘Cloud 9’ – doesn’t really have a deep meaning, and definitely isn’t about anyone in particular. The aim was to make a simple but catchy club-style drop with my chopped up and pitched vocals driving the drop.
‘Nostalgia’ – this was the first electronic track that I ever made after learning the basics of production, and I called it Nostalgia as it’s my oldest track and It’s crazy to think how long ago it was!
‘Higher’ – a track I wanted to have a really cool ambient vibe to it. The simple and relatable lyrics aren’t meant to mean anything in particular, it’s more just to blend into the rest of the song and enhance it slightly. And to my complete surprise, amongst my peers it seems to be the most popular song from the E.P!

Tell us everything about this new release ‘Void’. You must be ecstatic it’s had so many listeners already?
It’s a track I’ve been working on for a while, it’s something I started, but put off finishing until I thought it was just right. The goal was to make a single that had quite a distinct feel to it, and I really wanted to incorporate this into a house song because it’s one of my favourite genres. I feel with making music it’s so important that you love the sound of what your making and that your doing it for yourself before anything, otherwise what’s the point? Although the response of listeners is important to me, I’m making what I want to make, any positive comments are a bonus. I’ve been over the moon with the response to the track, it seems like people are really loving the feel of it which honestly makes me feel amazing.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Do you have many peers you’re in contact with?
I would say I am part of a wider scene in Northampton, having grown up performing in bands as a drummer and building up the amount of people I know through music. Musicians I have met through college that I’ve became friends with have come round to my personal studio to jam or lay down melodies for me, etc. This along with attending local events has all contributed to being a part of the scene ! I feel producing and releasing music helps in itself. As far as peers I’m in contact with, I’ve been lucky enough to be the “resident producer” at a small events company called Yellowbrick, ran by one of my good friends in Nottingham. This means if they need any music for anything promotionally, or they have clients contact them for beats or anything like that – they get sent to me!

Any live shows on the horizon?
Doing live shows is something I want to start getting into, I need to further develop my DJ skills as I’m still relatively new to it all. However this is all in the very near future as I have a couple of small events in the works that will be perfect for me to get started.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I listened to in full was Tyler the Creator’s IGOR. I’m a huge fan of him as an artist as he isn’t afraid to be different and explore innovative production styles, the album was a breath of fresh air.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’ve got quite a lot I want to do, I’m really looking forward to hopefully working with different artists and getting some features after I’ve crafted my sound a bit more. I want to also explore different genres as I produce a lot of experimental stuff and hip-hop as well. Following doing all of the vocals on Cloud 9 I want to really push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things and see what I can come up with, possibly implementing all of this into an E.P within the coming months.

Void is out now to stream and buy on the voidesque internet thingy machine you’re reading this on

No Comments on New Music Friday: Zandr

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

WEIRDOE + SAMUEL LOX + CEEPZ Friday September 13th The Black Prince, Northampton Debut headline show from the Northampton rapper with the mad fast flow, with similarly talented NN supports….

WEIRDOE + SAMUEL LOX + CEEPZ
Friday September 13th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Debut headline show from the Northampton rapper with the mad fast flow, with similarly talented NN supports. Only a few tickets remaining – this one is going to go off. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

WALKING CORPSE + ATROCITY EXHIBIT + BINGE DRINKER + FILTHxCOLLINS + SKULLFUCKED + IRON GRAVE
Friday September 13th 
The Lab, Northampton
Death grind from Gothenburg headline, plus ShoeTown grindcore crust [last show with Matt on drums!], crust ‘n’ roll from London, powerviolence from Nottingham, death grind from Stevenage, and some more local “total crush battle doom” from the returning IG. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

ILL-INFORMED + NEGATIVE FRAME + TRAGIC
Friday September 13th 
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
South-east hardcore/metal/math rock group on top, then London’s raging metallers, plus ShoeTown’s young punk rockers open up. Nice. Doors 7pm, free entry

IVORY YARDSALE + LIFT TOWER + [SANE] + TRAGIC + BLOOD-VISIONS + 72% + NAILBREAKER + LA FOLIVORA
Saturday September 14th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A one day mini-fest held over two stages at the Gari, featuring some of Northampton’s best artistic talents. Highlights are the unexpected return to the game by Ivory Yardsale, and the debut show from the slightly mysterious Lift Tower collective. Doors 3pm, free entry

CAGEWORK + JUNODEF + PIECES
Saturday September 14th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Physical Education Recordings present a night of live music. You get: London indie/hardcore trio, dark-but-melodic Swedes, and incendiary ShoeTown trio with a rare live show. What’s not to like? Doors 8pm, free entry

CANDIDATES
Saturday September 14th
The Coach & Horses, Wellingborough
Retro Beat welcomes MK powerhouse indie rockers, who mix the 90’s scene with a modern rock’n’roll twist. Doors 8pm, free entry

SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday September 14th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
Acoustic singer-songwriter in an afternoon setting. 3pm-6pm, free entry

ROCKIN’ ROADRUNNER
Sunday September 15th
Abington Park Bandstand, Northampton
The 8th annual Rockin’ Roadrunner mini festival. This community event is focused towards people with special needs, their families and carers. Performances from Elvis Tribute, Charles, Hollie May, Show time at the musicals, Performing Room, Dance with a Difference, The Cube Disability, Arts Academy, Encompass Arts, Y-Not Arts, The Autistix, plus loads of other fun and creative things to do. 12pm-5pm

THE BARDIC PICNIC
Sunday September 15th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
The Bard Of Northampton gets chosen for the year. On the outside stage will be live performances from P-HEX, Katie Paton, Kenneth J. Nash, Jono and The Uke Dealers, Taylor Smith, Helen Verrill, Yoshe, Jacob Braithwaite, and The Whistling Dandies. From midday, free entry

THE LURKERS + WHO KILLED NANCY JOHNSON + SPRING PARK + CRASH INDUCTION
Sunday September 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
An afternoon of punk, headlined by original West London punks who were Top Of The Tops regulars. Doors 4pm [finishes at 9pm], £5 entry

 

 

 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Sep 11th – Sep 17th

Album review: Nina Harries

NINA HARRIES Nina Harries [self-released] If you have not already had the good fortune to be acquainted with Nina Harries, let New Boots introduce you. Nina is a British double…

NINA HARRIES
Nina Harries [self-released]

If you have not already had the good fortune to be acquainted with Nina Harries, let New Boots introduce you. Nina is a British double bassist and vocalist hailing from Northampton. She comes from a family of musicians, she trained in western classical music for four years at the Royal College of Music under double bass professor Enno Senft of the London Sinfonietta. In the last two years of her degree at the RCM she began to work as a soloist and band bassist for several acts from the London band scene, namely The Burning Glass, John Fairhurst Trio, Barbarella’s Bang Bang, Symphonica Feat DJ Switch and the London Electronic Orchestra.

At this point Nina also began to discover a love for solo performance, and began to experiment with performing a mix of original and cover songs using only double bass and voice. She fits nicely under the ‘dark folk’ genre, but also brings with her some flavours of rock, trip-hop and EDM. She has a fantastic range – massive respect for hitting those real low notes – and her vocals appear different on every track, whilst still managing to maintain her own ‘Nina style’.

Each perfectly-formed song on Nina Harries has new, fresh influences, when compared to the previous track. You can never be sure where she will go next. The album was recorded with producer and engineer Peter Miles at his studio Middle Farm Studios in Devon, and has an overall feel of the later albums by Nico or more modern styles like music by This Is The Kit.

The album starts with a slow build and absorbs you in with ‘Heavy Doubt’, which does what it says on the tin, perfectly reflecting the feeling of doubt in the mind, but even if this is not your thing do not rest here. There are two stand-out tracks on the album, and the second track ‘Lose Yourself’ is definitely one of them. With its faster-paced rhythm and the way she bends the opening notes on the bass is reminiscent of Mick Karn from Japan. Accompanied with Nina rapping in unison, she is absolutely nailing the experience of being a woman in a male dominated musical genre. It is an immediate ‘add to play list’ moment.

Track three ‘Icarus’ has an eastern vibe and once again has a slow build; at 8 minutes 34 seconds it is the longest track on the album, but is well worth the investment of time. At this point in the album she could have gone anywhere, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. This track captivated me, in the same way The Doors captivated me with The End. It is truly mesmerising, sit back, relax and enjoy. ‘Will; I’m Not’ is a collaboration with the album producer Peter Miles, and sticking to the view that the bass and vocals can do anything and go anywhere, Nina moves into the zone of EDM dance music. Re-enforcing the fact that she has the skills to do what ever she wants, in whatever genre she sees fit.

On ‘O’Lothsome Day’ and ‘Pendle Hill’ her vocals have a slight ASMR quality as the album moves back to her dark folk and gothic rock roots. The second stand-out track is ‘One Hard Task’, an alternative rock track which hooks you in immediately and sounds so perfectly formed. Along with ‘Lose Yourself’ they are the “check out Nina Harries” songs from this album. The final track ‘Int;;Ext;;Int;;Ext;; / Butterfly’ is a beautiful conclusion to the album moving back to the EDM-style and includes the piano, bass and of course the superb ethereal vocals of Nina.

I think it is fair to say that you cannot and should not underestimate this lady, you cannot take her for granted. This album will move you through a rainbow of sounds and is deeply captivating. But just like the butterfly, do not attempt to try to pin her down: she will sit with you, but she cannot be boxed. She is on a mission to explore all the realms available to her musical craft, and to create new ones. She is certainly one to pay attention to.

Lisa Eversden

Nina Harries is out September 13th [order vinyl and CD here]. The album launch show is the same day at Hoxton Hall.

https://www.ninaharries.com

[cover photo by Joe Brown]

 

No Comments on Album review: Nina Harries

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search

error: Content is protected !!