Tag: northants

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 25th – May 1st 2018

GENDER ROLES + 72% + DOS PLUTO GANG Wednesday April 25th The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton Brighton-based alt-rock three-piece Gender Roles have received support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Daniel…

GENDER ROLES + 72% + DOS PLUTO GANG
Wednesday April 25th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Brighton-based alt-rock three-piece Gender Roles have received support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Daniel P Carter for singles ‘Plastic’ and ‘About Her’ as well as heading out on a full UK tour with Jamie Lenman. This UK April headline tour coincides with the release of second EP ‘Lazer Rush’. Support comes from local instrumental noise trio 72% and blues country rock chaos outfit Dos Pluto Gang. Doors 7pm, free entry

NUMB + BROKEN EMPIRE + ANDY VAN GARRETT
Wednesday April 25th
The King Billy Rock Bar, Northampton
Local fierce hard-driving rockers continue to promote their self-title 2017 debut album, with Oxford/Towcester metallers in support. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

FOXE + FOX CHAPEL
Thursday April 26th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Headliners are fab Guildford itchy-indie-popsters who bagged recent supports with The Magic Gang and Rat Boy. Support from the reverb-loving funky post-punk NN faves. Is the name thing a co-incidence..? Doors 9pm, free entry

KRISSY MATTHEWS
Thursday April 26th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Following a run of shows in Italy, Oxford-based blues rocker Matthews and band play in the centre of ShoeTown for your pleasure. Doors 9pm, free entry

STORMBRINGER + LILITH & THE KNIGHT + OVER THE INFLUENCE + WE ARE GIANTS
Friday April 27th
The Roadmender, Northampton
ShoeCounty metallers who go from strength to strength, with a trio of equalling hard-hitting combos providing support. Check ticket availability before attending, this might be sold out. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

UNITRA + REAPER + KHASIA
Friday April 27th
The White Hart, Corby
The final Rocked Up Hootenanny crowd vote heat sees performances from Kettering NWOBHM, Corby thrash metallers, and MK grungers. You decide who goes through to the final! Doors 8pm, free entry

EMPYRE + THE TOUCH
Friday April 27th
The Red Lion, Brackley
Chest-beating intense Midlands rock and hard-working Kettering 80-style rockers in tow. Brackley has never experienced such noise before this. Doors 7pm, free entry

STILL REMAINS + THE DARKHORSE + SHADOW OF ACOLYTE + FOSTAIR
Friday April 27th
The Red Lion, Raunds
A night of local metal and hard rock in a pub that probably won’t know what hit it. So you best go. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

SARPA SALPA + CENTURY CITY + NAKED NEXT DOOR
Saturday April 28th
The Roadmender, Northampton
After selling out the Underground room back in October the SS boys are back to do the same again. Latest single ‘She Never Lies’ wowed everyone when it dropped back in November. NB hears there’s a stack of new tunes going to be previewed tonight too! Check ticket availability before attending, this might be sold out. Doors 7.30pm, £6 tickets

IVORY WAVE + SKIRT + GARDEN
Saturday April 28th
The White Hart, Corby
Rapidly becoming renowned for their contagious acid house and dance-style tunes, Birmingham five-piece Ivory Wave are carving out their own indie, house-style, as heard on current single ‘Cool Kids’. Fans of The Twang and Happy Mondays will be licking their lips in anticipation. Super-duper support too, in the form of Corby indie-punk and ShoeTown alt-rock. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

RISKEE & THE RIDICULE + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS + MILLE MANDERS & THE SHUTUP
Saturday April 28th
The Lab, Northampton
Celebrating their album Blame Culture plus the latest EP ‘They Need Us To Believe’, Kent’s R&TR bring the grime punk, whilst KP and his crew provide the skarry-eyed rap-rock. Londoner MM opens with her crossover acoustic rap. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

MARK MORRIS [THE BLUETONES]
Saturday April 28th
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
The lead singer of ’90s Britpop band The Bluetones returns to Northampton to perform a solo set of old and new material. Doors 8pm, £10 tickets

GINGER SNAPS + FOX CHAPEL
Sunday April 29th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Continuing his flair for off-kilter indie pop, Northampton’s Jay Brook and co is a British amalgamation of sounds inspired by a brain racked by Beastie Boys, Beck & De La Soul. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

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New Music Friday: The Big Dirty

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James…

Northampton’s hard rocking quartet The Big Dirty are on the comeback trail, and celebrate this with new tracks ‘Safeword’ and ‘Queen Of Hearts’. New Boots catches up with bassist James Cutler.

How/when/why did you guys get together?
We have been in bands together in some form for the past 15 years! Dave and Chris were played together at school/college and myself and James have been in a few bands since the age of 15. We gave it a rest for a few years until we started to get the itch for the rock n roll lifestyle again. So we started up The Big Dirty! We called on Dave to play the drums as our previous guitarist had played with him before and couched for his abilities. It was only this year that Chris joined as our new guitarist. Chris composed the score for the Rhythm Of My Drum music video and we have been working with him on an up and coming collaboration project with local rapper Tony Ceasar. We instantly clicked and haven’t looked back.

How would you describe your sound?
We like to say it’s Sex Rock! we all have massively different influences which we like to think gives us a fresh sound! We like to sing about all things sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

Who are your main influences?
We all have a wide range of influences such as He is Legend, Underoath, Pink Floyd, Matt Corby, Emery, Breathe Caroline, Buck Cherry, Pendulum, Led Zep, Dead Sara, Alter Bridge, Ozzy, Dream Theatre, The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Bloc Party & The Libertines.

Tell us about the new songs
‘Safeword’ is the first track we have written with new guitarist Chris. In our first practice he showed us the riff and two hours later we had the track! Everything we’ve written has just felt natural and fun which we think shows in the music. ‘Safeword’ is a good example of how our sound has changed and what to expect.

We are releasing ‘Queen of Hearts’ this Monday so make sure you pop in and check it out.

What are your live shows like? They look pretty wild from some of the footage we’ve seen…
For us music is about the live show! It’s no good having a great energetic track then standing there like lemons while playing it live. Nothing is planned, we just get up on stage and whatever happens happens! Things do get pretty wild!

What has been your favourite band moment?
This is a tough one! Being on tour with Synergy Protocol from Denmark was an amazing experience, it showed us that being in a band can be hard work and we loved it! All our live shows are our favourite moments, it’s why we do it! We have amazing loyal fans and watching them go nuts is the best!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
JC…Underoath ‘Erase Me’
Chris…Deadmau5 ‘Wheres The Drop?’
James…Marshmellow’
Dave…Justin Bieber ‘Baby’

What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
We have a lot of great shit going on already this year! We are working on a colab track with Northampton rapper Tony Ceasar and Giant Dwarf, who directed and filmed our Rhythm Of My Drum music video for us. Keep an eye out for this cause its different than anything else you’ve heard! We have a new booking agent so loads of shows to come and we’re currently working on a new EP which will hopefully be released end of summer/autumn time!

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

THE VAQUEROS + SIERRA TANGO Wednesday April 18th The King Billy, Northampton Three-piece indie/alternative group from Peterborough, playing “dynamic songs set around a fictitious Spaghetti Western”. Doors 8.30pm, free entry…

THE VAQUEROS + SIERRA TANGO
Wednesday April 18th
The King Billy, Northampton
Three-piece indie/alternative group from Peterborough, playing “dynamic songs set around a fictitious Spaghetti Western”. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THE CHEAP THRILLS + PIECES + CITRUS + GRACE
Friday April 20th
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
The Liverpool indie/garage/psych popsters with more hooks than Homebase make their ShoeTown debut in support of new single ‘Codependence’, ably supported by a trio of fresh Northampton/Kettering acts. A banging time to be had by all, and no mistake. Doors 7.30pm, £4.50 tickets

ACOLYTES + EARBONES + MUNDAYS
Friday April 20th
The White Hart, Corby
Week three of the Rocked Up Hootenanny battle for a slot at the festival, this time with a mix of rock and indie from all corners of our county. Doors 8pm, free entry

MIO FLUX / PATCHY, THE ROCKSTAR + LEO ROBINSON / CHARLIE BORTHWICK
Friday April 20th
The Garibaldi Hotel basement, Northampton
DJ/Producer Mio Flux and rapper Patchy, The Rockstar have been collaborating recently, with their tracks being supported by the likes of Reprezent Radio, BBC Introducing, and Balamii Radio. And now the duo are bringing their music to the live stage. Excellent support as well in form of Leo Robinson with Charlie. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE WITCHDOKTORS + KULT 45s + LOS TOMBSTONES
Saturday April 21st
The White Hart, Corby
South London garage punks give seriously good show and so everyone needs to get to the White Hart for this. Support from local swampy rockers and some Peterborough-based lo-fi garage to bring up the rear. Doors 7.30pm, £6.50 tickets

HANNAH FAULKNER + MYJAIKE + ROGUE STATE CIRCUS + DYNAMIX
Saturday April 21st
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Another Ni Ni session at the Pomfret, a chance to check out the best singer-songwriters in the area. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

ORANGE CLOCKS
Saturday April 21st
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
The OC’s create “textured psychedelia from a shed in a magical and mystical corner of East Northants; occupying themselves by improvising hypnotic noise with driving rhythms and creating elaborate concept pieces”. A groovy night in store for sure. Doors 9pm, free entry

RATS FROM A SINKING SHIP + MURDERERS ROW + THE PRODIGAL SCUM
Saturday April 21st
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Punk-rap-metal hybrid from Ilkeston, with support from Southampton’s powerful melodic punk 3-piece and Birmingham’s premier skiffle-punk band. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

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New Music Friday: Last Chance

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about…

Last Chance are a powerful, hard-hitting and melodic pop punk band from Kettering, who this week release their new Shut Down EP.  New Boots spoke to guitarist Dan Holmes about the band and this release.

A quick synopsis of the band, if you please. How/why/when? 

So we are Last Chance from Kettering and we have Matt on vocals and guitar, Harry on bass, Dan on lead guitar and backing vocals and Luke on drums. We started back in March 2017. Originally we was to learn a few punk covers to play at a friend’s memorial party, but just didn’t have enough time to get our shit together to perform. But we stuck with it and actually wrote a few good songs which we thought people would like to see and hear so went out looking for gigs.

I think it’s fair to say you wear your influences on your sleeve, do you not?

Our influences are definitely delivered well throughout our tracks. Were all stuck in the 00s pop punk time zone. Bowling For Soup, Box Car Racer, Blink 182, New Found Glory and Green Day to name a few.

Tell us everything about this new EP ‘Shut Down’

Well our EP was recorded at Parlour Studio in Kettering by Jay, and we had an absolute blast. He made us sound great! The artwork was done by a good friend of the band Ant who lives in Australia and plays in the band Baltimore Gun Club. We’re currently selling the EP for £5 which automatically puts you into a raffle to win a REAL bright pink guitar which we have all scribbled on, so get buying people.

Do you all skateboard, like the artwork suggests? Is it an important band of the band culture?

Skateboarding is what originally brought us all together, apart from Matt who lived in Australia where surfing was his forte. I think now though with two of us being parents and the other two being reprobates, falling off a plank of wood onto hard concrete is definitely not the one no more.

It’s look like incredible fun being at your live shows. 

Oh yeah definitely, our gigs are a right laugh. The easiest thing to do for crowd entertainment is to just give Dan a microphone and he will entertain people for hours. But we all have a good crack doing what we do at live shows. We set each other challenges before we play like most amount of lunges and how many times can Luke the drummer stand up during the set. We just have a good crack and take the piss out of each other.

Do you hit the road very often?

Hitting the road and going on tour is something we really want to do but at the moment we’re still trying to find our way into local venues and continue writing more tracks for an upcoming album.

What’s the connection with Baltimore Gun Club?

Baltimore Gun Club are from the Gold Coast, which is where Matt moved from. His brother Christian (Ronnie) plays drums in this band and they came over to do a UK tour last winter and we supported them at the King Billy. It was so cool for Dan being Christian’s cousin and Matt being his brother to actually appreciate each others music live.

Best/worst thing about Kettering is…?

Where’s all the music shops and live venues gone? If you want to buy strings or even plectrums you’re then off on a 20 mile trip to Northampton. Such a shame; this town used to have some brilliant shops for musicians. They just all vanished one after another.

Who is your big tip from Northants for 2018?

Our tip is to support all local music venues and promoters. The promoters put on all the top local events like Marc and his guys at Rocked Up! These guys still work day jobs have family’s at home and still support the local music scene. Good on them.

What you got coming up next?

We’re looking forward to playing at the Pop Punk Pile Up in Selby at the end of April. Playing alongside Coast To Coast, The Bottom Line and Malory Knox just to name a few is going to be awesome. Then also we’re opening one of the tents at the Rocked Up Hootenanny in September which is also great news. With other gigs at other venues being booked it looks like a busy year for us. Were looking at hitting the studio again in September to record some more, and hopefully have the album out before Christmas. What we want to be doing is push this band as far as we can and see what happens. We don’t want to be just random people who blend in with the surrounding, we want people to come see our band and have a great night with us.

Shut Down is available on Spotify and the other usual online formats. Message the band at lastchancebanduk@gmail.com for a physical version at £5.

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

BLACKWATER HORIZON + BLACK TREE VULTURES Wednesday April 11th The King Billy, Northampton Pure rock from Mainz, Germany with support from metal rockers from Bournemouth. Either way, fist-pumpingly good [and…

BLACKWATER HORIZON + BLACK TREE VULTURES
Wednesday April 11th
The King Billy, Northampton
Pure rock from Mainz, Germany with support from metal rockers from Bournemouth. Either way, fist-pumpingly good [and black]. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

THE MISPELT + BIRTH RITE + DUNCAN BISATT
Friday April 13th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Yer headliners are ’90s-era Motorhead-esque dark punk rock’n’rollers, then you have some Black Country steampunk in the middle, and the Bushpigs frontman to open proceedings. Doors 8pm, free entry

WE ARE GIANTS + LOOSE TOOTH+ THE MODERN AGE
Friday April 13th
The White Hart, Corby
The second of four heats. A crowd vote at the end of the evening decides who goes through to one final bout on June 22nd with the chance to win the opportunity of playing the main stage at the Rocked Up Hootenanny festival. Doors 8pm, free entry

STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES + YODACLUB + THE TOUCH 
Friday April 13th
The Romany, Northampton
Acoustic-driven rock promoting new album Angels and Sirens. Plus edgy indie-pop from Corby and 80s-style rock from Kettering. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

LUNA ROSA + ODDITY ISLAND + TOUCAN
Saturday April 14th
The Three Cocks Inn, Kettering
Three of the best alt-rock/indie/psych non-Northampton bands from our county, all on the same bill. The future is bright, the future is now. Doors 8pm, free entry

THOMAS TRUAX + PAT FISH
Saturday April 14th
The Lab, Northampton
On tour in the UK with his signature brand of surreal Americana, promoting his new album All That Heaven Allows Thomas finally brings his Hornicator and ‘band’ of other self-made instruments back to the Lab, supported by his friend and Northampton’s own legendary gentleman and Jazz Butcher Pat Fish. Doors 8pm, £5 on the door

EL CAMINO
Saturday April 14th
The White Hart, Corby
Rockabilly legends bring their own brand of rock’n’roll from their two self-penned albums, plus they’ll throw in a few classics too no doubt. Doors 8pm, price TBA

HUBCAP
Saturday April 14th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Rock/blues/psychedelic two-piece with electric slide and some mean drum beats. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

HOUSES IN MOTION
Saturday April 14th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
They play jazz, funk, psychedelic rock, indie, and blues; equal parts covers and originals. Doors 9pm, free entry

KING’S GAMBIT
Sunday April 15th
Open Stage Performing Arts Company, Northampton
Northampton powerhouse folkie quintet perform a special one-hour set at Open Stage [off the Kettering Road], for filming and recording purposes. So you now know what to do after your Sunday roast, yeah? The set is played 4pm-5pm, free entry

THE ROCKET DOLLS
Sunday April 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
Brighton riffing-rockers head out on tour to promote sophomore album DeadHead. The trio have been garnering rave reviews for the album and their live show, so one to catch. Doors 6pm, free entry

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Apr 4th – Apr 10th 2018

ADY JOHNSON + WHALE + SKYFLOOD Wednesday April 4th Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby Acoustic night from Kontra Roots, headlined by a Colchester singer-songwriter with rave-reviewed albums and national radio airplay. Support…

ADY JOHNSON + WHALE + SKYFLOOD
Wednesday April 4th
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Acoustic night from Kontra Roots, headlined by a Colchester singer-songwriter with rave-reviewed albums and national radio airplay. Support from Market Harborough trio and local indie/alt-rock openers doing something a bit different from their usual set. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

EX-PETS + GOODNIGHT VENICE
Wednesday April 4th
The King Billy, Northampton
The regular Wednesday night original band night at the Billy: this week with local punks headlining and Bedford rockers also in action. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

CHRIS RONALD TRIO + LAB COLLAB ACOUSTIC
Thursday April 5th
The Lab, Northampton
A special appearance from the Chris Ronald Trio playing folk, all the way from Canada, packaged by the magical Clan Hannigan. Support from familiar faces from The Lab music crowd, but this time stripped bare and playing solo. Doors 7.30pm, donation requested on the door

THE SHARPEEZ
Thursday April 5th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Powerful original R&B from London in a Rory Gallagher/Dr. Feelgood stylee. Doors 8pm, free entry

SISTERAY + KARL PHILLIPS & THE REJECTS + THE MODERN AGE + PEACHES
Friday April 6th
The Black Prince, Northampton
”Butt-kickin’ new punk” say BBC 6 Music, Londoners Sisteray came together out of their shared love for bands such as The Smiths, Velvet Underground, The Clash and The Replacements. Support from well-travelled ShoeTown rap rockers, Corby indie upstarts, and local slacker pop to open proceedings. Expect mayhem of the best variety. Doors 7.30pm, £4.50 advance tickets

WISHING WOLF + LAST CHANCE + BLOOD-VISIONS + THE TOUCH
Friday April 6th
The White Hart, Corby
Road to the Hootenanny gig #1. Free Entry shows across April showcasing the best live original acts in the county, with a crowd vote at the end of the evening to decide who goes through to one final bout on June 22nd with the chance to win the opportunity of playing the main stage at our festival. Doors 8pm

BROOKE SHARKEY + THE BREWERS DAUGHTER + J KELLS
Friday April 6th
The Lab, Northampton
A candle-lit showcase of the warmest, most striking variety, Sharkey is compared with the likes of Kate Bush, Ane Brun and Cat Power. Meanwhile The Brewer’s Daughter are “a perfectly balanced brew of traditional and original folk music, featuring gutsy female vocals, an antique fiddle and a vintage 12-string guitar”. Doors 7pm, £4 on entry /£3 members

IRON BASTARDS + MOLOTOV SOULS
Sunday April 8th
The King Billy Rock Bar, Northampton
Fast rock’n’roll from Strasbourg France, plus metal/punk/ska from Coventry! Doors 4pm, free entry

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UoN launches record label; Beth Munroe first release

The University of Northampton have set up an in-house record label, WMTH Records (We Make Things Happen), announcing local artist Beth Munroe as their first project. The label, operated by academic…

The University of Northampton have set up an in-house record label, WMTH Records (We Make Things Happen), announcing local artist Beth Munroe as their first project.

The label, operated by academic Roy Wallace in partnership with the University, begins it’s activities by releasing a four-track EP from Munroe entitled ‘The Euphoria of Losing Everything’ on the April 26th at 6pm, to be available via iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Google Play. This will be accompanied by an EP launch party on May 18th at The Lab [Charles St, Northampton], as part of a full UK & Ireland tour in May & June. The tour is still being booked, but dates in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Isle of Wight, and more will be announced in due course. Physical copies of the EP will be available to buy at all of the shows.

Beth Munroe is a singer-songwriter working on indietronica [a mix of ambient/electronic indie rock, combining guitar music with elements of IDM/glitch music]. Her influences include CHVRCHES, Lorde, Muse, Bastille, and London Grammar. “I’m so excited to be working with WMTH Records, it’s like a dream come true after so much struggle”, says Munroe. “Roy Wallace is incredibly skilled and knowledgeable, as a musician himself he has that clear passion and understanding that’s just priceless. The production team in the studio have done an amazing job in making the EP sound exactly like I hoped it would, and my marketing manager Nicole Drury has looked after everything so perfectly”.

“It is a pleasure working with Beth as she is a truly unique artist”, says Drury. “Her powerful vocals and personal lyrical themes make for very catchy, relatable songs. The process we’ve gone through to get the music to where it is now has been challenging but definitely worth it and I can’t wait to share it with others. Beth should be very proud”.

The video below for ‘Masochist’ was directed by Jon Hogg in collaboration with UonTV students.

http://www.wmth.tv/record-label
BethMunroeMusic.co.uk

Update: also confirmed for release on April 26th is ‘Long Way from Home’ by Ellie McCann and ‘Surgery#2’ by The Doctor.

 

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New Music Friday: Keiron Farrow

Northampton singer-songwriter Keiron Farrow today releases his new EP, Roundabout Queen Eleanor. Have a listen to it below.  New Boots speaks to him about the journey to here. What did…

Northampton singer-songwriter Keiron Farrow today releases his new EP, Roundabout Queen Eleanor. Have a listen to it below.  New Boots speaks to him about the journey to here.

What did you grow up listening to?
Well, my folks were really into soul and also ska and reggae. My dad was a collector, so mainly their records; lots of Stevie Wonder, Jr Walker – The Temptations were an astonishing group to me. I was also a massive Glen Miller fan and I loved The Beach Boys. I was heavily into James Brown at 14, but it was my aunt lending me Sgt. Pepper when I was 16 that really opened up the world of music making for me.

Give us a bit of background to your musical adventures that led you to now…
I started playing guitar two months before I turned 17, so quite late. But then I played pretty much every day for the next two years – even taking my guitar to work. I got a lot of stick from my mates and whatnot, who where mainly into rave music; whilst I was devouring everything I could get hold of in Daventry Library: from Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, to Led Zeppelin, Bert Jansch and Bob Dylan. Then I played in local bands, started writing my own songs and kinda meandered along. I’d become quite jaded with playing in a band, trying to ‘make it.’ I’d started getting very serious about acoustic guitar after becoming obsessed with Nick Drake. I figured that playing solo would be the best way forward for me. I managed to establish myself fairly well in Northampton in the noughties as ‘The Bugs’ and played some great gigs, did some radio. Then other things – children, poetry, work – started to pull me in other directions. I got the urge again once my lad started school. I started a band, played some gigs, got frustrated with having to organise everything and everyone and decided to go out on my own again, so I guess I’ve come full circle.

This Brit folk/folk baroque style of music has fallen from favour, but it’s hard to imagine why. What led you to it?
Honestly, I don’t know what’s ‘trending’, as the kids might say! So whilst there are certainly influences I just sit down with my guitar as much as possible and enjoy doing whatever I want musically. To paraphrase Charles Mingus ‘Its the place I’m most free’. My style is basically me not being good enough to play or sing like the musicians I admire!

What’s the most personal song of the collection? Danny is about your boy, yes…? And the famous Eleanor Cross statue in town inspired you too?
I would say they all are really. I was going through a lot when they were written: ‘Danny’ is about my son and I dealing with being apart from each other after his mum and I separated. ‘What Lurks’ – mental illness. ‘No Harm’ about the trials of a 20th Century bloke trying to connect in the social media age. ‘The Quickening’ – falling in love again and being real. The title track, ‘Roundabout Queen Eleanor’, was really just a guitar motif that I nicked from Bert Jansch and developed. I used to live near the Cross and being a Northampton native wanted to tie in some way with the landscape. I think its a travesty that Northampton’s historical and cultural impact has been neglected so badly since, in many ways, the English Civil War.

How was playing at the Marburg edition of Twinfest?
It was magical – the town scenery itself is straight out of a fairy tale – apt as ‘The Bothers Grimm’ were denizens. I met so many fascinating, talented, warm-hearted people. There was definitely a vibe that permeated the whole week – love and friendship basically, and the crowds and venues were so supportive – no studied cool whatsoever. I still feel very humbled that I was considered worthy of a place on the bill. The only drawback was not being able to see some of the other artists I wanted to, because I was already on stage somewhere else! Having said that, seeing Sarpa Salpa play to 1500 people at KFZ was brilliant. Like an old-school Roadmender gig!

Do you enjoy playing live? What’s your take on the Northants singer-songwriter scene?
I love nothing more than playing live. This EP was recorded live in my dining room, all first takes; Ben Jennings did his bass afterwards as he was really buzzing to add some lines. The majority of music I listen to was recorded with all the players together on the floor going for it – Blue Note Jazz, for example. I just want to play live as much as possible. In terms of the Northants scene, there are some ridiculously talented people. I love what Charlotte Carpenter is doing. Only last week, I saw a guy – Blood Moon at The Garibaldi. Corrine Lucy – she’s such a beautiful singer, a great writer and a lovely down to earth human being. Her drive to create music is on a par with William Blake’s illuminated works and epic poetry. What Northants seems to lack are venues which are receptive to what I would call the ‘roots’ side of things: folk, jazz, blues and singer-songwriters. Despite being able to spin 360 and fall into a coffee shop in Northampton we do not have a ‘coffee shop culture’, where traditionally players of our ilk congregate.

Tell us your upcoming gigs. What you up to for the rest of 2018?
I’m doing a turn as part of a triple header called ‘Music in Rugby’ tonight [March 30th], which will be ace. Then the Harmonics Collective night in Corby on April 27th , followed by Vintage Retreat’s third Vegan Festival on April 28th. As for the rest of 2018, I’d like to build on what I’ve achieved over the last year and hopefully connect with more listeners. I’d like to put on gigs locally and bring together more solo performers – see where that goes.

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Gig report: Century City + Pieces + GoGo Loco

CENTURY CITY + PIECES + GOGO LOCO The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton March 24th 2018 Since the turn of the year The Garibaldi Hotel, yer proverbial diamond in the rough in…

CENTURY CITY + PIECES + GOGO LOCO
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
March 24th 2018

Since the turn of the year The Garibaldi Hotel, yer proverbial diamond in the rough in the back streets of The Mounts, has been under new management, and what a difference it’s making already. Tonight the turn out is exactly what it should be for decent local live draws – in short, busy.

The openers are playing their debut show tonight. Not that you could obviously tell, as GoGo Loco merge seamlessly on from their former The Mobbs guise. Joe and Cheadle might be a man down, but the songs are still primitive and strong. The primary influence now is clearly Bo Diddley, as demonstrated by them covering ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At It’s Cover’ in a short but deadly set. From now on bring your dancing shoes to the shows, you’ll need them.

Pieces are a new trio formed from the ashes of An Army Of Lights. This, just their third show, is hard and entertaining. The indie disco rhythms are very much the legacy of the noughties, but their tough edge and excellent interplay gives the whole enterprise a strong coherent whole. No idea what the songs are called as they haven’t put anything online yet, but Pieces are definitely a band you would want to check out if you see them listed as playing near you.

The headliners Century City have been wowing ShoeTown since they formed in 2014. A vehicle for former New Cassettes denizens Nik Gray and Tommy Francis, they are joined by Oli Knight (Loose Tooth) on guitar and Dan Battison (Ginger Snaps, and another former New Cassette) on bass. Their guilty pleasures-influenced guitar pop is the very definition of infectious, as it combines Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac vocals with Death Cab For Cutie/Biffy Clyro drive’n’crunch.

They are the go-to party band in these lands as they give proper show and can handily write pop triumphs like ‘Cherry Red’ and ‘The Others’. As things begin to climax at this well-received outing Gray gets on the bar to fully express himself and get a closer look at those at the back. Result: smiles all round. Gods among men, Century City have the winning formula of not taking it seriously whist actually being seriously good. Long may that continue.

Words: Phil Istine. Photos: David Jackson/Phil Istine

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Mar 28th – Apr 3rd 2018

BARBARA BLACK + OVERSEER + RUSTY G’S The King Billy, Northampton Wednesday March 28th Classic and country rock flavours from Madrid’s BB, “post-grunge” from Coventry, and alt-rock from Milton Keynes….

BARBARA BLACK + OVERSEER + RUSTY G’S
The King Billy, Northampton
Wednesday March 28th
Classic and country rock flavours from Madrid’s BB, “post-grunge” from Coventry, and alt-rock from Milton Keynes. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

STEREO SKULL + BACKROADS + REAPERX + DEAD HANDS
Friday March 30th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Stereo Skull bring from Wellingborough some funky and trance-like grooves to their cyber/death/prog metal. Backroads are a lyrically charged melodic metalcore band from Bristol. ReaperX are Corby thrash metallers , whilst Dead Hands [from Birmingham] mix mathcore and high energy riffs. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

SKIRT + LUNA ROSA + DRINSIPA
Friday March 30th
The Everard Arms, Corby
EP launch show for local indie punks who New Boots interviewed last week . A double dose of quality ShoeCounty rabble rousers in support too, of course. Doors 8pm, free entry

BUSHPIGS + THE KEEPERS
Friday March 30th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Trio Bushpigs play a set of their original punk-meets-psych songs, whilst The Keepers continue to entertain with their excellent poppy new single ‘There’s No Going Back’. DJ Alex Novak too. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE TOUCH
Friday March 30th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
The pop-rockers, causing a bit of a storm round Ketrin, do the business on home turf. This one goes up to 11. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE WAX LYRICAL SOUND + LITTLE BITBOY
Friday March 30th
Bar So, Northampton
Energetic rap-rock from Northampton’s party starters, plus support from the 8-Bit chiptune dance master. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

YARDS BAR EASTER WEEKEND FESTIVAL
Saturday March 31st and Sunday April 1st
The Yards Bar and Kitchen, Kettering
The Free Collective take over Yards for a weekend of free entertainment! Bear witness to: Alex Gardiner, Yellow Blues, Skyflood, Birds Eye View, Earbones, Toucan, The Modern Age, King Purple, and Skirt on the Saturday, and  Kieran Smith, Erin Cobain, Wishing Wolf, Last Chance, The Young & Reckless, The Touch, and Home Wrecked on the Sunday. Bands 1pm-9pm both days, DJs afterwards.

AOIFE FOLEY
Saturday March 31st
The Lab, Northampton
‘This Is What Makes Us Girls Pt 2’ showcases art from locals, and the musical entertainment comes from singer-songwriter Foley, with Joshua Judd aiding and abetting on guitar. Doors from 7pm, your donation on the door goes to charity.

THE SULKS + SARPA SALPA + ODDITY ISLAND
Saturday March 31st
The White Hart, Corby
Strokes/Foals-esque Swindon quartet whose songs are so good producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Ian Brown, The Libertines) produced the bands’ debut EP ‘Silence Is Only The Start’. Sarpa Salpa & Oddity Island in tow suggest this will be a BANGER. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets 

WALKWAY
Saturday March 31st
The King Billy, Northampton
Well-travelled and popular classic rock combo from East Anglia, playing songs from their 2017 third album WWIII. Doors 9pm, free entry

INTERROBANG? + EASTFIELD + WRECKAGE
Saturday March 31st
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Headliners – angry motorik loop-driven post-punk from Leeds/Brighton who are touring their new album – feature ex-Chumbawamba member Dunstan. With support from fare-dodging types. Doors 8pm, £5 on entrance

JONNY & THE MENTAL BREAKDOWNS + CRASH INDUCTION + THE MILK SNATCHERS + WAH WAH CLUB
Saturday March 31st
The Red Lion, Raunds
Enjoy a punk bank holiday with a quartet of bands from MK and Wellingborough. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

FRACTURE + FUELED HATE + WAH WAH CLUB + THE CRIMSON BRIGADE + DESTINOVA
Sunday April 1st
The King Billy, Northampton
Easter Sunday alldayer of metal and hard rock [with an acoustic opening section], with acts from the county and beyond. Doors 2pm, free Entry

JONO & THE UKE DEALERS
Monday April 2nd
The Horseshoe, Wellingborough
Finally another Welly show to complete the week from Norfamtun’s favourite uke-wielding quartet. Doors 7pm, free entry

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