Tag: northants

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

SNAKERATTLERS + JOE GO LOCO Friday August 10th The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton A couple of primitive rock’n’roll duos who have emerged from previous forms. York-based Snakerattlers were recently The Franceens, and…

SNAKERATTLERS + JOE GO LOCO
Friday August 10th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
A couple of primitive rock’n’roll duos who have emerged from previous forms. York-based Snakerattlers were recently The Franceens, and the duo mix-up rockabilly, garage and gum-chewing greaser rock and roll. Closer to home are ex-Mobbs ShoeTown duo Joe and Cheadle, who dish out maraca-driven rhythm’n’roll [tonight it’s a solo set from Joe though]. Doors 8pm, free entry

STEVIE JONES & THE WILDFIRES + FAMILY OF NOISE + FATBWOI
Friday August 10th
The Romany, Northampton
Acoustic-driven rock from ShoeCounty, Corby instrumental post-punk types, and gonzo alt-rock from MK way make up a formidable-sounding night out. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

VINCENT VEGA BAND + THE SUNCHYMES
Friday August 10th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Lo-fi indie quartet – with added violin – play the front bar. Sunshine pop support. Doors 8pm, free entry

MYSTIC CREW
Saturday August 11th
Barratts, Northampton
Reggae outfit Mystic Crew headline a day of music, with rum cocktails and Jerk BBQ available. Show at 9pm, free entry

WOODFEST
Saturday August 11th – Sunday August 12th
Irchester Country Park, Irchester
A beautiful, tranquil setting with some humdingers to listen and watch: Oddity Island, Lunaxis, Sarpa Salpa, Reggaematik, Vikki Clayton, Kenneth J Nash, Luke Broughton, The Bighead, The Abrahams, Stevie Jones & The WildfiresKezzabelle Ambler, The Red Triangle, Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra, Crybb, Rebecca Ryan, Jess Orestand, Veins, Hazeyjane, James Watt & The Avenues, Tim Brophy, Carterdolby, Lew Bear, Whale, Blood Moon, Steve Birks, Kevin Hewick, Sam Stopps, Rogue State Circus, Vickii Stocker, Dunn Wiv Whiskey, Woolford Scott, Hippolyta’s Moon, Ian Lynn Palmer, The Secret Magpies, Andy Griffiths, Paul Strummer, Michael Kinder, Helen Verrill, Mark Carver, and Josh Wylie. 11am-7pm, free entry [parking charges apply]

EQUATA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Saturday August 11th
EquATA, Grafton Underwood [nr Kettering]
Equata use horses as part of therapy treatment, and they host their annual Fun Day. There’s an Old Hotel Records showcase in the evening, with Kenneth J. Nash, Oddity Island, Miyagi Car Wash, The Abrahams, Veins, Crybb, Kezzabelle Ambler, and Rebecca Ryan. Event from 10am, music from 8pm. Free entry

LISA O’NEILL + PAUL McCLURE
Saturday August 11th
The Old Forge, Cranford
The last ever Sofa Sessions see the singer-songwriter from Ireland play songs from her latest, Potholes In The Sky. Support from the Rutland troubadour with his Americana sounds. Doors 7.30pm, tickets available from thesofasessions@live.ie via PayPal (£15)

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New Music Friday: Jono & The Uke Dealers

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano]…

‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano] and Jono Bell [ukulele/vocals] – have been getting rave reviews over the past few years, so New Boots were keen to get the lowdown on their past and this cracking new song.

How did you guys get together?
Originally formed by Jono & Darren, who had got together as a songwriting team and had written a pocket full of songs together. There was never any intention of getting a band together in the early days. It sort of happened organically, and like most bands we had a few line-up changes on the way, finally becoming what is now The Uke Dealers when Dayrl And Louis joined adding their songwriting talents. Both had collaborated with Darren and Jono in the past. The main motivation for the band is simply to write songs in any genre; we want to no rules. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

How would you describe your sound?
Describing our sound is a hard one so we will quote the Rev D Wayne Love of the Alabama 3 who collaborated on our debut EP on Grassroots Records. “You’re an amazing songwriting band who can’t afford guitars”.

Tell us everything about the single, both sides, ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ and ‘Beautiful Young Things’.
The A-side ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ is based on the great producers’ myth more than the actual facts, which strangely enough are themselves mythical. We had a ball recording this track with our producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Studio in Wolverhampton. Joe Meek’s innovations and inventions are still used today in recording studios. Gavin plays guitar and theremin on the track, which has been already played a few times by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music we are happy to say.
The B-side ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is a celebration of Northamptonshire’s amazing music scene and a nod to its past. It’s a old musician talking to a young musician. About the amazing natural high that live gigs give you no matter how old you are. The shared buzz that makes us all equals.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve been gigging not just here in our home town but all over the country. Our first gigs here were supporting bands such as Kings Gambit , P-Hex and The Repro Jammers. Members of the above bands we’ve known for years and are part of the extended musical family we belong to here in Northampton. Birmingham has become our second home town and we love our gigs there, often along with indie sensation Paper Buoys who share the same producer as us. A lot of our home gigs are at the usual music venues but our hearts will always remain with The Lab – an independent music venue both currently and historically. We see a lot of local musicians at our gigs and the feedback to our songs has been overwhelming. Recognition from your peers is as good as a paid gig. We often perform at The Umbrella Fair. We believe community is all we’ve really got in the end, and our gigs for them have been the most memorable. It’s lovely having two local venues that bring out the best in your music as soon as you walk through the door.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Jono getting stung by a wasp on the lip three songs before the end of a festival set and the instant morph into the singing creature from the black lagoon. Great gig by the way!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The long awaited P-Hex album, which is a funky masterpiece.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We will continue, track by track, to complete our album with Gavin. Work on new songs. Go with the flow. No rules.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Aug 1st – Aug 7th 2018

DAN KNIGHT + BURNING CODES Friday August 3rd The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton Northampton singer-songwriter who tugs at the heartstrings launches his ‘Breakthrough’ EP with a live show.  Support from Peterborough-based…

DAN KNIGHT + BURNING CODES
Friday August 3rd
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Northampton singer-songwriter who tugs at the heartstrings launches his ‘Breakthrough’ EP with a live show.  Support from Peterborough-based Snow Patrol-esque band. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

HATSTAND BAND + AMII DAWES + KENNETH J NASH
Friday August 3rd
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
Monthly ‘Songwriter Sessions’ night to celebrate the art of songwriting. “Listen without being disturbed by rowdy chatterboxes”. Hatstand Band bring you dark songs with stomping beats delivered with a warm smile. Amii Dawes is inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. Nash has an intuitive gift for self-reflection and humble view of the world woven into a stream of beautiful melodies. Doors 7.30pm, £3 entry

FUTURE LOVE + EX-PETS + CITRUS
Friday August 3rd
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Warming up for the release of their third EP, you should expect the usual emo, noise, sweat, and falling over each other from the headliners. Even more noise from the main support, and openers are the new kids on the block who are impressing everyone so far. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE TOUCH + WISHING WOLF + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday August 3rd
The Yards, Kettering
Classic pop-rock from your headliners, emo/pop-punk from the middle pack, and psychedelic folk from your starters. All three are worthy of your time, so no excuses. Doors 6.30pm, free entry

GARDEN OPEN MIKE
Saturday August 4th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Mike Kinder has gotten together another cracking line-up for his one-day festival, booking 20 acts over the two outdoor stages at the Prince. Main stage performers include Stephen Ridley, Jump The Shark, John Dhali, The Covasettes, Elle Delaney & The Komodo Quartet, Alex Hulme, Robyn Wilson, Ryan Nicklin, Jonathan Parks, Mio Flux & Patchy The Rockstar, Vincent J Rigney, Dan Zeshan, and The Barbershop Boys. Over on the Yard stage is Sam Wray, Anna-Sophie, Romain Trojani, Marcus Marooth, Georgina Timms, Leslie Wink, Yohan Yohan, and Josh Hardacre. Doors 12.30pm, £8 tickets

DRINSIPA + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + I CAN, I CAN’T + ACOLYTES
Saturday August 4th
The Lab, Northampton
Corby lads launch their epic, raucous new single [which you can hear this Friday on this very site], with support from their similarly-inclined hardcore friends. Doors 7pm, £4 entry

REPRO JAM SQUAD
Saturday August 4th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The NN funk machine support ’70s jazz-funk legends Fatback Band at a ‘Back To The Old School’ party. Doors 9pm, £20 tickets

HANNAH FAULKNER + CORINNE LUCY + REBECCA BUCKLY + OAKLEAS RISE
Saturday August 4th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Another Ni Ni sessions night of acoustic singer-songwriters. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

PAT FISH [THE JAZZ BUTCHER]
Saturday August 4th
The Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Do you like your melodies sweet and your humour as black as pitch? Then The Jazz Butcher is your man. Doors 9pm, free entry

THE BARDIC PICNIC
Sunday August 5th
Beckets Park, Northampton
The annual festival to find a Bard of Northampton. There will be stages for bands, solo musicians, dance, as well as spoken word performers of all kinds. Confirmed musical performers are Mark Gresty, Helen Verrill, Kimmerbelly, Cameron Grace, Billy Nomad, Ian Lovell, Lew Bear, Kenneth J Nash, Woolford Scott, Taylor Smith, Jono And The Uke Dealers, Josh Wylie, and The VHS Pirates. Kicks off at midday, free entry

KIERON FARROW + JOE WOOLEY + GLYN FINCH + BLOOD MOON
Sunday August 5th
The Garibaldi Hotel [basement], Northampton
An intimate afternoon of live acoustic music from the local talent of the shire. There’s a vintage apparel fair on upstairs concurrently too. Doors 2pm, free entry

THE YOUNG & RESTLESS + THRIFT STREET + BETWEEN THE LINES
Sunday August 5th
The King Billy, Northampton
Four-piece ShoeTown pop-punks up top and in the middle, with five-piece Bedfordshire heavy pop-punk band below to get you in the mood. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE SCHIZOPHONICS + THE BOPHINS
Monday August 6th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Explosive San Diego band. Their frenzied live performances tap into the same unstoppable combination of rock ‘n’ roll energy and showmanship that fuelled the MC5 and James Brown. Support from ShoeTown glam-garage rockers The Bophins. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

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Twinfest 2018: The Review

TWINFEST July 26th – 29th 2018 Northampton THURSDAY, THE GUILDHALL So here it is, Northampton’s best reason to believe in grassroots culture. The annual event celebrates all that is special…

TWINFEST
July 26th – 29th 2018
Northampton

THURSDAY, THE GUILDHALL
So here it is, Northampton’s best reason to believe in grassroots culture. The annual event celebrates all that is special about the acts from the twin towns of Poitiers, Marburg, and Northampton. It’s the antithesis of Brexit. Twinfest is *deep breath* truly something to believe in, that gives short shrift to any notion of this town being a “cultural black hole”. Twinfest is the actualisation that this is, indeed, a talented music town.

This year the excitement was more pronounced once it was announced that the opening night’s festivities would take place at the Guildhall, the neo-gothic council building at the heart of this market town. The Great Hall there hasn’t seen regular gigs for around 25 years, and many people present tonight remark that this is their first concert here. Let’s hope it isn’t their last…

Keiron Farrow kicks off proceedings on the warmest day of the year so far. It was toching to see people make the effort to come to this indoor event so early, as it was still about 30 degrees at this point! Farrow has the sort of voice that was built to soar in such environs. His jazzy blues numbers, played with much dexterity on his acoustic guitar, transfix the audience. His recent EP title track ‘Roundabout Queen Eleanor’ is apt, considering there’s a mural of said queen a few metres from where he stands. He slips in a cover of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ at the end – bringing local music heritage into the present [Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley was born and raised in ShoeTown, you see].

Hyll are a desert rock trio from Marburg, and they crank things up a gear immediately. They lock into a groove straight away and never let up, giving the growing audience an opportunity to witness heavy rock that could shake the very foundations of this building. And whilst walls remain solidly in place, the Twinfest banner does decide to fall on their drummer during their opening song. They continue on regardless, and such stoicism wins the crowd over immediately.

Drinsipa have something to measure themselves by then, and they do their utmost to reciprocate the intensity of Hyll. They achieve this with aplomb, showcasing their grungy hardcore to the sweaty hordes. Now playing as a trio rather than a duo, new single ‘DOP’ is a raucous, epic number, and a definite set highlight.

Drinsipa

The Flims are an indie-pop quartet from Marburg, running a nice line in group harmonising. The sound is very much of the ’00s variety, the songs of Mumford & Sons or Razorlight played to a disco beat. The party vibes are in attendance when they play ‘Sometime Forgetting Is Better Than Healing’, and they can be sure they’ve made many new fans tonight.

The final of the travelling trio tonight is Poitiers trio Mantras. Guitarist-singer Pierre does what anyone on holiday in a hot country does: go topless. His band strike up elongated psychedelic stoner rock and play their hearts out. It’s as doomy as the best of them, rearranging a few of the heads present over their half-hour allotted time. This sort of rock works best in the live environment, and tonight they work us out right and proper.

Sarpa Salpa are swiftly becoming the hardest working band in showbusiness, playing all over the Midlands every weekend, taking men women and children hostage with their funky contemporary guitar pop. Songs about desperation with a disco beat, they are the epitome of the ‘sad and sexy’ movement sweeping popular music. These days they are treated a bit like homecoming heroes, and they know how to light up a dancefloor, as ‘She Never Lies’ comfortably does. If you’ve never checked them out and like acts such as The Killers or Foals, now is the time to do so.

It is gone midnight before The Barratts come on stage to finish the evening off. Those who have stuck it out are treated to a band who can still raise the energy level of any sun-beaten cordwainer or cobbler. They have never sounded so good, as their anthemic indie songs – ‘Satellites’ and ‘Same Old Kids’ amongst them – are played with spiky confidence and verve. James Faulkner’s word encapsulate all the small town ennui in poetic form you could hope for, matched with all the firepower his four brother-in-arms can muster. They send us home with Twinfest love beating heavily in our hearts.

The Barratts

FRIDAY, THE LAMPLIGHTER
This Mounts institution is busy, the vibe celebratory. Ready for the second evening of the Twin Town’s finest, the stage area at The Lamplighter is quickly filled by music fans from across the town and beyond.

Hailing from Northampton’s French twin city of Poitiers, Mantras take to the stage with a barrage of stoner rock. The band’s raw talent and synchronicity make playing live seem effortless and certainly seamless. Featuring melodic riffs and endless amounts of energy, the three-piece set the highest of bars for the evening.

German indie band The Flims were full of energy and strength during their set, providing Northampton with a unique sound. With memorable riffs and pounding drums, the band wouldn’t seem out of place in arenas. It’s the perfect music to finish a relaxing day.

Rapper Leo Robinson doesn’t play live that often, and probably will reminisce on tonight as a reason to keep it like that. He himself is on fire, his lyrical flow nothing short of magnificent. His freestyle bars have listeners hanging off his every word. But his right-hand man Charlie Borthwick is struggling with some technical issues, and the music’s power is lost to a frustrating degree and it affects concentration all round. Robinson does his best but he’s honest enough to know when he’s beat. A missed opportunity then, but one that still shows his strengths – and he continues to dazzle with his recorded output. He really might be “the best thing out of Weston Favell”.

Leo Robinson

Hyll continue to impress tonight, with a later set than the previous night. The crowd is respectful for half their set, but once singer-guitarist Martin takes off into the audience for a wander it heightens the excitement levels and from then on in it’s head-banging and hand-horns all the way to the end. With flawless guitar solos and pounding drums, they’re a band you won’t forget in a hurry. “Breathlessly magnificent rock” probably just about sums up their performance.

Headliners this evening are everyone’s favourite NN party starters, Century City. Regular drummer Tommy is absent, and Jake Crawford [Future Love, Acoda] ably deputises. They are on fine fettle, singer Nik Gray making jokes throughout and egging on his compadres to higher levels. Andy Convey from fellow alt-rockers Future Love jumps up to join in the chorus on one number. Gray does his bar walkabout thing, naturally. We all go home sweaty and happy. Can Northampton be like this every night, please?

Century City

SATURDAY, THE POMFRET ARMS
With a raised stage in the pub’s stunning beer garden, this Cotton End pub is the perfect place for some sunny Saturday afternoon acoustic singalongs. First up Duncan Bisatt uses his music as a way of storytelling. Featuring only his acoustic guitar and his voice, he strums gently as he sings about relatable experiences. Whether it’s climate change or dedications to his hometown, he does it well, including catchy riffs and a soothing voice.

After an issue or two with the line-up, Michael Kinder played earlier than expected. He takes it all in his stride, however – his hoarse, yet trained voice compliments the sun shining on Northampton, and later in the set experiments with using his guitar as percussion. He’s fun, fresh, and definitely funky.

Two piece Crybb are exactly what you’d expect from folk music. They stick to traditions while introducing a modern twist with a flute, so the tracks they perform don’t sound dated. It’s political music with a gentle sound: the very idea of a peaceful protest.

Straw Horses turn the afternoon into something gentile. Their music is calm and quiet, with mellow guitar riffs and the perfect harmonies, but it’s not boring, and nor is it downbeat. Instead, it’s tender and smooth, and they slot in with the rest of the afternoon nicely.

Following the issues with his set yesterday, Leo Robinson has been invited back to perform properly this time. Immediately you can hear the improvement, and he sounds much better. With diverse backing tracks complimenting his rapping, and several collaborations, it’s clear that Leo Robinson is going to go far.

On into the evening session in the barn, Deep Sea Mountains kick things off with their discordant fuzz rock. They are both a bit shouty and offer plenty of sweet harmonies. You could compare their set to watching an angsty Teenage Fanclub, or someone who should be signed to Sub Pop. They play cracking recent single ‘Pipe Dream’ and debut a rather good new song, ‘Five Mile Stroll’, which displays some measured feedback and punk attack – but then suddenly becomes all Television-esque in the arty middle section. This band is a multi-layered onion, and no mistake.

Deep Sea Mountains

Hyll, with the rain pouring outside, are even better here than the previous two nights, which is hard to believe. They bring out the moshers in all of us, and their interactions – coming into the crowd, getting everyone to sit down, being hoisted aloft during the climax – break down the separation between band and audience. Band of the weekend? Quite possibly.

The beautiful droney Mantras mix things up tonight, as guitarist Pierre has brought his slide guitar and an ironing board and proceeds to cook up all manner of beatific instrumental passages to delight the aural passages. The audience are silent in respect and awe. Northampton doesn’t really have a Mantras-type band, could they perhaps just move here? They’d be well-loved.

The Flims follow just as the sun sets, and they bring their best performance of the weekend yet. The intimate setting helps create an affectionate space, and their confidence looks up. They once again have everyone dancing along to ‘Emma’ and all their other Germanic indie-pop tunes.

Deaf Trap have the unenviable task of trying to top all these great performances. They aren’t helped by some power problems which regularly turn the lights on and off, but they persevere to bring Twinfest a dark, feedback-laden, somewhat chaotic, but ultimately joyous set of intense rock. All the mess feels very beautiful: bodies everywhere, a dancing Hotdog, a party at the end of the world. Long may their reign continue.

SUNDAY, THE BLACK PRINCE
Twinfest this year is proving to be one of the best, with the finale taking place at the well-esteemed Black Prince. The atmosphere has been incredibly social and friendly so far, with all of the bands – British, German and French – exchanging words of encouragement with each other and always making sure to catch one another’s sets.

Sunday’s proceedings kicks off with Tom Rose and The Heathen Orchestra, a group that takes elements of shock-rock and blues-rock to create a unique, horror-inspired sound that is reminiscent of the likes of Screaming Jay Hawkins and Space.

Next is Yodaclub, who are definitely unafraid to show their influences, taking notes from The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen [and dressing all in black accordingly]. These lot will be right at home to those who are fans of ’80s post-punk, with a standout track in the dream-poppy ‘Don’t Fall’.

Though today is The Keepers debut performance at Twinfest they certainly display no nerves. The band’s energy and enthusiasm is palpably infectious. They have got the mid-nineties mod revival, wall-of-sound down to a tee. Jordan Jones (vocals) and Liam Taylor (lead guitar) have Gallagher-like swagger by the bucket-load, while Oli Rumens (bass) and Steve Smith (drums) impress with rhythms reminiscent of ‘Elephant Stone’-era Roses. An excellent show; be sure to catch them again at another of their gigs.

The Keepers

After them we have Corby’s King Purple, a grungy three-piece with a hint of psychedelia, who are no stranger to genre mixing. Despite there only being three of these guys they manage to create a sound that is much larger than the sum of their parts. The highlight of their set is the track ‘Wasting Away’, a doomy number that feels like an early ’90s grunge throwback, with long instrumental sections that build up to a frantic, fast-paced finish. After being played and praised on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio 6, its safe to say that we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.

Pieces then take the stage, an indie three-piece brimming with melodic vocal harmonies and buzzsaw guitars play with a punk ferocity that’s not too dissimilar to acts like the Buzzcocks [as well as more modern bands like Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon]. These local lads take the phrase “three chords and the truth” and proudly wear it on their sleeves. With massive, infectious pop choruses and tight as nails musicianship that would put major-label acts to shame, the future is bright for the fledgling trio.

The first German band of the day is Hyll, an act who have continuously proven over the course of this Twinfest that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their songs are punctuated by an abrasive post-punk edge, with blistering guitars, floor-thumping bass lines and primal drumming with the occasional breakdown that always gets the audience headbanging. It’s safe to say that Hyll have well and truly earned the respect of their Northamptonian counterparts!

We’re then back to the British bands with Skirt, who, after their recent triumphant gig at the reopening of The Hut in Corby, bring their high-octane set to Twinfest. Bursting with raw, youthful energy, these lads combine punk with late ’80s Madchester and garage rock presented with a boisterous Gallagher brothers-style swagger that certainly left an impression on today’s crowd. A definite highlight is the menacing ‘Easy Tiger’, a track that could easily sound at home on a Stooges record.

Next up is Marburg’s The Flims, an indie-pop four-piece bursting with class and an upbeat stage presence that reflects the upbeat nature of the music they play. With jangly guitar riffs that feel like a fusion between Johnny Marr and the alternative British bands of the noughties, The Flims are a standout amongst the foreign bands. They’ve managed to get the crowd moving on each day of this festival without fail, and this evening is no exception.

Changing things up are Mio Flux with Patchy The Rockstar, a hip hop duo with elements of trap music, and a bass that would shake the foundation of even the sturdiest venues. The drastic change in genre going from The Flims to these two definitely sets them apart from the guitar bands of the day. They open with a tasteful trap remix of Sarpa Salpa’s belter ‘She Never Lies’, and it’s an unexpected but creative rendition of the track.

For the penultimate act we again have Poitiers’ Mantras, a band that mixes dark blues and psych while taking some clear cues from Black Sabbath. It’s a change in mood that certainly turns a few heads in their direction. Their songs are mostly instrumental, with only the occasional, shrieking vocal that wouldn’t sound too far removed on a Scandinavian black metal record. Like many bands relying on their instrumentation, they are no stranger to speed and volume changes, sonically making them one of the more unique and left field bands of this weekend.

Last, and most certainly not least, we have the homegrown Monarchs to close the weekend. Fresh off of their tour with King Purple, they play what feels like a grand homecoming gig, performing a selection of old and new tracks. The highlight of their set is the recently released ‘You Got Me’, a tune which the local crowd and fellow outsiders alike are clearly familiar with, shown through what has to be one of the most intense mosh pits at a Northampton gig in recent memory. This is surely a testament to the appreciation that the scene has for this band. With a large and macabre indie sound and some Queens of the Stone Age-inspired riffs, chock full of breakdowns and siren-like guitars, Monarchs give Twinfest the finale it deserves.

Monarchs

This years Twinfest has proven to be a special one – with an array of brilliant bands coming from Marburg and Poitiers and excellent performances from local talent, Northampton has once again proven its musical and cultural diversity in spades.

Words by Phil Istine, Lucy Wenham, Oliver Rumens, Tom Rose

Photos by David Jackson, Nallie Simpson, Phil Istine, Kenny Precious

 

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New Music Friday: Luna Rosa

Corby’s alternative, groovy, abrasive indie rockers Luna Rosa have a new single out, the polemic ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’. All money generated from the single as well as merchandise…

Corby’s alternative, groovy, abrasive indie rockers Luna Rosa have a new single out, the polemic ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’. All money generated from the single as well as merchandise sales will be going to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. You can watch the video below. New Boots speaks to the quartet to delve deep.

How did you guys get together?
Rory: This line-up [Rory McDade (guitar/vox), Aidan Furey (guitar), Charlie Thorneycroft (bass)] got together around Christmas 2017 and then Jack Connolly joined us on drums a couple months ago. We all met at a local community centre, in a class on origami. Mr. Binley who ran the class sat us all together and we just got to talking. We were shit at origami so soon dropped that and got on with the music instead.

How would you describe your sound?
Rory: It can be quite brash and raucous at times but with quiet and more tender moments. We try to make each song stand on its own, so we try to make them sonically different whilst still keeping the same attitude and feel. Its hard to pigeonhole it yourself. Maybe ‘Speedfreak punkadelia’, that sounds good.

Who are your main influences in music?
Aidan: John Squires’ left hand
Jack: Foals to Stereophonics
Charlie: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Causa Sui
Rory: James Brown’s funky chicken move

Tell us everything about the new single ‘Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death’.
Rory: Its sad to say that the song pretty much wrote itself over the course of two days. I’d read an article about life before the NHS and one of the quotes was “Hunger, Filth, Fear And Death”. The next day I was driving to Nottingham, the news came on about the fire at Grenfell Tower and by the time I got to Nottingham it was pretty much all over, in a flash all these lives had been lost and there was nothing anyone could do about it. It was surreal and truly awful. I stood with my friends just in silence and shock really. It could’ve happened anywhere to anyone. That night I watched a doc about a nurse who was living out of food banks and just struggling everyday whilst she worked as hard as she could to help people, and this similar quote popped up again – “Fear, Filth, Dirt & Death”. I think it all just hurt too much, knowing that living in a country that’s supposed to be further evolved still suffers because the facts remain the same: the state stays in control and gets rich no matter the consequence. It was actually recorded last year but with a few change ups we did it again this year at The Lodge Studios in Northampton with Colde & Loveless behind the desk. I think they knew the significance of the song and, like always, really got behind us.

A great gesture to give the proceeds to the Grenfell fund. Why make that decision?
Rory: We feel that this song hits on a few sensitive subjects with everything that’s happened and is going on in the UK at the minute. We didn’t think it’d be right to sing about these things and try to gain from them. It’d be like making money off of someone’s pain. We’re under no illusion that we can change whats happened or give the victims what they need, as I don’t think anyone will ever be able to. But if we can bring people together by showing our support at the time of the Grenfell Inquiry it may help and keep peoples attention on the matter.

What are your live shows like? Is it really true you’ve done 300 shows since 2015?
Rory: It’s just over the 250 mark I think. When our EP came out in 2015 we were doing 3-4 shows a week. Playing anywhere that would have us! Our shows are just full on; all the songs are played with an intensity because that’s just how they should be played. They’ve been known to get a bit rowdy, leading to us being barred from a few places, but I don’t think that’s our fault – too many nutcases follow us about! We’re quite calm zen people…

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Rory: Yeah I think Corby & Northampton have scenes that are getting much better. We always try and play with similar bands from around the way. There’s far too many acts to mention, there’s far more to the local music scene than people realise. So much good stuff out there. We love playing Corby obviously, The White Hart is always good to us. We played The Angel in Nottingham the other week and that was a nice venue.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year or so?
Rory: We played Dot to Dot and that was pretty fun, but it’s probably – and probably always will be – coming home and playing Corby to a crowd that know the songs. It always feels good. And then after just getting to go out with all your mates. We did break down on the motorway for 10 hours after Jack’s first gig with us, drank some dodgy water and things got weird. Wouldn’t say it was a favourite moment, but I doubt we’ll forget it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Aidan: DMA’s For Now
Charlie: Muddy Waters  Before The Rain
Jack: War On Drugs  A Deeper Understanding
Rory: Ray Charles I’m All Yours Baby

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Just to keep going, hopefully play bigger and better shows, record and release better songs. There will be another single coming in October, and then we plan to release a new EP by the end of the year – and we have a few things up our sleeve for that, touring wise. Just ride it like you stole it till the wheels fall off, no other real way to do it!

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Record review: Lew Bear ‘Love Light Dark And Death’

LEW BEAR Love Light Dark and Death [self-released] If there’s one thing that’s important to Daventry-based singer-songwriter Lew Bear, it’s returning to nature as often as he can. So much…

LEW BEAR
Love Light Dark and Death [self-released]

If there’s one thing that’s important to Daventry-based singer-songwriter Lew Bear, it’s returning to nature as often as he can. So much so, in fact, that several of his previous albums have been recorded in fields, or by streams. But now, with fifth album Love Light Dark And Death, he has decided that it’s time to return back to the studio.

Opening track ‘Devil You Know’ introduces the mood of the whole album with bouncing, crisp guitar strumming, while Lew Bear’s warm vocals are not too different to the cosy blanket you wrapped yourself in as a kid.

‘Going Home’ captures summer in a song, with lyrics such as “I won’t be there alone/in my mind/when I’m going home” bringing imagery of sunny days spent with your closest friends, whilst ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ hits upon a darker target. With acoustic guitars that sound foreboding and ominous, the song is eerily reminiscent of ’40s blues.

Songs like ‘The Wanderer’ and ‘Follow The River’ showcase Lew Bear’s jazz-styled vocals in a lower key, making him sound gloomy and encompassing. The guitar riffs also follow suit with simplistic strumming that boosts the singer’s voice to an even more powerful level. ‘Oh Death’, on the other hand, is deep and haunting, with echoing gongs punctuating the first hand story, from death’s point of view, of what happens to us when we reach the end.

‘Return To The Sea’ and ‘The End Is Never Near’ are album’s highlights, with their slow, calming melodies and soft vocals. ‘Return To The Sea’ is, musically, the perfect mixture of acoustic guitar and poetic lyrics, whilst ‘The End Is Never Near’ documents a love story to last for the ages.

Overall, Love Light Dark And Death is an album that couples folk music with a modern twist, resulting in a clear-cut sound that is neither dated nor out of place within the genre. Lew Bear has talent by the bucket load and he isn’t afraid to use it. This record is unique and warm, with a folk-blues sound that fits perfectly for those sunny Sunday afternoons spent in the countryside with the people you love.

Lucy Wenham

Love Light Dark and Death is out now for streaming, download or on CD

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 25th – Jul 31st 2018

THE FERRETS + BIRD’S EYE VIEW Wednesday July 25th The King Billy, Northampton Hailing from Italy, the pop-punk band visit the UK for the first time, in support their new…

THE FERRETS + BIRD’S EYE VIEW
Wednesday July 25th
The King Billy, Northampton
Hailing from Italy, the pop-punk band visit the UK for the first time, in support their new album Another Planet. Bringing a European flavor to their Cali brand of pop-punk, the band ooze fun and energy. For fans of Blink 182, Sum 41 and Simple Plan. Doors 8pm, free entry

TWINFEST DAY ONE
Thursday July 26 
The Guildhall, Northampton
Twinfest kicks off 2018 with a special event in the The Great Hall of The Guildhall. From Marburg witness The Flims and Hyll, from Poitiers comes Mantras, and representing ShoeTown are Sarpa Salpa, The Barratts, Drinsipa, and Keiron Farrow. Doors 7pm, £6 for a weekend wristband

GREG COULSON
Thursday July 26th
The Charles Bradlaugh, Northampton
Coulson’s What’s New? album launch show. Greg will be playing the album in it’s entirety. He will be joined by his band: Stuart Dixon on guitar, John Thompson on bass, Adam Gammage on drums and Miles Hancock and Ryan West on horns. Doors 8pm, £8 tickets

TWINFEST DAY TWO
Friday July 27th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
We move onto The Lamp for day two, with party rockers Century City headlining, rap star Leo Robinson in effect, plus the three visitors again: The Flims, Hyll, and Mantras. Doors 7pm, free entry [donations requested]

JONO & THE UKE DEALERS + THE VINCENT VEGA BAND
Friday July 27th
UFO Pavilion, Northampton
Interesting and original folk-rockers with ukes plug new single ‘Beautiful Young Things’, plus the return of the slightly skewed lo-fi indie rockers. Music from 9pm, pay what you can entrance fee [proceeds go to the Umbrella Fair Organisation]

THE DARKHORSE + TEMPLE RENEGADE + EVEREST QUEEN
Friday July 27th
The King Billy, Northampton
Rushden doom sludgers headline. Dutch alternative rockers, drawing on influences from the likes of Karnivool, Audioslave, Alter Bridge, and Twelve Foot Ninja, stand in the middle. Prog metal from Stevenage opens proceedings. Music from 9pm, free entry

MEDICI + ROTHMAN JACK + THE TOUCH + THRIFT STREET + KAT GOUGH
Friday July 27th
The Lab, Northampton
Midlands indie boys make their way back to Northampton, car crash blues-rock from Manchester, Kettering rock-pop-punk, an acoustic set from the ShoeTown pop-punkers, and opening with a sweet lyrical voice mixed with some mean ukulele playing. Doors 7pm, £3 entry

TWINFEST DAY THREE
Saturday July 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
The weekend brings all the alldayers. Deaf Trap, Deep Sea Mountains, Michael Kinder, Duncan Bisatt, Kilamojo, Crybb, Kenneth J Nash, The Straw Horses, The Flims, Hyll, and Mantras play the Cotton End venue. Doors 1pm, free entry [donations requested]

TWINFEST INTERNATIONAL JAM & AFTER PARTY
Saturday July 28th
Club 43, Northampton
A new event on the Twinfest calendar; the International Jam. Hosted by local band The Barratts, the jam/ open mic session will run from 11pm – 1am, followed by DJs until the small hours! Doors 10pm, free entry for Twinfest wristband wearers, or £4 on the door

TAYLOR SMITH + MUDDY BOOTS + THE RANDOM MURPHY + BILLY NOMAD + LEW BEAR
Saturday July 28th
The Lab, Northampton
The Bardic Chair hosts an evening of live music in aid of The Bardic Picnic 2018, which takes place at Becket’s Park on August 5th. Doors 8pm, donations requested

PRESCRIPTION HAPPINESS
Saturday July 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
London industrial metal quartet play alongside DJs and burlesque performers. Doors 9pm: free entry, but you need to add yourself to the event guestlist and the dress code is goth/fetish/alternative.

FUELED HATE + REAPER + XYHON + THE FANGS OF THE DODO
Saturday July 28th
The Hut, Corby
Metal, hardcore and heavy rock bands assemble in Corby at the newly reopened Hut. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

GARDEN + ODDITY ISLAND
Saturday July 28th
The White Hart, Corby
Recent single ‘Hate Me’ provided proof that indie rock is very much alive and kicking within the county in the hands of Garden. Support from psychedelic-folk quintet Oddity Island. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

3D + BLACK WAVE + THE 182s + MIX TAPES + THE MODERN AGE + ENABLERS + GOOD APPLES + TOM WALLINGTON + SCOTT LATTA + RICHARD CRABB
Saturday July 28th
The Shire Horse, Corby
Third annual event, raising money for a local boy with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Midday doors, donations requested

SILVERSHORES + SHAUN GAMBOWL WALSH & THE PLAGIARISTS
Saturday July 28th
The Horseshoe Inn, Wellingborough
Headliners from Birmingham bring their eclectic mix of indie and shoegaze, with support from fellow Brummies, who ply audiences with dirty rotten space punk. Doors 8pm, free entry

I SEE HAWKS IN L.A.
Saturday July 28th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Cosmic California country-rock stylings from some powerhouse LA musicians, with several albums and soundtracks to their name. Doors 7.30pm, free entry [donations requested]

SCOTT WALTERS
Saturday July 28th
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Indie-folk singer-songwriter from Northampton plays Rushdens best drink stop. Live Music from 8:30pm, free entry

TWINFEST FINALE
Sunday July 29th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The second alldayer to finish off the weekend utilises the two outside areas of the Prince. Expect to see and hear and marvel at Tom Rose And The Heathen Orchestra, Pieces, Yodaclub, The Keepers, Monarchs, King Purple, Skirt, Mio Flux & Patchy The Rockstar, The Flims, Hyll and Mantras. Doors 1pm, £5 weekend wristband

THE SOAPGIRLS + THESE FIVE YEARS
Sunday July 29th
The King Billy, Northampton
Armed with unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses, The SoapGirls energy, rawness and authenticity live has earned them a formidable reputation. Support from Cardiff pop punkers. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

MARK HARRISON
Sunday July 29th
The Olde Forge Tea Room, Cranford
A couple of hours of rootsy blues, original and unique songs & stories. 2pm, £5 entry [call 01536 330014 to reserve your spot]

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

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX Wednesday July 18th The King Billy, Northampton Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who…

THE MAGIC Es + BLACKMAIL BOX
Wednesday July 18th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blistering, melodic guitar rock from Norwich [think Stones, Who, Clash, Jam]. Also playing are a Nottingham band who trade in rockabilly/surf-flavoured garage punk. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

SHARKTEETH GRINDER + DRINSIPA + ACOLYTES + LA FOLIVORA
Thursday July 19th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The gang are back. Another ‘core night; that being mathcore, hardcore, synthcore. ‘Core blimey, it’s gonna be sweaty! Doors 8pm, free entry

DK + SEVERE + BIG G + MORE [LAY IT DOWN]
Thursday July 19th
The Lab, Northampton
After the immense success of the launch night Lay It Down brings NN another instalment of the rap, spoken word, and singing showcase. The talent is strong, go check it out. Doors 8pm, free entry

CORNERSTONE
Thursday July 19th
The King Billy, Northampton
Melodic rock from Austria. Regular festival players, in 2016 the band released their third studio album Reflections. Doors 9pm, free entry

SCREAM BLUE MURDER + THE WEIGHT OF ATLAS + DARKEST DAYS + THE CREATURE WITHIN
Friday July 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Headliners are a four-piece metalcore band from Coventry. Also: Scottish emo, East Midlands metalcore, and NN weird grunge-punk. Doors 7.30pm, £6 entry

STORMBRINGER + HAEMA + REDNECK JESUS
Friday July 20th
The White Hart, Corby
A band on a roll after many successful years of gigging [including shows at Download and Bloodstock], Stormbringer are still plugging latest album Born A Dying Breed. Support from ShoeCounty industrial groove merchants and Corby stoners. Doors 8pm, £3 tickets

BUG JAM FESTIVAL
Friday July 20th – Saturday July 21st
Santa Pod Raceway, Podington
A celebration of all things VW, they have five arenas of live music and DJs. Friday night sees The South [a Beautiful South spin-off band] performing, whilst Saturday welcomes Noisettes, Doctor & The Medics, and Killa Kela to the various stages. Weekend tickets are £70 with a VW, or £90 without

HANNAH FAULKNER + TIM JON BROPHY + REBECCA RYAN + THE BLUE FOUNDATION
Friday July 20th
The Shire Horse, Kettering
An acoustic showcase of talent from around the county congreagte in Kettering. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

SIXFIELDS ROCK FESTIVAL
Saturday July 21st – Sunday July 22nd
Duston Mill Sixfields, Northampton
Born in 2016, it consisted of a one day event with a trailer stage and a small beer tent.​ In 2017 it expanded drastically and the organisers consolidate its position on the rock calendar in this its third year. 18 bands over two days, including Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Stormbringer, White Coast Rebels, Over The Influence, Spreading The Disease, Empyre, Via Dolorosa, Numb [Saturday], Austin Gold, Sacrilege, Satan’s Empire, Family Of Noise, and The Hero Dies First [Sunday]. Gates 11am: £15 for a single day, £25 for both. Tickets here

THE SOAPGIRLS
Saturday July 21st
The Prince of Wales, Kettering
On their ‘Stinks Like Punk’ tour 2018, the duo return to Kettering with their own brand of punk rock and merchandise. The SoapGirls provide unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses. Performing continuously, these fearless French Born sisters Millie and Mie have slayed countless countries and earned a dedicated group of follower known as the ‘The SoapSuds’ who follow them all over the UK and Europe. Doors 9pm, free entry

SKIRT + THE BARRATTS + MUNDAYS + TOUCAN
Saturday July 21st
The Hut, Corby
The Corby indie punk trio throw their own birthday bash, with their besties on board too. It’s at the reopened Hut too, which might well be cause for further celebration. There’s an after party too, with Flash Peasants playing. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

THE TOUCH
Saturday July 21st
The Three Cocks, Kettering
More live entertainment from the 80s rock stlyings of The Touch. Doors 9pm, free entry

 

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Founder member of Brian Jonestown Massacre plays Northampton

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September. Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists…

A founder member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is set to play Northampton this September.

Matt Hollywood spent 16 years over two stints in BJM, being one of the guitarists when the band formed in 1990. His latest project is Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings, which blends blues, country and psychedelia into a Lee Hazlewood/Serge Gainsbourg-style mould. Hear ‘Ghost Ghost’ below.

Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings play The Lab on Sunday September 2nd. Tickets are now on sale.

https://www.matthollywoodandthebadfeelings.com

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

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY Wednesday July 11th The Lab, Northampton A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band…

MISHKIN FITZGERALD + FELINE & STRANGE + CORINNE LUCY
Wednesday July 11th
The Lab, Northampton
A celebration of female singers and songwriters. Headlined by the front-woman of progressive rock band Birdeatsbaby, Mishkin Fitzgerald plays darkly tinged pianos ballads and melancholic alt-pop tunes.  Feline & Strange are a “theatrical punk” duo from Berlin with a powerful female voice, cello, piano and synths. And Corinne Lucy sings her melodic, “embarrassingly earnest” songs. Doors 7pm, £5 tickets

BULLETS & OCTANE + LAST HOUNDS
Thursday July 12th
The White Hart, Corby
Southern Californians Bullets and Octane exploded onto the hard rock scene twenty year ago, and this year hit the road to support new album Waking Up Dead. Support from midlands hip-hop-infused punks. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets

GEOFF CARNE & THE HATZ
Friday July 13th
The King Billy, Northampton
Blues rock duo with several albums to their name, including Get Close. Doors 9pm, free entry

STEREO SKULL + DEAF TRAP
Saturday July 14th
The Lab, Northampton
Last minute announcement: a celebration of NN noise from two locally-loved metal and alt-rock acts. Doors 7pm, free entry

LUKE CONCANNON
Sunday July 15th
Engine, Northampton
Formerly one half of Nizlopi, and one of Ed Sheeran’s closest pals, Luke Concannon is playing a “house concert” at the co-work space in Abington. Concannon had a number one single in 2005 with ‘JCB Song’. BYOB. Doors 6.30pm; it’s a ‘gift economy’ gig so you “pay what you think it’s worth”.

 

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