Tag: rushden

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 26th – Mar 3rd

SHARKTEEH GRINDER + DEAD KIWIS + CROW + BADDREAMS + INDIFFERENT ENGINE Wednesday February 26th The Black Prince, Northampton Hardcore bands from Corby, France, Cambridge, and Birmingham. Doors 7.15pm, £5…

Wednesday February 26th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Hardcore bands from Corby, France, Cambridge, and Birmingham. Doors 7.15pm, £5 entry

Wednesday February 26th
The Golden Horse, Northampton
Ni Ni acoustic singer-songwriter sessions. From 8pm, free entry

Friday February 28th
The Black Prince, Northampton
A Northampton musical ledge [The Moons, Paul Weller, etc.] returns to an old haunt to play songs both old and new. Support from local singer-songwriters that are major talents in their own right. Doors 7.30pm, £9.50 tickets

Friday February 28th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
An intimate night of soulful originals by the Cousin Avi singer. Doors 8pm, £7 tickets

Friday February 28th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Rap-rockers showcase new material, plus the punk trio, NN rap mainstay and the irreverent singer-songwriter. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

Friday February 28th
The Lab, Northampton
Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Birmingham, plus similar NN talent too. Doors 7pm, free entry

Friday February 28th
The King Billy, Northampton
From 8.30pm, free entry 

Friday February 28th
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
Pop-punk from London and Daventry, plus metal from Oxford and viking death metal from Bedford. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Friday February 28th
Earls Barton Working Men’s Club
High-octane Norfamtun folkies, plus the solo project of keysman Anthony Shiels [“pop music for grown-ups”]. In the middle is the fingerpicking songwriter from Bedford, and the warm-up slot is reserved for a local songstress. Doors 8pm, £3 entry

Saturday February 29th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [upstairs]
New indie rockers from ShoeTown reveal their shifted line-up. R U Indie tunes and lashings of fuzz for a Saturday night. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday February 29th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton [basement]
An evening of disgusting noises. Headliner plays a set of entirely new material [hopefully still in the digital hardcore vein]. Plus noise rock veterans, and “high frequency synths and groovy bangers” from electropunk Luke Farmer. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday February 29th
The Deco, Northampton
One of the original Drifters , this show covers six decades of classics, such as ‘Under the Boardwalk’, ‘Kissing in the Back Row’, ‘On Broadway’, ‘Like Sister and Brother’. Doors 7.30pm, £25 tickets

Saturday February 29th
Hopmaster The Reserve, Rushden Lakes
Northampton folk-rock group play the snazzy new bar down at the Lakes. From 9pm, free entry

Sunday March 1st
Hare and Hounds, Great Addington
Wildfire Sessions acoustic open mic with featured sets from the above. 4pm – 7.30pm, free entry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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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…

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday October 5th
The Hopmaster General, Rushden
Ni Ni Sessions acoustic goodness from the above selection. From 8.30pm, free entry

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

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

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

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New Music Friday: Caliburn

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New…

Hardcore/metalcore Caliburn – Niall, Ewan, Joe, Bailey and Jake – are a relatively new NN band, who recently celebrated the release of their first EP ‘Outskirts’. It’s so good New Boots had to go and have a word or five.

Where are you all based in Northamptonshire?
We’re from all over in a way. Joe and Bailey live over in Corby, Jake in Kettering, Niall in Northampton and Ewan’s from Irthlingborough. We’re a bit all over the place, but we all get together every other week in Rushden to chill and jam our tracks together, vibe idea’s and just have a good time.

How did you guys get together?
The band initially formed around two years ago with Ewan and Niall, after they’d been toying with the idea for many years and eventually jam sessions started to become a regular occurrence. They have been close friends from a young age and have been in previous bands together after leaving school, so the likelihood of another project was inevitable at some point. The next key component for us was a bassist. As far as we’re concerned Bailey is one of the founders of the band and has been with us from the beginning.
Caliburn has spent the first years of its life exploring different styles and sounds, which meant that we parted ways with previous members as the sound and the band has developed. We were in need of a new drummer in 2018, and we found Jake. Jake’s drumming skills were already known to us, Ewan has been mates with him outside of the band and he’s renowned locally for being a super technical drummer, and he didn’t disappoint.
Now with the four of us we could really get down to laying the foundations of the material we were jamming with. But it soon became apparent there was one last piece missing- the lead guitar. Unbeknown to us it wouldn’t be until Joe joined that everything would take form and fall into place in full force. Joe’s talent for writing music pulled all the elements together.
We spent the last year playing shows, and producing our first EP, ‘Outskirts’, which we are all very proud of.

How would you describe your sound?
To put it bluntly, “Painfully generic Metalcore”…but with a twist! The synths and strings on top of the guitars creates the perfect melodies, and catchy choruses ensures that we make an imprint on the music society. Our sound is changing from when the band had first started and the album will be different to the EP. We all look forward to what the future for Caliburn has to offer.

Who are your main influences in music?
We all listen to a bit of everything, so our songs could go in any direction in terms of style and sound. For example our song ‘Outskirts’ has really catchy and melodic sections almost like a pop song, as well as hard hitting heavy riffs similar to bands like Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine. I think those last two are definitely big influences on us as a sort of baseline for our sound, and we like to take that element and build on it with other influences that we feel lends to the song. While She Sleeps is another band we take inspiration from too. Killer guitar riffs, massive sounding vocals, raw screaming, there is just so much passion in their music and its fantastic! Hopefully the passion we have for our own music comes across that way as well.

Tell us everything about this debut EP, ‘Outskirts’?
So the EP has a little bit of all of us. Joe has the lead role of writing the demos to our tracks, and then we all add a bit of ourselves from there. Its a heartfelt EP, all the cliche you could ever need!
Track 1 ‘Vena Cava’ when translated to Latin is “hollow veins”, and is basically about feeling empty within yourself like nothing could ever matter, we really are “sad bois” for life.
Track 2 ‘Outskirts’ follows on from that and is about searching for better things. Then when you eventually find it, whether it be love, success or finally belonging. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Track 3 ‘Letting Go’ is basically about struggling with heartbreak and finding it hard to move forward.
Track 4 ‘Seasonal’. Now, this is a sad one. Where to start. Its a really personal song to Niall. A few years ago he was having a really bad time with mental health, but like to think of himself as mentally strong and persevered. However in the space of about eight months, two friends of his didn’t and this track goes out to them. Niall really struggled understanding why they hadn’t reached out to anyone. This song is as close to what he can get in his own mind as to how they were feeling. I like to think it’s written by them through Niall.
Track 5 ‘Pray For Me’ has done pretty well. It’s been played on BBC Introducing twice, and forwarded to BBC 1 Rock Show, so here’s to hoping! The tracks about the end. How you never know when it’s coming, and any day could be your last. It’s one of our favourites on the EP and the ending finishes the EP nicely.
Its like a simplified story all together and it gives a little bit of closure within us. It’s a heartfelt EP.

Recorded down in Southampton with Nick from Our Hollow, Our Home. A great guy to work with and we feel he captured exactly what we wanted out of our first release. We’d highly recommend hitting up Six Point Media if you’re looking to release.

What are your live shows like?
We really enjoy playing live. Its our favourite thing to do together [as well as going to the pub of course]. We give it our all when we’re out there, no matter what the occasion is. We’re passionate about our music and we want to put on the best show possible for returning fans, as well as hopefully gaining some new ones. Its all well and good listening to a band online or on Spotify, but you really need to go to the live show to really see what a band is about.

Congrats on your freshly inked ‘Weathers Management’ deal. what can you tell us about that?
So the management deal was something Niall and Dan (the owner of Weathers management) had spoken about before. Niall met Dan at All Points East through bumping into Stone from Behind Blue Eyes. So they spent most of the day chilling together and through him is where Niall met Dan for the first time. It wasn’t until about a week later Niall noticed he was friends with Dan on Facebook for a while and it sparked the conversation about management. We’re trying to push our sound further afield so joining Weathers management sounded like a good deal to us. It catered to us all being busy but also wanting to get more shows. There’s a few things in the pipeline at the moment in terms of new venues for us, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Are you part of a musical community, playing with like-minded bands?
We like to play anywhere we can really. Helps spread our wings and meet new people in the process. We’ve done a few shows over at The Shed in Leicester, and we’ll be back there at some point soon without a doubt! And of course we’ve met some great bands in the process as well. Like the guys from A Hundred Crowns who always put on a great show. We’ve played with them a couple of times and now and they’re really nice guys as well. Same goes for a band called The Lunar Process [formerly Edge Of Apollo]. Had the pleasure of playing with those guys in the north and they made us feel welcome to somewhere totally new to us! We also have to give props to the local boys in Primal Holocaust as well. We’ve shared the stage with them a number of times since they started up and their shows are just full of energy and aggression. It really is a good show to watch.

Of course we love playing in Northampton, The Black Prince is one of our favourites to play. We spent a good amount of this year playing there, and the shows we’ve been involved in has been have been killer! Raffs over in Wellingborough is also a fun one for us to pay as well. It was the first venue we played in this new era of the band with Joe and Jake, and its just generally a good laugh when we play there as well.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
There has been a lot of good moments with the band. A lot has happened the past year with the EP dropping and we couldn’t be happier! But going back to good moments there is one that stands out the most is one gig we had played at Raffs bar, Wellingborough, for a heat of “Metal 2 The Masses’. We had started playing and people seemed to be enjoying what we had wrote. It was in that moment knew we had something special. To see the sight of people enjoying what we offer and being part of something more than just a band, means it will always be one of our favourite memories.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Well there’s been some pretty big albums drop recently! Of course the brand new Slipknot album We Are Not Your Kind came out a few weeks ago and that album has some absolutely killer tracks on it! You always know that when Slipknot go away for a little while that they’re gonna come back with a bang. Its the same deal with Atonement by Killswitch Engage, even featuring their old singer on one of the best tracks on the album ‘The Signal Fire’ as well! Metalcore fans can live happy now they’ve seen both Jesse Leech and Howard Jones on a Killswitch album, we never thought we’d see the day.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We have a lot of ambition going forward with our music. Obviously we’re gonna keep on playing shows up and down the country and continue getting our name out there. We’ve played some really great shows in the north and over in Leicester so its about time we conquered London and the south of England now! But a big ambition we have for the future is taking ourselves overseas into Europe, and play some shows over there. We see videos and pictures of friends of ours who have done that with their bands and the crowds and atmosphere looks insane! So hopefully we’ll get the same reception that they do when we make our way over into the continent.

As well as playing shows, we may even have some new music to bring to your ears in the new year. Maybe even experiment with some new sounds, increase the heaviness, make the guitar shred even shreddier and very possibly give an old song from 2017 a new lease on life. If you know you know! We’re really looking forward to what the end of year has in store for us, but we’re eagerly anticipating what the new year hold for us as well!

Outskirts is out now

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jul 10th – Jul 16th

DON GALLARDO Thursday July 11th Little Country Smokehouse & General Store, Cransley Nashville-based singer-songwriter playing Americana/country/folk, with four albums to his name. Doors 8pm, £10 tickets NO WORTH OF MAN…

Thursday July 11th
Little Country Smokehouse & General Store, Cransley
Nashville-based singer-songwriter playing Americana/country/folk, with four albums to his name. Doors 8pm, £10 tickets

Friday July 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Funk-infused metal hailing from Farnborough, deathcore from Bournemouth, speed metal from Derby, plus NN stalwarts. Doors 6pm, £6 tickets

Friday July 12th – Saturday July 13th
Various locations, Kettering
Annual creative arts celebration over two evenings in various venues. The Shire Horse has JD Blues, Stuart O’Connor, and The FeversThe Three Cocks has Midnight Honey Club and The Abrahams. There’s probably more too, we just can’t find it right now. http://www.kettfest.org

Friday July 12th – Sunday July 14th
Airfield Road, Podington [nr Rushden]
Located on farmland just beyond Santa Pod Raceway, 30 acts plays, including Electric Black, Naked Next Door, Saving Amy, The Boston Shakers, The Expletives, and many more. Day tickets are £15, weekend £40

Friday July 12th – Sunday July 14th
The Three Horseshoes, Ecton
Live sets from Fargo Railroad Co., The Vincent Vega Band, Stone Mountain Sinners, and Massy Ferguson. There’s food too. Free entry

Friday July 12th – Sunday July 14th
Silverstone Racing Circuit
The British Grand Prix has plenty of entertainment on offer outside the racing, including music. Ska Face and Candidates play the main stage, among others. The Under The Apple Tree area is curated by Northampton’s very own Whisperer, Bob Harris. Foreign Affairs, Howard Rose, Blue Highways, Curse Of Lono, Clara Bond, Harry Pane, Robert J Hunter Band, Izzie Walsh, and Loud Mountains all play there. Entry to the whole thing is £75

Saturday July 13th
NN Contemporary Art Courtyard, Northampton
Level Records & Hometown Projects present a day of local businesses, artists and music to celebrate all things NN. 12 hours of music, including DJ sets and live electronic performances from Soul Groove and Makobi. The day will include food, art/craft stalls and live art. From 11am, free entry

Saturday July 13th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
The first New Music Friday feature we did was in January 2018 with this Rushden lot. The honour must have weighed so heavy, as they pretty much did nothing since then, and are now doing a farewell show. Balls. Support from Corby hardcore sexiness, plus long-presumed-dead experimental funkers from ShoeTown. Attendance is compulsory. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday July 13th
The Black Prince, Northampton
He’s not dead yet! The man they call the Jazz Butcher has been enlivening these parts for many a year, and it’s never nothing short of wholly engaging. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday July 13th
The Sargeant Memorial Hall, Brafield-On-The-Green
Proggy Mancunian duo with lots of press praise. The band “blend musical styles in a non-conformist way seamlessly sidestepping boundaries to create their unique classically driven, emotion-drenched music”. Doors 7pm, £10 tickets

Saturday July 13th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Double feature of gritty and woozy alt/country/folk/rock from NN types who have a bit of experience at this sort of thing. Doors 8pm, free entry

Saturday July 13th
Old Grammarians Sports Field, Wellingborough
A celebration of “the Poor Inhabitants of the Town of Wellinborrow”. Appearing: Renaissancecore and Baroque ‘n’ Roll with Barnstormer 1649 [feat Attila The Stockbroker], The Blue Foundation, rockin blues and Americana with Dawson Smith & The Dissenters, and local young ‘uns A Time Of Day. Doors 5.30pm, £10 tickets

Saturday July 13th
Kettering Library
The local folkies will be playing two 45 minute sets. The band will be in quartet format with Chris, Kev, Steve and Anna. Doors 7.30pm

Sunday July 14th
The King Billy, Northampton
Real, raw and revealing rock’n’roll from the popular sister duo. Support from Bedford punks. Doors 4pm, £5 entry






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New Music Friday: Greasy Diablos

Visceral rock’n’roll will never go out of fashion, and from Rushden come riding those Greasy Diablos to provide some. Back in the saddle for 2019 with new single ‘Sarah’s Nose’,…

Visceral rock’n’roll will never go out of fashion, and from Rushden come riding those Greasy Diablos to provide some. Back in the saddle for 2019 with new single ‘Sarah’s Nose’, New Boots spoke to singer Matt Bland and guitarist Ian Marshall.

How did you guys get together?
Matt: Difficult to pinpoint really; I would say around 2010. I  joined after spending many of my youthful years as a drum & bass MC. I fell out of love with the scene and wanted to do something different. I knew Ian through BMX when we were younger, I found out he had a band; that was it. Dan Stocker was destined to be in the Diablos, and Matt on bass we met through the local music scene around Rushden.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
Matt: Definitely not happy hardcore, definitely not jazz. Its Rock & Roll, its Greasy Diablos!

You had a busy 2017 and then took a break in 2018, and are now back strong gigging again in 2019. Has the break recharged the batteries?
Matt: Rotation of band members didn’t help, that’s probably been more stressful than doing gigs and travelling etc. Now though we have commitment to the cause, so 2019/2020 is looking good and hopefully we can do a lot more festivals and further afield gigs.

Tell us everything about this corking new single, ‘Sarah’s Nose’.
Matt: I believe in all music and arts it’s best to leave to the listener’s interpretations. If you force a subject to strongly it ruins the fluidity of the ride. It’s Rock n’ Roll, and I hope you like it.
Ian: I’d been listening to a lot of old Chicago blues scene stuff from the 60’s, had bit of the riff and Stocker and myself went to the Bunker [our man cave] and finished it off roughly lay-out wise. We took it to practice and Bland was straight on it. It came together really quickly after that! I really enjoy playing it live as has good energy and bounce to it; also everyone loves a story!

Describe the Greasy Diablos live show in less than five words?
Loud, filthy, greasy Rock’nRoll!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues/people you wanna give a shout out to?
Matt: We live on the Northants/Beds border and other than SBD Promotions we have mainly been supported from the Bedford side of things- The Pad Presents guys. As gigs go supporting The Spitfires at The Picturedrome was a great night, and with Salpa Sulpa at Roadmender also. Shout outs to Garden, Type 22, and Kenneth J Nash.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Matt: Getting over 5,000 hits of ‘Sarah’s Nose’ the first week on Spotify.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Matt: The Kumari [self-titled] – shout out to them, great band.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Ian: Get more of our songs recorded and released. I would love to play some iconic festivals next year; the smallest stage will be fine!
Matt: Enjoy ourselves & be happy! Keep progressing: new songs, and getting them out there.

Sarah’s Nose is out now via the usual digital platforms

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New Music Friday: Kenneth J. Nash

East Northamptonshire musician Kenneth J Nash has been a crucial cog on the scene this past decade, consistently putting out top notch albums, running festivals and recording bands. His New…

East Northamptonshire musician Kenneth J Nash has been a crucial cog on the scene this past decade, consistently putting out top notch albums, running festivals and recording bands. His New Boots interview time has been long overdue, so the release of his new EP ‘The Explorer’ gave us the excuse to get more solid nuggets on his journey so far.

You’ve been making music for a while now; solo since 2010 but before that too. For anyone uninitiated in the way of the Nash, is there a potted history you can give?
My first band was in 1984-6 where I played rhythm guitar. We were still at school and our first proper gig was at the end of term in front of the whole school. We had around a ten minute set of originals penned by our frontman Dominic and the rest were Bob Dylan covers. We didn’t really have a band name as I recall. From there I joined numerous bands, all with little success, but found success as a DJ. I’d grown up with the emergence of early hip-hop and loved cutting and scratching on my hand-me-down 1970s double disco decks (no speed control – just slipmats). My DJ sets were mainly hip-hop, with a bit of soul and reggae thrown in. Spending most weekends DJing and working daytimes meant that I had no spare time for bands. However I kept playing guitar and began to become interested in singer-songwriters. Over the next two decades during periods where I was taking a break from DJing I joined various rock, punk and metal bands as a guitarist or bassist, but it wasn’t till 2010 that I started writing songs for myself to sing. I wrote a song called ‘Tattoos Over Scars’ and added a YouTube video of a picture I’d drawn accompanied by a badly recorded version of the song. It got quite a few views and some great comments so it drove me to become a singer-songwriter.

I’d always used poetry as a means of expressing my feelings but had kept the poems to myself. I realised that poetry and songs are kind of the same thing, and began writing a series of songs that proved cathartic and helped me deal with the issues that spending a life ‘on the road’ had given me. Around this time I was asked to join a band as the lead singer and second guitarist; this was called The Ghost Chorus and featured Rob Reeves, Scott Warner and Cliff Lambert. We fashioned our sound on Nick Cave meets The National, and our first gig was supporting Blacklight Pioneer to a large audience. Unfortunately as these things go we only got to record a couple of tracks before we disbanded. I then made the decision to pursue a solo career.

Who are your main influences in 2019? Musically/non-musically…
I listen to a lot of music. My current favourites include Gregory Alan Isokov and Glen Hansard. Outside of music I would say that I’m influenced by nature and love.

What was the reaction like to your last full-release album Luna? Were you satisfied with the finished work?
It got a good reaction, with some lovely reviews, and the stream numbers now mark it out as my most listened to work. It was a long time in the making though: including being signed to a label, recording it twice for them and then them folding. Meaning the version I released was self recorded and produced. I listen back now and I feel happy with it, as it was a snapshot of the band and I at that time. It was recorded live, so has the feel I wanted. It is the soundtrack to an as yet unmade movie. I had plans to shoot a movie, but they’re still plans at this time. I am satisfied with it as an album, there is some excellent musicianship by my band which includes J M Jones on guitar, Max Mclean (of Miyagi Car Wash) on drums, Jamie Gilbert on bass, Alan Tang on keys and of course Fran Taylor providing beautiful backing vocals.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘The Explorer’.
Over the last few years I’ve been working with Musicians Against Homelessness [MAH], having being through some pretty bleak periods of my life. I have been homeless and suffered mental health issues. I wrote the song ‘The Explorer’ about this period, and hope that it can convey the message for those that suffer in silence. I approached MAH who are helping me to promote the release of the EP. There’s been two remixes of the title track so far: Max Mclean has put his Miyagi Car Wash touches on one, and Rob G Nichols has produced an electronica version. I’ve also included an acoustic version, and ‘Around Again’ with just myself and Veronika Rauchfussova, who is a Czech Republic classical violinist. She’s staying with a friend of mine and he introduced us. She is an incredible musician, and unusually for a classically trained musician she enjoys the free flow of playing without sheet music. Which is a bonus as I’m not very good at theory! I’ve also included a live recording of a song of mine, which is called ‘She’s The One That Saved Me’. This was recorded in a log cabin in Wales and is a song about my wife, who saved me from being homeless.

What can we expect from the next album?
I’ve got a couple of album projects on the go. I’m putting together an album of my most listened to tracks from the last ten years, but redone with my band as we are now. This will have the feel of the Miyagi Car Wash remix of ‘The Explorer’, as it’ll be produced by Max Mclean. Then the second album is all new[ish] songs, which will include the songs on ‘The Explorer’ EP, plus some other new ones – and two or three songs from the limited issue album ‘Room 7’ that I released to my core fans last year. This album will be very sparse, whilst hopefully being intimate and totally acoustic and live. I love Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and this has been an influence, as well as Damien Rice’s back catalogue.

You run the “Old Hotel” record label and studio. Tell us how you operate and why you do it.
When I started releasing my own material I had some label interest, but after reading the small print I was shocked about what I was going to have to give away in order to be signed. I declined this, and further record label interest, as I felt I could do a reasonable job myself. I saw some of my contemporaries caught out by these labels and decided that there was a gap for an honest decent label. Old Hotel Records was born to take care of the artists and bands I knew. I would offer a low cost recording service specialising in live recordings, and coaching on performance and songwriting, then use my network in order to gain the artist recognition. It still operates in the same way to this day. I don’t pretend that I can give artists the rock star lifestyle, but I will help them release their songs and keep all the rights and royalties for themselves. I offer my artists festival slots, radio airplay and contacts to take them further than I can. We have a pretty eclectic roster, but all of them are excellent.

You are very much part of a music scene here in Northamptonshire. Any favourite acts, venues, or festivals you want to give a shout out to?
As a supporter of original music I would like to give a shout out to all original music creators, promoters, bloggers, journalists, radio DJs, venues and festivals. The live scene has been taken over in the towns by covers bands and tribute acts. It’s tough to keep going if you feel your work isn’t valued. But keep on keepin’ on. Art is art whether the public pay to see it or not.

What has been your favourite KJN musical moment of the past 12 months?
My favourite musical moment has been hearing the audiences singing along with my songs. It always gives me a buzz, and I’ve been noticing it happening more and more, especially during the last year.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Gregory Alan Isokov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere. I’m a fairly recent fan, but love this 2009 album.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have in the next few months?
My burning desire is to get both planned albums recorded and released within the next twelve months… I’m not sure if this is achievable! In the next few months I’m on the road playing festivals all over the country. I’d like to also get some demo’s recorded of some new songs that I’ve recently written. Plus I’m exploring some collaborations with other artists and producers.

The Explorer is out now


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New Music Friday: Ellision

Rushden chillwave man Henry Dymott aka Ellision has been building a name of himself over the past year, including roping in fellow NN stars Nailbreaker and Mio Flux to remix…

Rushden chillwave man Henry Dymott aka Ellision has been building a name of himself over the past year, including roping in fellow NN stars Nailbreaker and Mio Flux to remix recent single ‘No Smoking’. New Boots loves a fresh sound, so had to dig a little deeper. Cue this interview…

How did you start this project?
I would say that Ellision has had two different beginnings. Near the end of 2016 I had just started to get into more production, when I started collaborating with experimental guitarist and producer Curtis Jeffs on a track. Couple tracks later we released The Etherial EP under the name Ellision. When I moved away to uni in Guildford and started getting DJ slots at clubs and venues I started using Ellision as a stage name, and it just kind of stuck. Ellision became a solo project just after that first initial release, and since then I think I’ve found my sound and image. I’m a finger-drumming singer and producer. When I press buttons and it’s all live triggered in the moment – no playback – I like the reaction it gets. A lot could go wrong but that’s part of the fun of it.
I’ve released three singles so far: ‘No Smoking’, ‘The Hard Way’ and ‘Wreck Me’, with a lot of stuff crammed in-between. A beat tape, a few collaborations, live shows and a visual project. I’m planning on focusing solely on releasing music this year, and hopefully bringing out a project by the end of the year.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences do you feel?
Genre flippant? A mix of chillwave, hip-hop, pop and lo-fi elements. My sound changes depending on who or what I’m working with , but it always has a particular vibe to it. My main influences at the moment are probably FKJ, Justin Vernon, Flume and Jeremy Zucker.

Tel us about new single ‘No Smoking’?
The name of the track comes from the “Coffee” sample at the start of the track. I sampled it from the 1980 movie Airplane! There’s a scene in the film where Ted Striker asks for a ticket, “Smoking or Non-Smoking”, “Smoking”. The track is about two people just starting to connect on an intimate level. It’s a “not quite in love yet” song, but who knows we might end up there.
I met AyiTe at a show where he was performing as part of Soul Purpose with O J. Hodding, and I ended up DJing for their set. I thought he was sick, so we met up for a session and worked on a track called ‘The Hard Way’ [my previous release], and I played him this track that I had recorded with Molly Nicholson and he said something along the lines of “Let me write something on this”. That’s how ‘No Smoking’ was made.

You’ve got four people remixing it, how did you choose them?
I had to get my partner in crime LUPUS on it. We’ve been doing music bits together for a while, playing festivals and shows together all around the place. We even made it out to Barcelona playing music. His ‘Autopilot Disengaged Remix’ is H U G E. Nailbreaker and Mio Flux, another two Northamptonshire-related artists, came up with two completely different remixes for the release. Nailbreaker’s remix is a heavy, glitchy track which fits the “plane crash” concept I decided on for this release. Mio’s track is a darker sounding remix; we’ve been looking for an excuse to collaborate for a while now. Dan J. Wilcox decided to just flip the script and make a spacey future bass track, having fun with AyiTe’s flow and Molly’s vocal. It was sick to have these guys work on this release, and I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reactions!

Have you played live with the current sound? Any plans to?
Yeah, I’ve had quite a lot of shows, especially last year. My Live setup is always changing but always centres around my MIDI Fighter 64 or 3D and Ableton Live. I like to have a lot of guests come up during my live sets, feature rappers, singers and even producers sometimes. I try to have a continuous stream of music throughout a set, I think that’s the DJ in me, I don’t like talking while I play I just want to play music and have a blend from track to track.
I recently played at an underground show in London at an event called Tasteneon where they live stream the whole thing in VHS somehow? Was definitely my favourite show I’ve played in a while cause the vibe was so high and the place was packed out!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any acts you wanna give a shout out to?
I’m fresh back to the Northampton scene after being away for a bit, but I’m ready to get some live sets booked and work with more artists around here. Shout outs to Krankhead [Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar] and Nailbreaker.

What has been your favourite Ellision moment of the past year?
Probably shooting the series of videos leading up to ‘The Hard Way’ release, particularly the shoot I had to sort at a butchers. Was a good time and the result looked sick and finished the story off as intended. Also the fact ‘No Smoking’ got a spin on BBC Radio 1xtra was a highlight for me!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Last album I streamed was Hi This Is Flume by Flume. But the last album I actually bought was a copy of Uh-Oh! by Tennyson, from their show in Hoxton.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m planning my next single release for this year. Hoping to get some more shows in and try get a video made for ‘No Smoking’. If anyone has a plane, hit me up!

No Smoking [The Remixes] is out now on the usual digital and streaming platforms. Watch the original version on YouTube below


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

PIQUED JACKS Wednesday May 8th The Lab, Northampton Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry SONARS + SAD DRONE Thursday May 9th The Lamplighter, Northampton…

Wednesday May 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Alt-rock band from Italy. With a secret support act…Doors 8pm, free entry

Thursday May 9th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Two-piece electro-psych outfit from Brighton/Italy, plus improvised ambient soundscapes from the team of Joshua Ryan, Joel Harries and Joe Brown. Doors 8pm, free entry

Friday May 10th – Sunday May 12th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Three days of acoustic strumming and real ale. Perfect for these Game Of Thrones end days. Times vary, £2 per day

Friday May 10th
The Roadmender, Northampton
Glory Boys 40th anniversary tour for the mod revivalists, whose debut single ‘Time For Action’ reached number 13 in the UK chart. Squire released the first single of the genre, ‘Get Ready to Go’, in March 1979. Doors 7pm, £20 tickets

Friday May 10th
The Lab, Northampton
Cardiff ska/reggae headliners come to Northampton for the first time to get people up and dancing. Support from Northants pop-reggae group, and the left-leaning political dub/reggae instrumentalists. Doors 7pm, £5 entry

Saturday May 11th
Club 43, Northampton
Loud and heavy Kettering three-piece headline the ‘Rebel Waltz’ night. Support from ShoeTown “technicolour hardcore” band and the NN10 digital hardcore man of the moment. Doors 8pm; free before 9pm, £4 after

Saturday May 11th
Windmill Club, Rushden
A night of psychedelic delights, with all proceeds going to Rushden Mind, a local charity. Doors 7.30pm, donations

Saturday May 11th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Bloodstock Festival’s Metal 2 The Masses gives unsigned acts the chance to play the New Blood Stage at the festival. Doors 6pm,  £5 tickets

Tuesday May 14th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
One of the best live bands around, the band have a range of influences from new romantic to metal and a bit of disco thrown in for good measure. The Jack White-featuring breakthrough single ‘Danger! High Voltage’ was a disco-laden indie club banger that thrust the band into international acclaim and MTV stardom. The band followed up with one of the most quotable songs of all time, ‘Gay Bar’, and it’s tongue-in-cheek video took the band into another stratosphere completely. Doors 7.30pm, £16.50 tickets




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New Music Friday: Nailbreaker

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first…

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first EP, entitled Spectrum Songs. New Boots locked him in a basement for a thorough interrogation.

How did you start this project?
I started playing around with the idea of doing something more electronic-centric around August-September 2018, in the downtime of my other band Acolytes not really doing anything. I don’t think there was anything particular in my listening habits that inspired me to start this project. I had just come out of a really difficult period in my personal life, I didn’t have anything interesting to say in Acolytes, I just wanted to make something different and unique and not look back. I put out my first single, ‘Shawn Michaels Circa 1999’, and the reaction was way more positive than I was expecting, so I just kept moving.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Generally I find it difficult citing main influences for my music; I have a pretty broad taste in music and film so I pick up lots of different things from different places. I think my music fits most accurately under subgenres like digital hardcore or cyberpunk, so I reckon there’s some inherent influence from bands in those styles; bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Death Grips, Machine Girl, Deli Girls, etc. It’s the energy and ethos of hardcore punk put through a filter of industrial, harsh noise, breakcore, power electronics, maybe some rap. I don’t know, it’s very impulsive.

What has the reaction been like to your singles so far? Great to see BBC Introducing behind ‘Friday Aesthetics’.
Yeah it was well weird seeing BBC Introducing be so positive about it. In a good way obviously, it just wasn’t something I expected. I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received so far from everyone; sometimes I have a hard time viewing my music in a context outside of ‘me dicking around and maybe some people might like it’. So seeing people say all this positive stuff, and seeing how many people have reacted well, has been really reassuring. Had a dude in America send me some anime fan art, which was wild for a project where I mostly work on my phone. But it’s shit like that that’s so cool about doing this project; that people feel inspired to create after hearing this stuff. That’s why I’ve also been really grateful for receiving requests for collabs and remixes and stuff. If I want people to take away one thing from my music, it’s to create their own art and creatively push themselves as much as possible.

Tell us everything about this ‘Spectrum Songs’ EP
I recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP in my house over an eleven day period. I didn’t leave the house, drink, smoke, use social media, or listen to other music until it was finished. As much as those things can help fuel creativity, I thought it was important [especially with a self-imposed deadline] to not put any kind of filter on my ideas so I could be as artistically raw as possible. That probably sounds bare pretentious, but it worked for me.
I wanted to make sure that every song on the EP had its own distinct sound and style, without sounding out of place in the context of an overall piece. When I put out ‘Friday Aesthetics’ as a single, I didn’t want people to take it as a teaser track because [other than being aggressive and noisey] none of the other tracks sound like that. Lyrically I didn’t want to be as message-orientated as I am in Acolytes; I think there are a lot of social and personal things that aren’t addressed in that band that I wanted to address here. On the EP I wrote about internet culture, sexuality, personal issues I face, whatever else. The lyrics are available to read on my Bandcamp page. I’d encourage anyone interested to read them themselves and come away with their own interpretation.

What are your live shows like?
I don’t really put a lot of thought into gigs in terms of things like, I don’t know, particular movements or whatever, I don’t want it be choreographed. I see bands do that kind of thing and it completely takes me out of it. The only thing I think I stay aware of is interacting with other people. I try to talk as little as possible during my sets, so making people feel personally involved in what’s going on is important to me, so physically I’m always as upfront and confrontational with the people there as possible. Other than that I like to climb and jump off of stuff. I bleed quite a lot during my shows. I normally have a drummer playing along live as well, either Marcus [from Acolytes] or Dan [from La Folivora]. I don’t know. Every single set I play is different so describing them is difficult; if anyone wants a better idea of what my shows are like then they should come join the party themselves.

Tell us a bit more about the NN10 Noise Club? Is Acolytes likely to come back at some point?
I’ve been asked the Acolytes question a lot recently and I’ve not really been able to give a proper answer. Right now none of us really have any desire to do anything Acolytes related. That doesn’t mean we’re not gonna play more shows or release more music at some point, but right now we’re all more interested in doing other things. Bewlay’s releasing music under the name Dylon Dean, Marcus has just started releasing his own solo material, Tom is playing bass in his brother band, Dan Pigeon.
NN10 Noise Club was an inside joke that got out of hand. Now it’s a collective of Rushden-based musicians. We use that name to put on shows, as a label name for releases, to shitpost on social media. We’ll figure out what it is eventually.

What has been your favourite Nailbreaker moment so far?
My second ever gig was a highlight. It was a house show in Bournemouth and was probably the most intimate space I’ve ever played in [the address of the house is also the title of the closing track on ‘Spectrum Songs’]. I also played a show at The Library in Oxford last month which was probably one of my favourite shows ever. Honestly I don’t reflect on things a lot, I just keep moving. I think I probably should reflect on things more often but it’s always more important to me to think about the present and the future. Maybe I’d call myself a futurist if I wasn’t so pessimistic.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was a cassette copy of Veteran by JPEGMAFIA, it’s my favourite album from 2018 and I’d been meaning to get a physical copy of it for a while. The last album I streamed was We Choose Pretty Names by Kermes, another one of my favourites from last year. Can’t recommend either of those albums enough. I think Kermes have some new material on the way from what I can tell, so keep an eye out for that.

What is your burning desire for Nailbreaker to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Play as many shows as I possibly can, I wanna bleed in as many venues and houses as possible before the year’s up [so if you’re reading this and you put on shows, contact me via social media. I would call that a shameless plug but this is an interview about my EP anyway, so fuck it]. Other than that, I’m recording new music but it’s not gonna be out for a while. I might be involved with another project this year, but I can’t talk about it yet. I’ll probably keep posting stuff on Acolytes’ Instagram account without having any plans to play or record music. Maybe there’ll be some collabs in the works, who knows.
All I’ll say is keeping watching. I said it was impulsive music and I wasn’t lying.

Spectrum Songs is out now on BandCamp and the usual digital platforms. Feature photo by David Jackson

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