Tag: The Lab

Twinfest 2019: The Review

TWINFEST July 25th – July 28th 2019 Northampton, various venues THURSDAY, THE LAB The weekend starts early at Twinfest, the annual hootenanny / shindig that celebrates all that is good…

TWINFEST
July 25th – July 28th 2019
Northampton, various venues

THURSDAY, THE LAB
The weekend starts early at Twinfest, the annual hootenanny / shindig that celebrates all that is good about the music scenes of Marburg, Poitiers and Northampton. Tonight is special in that we get just the German and French acts, and it’s Oclaire‘s honour to kick us off. Before we get to the amiable German fella, can New Boots just point out that it is literally a sauna-type atmosphere in here tonight, as befits the hottest day of the year. If you didn’t go we will simply say: we suffer so you don’t have to. Not that we really did, what with what’s happening on stage. Oclaire is a man who frenetically strums his acoustic guitar, and sings his heart out. Playing songs from his recent sophomore album There Is More, his songs are open like gaping wounds, a space for him to pour his jumblebox of emotions through a redemptive filter and find some solutions to share with us.  We are blessed to hear them.

From solo to duo, and French pair The Aries. Jeanne Casseron and Chloé Bonnet are your chanson for the evening, as they give off sweet and unassuming vibes. They sing solely in French, so goodness knows what the songs are actually about, but one would hazard a guess they are as charming in word as they are in voice. A nifty version of the Beatles classic ‘Across The Universe’ is the icing on the cake.

Cressy Jaw are your solidarity brothers, a trio who take on social and environmental subjects and pull no punches, Reggae-type songs, the rest of the tracks developed into a wild mixture of punk, grunge and blues. Their tight songs switch between reggae-rock and RATM-style alt-rock noise. Their reggaegrungepunk works surprisingly well. 

By the time Bazouka Groove Club unleash their primal rock’n’roll the Lab is producing casualties, and standing outside and listening to the music is becoming a real survival option. Luckily there’s enough punters around for our German friends to work their magic, and work the crowd. Theirs is a modern alt-rock sound mixed up with more of a noughties pop-punk spirit. Singer Basti took his top off [it was definitely a night for that], people moshed until they, literally and figuratively, dropped: it was one of those instantly memorable nights.

It would have been easy to have gone home now satisfied. Bazouka have absolutely destroyed all listening, and the body count is still rising alongside the steam. Yet Full Fiction still have something in their locker to make you reconsider any premature evaluations. The slightly bashful French trio have got some musical chops, as they unleash their slightlydelic punk rock that gets heads nodding furiously, even without anyone knowing the songs. FF felt like the awe-inspiring bonus album track you were not expecting. Tonight the taxi ride home was very, very beatific.

FRIDAY, THE LAMPLIGHTER
The Vincent Vega Band start off proceedings at the Lamplighter in suitably sharp and sophisticated style. Drummer-less and acoustic they are on fine laid back form. Tonight, the band’s sparse, stripped back instrumentation leaves plenty of room for their lyrics, reminiscent of a lo-fi Scott Walker, to shine. Their songs play out like snippets of kitchen sink dramas; held together by moody bass lines and decorated with pretty viola passages. ‘Claude’ and ‘Fireflies’ are particularly well-received moments in a superb opening set. ‘Tout royale pas de fromage’, as they might say in Paris.

Following, in the spirit of these events, with something completely different are Krankhead, aka Mio Flux & Patchy, The Rockstar. Their party-starting hip-hop gets the crowd well warmed up, starting football chants as well as a one-fingered salute to the new prime minister that is much appreciated by the Twinfest crowd.

Upstairs at the Lamplighter, with its fireplace and atmospheric lighting, it feels more like a classy house party; a setting that fits quirky folk-pop duo The Aires quite well. The first of the acts from Poitiers tonight, they instantly win over the Northampton audience. Songs sung in a language the audience may be unfamiliar with are very much dependant on the strength of the performance, but this pair have a wonderfully expressive stage presence and vocal harmonies that cross any language borders.

By the time those watching The Aires get downstairs quite the crowd has amassed for local boys The Barratts, whose mid-evening set showcases why they are quickly becoming one of the towns biggest acts. Punchy indie rock with stinging guitar solos and an assured presence marks them as a force to be reckoned with. By the second song things are already getting rowdy at the front, and your left with the impression that the band are destined for bigger venues than here. The band closed with ‘Lights Out In London’ leaving the audience howling for an encore, but it was already time for the next act to start upstairs.

Oclaire, one of the musicians from Marburg, is up[stairs] next. An acoustic singer-songwriter with a punk spirit and a big heart, he talks openly about the mental health issues that he’s dealt with as he sings about learning to be positive. Throughout the set he drinks from a cup of green tea due to the bad throat he developed on the plane over, and apologises. But his voice is in no way hindered, and he storms through his set with a bit of audience participation.

Back downstairs for the second of tonight’s German acts and Cressy Jaw keep the night pumping with their mix of reggae, punk and bluesy rock. While the audience had thinned a bit since The Barratts, by the end of the set the room had filled up again and there was quite a bit of dancing down at the front. The band’s final song tuned into an extended jam session, with each member of the three-piece getting a spotlight and inviting the audience to join in.

The final act on tonight are Full Fiction, from Poitiers, who pretty much level The Lamplighter with their full-throttle rock and roll. The songs are largely instrumental, with some occasional screamed vocals, but the draw here is the face-melting guitar playing and raw power of the band as a whole. Partway through the set a pit opens up at the front, the front man leaping over the monitor, guitar in hand to shred amongst the audience. The set comes towards its close with the him dropping his guitar on the floor and kneeling over it, attacking it to coax out all manner of sounds. A powerful end to a great night of music from the three cities.

FRIDAY, THE GARIBALDI HOTEL
At 26°, The Garibaldi resembled a blazing inferno, though, the topic of conversation was how it was not as hot as the Lab the day before, when temperatures had reached 37°. The newly formed Joe B. Humbled & His Band opened proceedings with their debut performance, fronted by Joe Martin on guitar and vocals [also known for GOGO LOCO and previously The Mobbs], and joined by his brother Jon Martin on bass and Alex George on drums. The band performed previously-released tracks ‘The Straight & Narrow’ and ‘To Be True’ with some new numbers, such as, ‘Why Did You Kiss Me’ and the never heard before track, ‘Bloodshot Eyes’. With less jumping around, this is Joe’s opportunity for more singing. The new solo venture stays true to Joe’s blues and rock’n’roll influences, with an added essence of some soul. Their admirable cover of Alabama Shakes ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ gave severe evidence to said soul influence. With a live performance that was true to the record, Joe B. Humbled are a musical treat with lush, panoramic tones reminiscent of influences from the likes of The Doors and Buddy Holly.

“Are we all drinking ir-responsibly?”, asked Jordan Jones, as he took to the stage. The Keepers were up next with two new faces to the indie-mod quartet. Introducing Charlie Pinnacle and Jack Isaacs to the mix, The Keepers still delivered a tight knit performance. The setlist included some older anthems such as ‘Here Comes The Spring’ and ‘You’re All I Need’, as well as, still-to-be-released ‘Velvet Hands’. Opening with the lines “Don’t take me to the movies, take me to a cemetery,” the song is influenced by the line from beatnik poet, Gregory Corso’s ‘Marriage’. A riotous performance of ‘Cocaine Champagne’ from frontman Jones had the crowd’s eating out of the palm of his hand, as he used the bar as an extension of the stage, crouched below the hanging industrial lighting.

Next on the bill were the night’s hosts, Deaf Trap, marked by Tom Wright’s signature suit and Matt’s ever-impressive beard, they performed before a moshing crowd, whilst meanwhile others melted and fanned each other on the outskirts. The set included firm favourites ‘Guillotine’, ‘Fate Thinks’ and ‘Dirty Echoes’, as well as upcoming single ‘Face’.

Bazouka Groove Club headlined the evening. The conscious-rap group performed in their native tongue, to the remaining survivors of the room, headbanging until the very last note, the audience demanding an encore which was gratefully received.

SATURDAY, THE POMRFET ARMS
In true summer fashion the rains come in early on Saturday and by the time the Saturday leg of Twinfest is open the picturesque beer garden on The Pomfret resembles an overgrown water feature. But the show goes on, and in the barn Laughing Man Marsh kick things off with Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, and it definitely isn’t. The band played a solid set of blues-rock with a mix of originals and covers, ending in a storming cover of ‘The Chain’, assisted by two of the festival’s organisers on vocals.

Due to the delays in starting this is immediately followed by singer-songwriter Andy Hawkins, who apologises for being slow and not as funky as the preceding band, but that’s no problem. The emotional songs complement the atmosphere of this rainy afternoon and capture those inside.

This is followed by another set from Marburg’s Oclaire, whose emotional folk-punk has been one of the many highlights of the festival. While on stage he is sweet and just happy to be able to play music for people, his songs are still sung with emotion and power that could fill a much bigger room. He ends the set in the middle of the audience with an unplugged sing-along rendition of Frank Turner’s ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’.

Following this, and something you don’t see that often, is Northampton’s Jack Vs Hotdog, a solo performer appropriately dressed as a sausage in a bun. Starting with a Scroobius Pip line seguing into a fantastic cover of AJJ’s ‘Brave As a Noun’ he plays through a set of originals and covers ending with ‘Please Don’t Feed The Crackheads’, a song deemed not safe for anybody.

Another wonderful find from our French twin city has been The Aires, and despite technical issues they once again wow the crowd with their francophone folk-pop. Despite self-deprecatingly referring to some of their songs as “stupid love songs” they wow the afternoon audience, whose calls for an encore at the end of the set are actually answered in the shape of a cover of Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’.

Fossilheads are next and the self-descibed folky/comical/theatrical/eco-political duo’s songs about the looming global climate catastrophe are as timely and pointed as they are funny. The pair are fantastic performers with great chemistry and stage presence. Songs about climate change denial and corporate greenwashing are delivered with a mix of comedic character work and incredible musicianship. As per their introduction, they do indeed put the ‘ooh’ back in ‘existential doom’.

After a delay due to more technical issues Jono and the Uke Dealers take to the stage. Whilst ukuleles are commonly seen as somewhat of a gimmick or at best a bit twee, the band is never in danger of seeming like a novelty. The band balance heavier political tracks with lighter fare, but either way underpinned by assured songwriting and performance. They performed well known tracks ‘Beautiful Things’, ‘Speccy Four Eyes’ and ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ with Katie Paton, known for P-Hex and Kings Gambit, joining him on stage for a sobering song dedicated to the troubles in Palestine. The slightly abridged set is brought to an anthemic close with new anti-war track ‘Old Grey Wolf’.

New Boots couldn’t get into the barn for Kings Gambit, as it was packed with people dancing to their pirate-esque dance folk-rock. Old-time rockers The Mental Straights were up next with some nostalgic numbers, followed by Tom Rose & The Heathen Orchestra. Tom stunned audiences into submission with his Nick Cave-esque, gravely, macabre tones and Tom Wait style quirky charm, completed by his heathen orchestra, featuring not one but two percussionists. The band performed some personal favourites ‘Dance to Hell’ and ‘Trouble’s What You Got’.

Your correspondent got right to the front for rock-garage, heavy-blues trio, Full Fiction, from Poitiers, France. They tore it up with their guitar-humping, floor-rolling solos that were so epic frontman Camille Pizon broke a guitar string. With more hair-flicking than a l’Oreal advert, Full Fiction, proved their worth. Bazouka Groove Club performed again, before psychedelic rockers King Purple from Corby, the penultimate band of the evening. They delivered their smooth panoramic sound, with intricate layers interwoven with different shapes and textures. The atmosphere was dense, and drenched with entrancing guitars and hypnotising melodies.

Cressy Jaw headlined the evening, with their reggae punk-rock, managing just four songs before they were sadly unplugged. The revelries still carried on well into the evening though, with the night-time hours melting into day for many of the bands and festival goers.

SUNDAY, THE BLACK PRINCE
With a few still jaded from the night before, and the weekend catching up with many, some acoustic acts were just what the doctor ordered. The crowd congregated, sat cross-legged before the stage, in atypcial intimate setting. Dan Plews was up first with his beautiful acoustic guitar/ ukulele variety performance. 

Duncan Bisatt was up next with original tracks; ‘White Shoes’ and the ethereal ‘Captains & Kings’. Duncan’s track ‘Capybara Love Song’ became the soundtrack to the rascality and roguishness during their trip to Marburg earlier this year, for ManoFest, that saw them miss the flight home. It was met with knowing appreciation from those in the travelling party. Duncan performed his up and coming single, ‘Young Man’, and had local audiences laughing to tongue-in-cheek number, ‘£1 Town’.

The Aries were next on the bill with their charming Francophile tunes, that were rhythmic, upbeat and humorous. As much a duet in life, as they are on stage, Jeanne and Chloe’s friendship shows through in their performance.

Occlaire, from Marburg was up next. The solo acoustic artist delivered his dynamic compositions, ranging from soft to loud in a colourful alternation, conveying passion and emotion, supported by catchy melodies. One could lose oneself, just for a moment, and wander through the alternate planes of the music.

Next up are Rolling Thunder, a relatively new, lively indie-rock five-piece, who stepped in at the last minute. Very tight from the get-go, they jangle and fuzz like true pros even at this early stage of their career. Chant-worthy choruses are their trade in stock, and with the likes of ‘Break In At The Nachtwinkel’ and ‘John Doe’ you can already see them being firm festival favourites throughout the land. Some more variation amongst the bangers wouldn’t have go amiss [the New Boots lighter remained firmly in pocket throughout], but they have an awful lot to work with there already. Popular already, gang spirit, and charming banter from singer Charlie: they have all the right ingredients to do great things in 2020. The boys certainly made an indelible mark, and are here to stay.

Cressy Jaw really are very good musicians, that much is clear by their fourth weekend appearance. After the disappointment of an abridged set last night they really turned it on to an appreciative crowd. The songs seemed more 4/4 today, the reggae edges smoothed off [or maybe that’s just New Boots’ brain after four days of drinking]. The drummer from Bazouka Groove Club got up to join in with a double-drumming solo which was one of the many highlights of the weekend’s festivities.

Our next act, Baby Lung, bring some perfect Sunday afternoon relaxed vibes. Max, the two Matts and Harry are the NN band who only began a few months ago, but now seem indispensable to our scene. The quiet drama encased in all their sax-filled, jazz-chorded indie-pop is as seductive as it is unexpected from a band from the East Midlands [we can say that, right?] . Following highlights ‘Casualty’ and ‘She’ is final song ‘Falling’, which, with the help of a devilishly handsome guitar solo, ratchets up the drama to fever pitch. The love affair has just begun, Northampton.

Full Fiction, who have been reminding us of Hyll all weekend, are still on fire today. Their Thee Oh Sees/King Gizzard wig-outs have been propelling everyone out of any stupor they may be in. Proper good guys.

Locals The Jackal Nine are back for a one-off. Like they were back at Twinfest in 2017. Why mess around trying to be ace every weekend when you can do a show every couple of years and knock it out the park with ease? They start with a lengthy intro music, the spoken word effort from Meatloaf, ‘Wasted Youth’. The busy room knows they are going to burst into life any moment now. And when they do it’s with considerable vigour; like a bat out of hell, perhaps. The mosh pit is perpetually busy as they work though their intelligent punk rock repertoire – ‘S.A.D’, ‘Gruffalo’, etc – with gleeful abandon, as you might imagine from people having not performed for that long.

“You gotta choose between those who love you and those that wanna own you” states Danny Adams, the singer/guitarist. “This [his protruding middle finger] is a toast to Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and all their ilk”. Toward the end of their set a young rapper called Paton comes on briefly and gave it some serious, glorious attitude. Then there’s the ‘Fuck Brexit’ chant, and you can quietly be assured of their political leanings. In these tumultuous times the Jackal Nine are a reassuring presence, so we’re quite sad that they now go back into the toy box. Time to start a petition perhaps…

Bazouka Groove Club are again monumental. There’s a small stage invasion tonight, and plenty of crowd interaction in general. So pleased to say this weekend they’ve lived to the quality of that first-rate band name.

Phantom Isle are the final band of the weekend. The Northants-and-now-in-London band are doing great things wherever they land, having the songcraft to match almost any new band around. They dress up in ritualistic outfits to scare the bejeesus out of us Sabbath-observing folk. They open with ‘Channel’, then run through a confident set which includes the recent singles ‘Focus’ and ‘Four Walls’. Their indie-psych pop is infectious and skyscraping, and they feel like worthy headliners for an eclectic festival which has covered a range of styles.

And that’s it for another year. Time for a lie-down. See you in 2020.

Words by Phil Moore, Rachel Thomas, Sonny JD, and Tom Rose

Photos by David Jackson and Phill Phree

No Comments on Twinfest 2019: The Review

Twinfest 2019: full line-up revealed

The Northampton Twinfest weekender has announced the full line-up of acts for 2019, and where they will all be playing around ShoeTown. The Twinfest organisation celebrates the friendship between the…

The Northampton Twinfest weekender has announced the full line-up of acts for 2019, and where they will all be playing around ShoeTown.

The Twinfest organisation celebrates the friendship between the twin towns of Northampton, Marburg in Germany, and Poitiers in France, through music. The annual concert celebration is now 21 years young, and happens in 2019 from July 25 to July 28th.

This year the opening Thursday night at The Lab focuses on the Twintown artists from Poitiers and Marburg, with Oclaire (D), The Aries (FR), Cressy Jaw (D), Bazouka Groove Club (D), and Full Fiction (F).

Friday night is a double venue event. At The Garibaldi Hotel will be The Joe B. Humbled Band,  The Keepers, Deaf Trap, and Bazouka Groove Club. Meanwhile at The Lamplighter will be Vincent Vega Band, Krankhead, The Barratts, Cressy Jaw, Full Fiction, The Aries, and Oclaire.

Saturday is the first of two all day events, at The Pomfret Arms. There you can witness Laughing Man Marsh, Andy Hawkins, Oclaire, Jack vs Hotdog, The Aries, Fossilheads, Jono and The Uke Dealers, Kings Gambit, The Mental Straights, Tom Rose And The Heathen Orchestra, Full Fiction, Bazouka Groove Club, King Purple, and Cressy Jaw.

Then on Sunday on the Garden Stage at The Black Prince it’s the climax of the festival. This involves Dan Plews, Duncan Bisatt, The Aries, Oclaire, Death Alley Drivers, Cressy Jaw, Baby Lung, Full Fiction, The Jackal Nine, Bazouka Groove Club, and Phantom Isle.

Entry cover charge to each event is just £3. Weekend wristbands for all shows are available for £5 from here.

Twinfest on Facebook

No Comments on Twinfest 2019: full line-up revealed

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 30th – Feb 5th

LAY IT DOWN IVW SPECIAL Wednesday January 30th The Lab, Northampton The urban night moves from its usual Thursday slot for one week to be a part of IVW. Featured…

LAY IT DOWN IVW SPECIAL
Wednesday January 30th
The Lab, Northampton
The urban night moves from its usual Thursday slot for one week to be a part of IVW. Featured acts: Leo Robinson, Har-Q, Reality, Anonymous Impact, and RG The Baron. Doors 8pm, £2 entry

FOREST OF FOOLS + HOMELESS SHAKESPEARE + ALDOUS PINCH
Thursday January 31st
The Lab, Northampton
The second IVW show at The Lab. Jump-up folkadelic, gypsy jazz, theatrical musical madness from Leicestershire and ShoeCounty. Festival royalty headline, plus experimental gyp-hop outfit in the middle, and the story telling gin-reaper himself to open. Doors 7pm, members £5 on the door, non-members £6.

THE KUMARI [pictured] + GREASY DIABLOS + TYPE 22
Friday February 1st
The Lab, Northampton
London grungedelica trio headline this IVW event, with five critically acclaimed singles/45s under their belts [released on international indie record labels] and a self-titled debut album all available. Rushden-based garage/punk/filthy indie lads in the middle, and new indie punks from ShoeTown will open. Doors 7.30pm, £4.50 tickets/£5.50 on the door, Facebook event

BAD GIRLFRIEND + MUNDAYS + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday February 1st
The White Hart, Corby
First of two White Hart IVW shows. Authentic DIY/ punk Birmingham trio headline, with localish three-piece west coast stoner psych give off that shoegaze buzz, with the intriguing Kettering psych-folk quartet to kick things off. Doors 8pm, £2.50 tickets

SKIRT + THE KEEPERS + GAZELLE + ANOA
Friday February 1st
Steel Park, Corby
A night of indie, punk and rock’n’roll from Corby, Northampton and Leicester favourites. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets 

WISHING WOLF + WHO SAVES THE HERO? + DOWNCAST + PT-33
Friday February 1st
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
A night of emo/pop-punk to blow the cobwebs away and kick 2019 off properly. Doors 7pm, £3 tickets/£5 on door

THE TOUCH
Friday February 1st
The Talbot, Kettering
The ’80s-style rockers kick off their 2019 campaign with a hometown show. Music from 9pm, free entry

THE KEEPERS + DEAF TRAP + BRAZEN FOXES
Saturday February 2nd
The Lab, Northampton
More IVW joy, from a trio of indie and alt-rock guys from Northampton and Daventry. Doors 8pm, £4 entry [£3 members]

GESTALT
Saturday February 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Electro art-punk from Leicester. From 8pm, free entry

KING PURPLE + THE BARRATTS + MIO FLUX & PATCHY THE ROCKSTAR + THETRAGICBAND
Saturday February 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton [back room]
The grungey Corby trio were our ‘ones to watch’ for 2019. Support from ShoeTown’s finest in the indie and hip-hop worlds. £3 tickets/£5 on the door

ALISON LIMERICK
Saturday February 2nd
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Limerick will be performing ‘Where Love Lives’ [voted #1 dance anthem of all time by Radio 1 and Mix Mag]. Then club classics til 1am. Doors 9pm, £8 tickets

YELLOW DOG RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Saturday February 2nd
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Northampton’s number one rhythm & blues band are back at The Albion for their first gig of the year following some studio time. Tonight will include the launch of their new five-track, all original, EP. Doors 8.30pm, free admission.

DIRT BOX DISCO + YEAR ZERO + HAZARD
Saturday February 2nd
The White Hart, Corby
The second IVW show in Corby. Flamboyantly-dressed punks return in promotions of sixth album Immortals. West Midlands punks in support, with Luton punks to open. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

ANNA BASSETT + PAUL GREGORY & MICK FARMER + JACK DONOVAN + SIAN & GINA + DANIEL BUTTERWORTH
Saturday February 2nd
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
HOP Events presents a night of local singer-songwriter talent. Doors 7pm, price TBC

KING’S GAMBIT + BEFORE BREAKFAST + JACOB BRATHWAITE
Sunday February 3rd
The Lab, Northampton
Folk superheroes of Northampton, all female indie-popsters from Sheffield, and the velvet-voiced singer-songwrtier from Wellingborough all make up the final 2019 IVW show at the Lab. Doors 7pm, £4 entry members, £5 non-members

 

 

 

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 30th – Feb 5th

Photos: Matt Hollywood & the Bad Feelings

Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings played The Lab in Northampton last Sunday, supported by King Purple. Hollywood is a former member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the modern psych…

Matt Hollywood & The Bad Feelings played The Lab in Northampton last Sunday, supported by King Purple. Hollywood is a former member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the modern psych legends who played Northampton back in 2008. The well-received band played a blissed-out set, something akin to the Sterling Morrison-era Velvet Underground.

Here are some photos of the evening, courtesy of David Jackson.

No Comments on Photos: Matt Hollywood & the Bad Feelings

Northampton Lab offers bands live recording opportunity

Community venue The Lab in Northampton will begin to offer acts the opportunity to be recorded live. Their statement: “We are thrilled to finally be opening up the field for…

Community venue The Lab in Northampton will begin to offer acts the opportunity to be recorded live.

Their statement:

“We are thrilled to finally be opening up the field for all acts of Northamptonshire to apply to be part of our exciting new project! We have been funded by Northamptonshire Community Foundation to host this live recording project, in which we are committed to providing opportunities to up to 48 acts in the first year to be involved. All acts can apply, to perform live at a ‘Lab Presents’ event, where they will be filmed and recorded, and will receive two mastered tracks with video to use as they please. We hope this will enable acts to improve their social media presence, use the material to get gigs, and observe and improve their own performance. The footage will also be added to The Lab’s YouTube channel. In the main, the events will be hosted on Thursday nights, once a month”.

To apply follow the link here. For more information or queries then do e-mail the venue here.

Photo credit: The Lovely Eggs by David Jackson

No Comments on Northampton Lab offers bands live recording opportunity

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

No Comments on Founder member of Brian Jonestown Massacre plays Northampton

Photos: The Underground Youth, Thee Telepaths & Deep Sea Mountains at The Lab

Berlin post-punk/psych quartet The Underground Youth played The Lab in Northampton last Friday night, alongside Kettering cosmonauts Thee Telepaths and Northampton’s Deep Sea Mountains. Here’s some photos by David Jackson.  …

Berlin post-punk/psych quartet The Underground Youth played The Lab in Northampton last Friday night, alongside Kettering cosmonauts Thee Telepaths and Northampton’s Deep Sea Mountains. Here’s some photos by David Jackson.

The Underground Youth, The Lab, Northampton, 18.05.18

 

The Underground Youth, The Lab, Northampton, 18.05.18

 

Thee Telepaths, The Lab, Northampton, 18.05.18

 

Thee Telepaths, The Lab, Northampton, 18.05.18

 

Deep Sea Mountains, The Lab, Northampton, 18.05.18

No Comments on Photos: The Underground Youth, Thee Telepaths & Deep Sea Mountains at The Lab

It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 16th – May 22nd 2018

THE STANLEYS + MYSTERY SUPPORT Wednesday May 16th The Lab, Northampton New wave Australian power-pop funsters are on their ‘Everybody Dance Tour’ and return to Northampton. Mystery support who cannot…

THE STANLEYS + MYSTERY SUPPORT
Wednesday May 16th
The Lab, Northampton
New wave Australian power-pop funsters are on their ‘Everybody Dance Tour’ and return to Northampton. Mystery support who cannot be named, apparently. An intriguing and fun night – guaranteed. Doors 6pm, free entry

THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH + THEE TELEPATHS + DEEP SEA MOUNTAINS + BETH MUNROE
Friday May 18th
The Lab, Northampton
Berlin’s The Underground Youth make moody, often raw, ’80s-style post-punk infused with a darkly psychedelic vibe. Since 2009 they have released a handful of well-received independent albums, including 2017’s eighth full-length album, What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?. An in-demand live act, this might actually take the breath away. Kettering psychonauts are the main support, plus two ShoeTown fiercely distinctive independent acts open. Doors 7.30pm, £7.50 tickets

THE BARRATTS + SKIRT + INLIMBO
Friday May 18th
The Yards, Kettering
Northampton’s popular skinny indie types are back in the foreground in 2018, and play a headline Kettering show to preview upcoming single ‘Satellites’, with Corby’s Skirt in support and new local indie rockers opening proceedings. 9pm start, free entry

BILLY LOCKETT + COUSIN AVI
Saturday May 19th
The Royal, Northampton
Relocated-to-London Northampton singer-songwriter Billy Lockett makes music that is deeply poignant, personal and wise beyond its years. And the public can’t get enough it seems. His homecoming show at the Royal will be a special night indeed, especially with Cousin Avi on first. Doors 7pm, £17 tickets

THE BIG DIRTY + SKYFLOOD + MANAKING
Saturday May 19th
The Red Lion, Raunds
Rock’n’roll gentlemen from Northampton continue the comeback with a trip eastwards in the county, joined by Corby post-rockers Skyflood and performance artist Manaking. Doors 8.30pm, free entry

CONSTRUCT + FROM ONCE WE CAME + SLEEPWALKER + STEREO SKULL
Saturday May 19th
The Lab, Northampton
Metalcore night. Construct are a five-piece bundle of riffs from Stoke, From Once We Came are from London,  Sleepwalker combine speed, groove and ambience, whilst Stereo Skull are simply absolute local legends. Doors 7pm, £5 on entry (£3 members)

PHANTOM + FRASS + FLEISCH + DUCHESS
Saturday May 19th
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
Metal 2 The Masses 2018 Heat Three: five-piece metal from Kettering, three-piece rock from the South East, industrial metal from Oxfordshire, and an opening set from rockers from San Diego(!) Doors 7pm, £5 on door

GRACE + THE TOUCH + UNDER THE RADAR + GOGO LOCO + ACOUSTIC ACTS
Saturday May 19th
Hart Family Brewers, Wellingborough
Celebrating the 6th Birthday of Wellingborough’s own brewery. Doors 11am, music finishes around 7pm, free entry

WE ARE GIANTS + ENDERCAST + FALSE IDOL
Saturday May 19th
The Dun Cow, Daventry
It is rare we get to plug an event in Daventry! ShoeTown’s heavy hitting trio headline, with Leamington Spa alt-rock quartet and MK rockers the finely chosen support. Doors 7pm, free entry

REMINISCENCE + CHRIS STANLEY + GEORGE BARNES + EARBONES
Saturday May 19th
Kino Lounge, Kettering
Raising funds in awareness of Johnny’s Happy Place. Doors 6.45pm, bucket donations

YOUNG AFFAIRS + TOM WALLINGTON
Tuesday May 22nd
Kino Lounge, Kettering
Acoustic event, raising money for Leeds College of Music who are partnering with the charity ‘Mind’ to support musical education for mental health recovery. Doors 7pm, cost TBA

No Comments on It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide May 16th – May 22nd 2018

An interview with: Alex Novak

Alex Novak has been entertaining Northampton and beyond with his esoteric sounds for forty years now, and to celebrate this milestone Northampton gallery Sanctuary are hosting an exhibition of his…

Alex Novak has been entertaining Northampton and beyond with his esoteric sounds for forty years now, and to celebrate this milestone Northampton gallery Sanctuary are hosting an exhibition of his artwork, entitled “Meta Art/Music/Work 1977-2017”. New Boots speaks to the Spiral Archive proprietor at length about the musical journey from then to now.

What was your musical upbringing? What influenced you as you got to 16 and joined Isaws?
Pre-punk I listened to a wide selection of music from The Beatles, Roxy Music, Bowie, T.Rex, Black Sabbath, soul music. Then bang! – the punk explosion happened in 1976, so got to hear The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Stranglers. This also pulled in bands like New York Dolls, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Stooges. I guess what is referred to now as proto-punk. I followed the advice of the Sniffin’ Glue fanzine – “here’s one chord, here’s another, go form a band”. It was year zero: we had no previous musical experience, just picked it up as we went along. Isaws first gig was at Weston Favell Upper School talent contest as Hawker Harrier & the Jump Jets – for the next gig we changed it to The Isaws.

Northampton School of Art was the precursor to the University of Northampton today. Can you recall your time there for us.
Well art school was cool – made even cooler by The Jam song! It was a laboratory for lots of different ideas and a place where many bands were formed, including Bauhaus, Isaws, Aliens, Religious Overdose. It was a place where art and music came together.

You came of age musically and found your style with Religious Overdose. As the recent Glass Redux compilation makes obvious it was a special band. How did you guys capture that magic elixir?
Punk set us free in thought/style; to think for yourself. The whole DIY movement was a breeding ground for many ideas – punk was not a uniform. Gordon King from Sheffield joined Isaws (later he would be in World of Twist/Earl Brutus) and exposed us to early Human League, Clock DVA, Vice Versa (pre-ABC). We experimented, but it wasn’t working so we all went our different ways. I ended up joining Religious Overdose. RO was a different animal, we used repetition and improvisation to make songs. Live tracks would develop as we went along. Richard Formby (later of In Embrace/The Jazz Butcher/Sonic Boom) brought in influences from The Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Can – a more experimental approach to music.

Was Northampton a major influence on Bauhaus? Did the pre-existing local scene naturally lead to their formation?
Alan Moore called Northampton “the murder mecca of the midlands” so that set the tone for Bauhaus’s mix of Banshees meets strobelight-Bowie. It was very monochrome, to suit the edgy local scene. They certainly went through many incarnations – from the punk of Cardiac Arrest, new wave of Craze and the power-pop of Jack Plug & the Sockets – before settling on Bauhaus 1919. You get swept along with whats happening, things moved fast.

Was the 1980s a golden age for music in Northampton?
I think every ten years or so there’s a change, a musical upheaval, but it was certainly an interesting time centred around venues like The Black Lion [now the Wig & Pen], where you got to see local bands alongside the likes of The Housemartins, Spacemen 3, The Jazz Butcher…all being aided by the Northampton Musicians Collective and as conduit to the wider world via release on Glass Records [based in London].

Tell us about The Tempest album. You didn’t stick around for long…
After the demise of Religious Overdose Richard Formby went on to university in Leeds, where he still runs a recording studio. So I decided to get together with other local musicians including John Luccibello (Russians) and Mark Refoy (later of Spacemen 3/Spiritualized/Slipstream/Pet Shop Boys fame) to form The Tempest.
Mark and John were also in The Syndromes at the same time, but The Tempest fell apart after the recording of our only album 5 Against The House.

You had a brief sojourn to London and worked with Attrition during the mid 80s. How did that affect you, being exposed to a different scene in a new city?
I had been aware of Attrition for a while. Martin Bowes had also written a Coventry fanzine called Alternative Sounds and Religious Overdose had played a few gigs with them. After the demise of The Tempest I joined Attrition, who were based in London, sharing a studio with The Legendary Pink Dots. I got to see a lot of bands listening to more experimental/electronic music being produced by labels such as Third Mind, In Phase, Projekt, Sweatbox, United Dairies, Wax Trax etc.
There was a lot of activity, not just with the band, but socially: taking in gigs, clubs, exhibitions, meetings with shops/labels. In hindsight a productive period, and an exposure to the European scene which then paved the way for Venus Fly Trap.

You formed Venus Fly Trap on your return in 1986, alongside your brother John. What was the plan at this time? The line-up may have changed, but has the vision changed much over the years?
I tried out with a band in Norwich, which didn’t work out as we had different ideas, so I decided to do my own band. So John (Isaws/Wheres Lisse) and Tony Booker were both available, so we got it going pretty quickly. We just got out and played gigs: not just in Northampton but Oxford, London (a lot), Rugby, Norwich, Leicester…we got picked up via a contact I had made via Attrition. A new label based in Paris called Tuesday Records released our material initially [they had already put out material by McCarthy]. So we got to play in France and put out our first single ‘Morphine’ within six months of gigging. The European connection has been important ever since. Changes in line-up has been part and parcel of VFT – new members bring a different view point and fresh ideas. We’re always open to new ideas – not into following trends/fashion. We produce music we like…anything’s possible!

20 years of a band is a great run. What’s next for VFT?
We have been working on a new album Icon, which will be released via Glass Redux. It’s full circle in one respect as this was my first label for Religious Overdose. The planned release is Spring 2018, alongside doing dates in the UK and in Europe.

What’s your take on the Northampton music scene in 2017?
There’s plenty of interesting bands in Northampton if you look for them. I always like to catch a band if I’m not working. I’m always discovering new music, whether its local or touring. Long may it continue.

Meta Art/Music/Work 1977-2017 runs from Monday November 27th to Sunday December 10th at Sanctuary [2 Clare St, Northampton]. Open from 11-4 by appointment [sanctmark@hotmail.com]. There is a meet and greet launch night on Saturday December 2nd from 6pm to 9pm, with an after party across the road at The Lab from 9pm.

No Comments on An interview with: Alex Novak

Photos: Scarlet., Sarpa Salpa & Presley Johnson

Scarlet. brought their UK tour to a close at The Lab in Northampton on Saturday night. They were joined by Northampton’s Sarpa Salpa and Presley Johnson.

Scarlet. brought their UK tour to a close at The Lab in Northampton on Saturday night.

They were joined by Northampton’s Sarpa Salpa and Presley Johnson.

No Comments on Photos: Scarlet., Sarpa Salpa & Presley Johnson

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

error: Content is protected !!