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 TheBrian 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.
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
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
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]. 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.
Hotly-tipped north-west quartet Scarlet are currently on a UK tour and finish their run at The Lab Northampton on Saturday October 14th. New Boots speaks to them about alt-rock, feminism and getting to America. New…
New Boots: For the uninitiated could you let us know a bit of background about who are you as people and how you formed?
Jessie: We are SCARLET, an unsigned DIY band that sounds like if Nirvana, Blondie and The Pixies had a band baby. I’m Jessie, the singer and guitarist, Adam is guitar man, Jake is our drummer and we have a bassist called G.
Adam – We’re a bunch of northerners dotted around Manchester Liverpool and St Helens who are all obsessed with writing and performing live music. Me and Jessie got things going through out our time at Chester uni and eventually we got a band together who could all meet up and rehearse in Liverpool and we’ve kept our rehearsal space there ever since!
NB: How would you describe your sound? It’s pretty anthemic to our ears.
Jake: To me our sound is pretty unique. I feel like we’ve taken the late grunge, alt rock sound from the 90’s (think the Pixies) and really modernised it. We have that same energy and riff driven sound, but with an intelligence and level of sophistication that feels fresh and modern, not just a throwback.
NB: Jessie, you recently spoke out on the difficult experiences of being a female in the music business. Can you elaborate some more for those that didn’t see the article.
Yeah, I wrote a piece for Alternative Press magazine along with some other brilliant girls, about our experience in the music industry surrounding sexism. We literally spoke about the facts, things that have actually happened to us at shows and how we are treated in comparison to how men are treated. The comments on the article pretty much backed up what we were all talking about. Angry men calling us all kinds of names and pigeon-holing us into a criteria that they think fits a woman that has the nerve to talk about her experiences. I was shocked at the response to be fair. The reaction to the word ‘Feminist’ is often a defensive/aggressive one. “Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” (Nicole Kidman said that). I never think of myself as different to the boys. I forget I have boobs most of the time. It would be great if
everyone could forget that I have bobs.
NB: What was the last album you bought on vinyl? What was the last thing you downloaded?
Adam: Last album I bought was DAMN by Kendrick Lamar (the GOD)
Jessie: The last album I bought…If were telling the truth on this one, it was Little Mix – haha – them girls can sing! I love how fun they are. But I’m into all kinds of music, the last vinyl album I bought was Enter Shikari’s new one on pre order
Jake: I’ve gotten quite into my vinyl purchases recently. The last albums I bought were Currents by Tame Impala and Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave. Last album I downloaded was More Life by Drake. I love hip hop.
NB: What are your main influences/interests outside the world of music?
Jessie – I’m an animal nerd. I think animals are amazing. I love watching films, I got so into Kick Ass 2 that I literally forgot to breathe and almost passed out, haha. Films draw me in massively, I throw all my emotions into films. I am also really into science… like, specifically the anatomy of the voice… I’ve only recently got into it and its the best thing to geek out over.
Jake – I love reading: I’m a big ol’ nerd when it comes to fantasy books and stuff. I think I’ve read Lord of the Rings about three times, so that gives you an idea! I also love quirky independent films and tend to like the low-budget, coming-of-age type stuff. My biggest soft spot is American comedy shows though, I can’t get enough. Shows like Rick and Morty, Archer, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Bojack Horseman are just brilliant.
NB: What can folk expect from your live show?
Jessie: Sweat… and uncontrollable mashing, haha!
Jake: Expect loads and loads of energy! Our live performances go down really well as we put our blood, sweat and tears into every song.
NB: There’s a lot of great new guitar music around. Who is your ‘tip for the top’?
Jake: There’s a great band who we played with in Blackpool called Seegulls, they’re really great and we loved playing with them.
Adam:- I tip Purple Merlin from Stockport to have a great year.
Jessie: Seegulls all the way, their live energy is something else. I have no idea how they aren’t massive yet. There’s a few incredible bands about right now: Occoeur, Witch Fever, and Seegulls are my faves.
NB: What is your burning desire for the band to do next? What plans do you have for 2018?
Jessie: I want to keep building a team around us. And I want to go to America and get on all the festivals next year. A handful isn’t enough, I want to do them ALL.
Jake: for me I want to get an EP or a single recorded. Promote that. The next year or so will be huge for this band. I can feel it. Something big is coming, I can feel it in my bones!