Tag: twinfest

Twinfest organisers reveal the acts visiting from Northampton’s twinned towns

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July. There will be three acts from…

The organisers of Twinfest have revealed the bands which will be visiting Northampton from Germany and France when the annual festival returns in July.
There will be three acts from Marburg and two from Poitiers joining other musicians from across Northampton for the four day festival.

Visiting from Marburg will be:
Oclairewww.facebook.com/oclairemusic
Cressy Jawwww.facebook.com/Cressy.Jaw
Bazooka Groove Clubwww.facebook.com/bazoukagrooveclub

Visting from Poitiers will be:
The Arieswww.facebook.com/lesariesmusique
Full Fictionwww.facebook.com/fullfictionband

Organisers are currently finalising the acts from Northampton which will be playing Twinfest.
Twinfest is from Thursday, July 25, to Sunday, July 28, and will include performances at venues across Northampton.

For more details, visit www.fb.com/twinfest.northampton

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The New Boots Review Of 2018

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level. To celebrate, we’ve had…

It’s been a cracking 12 months for the Northants music scene, with musicians flying the flag for our county on a local, national, and international level.

To celebrate, we’ve had a run though of some of our favourite things this year. Before we get going, a quick caveat. We love all the acts we write about, but we can’t include everyone and talk about everything. If you or your favourite are not in there, just remember; there’s always next year…

So, without further ado here’s the ramblings of New Boots editors Phil Moore and David Jackson. Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year to all. [most photos by David Jackson]

SONG OF THE YEAR
Phil: “For me it’s Tom Grennan and ‘Barbed Wire’. Yes, Tom’s from Bedford but his backing band includes Northants musicians Danny Connors and Adam Gammage. Danny is a long-time local songwriter and musician and he co-wrote the single with Tom. I think it’s the best thing on his debut album Lighting Matches that came out earlier this year.”

Dave: “For me, it’s ‘The Modern Man’ by Ginger Snaps. Jay Brook has been putting out great records for years in Gingers Snaps, and with previous bands. I think ‘The Modern Man’ was an almost a perfect mix of what Ginger Snaps is about: great beats, scratching and guitar hook all rolled into one.”

Phil: “I also want to mention The Barratts‘ second comeback single from this year ‘The Garrison’. The band came back after a break from recording and that tune still has the essence of The Barratts but it’s moved the sound on with a bit of a harder edge. Luckily they’ve still got a brilliant way with a chorus.”

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Phil: “This is a much harder category because we’ve had fewer albums out than singles, but the quality of those I’ve heard has been excellent. Three stood out most for me. Firstly Domino Blitz by Tim Muddiman & The Strange. It is a serious piece of art which he clearly put his heart and soul into. “It has a sort of Nick Cave / Tom Waits dark blues/noir rock feel, and has some great arrangements.

“Secondly Venus Fly Trap and Icon. This is possibly the best album they’ve done, which was a bit of a surprise. “It’s a diverse record with lots of memorable hooks, both guitar parts and vocal lines.

 
“It’s also worth mentioning P -Hex, who have been together for almost 30 years now and finally put out nan album, Quantum Funkanics, this year. I think they have previously not bothered to do an album because they thought they were predominantly a live act, but I’m glad they did because it is brilliant.”

Dave: “There’s not much I can add to what you’ve said, but the album I’ve probably listened to the most has also been Domino Blitz. I really enjoyed Tim’s previous record Paradise Runs Deeper so was looking forward to this one and it really didn’t disappoint. As you said, a great, dark bluesy record which I really rate. It was great to have him here this year playing some of those songs as well.”

BEST LIVE ACT
Dave: “Sharkteeth Grinder were one of the highlights at the Rocked Up Hootennany this summer, and one of the best local live bands I’ve seen this year. They were probably a band I saw photos of before hearing them live and knew they were someone I’d love.

“There’s a fantastic controlled chaos about them, and even with the disconnect of a main stage and barrier at the Hootenanny, Bobbo was out in the crowd, screaming his heart out putting everything into that performance. They’re just fantastic to watch live.”

Phil: “They refer to their performances as exhibitions and yes, they’re very passionate and seriously and in love what they do. They’ll play anywhere to anyone wherever there’s an audience. They’re one of the sincerest bands I’ve ever spoken to. If you like hardcore they’re absolutely a band for you.

“I’d also like to mention Karl Phillips and The Rejects. I’ve only seen Karl and krew a couple of times this year, but they are very tight and very entertaining. Karl has tons of personality, and the band went on a massive tour this year, which takes guts in this day and age. Each venue that books them seems to fall in love with them and want them back.

“More new songs in 2019 please Karl.”

EVENT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I’ve just mentioned it, but the Rocked Up Hootenanny was amazing and without doubt one of my highlights of the year. What Marc Collins and the Rocked Up team and other promoters involved achieved in 2018 was fantastic. 

“The Hootenanny has been growing year by year and the ambition to create something on that scale has to be massively applauded.
“There was a fantastic mix of local and national touring acts and to get the final full show by Arcane Roots was as huge coup.

“Yeah, it was a bit windy, but it was a great day and the organisers did a great job of pulling together a really diverse day of music with rock, alternative and hip-hop across three stages. Hopefully, despite his pending move to Hamburg, Marc and the team will be back next year with another Hootenanny.”

Phil: “The event of the year for me has to be the return of Bauhaus – if only under the name of Peter Murphy and David J. “The pair hadn’t played Bauhaus material together in this town for 36 years and that in itself was a huge moment for Northampton – and they played two shows!

“I went to the first and it was fantastic tour de force. Their music, which was always visceral and revolutionary, sounded great and I feel it was a moment you had to revel in.”

Dave: “We also have to mention Twinfest, as each year it goes from strength to strength.
“It opened for the first time on the Thursday in the Guildhall’s Great Hall, which felt really special. It was a great opening night, and I hope they’re able to do something similar again next year.”

Phil: “The organisers were very on it this year, and utilised each of the venues really well. It’s a very small-scale organisation working on a small budget and they are maximising the results. All power to them for achieving that – I hope they can keep it up in the future.”

BEST TOURING ACT TO COME TO NORTHANTS
David: “I think it’s been another strong year for bands coming to the county, and for me a couple stick out. It was great to see post-hardcore legend and former Far frontman Jonah Matranga play all of Water & Solutions at the White Hart in Corby.

“Jonah seems to be over in the UK every couple of years and besides being one of the nicest guys his work rate is incredible. It was the first time I’d seen Jonah play with a band as he normally just tours acoustically. Rob Reeves from Run Your Tongue also deserves a ‘thanks’ for making that gig happen.

“My second choice would probably be Gary Numan at the Roadmender. When you look at the size of shows Numan is playing it was a real coup for Northampton to get a show. He’s still writing fantastic songs and his last couple of albums I think have been among the best of his career. Another mention must go to Tim Muddiman representing Northampton on bass for Numan.”

Phil: “It was a big, big deal for him to come and play a show that size and we’re lucky. I’m sure Tim helped make that happen.

“I’d like to pick Don Broco. They’ve had a massive year with their album Technologyand they’re playing to packed audiences. The Roadmender gig sold out almost immediately and they’re from the region so a big shout out must go to them for their amazing efforts and great live show.

“Also, The Lovely Eggs. One of my favourite DIY bands, who also came to the Roadmender. They’ve been growing year by year and are releasing quality albums and playing quality shows. The atmosphere at their gigs is always extremely friendly, and you feel like you’re part of their family. Which is apt, as they also bring their kid on tour as well!”

ACT OF THE YEAR
Dave: “I think there’s two we need to talk about here: Sarpa Salpa and slowthai.

“The Sarpa lads put in an incredible amount of work this year. They played more than 20 festivals, countless regular shows and supported some big acts along the way, while also headlining the MaNo-Musikfestival in Germany, playing to about 2,000 people.

“They’ve released a couple of great singles and filled venues across the region.”

Phil: “They’ve had a fantastic year and are the whole package really. “They’ve gigged their asses off and are a great representation of what you can achieve. We love them and will continue to support them as much as we can.

“Next for them, I think, is start to get getting more national press/radio exposure, and then we can expect big things beyond conquering the east Midlands.”

Dave: “Onto slowthai – who currently is gracing the cover of numerous major publications while featuring in a lot of ‘2019 hype’ lists.

Phil: “While he’s not been working the local scene as such,  he is very much a product of Northampton and is heading for the stars as we speak.

“2018 has been a phenomenal rise and breakthrough year for him. He’s put out a succession of riotous singles, and the snowball just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We may not see him locally much more, but he’s a guy with bucket loads of charm and we should all love him.”

FLYING THE FLAG – REPPING NORTHANTS AROUND THE GLOBE
Dave: “Billy Lockett. He’s had a hell of a year, hasn’t he. Seeing the ELO tour poster with his name on, playing every major stadium in the UK and Europe was great.

“I went to one of the London O2 Arena shows and it was incredible to see Billy’s name in lights either side of the stage, and the reaction he was getting from fans. It was only a few years ago it seems he was still trying to work out exactly who he wanted to be, trying different line-ups and formats and it all seems to have clicked this year for him.

“He’s released some cracking songs along the way as well.”

Phil: “This year was a real moment for him. I think you could tell how much it meant to him to come and fill the Royal back in May I really think now the sky is the limit for him.”

Dave: “We must also mention Alistair Wilkinson who has been playing drums with him as well.”

Phil: “Yeah, he’s a great guy with a lot of talent. He’s very in demand as a session drummer and I hope they continue to work together because it will really feel like a Northampton band then.”

Phil: “We’ve already mentioned Adam Gammage and Danny Connors playing with Tom Grennan, and it’s worth pointing out guys have been rehearsing at Stalkers Rehearsal Studio in Northampton. It’s amazing when you think we have top ten artists on our doorstep like that.

Greg Coulson is now playing keyboards in Spiritualized, which is fantastic for him, and you have to continually mention Ben Gordelier and Andy Crofts recording and playing with Paul Weller.

“Weller released his best album in years in 2018 with True Meanings, and they played some fantastic gigs. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them two next year with the return of The Moons.”

Dave: “There’s then also people we’ve previously discussed like Tim Muddiman touring across the world with Gary Numan.”

ONES TO WATCH IN 2019
Dave: “Two bands I’ve been really impressed with this year have been King Purple and The Keepers.

“It’s an interesting one, because both kinda occupy genres which aren’t my immediate ‘go to’. ‘Stuck In The Rough’ is a cracking tune and I know King Purple have been gaining a lot of traction. I’ve seen them a few times and every time they’ve really impressed.

“They’re clearly really talented guys and I hope they going to have a good 2019.

Phil: “I think their sound is very ‘now’ and a mixture of American and English influences and that always translates and travels quite well in this day and age.

Dave: “I met up with The Keepers recently and was very impressed with frontman Jordan’s drive and determination. He clearly knows exactly where he wants to take the band, and how he wants to achieve it.

“I just think with that drive and work ethic, they’re halfway there. They’ve got a good live show and are writing some good music.”

Phil: “I can see them getting better and better and I hope they get the support they deserve locally. They mix a few genres; there’s a bit of indie, psych and mod in there, and there’s enough going on in the pot there to satisfy anyone really.”

Phil: “I want to mention Weirdoe and That Joe Payne. “Weirdoe is a local rapper who seems to be a great character, and has built an impressive YouTube following. Aaron’s got some mad rhyming skills and his flow is always on point. His music is truthful, with some gallows humour, which inevitably brings [healthy] comparisons to Eminem.

“With Joe Payne – I think you are obligated to say ‘Joe Payne, former vocalist of The Enid‘ to give him some context! He left The Enid a couple of years ago now though. He already has fans and the press on his side from those times, he has a great voice and great piano skills. He’s got enough self-awareness to take everything with a pinch of salt, and that’s really important in this industry.

“Joe, and everyone else, New Boots hopes you have a kick-ass 2019.”

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Twinfest 2018: The Review

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

TWINFEST
July 26th – 29th 2018
Northampton

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

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

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

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

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

Drinsipa

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

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

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

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

The Barratts

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

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

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

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

Leo Robinson

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

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

Century City

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deep Sea Mountains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Keepers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monarchs

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

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

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

 

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Photos: Twinfest 2018, Thursday, The Guildhall

Twinfest 2018 got under way at The Guildhall on Thursday night. Headliners The Barratts were joined by Sarpa Salpa, Mantras, The Flims, Drinsipa, Hyll and Kieron Farrow. We’ll have a…

Twinfest 2018 got under way at The Guildhall on Thursday night.

Headliners The Barratts were joined by Sarpa Salpa, Mantras, The Flims, Drinsipa, Hyll and Kieron Farrow.

We’ll have a full review on Twinfest in the coming days, but in the meantime, he’s some photos from its opening night courtesy of David Jackson.

 

The Barratts

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Sarpa Salpa

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Mantras

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

The Flims

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Drinsipa

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Hyll

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

Kieron Farrow

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

Twinfest 2018, The Guildhall, Thursday, July 27, 2018

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Twinfest 2018 – Your guide to who’s playing where and when

Twinfest is back at venues across Northampton from Thursday with bands from Marburg in Germany and Poitiers in France joining some of the best acts from across the town. For…

Twinfest is back at venues across Northampton from Thursday with bands from Marburg in Germany and Poitiers in France joining some of the best acts from across the town.

For the first time this year, Twinfest kicks off at The Great Hall in Guildhall with the Lamplighter, The Pomfret Arms and The Black Prince also hosting gigs.

Another first this year will see Club 43 hosting an ‘international jam night’ and Twinfest after-party on the Saturday night.

Heading to Northampton this year are The Flims and Hyll from Marburg and Mantras from Poitiers.

Below is a full guide to who who’s playing where and when.

For more information about the festival, visit fb.com/twinfest.northampton

 

Thursday:

The Great Hall, Guildhall, St Giles Square
Music from 7.30pm.

The Barratts
Sarpa Salpa
Mantras
The Flims
Drinsipa
Hyll
Kieron Farrow

 

Friday:

The Lamplighter, Overstone Road
Music from 7.40pm

Century City
Hyll
Leo Robinson
The Flims
Mantras

 

Saturday:

The Pomfret Arms, Cotton End
Music from 1pm

Deaf Trap
Deep Sea Mountains
Michael Kinder
Duncan Bisatt
Crybb
Kenneth J Nash
Straw Horses
The Flims
Hyll
Mantras

Club 43, Gold Street
International jam hosted and after party
From 10pm


Sunday:

The Black Prince, Abington Square
Music from 1pm.

Monarchs
Mantras
Mio Flux
The Flims
Skirt
Hyll
Pieces
King Purple
The Keepers
Yodaclub
Tom Rose and the Heathen Orchestra.

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FULL line-up for Twinfest revealed

Twinfest organisers have revealed who and where the bands and venues are for this years festival. The annual shindig allows Northampton bands to play alongside acts from the twinned towns of…

Twinfest organisers have revealed who and where the bands and venues are for this years festival. The annual shindig allows Northampton bands to play alongside acts from the twinned towns of Marburg in Germany and Poitiers in France. This year’s event runs for four nights across July 26th to July 29th.

Thursday July 26 / The Great Hall @ The Guildhall
The Flims [Marburg]
Hyll [Marburg]
Mantras [Poitiers]
Sarpa Salpa [pictured]
The Barratts
Drinsipa
Keiron Farrow

Friday July 27th / The Lamplighter
Century City
Leo Robinson
The Flims
Hyll
Mantras

Saturday July 28th / The Pomfret Arms [alldayer]
Michael Kinder
Duncan Bisatt
Kilamojo
Deaf Trap
Deep Sea Mountains
Crybb
Kenneth Nash
The Straw Horses
The Flims
Hyll
Mantras

Sunday July 29th / The Black Prince [alldayer]
Tom Rose And The Heathen Orchestra
Pieces
Yodaclub
The Keepers
Monarchs
King Purple
Skirt
Mio Flux & Patchy, The Rockstar
The Flims
Hyll
Mantras

Wristbands for the weekend cost a paltry £6 and allow admission into all shows. Visit the Facebook page for more info.

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Twinfest dates announced, submissions requested

The dates for Twinfest 2018 has been announced. Twinfest is a non-profit organisation that celebrates the friendship between the twin towns of Northampton and Marburg [Germany] and Poitiers [France] through…

The dates for Twinfest 2018 has been announced.

Twinfest is a non-profit organisation that celebrates the friendship between the twin towns of Northampton and Marburg [Germany] and Poitiers [France] through a universal love of music, with a festival each year in each location. 2017 was a cracker – read our review at the old site here. The 2018 festivities will take place Thursday July 26th through Sunday the 29th. Venue announcements coming shortly.

The organisers say: “If you’re a musician in a band or solo artist and would like to play then please get in touch and message us with links to your music. If you’d like to be involved in other ways, such as hosting our German and French visitors, helping with stage set ups and pa’s, helping on the doors or in any other way you can help, then please get in touch.

For musicians, please can you contact the team via the Twinfest Facebook page….and for anything else you can contact Bee Precious, Paul Brown and Kenton Precious individually”

 

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