Two of the best pairs of ears in Northampton, hands on label Serious Types have secured themselves a fantastic little stage at this year's Vintage Festival in Kettering. I have to say their tacky spectacled t-shirts may not be best for "The UK's Glamorous Festival" but what they lack in fashion is more than made up for in music (so make sure you check them out when you're not busy freaking out to Chic, getting funky with Cameo, falling back in love with Betty Wright or being phantasmagoricalised by The Damned). To raise funds for this, Saturday 2nd June will see an all day showcase live at the Labour Club, and the line up is just something else.
I know Kenneth is a name usually associated with gangster rappers and metal guitarists, but this hauntingly beautiful singer-songwriter takes folk right back to its dark, sombre roots. Emanating raw emotion, I would recommend his Under A Gypsy Moon LP to any admirer of Leonard Cohen's remarkable musical era.
Alongside his Make Me Feel Good Band, Unstoppable Lighting Chiefs, Extra-Terrestrial Dinosaurs or whatever name he's burdening on his band these days, Joseph provides your epic fix of Springsteen-influenced country rock. Brewing up crazy instrumental concoctions as well as more stripped back folky ballads, this small town really has been good to me with this one.
If you're a folk fan in Northampton who takes an interest in your local scene and you haven't heard about Cave's reformation then you must have been living in one. The album set for release this summer looks to be a collection of prancing melodies and string-driven merriment, all compiled by Victoria Inn owner and mind blowing acoustic singer-songwriter Gregg Cave.
They may be called The Operatives but I wouldn't even trust this band to amputate my little toe! We can however rely on the incredibly inventive four piece to redefine versatility for the county, instead of albums producing insane musical Milk Trays full of in your face punk, fiery rock 'n' roll, brutal heavy metal, hip-wigglin' ska and funktastic grooves. It's rare these days to find a band that's been together seven years and can still remain as fresh and innovative as ever, but Matt, Ali, Deon and Alex still have so much more to give (namely their second album out some time soon).
Das Pluto Gang
No they're not one of Marburg's bands in the county for Twinfest next weekend, garage four piece Das Pluto Gang are 100% Northamptonian. Whether that's something to be proud of is your decision! In the process of recording their debut album Thanks Idiots (you're very welcome!), it's rip-roaring guitar-squalling alternative country awesomeness all at absolute full blast.
Grandmaster Flash's band seems to have changed a fair bit since they released The Message. Now a fantastic blues trio taking rock 'n' roll and rockabilly right back to its roots, they'll blast you straight onto the floor and jitterbuggin' away with their seamlessly raw garage tunes. "Simultaneously raise the roof and bring the house down" they say . . . What a way for The Lab to go!
Submerged in low-fi electro ambience, the name may imply "NOISE NOISE NOISE" but actually Decibels are a chilled-out synthed-up quintet putting the mmm into summer that you can both boogie along to and indulge in the beauty of to your hearts content. Having been supported heavily by national BBC Introducing, several online blogs (including Bedge Music) and even released as part of a Warp Records compilation, they are certainly the ones to watch for Midlands electronica fans.