Tuesday, 5 June 2012

TWINFEST: Saturday 9th June at The Racehorse

At the age of sixteen Twinfest can now legally have sex, buy cigarettes, play the lottery and, most importantly, drive a 50cc moped! What more do you want from life? Every year since the dawn of time, Northampton, Marburg and Poitiers will select the acts they think the other towns will have most difficulty in pronouncing and then jet them off to perform as part of one huge weekend of music. Marburg's MANOPO as ever took place in March with Poitiers rounding things off later in October however it's now our turn to play host with seven separate events all over the county, and in a moment of stupidity I decided I'd review them all...

Saturday 9th June, 1pm-11pm, The Racehorse

Nina Harries
Harmonious backing vocalist for JJ Stone's Campfire, the double bassist and her better known brother Joel join the likes of Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Adele and Fred Astaire and of course Kelly and Jack Osbourne as two mega talented musical siblings (okay well maybe not the third one!) Nonetheless she's got a delicate little voice making the double bass a contemporary instrument with snazzy live performances for both covers and her own acoustic treats.

Moxie and the Quiet

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).

A rootsy blues/folk five piece, Howlin' Hootin' Owls are no strangers to shaking the odd tail feather to their acoustic lovelies. Featuring three members of the now defunct Hanuman, twangy picking and mellow harmonies feature throughout, kicking off your Saturday night with a great little barn dance (well I guess it's better than a snowy dance, and no one wants an eagle dance either!)

Daniel Vagant Trio
Made up of guitarist Daniel Vagant with members of the amazingly named Paddy Goes To Holyhead Uwe and Dirk, the band became one of the hottest things in Marburg with the release of their Sunspringlove LP last year. With the outstanding roots melodies achieved only by at least twenty hard years in music, Vagant provides a pure alternative rock energy for both the original country rock era and the post-Fleetwood Mac generations.

So either I know more French than I thought or the band speak English. Probably the second. Made up of guitarist Anthony Baril and drummer Lucie Mousset (Stripes vibes anyone?) and influenced by the American grunge rock bands of the late 80s/early 90s, [yet] provide a raw mix of infectious energy and darkened melodies above expectations of a band who've only been together a year. I do hope they'll get some live sheep up on stage when they perform Tonnes.

The Midnight To Six Men
Disappointingly only on from six pm to seven (yes I was expecting a six hour set) the retro beat trio might have formed fifty years too late but that doesn't mean they're not still an incredible and ever improving garage band, furiously covering nothing but pure classic rock 'n' roll baby! Again, Marburg never fail to deliver - although you should note that all our bands write for themselves (low blow, sorry guys).

Finally, a name on this year's Twinfest that actually sounds foreign (and thus, to most UK listeners, like a complete and utter weirdo!) But skip past the language barrier and Baptiste Pizon is an undiscovered gem, drawing on influences from France's traditional folk music, classic rock 'n' roll, unadulterated funk and classical grandeur to create an awesome, extravagant and, dare I say, rather sexy sound.


Party In Paris
The name's almost been made for the occasion, begging for Twinfest to take their incredible rhythms to "The City of Light" so they can fulfil their title's potential of Partying it down all over Paris. Until then they'll just have to make do with "The Town of Shoes and Cannabis Dealers," heaps of awesome guitar riffs, heartfelt lyrics and more hooks than a professional angler making them one of the county's favourite undiscovered talents.

The most German sounding name on the bill for the whole weekend with the added bonus that the band actually come from Northampton! In the process of recording their debut album Thanks Idiots (you're very welcome!) with local label Serious Types, it's rip-roaring guitar-squalling garage-cum-alternative country awesomeness all at absolute full blast.

Gorgeous vocal harmonies sweeping forward like a bishop passed two pawns, acoustic guitar riffs soaring like a knight leaping over top whilst a jauntily thumping cello bypasses the typical outfit of a folk band with an innovative little en passant (guess who used to go to chess club!). Boasting several credible solo achievements, last year saw the release of their melodic debut album Lines and Verses and 2012 looks to be just as huge. They're a trio I strongly advise you to check - mate.

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