Independent Music Week across Northampton

Posted 15th February 2024

It’s all about Independent Music Week shows as February gets under way, and Phil Moore has come up trumps with SBD Promotions, by bringing in a feast of fabulous to The Black Prince, but each with a very different USP.

Empyre (Feb 1) are still riding high on the critical acclaim that followed the release of their second album, Relentless, last year.

Once described as ‘the love-child of Pink Floyd and Soundgarden’ this is a band for those who like their atmospheric rock taut and dark. Ten Tonnes, aka Ethan Barnett, issued his debut album through Warner Bros, and then? Everything changed. In the four years between that self-titled opus and the next, he became an independent artist, stepped out of London, began therapy, focused on the introverted part of his brain and now he’s back; with an album about reflection, growing up and carving a different path for himself. And that journey ain’t over yet for the indie maestro. Not by a long way.

TVAM, an artist without boundaries, follows into the venue (Feb 3). His first album, Psychic Data, made friends with ears upon it release in 2018, and it was perceived as the release to ‘join the dots between Suicide’s deconstructed rock ‘n’ roll, Boards of Canada’s irresistible nostalgia and My Bloody Valentine’s infinite noise. HBO’s Succession even made use of the track, Porsche Majeure.

A pandemic, a new record label and another stint in the studio and TVAM returned with album number two, High Art Lite which emphasises the ‘immediate and the personal, the colours blown-out and the brightness cranked up… High Art Lite offers an all-inclusive package of redemption.’

Like many a true creative, TVAM doesn’t sit comfortably anywhere for too long, both visceral and melancholic, his craft drifts across dream pop, shoegaze and synth-pop without ever calling one camp its home.’

Ten Tonnes

As curious to the listener as he is creative in his craft, this promises to be a special evening.

TVAM will be joined by Phantom Isle. Are driving synths and soaring melodies your bag? Theirs is pure nostalgia for the people of now. I like that.
Scottish singer-songwriter Steve Mason will take over a day later. Steve was a member of The Beta Band who, you might recall, became a swell proposition on the scene before bowing out in the mid-noughties.

Later, he carved out his own solo career, and Steve has most recently given up the goods on Brothers & Sisters, which took its lead from all that was happening around; consequently it is fused with anti-brexit and pro-immigration messages, with South Asian instrumentation and at odds with the subject matter, a tone that even manages to be joyous on occasion.

It’s a fine line-up and one Phil is particularly proud of: “Having a nationally-profiled initiative in Independent Venue Week available to us is a fantastic resource,” he told Pulse Music, “It really does highlight the work we do, week in week out at the grassroots level in pushing live music to the local populace.

“Being a ‘tertiary market’, a ‘regional’ place – heck, let’s face it, an unfashionable place – it is often a slog to get attention on what we do, and IVW does really cut through that by placing us front and centre in the UK music world.

“Having bands with national radio presence, plentiful column inches, and a strong digital following playing a 250 capacity venue during IVW shows us in a good light, plus it helps with ticket sales, with wider industry recognition, and with good old fashioned pride that what we do is ‘worth it.’”

Go book for your preferred right now at