The Boxer Rebellion know a thing or two about independence.
After an early experience with the major label structure left them scarred, the band simply opted to do it alone. Harnessing the power of the internet, The Boxer Rebellion were able to by-pass industry obstacles and communicate directly with their fans.
Fourth album 'Promises' is out now, and kick-starts a busy summer period. As if headline shows and festival slots weren't enough, the band are set to support a little known combo by the name of The Rolling Stones...
Entering a busy period, The Boxer Rebellion are already packing up their things and collecting their passports. With that in mind, ClashMusic asked drummer Piers Hewitt to open up about his favourite way to unwind - perusing the racks of independent record shops.
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I am a simple man of simple pleasures, and when it comes to shopping, I have always just been content with getting a new album ahead of buying clothes. Obviously that experience has changed somewhat over the last few years with the decline of music shops, but that doesn't mean I don't still enjoy leafing through records. In Essex, where I'm from, the independent record shop flag is being flown by one of my favourite shops, Brown Sugar (also known as Slipped Discs), in Billericay, that has combined it's talents with providing great coffee and cake as well as keeping physical music available. If you're ever in the area, check it out. It's a lovely little shop that has been wise in it's methods of keeping initially just the record shop open by embracing a new environment, and they've done a great job of it too.
On a grander scale, if you love physical music, you will never find a store better than Amoeba Music in America with stores in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood. Their range of stock is excellent, including clothing and a fantastic selection of posters, not even mentioning the great gigs they put on regularly in store. In terms of live shows, this year they have already welcomed Local Natives, Yo La Tengo, Jessie Ware and Fidlar, amongst many others. And if it's your thing, they have a great second hand section too. I've been in the shop in Hollywood and I could honestly have spent many more hours in there.
And finally, I couldn't let this article pass without mentioning a great doughnut and coffee place called Top Pot in Seattle, one of my favourite cities. As a band this place has made us shamefully count our calories more than once, and I even walked out with a doughnut recipe book too, completely unplanned. If I produce anything half as good from those recipes, I'll be a happy man. Great coffee and divine doughnuts in a fantastic city. Definitely worth a visit.
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'Promises' is out now.