Shonen Knife + KOLARS @ NAC, Peach Club @ Dr. Martens, Loose Leaf Drifters @ The Reindeer 12 April 2018

After a rare week without any gigs at all, on a Thursday evening full of events in the city I attended three of them, starting off at the Dr. Martens store where Peach Club played a great early evening set of half an hour or so and we were refreshed with BrewDog’s Punk IPA.





It’s always a treat to see the excellent Peach Club, the store’s full audience were well into it and it was funny to see the bemused and interested expressions of passers by peering through the window.  The following day Peach Club were heading to London by invitation to support Shonen Knife and in a weird twist the next port of call for me of the evening was to Norwich Arts Centre to see … Shonen Knife.

shonen knife


I was a little caught out by the 8pm set time and so missed the first few minutes of the performance by the support for this date, KOLARS.  However I did catch plenty enough to be totally blown away by them.  A bit of Temples-like glam, a bit of White Stripes, Velvet Underground and Jesus and Mary Chain and whole lot of KOLARS entertainment. They were brilliant and created something quite unique with some punky-spirited, melodic rock and roll and quite the most visual drumming performance I think I have seen. Whilst Rob sings and plays guitar, Lauren is thumping the percussion and tap dancing on an upturned bass drum at the same time as playing stand-up drums, almost like a fascinating toy that comes alive when the box is opened and the music plays.  It’s quite brilliant stuff and highly visual too along with the great songs.  My friend David was also well into it – which was duly noted by Rob and he deservedly had a song dedicated to him for it – he described them colourfully afterwards as: “An homogeny of White Stripes, The Killers, The Stray Cats, Gary Glitter and the late Lena Zavaroni” … I totally know what he means and KOLARS have been added to my list of excellent new favourites bands to be coming out of California, Los Angeles especially (indeed it turns out they are friends with the amazing Starcrawler too), bands who are putting the dynamism, visuals and animated fun back into rock’n’roll, Rob even went walkabout with his guitar on the floor among us at one point.  They sure put on a show.









KOLARS is a band of two members.

Rob Kolar sings and strums his rollicking guitar, Lauren Brown uses her whole body as a percussive instrument.

KOLARS has created a sonic world that straddles self-described genres such as Desert Disco, R&Beyond, Space Blues, and Glam-a-billy . Rob produces, mixes, and writes the material.  His studio experimentation is incorporated into the live show. Lauren has invented her own drumming style. She tap dances rhythms with her feet atop a bass drum while simultaneously playing a stand-up kit. She uses this dance to transform beats into natural extensions of her movement. The two perform with energy, sweat, and excitement, thrilling audiences with their unabashed exuberance.







The first time I saw the incredibly likeable Shonen Knife was in the same venue a few years back and it seems these three girls from Osaka in Japan also have fond memories of that gig and mentioned it several times in this welcome return, especially drummer Risa who seemed to be having a great time here once again.  They play these punky songs with Ramones-esque melodies with great spirit and exuberance and even included a cover of Nick Lowe’s Cruel to be Kind.  They were a lot of fun and this was another enjoyable gig though it’s probably KOLARS who made the biggest impression on me, they were simply amazing and a great discovery.




Shonen Knife play tonight at The Garage in London, with support from our own Peach Club of course.


shonen knife


shonen knife


As it was an early start everything was pretty much done and dusted by just after 10pm so there was still some time to head back to The Reindeer where Sacred Sounds were hosting a gig, of course previously these events were held at the now sadly closed Owl Sanctuary and Lou has recently taken over The Reindeer after successfully putting on gigs at The Wildman for these past few years.  The Loose Leaf Drifters were in fine form and and full flow (all eight of them) when I arrived but I think I caught most of their set which was a most enjoyable way to end the night, and particularly good to have a few hours respite from the hugely depressing thoughts about the state of the world at the moment so big thanks to all the bands for putting a smile back on my face.


shonen knife


shonen knife

Shonen Knife’s setlist






all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018


Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in live music and dance, Loose Leaf Drifters, Norwich Arts Centre, Peach Club | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Milly Hirst + Of the Clay + Hot Raisin @ The Handlbar 4 April 2018

When I first saw the poster for this event I could hardly believe my eyes it was such a dream line-up for me. Just about perfect if Phoebe had been playing too but that would be asking too much what with her organising this most welcome and magical return of live music in the Bicycle Shop’s Handlebar, one of my favourite spaces in the city. This April edition was another successful following last month’s launch.




Hot Raisin are really special to me, I call them my natural anti-depressants as they always lift my mood in a lovely way. They just make me happy!  Playing first on the bill in this packed out Handlebar they were a three-piece of Tory, Mary, and Luke (with bassist Tom also in the audience) and in that strange way of things sometimes, the house PA was playing Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch which of course is something the Raisins sometimes play, though not today but they did play most tracks from their two recent EPs.  In the ambient, candlelit lighting Tory pointed out that the sides of the stage area were quite dark so you could only really see Mary and Luke’s guitars, though sometimes their faces were visible it was in very much the style of the With the Beatles album cover!  There might have been a little bit of an issue with the lead mic but Tory’s voice is always beautiful and the guitars all sounded absolutely sublime.  It felt like a while since I’d last seen them so they once again put a big smile on my face.  My favourite on the night was Take Me Over. Actually the last time I did see them was at the Stanford in Lowestoft, and on that occasion when I got back to Norwich I was just in time to catch an evening set at Frank’s Bar by none other than Of the Clay, who of course were also on this bill.


hot raisin



Milly has been quite quiet on the gigging front for a while so it’s most pleasing to see (and hear) her playing again.  She actually made a low-key return the previous week at The Birdcage supporting Chad Mason and Steve Dulieu in a lovely and intimate gig. It felt like it had been a while since I saw Chad too and it’s always a pleasure to be at one of his gigs.  Steve Dulieu was something of a new name on me but he had a fine voice and played an enjoyable, impressive set, as well as handling sound for Milly and Chad.  Here in the Handlebar Milly played a beautiful mix of new and older songs. Opening with Kampala she just eased into her set without a word and did that thing she has the power to do. Totally silenced the hubbub of chatter in an absolutely packed bar. It’s good to have you back Milly, and an especial treat to see you in this setting. Four years ago she played Mary for the first time at the Birdcage and then again a few days later here in this same venue.  We had the same sequence this time, four years on, and fittingly it was the song Mary, one of her very best, that ended her set tonight.


Milly at @thebicycleshopnorwich Handlebar last night #norwichmusiccityuk

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Of the Clay first came to my attention at one of Shane O’Linski’s OosWolf nights at Cactus at the beginning of last year. It turns out that was one of their very first gigs and it had an eventful start with someone from a boxing event next door rather gatecrashing the gig in drunkenly boisterous style. I had huge admiration for Of the Clay for the unfazed way in which they handled that and just continued playing and singing. That made a big impression on me but so too did their music.  A mix of folk with some covers tinged with Irish, English and Appalachian influences.  So when the power failed during one of their songs this made little difference to them and they just carried on regardless.  It’s possibly the most comfortable and at ease I’ve seen them, joking and smiling and chatting between songs and mesmerising during them. 


Of the Clay also performed recently as part of the Sian Croose and Brendan Taaffe directed Dawn Chorus which was generously crowdfunded. One of just three performances the Norwich one was sandwiched between those at Halesworth and Cambridge and held in the beautiful setting of the Octagon Chapel.  It featured original and traditional acappella from the UK and USA and also included Iain Lowery, Kimberley Moore, Alfie Carpenter and a whole host of others in the ensemble.  Of the Clay performed a stunning rendition of th Bert Jansch arrangement of Nottamun Town.


dawn chorus


Another quite wonderful night in the Handlbar for the April session of these events, big thanks to Phoebe and The Bicycle Shop for putting them on, and Milly Hirst, Of the Clay, and Hot Raisin for playing it. It was whilst introducing the song Geordie that Niamh from Of the Clay mentioned that one of the things she loved about the characters in the old traditional folk songs were the strong women. There were certainly some of those involved in the magical nature of this beautiful evening too which I noted were all linked by each act referencing sea air, the coast, and ships.




@hotraisinmusic at the #stanfordarms #lowestoft #hotraisin

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#oftheclay #norwichmusiccityuk #franksbarnorwich @franksbar

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#lowestoft #sea #blackandwhitephotography

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#chadmason at @birdcagenorwich #norwichmusiccityuk

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all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018


Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in chad mason, Hot Raisin, live music and dance, Milly Hirst, Of the Clay | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PsychoMongos @ The Lacon Arms, Great Yarmouth feat. The Bad Apples + Bavarian Rocket Group + PreDawn, 31 March 2018

It’s a struggle to recall the last time I didn’t get rained on during a trip to a gig … probably February!  So, after an absolute drenching the previous night which scuppered my plans to see The Wolf Number, HANK, and Dr. Clyde, I got soaked once again on my way to the station to catch a train to Yarmouth for PsychoMongos #17.  Just a few minutes’ walk from Great Yarmouth’s railway station (it wasn’t raining here I noticed!) The Lacon Arms is tucked away in a back street and houses the Blisster-run PsychoMongos punk-spirited live music nights … though somewhat surprisingly it does not have any Lacons on tap.


There was quite a Norwich contingent present with several pals having had the same idea of coming over and at about 8:15pm the music started in perfect style with a psych set and some jamming from Norwich three-piece PreDawn.


Bavarian Rocket Group’s Shane and Bromley played a fun live rehearsal set at Jurnets a few days earlier as part of this month’s Current Undercurrent, and for PsychoMongos they were joined by Joe Quinn on guitar.

bavarian rocket groupbavarian rocket groupbavarian rocket group

Closing the night in raucous fashion were the excellent noisy duo Bad Apples from North Walsham who even had something of a mosh-pit going on at the front.  This punky styled DIY gig was a lot of fun and I loved the spirit of it.  Alas I had to dash back to the station as soon as the music finished, for the last train back to Norwich and so I missed out on the PsychoMongos chilli (a great touch that they do this) but really enjoyed myself. Thank you PsychoMongos!  Can’t wait to do it again.

bad applespsychomongos

Getting back to Norwich there was still time to pay a final visit to The Owl Sanctuary ahead of its closure at the weekend to catch the final hour or so of a storming Rebel Lion “Last Orders” night.  The place was packed and the atmosphere was really sweet.  I do hope the Owl will rise again in some form.  It’s a perfect home for the legendary Rebel Lion too, whose events I have been attending since 1997!  When I first saw them in the Bill Wilson room at UEA, as well as Zoom, the old Owl and a host of other places and one-offs.

rebel lionrebel lion


rebel lionrebel lionrebel lion


A week or so earlier I actually saw Blisster in the Owl too, for Sacred Sounds / Rad Times on a bill that also included The Black Sharks and one of the most rapidly improving bands in Norwich … Painted Heathers.  They’d actually improved again since I saw them the previous week supporting Gnoomes at the Playhouse Bar.  Obviously learning from the experience they also employed Gnoomes’ technique of covering “dead air” silences during tuning moments by having some drone, feedback, or even having other band members engage with the audience. It works well and really helped make their blistering set flow.   Some of the “oo-ee-oos” in the songs will inevitably draw comparisons with Blur but I prefer Painted Heathers.

It’s always a great pleasure to see Blisster, a band I really love. They may have dropped to a three-piece but with the drumkit on the Owl’s podium in front of all those mirrors there appeared to be at least four Henrys in the band.  It was a great deal of fun being present for their set and the whole audience partied along with them, some great new songs too.



ryan and karina

The party continued for the Black Sharks’ set with the packed bar dancing along to the band in one of their rare gigs. This was much fun as well and was an opportunity to catch Joe Quinn and the New Lunarians who feature a host of familiar faces including Jessie on vocals.  The band also recently played in Stowmarket for the John Peel Centre there.


black sharks


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Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in bavarian rocket group, Blisster, Joe Quinn and the New Lunarians, live music and dance, Painted Heathers, Predawn, PsychoMongos, Rad Times, Sacred Sounds, The Bad Apples, the black sharks | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Handsome Family + Drunken Prayer @ The Waterfront Studio 20 March 2018


This was another cracking Punk Rock Blues gig for which this time I was covering for Outline and my review there should be appearing shortly.

handsome family


Regular visitors to Norwich The Handsome Family have in recent years stopped off at Norwich Arts Centre where about this time last year they played a brilliant gig, with a notable support from Loose label-mate, the amazing Courtney Marie Andrews.


This year they are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Through The Trees album by touring a set that includes the album in its entirety, in order, along with a few other favourite tracks from their huge catalogue.  Loose Music have also produced a deluxe edition version of the album on heavyweight blue vinyl.




Support was from Drunken Prayer, who is Morgan Geer, also a member of Freakwater.  Armed with just his Fender he told us stories both in song and between them of his homeland and issues that we can relate to, such as the relentlessly creeping gentrification as well as issues less easy for us to relate to as we don’t often hear shotguns, thankfully, as he described between songs some of the issues in his homeland.  His set went down well with an interested audience and made me want to check out his work, both as Drunken Prayer and with Freakwater.


(I had no camera for this one so excuse the phone crapcam pics)


The Handsome Family were in very fine form, both musically (playing as a four-piece this time around, and with Brett on acoustic guitar) and conversationally between songs. It’s something I love about them.  The band are a big deal in my household and I listen to them a lot but to hear them live is always a special experience.  The way that husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks introduce the songs and talk to each other is entertainment in itself.  They might dig at each other but it’s always affectionate and gentle(-ish) but never staged or awkward which makes each and every gig entirely unique. 



After performing the whole album they returned for an encore but with curfew fast approaching some selections had to be ditched and it took on an improvisational feel which was actually one of the night’s highlights for me.  A night that opened with the immense Weightless Again concluded with Bottomless Hole seguing into Far From Any Road. It doesn’t get much better.



At one point they mentioned about walking around the city earlier in the day, much as Drunken Prayer also did, describing the “Little America” quarter. To my horror I realised they were surely describing a part of Riverside across the water from the Waterfront and a little part of me inside if not quite dying was certainly squirming in embarrassment at this representation of our city.  Fortunately, the Handsome Family at least have been here enough times to know that this area is not an accurate representation of Norwich.


the handsome family

The Handsome Family at NAC in 2015

the handsome family

The Handsome Family at NAC in 2015 (c) shashamane 2015


Perhaps the only thing that could have made it better were if it had been happening at the Arts Centre. The Waterfront Studio doesn’t feel entirely matched to this music and audience, plus the mixtape selection of heavy rock before the acts came onstage was a curious choice jarring with the onstage musical style.  The Handsome Family have a very inclusive way of engaging with the audience (and each other) which would have felt even better at NAC where they always sell the place out. Tellingly, the smaller capacity studio was not quite full which suggests to me their target audience probably felt the same way rather than being a reflection on the pulling power of the band.


UPDATE: Review now up on Outline’s site and can be read here.




Thanks to Outline Magazine, The Handsome Family, and Drunken Prayer.


all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018


Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in live music and dance, punk rock blues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The BellRays + Los Pepes + Beast with a Gun @ NAC for Punk Rock Blues 16 March 2018

Heading out it felt like one of those March evenings where winter stretches its icy fingers trying to cling onto the cold and delivering yet more drizzly rain. It meant yet another cold and damp arrival which perhaps explained the far-from-full feel when I arrived at NAC just 15 or so minutes before the opening band. They were another ‘beast from the east’, from Great Yarmouth and they came armed. Garage blues rock trio Beast With a Gun opened proceeding with their own explosive and fun set.  I’ve seen them a number of times over the years but never here in the NAC so that in itself was a treat but they were absolute dynamite. Drums, guitar, no bass but a charismatic singer who also plays cigar-box guitar and a lead guitarist so animated he is almost Wilko-esque at times. They were the absolute perfect opener for a Punk Rock Blues night. I always enjoy Beast with a Gun gigs and this one is up there among my favourites, they have a wonderful trashy rawness, a good visual balance and I’d love to see them share a billing with someone like Starcrawler.

beast with a gun

I think they gained the admiration of everyone seeing and hearing them for the first time, not surprisingly.  Totally unfazed by lost plectrums (audience member to the rescue!) and wayward drumsticks they powered their way through a set of glorious garage rock and roll blues with interspersed monkey noises to loud applause (“Should I just have done a whole set of monkey impersonations?”) and Southern drawl thanks and “True story, true story” between song interjections. If you liked this check out new offshoot band Ravenous Hounds, from the ashes of Savage Island. Even more ‘Sonics’ in sound, their debut gig a few months back was a belter.

From this point in the rest of the gig was uncharted waters for me, I knew nothing whatsoever about Los Pepes, and barely anything about The BellRays but if they were put on by PRB that was enough for me!

los pepes

Los Pepes had me within seconds. “Hello. We’re Los Pepes. We play Rock and Roll!”  They sure do.  Loud, frenetic, and wearing their influences on a sweaty sleeve they were absolutely brilliant, almost like a fantasy combination of Stiff Little Fingers, The Ramones, The Clash and AC/DC, or “The Motörhead of powerpop” as they describe themselves.  Primarily though they are just bloody good energetic pop songs delivered in a guitar-driven punk rock style that had me nodding away and thinking “This is what I have been missing!  Animated, energetic and playing great rock and roll with the poses to match. They were superb!

los pepes

It was hard to imagine how these two sets could be bettered but then on came The BellRays who in their own style charmed everyone.  They are probably best summed up by a comment mid-set from my friend Paul. “It’s like if Tina Turner was in The Ramones!”  Absolutely!  This was a quintessential Punk Rock Blues set, but with some added funk and soul for good measure. So much fun. “Punk is the preacher….. Blues is the teacher” as they have in their bio. One could really get lost in their music and focus on the blues, the soul, or the infectious punk spirit and guitar. I simply could not put into words how much I enjoyed their set and although the Arts Centre hall was far from full they did that thing that great bands can do, they made it feel full and had the whole place dancing. 

the bellrays

I knew there was a pretty good chance I would love the night’s music but I still wan’t quite prepared for just how much I would enjoy it and how much fun I would have. Three hours of exhilarating music. Cycling home some time later I was still buzzing from it, which helped beat a path through some more fresh snowfall but I didn’t care about that. This was the sort of powerful music to make you move and feel good and that’s just what it did. One of the best gigs of the year so far.


all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018


Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Beast With a Gun, Best gigs, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, punk rock blues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladboy + Lucille + Fever Machine @ The Owl Sanctuary, for Odd Box 10 March 2018 – Plus Gnoomes, Painted Heathers, Hot Raisin, Of the Clay, Phoebe Troup, DLore et al.

The previous week there were a number of gigs at the Owl which I’d hoped to make but a number of factors – mainly the weather – meant they were either cancelled, became low-key, or I just wasn’t able to attend, which is a shame as the Owl is due to close on the 1 April (surely, almost everyone thinks this should be taken on and run as a co-operative or collective? Its loss would be more than sad but seems so avoidable). Anyway, I made up for lost time with a number of weekend gigs and for this Odd Box Promotions event there were three bands I was seeing for the first time, including headliners Gladboy who have been causing quite a stir and buzz on the strength of their recent live shows.




First onstage were Fever Machine, playing only their second gig.  I immediately recognised Violet Kicks’ guitarist but here he was playing on bass.  They had a post-punk style and sound that appealed to me. A little quiet on the stage-presence front in comparison with what was to come later with Gladboy but very enjoyable though and I like what Fever Machine are doing and will look out for them again.


fever machine



The mysterious and darkly intriguing Lucille has risen from the ashes of Organisms, with Joe and Alex from that band, plus Lucille herself of course, on lead vocals. There’s also the addition of a few others, one of whom couldn’t make this gig and another being Iain Lowery on keys and backing vocals.  I liked this set a lot. There isn’t much information about them on social media but there is something about that I rather like too, just heightening the mystery. I very much look forward to seeing Lucile play again, these songs had a feeling, mood and atmosphere I found myself getting lost in. That’s always a good thing in my book.






George Orton of Gladboy is someone with a great musical family pedigree and someone I’ve seen at a few gigs in the city but this was my first opportunity to hear his band perform live, there has been a lot of buzz on the street about them and it didn’t take long to see why. As well as the great songs and playing they have buckloads of presence, some attitude and a refreshing, unapologetic self-belief and confidence that shows itself in the best of ways, the joy of performing the songs and involving the audience. They are charm itself actually and very likeable. George and the drummer are animated dervishes and frequently swap roles on drums and guitar (and keys too), whilst the bassist is the more grounded perfect foil.  A number of earworms in their set and they definitely have something about them. Getting the whole of the Owl upstairs room dancing and jumping about (and also getting them all to sit down on command!), with less than a dozen gigs under their belt they already have a strong local following and a strong set – with this as their first headline – though they did exhaust their entire catalogue though and for the much-demanded encore they had to go around again and play one of their songs a second time, and these songs are so good that there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. Fun, melodic, catchy garage rock. Describing themselves as a “junkadelic trio” they are another name to add to the ever-growing list of Norwich must-see bands. Now I want to see them playing on the same bill as HANK, that would be amazing!




A good choice of music for the mixtape between acts too with some reggae and dub.







Earlier in the week, with most of the snow now gone and gigs back on again I attended the Bicycle Shop’s handlebar which was absolutely rammed for what was the first of a new regular monthly acoustic showcases.  I am delighted to see the return of live music here and thank the lovely Phoebe Troup for putting it all together and making it happen.  We were treated to five hugely enjoyable sets by DLore, Billy Lubach, Softhead, Louis Cummins, and Phoebe herself. It was just lovely. It’s been a while since I heard Phoebe perform so this in itself was a big treat for me and all present. DLore will be known to many from The Piratones so check out his awesome solo work too. Billy is wonderfully talented and creative, a video is linked below too.





billy lubach


bicycle shop gig 1



Free entry but a donations box is passed around at the end to collect for the musicians.


@bicycleshopnorwich last night #norwichmusiccityuk

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On Sunday I visited one of my favourite pubs – The Stanford Arms in Lowestoft – for a couple of sets by Hot Raisin. Great fun as always and nice to hear airings of almost every Raisin song plus the covers that only get occasional plays  … These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Miss Ohio, Hit Me Baby One More Time, and Laura Marling’s The Captain and the Hourglass which is one of my favourites of hers.  Nice to hear their own Captain too which sounded really fresh. This is one of the songs that I heard when I first saw Hot Raisin that drew me into their world and was an early favourite.  For this gig they brought along their new dog, who was a total delight and barked along with the applause 🙂 A lovely afternoon with top music and top company in a great pub.


@hotraisinmusic at the #stanfordarms #lowestoft #hotraisin

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#lowestoft #sea #blackandwhitephotography

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Norfolk Big Sky #somerleyton #norfolk #sky #clouds

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Arriving back in a drizzly Norwich at about 8:30pm I was actually just in time to catch most of the Frank’s Bar set by Of the Clay. It was relaxed and quiet in there and really suited their sound. I was captivated and felt the souls of the songs, characters and the stories through their voices and playing. The Sunday evening atmosphere was perfect and the music just beautiful.


#oftheclay #norwichmusiccityuk #franksbarnorwich @franksbar

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The music still wasn’t over though and I was able to catch some of the Platform Twelve night hosted by Peter Turrell, as well as catching up with some good friends who also happened to be there. 


platform twelve


Peter will be reviving the Lights Out nights which were hosted by Pedz before he moved to Bristol. It will now be held in the Louis Marchesi Crypt and will be acoustic, unplugged and played in candlelight. Entry for this too is by donation.




The first of these was on Monday but in a quite untypical Monday nigh gig-clash I was unable to make it as I had already planned to be at the Playhouse Bar to see Painted Heathers and Gnoomes. That’s right, Gnoomes who have previously headlined the NAC and OPEN were playing for free in the Playhouse Bar on a Monday night, though again donations were encouraged to cover their travel expenses (they drove from Bristol and the next night of the tour was to take them to London). Thanks to Print For the People for putting this together.  I saw Gnoomes at that NAC gig in 2016 and had a lovely chat with them afterwards.  I was somewhat taken aback when talking this time they said they remembered me from that occasion and proved it by telling me the t-shirt I wore then!  The new album is on beautiful green vinyl and the signed cover sits proudly in my record collection.  When they played OPEN last year it clashed with Red Rooster so I unfortunately missed that one but they have a genuine warmth and fondness for Norwich (which is mutual) so I do hope they will be back again, they sounded amazing here. Now playing live as a four-piece the sound is a bit more electro and krautrock but still with superb crashing guitars and solid drums. A very professional act and truly lovely, friendly people.




Painted Heathers in support continue to impress and sound better each time I see them, with a new bassist they are now freed to have two great guitars playing at the same time. They have a post-punk, sometimes Blur-esque, sound but are getting their own identity which is becoming stronger and stronger as their confidence builds. The songs are there, they play brilliantly and are a lot of fun. Some of the gaps for tuning between songs perhaps disrupted the flow a little and it was interesting to see that the way Gnoomes handled this was for the drummer, keyboardist or the other guitarist to carry a drone or beat while someone else tuned, making the songs almost blend into each other. It may have confused the audience about when to applaud sometimes but gave the set a more immersive continuity.


#snow #trees #norwich

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#norwich #winter #snow #trees #nature

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Billy Lubach, D'Lore, Faver Machine, Gladboy, Hot Raisin, live music and dance, Louis Cummins, Lucille, Mud Hut, odd box, Of the Clay, Painted Heathers, Phoebe Troup, Softhead | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Red Rooster 2018, more line-up announcements

red rooster 2018

Red Rooster provided a welcome winter tonic during this icy blast with a second wave of announcements for this summer’s festival, adding to some already great names we have some more which makes it the strongest line up thus far in my eyes.  We had the likes of Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, Daddy Long Legs, Alabama 3, The Bonnevilles, The Worry Dolls, et al. but now added to that are yet more acts the calibre of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Ida Mae (fresh from a tour supporting Will Varley and currently recording their debut album), Yola Carter, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, and many others. Along with Ida Mae Norwich is represented by 4D Jones and Lucy GrubbSlim Cessna’s Auto Club played Norwich Waterfront Studio last September that I covered for Outline in what was one of the gigs of the year for me, I hardly dared dream their name might be added to the line up and to see it confirmed is the icing on the cake for me.  I cannot wait!

daddy longlegs

Daddy Long Legs

chris and steph

Ida Mae

The festival has been running since 2014 and growing slightly in size year on year but retains a friendly, relaxed and good-sized gathering of music fans and quality acts. It champions the very best in RnB, Americana, Blues, Soul, Roots and Country, it is the go-to early summer event for those who wish to immerse themselves in a truly Deep South weekend experience of music, food and culture.  To their credit despite the vast grounds they keep the capacity at a level that means it remains small and lovely. Of course, I have such faith in the bookings that I know, as in previous years, names which might be unfamilar to me now are future favourites, as the Red Rooster experience proves time and time again.

pokey lafarge and the south city three at nac

Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three

the bonnevilles

The Bonnevilles

Maui Waui, Alabama 3

Alabama 3

jug jaw's beat club, 4d jones

4D Jones

lucy grubb

Lucy Grubb

worry dolls

The Worry Dolls

Maui Waui, Alabama 3

ida mae

Ida Mae at Red Rooster 2016, back again for 2018


Located in the beautiful surrounding park and secluded woodlands of Euston Hall in Suffolk on a 30-acre site, Red Rooster is hosted by Harry, Duke of Grafton, himself a huge fan of blues, roots and Americana. It attracts not only music devotees but families, festival goers, and tenderfoots alike, creating an enchanting, laid back, free and easy atmosphere, where kids are able to run around vast corn fields, where families can enjoy lip-smacking authentic ribs and soul food by a campfire whilst being serenaded under the stars, with all congregating to get down and dirty to the raucous sounds radiating from the woodland’s main stage venue.

Red Roosterloressit

2018 will see a huge range of BBQ, ribs & brisket, Mac n Cheese, Chillis, Gumbos and Jambalayas. Friends of the festival, Meantime Brewery will provide an array of beers and craft ales, whilst Four Roses offer the finest selection of Bourbons.


There are beautiful broadwaters with punting, woodlands, campfires, kids’ area. For those lucky enough to get hold of a dog ticket before they sold out, The House of Mutt offers a grooming service, training and dog agility courses.

Eli lo res

And, very rare to see at a festival, Red Rooster provides electrical hook ups for motorhomes, caravans and campervans.

Red Rooster is pleased to announce the powerhouse that is Eli Paperboy Reed, together with his 10-piece High and Mighty Band!, as Saturday night headliners at this early summer festival, renowned for celebrating the best of blues, roots and Americana.

Based in Brooklyn, this will be Reed’s first ever UK festival performance. His powerful vocals and stage persona are sure to impress but in conjunction with this fantastic 10-piece brass band featuring the whole works – tuba, two drummers, trombones and trumpets – now that’s the way to top a Saturday night! This adds to the other fabulous already-announced headliners Pokey LaFarge and Alabama 3 Acoustic….every night ending on an absolute high…. then, of course, there’s the late night Howlin’ Woods Stage, taking the party through to the small hours.

Headlining the Little Red Rooster stage are Norwich band Ida Mae. They come to Red Rooster fresh from recording their debut album with Ethan Johns and touring the American South through March and April. Former member of Old Crow Medicine Show – the Louisiana-born Gill Landry – will be presenting his incredible song-writing skills when he plays the Little Red Rooster stage as main support to Ida Mae. He’s been on Red Rooster’s target list for a while. Expect his music to lead us on a romantic journey through the dark and into the light.

Flying the British flag, Bristol’s Yola Carter, winner of the Americana Music Association’s UK Artist of the Year 2017, is a powerhouse of a voice. Her Country-Soul sounds, larger-than-life stage presence and superb songs prove completely irresistible.

Joining Yola on the main stage, the legendary Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, originally from Denver, Colorado, will be bringing their experimental and enthralling country genius to the party. Their appearance follows a European tour with Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Night Sweats that included three nights at Shepherd Bush Empire, whilst Jerron ‘Blind Boy” Paxton transports us back to the 1920’s – a hugely exciting star of the future –  who has already played Carnegie Hall with Buddy Guy, amongst many others.

Spain’s Los Chicos present their country-punk-rock-soul-garage-gospel machine on the main stage; the infamous Ross Allen will be spinning records late night, Jake La Botz’s gritty storytelling Americana will be shining through, whilst GospelbeacH continues to deftly honour the grand tradition of West Coast rock and roll.

Finally, Kasheen Sampson is sure to enchant with her combination of 70s folk-rock, California country and classic Laurel Canyon style. Lucy Grubb’s heartfelt lyrics and Country undertones will be serenading the Rooster crowd too, whilst Johnny Cage & The Voodoogroove offer up their dirty Cuban rock’n’roll, rockabilly & voodoo blues band.

In 2017 Red Rooster completely sold out. It is one of the best value festivals out there at just £59.50 + Booking fee for the weekend, which includes 3 nights of camping and parking FREE. Kids under 12 are gratis as always… tickets on sale HERE

From Tipis to Yurts, or your very own campervan – accommodation on site is constructed to give you the best and most authentic festival experience possible. There are electric hook ups available, a luxury that you’ll be hard pressed to find on offer anywhere else.

Have a little peep at all of the options HERE

Full announced line-up is now as follows:

Pokey LaFarge – Eli Paperboy Reed meets The High & Mighty Brass Band – Alabama 3 Acoustic

Gill Landry – Daddy Long Legs – Jonathan Toubin – New York Night Train / Soul Clap Dance Off

Yola Carter – Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Ida Mae – The Bonnevilles

Ross Allen (DJ Set) – Jake La Botz – GospelbeacH – Brennen Leigh + Noel McKay

Kasheen Sampson – Worry Dolls – Dana Immanuel & The Stolen Band – Lucy Grubb – Johnny Cage & The Voodoogroove



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