Pony Up presents Black Honey + PINS + Russo @ NAC 16 October 2018

Back once again at the NAC for my fifth consecutive gig here with the barrier up, which shows how lively some of my recent gigs have been, this was no exception with an enthusiastic and what felt like yet another sellout crowd. On a damp Tuesday as well.


First act of the evening were a completely new name on me. Russo are the latest in quite a run of LA bands and artists we’ve had visit Norwich this year (Starcrawler, The Regrettes, Shannon Lay, Kolars et al. have all visited us this year. Can we have Death Valley Girls next, please?)  This pop-punk outfit Russo are not a band I know anything whatsoever about other than what they told us onstage but they quickly won me over and played with plenty of heart, energy and enthusiasm.  The early slot meant the crowd were still a little shy and hadn’t quite warmed up yet but the band did their best to get some movement going and the engagement was very endearing. I particularly loved the interplay between singer Cailin and guitarist Tyler who reminded me of a young manic punk Wilko Johnson.  He’s quite a character and every bit as visual as Cailin who seemed very at home on the stage.  The bassist and drummer balanced things nicely. 


Opinion among some of my friends in the bar seemed divided but personally, I enjoyed them.  They aren’t groundbreaking but are fun and play with the right spirit. Would I listen to them at home?  Yes, I think so, they had a few earworms like Bad Things and Joyride and I found the live set enjoyable. It was just the sort of thing I wanted to hear.  I’m appreciating anyone decent after Spitfires too.  There was a vast display of Blood Honey merch in the bar, and a smaller table of PINS merch (all of which I think I have anyway) but couldn’t see any of Russo’s.


I saw PINS several times in the past couple of years or so and especially enjoyed their NAC gigs when they supported Honeyblood, and then their own headline showThey also played the Waterfront Studio last autumn and were very good but it didn’t quite have the same level of magic of the special Arts Centre gigs, perhaps it was just a venue thing but that was also their last tour with that line-up. Anyway, since then I became aware that they trimmed down from a five-piece to the core trio of Faith, Lois, and Kyoko, and now with Abbi on drums but hearing them here it was amazing how much more powerful they are now. It was nice to catch up with Kyoko beforehand and hear how obviously excited they are about the new sound (and also their appreciation of NAC).  They have effectively completely re-invented themselves with not only a new line-up but an entirely new set of songs too. Lois is still the dynamic livewire on guitar, Faith has a cool stage presence as she sings lead, Abbi is terrific on drums and Kyoko is now on bass and what a bass sound. Fuzzy and dirty and something quite Manchester about it too, making me think a little of another band from that city, early Joy Division.  I don’t think I’ve seen a band re-invent themselves quite so comprehensively and successfully as PINS have done in less than a year.  I liked the old PINS a lot but I love the new PINS live show even more and look forward to hearing some recordings.  They are loud and powerful and altogether harder. Very impressive. I did move to the back of the hall towards the end to see if the power was projecting as massively as I felt it at the front. It certainly was.


Us gig veterans of several decades were still well-represented at this gig and I saw several friends and gig regulars but on the whole it was a predominantly young crowd which was great to see.  In a time when there is concern about keeping venues alive and getting younger audiences to attend gigs it was further proof that the audience is definitely there as this sold out gig on an October Tuesday evening proves.


Everyone was keen to secure a good vantage point ahead of Black Honey‘s appearance onstage and it was clear the headliners tonight were the ones who the majority had come out for. The hall was pretty packed full of devoted fans squeezing close to the front as the intro tape played, creating a sense of occasion and anticipation. There was plenty of singing along to the songs as soon as they started.  Black Honey reciprocated the appreciation admiring the turnout as their only previous city appearance was at the Mash Tun for the 2015 Norwich Sound & Vision Festival.  They remembered Alex of Anti-Despair Machine too, who was part of this enthusiastic audience.  The rapport between band and crowd steadily grew and we even had a moshpit going for much of the time. It wasn’t the wildest mosh you’ll ever see and was quite “Norwich” but it’s always brilliant seeing an audience go a bit nuts to the music. 

black honeyblack honeyblack honey

I can’t say Black Honey were entirely my thing but I was enjoying it and there’s no denying they mean a lot to most of the people present. If I was in my twenties I’d probably have been going nuts down at the front too. I was appreciating them more than loving them but I did love seeing a crowd so energised at a gig and the band impressed me with what they’re doing and the obvious devotion they inspire in their audience. Refreshing that’s there is such an appetite for this kind of live music too. Black Honey certainly put on an impressive visual show but for me the highlight of the night was definitely PINS.

black honeyblack honeyblack honey

“Following their recent return with magnificent new single ‘Bad Friends’, Black Honey – the UK’s most loved upcoming indie band – have announced a massive UK headline tour for the autumn that culminates with a huge show at London’s Electric Ballroom.

Black Honey are never happier than when they are on the road. Although most of the last 6 months they’ve been putting the finishing touches on their hotly awaited debut album, they’ve found time to warm up with a few regional UK dates recently to try some of the new material live. It was their first run of shows since they came off tour with Royal Blood at the end of 2017 – a tour that took them up a level, as they played to their biggest ever crowds in arena’s across the country.

Their summer is jam-packed with festival dates. Kicking off at London’s Finsbury Park on the 30th June in support of Queens of the Stone Age, they’ve got slots already confirmed at Latitude, TRUCK and Tramlines amongst others.”

black honeyblack honey

black honey

Thanks to Pony Up for such a strong line-up, three very good bands in one night which had the large audience it fully deserved.


By the way, if anyone happens to be thinking of changing energy supplier I can highly recommend Bulb, who I have been with for about 18 months. This week their refer a friend scheme offers new customers £100 credits to the account with this link:















Norwich: Music City, UK

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Think Floyd @ Epic Studios 14 October 2018

Over many years of gig going I’ve not seen many tribute acts (The Ramonas being a notable exception) but based on my experience at Epic Studios this evening I may have to re-evaluate my opinion of this concept.  Epic had the chairs out and a nice level of lighting as we entered the studio ahead of Think Floyd’s two hour-long sets and it felt as warm and welcoming as I have ever known it. There were also a surprising number of familiar faces among the audience members.


About 7:30 the lights went down and Think Floyd took to the stage opening with an incredible Shine on You Crazy Diamond.  From the off I knew this was going to be seriously good. The sound quality was exceptional, as was the flawless playing from each of the musicians as they played selections from Floyd’s career including songs such as Breathe, Wish You Were Here, Dogs and many others.  I’d have probably liked a little bit more Syd Barrett era songs but that would be splitting hairs as this was all amazing stuff.  They play faithfully and it is quite simply flawless. Several times I found myself completely lost in the music having totally forgotten that this was not Pink Floyd we were listening to.  Visually the resemblance begins and ends with the understated black t-shirts, it’s all about the music, as it should be and it was just perfect. Musically the resemblance is spot-on.

think floyd

A special mention must be made for vocalist Rosie who made occasional appearances. I’ve seen various clips on YouTube of people trying to replicate the wordless vocals by Clare Torry on Great Gig in the Sky but few have come close.  Rosie however, totally nails it and deservedly got a round of applause before the song finished. If I could have changed anything about the gig (as well as having See Emily Play included!) it would have been for Rosie to be further up the front of the stage as she was a bit hidden.

think floyd

think floyd

For a seated gig it was a good atmosphere and the band too seemed to be enjoying it. The crowd clapped and sang along a few times with many even dancing in their seats. After around two hours of music they closed with Dark Side but were dragged back onstage by the crowd’s cheers and applause and pleased me no end with an encore of Arnold Lane and a truly stunning Comfortably Numb for which they received a standing ovation.

think floyd

This was probably not a gig I’d have gone to were it not for some recommendations, and mainly because this was Jo’s birthday gig. I expected to enjoy it but not quite as much as I actually did. I was quite blown away by it. It’s no surprise to learn that they have the stamp of approval from Nick Mason who described them as being ” … better than we are”!  It was a pleasure indeed to hear these classic songs performed live, as faithfully and expertly played as you could possibly wish for, by people who clearly love and respect the music as much as the audience do. They also capture that sound, Pink Floyd’s crystal clear and spacious sound that sounds warm and anologue seemingly however one listens to it.  I certainly knew I’d seen a show, the sound, the lighting, the playing and the songs were all excellent.  The word on most people’s lips seemed to be “Brilliant!” for me it was “flawless”.  I didn’t see Think Floyd on their previous visit to Norwich at Epic but I’d certainly see them again if they return.

think floyd

think floydthink floyd

I’d not been to a seated gig here before but having somewhere to sit and also an interval to stand or wander around made things very comfortable. It’s always good to have some chairs around somewhere so that gig nights don’t have to be all about standing for hours on end but likewise you don’t want to be sat for the whole night either so the interval was perfect for those of us with dodgy pins and aching bones!

think floydthink floydthink floyd

think floydthink floyd

think floyd

“This extraordinary band, dubbed the Definitive Pink Floyd Experience, are renowned for their stunning celebration of the music of one of the world’s greatest bands. 

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason describes the band as “Brilliant! – They are really good.” In a recent interview on LBC the drummer commended Think Floyd and rather generously called them “better than we are”.

Think Floyd pride themselves in faithfully recreating Pink Floyd’s timeless music, backed by their dedicated team of sound and lighting engineers and an impressive laser light show, this exciting production will recreate all the atmosphere, visual magnitude and musical excellence of Pink Floyd live on stage.

It’s no wonder Think Floyd are widely regarded as the UK’s number one Pink Floyd tribute show.

The brand new show for 2018 will feature the whole range of classic Pink Floyd from the Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, Animals and much more.”





Big thanks to Rick and Linda at Epic.









Norwich: Music City, UK



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Odd Box Presents HANK + algae bloom + Galli + DJ Ego Healer @ NAC 13 October 2018



Odd Box always provides value for money and a mixed bag of styles, this second Odd Box of the week was at Norwich Arts Centre and had the exciting prospect of a debut Norwich gig for Galli. Georgia King has been playing some low-key solo gigs around the city for the past year or so and is always impressive. At the summer’s Flatlands festival she made her first appearance with an at the time as yet unnamed band featuring Ash on bass and Alex on drums.  Now christened Galli this was their most high profile gig yet and their first in the city.  They made an instant impression as the room quickly filled and the reaction was loudly appreciative.  Nobody else in the city is doing anything like Galli and they were an absolute treat. Georgia’s playing and vocals in this environment was astonishing, creating something quite beautiful and haunting. So full of atmosphere, soul and expression with the band perfectly complimentary. Hints of soul, jazz, and even Amy and Bjork but at the same time not sounding like anyone else, Georgia’s voice creates a dreamy, mesmerising and atmospheric soundscape and with the rest of the instruments it’s just magical. Very creative and unique music to get immersed in. They even had a brand new song from earlier in the week which Ash persuaded Georgia to have a go at, I’m so glad he did, it was one of the highlights of not just the set but the whole night. The reception they got was genuinely and unanimously rapturous. Galli are beautiful, exciting and full of promise.




In the bar George from Gladboy was playing a vinyl dj set in the guise of DJ Ego Healer, I was enjoying his krautrock selection but it was a quick turnaround on the main stage and within five minutes of Galli closing their set the buzzer rang to announce the imminent appearance of Algae Bloom, who’d still managed to adorn the mic stands with flora in that short time of stage rearrangements.  Ash promised that things were going to get a lot heavier and he wasn’t wrong. This trio with guitar, bass and a drum at the front of the stage were loud and musically interesting though the screamy vocal style isn’t altogether to my tastes and perhaps made the songs feel a little bit samey to my untrained ear, which musically they weren’t at all as there’s plenty of interesting stuff going on with the playing and samples. Good at what they do but simply not quite my thing and I love that Odd Box can bring together such different styles on the same night.

algae bloom

algae bloom


As we followed one all lower-case band and prepared for an all upper-case one I could feel the excitement building ahead of HANK’s 10:30pm slot and the atmosphere was cracking when they took to the stage. Strong and powerful it always feels to me that all the members of HANK are having an absolute blast playing the music they love and I can sense the tastes of each individual member and what they all bring to HANK.  They are developing quite a following and rapport with the crowd too. As always, it was a lot of fun with the ever-impressive HANK who clearly enjoy themselves … and Tom is a total dervish of hair, constantly rocking out. There sound seems to develop each time I see them and they were on fire here. I was distinctly picking out some Nirvana-esque moments too. Great stuff.




There was time afterwards for another Ghost Ship in the bar, catch-ups with friends, and some more music from DJ Ego Healer on the decks.  It felt quite fitting that he unwittingly played the first single I ever bought, Sparks’ This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us.  This also put a smile on my face and banished once and for all every trace of that horrible Spitfires gig the previous weekend. This Odd Box gig was much more like it, this was a splendid night of music, and I really look forward to seeing Galli again!

dj ego healer


“HANK is a four-piece band based in Norwich, UK. After hankering to fill the void in his head for years, songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Ash Woolnough joined forces with his brother Jordan Woolnough on guitar, Tom McGeady on bass and Ben Mollett on Drums. A cathartic combination of grungy riffs, indie-rock & math-rock undertones, HANK plummet into the depths of personal chaos, love & anxiety. 

The debut single Spit It, released April 14th has quickly catapulted the band into Rock/Alt scene. The track is jam-packed with musical hooks; trickery and precision; and is full of grit and heart. Spit It has picked up support from BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, Line Of Best Fit, Hype Machine, Artrocker, Unsigned Guide to name a few.

“Arctic Monkeys-esque riffs with a Mars Volta time signature twist whilst vocalist Ash goes from Jack Steadman delicacy to Ian McKaye’s lung-busting holler in a heartbeat.” – Line of Best Fit

“Math-rock chops combine with acerbic lyricism, for a diverting, soulful musical experience” – Camden Assembly

“HANK are good, VERY good!.” – BBC Introducing

Algae Bloom
Was 2 piece and now 3 piece (bass player addition)Screamo from Norwich. Twiddly guitars, stand-up blast beats and too many samples/flowers

Galli is a three piece outfit from Norwich, consisting of Georgia King (Piratones), Ash Woolnough (Solko, Hank) and Alex Elliot (Organisms, Horo quintet). Together, with intricate playing styles and ethereal vocals, they create a whirling concuction of sludgey soul.”



Ben, replicating the expression on his t-shirt!












Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Algae Bloom, Galli, Georgia King, HANK, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, odd box | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psychedelic Circus Equinox Party @ Jurnet’s Bar 10 October 2018

My latest visit to the Psychedelic Circus‘ occasional nights at Jurnet’s had a typically varied lineup featuring comedy and music from Gareth Jervis, poetry from Poppy Rose, and Shane O’Linski standing in superbly for Ruby Dagger who was ill.  Having chanced upon Shane a few hours earlier in the evening I think he was as surprised as I was to find himself on the bill as he was composing some songs when I saw and invited him to come along to the gig too. In typical Shane style he actually performed some of these fresh as a daisy new songs, he was in very fine form.

psychedelic circus


psychedelic circus

A full Jurnets enjoyed the spectacle that closed the night, Adventures in Subterranean Sub-Atomic Tibetan Bass, which featured two bass set ups at some points and although not sounding overly loud in volume those low bottom end frequencies were enough to move and topple a pint over … either that or Jurnet himself was once again making his presence felt!  Anyway, coupled with the hypnotic visuals and projections from Richard Rix it was a most enjoyable evening and I felt pleasantly spaced-out by the end of it!

psychedelic circus

psychedelic circus

Another psychedelic night of festivities, featuring (back by popular demand) Adventures in Subterranean Sub Atomic Tibetan Bass, the agitprop poetry of Poppy Rose, the brilliant acoustic comedy guitarist Gareth Jervis, and DJ sounds from Captain Marmite, crazy circus skills from Ed Mondao, and of course the princess of fakirs Ruby Dagger.

Plus flea pitch market (so if you have something to sell please bring).

psychedelic circus

psychedelic circus

Psychedelic Circus returns next month, and next Thursday (18th)  the Reindeer shall be hosting the next night of Shane’s Shenanigans with a bill that includes Niamh, Yve (Mary B), Joe Quinn and the Family Plans, and Stromm. Last month’s was an interesting mix of styles and performances, opened by Billy Lubach on guitar, and also featured sets from The Joey Herzfeld Electric Trio (with Chad Mason on bass), Our Quiet Friends, a fantastic new project that includes Ed of Cakes and Ale, and Leo of BK & Dad. The night was closed by Loose Leaf Drifters, with Chad playing his second set of the night as well as being on sound duties.

our quiet friends

billy lubach




psychedelic circus





Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Adventures in Subterranean Sub-Atomic Tibetan Bass, Billy Lubach, Gareth Jervis, Joey Herzfeld Trio, live music and dance, Loose Leaf Drifters, Our Quiet Friends, Poppy Rose, Richard Rix, Shane O' Linski, Shane's Shenanigans, The Psychedelic Circus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EP release shows October 2018

There are a handful of EP releases coming up locally, three in the same week following that one by Lily-Ann at Gringo’s last week for her Empty Street EP. We now have the amazing Gladboy who will be launching their Ego Pushin’ EP with a great looking gig at the Waterfront Studio on 29 October alongside Bag of Cans, Bull, and Strip Mall. It looks like being a lot of fun.  Gladboy have only been playing for probably less than a year and have very recently augmented their line-up to become a five-piece, and have quickly established themselves as one of my city favourites. They have the songs, the energy, the dynamic, self-belief and confidence, and even a little swagger but always on the right side of cocky. They describe themselves as “junkadelic” and there’s a melting pot of influences creating a glorious and varied Gladboy sound, there’s rock, indie, surf, 70s stuff and a lot of harmony and melody. They obviously click as a unit and have become much-loved. Studying at UEA with Essex roots they recently played a surprise headline slot for Shane’s Shenanigans at the Reindeer and in their introduction proudly declared : “Hello! We’re Gladboy. We’re a Norwich band!”  I loved that, it felt like a real statement and declaration. They love this city and are proud to live here having selected UEA with the consideration of the lively musical scene here. This band are growing and going places but have firmly stamped themselves to Music City, UK. They feel fresh yet familiar, exciting and fun, powerful yet able to be subtle, and with a strong energy. See them.




Majic Carpet Presents: Gladboy, Bull (York), Bag of Cans, and Strip Mall

To honour the forthcoming release of their EP, Egopushin’, The Majic Carpet and Gladboy have teamed up to present the band’s biggest ever headline show. More party than gig; expect bubbles, balloons, and a spooky carnival atmosphere that’ll make it a night to remember.

To further celebrate the release, Gladboy will be selling a one-night-only personalised CD release of the EP (20 copies available) so grab one of these before they’re auctioned off for millions in years to come.

Loud, energetic and assured: Norwich’s Gladboy have screeched into Norwich’s live music scene and in less than a year, establishing themselves as one of the city’s most formidable live acts. With roll on the floor guitar solos, soaring Beach Boys-esque harmonies and frequently changing instrumentation, the band’s short tenure has seen them share stages with Willie J Healy, Starcrawler, and New York anti-folk innovator, Jeffrey Lewis. 
Continually developing, the band’s aim was to self-release an EP that encapsulates their frenzied live performances. Diverse songwriting that switches from Pavement-inspired vocal drawls to Phil Spector influenced girl group pop, the eclectic EP is set for a late September release which will make the Waterfront show an eager chance for fans to hear the songs live.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gladboyband/
Bandcamp: https://trippyrecords.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2dyjTfMhQGtBKm69I7de4P


York’s finest export Bull will be making a return to Norwich showcasing their blend of 90’s alt and surf rock. Last time they played they tore apart the Rumsey Wells with their unquivering energy and charisma. This time it’s going to be even bigger and better. They have previously toured the US of A, Europe and all the British hot spots with an array of artists, from Pavement’s own Spiral Stairs to Amsterdam rockers Canshaker Pi. 

FFO: Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, Pixies

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bulltheband 


Fusing the bluesy pub rock clatter of late 70s Canvey Island with tongue-in-cheek lyricism playing with conspiracy theories and botched efforts at cooking Pad Thai (yes really), BBC Introducing endorsed 5-piece Bag of Cans will be next up. Fresh from the release of debut EP ‘Why won’t Anyone Take us Seriously?’, expect them to show why they’re reputation continues to grow as a tight and charismatic live act. 

FFO: Cabbage, The Libertines, Dr Feelgood

EP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foMuOHL8594

strip mall

Having amassed 13 bandcamp albums, a support slot with Crywank and the unparalleled description as “a little bit Plath, a little bit sexy, a little bit Catholic” – all in the space of 2 years – bedroom pop artist, Strip Mall, will begin proceedings with her debut Waterfront appearance. 

FFO: teen suicide, salvia palth, Ellie Bleach 

Bandcamp: https://davidlynchsexualnightmares.bandcamp.com/


OCT 29th // WATERFRONT STUDIO // £6adv (£7otd) // 14+ // 7:30 doors




























Two days later at Norwich Arts Centre fellow graduate of Annie Catwoman’s Sonic Youths, Lucy Grubb follows up her 18 Miles release and launches her new EP on Halloween night with support from two more Sonic Youths, APHRA and Red Dear.  Lucy was outstanding at this summer’s Red Rooster on the main stage and is also rapidly becoming one of our most promising talents.  APHRA and Red Dear are both excellent too. Tickets just £4 in advance.


lucy grubb




























Finally, to end the week, the amazing Wolf Number launch their brand new EP at the same venue on Saturday 3 November. I reviewed their first EP The Bunker Sessions for Outline Magazine and gave it a perfect ten.  The new release will also be a gem I am sure. This gig features fine support from Wyldest, and Lucille and the Seals for Georgie’s Odd Box.


























The Wolf Number EP release show:

The Wolf Number may set up like a traditional rock power trio, but their music reflects a shared love of bold, experimental artists from many genres. The swaggering, cosmic riffs of psychedelic rock mix with jazzy trip-hop grooves and ambient post-rock noise to create songs that lead the audience through different atmospheres and moods. 

They’re either the loudest ambient group in the world or the quietest stoner rock band. 

They didn’t set out to be an instrumental group. The plan was just to make music that was as fun to play as it was to listen to. But with no singer or main songwriter, the band found they enjoyed the freedom of trying out our musical ideas through improvisation. Songs evolve over time, then are honed and structured to take the listener on a journey.

Since emerging onto the scene in late 2016, The Wolf Number have steadily built a reputation for delivering epic live shows. In September 2017, they released their debut EP, Bunker Sessions, which was recorded live in a decommissioned nuclear bunker. 


Wyldest is the musical project of London-based singer-songwriter-producer Zoe Mead, flanked by multi-instrumentalist Mariin Kallikorm and drummer Jack Gooderham.

Drawing on a wide range of influences from Depeche Mode and Talking Heads to Blonde Redhead and Siouxsie and the Banshees, Wyldest have been honing their unique brand of dream-pop out of initial bedroom recordings into more polished shoegaze-tinged outings, since meeting Hand In Hive Records at Green Man Festival in the summer of 2014. 

Picking-up comparisons such as Daughter and Warpaint, the trio have always enjoyed a wide range of support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, through online coverage from the likes of Pigeons & Planes, NME, Indie Shuffle and DIY to The Independent, The Telegraph and SPIN.


Lucille & the Seals

Newly formed, moody dream rock band from Norwich. Bringing you a selection of live versions of tracks, created by Lucille.

£6 advanced £8 on the door (includes admin fee)

lucille and the seals


















A little further ahead, on 13 November, Hydra Lerna launches her EP at the NAC too.

















“Hydra Lerna is a singer/songwriter and harpist, but also an electronic pop music producer. A one-girl-show, Hydra writes, records and produces all her music herself. Her live shows are always intriguing, with the harp on the left of the stage manipulated through a loop and multi-FX pedal, and a Novation launchpad on the right; she operates both sides, all while singing and performing her often emotive and dark lyrics.
Now, launching her long-awaiting EP with a huge show in her hometown of Norwich, this could just be the start for Hydra Lerna. Not to mention, she’s promised cake.
“The catchy synth line and her bright, innocent vocals are deceiving” – GlamGlare music blog on the dark themes of HYDRA, Hydra Lerna.
“I’ve always got a lot of time for people that open up about troubles that they’ve had and how they try and work through them…and we’ve got a lot of time for good songs as well and that’s why we played that one.” – Jay Lawrence of BBC Introducing in Norfolk on Angel Vs. Psycho, Hydra Lerna
“Wonderful stuff” – Graeme Mac of BBC Introducing in Suffolk on Reckless, Hydra Lerna
“The song explores the emotions associated with trying to move on from a dark and dirty past, but it’s not a heavy listen – it’s an uplifting, cleansing tune.” – Gigslutz music blog on Clean Like You, Hydra Lerna.”

Legendary Norwich figure the one and only Alexander Carson has a new single released on 26 October called “Forgotten” but he’s far from forgotten here and will be back in Norwich for a gig at The Birdcage with Tom Adams and Freya Roy in another Odd Box gig on 16 November. The single is taken from an EP due out early next year called “Ellipsism”.


“Alexander Carson is a neoclassical, downtempo, composer and songwriter based in London UK.  Carson spent the better part of 7 years as the lead singer, and songwriter for genre-fluid quintet Wooden Arms.


“Forgotten” is the answer to a question nobody asked: What if Harry Nillson’s one chord masterpiece “Coconut” was written for gloom-core post-rock kids? The track layers a simple F# pentatonic scale upon itself until it finally bends and allows the chord to change culminating in a 1 take, semi-improvised, collaboration with long suffering Wooden Arms member Alex Mackenzie. Recorded in one hour in a 4th century church with a handful of microphones and even less forethought. “Forgotten” is taken from the forthcoming EP called “Ellipsism” – a word taken from the “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” :

n. sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out, that you’ll dutifully pass on the joke of being alive without ever learning the punchline.


“Forgotten” will be released digitally on Oct 26th on Round Table Records.

“Ellipsism” will be released as 12” vinyl in 2019 on Round Table Records.


““Lovers” is a perfect blend of modern songwriting and classical musicianship.” – Line of Best Fit

“Sounding at times like an Irish prayer and others a bit Bowie-ish, but never dull or less challenging.” – Where the Music Meets

“The fragile vocals and piano playing are unmistakably Alex – a distinctive timbre and delicate working of the keys that always reminds slightly of Anthony and the Johnsons” – Outline Magazine”













Amy from Blisster has a fine EP of demo recordings from her solo project All My Youth, which can be found on Bandcamp. Look out for her occasional appearances in the city. She played in the Rumsey Wells last week when I had one of those typical Norwich gig clashes, which is a shame because Amy is really lovely and I’d like a catch up. Her songs are great too.

all my youth

(Photo by Joe Skipper)

“Emo-tinted folk songs about love, life & melancholy.

All original content written by Amy French. Currently based in Norfolk, UK. Releases available via Rad Times Promotions – https://www.facebook.com/radtimesuk/ Inspired by Andrew Jackson Jihad, Courtney Barnett, City & Colour, Deathcab for Cutie, Florence and the Machine & Kate Tempest.”

There have also been some recent singles with excellent accompanying videos. Ahead of his Tontena produced album Matt Watson has released Outside (They Don’t Know Who I Am).







RP Love has released a quite wonderful song and video for Domestic Blister which is an absolute must-watch. Local references aplenty in the lyrics but especially in the video. Check it out.








Plenty of familiar faces in this video for Miserable Man’s great new single: Happy Feet.





“The song is infused with old Jamaican Ska and Swing Jazz flavours, yet respecting the classic Pop formula with emphasis on simple structure, upbeat tempo and catchy chorus.
The style of both song and video is inspired by the glorious days of the late 50’s and early 60’s, when dancing, dress code and hairstyle were key.

For the shooting of the video some amazing Swing dancers were involved and the location exudes nostalgia with hints of the school party from “Back To The Future”, a favourite movie from my childhood.”

Get your copy and start dancing! // DOWNLOAD /  goo.gl/DKji2N


Richard Sutton has a new release called Paper Plane, available at: http://www.store.richard-sutton.com/


Peach Club have a recent new single: Hell in Heels which is available to stream via Spotify etc.

peach club

The Red Dear – another from Sonic Youths – are about to release their new EP “An Imperfect Cadence”, the limited edition of which includes a piece of guitar that was played on the actual recording.

“During the process of writing these songs, our school music teacher gave us a partially broken classical guitar. We repaired it the best we could so that we could play it during the recording of these tracks. We decided that once the recordings were finished, rather than leave it to gather dust, we would carefully deconstruct it (a tough decision to make) and cut it into small parts, including one piece with each limited version of the EP. The title of our EP, “An Imperfect Cadence” is a musical term that means a continuation is needed, so even though this guitar is no longer played, it hasn’t come to a definite end: it continues its life in a different form as part of the artwork for our EP.”

I love this concept and my copy included a tuning peg! 🙂  Somewhat refreshingly, The Red Dear do not do Facebook but can be found at http://www.red-dear.com and @reddearband and you can see them supporting Lucy Grubb on her EP release show at NAC. Details above. As for Sonic Youths, the next showcase is this Saturday (20th) at the Arts Centre Bar, 1pm.

FolkEast, Red Dear

Vanity Fairy (formerly Daisy Victoria) has a brand new single out entitled: ‘He Can be Your Lady’ which has already been picked up and featured by NME on their New Bangers Spotify playlist. She’ll be playing for Ideal Surreal’s Karma Takedown at Karma on 7 November with another chance to see her at Jurnets on 14 December.

vanity fairy

Sam Coe and the Long Shadows have a new single, “Full Moon” is available through iTunes.

Grungey, Nirvana influenced Pin Ups have a great new single and video too. See them at Epic for a new local showcase night that will be filmed: “That Music Thing” on 6 December along with Prey Drive and We’ll Be Detectives.






















Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Alexander Carson, All My Youth, Annie Catwoman, APHRA, Bag of Cans, bands and new releases, Gladboy, Hydra Lerna, Lily-Ann, live music and dance, Lucille and the Seals, Lucy Grubb, Matt Watson, miserable man, Norwich Arts Centre, odd box, Peach Club, Pin Ups, Red Dear, Richard Sutton, RP Love, Sam Coe and the Long Shadows, Sonic Youths, strip mall, The Wolf Number, Tontena Music, Tontena Studio, Vanity Fairy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Spitfires + Social Room @ NAC. Yve Mary B + Lauren Dove + Alex Beckhelling @ The Golden Star 6 October 2018

Sometimes you go to a gig just to take a punt, hoping to find someone new and unfamiliar, hoping for an exciting discovery. Sometimes it works and that is magical. Seeing The Spitfires, for me, was anything but and felt tired, familiar and unexciting. Oh well.


That said, support act, the curiously named Social Room were actually pretty good. A bit ‘Britpoppy’ for my usual tastes but the six piece band were undeniably good and powerful. The prowling singer had a bit of a Manc swagger and seemed a mod hybrid of Liam Gallagher and Ian Brown as he prowled the stage but they are in fact from Sunderland, a place he described in one word. Earworm track for me was a song about their home city, SR7.  Whilst not wholly my thing they were impressive and I appreciated them and their genuine appreciation of those who came into the hall to see them. They stole the show in my opinion, not that I made it to the end of the gig.

social room

social room


There was an odd atmosphere in the NAC which I have not really experienced before in this lovely place, a strange kind of underlying tension and although the audience numbered 100+ there wasn’t a single familiar face among them, which is unusual and only heightened my feeling of being at the wrong gig.  I go to the vast majority of gigs alone and am quite happy to do so but I couldn’t totally relax and get into things on this occasion. Not sure why.   I spent most of the evening regretting my choice of gig, feeling  a bit awkward and uncomfortable … unconvinced by The Spitfires whom I was starting to resent for their lack of originality I enjoyed the playlist between bands more … a selection of songs by such as Jah War by The Ruts and several from Hollie Cook.




They’re from Watford, (and almost surprisingly not Woking!). A band recommended to me by my brother and we usually broadly agree on such things but after deciding to come to this gig I checked some of their stuff out and although they were a bit too close to Paul Weller for my comfort I thought there might be something of a Redskins vibe about them. There wasn’t. They seem to have taken huge and obvious influence from The Jam, The Specials, The Clash and some soul but none of the best qualities. There’s a “heard it all before and better” feeling that overwhelms me. I have to mention though that I was almost certainly the only person in the room who seemed to feel this way as they had plenty of enthusiasm from the floor. They play with undeniable energy and passion and I’ve heard they are “the voice of the youth of 2018” so why was I one of the youngest people there?  I didn’t see anyone in the audience under the age of 50. But I wasn’t in the mood for any of this and barely lasted three songs before deciding to cut my losses and move on to The Golden Star where Yve Mary B, Lauren Dove, and Alex Beckhelling were playing. I think this is where my heart really had been all evening and possibly affected my non-enjoyment of the Spitfires, who may have gone on to be amazing and I’m sure their crowd loved it but having quit so early I’d only missed two songs when I squeezed into a packed Golden Star at about 9:30pm, and here there were familiar faces aplenty! 🙂

big steve arlene and lauren dove

The two sets passed all too quickly (and a bit too quietly in a busy pub full of chatter) but was full of special moments. The favourites of which for me were when Yve performed a cover of The Arlenes’ beautiful Springboard.  Having seen Big Steve Arlene himself a few minutes earlier I rushed to the back bar to fetch him when I heard Yve’s introduction.  To close the night itself she invited him to join them on their rousing Take Me Home, Country Roads which had the entire pub singing along. Now that’s the way to salvage an evening that was earlier heading in a very disappointing direction. You win some, you lose some when you take a chance on something but the beauty of Norwich is that there’s always going to be something to suit all tastes and it was Yve, Lauren, Alex and Steve who provided my musical salvation. Thank you!
















Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Alex Beckhelling, big steve arlene, lauren dove, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, Uncategorized, Yve Mary B | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Boy Bloater and the Limits + Tom Malachowski @ B2 Venue 5 October 2018

It’s been about four years since Norwich last hosted a visit from Big Boy Bloater and although I have seen him a few times since then at Red Rooster I believe this was my first experience of the full Limits band, touring the new album Pills on the penultimate date of their tour.


As I am sure most music fans in Norwich know, the Brickmakers/B2 are facing closure, like several other pubs (The Garden House, The York, The Woodman) due to unreasonable rent increases so it felt good to be supporting them in some small way, as well as the petition to save it which has over 17,000 signatures there was a really decent crowd in for this gig.

Tom Malachowski was down to his last few songs when I arrived, and having somehow not seen him play live before I did something of a double take when I heard that growling voice and saw that resonator guitar, I half expected to see Chris from Ida Mae!  Tom’s style is also that kind of blues, acoustic folk rock and very effective.

big boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limits

A nice touch when they take to the stage is Big Boy Bloater and the Limits turning a sign on the drumkit from “Closed” to “Open” before getting into a terrific set of songs with a healthy smattering of strong tracks from the new album.  Bloat is not only a very fine guitarist with a sensational voice but one heck of an engaging showman too, he got the whole place involved with toasts, laughter and singalongs. It was a lot of fun and the audience were most vocal in their appreciation.  All three band members play with a smile on their face and we could easily feel how much they enjoy performing.  Really tight too and the sound was great.

big boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limits

Here’s hoping it won’t be another four years before the next gig they play in Norwich.  After a much-demanded encore we were just about at curfew time so they took some bows, turned the sign back over to “Closed” and we all gathered at the merch desk for chats and signatures.  A fine night and I really enjoyed myself, I think everyone did. By rights Big Boy Bloater and the Limits should be internationally known. Great songs and musicians and a charismatic, engaging frontman.

big boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limitsbig boy bloater and the limits

big boy bloater and the limits

“Like your Blues with a lot of Rhythm and your Rock with a lot of Roll? 

BIG BOY BLOATER & THE LIMITS bring their much-celebrated brand of R&B with a modern twist to B2 Venue to showcase songs from their brand new album ‘PILLS’ plus a few much loved classics from the critically acclaimed album ‘LUXURY HOBO’.

Bring your dancing shoes and be ready for tales of swamp monsters, stalkers, betrayal, conspiracy, robot lovers + more set to an infectious beat, with world class guitar, and a vocal that has not only been compared to a cross between Tom Waits and Howlin’ Wolf but has been voted as one of the ‘top 100 blues vocalists of all time’ in a poll by readers of The Blues Magazine. 

The band were also nominated in this year’s ‘Vive Le Rock’ magazine awards as ‘Best Roots Act’ along with Madness and The Selecter. He already has countless celebrity fans including Imelda May, Jools Holland, Craig Charles and more, and the general public are catching on fast so don’t miss this show before he takes off for superstardom!

“One of the great blues men of our time” – JOOLS HOLLAND

“I’m a massive fan of Big Boy Bloater” – IMELDA MAY

“Bloater’s a phenomenal guitarist” – MARK LAMARR

“Big Boy Bloater and the Limits have a style that swings and an off-kilter sense of humour. The result is hugely entertaining, and the packed tent shows an appreciation for this bright and flowing set” -CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE

“The Big Boy with the big talent and the superb band is a unique artist. On form, like they are here, the three of them know no limits”. – MAXIMUM VOLUME MUSIC”

night time norwich

night time norwich

Big thanks to Lisa and Bloat, and all the best to The Brickmakers/B2.













Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in live music and dance, Tom Malachowski | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment