Red Rooster festival announces second wave line-up for Euston Hall this May

Asleep at the Wheel celebrate 50th Anniversary with live UK festival exclusive at Red Rooster 2020

 

Plus, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, Reverend John Wilkins, CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis, Tommy McLain, Jontavious Willis, Izo Fitzroy w/ Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, The Vagaband Youth Orchestra, also announced.

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Red Rooster is delighted to announce the second wave of artists for 2020 which includes a host of exclusive and special performances headed up by Asleep at the Wheel who celebrate their 50-year anniversary with their only 2020 UK festival appearance at Euston Hall in May.

Main man Ray Benson & the band recently starred in the BBC4 Ken Burns Country Music show appearing in nearly every episode of the acclaimed documentary series.  Ray Benson has been the one constant in Asleep at the Wheel since the band’s inception in 1970 in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Since that time, more than 100 musicians have passed through the Wheel, but Benson remains the front man and the keeper of the vision. In the process, the band has released more than 25 albums, earned 10 Grammy awards, an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, Academy of Country Music Award, Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction, and racked up millions of miles on the road.

 

Joining Asleep at the Wheel and the previously announced Richard Hawley, North Mississippi Allstars and The Sheepdogs, will be SEVEN other amazing artists including Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express. Chuck Prophet started his wild ride as a kid back in 1984 when Green on Red plucked him out of Berkeley, CA and threw him in the van for an eight-year ride and the recording of as many albums.

 

Red Rooster is very proud to host the first ever UK festival performance of Reverend John Wilkins and his 8-piece gospel blues band from Mississippi. Reverend Wilkins follows in the footsteps of his father Robert Wilkins who first recorded Prodigal Son, famously covered by The Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet.

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Representing Louisiana will be Swamp Rock Kings CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis and the legendary Tommy McLain. 

 

Jontavious Willis, protégé of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo makes his UK festival debut. Izo FitzRoy drops a special Red Rooster gospel and blues set backed up by the heavenly sound of the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. Opening the Main Stage on Saturday morning will be another Rooster exclusive – The Vagaband Youth Orchestra! Local heroes The Vagaband collaborating with the Sistema in Norwich Youth Orchestra.

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Red Rooster 2020 is surely rolling out one of its best line ups to date. Announced artists’ billing so far is as follows:

 

Richard Hawley, Asleep at the Wheel

North Mississippi Allstars, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, The Sheepdogs

Reverend John Wilkins, Tommy McLain, Nicole Atkins, Jim Lauderdale

CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis, Jontavius Willis, Izo FitzRoy, Vagaband Youth Orchestra

MFC Chicken, Sister Suzie, The Fuzillis, Mudlow

 

Tickets are on sale now priced £69.50 + booking fee for the whole weekend, which includes 3 nights of camping and parking FREE. Kids under 12 are free as always http://bit.ly/RedRoosterFest2020

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“An unrivalled atmosphere”- The Telegraph

“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.” – Daily Mirror

“A truly unique event” – ITV News

“One of England’s most buzzed about music festivals” – Vanity Fair

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Bavarien Rocket Groop album launch preview. Space Studios for Off With Their Records

 

Bavarien Rocket Groop are one of the city’s best and most unique bands albeit not one of its best known. That may be about to change with the imminent release of their debut album thanks to Off With Their Records.  Even to some of those who know and love them, it may possibly be a surprise that the band has been in existence for the best part of two decades. Welcome to the extraordinary and ever evolving world of the Bavarien Rocket Groop, led by the legendary and ever-inventive Shane O’Linski (who has done as much as anyone in the city to support the music community, offering people an early chance to perform at one of the many hundreds of gigs he has put on). With a host of brilliant local musicians at its core and passing through its ranks the gigs have been sporadic though not infrequent through the years and they’ve played the Arts Centre, both Owl Sanctuaries, Cactus Cafe, Jurnet’s Bar and many other venues.  Like The Fall, BRG could be called always the same, always different, Shane can impulsively change a lyric, verse or even sometimes the structure of a song on a whim, keeping everyone on their toes onstage and in the audience. The influences of post-punk, psych, Cope, Barrett et al. are detectable but BRG create something altogether unquely wonderful and interesting. With Shane at its heart how could it be otherwise.

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Some of these songs will be familiar to those in the know who have followed the gigs but now we will be able to hear them at home too with the much-anticipated release of Eine Kleine Musik which will be released by Off With Their Records and features a number of notable musicians from the local gig circuit. To launch it there will be a gig at Space Studios on Friday 31 January, a collaboration between Off With Their Records and Ideal Surreal, the first in a new arrangement of regular gigs at the venue. Supports will be from Lucille and the Seals, The Joey Herzfeld Band and Hydra Lerna, with djs following until 3am. Come along to the gig and buy the album, you might be surprised at just how many familiar names are involved. I won’t spoil that surprise, experience Bavarien Rock Groop for yourself at the top of this very strong line-up. It looks like it could be quite a memorable night and it’s even free entry.

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Off with their Records and Ideal Surreal are two stalwarts of the Norwich music scene. Now they join forces to bring you a regular night of musical hijinks, the last Friday of every month at Space Studios.

Over the course of this year expect to see big headliners, album release shows, sets from the best bands in Norwich and beyond as well as newcomers and fledgeling acts. We’re dedicated to showcasing and nurturing all the talent Norwich has to offer and creating live events with something special about them that makes them unmissable.

Plus Indie/Punk/New-Wave DJs until 3am, this is the place to go for those late night drinks and alternative club night vibes.

As the live face of Off with their Records this is the place to come to pick up CDs, we’ll always have a little merch shop there with special deals and freebies for all.

For our first folly we have the album launch of Shane Olinski’s Bavarien Rocket Groop. This little selection of songs from Shane’s prodigious output, as performed by his longest-running band, is the crème de la crème of Norwich’s one and only psych-pop guru.

Add a diverse selection of support acts, alternative DJs until late and FREE ENTRY and you’ve got yourself a hell of a gig.

Line-up:
Bavarien Rocket Groop – anti-pop psych-rock
Lucille and the Seals – dreamy indie alternative
Joey Herzfeld Band – sardonic jazz-inflected songsmith
Hydra Lerna – electro-pop

+alternative club night till 3am

Space Studios is behind Karma Kafe, entrance opposite Turtle Bay.

 

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Shane O’Linski with Bavarien Rocket Groop

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blueberry jam, shane

(c) shashamane

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Upstairs Planet : Martin Newell + Long Swords @ NAC 9 January 2020

About 30 years inbetween my first and second times of seeing Martin Newell perform around about 1989. Somewhat amazingly he recalled that “unseasonably warm February lunchtime” way back then when, as Brotherhood of Lizards, he stopped off in Norwich on his cycling tour to play outside in the UEA square. It was so mild that I was having my lunch on the steps. At the end of the set I bought a copy of the album Lizardland, which I still have.

Martin Newell

Last night’s screening of Upstairs Planet at NAC, a film about Martin and The Cleaners from Venus was excellent. As well as DJ sets from Long Swords we were even treated to a short set by Martin himself. My first gig of the year and it was a really good one. Wreckless Eric and Gladboy was there audience too.

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The film itself – introduced on the night by director Graham Bendel – was very informative, interesting and often amusing and to have a set from Martin himself really was a privilege to hear. In the bar Long Swords kept us entertained before and after with a selection of the obscure interspersed with some more well known old favourites (Magazine’s The Light Pours Out of Me for example) There is another chance to hear them when they do their monthly evening at the Louis Marchesi Crypt on Saturday from 9pm-1am. As for when we get another chance to hear Martin Newell, who knows, when the fancy takes him, and if he does another cycling tour of East Anglia.

http://www.c86show.org/e/martin-newell-in-conversation/

Coincidentally, it was around about that 1989-90 period that I first met David Eastaugh too, who now presents The C86 Show on Future Radio and he did a nice interview with Martin ahead of the gig which can be heard here.

Upstairs Planet: a film about Cleaners From Venus & the Universe of Martin Newell

With introduction from the director, special short performance from Martin Newell + DJ sets from Thogdin Ripley & Nikki Hirst (Long Swords)

There will be a film screening with an introduction by the director plus special guest Martin Newell will be playing a short live set of Cleaner’s songs, solo songs and possibly a poem or two.

Martin Newell is a poet, songwriting genius and the Godfather of British Lo-Fi. ‘Upstairs Planet’ is an independent film about the greatest band you’ve possibly not heard of: Cleaners From Venus. They were the jangly-guitar, synth-driven outliers from the edges of the 1980s, and beyond.

Looking like the “keeper of a 19th-century asylum” – Newell gives us his eccentric, irascible world view and hints at why he’s admired by so many well-known artistes (MGMT, XTC, Ariel Pink, John Cooper Clarke, Mac deMarco, etc).

We’re talking cassette culture, DIY punk attitude and intelligent, poetic lyricism that should have found a much wider audience.

Graham Bendel’s previous films include ‘Derailed Sense’ (about Vic Godard & Subway Sect ) and ‘Billy Childish is Dead’ (nominated for a British Independent Film Award).

7pm doors | 8pm start

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Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 48 hours of local music on Spotify:

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Sonic Youths v6.13 : Peach Club + Front Bangs + HONEY @ BAC 17 December 2019. My Winehouse tribute @ Last Pub Standing 24 December 2019

sonic youths

Peach Club were headlining the latest Sonic Youths showcase in the NAC auditorium with supports from Frong Bangs and Honey.

 

A new one to me, HONEY was already playing when I arrived and could be clearly heard from the foyer, her voice strong and confident, though I was only able to catch a couple of her songs in the hall itself.

Honey

This was also my first time seeing Front Bangs live, a very confident trio of lads they have a powerful sound with elements of post-punk and Kasabian-esque indie rock.

Front Bangs

Front Bangs

Peach Club of course are very familiar to me having seen them numerous times over the years.  Recently back from some dates in Europe they are particularly keen to return to Gent and were fundraising for it with this homecoming gig in that strange inbetween period betwixt the election and Christmas.  For me and a number of others this was our last major gig of the year and Peach Club certainly closed 2019 with a bang, and special mention must go out to singer Katie who was bouncing around the stage in characteristic fashion but with the considerable discomfort of a slipped disc!  Charlie on guitar too had only recently recovered from an elbow injury.

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I did make it out on a couple of other occasions before the year closed, a lovely Christmas event hosted by Dandelion at The Gatehouse which included some songs from Dark Diversions with Will and some guests from the audience, and Laura Butler’s My Winehouse Amy tribute at Last Pub Standing where she performed a few songs and dj-ed the Christmas Eve away with some ska, reggae, soul and doowop songs Amy would certainly have approved of. Laura is a terrific character and what also impressed me aside from her performance was how she inhabited the whole persona of Amy throughout the evening, I told her afterwards that I really felt the presence of Amy thanks to her. Laura replied: “No! Amy was with us because of you!” and the likes of all those who love her. Whatever, Amy’s presence and vibe was strong.

My Winehouse

I’m expecting a quiet start to the new year on the gig front but see you somewhere soon on the other side.

 

Here are just a few of my musical highlights of 2019.

 

169 gigs, 251 different acts seen, 3 festivals

Best gigs (just some of them) : Starcrawler (NAC, Tufnell Park Dome, Camden Underworld), Acid Mothers Temple, Boris, Guadalupe Plata, Gladboy, Galli, YAK, Bodega, The Wolf Number, Soyuz Rats (all at NAC), Fat White Family, PigsX7, Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind, Part Chimp (Waterfront), The Wash + Phoebe Troup (Warwick St Social), Aldous Harding (Cambridge Junction), Plague Vendor (Tufnell Park Dome), Good Lovelies, Brasy (FolkEast), Jesse Dayton, Dale Watson, Howlin’ Jaws, Budos Band (Red Rooster), Bag of Cans, Floral Image, Olinski Onsomble (Shane’s Shenanigans at the Reindeer).

Most seen: Hot Raisin, Olinski, Phoebe Troup.

Best albums: Devour You – Starcrawler, Designer – Aldous Harding, Walk Through Fire – Yola.

Book: Defying Gravity – Jordan, Face It – Debbie Harry.

 

Film: Stan & Ollie.

 

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 48 hours of local music on Spotify:

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Boris + Årabrot @ NAC 14 December 2019

After the election night gig at the Arts Centre with The Neutrinos and Birds of Hell, in a strange twist of fate my following visit to the NAC a couple of nights later was for a band named Boris!  This was for the immensely powerful trio from Japan who impressed me when they supported Amenra at the same venue a while back, more so than the headliners in fact so I was interested to hear what the full set experience would be like. I was not to be disappointed.

Boris

Arabrot

First on at 8:30pm however, on another extremely busy night of Norwich gigs, was Norway’s Årabrot featuring a tall, behatted figure.  All I had to go on were a couple of YouTube videos but that were more than enough to pique my interest so, as always, I made sure I was in the hall for their support. The first thing I noticed was how many amps were crammed onto the stage before they came on and launched into a highly impressive set putting their all into it, they had very quickly won me. My friend Paul remarked between songs (the only time any remark would be heard in this volume!) that they sounded like a sort of heavy rock, fast version of The Fall, which is actually spot on with almost MES-esque, sometimes inpenetrable lyrics and a loud and powerful band giving it everything. I liked them a lot and Sinnerman was just one of a number of headlights. I think they went down well with everyone else too.

Arabrot

Some of the amps and a drumkit were cleared from the stage between sets ahead of Boris’ arrival.  They opened under a steady light getting progressively louder before the dry ice started to consume the hall and the glorious, onslaught of noise began. It was loud, very loud, and powerful, profoundly so. Sometimes dark and intense, sometimes beautiful. For an hour and three quarters they took us on some kind of mind-altering musical journey that I have only recently experienced by Acid Mothers Temple. The sound had a Mogwai, immersive quality to it and many times I found myself realising they’d completely taken me to somewhere else only returning when a song ended.  The audience were great, a sea of slowly nodding heads of music fans bathed in smoke and incredible noise, though the sounds were not without subtlety and light and shade too.

Boris

Increasingly I am realising that I’m not particularly keen on politics from the stage at gigs as I seek escapism from all that kind of noise and bickering in my music and don’t like the spell being broken. I was certainly able to escape in this glorious gig though. As a few of us remarked at the end, it felt like a sort of healing, cathartic mass exorcism of the previous few days’ unpleasantness.  Boris and Årabrot were just the tonic and I left the gig feeling good. A late gig-of-the-year contender. Immense.

Boris

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To continue the musical trip I followed the gig with a visit to the Louis Marchesi for the excellent Long Swords and am delighted with my Krampus CD!

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long swords

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 48 hours of local music on Spotify:

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The Neutrinos + Birds of Hell @ NAC 12 December 2019

Having previously played in all manner of venues, locations and buildings with inventive set-ups turning gig expectations on their head this Neutrinos double-header with their friends Birds of Hell at Norwich Arts Centre was perhaps by their standards one of the more conventional gig set-ups but of course their performances are always out of the ordinary and we still had stage telephones and Karen sending a bucket of metallic utensils crashing to the floor “because they make a great noise!”  Another weird factor was added to the occasion by it happening ahead of the election results coming in, making for a quite tense vibe in the audience.

Birds of HellBirds of Hell

Pete of Birds of Hell very much picked up on this and after the set opener asked how we were doing. “You look like you’ve all been thinking about politics all day!  Forget about it and escape for a couple of hours!”  With the full band and big, impressive sound Birds of Hell played a strong set of the familiar (Two Brothers, Fizzy Hummus, Do I Get to Ride on a Unicorn, Los Yarmouth etc.) alongside a fantastic brand new one which involved a sporty costume change for a song about musicians on fitness regimes with the whole band wearing sweatbands and really helping everyone forget the outside world. BoH got another great reaction.

The Neutrinos

With The Neutrinos pottering about the stage ahead of their set I don’t think quite everyone in the audience had fully realised that the tuning had quietly turned into the song and in moments got everyone’s full attention, holiding it continuously for the following hour or so. Even with people going to the bar and hearing news of the Exit polls and the rumours spreading like those of another scoreline at a football match involving fellow relegation battlers on the last day of a season. The only thing to do in a surreal headspace was to go back in the hall and the comfort of being in a crowd of music fans listening and watching the extraordinary Neutrinos with their incredible breadth of sound and theatre, Karen being in particularly fine form and absolutely spellbinding.

It was one of those special Norwich gigs where it felt as though one knew everyone in the audience, indeed Karen remarked from the stage with a beaming smile that looking intro the crowd that is was like she recognised every face she could see. “It’s like being in my front room!”  Before departing the NAC I bought myself an advance copy of their new single Pulse Addict on 12″ vinyl. It is due for official release early next year.

The Neutrinos

“Art-rock mavericks The Neutrinos have over 100 sell-out London Royal Festival Hall shows under their belts with their critically acclaimed KlangHaus show. Now they return to the NAC stage alongside long-term stable-mates Birds of Hell. These musicians have co-existed and championed each other for over two decades and finally get to share a stage. From the beginning BoH have kept it carnal with songs and spoken word covering such appetising subjects as dogging, sniffing poppers and being eaten by snakes.
‘Weird beyond the call of duty’ – Jon Tye, Lo Recordings
As well as two separate energy-fuelled sets to unsettle and rouse, the bands will be sparking off each other and sharing songs specially written together for this show. You might even get to join in…”

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Photo by Nathan Clarke

“Art-rock mavericks The Neutrinos have over 100 sell-out London Royal Festival Hall shows under their belts with their critically acclaimed KlangHaus show. Now they return to the NAC stage alongside long-term stable-mates Birds of Hell. These musicians have co-existed and championed each other for over two decades and finally get to share a stage. 

 

Hailed as ‘total game changers‘ by the Guardian and ‘truly outstanding’ by The Daily Telegraph, The Neutrinos will be celebrating the preview release of their new single Pulse Addict. This is set for 2020 release, but limited edition 12” vinyl copies will be exclusively available at the show. Renowned for their musical and visual experimentation, every Neutrinos gig is a one off event and this will be no exception.

It’s been a busy year for Birds of Hell, releasing their debut album and the single Do I Get To Ride On A Unicorn? with it’s epic video of pagan spirit animals dancing under the moonlight. Whilst touring UK they’ve also managed to write new material that they’ll be premiering at this gig.

 

From the beginning BoH have kept it carnal with songs and spoken word covering such appetising subjects as dogging, sniffing poppers and being eaten by snakes.

 

‘Weird beyond the call of duty’ – Jon Tye, Lo Recordings

 

As well as two separate energy-fuelled sets to unsettle and rouse, the bands will be sparking off each other and sharing songs specially written together for this show. You might even get to join in…

 

The Neutrinos ‘If David Lynch had a band….‘ KlangHaus audience member,

‘Breathes a lungful of fresh air into gig going’ Sunday Times, 

‘sexy urgent energy’ Time Out New York”

 

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London Calling + Borrowed Time @ NAC 30 November 2019

The Clash have featured quite a lot for me in various ways of late, which is never a bad thing and they certainly feel as relevant as ever. In the 40th anniversary of the release of London Calling and fresh from the exhibition in London a week or so earlier before the Starcrawler gig I was back yet again at the Arts Centre for Clash tribute band London Calling, with support from Borrowed Time.

Paul Simonon's bass

The bass guitar Paul Simonon is destroying on the London Calling album cover.

Not sure why but I wasn’t expecting the gig to be quite as busy as it turned out to be but it was pretty busy with mainly 50-somethings who were all good-natured, enthusiastic and who knew all the words.

London Calling

First on though were Borrowed Time who’d made the long journey from Gloucestershire and were seemingly more than ready to explode with energy. A sort of hardcore sound reminiscent of the 1982 wave of punk, they had a decent reaction from the crowd and spread a good message.

Borrowed Time

Generally I don’t (or didn’t) tend to do tribute bands but I have to say the ones I have previously seen have all been excellent: The Ramonas, Think Floyd and Lioness all impressed me. Add London Calling to the list.  Coming onstage to an intro tape of Morricone’s “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” giving it a real proper gig feel and the crowd were up for it. The opening words were: “Fuck Boris Johnson!” and they launched straight into album opener London Calling to get a mosh-pit singalong right from the off which slightly surprisingly considering the average age, didn’t let up all night.

London Calling

Some songs worked better than others but most hit the spot, all the faster ones certainly did, and by the time they were doing Clampdown I was won over, one of the set highlights for me but there were plenty of others.  They did warn us they might go off-piste at some point and would that be OK?  It sure was and to the crowd’s obvious delight they couldn’t resist doing so, treating us to tracks from just about all the Clash albums with Tommy Gun, English Civil War, Complete Control et al sending the audience absolutely nuts. At the encore “Mick” asked which we’d like to hear, Stay Free, or Should I Stay or Should I Go? We got both!  By the time they finished with White Riot it looked like they’d given everything. So had the audience. A very enjoyable gig and a treat to hear these songs performed live.

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London Calling

“AGMP Concerts presents

London Calling UK play THE CLASH

“London Calling” 40th anniversary concert

+ Borrowed Time

The UK’s Premier Tribute to THE CLASH play their 1979 album in full + more.

“Among the very best albums ever recorded” – Q Magazine

The Clash released their acclaimed third album “London Calling” in 1979. The first Punk double album, it reached the Top 10 in the UK Charts and sold over 5 Million copies worldwide. The title song also reached the UK Top 20 and is arguably The Clash’s most famous song. The album was voted sixth-greatest album of all time by the NME and eighth-greatest album by Rolling Stone Magazine.

London Calling, The UK’s premier tribute to The Clash will be paying homage by playing the album in it’s entirety in sequence. They will then go on and play the best of the rest including all the hit singles and more such as “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, “Rock The Casbah”, “I Fought The Law”, “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”, “Complete Control”, “Stay Free” “Clash City Rockers”, “White Riot” and more.”

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A few years ago I was very kindly offered an exhibition of my photographs for NS&V at Norwich Arts Centre who somehow knew of my fondness for this album and the artwork and designed this brilliant poster, this week of London Calling reminded me of it.

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Norwich Arts Centre’s poster for my exhibition

 

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