Friday night was my last visit to Norwich Arts Centre before it closes for a couple of months for the first phase of regeneration work. Meanwhile the 40/40 fundraising campaign continues as the NAC needs to raise £40,000 itself by the time of its 40th anniversary next year in order to unlock the £499,000 grant. This gig had all three bands playing for free in order to help towards reaching this target for our beloved venue. It’s a place very precious to a great many people, myself included. It feels like my second home and having visited it well over 20 times in the first half of the year it will create a noticeable hole in my life for a while, my calendar is looking distinctly and uncharacteristically bare between now and its re-opening in September so I may well enter a spell of my own regeneration! It’s a bit of a weird feeling to be honest, tinged with anxiety like when a close one goes in for a hospital operation. NAC will be back better than ever in a couple of months though.
The venue surprisingly seemed surprisingly sparsely attended at first when Soyuz Rats took to the stage just after 8pm but the balmy evening, early start and huge number of gigs in the city may have contributed to that, and with Latitude on the horizon. Still, that just made getting close to the stage easier for this huge sound from the Soyuz trio, featuring Rob on microtonal guitar, Chris on five-string bass, and the mighty Pip (BK and Dad) on drums. I’ve seen Soyuz Rats many, many times over the years but I think I’ve only ever seen them in pubs so this was a real treat and I wasn’t going to miss a second of it. Punky, psych, noisy rock like an apocalyptic collosus of sound set to mesmeric projections. I loved it.
Guranfoe changed the mood with some jazzy prog and psychedelia which was expertly played. Their music may not be from a genre that I’m especially drawn towards usually but they do it exceptionally well and I appreciated and enjoyed the set which had me quite immersed.
By the time The Wolf Number came onstage the audience size had swelled considerably and the gig took on something of a party atmosphere. The band have gained a strong reputation and loyal following so one is always guaranteed seeing a number of familiar faces in The Pack when The Wolf Number play. Again this was a set expertly played with the band appearing to be enjoying it every bit as much as we were. Jack threw in some unexpected dance moves and I think I even heard a Fleetwood Mac bassline among the cinematic soundscapes of these beautiful instrumentals. A fun gig in which to pay a temporary and fond farewell the this special little venue.
Norwich Arts Centre re-opens in mid-September but donations to the 40/40 campaign can still be made via this link: http://www.norwichartscentre.co.uk/donations/
This concert is a fundraiser for #NACregeneration. Come to the gig and help Norwich Arts Centre fund a regeneration project that will transform the venue’s accessibility and carbon footprint.
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●●● THE WOLF NUMBER ●●●
The Wolf Number is a Norwich power trio that creates atmospheric soundscapes and dirty rocking riffs.
●●● GURANFOE ●●●
Guranfoe is a prog/fusion group spanning improvisational jazz, psychedelic rock and ancient ragas.
●●● SOYUZ RATS ●●●
Soyuz Rats is a punk/psych/noise/wave/post/minimal/rock trio trying to contact poltergeists through the medium of guitar orientated rock.