East Coast Country & Americana Hat Trick – upcoming Tilting Sky spring gigs

The Tilting Sky has pulled together some of the region’s finest Country & Americana influenced musicians for a hat trick of shows over the next few months.

Saturday 15th March – Epic Studios

Chalky Seas
(The) Red Dear

Tickets & further information from epic-tv.com


chalky seas

the red dear


Saturday 30th March – The Waterfront Studio

Jake Morrell (full band)
Lucy Grubb (full band)
Rory Hill

Tickets & further information from norwichboxoffice.co.uk

jake morrell

Jake Morrell

lucy grubb

rory hill

Rory Hill

Friday 12th April – Norwich Arts Centre

Sam Coe & The Long Shadows
Hot Raisin
True Adventures

Tickets & further information from norwichartscentre.co.uk


sam coe and the long shadows

Sam Coe and the Long Shadows

hot raisin

true adventures

True Adventures … and Maraud






Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

Posted in Chalky Seas, Hot Raisin, Jake Morrell, Lucy Grubb, morganway, Red Dear, rory hill, Sam Coe and the Long Shadows, tilting sky, True Adventures, Uncategorized, What's on | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gighopper 18-24 Feb. 2019

#TheGighopper 18-24 Feb. 2019 Week 8


Norwich Jazz Jam feat. Lee Vasey
Fat Cat & Canary 8:30pm

CopaCubana 7:15pm

Brickies Open Stage
Brickmakers 8pm


Lau : Midnight & Closedown Tour
Norwich Arts Centre 8pm

Country music open mic
Reindeer 7:45pm

Sean MacGowan
Bermuda Bob’s 6:30pm

The A.I.R. Presents Boombox
The Blueberry 8pm

Egyptian Dance
Norman Centre 7pm

Swing Dance Class, Yarmouth Rd.

Open mic.
The Peartree 8pm


Ruts DC + The Professionals
Waterfront 7:30pm

Whiskey Shivers
OPEN 7:30pm

Stuart Waters
Norwich Arts Centre 8pm

NUA Music Society open mic
The Birdcage 7:30pm

Poorboy IX
Rabbit 7:30pm

The A.I.R. Presents The Chillout Room
Wildman 7pm

Open piano night
Platform Twelve 7:30pm

Egyptian Dance
The Garage 12pm

Geetar at Frank’s: Yve Mary B
Frank’s Bar 8:30pm

Tony Hall Folk Group
Reindeer 8pm

Live music
Rose Tavern 8:30pm

Open mic with Peter T
Walnut Tree Shades 8pm

Shane’s Musical Shenanigans
The Reindeer 8pm

Fine City Blues : Egypt
The Murderers 8:30pm

Ducking Punches + supports
Gringos 7pm

Miranda Sykes
Anteros 7:30pm

Dove and Boweevil Band
Winter Beer Fest: St. Andrew’s Hall 6-11pm

The King is Back
Epic 7:30pm

Simon Munnery
Norwich Arts Centre 8pm

Swing Dance Class
Norwich Lindy-hoppers 7:30pm

Blue Oyster Cult
UEA LCR 7:30pm

Improv jam
Jurnet’s Bar 8pm

Tion Wayne
Mantra 10pm

Plug In
The Garage 6:30pm

Cabaret 2019
UEA Drama Studio 7:30pm

Miranda Sykes
Anteros 7:30pm

Eusebius Quartet
Assembly House 1pm

Rev de Cuba 9pm

Brickmakers 9pm

Volta! Poetry and open mic
The Birdcage 7:30pm

Lee Vasey & Friends
Salhouse Lodge


The Joe Ringer Band
Brickmakers 9pm

Little Red Kings
Reindeer 9pm

Keep on Dancing
Bermuda Bob’s 11pm

Boogie Bureau
Warwick St Social 8pm

Playhouse 7:30pm

Flashback Friday
Platform Twelve 5pm

Soul Train
OPEN 9pm

Smoove & Turrell
Norwich Arts Centre 8pm

JRB live
Brickmakers 8pm

King Size Papas
Louis Marchesi

Black Dragon
Walnut Tree Shades 9pm

Silent Disco
Mantra 10pm

Propaganda vs Silent Disco King
Waterfront 10:30pm

DJ Workshop
UEA 6pm

Bill Downs

Cabaret 2019
UEA Drama Studio 7:30pm

Popworld 9pm

Music House Acoustic-ish Session
Jurnet’s Bar 8pm

Maid’s Head 9pm

Music for Minds

Coral Cross Band
Steam Packet 7pm

1901 Sound
Cottage 7:30pm

Soul Revival
Last Pub Standing 6:30pm

Scratch Night
The Garage 8pm

The Meeks + The Glitter Shop + Aphra + Broken Catalyst
Waterfront 6:30pm

Mike & the Mechanics
Theatre Royal 7pm

Punch House Band
Rumsey Wells

The Lost Levels + Moonlands + Hugo Z + Badhead Hyland
Epic 7:30pm

Tully & Ed
Playhouse Bar 8:30pm


Warwick St. Acoustic Sessions : Festival Favourites
Warwick St. Social 2-4pm

Maet Live & the Never Neverland Express
Brickmakers 9pm

Trevor Nelson
OPEN 9pm

African Evening
The Narthex 7pm

House of Daze
Norwich Arts Centre 8pm

Barn Dance
The Reindeer 8pm

Quadrophenia Night
Epic 6:30pm

Jose mcGill + Yve Mary B + Mark Howes
Lord Rosebery 9pm

Big Miz
Bermuda Bob’s 10pm

Delve Deep Disco
Rumsey Wells 8:30pm

Warwick St Social Acoustic Sessions : Festival Favourites
Warwick St. Social 2-4pm

Shoe Shoe Sh-Boogie
Old Shoe Factory Social Club 7:30pm

Dream Space
Space Studio 5pm

Stylotones [CANCELLED]
Sprowston Sports & Social Club

Waterfront 6:30pm

Hot Cold Ground
Walnut Tree Shades 9pm

KY Kelly
The Castle 10pm

80s Night with Rob Chandler
The Talk 8pm

Mickey J King : Elvis Presley Show
Coach & Horses 8:30pm

Cabaret 2019
UEA Drama Studio 7:30pm

80s Night
Holiday Inn 7pm

Raw Edge
Hermitage 9pm

We Are the Catalyst
B2 7pm

Floating Greyhounds
Compleat Angler 9pm

Class Act
Arkwrights 8:45pm

Louis Marchesi 8:30pm

Waterfront 10pm

3 Up 2 Down
Maid’s Head

Delve Deep and Strictly Sevens
Rumsey Wells

John and Georgie
Playhouse Bar 8:30pm

Stone Cold
Angel Gardens

Heath House

Police tribute band
Sprowston Sports and Social Club

Karl Knights
The Crown, Costessey 8:30pm


Sunday Social
Platform Twelve 7:30pm

Lee Vasey Big Band
The Brickmakers 12-3pm

Porky’s Hot Rockin’
Walnut Tree Shades 5pm

True Stories
Norwich Arts Centre 7:30pm

Blues Situation
Reindeer 4pm

The Lovin’ Handful
Fat Cat Brewery Tap 3pm

Norwich Chapel Chamber Concert
The Chapel, Park Lane 6:30pm

Karen Tweed

Choral Evensong
Eaton Church 6:30pm

Improv jam
Doghouse 8pm

Ribs of Beef 5pm

Micky Jay King
Dyer’s Arms 5pm

Geetar at Frank’s: Taz Cobalt
Frank’s Bar 7:30pm

Bedfords 3-5pm

Neil Francis
Louis Marchesi 7-10pm









Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

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The Joy Formidable + Adwaith @ NAC 10 February 2019


This was one of those Sunday evenings where weariness meant it took an almighty effort to leave the house for a gig but it was to our beloved Norwich Arts Centre that I headed for two Welsh trios. Adwaith and The Joy Formidable. Chatting with some friends it was clear there was a lot of fatigue about but we all made it. Due to various things conspiring against my gig-going this was actually my first NAC visit of the year, rather than the fourth or fifth I would have expected it to be.


Opening were the very promising Adwaith, singing some of their songs in their native tongue and in our native tongue cheekily announcing that we were their favourite audience of the tour so far.  It also happened to be the first date of the tour but we’ll take the compliment.


The Joy Formidable are a band I’d seen only once before, playing a support slot and totally stealing the show with a powerful grungey set and I felt at the time they were possibly destined for greatness. That was ten years ago and they have certainly made a name for themselves and grown a devoted audience, which was clear to see at the NAC.  Fresh from a lunchtime Sofar Sounds gig at the Birdcage The Joy Formidable smiled and joked along easily and with charm, even playing their Christmas song ” … which we only seem to play in Norwich” and are as powerful as ever. The massive drumkit was at the front of the stage and was every bit as loud as it looked.  The adoring audience lapped it all up and looked very happy with the performance, singing along to most of the set, there’s a strong connection there.

joy formidablejoy formidable












Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:


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Dereham Blues Festival 2019

2019 Dereham Blues Festival Will Be Bigger And Better Than Ever

Planning is well underway for the 2019 Dereham Blues Festival and it will be bigger and better than ever this year. The major change for 2019 is an extra day being added to the festival, which will now span five days from Wednesday 10th July through to Sunday 14th July.
The opening concert will headline a true up and coming star of Texas blues Hamilton Loomis from the USA. It is testament to how far the Dereham Blues festival has come in six years, that it can attract such a new high impact star all the way from across the Atlantic.
Born and raised in Galveston, Texas, Loomis is the son of musician parents who listened to blues, rock and soul. Music ran in his veins and, with instruments readily available around the house, he picked up drums, piano, guitar and harmonica, honing his multi-instrumental talent in addition to performing regularly as part of his family’s doo-wop group.
The fabulous local bluesman Ron Sayer Jr. is providing support for this concert backed by local favourites The Shunters band.
The festival opening concert organised by the Friends of The Dereham Memorial Hall, will be held at the Dereham Memorial Hall on Wednesday 10th July. Tickets are on sale from January 31st either via the festival website: www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk or via www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/594723
Then there will follow another four days of hot blues music filling the pubs, bars, restaurants and other Dereham town centre venues with more bands playing with more chances for blues lovers to hear top blues bands and artists drawn from the region and across the UK.
The Dereham Blues Festival website is being re-vamped and modernised to meet the demands for this new expanded festival next year. All festival information on the venues, the bands and the program will be posted on the website www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk  Keep heading to the website for all the latest news.
There are more chances for blues bands and acts to play at this year’s festival. So if you “wanna play”, get your interest in early to the organisers via the festival’s website at www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk/wanna-play-2019.html  So, get your applications in straight away, don’t wait as they close next month.
The Dereham Blues Festival continues to grow and as ever is a whole lot more than “12 bars o’ blues”.

dereham blues

The Dereham Blues Festival continues to be a growing success story in the region thanks to its two lead organisers, Norfolk Blues Society founders Doreen and Stewart Aitken. As founding members, they remain fully involved and are determined that the blues festival has a long future.
The festival is run by an entirely volunteer group of eight local Norfolk blues enthusiasts and is supported by the Norfolk Blues Society
We are proud to be associated with following sponsors of the Festival and we thank them for their support; Stephenson Smart (Main Sponsor), East Bilney Garagre (Headline Sponsor) and Orchard Caravans (Business Sponsor).
The 2019 Dereham Blues Festival will take place from 10th to 14th July 2019. Applications from bands wanting to play are now being accepted via the website www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk










Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

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Red Rooster 2019: Further acts announced!


This bright and sunny January day has brought with it the exciting news of another wave of fantastic names for this year’s Red Rooster Festival.


The Budos Band

Cedric Burnside – The Black Eyed Dogs (Feat. Ethan Johns)

Sunny Ozell – JD Wilkes (Legendary Shack Shakers) – Blackfoot Gypsies

Birds of Chicago – Jarrod Dickenson – Treetop Flyers – Powersolo

John J Presley – Orphan Colours – James & The Ultrasounds

Prinz Grizzley – Oh! Gunquit


Red Rooster festival, a weekend celebration of the best contemporary American Roots music – blues, rock n roll, country and soul – is pleased to announce a further line-up for its 6th edition. The 3-day event takes place in the beautiful parkland and woods of Euston Hall, Suffolk, from May 30 – June 1.

Saturday night’s headliners are The Budos Band– from the mighty Daptone Records. Hailing from Brooklyn, The Budos Band play what they describe as “Afro-Soul” – Imagine the JB’s jamming with Black Sabbath and you’re getting close!!

Red Rooster is delighted to welcome the Grammy nominated Cedric Burnside to the line-up. Cedric was born to the blues, more specifically, hypnotic Mississippi Hill country blues. Learning his craft as the drummer with his grandfather, the legendary Fat Possum recording artist RL Burnside. Growing up in Holly Springs, MS Cedric learnt first-hand from RL plus other equally legendary figures including Junior Kimbrough, Jessie May Hemphill, Otha Turner. T-Model Ford and Paul “Wine” Jones. This amazing education has come to fruition with Cedric’s critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated new album Benton County Relic.

The Black Eyed Dogs feature the polymath Ethan Johns. Ethan is a renowned producer (Paul McCartney, King Of Leon, Laura Marling, Ryan Adams etc ) but has always been a great singer , songwriter and multi – instrumentalist.

Sunny Ozell, the New York Songstress makes her Red Rooster debut. Sunny’s powerful voice effortlessly weaves together the elements of jazz, blues, and Americana roots that infuse her music.

Nashville’s J.D. Wilkes from The Legendary Shack Shakers will be destroying the Little Red Rooster acoustic stage with his one man tent show with nothing more than a harmonica and banjo. Best known as the leader and singer of the Shack shakers, JD has attracted fans as diverse as Stephen King, Robert Plant and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra.

Blackfoot Gypsies are Nashville’s best kept secret! A raucous cocktail of Roadhouse Southern Boogie mixed with The Stones and The Faces- Your new favourite rock and roll band! Birds of Chicago play a sparse and ethereal mix of country and blues built around the magical chemistry of Allison Russell and JT Nero.

Texas born Jarrod Dickenson brings with him his incredible storytelling; something of a Texas tradition. Tall hats and even taller tales are woven into the fabric of The Lone Star State, and singer-songwriter, Jarrod Dickenson can spin a yarn with the best of them.

London soulful country rock outfit Treetop Flyers return with their eponymous third album, weaving blissful 60’s tinged West Coast Americana with a British rock’n’roll swagger. Cult rock n’ rollers Powersolo will be exploding onto the stage for 2019, whilst John J Presley heads to Euston Hall with his penchant tone, valve amps and pedals.

Adding more names to bill – London’s Orphan Colours, Memphis scenesters James & The Ultrasounds, Austria’s Prinz Grizzley and London’s Oh! Gunquit, will all be gracing the stage this Summer.

All these fantastic artists will be joining the previously announced Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets, Low Cut Connie, Dale Watson & His Lone Stars, Jesse Dayton, Errol Linton, William the Conqueror, and Joli Blon Cajun Band.

Red Rooster tickets are on sale now, one of the best value festivals out there at just £69.50 + booking fee for the whole weekend, which includes 3 nights of camping and parking FREE. Kids under 12 are free as always… Get your ticket while you can HERE


Announced billing order is now as follows:

The Budos Band – Nick Lowe w/ Los Straitjackets

Dale Watson & His Lone Stars – Cedric Burnside – Low Cut Connie

The Black Eyed Dogs (Feat. Ethan Johns) – Jesse Dayton

Sunny Ozell – William The Conqueror – JD Wilkes (Legendary Shack Shakers) – Blackfoot Gypsies

The Birds of Chicago – Jarrod Dickenson – Treetop Flyers – Powersolo

John J Presley – Orphan Colours – James & The Ultrasounds

Joli Blon Cajun Band – Prinz Grizzley – Oh! Gunquit

dale watson

shashamane 2016

red rooster

red rooster

red roosterred rooster

Anyone lucky enough to be at a couple of special Norwich gigs last year will be delighted to see the addition of Powersolo, who played that unforgettably extraordinary gig at Norwich Arts Centre, and the brilliant James and the Ultrasounds who performed with Ravenous Hounds at one of my gigs of the year for Halloween at the Louis Marchesi Crypt for Gluttonous Mutt.

(Thanks to my friend Paul Lievens for this brilliant footage of James and the Ultrasounds at Louis Marchesi Crypt)

I’m really looking forward to this year’s Rooster, set in the beautiful grounds of Euston Hall on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, firmly established as one of the region’s favourite festivals with an outstanding bill of southern flavoured music from blues, country, rock n roll, soul, roots and garage rock.








Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

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Marty O’Reilly + Hot Raisin @ Grapevine at The Guildhall 12 January 2019

marty o'reilly

Marty O’Reilly (c) shashamane

Having been putting on Grapevine nights for over 10 years this incredible gig was the final one in this particular chapter for Steve and Jan – and of course soundman Dickie – at the historic Guildhall which Grapevine has called home for about two and half years (it was previously held at Bedfords).  It sadly seems that, for whatever reasons, Grapevine nights do not figure in the future plans of the Guildhall and I find that decision extremely surprising, perhaps on reflection those decision-makers will question that too after the triumphant nature of this tremendous night. They may regret letting such an established, successful and much-respected music night slip through their fingers like this. Anyway, after a few weeks with barely any gig activity I was exhausted with a third in three days but with the excitement of looking forward to seeing a couple of favourites with a bill of Marty O’Reilly, plus Hot Raisin, who I also saw the previous night at Jurnet’s.

hot raisin

Being a former courtroom of course, it was not without its trials and tribulations.  Mid afternoon Marty put out a distress call on social media as the transport had broken down in the east Midlands on the way from Durham to Norwich.  There were real concerns about making it to Norwich in time for the gig but the legend that is James of Blue House Music sorted out a taxi at considerable expense to get Marty to the gig on time.  I very much admire the sheer determination on their part to ensure the gig went ahead. As it turned out Marty walked through the door with his guitar just moments after I arrived just after 7:30pm.

hot raisin

During soundchecks for Marty and Hot Raisin it quickly became clear there was a technical issue with the PA too and for the Raisins it meant the set had to be played pretty much acoustically and unplugged with just a guitar amp or two but they didn’t care and if they didn’t why should we?  In fact it gave an even greater insight into every subtle aspect each of them brings to Hot Raisin and they were all superb. What a great and positive attitude they have. No wonder I always feel better for seeing, it’s why I call them my anti-depressants. In fact it all worked out rather well and was a nice way to enjoy the tender side of the songs and the beautiful vocals from Tory with lovely harmonies and backing from Luke, not to mention Mary’s superb guitar and the gorgeous addition of Jess’ violin.  As ever they played with smiles aplenty, drinking toasts, generous praise and ‘happy birthday’ renditions for Steve. Nobody cared about the PA gremlins and Hot Raisin delighted us all with the likes of Captain, Whiskey Ginger and their own gremlins, the Midnight Gremlins of insomnia. Hot Raisin clearly enjoyed themselves as much as I and everyone else did.

hot raisin

hot raisin

hot raisinhot raisin

For the second night in a row the packed audience screamed out for an encore and on this occasion, happily, there was enough time for this to be granted. I love this band and I’m not alone, I was stood next to Marty who was clearly impressed.  When I turned around again I had a tall surprise when I saw the giant figure and presence of Tony Brook also stood near me and offering his hand for a handshake with a big smile on his face.  He’s on his annual visit from Alabama and Yve was positively beaming too. I look forward to seeing them play in Norwich soon.

yve and tony

By a stroke of great fortune another local legend and sound tech dynamo was in the audience and Chad Mason disappeared to get something to save the day with the PA, perhaps helped by an unexpected request from Steve for us all to switch our phones to airplane mode to free up some wifi bandwidth!  It worked though and full PA power was restored for Marty’s set.

marty o'reillymarty o'reilly

marty o'reilly

Marty has visited Norwich many times and is good friends with those other Californians we love so much, the Rainbow Girls.  He told us stories of how some years ago they joked around using St. John’s Ambulence stretchers to carry Rainbow Girl Savannah around the Maverick Festival site during the strains of St. James’ Infirmary, which he also played here.  Also playing Maverick that year were The Vagaband who spotting something special invited the Rainbow Girls up to Norwich afterwards to play the Bo Nanafana stage during Lord Mayor’s Weekend. Alas it was not possible to get here in time but the Ten Bells stepped in to save the day and hosted one of my favourite gigs of all time. The rest is history and the Girls have a fantastic rapport with the city. The following year they played a much bigger stage, the Norwich Arts Centre, along with The Vagaband and Blue House Music pals Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra.  Marty and the boys played an astonishing set that included an amazing version of Smokestack Lightnin’ and spoke later of how he now totally understood why Rainbow Girls loved this city so much. He’s been back every year since to play equally incredible sets on the main stage but also some encores in the NAC bar that have gone down in Norwich musical folklore.  His solo sets are just as intense and inclusive though as we learned when he played the intimate Bicycle Shop handlebar on his previous solo tour a couple of years back.  This was to be about my 9th or 10th time seeing him which tells you how good these live shows always are.

marty o'reilly

marty o'reilly

Marty quickly gets in the zone playing with a striking passion and intensity, it’s almost like watching someone musically possessed for the duration of the songs and it is simply captivating as a gig experience. The style is of blues, gospel folk played with a lot of soul on that now familiar resonator guitar. Between songs he is engaging, witty, charming and down to earth. He had us all in the palm of his hands, telling us of the backgrounds of the songs, his tour challenges on the road, the music of Jolie Holland, and in spectacular style the Sister Rosetta Tharpe classic Up Above My Head, which we’ve seen him do in the Arts Centre but this time he invited Hot Raisin to join him in the middle of the Guildhall where they sat on the floor playing guitars and violin and he stood in the middle of us all, with everyone clapping and singing along. It was hearwarming and life-affirming stuff. The set closed with one of my favourites, Cold Canary Gaslight. Earlier, Marty invited requests and if I weren’t so shy I’d have called for this one!

marty o'reilly

marty o'reilly

Marty’s UK tour continues tonight in Coggeshall before dates in Brighton on Monday (The Greys), Southampton on Tuesday (Piecaramba), and concluding in London on Thursday 17th at Monto Water Rats Theatre before carrying on in the US and Canada.

marty o'reilly

What a show for Steve and Jan’s Grapevine to leave the Guildhall on, and on his 65th birthday too. A visibly moved Steve was given a rousing Happy Birthday by the whole of the sold out crowd. And it certainly did feel a sellout crowd, it was rammed and quite a challenge to get photos with the lens I’d brought with me.  So busy was it that the Guildhall sold out of all its ales. I know we like our Ghost Ship but it’s incredible that they should have been so caught out by the demand on a gig that sold out well in advance of the night. Someone made a boo-boo there I think.  That didn’t really matter though, it was all about the music and a birthday send off for Steve, it couldn’t have left in finer style and was all the sweeter for overcoming all the challenges of the day which must have been extremely stressful. Maybe everyone just needed more beers after that but the night was a great success. Music and togetherness wins and saves the day again.

marty o'reilly

Hopefully a venue will “get” what Grapevine is all about and perhaps offer to host Steve’s nights somewhere that sits right and he will get the deserved support for his unique nights of folk which sometimes delight with a few surprises too but always with Steve’s personal stamp of approval and quality control.  Steve and Jan are music fans who have the utmost regard and respect for the musicians and the audience so aim to provide a setting where an attentive audience can enjoy the music in a respectful setting and atmosphere which obviously makes it all the more enjoyable for the artists too. Now he just needs to find somewhere where the owners understand and buy into all of that and who place the same value on music as well as the people these nights bring through the door. There’s a clear audience for nights like this, with carefully tailored line-ups and consideration for the performers and the audience, as evidenced by the packed crowd on the night, despite the usual Norwich gig-clashes. Even the friendly Guildhall bar staff, during quiet moments at the bar (when the beer had all been sold) were as rapt by the music as we were and applauded as much as did. It was lovely to see that. The amount of work Steve, Jan and Dickie put into these events is obvious, even down to the attention to detail with the lighting and musical items placed around the stage area. They are all, first and foremost, passionate music fans and they don’t do this for profit, all takings go to those taking part on the night. They deserve our respect and any venue that lands them will be very lucky indeed.  This was a night of great music and also a celebration and acknowledgement for what Grapevine has given Norwich for over ten years, a fact reinforced by the number of local musicians in attendance too. As for the music, it was excellent. Hot Raisin delighted us as they always do, and Marty O’Reilly provided exactly the right kind of New Year blues. Happy birthday Steve. Enjoy a well-earned break.

steve at grapevine


Just when you think American roots music should be relegated to the dusty confines of a purist’s museum it will surprise you with a paradigm shift. Take Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra— passing through tradition, stumbling upon innovation, proving that old souls can be creatively fresh.

The Santa Cruz, California-based artist’s latest, Stereoscope, marks an evolutionary leap in a journey of artistic identity and song-writing maturity. Here, Marty homes in on his signature cosmic roots aesthetic, brimming with cinematic songcraft, impressionistic lyrics, clever arrangements, telepathic ensemble interplay, and soulfully world-weary vocals. Imagine the delta blues reprised by psychedelic indie rockers.

Stereoscope is no doubt a milestone entry for Marty O’Reilly, offering forth his most assured and mature release to date. “We put our heart and soul into this album,” shares Marty. “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make— one that ten years later I can still be proud of. Making it has made me feel whole, and brought me a lot of joy.”

Marty O’Reilly first played solo as a young college kid back when he was starting at the University of Santa Cruz. He sat in on open mic nights, tipped pints at the bar and engaged his new community.

These days he’s normally the front man for Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, but this is just the guy, his harmonica and guitar, playing songs he wrote or just songs he loves to play.

Sometimes it is hard to separate a band guy from his band and have the music translate on a similar level. Not with Marty O’Reilly.

Marty’s a powerhouse player and an even stronger singer. And while it is nearly impossible to classify the sound of The Old Soul Orchestra as a band, it is fair to say that a Marty solo show will find its legs rooted in Blues and Gospel, drawing heavily on the roots of what makes American music great.

O’Reilly plays with the conviction of a veteran Chicago blues man that belies his Sonoma County roots. He plays straight ahead and aggressively, weaving songs into medleys with such skill that the listener might not know when one song ends and the next begins. His guitar attack is fierce, he beats strings with rapid strums and furious note runs. He sways and convulses, throwing his whole body into the music, his head thrown back and mouth agape as he bridges verses. The song can swing wildly and he can end abruptly leaving sonic ellipses on the last line.

These solo nights beg exploration of every nook and cranny of the songs. This is not to say Marty goes down some jam band rabbit hole, he just . . . explores. The audience come to expect the departure; they are accepting of the journey and willing to go along lyrically and musically. This is what makes these gigs so special. www.martyoreilly.com













Norwich: Music City, UK

Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify:

Posted in Grapevine at Bedfords, Hot Raisin, live music and dance, Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, Tony Brook, Yve Mary B | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Music House Acoustic-ish Session: Diamond Dave & the Mallards + Hot Raisin + Alexander Carson @ Jurnet’s Bar 11 January 2019

andrew taylor


The Music House Acoustic-ish Sessions at Jurnet’s Bar are always special but this one was even more so as a packed house came along to enjoy the music but also to honor Andrew Taylor who was curating his last Acoustic-ish Session after 11 years.  One of those he invited to also curate back then was an at the time teenage Alex Carson, who has also become a legendary figure on the music scene in Norwich through his nights not only at Jurnets but also at the Bare Feet Records showcase nights at The Birdcage, The Plasterers, and Gonzo’s, plus of course his band Wooden Arms.  So it seemed fitting that he was the first one introduced by Andrew to start off the music here on Friday night.  It was a highly impressive performance from Alex at the piano but more was to come when he went over to the Jurnet’s piano and with fellow Wooden Arms Jeff and Jess had something of a band reunion with a beautiful rendition of False Start.


andrew taylor

alex carson

jurnets bar

Jurnet’s was absolutely rammed once again, there was even a small dog and a giant panda present and there was only just time to queue for and return with a drink before Hot Raisin‘s set.  The sound was superb as Mary, Tory and Luke were also joined by Jess on violin and the even rarer sight of Mary having a mic stand in front of her! Always a treat to see the Raisins and they went down a storm with many begging for one more tune but time was tight ahead of the final set of the evening.

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hot raisin


Diamond Dave and the Mallards feature a host of familiar faces and brilliant musicians and Andy Kirkham was in Eastern European mood and played a fun set to much appreciation. He’s a well known figure in the musical community and a highly regarded guitarist. He also plays in Classical and African styles.

As Andrew said at the beginning of the night: “Turn off your phones, don’t talk during the sets ‘cos that’s when the magic happens” and with these musical choices that is most certainly always the case here. Big thanks to the bands and all at Jurnet’s, and massive respect to Andrew Taylor.

diamond dave and the mallardsdiamond dave and the mallards


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Norwich: Music City, UK

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