Lera Lynn + Worry Dolls @ Omeara, London 10 December 2018

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Exactly a week after that beautiful Union Chapel gig where Courtney Marie Andrews healed our souls and we in turned tried to heal her cold I was back in the capital again for a gig by Lera Lynn, Omeara at London Bridge being the most doable journey of the handful of UK dates.  I was delighted to discover that support was provided by Worry Dolls, who I have seen and enjoyed a couple of times before, at Red Rooster and at OPEN in Norwich.  They and Nashville-based Lera apparently met in that music city when Worry Dolls were recorded their album there.

There was a lot of interest in this gig which sold out many weeks ago, even though it was for a Monday night, I even saw people queuing at the door when I walked past the venue at 6pm.  It was a bit later when I headed there though, shortly before the arrival onstage of Worry Dolls who played a most impressive set that the crowd clearly enjoyed.  Their final song they performed completely unplugged right up at the front of the stage almost on top of the crowd. It was beautiful. I love their heartfelt and expressive form of Americana. Fans of Hope in High Water, whom we know well, will love them, they both have an obvious integrity and passion about what they are doing too.

Lera Lynn‘s latest album is called Plays Well With Others and as the title suggests is a collaborative work of co-written duets alongside names such as JD McPherson, Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew Combs, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, and Nicole Atkins.  The songs all fit together on the album well too, giving it a cohesive and whole feeling.  I held back buying my album until this gig though as I wanted to get my copy signed!  (So many thanks to the lovely lady on the merch table who kindly looked after my vinyl and t-shirt until the end of the gig, much appreciated!)

The lights dimmed and Lera came onstage illuminated by a single spotlight and went straight into the set, with her duet partner for the set, Todd Lombardo, who was brilliant taking on the roles of these other singers for the tour.  The whole set seemed to pass so quickly as we enjoyed it so much, sublime playing and vocals, great songs and terrific sound and lighting in this lovely venue. Most of the material was obviously from Plays Well With Others but we also had some gems from Resistor and The Avenues which pleased the appreciative and attentive crowd too.

I’ve only seen Lera Lynn once before, at a Spiegeltent gig in Norwich for our festival a couple of years or so back and she’s one of very few that I will travel down to London for, what with all the expense that a day in the capital seems to entail but it was so worth it.  To cap a special night Lera did come out to meet fans and sign records, and I was even lucky enough to get a photo. Thank you Lera.

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“Throughout her career — a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock — Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations. 

She’s written songs with T Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash. She’s recorded albums with full bands (2014’s The Avenues, hailed by outlets like Rolling Stone and American Songwriter) and smaller lineups (the experimental, NPR and New York Times-approved Resistor, which Lynn co-produced at her Nashville home). On her fourth album, Plays Well With Others, she teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers, resulting in her most diverse, collaborative work to date. 

“…her gorgeous Emmylou-like voice which wraps itself around the varied tone of her collaborators…” – Uncut Magazine”

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@RShashamane

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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 Blockheads + Ben C Winn @ NAC 8 December 2018

Yet another sellout gig at the Arts Centre for the return of the Blockheads.  Apparently they have played NAC in each of the past eight years and yet somehow this was my first time seeing them since a couple of UEA gigs, in 1998 and again in 2000 which was sadly one of Ian Dury’s last gigs, and so it’s taken me all this time to see them with a different front-person.  Occasionally they are fronted by Phil Jupitus but their more regular vocalist is Derek “The Draw” Hussey, Ian’s former bodyguard and on lead vocals duty here at Norwich.

blockheads

Support, as it was last year, was provided by the excellent Ben C Winn who is absolutely perfect for this crowd with his humour and clever use of words. Not surprisingly he went down brilliantly with the audience. Rita, Don’t Retire almost cries out to share the same record as Razzle in My Pocket.

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Despite the massive loss of Ian Dury it is still well worth seeing the Blockheads live, not least for the chance to see some incredible musicians playing with absolute joy. The band still contains such legends as Chaz Jankel and Norman Watt-Roy and of course the songs are incredible.  Derek walks onstage and drapes one of Ian’s silk white scarfs around the mic stand and proceeds to deliver a set of classic Blockheads tunes. Of course he is no Ian (nobody is) but he strikes the right tone and the crowd lapped up hearing these songs played live by these outstanding musicians.

 

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SOLD OUT

Saturday 8th December 2018
8:00 PM
£25.50 | £23.50 concessions (includes admin fee)
Standing 

This is without doubt one of the finest bands touring. The band still have four of the original founding members from the 1977 lineup.

The Blockheads are now fronted by one of Ian’s best friends Derek ‘The Draw’, the band’s vocalist and wordsmith. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher still remain from the original band and the current line-up is augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line up of saxophonists including Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards or Dave Lewis.

These legendary Brit-Funkers will be playing all the old favourites and new material. In 1978 Chaz composed ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’ with Ian and in 1979 had a number one hit record. In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded and were not to play together again until 1987 when they went out to Japan to play three shows, disbanding again until 1990 when the death of Charlie Charles in September of that year re-united them to play two Benefit gigs at The Forum, Camden Town in aid of Charlie’s family. The last performance by Ian Dury & The Blockheads was February 6th 2000 at The London Palladium. Ian died at 9am on 27th March 2000.

Now over 15 years since Ian passed away, The Blockheads still perform Ian’s songs to packed out venues around the World.

@RShashamane

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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Mark Sultan + Ravenous Hounds + DJ Tom Eagle @ Louis Marchesi Crypt 4 December 2018

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This was a gig originally scheduled to be held at The Crunch but was cancelled due to a peculiar council decision. Luckily Gluttonous Mutt stepped in to save the gig which was moved to the city’s Crypt beneath the Louis Marchesi. The last one here with James and the Ultrasounds was an absolute belter so I knew we were in for good things.

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Tom Eagle was dj-ing before, inbetween, and after the acts entertaining us with punk, soul, ska and “yob-rock” and the live music kicked off with the excellent four-piece of Ravenous Hounds.  I love this band and experiencing their garage punk rock in an undercroft is always an exciting experience. Very loud and visceral, up close in the small confines of this packed undercroft. Just brilliant.

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Headline act was of course Mark Sultan whom I’d only previously seen in his King Khan incarnation but he’s obviously also well-known from his Spaceshits, BBQ, Les Sexareenos and solo projects.  Seated throughout and with lots of dialogue with the audience between songs this wasn’t exactly the typical gig experience but nor was it meant to be, it was a man doing what he loves to do and not giving a damn what anyone thinks about it, though the crowd did seem to be digging it and pretty familiar with a lot of the songs too.

mark sultan

Thanks to Gluttonous Mutt for another great night of garage rock and roll in the perfect space.

TUESDAY 4TH DECEMBER – LOUIS MARCHESI UNDERCROFT

Gluttonous Mutt Presents

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Mark Sultan/BBQ – all-time garage punk legend from such great bands as the King Khan & BBQ Show, Spaceshits, Les Sexareenos and of course many incredible solo albums, under the BBQ and Mark Sultan monikers. A massive coup for Norwich to have him in an intimate venue as part of his UK tour, you won’t get a chance like this again, believe us!

“If there’s a Patient Zero in garage rock’s recent shift from emulating the troglodytic stomp of teenage Stones wannabes in 1965 to embracing the Golden Oldies pop and doo-wop of the years just before Beatlemania, it’s probably Mark “BBQ” Sultan, who releases albums of catchy, clever garage-pop more frequently than most people buy shoes.”
– Chicago Reader

“Not Another Day” – https://youtu.be/KYqwmKShuyk

New album on Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2ONUZrX

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Ravenous Hounds – High-energy psych-punk rock and roll, guaranteed to raise the roof and move the floor. Coming off a string of great support slots on their debut year in 2018, this will be a great one to top it off. 

Youtube playlist – https://bit.ly/2RT8IQ3

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DJ Tom Eagle – a legend on the Norwich scene, playing the best rhythm & blues, reggae, soul, punk etc on vinyl.

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This gig was previously to be hosted by our good friend Mr Jason at The Crunch – Recording Studio, but due to restrictions on events and threats from the council he was forced to cancel, hence us picking it up. We’re very grateful to him for booking the show in the first place. If you’re in a band and want some recordings that don’t just have a generic sterile sound, and sound incredile instead, he’s the best around, so hit him up. 

If you bought tickets for that show you should have an email asking if you want your tickets transeferred or refunded – check yr inbox!

GET IT!

 

@RShashamane

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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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Courtney Marie Andrews @ Union Chapel, Islington, London 3 December 2018

This year has been another vintage one for gigs and also one in which I’ve been lucky enough to see Courtney Marie Andrews performing live three times, twice in London and also that wonderful NAC gig. This was to be my fourth time this year alone such is my appetite to experience her magical performances.

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The day started in rather slow and comical fashion though with the train grinding to a halt before it had even properly left Norwich station due to an obstinate swan refusing to leave the bridge at Trowse. I guess it was in a grumpy Monday mood but some 25 minutes later he was coaxed off and the train was on its way. I suppose that was quite a Norfolk moment.

 

With a few hours to kill before the gig I checked out the evening’s venue, the stunning Union Chapel which is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Islington Assembly Hall where I also saw Courtney play earlier in the year. I also noted that the pub opposite was called The White Swan. Hmmmm. Afterwards I spent a couple of hours in Camden, saw a black cat stroll out of Amy Winehouse’s former garden and then I dried off from the rain with a Guinness at The Hawley before heading back to Islington.  I’d been told it is a good idea to queue early to get anywhere close to the front, so I did just that, standing freezing outside a good hour before the doors opened. The queue was asked by a passer-by if we were queuing for mass! In a way we were, a congregation bonded by a love of CMA.  Even with just a dozen or so people in front of me all the front pews were already commandeered when I got in but there is no bad view at Union Chapel and I was more than happy with my space about four rows from the front. This venue is one of the best and most beautiful I have been in and it was no hardship to warm up for an hour or so with a hot chocolate before the music got under way with support from Andy Jenkins of Richmond, Virginia.  He rather bravely opened with an a cappella song which he later spoke of: “Opening your set at Union Chapel with an a cappella number is either hubris or a triumph”, he certainly seemed to pull it off.

union chapel

9pm was Courtney time. She came on to warm applause from the sold out audience of about 800 and started straight away with Put the Fire Out which sounded amazing in this space.  Pointing to the tray of medicinal drinks she explained that she’d just played Dingle for Other Voices and then Belfast but now had “the cold”.  She was clearly suffering but through sheer determination, commitment, professionalism and not wanting to let her fans down she said she wasn’t going to let a cold and sore throat stop her. “I’m not gonna cancel after making it all those miles over here” which is so admirable but cannot have been easy.  The audience, some of whom were coughing too, either through empathy, sympathy or common symptoms, were fully on side with Courtney and appreciated what she was doing, trying their best to carry her through and somehow her voice didn’t sound too affected by her cold but she clearly felt most unwell and I felt concerned for her. There was a beautiful vibe in this lovely venue, a two-way feeling of kindness, a theme with Courtney as she mentioned. I have found this, wearing a t-shirt with the words May Your Kindness Remain has noticable effects, it radiates positivity and it has connected me with many strangers. There was a heartwarming connection after her Norwich gig where in the pub afterwards I was asked about the words. I asked the barman if he could stream her song through the pub and he did, playing the whole album to great appreciation and some lovely bonding with new friends. Without that t-shirt it’s most unlikely any of us would have even spoken to each other. It’s a great message and in humble style it doesn’t even mention her name.

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It was good to hear these familiar songs stripped right back and even with a sore throat her voice was still incredible. She said it was the “squeakiest show I’ve ever done” but that’s just her high standards. She was magnificent. The songs are stories inhabited by real characters, some lonely, some vulnerable and the writing itself draws me in but with her voice and playing too they become treasured gems. Her songs are precious to me.

 

She told us a few stories about the songs, some being explained for the first time, and then she was joined by the brilliant BJ Cole for several numbers (he also joined her in Ireland for the Other Voices show), including a fantastic Table for One and a bit later they were further joined by a trio of backing singers (Embasan, whose album Coutney produced) sounding like a soul choir on Long Road Back to You, and a cover of Neil Young’s One of These Days, plus a real goosebumps moment with Let the Good One Go, despite everything Courtney’s voice absolutely soaring at the end. This alone would have made me want to give a standing ovation and I could feel I was not alone in that.

 

I think she needed to preserve her voice and although she really wanted and hoped to play for longer and take some requests she asked if we would mind if she closed with a solo May Your Kindness Remain. Of course we didn’t, she’d already given us about 75 minutes of magic. A few warm-ups with her voice and then she said “You know, I think I’ll do this one unplugged and hope you can hear me at the back”, and this was one of the show highlights. In an impromptu moment she walked to the back of the stage and down some steps, and to our surprise and delight sang the last couple of verses right in front of us on the floor.  When the song finished the crowd rose as one for a thoroughly deserved standing ovation which was rapturous and prolonged. I’ve rarely seen such an ovation at a gig. I’m not quite sure how she got through the show at all, to be honest, dogged determination probably but she was obviously in a pretty bad way and feeling extremely rough. How she performed at all is amazing but that it was one of the best gigs I have seen all year makes it all the more incredible. After every Courtney gig I always feel in some way healed and I hope I can send some healing vibes back her way too.

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Courtney and BJ Cole

The last train back to Norwich felt like a slow one and when it eventually arrived I noticed some December ice on the ground but my heart was still glowing warm from an incredible gig when I finally did make it home a little before 3am. It may not have been the request show she planned but I still got to hear many of those I would have chosen anyway such as Paintings from Michael which was played at the piano, Table for One, Let the Good One Go, Near You, and another of the set highlights, Border – possibly her angriest song the pedal steel from BJ adding something powerful. We even got to hear a couple of brand new songs It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault, and Ships in the Night that makes me excited for a future album. They sound great with her usual style of songwriting that connects with us so deeply. The background stories to the likes of Irene, Border, This House (and Tucker! This resonates with me so much), Paintings from Michael drew us further into her world and her beautiful soul. Her wise, kind old soul.

 

 

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Courtney closes the set on the floor with an unplugged May Your Kindness Remain

Thank you Courtney, your gigs are always among my favourites, and I hope you feel better soon. As for Union Chapel, this has instantly become one of my favourite venues too. Observing the festive tree to the side of the stage, CMA said it made her think of her mom, who “loves Christmas”.

I’m on just over 200 gigs for this year so far and this one is definitely one of the best of them. If 2017 and Honest Life was a breakthrough then 2018 and May Your Kindness Remain has been a triumph with the album appearing in many of the ‘album of the year’ lists, including my own.

union chapel

“Union Chapel is a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in centre for the homeless in Islington, London, England. Built in the late 19th century in the Gothic revival style, the church is Grade I-listed.”

 

 

@RShashamane

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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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Tilting Sky presents: Morganway + Turf Club Racebook + Sweet Crisis + Lisa Redford @ NAC 30 November 2018

Craig Hill’s Tilting Sky returned with this full line up in a packed out Norwich Arts Centre.  The stage was beautifully set and the night opened with a short but lovely solo set from Lisa Redford who is currently recording at Jose McGill’s studio with contributions from Mark Boweevil Howes and Noel Dashwood. Hopefully there will be a launch show to accompany it. She said she was struggling a bit with a cold but still sounded good to my ears.

lisa redford

lisa redford

lisa redford

Her set was quickly followed by a new name on me, a blues rock outfit from Cambridge called Sweet Crisis. I didn’t catch too much of their set but they seemed to be well-received by the Norwich crowd.

sweet crisis

The music kept on coming and after another quick turnaround it was time for Turf Club Racebook, a six-piece line-up featuring Graham on vocals and resonator guitar, Chase on upright bass, Jess on violin and Mary, Tory and Luke from Hot Raisin on guitars and mandolin. They are in the process of recording an album and there’s a taster available for free download, the excellent Well, Yeah.

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turf club racebook

The NAC certainly felt busy, full and bustling and by the time Morganway were about to come on there weren’t too many spots available near the front and the atmosphere was really building.  This was my first opportunity to see the new seven-piece line-up.  It still feels a little weird hearing some of the older songs and not seeing Yve but they still sound slick and professional with their trademark big sound. Great songs are great songs and they are all excellent musicians with some super harmonies. A well-delivered and triumphant Norwich return.

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SOLD OUT

+ The Turf Club Racebook + Sweet Crisis

£11.50 adv | £13.50 door (includes admin fee) 

Following their sell-out gig last year at the NAC, we’re delighted to welcome back Morganway, after a hugely successful summer that’s seen the band gathering momentum and fans (who include the legendry whispering Bob Harris). Opening the Cambridge Folk Festival Stage 2, a barnstorming set at Buckle & Boots, two nominations for the British Country Music Awards (Group of the Year and Entertainer of the Year) … plus, recording their debut album which is due for release in early 2019. 2018 has been a hell of a year for this East Anglian-based seven-piece, so grab your tickets and catch their brilliant live act (did we mention that Stradisphere Festival voted them best live act?)

Morganway delivers a fiery fusion of Americana, country, rock and blues, melding five part harmonies with driving riffs. The band features twin brothers Callum (vocals/guitar) and Kieran Morgan (lead guitar), SJ Mortimer (vocals), Nicole Terry (fiddle), Matthew Brocklehurst (keys), Rory Hill (bass) and Ed Bullinger (drums).

 

 

 

@RShashamane

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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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Shame + Sorry + Fontaines D.C. @ The Waterfront 26 November 2018

It’s a cold and rainy, miserable November evening on what is traditionally the quietest gig night of the week. It is Monday night in (according to Q Magazine) “unfashionable Norwich” but as I join the real queue outside the Waterfront, chatting in the rain waiting for the doors to open I discover people have also travelled from much further than Norwich for this gig. Our city certainly gets some cracking gigs. Two of those I had spoken to had come from Ipswich and Felixstowe. At the same time Norwich Arts Centre was hosting a sellout gig by Wandering Hearts whilst Miles Kane and Cabbage were playing the LCR, this was a manic Monday.  I was happy with my choice of gig though, snapping up a ticket as soon as this one was announced way back in February. What we had was an amazing night of post-punk energy. This was my 200th gig of 2018 and shame & Fontaines D.C. in particular, marked it in fine style.

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shame

shame

To make things even more exciting the supports were from Sorry and the brilliant Fontaines DC from Dublin. A band who really excite me and I think I was looking forward to their appearance more than any on the bill. They did not disappoint. Within five minutes of the doors opening and people still filing in they started, unannounced at 7:45pm sharp. The songs are terrific, the band brilliant and a singer, Grian Chatten, who sings in his own accent and has something of Ian Curtis/Ian McCulloch and MES about him, without saying much apart from the occasional cheers he has massive stage presence. I was expecting great things from them and they still blew me away, there’s a brooding intensity about them and sensational power. They start and finish without a word, letting the music do all the talking, and boy does it speak! They had me mesmerised and made me completely forget I was soaked to the skin from my journey in and the wait in the queue. I could have left the venue a happy man after their 30 minute slot but let’s have a Norwich headline show from Fontaines DC soon please!  I want to see this band again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fontaines DC must be a hard act to follow and I don’t think Sorry quite managed it. The drummer is terrific but I just wasn’t feeling the songs and felt rather underwhelmed. Sorry.  Their recordings sound considerably better though so maybe there was a sound issue with the vocals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fancied a drink after that relative disappointment and when I finally succeeded some twenty minutes later it was almost time for shame, who delivered big-time, really racking things back up again.  The energy of this band is something else, especially from bassist Josh Finerty who is racing up and down the stage and jumping around the whole time, whilst Charlie Steen has masses of presence and charisma and a Lydon-esque stare. Engaging brilliantly with the audience and stating several times how much they were loving their first visit to Norwich.  There is fun, great music, anger in the songs, ferocious power and even some crowd walking.  What started off as a large moshpit soon grew into a throbbing mass of bouncing bodies that covered most of the rammed floorspace. I have not seen scenes like this on this scale in decades, with a great range of ages too. People moshing spanned teens to 60 year olds. Fantastic!

shame

Accompanied by some retina-scorching but impressively dramatic strobes and lighting we had most of the tracks from one of Rough Trade’s albums of the year Songs of Praise, plus the first song they ever wrote (One Rizla), performed they said to commemorate their Norwich visit. We were also treated to a couple of brand new ones which, excitingly, were as strong as anything in the set which closed with a glorious encore of Concrete and Charlie telling us to make the most of it, “go mad but respect those around you!”

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shame

 

 

 

A sellout crowd witnessed something truly special and genuinely exciting. Shame were immense and it felt like a real moment. This is one of those bands that crop up in times like these, much like Idles, who connect with people. Powerful stuff and undoubtedly one of my gigs of the year with two thrilling bands that are absolutely the real deal. I thought after the Fontaines DC set that if we saw anything else on the night that matched or bettered it that it would be quite a landmark gig. It was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Waterfront presents
Shame
+ Sorry + Fontaines D.C.

Monday 26th November 2018
Doors 7.30pm
14+
£13 ADV + booking fee

SORRY
Sorry are a new London band centred around Asha Lorenz & Louis O’Bryen, two 19-year-old childhood best friends, who along with Lincoln Barrett (drums) and Campbell Baum (bass) have been playing on London’s underground circuit since 2015. ‘2 Down 2 Dance’ is their second official release for Domino, produced by Oli Barton-Wood (Alaskalaska, HMLTD), featuring Asha and Louis’ twisted twin vocals punctuating a typically catchy chorus laden with grungy guitars and surging beats. 

FONTAINES DC
“This band just keep getting better and better” – Rough Trade

“Snarling, Swaggering Post Punk” – Stereogum

“The energy, the urgency and the emotion of these brilliant new songs made me stand up and take notice that this is the band I’ve been waiting for” – John Richards – KEXP, Seattle

“I’ve played this about 15 times since yesterday. It’s a bit like hearing Idles for the first time. I really think there’s something here” – Steve Lamacq / BBC 6 Music

Fontaines D.C. met as a quintet in Dublin, influenced and driven in equal measure by the rich history of their hometown’s counter-culture, their response has been to make concise and immediately authentic indie-punk that has done anything but fall on deaf ears.

The last nine months have seen Fontaines D.C. release three hotly received double A-side singles, all of which were named as singles of the week by Rough Trade, and garnered early support from the likes of Steve Lamacq and others on BBC 6 Music, as well as earning feature space from every major Irish publication. Similarly, the band have played a number of shows across Europe, Ireland and the UK earning a reputation for their brooding and trenchant live performances, supporting the likes of The Horrors, Girl Band and The Lemon Twigs, as well as playing festival slots at Electric Picnic, Hard Working Class Heroes and Other Voices.

Previous singles such as ‘Liberty Belle’ and ‘Hurricane Laughter’ call to mind the likes of the Modern Lovers, The Fall, Iggy Pop and The Strokes, seamlessly blending immediate lyrical hooks with melodic golden-era indie instrumentation, and ‘70s Stooges punk thrust, all of which is strewn with defiant rock and roll overtones. On their new AA Side Single ‘Chequeless Reckless/ Boys In The Better Land” the band have decided to delve even deeper into their influences (which they personally cite as spanning from The La’s, to The Pogues to Buddy Holly) employing hypnotic, kraut-rock infused cyclical riffs, whilst channelling Dublin into their concise and often-unassumingly poetic lyrics with a distinctive gritty Irish drawl.”

 

@RShashamane

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Best gigs, live music and dance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brix and the Extricated + Gladboy @ NAC 25 November 2018

The last time Brix and the Extricated were in town they were playing at The Waterfront supporting the Jesus and Mary Chain whilst I was upstairs in the Studio to see Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, which turned out to be a gig highlight of the year for me. So I was pleased to see the announcement of Brix and the Extricated at the Arts Centre, especially when it was later revealed that Gladboy would be performing as support. They are big fans of The Fall, particularly Brix-era Fall and were understandably excited for the gig.

gladboy

Gladboy

They’ve evolved, adapted, progressed and expanded since I first saw them (“the band whose numbers expanded”?) and they are now a five-piece but at times there were six of them with the effective addition of trombone again for a few numbers.  I seem to say this after each time I see them but this definitely felt the best and strongest showing yet from the already excellent Gladboy, it shows their continuous and rapid evolution and development.  They play with heart and passion and intensity but also subtlety giving the set plenty of variety. There is an excitement to their performances and the energy and balance of the band is perfect. I think exciting times lay ahead for Gladboy if there is any justice in the music world and they clearly impressed the watching members of the Extricated too.

gladboy

Gladboy continue to fulfill their destiny and will have their own headline Norwich Arts Centre gig next year. They play for PONY UP on Saturday 11 May.

 

 

gladboy

Gladboy

gladboygladboygladboygladboygladboy

Brix was led towards the stage in theatrical style, her face adorned with a full mask as the band with their legendary Hanley brothers rhythm section opened the set.  There were a sprinkling of Fall covers played (Feeling Numb, Glam Racket, Deadbeat Descendent, and an encore of Totally Wired) and these familiar songs got a good reaction. They may have divided some opinion a little bit with some wishing for a few more Fall songs but this isn’t The Fall despite featuring some ex-members and on the whole I found the gig an enjoyable experience and one which was well attended.  There were a number of people in the audience who would not necessarily call themselves fans of The Fall who loved this band, so that in itself is quite interesting. At any rate it was good to see Brix in such joyous abandon fronting this band full of self-belief in their own new material but also happy to acknowledge their Fall past. Brix seems well into it all and genuinely pleased to be performing and very appreciative of her audience. How many great artists have we seen originally from LA play in Norwich this year?  We have been very lucky and this was another gig that went down very well with the Norwich crowd.

brix and the extricated

Brix and the Extricated

 

 

brix and the extricated

The band is as solid and powerful as you would expect and Jason Brown is clearly enjoying himself onstage, throwing many a guitar pose but it was hearing the Hanley brothers that was possibly best of all.

brix and the extricatedbrix and the extricated

 

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Touring new album Breaking State (with Tank Girl-Gorillaz style cover artwork by Rufus Dayglo) this was the final date of their UK tour. Brix was very friendly and open, happy to chat and meet the fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have read the excellent books by Brix Smith-Start (The Rise, The Fall, and the Rise) and Stephen Hanley (The Big Midweek) and they are both among the finest music biographies I’ve read so I actually ended up buying them both (again!) just so I could have signed copies, as they all happily did at the end of the gig, mixing in a friendly manner with all who visited the merch table in the foyer.

brix and the extricated

Earlier in the day I caught the train to Lowestoft to see one of my favourite bands in one of my favourite pubs, the wonderful Stanford Arms which despite being some 30 miles or so from my home manages to feel like my local. Fine ales, owners and regulars it just feels so welcoming and homely. Plus of course it is always a pleasure to see Hot Raisin and it felt like a long time since I last saw them playing for Women of Oxjam. Train times, however, meant that I had to leave before they finished in order for me to be back in Norwich in time for the NAC gig.  As it turned out I was able to pop into the Reindeer for a little while to catch the end of Dove and Boweevil‘s set before making my way to the Arts Centre, making it a three gig Sunday!

dove and boweevil

Lauren. Dove and Boweevil at The Reindeer.

hot raisin

Hot Raisin at The Stanford Arms in Lowestoft

@RShashamane

http://www.brixandtheextricated.com/

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http://www.brixandtheextricated.com/product/breaking-state-album-pre-sale

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http://www.bulb.co.uk/refer/mrshashamane (If you are thinking of switching energy supplier, use this link and we both get £50 credit).

Norwich: Music City, UK

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Dove & Boweevil, Gladboy, Hot Raisin, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment