Gnoomes, Collider, Jaztec for Pony Up @ NAC 27 September 2016

Even by Norwich standards this is a busy spell with a run of top quality gigs coming thick and fast, this being my sixth gig in five days. My head is still processing the fact that I have seen Acid Mothers Temple, and now Gnoomes, in my home city in the same week by Tuesday!

 

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Pony Up in conjunction with Print to the People brought us three excellent bands plus Robe Terrestrial’s Eastern Bloc Disco in the bar for a bargain price and although the night was a bit under-attended those present were appreciative and enthusiastic so there was no lack of atmosphere. Jaztec opened the night and it was my first time seeing them. Their name quickly made sense with the beautiful and hypnotic electronica matched with some sax.  Ambient, drum and bass were both present too plus much gadget wizardry to bring a soothing, mellow quality to an enjoyable set.

jaztec

Jaztec

 

Somehow this was also my first time seeing Collider, with sound genius Bill (wearing one of the best t-shirts ever) on guitar and vocals. The set was powerful, intense and always fascinating and the audience loved it. There’s a touch of Radiohead in there but masses of originality and experimentation. Very talented guys, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to see them but I am here at last and look forward to seeing them again soon.  Speaking to Bill afterwards I wanted to shake his hand in congratulation but he showed me his bloodied hand and wrist and said “best not”, the delivery of the set was that intense. My involuntary “Bloody hell!” was met with: “Yes!”

 

collider

Collider

 

Gnoomes were rather unknown to me until I researched them ahead of this gig and I became somewhat fascinated with their rooftop video for the psych, and in their own words “stargazey” Roadhouse, and later was a bit surprised to learn they are in fact from Ural region of Russia. I was looking forward to seeing them onstage very much. Roadhouse is an epic beast over ten minutes of bass led grooves and soft melodic harmonies. A bit like the Stones Roses in their prime jamming with Spiritualized.

 

Powerful and hypnotic from the off, they were tight and psychedelic, exactly the band I would want to see following on from the Acid Mothers Temple high. Great guitar work, bass, synths and brilliant drumming with a krautrock vibe. The NAC has had wonderful lighting lately and this was the case tonight again and really enhanced the mood. The audience loved Gnoomes as well but it just felt that it was all over too soon though this is just greed on my part. There was a lot of excellent music on offer at NAC tonight and I have some vinyl which I am looking forward to listening to.

 

gnoomes

Gnoomes

 

A top night of music, big thanks to Bill Vine, Pony Up, NAC, Gnoomes, Collider, Jaztec, and Robe Terrestrial. All such nice people too.

 

Even discovering later that someone had destroyed my bike basket was not enough to bring me down from my post-gig high. Stargaze magic.

 

 

 

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Norwich Sound & Vision launch party @ NAC 26 September 2016

The NS&V launch party kicked off at Norwich Arts Centre on Monday night with the publication of the full exciting line-up programme, some speeches from those involved and a gig with a really strong line-up of local talents.

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Sink Ya Teeth returned to the NAC stage and played a storming set to start off the music, they were highly impressive. A lot of people were seeing them for the first time and I heard so much favourable feedback afterwards. They thrived on the Arts Centre stage, looked and sounded wonderful.

sink ya teeth

Sink Ya Teeth

 

The talented Maya Law continues to develop and grow in confidence, as does Alex Hill of No Holy Men who truly commanded the stage for their set. Her voice – somewhere between PJ Harvey and Patti Smith – soared beautifully.  

no holy men

No Holy Men

 

 

Within moments of hearing Cabrakid for the first time I understood what the buzz and fuss is all about.  Everyone loved them. Look out for a forthcoming collaborative album between Maya and Gabriel of Cabrakid under the name of Allergy Kid which will launch on 13 October at Space Studios for Tilting Sky. Cabrakid support Loyle Carner at NAC on 4 October but this is already sold out.

 

cabrakid

Cabrakid

maya law

Maya Law

 

cabrakid

Cabrakid

 

no holy men

No Holy Men

 

You can read my full review on the Outline site.

 

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Acid Mothers Temple, BK & Dad, Soyuz Rats @ The Owl Sanctuary 25 September 2016

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O played one of the most extraordinary and best gigs I have ever attended last year at the old Owl, with BK & Dad, and the much-missed Wreck-Age. They had a lot to live up to but totally succeeded in doing that with another magnificent set at the new Owl Sanctuary.  

 

To open the evening we had an immense set from well-named Soyuz Rats. I saw one of their early gigs at The Plasterers in May and have seen both members in other previous ventures both of which I enjoyed a lot but this was the real deal and they’ve already come a long way since that Plasterers gig. They are powerful and loud for a two piece, I especially enjoyed the more complex songs best, the penultimate one of the set especially was absolutely superb. They fill the room and hold everyone’s attention throughout and use some good samples. Very impressive, they made me want to see them again soon in a venue like this which tells you all you need to know.

 

soyuz rats

Soyuz Rats

 

What can I say about BK&Dad that I have not said dozens of times before?  They totally blew the roof off here, another duo who have huge power … they could recreate the sound of metal fatigue in deep space. Pip is one of the most visual drummers I have seen, fascinating to watch, like a dervish, whilst Leo, all hair does just extraordinary things with a single guitar. Brilliant.

bk & dad

BK & Dad

 

 

One has to see several of Acid Mothers Temple gigs to fully appreciate just how much they change the arrangements making every gig they play truly unique. With a new bassist they still sounded incredibly tight and every member of the band was compelling to watch, the incredibly precise “Animal” of a drummer, a true wizard on sequencer and Thermin, plus a guitarist in drag and flashing neon specs! They do look just like wizards and magicians channelling and I do believe they are. They even surprised us with a cover of Black Sabbath’s Wizard. Pink Lady Lemonade was stunning as were a number of other songs I am less familiar with. As with the previous gig I lost all sense of time but when they finally walked off stage I knew I had witnessed something incredible and special and felt somehow cleansed. They were spacey, psychey and with some great krautrock vibes but also quite playful.  The Thermin moments were other-worldly but then the whole experience was rather like that.

 

acid mothers temple

Acid Mothers Temple during “The Wizard”

 

A friend of mine said she had seen them several times before though never in Norwich and that this was the best one of all.   I knew I had spent the evening in the presence of magic and came away with a t-shirt and a beautiful mauve vinyl album hoping to preserve and carry back a little of this magic.  Outside, the band  – one still in drag, another in an Owl t-shirt – were loading up their van and it all looked a very precise operation with no margin for error. When they’d succeeded in the Rubik cube arrangement of their gear they gave themselves a charming round of applause, waved and said goodbye and were off. I fully expected to see stardust in the trail of the van. A sold-out gig in Norwich on a Sunday night saw something amazing. Absolute magic.

 

 

acid mothers temple

Acid Mothers Temple

 

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The Birdcage 10th Birthday Party Festival All-dayer 24 September 2016

Our much-loved Birdcage celebrated its 10th birthday this weekend with an all-day festival of music on Saturday with stages in the ballroom and the courtyard and djs til the early hours. I saw great sets by Hot Raisin, Dazy Crown, Birds of Hell and the welcome return of Wooden Arms but alas no Phoebe Troup who I was so looking forward to seeing after she utterly mesmerised me the night before at Norwich Arts Centre for Folk That.  Still a fantastic day though, Happy Birthday Birdcage!  You can read my full review for Outline.

 

birds of hell

Birds of Hell

hot raisin

Hot Raisin

 

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More photos to follow…

 

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Folk That with Rachael Dodd, Mari Joyce, Chad Mason, Phoebe Troup, Will Newsome @ NAC 23 September 2016

The NAC and Folk That brought us a lovely gig on Friday with constant music throughout the night in the auditorium and also the bar and a really strong line up.

mari joyce

Mari Joyce

 

It’s always a treat when Mari Joyce plays and although there was no Alex Patterson on this occasion we did have an appearance by Leo, at six weeks old the newest and youngest member of the band though was probably sleeping through most of the beautiful as ever set, strapped to mum Johanna.

 

There were further sets in the auditorium from Rachael Dodd who split her set between piano and guitar, and Will Newsome on kora. In the bar the fantastic Phoebe Troup continues to impress and progress. She has definitely become one of my favourites, her playing, her voice and those marvelously evocative lyrics are something very special.  Read this aloud and you’ll get the picture:

“Oh, but if I could drink the rivers clean, give the birds and the bears more than space in between. Tell all the tall buildings to go back to bed, let the poor chopped up farm fields be forests instead.
Well the moon told the sun she would help if she could,but a mouth full of brickwork tastes worse than it should. She said I will admit I have thought to myself, if we wait just a bit, it will swallow itself… “

She gets better and better and better and I adore her songs. Chad Mason too played a highly impressive set to a full and silent bar with everyone’s rapt attention, it was really enjoyable.

phoebe troup

Phoebe Troup

 

phoebe troup

Phoebe Troup

 

 

 

 

At the end of the night I decided to head to The Owl for the monthly Rebel Lion night, perhaps unwisely ahead of a busy schedule of gigs but it was a lot of fun and I didn’t regret the very late night.

 

rebel lion

 

 

More photos to follow…

 

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40s Weekend @ Sheringham, Holt, Weybourne 18 September 2016

Seemingly busier than ever, we were even treated to a fly-past by a Spitfire and some lovely later summer sunshine again. Photographs from the 40s Weekend on the North Norfolk Poppy Line.

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sheringham 40s weekend

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sheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekend

 

 

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SuperGlu, Magoo, Host @ NAC 17 September 2016

To bid farewell to a glorious summer the Norwich Arts Centre offered us three great bands for just £3, SuperGlu from Essex and our own Magoo and Host.

 

Host it was who opened the evening, a band I’d not seen since early in the year at OddBox at The Murderers – I loved them then and I loved them here. They create something interesting and experimental that works well with hints of The XX in their sound, guitar, synth and drums working so well together and with Lorna’s haunting vocals floating beautifully over them. Lorna was in good form and delightful between songs too and the whole band have good taste in specs!🙂

 

host

Host

 

I haven’t seen Magoo nearly as often as I would have liked and they were another big draw for my coming here tonight. Second act of the night they were utterly brilliant, having been doing this for around twenty odd years but playing with the zest of newcomers I absolutely love them. Strong songs (we even had one or two new ones), strong indentifiable sound and a brilliant insistence to the beat. More gigs soon, Magoo. Please! Indeed, the next gig is not far off, at The Owl Sanctuary for Outline at NS&V on 14 October supporting The Membranes.

magoo

Magoo

magoo

Magoo

 

 

 

 

magoo

Magoo

 

Regular visitors to Norwich, SuperGlu have a strong fan base here and whilst I have yet to reach quite the high levels of enthusiasm for the band that most of my friends have I did enjoy their set and one cannot fail to be impressed by the energy they perform with and the joy and fun they bring. They too have a very good sound.

superglu

SuperGlu

 

Great dynamic and I think I only need to become more familiar with the songs to catch up with everyone else, the audience absolutely adore them and know all the words and there’s a strong SuperGlu bond already for this young band but the undoubted highlight of the evening for me was Magoo.

magoo

Magoo

Many thanks to NAC, Magoo, SuperGlu, and Host for closing summer off in fine style. Super lighting and sound too.

 

shane, molly

 

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