The Wolf Number + Guranfoe + Soyuz Rats @ NAC Regeneration fundraiser 12 July 2019

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.

soyuz rats

soyuz rats

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.

soyuz rats

soyuz rats

soyuz rats

Soyuz Rats … unleashing some serious energy!

soyuz rats

soyuz rats

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.

The Wolf NumberThe Wolf NumberThe Wolf NumberThe Wolf Number

Norwich Arts Centre re-opens in mid-September but donations to the 40/40 campaign can still be made via this link:

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.

Find out more

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.



Posted in Guranfoe, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, soyuz rats, The Wolf Number | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shane’s Shenanigans @ The Reindeer: Eiyuze + The Tom Conway Trio + Camille Davila + The Wash + Olinski Onsomble 11 July 2019

Once again there were a lot of notable gigs happening around the city but my gig of choice for Thursday evening was at The Reindeer where it was the monthly eclectic gathering for Shane’s Shenanigans.

Olinski Onsomble

Kicking things off just after 8pm on a very warm evening was Shane’s own collective of Olinski Onsomble with a few friends. A particular standout was the final song, which I have heard several times before but loved hearing it here, Shane’s lyrics and wordplay sounding especially clear (Chop suey, Kong Phooey, Siouxsie Sioux(y)), brilliant as ever.

With only minimal personnel changes it was The Wash up next, again in very impressive form. Always different and surprising, I always enjoy their sets.  They were followed by Camille Davila, who I had not seen in ages. She was performing new songs here accompanied by Francesco Pepe on piano.  An album is in the works and will be launched at Anteros on 9 August with exceptionally strong support from The Neutrinos and Bridget Holmes, plus Iain Lowery and Ivan McCready playing alongside Camille and Francesco on the night.

The Wash

Camille Davila

Camille Davila

I saw The Tom Conway Trio a few days earlier, playing the front garden of the Church of Art during the Lanes Fayre.  On that occasion they played a new song for the first time, recorded it a day or two later and performed it a second time here at Shane’s Shenanigans. The Water Song is amazing.  Even with some background chatter as the dance class which had been taking place in the back room finished and people filed through to the bar afterwards the performance was spellbinding.

tom conway trio

To close the night was Eiyuze, featuring Richard, and Oskari (playing his third set of the evening).  Once some technical gremlins had been banished the set started in earnest. It sounded good and fresh, it’s been too long since the last Eiyuze gig but I hope the wait for the next one will not be so long.



Posted in camille davila, Eiyuze, live music and dance, O'Linski, Shane O' Linski, Shane's Shenanigans, The Tom Conway Trio, The Wash, tom conway | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladboy + Phoebe Troup + Ginny Dix OST @ Cinema City 9 July 2019

For the best part of ten years Iain Lowery has been putting on acoustic/stripped back music evenings at the Cinema City under the name of OST (Original Sound Track). Initially it was in the bar until a revamp made it a tricky space for music which led to a hiatus for OST but it returned in fine style for the summer season in the courtyard last year. Happily, it is back again for 2019.  Having been unable to make the first few of the summer I was really looking forward to this one as it also featured some of my favourites in Gladboy, Phoebe Troup, and Ginny Dix.


In the beautiful surrounds of the Cinema City courtyard under fairy lights the evening was opened by Ginny Dix at her piano. This was a perfect setting for her, the acoustics lending well to her music, her voice soaring at times. There was a good crowd in attendance with loads of local musicians present and her set was very well-received in attentive silence.


Phoebe Troup is one of my absolute faves and it was a privilege to have her play for me recently at one of my occasional Shashamane Recommends sessions at Warwick St Social but I always need to hear more so was really excited for her set. Tonight she was an absolute delight playing Deep in the Riverbed, Come Back Deer Tick, Never, Hollow, If You Were a Sailor, a new one, and my current favourite, the magnificent Sitting on the Doorstep. I love the lyrics of this so much.


Currently in the process of recording some tracks for an album she was in fine form, achingly beautiful songs expressed with gorgeous vocals, delicate and intricate guitar and those incredible lyrics full of emotion. Sadness has never sounded so good but she throws in some delightful humour in there too.  Beautiful melancholy delivered in a quite wonderful way. Phoebe is absolutely amazing and was, once again, a sensation. She takes me to a similar headspace as Milly does and I am always spellbound.

In an introduction to a beautifully descriptive song about her Colorado she mentioned a pang of homesickness, however Colorado’s loss is Norwich’s gain, Phoebe is an absolute gem. A passer-by obviously heard this sublime music wafting onto the street and stepped in for a closer listen and was clearly blown away by what he was hearing. We all were, we always are.

Gladboy have had a busy few days with two sets on Lords Mayor’s Day and George stepping in on bass for Floral Image at Bermuda Bob’s on Sunday. This was a different beast though with a pared down version of the band. George did point out “We’re usually a lot more frenetic, it’s taken a lot of work to get the songs down to this” but it worked really well. An acoustic and electric guitar, some keys and percussion plus Janani’s backing vocals and harmonies much more evident. The set closed with an unexpected cover of Kraftwerk’s Computer Love and a brand new song “written 36 hours ago” also getting its first airing. A very impressive homage to Brian Eno.


Gladboy are a fascinating band, relentlessly creative and evolving, taking all their influences into one place to sound like nobody else. Norwich is very proud to have them.

We really are lucky in Norwich, not only do we have these incredible musical talents in abundance but some amazing spaces as venues and dedicated promoters putting these things together. Many thanks to Iain Lowery, Gladboy, Phoebe Troup, and Ginny Dix. If only the Cinema City bar was not so eye-wateringly pricey!


OST takes place every other Tuesday evening during the summer months in the courtyard of Cinema City. I’ve seen so many of my favourites perform here over the years, the likes of Milly Hirst, Mari Joyce, Natalie Lake, Of the Clay, Shane O’Linski, Birds of Hell and countless others, including gems like Hot Raisin and Mr David Viner, both of whom I heard for the first time at the same OST night.



“Another excellent lineup of local artists…

Opening the evening will be Ginny Dix, who makes lovely, dreamy soulful pop tunes –

Phoebe Troup is an excellent Norwich based folk musician from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado!

The final act of the evening is Gladboy – Who are Norwich’s finest Psychedelic British Pop act, I reckon..

Music starts just after 8



Posted in Ginny Dix, Gladboy, live music and dance, OST, Phoebe Troup | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre 7 July 2019

lanes fayre

This weekend is always a busy and eventful one on the Norwich calendar, with the Lord Mayor’s Celebrations on the Saturday with stages outside the Birdcage, the NAC stage at The Forum and various other locations around the city, including BBC Introducing in Norfolk at the Chapelfield bandstand. Although last year we had a Lanes Summer Garden Party this was the return of the full and amazing Norwich Lanes Fayre after it had a year off in 2018. The 2019 Lanes Fayre was undoubtedly the biggest and best yet.

lanes fayre

lanes fayre

The weather put a bit of a dampener on the first part of Saturday’s Lord Mayor’s Celebrations but the forecast looked a bit better, and certainly drier, for Sunday.  As it turned out there was no need to worry, the weather was gloriously warm and sunny throughout the day.  I arrived in the sunshine at St. Gregory’s just after 10:30am and the Lanes had the bunting out and the rugs on the lawn as I settled down to be eased into the day by the lovely songs of Lucy Grubb who was opening the music on the impressive stage set-up outside the Birdcage.  She was followed by the intriguing Vortels who turned out to be Big Steve Arlene and Will Fergusson. They played a few of each others’ songs, and a delightful cover of The Singing Postman’s Have You Got a Light, Boy? which apparently Steve had made a bet with Daniel Farke whereby Steve would play it to the Barclay Stand if Norwich won the Championship. The first home game of the season could be extra interesting!  The set ended with a couple of great Elton John covers and a couple of guests.


lanes fayre

lanes fayre

Music was happening throughout the Lanes, Norwich Arts Centre were hosting Sonic Youths talents on both the front and back lawns with Clutter City taking place in the hall, there were busking spots in Pottergate and St Benedicts with St. Margaret’s Church of Arts hosting Peter Turrell, Tom Conway Trio and the Olinski Onsomble (featuring an electric AND an upright bass) as well as its 57th Art of Norwich exhibition inside this church which holds a special place in my heart.


The Lanes events covered not just Pottergate and St Benedicts but also Lobster Lane, Bedford Street, Bridewell Alley, St John Maddermarket and Upper St Giles where there was a street party.

lanes fayrelanes fayre

The Lanes area of the city was lively, bustling and vibrant with a strong sense of community and identity, it made one feel very proud to live here. This is the real Norwich. Throughout the day I consistently heard highly complimentary remarks about the event and even likening it with Notting Hill and Portobello Road, Brighton, and Bristol.  Whilst these are perfectly valid comparisons it just felt beautifully and quintessentially Norwich. Friendly and relaxed with seemingly a familiar face everywhere one looked.

lanes fayre

With St Benedicts closed to traffic for the day it was a bustling hive of activity with stalls, food outlets, djs outside Soundclash and tables and chairs outside the cafes making for a wonderful and joyous atmosphere.

lanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayre

Towards the end of the day I sought nourishment at the excellent Grosvenor F’sh Bar.  Despite being rammed and the staff working flat out in the heat I felt welcomed like family and that really touched me.

lanes fayre

This really was a fantastic celebration of Norwich and the Lanes, full of music, food, art, plants, exhibitions, vintage stalls and a strengthening bonding of community. Well done to Norwich Lanes and all involved. This is what Norwich is all about and it was a real celebration of the city and the spirit of the independents in the heart of the city.

lanes fayrelanes fayre

lanes fayrelanes fayre

Many thanks and congratulations to Norwich Lanes and all involved. The Fayre itself is sponsored by Norwich BID, Norwich Lanes, and LMC, with the music acts on the St Gregory’s Green Stage were sponsored by Frank’s Bar (Lucy Grubb), Moorish Falafel Bar (The Vortels), The Birdcage (The Rum Dogs), Life in a Fine City (The Vagaband), Grosvenor Fish Bar (David Woodcock), FXHome (Hot Junk) and Philip Browne (Soul Stew djs). Extra thanks to Jonty, Norwich Lanes, and Grosvenor Fish Bar. You are all legends!

lanes fayre

lanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayrelanes fayre

Even after the fayre finished and the stage was being packed down there was still plenty happening in the city, with psych from LA at Bermuda Bob’s, DF and the Alibis at The Walnut Tree Shades, and I ended my evening back on St Benedicts for the Peter Turrell-hosted Sunday Social at Platform Twelve.




We are delighted to announce the 10th Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre which will take place on Sunday 7th July, 11 am – 5 pm.

On offer you will find live music, DJ’s, pop-up markets, street food, live art, poetry and much, much more besides.

This year’s main sponsor is the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) and it’s safe to say without their involvement this great event would not be taking place.

This is a community event with art at it’s heart. This is the real Norwich – Join us if you will.





On Saturday Gladboy were part of the Norwich Arts Centre curated session on the big stage outside the Forum, as part of the Lord Mayor’s Celebrations. They also played another set about an hour later outside the Birdcage on the Birdstage. All this with a deputising bassist, none other than Ben, formerly of one of my all-time favourite Norwich bands, The Piratones.



Posted in das fenster and the alibis, Gladboy, Jade, lanes fayre, live music and dance, Lucy Grubb, Norwich Arts Centre, O'Linski, Peter T, Shane O' Linski, Sonic Youths, The Vortels, tom conway | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Part Chimp + Other Half + Lady Di @ Waterfront Studio 5 July 2019


Promoter Everything is Fine bought this triple bill to the Waterfront Studio on a warm July evening and it being a Friday meant a bit of a dash across the city to make the 7pm start for first band Lady Di, who played initially to a rather sparse crowd as the room slowly filled up. They appear to be a spin-off of Mega Emotion and the singer-guitarist sounded so ill I am surprised their set went ahead at all.

Lady Di

Lady Di

Other Half did not seem to be free of illness either but did plough their way through an extremely impressive set that had me rivetted. Unfortunately there seems to have been another injury sustained and they had to pull out of some London dates but all being well they should be ok for the Punk Rock Stars in Their Eyes on Saturday here at The Waterfront. Good songs, good vibes and humour, I will be keeping a look out for Other Half and hope to catch them again soon.

other halfother half

After that it was time for headliners Part Chimp, who I had never seen before. Although the venue wasn’t full there were plenty enough here to create a good atmosphere and share in this gloriously and monstrously loud set. It’s not all just about volume though, and there was something utterly immersive, hypnotic and rather beautiful about the set and it was only when it ended that I realised just what a spell they had cast upon me. Absolutely wonderful.

Part Chimp

Part Chimp

Part ChimpPart ChimpPart Chimp

With a 10pm curfew the night was still young so I headed the few yards to Jurnet’s for the weekly Music House Acoustic-is Session and the contrast could not have been greater as I caught the set by Klezling, the duo off-shoot of the band Klezmerized. Very nice to see that also in attendance were Part Chimp!


Having mostly laid dormant since 2009, London noise-rock titans Part Chimp finally returned in 2017 with a new album Iv, released via Rock Action.

Iv follows three acclaimed studio albums, a live record, compilations and split singles and EPs alongside artists including Torche and Hey Colossus, sharing stages along with the way with the likes of Melvins, Deerhoof, Harvey Milk and Isis, as well as headlining last year’s Raw Power Festival.

Since their formation in 2000, Part Chimp have carved their own place in the archives of heavy music, with their fuzz-laden seismic rock. With Iv, the band have recorded their most precise piece of work to date, perfectly balancing crushing and intense riffs with undeniable melodies.

With nods to boundary pushing artists from the 60s to the present – from MC5 and Sabbath, to Big Business, Earth and Harvey Milk – it’s clear Part Chimp are not content to simply be labelled as one of the UK’s loudest bands. In everything the band create, songcraft is as important as the volume at which is played. This has never been more true than now.

“Iv proves, if proving was needed, that Part Chimp are masters of us all” – The Quietus

“This isn’t a return to form, merely a continuation of an already extremely high one” – Drowned In Sound

“A must hear for fan of glorious, horrible noise” – Classic Rock



Posted in Everything is Fine, Klezling, Lady Di, live music and dance, Other Half | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mattiel + Honey Harper @ NAC 2 July 2019

In all honesty and with the best will in the world I could have really done with a few days to reflect and come back down to earth after that astonishing Starcrawler gig on Sunday and just a couple of hours sleep but when Mattiel’s name appeared on the Arts Centre gig list some months ago it was one I eagerly marked on my calendar and I wasn’t going to miss it so was back at the NAC for the third night in succession.  Besides which, I’m sure the travelling acts are more tired than I was feeling. Since then her star has risen further with the release of second album Satis Faction and she was another headed to the intimacy of Norwich straight off the back of some triumphant and much-talked about Glastonbury sets at the weekend (same with Starcrawler), her set on iPlayer had over 2M views.  It’s also worth noting that playing at The Waterfront at the same time on the same night as this NAC gig was Sharon Van Etten, herself also treading that seemingly well-worn direct path from Glastonbury to Norwich. And it’s only Monday!


Honey Harper

Nearly caught out by weariness and an 8pm start Honey Harper (also from Georgia) had already just started the set as I arrived.  Initially I felt a Townes Van Zandt country vibe but that was just one song and the set was full of surprises with changing styles and sound effects and some delightfully unexpected covers which showed a real sense of fun.  Wanda Jackson’s Funnel of Love was one of them but the finale was something else! It was all playing tricks on my brain a bit hearing birds and thunderstorms coming from the stage bearing in mind the events here twenty four hours earlier and my lack of sleep but it was wonderfully charming, beautiful and different. Really lovely.


By 9pm Georgia’s Mattiel and her band were already on stage and the hall had suddenly filled up considerably. I was struck by the huge amount of warmth for her and the audience’s familiary with the songs.  For me, Count Your Blessings somehow has a feel and production that powerfully evokes summers spent in France during the school holidays, probably my highlight of the set was almost the entire audience singing it back to her.




The crowd were clearly enjoying the varied set from Mattiel Brown and her excellent band taking in garage rock and country. Somewhat surprisingly though the whole set and encore was done and dusted before 10pm but it was a triumphant opener for her European tour after Glastonbury (the “Norwich warm-up!” as someone called out).  I didn’t mind though, I really needed an early night and it was a set of high quality songs, musicianship, and that stunning voice. Mattiel is a big deal and means a heck of a lot to the people making up this audience and there was a long line waiting for merch and to say hello to her afterwards. From Georgia to Norwich via Glastonbury. The Atlanta Georgia that is, which I point out as I have only just realised the irony of having a lovely chat with friends before the set who are lucky enough to be headed towards the Republic of Georgia soon about one of my most favourite places in the world.


“It’s a familiar story: fledgling singer does soul-sucking day job in order to fund their real passion during the nocturnal hours.
Except Mattiel Brown, Atlanta’s rising star, is a rare exception to this time-honoured tradition: a fulfilled creative by day and
night, albeit in different contexts. “It’s like I have two full-time jobs: designer and musician,” she says, humbly hip to her
good fortune.

During office hours, Brown works as an ad designer and illustrator at MailChimp, a position she’s enjoyed for four years. “I
work with a great video production team, in a great studio. Luckily, they’re a company that encourage side gigs.” Out of
office hours, Brown swaps the design studio for the stage, a softly-spoken, chilled-out design nerd turned rock & roll belter,
performing bold, vintage soul as Mattiel (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’).

Brown grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in
the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods
to in her cover art).

As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and
Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work:
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.

When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite
eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no gameplan beyond the fun of “creating
something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even
better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it: Brown and InCrowd
had chemistry.

InCrowd’s founders, both skilled multi-instrumentalists, met in 2014, as session musicians touring with soul man Curtis
Harding. Michael – an experienced player who’d co-written with Harding and racked up impressive session spots with the
likes of Bruno Mars, and The Next Day-era Bowie – played guitar, while Swilley (producer, writer and performer since age 9
and younger brother of Black Lips bassist Jared) played drums. On the road, they bonded over a mutual love of vintage R&R
and ‘90s rap. “We discovered we both loved The Beatles as much as Jay-Z, Dylan as much as the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers
Swilley. Back in Atlanta, once the Harding tour had wrapped, the pair formed a band, Black Linen, writing reverb-washed
guitar music inspired by Tarantino soundtracks, by way of ‘60s Cambodian psych.

Mattiel’s sound might borrow from the past, but their art direction – Brown’s inspiring handiwork, of course – is decidedly
forward-thinking, all colour block aesthetics (á la the White Stripes) and artful, design-savvy music videos. “I don’t wanna
hit people over the head with like, bell bottoms and long hair and a Jimmy Hendrix outfit,” Brown laughs. “People have seen
all that before.”

Mattiel is a “fresh mesh of retro and contemporary,” says Swilley, the latter thanks in large part to Brown’s vision, voice and
on-stage energy. “She’s very exciting to watch. She doesn’t rehearse it or try to emulate anyone; she’s just doing own her
thing. And she’s not fazed by the crowds [as evidenced during their shows to date: a recent, three-date support slot for
Portugal The Man]. It’s kind of incredible really, because in person she’s pretty chilled and softly spoken, but when she gets
on stage…in the last six months, she’s really been killing it.”

With a European festival circuit tour scheduled for this summer, Mattiel is no longer Atlanta’s best kept secret. Look out,



On Thursday Solana play at the Arts Centre … on their return from … Glastonbury!


Posted in live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starcrawler + Plague Vendor, for PRB Presents @ NAC 30 June 2019

Just what more can be said about Starcrawler?  Their Norwich gigs just never cease to amaze me. I was overjoyed when I learned that PRB Presents was bringing them back to Norwich as part of a six-date UK leg of their European tour (that took in Glastonbury the previous day), however, before I learned of the Norwich booking I had already bought a ticket for their London show thinking that might be my only chance to see them. Not to worry though, I was more than happy to see them twice in a week! This time I was in my Outline capacity so will link that later.


As thrilling and amazing as that gig at The Dome in Tufnell Park was, there is just something extra special about seeing a favourite band in your favourite venue in your home city, plus something magical seems to happen when Starcrawler play here. London was great but as Echo and the Bunnymen apparently used to say (as their yardstick for amazing gigs) “It was good but it wasn’t a Norwich!”  My own gig barometer these days is if it is exceptional it makes me forget about my aching legs, and this one certainly did that.


Support was again from Plague Vendor, hailing from the outskirts of LA. They rather blew me away at The Dome so I wanted to make sure I caught their set in Norwich too.  The crowd went even more wild for them here than they did in London, crazy scenes and the most explosive, impressive support slot I can remember for a long time.

Plague Vendor

There was such a strong sense of excitement and anticipation ahead of Starcrawler’s appearance onstage. The sold out NAC had the hall already full and with loads of people claiming a spot at the front against the barrier well ahead of set time.  I noticed a lot of new faces here with a noticably younger crowd bringing down the average age considerably.

When the band, and moments later Arrow appeared the crowd roared a welcome. Starcrawler were, as always, in blistering form and without a day off on this UK leg they were tight.  There were little things one could notice that were really impressive too. Being near to the front I could see that midway through the set there was an issue with the cymbals on the drum-kit and to cover the field repairs Arrow continued to lay dramatically prone on the stage before leaping up and hitting herself on the head as she paced around with the mic causing loud “pop” sounds. Henri bashed out false intros until he considered we were lively enough and when the kit was fixed they launched into an anthemic I Love LA which appeared to have the entire hall singing along. I think the band may have loved us a little bit more for this, it was a special moment and highlight. These antics served to distract from the technical repairs and keep the show rolling on without disrupting the mood and energy of the set, great improvisation.


This was a show so immersive and spellbinding that I totally forgot everything outside of the gig, it was incredible.


I saw an Outline colleague after the show and was keen to see if they had won him over. His expression concerned me for the briefest moment until he revealed he’d just bought a t-shirt!

At the end of the gig there was a lot of interest in the merch table, when the band themselves appeared there was a queue for merch, handshakes, selfies and signatures that one rarely sees.  I’d bought all my record sleeves with me to be signed and they happily signed all of them. Henri jokingly asked if I was putting them on ebay but actually the truth is more like the opposite as having thought I’d bagged one of the extremely limited edition runs of the album on pre-order some time ago I was horrified when it got lost in the post. Rough Trade readily replaced it but of course the limited edition copies had all gone by then so I had to source one on discogs for considerably more than I’d already paid. It turned into by far the most expensive album purchase I have ever made but I don’t begrudge it, I really wanted to have a copy as I love this band so much.


It was so good to chat with them all and basically just thank them for some of my all-time favourite gigs … and to plead with them to come back here again, obviously. I think they enjoyed themselves and remarked on the special energy of the place. A lot of that is down to them too of course but Norwich and Starcrawler do seem to really connect.


More photos soon and Outline review here.


Posted in Best gigs, live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, punk rock blues, starcrawler | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment