Lights Out in the Underbelly, Rumsey Wells, Norwich, with Old Times Sake, Moxy Garbanzo, and Al Southgate. 10 December 2013. Review
It’s been a few months since my last “Lights Out” gig but these informal musical evenings (curated by the marvellous Pedz) are always a delight. Set in the “Underbelly” crypt of The Rumsey Wells pub, these nights are relaxed, cheap and friendly. As the name suggests there is very minimal use of electricity and with no PA whatsoever. We are surrounded by candles and joss sticks and good company. Delightfully, there was even an illustrator in the audience sketching the bands and audience.
Starting the evening was singer-songwriter Al Southgate on guitar. His songs are haunting, delicate, sometimes melancholic and bluesy and have a beautiful fragility about them.
The mid-evening set was from the band with the ever-changing name, Moxy Gerbanzo (Moxy Garbanzo, Chutzpah!, Moxy Gerban, Moxy Moxy, Moxy’s) with their irresistable mix of Balkan, Klezmer, East European swing. Guitar and vocals are provided by the surpremely talented Andy Kirkham they are reminiscent of the much-missed Swingball with Hugh’s accordion and flugelhorn, plus tuba and clarinet and sax the energy of the sound is so infectious and uplifting. Some very witty moments too with the likes of “Bald Man” (“Comb it over, comb it over”) A fun band to watch, they will be at Jurnets for a short set this coming Friday.
To close the night was a trio (from Brighton, I believe) called Old Time Sakes, playing the kind of rootsy Americana and bluegrass which is quite popular in Norwich these days, and in fact played several covers that are live favourites of The Vagaband, including Wagon Wheel, and The Weight, as well as others by the likes of Johnny Cash. Featuring guitar, banjo and fiddle they got a rousing cheer at the end of the night filling the place with a lovely vibe.
words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013 unless stated