Zion Train & Spacehopper for HUBS at OPEN – She’koyokh & Klezmerized! at Norwich Arts Centre, Andy Kirkham at Olives, 25 April 2014
Slightly unexpectedly this night turned into something of a gig crawl with three gigs in all. Starting at Norwich Arts Centre for a night of klezmer, gypsy and Eastern European Jewish flavoured music, local band Klezmerized! opening for She’koyokh. I’ve seen Klezmerized a few times since an appearance at Olives for Richard Penguin’s Acoustic & Eclectic night a couple of years ago but it was good to be able to see and hear them on a much bigger stage. They acclimatised themselves seamlessly and sounded excellent and highly professional. What was especially good to witness was the crowd getting so into it, clapping and singing along throughout. A superb set from four-piece Klezmerized! who feature upright bass, guitar, violin, accordion, clarinet, recorder and percussion.
She’koyokh are described as ‘Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band” (Songlines) and feature Turkish Cigdem Aslan on lead vocals and amongst the eight members of the band are played double bass, clarinet, violin, mandolin, accordion and percussion. They too had people dancing with the strong and infectious rhythms. They were playing two sets tonight, so after the first I nipped across to Olives, catching the final couple of numbers by the excellent Jasper Taylor, and the also wonderful Andy Kirkham. The place was packed to the rafters and really hot but it was all about the brilliant music. Andy played a particularly touching song, called I believe, Little Shoes, about watching one’s daughter grow up and a parent’s nostalgic wistfulness about the loss of an offspring’s childhood and all the magic and innocence that goes with it.
My friends Jerry and Kat were having a joint celebration for their birthdays at OPEN with the visit of the mighty Zion Train, with support from Spacehopper and dj sets from Junior Ras, D’Lore, and Tuff Lion in this massive HUBS gig. Here too the place was absolutely rammed and with a crowd as wild and enthusiastic as I can recall seeing since … ooh, Gentleman’s Dub Club at the same venue in January.
Zion Train have been playing their brand of dance-infused dub relentlessly around the world for 20 odd years and the crowds seem to be as hungry for it as they ever were. Incredible scenes at OPEN.
Once again, it has to be said, the atmosphere in the club room was incredible, and totally felt and matched by Zion Train who several times said what an amazing audience the Norwich crowd are. Another brilliant, diverse, full, and somewhat tiring night.
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2014 – many thanks to all the staff at OPEN and Norwich Arts Centre, Hubs, and Klezmerized!