Gravy Records (re)Launch Party at Norwich Arts Centre 10 December 2014, with BK & Dad, Hannah Lou Clark, Popop, The Pearl Harts, Wintering. Photos and review by Richard Shashamane. Photos not to be used without permission.
Five bands for a £5 ticket at Norwich Arts Centre, recently crowned as Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME/Jack Daniels, for this Gravy Records Relaunch Party. It was a gloriously noisy affair with music both in the auditorium and in the bar.
All of the acts with the exception of BK & Dad were new to me but I gather Wintering had already played Norwich, with a gig at The Blueberry earlier in the year. Wintering proved to be one of my highlights from the evening, getting the evening under way in brilliant fashion. This three-piece are loud and atmospheric with some spellbindingly good guitar. Dripping in echo they have a bit of the sound from some of my favourite darker bands of the 80s, and on their final number, although plagued with an issue on one of the guitars which had to be abandoned they had a distinctly Joy Division feel, and the vocals were not too far away from those of Ian Curtis either, with some droning metal fatigue type sounds to boot. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, I loved them.
Almost immediately afterwards Hannah Lou Clark started her guitar-rich and well-received set in a fairly full NAC bar. Apparently she has been causing something of a buzz and has been garnering airplay on BBC6 Music but for all that the set didn’t quite grab me as much as I hoped from the build up, though this was a set in the bar and it perhaps needs the fuller attention of a set in the auditorium.
After Hannah it was straight back to the auditorium for the duo that is The Pearl Hearts. These girls on guitar and drums are pure brash rock with an exciting energy about them. Powerful and very good.
Popop was next in the bar, with a laptop and all sorts of gadgetry he was making a great sound on what was feeling something like a micro-festival at the Arts Centre.
To close the night was one of my favourite bands, the mighty duo that is BK & Dad. There is a kind of magnificence about their live gigs, loud, powerful, visceral and exciting. It’s an assault on the senses but not without subtlety. The visuals projected at the back of the stage are the perfect complement to their sound, a sound which is incredible coming as it does from just two people. Their gigs stay with me for days afterwards which is a massive compliment. The ringing ears can last for days too! For better or worse they seem to press a mental re-set button such is the immersive experience of their gigs.
Well done to Gravy Records for some outstanding live music at the NAC tonight, I was especially taken with BK & Dad and Wintering, both of whose records I bought at the end of the night, BK & Dad’s EP being also available on lovely 12″ vinyl.
more pics to follow…
Words and photos (c) all rights reserved Richard Shashamane 2014. Photos not to be used without permission