Miles and Erica, Ian Prowse, Matt Watson at OPEN Club Room, Norwich, 29 May 2015
Norfolk People’s Assembly Anti-Austerity Demo, Norwich, 30 May 2015
Matt Watson put on this gig in the Club Room of OPEN with a complimentary line-up which made for a really entertaining evening.
Matt has been playing some gigs around the country of late and has been well received by all accounts. The previous evening he played in Putney with Ian Prowse, and it was Matt himself who opened the night’s music.
A healthy sized audience responded well to his comments between songs, especially his introduction and performance of And We Dance. Some good singing along too with A New Life and he received a very generous round of applause at the end of his set.
I’d never seen Ian Prowse (of Pele, Amsterdam) play live before but he was really great. Super engagement with the audience and storytelling (with some nice Norwich City references). His performance of Raid the Palace with Matt Watson in a “When Huck met Pele” kind of moment was wonderful! I really enjoyed his set, and his unaccompanied rendition of Lest We Forget sent shivers. Very powerful stuff. Catch him on his next Norwich visit at The Bicycle Shop in November.
I first saw Miles Hunt with the Wonderstuff in 1988 on their Groovers on Manouvres tour in a memorable few months when I also saw The Ramones and Iggy Pop. Some 25 years later I saw The Wonderstuff play a storming and celebratory set at Bestival, Miles looking much the same as he did in ’88 and playing with the same joy, passion, energy and intensity as ever with Erica as dazzling as ever, and also taking a turn on lead vocals. Last year I saw Miles and Erica play in Bury St. Edmunds, a gig soured by the worst levels of loud chatter from the bar that I have ever heard at a gig, and to the obvious displeasure of Miles. Thankfully there wasn’t much of that tonight, although someone near the front was on the receiving end of some comments from Miles for some talking which I didn’t catch. That aside Miles and Erica looked like they were having a blast, some particularly funny moments when Miles forgot a line in The Cake and so the audience all responded in unison with a loud “A sense of humour is usually required” … Miles had a huge grin at this! It was a fun set with a sprinkling of Wonderstuff classics (Ruby Horse, Golden Green, Cheap Seats, Circlesquare, etc.) and a suitable tribute to Joe Strummer. Miles also read us a passage or two from his book which was a great taster for what must be a fascinating read. Of course, Miles has been a long time influence and supporter for Matt, and Erica guested on his album “Grounded” so it must have been a huge thrill to share the bill with them and indeed with Ian too.
This was a good, good gig and with a very well selected mix tape played between acts, well done to Matt, Miles, Erica, Ian, Claire, Rick and all involved.
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls of The Wonder Stuff, Ian Prowse from Pele and local Singer/Songwriter Matt Watson. A very special Acoustic Show. Not one to miss!
Miles and Erica.
Since 2006, Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls have toured the UK, Europe and the USA. performing acoustic shows including tracks from their own albums in addition to Wonder Stuff material and the occasional cover version. All interspersed with Miles’ trademark inter-song banter and insight into the background behind some of the tracks being performed.
To date they have released two studio albums alongside one live album.
Prior to this, Miles has performed as a solo artist as well as alongside former Wonder Stuff guitarist Malcolm Treece and also as The Miles Hunt Club (with Andres Karu, Michael Ferentino and Stuart Quinnell) and Vent 414 (Pete Howard, Morgan Nichols).
Miles has just released his first book ‘The Wonder Stuff Diaries 86-89’
The vocalist and guitarist from Amsterdam and Pele playing a solo show. This man has played with Elvis Costello, John Peel counted him as one of his top five artists AND Christy Moore has covered one of his songs. This is a rare opportunity to catch Ian solo in the intimate setting of The Bicycle Shop Norwich.
Local Singer/Songwriter Matt Watson. Matt has been chosen and played by Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6. Opened for Billy Bragg and played at last year’s Latitude Festival. He’s just released his crowd funded debut album ‘Grounded’ featuring Erica Nockalls on the title track.
On my way back home I was invited to Bedfords and had a nice chat with Glen and caught a little bit of the Voodoo Boogie night that was happening in the Crypt, good to catch up with Glen, some Piratones and a Mammal Hand 🙂
On Saturday the Norfolk People’s Assembly were holding a demo in the Haymarket ahead of the big anti-austerity protest in London on 20 June. The demo featured music from the Red Flags, Stromm, Queen Addi and some excellent speeches. Police estimates were that about 250-300 were there in a peaceful and good natured demo, although astonishingly one passing girl who overheard the speakers tried to grab the mic and declare her dislike of disabled people and the fact they receive any benefits at all (this was met with boos and shouts of “Shame on you”). This goes to show that there are those who believe the lies and propaganda of this government’s war on the poor and disabled and proves how valid demos like this are to raise awareness and show that we are not alone in opposing these awful policies. Clive Lewis, the newly elected Labour MP for Norwich South spoke well and impressively, a rousing call for people to question and press their MPs, to get involved and to act. I hope he carries on how he has started off. Time will tell.
NPA Press Release:
At 12 noon on the 30th of May, hundreds of ordinary people will gather in Norwich’s Haymarket, as the Norfolk People’s Assembly hosts the local wing of a national day of action against the new Conservative majority government, after the general election earlier this month. We at the People’s Assembly are steadfastly opposed to the Tories vicious plans for Britain, and the implications they will have for the people of Norfolk. On David Cameron’s watch as Prime Minister, the country has become bitterly divided along the lines of wealth inequality. His government’s cuts have shamefully targeted society’s most vulnerable – from the disabled, to the unemployed, to the unborn.
Whilst the Conservatives have been selling off the NHS through the backdoor, Britain’s infant mortality rate has risen to become the highest in Western Europe. Since 2010, the Black Triangle campaign estimates more than 80 suicides have been directly linked to cuts to social security – as those who need help most have been driven to desperate decisions by the Tories’ savage austerity measures. Over the duration of the last Parliament, the government have also butchered our legal rights by cutting legal aid – and are currently poised to axe the Human Rights Act, which currently protects ordinary citizens of all races from torture and persecution. They have dismantled the comprehensive education system with their failed Free Schools and Academies scheme, turning schools like Hewett into profit-driven production lines, and they have tripled tuition fees – essentially ending the chances of a generation to learn beyond a GCSE level.
We have a clear choice for the next 5 years then. If we want to live in a world without an NHS, without universal education, without opportunity, without hope, then we need only sit back and wait for 2020’s election to at best deliver us cuts from a different party. If however, we are intent on not only protecting the ideas of freedom, opportunity and the right to live with dignity, but also determined to literally save hundreds of lives, and to provide our children with a future worth living, then we must stand together now. Over the coming months, across the country from Glasgow to Newcastle, to Liverpool to London, the People’s Assembly plans to take action to stop David Cameron’s gang of market-extremists in their tracks, and build a better alternative. For us, the fightback starts here, in Norwich, and it starts on the 30th of May. Join us.