Last week I found myself in the unfamiliar surrounds of the B2 venue for an evening of heavy and stoner rock. I think there were five bands on the bill … I rather enjoyed White Rhino but it was Kamensko that I was here for and they did not disappoint. Their songs and originality are what make them stand out for me in the local heavy rock scene. They play well and with enthusiasm. I enjoyed them very much. Their EP has just been released and can be downloaded from: https://kamensko.bandcamp.com/album/transcend-reality
Come the 11pm curfew however we were ushered through a door to the main Brickmakers stage, and evidently to the late 80s where a Guns ‘n’ Roses tribute act were playing. This was all a little too surreal for me and I made my way to the more familiar surroundings of Befords Crypt for the late night set from Boiling Point’s Tropical Shakedown.
The following day of relentless rain there was yet another gig clash of some four or five gigs – not a rarity in Norwich, even on a Sunday. Most notably a Project Multivitamin gig at The Owl Sanctuary featuring Dr Clyde, Grazing Saints, and Vaccum Boots, but it was to The Waterfront that I made my way towards in torrential rain, arriving soaked shortly before the set by BK & Dad, opening for the legendary The Sonics.
BK & Dad were mighty as always, loud, powerful and mesmerising with hypnotic accompanying visuals. This band always fascinate me and they use everything at their disposal to great effect. Pip’s drumming is strong, precise and intense whilst Leo gets all sorts of incredible sounds from his guitar and loop station.
They were followed by the – to my ears – less impressive Electric River. They had the sound and certainly the poses but I found them a bit samey and unmemorable, being a bit cliched from that late 80s indie-power-pop scene and after a couple of numbers I found myself losing interest. The singer’s voice was almost too clean for the songs and I just found it a bit predictable and not very interesting following so soon after the compelling BK & Dad.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t approach this Sonics gig without a degree of apprehension having seen a video on YouTube which was somewhat disappointing but I needn’t have worried. Within thirty seconds of them coming onstage to rapturous applause they launched into a set full of energy and zest and had an obvious fire in their belly which cannot be faked. They were tremendous and built a brilliant rapport with the crowd. It’s an incredible 48 years between their last album and the one they have just released. The new numbers didn’t drop the tempo nor the quality of the set sitting perfectly alongside the likes of Cinderella, Psycho, Strychnine, and Have Love Will Travel, with vocals shared by the band their first ever visit to Norwich was a memorable occasion for everyone present. A special gig and a really mixed audience who as one had a fantastic time.
There was also a rather special atmosphere at a lovely OST at Cinema City. I only caught two of the three acts but it’s always a pleasure to catch one of Miniature Universe’s rare sets. Blake and Rosie held the large audience rapt with their beautiful playing of the hang and violin. Chad Mason also played a wonderful set of songs from his highly recommended new album, and at the call from the bar for “Last orders!” he abandoned his set list to play his song of the same name, apologising at the end for not having a song called “Time” to follow it up with.
With the weather becoming a little more seasonal just in time for the Southburgh Festival on the Saturday, it was once again a very lovely occasion as a fundraiser for the Mudeka Foundation. I enjoyed it all with special highlights for me coming from Girl in a Thunderbolt, Sefo Kanuteh and Meriya, and of course the Anna Mudeka Band who were playing the smaller Fringe stage and had everyone dancing barefoot on the grass. More to come from the lovely Festival very soon.
Sunday was another sunny day and blues at the Plasterers provided the perfect wind-down with Dove and Boweevil playing a later afternoon set as a duo.
Many thanks to BK&Dad, and Anna Mudeka
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015
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