The Ramonas, and Desert Sleds at The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich 6 March 2016
Although I was at The Owl Sanctuary for its fantastic opening night in the new home on Timber Hill, before tonight I had yet to experience a gig in The Owl MkII. The Ramonas seemed a good choice to experience some live music here.
The music room at the new Owl feels a bit smaller but it also feels much the same, if anything better than before. On a Sunday night a decent crowd had turned out and at about 8:30pm Wymondham’s Desert Sleds took to the stage. Good humoured, energetic and powerful, I loved them and wondered why I had never heard of them before. A real retro rock sound which is no less welcome for that- the last song, a space rock number, reminded me of Hawkwind, another reminded me of The Damned. I was well impressed with the sound too, the physical feel of the sound was great, the set was fun and I want to see Desert Sleds again, I’ll look out for them.
I was quite excited about this gig, and in all honesty tribute acts are not usually my thing but there are exceptions and The Ramonas play with such a great spirit and energy that I didn’t even come away from the gig thinking of them in those terms. More as four musicians with a love of The Ramones who play from the heart as talented fans paying homage. I love their attitude. I saw the Ramones at UEA in the 80s and my memory of the gig is rather hazy but this performance actually brought the memories flooding back. The day after, as I write this, I have been listening to The Ramones but also The Ramonas. It was a super fun gig and the girls absolutely nailed it; the audience were also wonderful but the other star of the show was the Owl itself. I cannot wait for my next gig here, I am loving the new Owl and its unique atmosphere. As for the Ramonas, they played a blinder, drew a good sized crowd with quite an age range and got them moving too, I could literally feel the floor bouncing!
I noticed a set list of two entire pages on the monitors but being Ramones songs that’s about an hour’s worth. The set actually consisted of back-to-back performances of the albums Rocket to Russia, and Road to Ruin. The place went bonkers for the encore, pogoing for Blitzkrieg Bop and everyone in the room grinning from ear to ear, the girls clearly enjoying it too and asking for any requests. I love the Ramonas’ energy, spirit, enthusiasm and their obvious love for these songs.
Having a drink downstairs afterwards it was impossible to resist a photo opportunity with the band and that Gabba Gabba Hey sign which was about to be packed up for the journey to the next gig on the tour. Fabulous fun on a Sunday night, great band, great people, great audience, great venue.
Many thanks to the Ramonas and The Owl Sanctuary.
A few days earlier I went to the regular Friday night Music House Acoustic-ish Session at Jurnet’s Bar, this week curated by Chad Mason and featuring Sink Ya Teeth, playing just their second gig (on Maria’s birthday), Falling From Trees, the amazing Milly Hirst, and opening the night, Lucy Gooch who sounded the best I’ve yet heard her, albeit in a briefest of sets at around ten minutes. Milly sounded sublime as ever in a venue that suits her perfectly. Her playing was flawless, voice emotive and the set closer Mary was spine tingling. I was pleased to pick up a copy of Sink Ya Teeth’s limited edition fanzine which featured a three track CD of Gemma and Maria’s demos. They next perform tonight (Monday) at The NAC for “Words and Women”.
I always enjoy my visits to Jurnet’s another special venue, these nights are free but do please donate something when the pint pot is passed around to help support something we all cherish.
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2016