Phoebe Troup, Billy Lubach (Cuckoo and the Meadow Pipits) @ Eaton Park Cafe 2 July 2016

Phoebe Troup and Billy Lubach at Eaton Park Cafe Music Nights, Norwich 2 July 2016
phoebe troup and
eaton park cafe
Despite the huge number of tempting attractions in the fine city for the Lord Mayor’s celebrations it was a first visit to Eaton Park Cafe on Saturday evening which was the big draw for me with Phoebe Troup and Billy Lubach playing the cafe’s inaugural summer music night at a venue close enough for me to walk to.  Recently taken over by The Bicycle Shop the decor has a reassuring boho-chic familiarity about it and I instantly felt comfortable and relaxed in the informal layout, with joss sticks burning and Frazey Ford’s Indian Ocean playing in the background, I felt quite at home in fact, the cafe’s gig vibe was somewhere between that of the Bicycle Shop (obviously) and the Cinema City OST nights in a bright and airy room.
eaton park cafe

Eaton Park Cafe

Having decided upon this gig I’d had Phoebe Troup’s irresistible earworm Deep in the Riverbed in my head throughout the day and to my great pleasure she performed this immediately after the also wonderful Jam Jars. I’ve seen Phoebe play a number of times over the past couple of years but especially more so in recent months and her songs have wormed their way under my skin and into my consciousness in the most delicious way in that I often find myself humming them or have some of the lyrics going around my head as they’ve become more familiar to me.  I cannot resist her mix of storytelling with the occasional hint of darkness but also the playful moments, her guitar playing is a beautiful thing and she has the loveliest voice full of expression and emotion, evocative of American mountains and other places I have never seen outside of dreams, whilst she herself is quietly charming, the more I see her the more I like her. As with some other talented artists her songs and tales touch half-recalled soul memories and her words paint vivid pictures.

 

 

The half hour set passed by all too quickly but after a short break she took to the stage again with Billy Lubach. Yet to settle on a name as a duo they offered the audience the chance to choose from a couple of their suggestions in a contest moment, my personal favourite being Cuckoo and the Meadow Pipits (“Sweet, with an undertone of morbid parasitism!”)   Billy, yet another of the city’s impressive musical talents, took turns on lead vocals and also played guitar, cello, and accordion giving the set a lot of variety and warmth. Towards the end he also relayed the story of a recent nasty incident on his bike, meeting a car in a winceworthy collision and his head meeting the road way too close for comfort, he still had the visible grazes. This only happening on Monday made it all the more impressive that he played this gig at all, I think he was just relieved he was able to remember the words after that head injury. So, the song they closed with was highly apt, and they made the Chumbawamba classic anthem of defiance and resilience their own with a unique interpretation of Tubthumping, especially the delivery of the lines “I get knocked down but I get up again!”
phoebe troup and billy lubach

Phoebe Troup and Billy Lubach

phoebe troup and billy lubach

Phoebe Troup and Billy Lubach

I wasn’t sure if the occasional flashes of light I saw from the corner of my eye were from lightning or the city fireworks but I was happy with my gig choice and Eaton Park Cafe and shall definitely be back, a most welcome addition to the Norwich music venues which had a vibe that was relaxed, informal, friendly and welcoming.  There is a supper menu so much of the music takes place whilst people dine but nobody talked loudly over the music, everything just sort of fitted together in a lovely atmosphere of togetherness and compatibility, fine music and quiet ambient dining chatter and an audience there for food and music. The music was as lovely as the food, Phoebe continues to go up in my estimation and I was most impressed by Billy’s musicianship too.  The listings for Saturdays and Fridays at the Cafe are already booked up until the end of August and feature a lot of my local favourites, I look forward to returning again soon.
phoebe troup and billy lubach

Phoebe Troup and Billy Lubach

Although the walk in was in early evening sunshine and balmy humidity the journey home looked threatened by rain with some ominous clouds but that held off and I think all the drama and fireworks happened whilst I was safely in the cafe enjoying this beautiful little gig, the venue an oasis within an oasis. Lovely.
night time norwich

 

Thanks to Phoebe Troup, Billy Lubach, Ian Hudson, Dreams Music, Eaton Park Cafe, and Outline.

 

This being Lord Mayor’s Celebrations weekend the Bishop’s Gardens adjacent to the Anglican Cathedral had one of its occasional open days, it’s incredible to have this beautiful green space right in the centre of the city. I did feel a little as if I’d stepped onto the set of a Miss Marple episode but it was undeniably beautiful and vibrant and with some of the best views of the cathedral itself that I have seen.

 

bishop's garden

Bishop’s Gardens, Norwich

bishop's garden

Bishop’s Gardens, Norwich

 

bishop's gardens

Bishop’s Gardens, Norwich

bishop's gardens

Bishop’s Gardens, Norwich

bishop's gardens

Bishop’s Gardens, Norwich

 

 

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About shashamane

www.norwichblog.com www.shashamane.etsy.com www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos you can find my prints for sale on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/shashamane?ref=si_shop and at Artfire: http://www.artfire.com/users/shashamane and www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography
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