Norwich Music City UK is living through a great creative and diverse time and there are a number of individuals whose input by means of support and promotion goes well beyond the call of duty. One such individual is Ash Woolnough of Solko, HANK, Hubs, Me Sugar Promotions, etc. and recently, The Flatlands Festival. Some people just pop up at endless gigs because they are so into the music and the collective vibe and this is what I love about Ash, Jordan, HANK and the Hubs boys as well as their own music. Although intending to go the first Flatlands Festival this summer for various reasons I could not make it and have regretted that ever since, especially after hearing about it some weeks later at Harlequin Fayre. No worries. This was my chance to catch up a bit with a Flatlands Christmas Party at NAC featuring bands in the hall and djs in the Adnams Mission Bar.
Another nice touch is these guys always add an individual flavour with aesthetics and most importantly of all a special and inclusive, friendly, and mellow vibe amongst the audience.
When I arrived Harry Ixer was soundchecking in the hall and there was a Solko dj set in the bar. Harry played for twenty or so minutes with a hip-hop set accompanied by a dj. Things were warming up nicely!
The first band to play were Das Boot, yet another band from that creative hotbed of Halesworth. I’d heard rave reviews about them and recent gigs but this was my first time to experience them live and I loved them! Amazing brass and percussion with an irresistible dubby, reggae vibe.
HANK were the next ones due onstage and they were phenomenal, sounding huge and powerful at the NAC to an adoring audience which grows ever bigger and louder each time. Bear in mind this is a very young band with probably less than a dozen gigs under their belt, though you would never guess it. They even showcased a couple of massive new tracks. Great set! Huge sound, very tight band and with a strong desire to play. Their joy and enthusiasm is obvious to all.
DJ Hot Damn was absolutely on fire in the NAC bar as I spent a while between sets here, with loads of dancing and good vibes. I actually had to push myself to leave but it is just as well I did as headline band for the night, Mansion of Snakes, were phenomenal. Music we love played by people who loved to play it and feeling it too.
It doesn’t matter where you come from if you have the soul and feel the the music and headliners Mansion of Snakes from Leeds most certainly have that with a gloriously uplifting jazzy Afrobeat vibe. They sounded like the real deal. Led by a terrific female vocalist and percussionist, and backed by a full band of boys from Yorkshire they sounded great. I loved them and so did everyone else, strong horn section, percussion, rhythm and beat, with nods to Fela Kuti, it was infectious and catchy throughout with a fantastic audience dancing the whole way through. One of those occasions where everyone in every corner of the hall was swaying and dancing. Even the merch t-shirts pulsated to the beat. Absolutely irresistible and a great way to conclude the live music ahead of a Wayward Natives dj set in the bar.
Yet another sold out event at NAC, a lovely gig which shows what can be achieved with a good heart and a coming together of good people with good intentions and the right spirit. I had a smile on my face all evening! Thanks Ash and all involved!
FLATLANDS FESTIVAL CRIMBO PARTY
After the roaring success of our first festival we’re bringing the party to Norwich Arts Centre for a special crimbo show featuring bands and djs until 1am.
We thought it would be nice to bring the people back together to re-create the warm and friendly atmosphere felt at Flatlands. The line-up features some of our favourite acts from this year as well as some new additions to spice up the mix.
Mansion of Snakes – 12 piece Afrobeat band
DasBoot – 7 piece Reggae/Dub/Ska band
HANK – 4 piece grunge/math rock
Harry Ixer – live Hip Hop.
Wayward Natives – Afro, Funk, Latin, Calypso
Tom Excell (nubiyan twist) – Heavy hitting world grooves from roots to electronic.
Hot Damn Norwich – Funk & Soul
Solko – Dub to Motown & beyond
EM Pressure B2B Ras Biddle – Steppas!
Hit me up for £10 tickets, no booking fees…
Having a little wander around the city centre afterwards it felt busier than usual, probably due to other Christmas parties but the mood was good all around too.
I was asked to take this photo, you can probably guess by whom as two of the subjects look a bit shy 🙂
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2017