All the gigs I have been to at Bedfords Crypt seem to have been brilliant in this highly atmospheric and intimate space and this Birds of Hell single release party was the latest one to add to that long list, which will surely grow significantly larger with the recent news that all the Norm’s nights will now be hosted here and put on by Mr. Jason (Old School Studios). Before the doors to the Crypt opened people were able to mill and chill outside in the courtyard terrace area on one of these beautifully warm spring evenings that we have waited so long for.
Gladboy impressed me a lot at their recent Odd Box headliner at the Owl Sanctuary and they did so again here playing the night’s opening slot. This “junkadelic” trio, originally from Essex but now Norwich-based due to UEA studies play with an infectious energy and a lot of ability. Something I noted this time on a few of the faster numbers was a vocal delivery that reminded me of Pete Shelley or Howard Devoto from the early Buzzcocks and Magazine days and this is no bad thing. Their style is really engaging and George often goes walkabouts in the audience or is on his back and still playing his guitar. Gladboy are George, Andy and Sonny, they are have a retro-inspired distinctively unique style and a real freshness about them and their songs. It is all very enjoyable. They also have a refreshing self-belief and confidence about them too but without that ever seeming remotely arrogant, they are just bloody good and perhaps have an inkling of the fact. They bring back plenty of fun and it would be hard not to love them, they’re great.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Ben C Winn over the years but something that strikes me is his prolific and high quality output which means that however often I see him his set seems different and with fresh material each time, though I’m glad to say he keeps some favourites too and we once again had a wonderful audience singalong to Bag in a Tree, complete with a new prop from his “It’s Just Not Fair” case … in a flying bag scene that was more Norfolk Beauty than American Beauty. Absolutely wonderful.
Birds of Hell just gets better and better and better. A full band and a deservedly full house for the launch of his new single I Love Saturday Night b/w Don’t Do Poppers (if you’ve got a moustache) – available on 7″ vinyl from Meat Fer Manners – the audience seemed to know every word of every song and it was just a superb occasion with plenty of dancing and a great performance from the whole band with a passionate delivery from Pete which covered just about every emotion. It’s no wonder that Birds of Hell have been impressing audiences well beyond Norwich lately. But in the city that is his home it’s clear to see the love and affection for Pete and his art, there’s something special going on here with Birds of Hell and these songs really hit home and connect. He’s doing something truly unique.
Hugely successful and enjoyable night, on an evening where Norwich seemed to have an especially large number of local bands playing various venues and by all accounts these were all well-attended too. Excellent Norwich Music City UK stuff.
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