THYLA + Ugly + The Glitter Shop for Anti Despair Machine @ NAC 12 May 2018. Norm’s @ The Crypt with Ellie Bleach + Painted Heathers + Vier 11 May 2018

Anti Despair Machine is the new night by Alex Cabré and this one (in conjunction with DORK) brought new names from Bury St. Edmunds (The Glitter Shop), Cambridge (Ugly), and a welcome return for Brighton’s THYLA who for me stole the show when they supported INHEAVEN here earlier in the year.  I have written a review for Outline Magazine which should appear shortly but here are some photos from a great night.




As is usual for Norwich on most nights of the week these days there was a full programme of music events, not to mention the first full night of the 2018 Norfolk and Norwich Festival (including both Talvin Singh and David McAlmont, no less, who were playing other venues on the same night) yet there was still a healthy sized crowd at the Arts Centre for this one, who certainly punched above their weight in enthusiasm and vocal appreciation with lots of singing along and a lively mosh-pit during THYLA’s set.




Opening the evening were The Glitter Shop, young and full of energy, exuberance and a healthy dose of confident swagger they were rather impressive.  The crowd loved them and I think the five-piece band loved the gig just as much.


the glitter shop

the glitter shop

the glitter shop




anti despair machine

Alex introduced all the bands before their sets, a nice and welcome touch I feel.  In introducing Ugly he confessed he had not seen them play live before but was so bowled over by their recordings and the recommendations of friends that he booked them on the strength of that.  An interesting band, they played a powerful set and what really stood out as impressing me was the glorious new song that closed the set. They really rocked out and it was the set highlight for me.





The night’s headliners were of course THYLA (pronounced “thigh-la”, not “tyler” apparently).  Their recent NAC gig impressed me a lot and this was a most welcome return as headliners.  They played a blinder and were a breath of fresh air.  Millie on vocals and guitar in a floaty white dress and immense white boots, matched the hard and yet beautifully melodic, almost ethereal delivery of some of their music.  Something quite Cocteau Twins-esque about the guitars at times and a powerful post-punk sound overall.  Do check out their new single Blame, and previous single Pristine Dream which has a fantastic video that brilliantly parodies Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love video.





A successful first night for Anti Despair Machine with a decent turnout, I look forward to many more nights from this new name among Norwich promoters. Congratulations Alex!



Anti Despair Machine is a brand new music platform for East Anglia. We’re super excited to be bringing a trio of epic bands to Norwich Arts Centre, with a little help from our friends at Dork Magazine.

THYLA are Brighton’s hottest emerging indie juggernauts. Hyped by NME and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens earlier in the year, the post-punk outfit have since embarked on their first ever UK tour supporting InHeaven, drawing rave reviews and attracting fanfare nationwide.

They’re joined by Cambridge scamps Ugly, who take influence from the likes of King Krule. They’ve played buzzy shows at home and in London, and premiered their recent single Emphysema through Dork, describing it as a “wheezy single for the Yeezy generation”.

Hailing from Bury St. Edmunds, The Glitter Shop dropped their debut single ‘Fizz’ at the end of 2017, three-and-a-half minutes of glistening guitar-pop for fans of Wolf Alice and Turnover. Get down early to see this super promising new outfit.







I actually saw Alex the previous evening too, where we were both attending the new Norm’s night (every Friday) at Bedfords Crypt where on this occasion the strong line-up included Ellie Bleach, Painted Heathers, and Vier. All of whom impressed me, especially Painted Heathers who just get better every single time I see them.  Norm’s of course is run by Mr. Jason who many will know well from the excellent Old School Studios days.  He brings his superb sound and lighting skills to the beautiful Crypt which suits the style of music well, in a Jug Jaw’s kind of way. It feels a good match. He has a whole host of gigs lined up with at least one every week. A full list can be found at the Norm’s site.  Do take a look, there are some great names and gigs coming up, just a fiver too.






I was told Vier had something of Oasis about them but I think they have a better drum sound and I prefer Vier’s songs. They have a refreshing confidence with none of the Gallagher obnoxiousness. They are fun. Ellie Bleach had a great vibe going on with a really enthusiastic audience who seemed to know all the words of all the songs. Painted Heathers also created a great atmosphere and continue to impress me. They also have a bit of a mid-90s thing going on with the best bits of it and play with an obvious joy.




painted heathers

Painted Heathers

ellie bleach

Ellie Bleach




Being Norwich on a Friday night there was still more music to explore, I caught the last hour or so of Hank Jd Sleek’s Borderline at The Reindeer.  I’ve never been to Louisiana but this is kind of how I imagine it with so many people dancing happily in a bar.



borderline at the reindeer


all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018


Norwich: Music City, UK

This entry was posted in Borderline, Ellie Bleach, Hank Jd Sleek, live music and dance, Norm's, Norwich Arts Centre, Painted Heathers, The Glitter Shop, Vier and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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