One of the highlights of the Norwich calendar is the Lord Mayor’s Weekend, which as well as the traditional procession also features a vast array of entertainment and music stages across the city, including Maui Waui, Sonic Youths, BBC Introducing in Norfolk, and Norwich Arts Centre. It is usually also the time of the annual Lanes Fayre but this year instead of the Fayre we had a beautiful garden party featuring a stage outside the Birdcage on St. Gregory’s Green on both days of the weekend. I spent much of Saturday at a computer screen but did get out in time some of the festivities, including the excellent Hempolics on the Norwich Arts Centre stage outside the Forum before dashing across the city with a huge fireworks display going on overhead to the Cottage where Penguins Go Pop were playing and Richard Penguin was celebrating his birthday. Fantastic atmosphere at both. Earlier at the Garden Party they celebrated a rich and diverse mix of creative talent starting at midday with live literature and poetry before opening up the stage for some live music with an open mic session that included Amy Rose, Niamh, Billy I Need a Holiday jazz duo, and Mutant Vinyl. This was followed by ‘Skynt’ from Access Creative, with Baden, Nancy Dunnell, The Outset, and Finn Micheal Doherty. The final couple of hours being filled by djs from Our House & Flint Hair, and The House of Daze.
On Sunday I was able to fully immerse myself in the Lanes Garden Party experience from beginning to end, with gorgeous weather and a lovely crowd of people making for good company indeed, music lovers and contented football fans mingling together in the happy atmosphere. The Garden Party feautured dj sets from Lanes djs, Chrome, and Soul Stew as well as some wonderful live music, all supported by local independent stores and Bullards Gin. Kicking things off was another fine set from Dlore playing electic guitar, rightly introduced as a talent we can one day say we saw play outside the Birdcage. He was followed by fellow Piratone Georgia King who sounded amazing and continues to impress each time. The action was racked up some more with the energetic and talented Those Deadbeat Cats, playing their first of four sets for the day, local legends 4D Jones were as much fun as they always are, playing behind a framed picture of Harry Maguire, and the highly impressive Gladboy channeled all their influences such as rock, indie, reggae, grunge, pop and surf into a frenetic 45 minutes and who are gaining many new fans and admirers with each gig. Fresh from the Sonic Youths stage the previous day and a brilliant set supporting the incredible Starcrawler the other week they are exciting stars in the making. There’s a great dynamic within this band.
The atmosphere at St. Gregory’s was so good, relaxed, friendly, and with space to amble about. The Lanes Fayre has become quite a large and popular event and can get busy and crowded which is testament to its success, popularity and reputation. With the Fayre having a year off the garden party was a more chilled but just as enjoyable affair where we could just sit back and enjoy the quality music with good sound. A rare treat as well to be able to enjoy the simple and harmless pleasure of taking a drink outside a pub and sit on the grass listening to great music after enjoying a delicious fish and chips meal between sets at the excellent Grosvenor Fish Bar. A most enjoyable day. Thanks to Norwich Lanes, The Birdcage, all the acts and djs, Bullards Gin, Norwich Now, Grosvenor Fish Bar and all the other supporters of the artists. One thing that came across clearly was the appreciation that we live in a very fine city indeed and the love for Norwich that was expressed by the bands, the compere, and the people enjoying the party. A real celebration of Norwich and the independent spirit of the Lanes. The perfect wind-down from a spectacular weekend of events across this magical and creative, independent little city.
The Norwich Lanes Garden Party is a fully licensed 2 day summer celebration in the heart of the Lanes on St Gregory’s Green.
Pull up a blanket and make yourselves comfortable for a heady mix of great live music, DJs and much much more besides. Grab your drinks from the Birdcage and food from the local eateries and simply kick back, relax and enjoy.
This event has kindly been sponsored by the lovely people at Bullards Gin
Their gin is made in the heart of the Norwich Lanes, is absolutely delicious and available from the bar all weekend to enjoy.
SATURDAY LINE UP
12-2PM: VOLTA (LIVE LIT & POETRY) with:
2-4PM: OPEN MIC SESSIONS with:
4-6PM: ACCESS CREATIVE PRESENTS: SKYNT with:
6-8PM: OUR HOUSE & Flint Hair DJ’S & THE HOUSE OF DAZE
SUNDAY LINE UP
11.30AM: LANES DJ
12.30PM: Dlore supported by Frank’s Bar
1:00PM: Georgia King supported by Frank’s Bar
1.30PM: THOSE DEADBEAT CATS live band supported by Grosvenor fish bar
2.30PM: 4D JONES live band supported by Moorish Falafel
3.30PM: CHROME DJ set supported by Dogfish Menswear Seven WolvesCatfish Womenswear
4.30PM: Gladboy band supported by NORWICH NOW Jonty Young
5.30PM: Soul Stew DJ set supported by Philip Browne Menswear
After the show, join us in The Birdcage for an after-party with Soul Stew on the decks til late.
After Gladboy closed the live music action at The Birdcage I headed over to The Walnut Tree Shades, just as Those Deadbeat Cats had done a short time earlier to set up for their THREE sets there. It was sweltering but what a great sound and energy they make, and even with the heat they had people dancing, albeit with breaks to cool down outside. Those Cats onstage though must have been sizzling. As well as faithful covers of the likes of Stray Cat Strut and a Sun Studios medley they also somehow managed to put a reggae spin on Radiohead’s Creep and a rockabilly vibe on Tainted Love, Ace of Spades, and even Just Can’t Get Enough. After four sets there were still people wanting more.
Finally, I chilled out at Platform Twelve where Peter T was hosting his regular night which was closed by Niamh, with Courtney Marie Andrews-esque hair, whom I was hearing for the first time but who played the Birdcage stage for the Lanes garden party the previous day.
all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2018