Legendary figure on the Norwich live music circuit, Slightly Offensive Steve has been playing and hosting gigs and open mic in and around the city for ten years. His latest venture is curating live acoustic sessions at the Warwick St. Social in the heart of the Golden Triangle each Saturday in a 2-4pm afternoon slot. He recently kindly asked if I could choose a couple of local acts for a session, a near impossible task given the wealth of brilliant acts in Norwich that I love but I chose Hot Raisin and Dark Diversions who both did themselves and me proud.
This is a great slot with very few other venues hosting late lunchtime gigs but Sod’s Law meant that this one clashed with the monthly Sonic Youths at NAC though the pub was extremely well-attended and already rapidly filling when I arrived at about 1:30pm. It’s a long time since I’ve been here, probably in its Mad Moose incarnation about two decades ago but it has a lovely bright and airy feel, huge glass windows and a good selection of ales including local Golden Triangle Mosaic City, and of course is supporting live music. The place has a good community, neighbourly vibe, serves food, is kid-friendly and has a great range of cocktails which are on a “2 for 1” offer as soon as the live music finishes.
The ever-positive and enthusiastic Steve introduced Dark Diversions to the stage area at 2pm and Will & Dandelion clearly won over a lot of new admirers , their dark twist which is also infused with a lot of good humour and energy really connected with everyone, taking in Nick Cave and Alice Cooper along the way for a sort of Eastern Gothic style. It would not have been surprising had there been crows hovering above the Warwick St Social during their set! Dandelion loves them. I had one or two people thank me for introducing Dark Diversions to them later in the afternoon.
Hot Raisin never fail to raise smiles, cheers and pints too. Playing as a trio with Mary, Tory and Luke they did their traditional toasting between songs inviting everyone to drink along with them. We didn’t need to be asked twice!
It was another lovely set from them with the added bonus of hearing two or three brand new songs which I enjoyed a lot. The atmosphere was wonderful and they were clearly having as much fun as we were. Not sure Luke got the memo about the ‘Captain’ stripes but a great time was had by all.
The BOGOF offer on cocktails was a bit too much to resist for many of us and it felt very weird when eventually leaving to realise that it was not yet even 6pm!
Big thanks to Dark Diversions, Hot Raisin, Steve, and the Warwick St Social. The next event features a rare live appearance from bluegrass/string band favourites Feral Mouth, with support from Steve in his ‘non-offensive’ incarnation as Not Dave. 2-4pm on 23. February. Look out too for other events here in the near future, exciting things are afoot. The Warwick St Social is a welcome addition as a venue on the Norwich live music circuit as well as being a friendly neighbourhood pub. Steve is doing a great job hosting live music here, as well as elsewhere. His tenth anniversary open mic at Gonzo’s happens on Thursday 7 March at 7pm.
Saturday 23rd February
Don’t miss this one-off performance by festival favourites FERAL MOUTH! Plus music from Not Dave. It’s going to be a good one!
Feral Mouth are an alternative country string band from Norwich Norfolk – this is one not to be missed!
‘LIVE’ DRINKS DEALS from 4pm – 6pm
🍺£1 off selected pints
🍷£1 off selected large glasses of wine
🍸Start your Saturday night off the right way and grab BUY ONE GET ONE FREE Cocktails
WARWICK ST SOCIAL – your favourite venue for independent musicians every Saturday!
The home of ‘Future Norwich Music’ 🎶
The previous week I had the pleasure of joining many others celebrating the 40th birthday of Kevin Fry, who of course drums with Das Fenster and The Wolf Number, both of whom played for this great occasion.
Norwich: Music City, UK. A Norwich playlist of well over 30 hours of local music on Spotify: