The Membranes + Skint & Demoralised @ NAC. The Wolf Number @ Waterfront Studio 26 October 2019

 

The Wolf Number

The Wolf Number at the end of their farewell gig at the Waterfront Studio

We have a lot of gigs going on in Norwich, especially on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and even Sundays.  On this particular soggy Saturday evening there were no less than forty gigs taking place that I knew of. I picked two of them and attempted my own gighopping though my main mistake was badly misjudging how wet it was and therefore was utterly drenched by the time I arrived at my first port of call, The Waterfront where The Wolf Number were to support Bridges for Tilting Sky in the Studio with their final gig. Typically, the rain stopped as I was locking up my bike but my spirits were soon lifted by a friendly neighbourhood cat, as soaked as I was but completely unbothered by it as it wandered into the venue and said its hellos to the Waterfront staff.

Unsurprisingly there were a lot of familiar faces in the modest crowd upstairs, The Wolf Pack out in force to send off The Wolf Number in fine style.  They all still love each other but the logistics of finding the amount of time needed for the band was too much and sadly The Wolf Number announced on Facebook recently that they were calling time on it for the forseeable future in the announcement below:

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They played a set at Wild Paths last weekend but I had the inevitable gig-clash and so this was my first opportunity to say farewell to them since the news. It was good to see so many friends from the Wolf Pack there and the atmosphere was excellent. No visual projections or light show today so it was all about the music and they certainly rocked out, playing with smiles and passion, it was a great send off for a much-loved band who’ve played memorable gigs, made superb recordings and created quite a buzz in their short few years playing. They also created a lovely sense of community and friendship among their fans and that, as well as the fine music, is something quite special. With The Magic E’s having to pull out of the gig due to illness The Wolf Number had an extended hour-long slot which seemed fitting but it still seemed to pass all too quickly. Thanks for all the memories and music, guys, and big thanks to Tilting Craig as well.

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As soon as they finished I put my still sodden jacket back on and made a cycle dash across the city to Norwich Arts Centre for my 150th gig this year, arriving there now not only soaked but very cold too. Unfortunately Other Half had already finished their set but I am sure I will have other opportunities to see them again soon, I really enjoyed their set at the Studio supporting Part Chimp a while back so I do look out for them.  I was however in good time to catch the second support act of the night, Skint and Demoralised, a band I had not encountered before. Hailing from West Yorkshire they have recently got back together after a six-year hiatus.  As much as I enjoyed the wailing post-punk guitars accompanying Matt Abbott’s lyrics it was undoubtedly his unaccompanied “Red, White and Blue” that made the biggest impression on me.  Draped in a Union Jack his clearly delivered and articulate poem on our uneasy relationship with the flag and British identity obviously hit the spot with everyone in the room judging by the prolonged applause it received. “This flag is my privilege. This flag is my oppressor. This flag is law and order. This flag is an aggressor. This flag is kicking off, and this flag is clinging on” – brilliant! Then the rest of the band came back in and it was back to the guitars and drum track but the spoken word interlude had done something, shifted the gears taking the rest of the set onto a higher level and taking us with them. They had totally won us.

Skint and Demoralised

Skint and Demoralised

Skint and DemoralisedSkint and DemoralisedSkint and Demoralised

Rather incredibly this was my first time seeing The Membranes and although the audience turnout had taken a bit of a hit due to the sheer volume of gigs in the city, not to mention the miserable weather, there were still plenty enough to create a good atmosphere and no shortage of familiar faces. In the bar beforehand there had obviously been a sighting of a seminal post-punk guitarist and a rumour circulated that he might be making an appearance. This was too exciting a prospect and I was trying to not get carried away about the possibility.  Led by vocalist and bassist John Robb, a regular visitor to Norwich not only with The Membranes but also to speak at events such as NS&V, and Wild Paths, he’s an engaging and animated frontman. A lively powerhouse on bass during the songs and friendly between them, chatting to the audience, shaking hands, asking questions about ornithology ahead of Murder of Crows, and memorably, introducing Keith Levene who joined them for Black is the Colour, and a very dubby In the Graveyard sounding like it was straight from Metal Box. The rumour was true!  It was quite a thrill to see Keith Levene onstage in the NAC and a memorable highlight of a most enjoyable and energising gig.  The band, it was clear, enjoyed it too. As he left the stage John Robb thanked us and joked “You’ve made a happy man feel very old!” but he didn’t look old, prowling that stage with great energy for the entire set.

The Membranes

The MembranesThe Membranes

The Membranes

Keith Levene onstage with The Membranes

The Membranes

The Membranes

The Membranes with Keith Levene.

They also played Myths and Legends which I remember seeing on The Tube in the mid-80s, I’m pretty sure I still have it on an old VHS tape somewhere in my loft too. Pleasingly, I even managed to get my jacket just about dry thanks to the new NAC radiators and it was all worth it after another great night of musical shenanigans in Norwich.

The Membranes

The Membranes

The Membranes

membranes

The Membranes finally follow up their critically acclaimed universe-explaining 2015 album ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy,’ which received rave reviews and radio play on BBC 6 Music and became the bestselling album in the band’s history.

The new album, ‘What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away’ is a double album, using the band’s own 20-piece choir to juxtapose their dark drones and melancholic epic power across sixteen songs about the beauty and violence of nature. The album features guest appearances from the likes of Chris Packham, Shirley Collins, Jordan and Kirk Brandon, all dealing with various themes of nature.

A diverse work with songs that vary from dark, brooding and cinematic choir-driven post-punk that seethe with nature, sex and death, the album has been described as sounding like Hieronymus Bosch paintings; discordant wild songs about crows, demon flowers, strange perfumes, voluptuous petals, voluminous oceans and treacherous seasons – the poetry of life and death. Musically it shifts from seething musical pulses to epic choir driven post-punk, from dark dub workouts and throbbing dirty disco dark wave, grinding bass driven apocalyptic visions to choir driven dark opera and brooding classical.

Inspired by the DIY aesthetic of punk rock and Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch EP, Membranes formed in Blackpool in 1977. They created their own distinctive bass driven post punk that was big influence on the underground scene and were John Peel and music press favourites before splitting in 1990. When one of their former support bands, My Bloody Valentine, asked them to reform for a festival in 2010 the band returned and recorded their most acclaimed and bestselling album – 2015’s ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy’ and played at festivals across the world.

The band will be touring the UK and have many festivals lined up in the UK, Europe and Mexico.

‘It’s a ridiculous overload of the senses, both male and female in aspect; a rapacious attempt to be everything all at once. The title is perfect: What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away is a release that is totally merciless in intent and yet reminds me of a million things I’d never associated with them before. From junkyard psychedelia, wobbly synth splurts, rusty guitars, huge choirs that are Ragnarok epic, samples that get all ravey on us and a fully formed post punk rock band who’ve discovered true beauty of the Periodic Table. And want to sing about it.’ Richard Foster

keith levene

Keith Levene and Planet Neil

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Lucy Grubb + Demi Marriner + Annie Dressner @ NAC 24 October 2019

Thursday evening’s gig in the familiar embrace of the Norwich Arts Centre was billed as an EP Preview show, providing a showcase for some of the new songs that will feature on Lucy Grubb’s next release, due some time in early 2020.  Support was from UK-based New Yorker singer-songwriter-photographer Annie Dressner and Manchester’s Demi Marriner, who will be playing at the annual AmericanaFest in Hackney in January. Demi sounded the Americana real-deal alongside guitarist Robbie Kavanagh (familiar to some from Maverick and Red Rooster appearances), so much so that it was almost a surprise to hear her Mancunian accent when she chatted to us after her opening number, engaging warmly with the audience. Annie was playing the NAC for the first time in about seven years and has a new single – Nyack – which is released next week. She performed melancholic songs of heartbreak and sadness but she was quick to point out that although this is where musical inspiration often stems from she also has a happy life. Both Annie and Demi were warmly received by the appreciative Norwich crowd. As, of course, was Lucy Grubb.

Annie Dressner

Annie Dressner

Demi Marriner

Demi Marriner

Demi Marriner

Lucy Grubb always impresses. One of Annie Catwoman’s Sonic Youths, I remember writing about her way back in 2015 when she can only have been 17 or so, playing with Morganway at The Birdcage, that “… it was her own songs that I enjoyed the most, one cannot help but wonder where some of those lyrics are coming from, she’s obviously another ‘old soul’ with a huge talent for expressive songwriting” and I believe that even more so now.  That old soul coming out in her writing and expression. Her songwriting is so good, with a clever turn of phrase and expressive storytelling. She has a quite excellent band around her too and this was actually the first time all five of them played together with Lucy, notable local musicians providing highly sympathetic bass, electric guitar, keys, drums and banjo, really allowing the songs to breathe and the lyrics and vocals to shine.

lucy grubb

Lucy has an understated and engaging manner and whatever she may be feeling she projects a quiet confidence, brave enough at one point to take off her hat and guitar and perform unaccompanied or with just one or two of the band with her.  It all passed enjoyably and all too quickly and despite the pleas for an encore she had exhausted her entire back catalogue. Nobody would have complained had we gone around again though!

lucy grubb

Lucy Grubb

Be it achingly tender and earnest songs or the more uptempo ones she and the band perform them with aplomb and Lucy is one of our best.

“Fresh from receiving “a rapturous reception” (BBC Cambridgeshire) headlining the Den Stage at Cambridge Folk Festival and a year of playing stages all over the country, Lucy Grubb, complete with full band, is back on home turf and celebrating a summer of festivals with the release of new music: Americana with a country-twist.”

lucy grubblucy grubb

Lucy Grubb

Lucy GrubbLucy Grubb

Lucy GrubbLucy GrubbLucy GrubbLucy GrubbLucy Grubb

At the end of last weekend I closed my Wild Paths 2019 experience at Frank’s Bar for a most beautiful set from Yve Mary B.  Feeling pretty exhausted after a full day of music Yve’s songs were the perfect way to wind down and end the evening in a very intimate setting, it felt like being comforted and wrapped in a warm musical blanket! Thank you Yve.

Yve Mary B

Earlier in the day I caught local favourites Hot Raisin at The Bowling House plus Floral Image, Galli, Amethysts, Dharma Hum, and Our Quiet Friends at Last Pub Standing.

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Pony Up presents : Snapped Ankles + Nuha Ruby Ra + Adrena Adrena @ NAC 15 October 2019

On Tuesday evening Pony Up brought us three powerful and altogether very different acts who all challenged us in some way – doubtless chosen for that very reason – and despite their differing musical styles worked well together in the billing. About the only other thing they had in common was that they all spent a lot of time on the floor among the audience.

Nuha Ruby Ra

Entering the hall at 8pm it was immediately clear this wasn’t going to be a typical gig. In the centre of the floor in front of the stage was a drum kit with plenty of gadgetry and what appeared to be a large inflatable, blank globe balloon above the stage onto which images were projected.  This was Brighton’s Adrena Adrena, a collaboration between E-Da Kazuhisa of Seefeel and formerly of Boredoms, and visual artist Daisy Dickinson.  The drumming of E-Da Kazuhisa coupled with the projections quickly took on a physically and mentally unsettling nature (quite deliberately so) and I became aware of an inner conflict where I was trying to maintain control of my own heart’s rhythm whilst the drumming rhythm and noise was attempting to wrest that control away from me. There was a battle going on. Powerful stuff, I not sure I’d listen to this at home but there’s no doubting the impact of the live set.

Adrena Adrena

Next on was the highly charismatic Nuha Ruby Ra, as soon as I re-entered the hall after the short break I heard her start her set and made my way towards the front even though I could not yet see her onstage, only to see a figure emerge from behind the pillar in front of me and realise that she was walking among us on the floor. She did eventually get onto the stage but not for long, she was not a fan of the barrier and chose to get back down with us, prowling the floor intensely and singing into the faces of those brave enough to not shirk shyly away.  Usually she performs with a full band but tonight was solo and her voice was amazing. Nuha Ruby Ra is excellent and I hope we see her back with the band at some point.

Nuha Ruby Ra

Nuha Ruby RaNuha Ruby Ra

This gig sold out on the day and it did feel rammed. The bar was as full as I’ve seen it in a long time and there was a palpable sense of anticipation with people heading towards the front to bag a good vantage point.  Within moments of Snapped Ankles starting their set there was a lively, bouncing throng which did not dissipate for the entire gig.  After a number or two the band asked for the white lights to be turned off leaving only the green to bathe the stage in a forest glow to match the tree-like head garb of the band members and the wooden mics and synth boxes.  For all the wood there was a lot of krautrock, electro and post-punk guitars elements to their sound and it was good to see such an alive, animated audience enjoying it.

Snapped AnklesSnapped Ankles

Whilst not quite hitting the levels of absolute greatness I had unreasonably allowed myself to expect of them, or perhaps just not hitting the majestic heights of Acid Mothers Temple a few days earlier in the same venue (what could?) this was nevertheless a very good gig with a real mix of an audience from old punks to young Gladboys, Gladgirls and everything inbetween. Yes, Gladboy are clearly big fans of Snapped Ankles too and with all the notable faces in attendance certainly had the feel of being a notable event and the gig of the night to be at. I was seeing all three acts for the first time, the discovery for me on the night though was probably Naha Ruby Ra.

Snapped AnklesSnapped Ankles

“They came from the trees.

Now settled in fertile east London, Snapped Ankles maintain the feral energy of the forest. Fight or flight. Primal motorik rhythms, the rush of white noise and post-punk angles; an aural onslaught played out on homemade log synths, electrified guitars and sticks beating hell on taut animal skin.

Snapped Ankles have flourished in the sub-tropical climes of warehouse and squat parties, moving onto performance art collaborations with filmmakers and shows in unlikely locations such as barber shops, games arcades and the forests they once called home. They plough a singular furrow at improbable angles. The woodwose have discovered electricity and they’re not afraid to use it.

Snapped Ankles emerged from the woods clutching an album that feels simultaneously modern and ancient. Come Play The Trees is what dance music will sounds like when computers finally fail us. Log synths, bass guitar and sticks on taut animal skin coalesce to form fearsome primal rhythms. Fuzz guitars rubbing up against dirty rolling arpeggiated synthesisers to ignite wild white noise fires.”

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Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. + Our Quiet Friends @ NAC 11 October 2019

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There is often a danger of getting carried away with excitement and anticipation for an imminent gig by a favourite band but I couldn’t help it with this one.  The extraordinary Acid Mothers Temple on their annual stop-off in Norwich were to be playing the Norwich Arts Centre for the first time, also being one of the first “loud” rock acts to put the new PA and lighting systems through their paces.  On top of that local favourites Our Quiet Friends were supporting and also launching their new EP and the gig also took on extra signifance falling on the following day of what would have been Adam Gifford’s 49th birthday. We saw AMT together several times and I knew they were one of his favourites too.  So, with all this weight of expectation it was testament to both bands, the venue and the new system that when I got home at the end of the night my reaction about the gig was:

“It’s always special when your favourite venue books your favourite bands. Tonight though … ! Acid Mothers Temple put the NAC’s new PA and stunning lighting systems through their paces and I don’t really think I have the words to describe their set. I’ll just try one though. Magnificent.”

acid mothers templeacid mothers temple

The following day I am probably able to try and find a few more words but my sense of awe and incredulity remains for what was not only an extraordinary musical experience but also quite spiritual too, several friends remarked they felt something of Adam’s presence there and even more claimed this was the best gig of the year they’d been to. I also heard Dan from the Vagaband claim it was ” … knocking on the door of my top ten gigs of all time…”  We have often thought AMT ‘channel’ and felt it particularly at this gig.

acid mothers templeacid mothers templeacid mothers temple

The evening opened in powerful style with a strong and confident set by Our Quiet Friends who I loved the first time I saw them but they get better every time I see them.  Explaining their love of trees and the environment they segued the songs into one another in a very effective way, also splitting vocal duties between Ed (Cakes and Ale) and Leo (BK & Dad) and with Joe on drums the whole band’s shared influences all coming to the fore in a brilliant form from this trio, in fact Vortex can sound slap bang inbetween Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Hawkwind in the space of one song.

our quiet friends

our quiet friends

Our Quiet FriendsOur Quiet Friends

Our Quiet Friends

Our Quiet Friends

There was no messing from Acid Mothers Temple either, they took to the stage and the set just exploded in a wall of noise right from the get-go.  This was my fifth time seeing them and they are quite different each and every time (last year they had a flautist).  They certainly broke in the new PA effectively, I could feel the bass from under the stage in my legs!  Although the sound is now contained effectively within the hall, being inside it was loud. Very loud, and one of those extremely special gigs where band, venue, and audience all fit perfectly together on the same wavelength and transported by the band. Along with clean, powerful sound and the best example yet of just what the new lighting setup can do it made for an unforgettable experience.  Definitely another one of my gigs of the year.  I’m glad it was held here too, as fine as the other Norwich venues they have played are and were, the NAC just seems like the right fit for their spiritual element and they clearly felt the special energy that we on the floor also felt. Some of us had been hoping and waiting a long time to experience the AMT Melting Paraiso UFO at NAC. The music had elements of psych and krautrock with superb musicianship from all of them, the display of drumming especially was as exhausting to watch as it was impressive. It was breathtaking actually.

acid mothers templeacid mothers templeacid mothers templeacid mothers templeacid mothers templeacid mothers temple

acid mothers templeacid mothers temple

I love this quote from Kawabata Makoto, I wonder if these musical wizards from Japan tuned into Adam’s frequency at some point in the set? I rather think they might have done. And I still can’t think of a better word to describe the night than Magnificent.

‘Music, for me, is neither something that I create, nor a form of self-expression. All kinds of sounds exist everywhere around us, and my performances solely consist of picking up these sounds, like a radio tuner, and playing them so that people can hear them’ ~Kawabata Makoto

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“The sprawling universe of that is Acid Mothers Temple was formed in 1995 by Kawabata Makoto. Originally titled the Acid Mothers Temple soul-collective and encompassing musicians, dancers, artists, farmers, channellers, ex-yakuza, mermaid researchers and professional vagrants, the collective has always had at its core a dedication to improvised music. Now with a history of over two decades, and a discography of over one hundred releases, which is not to mention the numerous solo and side-project releases which encompass everything from drone, acid-folk, acapella, to minimalist composition, the group show no signs of relenting in the pace of their creative energy.

In December 2017 Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO welcomed new vocalist Jyonson Tsu, and performed an initial show together in Tokyo at the Annual Acid Mothers Temple Festival. Sadly this era also marked the departure from the band of long-standing member Mitsuru Tabata. This new incarnation of the AMT collective, featuring founders Kawabata and Higashi, at the helm, plus the recently recruited rhythm section of Sakamoto and Uchida who joined the group in 2015. The band tour Europe in this new incarnation for the first time in Autumn 2018.”

Sometimes compared to Gong they tonight included their version of Flying Teapot and the cheers were audible when people recognised to opening notes of one their own most well known songs, Pink Lady Lemonade. Different every time but always phenomenal. They combine elements of rock, psych, Hawkwind-esque space rock, krautrock and even a folk element but also a totally unique “othernesss”. One of the best and most immersive live bands around, this gig will live long in the memory of all who were there. So special to see them in this most treasured venue with a great and sizable crowd, and boy did the new lighting and PA pass with flying colours too! The audience was a healthy mix of gig-goers ranging from rockers to proggers, punks, stoners and hippies and everything inbetween, of all ages, reflecting the appeal and infuences of this unique band. Seeing them for the first time in the original Owl Sanctuary in 2015 was one of my all-time favourite gigs. This one I think may have been even better.

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Wild Paths Festival 18-20 October 2019

The first Norwich Wild Paths Festival opens this week, with over 200 acts spread over three days and seventeen venues across the city, like a bigger version of the Sound and Vision Festival it features music, conferences, light installations, graffiti artists, djs and much more besides.  Our friends at Life in a Fine City have done an excellent preview of the festival and you can also find the full schedule, ticket info etc. at the Wild Paths Festival website.

wild paths

There are some of the finest local acts involved as well as a huge number of visiting national and international artists.  It all kicks off on Thursday evening.

 

Members of this site’s Facebook group can get a 20% discount on any tickets that remain with this code:

🌿 Exclusive Norwich: Music City UK discount code 🌿

Grab one of the last Festival Weekend Passes for Wild Paths Festival… As an EXTRA BONUS we’re offering Group members an extra 20% off with online discount code ‘wildmusic’ (redeemable at checkout on any pass)

 

‘Norwich is an enchanting place… music emanates from little hubs of creativity scattered across the city and down every winding path there’s something wild to discover.’
Wild Paths is a brand new city-wide music festival launching this year in Norwich. The festival will take over all of the city’s best-loved music venues for three days in October, showcasing an eclectic mix of emergent and established artists. Scheduled to run from the evening of Friday 18th October until the night of Sunday 20th October, with a pre-festival warm up party at Norwich Arts Centre on the evening of Thursday 17th October.
Our vision for Wild Paths is to bring artists of national and international notoriety to Norwich, and to shine a spotlight over the city and all the talent that resides here. We’ll also be staging conferencing and discussion panels featuring key figures from different sectors of the music industry.
Individual venue line-ups will be staggered and carefully curated and all participating venues will be in walking distance of each other.
Weekend passes will be available along with individual day passes, after-party passes and a limited run of VIP passes (including access to all events and a WP tote bag with a few goodies from our sponsors).
We’ve reached out to a variety of businesses to create mutually beneficial sponsorship arrangements and have already formed some exciting brand partnerships. (for more details on this contact the relevant WP team member and request a ‘Wild Paths Partnership Pack’).
The WP team will be working closely with the local council and authorities to ensure the festival is not only stress-free and enjoyable but also safe.
Our list of local and national media partners is growing, and we continue to be proactive in forming good relations with small and large scale media (physical and digital).
Please get in touch with the relevant member of the WP team to discuss bookings, commercial partnerships and any media based inquiries
For all booking and partnership based inquiries please contact:
ben@pizzaclubpromo.co.uk
For any inquiries regarding promotional content, artwork or design please contact:
jack@pizzaclubpromo.co.uk
For any press or media inquiries please contact:
abigail@pizzaclubpromo.co.uk

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Defying Gravity: An evening with Jordan & Cathi Unsworth @ NAC for Punk in the East 8 October 2019

This event was a Punk in the East fundraiser at Norwich Arts Centre which featured punk icon Jordan and Norfolk author Cathi Unsworth in coversation. The two of them have worked together to produce the recently published book Defying Gravity: Jordan’s Story. Punk in the East has one of the best punk archives in the country and is growing all the time, this super event should ensure its maintenance and funding for the next twelve months.  It was deservedly sold out too with standing room only, nice as well to see so many familiar faces and genuine characters.

defying gravity

Jordan is sometimes referred to as the first Sex Pistol, one of the very first punks, travelling to London from her Seaford home she encountered many problems just for the way she looked: “I commuted for about two years. I had some real bad dos on the train. I had tourists trying to pay me for my photo…worse than that, mothers saying that I’m upsetting their children and debauching them and how dare I get on a train looking like that. Somebody tried to throw me off the train one day, literally out the door, so British Rail told me to go sit in first class, get out of trouble.”  She worked at that time at SEX, the boutique on the King’s Road run bt Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren and of course this was where the Sex Pistols were borne, Johnny Rotten auditioning by miming to Alice Cooper’s Eighteen on the shop jukebox. She later went on to manage Adam and the Ants and worked as an actress, appearing in Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane and Jubilee as well as appearing in the Pistol’s biopic by Julien Temple, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. These days, if it was possible to love her even more, she works as a veterinary nurse and breeds Burmese cats.

 

defying gravity

In 1976 I was just 12 and a little too young to be fully immersed in the first wave of punk (not that this stopped some of my contemporaries living extraordinary punk adventures) and was more consumed by the post-punk era but always loved the music of the first explosion, so I knew the characters, bands and reference points even if I was not at the gigs. Which made this evening thoroughly fascinating, enlightening and hugely entertaining. Jordan and Cathi shared great stories during the chat, answered some questions from the floor and in the bar afterwards happily signed copies of the book and posed for photos. Both of them really nice people too.  I cannot wait to get stuck into Defying Gravity, I purchased my copy on the night but a few signed copies may still be available at The Book Hive in Norwich.

defying gravity

This was a really good event, engaging, amusing, enlightening and insightful with good questions and a wonderful audience. Unsurprisingly, there was a sizable queue to buy the book and meet the authors. One day I hope we will also have a book by our own Norwich punk legend, Jonty Young!  I’d love to hear more his stories.

defying gravity

 

jordan

Photo by Sheila Rock

 

“Few people can claim to be living icon’s, but Jordan certainly can. The first Sex Pistol, she embodied punk through her self-creation, working with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood on London’s Kings Road to define a generation.

Her autobiography, written with Norfolk-born author Cathi Unsworth, was much anticipated. Now published, its tales of traffic accidents, sex pistols, Adam’s ants and impeccable style have been ecstatically received.

An evening with Jordan and Cathi will lift the lid on the book and the stories in contains, allowing audiences to ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask a veritable living legend.”

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The image of Jordan in her white shards of beehive and Mondrian make-up is one of the most iconic in pop history. But nobody knows what was really going on behind those watchful eyes when Anarchy hit the UK. How did a ballet-mad girl from sleepy Sussex make her way, via the clandestine gay clubs of Brighton and London, to 430 King’s Road and the eye of punk’s storm? How could she share hair-raising adventures with McLaren and Westwood, The Sex Pistols, Adam and his Ants, Derek Jarman and Andy Warhol, and then just disappear? With commentary from key players including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Cook, Marco Pirroni, Holly Johnson, and her partner behind the SEX/Seditionaries counter, Michael Collins, plus a wealth of never-before-seen images from Simon Barker, Sheila Rock, and Harri Peccinotti, Jordan finally reveals her outrageous life story.

 

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Afterwards I headed over the road to The Reindeer where Piano and Pizza has relocated from Platform Twelve.  I had missed Peter T and Selena Hawker who played earlier in the evening but caught beautiful piano playing from host Robyn Owen, cathartic, heartfelt songs from Slightly Offensive Steve and some spoken word from Peter Jay. A nice way to end the evening.  Next up is Shane’s Shenanigans at The Reindeer on Thursday followed by the big one. Acid Mothers Temple with Our Quiet Friends at Norwich Arts Centre on Friday.  AMT were one of Adam Gifford’s big favourites and we attended several of their Norwich gigs together, it falls on the day after what would have been his 49th birthday which feels significant and symbolic. It’s a guaranteed great gig and will have an added dimension thinking of a notable absentee in the audience for a band he described as “channeling” the music, which indeed they do.

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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Posted in Cathi Unsworth, Norwich Arts Centre, Punk in the East, Robyn Owen, Slightly Offensive Steve | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band @ NAC 2 October 2019

Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band

Last Wednesday Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band brought some Ghanaian High-Life music to Norwich Arts Centre with supporting dj sets from Soul Stew and Tropical Shakedown. There was a great atmosphere in the hall with dancing in all corners from the good sized crowd, even the aisles to the side of the stage where the sound is now excellent two what with the new PA and an additional speaker either side for those preferring not to be right down at the front.

Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band

Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area BandPat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band

Pat Thomas and the Kwashibu Area Band

 

“The modern-day leaders of Ghanaian highlife music are back!

 

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’s sophomore release ‘Obiaa!’, produced by Kwame Yeboah and Ben Abarbanel-Wolff at Lovelite Studio’s analogue HQ in Berlin, is a deep and soulful journey into the heart of Ghana’s indigenous highlife music celebrating the timeless and iconic voice of Pat Thomas, the 72 year-old “Golden Voice of Africa”.

 

After producing Ebo Taylor’s seminal albums ‘Love and Death’ and ‘Appia Kwa Bridge’ for Strut Records, in 2014 Ben Abarbanel-Wolff approached Kwame Yeboah, Ghana’s top contemporary instrumentalist and bandleader, to work on a new project: “We initially wanted to invite Pat back into the studio with Ebo Taylor and Tony Allen to recreate and expand on some of the vibes they had recorded together during a lost session in 1977,” Ben explains. Recorded in Accra, the result was the critically acclaimed self-titled debut album ‘Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’ in 2015.

 

Pat and the Kwashibu Area Band (named after Kwame’s neighbourhood in Accra) hit the road in October 2015. After a memorable performance at WOMEX in Budapest, they never looked back. The next two years took them around the world to play at major venues and festivals including Glastonbury, Roskilde, WOMAD, Sakifo, WOMADelaide, Sines and many more. “We could see there was something for everyone in our music. People of all ages, colours and trends were dancing together!’ explains Kwame, the mastermind behind the band’s unbelievable precision and killer live show.

 

The new album is called ‘Obiaa!’ which means ‘Everybody!’. Tracks include the modern parables ‘Onfa Nkosi Hwee’ warning against arrogance and ‘Odo Ankasa’ about the value of real love and trust as well as a great new cover of Thomas’ Afro-disco favourite ‘Yamona’. “Playing highlife around the world taught us what we had to do to move our sound forward,” continues Ben. While simultaneously looking back towards the classic days of highlife and forward to a fresh revival of the guitar band sound, this album cements Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’s position at the pinnacle of modern African music.

 

‘Obiaa!’ is released on all formats on 4th October The album features exclusive cover artwork by Lewis Heriz with photos by Marie Weikopf and Michelle Chiu and is mastered by E?douard Bonan at Ed-Room Studio in Paris.”

 

Kwashibu_LP_1440-2-e1564132403238

all rights reserved (c) shashamane 2019

@RShashamane

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http://www.norwichartscentre.co.uk/donations/

Norwich: Music City, UK

The Gighopper

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography

Posted in live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, Soul Stew, Tropical Shakedown | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment