MONO + A Storm of Light + Jo Quail @ NAC 2 October 2018

The first time I came across Jo Quail was also at the Arts Centre when she opened the night ahead of performances by Boris and Amenra.  She rather blew me away on that occasion earlier this year and she did so again this time before sets by A Storm of Light and then Japanese instrumental rockers MONO.  Like that gig this one was impressively loud but it also followed a similar path of me being enthralled by Jo Quail’s opening sets but enjoying each subsequent act a bit less.

jo quail

There were only a few dozen people at the NAC when I arrived in good time at 7:45pm ahead of Jo’s prompt 8pm start but just as she did start the place filled up rapidly and it was pretty much a full house at a pulsating Arts Centre auditorium.  I was so absorbed I lost all sense of time but do know Jo only played three songs though they were each of them around ten minute long epics that had the whole audience utterly captivated as she layered sounds, looping the thumped cello to create a pulsing beat which seemed to dictate the rhythm of my own heartbeat as she played her cello over it.  I’m used to this happening with dub reggae and my heartbeat but this was something altogether different and faster.  It’s fascinating stuff and played with great intensity. It is as gripping to watch her play as it is to listen to the pieces. A real high point to start the evening. Last time here Boris had such a huge backline of amps (and that massive gong) that there was no room on the stage for her and her cello (which looks a bit like a huge pair of scissors!) and so she played down on the floor under a single spotlight, which was incredibly powerful and atmospheric. This time everyone had a clearer view and everyone seemed to love her.

jo quail

Unfortunately nothing afterwards quite matched up to that for me personally which isn’t to say I didn’t like A Storm of Light or MONO’s sets but I didn’t find them as interesting, engaging or captivating but maybe it isn’t supposed to be. I just like to get lost in the music and the moment.  A Storm of Light certainly started impressively but I found my attention wandering after about twenty minutes or so and didn’t last the full set. I quite like some of the recordings I have checked out but I just wasn’t feeling it here.

Alas, this happened also with MONO who I didn’t quite get either.  The massive, sludgy riffs are surely what it is all about but it was never going to hold my attention for 100 minutes and I failed to get lost in the music again which I just wasn’t feeling at all. It started off well enough but I wasn’t captivated. Once again, after twenty or so minutes I was painfully aware I wasn’t immersed in the music as I had hoped and started to look around me and although there was definitely a sea of bobbing heads from plenty lost in the music there were also a number of people heading out. When I made my way to the bar I found it was hardly empty. The two bands had the volume but Jo Quail’s solo set had the power.

Another interesting night with a full house at NAC but a bit disappointing.  Maybe I just wasn’t close enough to the front or maybe it’s just not my thing but I didn’t particularly want to wear earplugs as I like to feel the music, however, this was one I didn’t really feel as such, other than Jo Quail and her astonishing cello playing which alone was worth coming along for. A Storm of Light and MONO were decent enough and with some Mogwai-esque moments from MONO but overall I was wanting some more variety from the near three hours of stoner, sludge rock, those whose thing it was had a good time though and I love that NAC puts on gigs like this.  My next taste of Japanese rock will be the annual visit of the very special Acid Mothers Temple at The Waterfront Studio next month.

 

 

@RShashamane

http://www.facebook.com/JoQuailCello/

http://www.joquail.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/astormoflight/

http://www.astormoflight.com/

http://www.facebook.com/monoofjapan/

http://www.monoofjapan.com/

http://www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Advertisements
Posted in Norwich Arts Centre | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Piratones + Feral Mouth + Maya Law @ NAC 29 September 2018, Robert Powell memorial gig

Yet another deserved sold out gig for The Piratones in Norwich for a gig which served as a memorial and a celebration of the life and photography of Robert Powell. A champion of the Norwich music scene who sadly passed away suddenly earlier this year.  In a beautiful touch his photos (plus some rare ones of the photographer himself) were projected onto the back of the stage, and I know for a fact he loved all three acts on the bill as I saw him at dozens of gigs where they were playing and we shared a mutual love of all three of them, and more.

nac crowd

the piratones

The NAC felt full and busy and it was great to meet familiar faces at the bar, some of whom I’d not seen in a while but that didn’t matter as everyone nattered freely and shared memories of Rob. A couple of photographer friends were there (Ga and Amelia) whom I had not seen in ages but I sort of knew them both through Rob.

feral mouth

At 8:30pm the buzzer sounded to announce the imminent performance by Maya Law, always a treat to see her with her strong and confident voice, a likeable presence and terrific songs.

maya law

 

maya law

An appearance in the city by Feral Mouth is a rare treat these days as Pedz is now based in Bristol but it was nice to bump into him outside the venue on my way in, we were both looking forward to the Ferals set.  I don’t know how they manage to rehearse with these geographical logistics but they sounded tight, despite a technical issue with the drumkit and I loved hearing these songs again. Among the covers of Rocky Top and White Freight Liner we had the wonderful originals of Hundred Kinds of Lonely, Everything, Old Man, and an especially poignant By the Grace of Genghis all had a welcome airing in a hugely enjoyable set which included a touching toast of raised glasses led by Pedz, I think the whole room had drinks held aloft in honor of Rob.

feral mouth

feral mouth

the piratonesthe piratones

the piratones

There was a hasty turnaround for the night’s headliners as the clock was ticking on and the room now feeling quite packed.  The last time The Piratones played the NAC was a couple of years back in a farewell gig of sorts before they went on their travels and their drummer too, Zeb, also relocating to Bristol.  That was almost exact;y two years ago to the day.  I’ve seen them since then at Flatlands where they were superb but a hometown gig at the NAC is always particularly special and you could feel that in the heightened atmosphere with a lively, enthusiastic crowd were dancing the entire duration of their set.  This really does seem to be the last gig we’ll see from The Piratones as they now pursue their individual projects but they clearly had as much fun as we did and so it was a beautiful farewell to both Rob and The Piratones. We had a nice speech from Mikey and at the end of their encore Freddie handed a bucked into the audience for a collection to realise a trust fund as his family has teamed up with OPEN Youth Trust to create a fund in his honour. It would pay for free workshops for aspiring photographers between the ages of nine and 19.

the piratones

This was a very fitting send off to a fellow photographer, I always found Rob to be open, honest, friendly and very giving of his time and advice to others. A very genuine guy.  We both absolutely adored the Piratones so I am so glad they put on this gig at our beloved Arts Centre with fellow favourites Feral Mouth and Maya Law.  I think Rob was watching from above and smiling at them.  It was good also to be able to say a proper goodbye to The Piratones, a band I love as people as much as I love them as a band, which is a lot.

the piratones

Georgia of The Piratones, which Rob Powell watching from above.

Big thanks to The Piratones, Feral Mouth, Maya Law, and Norwich Arts Centre.

the piratones

@RShashamane

http://www.facebook.com/thepiratones/

http://www.the-piratones.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/FeralMouthStringBand/

http://www.feralmouth.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Maya-Law-189542051855983/

http://www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/robert-powell-inquest-1-5664156

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/memorial-fund-to-norwich-photographer-rob-powell-1-5469797

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/tributes-norwich-music-photographer-rob-powell-1-5395295

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Feral Mouth, Maya Law, Norwich Arts Centre, The Piratones | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Very Queer Nazi Faust @ NAC 12 September 2018

A few weeks ago I was at Norwich Arts Centre photographing for the production of A Very Queer Nazi Faust, an excellent show written by Vince Laws performed to a full house made up of a very lively and engaged audience.

a very queer nazi faustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi Faust

Originally written as a diary it is very cleverly done and performed with a cast drawn via social media. It was first performed last year as part of the Pride Without Prejudice exhibition at St. Margaret’s Church of Art.  Now supported by Unlimited, Norfolk County Council, Norwich Arts Centre, and DPAC Norfolk it has moved just a short distance down St. Benedicts for a well-deserved bigger stage and audience and formed the official launch of Norfolk Disability Pride & Independent Living 2018.

A Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi FaustA Very Queer Nazi Faust

The show was powerful, moving, at times funny, and anger-inducing at the treatment from the government on disabled people through their policies, cuts, and evil DWP Work and Capability Assessments, though IDS et al. do rather get their come-uppance in this play.

A Very Queer Nazi Fausta very queer nazi faust

You can read an excellent review of the night here.

 

Celebrating the lives of disabled people and the diversity of our community

 

The official launch party of Norfolk Disability Pride & Independent Living Event 2018.

 

An artist with something to say, and fearless in saying it.” Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator, Tate Modern

 

A Very Queer Nazi Faust is an experimental participatory performance created by artist Vince Laws. It was cast via social media and performed at Norwich LGBT+ Pride in 2017 to great acclaim. With support from Unlimited, there will be participatory workshops during summer 2018, working towards performances from September 2018.
 
Poet John Faust is suicidal. His benefits have been stopped without warning, the bailiffs are due to evict him, his dog is in the vets dying, his car needs a new clutch, and he can’t finish his poetic masterpiece while the voices inside his head torment him. In despair, he throws himself off Beeston Bump, Norfolk’s highest peak, clutching ‘The Tragic True Life & Deserved Death of a Benefit Scrounger by Himself’, but Lucifer won’t let John drown because she loves his work and wants a bigger part.
 
A Very Queer Nazi Faust celebrates over 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK and highlights issues around cuts to disability benefits. The performance contains adult themes and language, suicidal thoughts, Lucifer, The Naked Abseilers and poetry, but no Nazis. Unlimited support will enable text projections by Andrew Day for greater accessibility, and a soundscape created by Dandelion Snowley.
 
You don’t need to be queer or disabled to take part, however people with disabilities are encouraged to get involved!

 

A BSL interpreted show.

 

Commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Spirit of 2012.

 

@RShashamane

http://www.facebook.com/VinceLawsFaust/

http://www.disabilityarts.online/magazine/opinion/a-very-queer-nazi-faust-a-dogs-eye-view/

http://www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Norwich Arts Centre | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Women of Oxjam @ Oxfam + Hope in High Water @ The Birdcage 19 September 2018

38712003_2121728218066732_3258170948183916544_o

 

There is yet another brilliant team running Oxjam this year and after their recent successful fundraiser gig at The Waterfront they put on this unique event in the refurbished Oxfam on Magdalen Street with Ginny Dix, Hot Raisin, Hannah Tobias, and Caravan Club all playing as part of a special Women of Oxjam event which raised over £800 on the night.

women of oxjam

 

It was very well attended, feeling hot and full but with a friendly, warm atmosphere. Oxfam itself stayed open as a shop too so people could mooch about and buy items between acts.  A little after 7pm the live music started with Caravan Club, another exciting new act who have come through Annie’s Sonic Youths.  Aged just 14 and 15 it’s amazing to think they were born in this century. I enjoyed them a lot, playing in a Peach Club Riot Grrrl style their whole set was impressive and they have two or three really stand-out songs.

caravan clubcaravan club

 

Hannah Tobias was next and despite feeling under the weather nobody would have guessed as she put in another excellent performance, commanding that stage with great presence and sounding superb.

women of oxjam

Hot Raisin were next, playing as the core duo of Mary and Tory they were in their typically lovely moods, sounding wonderful in this unusual venue space, as did everyone. The acoustics and sound worked well. As always the set was beautiful and featured favourites old and new with airings for Track and Field, Later, Whiskey Ginger, Read Your Mind, Conscious among many others, and closing with Captain. Thanks for the lovely mention too, Tory 🙂

hot raisin

women of oxjam

women of oxjam

I had to dash off to the Birdcage after their set as Hope in High Water had travelled up from Milton Keynes for a gig there but this meant I missed Ginny Dix, unfortunately, though I later heard it was particularly beautiful during her set with most of the audience choosing to sit on the floor and listen attentively. By all accounts it was quite magical.

hope in high water

It was raining as I rushed, hopping in rainwater, to Pottergate thinking I might have already missed Hope in High Water and maybe Lucy Grubb too but apparently Lucy was feeling under the weather and played earlier than planned. Her being first on meant Hope in High Water were just about to start when I arrived, which I was pleased about.  Regular visitors to Norwich it’s always a treat to see them, I love them as artists and as people so it was great to have a catch up with Carly and Josh.  Josh also makes amazing jewellery under the name Harsh Realm Jewellery, a selection of which was also in their merch basket, whilst Carly teaches yoga and meditation. They have both gone self-employed and deserve much success in all their ventures.  It was slightly unfortunate that this gig clashed with such a well-attended Oxjam night but pleasing that gigs are happening again in The Birdcage. With the recent closures of The Owl Sanctuary and The Vagabond we need these spaces more than ever.  There was an appreciative audience though and we all loved their set. Thanks for the mention too, guys 🙂

hope in high water

 

hope in high water

 

@RShashamane

http://www.hopeinhighwater.com/

http://www.facebook.com/hopeinhighwater/

http://www.facebook.com/harshrealmjewellery/

http://www.harshrealm.co.uk/

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HarshRealmJewellery

http://www.moonforestflow.com/

http://www.carlysladeyoga.com/

http://www.facebook.com/hannahtobiasUK/

http://www.facebook.com/ginnydixmusic/

http://www.facebook.com/norwichoxjam/

http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oxjam-norwich

http://www.facebook.com/hotraisinmusic/

http://www.hotraisin.com/

http://www.facebook.com/TheCaravanClubBand/

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Caravan Club, Hannah Tobias, Hot Raisin, live music and dance, Oxjam | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheringham 40s Weekend 2018

After a late night heavy punk music fundraiser for Billy Clayton the previous evening I felt like I was time-travelling the following day,  going from the punk era straight back to 1940 in Sheringham did strange things to my tired brain.

sheringham 40s weekend

sheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekend

Due to the non-appearance of one bus and the next one smashing two of its windows I arrived much later in Sheringham than expected and therefore only got to experience an hour or two of this year’s 40s Weekend. Sheringham itself seemed fuller and busier than ever – perhaps even a little too busy on the platform – but it was nice to soak up some of the atmosphere and see some familiar faces, albeit briefly.

sheringham 40s weekend

If I’d been able to follow my original plans I’d have seen an Amy Winehouse tribute on my return to the city, followed by some 1960s grooves at Cave-In but not sure what all that time travelling would have done to my poor head!

 

 

sheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekend

sheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekendsheringham 40s weekend

sheringham 40s weekend

Who is the time-traveller here?

@RShashamane

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

 

Posted in 40s weekend on the Poppy Line | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Punk Fundraiser for Billy Clayton @ The Blueberry 14 September 2018

punk fundraiser for billy clayton

hotwired

The Blueberry Music House was full of great spirit, generosity and goodwill as we rolled back the years for some old school punk with many punks in the audience spanning several decades.  It was all as a fundraiser for young local musician Billy Clayton who has an aggressive form of bone cancer and needs to raise £200,000 for treatment abroad. There is a GoFundMe page here, and there will be another fundraising gig at Epic on Wednesday 26 September which will be headlined by Billy’s Access to Music colleagues Let’s Eat Grandma with a whole host of guests. Tickets at £10 are available through Epic, Soundclash and online.

billy clayton

Billy Clayton, performing at Epic recently.

let's eat grandma

Here though we had a great night and a successful one as all the raffle tickets sold out and a broken guitar signed and donated by Sex Pistol Glen Matlock went for over £600!  Music was provided by Braindance, Hotwired, PMT, Blank Screen, and Steve Cooper.

glen matlock guitar

punk fundraiser for billy clayton

Glen Matlock’s guitar being auctioned at The Blueberry

 

In 2015, Billy was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma: an aggressive Bone cancer which mainly affects young people. On the fundraising page below, his mum outlines in more detail the battle he’s gone through – and the admirable strength and resilience he’s shown throughout – over these past three years

A glimmer of hope has been bought his way in the form of some new chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments that have given positive results in cases similar to Billy’s. A clinic in Europe who will carry out this treatment has been identified, and now his family and friends are looking to raise money to make sure Billy can have access to this potentially life-saving opportunity. 

Please consider donating to Billy’s GoFundMe page – however much or little you can afford. 

https://uk.gofundme.com/life-saving-treatment-for-billy

 

Well done and thanks to all involved and everyone who donated and contributed.

@RShashamane

http://www.uk.gofundme.com/life-saving-treatment-for-billy

http://www.hotwiredpunk.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/hotwiredpunk/

http://www.facebook.com/BraindancePunk/

http://www.braindancepunk.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/pmtpunk/

http://www.124431614520687344.weebly.com/

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Billy Clayton, Hotwired, live music and dance, PMT | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sacred Sounds: Lucille & the Seals + Butterflies on Pins + David J R Jones @ Rabbit 6 September 2018

40573153_2221706071441520_938256522301931520_o

 

This month’s Sacred Sounds gig (with proceeds going to Oxjam ) was initially due to have been held at The Vagabond – formerly the Thai Restaurant/Floating Restaurant near the Prince of Wales Road bridge over the Wensum. Alas, this latest venture was short lived and its untimely sinking demise led to the gig being relocated to Rabbit in Pottergate.  I had never been to the boat on the river in any of its incarnations but neither had I been to Rabbit/Roots before, and yet curiously the great space that is their basement cellar that housed the gig looked, below decks, remarkably like a ship cabin, from the lamps to the beams and pipes that cut through the space.

As I locked up my bike in the drizzling rain I could hear the soundcheck from Butterflies on Pins drifting up from the basement and enticingly audible on Pottergate. The John McGeoch-esque guitar sound and insistent basslines alone transported me back through the decades and reminded me of that pre-gig excitement of my post-punk youth.

There’s always something magical and exciting about descending a stairway to a rock gig and I certainly felt it here at Rabbit, a great space with a pop-up bar downstairs. But it was the acoustic guitar of singer-songwriter David J. R. Jones that opened proceedings. Mixed with some strong originals such as Never Give it Up, he also covered in a unique way the likes of REM, Del Shannon, and Peter Tosh. Strong stuff and a wonderful voice.

david j r jones

Sacred Sounds is named in honor of the much-missed Andy Sacre and this is a gig he would have absolutely loved, in fact I rather felt his presence here, especially for Butterflies on Pins, a London-based post-punk band that tick all of the right boxes for me and include a couple of Andy’s former bandmates in Rob and Katie.  Andy would most definitely have approved, of that I have no doubt and could picture him nodding enthusiastically with those magical big sparkling eyes of his. Playing only their third gig it was a treat to have Butterflies on Pins play in Norwich.  Although Rabbit has a great underground space there was a beam and a pipe directly in front of the stage area but singer and showman Ross turned it to his advantage by simply utilising these as stage props, draping himself around and hiding behind them, bringing to mind the formidable stage presences of the likes of Pete Murphy and Ian Curtis.  Fantastic stuff, and all the while the terrific band of Rob (guitar), Katie (bass), and Paul (drums) delivered that strong and exciting sound that took me right back to my teens in all the best of ways. I loved them. They are dark and wonderful and I feel so many common musical reference points. Can’t wait for a Norwich return.

butterflies on pins

Butterflies on Pins

butterflies on pins

butterflies on pins

butterflies on pinsbutterflies on pinsbutterflies on pinsbutterflies on pins

To close the night was the rare treat of a gig from the full band that is the beautiful enigma of Lucille and the Seals and their atmospheric dreamy pop-rock.  A bit of a Mazzy Star vibe I thought at times, and a hint of Low too. There were several standout highlights, three songs in particular had me “sleep-drifting” and coming back again but I don’t know all the titles other than the set closer Diamonds, and possibly “Shark”, the other was definitely new and untitled. It was all very beautiful and oneiric and I happily lost myself in their music several times.  The band feature a number of familiar faces, not least the lovely Lizzy Burt on guitar and vocals, the prolific Joe Quinn and Iain Lowery on slide and keys respectively, Alex and drums, and also Sarah on vocals, and Johnny on bass.  Their next gig is at Norwich Arts Cente for Odd Box on Saturday 3 November supporting the amazing Wolf Number. It promises to be a treat and is not to be missed, with some very exciting Norwich names on that bill.

lucille and the seals

I hope Rabbit host some more gigs, it’s a good and unusual space. A suprise new discovery for me and a cool night lost down the basement of the Rabbit hole. Thanks to all involved, the gig was also acting as a fundraiser for Oxjam Norwich and the wonderful Beth from the Norwich team was collecting with a donation bucket. It was a hugely enjoyable evening in a new venue (for me) and a lovely atmosphere. Three excellent and very different acts made for a great night.

lucille and the seals

 

 

@RShashamane

http://www.facebook.com/butterfliesonpins/

http://www.butterfliesonpins.bandcamp.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Sacred-Sounds-1958596164419180/

http://www.facebook.com/Lucille-and-the-Seals-380563915798626/

http://www.facebook.com/DavidJJones1977/

http://www.facebook.com/norwichoxjam/

http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oxjam-norwich

http://www.facebook.com/NorwichLiveMusicPhotos

http://www.facebook.com/ShashamaneArtPhotography/

http://www.instagram.com/rshashamane/

Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Butterflies on Pins, David J.R. Jones, live music and dance, Lucille, Lucille and the Seals, Oxjam, Sacred Sounds | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment