Hot Raisin – The Forge Sessions EP

Earlier this year Hot Raisin released a full-band EP – Whiskey Ginger – and have quickly followed this up with their second release of the year.  A more acoustic and stripped-back sounding EP called The Forge Sessions, recorded in a beautiful studio in deepest Norfolk.

 

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I had the great pleasure of accompanying Mary, Tory, and Luke for a day in the Forge during the summer where they laid down four songs, two of them completely new, and the resulting EP sounds just gorgeous.  Exactly how I imagined they might sound … but even better under the creative and sympathetic ways of Ida Mae’s Chris Turpin who produced, mixed and mastered the tracks.

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

It opens with Read Your Mind, one of their new additions to the set and sounding fantastic.  Acoustic guitars and vocals clear and airy, I love the sound and Luke’s backing vocals and harmonies are spot-on, and the guitar playing wonderful.  The closing of this song is a thing of great beauty.

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

This is followed by the familiar Embrace Me and has creative use of a lo-fi tin can mic for its intro. It also features warm and sumptuous upright bass from Kev, known to us all from The SweetBeats, Sefo Kanuteh & Meriya etc.  The track has a really warm sound, mellow and melodic, haunting vocals from Tory, great playing by Mary, and again superb backing vocals by Luke.

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

Track three is another familiar set favourite Wolf in Me Skin and again has the great clarity and sparseness that I really love. You can clearly hear every guitar note and the layers of vocals.

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

The final track is another favourite, a re-working of an older song, once known as Conscious it was brought back into the set early this year and this slowed-down interpretation of it is now known as Take Me Over.  It also features subtle crow song samples (recorded that very day outside The Forge) and has a few more studio effects and wizardry than the other tracks but very effectively and sympathetically, never overdone … again the final minute or so of the song features some great creativity by all concerned and is an absolutely gorgeous slow fade-out, the perfect way to close this EP.

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

What struck me on the day was just the extremes of all the things I already knew about them, the great talent they have and the hard work they put into everything, the ability of the playing, vocals and songwriting, they just do not sound like anyone else and this is to their great credit in my book.  On top of all that they also, yet again, reinforced my opinion of them all as some of the loveliest people it has ever been my pleasure to meet.  The vibe around the Forge too is so well-suited to creativity. Relaxed and beautiful with a good atmosphere, well-equipped and with Kev’s steady and laid-back attitude. Chris’ technique as producer, with a great sound engineer too and just listen to these fantastic results!

 

 

hot raisin in the studio

 

I first got hold of a copy when it was hot off the raisin press at The Guildhall recently, where they had a special Grapevine edition of it before the covers had even been printed.  Later today there might well be an “OPEN Edition” when they support Wooden Arms on their long-awaited return to their home city for a Thursday night gig in the Club Room promoting their new album.  Hot Raisin will be performing as the full five-piece electric Raisins and further support comes from Chalky Seas.

 

hot raisin in the studiohot raisin in the studiohot raisin in the studio

 

 

 

hot raisin

Hot Raisin playing as a duo for a live set broadcast for West Norfolk Radio last weekend.

 

 

hot raisin

 

Hot Raisin also play at The Room in Gorleston on Saturday 3 February 2018.

 

hot raisin the room

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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Exposure @ NAC, with Shane O’Linski + Hymn + Laura Cannell & André Bosman 12 December 2017

 

BBC Radio 3 came to Norwich Arts Centre on this bitterly cold and icy Tuesday evening for a Late Junction special in which the programme is showcasing experimental musical talent around the UK.  For the Norwich edition, which was a free ticketed event but nevertheless a sellout, the selected acts were improvisational three-piece Hymn, led by trumpeter Chris Dowding who was joined by David Ross and Oliver Pagne.  The music was experimental, atmospheric and beautiful.  Interestingly, when interviewed onstage by Late Junction presenter Verity Sharp it was David Ross who said that he had moved to Norwich from East London and found our musical city for more creatively open and liberating with more opportunities for live performance of this kind of experimental music with the likes of Plink Plonk and The York Tavern for meetings.  Verity Sharp had also clearly picked up upon the creative and musical vibrancy of the city’s musical community.

 

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hymn

hymn

 

I cannot hide the fact that it was particularly thrilling to see that Shane O’Linski was getting some well-deserved national recognition for his unique talents.  Nobody in the musical circles of Norwich can have failed to come across this prolific talent at some point, and for the many musicians in the city there’s every chance he may have given them their first opportunity to perform live onstage, as rightly pointed out in his interview by Chad Mason, who added he was proud to be performing these songs onstage with Shane.  Certainly many of my favourite Norwich artists I first saw perform at one of his nights. Olinski has been putting on gigs in Norwich for many, many years, as well as being one of the core group of curators of the Music House Acoustic-ish Sessions at Jurnets he is also involved with Howlback Hum, Current Undercurrent, OosWolf, WolfsVolk, as well as being highly prolific with his own music.  A highlight of the night was when a bemused Verity asked him how many songs he had and in a delightfully mischievous play on words moment Shane said it was such a joy to have his one son in the audience tonight.  This was pure Shane and filled the hall with warm laughter, only Verity, who had not come across the like of Shane before, did not immediately understand the joke. That’s because he’s a one-off and we all adore him for that.  The actual answer was “Over 1500. But I’m re-doing them all.”

 

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

Let’s not forget the music though, which was sensational. With a well-rehearsed band of talented Ornithologists especially assembled for the occasion and featuring Chad Mason (electric guitar), Oskari Kuusela (bass), Henry Walker (drums) and Laurence Bennett (keys) it was the perfect vehicle to highlight his wonderful songwriting.  There were a number of people around me hearing this local legend play for the first time, and the unanimous verdict was that it was “amazing”!  One chap near me went so far as to say “I have just found my new musical hero!”

 

 

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

It was so good, and Shane was on such fine form that I felt quite emotional, a weird sense of pride but also joy that he was getting the recognition he so richly deserves. We need to see him on stages like this more often, he thrived at Exposure, not only in his delivery but also in his interviews where he came across every bit at charming and charismatic as we all know he is.  His humour, love of nature and uniqueness all coming through clearly. There was a lot of love in the room and this set as well as being superb had a pleasing feelgood factor to it as well. He’s done so much for so many it was heartening to see him get this opportunity to play to new ears as well as long-time admirers of his music.  I’ve seen him in the past do entire sets based around colours, today it was nature and in particular birds (The Ornithologists), “Robin Goodfellow” etc. with birds on his shirts and even in the introduction to each band member.

 

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

Big thanks to Tontena Music and NAC for the part in making this special night happen.  Tontena were also selling his album “Getting Closer” with vinyl at a special on-the-night bargain price of £10.  But if you missed out it can still be purchased online at: http://www.tontenamusic.com/store

 

 

 

I’m afraid I was buzzing so much from this performance that I didn’t catch more than a few minutes of Laura Cannell and André Bosman but that isn’t to say they were not excellent, they were.  A duo on violins, using “overbow” they kept the large audience captivated.

 

laura cannel and andre bosman

 

This was a very successful evening and I can’t wait to hear the edited recordings due to be  broadcast on Late Junction, Radio 3 at 11pm on 28 December 2017.  Oh how I hope they include the full interviews with Shane too!   Shane did us and himself proud. We love him.

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

The whole evening was first rate and I think many of us were introduced to something we hadn’t heard before, which is always a good thing.

 

hymn

 

shane o'linski and the ornithologists

 

One of those nights so special and warm that it felt considerably milder heading home than it did heading out earlier … it may well have been from the collective glow from our warmed hearts after this gig that thawed all the ice within a wide radius of the NAC.

 

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verity sharp

 

Many thanks to NAC and John at Tontena Music … a great supporter of Norwich musical creativity and a true gentleman.

 

 

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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Bo Nanafana Presents … The Office Xmas Party @ The Talk 9 December 2017

It felt like a long wait for my first full-on Bo Nanafana of the year but what an event it was … one of the classic Bo nights.  The Talk looked especially gorgeous and there were the usual nooks and crannies of surprise happenings, two stages, loads of djs, cabaret, live music, an up for it audience dressed to the nines, a terrific atmosphere and a top crew working behind the scenes, making the place look lovely, sound great and working smoothly … no wonder Bo Nanafana is held in such high regard and why when someone goes once they come back time and time again. This is how to party.

 

Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017

 

If next spring Bo Nanafana does not return to its rightful place as the centrepiece of the Festival events at the Spiegeltent then someone will be seriously missing a trick, in my humble opinion, with something as special as Bo on their doorstep, It is something I have really missed at Norfolk and Norwich Festival in recent years, it’s just not the same without at least one Bo night during the festival.  We are exceptionally lucky to have Bo Nanafana in our fine city, it should be supported and treasured.

 

Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017

 

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s The Office Xmas Party; occupational festive therapy starring 

🌭King Salami and the Cumberland 3 Rhythm’n’Blues-Punk Maestros 
🍌Asher M Tea Sexual gentleman and comedy genius
🎺Captain Flatcap swing and ska, funk, folk, and filth with shit loads of squelch!
🏊🏼‍♀️The Two Wrongies Synchronised Swimming in a wrong styley
🎅🏽Bad Santa & 🤓Mental Elf, 
🖨🍆The Stationery Cupboard of Love starring Floyd and Holman with added photocopier 
🌽Rude colouring
💃🏽Free and easy dance class. 
🌟 DJ Thyroid & Vincent1000 (Le Freak Brothers) bring you The GoodTimes Retro Disco, spinning everything from Disco Anthems to Guilty Pleasures with glitter balls, spangles and tight sequinned jockstraps ( I made that last bit up)
🎩Shellac DJs swinging out in the Madmen Room

👠💼Dress fancy, think Madmen, David Brent, Moneypenny, Power Dressing, Branch Managers, Xmas Jumpers, Denholm Reynholm, Gordon Gecko, Pepper Potts

🎁Please bring a wrapped present (must cost no more than 50p, comedy value imperative) for the Secret (Bad) Santa

🎉Tell your boss, invite your staff, self-employed…. treat yourself!

🎟Tickets on sale at Soundclash NOW and on Eventbrite in a week’s time
£17.50 in advance and £20 on the door.

🌪What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

 

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The whole event was superb value for money, the crowd almost drunk the taps of the Talk dry (again!) and the atmosphere … just incredible! It started with a Swing City dance class, while the Shellac Collective djs played in the other room and a GoodTimes disco of 80s favourites went down very well indeed in the main hall.  The extraordinary Two Wrongies justified their name with an act that prompted gasps and sounds from an audience I don’t think I have ever heard before!

 

Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017

 

Headline band King Salami and the Cumberland Three were the perfect act, and having seen them at Red Rooster in the summer I was sure they would be. At Red Rooster they played during my favourite few hours of the whole festival, a run that included The Hanging Stars, Guadalupe Plata, Cale Tyson, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, and Danny and the Champs. Playing here some punky rock and roll to an enthusiastic crowd, with bonkers scenes for Do the Wurst where King Salami was almost dragged off stage when he got his maracas caught up in a passing strap, this is no euphemism, it was glorious mad.  He was dragged back from his sickbed, in a dressing gown, for a terrific rousing encore.  Talking to them afterwards I think they enjoyed this and had as much fun as we did.

 

 

king salami and the cumberland 3Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017

 

 

 

Massive thanks and congratulations to the legendary “Queen Bo” Helen Stonely and her amazing and dedicated crew who helped make it happen, The Talk and all the performers, and not forgetting the wonderful audience. It was a special one.

 

More photos here.

 

Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017Bo Nanafana Office Xmas Party 2017

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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The Mystery Lights + SLEAZE @ The Owl Sanctuary 6 December 2017

Punk Rock Blues returned to the city, this time at The Owl Sanctuary, and brought us two great bands. The Mystery Lights from New York City and the excellent SLEAZE from London town.

 

 

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Starting off masked and with a Canaries scarf around the neck, SLEAZE were compelling from the moment they began.  This three-piece had a good sound, loud, dark, with dirty bass – slightly unsettling, and they don’t sound like anyone else. This is a good thing.  It was a thrill to hear their music loud and raw and live, and also to watch some fascinating techniques involving gaffer tape on the keys!  Whereas I knew of The Mystery Lights and was looking forward to them I knew next to nothing about SLEAZE other than one video for Rapunzel I saw on YouTube and they were a truly exciting discovery for me. This is why one should always catch the support bands!  Excellent group with things to say.  I bumped into lead vocalist Dafe afterwards and had a good chat, he is a great guy too and I hope to catch them again. Their set was terrific. ‘Nice n sleazy does it every time’.

sleaze

 

 

“I stand by, and will always maintain, SLEAZE are one of the most consistently entertaining bands that ever came out of south London” – Clark Kents Rock and Roll Revue

 

 

The dimly lit Owl stage proceeded to become even darker for the next set, at the band’s request I gather, but we are talking “Mystery Lights” I guess. How apt, they were a tad mysterious in that darkness.

 

the mystery lights

 

This four-piece from New York are signed to Wick Records, which is a subsidiary of Brooklyn’s Daptone Records.  Energetic, enthusiastic and lively they blasted their way through a set of fuzzy, catchy surf inspired by the 60s garage rock and roll sound so familiar to anyone into the Pebbles and Nuggets record series.  They showcased some new songs as well as those on their album and they all sounded great to me, and indeed some of the first generation punks having a ball dancing around to this gloriously catchy and infectious band.

 

 

I loved it, both the bands here are among those making music so exciting again, with that raw, punky edge and songs as catchy as hell.  As the Mystery Lights say in an interview intro to a video: “We like it rough and raw. Nasty. Messed up.” when referring to their preferred sound.

 

the mystery lights

 

 

Mike Brandon and L.A. Solano have been in many different versions of The Mystery Lights under assorted monikers since their teens. In a heroic jump from the small town of Salinas, California to NYC, the band solidified its lineup to now include Alex Amini on bass, and Zach Butler on drums.
 
The explosive live shows gradually became the stuff of legend, as the quintet won their following one fan at a time in dives from Brooklyn to the Bowery. Organically unfolding over the nights months and years, the Lights’ sound has evolved into a fuzz-fueled hopped-up 21st Century take on 60s garage pebbles, and artful 70s punk, that is all their own. 2016 finds these rock’n’roll knights embarking upon the next logical step – unleashing their own brand of kick out the jams on tour and in the studio.
 
When Daptone Records launched their Wick Records rock imprint, they wasted no time approaching The Mystery Lights as their inaugural act. Hot on the heels of the “Too Many Girls”/”Too Tough To Bear” single, Wick officially released The Mystery Lights’ debut LP, recorded at Daptone Records’ House of Soul studio, on June 24 and they’ve been on the road touring nonstop since. Be sure to look out for them!
 
– Jonathan Toubin

 

Though it was recorded to 8-track tape at Daptone’s legendary House of Soul by Daptone studio superstar Wayne Gordon and mixed by Bosco Mann, it was the cutting engineer JJ Golden who called it “the hottest record I ever cut.”

 

“Truly trippy throwbacks to a filthier, more hallucinatory era, (…) “Follow Me Home” comes straight out of that garage tradition, all Hammond organs and straightforward, declining riffs.” – NOISEY

 

 

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Many thanks to The Mystery Lights, SLEAZE, Punk Rock Blues, Ryan on sound at The Owl Sanctuary, and extra special, big thanks to top man Dafe for the t-shirt! 🙂

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

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The Vagaband – Something Wicked This Way Comes, new album

A month or two ago José of The Vagaband was kind enough to give me a preview copy of new album Something Wicked This Way Comes.  I have been mightily impressed by it and think it features some of his best songwriting to date but have only now been able to find the time to attempt to describe it as best I can as it deserves special and careful attention.  We’ll all have our own take on the album and how we feel it. This is just mine…

 

vagaband header

 

The album continues the theme from Medicine for the Soul but is even more of a whole. Cohesive and very much about the thoughts, fears, and reflections of the central character. Some wistful moments but kicking off with the uptempo and punchy title track yet the lyrics reveal the deeper concerns and central themes of change, time moving on, and fears for the future, it can be as much to do with the uncertain times we are all living through and the fear of what is to come for us all as much as for the protagonist.

 

red rooster - vagaband photoshoot

 

Sorrows get drowned on One for the Road which is bright and spirited though still with an underlying “I’m tired and I wanna go home” mood.  There’s a Beatles Glass Onion moment for me with one or two of the lines, such as “I got a monkey on my back and he’s dragging me down” and a later ” … the monkey is me .. ” reminding me of “The walrus was Paul”.

 

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On There’ll Only Be One Elvis the mood is more nostalgic, looking back to the time when “I was listening to Elvis on my Dansette stereo”, that carefree time of youth seen from a position where responsibility, global change and awareness, as well as time have changed perspectives.

 

midwinter moonshine, the vagaband

 

Bouncing back with Not My Day to Die and some resolute defiance it marks the core of the album for me, four or so back-to-back songs that are among the greatest Vagaband moments thus far, really strong songwriting and performances.  There’s no way the singer is being taken down during this song (“If they lay me in the coffin pull me out before I’m cold ‘cos Heaven knows it’s not my day to die!”).  I really love the defiant tone of this one.

 

midwinter moonshine v the vagaband

 

Eye for an Eye features guest vocals from Yve Mary Barwood, brilliant Norfolk solo singer and lead vocalist with Morganway.  It’s sombre, sober, reflective and wise  (“an eye for an eye and all the world is blind”), it has a great clarity set to a background fitting of a spaghetti western saloon in a ghost town.

 

morganway

 

The mind is now weighed heavy with memories, fears, concerns, uncertainty, regret, and the loss of youthful dreams but Mexican-flavoured Black Eyed Sally is one my favourites of all the album and tells of Sally and her “tongue of the devil and the sting of a bee”. 

 

oxjam - jose mcgill

 

It’s immediately followed by another of my favourites, the sublime Bright are the Stars.  This is simply a very beautiful song and the songwriting is pure Jose “Long is the road that winds for you”. It’s classic Vagaband.

 

Spiritual Man almost has a Ray Davies feel, and probably has a nod in that direction but this one too is classic Vagaband with all the instruments to the fore and giving that familiar vaudeville, New Orleans-esque jaunty jazziness to it while remaining distinctively themselves.

 

That sound continues on the song that closes the album: Zoetrope (a pre-film animation viewing device) and the yearning to go back in time (“take me back to how it was before … what about all the plans we made before … what were we hoping for?”), favourite tunes going out of style “but they’ll soon come back, if only for a little while”.  The constant wrestle of not being able to hold on tightly enough to a moment to prevent it slipping out of our grasp and passing through our hands. Resonating with photographers too, trying to always live in the now whilst also attempting to capture moments.

 

It’s a mature and beautiful piece of work from the entire band, with a stunning production. Professional, clear and unfussy without distraction, a brilliant job from José and Greg with great performances from the whole band and the guests.

 

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Pre-official release copies of the CD (no vinyl this time) will be available at their annual Midwinter Moonshine gigs at Norwich Arts Centre. Yes, “gigs” plural.  The traditional 21st date has already sold out so a second has been added on the 20th.  The first features support from The Arlenes and Murphys Lore, and the second has The Shackleton Trio, and Yve Mary B, with Hank Jd Sleek dj-ing honky-tonk, western swing and Americana in the late bar, where, of course, hot toddies will also be served.

 

 

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The Sweetbeats + The Cuckoo Clocks @ NAC 2 December 2017

 

sweetbeats

 

Hypnotic, melodic, psychedelic and flavoured with some West Coast, Country, and Paisley Underground vibes, beautiful harmonies and with a touch of electro and rock, The Cuckoo Clocks were a revelation. I could close my eyes at times and almost make believe I was back in the era of the much-missed Long Ryders. Quite different from The Sweetbeats but the match worked well.

cuckoo clocks

 

 

Based in Sheffield and making their first appearance in Norfolk The Cuckoo Clocks evidently got a skewed impression of our wonderful St. Benedicts, only seeing one pub but all of the Cash Converters. At least they were music ones.  Please come back again and see what this street is really all about 🙂  For the introduction to Spellbound there was a whoop from the back of the hall and it was soon clear why as this was a great song, as was the epic and life-affirming Broken Stone.

the cuckoo clocks

 

Musically they were just wonderful, country-tinged but with elements of the likes of Fleetwood Mac – think a more country Morganway – the early arrivals to the NAC hall loved it and lapped it up. They played their album in full and in order, rather like the Sweetbeats were to do later.  During a pause for tuning vocalist Tracy Deakin (who has a fantastic voice) observed “This is the moment when the vinyl would be turned over…”

 

the cuckoo clocks

 

For a six-piece their sound is obviously quite full when it needs to be but again, like Morganway, they know when to bring it down and let things breathe giving that spacious, sparse sound I love so much.  They draw from a large melting pot of rich ingredients, there might even be a trace of dub seasoning in there too giving the country psychedelia a delicious flavour.

 

 

the cuckoo clocks

 

Their singer observed at the Arts Centre “Beautiful venue. We love the arches. But we don’t love barriers”, referring to the barrier at the front of the stage. I hope this barrier is not a permanant fixture, it feels so un-NAC.

 

cuckoo clocksthe cuckoo clocks 5

 

the cuckoo clocks

 

I’ve not seen the Sweetbeats in ages but none of their wonderful vibe and sense of occasion for their gigs has diminished. A stage adorned with flowers and fairy lights and an audience so up for a good time and a catch-up, that is exactly how it was. I saw so many people I handn’t seen in ages and between acts there really was a great social feel. The band sounded great, keys and horns especially, with guitar, drums and bass giving the dubbier moments great depth.  Of course this gig was also about the launch of their new album, Girl Overboard.

 

sweetbeats

 

The audience, and band too it seemed, had an absolute blast with plenty of dancing throughout the set and an atmosphere which was simply joyous and positive.

 

the sweetbeats

 

The Sweetbeats were launching their new album and played it straight in its entirety and carried through for ninety plus minutes, going right into some old favourites, including the likes of No, No, No, A Bridge Too Ska, and, for the encore, Barbecue. The full auditorium audience danced and skanked throughout and the feelgood factor was off the radar. We’ll be doing similar all over again for The Vagaband’s Midwinter Moonshine in a couple of weeks, now with a second date added to cater for demand!

sweetbeats

 

Sweetbeats really are the perfect party band, infectious ska rhythms and a special inclusive and happy vibe to their gigs.

 

sweetbeats

 

sweetbeats

 

Saturday 2nd December 2017 
8:00 PM 
£10.00 adv | £8.00 adv concs | £12.00 door
Standing

+ The Cuckoo Clocks + DJ Habibti in the bar

This triumphant fourth album from The SweetBeats draws on the band’s Rock Steady roots, with frostings of Dub and hints of Motown, Northern Soul and Dancehall.

Dance all night to the joyful sounds of The SweetBeats as they blend self-penned songs with twisted versions of the classic Ska, Reggae, Bluebeat, Soul and dub tunes that inspired them. Jamaica is where this music starts – the journey ends in bliss. The soaring saxophone and double-trouble trombone energise your soul while the sweet vocal harmonies entrance your heart. Chunkin rhythms and addictive riffs keep you rocking all night – Resistance is Futile!

The Cuckoo Clocks

“Sheffield’s finest The Cuckoo Clocks bring their own unique blend of West Coast Pschedelia and Country tinged Soul. With their intricate songs layered with luscious 6 part harmony and hypnotic lines the band are currently promoting their latest album “Frontiers of a Seductive Mind” which has already received critical acclaim from Richard Hawley and Rob Da Bank (Radio 1). Not to be missed.”

 

sweetbeats

sweetbeatsthe sweetbeats

 

 

Big thanks to Piers and The Sweetbeats, Norwich Arts Centre, and The Cuckoo Clocks.

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, SweetBeats | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Current Undercurrent @ Jurnets Bar 29 November 2017

Wednesday night and the gigs still keep on coming.  A damp and dreary night and some fatigue were slight hurdles but I’m glad I made it to Jurnets, a few minutes before a prompt 8pm start with no fewer than seven acts picked by Shane O’Linski for this final Current Undercurrent of the year, collaborating with Ryan and Off With Their Records for a live podcast recording.

 

jurnets bottle rack

 

Morris English eased us in with some quite beautiful guitar instrumentals, a short set which nevertheless made a favourable impression on me.

 

morris english

 

He was followed by a debut performance by new duo Battle Shultz, who are the latest collaborative project by birthday boy Iain Lowery and Al Soutgate.  Switching between vocals and guitar this was a beautiful set with some lovely melodies, lyrics, mood and harmony. I really enjoyed this.

 

battle shulz

 

The changeovers were fast and the sets coming along quickly, and next up was Monkey Boy – “neither a monkey nor a boy” but familiar to most of us as Mark of The Neutrinos.  This too was a highly enjoyable set with some great guitar playing and lyrics.

 

monkeyboy

 

He was followed by another excellent musician on acoustic guitar, the brilliant Pat Falgate who entertained us with some Brazilian and Portuguese flavoured instrumentals, and was later joined by Bridget Holmes (of Playhouse) to accompany Camille Davila on her set. She tonight was playing electric guitar, and charmed us as she always does with her lovely songs. Bridget hit just the right mood with her flute and backing vocals too whilst Pat’s guitar was sumptuous. Camille has her album Hi-C re-released on Goodbye Records on Friday.

pat falgate

 

camille davila

 

camille davila

 

They were followed by the always on-form Ben C. Winn and the Panache.  Iain Lowery back onstage providing drums as Ben played baking tray and “key-tar”.  Tales of driving irritations, “let’s not do rounds tonight”, and annoying student neighbours struck a chord with most, even us non-drivers, as well as the frustrations of life’s more mundane daily cleaning chores “After the washing-up there’s always one more cup!  Bollocks!” hitting something of an Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Invisible Girls meets Chas and Dave mood but for the most part the set carried a similar charm to Jilted John’s punk concept album masterpiece but creating something uniquely their own.  A set of such entertainment there wasn’t even space for Bag in a Tree. Superb fun.

 

ben c winn and the panache

 

At the end of the set the audience broke into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday to Iain … with some wag calling for “Speech!” which hit me squarely in the funnybone! 🙂

 

iain lowery

 

To close the night on a slightly quieter note, Joey Herzfeld played at the Jurnets piano and was joined by Jacob Solstice on guitar (who also played with the Panache), with a few numbers accompanied by Iain jamming quietly on drums, in an all-originals set which concluded with Seedy.  In fact, come to think of it, I think every song played tonight by all the acts were originals. This was a great showcase for some of the perhaps slightly underground Norwich talents and the diversity of its music and talents. Everyone was just wonderful. It was well-attended, had a lovely atmosphere, and great sound.

 

joey herzfeld

 

ryan

 

Shane O’Linski hosts another night on Thursday. WolfsVolk at Cactus Cafe Bar with performances from Winter Visitors, Lisa B, Fiery Fred, French Dog, Gemma Khawaja, Joey Herzfeld, and DR Jones and the Ornithologists. He also appears at the event “Exposure” at Norwich Arts Centre on 12 December which will be recorded for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction.

 

Late Junction’s Verity Sharp hosts the latest in BBC Radio 3’s series of showcases for experimental music around the UK. Sets from improvising three-piece Hymn, the project of trumpeter Chris Dowding, singer-songwriter Shane O’Linksi with a group specially assembled for this event, and the duo of violinist Laura Cannell and electronic artist Andre Bosman, aka Hoofus.

Doors 7.30
Show starts 8.15

An edited recording of this event will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday 28th December at 11pm

 

Meanwhile, Jacob and Ryan will be at the Owl Sanctuary, also on Thursday for Lift Off, where Host, PreDawn, and Jacob Solstice and the Cosmic Order will all be playing in a night of  post-rock, psych, jazz and prog.

 

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Norwich: Music City, UK

Posted in Battle Shulz, ben c winn and the panache, Ben C. Winn, camille davila, Joey Herzfeld Trio, Monkeyboy, Morris English, Pat Falgate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment