PRB Presents Bo Ningen @ NAC, 1 October 2021

Although I have been seeing bands and artists in pubs recently (mainly the Reindeer and the Walnut Tree Shades) I haven’t been photographing and I had not returned to the Arts Centre since March 2020, until tonight and I only brought a compact camera with me. Any anxieties about the NAC feeling unfamiliar in its new Covid-safe state were quickly dispelled on arrival when I saw Nick on the door, and David at the front desk (it was good to catch up with them both later). Suddenly it felt like I’d never been away. Reassured, I looked in the bar and found more familiar faces (the perspex screen at the bar was less familiar, however, and may take a bit more getting used to), this aspect of gigs cannot be overstated, the social side of music events and the coming together of like-minded souls; in fact the vast majority of my friends are friendships formed and forged though music in one way or another over the years. I have missed this social aspect of live music enormously.

Support was from London’s Lunch Money Life, a band making interesting and enjoyable music which almost defies categorisation but was well received by the appreciative audience. The only thing preventing me from becoming wholly absorbed was the awareness and novelty of being back in the NAC hall after so long away. It was nice to see various members of Bo Ningen among us appreciatively watching Lunch Money Life too.

During the break it was great to see plenty of familiar faces in the bar and catch up with friends, including promoter of PRB (Punk Rock Blues) Rupert Orton who said this was his first PRB post-lockdowns gig too (other than Red Rooster of course). Bo Ningen’s gig was one I had earmarked last year before, like all the others, it fell victim of the restrictions.Although possibly an outre choice to return with that was what made it all the more appealing for me, and clearly for many others too as this was a decent audience, the hall feeling nicely full without being too crowded.

For the entirety of their set Bo Ningen held our complete attention, every bit as visually compelling as their music. This was their first night of the tour and their first indoor gig in 18 months too, they obviously enjoyed it as much as the audience did. A band with immense power and energy there is no lack of subtlety or softer moments either. The whole band put everything into the performance but what a frontperson Taigen Kawabe is, charismatic and captivating, in an at times not dissimilar way to Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde with incredible faces pulled, unpredictable stage antics and using a bass in ways I hadn’t seen before. Closing with an absolutely phenomenal full band blowout on the epic Daikaisei Part II, III which easily topped 15 minutes and induced a modest but lively moshpit down the front (something at times over the past 18 months I had wondered if I would ever see again). It was a most welcome sight and together with the delivery of this set closer it blew away any remaining lockdown cobwebs, it was cathartic and healing, something felt purged. It also felt good to experience music in a communal way again, if anything it could have been louder but it was thrilling feeling that connection between a band and audience, particularly when everyone went bonkers towards the end. A sort of musical exorcism of any lingering lockdown blues or fatigue.

Thank you Bo Ningen and PRB, and the gig-going community. Live music is so important in many ways and I think we’ve all realised just how important that role is in bringing people together. Be they small gigs in pubs or larger ones in dedicated venues, gigs seem to be at the centre of social life for many of us. It was also a relief to be out and about talking about music again.

PRB will be back at the NAC on Sunday 17th October, this time bringing The Courettes to Norwich.

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Red Rooster Festival on track

Best in Cajun, Soul, Rock n Roll, Blues, Roots & Country….




All systems go for Red Rooster, it’s looking good for the return of this popular local festival.

Red Rooster festival remains on course to bring back live music this Summer with, as previously announced, rescheduled dates of Friday 27th- Sunday 29th August 2021.

Harry, Duke of Grafton, co-founder of Red Rooster says:

We are getting the Rooster site prepared for our new August Bank Holiday dates. Besides one of the most exciting music line-ups to-date, there’s lots of activities and fantastic food and drink on offer. I can’t wait to see people having a good time again at Red Rooster – you’ve been sorely missed.

Throughout this difficult time keeping safe has always been our prime consideration. We monitor Government guidance closely and will organise a safe and inclusive festival, allowing people of all ages to enjoy the very best of cajun, soul, rock n roll, blues, roots and country music in the heart of the East Anglian countryside.’

Set amongst 300 acres of the historical private gardens and rolling parkland of Euston Hall in Suffolk, designed by Capability Brown and William Kent, it is the perfect setting for weekend get-togethers, great soul food, and a general feel-good atmosphere. But most of all, it is about the long-awaited return of fantastic live music in an outdoor setting. And a free Bank Holiday Monday means time to recover or travel home.

As previously announced there’ll be performances from Richard Hawley , Jade Bird , Songhoy Blues , Kitty, Daisy & Lewis , Ida Mae , Ian Siegal , Little Barrie and many more. (full line-up below).

In addition to the huge music programme there’ll be lots of other activities, such as survival expert Will Lord, who presents his Prehistoric Experiences. Will and his team will be teaching skills from the Stone Age period, giving the opportunity to try the ancient craft of flint knapping, fire-lighting and natural cordage or disco pass the parcel. For the wild ones: den building in the woods. For the competitive ones, there’s traditional carnival games, tug of war, hook a duck, Wild West tin-can alley and much more to explore.

Dog lovers will have the House of Mutt and their trainer’s onsite to answer all canine questions, as well as doggy agility around their obstacle course.

For relaxation, Heilsa Therapies are on hand for massages and a variety of other treatments, the perfect way to rejuvenate incredible night of music and cocktails!

For food offerings, this year Red Rooster is delighted to announce Smoke & Fire Events, organiser of the award-winning Smoke & Fire Festivals, the nation’s Largest BBQ and Outdoor cooking Festival, as a new BBQ partner. They promise to bring their Low n Slow BBQ and Live Fire skills to curate the dawn of the new Red Roaster BBQ Pit arena, where you can expect some of the most experienced and exciting fire cooks and BBQ Pitmasters.

Pat and Jim from Smokin’ Soul Ireland, International Competition Pitmaster Phil Wingo of ‘Pork Mafia’ from Chicago, and Michael and Thomas of Origins BBQ, will all be on hand to offer up some great interactive demonstrations, passing on a ton of practical skills and also some great tasting food! You can find out more on Smoke & Fire Festivals here:

Besides a whole range of BBQ choices, there’ll be all the soul food of the Deep South and delicious street food too: jambalaya, chowders, smokin’ ribs, burritos, tacos, mac ‘n’ cheese and vegan options. And who could forget the fine selection of cocktails, beers and bourbons?

Red Rooster has consistently sold out the last 3 years; with tickets flying out at record speed. It is one of the best value festivals out there at just £89.50 + Booking fee for the whole weekend, which includes 3 nights of camping and parking FREE. Kids under 12 are free as always… HERE

Red Rooster takes place at Euston Hall, Euston, Suffolk, IP24 2QW

Festival gates open at 4pm, Friday 27 August 2021. This is for guests who have purchased a Weekend ticket, who want an extra night of fun! Saturday morning kicks off with live music throughout the day and into the night and is the very same for Sunday! Guests can purchase a ticket for a lower price just to attend Sunday which still includes one night of camping.

Full Line-up:








“An unrivalled atmosphere”- The Telegraph

“The go-to early summer event for those who wish to immerse themselves in a truly Deep South weekend experience of music, food and culture.” – Daily Mirror

“A truly unique event” – ITV News

“One of England’s most buzzed about music festivals” – Vanity Fair

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Red Rooster festival full line-up for this August

Best in Cajun, Soul, Rock n Roll, Blues, Roots & Country….


27-29 AUGUST 2021


Following a difficult start to 2021, Red Rooster Festival is hugely excited to be bringing back live music this Summer, by announcing the line-up for 27th-29th August 2021!

Set amongst 300 acres of the historical private gardens and rolling parkland of Euston Hall in Suffolk, designed by Capability Brown and William Kent, it is the perfect setting for weekend get-togethers, great soul food, and a general feel-good atmosphere. But most of all, it is about the long-awaited return of fantastic live music in an outdoor setting. And a free Bank Holiday Monday means time to recover or travel home.

Red Rooster is delighted to announce that Richard Hawley remains headliner for the Saturday night. With his ninth studio album, “Further” hitting the UK album charts at No.3, his ability to cut across styles, time and, in some instances, place, is down to Hawley’s deep and intuitive understanding of music itself, and his love of country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll

Then, heralded as Americana for a new generation, the 20-year-old songstress Jade Bird will join the line up as Friday night headliner. Her wondrous song writing, lyrics, effortless vocals, gliding between honey and hessian, will be something to show off at Red Rooster.

Taking to the stage as Sunday night headliners, will be the desert blues superstars, Songhoy Blues. Born out of the civil war in Mali, in the face of a music ban, an incredible group of musicians came together to create something positive out of adversity. The result was the future of African Rock n’ Roll, an infectious mix of supercharged classic Malian music and desert blues.

Local heroes Ida Mae make a very welcome Rooster return after 2 years in Nashville with a full band show on the back of their critically acclaimed 2021 album ‘Click Click Domino.’ Classic British power trio and former Primal Scream guitarist, Little Barrie will be joining the bill this year, alongside the infamous rockin’ family band, Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.

The smoky tones of the UK Americana award-winner f “Song of the Year” and No.1 Amazon blues charts chanteuse Elles Bailey is added to the line-up, alongside the U.S hotly tipped Jazz vocalist Lady Blackbird who is set to make huge waves in 2021.

Emily BarkerThe Hanging StarsHeartworn Highways: A Live Tribute (Feat. The Magic Numbers, Beth Rowley, Ren Harvieu, Zak Hobbs, Robert Chaney, Naomi In Blue, Pat Ralla, Josh Flowers, Laura Tenschert, Felix Holt, Joe Harvey-Whyte), 6 Music playlisted favourite Iraina ManciniThe Urban Voodoo MachineHis Lordship, UK soul and gospel sensation Izo FitzRoy, and Jose McGill & The Vagaband will also be performing, alongside Blues & Rock n’ Roll DJ sets from David Holmes paying tribute to his much-missed friend Andrew Weatherall, plus  Jon More and Ross Allen, and many more.

Red Rooster has consistently sold out the last 3 years; with tickets flying out at record speed. 2021 will no doubt follow suit. It is one of the best value festivals out there at just £89.50 + Booking fee for the whole weekend, which includes 3 nights of camping and parking FREE. Kids under 12 are free as always… Get your ticket before it’s too late – HERE

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Red Rooster festival confirms August 2021 dates…

Red Rooster festival goes full steam ahead with new bank holiday August dates

27-29th August 2021 – Euston Hall, Suffolk

In light of recent Government announcements, Red Rooster is delighted to announce new dates as 27th – 29th August! Held across the bank holiday weekend, rest assured that no matter how much you go wild on the Sunday, Monday is a day off and you also won’t need to worry about kids getting back to school.

With nearly 18 million people already vaccinated and a target of all UK adults being offered the vaccine by the end of July, Red Rooster is confident that we can finally welcome you back to our home at Euston Hall. 

There is now real light at the end of the tunnel, and what better way to celebrate than with something special on the horizon. Offering the best Cajun, Soul, Rock n’ Roll, Blues, Roots and Country, Red Rooster promises an explosion of sights, smells and sounds at the historic and picturesque Euston Hall and parklands.  Pull up a chair by the broadwater, watch a pedalo float by, listen to the shred of guitars echo through the woods. Sheer bliss.

Since the government announcement, Red Rooster has been inundated with enquiries. It has sold out consecutively the last 3 years, and 2021’s roaring event is expected to be no different. All previously purchased tickets will be valid. Line-up soon to be announced.

Tickets are on sale at £89.50 for the weekend including camping in your own tent & parking, with kids 12 and under having free entry.


“An unrivalled atmosphere”- The Telegraph

“The go-to early summer event for those who wish to immerse themselves in a truly Deep South weekend experience of music, food and culture.” – Daily Mirror

“A truly unique event” – ITV News

“One of England’s most buzzed about music festivals” – Vanity Fair

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Dereham Blues Festival 2021 cancelled

The Dereham Blues Festival 2021 cancelled

Since the 2020 Dereham Blues Festival was regrettably cancelled last year, the Festival
Organising Committee run exclusively by volunteers, have been very busy with a view to organising the Festival for July this year (2021). The uncertainty last year was recognised but it was hoped the situation would be clearer as the year progressed. We now know, this is not the case. Indeed, if anything the position at the beginning of 2021, is less clear.

To put the festival on, many of the arrangements and decisions must be made early in the year – for example to sign up the venues, agree arrangements with sponsors, arrange the line-up of the bands, work with the Friends of The Dereham Memorial Hall to set-up the opening headline concert and organise the publicity.

The committee has continued to meet virtually each month to assess the situation which early in 2021 is currently still very uncertain. Without certainty, we regret cannot plan fully putting on a festival while maintaining safety of all those involved, especially audience members. So, with extreme regret, it has been decided, that the Dereham Blues Festival this year will not be taking place as normal in July.

This has been a very hard decision to make. Over the last eight years since the Festival
was first held, its reputation has grown in line with increasing scale and scope of the
festival itself. The committee is concerned this reputation is maintained and do not want to do anything to dilute the Festival’s brand. Given the current uncertainty, and that the Committee only want put on a top class Festival, we would rather wait until 2022.

Despite the lack of a Festival again this year, the finances which are run on a not for profit basis, remain sound. One reason for this is that kind festival fans have continued to support the festival financially by participating in the Breckland Lottery Fund where they have nominated the Dereham Blues Festival as their local organisation to be supported. The Committee are so grateful for this continued support. If any fans want to add to this initiative, they are welcome to do so by contacting the fund at https:// .
In September this year, bands will be contacted again to sign them up for 2022. We are
always on the look out for new talent. So if new artists and bands want to apply to play
next year, of course this is encouraged via “Wanna Play” page on the Dereham Blues
Festival website at from September onwards.

The committee have been keeping other involved organisations informed of the Festival’s activities. These include Dereham Town Council, the bands, advertisers, sponsors, the programme printer and the venues. The sponsors who are especially valued contributors to the Festival, have had their 2021 sponsorship funds reimbursed and we are discussing with them their continuing support in 2022.

The committee hopes the Festival’s fans understand this difficult decision and look forward to their continued support for this unique and special festival.

Onwards and upwards to 2022.

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Bark Prelude – Light of Winter

Bark Prelude (aka Philip Lewis-Jones) has returned with a highly impressive new album – Light of Winter – which although dealing with melancholy thoughts, feelings and situations is, due to the playing, humour and melodies, not a depressing listen. It’s quite an immersive experience in fact with a feel of continuity to the tracks and stories. Excellently crafted and played songs with a strong supporting cast of musicians that include Fran Broady on violin and backing vocals, Ross Mitson on guitars and backing vocals, and Gary Cole-Wilking on double bass and backing vocals to complement Philip’s piano and expressive vocals.

Cover photo by Claire Hobden Phillips

There are recurring themes in the song stories, feelings of loss of friendships, relationships, identity of the past and the summer, it almost feels like it chronicles ten days in the life of someone going through great transition and not always coping with it. The protagonist is searching for answers, searching his own soul but also looking for answers everywhere between the ocean and the stars, trying to stay afloat when in the water or flying in the sky when the route is rough. Trying to make sense of a changing world, this feels even more apt in 2020.


The imagery from the lyrics is vivid and colourful, the descriptive drama brings to mind Sparks at times and it’s always done with an ear for a strong hook and melody to accompany the expressive and clear, descriptive lyrics. An album to be proud of. Added mention for the fine production from Philip himself, with mastering by David Riggs.


Recorded in Norwich Bark Prelude’s Light of Winter is available through MuchoRetro Records.


Things seem to change day by day but as things stand Bark Prelude will be playing for Bare Feet Records at the Bowling House on the afternoon of Sunday 13 December. Tickets are £6 advance only and available from

Food is available so alcohol will be allowed with a meal. And remember you can only sit/mix with your own household.We also offer FULL refunds for any Covid related reasons.

Bark Prelude – Light of Winter

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Das Fenster & the Alibis – Lucky Charms & Firearms, new album

Norwich favourites Das Fenster and the Alibis release their second album this week – Lucky Charms & Firearms – on Halloween (when else?) available on CD, download, to stream on Spotify, and best of all, on glorious vinyl. Order here.

Opening perfectly with the apt Roll Up, this is followed by live favourite, the call and response Down to the Gates of Hell which is in turn followed by the heavily reggae-flavoured and incredibly catchy ear worm that is Run From the Police putting me in mind a bit of Police On My Back. It’s no novelty reggae track either and is one of many album highlights. This one also features some great backing vocals from Emma Ni Raghallaigh.

Perhaps the police caught up with Das Fenster as the next track is the lonely three day diary of Three Days in This Cell with brass from Laurie Arcourt and Chris Dowding before side one closes with On the Day You Die.

Anyone who has seen DF live in recent years will surely know opening track of side two, Jeopardy. This voodoo-tinged recording features the accordion talents of Hugh Stanners. Voodoo also happens on the next track which is pure rockabilly (voodoobilly) with Pearly Gates’ brilliant double bass playing to the fore on Bad Luck, the intro reminded me of King Kurt! Chris Dowding on trumpet guests on Followed By a Shadow which has a film noir feel. Another live favourite is next, the L’Étranger anthem Outside Looking In before this impressive album closes with more voodoo percussion, brass backing and jazzy guitar on King of Voodoo, surely a title in these flatlands that cannot be disputed for Das Fenster himself, joined here by The Angelic Demons Choir who happen to include a number of names who it seems I know very well, reading the back of the album cover.

Das Fenster and the Alibis are a band I love and have seen literally dozens of times since first being introduced to them through Richard Penguin‘s Acoustic & Eclectic nights at Olives many years ago (I think it was just the second DF gig). I loved their darkness, the stories, the sense of theatre and occasion and the terrific musicianship. There have been a few line-up changes along the way but all of those magical ingredients remain in this powerful voodoo spell, and so of course does the Voodoo Shrine itself. Lose yourself among the Lucky Charms and Firearms in these stories of gangsters and hoodlums, ne’er do wells and characters from old black and white movies. Come over to the dark side and join the outsiders looking in, just remember though – you can’t go back … not that you’d want to.

Das Fenster & the Alibis

I sure wish we still lived in that world where I could head off to the Walnut and see DF play but in a strange and difficult year this album is a delight to listen to, all the more welcome for the immersive escapism it delivers by the cauldron. The JuJu is strong on this one.

Das Fenster are:

Pearly Gates – double bass

Das Fenster – guitar & vox plus keys & percussion

The Chemist – drums

Donna Matrix – keys, sax


Chris Dowding – trumpet

Laurie Arcourt – sax

Hugh Stanners – accordion

Emma Ni Raghallaigh – backing vocals

“The Angelic Demons Choir”

Das Fenster and the Alibis (c) shashamane 2015

The album is produced by Paul Finlay, engineered by Jason Wick, with sleeve photos by Martin Figura and Kevin Fry. It is dedicated to the memory of Jim Moore, Judith Hewitt, Rob Powell & King Leo of Redonda,

The Voodoo Shrine

Lucky Charms and Firearms is released on 31 October 2020. During the hours of Halloween darkness though, obviously. 7:30pm to be precise.

Thanks to Paul Finlay.

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The Birdcage to close

Very sad to learn this week that The Birdcage pub and venue in the heart of the Norwich Lanes has announced that it will not be renewing its lease and will be closing.

The news came from a post on the Birdcage Instagram account on Thursday.

THANKYOU and GOODNIGHT. It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to say goodbye to this magical building. We have had the most EPIC time over the last 15 years but our lease is up now and we’d rather leave the party at this point with all those good memories than be booted out at last orders 🤣. We lived for messy nights out, live performances, chaos and creativity. To all of the performers, artists and creatives we’ve seen here over the years KEEP GOING! You are INCREDIBLE and we will always be cheering you on from the sidelines. We know those sunny days will come again so here’s to the next chapter and we’ll be doing EVERYTHING we can to support our friends and fellow businesses throughout this time. SO much love Norwich. Keep strong and THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU xxxx

The Birdcage (c) shashamane 2015

This is a massive loss to the city in many ways and will send shockwaves as to just how hard the restrictions on independent businesses in the hospitality and live music industry are hitting and must surely be the major factor behind this decision.

The Birdcage

Big thanks to all at the Birdcage and those such as Alex Carson and Robbie Powell, among many others, who have hosted gigs there over the years. I wish all involved with The Birdcage the best in their next endeavors and thank them for all the gigs and friendships forged there.

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‘This Fine City’ – Lisa Redford & friends

Since the lockdown restrictions began in March there has been a gaping hole in the fine city which live music used to fill. Walking the streets during the day and especially in the evening the sound of music could be heard on the street or spilling out from any number of our special venues and music-loving pubs and bars. It has returned to a degree, in a socially-distanced, restricted kind of way but things are just not the same yet and we all feel the loss and uncertainty, making it difficult at times to feel anything other than concern and pessimism that music will ever return in its previous form in Norwich. We have also lost the OPEN venue which has resulted in community station Future Radio losing its central base, office space and studios. With the future so uncertain we desperately need a bit of positivity and hope which Lisa Redford has come up with in magnificent style with the charity single This Fine City which is officially released Friday 16 October 2020. Immediately upon my first listening to this rousing celebration of Norwich and hope for the future I felt renewed optimism as well as being quite moved by the heartfelt love of the city so sincerely expressed in song. Joyous and triumphant in its hope.

Lisa said “I was delighted to be asked to compose the single as a tribute to my
home city, for the radio station I love. The song is a tribute to Norwich and how
weʼre getting through such a challenging time. Future Radio, which is facing
some tough times itself, is such an important part of the life of the city, I hope
people will enjoy this anthemic celebratory song and help the station to move
to a new home.

Referencing so many of the things and places we love about our city, from the Canaries to the Playhouse Bar, Blue Joanna and market it is probably the following lines that resonate with me most of all. Who hasn’t been in the city in recent months and felt melancholic at the memories the streets and Lanes hold and the fear that only memories remain? Lisa says ‘we’ll soon be making more‘ and ‘the Future will be bright‘.

“I know we’ve been low, living the unknown
I believe within these city walls
We’ll rise above – it all

All of these changes that we’ve been through
They won’t hold us back
Now hope is on our side
Every street is full of memories
We’ll soon be making more
The future will be bright

Infectious in the best of ways, uplifting and full of hope. In this song Lisa has found a musical vaccine to keep pessimism at bay. It is a wonderful ode to this Fine City too.

Lisa is a well-known and well-liked name in the local music scene, performing regularly and presenting on Future. She has penned this celebratory and uplifting ode to the city and is joined by a host of other familiar local names and Future Radio volunteers including Yve Mary B, Chad Mason, Callum Morgan, Ecky Limon, Teresa Gibbon, Scott Mathieson, Russell McNamara, Owen Sennitt, Andrew Todd, and Emily White. Produced by Andrew Todd with artwork by Gwenda Killick the single is available from Bandcamp for just £1 and with all funds raised going towards finding a new home for Future Radio.

The track will be premiered on Future Radio at 8:10am and Lisa will be chatting about the release with Sam Day.

Lisa Redford 

Singer/songwriter, Music Tutor, DJ at Future Radio, Arts and Music Columnist 

‘Edge of Love’ out now

“Anything But Easy” [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

“I Just Can’t Forget” Under the Apple Tree Session

“one of our finest singer/songwriters” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

“Classic heartbreak country and sparking pop..her ability to pen songs of genuine quality suggests that her moment is due very soon.” RnR Magazine ****

“a mighty fine singer/songwriter deserving of the widest possible recognition…In a sea of smart female singer/songwriters Lisa Redford is an admiral” Maverick magazine ****

Bob Harris Session and Interview

Future Radio is part of the charity Future Projects, also including Future Education,
a specialist independent school for children with special educational needs and
Future Support, a collection of support services which help those most in need.
More information about Future Projects available here – http://

A few months ago, the producer of our Vegan radio show, came to us with a crazy idea about creating a charity single to raise funds for Future Radio’s move to new studios & offices. We lost our home when our landlord went into liquidation during the Covid-19 lockdown.

OK we thought – we’ve never done that before, but it sounds exciting, so let’s carry on with it until something stops us! Nothing did & thanks to Lisa and other volunteers and local musicians, we launched a beautiful, uplifting and anthemic song about Norwich, our home city, which we’re really proud to present.

It’s amazing what the power of volunteering can do. Future Radio has almost 70 volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds. We’re a community radio station and now the only local radio station in Norwich other than the BBC.

We’re also part of the amazing charity, Future Projects, ( which also includes Future Education, a specialist independent school for children with special educational needs and Future Support, a collection of support services which helps those most in need.

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Johnny Steinberg – Shadowland

Norfolk-based Yorkshireman and singer-songwriter Johnny Steinberg has created a very fine, independently released album. Immediately upon first listening one is struck by the impressive, professional level of performance and production but especially the level of songwriting which draws in and holds the listener from the off and throughout the album.

In an acoustic, Americana-influenced style the songs describe the world observed through experienced and compassionate eyes. These are of people, places, events and moods. Johnny has an expressive, kindly-sounding voice which can only belong to someone who sees and feels things deeply. I know he’s a big fan of Neil Young and one can sometimes detect this in the songs but the imagery of some of the songwriting is as evocative of such other poetic musical gods as Cave and Cohen.

Johnny has taken us along with him to share a stretch of his own Lost Highway which is as much observed England in a Kinks-Squeeze way as it is Americana, as one might expect with it being recorded in both countries. It’s a feat of some magnificent songwriting which deserves to be heard. One always feels words from the heart and these songs have feeling, integrity, honesty and compassion in abundance. Recorded at the Blackbird Studios, Nashville and also at Saltwell Studio and Motherlode Studio in the UK Shadowland was produced by Boo Hewerdine, Chris Pepper and Johnny Steinberg. Musicians appearing on the album include: Kira Small, Boo Hewerdine, Mark Jolley, Chris Pepper, Kate Heaton, Carol Lea, Gustaf Ljunggren, Philip Lewis-Jones, John Temple, Pat Dam Smyth, and Ernesto Olivera.


Johnny can sometimes be found playing gigs locally, either solo or accompanied by his band The Blue Fish.  I first encountered Johnny at West Norfolk Radio some years back, I enjoyed his set and our chat afterwards. He told me about his song Man on Wire, inspired by the documentary film of Philippe Petit who made a highwire walk between the Twin Towers of New York in 1974.  The track appears here on Shadowland.

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