Wednesday 29 December 2010

Fever Fever making noise at Christmas!

Fever Fever wishing you a
very Merry Christmas!
On 21st December I went to my 81st and last gig of 2010 to see Fever Fever headlining at Norwich Arts Centre. The brilliant support was provided by Follow Your Heart, Transept and Lilith.

Lilith was first on stage with her gypsy influenced folk music which filled us all with comfort and joy. Transept then brought some magic with an air of mystery mixed with an ambient beat. It was then left to Follow Your Heart to declare that you should follow your heart if you are a talking head or if you are young and full of life!

It was now time for the headliners Fever Fever to take to the stage bringing all their energy and anger as they made a statement to change the world. The whole auditorium was filled with a barrage of noise. The trio made up of Rosie Arnold, James "Smit" Smith and Ellie Jones with their short sharp songs leave you breathless as an aural whirlwind seems to mix up all your senses.

I highly recommend that you check out The Bloodless EP with a tracklisting of Bloodless, Static, Butcher's Shop, Mouth House and Black Lung. It's a damn good listen as Fever Fever carry on a long tradition of Norwich Art Punk bands.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! Many thanks to Norwich Arts Centre for putting on loads of brilliant gigs in 2010. Here's looking forward to many more in 2011.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Norwich is full of the wonders of Christmas

Christmas shopping delights in Norwich
Oh the snow is falling on Gentleman's Walk as the Citizen's of Norwich are busy shopping for Christmas. Each snow flake that falls is as unique as each and everyone of us. Christmas carols can be heard being sung at St Peter Mancroft Church. Ding dong merrily on high.

Bright lights and decorations everywhere. Oh this is the season to be jolly. The temperature maybe cold but inside we are all full of the warmth of Christmas. Winter coats, scarves and gloves topped by a fetching hat is the fashion of the day. Warming cups of potato and leek soup are a must on a night like this.

We're all counting the days until Christmas Day arrives full of excitement and wonderment. From Norwich Lanes to Chapelfield the shops are full of busy Christmas shoppers looking for that last minute gift for a loved one. Smiling faces can be seen everywhere as the Citizen's of Norwich spread the spirit of Christmas.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Keeping it loose at The Music House!

Jess Morgan looking for love at the Library!
It was another Friday night at The Music House last night with a night of acoustic music. I made my way down to Jurnet's Bar which is a 12th Century cellar at Wensum Lodge in Norwich.

Last night there was no PA so it was truly an all acoustic night. First up were Ben Grizzly and Chad who are collectively known as The Loose Leaf Drifters. This was the first of three gigs they were doing on the night. With Chad on the piano they took us to the marshes with songs about Marsh Men!

Joe Potter may seem like an angry young man but his songs of protest have the ability to stir the emotions. The Coalition Government have been warned! Johnny Steinberg not to be confused with Johnny Sivebeck took us on a journey around the world with his wit and humour. From Australia to New York via a dodgy hotel in Bristol. He definitely needs water!

The Woodland Creatures with the aid of an acoustic guitar and recorder performed songs to warm the heart. They were well received by everyone in attendance as they took us on a journey through the woodlands. Jess Morgan finished the night on a high with a set of quality songs. With her distinctive voice she showed her talent as she looked for love at the library. She nearly got upstaged by a drunken fan but no one was going to up stage Jess as her talents shone through.

Friday 10 December 2010

The Wedding Present Are Bizarro Brilliant!

David Gedge is Bizarro Brilliant!
 On Thursday night The Wedding Present played at Norwich Waterfront to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the release of their Bizarro album.

The Jet Age from Washington DC were the support band who brought their Husker Du influenced sound complete with fuzzy guitars, pounding bass and some top class drumming. They are a excellent power trio who kept the crowd entertained before the main event of the evening.

The Wedding Present frontman David Gedge seemed to be really enjoying himself taking us back to the late Eighties and early Nineties on a rollercoaster of a nostalgia trip. Brassneck, Brassneck I just decided I don't trust you anymore reverberated around the venue and we all felt twenty years younger.

Lost your love of life? Too much apple pie. Oh have you lost your love of life? Too much apple pie. The majestic Kennedy showing us the true brilliance of The Wedding Present at their very best. By the time they were playing Take Me the audience were eating out of David Gedge's hand.

David Gedge said that Gedge is a Norfolk name and that he was now truly at home. When he mentioned Ipswich there was laughter as cries of Scum were heard around the venue. This was a very memorable night at Norwich Waterfront to make you realise the brillance of Indie Music in the late Eighties which has stood the test of time very well. We salute you David Gedge!

Monday 6 December 2010

Jenny and Johnny having fun!

Jenny and Johnny are having fun now!  
I was back at Norwich Arts Centre in the evening for the main event. Jenny and Johnny with support from La Sera. In the afternoon I stood on the main stage during Clutter City and dreamed of Jenny Lewis being on the stage. Now my dream was coming true!

Back in 2005 I saw Jenny Lewis with her band Rilo Kiley at Norwich Arts Centre. She was back this time as Jenny and Johnny. I'm Having Fun Now is an excellent album from the romantically involved couple and well worth a listen.

La Sera fronted by Katy Goodman brought their scuzzy dream pop with added thrills that warmed  us nearly as much as the veggie chilli did in the afternoon! Sunny vibes from Los Angeles to warm all our hearts.

As soon as Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice hit the stage everyone in the auditorium were transfixed by their performance. As Johnny said they are from somewhere else. Merging voices and exchanging lines it's like they are having banter with each other just like a married couple putting their relationship on stage and record. They seem to be having lots of fun.

Living your life in the gray is the new American way, we're spending what we haven't made. It's going to hit you with a Big Wave! You've been sniffing up that mercury from a broken thermometer like a cloud gatherer, just like Zeus! You used to dine out on a dollar with a switchblade in your coat. You had your young mind in the gutter. You had your feet on the ground!

Big Wave, Just Like Zeus and Switchblade just three examples of brilliant lyrics from Jenny and Johnny. One of the highlights of the show was Jenny Lewis singing Acid Tongue that was awe inspiring. Before singing Switchblade Johnny wanted us to explain about all the dead bodies at Norwich Arts Centre if we didn't think Norwich was a stabby place. Jenny said that the previous night in Leeds they had been in a stabby place.

During the encore a girl from California joined them on stage from the audience. It's always Americans who put their hands up and volunteer. This was definitely one of my favourite gigs of the year. Jenny and Johnny are brilliant live. Show your teeth to everyone don't let no one prove you wrong. You are an animal, an animal an animal! Take these words from Jenny and Johnny and start having fun!

Christmas cheer at Clutter City!

On Saturday I made my way to Norwich Arts Centre for Clutter City which is a platform for creative independent crafters, artists and collectives to sell their work. Focusing on original, quirky and unique items including DIY clothes, jewellery, badges, sewn items, paper goods, prints, paintings, comics, zines and more!

The music was provided by Magic Panda, Rory McVicar and Milly Hirst. On arrival I ordered a portion of the very tasty veggie chilli! On stage first was Milly Hirst who brought her emotional and thought provoking songs to the Cafe Bar that warmed up a cold Saturday afternoon.

Rory McVicar was next with his usual entertaining talking between songs. He was full of Christmas cheer with an amazing version of Silent night. Magic Panda finished the afternoon in top style with his highly entertaining Electronica that had everyone tapping their feet!

Saturday 4 December 2010

Cakes and Ale with added smiles!

Music House at Wensum Lodge
Jurnet's Bar at Wensum Lodge hosts Music House every Friday night bringing a mix of exciting and inventive music to this King Street venue in Norwich. Please come along sometime for a great night's entertainment in this 12th Century cellar bar. 

Last night it was the turn of Cakes and Ale, Takeda, Feral Mouth and Frost and Mudd to provide the entertainment. A large crowd made it through the difficult weather conditions to provide a great atmosphere.

Josh from Takeda did a solo set to start the night off in style. It was then the turn of Frost and Mudd to take up the baton and with style. They put us in a state of emergency with cello and acoustic guitar complete with haunting Americana lyrics.

Feral Mouth were next to take to the stage bringing southern fried tunes with humour and wit. It was then up to Takeda to take us to a darker place. The dark cellar is the perfect place to see Takeda where the dark droning atmosphere of their lyrics complete with a constant drum beat feels very much at home.

Headliners Cakes and Ale created a very uplifting atmosphere which put a smile on everyone's face as they tried to play every instrument apart from the kitchen sink. Their folk music is so lively. It's like it's just been made up on the spot. They are an amazing collective of talented musicians who are brilliant live.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Dark Dark Dark put on a mighty fine show!

Dark Dark Dark put on a mighty fine show!
It was a freezing cold night in Norwich as I made my way to Norwich Arts Centre to see Dark Dark Dark with support from Three Beards on Wednesday. I made sure I was suitably dressed with red beanie hat and gloves to keep out the cold!

First on stage were Three Beards who brought a taste of Eastern Europe to Norwich Arts Centre. Full of vodka, cossacks and Russian folk music. They definitely put on a lively performance.

Dark Dark Dark proved they had the quality and character to light up the auditorium with a  captivity performance of their chamber-folk. It was vintage music which took you on a dreamy tour of Old America. Nona Marie Invie is at ease on stage with her vocals which give Dark Dark Dark a sound that is a mix of Regina Spektor and Arcade Fire, evoking thoughts of  Régine Chassagne.

With an accordion, banjo, cello, castanets and piano they sound like they belong to a bygone age. You could say they are more 19th Century then 21st Century which I found very enchanting. It was a very enjoyable evening and well worth the trip in the cold to Norwich Arts Centre which is almost the perfect venue for Dark Dark Dark.

Monday 29 November 2010

Yogi's Top Ten Albums of the Year 2010

Warpaint - The Fool
Yogi's Album of the Year 2010

This is Yogi's Top Ten Albums of the Year 2010.

 1. Warpaint - The Fool
 2. These New Puritans - Hidden
 3. Beach House - Teen Dream
 4. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid
 5. Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
 6. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
 7. The National - High Violet
 8. Jónsi - Go
 9. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
10. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II) 

Saturday 27 November 2010

Laura Marling brings her magic to Norwich Waterfront!

Laura Marling brings her magic to Norwich Waterfront!
You were so smart then in your jacket and coat.
My softest red scarf was warming your throat.
Winter was on us, at the end of my nose, but I never love England more than when covered in snow.

With the snow falling as I made my way to Norwich Waterfront on Friday night to see Laura Marling how appropriate these words from Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) seemed.

The support band on this sold out night were the Louise Hull fronted band The Pins. With songs about Elvis and Jimmy Dean they brought a touch of the Fifties to the night. This three girl harmony group are making doo wop cool again!

All of this can be broken. Hold your devil by his spoke and spin him to the ground. Laura Marling started her performance with Devil's Spoke with was very enthusiastically received on her first visit to Norwich. Between songs she interacted with the crowd, dealing with football chants, drunken tributes and people chatting who maybe should have gone somewhere else as Laura Marling stated from the stage.

Oh give me to a Rambling Man. Let it always be known that I was who I am. Laura Marling is very talented with good songs and an amazing voice. This year she was number one in the NME Cool List. Her third album which she intended to release this year has been delayed which she performed three songs from tonight.

There's a house across the river but alas I cannot swim and a garden of such beauty that the flowers seem to grin. Don't spend your life with regrets jump in the river and swim! Laura Marling's songs are full of inspiration and meaning. She seems so at home on stage where she spellbounds audiences with her performances and songs.

For must of the night Laura Marling played with a full band but for a section of the gig it was just her and an acoustic guitar. This was definitely the time to stay quiet and listen! It was a privilege to see such a talented performer playing in Norwich who I'm sure will be entertaining us for years to come. She said that only chessy rock bands like Aerosmith can get away with encores but the deal was we got two new songs as a medley at the end!

Monday 22 November 2010

65daysofstatic make it louder and louder!

65daysofstatic making a
statement at Norwich Arts Centre
It was back to Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday night for the 65daysofstatic gig with support from Kong who couldn't wait to get on the stage in their sellotape masks. Are they a joke or do you take them seriously? I suspect it's a bit of both. Their hardcore noise may have been a bit dark and disturbing to anyone who had not experienced them before. They were all dressed in red with the bassist wearing a Minor Threat t-shirt and shorts.

After the mayhem left behind by Kong it was now the turn of 65daysofstatic to entertain us who didn't disappoint us by turning up the heat and the noise. They did loud and very loud with a mixture of intelligence and beauty. Their music has been put together technically very brilliantly.  While they were doing their set it like travelling through a black hole making you wonder what was on the other side.

Another brilliant night at Norwich Arts Centre where I was left with a feeling of excitement and exhaustion. It's still like my ears are bleeding!

Shine on you Lucky Shiner!

It was a case of shine on you Lucky Shiner as Gold Panda brought the beats to Norwich Arts Centre on Saturday night. Ghost Eyes were the support on the night who entertained us with dirty keyboards. It was dark dancing to a massive beat!

The main event of the evening was Lucky Shiner Time with Gold Panda making a big splash and proving that he is a genius. It was a brilliant night with amazing Electronica and visuals. It was like the music was speaking to you. You don't need vocals to be emotional as Gold Panda proves on Lucky Shiner one of the best albums of the year. If Beethoven or Mozart were alive today they would be interested in how Electronica music has evolved.

Gold Panda had his hood up for the set as he took us through a magical journey on his Apple Mac with a background of abstract visuals. This was definitely a night to remember from Chelmsford's Derwin.

Friday 19 November 2010

Prim Vintage Fashion putting the cool into Norwich!

Prim Vintage Fashion, St Benedict's Street, Norwich
If you want to know where the girl in the poem got her flowered vintage dress from that turned all the heads look no further then Prim Vintage Fashion on St Benedict's Street, Norwich.

There are vintage clothes from the 1930's to the 1980's. Don't shop anywhere else for your vintage clothing needs. For both gals and guys this is the place to go in Norwich if you want to look cool.

For gals there are vintage dresses, accessories and much more. For the guys there are shirts, knitwear and a 1970's style basement.

Walking elegantly along Cathedral Close

Norwich Cathedral Close
She wears a flowered vintage dress from Prim that turns all the heads. Walking elegantly along Cathedral Close in the Autumn sunshine with the pavement covered in leaves looking confident and at ease. Stopping briefly at the herb garden to reminisce on times gone by.

A smile breaks out on her face just as a rainbow appears in the sky. The Sun lights up her face highlighting how radiant she is looking and feeling. She is walking as tall as the spire of Norwich Cathedral blissfully happy in a care free state of mind.

At Pulls Ferry she stops to catch the cool air of the Wensum spotting a duck on the water. She is enjoying her afternoon stroll where the city is in harmony with nature. Relaxed and calmly she reaches the steps of the Complete Angler where she is meeting a friend for good wine and conversation.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Big Dave Stomp!

On Sunday night there was a musical celebration of the life of Big Dave Hicketts. Everyone was invited to raise a glass, bump fists, dance, smile, wear a golden suit and bring an owl. A musical celebration that was no way going to filling the gargantuan hole left in the world by his absence, but was, at least, going to be loud. It definitely was loud!

African food was provided by Totem. I enjoyed a plate of Zimbabwean curried bean stew before the bands took to the stage. The first band to play was Death Of Death Of Discotheque who once again put on another great show. It was like we had been transported to the height of New York No Wave being mixed with The Fall. Dirty, distorted and brilliant!

It was then the turn of The Neutrinos to entertain us in an Art Punk kind of way. it was another energetic set from Karen Reilly and the band on this emotional night. There were great performances of Eat My Hole and Mother's Mother Tongue.

It was then left to Def Tex to finish the day off with a bang and what a show they put on. it was a classic hip hop show from the Norwich veterans. They had the crowd eating out of their hands, it was like everyone and everything at the Norwich Playhouse Bar was bouncing up and down. Their performance was a fitting tribute to Big Dave Hicketts.

At the end of the night a blue plague was unveiled in the bar for Big Dave and several lanterns were let off into the night sky. I'm sure Big Dave would have approved.

Monday 15 November 2010

A fantastic journey to the Age of the Fifth Sun!

It was another night of awesome music at Norwich Arts Centre on Saturday night when the mighty God Is An Astronaut and New England band Caspian entertained us with their Post Rock brilliance.

First on stage were Caspian from Beverly, Massachusetts who started their set with a quite introduction but it was soon clear that they were going to make a lot of noise. It was like their towering wall of sound was running through my veins.Their music is like electricity. At the end of their set all the members of the bands were on drums making a beat that probably could be heard all across Norwich!

It was then time for lift off to a fantastic journey with God Is An Astronaut to the Age of the Fifth Sun and beyond. The band from Co. Wicklow, Ireland delivered everything I expected from them. Magnificent Instrumental Rock to make your ears bleed. It was like when you got into the beat of the music you were transported to an amazing alternative Universe. Calling the night epic is an understatement!

If you are into Post Rock check out God Is An Astronaut and Caspian. You will not be disappointed!

Saturday 13 November 2010

Klaxons taking us to another dimension!

The Klaxons taking us from Atlantis to Interzone!
It was another brilliant gig at Norwich UEA last night with The Klaxons once again magnificently ruling the night and the Universe it seemed!

First on stage were Fiction who entertained us happily with their Art Punk complete with keyboards. Mixing Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend with Eighties Pop they are definitely welcome to the jungle, especially on the track Zebra Crossing!

The last time The Klaxons played at Norwich UEA they said that it was the best gig of the tour. This time they knew they had all the audience on their side and milked it to give us another memorable night. With the full in your face complete with strobe lighting of Altlantis To Interzone, Golden Skans and Gravity's Rainbow it was always going to be a big full on show. With tracks from Surfing The Void like Echoes and Flashover The Klaxons are turning into a band to sit up and take notice of in a big way.

As Jamie Reynolds said: "We believe in the collective consciousness and the world shift, and the dissolving of boundaries and the bringing together of humanity, and everybody having the same objective and living together in harmony," This band has a lot to say. Believe in The Klaxons!

Monday 8 November 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Howlback Hum!

Hoofus with his perfect beats at Norwich Playhouse!
Howlback Hum celebrated being 10 years old by holding 6 gigs in 5 days in various venues across Norwich. The nights are organised and promoted by Shane O'Connor as a platform for local bands to get out and play. On Wednesday night it was the turn of Norwich Arts Centre Cafe Bar to host the first of these celebratory nights.Teleri started events off with a mixture of uplifting lyrics, acoustic guitar and violin followed by Danny Whitehouse who had a great time. Gravel voiced and full of emotion!

Arhai were next to take to the stage entertaining us with their exotic tinged sound with mandolin and electronics that take you to a Sahara horizon far, far away! Tawny Owl And The Birds of Prey then grabbed the moment perfectly with a performance that belonged on Broadway. There cover of Destiny Childs Say My Name was out of this world! Takeda followed that with an excellent set of ambient folk showcasing tracks from their Hufsa EP. Droning chords and drumming that put you in a relaxed state of mind.

Onto Thursday night and The Bicycle Shop complete with a fishtank on stage. Maria Uzor better known as Girl In A Thunderbolt said hello and said my face looked very familiar. On stage first was Sam James Hill who treated us with magic from his madolin. At the end of the battle he lifts us higher with whining post rock beats combined with off kilter vocals. Ruth Gordon enchanted us with her gentle folk while making us dream of nights out in Cromer!

Girl In A Thunderbolt then completed her plan of taking over the candlelit basement of The Bicycle Shop. Her Indie Soul is red hot tonight as she takes us on an emotional journey which has a quickfire effect on everyone. She's worried why we are all so quite but carries on her sonic assault on our senses. Headliner tonight is Mat Riviere who makes a lot of noise. He combined his drum and electronics with abrasive vocals that take you to a dark landscape which can be frightening and claustrophobic. In other words absolutely brilliant! he was crouched on the stage floor with his computer with vocals that reminded me of Interpol.

The setting on Friday night was the Jurnet's Bar at Wensum Lodge which dates back to the 12th Century. Shane got on his guitar and took us to another place which could be described as an Musical Circus. Jenny and Johnny lookalikes, violins and stories of Ski Trips were all part of this incredible night!

Milly Hirst gave us a quality performance full of beauty and emotion. She sang about ghosts and witches creating stories that uplift and are able to put a smile on your face. This was a very powerful performance from a very talented artist. The Raw And The Cooked mixed poetry and electronics to scare us all. Improvised, dark and very, very frightening!

Horses Brawl are amazing musicians who can combine King Henry VIII with Bulgarian Folk Music and get away with it. Laura on violin and Adrian on guitar making something like bric a brac to the masses. Rory McVicar finally made it back home to the place he belongs! Howling and doing what he does best, making music. It will all work out in the end because Rory has a big talent. He finished the night with Moon River that makes you realise that dreams can come true.

It's Saturday afternoon at Norwich Arts Centre so it must mean Pumpkin Soup. Definitely nom, nom! First up were Catheaded Hawk who brought Centuries old stories to life with their delightful folk. It was then up to Vase to entertain us with his Toys R Us induced tunes. There was no stopping him!

Tom Conway gave a history lesson in battles down history with very graphic details. The Dim Goddess was laughing and smiling while playing her harp. With her bright pink hair Joanna Newsom would be proud. Andy Kirkham then entertained with his mighty fine guitar playing.

Tiny Hands then took us to a darker place soaking us in rain with their dark Indie clouded in mystery. It was then down to headliners Spidermilk to take our breath away and how they did. I stood on the balcony in the Cafe Bar for their whole set completely enthralled with their performance. They had the nerve to have an ironing board on stage! Their Mogwai style soundscapes are beautiful but can make your ears bleed at the same time.

In the evening it was on to Take 5 in Tombland. Follow Your Heart must be some crazy geezers! They are mad and brilliant, mixing pop and alternative rock combined with their eccentric attitude. Next up were Scumbag Philosopher who were absolutely brilliant live with their Post Punk with real meaning.

Oh Brothers, Brothers what have you done! Great set from The Brownies, Fever Fever hybrid. It was then down to the Marathon Men of Octagon Court to take us through the night. Keyboards and freaky dancing are alright on a Saturday night!

On Sunday Howlback Hum returned to wear it all began, down by the River Wensum at Norwich Playhouse where the Winter Visitors had the perfect soundtrack for a gentle Sunday afternoon with their understated Folk. Shane was rocking all over the world while Master Solo was entertaining us with his Norfolk twist on Americana. Ashley Smith then took us to a world of whales which in fact is very good!

The Gore Vidals went on and on as the celebrations were getting into full swing but were we ready for Hoofus you may ask yourself. With his amazing Electronica he was definitely one of the highlights of the Howlback Hum celebrations. His beats were spot on.

Teknikov are the most overqualified band in Norwich. They gave us a real rock n roll show with Any Bloody Fool being one of the highlights of their set. They are Art Rock with attitude. After the serious politics of Teknikov it was then up to Alto 45 to make us laugh and smile with their jangly songs full of silly lyrics while dressed in white coats. It was then left to Magoo to bring their majestic Indie to Norwich Playhouse. They gave us a show that we will never forget.

Happy 10th Birthday Howlback Hum! Let's look forward to the next 10 years!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Roscoe born in 1891 and all that!

Midlake born in 1891!
It was a brilliant gig at Norwich UEA last night with Midlake, John Grant and Jason Lytle. Once a Grandaddy always a Grandaddy! Jason Lytle entertained us on his acoustic guitar in his red beanie hat. With Grandaddy tracks 2000 Man and Crystal Lake in his set we were all suitably entertained.

Next on stage was John Grant singer from the Czars. he sang about Sigourney Weaver and I Wanna Go To Marz. His voice is very expressive as evident on his album Queen of Denmark. He proved that he is a wizard on the keyboards.

Finally it was time for the headliners Midlake. With seven members on stage it was an amazing site as they took us to to the forest where they make their house from cedars. Where they make their house from stone. This is the world where you change your name to something more productive like Roscoe. Been born in 1891. I love that song!

The beardy Texans ruled Norwich UEA last night with their dense beautiful folk sound. They can seem serious but you know that their is a fun side to them. At the end of the night they were joined on stage by Jason Lytle and John Grant to cap a truly memorable night.

Sunday 31 October 2010

A Day in a Life and discoveries in Norwich

St Thomas' Church on Earlham Road, Norwich
It's an Autumn Saturday afternoon so it must be Clutter City time at Norwich Arts Centre! It was an opportunity for Bare Feet Records to some us their wares, unfortunately Jenny didn't like to be photographed took this literally and didn't make an appearance! All was not lost as we were brilliantly entertained by Sam James Hill and King Laconic.

Graham Coxon lookalike King Laconic didn't disappoint with his very expressive folk. His excellent work on the guitar complement his almost lo-fi vocals perfectly.

Sam James Hill with his ambient folk is an amazing live experience. His voice is operatic combined with the droning effect of his music giving an unique stamp on his undoubted talents. He produces epic soundscapes that are perfect to lose yourself in on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Manchester United's match against Spurs kicked off at 5.30 fitting in perfectly with the Big Sky concert at St Thomas' Church on Earlham Road in the evening. A brilliant header from Nemanja Vidic and a bizarre goal from Nani made it a perfect 2-0 win for United.

The Big Sky concert was in support of Strong Roots an exciting innovative therapeutic horticulture project in Norwich for people who are socially disadvantaged. Big Sky are a community choir based in Norwich an area famous for it's big skies. Performing uplifting songs from Georgian chant to American folk the whole performance was a very uplifting experience. Combined with the amazing acoustics of St Thomas' Church this made for a perfect evening. We were served beautiful tea and cakes during the interval. It doesn't get better then that!

Thursday 28 October 2010

My heart is an acoustic guitar

The strings on an acoustic guitar are like the blood pumping around my heart. The sounds that they produce can be either happy or sad. Just like my heart the strings can be broken and all appears to be lost. Give a little time for repair and healing and just like my heart you will hear happy tunes again bursting into the air and reaching the ceiling.

You can be sad inside in an emotional turmoil or overjoyed with happiness that you want to tell the whole world. Play your acoustic guitar and everyone will know what your feeling. In good times and bad the sounds that the strings produce represent deep complex feelings which at times can tear us apart while others fill us with all the joys of happiness.

In times of quite reflection the music on an acoustic guitar can be the best therapy of all. It seems that the strings have a direct line all the way to my heart. There is no need to hide away all your feelings. Let the strings on an acoustic guitar express your heart.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Magnetic Man make it emotional!

Skream, Benga and Artwork brought their dubstep super group Magnetic Man to Norwich Waterfront last night and put on an spectacular show. With support from Katy B this was the night that dubstep made a big splash in Norwich. As soon as Katy B hit the stage and burst into Louder the whole venue went crazy. She is definitely a big star in the making. The energy at the gig last night was amazing. It was like everyone had been transported to Outer Space or another dimension! The whole floor was shaking!

This energy reached a completely new level when Magnetic Man made their entrance. With their set up of three Mac laptops, a Korg synth and a digital mixer combined with the amazing light show their live performances just blow your mind. If it is possible for electronic music to be organic then this is it. It takes you on a natural high and makes you believe that computers can have a heart. According to Artwork the light show is supposed to represent when you're on a bit of drugs and you close your eyes and see shapes.

Katy B joined Magnetic Man on stage for Perfect Stranger and the energy reached a whole new level. This was not just a gig but a life experience brought to you by the Three Kings of Dubstep. Down by the River Wensum Magnetic Man definitely shook up this Fine City! I need air and now I have electronic music with real emotion. This is what 21st Century music should all be about.

Monday 25 October 2010

Crystal Castles Digipunk Art Statement!

Crystal Castles Digipunk Art Statement! 
I was in a good mood arriving at Norwich UEA on Sunday evening for the Crystal Castles gig having watched Manchester United beat Stoke City 2-1 in the UEA Student Bar with two goals from Chicharito. His first goal scored with an backwards header is what I would call an Art Statement. I would say that Crystal Castles are one big Digipunk Art Statement!

After seeing HEALTH at Norwich Arts Centre last year I was really looking forward to seeing them again and I was not disappointed.  That means they have blown my mind twice! The sound and the intensity of their live shows is out of this world.

After having our minds blown once we all had to get prepared for it all happening again with Crystal Castles. Every second they were on stage it was like I was taken to another dimension. Ethan Kath let's loose the noise and our eyes are stunned by a mass of strobe lighting! Then Alice Glass makes her entrance on stage screaming and shouting causing mass hysteria in the audience. For the next hour it was like all our senses were ripped apart by the greatest Digipunk band in the world! Alice was crowd surfing without a care in the world and I was jumping up and down in awe of one of my favourite bands.

Crystal Castles have been accused of being style over substance. I would say that is completely missing the point. This is Ethan and Alice's Art on full view to the world. They may shock but that is the case with lots of Art. I love both their albums and their live show is a stunning though provoking spectacle. This has to be one of the best gigs of my life!

Saturday 23 October 2010

Mr Scruff spins up a great brew!

Mr Scruff keeping it unreal!
Going to a Mr Scruff gig is the equivalent of running a Marathon considering the length of his gigs but they are definitely worth it! Five hours of magic complete with tea stall. I got to try his legendary mint and chilli herbal tea. I highly recommend you give it a try. It's available at Norwich Playhouse if you want an afternoon brew.

Norwich UEA was buzzing last night from the beats being delivered by Mr Scruff. Soul, reggae, funk, hip hop you name it Mr Scruff will spin it. With two screens complete with his quirky visuals giving shout outs to the Norwich Massive and incoming bass line alerts  last night was a great visual experience. Twenty years of Ninja Tune Records and Mr Scruff must be one of the best examples of what the label has given to the world. Fish alert! Mr Scruff if following the trawler to find the Ninja Tuna!

Lots of freaky dancing on display last night as everyone got into the spirit of the night. Mr Scruff nights are legendary. I think you should all get into training for the next one!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Lotte Mullan brings her magic to Norwich Caffe Nero!

Lotte Mullan live at Norwich Caffe Nero!
Lotte Mullan brought her magic to Norwich Caffe Nero tonight with a great live performance! With songs from her Plain Jane album and covers including Single Ladies everyone at Caffe Nero were having a fun night with added cappuccinos and espressos!

She was playing her newly acquired electric guitar but nobody called her a Judas! This gave her a more rocky sound to add to her softly sung lyrics mixed with the memorable melody of her songs.

With brilliant tracks like La La Love You and Wicked Way she definitely got the attention of the audience. I highly recommend you check out her debut album Plain Jane which is full of acoustic country sounds. Caffe Nero was a great setting for the gig with City Hall and the Marketplace in the background. She is definitely a big fan of Johnny Cash as we all are!

As the drummer wanted a steak dinner tonight we all parted with our tenners for a signed copy of the album. I'm sure I will have it on repeat play in the next couple of days!

Monday 18 October 2010

Just call me Daby!

Daby Touré wants you
to just call him Daby!
It was like a celebration of life at Norwich Arts Centre on Saturday night when Daby Touré brought his infectious brand of global soul-tinged pop to Norwich as part of Norfolk Black History Month. His music is at home equally on the African sands of the Sahara Desert as on the bustling streets of Paris.

During his ninety minute show he had the audience on their feet and clapping almost non-stop. With loads of energy and a constant smile everyone was put into a happy mood and were very willing to join in with Daby's singing. He had a brilliant repour with everyone in the auditorium.

Daby Touré is one of Senegal’s best known exports who has become a top class performer. His music crosses many musical boundaries. From the banks of the Senegal River to the shores of rural Norfolk. Just call me Daby!

Thursday 14 October 2010

Apples and pears at Norwich Marketplace

Norwich Marketplace full of
delights and wonder 
Apples and pears oh I declare full of goodness to keep the Doctor away. Oranges and Lemons the bells of St Peter Mancroft, all your fruity delights available on Norwich Market. Rain or shine you can always rely on a bargain under the multi coloured stalls served with a friendly smile.

I want parsnips but you want broccoli. Don't despair we can have both and mushrooms as well. No need to ponder on your choice of vegetables for your Sunday roast, you can have it all and more under the Norfolk Sun as it shines on a Fine City.
Hog roast and jacket potatoes or maybe you want fish and chips served with mushy peas for lunch. In the afternoon purchase an ice cream full of gourmet fresh cream and relax in this place of delights and wonder.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

God Bless Chile and the 33 Miners

God bless everyone involved in the rescue, the people of Chile and the 33 miners. This is a truly remarkable example of what can be achieved when people work together for a common cause.

As I watched the events unfold live on TV last night I was moved by the human spirit and the coming together of everyone. The rescue at the San Jose Mine in Chile is an uplifting event that should be an inspiration to us all.

When the first miner Florencio Avalos emerged from the rescue capsule all the anxiety melted away to be replaced with jubilation and the realisation that all the planning had fallen into place. The spirit of the 33 miners will live forever.

Monday 11 October 2010

I've been rewired in dub!

Pama International Meet Mad Professor
Rewired In Dub
It was night of reggae at Norwich Arts Centre on Sunday night with Pama International meets Mad Professor. With their mix of 60's soul and 70's reggae with a modern touch Pama International brought a touch of King Tubby sound to the auditorium aided by the legendary Mad Professor. This tour was for the Pama International Meet Mad Professor - Rewired In Dub album where the Mad Professor has totally reconstructed Pama International's Outernational album.

Mad Professor is most famous for remixing Massive Attack with the resulting album No Protection selling over 1 million copies. I was standing just in front of the mixing desk with the Mad Professor doing his magic behind me. Pama International were definitely getting everyone moving with their dub fuelled ska rocksteady and reggae sounds.

A wonderful night for all as we all dream of relaxing in the Caribbean surrounded by palm trees eating jerk chicken and drinking Red Stripe. Norwich Arts Centre has the ability to transport you to anywhere in the world. I'm sure my shoes had drops of sand in them when I got home!

Saturday 9 October 2010

Norwich Guildhall and it's proud history

Norwich Guildhall full of history!
If you know your history you will realise the importance and power of Norwich Guildhall standing proudly in the City Centre. Dating back to the Fifteenth Century after the Charter of Incorporation was granted to Norwich by King Henry IV.

As you look across the marketplace you are amazed at the chequered squares of flint that gives the building such a dignified look. The castellations around the roof are like it's crowning glory.

The Assembly Chamber is where the full medieval Council used to meet. Some know it as the Sword Room with storage for weapons in the room. Have you breath taken away as your eyes are taken in by the oak panelling and stunning stained glass of the Council Chamber. The Undercroft is where dangerous criminals were held going back to medieval times.

It's time to visit Caley's for a pot of tea and a cream cake. relaxing my mind and body with friends in vintage clothes taking in all the history of Norwich Guildhall.

Friday 8 October 2010

Maybe Plan B doesn't need a Plan C!

Plan B bringing sweet grooves
to Norwich UEA! 
It was a sold out night at Norwich UEA for Plan B as his complete reinvention from talking morbid just to make you awkward to his chart pleasing soul sound complete with backing band and singers made for a spectacular live show. The support was from Clare Maguire with her mighty voice. She sounds expressive and soulful. A star in the making!

Ben Drew maybe accused of selling out by certain people as he was regarded as the UK Eminem when he first arrived on the scene but you cannot doubt the quality of his second album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks. Songs like Writings on the Wall, I Know a Song Stay Too Long and Love Goes Down get the whole crowd going with some people singing back word for word showing their complete devotion for Plan B. Welcome to Hell seems a bit like tongue in cheek!

He was dressed in a suit looking like he should be on the way to court but somehow ended up headlining a glitzy show at the UEA LCR. With a full video back screen the venue looked like it had been transformed in to something out of Las Vegas. I kept wanting him to go back to the scary Plan B and put more edge into the show. The fury has been replaced with sweet grooves. Maybe Plan B doesn't need a Plan C!

Thursday 7 October 2010

No Age make it an awesome night!

No Age came, saw and conquered at Norwich Arts Centre last night! They were absolutely amazing with an assault of lo-fi noise mixed with melody. They have brought College Rock into the 21st Century evoking memories of Husker Du and Pavement. They created enough energy to power Norwich for the next six months! It was like the venue was full of devoted No Age fans. The band called the Arts Centre an awesome venue, it couldn't get any better!

On their new album Everything in Between there are pop sensibilities escaping from the lo-fi wall of noise. Augmented by a new member on synths live No Age's sound reached a new level. Vocalist Dean Spunt was sat at his drum kit while his voice echoed around the auditorium. While Randy Randall was making our ears bleed with his guitar playing!
Tracks like Life Prowler with it's buzzing guitars and thumped drums and Fever Dreaming that evokes memories of My Bloody Valentine have an amazing lifting effect. While Common Heat is an anthem of desperation.
With brilliant support from Lady Panther and John Weise this was definately a night to remember!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

The bells are ringing out at St Peter Mancroft

St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich
As I stand on the steps outside The Forum the air is suddenly full of the sound of fourteen pealing Whitechapel bells. I look across to St Peter Mancroft Church standing majestic in the City Centre towering above Norwich Marketplace and Gentleman's Walk.

Full of beautiful stained glass windows gleaming in the Sun. Mancroft is Latin for a great open space recalling The Normans positioning of the Market in medieval times many Centuries ago. The church is dedicated to both St Peter and St Paul with their symbols appearing on either side of the porch door.

I stroll down to the statue of Sir Thomas Browne surrounded by a marble eye and brain. It's time for lunch so I take my seat and take a bite out of my tuna sandwiches.

Monday 4 October 2010

Whitefriars in the Afternoon Sun

St James Mill, Norwich
I walk out of Norwich Puppet Theatre into the afternoon Sun feeling like a puppet on a string. As I walk up Whitefriars I can feel the air blowing up from the River Wensum as I stroll across the bridge.

As I turn and look I spot a pair of swans on the river. This is where in the Thirteenth Century Carmelite Monks founded their monastery next to the then known St. Martins Bridge. With lots of stories to tell from Robert Kett's rebellion to the secret tunnel to the White Lion Pub.

I am now in the shadow of the magnificent St James Mill that is full of memories of the weaving trade. Today it is full of the wonders of the Twenty First Century complete with broadband connections. With its elegant tower you would think that you were in the presence of a medieval castle.

Friday 1 October 2010

There's only one Kano!

Kano keeping it real!
It was a night of Grime at Norwich Waterfront on Thursday night with lots of banging tunes courtesy of Kano and Ghetts. It was a very appreciative audience who responded with great enthusiasm to everything happening on stage. Keep it nice and simple, a DJ and a MC giving it to the crowd. It was one big party!

After Ghetts had warmed everyone up into a frenzy there was going to be nothing stopping Kano lifting the roof off the King Street venue. it would be wrong to label Kano with just being Grime as he has so many more different styles of music influencing his music. A mixture of Electronica, Dubstep and Pop ensuring that he has ability to appeal to an wider audience. An example of this is All and All Together featuring Hot Chip that is clear indication of the progression on his new album.

His devoted fans started chanting: "There's only one Kano! There's only one Kano!" he could do no wrong! No one can doubt his rapping skills and flow. He takes the basics of Hip Hop and adds other influences showing everyone that he is an evolving artist who is open to new ideas. There is definitely method in the madness!

Thursday 30 September 2010

Chicharito Scores!

Chicharito celebrates!
Nani to Kiko on to Chicharito! Little Green Pea puts the ball into the back of the net! Goal to United, Chicharito celebrates by kissing the United badge on his shirt. Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sir Alex Ferguson went for it by putting Chicharito and Kiko on against Valencia and was fully rewarded for going for it.

This result takes the pressure away from the remaining group matches in the Champions League meaning that we can concentrate more on the Premier League up until Christmas.

Chicharito is such a natural goalscorer and hopefully given further chances he can turn this into goals in the Premier League. Kiko is looking more and more at home in the first team. The future is looking very bright at United. Competition for places is always healthy. Dimitar Berbatov has started very brightly this season and is finally looking the business at Old Trafford. 
Michael Owen scored 3 goals last week showing that he still has a great eye for finding the back of the net. Let's hope that when Wayne Rooney returns he finally finds his top form again. Then it will be full speed ahead for nineteen times and the Champions League Final at Wembley.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

On The Norwich Music Scene!

Katie Allard of The Kabeedies
Last year Norwich was placed in 15th place on the NME Cool list. There is definitely a healthy and thriving music scene going on in the City full of innovative progressive music. If you think of a Norwich sound you mind turns to Bearsuit, The Neutrinos, The Kabeedies and violet violet all Art Punk female fronted bands. Then there's the indie sounds of These Ghosts, The Olympians complete with their famous trumpet, Kunk, Loyal Few, Great Shakes and The Barlights.

Sennen are one of the top shoegazing bands in the country with three excellent albums behind them. Takeda are new on the scene with their folk music with added ambient droning and loud drums who have just released their debut EP Hufsa. Girl in a Thunderbolt mix of indie, soul and cabaret has got star quality. Her album Seven Sisters that she recorded in Norway is a brilliant slice of soulful indie. Sargasso Trio have added a Latin twist to the scene.

When you have such a beautiful venue as Norwich Arts Centre in your City then playing their regularly is something to inspire too. This year I've seen gigs from Rory McVicar, Great Shakes and Takeda at Norwich Puppet Theatre an amazing place to put an event on. Other venues include Take 5, Olives Cafe, Ten Bells, St Gregory's Centre, The Birdcage, The Marquee, Dragon Hall and B2 proving their is plenty of music beyond UEA and The Waterfront. Keep your eyes and ears open then you will discover many musical delights in this Fine City.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Photos from Neutrinos gig at Norwich Arts Centre 25th September 2010

The Sargasso Trio strutting their stuff!
Photo by Julie Layden
All the Ladies in the House!
Photo by Julie Layden
Karen Reilly of The Neutrinos
Photo by Julie Layden
Let's have a Norwich Musical Celebration!
Photo by Julie Layden

Monday 27 September 2010

Norwich bands take my breath away!

Karen Reilly of The Neutrinos
On Saturday 25th September 2010 it was a night of celebrating Norwich music at Norwich Arts Centre with a triple bill of exciting sonic sounds. The Neutrinos, Sargasso Trio and Girl In A Thunderbolt all gave storming performances which if you allow me to quote Berlin. All the bands take my breath away! Incidentally Berlin is where The Neutrinos have been recording their latest album The Butcher of Common Sense. Another twist on the night was that all the bands did covers of each others songs.

First on stage was Girl In A Thunderbolt who literally caused a big bang on stage! Her sound was soulful and haunting with brilliant guitar playing laced with a pinch of swing. Her music is very varied taking in influences from punk to cabaret. When her set finished I went straight to the merch table and bought a copy of her album Seven Sisters. 

Next on stage were The Sargasso Trio with their salsa sounds full of latin beats. Full of drums and keyboards they brought their eclectic music to life on stage. The crowd were highly entertained for a Saturday night and great fun was had by all. 

Headliners The Neutrinos commanded the stage with their art-punk noise. Their set was full of energy and theatre. They got the quite ones out of the way first then rocked. We had complete darkness and stories from Berlin. Karen Reilly didn't just sing but brought various facial expressions to her performance. The crowd were so in love with The Neutrinos they could have got away with anything.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Laura Marling live at Norwich Waterfront Friday 26th November 2010

Laura Marling
Laura Marling is live at Norwich Waterfront on Friday 26th November 2010. This is a brilliant opportunity to catch this unique talent at a small venue. She has already released two excellent albums. Alas I Cannot Swim and I Speak Because I Can. These album titles alone have loads of lyrical meanings, this is before you get to the amazing songs.

Songs like Rambling Man, Ghosts, Crawled Out Of The Sea and Night Terror are great examples of Laura's talent at song writing and performing live. Listening to both her albums is like therapy as the music seems to have a calming effect. She has said herself that writing songs is is a kind of self-therapy.

I find her music is full of compelling melody combined with poetry. Folk Music with a creative edge, she is definitely one of the stars of this generation. I would highly recommend that you get a ticket while you still can. It's going to be an inspiring night.

Friday 24 September 2010

Afternoon stroll up Guildhall Hill

Guildhall Hill Norwich
Take a stroll up Guildhall Hill maybe have tea and cake at the Garden Cafe. You can be kitted out at Philip Browne and at the Pure Ladies Boutique.  Fashionable shoes at Imeldas. Take a look at the Guildhall in wonder and your imagination will take you back in history.

Hail a taxi and you can speed past City Hall, while the lions stand guard on a fine city in front of the multicoloured market stalls fluttering in the wind. The pavement is full of pigeons and the sound of busy shoppers. An young office worker is on his mobile arranging a lunchtime meeting at the Sir Garnet Wolseley while a lady is searching for bargains at the Supermarket.

The aroma of mouthwatering treats fill the air as the first few bars of an acoustic guitar can be heard. The sound of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues is being sung by an enthusiastic busker with an cowboy hat dressed in black. A Juggler is performing amazing skills that he learnt  in Chapelfield Gardens.

Monday 20 September 2010

A Celebration of Norwich Music!

Please make it to Norwich Arts Centre on Saturday 25th September 2010 for a night celebrating Norwich Music! Doors open at 8.00 pm!

With The Neutrinos, The Sargasso Trio and Girl In A Thunderbolt all playing live it's a night not to be missed! All the bands are amazing live!

Tickets are £7.50 in advance. £5.00 concessions and £8.50 on the door. Avaliable from Norwich Arts Centre or online at:

Dimitar Berbatov Superhero!

Dimitar Berbatov Superhero
His name is Dimitar Berbatov and he's so cool he doesn't even have to try. If everyone around him seem to be running around like headless chickens he is calmly walking around without a care in the world. While Steven Gerrard is getting carried away kissing the camera Dimitar just goes one better! He is a Superhero for the 21st Century!

What a brilliant moment for all United fans yesterday when Dimitar Berbatov grabbed a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Liverpool. His spectacular second goal when he brought down a cross on his thigh with his back to the goal and scored with an overhead kick will go down in history as one of those special goals scored at Old Trafford.

From this moment he can go on and have an outstanding season at United. All along we all knew he had the ability now is the time to deliver! Believe in Dimitar Berbatov!

Friday 17 September 2010

Serena Maneesh bring the noise!

Serena Maneesh
It's a special treat when bands like Serena Maneesh play at Norwich Arts Centre. I can state the obvious of My Bloody Valentine but there is so much to their sound as well. My ears are still trying to recover from last night. In fact they feel like a cat in a washing machine! As the band stated on stage, some days are just like that. They are absolute Legends!

Emil Nikolaisen is the King of Norway as far as music is concerned. He is a brilliant showman and amazing on stage. Epic walls of sound building up creating almost a nervous tension then the next moment is filled with beautiful melody. This creates an interesting contrast in sounds and mood. At times it seems that the band are completely out of control then the next they have come back from the edge.

Loud guitars filled with pop sensibilities almost had the crowd hypnotised. At the end Emil appeared to be out of control and handed his guitar to one of the audience, there was so much going on. They are a brilliant unique band. Please check out their new album S-M #2 if you dare!

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Get Well Soon Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia's injury last night in the Champions League at Old Trafford against Rangers was a horrific moment. I am sure that all United fans around the world are sending their best wishes to him and wishing that he makes a full and speedy recovery. Let's hope it's not too long before he is crossing the ball on to Wayne Rooney's head and making the Stretford End roar.

It's moments like this that make you realise not to take anything in life for granted.

Antonio wooahh! Antonio wooahh! He comes from Ecuador! He crosses Rooney scores!

Monday 13 September 2010

Luke Abbott Beats Norwich Arts Centre!

Norwich Arts Centre is a beautiful little venue that on Saturday was reverberating to the electronic beats of Luke Abbott. This was another excellent night put on by Spectro at a place where all genres of music are embraced. Luke Abbott was ably supported by Sky Watchers and UNiX with dance music and video graphics also coming out of the Cafe Bar.

Music made on a computer played live you ask. I say that it effects the brain and emotions as much as any music. For an hour Luke Abbott filled the auditorium with brilliant electronica which did a lot more then make girls dance! I can say that the variation in the soundscape that he created can at moment make you want to full out dance without a care in the world to tracks that puts your head in a space of relaxation. The abstract visuals on the giant backdrop perfectly accompanied the music.

The Stage time for Luke Abbott was 10.45 - 11.45 and at exactly 11.45 he shut his apple mac shut and this was met with universal applause. He warmly appluded the audience back, a nice touch. By the end of the gig I felt like my breath had been taken away!

I recommend that you check out Luke Abbot's album Holkham Drones and be prepared to go on an amazing sonic journey.