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.