Monday 31 January 2011

Smoke Fairies talking to ghosts!

Smoke Fairies talking to ghosts
at Norwich Arts Centre
On Saturday night it was turn of the Smoke Fairies and Sea of Bees to entertain us at Norwich Arts Centre. I arrived at the venue about eight and there was already a large crowd gathering who were all highly anticipating tonight's gig.

Sea of Bees brought their songs for ravens to this historic little venue which is full of history. Their performance which was full of weird and beautiful folk was very well received. They used to drink tea and coffee but it's cider and whisky since they arrived in the UK!

Full of rosy cheeks, they brought the forest to life full of all their friends. They sing of lost love from Canada and dream of English accents. Sea of Bees want to take us all home in their pockets!

Smoke Fairies took to the stage in a cloud of smoke with a full band to compliment their dark haunting folk which was full of power and passion. As well as living with ghosts they were talking to ghosts at Norwich Arts Centre where their are a number of bodies buried in the auditorium. Gastown which they recorded with Jack White was one of the highlights of their set.

Full of stories from Kansas to a wreaking ball the Smoke Fairies can hear the trees talk from their hotel room! Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies from Chichester mix English Folk music with a twist of dark Americana that creates a stunning effect that is both intoxicating and beautiful. I recommend you all go out and listen to their debut album Through Low Light And Trees to experience the full effect of the Smoke Fairies.

We all had another fantastic night at Norwich Arts Centre thanks to these two bands. If you can please get down to this beautiful little venue and give it your support and ensure that it continues to put on brilliant gigs well into the future.

Saturday 29 January 2011

C W Stoneking bringing the Jungle Blues!

C W Stoneking is full of the Jungle Blues!
On Monday night Norwich became the home of the jungle blues brought to you by Australian C W Stoneking. He was brilliantly supported by Brownbird Rudy Relic who arrived from Mexico via New York crying out with all of his emotions. You know it's going to be a good old time!

Brownbird Rudy Relic has flown the nest and it can be a cruel world. No fear he will keep singing when he feels blue! He maybe feeling chili but it's hot in his heart. His brand of Acoustic Holler Blues definitely made an impression on everyone in the audience.

We all know that C W Stoneking has got the blues. He got shipwrecked but still kept on dancing. He brings dark laughter wherever he goes. Laugh in the face of the blues and it will all workout in the end. What a guy he is with his natty dress style and fine story telling.

Don’t Go Dancin’ Down the Downtown Strutter’s Ball is the highlight of the night as C W Stoneking and his band The Primitive Horn Orchestra take us on a journey back to 1920s and 30s with his retro style blues.

Stories of failed weddings, a fortune teller who told him he would die in a eight sided room and being influenced by 50 Cent. Maybe he should make a techno album next! Norwich Arts Centre was the perfect setting for the Jungle Blues as we all went home with smiles on our faces.

Friday 28 January 2011

Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel giving us a Freak Folk history lesson!

Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel bringing
Freak Folk to Norwich Arts Centre
Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel brought their anti-folk show from New York to Norwich Arts Centre last Sunday night. The support came from the Tiger MCs who put on a fine show even though Mark Jennings' bass guitar broke and he was left on stage as some kind of folk Bez!

Give a jurassic hi five to the Tiger MCs as they went live without a bass guitar. It was one of those wrecking ball nights for them. Great folk songs with In Columns being a great song to finish on.

Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel took to the stage like two beatnik legends as they provided us with a very special intimate gig. Peter Stampfel of the sixties legendary Holy Modal Rounders' said that Norwich Arts Centre which dates back to the Thirteenth Century was the oldest venue he had ever played in. 

As usual Jeffrey Lewis gave us a history lesson through his comic books. This time it was the French Revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union. Twenty thousand leagues under the sea and neither Jeffrey or Peter have been busted. Tonight was a history lesson of another sort, the history of Freak Folk. We were took on a musical tour back to New York in the Sixties and onto Peter Stampfel's appearance on the Easy Rider soundtrack with the Bird Song.

Peter's bottle top collection made an appearance with the Lemmy one being the coolest. Overall it was a brilliant night. Many thanks to both Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel for teaching all an important lesson in musical history and for giving us a night to remember.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Holy State rocking it large!

Holy State rocking it large
at Norwich Arts Centre
On Saturday night at Norwich Arts Centre we were all entertained to a full on rock show from Holy State, Men and This Business Is Closed. Holy stew was on sale to celebrate the evening as everything was turned up to eleven.

This Business Is Closed opened the evening but soon Arnie had thrown a javelin through their hearts. They took us to a place where only dinosaurs dare to go. It may have been rad but not as we know it!

Next on stage were Men who's drummer seemed to be making all the noise. Maybe he should be on Channel 5 on a Thursday night. When the talking stopped they played some music. They were on go in short bursts!

When Holy State hit the mainstage it was like all their energy and power would lift the roof off the Arts Centre. They made a punk rock statement as they messed with our minds and made our ears bleed. They put on a brilliant performance as they rocked it large!

Monday 17 January 2011

Cakes and Ale with added fun!

Cakes and Ale take us through the wind
and the rain to a night of fun!
There was another night of fun at Norwich Arts Centre last Friday as we were highly entertained by Cakes and Ale, Teknikov, Spidermilk and Sam James Hill. I walked into the cafe bar and Master Solo was dressed like Errol Flynn. It was that kind of night!

Sam James Hill went all Godspeed on us all. Country Lanes with a full band taking us on an amazing journey with his operatic soundscapes that thrilled us all.

It was then up to Spidermilk to fill the auditorium with their epic sound that has the ability to leave you on the edge and lift you at the same time. Post Rock that will live in your head forever.

Think of Teknikov and their Fall like sounds and you realise that they are more then entertainment. They are a fall out assault on the senses. They finished their set with lots of drums. I mean lots and lots!

It was then left to Cakes and Ale to finish the night off in style. They didn't disappoint as they took us through the wind and the rain to a night of fun! The folk collective from Norwich as always hit the right spot again putting everyone in a happy mood just as Friday nights should all be about.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

The Miserable Rich want to ring your bell!

The Miserable Rich looking for
ghosts at Blickling Hall 
On Saturday 8th January 2011 The Miserable Rich made a headlining appearance at Norwich Arts Centre with support from Tristram and Ethan Ash. There was a small but enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed every minute of the gig.

On the merch table The Miserable Rich were selling bells to eager punters. Takeda pulled out of the gig at the last minute leaving it up to Ethan Ash to open proceedings. It was like he wanted to change his hair, his clothes and his face.

He did a cover of Leadbelly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night which was very cool. Be warned though Ethan Ash knows what you are doing when he's not around! His singing filled the auditorium with catchy tunes.

Next on stage were Tristram who took us on a journey in a flying machine with added cello which ended up at the opera. They put us all in a dream state complete with alt folk tunes mixed with post rock. They were the perfect band to warm us up for the headliners.

The Miserable Rich took us on an emotional journey complete with great story telling. They can find love with bamboo and paper as they fly their kite. Yummy Mummys need to watch out as they claim that possession is nine tenths of the law.

For the encore The Miserable Rich joined us on the floor for an intimate finish to a fantastic gig. The band are now recording their next album at Blickling Hall while they search for ghosts.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

These Ghosts have lift off!

Last night was only 4th January but we already had the first gig of the year as Tilting Sky presented These Ghosts at  Norwich Puppet Theatre with support from Hello Bear, Vegas Fame Index and Alex Hill. Gigs at Norwich Puppet Theatre are always a nice and pleasant experience and last night was no exception.

Alex Hill started the evening off in fine style with her take on Americana. From the subway to French Design Houses everything is going to work out if Alex has got her red shoes.

It was Vegas Fame Index who took to the stage next with their blend of good old fashioned rock n roll. The pay maybe lousy but they well and truly rocked the whole building to it's foundations.

Hello Bear then arrived with their tumbleweed with added laughs! Happy Poppy songs filled the auditorium that no one could fail to enjoy which ended up with everyone looking like Cheshire Cats with smiles on their faces.

It was like being in Houston when These Ghosts began their headlining set. We have lift off as they took us on an epic journey to begin the new year. With emotional soundscapes that could fill a stadium this band can definitely do massive rock. This must be beautiful!