Wednesday 29 January 2014

Independent Venue Week at Norwich Arts Centre

On the evening of Tuesday 28th January 2014 I attended a special edition of Spectro at Norwich Arts Centre featuring The Soft, Mammal Hands, Boy with Two Heads and Unix. Bringing together some of the most relevant, important and historic venues around the country, Independent Venue Week supported by PRS for Music was a six day long series of gigs running from 28th January to 2nd February 2014. This Spectro gig was part of Independent Venue Week.

Independent venues sit at the heart of their local community, providing a vital lifeline to upcoming artists early in their careers whilst bringing together those fans who are passionate about live music. With more and more small to medium sized venues continuing to close around the country, Independent Venue Week supports those venues that play such a significant role to musicians and fans alike. There was no better way to mark Independent Venue Week than to combine the history of this beautiful medieval building with the most contemporary and interesting new electronic music from this part of the country.

Along with Venues and artists across the country Norwich Arts Centre marked Independent Venue Week with an explosive line up celebrating the venues autonomous, progressive programme and dedication to talent development with this exciting showcase. This was a fantastic night of Electronica at Norwich Arts Centre with headliners The Soft filling the venue with brilliant electronic music which had us dancing throughout their performance.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Maddermarket Theatre

On the evening of Saturday 25th January 2014 I was back at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich to attend the Norwich Players performance of Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers. This play was written by the author of the wonderful comedy The Odd Couple, with the Norwich Players being directed by Rob Morris.

Forty nine year old Barney Cashman who has been partnered with his wife for what seems most of those years decides to have an affair. With each attempt he fails completely to understand the fact that there is another needy person involved, who is looking for something rather different. Needless to say he gets a lot more than he bargained for, just about everything but an affair.

This was a very enjoyable and funny night at the Maddermarket Theatre with wonderful performances from Trevor Burton as Barney Cashman, Lily Cramer as Elaine Navazio, Camilla Webster as Bobbi Michele and Clare Howard as Jeanette Fisher. The play takes place in the New York apartment belonging to Barney's mother. Having an affair isn't quite what Barney bargained for!

Friday 24 January 2014

Alexander Pott Organ Recital at Norwich Cathedral

On Thursday 23rd January 2014 I attended the Alexander Pott Lunchtime Organ Recital at Norwich Cathedral. This free recital performed by the Organ Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford featured work by Bach, Vierne and Franck.

The programme consisted of Toccata in F BWV 540 - Bach, Etoile du Soir, Op. 54 No.3 - Vierne, Trio Sonata I (Allegro - Adagio - Allegro) BWV 525 - Bach and Choral III - Franck.

Alexander Pott has performed at Coventry Cathedral, Chelmsford Cathedral, and this year has been invited to give a recital at the London Handel Festival in April. He is currently studying for a degree in music at Oxford University, where he studies the organ with Thomas Trotter and is Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral.

This was another wonderful lunchtime Organ Recital at Norwich Cathedral with an amazing programme of music. My favourite piece was Franck's Choral III. It is always a great experience to hear the Norwich Cathedral Organ.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Poetry at Olive's Cafe

On the evening of Tuesday 21st January 2014 I attended the Poetry Evening at Olive's Café on Elm Hill, Norwich with readings by Barrie de Lara and Sarah Walker. Poetry at Olive's is a monthly community poetry event to provide a forum to encourage local writers to read their work in public. There is an Open Mic for all comers to read one poem or very short piece of prose per event.

This was a fun and interesting night at Olive's Café which included Barrie de Lara reading his prize winning Dinner at Benutti's. Both Barrie and Sarah Walker gave us lots of laughs along with a fantastic Open Mic. I was lucky enough to win a poetry book in the Olive's Poetry Raffle.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Sam Green and the Midnight Heist at Norwich Arts Centre

On the evening of Friday 10th January 2014 I attended the Sam Green and the Midnight Heist gig at Norwich Arts Centre with support from Feral Mouth and Serious Sam Barrett. This sold out gig was a great night for me to make my first visit to Norwich Arts Centre in 2014.

Sam Green and the Midnight Heist hail from the south of Devon. Their sound resonates with the delta blues of the old Mississippi bluesmen and Britain’s folk tradition old and new. The four piece, led by Sam Green, have spent the last six months relentlessly touring the south of England developing their sound and the songs on their new EP Miles Away.

Feral Mouth are an alternate Norfolk country string band. They formed officially in early 2010 following other related projects. The band take a large bit of their influence from old time country and bluegrass music as well as more contemporary styles too.

Serious Sam Barrett is a Country Folk singer from Leeds. He mixes songs about Yorkshire with Southern Folk with great results. His song writing contains echoes of the great blues masters such as Bukka White and Blind Willie McTell but also of American folk and country artists such as the Carter Family.

There was a great atmosphere at Norwich Arts Centre as Sam Green and the Midnight Heist, Feral Mouth and Serious Sam Barrett performed a great gig full of brilliant country sounds. All the artists seemed to be having as much fun as the audience members on a night full of fun for all.

Friday 3 January 2014

Julian Haggett Organ Recital at St. Peter Mancroft Church

After my morning at Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday 1st January 2014 I made my way to the St. Peter Mancroft Church next to Norwich Marketplace for the Julian Haggett New Year's Day Organ Recital 2014 at 12 noon. As Organist at St. Peter Mancroft Julian Haggett provides voluntaries sensitive to the liturgical focus of services, ranging from 17th Century French and North European organ music of Tunder and Buxtehude to French 20th Century organ music by Alain and Messiaen.

The programme for this New Year's Day Organ Recital consisted of Piece d'Orgue BWV 572 - Bach, Noel avec variations - Langlais, Chorale Prelude In dulci jubilo Bux WV 197 - Buxtehude, Suisse Noel - Daquin, Chorale Prelude In dir ist Freude BWV 615 - Bach, Paean - Leighton and Toccata from Symphony V - Widor.

Two brilliant Organ Recitals on New Year's Day was a splendid start to the year. The highlight of the Recital at St. Peter Mancroft was the Widor Toccata from Symphony V which filled the church with the sound of beautiful music.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Kris Thomsett Organ Recital at Norwich Cathedral

I began 2014 with a trip to Norwich Cathedral for the Kris Thomsett New Year's Day Organ Recital on Wednesday 1st January 2014. Kris Thomsett is currently Organ Scholar of Norwich Cathedral, a post he will hold for the next two years whilst completing a degree in music at the University of East Anglia.

The programme consisted of Carillon de Westminster - Vierne, Sleigh Ride arr. T.Trotter - Anderson, Fugue in D BWV532 - Bach, Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland BWV659 - Bach, Les Enfants De Dieu from La Nativite - Messiaen, Noel Etranger - Daquin, Noel Suisse - Daquin, Final from Triptyque - Langlais and Festmusikk - Takle.

This was a wonderful Organ Recital at Norwich Cathedral and a fantastic way to start the new year. The programme consisted of many various pieces but you can't get much better then listening to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach being performed on the Norwich Cathedral Organ.