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12 unmissable gigs in Norfolk this spring and summer

PUBLISHED: 15:45 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:55 20 March 2017

The Thinking Men will be in Norfolk later this year. Photo: Karl Hendry

The Thinking Men will be in Norfolk later this year. Photo: Karl Hendry

Photos by Karl Hendry

Dozens of the country’s top music acts will be descending on Norfolk this spring and summer. Here Molly Willis picks out her top tips for gigs in the county.

Blossoms. Photo: Danny NorthBlossoms. Photo: Danny North

Blossoms

Nick Rayns LCR, University of East Anglia, March 27, 7.30pm, £18.70, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

You probably spent a lot of last year humming along to ‘Charlemagne’, even if you didn’t know the song or who it was by. But now, the indie pop quartet behind the hit, Blossoms, are bringing the NME Awards Tour 2017 to Norwich, alongside rising stars Cabbage, who describe their sound as an “idiosyncratic, satirical attack in the form of discordant neo post-punk”, and 17 year-old indie-pop soloist Rory Wynne. The NME Awards Tour is known for featuring artists on the brink of global success, from Stereophonics in 1998 to Florence in the Machine mere months before ‘You’ve Got The Love’ propelled them to stardom in 2009, so this may be a chance to see some future breakout stars and be able to say that ‘you were there’.

(left to right) Colin Jones, Sam Rourke, Kieran Shudall and Joe Falconer of Circa Waves arriving for the VO5 NME Awards 2017. Picture Matt Crossick/PA Wire(left to right) Colin Jones, Sam Rourke, Kieran Shudall and Joe Falconer of Circa Waves arriving for the VO5 NME Awards 2017. Picture Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Circa Waves

The LCR, University of East Anglia, April 3, 7,30pm, £16.50, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Speaking of breakout indie stars, rockers Circa Waves have become well-known on the festival circuit since their formation in 2013, having played Latitude, Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds, and released their second album Different Creatures earlier this month. Their sophomore effort takes the band, whose debut release Young Chasers was described as “fizzing indie pop about love and lust”, in a heavier, more political direction. The Liverpudlians are accompanied by Brighton breakout stars The Magic Gang and South London alt-rockers InHeaven for their Norwich date.

The Heartbreak Club

OPEN Norwich, April 14, £7, 7pm, www.opennorwich.org.uk/gigs-and-events

Norfolk’s very own rock ‘n’ roll export The Heartbreak Club burst onto Norwich’s emerging music scene last year with the release of front man Will How’s solo album of the same name. After performing together at the launch show, these four young south Norfolk musicians decided to band together. They’re now one of the area’s most exciting new acts, and are gearing up to release their debut EP next month. If their single ‘Club Heartbreak’, which received considerable airplay on BBC Introducing in Norfolk after it was released on Boxing Day 2016, is anything to go by, fans are in for a treat.

Franko Fraize. Picture Lee Blanchflower.Franko Fraize. Picture Lee Blanchflower.

Youth Killed It + Franko Fraize

Epic Studios, May 17, 7.30pm, £4.40, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

One of Norwich’s biggest success stories of recent years, indie rock band Youth Killed It signed to independent record label Rude Records late last year after appearances at Camden Rocks Festivals and alongside post-hardcore group Slaves. Now, they’re coming home to Epic Studios alongside fellow local superstar, Franko Fraize, who originated from Thetford but who has featured on BBC Radio 1, at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and alongside Mike Skinner. It’s sure to be a proud night, as these two forces unite to celebrate local music.

Alabama 3. Picture Archant Library.Alabama 3. Picture Archant Library.

Alabama 3 + The Thinking Men

The Waterfront, May 20, 6.30pm, £22, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

A veritable smorgasbord of bluesy alt-rock energy, Alabama 3 are celebrating their 20-year anniversary with a full UK tour. The fusion legends, who play anything from acid jazz to gospel to electronica and spoken word, are accompanied on the Norwich dates by British Blues Awards Young Artist of the Year Laurence Jones, and thundering local rockers The Thinking Men in what is guaranteed to be a dynamic Saturday night out for everybody.

Norwich Sound and Vision 2013. Wooden Arms perform at  The Assembly House.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYNorwich Sound and Vision 2013. Wooden Arms perform at The Assembly House. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Wooden Arms

OPEN Norwich, May 27, 7pm, £8, 01603 763 111, www.opennorwich.org.uk/gigs-and-events

Wooden Arms are yet another product of Norwich’s exciting local music scene, who are set to return home for their show at OPEN this May. The band’s unique trip-hop influences have set them apart, and they are currently touring to promote ‘Burial’, the first single from their sophomore album, Trick of the Light. They have just returned from Europe, where they were supporting Matthew and the Atlas on dates in Germany and Switzerland.

Emma Blackery

The Waterfront, June 2, 6pm, (tickets on sale Mon. 4 March 4pm), www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Twenty-five year old Essex native Emma Blackery made her name making comedy videos on YouTube, where she maintains a following of over 1.3 million subscribers. Using her online platform, she launched herself into the world of music in 2012 with her debut EP Human Behaviour before supporting pop-rock treasures Busted on their Pigs Can Fly UK Tour last year and appearing in Kerrang magazine. Full of energy and a wicked sense of humour, Emma Blackery’s Norwich gig could be the perfect night out for your teenager.

Absolute Bowie

The Waterfront, June 3, 6.30pm, £13.20, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Although it’s been over a year since his untimely death from cancer, David Bowie’s legacy continues to live on. After many were disappointed with celebrity tributes to the music icon, they flocked to the shows of Europe’s premier tribute act, Absolute Bowie. Performed in two parts and fronted by the singer’s doppelganger John O’Neill, the group’s performance at the Waterfront is sure to delight any true Bowie fan.

Lead singer of Status Quo Francis Rossi performing at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, London. Picture Matt Crossick/PA WireLead singer of Status Quo Francis Rossi performing at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, London. Picture Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Status Quo

Nick Rayns LCR, University of East Anglia, June 25, 7pm, £49.50, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Boogie rock legends Status Quo are bringing their Aquostic Tour 2017 to Nick Rayns LCR at the University of East Anglia this June. The group are currently performing their acoustic-only shows, as well as the rescheduled dates for their Last of the Electrics Tour, all over Europe. Having lost Rick Parfitt to sepsis last year, three months after the guitarist announced that he would no longer tour with the band, Irishman Richie Malone has stepped into the role. This is the first time Status Quo are returning to Norwich, and to the LCR, since 2004.

Clean Bandit will perform at Thetford Forest. Left to right, Jack Patterson, Grace Chatto and Luke Patterson. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PAClean Bandit will perform at Thetford Forest. Left to right, Jack Patterson, Grace Chatto and Luke Patterson. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Clean Bandit

Forest Live, Thetford Forest, July 2, 7.30pm, £33, 03000 680400 www.boxoffice.forestry.gov.uk

Chart-topping electronic group Clean Bandit will be headlining Forest Live at Thetford Forest, an annual series of concerts commissioned by the Forestry Commission. The group, whose unique fusion of dance music and classical instruments is instantly recognisable, recently spent nine weeks at Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart with ‘Rockabye’, featuring Anne-Marie and Sean Paul. Also appearing during Forest Live are ‘One Day Like This’ rockers Elbow, Olly Murs and Rick Astley of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ fame.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be performing at Taverham Hall on Friday, July 28 2017. The event is being presented by Norwich-based Outside Live. Photo: Mary McCartney.Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be performing at Taverham Hall on Friday, July 28 2017. The event is being presented by Norwich-based Outside Live. Photo: Mary McCartney.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Outside Live, Taverham Hall, July 28, 6pm, £50 Main arena/£85 Grand Pavilion/£140 VIP, 01603 310999, www.outsidelive.co.uk

The incomparable pianist, bandleader and television personality Jools Holland will be bringing his 20-piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra to Outside Live, a series of outdoor concerts at Taverham Hall this summer. Previous setlists have included classics such as “I’m in the Mood for Love”, recorded by Sam Cook, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles’ “Jumpin’ in the Morning”. Also featured at Outside Live are The Shires, the UK’s foremost country music act.

The Magic Es + Support

OPEN Norwich, June 24, 7pm, £7, 01603 763 111, www.opennorwich.org.uk/gigs-and-events

The Magic Es are yet another product of Norwich’s exciting independent music scene. Since forming in 2014, the band have achieved radio play in the UK, USA and Australia, as well as performing all over the country. The Magic Es are currently touring in support of their debut album, It Goes On, which is set to be released on the April 28. Their show at OPEN features fellow local acts Kepler, Hot Tramp and Suspended Cadence.

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