Monday, January 28, 2013
Chicago-born alt folk duo Rue Royale display their candlelit songcraft, drawing on the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Nick Drake, by putting in another acoustic appearance at the Bicycle Shop. Plus: Petunia & The Vipers, We Are The Ocean.
PETUNIA & THE VIPERS
Norwich Arts Centre, January 29
Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Vancouver, charismatic lead singer Petunia – real name Ron Fortugno – has been a regular on the Canadian touring circuit for many years now. He plays 150 shows every year, regularly venturing over the border into the USA, and now bringing his band The Vipers over to Europe.
The country crooning outfit offer a dark and hip take on Americana. Lap steel and double bass give proceedings a gentle lilt, but there’s a dark side to this ensemble.
Petunia’s music is infectious — a rollicking good blitz of high-octane rockabilly and bluegrass numbers. His singing ranges from the most delicate you’ve ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song — hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show. He has a huge repertoire of traditional music to draw from but also expect plenty of Petunia originals drawn from his seven albums so far
He and his band appear are like 1950s throwbacks but not in a overly knowing way and, not afraid to improvise, they don’t take themselves too seriously. The latest in a number of undiscovered Canadian treasures who’ve visited recently.
t Further listening: www.petuniamusic.com
Bicycle Shop, January 29
Chicago-born alt folk duo Rue Royale display their candlelit songcraft, drawing on the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Nick Drake, by putting in another acoustic appearance at the Bicycle Shop.
Ruth and Brookln Dekker — aka Rue Royale — have amassed 80,000 miles on the road in Europe alone since the release of their first eponymously-titled album in 2008.
Meanwhile, without the backing of a label or manager, between tours the couple has rustled up a cottage industry at their cosy Nottingham home.
Together they’ve printed, snipped, sewed and stuffed 7,500 Rue Royale albums. Fans have also been treated to hand-made Rue Royale knitted goods — how many groups do you know who sport hot water-bottle covers on their merchandise stand?
Meanwhile, over in cyber-space, RR have personally nurtured a large Facebook/Twitter following and racked up over 500,000 online plays. Not bad for a husband and wife song-writing team who, then living in Chicago, only started performing together six years ago, inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, Grandaddy, John Martyn, Jose Gonzalez and Elbow.
Their last album, Guide To An Escape, retained the acoustic duo’s hushed, evocative melodies but was notably richer in sound and wider in scope. Here they preview tracks from their forthcoming new album.
t Further listening: www.rueroyalemusic.com
WE ARE THE OCEAN
Waterfront, January 31
Post-hardcore Essex outfit arrive in Norwich promoting their third album, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow, and rebuilding after a traumatic 2012 that saw the departure of their vocalist Dan Brown, who left the group to concentrate on becoming a band manager on a full-time basis.
Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow is their first record as a quartet and they admit that the parting of Brown made its recording “very difficult”.
New singer Liam Cromby told the NME: “The majority of the songs were written as the four of us and Dan’s bits would be added on at the end. As he was managing the band while we were recording the album, he was away a lot and it was mainly just the four of us.”
Bassist Jack Spence added that the band realised Brown’s presence on their recorded output was shrinking with each album and felt that this was a situation they had to address. “There were no underlying problems, but because he was managing the band, he was away a lot and not always in the studio. So Liam and me would be writing parts for him and they wouldn’t suit his voice and we’d have to rework things.”
Considering the circumstances, the resulting album is remarkably focused.
Support comes from Scottish post-hardcore band Yashin. Meanwhile having last year release their second album, Freaks Like Us, which spawned three singles, Straight Lines have just released a new EP Escapology, the title track of which sees the band expand their musical horizons into anthemic territory.
t Further listening: www.wearetheocean.co.uk
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Leddra Chapman + Lee Broderick (pop/singer-songwriter) — Arts Centre
White Heat + Dead Wing (rock) — Brickmakers
Color: feat. Mampi Swift (dubstep/drum n bass) — Waterfront
Big Black Cadillac (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades
Bad Touch (rock) — King Edward VII
Music House: feat. Matt Watson + Jeff Long + Lisa Ambrose (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge
Contra’s Jude Garrod + Jack Evison (indie/rock) — Blueberry
Acaysha (folk/roots) — Brewery Tap
Rock Monster: feat. DJK (rock) — Open
Lena Black & The Playboys (blues) — Hog In Armour
Stalker (rock) — Bar 11
Bill Downs (pop/acoustic) — Silver Road Cottage
Phil Male — Fiveways
Feral Mouth (Americana/indie) — Open
Differential + Purple Havana + more (beatbox/rock/charity) — Waterfront Studio
Rise + Section IV (prog rock) — Brickmakers
Egypt (rock/blues) — King Edward VII
Rossi Noise + Let Us Proceed (dubstep/rock) — B2
Adenland + Dark Horse (blues/rock) — King Edward VII
Bare Feet Records Showcase: feat. Kamilla Lovett + Golly Ghost + Tristan McKelvey + Koi Paraga (1pm) — Arts Centre
Red Leaf (rock) — Blueberry
The Cream Horns (blues/funk) — The Stanley
Beast With A Gun + Long Bone Trio (rock‘n’roll) — Olives
The Strollers (rock‘n’roll) — Arkwrights
Claire & Josie (pop/soul) — The Wildman
Honeydripper (blues/soul) — Eaton Cottage
Murphy’s Lore (Irish) — The Leopard
Replica (rock) — The Heartsease
Johnny Jump Band (country/blues) — Buck Inn
3 Up 2 Down (pop/rock) — Trowel & Hammer
Kevin King — Old Catton Maids Head
Hotsmoke & Danger — Golden Star
Barry Lee — Gas Club
Alan Ley — Bread & Cheese
Steve Allen — Heath House
Kevin Solo — Kier Hardie Hall
Shannan — Quebec Tavern
Chris & Lucy — Robin Hood
Graham Stacey — The Champion
The Leopard Trio (rockabilly/3pm) — King Edward VII
Dumfoundus (pop/acoustic/5pm) — Silver Road Cottage
Hayley Moses & The Bluegrass Forum (bluegrass/3pm) — Brewery Tap
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Lena Black & The Uptown Playboys + Dixie Mix (blues/jazz) — Wensum Valley Hotel
Kelly Joe Phelps (blues/indie) — Arts Centre
Jazz Jam: feat. Lee Vasey + Ian Hireson + Mark Jolley + more — Silver Road Cottage
Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades
Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers
Petunia & The Vipers (jazz/swing/ragtime) — Arts Centre
Rue Royale (indie/folk/pop) — Bicycle Shop
Enrico Tomasso & Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Oaklands Hotel
The Divide (rock/farewell gig) — Brickmakers
Phab Club: feat. Elation (pop/folk) — Vauxhall Centre
Sonic Arts 71 (electronic/experimental) — Forum
Henrik Freischlader + Albany Down + Nina Baker (blues/indie) — Waterfront Studio
Norfolk Blues Society Jam — Walnut Tree Shades
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Acoustic Jam — Micawbers Tavern
Traditional Irish — Gatehouse
We Are The Ocean + Yashin + Straight Lines (rock) — Waterfront
Metal Lust: feat. Korpiklaani + Metsatoll (metal) — Open
Nigel King Band (pop/rock) — Brickmakers
Ghostriders Western Club: feat. McKenzie (country) — TA Centre
Tony Brook (Americana/blues) — Ten Bells
The Planks (blues/soul/funk) — Walnut Tree Shades
Johnny Jump Band (country/blues) — Micawbers Tavern
Albert Cooper’s Jazz Life — Rumsey Wells
Lee Atterton (jazz/rock‘n’roll) — Bar 11
The Black Hearts (rock) — Rose Tavern
Open Jam — King Edward VII