10 gigs not to miss this autumn

From established artists to upcoming talent, the second half of 2011 is shaping up to be a music lover's dream. SIMON PARKIN picks 10 Norwich gigs not to be missed this autumn.


Waterfront, September 21

Hard-Fi have taken four years to make their new album, Killer Sounds, which hit the shops this week, because they 'wanted to wait for the right producers to become available.

The band, renowned for catchy, instant and anthemic tunes such as Living for the Weekend, in the end have worked with acclaimed Lily Allen producer Greg Kurstin and Alan Moulder, who has previously helmed Depeche Mode and The Killers.

Such a long gap between risks the band losing momentum. Last time they were headlining arenas, so this date at the intimate Waterfront will be a real treat.

n Further listening: www.hard-fi.com

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Norwich Arts Centre, September 27

With her new album Virtue picking up outstanding reviews, Emmy The Great will arrive in Norwich as part of an extensive UK tour timed to coincide with the release of a new single Paper Forest on September 19.

As the follow up to her equally critically acclaimed debut First Love, Virtue began as a series of stories after the disintegration of her engagement — her fianc� left her for the church. The musically palette includes strange, ambient, twisted and atmospheric sounds — the ghosts of the Cocteau Twins and Suzanne Vega are present. She's tipped to follow Laura Marling in making a folk-to-mainstream breakthrough.

n Further listening: www.emmythegreat.com


Waterfront, October 4

Northamptonshire's finest electro indie outfit finally make a particularly welcome visit having previous had to postpone this date after singer Ben Duffy revealed he has been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The Q Award nominees, saw their critically acclaimed debut album, awash with Parisian synths, pop melody and propelled with urgent dance floor beats, puncturing the top 10. Hopefully back on fine form. Expect a day-glo night of foot-stomping melancholy anthems, full of twitchy, urgent riffs, and hands-to-the-air vitality.

n Further listening: www.fenechsoler.co.uk


UEA, October 10

No strangers to the city — they headlined Norwich Puppet Theatre on one memorable occasion — Bombay Bicycle Club return to Norwich to coincide with the release of their third album, A Different Kind Of Fix.

From the teenage indie kicks of their debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, to the sparse, timeless folk of last summer's top 10 album Flaws, the quartet have made steady progress — it was notable they were topping festival stage bills this summer — and developed musically.

n Further listening: www.bombaybicycleclubmusic.com


Waterfront, October 11

Having bridged the unseen gap between a number of musical genres in the past including punk, garage rock, goth and indie, The Horrors moved on again for their third album Skying, which contains huge nods towards 1980s new wave and even, shock horror, stadium anthems.

The group's debut album, Strange House, was almost goth pastiche. The follow-up, Primary Colours, found them sounding a little less affected but no less brooding. Skying, recorded with Portishead's Geoff Barrow, is their best received yet.

n Further listening: www.thehorrors.co.uk


Waterfront, October 16

New York-based sisters Catherine and Allison — aka The Pierces — first came to attention in 2000, when people couldn't stop comparing them to the likes of Stevie Nicks and Nancy Sinatra. The duo, blending enchanting folk riffs with sultry, smokey voices, were arguably they were ahead of their time. And 11 years on, they now have the sort of buzz they deserve.

With elements of folk in their close, keening pop harmonies, their songs draw the sort of beauty that a classic Ste-vie Nicks song always had.

n Further listening: www.thepiercesmusic.com


Norwich Cathedral, October 19

For what promises to be perhaps the gig of this autumn, folk's new golden girl brings her band to the unusual sur-roundings of Norwich Cathedral as part of a run of shows in some of each country's oldest, sometimes eeriest, and often beautiful buildings.

Her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim and her second album, I Speak Because I Can, were both nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. She is about to release her hugely anticipated new album, A Creature I Don't Know. It's already sold-out, so you're very lucky if you got a ticket.

n Further listening: www.lauramarling.com


UEA, October 19

Was someone having a cruel joke when they scheduled this on the same night as Laura Marling? She and Noah's Charlie Fink were an item until a split that prompted much lovelorn moping on their second album The First Days of Spring.

The band have since moved on, releasing an excellent third album, Last Night On Earth, that builds on their nu-folk roots and adds gleaming choruses, buzzing synths and infectious melodies. It seems to have won them more fans too, as this date is already sold-out too.

n Further listening: ww.noahandthewhale.com


Waterfront, October 22

Many people are tipping London-born, Irish-raised soul-rapper Maverick Sabre to follow the success of Plan B. He has shown early promise: his cameo on Professor Green's Jungle oozed trip-hop menace, and his brilliant single Let Me Go brightens a sample of Give Me a Reason to Love You with Motown horns and a breezy bounce.

He has already touring alongside chart toppers Cee Lo Green, Snoop Dogg and The Script as well as collaborators Chase & Status. His County Wexford lilt and girlish warble belying the fact that he looks like a wannabe rapper, but then again that didn't stop Plan B.

n Further listening: www.mavericksabre.com

10. WRETCH 32

Waterfront, October 30

Everybody's talking about Jermaine Scott — aka Wretch 32. Adele and Jessie J have penned excited tweets about him, and P Diddy and Mark Ronson have asked him to jump up on stage with them.

He is the new don of UK hip hop – 'the metaphor man', as fellow Brit rapper Devlin calls him. His way with words and ear for a tough, infectious beat made a giant splash in the charts earlier this year with Traktor, a single full of lacerating dancehall beats and subsonic basslines.

n Further listening: www.wretch32.com