Music Notes: Suitably eclectic farewell to Norwich music nights

For the past three years the monthly Acoustic and Eclectic night at Olives at the bottom Elm Hill have hosted a fantastically diverse array of artists, from some well known musicians persuaded to play this intimate venue to upcoming local talent.

Musical styles have ranged from folk to country, indie to pop, bluegrass to punk. The only criteria has been that its good music — oh, and that it's unplugged.

Sadly though the events will come to end next week when the final night is staged on Thursday. Acoustic and Eclectic organiser and Future Radio DJ Richard Penguin has decided to call it a day. In a sense the events have become a victim of their own success, going from monthly to bi-monthly, and juggling the booking, promotion and event organisation is no easy task.

Typically Richard, who deserves praise for all his efforts, is bowing out with a fantastic final line-up of some of the most booked solo artists from the last three years.

Among those performing will be Andy Kirkham who won many admirers as guitarist in the Klezmer inspired Klunk, and currently in his own Eastern European and 1940s-jazz inspired bands Eastern Straynotes and Swingball.

Shane O'Linski, the highly regarded organiser of the Howlback Hum nights, will be performing minimalist masterpieces, and has been favourably described as Norwich's answer to Syd Barrett.

Also taking to the stage will be Acoustic and Eclectic favourite Chad Mason, who writes a mix of hauntingly beautiful and upbeat and amusing folk and country-influenced songs, and Zoe Stewart — aka The Dim Goddess — who is an accomplished harp player, with a lilting voice, who has beguiled audiences and fellow musician over the course of the last three years.

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Jasper Taylor, the Delta blues and 1960s folk influenced singer and guitarist with popular band Cakes and Ale, will be playing songs from the repertoire of Cakes and Ale and solo songs. And from the Czech Republic, and formerly one third of The Crimson Muses, Sebastiana will be performing a mix of her own songs, and passionate Romany gypsy tunes, and songs sung in her native Czech, Macedonian, and English accompanied by her accordion and violinist Birgiita in a new duo called Fire Doves.

Richard Penguin said: 'Each of the artists will be playing a 15-20 minute set on the night on what is set to be a fitting finale to three amazing years of superb artists and nights.'

He added: 'Not only has it been fantastic to be able to put on the creme de la creme of the Norwich acoustic scene over the last three years, but it has been incredible to be able to bring the likes of Loudon Wainwright's sister Sloan, Tom Paley who played music with Woody Guthrie, Martin Stephenson, and The Raincoats to name but four to play at my nights. I want to thank everyone who has been coming to, or has played, I hope that they have as many happy memories as I do.'

n The final Acoustic and Eclectic night is at Olives on February 23, 8pm, entry �3.

n Richard will be broadcasting highlights from the last three years on his Sunday afternoon Acoustic and Eclectic show on Future Radio 107.8FM in March and April, plus live sets from local artists on alternate weeks from April.