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Performances by Blur and Manic Street Preachers remembered at Norwich's Waterfront.

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 May 2011

Paul Weller performing at The Waterfront in Norwich

Paul Weller performing at The Waterfront in Norwich

People are being urged to send in their memories of one of Norwich's most well known music venues as part of a community project.

King Street Community Voices (KSCV), based at Dragon Hall in King Street, is looking for people with musical memories of venues along the street, such as The Waterfront and Ferry Boat.

The call comes after the group looked back at gigs held at the Lads Club, which drew responses from as far away as Australia and Canada.

A meeting will be held next week where people will be able to share memories and their experiences of listening to, playing or being involved with music at the venues.

KSCV’s Natasha Harlow said: “We’d love to collect memories of people who attended or organised gigs and would be especially keen to hear from anyone involved in the Venue Campaign that led to the establishment of The Waterfront.”

The Ferry Boat pub was one of Norwich’s best known live music venues and the breeding ground for many local bands from the 1970s up until its closure in 2006.

Just up the road, The Waterfront, which opened at the end of 1990 following a long running venue campaign, has played host to big-name bands including The Prodigy, Radiohead, Moby, Paul Weller, and the Arctic Monkeys. In 1992, it hosted Sound City when, for a week, most of Radio One’s output was broadcast from Norwich and in 1994 D:Ream, featuring keyboard player and future TV physicist Dr Brian Cox, played a sold out gig.

The Waterfront also enjoys a reputation for being at the cutting edge of clubbing. It was awarded the first ever all night music licence in Norwich and has hosted many globally-renowned DJs, including Danny Rampling, Fabio, Grooverider, Roni Size, John Digweed, Tony de Vit and Boy George.

Andrew Woods, 40, who lives in Earlham Road, Norwich, went to The Waterfront’s first ever gig, featuring 808 State.

“I remember being quite excited about seeing the venue,” said the married father-of-two.

“It had taken a long time for it to get built and then to open.

“There was a buzz. People were excited about going somewhere new. Norwich desperately needed it and it had got to the stage where I think some people thought it was never going to happen.”

He said one of his fondest memories was seeing The Fall play an impromptu gig, once most people had left the venue, in front of just a handful of gig-goers, including the late John Peel. Meanwhile, Daniel Smith, from Norwich, recalled seeing the Manic Street Preachers play just days after their first album was released, his “best ever” Christmas Eve in 1994 when he saw Ice-T and overcoming illness to see Blur in their early days. He said: “I had been bed-ridden with the flu for days, yet somehow managed to pull myself out of bed and head to The Waterfront to see Blur.

“Towards the end of the set, they played their last single, Popscene – Damon was pogo-ing around the stage like a lunatic, lost his footing and fell into the drumkit, bringing a premature end to the song.

“Fantastic night, I danced away my flu, and left thinking I don’t think these Colchester boys are done yet. Two albums later they became the UK’s biggest band.”

KSCV will hold the meeting at Dragon Hall on Wednesday, May 25 from 4pm to 6pm.

Do you have fond memories of The Waterfront? Write to Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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