Preview: Norwich complete gig guide August 3-9

Following on from a hugely successful SXSW and sold out dates in London, lo-fi, alt-folkie Willy Mason returns to the UK for a limited number of headline shows including a Norwich date. Plus: Mal Webb, Chthonic, Unborn Twin and The Lost Levels.


Norwich Arts Centre, August 7

Following on from a hugely successful SXSW and two sold out dates at London's Hoxton Bar, lo-fi, alt-folkie Willy Mason returns to the UK for festival appearances and a limited number of headline shows including this Norwich date. The extraordinarily talented 27-year-old will be previewing new material as well as tracks from his previous two records Where the Humans Eat and If the Ocean Gets Rough.

He has won fans worldwide, including Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, who signed him to his label Team Love, with his ripened tunes and weathered voice. He went on to tour with the likes of Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Kweller and Unbusted. However after a five-year hiatus, Mason announced the completion of his much anticipated third studio album in February. The as yet untitled album, due to be released later this year, was recorded over the course of 2011 in London with producer Dan Carey, who has previously worked with MIA, Hot Chip and Franz Ferdinand. 'The album is about growing up and trying to find one's place,' Mason says. 'I think of this record as the third and final chapter to a particular narrative that started with Where the Humans Eat.'

Support comes from indie-folk ensemble Matthew and the Atlas who are in the mold of Mumford & Sons which they've have previously supported.

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Bicycle Shop, August 7

Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentalist and looping beat-boxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal called Derek.

The Australian started learning percussion at the age of four and did his first paid gig at 14, playing trombone with a big band at the Hilton Hotel. At 16, he took up bass guitar and his diverse tastes in music led him to be a member of many groups. In the late 1980s he was a member of the Oxo Cubans, a brass, percussion and vocal group that went on to tour much of Australia and release four albums before taking an extended break in 1996.

In 1994, he toured to Columbia's infamous Bogota Theatre Festival with roving circus drumming group Batacuda, of which he was a founding member. The same year, he also took up guitar and began doing solo gigs and began developing his human beatbox style to add to his multi-various instruments.

His music stomps all over stylistic boundaries taking in everything from ballads to rock-outs but his fun-seeking and participatory shows are always eclectic, ebullient and even educational.

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Waterfront, August 9

Where Britain and America once dominated, these days metal is a very multi-national affair. That United Nations of metal is very much reflected in this special pre-festival gig by Taiwan's Chthonic backed by India's Demonic Resurrection.

Chthonic were formed in 1995 in Taipei and as well as the usual metal influences they also incorporate elements from traditional Taiwanese music including the classical Asian instrument the erhu, complemented by stringed instruments including the koto and shamisen, as well as Tibetan bells and shakuhachi and pgaki flutes, the latter of which is traditionally used by the aboriginal people of Taiwan. They've released six studio albums, the most recent of which, 2011's Takasago Army, was given a widespread release in both Europe and America.

Formed in 2000, Demonic Resurrection starting out as bunch of 17-year-olds looking to give India a taste of extreme metal, then a nearly untouched genre. The band, spearheaded by Sahil 'The Demonstealer' Makhija, released their first album Demonstealer within nine months of formation.

However in 2002, the band fell apart, leaving the Demonstealer to build it back up from scratch. They returned with a new line-up and different flavour to the music. Gone was the gothic/black/death metal sound now replaced by a meld of equal parts melody and brutal aggression. The band also signed to Britain's Candlelight Records to release The Return To Darkness, going on to win the Global Metal award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods.

Flying the flag for Britain will be Ipswich's Eastern Front who specialise in a traditional Black metal sound but experiment with other genres including folk and classical.

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Norwich Arts Centre, August 9

A double headline gig from two of Norfolk's most interesting bands.

Unborn Twin blend guitars and electronics to form atmospheric rock that is by turns dark, uplifting, heavy and beautiful. A five-piece that have been friends for over 21 years, and sharing elements in common with acts such as Radiohead, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Muse and Martin Grech to name a few, they released their debut EP — The Distort and Merge EP — in April and are following that up with a series of very special releases starting this month. After a year of touring and gigging across the country, including standout shows at London's Camden Crawl and Latitude, the Lost Levels retreated to Norway to begin work on their first full length release.

Here they return to perform a hometown gig and will be performing songs from the new album ahead of its imminent release. The band have refined their sound into something timeless but inventive taking in a sound rich in harmony and melody that draws on influences like MGMT, the Beach boys to the Cocteau Twins

Also performing will be Kings Lynn singer-songwriter Jake Morrell who will be performing tracks from his latest EP Bright Eyes which features a sound he describes as folk-pop.

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VW Whitenoise Festival (local bands) — Norfolk Showground

Sugar Rush + Black River Falls (rock) — Brickmakers

The Divide (rock) — King Edward VII

Rockin' Devils Band (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

The Bunkadoos (acoustic) — Brewery Tap

Norwich Folk Festival — Christ Church Centre

The AJ Experience — Fiveways


Emma Hall Band (soul/pop) — Brickmakers

Voodoo Ghost Town + Washed Up + Hot Wet Burn (punkabilly) — B2

Creepshow + Dying Breeds + Gravedale High (indie) — Waterfront Studio

VW Whitenoise Festival (local bands) — Norfolk Showground

Big Black Cadillac (rock'n'roll/rockabilly) — The Gordon

Electricity (blues) — Buck Inn

Shake, Rattle and Roll (60s/rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights

GI Sounds (drum n bass) — King Edward VII

Barry Lee — Heath House

Mick Stevens — The Freed Man

Davie J — Angel Gardens

Barry Whites — Quebec Tavern

Tony Cann — The Marlpit

Liz May — Robin Hood

Alan Ley — Trowel & Hammer


GeoPod Show Live Recording: feat. The Bad Apples + The Upgrade + Couch + The Jolly Little Fribblers (local) — B2

VW Whitenoise Festival (local bands) — Norfolk Showground

Wroxfest (local bands/12pm-11pm) — Wroxham FC

Howlin' Matt (blues/2.30pm) — Brewery Tap

The Graeme Culham Sextet (jazz) — Milestones Jazz Club

Josh Hyland & Friends (acoustic/beatbox/4pm) — Salhouse Bell

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers


The Stacked Slam: feat. Upgrade + Voodoo Ghost Town (indie) — Bedfords

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

Jonathan Marriot (punk/folk) — Salhouse Bell

Jazz Jam (open mic) — B2

Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie (jazz) — Walnut Tree Shades


Willy Mason (Americana/indie) — Arts Centre

Mal Webb (instrumentalist/acoustic) — Bicycle Shop

Tom Dunnett + Kit Downes Collective (Jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

Beneath Hearts Answer (punk/pop) — Brickmakers

Room 94 + Disclosure + The Famous Class (pop/rock) — B2


Lee Vasey (blues/rock) — The Windmill

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Traditional Irish — Gatehouse


Chthonic + Demonic Resurrection + Eastern Front (metal) — Waterfront

Unborn Twin + Lost Levels + more (rock/electronic) — Arts Centre

Gravy Presents: feat. Magoo + Local Girls + Broken Seas (indie/acoustic) — Olives

Pandemonium (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Dropstate Bookings Promo Night (pop-punk) — B2

The Vagaband (roots) — Brewery Tap

The Improvement (rock) — Rumsey Wells

Marv White Band (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Groovapolitan (funk/soul) — Rose Tavern

Johnny Jump Band (country/blues) — Micawbers Tavern