Preview: Norwich full gig guide April 26-May 2
- Credit: Archant
Darwin Deez is Darwin Smith, a native North Carolinian with a penchant for headbands, catchy pop and Carl Sagan. He returns in support of his new album, Songs For Imaginative People. Plus: The Pigeon Detectives, King Creosote, Rudimental.
Waterfront, April 29
Darwin Deez is Darwin Smith, a native North Carolinian with a penchant for headbands, catchy pop and Carl Sagan. He may be best known for his quirky videos and overstated hipster aesthetic, but beyond the questionable haircut and wacky dancing are some real musical chops.
It would have been easy – all too easy – to think you had him figured out. He's the irrepressible pop auteur who broke into spontaneous, synchronized dances on stage to his off-kilter pop. But scratch a little and you find more depth and melancholy than quirky first appearances suggest. His 2011, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sampling, Wonky Beats mix-tape saw him trading intricately rhythmic rhymes with Chiddy Bang, Das Racist and Dev Hynes and set the stage to expect the unexpected.
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He returns in support of his new album, Songs For Imaginative People, which is reaping critical plaudits and further displaying Deez's forays into off-beat, off-kilter guitar pop.
As anybody who has seen his pervious live shows in Norwich can testify, he is an absolutely unique proposition, as he will no doubt be mixing in choreographed dance moves with unavoidably catchy hits like Radar Detector, Constellations and Bad Day, as well as showcasing new material.
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Entirely self-recorded and produced in North Carolina, then mixed in London with Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Eugene McGuiness), the album is a fascinating and thrilling record as Darwin flexes his muscles and moves into unashamedly uncharted territory.
Support comes from Australian four-piece indie pop outfit San Cisco.
t Further listening: www.darwindeez.com
THE PIGEON DETECTIVES
Waterfront, April 30
After a two-year hiatus - not without its problems - Yorkshire quintet The Pigeon Detectives, fronted by Matt Bowman, return in support of fourth album We Met At Sea, out on Monday.
Having sold over 500,000 albums, the five-piece recorded in their home town of Leeds looking for a 'live feel', and the album certainly has the energy, charisma and catchiness of previous releases. The tried-and-tested 'jagged guitar/shouty repetitive chorus' formula heard on new tracks such as I Don't Mind and I Won't Come Back is sure to satisfy their fanbase even if it doesn't really move the indie rockers on as a band, whereas the New Order feel of Light Me Up is something new and could be an avenue to explore further. It'll ne interesting to see how it translates live.
'We're a live band,' says Bowman, 'that's where we cut our teeth; that's where we're most comfortable, that's where we have the most fun. That's where we made our name.'
Having already garnered a reputation as one of the most raucous, thrilling live acts around the aim was to siphon this rip-roar on-stage energy into a more direct album.
'For the third album we almost went against our instincts at times,' Bowman concedes of 2011's Up Guards, And At 'Em, which followed their 2007 debut Wait For Me and 2008's 'Emergency' - both Top Five hits. 'We reigned ourselves in. On this one we just wrote what came out, really natural.'
Support comes from Must and Soloko.
t Further listening: www.thepigeondetectives.com
Norwich Arts Centre, May 1
Scottish singer/songwriter King Creosote — aka Fife's Kenny Atkinson — makes a welcome return to the Arts Centre.
There are well-kept secrets, and there is Kenny Anderson. Never a fan of the obvious nor the easy, the large musical brain behind King Creosote and the Fence collective — and other collaborations too numerous to mention (or remember) — is back out on the road as part of just a duo this time, after his hugely successful Diamond Mine album with Jon Hopkins.
His latest Norwich visit will see him performing as a duo with pal Captain Geeko (who plays the bongos). He is also currently hobbling with a broken leg and has taken to performing impromptu, improvised songs to tell the tale of how it happened.
It's that type of free-wheeling that makes King Creosote gigs special — each one is individual and this was no different.
The electro-folk maestro releases so many albums and EPs and collaborates with so many people that you never know what to expect from his gigs.
His latest release is That Might Well Be It, Darling, initially released in 2010 as a series of EPs only available at King Creosote live shows. It actually may well be his best album. Tracks from it may or may not feature at this date, you never know. Support comes from his sometime Fence collaborator Gummi Bako.
t Further listening: www.kingcreosote.com
UEA, May 1
The Hackney quartet - comprising of Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith - have already impressed with a string of singles: including chart-topper Feel The Love, and Not Giving In with John Newman and Alex Clare.
Such has been their success that this Norwich date has been switched to the UEA from the Waterfront due to demand. It coincides with the release of their much anticipated debut album, Home, which is also out next week.
As they celebrate their second No 1, Waiting All Night featuring Ella Eyre, the band have managed a neat trick by producing music that sounds simultaneously old-school yet very 2013, with both drum 'n' bass loops and retro horns aplenty.
The Hackney quartet's chart-topping breakthrough single Feel The Love, with its worldly-wise vocal from John Newman, is indicative of the feel. The album has guest vocals including Emeli Sande and Angel Haze, and tracks such as Powerless are reminiscent of Massive Attack at their most haunting - and then there's the 1990s house of Baby to lighten the mood.
They don't lack ambition. 'We want to have classic albums like the big acts like Massive Attack. We wanted to bring out a seminal, genre-defining album,' said Amor.
It'll be interesting to see how it translates live, but their sound has a lot of heart and soul, and the album promises to be one of the biggest of the year.
t Further listening: www.rudimental.co.uk
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Violet Violet + Cthru27 + Arrows Of Love (indie) — Arts Centre
The Tracks + The Deadbeats (pop) — Epic
Bon Giovi (rock/tribute) — Brickmakers
Spiral Dive (rock) — King Edward VII
Milly Hirst + Winter Villians + Andrew Taylor (indie) — The Birdcage
Dead Red + Papa Shango + Dying Breeds (rock) — Open
Color: presents Metalheadz: feat. Goldie (drum n bass) — Waterfront
Dissonance (metal/rock) — B2
King Dinosaur (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades
Murphy's Lore (roots) — Brewery Tap
The Stylotones (ska/reggae) — Blueberry
We Ghosts (indie) — Silver Road Cottage
SkaFace UK (ska/pop) — Bedfords
Albert Cooper's Jazz Life (jazz) — Rumsey Wells
Music House: feat. Adrian Lever + Robyn Astrid + Tom Conway + more (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge
Blue Moon Rock'n'Roll Club — Arkwrights
Norwich Folk Club (folk) — Christ Church Centre
Mr Woodnote + Lil Rhys + Eva Lazarus (sax/loops/beatbox) — Arts Centre
Mallory Knox + Natives + Evarose (rock) — Waterfront
10th Anniversary Show: feat. Surprise Band — Brickmakers
Play The Music: feat. Matt Watson + Kayleigh Watson + Jefferson Thomas + more (acoustic/1pm) — Arts Centre
Untold (rock) — King Edward VII
Stealer (rock) — Boundary
Money Shot (rock) — Blueberry
Coupe De Ville (rock/pop) — Woolpack
The Vagaband (Americana) — Silver Road Cottage
The Planks (soul/blues) — Old Catton Maids Head
Firewire (rock/pop/ska) — Spixworth Social Club
Honeydripper (blues) — Eaton Cottage
Miss B Havin — Arkwrights
Phill Male — Angel Gardens
Pete Turner — The Champion
Micky J King — The Farmhouse
Uprising — Trowel & Hammer
Micky Spanton — Quebec Tavern
For Everley — Keir Hardie Hall
Liza Marie — Sprowston Social Club
Penny Hannant — Buck Inn
Bradley B — Coach & Horses
Tony Cann — Bread & Cheese
Tom Baxter — Horsford Social Club
Janie K — The Bull
Barry Lee — Heath House
The Strawbs + Curved Air + Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash (rock/folk) — St Andrews Hall
Solid Silver Show: feat. Dave Berry + Wayne Fontana + Merseybeats + more (60s) — Theatre Royal
Brooke Sharkey (folk/roots) — Bicycle Shop
Cash + Jack Pout & The Dirt Level (country/tribute) — Waterfront
The Planks (soul/3pm) — Brewery Tap
Pete Kiki Keegan (skiffle/rock'n'roll/3pm) — King Edward VII
Son Of Cash (country/tribute) — Walnut Tree Shades
Lou & The Diamonds (60s/5pm) — Silver Road Cottage
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Folk Club (acoustic/folk) — The Lounge
Darwin Deez + San Cisco (pop/indie) — Waterfront
Attack! Attack! + Gavin Butler (rock) — Waterfront Studio
Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers
Albert Cooper's Jazz Life (jazz) — Rumsey Wells
Jazz Jam: feat. Brendan Young + Lee Vasey + Ian Hireson + Mark Jolley + Matt Furness (jazz) — Silver Road Cottage
Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades
The Pigeon Detectives + Must + Soloko (indie/rock) — Waterfront
Marcella Detriot (pop/indie) — Arts Centre
Lotte Mullan (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop
Donna Rae Wells (country) — Brickmakers
Norwich Jazz Club: feat. Jamie O'Donnell (jazz) — Thunder Lane Cottage
Phab Club: feat. Dave Sheppard (blues) — Vauxhall Centre
Traditional Folk Night — Beehive
Jam Night — Rumsey Wells
Rudimental (hip hop/pop) — UEA
King Creosote + Gummi Bako (folk/indie) — Arts Centre
Dan Whitehouse + Jefferson Thomas + Mathew Foster-Moore (acoustic) — Bedfords
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Traditional Irish — Gatehouse
Open Mic — Garden House
Beardyman (hip hop/beatbox) — Waterfront
Frank Hamilton + Mark Grist + Lewis Mokler (folk/indie) — Waterfront Studio
Hello Bear + Smokes, Shoots and Leaves + Jon Christophers (indie) — The Birdcage
Joe Ringer Band (rock/pop) — Brickmakers
Slagerij (ska/punk) — Blueberry
Dave Thomas & The Diplomats (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Dumfoundus + Dr Clyde + T Bone (acoustic/open mic) — Union Street Coach & Horses
Ghostriders Western Club (country) — TA Centre
Jazz At Olives — Olives
Johnny Jump Band (roots/blues) — Micawbers Tavern
Open Mic — Lounge
Open Mic — Union Street Coach & Horses