Preview: Norwich full gig guide December 14-20

Dance is a notoriously tricky beast to transfer into a live setting — beyond the DJ decks that is — and as a consequence it has a mixed history, but disco-funk veterans and party providers Crazy P are among the best. Plus: Oli Brown, Squeeze, Enter Shikari.


Open, December 16

Dance is a notoriously tricky beast to transfer into a live setting — beyond the DJ decks that is — and as a consequence it has a mixed history, but disco-funk veterans and party providers Crazy P have been among the best for the last 15 years.

Crazy P originated back in 1996 when they were founded by Nottingham pair James Baron and Chris Todd. It was the era of Ataris, Akais and bedroom studios and, through their love of bending and reshaping old records from many different genres, a production partnership was born.

In 2002 the band expanded to include bassist Tim Davies, percussionist Mav Kendricks, and vocalist Dannielle Moore to start perfecting that full live sound.

Their first four albums, A Nice Hot Bath With, The Wicked Is Music, and 24 Psychedelic Freakout and A Night On Earth, saw Crazy P gain acclaim, record sales, DJ gigs, and most pertinently, live shows, across the world. Equally at home on huge outdoor festival stages or basement sweatboxes, the band have made their name with a unerring combination of lushly structured songs and live power, whilst never forgetting their roots on the dance floors of the late-1990s' house, disco, and soul clubs.

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They arrive to headline the latest PLUGG night — the nightlife offshoot of clothing shop Dogfish — and will be backed by a number of special guest DJs.

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Waterfront, December 16

Multi-award-winning young Norfolk bluesman Oli Brown is back on home turf for that is now becoming an annual pre-Christmas special gig at the Waterfront.

The gig will be filmed for a DVD and CD celebrating another year of success for the Oli Brown Band. Their third album, Here I Am, was one of the biggest blues sets of the year, and charted in the US, UK and mainland Europe. This year Oli has also toured in the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Canada and America.

He has also just scooped Young Artist of the Year at the British Blues Awards for the second year running.

'I hope that we can have as good a night as we have had in previous years,' says Oli. 'I really wanted to record my live DVD in Norwich as everyone there has been so good to me. I still think of Norfolk as home. It's where I became the artist I am today and there's always great support for me there. We will be taking photos of the audience and will include some of them in the DVD and CD sleeve inserts.'

Support comes from the Jimmy Roe Trio.

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UEA, December 16

There's a great double-bill for lovers of classic pop to be had here. Headlining are Squeeze — with Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford still at the helm — who call in as part of their Pop-Up Shop Tour. They're not kidding about the tour title - at the end of the gig you'll be able to buy a recording of that night's show which will include new Squeeze songs.

The band's roots go back to the early-1970s, with their Packet of Three EP on Deptford Fun City records attracting much interest and a major label signing in 1978. A succession of brilliant pop songs followed, from Is That Love? to Tempted, and Up The Junction to Goodbye Girl. Their current tour includes the first songs Glenn and Chris have written together for 14 years.

The Squeeze story featured in a superb BBC4 documentary a few weeks ago.

Support comes from another great pop name — Paul Heaton, who'll play songs from his packed back catalogue most notably with The Beautiful South and the Housemartins, plus tracks from his latest ambitious album, The 8th, a soap opera set to music.

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UEA, December 19/20

St Albans' finest, post-hardcore rockers Enter Shikari, play a double-nighter at UEA on Wednesday and Thursday.

The band have a formidable reputation as one of the best live bands in the UK, and have had another busy year, playing a string of high-profile festival slots across Europe, including mainstage appearances at the likes of T In The Park, Germany's Rock Am Ring and - of course - Reading/Leeds where the band played their biggest festival spot of their career so far. That was followed with tours of Australia and the US.

As has become tradition for the band, they're rounding off 2012 with a handful of Christmas shows. Their festive events have become somewhat the proverbial 'stuff of legend' over recent years (with the 2010 event having also been immortalised on the band's 'Live From Planet Earth' DVD/CD set from last year).

This year's they've decided to take the show out to the rest of the country, rather than dragging the rest of the country down to their native Hertfordshire. These dates are the band's first proper UK headline dates since a sold-out short run in March which culminated in a packed and triumphant show at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Special guests are Toronto band Cancer Bats and Brighton's Engine-Earz Experiment.

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Wombatwombat: feat. Cold In Berlin + Tortoise family Connections + There's Someone In The Pond (indie) — Arts Centre

Molotov Jukebox (gypsy/swing/dubstep) — Open

National Image (indie/pop) — B2

Call It Reckless + Keep It Secret + April's Ghost + Fenrir (pop-punk) — Waterfront Studio

Rawkus (rock) — Brickmakers

Swarmed + The Kurve + Then Comes Chaos (metal) — King Edward VII

Mojo Preachers (blues/funk) — The Leopard

King Dinosaur (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades

Them Harvey Boys (acoustic/roots) — Brewery Tap

Norwich Folk Club: feat. Bill Caddick — Christ Church Centre

Lucas (soul) — Old Catton Maids Head

Joe Bloggs (pop) — Costessey Crown


PLUGG: feat. Crazy P (electronic) — Open

Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen (jazz) — Playhouse

Throb (glam rock) — Brickmakers

Rammerator (rock) — King Edward VII

Mister Pink (rock) — B2

Super Action Heroes (rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

Rawkus (rock) — Blueberry

The Dog Days of Summer (bluegrass/folk) — Golden Star

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

Rob Holmes Band (blues) — The Leopard

Lou & The Diamonds (60s) — Spixworth Social Club

Rob Charles (easy) — Heath House

Mickey Flynn (rock/blues) — Costessey Crown

Miss B Havin — Arkwrights

The Revolves — Sprowston Social Club

Terry Adams — Angel Gardens

Shannan — Bread & Cheese

Bradley B — Union St Coach & Horses

Clive Paul — Keir Hardie Hall

Tony Cann — Quebec Tavern

Alan Ley — The Windmill


Squeeze + Paul Heaton (rock/pop) — UEA

Oli Brown + Jimmy Roe Trio (blues) — Waterfront

Then Comes Chaos + Eridium (metal) — B2

Danny & The Seniors (rock 'n'roll) — William IV

Dove and Boweevil (soul/blues/3pm) — Brewery Tap

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers


Koshka (gypsy/jazz) — Arts Centre

Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers

Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades


Michael Buble Christmas Songbook (swing/jazz) — Playhouse

Jazz Club: feat. Miguel Martins + local jazz trio — Oaklands Hotel

Blind Spirit (rock) — Brickmakers

Jazz Session (open mic) — Epic


Enter Shikari + Cancer Bats + Engine-Earz Experiment (rock) — UEA

Crumbs For Comfort (folk/indie) — Epic

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Bobby Graham — The Windmill


Enter Shikari + Cancer Bats + Engine-Earz Experiment (rock) — UEA

Nine Black Alps (rock) — Arts Centre

Bad Manners + Max Splodge + The Pukes (ska/punk) — Waterfront

Brooke Sharkey + Raevannan (acoustic) — Bicycle Shop

Winter Soul Night: feat. The Voxettes + Gary Winter (soul) — Epic

Bill Downs + Lewis Mokler + Adam Moss (acoustic/pop) — Open

Albert Cooper's Blues & Boogie Band Christmas Beano — Rumsey Wells

Ghostriders Weestern Club: Longshot (country) — TA Centre

Egypt (rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

Sheesh (pop/rock) — B2

Cawston Brass Band (Christmas carols) — Brewery Tap

Johnny Jump Band (country/blues) — Micawbers Tavern