Preview: Norwich full gig guide February 22-28

Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack - Credit: Archant

After successful Theatre Royal performances in 2010 and last year, Paul Carrack, legendary Sheffield-born former frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics, makes another welcome return. Plus: Tim Burgess, Ruarri Joseph, Swim Deep and Klashnekoff.


Norwich Arts Centre, February 23

Frontman of the Manchester indie-favourites The Charlatans, Tim Burgess makes his first ever solo stop in Norwich as he tours his recent album Oh No I Love You.

The pudding-bowl haired singer was last in the city in 2011 as part of a reunion tour of The Charlatans to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album Some Friendly, one of the seminal records of the 1990s 'Madchester' baggy scene.

Released last October, Oh No I Love You marked a return after a nine year break from his solo career. Despite the hiatus, he's not exactly let the grass grow under his feet having also become a published author, in-demand DJ, champion tweeter, keen collaborator, label-owner and cereal and coffee magnate.

With tracks co-written with Kurt Wagner from Lambchop, the album received great praise from both critics and fans a like and marked a noticeably more country-soul flavour to the music.

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It also featured members of My Morning Jacket and Factory Floor, alongside Chris Scruggs, R Stevie Moore, a gospel choir and string arrangements from High Llamas lynchpin Sean O'Hagan. Diverse and a world away from his simple pop beginnings.

The frontman has also recently published his autobiography Telling Stories, so don't be surprised if there are a few tales between songs. Support comes from London indie-pop upstarts Hatcham Social.

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Norwich Theatre Royal, February 24

After successful Theatre Royal performances in 2010 and last year, the legendary Sheffield-born former frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics makes another welcome return.

The singer-songwriter shot to fame in the 1970s when his pub-rock band at the time, Ace, had a huge global hit with his song How Long, which soared into the US Top 10.

He then spent time performing with Roxy Music and Squeeze, contributing vocals to a solo album recorded by Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford, before becoming a global musical force with the group Mike & The Mechanics.

More recently, he has focused on his solo career as well as working with a variety of top musicians, including Eric Clapton, BB King, Simply Red and Elton John.

His marvellously soulful voice is known to millions around the world; he is undoubtedly a key figure in British pop history and enjoys a devoted fanbase. He will be showcasing his biggest hits, including How Long, Tempted and The Living Years as well as tracks from his latest album Good Feeling.

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Bicycle Shop, February 24

Ruarri Joseph returns to Norwich ahead of the release of his new album, Brother, due out on March 25.

Originally born in Edinburgh, the nomadic Joseph found his song-writing roots in the unlikely surroundings of the Southwestern Pacific. A move to New Zealand followed his parents' divorce, and the young Ruarri found himself coming of age in Dannevirke (population 6,000), an isolated, rural farming community.

At 17 he packed his suitcase and moved back to the UK. Lots of gigging followed until at 25 he released his debut album Tales Of Grime and Grit through Atlantic Records, and shortly after leaving Atlantic in favour of independence in 2008, he formed his own label Pip Productions through which his subsequent two albums were released.

Brother, which is preceded by the release of a new single, Until The Luck Runs Dry, on March 18, builds on the themes of his previous album and is largely informed by the loss of a close friend who passed away in 2010. 'A bunch of our mutual musician friends got together to learn his songs and songs he loved and we all got on stage and played at his wake, Last Waltz style,' he explains.

It was after this tender send-off that Joseph realised the next album would be a group effort. 'I worked with a band on this album, rather than doing it alone. I wanted Brother to be a communal record for us all to sing to. It isn't an elegy. It's a celebration'.

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Open, February 25

Though it has undoubtedly thrown up some big bands — Black Sabbath, ELO and UB40, for example — Birmingham has never enjoyed a hot music scene in the manner of say Manchester. England's second city does however seem to enjoying a bit of a moment right now.

Last weekend brought Peace, the city's brightest new band, to Norwich opening the NME Awards Tour, fresh from signing a massive record deal.Also drawing plenty of attention are Jaws, recently discovered indie-pop gems who are busy reviving the scuzzy shoegaze sound.

This weekend there is a chance to catch Swim Deep, the third big names on the so-called B-Town scene. Poppier than Peace and more straightforward than Jaws, they are exponents of sun-drenched hook lines, exuberant grooves and a growing array of would-be pop classics. They've recently inked a deal with Sony RCA and arrive at the Open venue as part of their biggest UK headline tour so far. Their fan base is rapidly increasing, having recently toured with Spector, topping 100,000 hits on the video to their last single Honey within the first month. Their third single, The Sea, is out on March 3. Also on the bill are London pop duo Paradise and New Town.

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Waterfront, February 28

Fresh Perspective, a brand new hip-hop night, gets off to a flying start with a date from one of the UK's most talented and highly regarded MCs.

While contemporaries have hit the charts with pop hits, one of the UK's finest MCs has kept it real. Since releasing his debut The Saga's of Klashnekoff, he has release a strong of albums.

The Hackney hip hopper (whose philosophy is 'come in peace or leave in pieces') was a founding member of the Terra Firma crew.

The Sagas Of..., included the single Murda produced by UK producer Harry Love, which was later released on the movie album Kidulthood. Follow-up Lionheart: Tussle With The Beast was much anticipated, while his last album Back to the Sagas saw him nominated for the BET award for best UK Hip Hop Artist.

Having recently released his latest mixtape 'FTLT', K-Lash — real name actually Darren Kandler — appears to be on fire at the minute too and he is sure to bring a hot set of politically aware social commentary delivered with his unique brand of spit boxing.

Top support slots from Souljasouls, Norfolk rapper Franko Fraize and Music Lessons Family.

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Wombatwombat: feat. Negative Pegasus + Balaclava Kid & Dad (indie/punk) — Arts Centre

Immaculate Groove Project (rock/pop) — Brickmakers

Truescape + The Indebtors + Jon Christophers (pop/rock) — B2

Burning Crows (acoustic/rock) — King Edward VII

The Dirigibles (rock'n'roll) — Brewery Tap

Skeleton Jack + Incave + Breaking Belief (rock) — Open

Rammerator (rock) — Blueberry

Pirate Radio (reggae/punk) — Hog In Armour

Slow Gin (jazz/folk) — Silver Road Cottage

V8 Rumble (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades

The Indians (rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights

Lena Black & The Playboys (jazz/blues) — Hog In Armour

Parkhouse (rock/pop) — The Otter

Norwich Folk Club (folk) — Christ Church Centre

Epic Freestyle (open mic) — Epic

Ricci — Fiveways


Tim Burgess (indie/rock) — Arts Centre

Bare Feet Records Acoustic Showcase: feat. King Laconic + Jess Bartlett + Port Isla (indie/folk/1pm) — Arts Centre

Floating Greyhounds + Dizzy Heights (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Dr Clyde + Triette + Lisa Ambrose + Dave Barwood (folk/indie) — Epic

Soulborn (metal) — King Edward VII

Mucked Up Funkies (rock/blues/indie) — Bedfords

SkaFace UK (ska/pop) — Blueberry

Coupe De Ville (rock/pop) — The Woolpack

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage

Roop Murphy (blues/acoustic) — Silver Road Cottage

King Dinosaur (rockabilly) — Belle Vue

3 Up 2 Down (rock/pop) — Old Catton Maids Head

Lou & The Diamonds (60s) — Arkwrights

James Barr — Horsford Social Club

The Killer Tomatoes (metal/rock/pop) — The Leopard

Flying Folk — The Griffin

Steve Alan — Royal British Legion

Simpson & Lane— The Champion

Clive Paul — Keir Hardie Hall

Stone Cold — Angel Gardens

Lee Statham — Boundary

Tony Cann — Quebec Tavern

Lisa Marie — Robin Hood


Paul Carrack (rock/pop) — Theatre Royal

Ruarri Joseph (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop

Stray From The Path (hardcore) — Waterfront Studio

Big Black Cadillac (rock 'n'roll/3pm) — King Edward VII

The Vagaband (Americana/3pm) — Brewery Tap

The Rockin Devils (40s-90s/5pm) — Walnut Tree Shades

Dave Thomas Band (blues/5pm)— Silver Road Cottage

Jazz Club: feat. Mink Inc (jazz) — The Lounge

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

Gary (4pm) — Robin Hood


Swim Deep + Paradise + New Town (indie/pop) — Open

Sonic Arts 72: feat. Richard Craig + Contra-Bass Flutes (experimental) — UEA School of Music

Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades

Jazz Jam: feat. Brendan Youngs + Lee Vasey + Ian Hireson + Mark Jolley (jazz) — Silver Road Cottage

Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers


Uriah Heep (rock) — Waterfront

Otis Gibbs (folk/Americana) — Bicycle Shop

Coasts (indie/pop) — Waterfront Studio

Sweet Transistor (rock/punk) — Brickmakers

Tim Thornton Quartet (jazz) — Oaklands Hotel

Jon Collorick (folk)— Vauxhall Centre

Jam Night — Rumsey Wells


Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun (folk/alternative) — Waterfront Studio

Eridium + Fellarocker + Wicked Faith (rock) — B2

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Norfolk Blues Society (special guests/jam) — Walnut Tree Shades

Traditional Irish — Gatehouse

Open Mic — Garden House


Klashnekoff + Soulijasouls + Franko Fraize + Music Lessons Family (hip hop) — Waterfront

Friends Like These (post hardcore) Rebuke (punk) — Blueberry

— Open

Nigel King Band (60s-80s) — Brickmakers

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Chris Mezza (country) — TA Centre

Some Day Soon (folk/indie) — Ten Bells

The Dave Thomas Band (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Albert Cooper's Blues & Boogie Band (blues) — Rumsey Wells

Open Jam — King Edward VII

Open Mic — The Lounge