Preview: Norwich full gig guide March 1-7

Wet Nuns

Wet Nuns - Credit: Archant

Wet Nuns are a riff laden, psychotic, drum heavy, bluesy punk duo from Sheffield and Leeds but their influences stem thousands of miles away including Black Keys and Queens of the Stone Age. Plus: The Straits, Of Monster and Men, Jess Morgan, Roller Trio.


Norwich Arts Centre, March 2

Wet Nuns are a riff laden, psychotic, drum heavy, bluesy punk duo from Sheffield and Leeds but their influences stem thousands of miles away from their native cities: 'we were ripping off stuff like Black Keys and Queens of the stone age,' they state.

It's fair to say 2012 was a massive year for the hell-raising duo of Alexis (drums) and Rob (guitar and vocals). Having taken home the gong for Video of the Year at the Artrocker Awards, they can look back on acclaimed performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Bestival, The Great Escape, and two riotous headline UK tours.

They've been hotly-tipped by just about everyone, from BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens, the NME, Q and Clash to the Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders.

The purveyors of death-blues have also charged straight into 2013 with two support shows with Blood Red Shoes —which brought to Norwich to give us a teasing taster last month — and now this headlining return as part of a UK tour.

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They've also released a brand new EP Broken Teeth, recorded with Ross Orton, who has worked with Arctic Monkeys, Roots Manuva and Toddla T, are planning their first US trip and will be launching their very own festival, the irreverently titled 'Detestival', later this month.

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UEA, March 2

Dire Straits played their first ever gig in Deptford, South London, in 1977, a time when the members of the band, led by exiled Geordie Mark Knopfler and his younger brother David, along with John Illsley and Pick Withers, shared a council flat. In the following decade they went from these humble, unpromising origins to gigging in local pubs to finding global success.

By the end of the 1980s they were playing some of the world's biggest stadiums and in Brothers in Arms they had one of the decade's biggest selling albums. Selling over 30 million it became one of the first defying albums of the then new fangled technology of CDs. A string of hit singles, including Money for Nothing and Walk of Life, also made the band early stars of MTV.

Dire Straits disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. It's fair to say that their musical legacy has suffered by that mega-success in the 1980s. They'll forever be associated with the 'yuppie-era' and certainly they're never going to be cool (probably not even in an iconic way). But that reputation belies the band's origins in the pub-rock circuit and the fact that their back catalogue is much more interesting than many think, taking in elements of jazz, folk and blues, as well as the Knopfler-led guitar sound that they're best known for. And this weekend offers two chances to reassess the band's legacy. Tomorrow night former Dire Straits members take to the stage at the UEA under their guise The Straits to perform the band's much loved catalogue of hits. They'll be no Knopfler of course, however The Straits, which includes his former band mates Alan Clark and Chris White, have been successfully airing the band's music since forming in 2011.

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UEA, March 3

For a tiny island, isolated in the freezing waters of the north Atlantic, Iceland now has an amazing track records of producing artists and bands — from the Sugarcubes to Bjork to Sigor Ros to Eyjafjallajökull — with a distinctive musical flavour.

The latest is alternative folk sensation Of Monsters and Men who emerged as the breakthrough international act of 2012 with the UK release of their debut album My Head is An Animal. The album which had already topped the charts in Ireland, Germany, Canada and America, as well as their native Iceland.

The band began as the solo project of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir however it quickly grew with the additions of friends Ragnar 'Raggi' Þórhallsson (co-singer/guitarist), Brynjar Leifsson (guitarist), Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drummer), Árni Guðjónsson (piano/accordion player) and Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bassist)

It's not hard to see why their potent Mumfords-meet-Arcade Fire folk-pop has proved so popular (tickets for this UEA date are rarer than hen's teeth).

Crafting epic songs inspired by their amazing homeland, fairy tales and personal history, the band's songs are all galloping drums, massive-sounding acoustic guitars, accordions, 'hey-heys' and bouncy brass. It's tailor-made for lovers of alternative (but not too alternative) rock and mega-festivals under the Northern lights — or at least Latitude.

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Norwich Arts Centre, March 4

More proof of the talent on Norwich's burgeoning folk scene. Singer-songwriter Jess Morgan draws on both British and American folk influences with songs that tell stories that scream out to be played live.

With dynamic guitar-playing abilities and a distinctive, unusual voice, Jess's well-crafted songs and live performances have gained her impressive support all over the UK and Europe.

Recorded with musical friends and collaborators in Norway, she released her self-released debut album, All Swell, to notable acclaim in 2010. Extensive touring across the world has seen Jess gain an international fanbase. Regular shows in Norway, Germany and Holland, as well as a three-week tour of the US last winter, have seen her become something of a musical troubadour over the past year. However she will be back on home ground for this date to mark the released of her latest EP Richer Thinner Smarter.

Support will come from acoustic duo Lost in the Honeycomb, made up of Norwich-based mandolin, tenor banjo, fiddle player Joe Tozer and Bristol-based guitarist Harry Hogan; and Dave Gerard, best known as the main man in Gerard & the Watchmen.

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Norwich Arts Centre, March 7

Mercury- and Mobo-nominated Roller Trio visit Norwich to play tracks from their hooky and virtuosic self-titled debut album, which channels the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age and J Dilla as much as it does TrioVD and Heernt.

The Leeds upstarts, described by Gilles Peterson as 'the new sound of UK jazz', were nominated for best jazz act at the 2012 MOBOS as well as having their debut album named on the Barclaycard Music Prize shortlist — all within just 18 months of their first gig together.

The trio — James Mainwairing tenor sax and electronics, Luke Wynter guitar and Luke Reddin-Williams on drums — are the latest band to explode out of the fertile Leeds music scene where experimental jazz rubs shoulders with DIY alt rock and electronica.

Their widely acclaimed self-titled debut album marked them out as a significant force in contemporary UK jazz with a sound that's a fresh, visceral stew of conventional and experimental sounds that features stonking riffs, thrashy noise, evocative songs and electronic soundscapes.

They'll be supported by incredible new Norwich ambient/jazz/fusion trio Mammal Hands, who can also be seen at the Bicycle Shop next Tuesday with Norfolk-based guitarist Andy Kirkham.

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The Vibrators + Washed Up + Mine (punk) — Arts Centre

Cielo + Killamonjambo + T-Bone & The Horn (funk/world/pop) — Epic

Rawkas (rock) — Brickmakers

Die You Know (rock/pop) — Blueberry

Shock! Hazard + Keep It Secret (punk/metal) — King Edward VII

The Heavin Cleavages (risqué rock) — Brewery Tap

The Planks (soul) — Moles Rest

The Misfit Collective (skiffle/bluegrass) — The Stanley

— Silver Road Cottage

Port Isla (folk/rock) — The Birdcage

Blue Sky Lounge (swing/jazz) — Olives

The Late Breakers (blues/grunge) — Hog In Armour

Four Play (rock'n'roll/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Latino Sound (Latin) — Revolucion de Cuba

Ale Worthy Beats: feat. Fahrenheit 451 + Gimmer Shelter (rock) — Rumsey Wells

Norwich Folk Club — Christ Church Centre

French Kris Musique — Bam Bam


The Straits (rock) — UEA

Wet Nuns (indie/punk) — Arts Centre

The Correspondents (electro-pop/jazz/dance) — Open

Professor Green (DJ set) — Wonderland

Dixie Mix Band (jazz) — Forum

Mind The Gap (rock) — Blueberry

Maetloaf (rock/tribute) — Brickmakers

Firewall (rock/metal) — King Edward VII

Girls With Guitars: feat. Alison Mackinnon + Rosie Reeves + Trish Plant + Yve Mary B — Plasterers Arms

Mind The Gap (rock/pop) — Blueberry

Immaculate Groove Project (soul/pop/funk) — Horsford Social Club

The Mob (rock/pop) — The Freedman

Lee Vann (acoustic) — Old Catton Maids Head

Barry Lee (easy) — Hellesdon Snooker Club

Peter Sisman (Elvis tribute) — Wensum Community Centre

Pyevorotti — Trowel & Hammer

Phill Male — Angel Gardens

Dan Star — Gas Club

Clive Paul — Heath House

Tony Cann — The Marlpit

Graham McGrotty — Spixworth Social Club

Alan Ley — The Wildman

Micky Spanton — Quebec Tavern


Of Monsters and Men (folk/rock) — UEA

Chantel McGregor + Ron Sayer Jnr (blues/indie) — Waterfront Studio

March of the Mods: feat. The Weller Council + SkaFace UK + The Downsetters (soul/rock/ska/pop) — Epic

Dave Thomas Big Band (blues) — Brewery Tap

Claire & Josie (soul/disco/pop) — Costessey Crown

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers


Jess Morgan + Lost In The Honeycomb + Dave Gerard (folk/Americana) — Arts Centre

Reel Big Fish + Suburban Legends + Magnus Puto (punk/pop) — Waterfront

Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades

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

Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers

Jazz Night — Hog In Armour


Yellowcard (pop-punk) — Waterfront

Mammal Hands + Andy Kirkham (jazz/world) — Bicycle Shop

Comic Book Heroes (pop-punk) — Brickmakers

Marlene VerPlanck (jazz/singer) — Oaklands Hotel

— Olives

Phab Club: feat. Roger Dowe (pop/folk) — Vauxhall Centre

Traditional Folk Night — Beehive

Jam Night — Rumsey Wells


DJ Premier + Statik Selektah (hip hop/electronic) — Open

Halestorm + In This Moment + Scared Mother Tongue (rock/metal) — Waterfront

Sharon Shannon (Irish/roots) — Arts Centre

Lovely Promo: feat. Grazing Saints + B-roads + Jessie Q + Spores (blues/rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

Dead Silence + Swarmed + Dimensions + I The Beholder (metal) — B2

Song Noir (jazz) — Bar Marzano

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Acoustic Singaround (folk) — Micawbers Tavern

Traditional Irish — Gatehouse

Open Mic — Garden House


Roller Trio (jazz) — Arts Centre

Nina Baker + Kamilla Lovett + Charlotte Hill (acoustic) — Epic

The Blackhearts (rock) — Brickmakers

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Kay D (country) — TA Centre

Tea (blues/rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

Jude Garrod (acoustic/solo) — Brewery Tap

Grant Ley & Friends (pop/indie) — Ten Bells

House Of Trees (folk/jazz) — Rumsey Wells

Some Day Soon + Half A Step Down (folk/rock) — Bedfords

Johnny Jump Band (rockabilly/Americana) — Rose Tavern

The Stalkers — Bar 11