Preview: Norwich full gig guide May 10-16

The Fall's Mark E Smith

The Fall's Mark E Smith - Credit: Archant

Evergreen Mancunian favourites The Fall — still with, of course, stalwart Mark E Smith at their helm — are back in Norwich. Few UK bands have carved a more inventive, original and fascinating path through music. Plus: The Zombies, Benji B, Then Jericho.


Open, May 10

Sixties psych-rockers The Zombies is strangely aptly named — they're a band that has lived on long after their premature death.

Last year marked their 50th anniversary and they seem to have been around forever. However in their 1960s heyday they were only together about three years — splitting up just as they were on the cusp of major success.

Formed in St Albans in 1962, they had a hit with She's Not There, which was only the third song Rod composed and was later covered by Santana. Further success eluded them until the release – in America – of the album Odessey and Oracle. The album spawned the classic single Time of the Season and the album has since become one of the most feted albums ever.

The band, which features original members Rod and singer Colin Blunstone, along with bassist Jim Rodford (ex-Kinks and Argent — and Rod's cousin), guitarist Tom Toomey, and Jim's son Steve Rodford on drums, here returns to hits such She's Not There, along with songs from their recent album, Breath In, Breathe Out, plus hits from Colin and Rod's solo careers.

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Their revival began in 2008, four decades after the release of their swansong Odessey & Oracle album, when the original members reunited to perform three special live concerts. The result was a triumph and critically acclaimed by the press with five star reviews.

They've been touring ever since and a new generation seems to have discovered their music. In a recent Top 100 British Albums chart in the NME, Odessey & Oracle was placed at Number 32, with the accompanying comment: '…British psychedelia with a kaleidoscopic vision that rivals even The Beatles.'

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Open, May 11

Plugg — the musical offshoot of clothing shops Dogfish & Sevenwolves — continue their track record of bringing some top talent to Open, with one of the UK's most respected DJs Benji B and a live acoustic set from Andrew Ashong.

Having worked non-stop since first falling in love with London's club culture at an early age, Benji B can currently be heard on Radio 1 after eight years of broadcasting on its digital sister station 1Xtra, but there is more to him than just spinning the latest obvious tunes.

Devoted regulars at his own critically acclaimed club night, Deviation, will tell you the depths of his crates and experience, means just about all the big names from soulful electronic music to hip hop, house and beyond have been given an airing by him.

He has aired exclusive mixes from everyone from Carl Craig, Odd Future, James Blake, Hype Williams, Jamie XX to Larry Heard, Juan Atkins, J Rocc and Kode 9 to name but a few.

Over the last six years, Deviation has also hosted the likes of Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Joy Orbison, Floating Points and Skream Moodymann, Dam-Funk, Theo Parrish, Omar-S and many more, and is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and important club nights in London.

He will be joined by Andrew Ashong, a Ghanaian-British artist who's first solo release Flowers won 'Track of the Year at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards 2013. A new acoustic EP is due this spring, so expect new tracks.

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Waterfront, May 15

Evergreen Mancunian favourites The Fall — still with, of course, stalwart Mark E Smith at their helm — are back in Norwich.

The John Peel favourites recorded an amazing 24 sessions over the years, with the DJ famously describing them as 'always different, always the same'. Throughout their various line-up changes (6 Music DJ Marc Riley and television presenter Brix Smith-Start being among many former members) the band have managed to maintain their cult status over the years.

Few UK bands have carved a more inventive, original and fascinating path through music than Mark E Smith's enduring post-punk gang. Their ever-evolving style that still maintains a foundation of jagged guitars, sing-speak vocals, and keyboards to create experimental, abrasive and dense musical cacophony.

Equally likely to be a shambolic disaster as an utterly compelling groove machine, they change line-up more often than the sharp-tongued, crumple-faced curmudgeon changes his socks. The current line-up is on form too, assuming Smith doesn't fire everyone (aside from his wife, keyboardist Elenor Poulou) before the gig, which given their track record he might.

Support comes from Norwich scuzz-surf band There's Someone In The Pond.

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Waterfront, May 16

Following sell-out shows on their reunion tour in 2012, 1980s rockers Then Jerico return to Norwich as part of their Reprise Tour with all original band members.

Lead vocalist Mark Shaw, drummer Steve Wren, guitarist Rob Downes, bassist Jasper Stainthorpe, guitarist Scott Taylor have been reunited for 13 dates around the UK.

Then Jerico first found fame in 1986 with the release of their debut album, First (The Sound Of Music. The record featured hit singles Muscle Deep and The Motive which remained in the UK Top 40 chart for three months, becoming the most-played record on Radio 1 in 1987.

The track brought Then Jerico worldwide recognition and saw them selling-out headline shows along with support tours with Iggy Pop and Propaganda, amongst others.

Their follow-up album, 'The Big Area', cemented their status, selling over 100,000 copies within the first 40 minutes of its release.

In recent years, Mark Shaw has enjoyed a successful solo career, releasing several solo and live albums, and has branched into film and stage acting.

He said: 'All of us in the band are really excited to be hitting the road again for our first full UK reunion tour. The musical chemistry between us is stronger than ever and our 23 years apart has made us all better musicians and better friends, so it's going to be great to play together again...'

Support comes from Mike Marlin

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MAY 10

The Zombies: feat. Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent (psych/rock/60s) — Open

Bootleg Boss (Bruce Springsteen tribute) — Brickmakers

The Thinking Men + King & Crows + Smokes, Shoot & Leaves + The Smoke (indie/roots) — Open Club Room

Hang The Bastard (metal) — Waterfront Studio

Heart Of A Dog (folk/indie) — The Birdcage

Norwich Folk Club: feat. Belshazzar's Feast (folk) — Christ Church Centre

Black River Falls (rock) — Blueberry

Enigma (rock) — B2

Benny V (rock) — King Edward VII

Danny & The Seniors (rock'n'roll) — Walnut Tree Shades

Heavin Cleavages (risqué rock) — Brewery Tap

Transmission (indie/folk) — Olives

The Mob (rock/pop) — Freedman

The Planks (soul) — Trowel & Hammer

Music House: feat. Andrew Taylor + Wooden Arms + Copperplate + Two-Bit Operators (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge

Pyevarotti — Costessey Glitz Bar

Janie K — Fiveways

MAY 11

Bo Ningen + Deaf Club (psych/rock) — Waterfront Studio

Benji B + Andrew Ashong (electronic/dance) — Open

Dressed To Kill + Surreal Panther + The Fuel Girls (rock/tribute) — Waterfront

The Glamtastics (glam rock) — Brickmakers

Mastema (metal) — B2

Magic Panda (indie/album launch) — The Birdcage

16th Minute (rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

The Mob (rock/pop) — Freedman

The Burning Crows (rock) — King Edward VII

Play The Music: feat. Silver + David JR Jones + Floorboy + Alice Rayner (acoustic/1pm) — Arts Centre

Agnosy + Medows Menshivik + Jackals (punk/new wave) — Blueberry

Dropping Science + Arcadion + Ghosty + Diplomat (indie) — Bedfords

SkaFace UK (ska/punk) — Heartsease

Single Thread (indie/rock) — Murderers

One Hidden Frame (punk/indie) — The Stanley

The Dirigibles (roots) — Golden Star

Second Opinion (50s/60s) — Arkwrights

Lunar Ghost (rock/pop) — The Windmill

The Planks (blues/soul) — Trowel & Hammer

Lee Statham — Boundary

Ricci — Quebec Tavern

Lisa Marie — Robin Hood

Tony Cann — The Marlpit

T-Bone & The Horn — Union St Coach & Horses

Steve Moyse — Angel Gardens

Shannan — Bread & Cheese

Loose Change — Horsford Social Club

Steve Alan — Heath House

MAY 12

NNF: Soul Rebels (jazz/funk/hip hop) — Theatre Royal

The Story So Far + The American Scene + Gnarwolves (punk/metal) — Waterfront

The Indebtors (pop/3pm) — Brewery Tap

Floating Greyhounds (rock/4pm) — Moles Rest

Blind Spot (rock) — King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

Ricci (4pm) — Old Catton Maids Head

Gary (4pm) — Robin Hood

Folk Club (acoustic/folk) — The Lounge

MAY 13

NNF: WoodKid + A/C/O (indie/hip hop) — Theatre Royal

Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers

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

MAY 14

NNF: Mariza (world) — Theatre Royal

Norwich Jazz Club: feat. Robert Peck Quartet (jazz) — Thunder Lane Cottage

Sleeping With Sirens (post-hardcore) — Waterfront

Bloodstock 2: Heat 2 (metal/competition) — Waterfront Studio

Backdraft (rock) — Brickmakers

Phab Club: feat. Liz Reed (folk) — Vauxhall Centre

Traditional Folk Night — Beehive

Jam Night — Rumsey Wells

MAY 15

NNF: Bang On A Can All-Stars (jazz/rock) — Theatre Royal

NNF: Kayhan Kalhor (world) — St Peter Mancroft

The Fall + There's Someone In The Pond (indie) — Waterfront

Song Noir (jazz) — Café Marzano

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Traditional Irish — Gatehouse

Acoustic Singaround — Micawbers Tavern

Open Mic — Garden House

MAY 16

NNF: The Bad Plus (indie/jazz) — Norwich Playhouse

Then Jerico (rock) — Waterfront

Sheesh (punk-pop) — B2

Umgawa Kagooga (ska) — Brickmakers

Tattooed Lies + Wicked Faith (rock) — Brickmakers

Stone Pony (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Two-Card Trick (country) — TA Centre

Jazz At Olives — Olives

Johnny Jump Band (roots/blues) — Micawbers Tavern

Faith — Rumsey Wells

Open Mic — Lounge

Open Mic — Union Street Coach & Horses