Preview: Norwich full gig guide November 30-December 6
South African singer songwriter Laurie Levine arrives in Norwich as part of a UK tour prior to releasing her critically acclaimed new album Six Winters on December 10. Plus: The View, Gary Numan.
Bicycle Shop, December 4
South African singer songwriter Laurie Levine arrives in Norwich as part of a UK tour prior to releasing her critically acclaimed new album Six Winters on December 10.
Since surfacing with her remarkable debut Unspoken back in 2007, Laurie has taken her original material and soulful voice to an ever-growing fanbase, earning several accolades along the way. Her second album, Living Room, was nominated for a Sama (the South African equivalent of the Grammys).
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Her music comes from the 'heartspace', a word coined by poet Breyten Breytenbach to describe South Africa's anguished beauty.
Her gift as a singer-songwriter lies in her ability to draw on the roots of folk music and mix it with a myriad of other influences, including sounds from America's Appalachia region and her native South Africa.
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But at the heart of her material is her storytelling ability. Whether tales of grief, loss, sex, betrayal or first loves, Levine's ability to open a door with her words and let listeners into an intimate world populated by a cast of lovers and strangers is highly praised.
This has resulted in well-loved favourite songs like Kites, a nostalgic waltz through an early summer love, and Oh Brother, a sparse but potent track that could easily be an outtake from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Grammy winning Raising Sand.
t Further listening: www.laurielevine.co.za
Waterfront, December 4
Fired up on youthful ambition and Libertines singles, indie rockers The View came bursting out of Dundee to be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2007 with their debut album Hats Off To The Buskers.
Since then the band have enjoyed experimenting. Follow-up Which Bitch? contained sea shanties, orchestras and elements of hip hop. Third album, Bread And Circuses, offered slick, sophisticated guitar pop and plenty of ambition — the centre point of the album is Life, was an epic, orchestral ballad – with the string arrangement coming courtesy of the London Royal Philharmonic.
Perhaps having gone as far in that direction as they wanted, 2012 has marked a shift back to basics, more in keeping with the band and especially larger-than-life frontman Kyle Falconer.
They've got a new label in Cooking Vinyl and their fourth album Cheeky For A Reason — recorded in Liverpool with Arctic Monkeys and Foals producer Mike Crossey — is perhaps the best thing they've done, with ear-wormy choruses, breezy melodies and a touch early Libs.
It reamiosn to be seen whether they came recapture that initial zeitgeist. But Falconer is philosophical about the transitory nature of success. 'Chart positions? They genuinely don't mean anything to me. We've never been in a band just to be in a band. It's about creating something together, about keeping the dream alive.'
t Further listening: www.theviewareonfire.com
UEA, December 5
Few artists can genuinely lay claim to the titles of 'legendary' and 'pioneering', but Gary Numan's influence on electronic music is (Kraftwerk excepted) pretty much unparalleled.
His signature style can be heard in everything from bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Basement Jaxx.
It's also no coincidence that all of these artists have chosen to cover or sample his songs.
Now into his third decade as a recording artist, a career that has spawned records including classic number one singles Are Friends Electric? and Cars, Norwich audiences get another chance to catch him that this concert rescheduled from September.
Though he is best known for his synth-pop pioneering days — he got there before The Human League et al and gave it a punk spirit — his renaissance in recent years has been on the back of a more industrial rock sound. He has even been seen wielding a guitar rather than a synth.
Creatively he hasn't rested on his laurels: his most recent album Dead Son Rising garnered critical acclaim. His next, Splinter, is out next year. Support comes from The Officers.
t Further listening: www.numan.co.uk
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
The Damned + The Dickies (punk) — UEA
Demented Are Go (psychobilly) — Arts Centre
Dumbfoundus + T Bone & Horn + Lee Vann (acoustic/pop) — Epic
Floating Greyhounds + Super Action Heroes (rock/indie) — Brickmakers
Music House: feat. Rich Pickins + Starfields + Danny Whitehouse (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge
Classic Rock Society: feat. Landmarq + Witchers (prog rock) — B2
Killer Hurts (metal) — King Edward VII
Grimace + Immortal Empire + Fallen Humanity (hardcore) — Bedfords
Johnny Jump Band (country/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Sun Of Cash (country/tribute) — Brewery Tap
Drop The Clutch (rock) — The Otter
Rosie Lee (60s-80s) — Blueberry
Lucas (soul) — Old Catton Maids Head
The Killer Tomatoes (rock/pop) — The Leopard
The Idiot Bastard Band (folk/pop) — UEA
Scroobius Pip (hip hop/spoken word) — Open
To The Last (rock) — Brickmakers
The Burning Crows (rock) — King Edward VII
Dog Days of Summer (bluegrass/country) — The Reedcutter
Roughneck Riot (rock) — Blueberry
The Misfit Collective (roots/bluegrass) — The Stanley
Replica (rock) — Walnut Tree Shades
Hot Cold Ground (blues) — King's Arms
Storm (rock) — Boundary
3 Up 2 Down (rock/pop) — Angel Gardens
Talisman (rock) — Union Street Coach & Horses
Barry Lee (rock/pop) — Old Catton Maids Head
Stone Pony (rock) — The Leopard
Stepback (rock'n'roll) —Akwirights
Gary Only — Bread & Cheese
Tony Cann — Heath House
Crissy — The Farmhouse
Alan Ley — Quebec Tavern
Pete — The Gatehouse
Beth Orton (folk/pop) — Arts Centre
Magnum + Trillium (rock) — Waterfront
The Stylistics (soul/pop) — St Andrews Hall
Twisted Routes (folk/roots/3pm) — Brewery Tap
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Thin Lizzy (rock) — UEA
Sam & The Womp + Crystal Beats (ska/dubstep) — Waterfront Studio
Alto 45 (electro-pop) — Stew Gallery
Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers
Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie (open mic) — Walnut Tree Shades
Jazz Jam (open mic) — Silver Road Cottage
The View (indie) — Waterfront
Laurie Levine (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop
Mulberry Hawk (acoustic/rock) — Brickmakers
Traditional Live Folk — Beehive
Gary Numan (electro/pop) — UEA
Peace (indie) — Arts Centre
Metal Lust: feat. Anaal nathrakh (metal) — Waterfront
Dirty Tricks (acoustic) — The Langtry
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Open Mic — Garden House
Dreadzone (rock/reggae) — Waterfront
Steve Harley (acoustic) — Arts Centre
Epic Acoutsic: feat. Dumbfoundus + Cube Roots + Barry Holmes (acoustic) — Epic
Freeload (rock/indie) — Brickmakers
Redeem The Dead + Synaptik + Swarmed + Kurve (metal) — B2
Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Johnny Jump Band (blues/country) — Rose Tavern
Dog Days of Summer (bluegrass/country) — Rumsey Wells
Open Mic — Union Street Coach & Horses