Preview: Norwich gig guide April 13-19

Cult band Drugstore arrive Norwich to play the final instalment of a very limited run of three UK shows with two Norwich special guests in Fiel Garvie and Port Isla. Plus: Meshuggah, The Little Unsaid, Lampliter and The Toy Hearts.


Norwich Arts Centre, April 13

Drugstore arrive Norwich to play the final instalment of a very limited run of three UK shows.

There's really no other band like Drugstore. Ask anyone that has become enraptured with the London-based Brazilian eccentric singer-songwriter, Isabel Monteiro: once seen and heard, never forgotten.

Drugstore toured with Jeff Buckley, who liked their debut single, Alive, so much he frequently covered it live. Radiohead's Thom Yorke enjoyed being on tour with Drugstore so much he duetted with Isabel on the 1998 Top 20 hit El President.

The Drugstore live experience has always been masterclass in Isabel's storytelling and performance: an enthralling mixture of heart-on-sleeve intensity — packed full of raw and passionate emotion – and hilarity – generally with a generous helping of pitch-black humour — seamlessly switching from one to the other in a heartbeat.

Most Read

Embracing everything from 1920s Berlin cabaret through the French chanson tradition, via The Velvet Underground's woozy melodic charm and Tom Waits' bar-room badinage to PJ Harvey's earnest intellect and The Bad Seeds' rumbling, angry sadness.

They arrive to promote the new single Aquamarine from their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Anatomy, which was released in 2011 after a seven-year hiatus.

'The Arts Centre has been on my sight for years – it's such a great venue, but for some reason, we never had a chance to play there,' says Isabel, 'so, we're totally looking forward, it's gonna be special.'

For this date they've hand-picked two local bands to join the line-up.

Norwich's much-missed Fiel Garvie will be playing a one-off reunion gig, almost five years since their most recent show. Fiel Garvie's spellbinding fairylight-lit dreampop once compelled a Singapore couple to make a round-trip of 6,604 miles to Tokyo to catch the Norwich quintet live. Last seen performing anywhere in May 2007, they're returning tonight for one-night only. And UEA music school undergrads Port Isla will open proceedings with their mix of semi-acoustic summer sounds and alt-folk/baroque-pop. Meanwhile in the bar, Howlback Hum presents even more musical goodness, this time in the shape of The Winter Berries, Mao's Dynasty, plus Ruby Nectar & the Purple Rats.

t Further listening:


Waterfront, April 18

Formed in the college town of Ume� in northern Sweden in 1987, Meshuggah have spent the last 20 years and 13 albums developing, exploring and redefining their complex, inimitable take on metal.

The experimental metallers first attracted international attention with the 1995 release Destroy Erase Improve for its fusion of fast-tempo death metal, thrash and progressive metal with some unlikely jazz fusion elements.

Since their 2002 album Nothing, Meshuggah has used down tuned eight-string guitars and become known for their innovative musical style, with complex song structures and polyrhythms. They were labelled as one of the 10 most important hard and heavy bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press.

Nothing and the albums that followed have all charted on the American Billboard 200 and the band have repeatedly been nominated for the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys.

The outfit's last album, 2008's obZen, further propelled them to acclaim outside Sweden and they have performed in various international festivals, including Ozzfest and Download.

They arrive in Norwich in support of their new album Koloss and are joined by special guests Animals As Leaders and We Are Knuckle Dragger.

t Further listening:


Bicycle Shop, April 19

The Little Unsaid is the musical project of London-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter John Elliott.

The project crystallised in 2010 with the critically acclaimed debut album Someone Else's Lullabies recorded in a small cottage in Yorkshire. John subsequently relocated to London, formed a four-piece band and toured UK festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Shambala throughout last summer.

With the hotly anticipated follow-up album due soon, John arrives at the Bicycle Shop in St Benedicts as part of a string of solo dates that see him juggling various esoteric knobs, dials, loops and gadgetry alongside his truly unique and spellbinding vocal and guitar work.

He will be joined by Devon-based band Lampliter, the latest project of singer-songwriter Tabias B Jacob (formerly of The Roots Union) who have a foot with both the alternative rock and alternative folk camps.

Their debut EP was recorded on a showstring but benefited from the expert touch of Grammy and Mercury nominated producer Sonny, who has also worked on their latest release which is influenced by the likes of Low Anthem, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins and Bon Iver.

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, April 19

The Toy Hearts have been making music together for over 10 years, partly because the core trio of the band is made up of family members, and partly because they are old school when it comes to music. They have honed their skills the hard way by gigging relentlessly, the result being exciting, energetic and dynamic live shows, packed with just the right amounts of sweetness, sass and style.

Sisters Hannah (lead vocal/mandolin) and Sophia (guitar/harmony vocals) front the band, and along with their father Stewart (banjo/dobro) they carry on the established tradition of the family aspect within country music.

Having released their Nashville recorded third album, Femme Fatale, to great acclaimed the band went from strength to strength last year with performances at major UK festivals, as well as a live BBC session with Bob Harris and even a major feature in the Daily Mail.

The band's just released fourth studio album Whiskey is a break from their the acoustic bluegrass of their first three albums, in part a homage to western swing, rockabilly, jazz and blues, coupled with original new material steeped in country and Americana.

t Further listening:


April 13

Wombatwombat: feat. Drugstore + more (indie) — Arts Centre

Rebel Lion (reggae) — Carnival

The Glamtastics (glam rock) — Brickmakers

Truescape (pop/rock) — B2

Killer Hurtz (metal) — King Edward VII

Norwich Folk Club: feat. Trio Threlfall (folk) — Christ Church Centre

Color: feat. Brockie + more (dance/hip hop) — Waterfront

Against The Odds ( — Lakenham Cock

Dynamite Horton (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades

Sally Taylor & The Midnight Soul Band — Brewery Tap

Mel & The Strollers (50s/60s) — Canary Club

Rach — Fiveways

Songbirds — The Birdcage

April 14

The Golden Years (rock'n'roll) — UEA

Metal Lust: feat. Bloody Kisses + more (metal) — Waterfront

Raw Edge (rock) — Brickmakers

Straight Razor Angels + more (rockabilly/punk) — B2

Super Action Heroes (rock) — Boundary

Saigon Kiss (metal) — King Edward VII

Organic Electronic Collective — Rumsey Wells

The Ascension Channel: feat. Sancho Blanco ( — Epic

Andy Robinson Band (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Electricity (blues) — The Stanley

Blitz — Arkwrights

Danstar (rock/pop) — Angel Gardens

Queen Tribute — The Talk

Soul Town — The Leopard

Kiwi Pete (skiffle) — Heartsease

Mick Stevens — Heath House

Andy York — Keir Hardie Hall

Blues Brothers — Quebec Tavern

Ricci — Sprowston Social Club

Tony Cann — The Windmill

April 15

Platinum 60s Tour: feat. The Animals + more (60s) — St Andrew's Hall

Gren Bartley (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop

We Are The Crowd (pop-punk) — Waterfront

Delvis Rockin Blues Band (4pm) — Boundary

Floating Greyhounds (rock) — Lakenham Cock

Serious Sam Barrett (roots/folk/2.30pm) — Brewery Tap

V8 Rumble (rockabilly) — The Gordon

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

April 16

Kyla La Grange (indie/pop) — Waterfront

Chamber (jazz) — Arts Centre

Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers

Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades

Jazz Jam — B2

April 17

One Night Only (indie/rock) — Arts Centre

Ziggurat Creative Presents: feat. Delta Sheep + more (indie) — Bedfords

Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells

The Nigel King Band (60s) — Brickmakers

The Further + more (metal) — B2

Dean Masser & Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

April 18

Meshuggah (metal) — Waterfront

Futures (indie) — Arts Centre

Out of Step (live bands) — Karma Kafe

Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Traditional Irish — The Gatehouse

April 19

Norwich Sounds City Anniversary: feat. Stare + The Barlights + more (indie) — Waterfront

The Toy Hearts (rock'n'roll/indie) — Arts Centre

The Little Unsaid & Lampliter (— Bicycle Shop

Electricity (blues) — Rumsey Wells

Rob Holmes Band (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Nashville Numbers (country) — TA Centre

Sally Taylor & The Midnight Soul Band — Beluga

Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Micawbers Tavern

Gas Hill Mob (acoustic) — Rose Tavern

Access To Music Showcase (local) — Brickmakers

Jam Night — King Edward VII

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Mic — Wildman