Preview: Norwich gig guide Dec 2-8

With thunderous live performances matching the power of fellow Scot's Mogwai and a pop sensibility comparable to that of Foals or Bloc Party, We Were Promised Jetpacks have stealthily become a fully-fledged rock band. Plus: Martin Harley, The Beat and Push.


Norwich Arts Centre, December 5

With thunderous live performances matching the power of fellow Scot's Mogwai and a pop sensibility comparable to that of Foals or Bloc Party, We Were Promised Jetpacks have stealthily become a fully-fledged rock band. Like a rowdier version of Fat Cat labelmates the Twilight Sad, they deliver loud, avidly literate, fiercely melodic indie-rock.

After the release of their debut, These Four Walls, in 2009 the Edinburgh band - made up of Adam Thompson (guitar/vocals), Michael Palmer (guitar), Sean Smith (bass) and Darren Lackie (drums) - have achieved huge success touring America and Europe, highlights of which include selling out New York's Williamsburg Music Hall and attracting high-profile support slots for the likes Passion Pit and Jimmy Eat World.

Armed with the confidence built from their time on the road and firm ideas as to how the new record should sound, their latest album In The Pit Of The Stomach is emphatically a sustained piece of work full of fiery, muscular and hugely atmospheric epics like lead single Medicine, Picture Of Heath and Human Error – and impresses with the sheer scale of its ambition. Support comes from Newcastle band Let's Buy Happiness

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The Bicycle Shop, December 5

Fresh back from the Virgin Music festival in Barbados and a stint of recording in Texas, internationally-acclaimed slide guitar player and songwriter Martin Harley takes to the road in his native country and plays the Bicycle Shop in St Benedict's, Norwich, on Monday.

His music has been enjoyed from within London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall to the far reaches of the globe, from Australia to America, Mali to Montreal and almost everywhere in between. Playing both regular guitar and acoustic weissenborn (a traditional Hawaiian style slide guitar played across the lap) you can expect to hear songs from all four studio albums.

His 'British Americana' sound is influenced by Delta Blues and Gypsy swing mixed with a road worn style of song writing that echoes a life on the move.

Martin Harley Band his blues/roots acoustic trio have recently been gain great acclaim from prominent music magazines who've hailed them 'shining talents in the British acoustic scene...definitely ones to watch'.

The band's third studio album, Drumrolls For Somersaults, saw them broadening their sound from mournful ballads to jazzy swing to bluesy hip hop and beyond into full blown rock.

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Waterfront, December 8

The Beat, along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, became one of the most popu-lar and influential bands of the British ska movement.

Jerry Dammers signed the band to his legendary Two-Tone label and their debut single, a cover of Smokey Robin-son's Tears Of A Clown, was a surprise Top 10 hit in 1979.

Like Madness they didn't stay long on the label, going on instead to form their own, Go Feet, and continuing to score hits with tunes such as Mirror In The Bathroom, Save It For Later, I Confess, Stand Down Margaret, and their cover of Andy William's Can't Get Used To Losing You. Between 1980 and 1983 they toured relentlessly, building up a following in America, where they were known as The English Beat.

They reformed in 2003, with Ranking Roger's son Matthew Murphy replacing Dave Wakeling on vocals. The present line-up was completed when Mark 'Chico' Hamilton became the band's permanent saxophone player.

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Norwich Arts Centre, December 7

The spirit of classic soul and funk is alive and kicking. In the mainstream Adele continues a chart topping British tradition of retro soul and funk inspired artists which spans Dusty Springfield to Jamiroquai, but on the global flip-side is a thriving underground of crate digging soul 'n funk believers.

Into this dynamic funk fuelled community comes Push – one of mainstays of the 1980s Rare Groove and Acid Jazz scene alongside Brand New Heavies, Young Disciples and Soul II Soul.

Formed back in 1987, Push were at the heart of a community that thrived on JB inspired funk, Blaxsploitation soundtracks and raw soul-jazz. They toured Europe and Japan and were regulars onstage at Gilles Peterson's legendary Talking Loud and Saying Something sessions at London's Dingwalls.

The triumvirate of and Crispin Taylor (drums), Ernie McKone (bass) and Mark Vandergucht (guitar) also doubled up as the rhythm section for the innovative Galliano – a conscious and wayward band that sold in excess of 800,000 albums.

Back youring they've recently released a single, Lay It On The Line, comprising a previously unreleased track that features the vocal talents of Seal. Support comes from The Doggett Brothers.

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December 2

Pout At The Devil + more (glam rock) — Waterfront

The Toy Hearts (acoustic) — Olives

The Planks (blues/soul) — Walnut Tree Shades

Blind Tiger (rock) — King Edward VII

The Collective (rock) — Brickmakers

The Fall of Science + more (metal/rock) — B2

Dr Misfits (rock) — Blueberry

Norwich Folk Club — Christ Church Centre

Music House: feat. Lefty with Becca Hazel + more (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge

Murphy's Lore (folk/roots) — Brewery Tap

National Image (rock/pop) — Silver Road Cottage

Backstreet Soul Club (northern soul) — Keir Hardie Hall

Bill Downs — Angel Gardens

Janie K — Fiveways

December 3

Xmas Punk Bash: feat. The Pistols + more (punk) — Waterfront

Ukulele Open Jam (2pm) — Black Horse

Ben Watson (jazz) — The Forum

Devil's Rock (blues) — Blueberry

Mister Pink (rock) — King Edward VII

Guns Or Roses (rock/tribute) — Brickmakers

The Dude Coopers (bluegrass) — Golden Star

Uprising (rock) — Boundary

Strollers (rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights

Live Music (five local bands) — Wildman

Steve Moyse — Angel Gardens

Steve Alan — Heath House

Dave Cass — Keir Hardie Hall

Mickey Spanton — Quebec Tavern

Alan Ley — Trowel & Hammer

December 4

Only Men Aloud (classical/pop) — Theatre Royal

The Searchers (pop/rock) — St Andrew's Hall

Rock Sound Tour: feat. Every Time I Die (rock) — Waterfront

Cakes and Ale + more (folk/indie) — Arts Centre

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Brewery Tap

Dr Misfit (rock/4pm) — Boundary

Ken Conner (acoustic/3pm) — Blueberry

Ritchie Budd (jazz) — Walnut Tree Shades

Stuart Morrison (soul/blues) — Tao Lounge

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

Celtic Session — Gatehouse

December 5

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (acoustic) — Theatre Royal

Fish (rock/acoustic) — Waterfront

We Were Promised Jetpacks + more (rock/indie) — Arts Centre

Martin Harley (blues) — The Bicycle Shop

Lee Vasey (jazz) — Blueberry

Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern

Reggae At The Crypt (reggae/dub) — Bedfords

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

December 6

Blind Tiger (rock) — Brickmakers

Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells

Eco Steve's Solar Studio — Wildman

Jazz N Jam (open mic) — Blueberry

Trad Music (acoustic/roots) — Beehive

Tim Densham & Simon Denny (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

December 7

Push (soul/funk) — Arts Centre

Metal Lust: feat. 101% Pantera + more (metal/rock) — Waterfront

Grapevine Acoustic: feat. Dumbfoundus + more (acoustic) — Bedfords

Taking Hayley + more (pop/rock) — B2

Live Spot: feat. Laurence Brooks + more (acoustic) — The Langtry

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Open Mic + Bill Downs — Angel Gardens

December 8

The Beat (ska/reggae) — Waterfront

Andy Kirkham and Swingball (world/jazz) — Arts Centre

Sugar Rush (rock) — Blueberry

She Sez (rock/pop) — Brickmakers

Rival Promo: feat. Lecarla + more (rock) — B2

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Johnny Rondo (country) — TA Centre

Mark Anthony & The Funky Stuff Band (soul/disco) — Beluga

Jude Garrold (acoustic) — Brewery Tap

Monk Inc. (jazz) — Rose Tavern

Runaway Mind Train (indie/folk) — Rumsey Wells

Johnny Jump Band (blues/rock) — Micawbers Tavern

Open Jam — King Edward VII

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Mic — Wildman