Preview: Norwich gig guide Jan 27-Feb 2

Boy/girl indie-poppers Veronica Falls arrive in Norwich in support of their well received debut album. Electronic/indie outfit Walls headline the latest of Norwich Arts Centre's Spectro nights. Plus Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah and Chantel McGregor.


Norwich Arts Centre, January 27

Boy/girl indie-poppers Veronica Falls arrive in Norwich in support of their well received debut album. Initially forming two years ago when Doyle and Clifford (guitars, vocals) moved to London from Glasgow and met James Hoare (also on guitars and vocals), the band ended up in a friend's studio. From then on, the band has had a charmed existence — a lucky streak that saw them being snapped up by Mike Sniper, the head of revered New York label Captured Tracks, a scant 10 minutes after they put their MySpace page up. 'He got in touch with us so we thought why not', Hoare recalls. 'We liked a few bands on his label so that helped too'.

Their first single, Found Love In a Graveyard, was a singalong slice of deliciously morbid pop, the breezy harmonies and chant-along choruses slyly belying the off-kilter undercurrent of falling in love with a ghost. It neatly set the tone for what was to follow – instantly addictive pop songs streaked with shades of grey.

Subsequent singles on taste making labels such as No Pain in Pop and Trouble Records cemented their arrival on the music scene, winning plaudits from the likes of Clash, NME, Stool Pigeon and Loud and Quiet, among others.

With their debut album, Veronica Falls, they've crafted a brilliantly concise, superbly concentrated hit of spiky, marvellously contagious indie pop with a twist.

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Norwich Arts Centre, January 28

Originally from Manchester, but based in London, electronic/indie outfit Walls — made up of Sam Willis (of Allez-Allez) and Alessio Natalizia (of Banjo Or Freakout) — headline the latest of Norwich Arts Centre's Spectro nights.

Willis is a long been an admirer of the Cologne sound, instilling his productions (and DJ mixes for the influential podcast series located at with the euphoric, pop sensibilities and deep grooves that are a Kompact hallmark.

Natalizia, who originally hails from Italy but relocated to London in 2008 to pursue his musical dreams, is driven by the wild guitar of This Heat and propulsive rhythms of Can.

The pair met while Allez-Allez were remixing Banjo Or Freakout's Mr No, and realised that the natural combination of Alessio's and guitar play and haunting vocals together with Willis' emotive synth lines and sample manipulation magic was a match made in heaven.

Their second album, Coracle, once again they captured the shimmering layers of guitar and synths, ecstatic melodies and emotive vocals that made their debut an instant classic.

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Waterfront, January 31

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the unusually named US quintet with the strange-voiced singer return with this latest Norwich show to promote third album, Hysterical.

The album contains the band's first new material in more than three years and sees a continuing development in their sound.

Alec Ounsworth (guitar, vocals), Robbie Guertin (guitar, keyboards), Lee Sargent (keyboards, guitar), Tyler Sargent (bass guitar), and Sean Greenhalgh (drums, percussion) have delivered another selection of tracks.

Despite selling a huge number of albums in their homeland, the band has so far resisted the advances of major labels and has picked up a strong underground following.

Their self-titled debut was propelled by grassroots hype though the follow-up, Some Loud Thunder, floundered somewhat. Hysterical follows a brief hiatus that found the group's members playfully exploring solo careers and side projects. Reedy singer Alec Ounsworth escaped to New Orleans to cut a funky roots record with George Porter of the Meters.

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Waterfront, February 2

Bradford singer and guitarist Chantel McGregor is part of the young blues explosion that also includes Norwich's own Oli Brown.

The 25-year-old who gigged with bands from the age of 10 and later graduated from Leeds College of Music with first class honours arrives in Norwich on the back of being voted Young Artist of the Year in the British Blues Awards.

The prestigious award — coincides with the release of compilation album, 100 Years of the Blues, on which Chantel appears alongside legends such as Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Cream, Free, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Raitt and B B King.

She said: 'My song, Help Me, is the longest, at six minutes 54 seconds. It's from my album Like No Other. It's pretty special. To be on an album with such amazing players is crazy.'

Chantel said she expected blues guitarist and singer Oli Brown to beat her in the British Blues Awards, in which some 80,000 people from 100 countries voted for their favourite artists across 16 categories. The Norwich man in fact won in two other categories, for Best Album and Best Blues Band.

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Veronica Falls (indie/pop) — Arts Centre

Madison Violet (country/folk) — Olives

Monkey Spanner (ska/reggae) — Brickmakers

Electricity (blues) — Brewery Tap

Unchained Syns (rock) — King Edward VII

Hot Wet Burn + more (funk/rock) — B2

Red Hot Rockers (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades

Hot Rhythm Club: feat. Earl Harlem (rock'n'roll/swing) — Arkwrights

Dulcet Tones — Hog In Armour

Anna Marie — The Farmhouse

January 28

Lost? + more (rock/punk) — Waterfront Studio

Spectro: Walls (electronic) — Arts Centre

To The Last (rock) — Brickmakers

Tattooed Lies (rock) — King Edward VII

Black River Falls + more (rock/blues) — B2

Punk Special: feat. Goldsmith & Mild Peril — The Stanley

Stepback (rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights

Super Action Heroes (rock) — Woolpack

She/Sez (rock/pop) — Heartsease

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage

Jon Hart Band — Golden Star

Graham Jones — Keir Hardie Hall

Martin Webb (rock/blues) — Rumsey Wells

Terry Adams — Angel Gardens

Tony Cann — Bread and Cheese

Mickey Spanton — Quebec Tavern

Alan Ley — Trowel & Hammer

Carol — The Farmhouse

Ukelele Open Jam (2pm) — Black Horse

January 29

Classic Rock Show 2012 (rock) — Theatre Royal

Neil Daniels & Dave Morrison (blues/jazz) — Brewery Tap

The Leopard Trio (rock'n'roll/3pm) — King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

January 30

The Soldiers (pop/classical) — Theatre Royal

Four Year Strong + more (rock) — Waterfront

Jazz Jam: feat. Lee Vasey — B2

Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

Monday Night Jazz — Walnut Tree Shades

Swing City (50s/60s) — Keir Hardie Hall

January 31

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (indie/rock) — Waterfront

Shock!Hazard + Astral Void (rock) — Brickmakers

Anita Wardell & The Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

February 1

Roots Manuva (hip hop) — Waterfront

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins (indie/folk) — Arts Centre

Lester Clayton + more (folk/reggae) — Waterfront Studio

Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

February 2

Chantel McGregor (rock/blues) — Waterfront

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns (roots/country) — Arts Centre

Blind Tiger (rock) — Brickmakers

The Scout Killers + more (indie/pop) — B2

Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Micawbers Tavern

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Jam — King Edward VII