Preview: Norwich gig guide March 23-29

Beyond a simple line-up change, 2012 sees a complete reboot of The Albion Band, who perform at Norwich Playhouse, with the torch being passed to a newer generation of English folk talent. Plus: Young Guns, Django Django, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat.


Norwich Playhouse, March 23

Beyond a simple line-up change, 2012 sees a complete reboot of The Albion Band with the torch being passed to a newer generation of English folk talent.

As ever, this band brings together some of the finest musicians and singers in the UK folk scene including original band member Ashley Hutchings' son Blair Dunlop, Gavin Davenport, Katriona Gilmore, Tom Wright, Tim Yates and Benjamin Trott.

Alongside Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, The Albion Band is one of the 'Big Three' of English Folk Rock. This new line-up aims to recapture the spirit with a rockier, edgier approach, fusing traditional British songs and tunes with contemporary instruments and sounds.

Ashley, who has received many a plea from fans to re-form the band over the years, said: 'The way forward was to allow a new generation to take over the baton. The next day I asked my son Blair what he thought of being part of a new re-invented Albion Band. His reply was that he couldn't think of anything he would rather do.'

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The band will perform self-penned, re-written and traditional material as well as re-booted Albion Band classics in what promises to be a diverse and energetic live set.

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Norwich Arts Centre, March 24

Having formed from the ashes of a variety of bands in their hometown of High Wycombe, Young Guns' first release was the striking Mirrors EP in 2009, but it wasn't until debut album, All Our Kings Are Dead, in 2010, that they began to really show what they were capable of.

Backed by a groundswell of popular support, the band hit magazine covers, pulled off a triumph at the HMV Forum in London when the lights failed at their biggest ever gig headline gig, toured Australia and played the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Their sound is close to the anthemic arena rock fodder but with an indie twist bringing to mind bands like Lostprophets and in places Foo Fighters.

They arrive in Norwich in support of new album Bones, which was written over a number of months everywhere from Thailand to Spain to a shed in High Wycombe, and was recorded at Karma Sound Studio in Thailand. It marks Young Guns' transition from a band packed with potential to bonafide contenders for rock arena glory and probably the next 12 months will see whether they can make the step up.

Support comes from Yorkshire band Marmozets who are supporting their latest EP Vexed.

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Norwich Arts Centre, March 25

These art-pych rockers are current hot properties are they finally arrive at the Arts Centre after being forced to postpone the date last month.

Their self-titled debut album, written and partly recorded in the bedroom of drummer, producer and de facto leader David Maclean has been heavily praised. Don't be surprised it features on the Mercury Prize list later this year.

It includes some widely imaginative psychedelia that both beguiles and delights, making them the perfect answer to those who've written off British guitar music.

The London-based foursome have come up with something far more unpredictable and playful than bog standard landfill indie. Their dancey stew of sounds and styles hurls together everything from psychedelia to house music to Krautrock.

Their foundations are a rickety, minimal take on the music of the immediate pre-psychedelic era, employing heavily tremeloed surf guitar — oh and that infant-school music staple coconut halves, which form the distinctive beat of their unusual, mantra-like song Love's Dart. 'Music's so mad and widespread and varied, that eclecticism's the only way to be for us,' says Maclean.

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Norwich Arts Centre, March 28

Some partnerships just work, even if it takes time. Eight years in the making, the debut album by Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat is a special thing, full of gorgeous, jazz-inflected love songs fleshed out with a mixture of spoken word pieces and vocals delivered in Aidan's distinctive rhotic singing voice.

Wells is the Scottish multi-instrumentalist, composer, leader of the Bill Wells Octet and collaborator with The Pastels, Isobel Campbell, Future Pilot AKA and many more.

Moffat is a man of many projects, whether his solo material released under his full name Aidan John Moffat, his band Aidan Moffat & the Best-Ofs or, in a former life, his experimental work as L Pierre, Lucky Pierre and his long history as one half of iconic Scots duo Arab Strap.

The pair first met back in Moffat's Arab Strap days in – predictably – a pub, when Aidan and bandmate Malcolm Middleton invited Bill to play piano on their Monday At The Hug & Pint album.

The duo first started work on Everything's Getting Older, recording first single, (If You) Keep Me In Your Heart, in 2003. Having resolved to make an album, it was to be a long time in the making. The songs they came up with over that considerable period of time began taking on a theme: aging, and within it freedom, fatherhood and responsibility. 'Birth, love and death: the only reasons to get dressed up,' quips Moffat.

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March 23

Nero (dance) — UEA

The Osmonds (pop) — Theatre Royal

The Albion Band (folk/rock) — Playhouse

Jaguar Skills (hip hop/dance) — Waterfront

Cold In Berlin + more (indie) — Olives

The Fall of Science + more (metal) — B2

Norwich Hot Rhythm Club (jazz/swing) — Arkwrights

Norwich Folk Club: feat. John Ward & Mario Price — Christ Church Centre

We Ghosts (indie) — Brewery Tap

Breaking Belief (rock) — King Edward VII

The Heavin Cleavages (risque rock) — Brickmakers

The Leopard Trio (rock'n'roll) — Walnut Tree Shades

Take Chatt (pop/tribute) — The Farmhouse

Barry Lee — Lakenham Cock

Lisa Marie — Perseverance

March 24

The Hollies (pop/rock) — Theatre Royal

The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra (swing/jazz) — Playhouse

Young Guns (indie/rock) — Arts Centre

Nervana + more (tribute/rock) — Waterfront

Floating Greyhounds (rock) — Brickmakers

Red Leaf (rock/indie) — Hog In Armour

Unchained Syns (rock) — King Edward VII

Addison's Uncle (acoustic/folk) — Hollywood Cinema (Anglia Sq)

Mucked Up Funkies (funk/rock) — B2

Low Volume Eclectif Presents (acoustic/1pm) — Arts Centre

Electric Ducks (blues/rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

The Cream Horns (blues/funk) — The Stanley

Murphy's Lore (Irish/roots) — Trowel & Hammer

Drop The Clutch (rock) — Lakenham Cock

No Secrets (pop) — Golden Star

Hemmingway — Carnival

The Punktures (punk) — Heartsease

Rox Off (rock) — Boundary

Contrast (female singer) — Coach & Horses (Union St)

Sirocco — Arkwrights

Dale Bullimore — Gas Club

Davie J — Angel Gardens

Just Kevin — Quebec Tavern

Vic Martin — Keir Hardie Hall

Tony Cann — The Windmill

March 25

Django Django (indie) — Arts Centre

Rosie Vanier (indie/acoustic) — Bicycle Shop

The Planks (soul/blues) — Brewery Tap

Actions + more (rock) — B2

Dr Misfit (4pm) — Boundary

Sun of Cash (country/tribute/3pm) — King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

March 26

Watermelon Slim (country/roots) — Arts Centre

Never Means Maybe (pop-punk) — Waterfront Studio

Jess Morgan (folk/acoustic/Americana) — Bicycle Shop

Stacked Mondays: feat. Freya Roy + more (indie/acoustic) — Bedfords

Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

Rocket From The East (competition heat 5) — B2

Jazz Night — Walnut Tree Shades

March 27

Spiro + Cliff Stapleton (folk) — Arts Centre

Nigel King Band (60s) — Brickmakers

Stella Goodey with Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

Rocket From The East (competition heat 6) — B2

March 28

UFO (rock) — Waterfront

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat (alternative) — Arts Centre

Soothsayer Promo (metal) — B2

Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

Traditional Irish Session — The Gatehouse

March 29

Wiley (hip hop) — Waterfront

These Ghosts + more (indie) — Arts Centre

Deadly Gentlemen (folk) — Bicycle Shop

Bad Amplitude (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Ghostriders Western Club: Steve Key (country) — TA Centre

Dr Misfit (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Echoes + The Hysterics (metal/alternative) — B2

The Queers + more (punk) — Waterfront Studio

Albert's Blues & Boogie Band — Rumsey Wells

Monk Inc (jazz) — Rose Tavern

Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Micawbers Tavern

Jam Night — King Edward VII

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Mic — Wildman