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.
THE ALBION BAND
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.
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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.
t Further listening: www.thealbionband.com
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.
t Further listening: www.younggunsuk.tumblr.com
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.
t Further listening: www.djangodjango.co.uk
BILL WELLS & AIDAN MOFFAT
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.
t Further listening: www.aidanmoffat.co.uk
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
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
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
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
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
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
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
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