Preview: Norwich gig guide March 30-April 5

Cardiff indie collective Los Campesinos!, who first made waves with 2008 debut album, Hold on Now, Youngster..., arrive back in Norwich with a new single and more mature sound, plus support from Tall Ships and Hello Bear. Plus: Liz Green, The Milk, Sons of Noel and Adrian.


Waterfront, March 30

Cardiff band Los Campesinos! first made waves with 2008 debut album, Hold on Now, Youngster..., which included chunks of giddy teenage twee-pop, resplendent with crowded, colourful arrangements and cheeky lyrics.

They could have been a novelty, but since then the eight Campesinos! have moved into moodier territory. Their second album, 2009's Romance Is Boring, saw them retain the youthful clamour, but the song-writing was tighter, and the melodies are sharper.

Last year's Hello Sadness marked another giant step on, even if its 10 tracks of jangly, C86-styled pop barely made it to 40 minutes. The album didn't make much of a ripple on its release over here but it received rave reviews in America, which perhaps reflects its college radio-friendly sound.

The songs are noticably more accessible and more direct than anything that's come before. The band's current musical preoccupations include such reliably lo-fi names as Bruce Springsteen, R&B smoothie The-Dream, and Paul Heaton of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South, who, vocalist Gareth says 'really inspired me to try to sing more, rather than shout or yelp, to really work on melodies.'

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They arrive in Norwich with a new single, the at times depressing, sweet and danceable Songs About Your Girlfriend, just released. Support comes from Tall Ships and Norwich's Hello Bear.

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Norwich Arts Centre, April 1

Part musician, part performance artist, the unique Liz Green received a plethora of praise for her wonderful debut album O, Devotion!, released last November.

She arrives in Norwich for what's sure to be a memorable performance to coincide with the release of her latest single Bad Medicine.

The least exotic thing about the tragi-comic pop artist is her name. Her world features shadow puppetry and contraptions designed to ease her way into performance. She owes as much to a tradition of shape-shifting feminist artists from Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, Lee Miller and Frida Kahlo to Cindy Sherman and Tracey Emin as to musicians from Lily Allen to Bessie Smith.

Musically she devoured a diverse range of influences growing up. 'I exhausted the 1980s of punk and new wave, digested the 1970s of David Bowie and mined my dad's incredibly impressive collection of 1960s Motown and Merseybeat.'

That's just the start. You could throw in gospel, blues, country and show tunes too. She has won fan 6 Music's Marc Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie, Radio 1's Gilles Peterson and performed on Radio 4's Loose Ends and BBC2's The Review Show.

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Open, April 3

Influenced by the classic Motown, Staz and Trojan Records, Essex soul outfit The Milk are earning a reputation with their strong live performances.

You get a chance to see what the fuss is about for yourself as they are the latest band to stop off at Norwich latest music venue, the hugely impressive Open centre on Bank Plain.

Last year saw The Milk sell out the likes of Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Dingwalls, the prestigious Jazz Caf�, XOYO and the Camden Barfly in London alone, all whilst still unsigned.

Having been friends since school, The Milk actually began life as a teenage punk band, but latest reformed in a different variation, putting a contemporary twist on classic soul, hip hop and ska

Holed up in the shed at the bottom of the garden, they honed their sound while holding down series of make-do jobs in Wickford, Essex.

With a new single released through Sony/Sign of the Times, Simon Fuller's record label, this Monday, this date is part of the band's first proper extensive UK tour and it will see them preview songs from their forthcoming debut album, which has been produced by celebrated DJ and remixer Brad Baloo of The Nextmen fame.

Support comes from The Piratones and the always well worth catching Norwich artist Girl In A Thunderbolt

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Norwich Arts Centre, April 4

Sons Of Noel and Adrian arrive at Norwich Arts Centre buoyed by the imminent release of their second album, Knots, which sees them move away from the acoustic roots of their debut album which lead them to tour twice with Mumford & Sons and support Laura Marling at Royal Festival Hall.

The Sons' immersion in folk music was always more informed by guitarists like Dave Pajo, David Grubbs and Jeff Parker than by traditionalists.

These influences, rooted in the city of Chicago's pre-millennial post-rock, jazz and avant-pop scenes, are explored on Knots resulting in an album that is much closer to the band's live sound.

SONAA was formed in 2007 by best friends, Jacob Richardson and Tom Cowan who after years of writing and performing together in Burton-Upon-Trent, were re-united years later in Brighton.They were joined by violinist Mike Siddell (formerly of Hope of the States and Lightspeed Champion) and William Calderbank (cellist and co founder of The Miserable Rich). As word spread and recordings were passed around, an array of interested musicians joined the fray, including members of the acclaimed Willkommen Collective, boosted the collective's number up to 12 members.

Their self-titled debut was released in late 2008. It quickly sold out and was re-released in 2009 to general fanfare, triggering a monumental year that included a string of high profile shows including the Institute of Contemporary Arts with Peggy Sue and the Barbican with Efterklang and The Britten Sinfonia and Jaga Jazzist.

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March 30

Cher Lloyd (pop) — UEA

Los Campesinos! (indie) — Waterfront

The Fantastics (jazz/blues/funk) + more — Arts Centre

Pure Passion (rock/pop) — Brickmakers

Gameplan + more (indie/pop) — B2

The Vagaband (roots) — Brewery Tap

Beyond Duplication (blues/rock) — King Edward VII

Hot Cold Ground (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Electricity (rock/blues) — Silver Road Cottage

Radio Caroline Revival (DJ) — The Champion

Drop The Clutch (rock) — The Otter

Mark Anthony — Perseverance

Lee Vann — King's Arms

Steve Moyse — The Farmhouse

March 31

NROne Records Presents: feat. Hello Bear + more (indie) — Arts Centre

Matt Stevens + more (guitar) — Olives

Dirty DC (rock/tribute) — Brickmakers

Blind Tiger (rock) — King Edward VII

Ska Face (ska/punk) — Heartsease

Step Back (rock 'n'roll) — Arkwrights

Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Golden Star

Bus Stop (60s/70s) — Angel Gardens

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage

Norwich Band Network Presents (metal/rock) — B2

Ady Diamond — Maid's Head (Old Catton)

Tony Cann — Bread & Cheese

Dave Cass — Keir Hardie Hall

Mickey Spanton — Quebec Tavern

Al Sharpe — The Farmhouse

Rade — The Windmill

Alan Ley — Trowel & Hammer

April 1

Liz Green (blues/folk) — Arts Centre

Under The Radar: feat. P Money + more (under-18s only) — Waterfront

Hayley Moses (bluegrass) — Brewery Tap

Johnny Jump Band (blues/rock/5pm) — Silver Road Cottage

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

April 2

Snuff + Vanilla Pod (punk) — Arts Centre

2:54 + more (indie) — Waterfront Studio

Jazz Night: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

Jazz Jam — B2

April 3

McFly (pop) — UEA

The Milk + more (indie) — Open

Josh Bunce/Gerard & The Watchmen (acoustic) — Bicycle Shop

Blindside (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Simon Spillett & Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

Traditional Acoustic (folk) — Beehive

Live & direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells

Rocket From The East (local band comp/semi final) — Waterfront

April 4

Emeli Sand� (pop) — UEA

Calre Teal (jazz) — Maddermarket

Flux Pavilion (dubstep) — Waterfront

Sons of Noel & Adrian (acoustic/roots) — Arts Centre

Famous Class Tour: feat. Laps Around The Lake + more (pop/punk) — B2

Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer

Rocket From The East (local band comp/semi final) — Waterfront

Traditional Irish — Gatehouse

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

April 5

Albert Lee & Hogan's Heroes (country/rock) — Arts Centre

Imperial Leisure + more (ska/punk) — B2

Undercover (blues/rock) — Brickmakers

Egypt (rock) — Walnut Tree Shades

Matt Partner (rock'n'roll/blues) — Rumsey Wells

The Vagaband (roots) — Rose Tavern

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Donna Wylde (country) — TA Centre

Rocket From The East (local band comp/semi final) — Waterfront

Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Micawbers Tavern

Open Jam — King Edward VII

Open Mic — Wildman

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Mic — Coach & Horses