Preview: Norwich gig guide Nov 18-24

Lisa Hannigan, who arrives in Norwich this week, famously made her name as the beautiful, breathy accompaniment to Damien Rice. Yet on the second solo album Passenger you sense she's truly found her own voice. Plus The Naked and The Famous, Yuck and Kate Walsh.


Norwich Arts Centre, November 20

Lisa Hannigan famously made her name as the beautiful, breathy accompaniment to Damien Rice, with whom she sang and toured for seven years. Yet it is on the second solo album Passenger — the follow up to Sea Saw — that you sense she's truly found her own voice.

Hannigan penned her first album in hope rather than the expectation that the wider world might find a use for it; knocked out at rehearsals in a freezing barn in the Irish countryside. The resulting album was produced at a friend's studio within a fortnight.

Yet this self-released (and hand-sewn) record went platinum, and was nominated for the Choice Music Prize in Ireland and the Mercury Prize in the UK.

From the rain-lashed, ivory-poundings of its opening track Home, the follow-up proves that there is more to Hannigan than may have initially met the eye. Much of the album reflects these journeys Lisa has taken these last few years. 'Many of these songs were written while I was away from home or on the road', she says, 'and the feeling of transience and nostalgia that this constant travelling evoked seemed to seep into every song'.

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Support comes from Irish singer-songwriter Gavin Glass.

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Waterfront, November 21

New Zealand electro-pop quintet The Naked and Famous, whose Young Blood single struck out firmly in the direction of euphori-pop in the style of MGMT and Passion Pit, are winning serious praise as one of the most exciting, vibrant and interesting acts in the past year.

The group formed as a duo in 2008 when Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith met at an Auckland music school. The pair grew up listening to Massive Attack, Bjork, PJ Harvey and Tricky, taking their name from one of the Bristol artist's lyrics.

The pair were joined by Aaron Short and found early acclaim in their native New Zealand with EPs This Machine and No Light. It wasn't long before they were making their way across the Pacific, winning over a host of US blogs with impressive performances at Austin's SXSW and New York's CMJ festivals in 2008.

David Beadle and Jesse Wood soon joined the live band to complete the quintet. The group found mainstream success in their homeland when Young Blood became the first debut single to reach number 1 in New Zealand for 16 years, winning the group the country's Silver Scroll award in the process.

They've since brought their summery southern hemisphere sounds — an instantly likeable blend of melodic grunge, shoegazey pop and twisted electronica — to these shores to great acclaim. MGMT is the most frequently cited comparison but they're equally apt to recall the more anthemic moments of Depeche Mode or the industrial thump of Nine Inch Nails. Catch them now, they're already playing larger venues like the Roundhouse in London. Support from Post War Years.

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Waterfront, November 23

Grunge would be an easy reference point when describing the sound of multi-national indie quintet Yuck, but there is more to them than that.

This isn't a 1990s revival. They deal in slacker pop for those bored of the indie-electro bands.

Featuring ex-members of Cajun Dance Party, they have already amassed a more inspired collection of songs than their founder members' predecessors could muster. The group is made up of London school friends Max Bloom and Danny Blumberg, New Jersey drummer Jonny Rogoff, Japanese bassist Mariko Doi and Blumberg's sister Ilana.

Having quietly created their own freak scene, there are definitely similarities to the likes of Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr. They're a band making all the right noises and were shortlisted for the BBC's Sound of 2011.

They last graced a Norwich stage as part of a Twee Off night, but return for this headliner with support coming from Fanzine and Gross Magic.

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Norwich Arts Centre, November 23

Her album, Tim's House, might have knocked Take That off the top of the iTunes chart, but despite having major labels knocking at her door, Essex-raised singer-songwriter Kate Walsh, now based in Brighton, has been content to do things her own way.

Despite that initial success, which she describes as 'surreal', has gone on the quietly release albums like, Light and Dark, which saw her team up with some of her personal heroes Turin Brakes.

In 2010, she released Peppermint Radio — an arresting and stripped down collection of unexpected covers, including songs by Radiohead, EMF, Prefab Sprout, Blur, The Shamen, The Cure, Erasure and Duran Duran.

And this year Kate has been taking another unusual route, releasing one new song each month from her latest album The Real Thing, the idea being to include her fans in the process of actually making the album and allowing them to have access to material as early as nine months in advance. She arrives back at the Arts Centre to coincide with the album's more traditional physical release in the shops.

'It's very important for me to be doing it on my own. I had the experience of a major label and it wasn't all it was cracked up to be,' she says. 'When you do it yourself you get to see every bit of progress and every little bit of success. So now we're doing it ourselves again. Every day we get a little bit of news – that somebody likes the album – and we hear it first hand.'

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DJ Yoda (hip hop) — Waterfront

Monkey Spanner (ska/reggae) — Brickmakers

Pout At The Devil (rock) — Blueberry

Dove & Boweevil (folk) — Brewery Tap

Dynamite Horton (rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights

Howling Matt & The Rockin' Devil Blues Band (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Chasing Tigers + more (rock) — Karma Kafe

Firewire (rock/pop) — Lakenham Cock

Music House: feat. Andrew Taylor + more (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge

Trailerpark (indie/rock) — Rackheath Green Man

Ale Worthy Beats — Rumsey Wells

Hard Rain (rock/pop) — Silver Road Cottage

Lisa Marie — Perseverance

Tony Cann — Farmhouse

Alan Ley — Trowel & Hammer

Vikki H — Fiveways

Daaron King — Nelson

November 19

Higher On Maiden + more (metal/tribute) — Waterfront

Norwich Ukuele Society — Belvedere Society

Egypt (blues/rock) — Brickmakers

Voodoo Ghost Town + more (punk/rockabilly) — B2

Red Hot Rockers (rockabilly) — Boundary

Emma Hall Band (soul) — Blueberry

Coupe De Ville (rock/pop) — The Woolpack

Doozoot — Lakenham Cock

Steemy Dan (tribute) — Olives

Sirocco (rock/soul) — Arkwrights

Terry Adams — Angel Gardens

Anna Maria — Gas Club

Shannan — Quebec Tavern

Alan Ley — Windmill

November 20

Aynsley Lister + Secondhand Blues (blues) — Waterfront

Dougie Archer (indie/acoustic) — Blueberry

Keno Kings (blues/4pm) — Boundary

The Planks (soul/3pm) — Brewery Tap

The Floating Greyhounds (rock/4pm) — Lakenham Cock

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

November 21

Exit Ten + more (rock) — Waterfront Studio

Against Me! (rock) — Arts Centre

Stookey Blues (blues) — Micawbers

Jazz N Jam — Blueberry

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

November 22

The Secret Handshake Club Presents… (indie) — B2

Bus Stop Band (rock/pop) — Brickmakers

Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells

November 23

Atlas & I + more (indie/rock) — Waterfront Studio

Signals + more (rock) — B2

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

November 24

The Darkness (rock) — UEA

John Cooper Clarke (punk/spoken word) — Arts Centre

Think Floyd (rock/tribute) — Waterfront

Dumbfoundus (indie/pop) — Beluga

Blind Spirit (rock/funk) — Brickmakers

Gravelface + more (metal) — B2

Egypt (blues/rock) — Blueberry

Hot Smoke and Danger (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Kevin Barry (country) — TA Centre

Johnny Jump Band (rock/pop) — Micawbers

Pangaea (indie) — Rose Tavern

Albert Cooper's Jazz Life (jazz/blues) — Rumsey Wells

Club Acoustic — Brewery Tap

Open Jam — King Edward VII

Open Mic — Garden House

Open Mic — Wildman