Preview: this week's gig guide
Simon ParkinPETER DOHERTYUEA, MondayYesterday Peter Doherty (no longer Pete, you'll note) turned 30. And as if to use the milestone as a way to put behind him the drugs problems and media vilification, he is preparing to release his first solo album Grace/Wastelands.Simon Parkin
Yesterday Peter Doherty (no longer Pete, you'll note) turned 30. And as if to use the milestone as a way to put behind him the drugs problems and media vilification, he is preparing to release his first solo album Grace/Wastelands.
Those still following the prolific flood of music that overflows from his imagination might recognise some of the songs on the album from demos he's previously released or from bootlegs of live shows.
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Putting out an album with only his name on the cover is one of the most frightening things he has ever done, he says. 'They kept telling me in rehab that I had self-esteem problems, so I went along with it, but it didn't really register,' he admits. 'But now, I can really see that, because I don't really believe people when they tell me that they love the record or they enjoy listening to the songs. Maybe I'm just warped, you know?'
After several UEA cancellations at the height of his drugs issues, let hope he shows.
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t Further listening: www.frenchdogblues.com
Norwich Arts Centre, Sunday
Norwich noise-niks Bearsuit celebrate the release of their latest single, Muscle Belt, with this launch party gig in the company of The Brownies and The Middle Ones. The band play on home turf as a warm up before jetting off to Texas for the annual SXSW music festival. 'We love playing in Norwich and The Brownies and The Middle Ones make for a brilliant line up,' says singer and keyboard player Lisa Horton. 'The gig is also a bit of a fund-raiser for SXSW to help towards our airfares so we hope we get a good crowd to support us on our way! We tried to get to SXSW last year but ended up being deported because we didn't have the right visa paperwork so we're really excited about playing this year.'
Muscle Belt is released on March 23 on Fantastic Plastic records, the early stomping ground of bands including The Guillemots, Ash, Ikara Colt and The Futureheads. The band are also currently working on new material ahead of releasing an album later this year.
t Further listening: www.bearsuit.co.uk
These ska punks who hail from the unlikely surroundings of gentile Tewkesbury are a classic example of word of mouth generated by constant live shows
Formed in 1994, the band releasing their first record, the Kicking Pigeons EP as a home-made effort. They went on to sell 5,000 copies off their own bat at pub gigs, and decided to pack in their day jobs and make the band a full-time concern.
Hitting the road to play more than 300 gigs in less than two years, they subsequently released debut album Pedigree Chump, which introduced their brand of ska, dub, punk and comedy to a wider audience.
They're unusual in being a UK acts within a genre normally dominated by US bands such as Less Than Jake, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish.
The band claim to have hit upon the sound by accident, having amalgamated their collective influences of Sublime, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and The Wildhearts.
t Further listening: www.spunge.co.uk
EMILY BARKER & THE RED CLAY HALO
Norwich Arts Centre, Tuesday
A fantastic double bill of folk/country sounds. Emily Barker is a singer-songwriter hailing from the quiet town of Bridgetown, Western Australia. She first entered the UK music scene via the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2002 where she appeared with guitarist Rob Jackson.
This success, led them to form The Low Country of which Emily was sole songwriter and front person. They released two albums, played numerous alt-country venues and festivals. Emily's own debut solo album, Photos.Fires.Fables, received numerous positive reviews and sold like hot cakes and she has become hugely popular live with her band The Red Clay Halo.
Support comes from The Sleeping Years, the band project of ex-Catchers singer-songwriter, Dale Grundle, who after a trio of EPs released his debut album, We're Becoming Islands One By One, last year.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/emilybarker
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
t March 13
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (novelty) - Playhouse
Oli Brown Band (blues) - Arts Centre
Howlback Hum: feat. Sargasso Trio (alternative/folk) - Take 5
Groove Doctors (acoustic blues) - Cider Shed
Hollow Earth (prog/rock) - Brickmakers
Circus (rock) - King Edward VII
Money Shot (rock/indie) - Boundary
Beyond Duplication (rock) - Walnut Tree Shades
Dynamite (rock/pop) - Regal
Wonk Unit/Hotwired (punk) - B2
Screaming Ground: feat. Bambi Get Over It + more (indie/local) - Marquee
t March 14
Re-Chord Air: feat. Laura Cannell (folk/alternative) - Arts Centre
Goober Patrol (punk/pop) - Marquee
Pure Passion (rock) - Brickmakers
The Divide (rock) - King Edward VII
Oxjam: Rebel Lion (reggae/charity) - Queen Charlotte
Killer Tomatoes (punk) - Blueberry
Head Space - Boundary
Lucky Last (rock/indie) - Stanley
Rob Charles (easy) - Silver Road Cottage
t March 15
Bearsuit (indie) - Arts Centre
[Spunge] (ska/punk) - Waterfront
Mollyhawk (Irish) - Cider Shed
Dancing Lotus (acoustic/rap/funk) - B2
Vic Salter (country/blues) - King Edward VII
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers
t March 16
Peter Doherty (solo acoustic) - UEA
Hot Leg (rock) - Waterfront
Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra (jazz) - Arts Centre
Tweet Woof Tweet Launch Night: feat. Howl Project + more (indie) - Arts Centre
t March 17
Emily Barker & The Clay Halo (folk/country) - Arts Centre
Plot 64 (rock) - Brickmakers
In Rapture (rock/indie) - Queen Charlottte
t March 18
Breabach (folk) - Arts Centre
Gojira (metal/alternative) - Waterfront
Killer Hurts (metal/rock) - Marquee
t March 19
Distortion: feat. Cold Hands/Ten Ten Tackles + more (local bands) - Waterfront
Sanctas Quay (rock) - King Edward VII
Egos & Icons (rock/pop-punk) - B2
LMS - Marquee
Aftershock (60s-now) - Brickmakers
Keno Kings (R&B) - Blueberry
Oxjam Acoustic (acoustic/charity) - Rumsey Wells
After Hours Blues Band (blues) - Walnut Tree Shades