Preview: This week's gig guide
Simon ParkinSENNEN Arts Centre, SaturdayCombining beautiful pop melodies with vocal harmonies over a gigantic background of guitars, this four-piece are also one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Norwich in a long time.Simon Parkin
Arts Centre, Saturday
Combining beautiful pop melodies with vocal harmonies over a gigantic background of guitars, this four-piece are also one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Norwich in a long time.
With sweeping sounds and epic instrumentation, their music is the perfect sonic embodiment of the huge skies and wide seascapes of coastal Norfolk.
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The four met at UEA as members of a large instrumental post-rock band playing unrehearsed opuses to adoring fans of Godspeed! and Mogwai. However, uncomfortable with the quiet loud/quiet/discordant finale formula, they decided to fit these epic sounds around songs.
With a shared love of Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub, Spacemen 3 and Big Star they left post-rock behind them and began their quest. Last year's album Where The Light Gets In combines unabashed harmonies, with lush instrumentation and some brutal guitar pieces. The NME gave it 8/10. Support slots with the likes of Editors followed.
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For this home town return they're supported by The Lost Levels.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/sennenwidows
A re-arranged date, but still returns only as MOBO award winners N Dubz bring their love of eye catching head wear, signature catchphrases and catchy straight-up pop smashes with a street smart style to the UEA.
The group's debut album, Uncle B Album, offered a mixture of straight-up pop smashes with street smart savvy, making N-Dubz - Dappy, Tulisa and Fazer - breakthrough artists.
Album highlights included the single Ouch, which features a blistering attack of hip hop beats inter-woven with Tulisa's tones, the follow up to 2007's hit single I Swear.
The video enjoyed incredible success online with over nine million views on You Tube, and record breaking views across other sites including Bebo, showing just what a massive fan base the group have built up over the last year.
The masters of the melody, kings of the chorus and rulers of the adlib will bring their Na-na-niiii', 'Ha ha, ha ha, and 'Its N-Dubz (N-Dubz) What!'.
Support from Fe-nix.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/ndubz
Sleepy suburban St Albans was previously only been known as the base for the Campaign For Real Ale but its also home to these hotly tipped dance rockers.
They sprung to success when their super limited seven-inch, Paris, was judged to be the single of the week in both the NME and The Guardian.
This nu-rave masterpiece led to them being the first unsigned band to appear on Channel 4's Transmission. Now signed to XL, they count Radiohead, Vampire Weekend and Adele as their label-mates.
It's not hard to see what all the fuss is about. Paris was a deft combination of clattering percussion and a blissed-out, hum-along hook, while their self-titled debut album combined driving punk funk grooves with an unstoppable pop melodies and Macfarlane's joyous vocals in the chorus.
The songs hark back to the 1980s, a time when pop music could be challenging, danceable and radio-friendly all at the same time. And they have a great way with an ethereally anthemic chorus, which always helps.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/friendlyfires
Arts Centre, Wednesday
Formally the drummer for hypnotic dance-rock types Ladyfuzz, eccentrically-attired Esser is the great white hope of geeky electro-pop. No longer wielding the sticks and leaving behind the safety of being in a band, he has stepped to the front of the stage and taken to the mic.
It could all have gone horribly wrong - the track record of drummers head to the front of the stage isn't too good, Phil Collins is about the best (which says it all), but his confidence was boosted by successful slots at last year's Reading and Leeds festivals. And recently having caught the attention of Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson, he bagged himself a support slot on their arena tour.
'I've kinda always been doing stuff on my own,' he says, 'it's not like suddenly I went solo. It's more when I had the bollocks for people to hear it.'
Musically he is difficult to pin down, spinning from the vaudevillian pop of the single Satisfied, to the electro-tinged Headlock, by way of Specials-esque meanderings of I Love You. He's currently working on an album to include a collaboration with Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo, another newly acquired fan.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/esserhq
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
t April 24
Milkbar Night: feat. The Neat (indie) - Arts Centre
White Heat (rock) - Brickmakers
Dogtown (rock/blues) - B2
Replica (rock) - King Edward VII
Mollyhawk (Irish) - Cider Shed
Lick The Dice (rock) - King Edward VII
Blind Spirit (rock) - Nelson
In Rapture (rock/pop) - Regal
The Dirty Tricks (rock/blues) - Marquee
Agent Orange (indie/pop) - Blueberry
Night Flyers - Walnut Tree Shades
t April 25
The Golden Years (50s/60s) - UEA
Sixth Birthday Party: feat. surprise band - Brickmakers
Piccadilly Dance Orchestra (swing/jazz) - Playhouse
Rules of Romance (pop-punk) - B2
Mister Pink (rock) - King Edward VII
Money Shot (rock/indie) - Boundary
Midnight Circus (rock/pop/soul) - Assembly House
Mild Peril (punk bands) - Marquee
Red Leaf (rock/indie) - Reindeer
Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - Nelson
Rob Charles (easy) - Coach & Horses
Queens English (new wave/punk) - Stanley
t April 26
Gary Moore (rock/blues) - UEA
Fightstar (rock) - Waterfront
Pinky Umbrella (Cajun/ kelzmer) - Cider Shed
Floating Greyhounds (rock) - Boundary
Blues By Two (blues) - King Edward VII
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers
t April 27
Yolanda Brown (jazz) - Arts Centre
The Creepshow (psychobilly/punk) - Marquee
t April 28
Howlback Hum: feat. Middle Ones (indie) - Arts Centre
City Collage Showcase (local) - Brickmakers
t April 29
Innerpartysystem (electro/rock) - Waterfront
Esser (pop) - Arts Centre
Stars Explode (alternative/rock) - B2
t April 30
Access To Music Showcase (local) - Brickmakers
Charity Gig: feat. Rules of Romance + more (rock/punk) - B2
The Rum Brothers (Irish) - Rose Tavern
Square One (rock/blues) - Blueberry
Dogwood - Walnut Tree Shades