Preview: This week's gig guide
Simon ParkinMATHS CLASSNorwich Arts Centre, April 17Following Blood Red Shoes, The Electric Soft Parade and The Maccabees out of Brighton, Maths Class are an angular indie-disco five-piece who specialise in pacy nu-wave punk and breathlessly melodic rock.Simon Parkin
Norwich Arts Centre, April 17
Following Blood Red Shoes, The Electric Soft Parade and The Maccabees out of Brighton, Maths Class are an angular indie-disco five-piece who specialise in pacy nu-wave punk and breathlessly melodic rock. Intricate guitar riffing, driving bass lines and relentless drumming abound. Think a more in-your-face Foals and you're not too far away.
This gig marks a break from the studio as the band are currently in the midst of recording their debut album.
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Vocalist Tim Sketchley said: 'We currently have around four, maybe five songs which we are all happy with, which we are intending to use for the album. We want to write around another 10 songs, which would give us a nice 14 or 15 tracks to choose from for the album, and also to use as b-sides. Hopefully we can really step on the gas over the next few months and get the album out towards the latter part of the year.'
They're joined on this Wombatwomabt line-up by Norwich alt-rock favourites Kunk, who also recently spent time in the studio to record their single This City.
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t Further listening: www.myspace.com/mathsclass
B2, April 17
Nick Harper has successfully emerged from beneath that long paternal shadow, gaining widespread recognition in his own right as a gifted singer-songwriter and a lauded guitar-playing talent.
Son of the legendary Roy Harper, and collaborator with Squeeze's Glenn Tillbrook, his inventive style makes him one of the finest guitarists of his generation, while his distinctive, soulful voice and passionate songs place him somewhere between Rufus Wainright and Jeff Buckley.
Having played the guitar from the age of 10 and grown up surrounded by the likes of Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Dave Gilmour, he went on to record regularly with his father, but has since produced six solo albums, including 2007's critically acclaimed Miracles For Beginners. Live his personal introspection and biting political satire are usually mixed with charmingly caustic wit that often includes cheeky and surprising cover versions.
Support comes from folk-country songstress Jess Morgan.
t Further listening: www.harperspace.com
HANK WANGFORD & THE COWBOYS
Norwich Arts Centre, April 18
If Daniel O'Donnell is the brightly scrubbed face of British country music then Hank Wangford is its guilty conscience, its dark and troubled grubby soul.
Hank has been picking at the miserable underbelly of country music for 28-years, inspiring others like Billy Bragg, The The, The Alabama Three and other alt country musicians.
Here he joins forces with his Lost Cowboys to come back to Norwich with saddlebags full of old songs and new songs from the brand new and critically acclaimed Whistling In The Dark.
With Album of the Month from Country Music People already under his belt, Hank finally seems to have been accepted by the country music establishment, having always considered a renegade by them in the past.
Guitar god Martin Belmont and pedal steel wizard BJ Cole are his fellow cowboys, while Hank, who was a doctor when he fell in love with country 20-years ago, will delivery his trademark lonesome vocals.
t Further listening: www.hankwangford.co.uk
Waterfront, April 23
Dreadlocked, eyeliner affecting troubadour from Belfast, who delivers impassioned songs.
The music of Duke Special is filled with vaudeville-esque sensibility, sing-a-longs and vagabond melodies.
Mixing the appeal of a three-minute pop song with the incessant charm of an old-school music hall plus influences like The Divine Comedy and Elliott Smith.
He returns to Norwich to promote his new album, I Never Thought This Day Would Come, which is released on Monday.
His unique live shows mix an old gramophone with passionate vocals, piano playing and the occasional fiddle scrape.
His work is nothing if not diverse. He wrote the theme tune for Sesame Tree - the Northern Ireland edition of Sesame Street - where he also got to sing with The Muppets in the final episode. He has recently hosted a night at the Belfast Film Festival where he performed as a puppet of himself. And not adverse to trying new things, he also recently played with the Dubai Philharmonic Orchestra.
t Further listening: www.dukespecial.com
t SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Emma Hall (pop/soul) - Brickmakers
The Lucky Last (rock)- Marquee
In Rapture (rock) - King Edward VII
Them Harvey Boys (bluegrass) - Cider Shed
Leopard Trio (rock'n'roll) - Blueberry
Killer Hurts (metal) - Queen Charlotte
The Mary Jones Scandal (rock/punk) - Heartsease
Mike & The Rhythm Stars (rock'n'roll) - Boundary
Tony Cann (singer) - Silver Road Cottage
Golden Years (50s/60s) - UEA
Kelly Jenns (acoustic - 1pm) - Arts Centre
Senses Fail (punk) - Waterfront
The Unremarkables (indie-pop) - B2
Arcadia Lake (indie) - Queen Charlotte
Rawkus (metal/rock) - Brickmakers
Four Play (blues/rock) - King Edward VII
Coupe De Ville (rock/pop) - Reindeer
Worlds Apart (rock) - Boundary
In Rapture (rock) - Stanley
The Living End (punk) - Waterfront
The Floozies (folk) - Cider Shed
Outathablues (blues) - King Edward VII
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers
Deathstars (rock) - Waterfront
Propagandhi (punk) - Waterfront
Ten Ten Tackles (electro/indie) - B2
Luke Palmer (acoustic) - Brickmakers
Gomez (indie) - UEA
Alaska Pipeline + Hair Traffic Control (rock) - Queen Charlotte
Kapok (rock) - B2
Egypt (blues/rock) - Blueberry
Lucky Last (indie/rock) - Brickmakers
Strength of Presence (metal) - King Edward VII
Vic Salter (country/blues) - Silver Road Cottage
St George's Day Special (punk) - Queen Charlotte