Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinCAGE THE ELEPHANTUEA, FridayCage the Elephant hail from Bowling Green, Kentucky, a small best known for manufacturing Chevrolet Corvettes and Fruit of the Loom underwear.Simon Parkin


UEA, Friday

Cage the Elephant hail from Bowling Green, Kentucky, a small best known for manufacturing Chevrolet Corvettes and Fruit of the Loom underwear.

They came to prominence industry showcase South By South West and through exciting live shows but they had to come over to the UK to find a record deal.

At the heart of the band are brothers Matt (vocals) and Brad Shultz (guitar), joined by Jared Champion (drums), Daniel Tichenor (bass) and Lincoln Parish (guitar).

After a spell back in their hometown, writing and recording for their hotly-anticipated second album, Cage are back in the UK for 12 dates. Their music has drawn comparisons to Kings Of Leon, Beck, The Stooges and MC5.

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Expect the usual chaos, crowd surfing and sing-along anthems, along with a host of new material guaranteed to get the crowds going. Raucous, raw, energetic electro-charged rock'n'roll at its best

Don't expect laidback country-rock.

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Waterfront, Tuesday

Bens Brother's beautiful melodies saw London-born Jamie Hartman achieve a silver-selling debut album with Beta Male Fairytales, play to massive European festival audiences, score top 10 hits in countries as far apart as Brazil and Italy, and scoop a prestigious Ivor Novello nomination.

Since then times have been a changing, not least at his former label EMI. Battling Giants, Jamie's new album, just released via his own imprint, Flat Cap Records, is a personal snapshot of the difficulties he's faced.

'I suppose the theme of this album is about that sense of adversity…being the little guy again, squaring up to the monster,' says Jamie (real-life brother to the titular Ben).

He adds the new album is: 'a lot more optimistic this time around too, and I think you can hear that when you listen. To be honest, I'm just in a better mood this year!'

Support at this date comes from Rhys Morgan and Norwich's Lost Levels.

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UEA, Wednesday

Regular visitors to Norwich over the past couple of years, Gallows are back once again with a pocket full of new material from their second album Grey Britain.

Despite being recorded at Abbey Road alongside a 33-piece string section - not bad for a sweaty punk band from Watford - the album is a damning indictment and aural document of a country currently crippled by recession: urgent, energised, angry and utterly nihilistic.

'Since our first album we've been out there and travelled the world,' explains frontman Frank Carter. 'We've seen other cultures and now written a record about everything bad we've seen - but especially here in Britain. The racism, the ignorance, the hopelessness, the lack of ethical understanding.'

They offer no solutions. Instead, with songs such as London Is the Reason, I Dread The Night and Misery they merely want to remind people they are alive and accountable.

Support from Everytime I Die and Rolo Tomassi.

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Norwich Arts Centre, Wednesday

Canadian nu-folkers Woodpigeon pay a welcome visit as part of Phrased and Confused, a tour that takes words and music and mixes them into a delectable sensation for music lovers and spoken word fans alike.

The musical collective specialise in blissed out orchestral folk-pop. They're also a vehicle for the 'sad words wrapped in pretty pop music' of frontman, guitarist and songwriter Mark Hamilton.

They're a sort of semi-acoustic Arcade Fire or a full-band version of Sufjan Stevens. Their lushly orchestrated folk-pop, featuring wispy boy-girl harmonies, posits them as a cross between Prefab Sprout and Fairport Convention. Some of their songs are simple and unadorned while others are more ornate and complex. Mostly, they specialise in twinkling melodies that feature layered arrangements and build to epic climaxes.

They're joined by the Byronesque Murray Lachlan Young, a stand up poet and satirist who rocketed to fame in the late 1997 after signing a million pound deal with EMI records.

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May 8

Dirty Tricks (rock/blues) - B2

Coyote Wrecks (blues/rock) - Walnut Tree Shades

No Fixed Abode (folk) - Cider Shed

The Glamtastics (glam rock) - Brickmakers

Beyond Duplication (rock) - King Edward VII

Kunt & The Gang (pop/punk) - Marquee

Monkey Spanner (ska) - Blueberry

Mister Pink (rock) - The Firs

May 9

The Next Stage: feat. Horses Brawl (folk/indie - 8pm) - Arts Centre

Girl In A Thunderbolt/Rory McVicar (indie - 2pm) - Arts Centre

UK Subs (punk) - King Edward VII

Barlights (indie) - B2

The Project (indie/rock) - Blueberry

Keno Kings (blues) - Reindeer

Replica (rock) - Angel Gardens

Soul Agents (soul) - The Stanley

May 10

Bleeding Through (metal) - Waterfront

In The Flesh (Pink Floyd tribute) - UEA

The Dana Wylie Band (jazz/blues) - Cider Shed

Big Black Cadillac (rock'n'roll) - King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

May 11

Paolo Nutini (soul/pop) - UEA

Woodpigeon (alt folk) - Arts Centre

Jam With Jazz (jazz) - Blueberry

May 12

Mica Paris (soul) - Theatre Royal

School of Seven Bells ( - Arts Centre

Vermillion (rock) - Brickmakers

May 13

Wishbone Ash (rock) - Waterfront

Courtney Pine (jazz) - Theatre Royal

Fertilizer (indie) - Arts Centre

Sucioperro (rock) - Marquee

The Citizens (indie) - Edith Cavell

The Session (Irish) - Cider Shed

May 14

Claire martin & Ian Shaw (jazz) - Playhouse

Access To Music Night (local bands) - B2

Bad Touch (rock) - King Edward VII

Sons of Entropy (blues/rock) - Brickmakers

Buick Mckaine (indie) - Marquee

Murphy's Lore (Irish) - Rumsey Wells

Late Stan Guevara and his Laughing Castroleers (jazz/blues) - Rose Tavern

UB Marley (reggae tribute) - The Stores

Tea (blues-rock) - Walnut Tree Shades