Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinALEC EMPIREWaterfront, TuesdayOne time member of Atari Teenage Riot and pioneer of all things musically experimental, Alec Empire blends many genres including industrial, electro, rock, techno and EBM.Simon Parkin


Waterfront, Tuesday

One time member of Atari Teenage Riot and pioneer of all things musically experimental, Alec Empire blends many genres including industrial, electro, rock, techno and EBM.

Empire will be performing songs from his entire career, including Atari Teenage Riot material. 'This has been a real challenge for me,' he said. 'I am in a position where younger audiences keep discovering my early work. Which is great of course! In the current political climate people seem to demand more from a song than boring entertainment. But this also meant looking back at singles from years ago to then re-invent those songs and breathe fresh life into them.

'Usually bands deliver the sort of set-list which could be compared to 'Best of' albums. I didn't want to do that. We will play classics like ATR's Revolution Action, but they have to sound as fresh as they did when they were first released. We put the music in the context of today. And trust me...this will be intense. Technology has moved on so much...It is exciting to push the boundaries further!'

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Waterfront, W


Right from the get-go The King Blues' music has defied convention. Unafraid to mix up dub bass lines, doo-wop a cappella songs, ska rhythms, Lonnie Donegan-styled skiffle, British folk and gritty poetry, theirs is a stripped-down sound, where ukuleles, acoustic guitars and melodicas feature heavily.

It is punk music as it was intended - engaging, forward-thinking, all-encompassing aggressive urban blues.

The band began life in 2004 when Itch and Jamie Jazz began performing at squat parties and punk shows. Guitarist Fruitbag joined soon after.

Expanded to a six-piece live, their guerrilla tactics, support from Radio 1's and heavy road work - including tours with kindred spirits such as Anti Flag and Gogol Bordello, saw them breakthrough.

Last year's second album, Save The World, Get The Girl, built on their debut's slogan-strewn howl of discontent with a much more personalised take on social ills.

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Waterfront, Thursday

Following the successes of their debut album, Colour It In, and sold out tours, The Maccabees have returned to form with their eagerly awaited second album, Wall Of Arms.

Where Colour It In was an art-pop special, full of colourful and wistful melodies, Wall Of Arms treads darker paths where problems and break-ups aren't always solved by a bittersweet love-ditty.

The Maccabees' intriguing shift in style is typified by the dark and stormy track No Kind Words, which was given away as a free download. The video featured Matthew Horne of Gavin and Stacey fame in an Alas Smith and Jones style 'head-to-head' against a backdrop of 70s video-game graphics.

There is still plenty of melancholy melody and romantic observational humour, qualities which made the band so enduring the first time round. Live highlights are bound to include Can You Give It, which starts with see-sawing bass, wonky guitar and Adam And The Ants style drums, complete with a Stand And Deliver chorus line, until singer Orlando Weeks' unmistakable vocals kick in and lead the band on a pirate-esque sing-a-long.

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UEA, Thursday

No dance producer has sold more digital singles than Canadian Joel Zimmerman, an unassuming guy who performs under the stage name Deadmau5.

In the DJ-led world of ever evolving electronic genres, sounds and trends, it takes something to stand out from the crowd. However the breakout electro-techno-house production will appearing for his headlining set in his larger-than-life mau5head, complete with strobe-light eyes.

It's not just about gimmicks though. His sound transcends various genres of music, flirting with techno and minimal whilst hinting at tech house, trance and electro, and a glance at the names supporting his unique sound proves testament to this fact. Sasha, John Digweed, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Erick Morillo, Laurent Garnier - the list goes on and on.

Ironically, Zimmerman says he was never much of a clubber, but rather a fan of experimental electronic artists like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Even though he's reached superstar status in clubland, the 28-year-old producer can't quite figure out how he got so successful. 'I can't explain it, actually,' he says. 'It's like, 'I've been doing it for 10 years. Why now?''

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May 1

Wombatwombat: feat. Piney Gir & The Age of Reason + more (indie) - Arts Centre

Kapok (acoustic/pop) - B2

Planks (soul) - King Edward VII

Stonewood (rock) - Brickmakers

Raymon Goose Trio (blues) - Cider Shed

Killer Tomatoes (punk) - Blueberry

Four Play (rock/blues) - Reindeer

World's Apart (rock/blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

Virgin + The Computers (punk/blues) - Marquee

Magic Bus (rock) - The Nelson

May 2

Love Music/Hate Racism: feat. Mustard City Rockers (roots/punk) - Marquee

Pure Passion (rock) - Brickmakers

Rules of Romance (pop-punk) - B2

To The Last (rock) - King Edward VII

Soul Agent (soul) - Blueberry

Hollow (metal) - Boundary

Daffy & The Alien (rock) - The Stanley

May 3

Alesha Dixon (pop/soul) - UEA

Graham Coxon (indie) - Arts Centre

Kate Rusby (folk) - Theatre Royal

Keno Kings/Firewire (rock/charity - from 3pm) - King Edward VII

Nibler (roots/blues) - Cider Shed

Alley Jaggers (rock/pop) - The Stanley

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - Unthank Arms

May 4

Youngblood Brass Band (jazz) - Arts Centre

The Cutting Room (punk/poetry) - Marquee

May 5

Marissa Nadler (country/folk) - Arts Centre

Awakened By Silence (metal) - B2

16th Minute (rock) - Brickmakers

Beyond Duplication (rock/blues) - Blueberry

Gareth, Jane + guests (jazz/blues) - Take 5

Freespirit (acoustic/folk) - Queen Charlotte

May 6

Doves (rock/indie) - UEA

Karen Casey (folk) - Arts Centre

Romtom (grunge) - B2

May 7

Mike Swai Band (punk/poet) - Arts Centre

Noise From Naarwich 2 (local) - Brickmakers

Basset (pop-punk) - B2

Dave Thomas Band (blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

The Citizens (indie) - Wild Man