Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinCRAZY PNorwich Arts Centre, June 5This Nottingham five-piece have been kicking around since the mid-1990s, when they went under the unpromising moniker Crazy Penis.Simon Parkin


Norwich Arts Centre, June 5

This Nottingham five-piece have been kicking around since the mid-1990s, when they went under the unpromising moniker Crazy Penis. A string of releases featuring their funky, soulful sound brought them some success, especially in Australia. But it was when they dropped the 'enis' from their name and recruited a new member in the shape of Mat Klose on drums for their Night On Earth album, that things really took off.

In 2005 they landed a support slot with Faithless on the UK tour and did a half hour session for Pete Tong's Radio 1 show, at the famous Maida Vale studios. They also became a fixture on the summer festivals scene and have just released their fourth album, Stop Space Return.

They've never been a band swayed by the latest trends. And their long-standing love of disco has unintentionally found them as part of the recent renaissance that has crossed the Atlantic from New York City and now sit alongside Hercules & Love Affair and Escort as a band that can cut it live.

Stop Space Return blends their influences of classic NYC House, 80s pop influences and the sultry vocals of Donna Summer or Patrice Rushen. Lead singer Danielle Moore is now a fully paid up member of the band, alongside original duo James Baron (keys) and Chris Todd (guitar).

Most Read

t Further listening:


Blue Bar & Lounge, June 6

Norwich Rocks is the city's newest local music promotion and has already run a string of events fusing live music, electronic and indie with a series of parties from after shows, late night club nights, live to acoustic sessions.

Run by a like-minded team of party people, clubbers, gig goers and DJs, it aspires to bring bigger and better artists and acts to Norwich as well as highlight the best of local talent, at the same time promising to plough any profits back into the party.

It certainly good to see local live music on Norwich's Riverside on a Saturday night, and a sign that the dance music dominated night out in out of fashion.

Heading the bill on this latest event are The Interpreters (pictured), a Norwich-based indie-pop four-piece who have already notched up support slots with The Holloways, The Rascals, The Sugars, The Rifles, The Twang and The Paddington's - despite having an average age of just 18.

Fresh from a 12-date national tour promoting the release of their first single, Shadows Whisper on Allsorted Records, they've recently played to talent scouts at Island Records, and they plan to have an album out in early 2010.

Also on the bill are Colchester trio Phantom Players, who combine a mid-60s sensibility with late-70s energy and attitude; Norwich's indie three-piece Platform One; and exciting young party band In Rapture. Plus there will be DJ sets and plenty of other fun.

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, June 10

Formed 20-years ago, El Tanbura are hailed by some as an Arab version of Buena Vista Social Club, a collective of master musicians, village singers, local fishermen and Sufi philosophers based in the North Eastern Egyptian city of Port Said at the Mediterranean gateway to the Suez Canal.

The key instrument in their music is the Simsimiyya, an ancient lyre dating back to the times of the Pharaohs, cautiously revered both for its mesmerising properties and occult origins in ancient healing rituals. The Simsimiyya instrument is thought to have enchanting capabilities and Egyptian legends tell of its ability to calm the waters of the Red Sea. It can be found depicted in Pharoanic tomb paintings and texts.

Their last album, Between The Desert And The Sea, garnered great reviews and they've just released the follow-up, Friends of Bamboute.

There are more than 20 musicians in the band, most of them singers, and their often trancelike material ranges from sturdy and gently insistent dance songs through to folk, Sufi religious songs and tunes in the Dama tradition. Many tracks start slowly, with a solo voice joined by chanting backing vocals; the tempo gradually increases as the singers are driven on by hand drums, the ney flute and the ancient lyre, often ending up as a frantic dance workout.

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, June 11

The Be Good Tanyas broke out of Vancouver with a style that mixed mountain music with just a hint of urban roots. Po'Girl is an offshoot project with BGT singer-guitarist-banjo picker Trish Klein and another Vancouver folkie, Allison Russell, then of Fear of Drinking.

It sees the pair mining a similar vein of back-porch, acoustic intimacy in a style that derives from folk, country and jazz. The style of music they perform is called "urban roots."

The two met up again in 2003, named themselves Po' Girl, and released their self-titled debut album.

The pair's music has been compared with that of The Band, Hazel Dickens, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Elizabeth Cotton and Norah Jones. It showcases melodies from instruments as diverse as banjo, clarinet, harmonica, dobro, accordion, gutbucket bass.

In 2004, they recorded and released their second album, Vagabond Lullabies, with the help of friend musicians including Diona Davies (multi-instrumentalist and singer) and hip hopper CR Avery.

Their latest recording Deer in the Night was released last month and they plan to release their first live album later in the summer.

Support comes from Sarah MacDougal, a country-noir songstress from Vancouver.

t Further listening:


June 5

Paul Weller (rock) - Thetford Forest

DJ Food (electro/funk) - UEA

Tattoo'd Cow (rock/pop) - Brickmakers

Operation FM (rock/indie) - B2

Floating Greyhounds (rock) - King Edward VII

Unlawfully Yours (rock) - Sanctuary Bar

Hayley Moyse (bluegrass) - Cider Shed

Sons of Ivy (rock) - Blueberry

Beyond Duplication (blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

Get Carter (rock) - Reindeer

Mister Pink (funk/rock) - Heartsease Pub

June 6

Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra (boogie/soul) - Thetford Forest

Ska Face (ska) - King Edward VII

World's Apart (rock) - Brickmakers

Milloy (punk/indie) - Marquee

Ska Ta Brain (ska) - Boundary

The Citizens (rock) - The Stanley

Knight Moves - Silver Road Cottage

Linda James (pop/country) - West End Cue Club

June 7

Dirty DC (AC/DC tribute) - Waterfront

Coyote Wrecks (blues/rock) - King Edward VII

Emilio Garcia Trio (blues) - Cider Shed

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

Steve Pyeavarotti (singer - 3.30pm) - Silver Road Cottage

Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - Unthank Arms

June 8

Athlete (indie) - Waterfront

Eric Bogle & John Munro (songwriters/rock) - Arts Centre

Valient Thorr (psychedelic/thrash) - B2

Blitzkreig (metal) - Marquee

Session: feat. Strip Mary (rock) - Brickmakers

Jazz N Jam: feat. Lee Vasey (jazz) - Blueberry

June 9

Tilting Sky: feat. The Loyal Few + more (indie/rock) - Waterfront

Derek Cubitt (jazz) - Rackheath Green Man

Undercover (rock) - Brickmakers

Cocoon (rock/acoustic) - B2

June 10

The Saturdays (pop) - UEA

My Passion (rock) - B2

The Session (Irish) - Cider Shed

June 11

Lady Sovereign (hip hop/pop) - Waterfront

The Hamsters (rock) - Brickmakers

Fourplay (classic R&B) - Blueberry

Tmesis (rock/metal) - King Edward VII

Solidagoes (grunge/rock) - B2

The Cordeliers (folk/punk) - Marquee

Mercury (Queen tribute) - Playhouse

Cruisin' For A Bluesin' (blues) - Rose Tavern

Stone Pony (rock/blues) - Walnut Tree Shades