Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinNEKO CASENorwich Arts Centre, September 14Neko Case is a country singer raised on rock. That a combination that doesn't necessarily go down well with the country music purists as she discovered when she played the home of country music, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, and received a lifetime ban for taking her shirt off.Simon Parkin


Norwich Arts Centre, September 14

Neko Case is a country singer raised on rock. That a combination that doesn't necessarily go down well with the country music purists as she discovered when she played the home of country music, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, and received a lifetime ban for taking her shirt off.

But, though she's been playing country since 1997's The Virginian album, she was always likely to arouse suspicion from the conservatives, given her work with the Canadian indie collective the New Pornographers. However, her country career isn't a gimmick: she has opened for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, and was first inspired by Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton

She arrives in Norwich in support of her latest album Middle Cyclone, which came out on Anti-Records in March. The album, her first since 2006's highly-acclaimed Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim across both sides of the Atlantic.

Support comes from Brooklyn-based underground indie outfit Black Gold, who have recently shared the stage with Panic At The Disco, Scissor Sisters and the Hold Steady to name a few in the US, and return to these shores in support of their debut album Rush which comes out on October 5.

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Norwich Arts Centre, September 15

Formed by accident in 1995 by Robert Fisher and Paul Austin, the alt-country musical collective that is the Willard Grant Conspiracy emerged when they were helping fellow band member Dana Hollowell test his new home studio.

Robert and Paul had played in numerous bands and had developed a writing partnership that would last until 2001. The current list of musicians who have at one time or another considered part of the WGC roster is hovering around 30, but Robert remains the constant.

Lives show may be as diverse as Robert playing solo or having as many as 14 members, or any number in between, on stage at one time. So anything could happen here. Instruments include acoustic guitar, mandolin, pump organ, violin, cello, viola, piano, trumpet, drums, bass, accordion, electric guitar, and lap steel.

Years of playing and recording has gained them critical respect and a reputation among their peers, and can be considered a direct reason why so many talented musicians pull up a chair under the WGC tent these days.

Support comes from Glasgow's Doghouse Roses who also form part of WGC's touring band. They have been creating a stir with their own material, the Folk & Blues Part 1 EP and their debut album, How've You Been (All This Time)?

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Po Na Na, September 17

Task Force are primarily by two brothers from Highbury, North London: Chester P (vocals, song writing and occasional music production) and Farma G (vocals, song writing and music production).

After a string of releases on cult UK label Low-Life, the duo garnering a dedicated following among hip-hop heads with an ear for hardcore rhymes, intelligent flow and an intrinsically comedic word play.

Lending an ear during the early stages of the Coombes brothers' career was the now infamous UK producer Mark B, and the pair briefly formed a five-piece crew with the producer, alongside Eno Redrum and DJ Prime Cuts, called The Graforiginees.

The project was short-lived, but Mark B stuck with them to produce release their first EP as a double act, New Mic Order, on his K-Boro label soon after. Task Force have been an ever present within the core UK hip hop scene since, collaborating with Aspects, DJ Skitz and Joe Christie - aka Braintax - head honcho of Low-Life.

They arrive in Norwich as part of the latest Roots N Culture promotion night on the back of The Junkyard, one of their strongest releases to date.

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t September 11

The Lidi Berlins + more (indie) - Arts Centre

The Collective (soul/funk/pop) - Brickmakers

Hollow (metal) - B2

Clickshaft (indie/funk) - Marquee

The Groove Doctors+Luke Arnold (blues) - Cider Shed

Murphy's Lore (Irish) - King Edward VII

The Punktures (punk) - Blueberry

Flying South (rock/blues) - The Nelson

Hayley Moyses (bluegrass) - Black Horse

t September 12

The Sweatbeats (ska) - Arts Centre

White Heat (rock) - Brickmakers

Hero Kill Heroine (metal) - B2

Hair Traffic Control (pop/punk) - Marquee

Big Blue Cadillac (rockabilly) - Blueberry

The Divide (rock) - King Edward VII

ABC Blues Brothers (tribute) - The Marlborough

t September 13

The Floozies (jazz/folk) - Cider Shed

Leopard Trio (rock'n'roll) - King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

t September 14

Jugsout (punk) - Marquee

The Session (open mic) - Brickmakers

t September 15

Mike Capocci Trio (Bill Evans Tribute - jazz) - Rackheath Green Man

Stacked Acoustics (acoustic collective) - Rumsey Wells

t September 16

T-Model Ford (blues) - Arts Centre

Grimace (indie/pop) - B2

Pure Acoustic (open mic) - Brickmakers

The Session (Irish) - Cider Shed

t September 17

John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett (alternative/pop) - Arts Centre

The Lucky Last (rock) - Brickmakers

Up The Line (rock) - Blueberry

Red Button Contingency (indie/pop) - B2

Le Funk (funk) - Rumsey Wells

Cruisin For A Bruisin (blues) - Rose Tavern

John Whitehead Trio (jazz) - King of Hearts

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