Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinMAGOO Norwich Arts Centre, September 4Norfolk-based Peel favourites Magoo make a long-awaited return to the Norwich Arts Centre tonight, previewing material from their forthcoming sixth studio album, due out early next year.Simon Parkin


Norwich Arts Centre, September 4

Norfolk-based Peel favourites Magoo make a long-awaited return to the Norwich Arts Centre tonight, previewing material from their forthcoming sixth studio album, due out early next year.

The band have enjoyed a two-year break from performing to concentrate on writing and recording the latest long-player at their newly-expanded studio, The Sickroom, deep in the heart of the Norfolk countryside.

Originally formed in the early 1990's by multi-instrumentalist and producer Owen Turner and singer-songwriter Andrew Rayner, the band has constantly striven to widen the narrow confines of mainstream pop.

The band have had no fewer than 15 musicians involved in various projects over the years. Currently, the line-up has been modified by the hiatus of Jenny Heagren, their long-time bassist, encouraging Owen to strap on the bass for the live performances and Dave Lake, lead guitarist with former local heroes, Kaito, coming on board.

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Support comes from the sensual sounds of The Middle Ones and the more urgent statements of Cruiser Chimps with Elsub's own Artful Roger spinning discs in the bar.

t Further listening:


Waterfront, September 7

Widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands around, the Average White Band are perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental classic Pick Up The Pieces.

However the band's strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold-selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records.

Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six-piece took the influences of their R&B heroes - people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others - and developed their own 'authentic' sound which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the US and elsewhere.

While songs such as Cut The Cake and Let's Go Round Again attracted chart action as hit singles, many other album tracks, like Schoolboy Crush and Stop The Rain became much sampled and turntabled 'rare' grooves. The current line-up of the band - this time with noted US recruits augmenting founder members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre continue to record and tour around the world to critical and audience acclaim. The band's latest release Times Squared, a 13-track live CD recorded in New York City, came out in March.

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, September 7

Since forming through necessity and a series of accidents in 1999, this unfeasibly long-titled band have passed through many incarnations, going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

In that time they've playing a one note song in 1/1 time for a whole month, released Christmas disco records and 25-minute long prog epics, caused the odd riot, started a few discos, several custard pie fights and played everywhere from public toilets to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Along the way they have picked up celebrity fans including Jarvis Cocker, who put them on at his Meltdown festival bill.

Last year's hooky single, (It's always) Boomtime, Part One, saw a pop video featuring cameos from Autechre's Sean Booth and none other than Dexy's wild-hearted frontman Kevin Rowland spiriting the band to their next adventure in a helicopter.

Although there have been up to 25 members in the past, the band currently numbers four, and they've honed their sound down to a big pop party.

Support comes from Norwich band Tell Me How.

t Further listening:


t September 4

Pure Passion (rock) - Brickmakers

Mary Jones Scandal (rock/punk) - King Edward VII

Mollyhawk (Irish) - Cider Shed

The Planks (R&B) - Blueberry

Mr Pink (rock/funk) - Heartsease Pub

UB Marley (reggae/ska) - Mustard Pot

t September 5

Fei Comodo (metal) - Arts Centre

Jim Bob (indie) - Marquee

Adriano Trindade (Brazilian) - Caf� Brazil/St Gregory's Centre

Tendahooks (rock) - Brickmakers

Rawkus (rock/R&B) - Blueberry

Andy Robinson Band (blues/rock) - King Edward VII

Nitrous X (rock/blues) - Lakenham Cock

Eastern Underground (drum n bass/jungle) - The Regal

Johnny Jump (R&B) - The Nelson

t September 6

Keno Kings (blues) - King Edward VII

Jugsout (punk) - Marquee

The Harvs (acoustic/folk) - Cider Shed

The Citizens (indie) - The Stanley

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

Steve Pyvarotti (singer) - Mustard Pot

t September 7

Branded By Fate (hardcore) - Marquee

Jazz Jam (jazz) - Blueberry

Darkside - Marquee

Rampant Horse Collective (folk) - Rumsey Wells

The Sessions (open mic) - Brickmakers

t September 8

Storm (rock) - Brickmakers

t September 9

Cold Hands (indie/rock) - Marquee

Trio 73 (jazz) - Arts Centre

The Session (Irish) - Cider Shed

Pure Acoustic (open mic) - Brickmakers

Blues/Rock Jam - Blueberry

t September 10

Juliet Turner (Irish/folk) - Arts Centre

Rules of Romance (rock) - B2

i-Band (rock) - Brickmakers

Aginst The Grain (R&B) - Blueberry

The Rum Brothers (Irish/country) - Rose Tavern