Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinWE ARE THE UNIONMarquee, January 8Hyperactive ska-punks We Are The Union hail from Detroit, the home of Motown, so its perhaps no surprise that they feature horns just as much as guitars.Simon Parkin


Marquee, January 8

Hyperactive ska-punks We Are The Union hail from Detroit, the home of Motown, so its perhaps no surprise that they feature horns just as much as guitars.

Not that you should expect soothing soul music however, their franticly energetic sound sees them thrash the brass equally hard and the guitar and drums.

With blazing tempos and pop-punk melodic vocals, their energy level are sweatily impressive both on record and, more pertinently, in their live shows.

Their love for fast music, horns and their incredibly short attention spans was much in evidence on their first full-length album, Who We Are, self-released in 2007 and given away for free by the band online. Their generosity was met with a rapidly surging fan base and an offer to have the record released in Japan followed.

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A subsequent EP, The Gun Show Must Go On, saw them signed to Paper+Plastick records and the release of their first album proper. Their youthful exuberance means they're will be plenty to get the crowd up and jumping on a cold January night.

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Maddermarket Theatre, January 8

There will be a night of acoustic blues from two of its greatest Brit exponents at the Maddermarket tonight.

Ex-Stone The Crows vocalist Maggie Bell will be joining forces with slide guitar maestro and Blues Band stalwart Dave Kelly. Maggie Bell is Scotland's Queen of the Blues, and was a founder member of Stone the Crows before enjoying a successful solo career with such albums as Queen of the Night (produced by the legendary Jerry Wexler) and singing in the stage production of The Who's rock opera Tommy.

Back after 20 years living abroad, she was a big hit at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2008. Dave is London's slide guitar king and was a founding member of the Blues Band. He begin as a youngster singing and performing with his sister Jo Anne - and then everything changed when he saw Muddy Waters at Croydon in the early 1960s. Dave has been voted best acoustic artist in the BBC blues poll no few than five times.

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Waterfront, January 11

In the deep dark mid-winter some glamtastic power pop from Chicago's OK Go is just what the music doctor ordered.

The Los Angeles-based band will be previewing songs from their new album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. Formed in 1998 in Chicago, the band - Damian Kulash (lead vocals/guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass), Dan Konopka (drums) and Andy Ross (keyboards) - are notable for their unusual fashion sense and their energetic music videos - in particular, those for their two most successful singles, A Million Ways and Here It Goes Again.

The latter won a Grammy Award for Best Short-Form Music Video in 2007.

OK Go released their self-titled debut album in 2002 which featured the single Get Over It. The single reached No.21 in the UK charts and led to a performance on Top of the Pops. The band's second album, Oh No, was released in August 2005 and gained popularity for its first single, A Million Ways. OK Go's third album is released on Monday and was produced by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT).

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Norwich Arts Centre, January 12

Norwich-based outfit Horses Brawl's innovative take on folk and early music will be the highlight of the first Howlback Hum happening of 2010.

With roots firmly in traditional English folk and early music from Europe, Laura Cannell, Adrian Lever and Philip Thorby experiment with instruments to produce contemporary arrangements on guitar, bowed guitar, mdouble barrelled recorders, crumhorn and fiddle.

Their debut self-titled album released in late 2005 received highly acclaimed reviews as did 2007's follow-up Dindirin. Last year they broadened their appeal with Wild Lament, an entirely instrumental record that blended in French, Spanish and Irish tunes.

Also on the bill are Raw and the Cooked, Ian O'Brien and Tereli.

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t January 8

Maggie Bell & Dave Kelly (blues) - Maddermarket

New Year's Revolution (acoustic/charity) - Arts Centre

Pasadena Roof Orchestra (swing) - Playhouse

Storm (rock) - King Edward VII

We Are The Union (pop punk) - Marquee

Folk Off: feat. Project Multi-Vitamin + more (folk) - Ten Bells

Four Play (rock) - Brickmakers

Floating Greyhounds (rock) - Blueberry

Tea Time Shuffle (acoustic 5-8pm) - Karma Kafe

t January 9

Shakeout (rockabilly) - B2

Rock Doctors (rock) - Brickmakers

Saigon Kiss (trash/metal) - King Edward VII

Replica (rock) - Blueberry

Outathablues (blues) - Lakenham Cock

t January 10

The Leopard Trio (rock'n'roll 3pm) - King Edward VII

Joe Hazell - The Stanley

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

Lee Vasey & Friends (8pm) - King Edward VII

t January 11

OK GO (indie/rock) - Waterfront

Clear Addiction + more (pop punk) - Marquee

Jazz N Jam (open mic) - Blueberry

t January 12

Howlback Hum: Feat. Horses Brawl (folk) - Arts Centre Bar

Starsexplode (alternative) - Marquee

Folk Night (folk) - Micawbers Tavern

t January 13

W.S.M. Trio (jazz) - Arts Centre

A World Apart (rock/pop) - B2

Acoustic Jam (open mic) - Brickmakers

t January 14

Delphic (indie/electro) - Arts Centre

Solidagoes (grunge/rock) - B2

Access To Music Showcase (local talent) - Brickmakers

A13 All Stars (rock) - The Rose Tavern

Roots N Culture (reggae/hip hop) - Po Na Na