Preview: This week's gig guide

Simon ParkinSteve Lamacq chose EastStrikeWest as his band to watch in 2009, now you get the chance to judge as they arrive in Norwich. Finger-slide jazz guitarist Duck Baker is at Cinema City. Eighties ska pioneers The Beat return. And Sonic Boom Six are at the Arts Centre.Simon Parkin


Norwich Arts Centre, April 3

Steve Lamacq chose EastStrikeWest as his band to look out for in 2009, on the back of their debut EP, Rosa. Their full length debut, Wolvves, saw them begin to live up to the hype. Epic and cinematic in feel, it offered an engaging musical journey from a band displaying a song writing maturity beyond their years.

Formed in Essex three years ago from former members of Threemovements, the band courted major label interest almost instantaneously with their expansive soundscapes and ethereal melodies.

To coincide with their latest tour, they've released their first digital/vinyl single Stumble, emblazoned with its soaring vocal lines and driving rhythms, its already a firm live favourite. And on tracks like The Architect the band show their skill for genuinely inspiring musicianship, crafting instantly memorable songs.

They are supported by local favourites The Vegas Fame Index, Bear - unveiling their new Radiohead/ Massive Attack-influenced indie-rock sound - and Jenny Didn't Like To Be Photographed.

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Cinema City, April 6

Duck Baker is one of the most highly regarded finger-style guitarists of his generation. He is unique among jazz guitarists in that his repertoire spans the entire history of the music from ragtime through swing to modern masters like Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols to free improvisation.

Baker's devotion to American music also encompasses more traditional forms like blues, gospel, and Appalachian music and its Scots-Irish ancestry.

However, he has long been on the periphery of jazz and improvised music. The fact that a significant amount of that work has been released on labels that fall outside the normal 'jazz' orbit - Kicking Mule, Shanachie and Rounder to name a few - hasn't exactly lifted his profile.

Periods spent in Europe and especially here in Britain have seen his reputation grow on this side of the pond though. Here he arrives at Cinema City as part of a tour mixing live music with stories and anecdotes about the roots of American music.

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Waterfront, April 8

The Beat, along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, became one of the most popular and influential bands of the British ska movement.

Jerry Dammers signed the band to his legendary Two-Tone label and their debut single, a cover of Smokey Robinson's Tears Of A Clown, was a surprise Top 10 hit in 1979.

Like Madness they didn't stay long on the label, going on instead to form their own, Go Feet, and continuing to score hits with tunes such as Mirror In The Bathroom, Save It For Later, I Confess, Stand Down Margaret, and their cover of Andy William's Can't Get Used To Losing You. Between 1980 and 1983 they toured relentlessly, building up a following in America, where they were known as The English Beat.

They reformed in 2003, with Ranking Roger's son Matthew Murphy replacing Dave Wakeling on vocals. The present line-up was completed when Mark 'Chico' Hamilton became the band's permanent saxophone player.

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Norwich Arts Centre, April 8

This Manchester band mix dancefloor-savvy elements of reggae, jungle and ska with the rigorous commentary of hip-hop whilst retaining enough grit and aggression to be an active fixture of the UK's punk scene.

This date will see them performing songs from their latest album, City of Thieves, released on their own Rebel Alliance Recordings. The album is built on the bedrock of the band's ska-core/hip-hop/jungle hybrid but adds dubstep, electro, dub and even glam rock to the mix, all the while retaining the snarling live edge honed by recent tours of the UK, Europe and the US with acts such as Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake.

Collaborators involved in the record include production duties by Peter Miles (The King Blues) and guest appearances from Al Rumjen (King Prawn, Asian Dub Foundation), Robin Leitch (Random Hand) and New York ska legend King Django. Support comes from Knock Out and Jokari.

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t April 2

Dennis Locorriere (pop) - Theatre Royal

The Great Shakes (indie/rock) - Norwich Puppet Theatre

3 Track Promo - Marquee

Hellbound Promo (metal) - B2

Those Wapscallionz (rock) - Brickmakers

999 + more (punk) - King Edward VII

Folk Off: feat. Breakfast With The Snake + more (folk) - Ten Bells

t April 3

Poisoned Bat: feat. EastStrikeWest + more (indie) - Arts Centre

Howlback Hum: feat. Spidermilk + more (12pm) - Arts Centre Bar

World's Apart (rock) - Brickmakers

1A Records: feat. The Witchers + more (indie) - B2

Bad Touch (rock) - King Edward VII

Wineblood Promo (punk) - Marquee

Red Hot Rockers (rockabilly) - Arkwrights

Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - The Champion

t April 4

Mild Peril (rock) - Marquee

Wytch Hazel (folk) - Cider Shed

Never Mind The Boobies (12 punk bands, from 12pm) - King Edward VII

Red Hot Rockers (rockabilly) - Boundary

Lee Statham (guitarist) - The Lawyer

The Red Hot Rockers (rockabilly) - Boundary

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

t April 5

Charity 10: feat. Pure Passion + more (local/charity) - Brickmakers

Firewire (rock) - King Edward VII

Norwich Rocks Langtry Lounge (local) - The Langtry

Jazz N Jam (open mic) - Blueberry

t April 6

Sam Loaker (CD launch) - The Birdcage

Ramona (indie/rock) - B2

Kidney Punch Promo (rock/punk) - Marquee

Sam Loaker (album launch) - The Birdcage

The Red Herrings (folk) - Black Horse

Open Jam (open mic) - King Edward VII

Folk Evening (folk) - Micawber's Tavern

Musically Stacked (acoustic) - Rumsey Wells

t April 7

Norwich jazz Collective: feat. Thembi (jazz) - Arts Centre Bar

Sick Of It All + more (hardcore) - Marquee

Track 3 Promo (indie) - B2

Acoustic Jam Sesh (open mic) - Brickmakers

The Session (Irish) - Cider Shed

t April 8

Joan Armatrading (acoustic/pop) - Theatre Royal

Game Plan (indie/rock) - Brickmakers

Atlas & I (rock/pop) - B2

My Boy My Girl (indie) - Marquee

Jigsaw House: feat. Adelaide's Cap + more (acoustic) - The Birdcage

T.Rextasy (tribute) - Maddermarket

Dog Days of Summer (bluegrass) - Rose Tavern