Preview: This week’s gig guide
Synth-pop pioneers Erasure will be putting their extensive back catalogue of hits to good use when they appear at Thetford Forest. Plus German multi-instrumentalist Wolf Gang, The Subways and the Martyn Joseph Band.
Thetford Forest, June 10
Though we've always seen them more as city kids, synth-pop pioneers Erasure take to the High Lodge stage tonight for the second of this summer's Thetford forest concerts.
It's a long awaited live return for the award-winning duo of keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell, who have an enviable back catalogue of hits to draw on, and who arrive as part of their Total Pop! Tour.
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The band had a string of hits in the 1980s and 1990s including A Little Respect, Sometimes and Blue Savannah. After a four-year break from recording and live performance, the tour will coincide with the release of a new album, their first since 2007's Light at the End of the World.
The duo, who over the years have had a formidable presence on the singles charts complemented by five number one albums including The Innocents, Wild! and Chorus are promising to unleash a succession of their crafted pop anthems, which also include Victim Of Love, Ship Of Fools, Star and Love To Hate You.
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Frontman Andy Bell said: 'This wonderful opportunity to perform for the fans in such a unique backdrop feels like just the right way to jump back in to Erasure after a four-year break. We're excited to be playing in the woods and really hope it doesn't rain.'
t Further listening: www.erasureinfo.com
Norwich Arts Centre, June 13
Wolf Gang is 23-year-old German multi-instrumentalist Max McElligott, the curious creator of singles The King And All Of His Men and more recently Dancing with the Devil, which has been receiving some very favourable attention from Radio 1 and XFM.
Inspired by the likes of Talking Heads and David Bowie, as well as more contemporary artists such as Arcade Fire, Wolf Gang's sound packs in an abundance of heart-throttling melodies.
A well received demo, Back To Back, paid testament to his effortless, indelible pop grandeur, causing an instant buzz on sites such as Pitchfork and The Hype Machine.
Support slots with Florence And The Machine, Miike Snow and Metric – as well as sold-out London shows of his own – have cemented his status as 2011's one to most definitely watch.
The enigmatic artist, who though German spent a good chunk of his childhood living in Scotland, is gearing up for his debut album, Suego Faults, which will be released by Atlantic Records on July 11, having recently finished recording with Mercury Rev, MGMT and Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann in upstate New York.
t Further listening: www.wolf-gang.co.uk
Norwich Arts Centre, June 14
The Subways return to the Arts Centre to road test their third album as part of a small run of UK dates before hitting the festivals this summer.
The trio — Billy Lunn, Charlotte Cooper and Josh Morgan — got their big break in Somerset when Billy sent a demo CD to Glastonbury Festival guru Michael Eavis. He enjoyed it so much that he invited them down and they got to play their unique brand of indie-punk-disco on the Other Stage in front of thousands.
Since then they've never looked back. Their debut album Young for Eternity, released in 2005, broke into the top 40. Their second album, All or Nothing, released in 2008, reached number 17.
They are currently putting finishing touches to album number three with UK producer extraordinaire Stephen Street, who has previously worked with everyone from The Smiths to Blur.
Money and Celebrity will be released in September but the band are out on the road to test out their material on live audiences in intimate settings.
According to Billy the new tracks have been purposely penned for the live stage, a deliberate move to play to the band's strength as a ferociously explosive live act. Support comes from Young Aviators
t Further listening: www.thesubways.net
MARTYN JOSEPH BAND
Norwich Assembly House, June 15
Shades of Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews there may be, but Martyn Joseph has built a huge reputation as a solo performer with plaudits from critics worldwide.
Martyn has come a long way since the days when Epic signed him after selling 30,000 copies of his self-financed album An Aching and A Longing.
Since those days the singer-songwriter has had five top 50 UK chart hits and has toured with, amongst others Art Garfunkel, Jools Holland, Suzanne Vega, Celine Dion, Shirley Bassey and Joan Armatrading.
In addition to being awarded Best Male Artist at the 2004 BBC Welsh Music Awards, he has also received many humanitarian plaudits and awards, with themes of social justice being a strong presence in his music.
Last autumn he released his 31st album, Under Lemonade Skies, enthusiastically described by Radio 2's Bob Harris as 'his biggest album to date'.
The album had such a rich and compelling soundscape that it cried out for a fuller sound and a long anticipated string of dates with a full band has finally come to fruition.
This is a chance to see one of the UK's finest songwriters and performers at the top of his game, and with US producer Mason Neely on drums and Wal Coughlan on bass.
t Further listening: www.martynjoseph.net
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Serillian (metal) — B2
Rhythms of the City (world) — Arts Centre
Reno Brothers (rock'n'roll) — Walnut Tree Shades
The Planks (soul) — Blueberry
White Heat (rock) — Brickmakers
Egypt (blues/rock) — King Edward VII
Donal Maguire (folk) — Christ Church Centre
Catfish Kings (rock'n'roll)— Arkwrights
Murphys Lore (Irish) — Brewery Tap
Lee Vann — Perseverance
JLS (pop/soul) — Carrow Road
Simple Minds (rock) — Thetford Forest
South Wales Male Voice (choir) — Norwich Cathedral
Twee Off: feat. Fair Ohs + more (indie) — Arts Centre
Hope Not Hate: feat. Howl Project + more (anti-racism/local) — B2
The Complete Stone Roses (tribute) — Waterfront
Rise (rock) — Brickmakers
Dirty Havana (rock) — Blueberry
Krazy 88 (rock) — The Stanley
Breeze (rock/pop) — Lakenham Cock
The Radiants — The Marlpit
Shannon — Trowel & Hammer
Mark Anthony — Angel Gardens
Pash Divas — Boundary
Tony Cann — Heath House
Micky Spanton — Quebec Tavern
Freeload (rock/pop) — Boundary
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Claire Barker (4pm) — Lakenham Cock
Susan Jayne — Royal British Legion
Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern
Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers
Jazz N Jam: feat. Lee Vasey (jazz) — Blueberry
Brickie Blues Club: feat. Rob Holmes Band (blues) — Brickmakers
Dave Cliff (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man
It's Got Legs (punk/rock) — B2
Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
The Session (Irish) — Brewery Tap
Acoustic Singaround (folk) — Micawbers Tavern
Intruder Records Presents: feat. Dying Breed + more (rock) — B2
Feral Mouth (rock/folk) — Blueberry
Dove & Boweevil (folk/indie) — Rose Tavern
Secondhand Blues (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Access To Music (local) — Brickmakers
Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Double Barrel (country) — Royal British Legion