Preview: This week’s gig guide

Reformed Milton Keynes ska/punks Capdown return to the Waterfront. There is a rare live performance from modern-classical composer and ambient producer Marvin Ayres. Plus Crystal Stilts and Quantic and the Combo B�rbaro.


Waterfront, July 29

Milton Keynes ska/punks Capdown called it a day in 2007, but arrive in Norwich having reformed.

Mixing ska and punk with elements of hardcore, dub, drum n bass and reggae, the band, who were originally known as Soap (which must rank as one of the worst band names ever), include strong political themes as alluded to by their eventual name, which is short for Capitalist Downfall.

Their debut album, Civil Disobedients, was released by London punk label Household Name Records in 2000, and was followed by nearly 250 gigs in the the following 12 months. They also toured with a number of established American bands, including Less Than Jake and Pennywise.

Their second album, Pound for the Sound, received positive reviews from Kerrang! and saw them touring with Bad Religion and Hundred Reasons.

Most Read

A third album, Wind Up Toys, came out on Fierce Panda Records in 2007 but the band split up after a final UK tour. However you cannot keep good punks down and they're back. Support comes from Random Hand and Vanilla Pod.

t Further listening:


Curve, July 29

Marvin Ayres is a modern-classical composer/cellist/violinist/pianist and ambient producer. He has composed and recorded a diverse selection of minimalist albums, incorporating spatial soundscapes and psycho-acoustics and latterly 5.1 Surround Sound.

A founding member of The Government, Ayres also made solo contributions to bands and artists, notably, Culture Club, Simply Red and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. He was signed to the avant-garde label Mille Plateaux as composer/producer, and released two minimalist albums, Cellosphere and Neptune to critical acclaim.

He has also produced a number of film and TV soundtracks, and also works with Curved Air's Sonja Kristina on their MASK project. His collaborations with film artists have been screened at the Tate Modern, the ICA, the Sundance festival, and other international galleries and film festivals.

As this would suggest, the majority of Marvin's career has been in production, composing and recording his music. Ahead of the release of his latest work, Harmogram Suite, is due for release in September, he is taking his extraordinary talents on the road, including this date at the Curve in Norwich's Forum. It's a rare opportunity to see what promises to be a unique live show. Not to be missed.

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, August 3

Brooklyn's dark 1960s garage-pop revivalists Crystal Stilts — oft compared to the likes of Joy Division and the Velvet Underground — headline the latest Twee Off night.

Back in 2008, the band turned a lot of heads with their first album Alight Of Night. Initially formed in 2003 by vocalist Brad Hargett and guitarist JB Townsend, the band's current lineup includes Kyle Forester on keys, Andy Adler on bass, and Keegan Cooke drums. The music they create is described as psychedelic noise pop, with definite garage rock and post-punk footprints.

They arrive on the back of their highly anticipated new album, In Love with Oblivion, on which they stretch things further still, honing their song-craft, indulging their more strung-out sides, full of elliptical verses and perfectly chiming guitars, cranky pop organs and the punkest of rhythms.

As with all good pop bands, Crystal Stilts not only look cool and sound great. Balanced between vintage and modern influences, the Crystal Stilts sound is moody and dark. And they don't try too hard. Their record covers are mysterious two-tone ciphers. They know the importance of a good font. In short, they sound and look like a group you want to be in.

Support comes from Norwich's Tawny Owl and The Birds of Prey

t Further listening:


Norwich Arts Centre, August 4

In 2007 Will 'Quantic' Holland moved to Cali, Colombia's third largest city, to pursue his passion for both unearthing lost treasures from Colombia's musical past and making new music. As a travelling music maker and DJ, continually searching for unconventional destinations, Holland seems to have found it to be a rewarding move, and Colombia has certainly prove a perfect base to fuel his remarkably prolific creativity.

Settling in Cali, Holland set up an analogue studio and recorded and released two albums, 2007's highly lauded Tropidelico by The Quantic Soul Orchestra, and the debut from his tropical-dub side project Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno, in 2008.

Both albums featured some of the cream of Cali musicianship and realising the sheer depth of local talent Holland assembled his Combo B�rbaro — the literal translation is 'group of barbarians or people from outside Europe'.

The musicians at the core of the Combo B�rbaro are pianist Alfredo Linares, Cali conga king Freddy Colorado, bassist Fernando Silva, Holland himself on electric guitar, and London-based drummer and long time Quantic collaborator Malcolm Catto, well known for his own band The Heliocentrics.

Their sound is a high-energy, rich and authentic tapestry of sounds and influences, from the rhythms of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

t Further listening:



Madness (ska/pop) — Blickling

Marvin Ayres (classical/electronic) — The Forum

Capdown (ska/punk) — Waterfront

She Sez (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Dulcet Tones (rock/indie) — Blueberry

Laurence + guests (acoustic) — B2

Cleaving Heavages (risqu� rock) — Brewery Tap

Chibber (rock) — Lakenham Cock

Electricity (blues/rock) — Golden Star

Rum Brothers (Irish) — Mustard Pot

Breaking Belief (pop/rock) — Wildman

Pyevarotti — Walnut Tree Shades

Rockin Johnny — Gatehouse

Barry Lee (easy) — Fiveways

Tracey Dean — Perseverance

Daaron King — The Champion

July 30

Immaculate Groove Project (soul/funk) — Brickmakers

The Fall of Science + more (rock/metal) — B2

The Cream Horns (rock/funk) — Blueberry

The Floating Greyhounds (rock) — King Edward VII

Jukebox Jonah & The Random Rummies — Olives

V8 Rumble (rockabilly) — The Stanley

Frozen Raspberries (rock) — Blueberry

In Rapture (rock/pop) — Lakenham Cock

Honeydripper (R&B) — Eaton Cottage

Lou & The Diamonds (60s) — Horsford Social Club

Danstar (60s-90s) — The Leopard

Steve Moyse — Angel Gardens

Gordon James — Bread & Cheese

Shannon — Trowel & Hammer

Vic Salter — Gatehouse

July 31

Syd Lawrence Orchestra (swing/big band) — Theatre Royal

Gren Bartley (folk) — The Bicycle Shop

Egypt (rock/blues) — King Edward VII

Misfit Collective (acoustic/3pm) — Blueberry

The Planks (soul/2.30pm) — Brewery Tap

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

Laurence Parkin (acoustic) — Tao

Organic Electronic Collective — Rumsey Wells

Pete Alan (4pm) — Lakenham Cock

August 1

Jazz N Jam: feat. Lee Vasey + more — Blueberry

Brickies Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

August 2

Lithium (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Ivyrise + more (rock/pop) — B2

Rebop (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

August 3

Twee Off: feat. Crystal Stilts (indie) — Arts Centre

Then Comes Chaos + more (metal) — B2

Langtry Live: feat. Jack Teare + more — The Langtry

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

August 4

Spectro: feat. Quantic & His Combo Barbaro (jazz/electronic) — Arts Centre

The Upgrade (blues/rock) — B2

Feral Mouth (folk/pop) — Blueberry

Mulberry Hawk (blues/rock) — Brickmakers

Rob Holmes Band (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Spur (country) — Royal British Legion

Open Mic — Wildman