Preview: This week’s gig guide

Virginian livewires The Hot Seats have been described as brilliant but bonkers and last time in the UK they sent reviewers into a frenzy, so expect the unexpected. Plus Cage The Eelephant, Mud Morganfield and Taking Back Sunday.


Norwich Arts Centre, August 29

Last time Virginian livewires The Hot Seats toured the UK, reviewers had a field day. Described as 'bonkers but brilliant' by Maverick magazine, promptly booked them to play their Summer Festival, The Herald in Scotland described them as 'sensational' and awarded the five-piece a coveted Herald Angel (the equivalent of an Oscar) for their outstanding contribution to Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The five-piece play string-band music with simple intentions: to keep the role of traditional musician as entertainer alive and kicking. Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic soloing and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock'n'roll. Add some eastern melodies, a few modernist ideals, and an uncanny feel for comic timing, and you begin to get the idea.

When it's bluegrass, they bring you back to the 1960′s era of Flatt and Scruggs or Jimmy Martin; when it's old-time, they try and channel the Camp Creek Boys; when it's time for a bit of satire, it's the images of Frank Zappa or the Fugs towards which they gravitate.

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Norwich Arts Centre, August 30

Hailing from Kentucky, Cage The Elephant released their Nashville recorded debut self-titled album three years ago, offering up a indie rock joyride that balanced US rock influences with jangling UK indie.

The band's incendiary live shows alongside a diverse selection of bands including admirers Queens of the Stone Age as well as bands including Pigeon Detectives, Foals, and The Wombats, won them a following and they proved to be a resounding highlight of The Great Escape and Reading and Leeds festivals.

Having spent the last two years touring the length of breadth of the US, most recently playing a co-headline tour with Manchester Orchestra, and a Road to Coachella tour with Biffy Clyro on support, the five-piece released the follow-up, Thank You Happy Birthday, earlier this year.

And it was a very different beast, largely casting aside the indie influences in favour of US punk and proto-grunge. The result layered exhilarating darkness and sinister sweetness, with some catchy melodies. The Pixies' influence looms large

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Norwich Arts Centre, August 30

Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters.

Fans of the old man know that Muddy was truly a 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and Mud is the proud heir of his big and powerful voice that can manages to convey deep emotional resonance on the slow numbers and good old fashioned testosterone laden strut on those classic blues shuffles.

Inevitably always involved with music on a personal level, Mud now honours his dad and his music, and watching him is like taking a trip in a time machine to blues heaven. He sounds and looks like his dad and mixes up the sets with his dad's classic songs and his own original material.

He has previously shared the stage and gained the respect of many of his dad's ex-sidemen and Chicago blues superstars like Buddy Guy, Kenny Big Eyes Smith, Jimmie Johnson and Mojo Buford. He arrives in Norwich with a full band that includes West Weston, Ronni Buysack-Boysen, Ian Jennings and Mike Hellier.

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UEA, August 30

Having been forced to reschedule the majority of their UK tour earlier this summer due to unavoidable scheduling conflict, veteran 'emo' rockers Taking Back Sunday finally arrive this week.

Originally formed in Long Island, in 1999, their first release came in 2001 with the Taking Back Sunday EP, the band has gone through several line-up changes over the years. And last year the band are jettisoning two members in favour of bringing back the people who they replaced.

Guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper, who made the band's 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends, and then left the band in to form Straylight Run, returned to the fold, ousting current members Matt Rubano and Matt Fazzi.

The former members returned after seven years away, because, as frontman Adam Lazzara, explained: 'Everybody was just, like, unhappy, and so something needed to happen. Then Mark calls me one day and he says, 'I've got this crazy idea'.'

With a brand new studio album now out, the classic line-up that recorded their 2002 debut album Tell All Your Friends are here playing the UK for the first time ever.

Support comes from I Am Giant.

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Brass Monkey (funk/soul) — Arts Centre

The Mars Patrol (pop/rock) — B2

Money Spanner (ska/reggae) — Brickmakers

Raw Edge (rock) — Blueberry

Red Hot Rockers (rockbilly) — Walnut Tree Shades

Saigon Kiss (metal/punk) — King Edward VII

San (rock/blues) — The Stanley

Tim Ballard — Fiveways

Tony Cann — Farmhouse

Ricci — Perseverance

August 27

Bad Amplitude (rock/indie) — Brickmakers

Ziplock/English Dogs (punk) — King Edward VII

Ska Face (ska/reggae) — Blueberry

Burening Crows (rock) — Boundary

The Punktures (punk/ska) — Norwich Rugby Club

Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage

Money Maker (rock/blues) — The Stanley

Barry Lee — Spixworth Social Club

Dave J — Angel Gardens

August 28

The Planks (soul/blues) — Brewery Tap

The Jeffrey Brothers (rock) — King Edward VII

Charity Day (local bands/all day) — Blueberry

Rocking Devil's Blues Band (blues) — Boundary

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

August 29

The Hot Seats (bluegrass/roots) — Arts Centre

Brickfest 2011: feat 36 bands (all-dayer, 12pm-12am) — Brickmakers

Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern

Jazz N Jam (open mic) — Blueberry

August 30

Taking Back Sunday (rock) — UEA

Cage The Elephant (indie) — Arts Centre

The Spooky Men's Chorale (a cappalla/punk) — Playhouse

Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells

August 31

Mud Morganfield (blues) — Arts Centre

Live Lounge: feat. Addison's Uncle + more (acoustic) — The Langtry

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

September 1

Gravy: feat. The Brownies + more (indie) — Arts Centre

Blind Spirit (blues/rock) — Brickmakers

The Unremarkables (indie) — Blueberry

Open Jam — King Edward VII