Preview: This week’s gig guide

It's been a mad few years for Charlie Simpson and now he's back going solo. Also this week 1980s soul survivor Andrew Roachford, indie cult favourites The Nightingales and folkstress Rachel Dadd.


Waterfront, October 21

It's been a mad few years for Charlie Simpson who at the age of just 25 is already something of a music industry veteran having survived in the business for over a decade.

The singer/songwriter started out as the good-looking, posh one in punk-pop band Busted, before breaking free from the major record label shackles and fronting the post-hardcore alt-rock outfit Fightstar.

Now he has moved on again; this time going it alone and revealing yet another new sound in the process. His first solo album, Young Pilgrim, which prompts this date on his debut tour, has generated favourable press and a thumbs- up from his fans. It has a more mature, laid-back sound is all about classic guitars and layered vocals, evoking the sun-kissed harmonies of 1970s California. It suits the singer's rich, sonorous voice.

'Going solo was something I had been thinking about for a while, but now proved to be the right time anyway because Fightstar had decided to take a break following five years of non-stop touring,' he explains. 'I do feel probably the most comfortable I have ever felt now.'

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Norwich Arts Centre, October 22

Eighties pop soul legend (Andrew) Roachford was one of those artists — alongside the likes of Omar — who never quite managed to steer a UK take of the essentially American sound to mainstream success. That was a shame because he was and remains a real talent.

Ever since bulldozing his way onto the scene with tracks like Cuddly Toy and Family Ma' in the late-80s, Roachford's maverick take on music deserved more attention. Certainly the stakes were high. He was the first artist to sign a staggering seven-album deal with Columbia Records, who clearly saw him as the beginning of something big. 'Getting signed and being a black British artist gave me a sense of pride' enthuses Andrew.

Raised in south London to West Indian parents, as a child of the 70s and 80s, he is influenced by everyone from Curtis Mayfield and Al Green to The Roots, D'Angelo and Jill Scott.

Though full-on stardom eluded him, he was Columbia's biggest selling domestic act for over a decade and was approached by Michael Jackson and Chaka Khan to write songs. Support comes from Scarlette Fever.

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Norwich Arts Centre, October 24

The Nightingales were formed in 1979 after the demise of Birmingham's original punk group The Prefects. With an ever fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, they enjoyed cult status in the early 80s as darlings of the credible music scene and were championed by John Peel, who said of them: 'Their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980s to look at the period ra-tionally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans'.

The group recorded a bunch of critically acclaimed singles, and three albums, plus many radio sessions for their great supporter Peel – more than any other band bar The Fall. Since restarting the group have been more productive than ever – releasing five 7″ vinyl singles and three studio albums, plus two live albums.

The current line up, which features Lloyd, Apperley, Andreas Schmid (from Faust Studio) on bass, ex-Violet Vio-let drummer Fliss Kitson and guitarist Matt Wood, plus on occasion bassoonist Katherine Young and/or guitarist Christine Edwards and Emily Manzo on keyboards (Christy & Emily).

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The Bicycle Shop, October 23

Experimental folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd is one of the busiest artists on the folk scene. Living her life between Japan and Bristol, she is constantly touring, constantly writing, skipping from one fleetingly romantic show to another- whether it be a church in England, a gallery in Japan or a squat in Switzerland.

Her recordings are often born from late nights at home plugged into her 4-track. When she's not playing, she's sewing album sleeves and record bags. Her past EPs and albums all feature handmade covers or textile pouches proving that what is on the cover is as equally as important as the songs themselves. A true DIY artist in every sense of the word.

Her latest album, Bite The Mountain, a follow-up to last year's Elephee EP, a collection of 5 intimate home re-cordings, sees her turning her hands to clarinet, piano, ukulele, banjo, thumb piano, organ, guitar, and percussion.

The album, recorded largely in Japan, is a diary-like observational account of her past year's travels, an intimate window into the world as Rachael sees it.

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October 21

Dave Giles (singer-songwriter) — Waterfront Studio

Mr Scuff (dance/DJ) — UEA

Get On The Soapbox 2nd Birthday (dance) - Karma Kafe

Pout At The Devil (rock) — Brickmakers

The Foolish (rock/dance) - Blueberry

This Is The Scruff (folk/electronic) - The Bicycle Shop

Aarvarkes (rock) - King Edward VII

16th Minute (rock) - Boundary

Outathablues (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades

Victims Athletic (blues/indie) - The Wildman

Them Harvey Boys (bluegrass/eceletic) - Brewery Tap

Ale Worthy Beat: feat. DJ Luke Emery - Rumsey Wells

Barry Lee — Fiveways

Danny Reno - Perserverance

October 22

World's Apart (rock) — Brickmakers

We Can't Dance (indie) - B2

Don't Spook The Horse (tribute) — Olives

Get On The Soapbox 2nd Birthday (dance) - Karma Kafe

Replica (rock) - Blueberry

Fist of Scars (metal) - King Edward VII

Soul Town (soul) - The Leopard

Hill Top Mile (indie/rock) - The Stanley

To The Last (rock) — Boundary

Dog Days of Summer (bluegrass/punk) — Angel Gardens

Wypeout (50s/60s) — Arkwrights

Carol (soul/pop) — Farmhouse

October 23

Ed Sheeran (pop) — UEA

Oxjam: feat. Dirty Tricks + more (indie/rock/pop) - Brickmakers/B2

Hayley Moyses (bluegrass/2.30pm) - Brewery Tap

The Bunkadoos (acoustic/8.30pm) - Brewery Tap

Chippy (rock) - Boundary

Dove & Boweevil + more (folk/acoustic) - Tao Club

Sunday Social (acoustic/3pm) - Blueberry

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers

October 24

Stookey Blue (folk) - Micawbers Tarvern

Jazz N Jam: feat. Lee Vasey (jazz) - Blueberry

Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers

October 25

The Answer (rock) — Waterfront

The Kabeedies (indie) — Arts Centre

Actions/Dying Breeds (rock) — B2

Jimmy Roe Trio (blues) - Brickmakers

Christian Brewer (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man

Live & Direct (acoustic) - Rumsey Wells

October 26

Pop Will Eat Itself (indie/rock) — Waterfront

The City Calls + more (punk-pop) — B2

Live Lounge: feat. Amy Bristow + more (acoustic) - The Langtry

Audio Junky (pop/rock) - The Stanley

Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers

October 27

Coldplay (rock) — UEA

The Rifles (rock) — Arts Centre

Soil/Puddle of Mud (rock) — Waterfront

Ralph McTell (folk/pop) — Norwich Playhouse

Marc Drury Band (folk/rock)— Brickmakers

The Unremarkables (rock) - Blueberry

Stone Party (blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

The First + more (rock/punk) — B2

Albert Cooper's Jazz Life - Rumsey Wells

Johnny Jump Band (blues/rock) - Micawbers Tavern

Open Mic - The Wildman