See, hear and learn at Norwich Sound & Vision

More than just an excuse to see over 50 artists performing, part-festival, part-conference Norwich Sound & Vision sees a plethora of industry experts tackling the issues affecting all upcoming bands. SIMON PARKIN reports.

Norwich Sound & Vision, held for the first time last year, and next week back even bigger, is a three-day music festival with a difference.

Taking its inspiration Manchester's In The City, Liverpool's Sound City, Germany's Popkomm and SXSW, based in Austin, Texas, to name a few, the event is part festival, part conference and is a bid to put the spotlight on the business of music as well as performances from dozens of bands and artists.

Last year's inaugural event, attracted more than 2,500 people. Building on its success, this year's event, which runs from September 29-October 1, will comprise a three-day music festival, a film and video festival and a conference featuring expert speakers from music, film and digital industries from around the world.

The music part of the festival will feature more than 50 bands playing across the city (see panel). Highlights in-clude Bo Ningen, Dels, Esben and the Witch, Beth Jeans Houghton, Spokes, Ellen and the Escapades and Jack Savoretti as well as Norwich's own Fever Fever, Sargasso Trio and Context MC.

But just as important is the conference element with renowned music industry experts giving talks and answering questions. Among those visiting will be record label bosses including Simon Raymonde from Bella Union, music journalists including Joe Muggs of Word and Mixmag and Laura Snapes from the NME and industry experts in-cluding Last FM Radio's Stefan Baumschlager and Alison Wenham from the Association of Independent Music. Giving a local perspective will be Stuart Hobday from Norwich Arts Centre and Escalator Music.

Events include panels on everything from how indie labels prosper in the current climate, how the role of band management has changed, how to stand out in the digital music world and where are the income streams for new bands and artists.

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There will also be a keynote interview with leading industry figures, artists giving their own stories and a 'listening panel' where experts will give their opinions on submitted music.

This year there will also be spin-off film-related activities at Cinema City and The Forum. Music films showing at Cinema City include reggae documentary The Story of Lovers Rock (September 29), Powder (October 1), which follows four Liverpool musicians tasting success for the first time, and Sound It Out (October 2), about the fate of independent record shops.

There will be two forums at Cinema City with panellists exploring the relationship between music, film and televi-sion, as well as the Norwich Music Video Festival at Fusion in the Forum.

And the Friday night will feature a transatlantic live video conference, linking together an audience in Norwich with a panel of music supervisors from the film industry in Los Angeles.

Adrian Cooke, Norwich Sound & Vision director, said: 'Last year was a great success, it was well attended and we had nothing but ecstatic responses. Local people who attended generally commented that the conference has filled them with inspiration and opened their eyes to further opportunities.

'Norwich Sound & Vision 2011 is a fantastic opportunity to see some amazing local, national and international talent and to engage in lively debate about the creative industries, learn from industry experts and make use of unparalleled networking opportunities.

'The overall event will be a place for companies, individuals, bands, musicians, record labels, filmmakers, writers and anyone with an interest in the music, film and multi media industries to network.

'People will also have the opportunity to discover new markets, forge new partnerships, learn, be inspired and have a fantastic time.'

n Early bird wristbands including entry to all gigs and events are �50 (�40 cons), standard weekend tickets �80 (�65 cons). More details: 01603 660352.

n For full details of events visit:


Norwich Arts Centre

n Thursday — London-based psych-rock oddballs Bo Ningen who draw on Japanese freak-out and febrile energy to create their own maelstrom of sound. The viscerally thrilling hairy Japanese outfit, deliver a superb mix of 1960s punk trash, 1970s Detroit dirt, 1980s New York art- rock and psychedelic post- rock. Their live shows meld crushing sonics with a well honed sense of brute theatricality, possibly the result of bassist/vocalist Taigen's pas-sion for pro wrestling. The Twee Off! Line-up also features Fever Fever, Octagon Court. Plus Gravy Showcase in the bar featuring Blue On Blue, Something Beginning With L, Tawny Owl & The Birds Of Prey and Mat Riviere.

n Friday — Brighton's Esben & The Witch bring their captivating, haunting goth-tronica as featured on their debut album, Violent Cries, a wilderness of darkening lakes, swirling mud and other ill portents. The trio were formed in 2008, when guitarist Thomas Fisher persuaded Daniel Copeman to share the tracks he had been working on with a live audience, with Rachel Davies providing vocals that are part-Siouxsie Sioux, part-PJ Harvey. They take their name from a Danish fairytale and cite influences as varied as Bjork, Portishead and Francis Bacon. Also perform-ing will be Beth Jeans Houghton, Balaclava Kid & Dad. Plus BBC Introducing Showcase in the bar featuring Girl In A Thunderbolt.

n Saturday — Kieren Dickins – better known as his on-stage alter ego DELS – offers a breath of proverbial fresh air in the hip hop scene. His signature sound belies a truly eclectic range of musical influences, from his days in a two-step garage band as a teenager, to a long-standing creative partnership with Joe Goddard from Hot Chip. His resulting sound is a unique mishmash of squelchy basslines, tinkering keys, syncopated drum patterns and the oc-casional steel pan, all juxtaposed by his infectiously languid flow. Also performing will be Sargasso Trio, Context MC. Plus Escalator Music in the bar featuring Mia Vigar, Civilian, Kamilla Lovett and Rory McVicar.

The Bicycle Shop

n Thursday — Laish + Grenouilles, Bella Spinks, Alex Ross.

n Friday — Jack Savoretti, The Thinking Man, Helsinki Wins, Georgios Hadji.

n Saturday — Ellen & The Escapades, Takeda, Woodland Creatures, Ethan Ash.

St Gregory's Church

n Thursday — Daisy Vaughan, Danny Whitehouse, Peaceful Warrior, Jasper Taylor, Lisa Ambrose.

n Friday — Freya Roy, Born With A Tail, The B Goodes, Laura Kidd.

n Saturday — Magic Panda, Tristan Burfield, Infernal Machine.

The Curve/Forum

n Saturday — Burning Shed showcase featuring Nosound, Ex-Wise Heads, Slow Electric.

Hog In Armour

n Friday — ATM presents.

n Saturday — Miserable Rich, Denis Jones, Antlered Man, Golden Fable.

The Playhouse

n Thursday — A Night at the Opera, featuring a special performance of Efterklang's impressive video project Efterkids.

The Garage

n Thursday — Slam/CME showcase