Stealing Sheep review: the band were having so much fun on stage you wished you were up there with them

Stealing Sheep. Picture: Supplied by Norwich Arts Centre

Stealing Sheep. Picture: Supplied by Norwich Arts Centre - Credit: Supplied by Norwich Arts Centre

Synth-pop trio Stealing Sheep brought gorgeous harmonies, infectious disco grooves, spiky lyrics, dance routines, glitter and more than a touch of surrealism to Norwich Arts Centre on Thursday night.

Support came from city favourites Bug Teeth and Despicable Zee - the electro solo project of drummer Zahra Haji Fath Ali Tehrani, who gave an absolutely compelling rhythm-driven performance.

Emerging through a haze of dry ice, Stealing Sheep took to the stage - possibly beamed down from outer space - beginning with an overture and dance routine, signalling that this was not just a gig, but a full-on performance piece.

Formed in Liverpool in 2010, the band - Rebecca Hawley (vocals and keyboards), Emily Lansley (vocals, guitar and bass) and Luciana Mercer (vocals and drums) - released their third album, the playful, experimental Big Wows, in the spring, packed with polished, nostalgia-tinged pop gems.

Musical magpies, there was everything from psychedelia to Kraftwerk-style robotic bleeps, ominous Stranger Things rumbling basslines and 80s synth riffs.

Highlights of the set included Why Haven't I?, the shimmering Show Love, the sophisticated groove of Jokin' Me and the swooning True Colours - all taken from their latest album.

It was one of those gigs where the band were having so much fun on stage you wished you were up there with them - it was certainly infectious. The fact that more bands - from Snapped Ankles to Norwich's own Mega Emotion - are adding costumes and choreography to their live shows is officially a good thing.

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The trio returned to the stage for their encore in full costume looking like extras from an 80s New Order video - check out the clip of them on Norwich Arts Centre's Instagram feed - before introducing a special guest, their giant inflatable sheep (what else?) mascot, to the crowd.

It was a beautifully bizarre end to an evening which really did have the big wow factor.

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