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'Musical alchemy' - Pirate Joe and the Foreign Locals review

PUBLISHED: 13:51 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:51 18 January 2020

Pirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David Warman

Pirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David Warman

David Warman

There was a storm a brewin' at the Arts Centre last night as Pirate Joe and the Foreign Locals delivered their gypsy skank serenade to a packed audience on Friday night.

Pirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David WarmanPirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David Warman

Pirate Joe, aka Joseph Rio Santana Green, entered the stage followed by his two large cartoon-headed band members, in a self-confessed stunt attempt to realign his own head size, following his emergence from the musical circles of Falmouth, to one of the biggest stage presences based in Norfolk for many a year.

His opening gambit told a tale of finding love in the shape of a brutish sounding, yet arousing Soviet stunner, aptly titled, 'Kiss Me Or I'll Crush You', the group's only song with a romantic element.

Joe is the epitome of a musical alchemist, connecting with his audience as a conductor would an orchestra, or a Captain and his loyal crew. An old soul on young shoulders, blessed with the 'spirit of the blues' and a voice to match, Joe is a Jack Sparrow among us, a whirlwind of creative energy, and blue is one colour you certainly won't be feeling after a personal interaction as part of his crew.

The frontman was adorning dungarees which gave him a pirate-redneck cross look, the kind of image I would envisage had Jack Sparrow been nurtured by the Beverley Hillbillies.

Pirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David WarmanPirate Joe and The Foreign Locals at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: David Warman

He displays a skittery-come-jaunty stage style, broad vocal range and offers an idiosyncratic guitar sound alongside his talented keyboard player and drummer which makes up the rest of his gypsified triumvirate.

Although crowd surfers were at a premium (presumably for fear of vanishing into Davy Jones's Locker), there was skanking aplenty amongst the Norfolk hordes gathered on a night where gypsy and tipsy folk united as one.

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