Preview: Norwich gig guide April 13-19
PUBLISHED: 08:57 13 April 2012
Cult band Drugstore arrive Norwich to play the final instalment of a very limited run of three UK shows with two Norwich special guests in Fiel Garvie and Port Isla. Plus: Meshuggah, The Little Unsaid, Lampliter and The Toy Hearts.
Norwich Arts Centre, April 13
Drugstore arrive Norwich to play the final instalment of a very limited run of three UK shows.
There’s really no other band like Drugstore. Ask anyone that has become enraptured with the London-based Brazilian eccentric singer-songwriter, Isabel Monteiro: once seen and heard, never forgotten.
Drugstore toured with Jeff Buckley, who liked their debut single, Alive, so much he frequently covered it live. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke enjoyed being on tour with Drugstore so much he duetted with Isabel on the 1998 Top 20 hit El President.
The Drugstore live experience has always been masterclass in Isabel’s storytelling and performance: an enthralling mixture of heart-on-sleeve intensity — packed full of raw and passionate emotion – and hilarity – generally with a generous helping of pitch-black humour — seamlessly switching from one to the other in a heartbeat.
Embracing everything from 1920s Berlin cabaret through the French chanson tradition, via The Velvet Underground’s woozy melodic charm and Tom Waits’ bar-room badinage to PJ Harvey’s earnest intellect and The Bad Seeds’ rumbling, angry sadness.
They arrive to promote the new single Aquamarine from their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Anatomy, which was released in 2011 after a seven-year hiatus.
“The Arts Centre has been on my sight for years – it’s such a great venue, but for some reason, we never had a chance to play there,” says Isabel, “so, we’re totally looking forward, it’s gonna be special.”
For this date they’ve hand-picked two local bands to join the line-up.
Norwich’s much-missed Fiel Garvie will be playing a one-off reunion gig, almost five years since their most recent show. Fiel Garvie’s spellbinding fairylight-lit dreampop once compelled a Singapore couple to make a round-trip of 6,604 miles to Tokyo to catch the Norwich quintet live. Last seen performing anywhere in May 2007, they’re returning tonight for one-night only. And UEA music school undergrads Port Isla will open proceedings with their mix of semi-acoustic summer sounds and alt-folk/baroque-pop. Meanwhile in the bar, Howlback Hum presents even more musical goodness, this time in the shape of The Winter Berries, Mao’s Dynasty, plus Ruby Nectar & the Purple Rats.
t Further listening: isabelmonteiro1.blogspot.co.uk
Waterfront, April 18
Formed in the college town of Umeå in northern Sweden in 1987, Meshuggah have spent the last 20 years and 13 albums developing, exploring and redefining their complex, inimitable take on metal.
The experimental metallers first attracted international attention with the 1995 release Destroy Erase Improve for its fusion of fast-tempo death metal, thrash and progressive metal with some unlikely jazz fusion elements.
Since their 2002 album Nothing, Meshuggah has used down tuned eight-string guitars and become known for their innovative musical style, with complex song structures and polyrhythms. They were labelled as one of the 10 most important hard and heavy bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press.
Nothing and the albums that followed have all charted on the American Billboard 200 and the band have repeatedly been nominated for the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys.
The outfit’s last album, 2008’s obZen, further propelled them to acclaim outside Sweden and they have performed in various international festivals, including Ozzfest and Download.
They arrive in Norwich in support of their new album Koloss and are joined by special guests Animals As Leaders and We Are Knuckle Dragger.
t Further listening: www.meshuggah.net
THE LITTLE UNSAID/LAMPLITER
Bicycle Shop, April 19
The Little Unsaid is the musical project of London-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter John Elliott.
The project crystallised in 2010 with the critically acclaimed debut album Someone Else’s Lullabies recorded in a small cottage in Yorkshire. John subsequently relocated to London, formed a four-piece band and toured UK festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Shambala throughout last summer.
With the hotly anticipated follow-up album due soon, John arrives at the Bicycle Shop in St Benedicts as part of a string of solo dates that see him juggling various esoteric knobs, dials, loops and gadgetry alongside his truly unique and spellbinding vocal and guitar work.
He will be joined by Devon-based band Lampliter, the latest project of singer-songwriter Tabias B Jacob (formerly of The Roots Union) who have a foot with both the alternative rock and alternative folk camps.
Their debut EP was recorded on a showstring but benefited from the expert touch of Grammy and Mercury nominated producer Sonny, who has also worked on their latest release which is influenced by the likes of Low Anthem, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins and Bon Iver.
t Further listening: thelittleunsaid.com/ lampliter.co.uk
THE TOY HEARTS
Norwich Arts Centre, April 19
The Toy Hearts have been making music together for over 10 years, partly because the core trio of the band is made up of family members, and partly because they are old school when it comes to music. They have honed their skills the hard way by gigging relentlessly, the result being exciting, energetic and dynamic live shows, packed with just the right amounts of sweetness, sass and style.
Sisters Hannah (lead vocal/mandolin) and Sophia (guitar/harmony vocals) front the band, and along with their father Stewart (banjo/dobro) they carry on the established tradition of the family aspect within country music.
Having released their Nashville recorded third album, Femme Fatale, to great acclaimed the band went from strength to strength last year with performances at major UK festivals, as well as a live BBC session with Bob Harris and even a major feature in the Daily Mail.
The band’s just released fourth studio album Whiskey is a break from their the acoustic bluegrass of their first three albums, in part a homage to western swing, rockabilly, jazz and blues, coupled with original new material steeped in country and Americana.
t Further listening: www.thetoyhearts.com
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Wombatwombat: feat. Drugstore + more (indie) — Arts Centre
Rebel Lion (reggae) — Carnival
The Glamtastics (glam rock) — Brickmakers
Truescape (pop/rock) — B2
Killer Hurtz (metal) — King Edward VII
Norwich Folk Club: feat. Trio Threlfall (folk) — Christ Church Centre
Color: feat. Brockie + more (dance/hip hop) — Waterfront
Against The Odds ( — Lakenham Cock
Dynamite Horton (rockabilly) — Walnut Tree Shades
Sally Taylor & The Midnight Soul Band — Brewery Tap
Mel & The Strollers (50s/60s) — Canary Club
Rach — Fiveways
Songbirds — The Birdcage
The Golden Years (rock‘n’roll) — UEA
Metal Lust: feat. Bloody Kisses + more (metal) — Waterfront
Raw Edge (rock) — Brickmakers
Straight Razor Angels + more (rockabilly/punk) — B2
Super Action Heroes (rock) — Boundary
Saigon Kiss (metal) — King Edward VII
Organic Electronic Collective — Rumsey Wells
The Ascension Channel: feat. Sancho Blanco ( — Epic
Andy Robinson Band (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Electricity (blues) — The Stanley
Blitz — Arkwrights
Danstar (rock/pop) — Angel Gardens
Queen Tribute — The Talk
Soul Town — The Leopard
Kiwi Pete (skiffle) — Heartsease
Mick Stevens — Heath House
Andy York — Keir Hardie Hall
Blues Brothers — Quebec Tavern
Ricci — Sprowston Social Club
Tony Cann — The Windmill
Platinum 60s Tour: feat. The Animals + more (60s) — St Andrew’s Hall
Gren Bartley (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop
We Are The Crowd (pop-punk) — Waterfront
Delvis Rockin Blues Band (4pm) — Boundary
Floating Greyhounds (rock) — Lakenham Cock
Serious Sam Barrett (roots/folk/2.30pm) — Brewery Tap
V8 Rumble (rockabilly) — The Gordon
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Kyla La Grange (indie/pop) — Waterfront
Chamber (jazz) — Arts Centre
Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers
Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades
Jazz Jam — B2
One Night Only (indie/rock) — Arts Centre
Ziggurat Creative Presents: feat. Delta Sheep + more (indie) — Bedfords
Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells
The Nigel King Band (60s) — Brickmakers
The Further + more (metal) — B2
Dean Masser & Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man
Meshuggah (metal) — Waterfront
Futures (indie) — Arts Centre
Out of Step (live bands) — Karma Kafe
Lee Vasey & Friends — Trowel & Hammer
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Traditional Irish — The Gatehouse
Norwich Sounds City Anniversary: feat. Stare + The Barlights + more (indie) — Waterfront
The Toy Hearts (rock‘n’roll/indie) — Arts Centre
The Little Unsaid & Lampliter (— Bicycle Shop
Electricity (blues) — Rumsey Wells
Rob Holmes Band (rock/blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Nashville Numbers (country) — TA Centre
Sally Taylor & The Midnight Soul Band — Beluga
Johnny Jump Band (rock/blues) — Micawbers Tavern
Gas Hill Mob (acoustic) — Rose Tavern
Access To Music Showcase (local) — Brickmakers
Jam Night — King Edward VII
Open Mic — Garden House
Open Mic — Wildman