Preview: This week's gig guide
PUBLISHED: 14:23 26 August 2011
Virginian livewires The Hot Seats have been described as brilliant but bonkers and last time in the UK they sent reviewers into a frenzy, so expect the unexpected. Plus Cage The Eelephant, Mud Morganfield and Taking Back Sunday.
THE HOT SEATS
Norwich Arts Centre, August 29
Last time Virginian livewires The Hot Seats toured the UK, reviewers had a field day. Described as “bonkers but brilliant” by Maverick magazine, promptly booked them to play their Summer Festival, The Herald in Scotland described them as “sensational” and awarded the five-piece a coveted Herald Angel (the equivalent of an Oscar) for their outstanding contribution to Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The five-piece play string-band music with simple intentions: to keep the role of traditional musician as entertainer alive and kicking. Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic soloing and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock‘n’roll. Add some eastern melodies, a few modernist ideals, and an uncanny feel for comic timing, and you begin to get the idea.
When it’s bluegrass, they bring you back to the 1960′s era of Flatt and Scruggs or Jimmy Martin; when it’s old-time, they try and channel the Camp Creek Boys; when it’s time for a bit of satire, it’s the images of Frank Zappa or the Fugs towards which they gravitate.
Further listening: www.thehotseats.net
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
Norwich Arts Centre, August 30
Hailing from Kentucky, Cage The Elephant released their Nashville recorded debut self-titled album three years ago, offering up a indie rock joyride that balanced US rock influences with jangling UK indie.
The band’s incendiary live shows alongside a diverse selection of bands including admirers Queens of the Stone Age as well as bands including Pigeon Detectives, Foals, and The Wombats, won them a following and they proved to be a resounding highlight of The Great Escape and Reading and Leeds festivals.
Having spent the last two years touring the length of breadth of the US, most recently playing a co-headline tour with Manchester Orchestra, and a Road to Coachella tour with Biffy Clyro on support, the five-piece released the follow-up, Thank You Happy Birthday, earlier this year.
And it was a very different beast, largely casting aside the indie influences in favour of US punk and proto-grunge. The result layered exhilarating darkness and sinister sweetness, with some catchy melodies. The Pixies’ influence looms large
Further listening: www.cagetheelephant.com
MUD MORGANFIELD BAND
Norwich Arts Centre, August 30
Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters.
Fans of the old man know that Muddy was truly a “Hoochie Coochie Man” and Mud is the proud heir of his big and powerful voice that can manages to convey deep emotional resonance on the slow numbers and good old fashioned testosterone laden strut on those classic blues shuffles.
Inevitably always involved with music on a personal level, Mud now honours his dad and his music, and watching him is like taking a trip in a time machine to blues heaven. He sounds and looks like his dad and mixes up the sets with his dad’s classic songs and his own original material.
He has previously shared the stage and gained the respect of many of his dad’s ex-sidemen and Chicago blues superstars like Buddy Guy, Kenny Big Eyes Smith, Jimmie Johnson and Mojo Buford. He arrives in Norwich with a full band that includes West Weston, Ronni Buysack-Boysen, Ian Jennings and Mike Hellier.
Further listening: www.mudmorganfieldsite.com
TAKING BACK SUNDAY
UEA, August 30
Having been forced to reschedule the majority of their UK tour earlier this summer due to unavoidable scheduling conflict, veteran “emo” rockers Taking Back Sunday finally arrive this week.
Originally formed in Long Island, in 1999, their first release came in 2001 with the Taking Back Sunday EP, the band has gone through several line-up changes over the years. And last year the band are jettisoning two members in favour of bringing back the people who they replaced.
Guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper, who made the band’s 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends, and then left the band in to form Straylight Run, returned to the fold, ousting current members Matt Rubano and Matt Fazzi.
The former members returned after seven years away, because, as frontman Adam Lazzara, explained: “Everybody was just, like, unhappy, and so something needed to happen. Then Mark calls me one day and he says, ‘I’ve got this crazy idea’.”
With a brand new studio album now out, the classic line-up that recorded their 2002 debut album Tell All Your Friends are here playing the UK for the first time ever.
Support comes from I Am Giant.
Further listening: www.takingbacksunday.com
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Brass Monkey (funk/soul) — Arts Centre
The Mars Patrol (pop/rock) — B2
Money Spanner (ska/reggae) — Brickmakers
Raw Edge (rock) — Blueberry
Red Hot Rockers (rockbilly) — Walnut Tree Shades
Saigon Kiss (metal/punk) — King Edward VII
San (rock/blues) — The Stanley
Tim Ballard — Fiveways
Tony Cann — Farmhouse
Ricci — Perseverance
Bad Amplitude (rock/indie) — Brickmakers
Ziplock/English Dogs (punk) — King Edward VII
Ska Face (ska/reggae) — Blueberry
Burening Crows (rock) — Boundary
The Punktures (punk/ska) — Norwich Rugby Club
Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage
Money Maker (rock/blues) — The Stanley
Barry Lee — Spixworth Social Club
Dave J — Angel Gardens
The Planks (soul/blues) — Brewery Tap
The Jeffrey Brothers (rock) — King Edward VII
Charity Day (local bands/all day) — Blueberry
Rocking Devil’s Blues Band (blues) — Boundary
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
The Hot Seats (bluegrass/roots) — Arts Centre
Brickfest 2011: feat 36 bands (all-dayer, 12pm-12am) — Brickmakers
Stookey Blue (folk) — Micawbers Tavern
Jazz N Jam (open mic) — Blueberry
Taking Back Sunday (rock) — UEA
Cage The Elephant (indie) — Arts Centre
The Spooky Men’s Chorale (a cappalla/punk) — Playhouse
Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells
Mud Morganfield (blues) — Arts Centre
Live Lounge: feat. Addison’s Uncle + more (acoustic) — The Langtry
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Gravy: feat. The Brownies + more (indie) — Arts Centre
Blind Spirit (blues/rock) — Brickmakers
The Unremarkables (indie) — Blueberry
Open Jam — King Edward VII