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Preview: This week's gig guide

PUBLISHED: 16:39 24 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 October 2010

Simon Parkin

SENNEN

Arts Centre, Saturday

Combining beautiful pop melodies with vocal harmonies over a gigantic background of guitars, this four-piece are also one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Norwich in a long time.

Simon Parkin

SENNEN

Arts Centre, Saturday

Combining beautiful pop melodies with vocal harmonies over a gigantic background of guitars, this four-piece are also one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Norwich in a long time.

With sweeping sounds and epic instrumentation, their music is the perfect sonic embodiment of the huge skies and wide seascapes of coastal Norfolk.

The four met at UEA as members of a large instrumental post-rock band playing unrehearsed opuses to adoring fans of Godspeed! and Mogwai. However, uncomfortable with the quiet loud/quiet/discordant finale formula, they decided to fit these epic sounds around songs.

With a shared love of Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub, Spacemen 3 and Big Star they left post-rock behind them and began their quest. Last year's album Where The Light Gets In combines unabashed harmonies, with lush instrumentation and some brutal guitar pieces. The NME gave it 8/10. Support slots with the likes of Editors followed.

For this home town return they're supported by The Lost Levels.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/sennenwidows

N DUBZ

UEA, Monday

A re-arranged date, but still returns only as MOBO award winners N Dubz bring their love of eye catching head wear, signature catchphrases and catchy straight-up pop smashes with a street smart style to the UEA.

The group's debut album, Uncle B Album, offered a mixture of straight-up pop smashes with street smart savvy, making N-Dubz - Dappy, Tulisa and Fazer - breakthrough artists.

Album highlights included the single Ouch, which features a blistering attack of hip hop beats inter-woven with Tulisa's tones, the follow up to 2007's hit single I Swear.

The video enjoyed incredible success online with over nine million views on You Tube, and record breaking views across other sites including Bebo, showing just what a massive fan base the group have built up over the last year.

The masters of the melody, kings of the chorus and rulers of the adlib will bring their Na-na-niiii', 'Ha ha, ha ha, and 'Its N-Dubz (N-Dubz) What!'.

Support from Fe-nix.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/ndubz

FRIENDLY FIRES

UEA, Wednesday

Sleepy suburban St Albans was previously only been known as the base for the Campaign For Real Ale but its also home to these hotly tipped dance rockers.

They sprung to success when their super limited seven-inch, Paris, was judged to be the single of the week in both the NME and The Guardian.

This nu-rave masterpiece led to them being the first unsigned band to appear on Channel 4's Transmission. Now signed to XL, they count Radiohead, Vampire Weekend and Adele as their label-mates.

It's not hard to see what all the fuss is about. Paris was a deft combination of clattering percussion and a blissed-out, hum-along hook, while their self-titled debut album combined driving punk funk grooves with an unstoppable pop melodies and Macfarlane's joyous vocals in the chorus.

The songs hark back to the 1980s, a time when pop music could be challenging, danceable and radio-friendly all at the same time. And they have a great way with an ethereally anthemic chorus, which always helps.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/friendlyfires

ESSER

Arts Centre, Wednesday

Formally the drummer for hypnotic dance-rock types Ladyfuzz, eccentrically-attired Esser is the great white hope of geeky electro-pop. No longer wielding the sticks and leaving behind the safety of being in a band, he has stepped to the front of the stage and taken to the mic.

It could all have gone horribly wrong - the track record of drummers head to the front of the stage isn't too good, Phil Collins is about the best (which says it all), but his confidence was boosted by successful slots at last year's Reading and Leeds festivals. And recently having caught the attention of Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson, he bagged himself a support slot on their arena tour.

“I've kinda always been doing stuff on my own,” he says, “it's not like suddenly I went solo. It's more when I had the bollocks for people to hear it.”

Musically he is difficult to pin down, spinning from the vaudevillian pop of the single Satisfied, to the electro-tinged Headlock, by way of Specials-esque meanderings of I Love You. He's currently working on an album to include a collaboration with Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo, another newly acquired fan.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/esserhq

SOUNDS IN THE CITY

t April 24

Milkbar Night: feat. The Neat (indie) - Arts Centre

White Heat (rock) - Brickmakers

Dogtown (rock/blues) - B2

Replica (rock) - King Edward VII

Mollyhawk (Irish) - Cider Shed

Lick The Dice (rock) - King Edward VII

Blind Spirit (rock) - Nelson

In Rapture (rock/pop) - Regal

The Dirty Tricks (rock/blues) - Marquee

Agent Orange (indie/pop) - Blueberry

Night Flyers - Walnut Tree Shades

t April 25

The Golden Years (50s/60s) - UEA

Sixth Birthday Party: feat. surprise band - Brickmakers

Piccadilly Dance Orchestra (swing/jazz) - Playhouse

Rules of Romance (pop-punk) - B2

Mister Pink (rock) - King Edward VII

Money Shot (rock/indie) - Boundary

Midnight Circus (rock/pop/soul) - Assembly House

Mild Peril (punk bands) - Marquee

Red Leaf (rock/indie) - Reindeer

Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - Nelson

Rob Charles (easy) - Coach & Horses

Queens English (new wave/punk) - Stanley

t April 26

Gary Moore (rock/blues) - UEA

Fightstar (rock) - Waterfront

Pinky Umbrella (Cajun/ kelzmer) - Cider Shed

Floating Greyhounds (rock) - Boundary

Blues By Two (blues) - King Edward VII

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

t April 27

Yolanda Brown (jazz) - Arts Centre

The Creepshow (psychobilly/punk) - Marquee

t April 28

Howlback Hum: feat. Middle Ones (indie) - Arts Centre

City Collage Showcase (local) - Brickmakers

t April 29

Innerpartysystem (electro/rock) - Waterfront

Esser (pop) - Arts Centre

Stars Explode (alternative/rock) - B2

t April 30

Access To Music Showcase (local) - Brickmakers

Charity Gig: feat. Rules of Romance + more (rock/punk) - B2

The Rum Brothers (Irish) - Rose Tavern

Square One (rock/blues) - Blueberry

Dogwood - Walnut Tree Shades

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