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Preview: This week's gig guide

PUBLISHED: 09:20 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 October 2010

Simon Parkin

DEVON SPROULE

Norwich Arts Centre, October 16

Growing up on an American hippie commune and releasing her first album at just 16, Devon Sproule got her British break on Later With Jools Holland, when she played tracks from her last album, 2007's Keep Your Silver Shined, an organic, country-tinged record that melted the hearts.

Simon Parkin

DEVON SPROULE

Norwich Arts Centre, October 16

Growing up on an American hippie commune and releasing her first album at just 16, Devon Sproule got her British break on Later With Jools Holland, when she played tracks from her last album, 2007's Keep Your Silver Shined, an organic, country-tinged record that melted the hearts.

Brimming with shimmering guitars, Sproule's evocative lyrics, the album conjured images of balmy evenings in the American south, of orchards, bourbon and the timeless traditions of American folk, swing and country.

This year's follow-up, ¡Don't Hurry For Heaven!, saw her moving away from the twee Southern persona she crafted, as if a fear of being typecast sent her running towards a more balanced sound. It is as sentimental and evocative as the rest of her work, but this time the tracks are cast in a more solid band setting.

Her husband Paul Curreri, an established and incredibly inventive singer-songwriter in his own right - and crucially the producer of her new album, will be in the backing band here

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/devonsproule

IDLEWILD

Waterfront, October 19

Indie-rockers Idlewild arrive in Norwich in support of their more eclectic sounding new album, Post-Electric Blues. It's an album full of bombast, flecked with 70s synths and dashes of brass. In terms of style it leaps from Fleetwood Mac epic folk/rock/pop peaks into joyous Loch-side sing-a-longs.

Written in Scotland and recorded in Wales (and Scotland), it is surely an album that was made to play live, as lead singer Roddy Woomble explains: “Most bands now make their living through concerts, and we're no exception, so records have to be tailored that way. There are a million new bands on the radio waves, or digital waves, now so it's more important to us how we will sound good through a PA system in a club and that we can play and sing it all!”

The album features the new single, Readers & Writers. Support comes from Xcerts, who will be playing songs from their debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile.

t Further listening: www.idlewild.co.uk

BELLOWHEAD

Waterfront, October 19

Eleven-piece folk, funk, jazz, world, musical-hall-inspired big band Bellowhead are hailed as one of the best live acts on the folk festival scene.

Winners of numerous BBC Awards, including an unparalleled three gongs for Best Live Act, they arrive in support of only their second album, Matachin, which takes bold steps on from their ground-breaking debut album, Burlesque, an album heralded as one of the most important folk recordings ever made.

Bestselling recordings aside, however, it is in their electrifying live shows that they truly shine. Audiences are regularly whipped into a frenzy and have already been responsible for the destruction of two festival dance floors.

They recently caused uproar with a Dirty Weekend, a stunning, sell-out Band In Residence at London's Southbank Centre that came complete with choir, cross-dressing and Burlesque dancers.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/thisisbellowhead

CAMERA OBSCURA

Waterfront, October 22

Like fellow Glaswegians Belle and Sebastian, twee indie rockers Camera Obscura specialise in the romantic, and their new album delivers lavish strings and a little more bite to their songs of heartache.

The band have released three albums since forming in 1996, the most successful being Let's Get Out Of This Country. Known for their great live shows, their special blend of melodic sunshine-strewn pop has won them rave reviews.

Since the amicable departure of percussionist, trumpeter and proud daddy Nigel Baillie in 2008, who still pops up onstage occasionally, they have existed as a five-piece comprising singer Tracyanne Campbell, bassist Gavin Dunbar, guitarist Kenny McKeeve, keyboard player Carey Lander and drummer Lee Thomson.

They released their fourth album, My Maudlin Career, earlier this summer and its more polished and poised to build on cult 2006 single Lloyd, Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/cameraobscuraband

SOUNDS IN THE CITY

t October 16

Dizzee Rascal (hip hop) - UEA

The Collective (soul/funk) - Brickmakers

Vegas Fame Index (indie) - B2

Dumpster Pop (ska/punk) - Marquee

Uh Ohs (indie) - Take 5

Kraus Joynes Delany (folk) - Cider Shed

Barking Spiders (rock/indie) - Blueberry

Mohawk (space rock) - King Edward VII

Beyond Duplication (rock) - Walnut Trees Shades

Take 2 (pop/rock) - Lakenham Cock

t October 17

Roni Size (DJ set) - Media

The Barlights (indie) - Arts Centre

This Town Needs Guns (indie/pop) - Marquee

Modfest (rock) - B2

Pure Passion (rock) - Brickmakers

Money Shot (rock/indie) - Blueberry

Mister Pink (rock) - King Edward VII

Red Leaf (rock/indie) - Boundary

In Rapture (rock) - Club Sanctuary

Ricci (rock) - Lakenham Cock

t October 18

Editors (indie/rock) - UEA

Next Big Thing (local bands) - B2

James Goodwin & Dave Tomas (blues - 2.30pm) - Cider Shed

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

t October 20

Kate Walsh (pop/folk) - Arts Centre

Norwich Promo: feat. Tonight We Fire + more (pop/punk) - B2

In Rapture (rock) - Brickmakers

Martin Eaton (jazz) - Rackheath Green Man

t October 21

Kurren & The Wolfnotes (folk) - Arts Centre

Hair Traffic Control (indie/rock) - Marquee

t October 22

Reverend & The Makers (rock) - UEA

Jackie Oates (folk) - Arts Centre

Avosetta (metal) - B2

Pandemonium (rock) - Brickmakers

Witches (rock/country) - Marquee

Robert Brown (folk/rock) - Blueberry

Ron Sayer (blues/funk) - Walnut Tree Shades

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