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Preview: This week's gig guide

PUBLISHED: 08:35 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 29 October 2010

Simon Parkin

THE OYSTERBAND

Norwich Arts Centre, December 5

Over the past decade, the Oysterband have grown into the role of the musical custodians and godfathers of folk, something that would have been unthinkable when they first emerged in the early 1980s.

Simon Parkin

THE OYSTERBAND

Norwich Arts Centre, December 5

Over the past decade, the Oysterband have grown into the role of the musical custodians and godfathers of folk, something that would have been unthinkable when they first emerged in the early 1980s.

At first purely a dance band, they started experimenting with radical arrangements of traditional songs and with home recording. This try-anything attitude was controversial with purists.

Over the coming years musicians came and went and their name shortened to The Oyster Band and signed to new roots-music label, Cooking Vinyl.

The band went on to make nine studio albums with the label before starting their own, Running Man. Now consisting of John Jones (vocals, melodeon), Alan Prosser (guitars, vocals), Chopper (bass guitar, cello, vocals), Dil Davies (drums, cajón) and Ian Telfer (violin, concertina), this current tour is to promote the band's latest album, Meet You There, which was recently MOJO Magazine's Folk Album of The Month.

t Further listening: www.oysterband.co.uk

BAD MANNERS

Waterfront, December 7

Thirty-years on from can-canning to the top of the charts the heavyweight nine-piece ska party-band is still going strong, fronted as ever by the outrageous Buster Bloodvessel.

The clown prince of the Two Tone movement, Buster won a place in the nation's hearts as the bald headed, tongue wagging, two-two wearing, dancing boot-boy who spread the band's philosophy of partying, having a good time and not taking yourself too seriously.

Hits included My Girl Lollipop, Special Brew, Lip Up Fatty and a punk version of The Can Can, which inspired a generation of schoolboys to kick one another on the dance-floor of the school disco.

Famous for his big personality and even bigger figure, he's now, quite literally, half the man he used to be after drastic surgery, saw him lose a staggering 18 stone.

The weight loss has typically only upped his energy and lunacy levels.

t Further listening: www.badmanners.net

KEVIN DEVINE

Norwich Arts Centre, December 9

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Kevin Devine has been steadily building an international fan base across genre lines through a combination of hard work and consistently getting better at what he does, namely heartfelt songs.

Recently he completed a tour with Brand New and has supported a huge array of artists across the spectrum, from Corinne Bailey Rae and KT Tunstall to The Offspring and All-American Rejects.

Brother's Blood, his fifth album, is a confident mission statement about conscience, culture, and personality. And with the festive season almost upon us, this tour coincides with the limited re-release of Splitting Up Christmas, a song originally taken from his 2003 album, Make The Clocks Move. The single will be available as a free MP3 download and no less than nine different CD versions.

Support comes from Shoes and Socks Off, the lo-fi solo project of ex-Meet Me in St Louis frontman Toby Hayes.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/kevindevine

BENGA

Po Na Na, December 10

Aside from the best haircut in dubstep, Beni 'Benga' Adejumo has a lot to be happy about. When he was just 12, he started hanging out at Croydon's Big Apple record shop and making beats with the Music 2000 software on his PlayStation.

At 13, his console-created tunes - raw, stripped-down versions of the dark UK garage made by producers such as Benny Ill and El-B - were being picked up by Hatcha, a DJ and producer who worked at Big Apple.

After being the toast of the scene for years, he finally released his debut album proper, Diary of an Afro Warrior, in 2007 to universally rave reviews. A dark collection, the prime cut on it was the single Night, a super-hooky beep anthem, which he created with fellow producer Coki, that was playlisted by Radio 1 (a rare feat for an instrumental dance track. And in a satisfyingly circular twist, PlayStation expressed interest in licensing it for one of its games.

It's sure to get an airing here.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/bengabeats

SOUNDS IN THE CITY

t December 4

Buster James (rock) - Brickmakers

Fast & Bulbous Presents (punk) - Marquee

Coyote Wrecks (rock/blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

AC/DC UK (tribute) - King Edward VII

Rawkus (rock) - Blueberry

t December 5

Nevacain (grunge/indie) - B2

The Divide (rock) - King Edward VII

Faith (rock) - Brickmakers

Gyratory System (electronica) - Take 5

Dulcet Tones (indie/rock) - Blueberry

Ska Ta Brain (ska) - Boundary

Alley Jaggers (R&B) - The Stanley

t December 6

Catherine Feeney (folk/indie) - Arts Centre

Only Men Aloud (choral) - Theatre Royal

The Goldhawks (indie/rock) - B2

The Dog Day Summers (folk rock/metal) - King Edward VII

Ben Howard (acoustic) - Birdcage

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

Pete 'Kiwi' Keegan (skiffle) - Unthank Arms

Steve Allen (60s/70s) - Bakers Dozen

James Goodwin (blues) - Cider Shed

t December 8

Skin (rock) - Waterfront

Will Barnes (acoustic) - B2

t December 9

Boy Better Know - Optic

t December 10

Manic Vision: feat. Fortune Rookie + more (indie) - Waterfront

Assorted Jelly Beans (punk/ska) - Marquee

Pint Sized Promotions (rock/metal) - B2

Pena Flamenca (Spanish) - Cider Shed

Killer Tomatoes (punk) - Brickmakers

Azuluco (Latin) - Rumsey Wells

Vagabond (country/swing) - Rose Tavern

UB40 Tribute - Stores

Keno Kings (blues) - Walnut Tree Shades

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