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Preview: This week's gig guide

PUBLISHED: 17:10 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 October 2010

Simon Parkin

Hotly tipped as ones-to-watch, Stornaway bring their charming brand of quintessential folk-pop to the Arts Centre. Californian punks Good Knives are at the Marquee. Moishe's Bagel mix Jewish and gypsy beats. And Flightstar touch down.

Simon Parkin

STORNOWAY

Norwich Arts Centre, February 13

Over the past four years, Twisted Folk have become known for adventurous, hand picked line-ups representing the best in modern folk and twisted popular music.

They've outdone themselves once again with this latest tour, headed by Stornoway, who, despite being named after the Hebridean island, hail from Oxford. The five-piece have been quietly honing their art in the shadows of the dreaming spires, and have released two critically acclaimed singles Zorbing and Unfaithful.

Their charming brand of quintessential pop, steeped in pastoral hues, has won them press and fans alike and saw them performed on Later With Jools Holland alongside Jay-Z.

They're joined on the bill by Newcastle singer Beth Jeans Houghton who, to paraphrase The Guardian, joins the dots between Gwen Stefani and Vashti Bunyan. Although only 19, she has already supported Tinariwen, the late John Martyn, Bon Iver and Joanna Newsome and recorded a single, Golden/ Nightswimmer, with Adem. She is currently recording an album being produced by Ben Hillier.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/stornoway

GOOD KNIVES

Marquee, February 13

Made up of three former members of Californian punk outfit Love Equals Death (LED) and, rather oddly, singer Shaun Philips who hails from Peterborough and once a member of The Ruined, Good Knives gear up for the release of their debut album with a European tour.

How an East Anglian lad came to be fronting an LA surf punk outfit is purely down to the impression The Ruined's EP, Here Lies The Ruined, made on LED guitarist Duffs during a UK tour. “I remember listening to The Ruined EP every day for the rest of that tour," he remembers.

When their singer and drummer quite, LED called it a day, the remaining three members emerged with an album's worth of music. “We were stoked but we needed a singer, we didn't know what to do really,” says guitarist Bryan Kelly-Holden.

Remembering the impression The Ruined had made, the obvious choice was to call Shaun despite him being half way across the globe. Their self-titled debut album is set for worldwide release in March, although you'll be able to grab an early copy here.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/goodknives

MOISHE'S BAGEL

Norwich Arts Centre, February 15

Big on rhythm and alive with energy, Edinburgh band Moishe's Bagel produce rip-roaring traditional Jewish music fused with Balkan gypsy folk, jazz and Middle Eastern rhythms.

Formed in 2003, the band includes five of the best instrumentalists Scotland has to offer, Greg Lawson on violin, Phil Alexander playing piano, accordionist Pete Garnett, Mario Caribe on double bass and percussionist Guy Nicholson, whose highly danceable, foot-stomping klezmer/Balkan grooves are delivered with impressive technique and great style.

Over the last four years we have toured England, Scotland, Ireland and Eastern Europe, and made festival appearances everywhere from Belfast to the Orkney islands. They also recently appeared on Radio 3's Late Junction.

Their debut album, Don't Spare the Horses, won them fans as far afield as Tel-Aviv, South America and Cape Town. A second album, Salt, is now out.

t Further listening: www.myspace.com/moishesbagel

FIGHTSTAR

Waterfront, February 16

Fightstar bring their latest UK tour to the Waterfront. Last year was a very successful one for Charlie Simpson's grown-up band, with a top-20 album with their third record, Be Human, two sold-out headline tours, appearances on T4 on the Beach, Radio 1's Big Weekend and the iTunes festival.

The album's recording was self-funded and saw the band collaborating with renowned arranger Audrey Riley (Coldplay, Muse), featuring a 22-piece string section recorded at George Martin's legendary Air Studios.

Released last April, its become their most successful release to date. SO much so that a deluxe limited edition, which includes five new tracks plus live DVD, is set to be released on March 1.

Support comes from The Xcerts, who released their debut album, In The Cold Wild We Smile, in 2009. Also on the bill are Cars On Fire and All Forgotten.

t Further listening: www.fightstarmusic.com

SOUNDS IN THE CITY

t February 12

NROne Records Fifth Birthday Party (local/indie) - Arts Centre

Bad Touch + more (rock) - B2

Tendahooks (rock/pop) - Brickmakers

James Goodwin & Dave Thomas (blues) - Cider Shed

Starsexplode (psychedelic/rock) - Marquee

Mechanism (funk) - King Edward VII

Knight Moves (pop) - Lakenham Cock

t February 13

1A Records (indie) - B2

Midnight Groove (soul/funk) - King Edward VII

Just Floyd (tribute) - Brickmakers

Nitrous X (rock/blues) - Lakenham Cock

t February 14

Marina & The Diamonds (pop/indie) - Arts Centre

Wytchazle (acoustic) - Cider Shed

Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers

t February 15

Sessions: feat. Bad Amplitude + more (rock) - Brickmakers

t February 16

Polar Bear Club: feat. Branded By Fate (metal/punk) - Marquee

t February 17

Never Means Maybe (rock) - B2

Pure Acoustic (open mic) - Brickmakers

Def Core Metal - King Edward VII

t February 18

The Lost Levels (indie) - Waterfront

The Sunshine Getaway (pop-punk) - B2

R.A.C.P.A.: feat. Tin Man + more (indie/charity) - Brickmakers

Poisoned Bat Promo: feat. Feed The Rhino + more (hardcore) - Marquee

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