Norwich band Wooden Arms mark new album with hometown gig

PUBLISHED: 09:41 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:50 08 December 2017

Norwich band Wooden Arms who are playing Open on December 14. Photo: Submitted

Norwich band Wooden Arms who are playing Open on December 14. Photo: Submitted


The ‘genre-fluid’ five-piece will bring their cinematic sound to the Open venue following the release of Trick of the Light, one of just two UK tour dates.

Wooden Arms second album Trick of the Light is out now. Photo: SubmittedWooden Arms second album Trick of the Light is out now. Photo: Submitted

Norwich-based five-piece Wooden Arms, who draw equal parts inspiration from alternative, classical and cinematic trip-hop, are marking the release their second album with a homecoming gig.

The self-described “genre-fluid” contemporary quintet is set to perform at Open in Norwich to their album, Trick of the Light. It is one of just two UK dates.

The band consists of Alex Carson (vocals/piano), Alex MacKenzie (drums/bass), Jeff Smith (guitar/trumpet), Connie Chatwin (violin) and Fifi Homan (cello).

Influenced equally by the likes of Chopin and Mozart and Grizzly Bear and Andrew Bird, and featuring choral elements and a delicate blend of classical instrumentation their musical style ranges between theatrical, ethereal, cryptic and downright heavy. Think Cinematic Orchestra, Portishead and Sigur Ros meets cinematic folk.

Trick of the Light was released an eerily precise three years since the 06.10.14 release of the Wooden Arms debut album Tide. And ‘eerie’ is very much the word, as the band write broodingly cryptic singles called Burial which are influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and make panic-stricken videos described as “Kafka-esque”.

Fittingly then the album sees them moving away from the folk-orientated melodies of Tide, which led to a host festival appearances and a 6 Music session, and saw them being tipped for big things, to focus instead on darker, more contemporary sounds.

Their earnest combination of crushed melodies and soaring strings often build to lushly melodramatic denouements, sometimes accompanied by morose trumpets.

If this sounds doom-laden, the band is not lacking their own noir-ish brand of black humour. The album features a song called Brevity which lasts for fully five minutes. And Lost In Your Own Home meanwhile is inspired by the once-21-year-old singer Alex Carson experimenting with psychotropic drugs in a converted mental hospital.

• Wooden Arms, Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, December 14, 7pm, £8, 01603 763111,

• Trick of the Light is out now

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