Tag Archives: John Peel

Sounds of the City: Norwich Sound & Vision – Saturday 13 October Review

18 Oct

Here we all are then, at the last of our three posts on the gigs of Norwich Sound and Vision 2012. We do have more to say and share about the festival (more on that below) but for now, let’s just reminisce together about another day of blinding music.

God Damn
The evening began as it would end, with us atop the balcony in the Arts Centre, a band playing in the bar below. It wouldn’t end with our bones shaking and ears near bleeding though, which is where we started with God Damn. By jingo this lot are rawkus. This kind of metal doesn’t really do anything for us truth be told but there can be no denying their presence and that amongst the shredding riffs, cacophonous drums and screaming vocals, there were some pretty solid tunes to be found.

Tall Ships
The Arts Centre was packed for the return of Tall Ships to Norwich. Following the release of their debut album, to universal acclaim, at the start of the week, the crowd had flocked in for the show. They didn’t leave disappointed as, sounding tighter than a pair of cycling shorts on a 30-stone man, the three-piece rattled through tracks to the delight of friends, peers and punters.

HIGHLIGHT – Public Service Broadcasting
Our personal highlight of the festival, the boys from PSB put on a storming set of audio-visual delight. Wrigglesworth sounded immense as he pounded the skins to the side of the stage, while J. Willgoose, Esq. noodled and rocked on laptop and all manner of stringed instrument. Betwixt the two, a screen played clips that bore the now famous propaganda samples and more. Old favourite “Signal 30” made an appearance as did “ROYGBIV”, but it was the triumvirate of “Spitfire”, “London Can Take It” and set closer, “Everest” that really set pulses racing and got feet moving. The pair even managed a little digital banter with the crowd which went down a storm. A truly fantastic set that, we are pleased to say, impressed friends who had never heard the pair (don’t they read this blog??) so much they were straight in the merch queue at the end to buy The War Room.

Dad Rocks!
And so to close the festival, for us anyway – there were later gigs but after three days of rocking out, interviewing and filming sessions, these oldies were spent. We spent our last moments of Norwich Sound & Vision 2012 in the company of Dad Rocks! and we couldn’t think of a better finish. Led by the warm and engaging Snævar Albertsson, who dedicated tracks at will to friends and colleagues, the band guided us off on a charming bed of strings, horns and wonderful lyrics. Not even a broken guitar string could prevent Snævar from performing and sending us all home happy. It was the perfect end to a wonderful three days. Roll on NSV2013.

So that was our experience of the gigs of Norwich Sound & Vision 2012, if you missed them, you can click to read about Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned as well as we will soon be showing off some amazing gig photography from two extremely talented young photographers, as well as sharing a wonderful session we filmed with Dad Rocks!. Then of course there will be all the interviews we did with artists over the three days.

Live photo credit – Adam Shoesmith

Sounds of the City: Norwich Sound & Vision – Friday 12 October Review

17 Oct

We are still on a high from the amazing three days of the Norwich Sound & Vision Festival, so much so that anyone asking us ‘how our weekend was’ is having to sit down for quite a while to take it all in. Luckily for you, you don’t have to hear it all, you can just read some.

Continuing our day by day look at the music on the festival, today we will be looking at who we saw and what we thought on Day 2, Friday.

HIGHLIGHT – Vuvuvultures
The evening kicked off with one of the performances of the festival from one of our favourite bands of the year. Singer Harmony’s shy walk on stage gave no indication of what was about to kick off as the drums thundered out and the guitars licked their surroundings. Stage presence is a gift and Harmony has it in spades, undulating, cavorting and dancing around as she captivated an audience that was rapidly swelling as word spread of the brilliance of their performance, not least from our Twitter account. We were treated to the premiere of two new tracks, both of which sounded immense alongside the infectious moshing grooveability of “Ctrl Alt Mexicans” and the sinister sexuality of “I’ll Cut You” in particular. It was a special performance from a special act.

So good was it that we would recommend them to anyone, their next show is on 1st Nov, click for details and get a ticket.

Don’t forget you can also win a signed 12” EP from the band.

Bwani Junction
Frankly, anyone would have struggled to follow the incendiary Vuvuvultures set but Bwani Junction made a pretty decent fist of it. Sitting somewhere between Bombay Bicycle Club and Vampire Weekend, their danceable tribal pop was met with enthusiasm by the large crowd still buzzing from what had gone before.

Hey Sholay
The sound of Hey Sholay has been described in many ways and that variety of opinion is understandable. There is rock, there is pop, there are synths, effects and energy, lots of energy. Guitarist Laurie strides around the stage, flailing his axe around like an impressively coiffured member of a heavy metal band. Musically they sound like the missing link between Scouting for Girls and the Arctic Monkeys but much better than that description would suggest and there is definitely something about them, though it is hard to express what, they are certainly worth checking out. Expect to hear more from them in the near future.

Palma Violets
Perhaps the buzz band of the entire festival and fresh off their appearance on the cover of the NME, Palma Violets took to the Artrocker stage in front of an eclectic crowd of frenzied fans and curious onlookers. Certainly the NME feature had drawn a lot of people who otherwise may not have been interested, keen to see what all the fuss was about. They were treated to a frantic set of jagged guitars and raw energy. Despite this, beyond the first three rows, the crowd seemed fairly disconnected, no doubt ruminating on how familiar it all sounded and even feeling a little disappointed.

Deaf Club
Our evening ended with the doleful yet subtly dancey tunes of Deaf Club up at Open. What we had anticipated as being a fairly downbeat and swaysome end to the night proved instead to be pleasantly upbeat and bouncy with a series of surprisingly poppy rhythms taking hold of the audience and compelling them to dance.

So that was our Friday. Don’t forget you can read about what we got up to on Thursday here and come back tomorrow to hear about our last night at the festival.

Vuvuvultures picture credit – Adam Shoesmith

Sounds of the City: Norwich Sound & Vision – Thursday 11 October Review

16 Oct

So here we are, a couple of days removed from what was an incredible three days of new music across numerous venues within this fine city. For the first time, the Norwich Sound & Vision Convention incorporated the John Peel Festival of New Music and with it came a slew of wonderful emerging and established artists, putting on storming set after storming set.

In the coming days we will be sharing a number of interviews we conducted with some of the visiting bands, another session and some thoughts on the festival overall. Today we start our day by day round-up of the music we enjoyed each day, starting with Thursday.

Before we even got to any of the gigs, we spent some time with Lisa Redford to record an acoustic session just before she opened the evening’s festivities. That session is available here for your enjoyment.

Mari Joyce
A hectic evening of multiple venues started off calmly enough with the delicate sounds of Norwich based Mari Joyce. Performing in the intimate setting of the Bicycle Shop she charmed her multi-generational audience with the warmth of her personality and soft, slightly husky vocals.

From the relaxed and gentle we moved immediately to the spiky, kinetic energy of Parakeet who kicked off events on the Artrocker stage. Fuzzy and raw sounds exploded from the three-piece grinding their way out across the room, bombarding the senses of all in attendance. The sound on the vocals wasn’t great, which was a shame as we know Maroki can sing, but that discordance resonated well with the somewhat wild thrash and feel of the performance.

We spoke to Shaun Hencher a couple of hours before his show at the Norwich Arts Centre and he professed to just wanting to have fun. It certainly showed as he leapt and bounced around the stage like a delighted kid on a bouncy castle, the band racing through track after track after track. Interaction was kept to a minimum, he was here to play and that’s exactly what he did. The smooth pop sounds of his latest EP were given a more frenetic, rough and ready flavour and they sounded fantastic.

Sylver Tongue
A late addition to the line-up, Charlotte Hatherley’s latest musical incarnation brought more than a little synth, as well as some slap bass, to the evening at the Arts Centre. Often aloof on stage, Hatherley’s glacial keyboard sounds crept out across the floor, taking her delicious pop hooks with them. If Kylie had gone through her ‘I’m a serious artist’ phase now rather than the in the mid-nineties, this is what she would sound like.

Dam Mantle
The Waterfront Studio played host to the last two shows of the night, the first of which was from Glasgow-based Dam Mantle who let fly with some deep, dark electronica that made your bones quiver. Heads were nodding all around as the rhythm and melodies took hold. Styles were mixed and blended along with the samples and synths in what was a storming set.

Staying at the Waterfront Studio, the unenviable task of following Dam Mantle went to Errors, and they were more than up to it. The three Glasgow lads put on the show of the night and had the delighted crowd roaring their approval and baying for more at the start and end of every track. New tracks or old tracks, it mattered not as the boys brought the house down and closed the first day in perfect fashion.

So that was Thursday, after which we were pretty shattered. Check back in tomorrow to find out how we held up and what got us going again on the Friday evening.

Things to see and hear: Norwich Sound & Vision 2012 Preview

9 Oct

“I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before” ― John Peel.

It’s a fairly big week in music for the fine city of Norwich as the 3rd annual Sound and Vision kicks off this Thursday (11 Oct) and this year promises to be bigger than ever. In particular, and the main focus of this piece, the music element has been ramped up a notch or seven. With the blessing of his widow Sheila Ravenscroft, who is a patron of Norwich Sound and Vision, the ‘sound’ part has been rechristened the John Peel Festival of New Music and has attracted some of the very best and most exciting new acts from across the UK and beyond.

The ethos behind the festival is one the legendary DJ would have appreciated, speaking to the Eastern Daily Press one of the festival’s organisers and Director of the Norwich Arts Centre (the festival’s principle venue) Stuart Hobday explained, ”It’s not about the headliners but emerging bands and individuals.
“The festival is making a statement for new music. Nostalgia in music, particularly in live music, is all over the place with bands reforming. Each of these acts that we all liked from the past were a new band at some point trying to elbow their way in and that is what John Peel represented – getting that new music through to people.”

Making a statement for new music is right. The three nights of the festival, across ten venues in the city, promise to be a buzz with excitement and activity as music lovers take in show after show after show from some of the brightest new artists. Our wristbands have been bought and paid for, the excitement level is ramping up somewhat and Thursday cannot come soon enough. At the last count, 75 acts were due to play the festival (though that number is still going up daily), including some of Norwich’s finest bands and solo artists, and we will most likely be running like lunatics through the streets to see as many of them as possible.

Here’s our quick preview on what we will be looking out for on each of the three days. Feel free to come along and say hello, we’ll even let you buy us beer.

The honour of effectively opening the festival (well, they are the first band to play according to the latest timetable we have seen) fittingly goes to a Norwich band. King Laconic will get us underway at The Bicycle Shop at 18:00 and the music comes thick and fast thereafter.
The undoubted big draw of the evening is likely to be the amazing electro dance of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Open, time TBC) who has promised this will be his last tour of this type. Whether that means no more headdresses in the future, we don’t know, but from the snapshots he has posted online so far, it promises to be something special.
The Waterfront has an eclectic night lined up, featuring the very radio-friendly rock sounds of both The Summer Set(20:55) and Mayday Parade (21:50) on the main stage, while the Studio will be treated to the chilled out electro sounds of Dam Mantle (23:00) and Errors (00:00) until the small hours.

Where we’ll be:
Things could get messy for us almost immediately as, following a likely dash between King Laconic (The Bicycle Shop, 18:00) and Kamilla Lovett (St. Lawrence’s Church, 18:30) will be another flurry of legs as we try to take in both Parakeet (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 20:00) and Virals (Norwich Arts Centre, 20:30). After that we will bimble up the road in readiness for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Open, TBC), followed, possibly, by a late trip for Errors (Waterfront Studio, 00:00).

The biggest attraction for Friday could well come from one of the smaller venues as the Artrocker stage at the Hog In Armour pub plays host to both Paws (21:00) and Palma Violets (22:00), the latter fresh off the cover of NME and generating much excitement. Elsewhere, The Bicycle Shop will provide a showcase of some of Norwich’s finest songwriters with Milly Hirst (19:00) and Heart Of A Dog (20:00) playing. While the Arts Centre has an eclectic line-up starting with the dark and foreboding synth infused sounds of Vuvuvultures (20:00) and culminating with the crisp soulful voice of Cold Specks (22:25).

Where we’ll be:
Another early start for us to see Jessica Alice and Milly Hirst (The Bicycle Shop, 18:00 and 19:00 respectively) before hotfooting it over for Vuvuvultures (Norwich Arts Centre, 20:00) who we are very excited to be seeing. From then we hope to bounce back and forth from Paws (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 21:00) to Hey Sholay (Open, 21:30), back to Palma Violets (Artrocker at the Hog In Armour, 22:00) and then back again for Deaf Club (Open, 22:15). Though we fully expect those plans to unravel fairly quickly.

The last day of the festival will be here all too soon (we are trying not to think about it too much, it’s upsetting) and seeing us off into the night will be the ambient electronic sounds of The Soft (Waterfront Studio, 01:00). Before that there is a truckload for everyone to get their ears around with loads of great acts performing. The Arts Centre will be hosting one of the bands of the moment right now, Tall Ships (21:20) as well as the always wonderful Liars (22:10) and, in the bar, the fantastic Dad Rocks! (23:00). Local electronica guru Luke Abbott will close the festivities at Open (23:00) and he is proceeded by what could be the standout performance of the whole festival from Public Service Broadcasting (22:00).

Where we’ll be:
A bit of a no-brainer this one really. Regular readers will already know how much we love Public Service Broadcasting (Open, 22:00) so expect to find us wearing a huge grin while they perform. Beforehand we’ll be pootling around some of the venues we haven’t yet got to, possibly down to see The Neutrinos (The Undercroft, 19:00) and The Little Unsaid (St Lawrence’s Church, 20:30). Then it will be on to Tall Ships (Norwich Arts Centre, 21:20), and Dad Rocks! (Norwich Arts Centre Bar, 23:00) before either home to bed, or on to Lost Levels and The Soft (both The Waterfront Studio, 00:00 and 01:00 respectively).

Sunday will be for sleeping and resting before (hopefully) bringing you all lots of wonderful festival related content in the next few weeks and getting ready for next year.

For more information on the John Peel Festival of New Music, a full list of performer and programme of gigs, visit the Norwich Sound and Vision website.