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Live Reviews

October Drift

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Monday 4th April 2022

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OCTOBER DRIFT – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Let’s talk about discovery. It’s always a great feeling when you discover something new that you enjoy, and that is particularly true when it comes to music. Discovering a new song, a new album or a new band to enjoy is one of life’s great pleasures for music lovers.

That is why we created our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify! To help music fans find that new song or artist to really sink their teeth into. Now, October Drift was a familiar name to us from featuring on many a festival poster or recommendation over the years. For some reason however they always seemed to get placed on that ‘to do list’ of acts.

That was until recently when we added their recent single, ‘Airborne Panic Attack’, to our Playlist and a deep dive ensued. So, now it’s the long overdue time to catch the band live!

Listen to ‘Airborne Panic Attack’ on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

THE HIGH POINTS

With that said we arrive at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich and are greeted by opening act, The High Points. Slightly off-piste from our headline act, the locals add a little funk to proceedings as they get the early attendees warmed up. Finishing their set with two broken strings, the band display great endurance to go with their obvious musical talent.

CHINA BEARS

Our main support act, China Bears, then demonstrate just why it’s important in our journey of discovery to arrive early and watch the supports. The five-piece deliver a sublime set that continues to gain traction until the finale, ‘Sunday’, literally leaves the crowd asking for more.

OCTOBER DRIFT

Not long thereafter though it’s time for our headliners, October Drift, to hit the stage and reinforce just why we felt that excitement when first listening to them. The band absolutely own the stage tonight and their energy levels are infectious as band and crowd bounce in unison.

There is a good mix of older material and new tracks in the setlist tonight and the bands time on stage flies by. That age old adage of time flying when having fun certainly springs to mind, and fun is probably an apt word for this evening; both band and audience seemingly having plenty.

‘Cherry Red’, ‘Oh the Silence’ and ‘Come and Find Me’ are all fantastic tonight, but new track ‘Insects’ in particular sounds huge. The delightful finale of ‘Like the Snow we Fall’ being performed from within the crowd is just the sort of epiphany inducing moment that hammers home our point.

Discovery is a wonderful thing. So, head to shows early, check out the smaller stages at festivals and of course listen to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist. As for October Drift, on tonight’s showing and with their second album on the horizon, the future certainly looks bright.

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Live Reviews

Therapy?

Waterfront, Norwich

Saturday 2nd April 2022

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THERAPY? – NORWICH WATERFRONT – LIVE REVIEW

The pandemic certainly has played a number on Anniversary Tours with Therapy?’s ‘So Much for the 30 Year Plan’ Tour becoming a 31 Year Plan and now eventually a 32 Year Plan!

None of that really matters though to the fans packed into the Waterfront in Norwich on a Saturday night. All that really matters to those fans is getting to catch their cult heroes Therapy? in action and having a good time.

Spirits are therefore high as our support act James and the Cold Gun enter the stage to the Kate Bush song of the same name. The band led by James’s Joseph and Biss instantly harness that excitement to create a great atmosphere for their opening set.

Listen to ‘Plug Me In’ from James and the Cold Gun on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

The band will soon be releasing their debut EP, ‘False Start’, and tonight fans are treated to those tracks and more by a band quickly establishing themselves on the scene. With performances like this, expect to hear much more from the band in the future.

But next we look to the past as Therapy? celebrate their 30+ year career with a carefully curated setlist. It doesn’t take long for the audience to reciprocate the energy of the band, as early numbers ‘Nausea’, ‘Stories’ and ‘Die Laughing’ set the tone for the rest of the night.

WATCH ‘DIE LAUGHING’ ON YOUTUBE
Therapy? – ‘Die Laughing’

After all this time consistently touring it should be no surprise that Andy Cairns, Michael McKeegan and Neil Cooper work so well together. A run of ‘Turn’, ‘Callow’, ‘Trigger Inside’ and ‘Church of Noise’ demonstrating just why on record and live the band have been able to endure longer than most of their contemporaries.

Another reason for their longevity is their ability to still create interesting new music, and next the band treat the crowd to a new track. ‘Joy’ looks set to feature on their next album, which if this track is anything to go by will be another belter.

After ‘Diane’ and ‘Teethgrinder’ close out the main set, the band return for an encore of ‘Knives’, ‘Potato Junkie’, ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Screamager’ much to the delight of the crowd. The band promise tonight to keep going for another thirty years if they can; and with showings like this you wouldn’t put it past them.

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Live Reviews

Ricky Warwick

The Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Wednesday 9th March 2022

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All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

A year ago, back at a time when live music was just a distant memory, Ricky Warwick delivered his stunning solo album, ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’. The album featured highly on our 2021 Album of the Year list but since then Warwick has been unable to tour the album.

That is until now, as with restrictions withdrawn Warwick and his band The Fighting Hearts are able to hit the road once again and tonight they find themselves at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich.

THE HOWLING TIDES

First on stage this evening are young rockers The Howling Tides who make the most of their time with a splendid performance. The four-piece get the crowd engaged early on with the likes of ‘White Crow’ and ‘Crack My Soul’.

THE VIRGINMARYS

They are followed by the criminally underrated The Virginmarys who are emerging from the pandemic as a two-piece. Having witnessed the band live many times, I was interested to see how this new dynamic would work and whether they’d maintain their power.

Thankfully that power is still there, as is a new layer of ferocity as the band plough through a setlist featuring many new songs. These new songs offer great promise, whilst older favourites such as ‘Running For My Life’ and ‘Just A Ride’ remind of just how good this band are.

RICKY WARWICK & THE FIGHTING HEARTS

It’s not long thereafter that Eminem’s iconic ‘Lose Yourself’ blasts out and Ricky Warwick and The Fighting Hearts grace the stage. They burst straight into life with ‘Gunslinger’, ‘Over the Edge’ and ‘The Road to Damascus Street’ riling the audience up.

As if fronting The Almighty, Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders wasn’t enough, Warwick has also established a successful solo career over the years. This was punctuated last year with the release of ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’. Tonight’s show is a mixture of each aspect of this unlikely career, including the likes of ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Finest Hour’ from “the day job” as Warwick terms it.

Read our review of ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’

Whilst these big hitters a natural highlights, it’s telling that the true highlights come from ‘When Life Was Hard and Fast’ including the title track, ‘You’re My Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Still Alive’. This just goes to show that at this stage of his career Warwick is perhaps tunnelling his experiences into producing his best work.

It helps tonight that he is backed by a tight band that helps bring his visions to life. There are a good number of The Almighty tracks in the set tonight and it’s ‘Free ‘n’ Easy’ that brings the evening to a close; a thoroughly enjoyable evening of the hard rock majesty that we’ve missed these past couple of years.

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Live Reviews

Pet Needs

Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich

Tuesday 8th March 2022

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 All 📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Voodoo Daddy’s is tucked away in the side streets of Norwich’s city centre. Inside you are greeted with a cool pizza bar downstairs and an intimate music venue upstairs which is the scene for the show tonight.

Only announced recently, this show is part of a small run of dates headlined by PET NEEDS under the banner of the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust (NAMT). If you are not familiar with NAMT then you really should be, as the charity does incredible work helping disadvantaged and marginalised sectors of society access to music.

For more information on NAMT click here

MORNING CRUSH / HENSHAW / GHOSTS OF MEN

Opening the evenings proceedings is a short solo Morning Crush set, which captivates the early attendees and finishes with a poignant new song. Shortly thereafter (Paul) Henshaw graces the stage and serenades us with a selection of rousing acoustic numbers. A fine start to what promises to be a great night.

Things get turned up a notch soon after as the hard rocking Ghosts of Men storm the stage. Despite some good old fashioned technical difficulties, the duo still produces an entertaining performance, raising the noise levels in preparedness for our headliners.

PET NEEDS

Those headliners, as mentioned, are Colchester group PET NEEDS. Fresh from signing with Xtra Mile Recordings the band has graced many a stage with labelmates such as Frank Turner, Beans On Toast and Skinny Lister.

They’ve been honing their craft and nights like this will help forge their cohesiveness and delivery. It may not be the biggest show, but the bands appetite is ravenous for a rock show.

Tracks like ‘Kayak’ and ‘Pavlovian’ instantly build the audience engagement and the sing-a-longs continue throughout their set with ‘Punk Isn’t Dead (It’s Just Up For Sale)’, ‘Toothpaste’ and ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ all highlights.

It’s a short, sharp set from a band with huge potential and the encore of ‘Overcompensating’ sends attendees off into the Norwich night delighted with what they’ve just been a part of.

That is the independent small venue scene, the DIY punk scene, the support fantastic causes scene, the just supporting new, exiting music scene. As we emerge from the pandemic, get yourselves back to these venues, find the acts of the future and support real music!

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Read our review of ‘Fractured Party Music’ from Pet Needs

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Live Reviews

Wolf Alice

Norwich UEA LCR

Saturday 26th February 2022

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WOLF ALICE – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

After another spate of COVID related cancellations and postponements over the past couple of months, live music is back once again. One such postponement was this tour, but thankfully Wolf Alice were able to complete a quick turnaround and tonight arrive in Norwich just the 6 weeks later than expected.

Along for the ride is support act Matt Maltese who provides a somewhat sombre yet very well received opening. Maltese and band serenade the audience with their unique brand of indie pop (imagine Keane in a jazz lounge) and no doubt win over some new fans with their delightful set.

Really though tonight is all about our headliners Wolf Alice. Acclaim and praise seems to gravitate towards the band with three highly lauded albums now under their belt. Of course, we awarded ‘Blue Weekend’ our 2021 Album of the Year Award. Anticipation is therefore high as the sold out audience await their arrival on stage.

As soon as they do arrive, it’s straight down to business with ‘Smile’, ‘You’re A Germ’ and ‘Formidable Cool’ instantly creating a connection between band and crowd.

WATCH ‘SMILE’ ON YOUTUBE
Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’

The incredible versatility of the band and singer Ellie Roswell in particular is a major part of what sets them apart from their contemporaries. Their ability tonight to segue between all out rockers and tender ballads with such ease is unfathomable. It probably shouldn’t work, but is does.

In fact, the audience as literally held in the palm of their hands tonight throughout the likes of ‘Bros’, ‘How Can I Make It OK?’, ‘Silk’ and ‘Visions of a Life’. Some moments even feel like an outer body experience such as ‘No Hard Feelings’ and ‘The Last Man On Earth’.

‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, ‘Giant Peach’ and ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ all feature in the latter portion of the show and serve as the cherry on top of a delicious cake. If incredible music is food, then the crowd go home full to the brim tonight.

Some bands are really good live, some bands are great live and then a select few bands just feel special, tonight Wolf Alice affirmed that they are in that elite category.

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

UEA LCR, Norwich

Saturday 13th November 2021

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

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FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

With the release of ‘Sticky’, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have continued their evolution as an act. As we said when we reviewed the album, all four of the bands records have their own unique identity whilst remaining clearly Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes albums.

How does this era of the group translate live? Well, we headed to the UEA LCR in Norwich to see.

Up first are two support acts who warrant that term unique. Both Cassyette and Lynks feature on ‘Sticky’ and have been championed by Carter himself as ones to watch.

Read our review of ‘Sticky’

Tonight both acts are able to display their art to the packed audience and both make the most of their platform. Lynks in particular is far removed from what the general fan would expect from a Frank Carter support act, something acknowledged by Lynks during the set. The crowd however are receptive and buy into the occasion which means by the time the set is complete, Lynks has won some more fans.

There is an interesting cross-section of fans for our headline act. Some are fully onboard with their experimental directions on each album. Others demand Carter sticks to the sound of debut album ‘Blossom’ with no deviation. Those fans will be disappointed this evening with only ‘Devil Inside Me’ on offer from that record, which is actually sung by a lucky audience member.

Carter himself has shown throughout his career that he has plenty to offer beyond his traditional sound. Regardless of band or album, Carter has always been at his pinnacle when on stage.

WATCH ‘STICKY’ ON YOUTUBE
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Sticky’

Equally that’s where the songs come to life. ‘Sticky’ is performed in its entirety throughout the setlist tonight and every song grows extra legs live. ‘My Town’, ‘Sticky’ and ‘Original Sin’ all sound massive and fit in perfectly alongside classics ‘Wild Flowers’, ‘Lullaby’, ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ and ‘Crowbar’.

The re-emergence of Cassyette on ‘Off With His Head’ and Lynks on both ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Go Get a Tattoo’ both help add to the occasion, as Carter continues his upwards trajectory.

We’ve spoken in recent reviews for numerous artists of the poisoned chalice that artists face when progressing their sound. Fans will have different opinions on ‘Sticky’ but tonight those songs and the band as a whole are a force to be reckoned with!

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Skinny Lister

Norwich Arts Centre

Friday 12th November 2021

Skinny Lister Norwich Arts Centre
? (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

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SKINNY LISTER – NORWICH ARTS CENTRE – LIVE REVIEW

The converted church known as Norwich Arts Centre feels the ideal venue in this fine city for Skinny Lister to takeover, and takeover they do with the show tonight sold out in advance.

Before the groups loyal fanbase is graced by their presence though it’s time for our support act. Support for this tour comes from recent collaborators The Longest Johns, who recently reached new audiences as a viral trend on TikTok.

Tonight the four-piece are welcomed to Norwich by an appreciative audience who are captivated by the groups’ hauntingly good harmonies. That trending song ‘Wellerman’ closes a set packed with material set to feature on the bands upcoming new album ‘Smoke & Oakum’.

A fun way to start what is always destined to be a very fun and enjoyable evening of folk and shanties. Soon enough the lights go back down and it’s time of the masters of those arts, Skinny Lister, to hit the stage.

Performing a career-spanning set, there is rightly a spotlight on their recent release ‘A Matter of Life & Love’. Upon its release we called the album “…well crafted and superbly delivered…”, and tonight those songs are brought to life.

Read our review of ‘A Matter of Life & Love’

‘Bavaria Area’, ‘Breakfast at Heathrow’ and ‘Embers’ are all highlights in a packed set list. A brilliant rendition of ‘Damn the Amsterdam’ sees the band joined onstage by The Longest Johns to the delight of the audience.

Skinny Lister have spent their career building their reputation as a top tier live act and tonight the band prove just why they are considered so. ‘Colours’, ‘What Can I Say’, ‘Cathy’, ‘This Is War’ and ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’ all eliciting jubilant scenes in the church. Hallelujah!

After a superb evening of entertainment, there is no way the crowd are going anywhere and Skinny Lister duly oblige with an encore of ‘Raise a Wreck’, ‘Hamburg Drunk’ and finale ‘Six Whiskies’.

The crowd go home happy and Skinny Lister travel on to the next show with their reputation enhanced even further. I dare you to go to a show and not have a great time!

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Don Broco

UEA LCR, Norwich

Thursday 4th November 2021

Don Broco Tour

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Tonight the UEA LCR in Norwich welcomes Don Broco, a band which has steadily risen through the ranks to being able to headline festivals (Slam Dunk this summer) and arenas (February 2019 Tour). This evening therefore could be considered an intimate affair for the band.

The venue fills up early ready for support acts KID BRUNSWICK and NOISY. Both acts feel suited to the occasion and do their best to amp up an already lively crowd. They are both received well by those in attendance and on evidence of tonight both have bigger things to come in the future.

By the time Don Broco are ready to hit the stage, the atmosphere is at a fever pitch, the dancefloor is rammed and Norwich is ready to be entertained. And entertained they are with Don Broco hitting the space-age stage and immediately banging out ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Pretty’.

Listen to ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The floor shakes with each bounce as the crowd jumps in unison to one huge song after another. With new album ‘Amazing Things’ firmly in the spotlight, it’s clear from the crowd reaction that the band has another hit on their hands.

‘Gumshield’, ‘Endorphins’, ‘Uber’ and ‘Bruce Willis’ get some of the best reactions of the night; not that there is any real let up from either the band or the crowd. Realistically no band has any right to have as many certifiable bangers as Don Broco do. The show tonight is a party from start to finish.

WATCH ‘ENDORPHINS’ ON YOUTUBE
Don Broco – ‘Endorphins’

The impressive stage show, the bands delivery of those bangers and the general atmosphere combine to make this a night to remember. ‘Automatic’, ‘Come Out to LA’ and ‘You Wanna Know’ all provide further evidence towards my point. Don Broco have elevated themselves to the upper echelons of live acts.

An encore comprising ‘Everybody’ and ‘T-Shirt Song’ really is just the icing on the cake. It was great to be able to catch the band in this venue, because the odds are they will mainly be playing much larger rooms going forward!

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Thumper

Voodoo Daddy’s Showroom, Norwich

Friday 29th October 2021

Thumper Norwich

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THUMPER – VOODOO DADDY’S SHOWROOM, NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

Think back to those dark lockdown months and the desire to once again witness the grandeur of live music; you know those huge shows by massive bands in gargantuan venues! Well yes, it’s been great to get back those festival, arena and academy shows since the reopening of live music, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.

The bread and butter of live music is happening across the county in our small and independent venues. The stadium fillers of tomorrow are honing their craft and building their reputations. This is truly where live music comes alive.

Take tonight as exhibit A. The venue is Voodoo Daddy’s Showroom, an intimate room above a pizza bar in Norwich on a vibrant Friday night ahead of Halloween. The headline act will be rising Dubliners Thumper, but up first are the supports – an important part of the grassroots music scene.

This is where young bands just starting out can earn their stripes. Up first this evening are Norwich’s own Space is Big. The young band provide a great start to the night with their politically charged, high-energy punk sound.

Our next support act come from down the road in Essex. Swimsuit Competition proceed to deliver an assured yet pulsating performance that builds towards the fantastic climax of ‘Call Me Up’ and ‘Wasted’. By the end of their set they have the crowd in the palm of their hands making us two for two so far tonight.

As we await this evenings headliners Thumper, you feel at this point that they will need to be very special to live up to the standards set so far. Luckily for Thumper and even more so for those in attendance, the sextet are more than up for the challenge!

WATCH ‘TOPHER GRACE’ ON YOUTUBE
Thumper – ‘Topher Grace’

Flexing their musical muscles, the band are straight out of the traps with the fantastic ‘Topher Grace’. Their controlled ferocity is evident throughout their time on stage as they control the room with their unique brand of indie rock meets post-punk goodness.

Singles ‘Ad Nauseam’ and ‘The Loser’ are somehow majestic and fierce at the same time and leave you thankful to bear witness to them in a small setting while you can. Yes, no doubt about it, Thumper are destined for bigger rooms in the not too distant future.

Listen to ‘The Loser’ on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!

As set closer ‘Down’ sends the crowd off out into night, fans can reflect on a stunning evening provided by three great young bands. Of course those arena shows are great, but it’s nights like tonight where friends are made, scenes are built and careers are begun.

Grassroots music creates the superstars of the future whilst independent venues provide a living for bar staff, security staff, sound and lighting engineers, photographers etc. The point being, do yourself a favour and get down to your local venues. Support live music and you might just discover the next big thing!

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Architects

UEA LCR, Norwich

Friday 22nd October 2021

Architects Norwich UEA

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ARCHITECTS – NORWICH UEA LCR – LIVE REVIEW

Architects are a band that have never lacked in self-belief. They have always put their faith in their music and tonight exemplifies that. No support acts, a minimalist stage presentation, just Architects on a stage blasting out their set with little in the way of bells and whistles.

Tonight at the UEA LCR in Norwich is a part of an intimate run of dates hastily arranged after the postponement of their upcoming arena tour. Those five arena shows now takes place in May next year and you’d imagine that there will be bells and maybe even a few whistles thrown in.

What the band do tonight though is prove that actually, they don’t need any of that. Whilst it would’ve been nice for a young up and coming band to get the chance to warm up the audience, the Architects fanbase are able to go from 0 to 100 as soon as the first note is played.

That first note comes from ‘Black Lungs’ which is the first of nine tracks to air from their latest album ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’. Whilst for some bands that many new songs may be overkill, for Architects it once again shows their confidence.

Their confidence is certainly well placed. ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’ will no doubt feature towards the very top of the 2021 Full Pelt Music Album of the Year List. After all we called the album “…a masterpiece of the genre…”.

Read our review of ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’

Fans are therefore delighted to finally get to experience these songs live and whilst the likes of ‘Nihilist’ and ‘Gravedigger’ are savoured it’s the new tracks such as ‘Giving Blood’, ‘Little Wonder’ and ‘Dead Butterflies’ that elicit the best reactions.

‘Holy Hell’ tracks ‘Royal Beggars’ and ‘Doomsday’ also naturally see bodies flying in the packed audience. It’s left to two more new songs however to close the show and the encore of ‘Meteor’ and ‘Animals’ perfectly round out a stunning evening of music provided by Architects.

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