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Live Reviews

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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Read our review of ‘Amazing Things’ by Don Broco

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Live Reviews

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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Live Reviews

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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Live Reviews

VUKOVI

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Tuesday 12th October 2021

VUKOVI

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Have you ever left a show with that euphoric feeling, knowing that you’ve just witnessed one of those special life-affirming shows that remind you why you love live music? SPOILER ALERT: this was one of those shows!

Let’s unpack the evening from the beginning then shall we? It’s cold, winter as they say is coming, but that means gig season is in full flow. The venue for the evening is the Waterfront Studio in Norwich, which is a great little room above the main venue and regularly plays host to these extra special intimate shows.

Tonight is sold out with roughly 200 eager music fans in attendance for a bill set to feature 3 bands all with growing reputations and raring to get back out on the road after the pain of the past 18+ months. This show also happens to be the first night of the tour with the element of the unknown thrown in.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

First on stage is a band that has been honing their craft for a few years now and appear ready to push on to the next level, Delaire the Liar. They are fast, heavy and archaic and ensure that the crowd are warmed up suitably having been stood out in the cold a few minutes before.

Then it’s time to bring the riffs as Press To MECO arrive on stage for their first show with their new line-up. Trusted fan favourite ‘A Quick Fix’ kicks off an impactful set before the band bring their latest album, ‘Transmute’ to life on stage.

Read our review of ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO

‘A Test of Our Resolve’ sounds absolutely massive live and deserves to see the band gracing much bigger stages in the future. The crowd are really up for it tonight and as the band close out their short but oh so sweet set with ‘Gold’ and ‘Sabotage’, everybody is left wanting more from the band.

Press To MECO were always a force to be reckoned with live and this new line-up appears to have taken them up another notch or two. So, at this point the evening is progressing extremely well and is already a great gig, but we said it was special didn’t we?

There is still one act left and that act is VUKOVI. From the moment the band take to the stage to the moment they leave, VUKOVI have the audience in the palm of their hands. There must be something in the air, because a cold Tuesday night in Norwich has no right to have a crowd so up for it.

Over the next hour or so the band blast out a set of fast-paced, highly moshable songs that can only really be described these days as bangers! The control of the stage exerted by singer Janine Shilstone is uncanny and helps to make that special atmosphere needed for this to become an elite level gig.

WATCH ‘HURT’ FROM VUKOVI ON YOUTUBE
VUKOVI – ‘HURT’

The likes of ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’, ‘HURT’, ‘Run/Hide’ and ‘La Di Da’ are incredible tonight but really it’s the whole set that stands out and ensures that fans are sent out back into the cold feeling warm inside.

All three bands brought it tonight and the audience reciprocated in kind. With this only being night one of the tour, do yourself a favour and grab a ticket to one of the shows, get down there early and savour three bands all proving that the future is bright for British rock music!

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Live Reviews

Black Honey

Norwich Arts Centre

Friday 24th September 2021

Black Honey

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It’s Friday night in Norwich and the area around the Arts Centre is vibrant with pubs, bars and restaurants full of people (plus lots of people queuing for fuel but let’s not get started on that!). Yes, nightlife is back after a devastating 18 months.

Independent music venues and musicians have been hit hard but now we are gathering together in rooms again, things feel like they are healing. The Music Venue Trust continue their amazing work to protect our cultural spaces and tonight is part of the trusts #ReviveLive shows.

On offer is a fantastic band who this year released their second album, Black Honey. There is a very good chance that ‘Written & Directed’ will trouble the very top of our album of the year list when that time arrives. It’s therefore great to see these songs performed in the beautiful and intimate surrounds of Norwich Arts Centre.

Read our review of ‘Written & Directed’ from Black Honey

Opening the festivities this evening is Frances Lion whose hauntingly good support slot captivates the audience. Lion serenades those in attendance with her unique take on the singer-songwriter genre. By the end of her performance the crowd are begging for more, which as an opening act is all you want.

The attention of the audience is soon able to turn to our headliners Black Honey. This is a band that has worked hard to build a solid reputation as a live act. They get the crowd moving from the very start as ‘I Like The Way You Die’, ‘All My Pride’ and ‘Beaches’ set the standard for the evening.

WATCH ‘BEACHES’ ON YOUTUBE
Black Honey – ‘Beaches’

The band has managed to create an extremely impressive back catalogue during their short career which means that they already have tough choices to make when picking a setlist. Tonight is a fine balance between their self-titled debut album and ‘Written & Directed’.

The performance flows naturally and builds momentum throughout. Earlier tracks such as ‘I Only Hurt the Ones I Love’, ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Cadillac’ segue perfectly with new favourites ‘Summer ’92’, ‘Believer’ and ‘Fire’.

Listen to ‘Believer’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Black Honey are able to hold the audience in the palm of their hands. Their hard work and constant touring has paid off in full, because this is a very good live act. The final run of ‘Spinning Wheel’, ‘Hello Today’, ‘Disinfect’ and ‘Run For Cover’ demonstrate this perfectly.

As the fans head out into the warm September night they are left to reminisce on a superb evening of music (and where they can get some fuel!).

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Live Reviews

The Subways

The Waterfront, Norwich

Thursday 23rd September 2021

The Subways Young For Eternity Tour

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THE SUBWAYS – THE WATERFRONT, NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

The Subways were mid-way through a 15 year anniversary celebration of their debut album ‘Young for Eternity’ when the pandemic hit. An album that catapulted them into the mainstream, garnered much success and gathered a dedicated fan base.

With the second half of the tour postponed, we now find ourselves at The Waterfront in Norwich to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the record!

Before The Subways grace the stage however we have the support act Art Brut. Another band to release their debut album in 2005, Art Brut are a great way to start the show. There are two types of audience member for the band; those familiar with the band and those that take a little while to jump aboard. By the end of their near hour long set however, everyone is on the hype train!

WATCH ‘ROCK & ROLL QUEEN’ 2020 VERSION ON YOUTUBE
The Subways – ‘Rock & Roll Queen’ 2020

Then it’s time for the main event and the spectacle of The Subways playing their seminal debut album in full. The band go the traditional route for this type of performance and play the album from front to back beginning with a sing-a-long of ‘I Want to Hear What You have Got to Say’.

The quality of the album is there for all to see as the likes of ‘Rock & Roll Queen’, ‘Mary’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘No Goodbyes’ and ‘With You’ delight the crowd. This is a band that seems criminally undervalued these days. From their songwriting to their ability to deliver those tracks live with such energy and passion, The Subways are a top tier act.

With new drummer Camille Phillips joining Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper the band seem to have a new lease of life. This is shown with the penultimate song of the evening, ‘Fight’. The fact that on an evening where we celebrate a 16 year old album, a new song gets one of the best reactions can only be a good thing.

Listen to ‘Fight’ on our Spotify Hot List!

After the album run through, fans are treated to ‘Turnaround’, ‘We Don’t Need Money to Have a Good Time’ and ‘Girls & Boys’ among others before the band finish with another blast of ‘Rock & Roll Queen’.

With new music on the way and the band firing on all cylinders, the future looks bright for The Subways.

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Live Reviews

Royal Blood

UEA LCR, Norwich

Friday 27th August 2021

Royal Blood Tour Poster

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ROYAL BLOOD – UEA LCR, NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

With Royal Blood set to headline some of the first festivals to take place as live music returns, the duo announced a run of intimate warm-up shows. As expected all these shows sold out instantly including tonight at the UEA LCR in Norwich.

With an enormous sense of anticipation surrounding the venue, fans were first treated to a short and intense support slot from Tigercub. The band preview their latest album, ‘As Blue as Indigo’ with ‘Stop Beating on My Heart (Like A Bass Drum)’ and ‘In the Autumn of My Years’ going down particularly well with the already packed audience.

Sometimes with such a high level of expectation for the headline act, support bands can fall short, but tonight Tigercub prove their own credibility and win over some new fans in the process.

Listen to our Spotify Hot List!

Soon enough it’s time for Royal Blood to take to the elevated stage. Kicking off with ‘Typhoons’ and ‘Boilermaker’ the band are backed by a subtle yet highly effective light show that helps to bring this new material to life.

Yes, Royal Blood are another band to release a new album during the absence of live music. Absence clearly making the heart grow fonder for both band and audience, as the UEA dancefloor descends into chaos from the opening note to the very last.

Material from ‘Typhoons’ garners great reactions from an eager audience who are ready and willing to lap up whatever the band can offer. Well, with three albums behind them now, the band can offer an endless stream of fan favourites.

Tonight sees a mix from across their catalogue with ‘Lights Out’, ‘Come On Over’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ filling the first half of the show with memorable moments.

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Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher always have had a knack for creating magic both on record and on stage but tonight has that extra special feel. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere flamed by the return of live music or perhaps the duo have spent their downtime perfecting their craft. Whatever it is it’s very clear that Royal Blood are simply on another level.

‘Trouble’s Coming’, ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Loose Change’ sound absolutely huge before ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Limbo’ cause pandemonium in Norwich. The encore of ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘Figure It Out’ bring it all home, remind us of what we’ve all been missing and demonstrate just why Royal Blood are now festival headliners.

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Live Reviews

Twin Atlantic

Norwich Waterfront

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Twin Atlantic Norwich Waterfront Live Review

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TWIN ATLANTIC – NORWICH WATERFRONT – LIVE REVIEW

It may be an overcast summers evening, but for tonight all is right with the world. That’s because there is a queue waiting outside The Waterfront, Norwich for the first time in around 18 months.

On offer this evening for the venues first main room show since the beginning of the pandemic is a special Music Venue Trust & National Lottery #ReviveLive show featuring Twin Atlantic!

There is a late change of support act for the evening with Lucia & The Best Boys unable to attend. Step up local band The Islas who recently featured on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!

LISTEN TO OUR ‘DISCOVER’ NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY!

This is quite the result as The Islas deliver a great set to a receptive audience. With the likes of recent single ‘The Absence of You’ joining older tracks ‘Back of Your Neck’, ‘Aileen’ and ‘Close’ the band are building an impressive live set. And with performances such as tonight’s they will also be building an impressive fan base, with many in the venue won over.

Tonight, though is all about our headliners Twin Atlantic who just released a new single, ‘Bang On The Gong’, and what better way to kick off their set. If the band think their new track is well received, those in attendance continue to build their appreciation throughout the night.

We recently caught the band at the Download Pilot Festival so know that they are an incredible live act. But, put the band in a sweaty little venue with a full set and they are up there with the best.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

The rest of the setlist is a carefully crafted selection from across their albums with fan favourite ‘Free’ getting the lions share. The title track, ‘Make a Beast of Myself’, ‘Edit Me’, ‘Yes, I Was Drunk’ and an emotive ‘Crash Land’ sing-a-long showcase the albums quality.

There is quality across their catalogue however and ‘No Sleep’, ‘Hold On’, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ and ‘The Chaser’ all naturally receive big reactions from the crowd.

CHECK OUT THE FULL PELT MUSIC PODCAST

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly though, some of the best tracks of the evening and most warmly welcomed come from their 2020 release ‘Power’. Coming weeks before the first lockdown, now represents the first real chance for the band to embed the tracks into their show.

The likes of ‘Volcano’, ‘Oh! Euphoria!’, ‘Novocaine’ and ‘Barcelona’ all slot in seamlessly as Twin Atlantic blow off the cobwebs and begin their latest era.

With their anthem ‘Heart and Soul’ seeing the night out, the fans are left to wander out into the now slightly chilly Norwich night. As they do so they will be reflecting on the return of live music, and also on just how great a live band Twin Atlantic have become!

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Live Reviews

Seasick Steve

Norwich Arts Centre

Wednesday 21st July 2021

Seasick Steve Norwich Arts Centre

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SEASICK STEVE – NORWICH ARTS CENTRE – LIVE REVIEW

It has been a devastating 16 months for humanity. Every country, every community and every industry has suffered profound and unprecedented loss. The fact remains that we are far from free, the p word is still ongoing and we must be careful.

There is however hope, just a glimmer that some form of normality or dare we say a “new normal” could be possible. The music industry has been decimated over the past year or so, but it is the music industry now that is offering us hope.

We recently attended the Download Pilot Festival and saw a preview of how live music can return. There was testing involved, masks in certain situations, extra sanitisation and a sense of community that only live music brings.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Now it is time to head indoors again. The Music Venue Trust has always done an incredible job, but that has been amplified by the events of the last year or so. The organisation has now teamed up with The National Lottery to help to #ReviveLive.

They aim to help the return of music fans to music venues across the country and ticket holders can bring a Lottery playing friend in for free. Tonight feels special for so many reasons. The first gig back would always be special but by putting an act the size of Seasick Steve into the intimate surrounds of the beautiful Norwich Arts Centre only ramps the feeling right up!

Entry is smooth, fans have been encouraged to take Lateral Flow tests, there is hand sanitizer aplenty and masks are encouraged in certain areas. Attendees are respectful of each other and of the significance of the evening.

Read our review of ‘Lo! Soul’ from Roddy Woomble

The atmosphere truly is special, and it is a special talent here to entertain us. With no support, Seasick Steve and his trusted companion on drums enter the stage at half past eight just after an emotional welcome from the venue director.

Seasick Steve is a captivating artist at the best of times, but tonight he truly has the audience in the palm of his hand. Despite lingering fears of being part of a gathering and despite the intense heat inside the venue, there is nowhere else you’d want to be.

Fans are regaled with tales of Steve’s life and serenaded with his signature blues numbers. The likes of ‘Roy’s Gang’, ‘Walkin’ Man’, ‘Barracuda ’68’ and ‘Dark’ are highlights before Seasick Steve sends fans home with ‘Thunderbird’ after nearly two beautiful hours.

It’s an incredible feeling to be able to head out into the night, sweaty and reminiscing on a stunning evening of music once again. It’s an experience that has been missing for too long, but it is back.

There are a plethora of dates and artists performing this series of MVT shows. Do yourself and your local venue a favour, grab a ticket, take a test and enjoy the return of live music!

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