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Live Reviews

Kasabian

UEA LCR, Norwich

Thursday 21st July 2022

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KASABIAN – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

To say this week has been hot would be the understatement of the century. So, whilst the opportunity to cram into a sold out UEA LCR in Norwich isn’t the most appealing; doing so to catch indie rock royalty Kasabian play an intimate headline show makes it unmissable.

The dust has firmly settled on the well publicised line-up change in the band, and massive slots at the Isle of Wight and Knebworth this summer have just solidified what fans discovered on the bands return tour last year – new look Kasabian remain one the best live bands on the circuit.

This show was originally set to be part of their lowkey return tour, but illness saw the show postponed to now. The show is in effect now a small warm-up for their headline set at Tramlines this weekend.

The band are given a hero’s welcome from the pumped up audience as they arrive on stage. The atmosphere in the venue tonight is as hot as the weather has been and it all goes off as Kasabian kick off with ‘Club Foot’, ‘Ill Ray (The King)’ and ‘Underdog’!

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Kasabian – ‘SCRIPTVRE’

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Sweaty bodies are everywhere as the band continue to showcase their reinvigorated live show. Newly minted frontman Serge Pizzorno stalks the stage like a man possessed, he controls the crowd with natural ease as he steps out of the shadows to the forefront of the band.

Kasabian always were a phenomenal live act, and the line-up switch doesn’t change that. The genius step that the band has taken is to add The Music frontman Rob Harvey to their live line-up. Harvey fills the huge void left by Pizzorno in his previous role and adds a whole new level to the groups sound.

Nobody can doubt the quality of their back catalogue with tracks like ‘You’re In Love With a Psycho’, ‘Shoot the Runner’, ‘stevie’, ‘Empire’ and ‘Vlad the Impaler’ on offer tonight. What the band does in the studio next will be interesting but new tracks ‘CHEMICALS’ and ‘ALYGATYR’ show they still have plenty to offer.

Any doubt that Kasabian remain a viable live entity has been dispelled and come this winter, the band will once again be gracing arenas across the UK.

They sign off this evening with an encore of ‘Bless This Acid House’, ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)’ and ‘Fire’. It’s been a night to remember for the audience and another statement made by a reinvented and rejuvenated band.

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Rival Sons

UEA LCR, Norwich

Monday 27th June 2022

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RIVAL SONS – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

It was March 2012, some ten years ago now, that I first discovered Rival Sons on this very stage. The band supported Black Stone Cherry here at the UEA LCR in Norwich and instantly had a new fan.

I was captivated by the incredible power of the band and the unbelievable voice of singer Jay Buchanan. The bands most recent release at the time was their breakthrough second album, ‘Pressure & Time’, so imagine my delight that the band are back on this stage tonight playing that album in its entirety!

My history of this band in this venue doesn’t stop there however. Two years later in 2014 the band headlined the venue for the first time and I attended to review for another publication. Just two songs in Buchanan departed the stage unable to continue and the show abruptly ended. The last song played, you guessed it, ‘Pressure and Time’.

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Rival Sons – ‘Pressure and Time’

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The band made up for that show in 2015 and now some seven years later they return with Buchanan acknowledging onstage “…I remember this place…”. Before that though we have the support band!

Tonight, that band is Dirty Honey who hark back to that night of discovery a decade ago by delivering a blistering set of classic rock infused numbers that somehow seems to channel the same energy as Rival Sons way back when.

Many in the crowd appear clued in and lap up the likes of ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘When I’m Gone’. I can certainly see history repeating itself and Dirty Honey making similar strides to those of our headliners tonight.

The weird time warp that I find myself in then comes full circle with Rival Sons arriving on stage and banging out ‘Pressure & Time’ in full with very little time spent coming up for air.

It isn’t until the band plough through the tracks that you remember just how many great tracks are on this album. ‘All Over the Road’, ‘Save Me’, ‘Burn Down Los Angeles’, ‘Gypsy Heart’ and ‘White Noise’ all stand out this evening.

It’s not until after they return from a very short intermission that the band begin to engage with the audience and the atmosphere becomes more relaxed. ‘Open My Eyes’ and ‘Electric Man’ certainly help to loosen up the crowd a little.

There are stunning moments with Buchanan demonstrating those hauntingly good vocals on ‘Jordan’ and ‘Shooting Stars’ before the band stretch their legs on ‘Feral Roots’.

They close out the show with ‘Do Your Worst’ and new track ‘Nobody Wants To Die’, and the audience are sent into the night happy. We’ve relived the past and looked to the future, and we’ve celebrated the fact that Rival Sons remain an incredible force live.

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Gary Numan

UEA LCR, Norwich

Sunday 15th March 2022

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GARY NUMAN – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

Music icon and pioneer Gary Numan arrives in Norwich on a warm Sunday night, as his lengthy UK Tour draws towards a close.

This has been a tour that has included a statement headline show at Wembley Arena, as the career resurgence continues for Numan. Part of the reason for this renaissance is the cult-like devotion of Numan fans who fill the venue well in advance of their hero’s arrival.

The second reason for this rejuvenation is the current hot streak of releases from an artist very much in form. After reaching Number 20 in the Album Charts with 2013 effort ‘Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)’, Numan has delivered not one but two Number 2 Albums with 2017’s ‘Savage (Songs from a Broken World)’ and last year’s ‘Intruder’.

Vindication for an artist who has never taken the easy route via the nostalgia circuit and has always followed the creative path.

The third reason for recent successes is that Numan is a force of nature live, but we will get on to that in just a moment. First a mention to opening act, Divine Shade, who do a fantastic job in warming up the receptive UEA LCR.

Fans early arrival is well rewarded with a superb performance from the French trio; who much like our headliner are able to perfectly blend rock and electronic influences into an aurally stimulating sound. Combining this with a visually pleasing stage presence, the band has the winning formula down.

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Gary Numan – ‘Intruder’

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Soon enough, it’s time for Numan to take to the stage, but he doesn’t just take to it… he owns it. As we mentioned, the live presentation of Numan and his band is a large reason for his recent success, and from the stunning opener, ‘Intruder’, onwards the band have the audience in the palm of their hands.

The visual effects on offer on this tour are incredible and complement the music splendidly. This dynamic typifies Numan live and creates an immersive experience for gig-goers. It’s hard not to be mesmerised by the light show whilst simultaneously being captivated by the music.

On the set list front there is a great mix of new and old material with latest album, ‘Intruder’ at the forefront. There is no real lull in the set, but obvious highlights include ‘Metal’, ‘Down in the Park’ and ‘Cars’.

It’s newer tracks though such as ‘The Gift’, ‘My Name Is Ruin’ and ‘Love Hurt Bleed’ that really standout this evening; which again provides evidence that whilst undoubtedly a music icon, Numan is far from a nostalgia act.

An encore of ‘A Prayer for the Unborn’ and ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ sends the audience home happy and cements Gary Numan as an artist at the top of his game.

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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.

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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.

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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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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’.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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