Live Reviews

Kira Mac

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Sunday 5th May 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

After months of miserable weather, spring has finally sprung with the sun shining this Bank Holiday weekend. Revellers on an evening walk past the Waterfront in Norwich this evening get see a long queue mixed with rockers and goths as music fans line up for two different events.

Downstairs is a tribute band for The Cure and upstairs we are here to catch rising bands Kira Mac and Jayler in the Waterfront Studio. I’ll let you guess which sub-culture group is headed to which show!


Those upstairs don’t have to wait long for the entertainment to begin and kicking off proceedings this evening are youngsters Jayler. The four-piece look and sound like they’ve been rescued from the 1970’s by Bill and Ted in order to pass an exam asking what blues-soaked hard rock should sound like.

From opening duo ‘Acid Rain’ and ‘No Woman’ onwards it’s clear that the band are heavily inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Greta Van Fleet. Those are some big old shoes to fill, but with their mesmerising performance tonight, Jayler prove that they are here to give it a good go. In fairness, on this evidence, you wouldn’t put it past the group from making a big mark in the near future.


Headliners Kira Mac have certainly been making a mark since the release of their debut album, ‘Chaos Is Calling’, in 2022. Word is certainly spreading about the rockers and the venue tonight is packed and eager to see their new heroes.

The band come out all guns blazing and the first portion of their set sees them fly through, ‘Save Your Whiskey’, ‘Dead Man Walking’, ‘Chaos Is Calling’ and new tracks ‘Play the Game’, ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Scorned’.

Next, the band change the pace with a special acoustic portion – something the band comment won’t be repeated in the future. If so, that would be a shame as the next twenty or so minutes are a fantastic showcase not just of the talent within the band but also their charm.

Singer Rhiannon Hill is able to hold the audience and make them hang off of every word. A handful of rarer played tracks and covers is well received and is a real highlight of the evening.

A rousing cover of Alanis Morissette classic ‘You Oughta Know’ then kickstarts the third section of their performance and gets the crowd singing along. Six more tracks follow with some favourites and a sneak peek of what to expect from album number two. During all of these tracks, you are left to appreciate the camaraderie and talent held within the tight group.

That kinship and audience connection will help to set the band apart as they move to the next era of their career and you’d have to expect that when they return to Norwich, they’ll be playing in the bigger presently goth occupied room.

An encore of ‘Downfall’ and ‘One Way Ticket’ delivers a final knockout blow this evening and has the fans raving about what they’ve just witnessed as they file back into the warm spring night.

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Live Reviews

Lake Malice

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 9th March 2024

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📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

There isn’t many new bands currently with a similar level of buzz as Lake Malice. Impressive support shows and memorable festival slots have already won them a dedicated fan base and their debut EP won even more plaudits including winning our own ‘EP of the Year’ Award last year!

The band are presently in the midst of their debut headline tour and tonight that finds them at the Waterfront Studio in Norwich and there aren’t many tickets left. Once inside the venue you get a true sense of the anticipation with fans filling the front to save their spot, and soon those fans are greeted by local openers Omega Bad.


Despite some good old fashioned technical difficulties the band leave it all out on the stage and deliver a compelling opening set. With moments of ferocity and finery diligently dispersed, there is plenty to enjoy during their time on stage and it’s very apparent that the crowd agrees.


The opening third of this tour features TheCityIsOurs in the main support slot and there are clearly a few of their own fans in the audience this evening. The band have been chucking out some outrageously good new tunes recently and again expectation is high.

Sadly those gremlins that toyed with Omega Bad take things to another level and almost completely sabotage TheCityIsOurs. With only one song down, it reaches a point whereby all resign themselves to a missed opportunity. What transpires though is something special with guitarist Mikey Page serenading the fans with toned-down versions of songs which the crowd truly appreciate.

Thankfully the group are able to remove the gremlins in time to quickly deliver a handful of all-out rippers to finish their set and show the packed crowd what they should expect next time around. The band deserve credit for persevering and those in attendance will surely be waiting patiently for their return.


Doors were early tonight and with an early finish due to a club night, time is running short. It doesn’t take long for our headliners to hit the stage and thankfully Lake Malice avoid any of the issues which plagued our opening acts.

If you were to put money on an act to breakout in the heavy world over the next year or so, you’d expect a lot of smart money to be put on Lake Malice. As we’ve touched on they’ve already done the legwork required to establish themselves as a must see act and now that message is being spread far and wide.

Tonight, they explode on to the stage with ‘Black Turbine’ and ‘Bloodbath’ showing their ungodly energy and whipping the audience into a frenzy. That level of intensity doesn’t drop at any point with even the two new tracks in the set going off big time.

That debut EP ‘Post-Genesis’ has shown what the group can achieve but as the evening progresses you can’t help but contemplate that this is only the beginning! Indeed, the future of the band feels huge and that future is going to be built on the foundations of their incredible live shows.

With just that one EP and a handful of standalone singles in their arsenal the set is relatively short, but at this unrelenting pace you’d probably need an oxygen tank to keep up with the band. The finale of ‘Stop the Party’ and ‘Blossom’ ends the evening in fierce and passionate fashion and word of these shows is surely bound to spread.

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Live Reviews

The Xcerts

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 7th October 2023

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

As singer Murray Macleod jokes onstage tonight, it is easy to forget just how long The Xcerts have been around. The origins of the band date back over two decades already, although their debut album arrived back in 2009. It’s in recent years though that the band have truly threatened to breakthrough.

The trio do have a cult following in place as is evidenced by the fact that their queue for the venue tonight is much larger than that of The Sherlocks who are playing in the larger room at the same time.

snake eyes

Fans filing in early to the Waterfront Studio in Norwich tonight are first treated to a fantastic opening set from Brighton’s snake eyes. Another trio, the band echo the grittier side of The Xcerts sound and are able to win over the audience with relative ease.

The band put out latest EP, ‘health’, earlier this year and the likes of ‘crybaby’ and ‘medicine’ from the release sound great tonight as does latest single, ‘lean’. The group have certainly shown growth on record and this evening they are able to showcase themselves well live also. They most definitely are on that proverbial ‘ones to watch’ list!


The Xcerts have probably been on that list for all of their career at this point and the untapped potential is still clear for all to see. 2018’s ‘Hold On to Your Heart’ was a magnificent album which demonstrated the sheer brilliance of the bands songwriting. If there was any justice in the world, then that album would have jettisoned The Xcerts into the mainstream.

Five years on and the band have followed that album up with a sonically expansive collection entitled ‘Learning How to Live and Let Go’. The graceful ferocity of the album is put at the forefront tonight as the band open their set with ‘GIMME’.

Naturally new music is front and centre in the setlist tonight, but with five albums out in the world, there is a nice selection on offer from across the bands releases. It’s a good sign though that the audience seem to sing new tracks like ‘Ache’, ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Lovesick’ with equal levels of passion as favourites such as ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and ‘Slackerpop’.

The back catalogue of the band is mightily impressive at this point, but you also sense that there is plenty to come. The Xcerts uniquely find themselves with considerable experience whilst still being young enough to have their best years ahead of them.

On the evidence of tonight they certainly have the live side of things perfected and they have a divine talent for creating a real connection with their audience. You therefore leave the venue into the unseasonal October warmth acknowledging how phenomenal a band The Xcerts are whilst pondering just how great they can still be!

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Live Reviews

Pulled Apart By Horses

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 15th October 2022

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All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Perennial contenders Pulled Apart By Horses have just released the fifth studio album of their near fifteen year career. ‘Reality Cheques’ features a more streamlined sound and tonight in Norwich we get to see how that translates on stage.


Opening the early evening show at the Waterfront Studio are local newcomers Magnolia. It’s difficult to find much about the band online and even harder to pigeonhole them into any genre.

Describing themselves as psychedelic post-punk, there are certainly elements of those genres present in amongst their experimental sound. There are also many others as killer riffs segue into moments of pure randomness. There are times of brilliance and times of dreadfulness in their short set. Only a young act, there is something here, I’m just not sure what it is yet!


Next up are a band clearly further along their discovery path. Londoners The Howlers recently released new EP, ‘Further Down the Line’ and songs from that record are highlights tonight.

The group own the stage like they are industry veterans and the crowd are left in awe of a top quality support slot. These are the shows where newer acts can win new fans and build their audiences and the likes of ‘The Boy I Was Before’ and ‘El Dorado’ will have done some excellent building work tonight.


Finally, our headliners Pulled Apart By Horses take to the stage and from the first angry guitar strum the intimate audience are raucous! To say that both band and crowd are up for it tonight would be an understatement and that makes for a fantastic atmosphere on this Saturday night.

New album, ‘Reality Cheques’, naturally features heavily in the set list for Pulled Apart By Horses and as they open with ‘Pipe Dream’ and ‘First World Problems’ it’s clear that the album passes the live test. The new songs sound massive as do older tracks such as ‘The Haze’ and ‘The Big What If’.

During a cost of living crisis, small shows such as this are superb value for money and our headliners deliver an energetic and engaged display from start to finish – something often found lacking with arena shows.

As Pulled Apart By Horses close their set with fan favourites ‘V.E.N.O.M.’, ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ and ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’, they reaffirm themselves a standout live act and rubberstamp the fact that five albums in they remain a creative force.

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Live Reviews


Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Thursday 15th September 2022


With the nights drawing in and the first full festival season in three years now completed, it’s time to head back indoors for our live music fix. And where better to start than in one of the UK’s many incredible intimate independent venues!

That brings us to Norwich at The Waterfront Studio for a sold out show from Canadian acts Arkells and Lights. Getting to welcome international acts such as these back into venues such as this is another reminder of the progress live music has made to return this year, and the venue fills up early with fans eager for an evening of great music.

Whether or not they’d be in receipt of such was never really in doubt considering the acts present. Up first is the multi-talented Lights who clearly has her fair share of diehard fans in attendance. Thankfully for them she has a whole hour to showcase her genre-bending indie pop, to the delights of those in the venue.

Latest album, ‘PEP’, features highly throughout a career spanning set list and album tracks such as opener ‘Prodigal Daughter’, ‘Beside Myself’ and ‘Okay Okay’ are highlights in a consistently powerful and uplifting show.

Lights – ‘Prodigal Daughter’

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Yes, the bar for tonight is set very high by Lights, and many seasoned professionals would flounder in their attempts to follow such a performance. Luckily for both the band and the packed venue, Arkells are more than up to the challenge.

The Opening trio of ‘Past Life’, ‘Leather Jacket’ and ‘Michigan Left’ set the stage for another top tier performance from this well-oiled touring machine. At this stage of their career, the group have songs for days so it’s refreshing that they are willing to accept audience requests such as ‘Hand Me Downs’ which occurs next.

Arkells provide another career encapsulating set list with a particular focus on recent efforts ‘Blink Once’ and ‘Blink Twice’. Big hitters such as ’11:11’, ‘Knocking At The Door’ and finale ‘You Can Get It’ all elicit huge reactions from the crowd, however the highlight of the night comes from something special and unique.

Frontman Max Kerman regales the crowd with the tale of a young married couple having their first dance to ‘And Then Some’, with the track being performed by a local covers band. Kerman proceeds to recreate the moment of the first dance with the couple in the crowd, even bringing out the singer of said band, Counterfeit Brits, to sing.

Arkells – ‘Human Being’ with Lights

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Another memorable moment comes via ABBA cover, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’. Expect the unexpected appears to be the theme of the night as Lights also returns to the stage to perform ‘Human Being’ with Arkells; much to the delight of an audience who will remember this night for years to come.

Live music is well and truly back, and our independent venues are leading the charge with amazing shows such as this taking place every night of the week. The tickets to catch these two fantastic international acts in intimate UK venues are surprisingly inexpensive. Thankfully for you there are a number of shows remaining on this tour, so do yourself and your local venue a favour and head along to one!

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