Music-lovers give their verdict of Norfolk’s music scene in 2014
PUBLISHED: 12:44 08 January 2015 | UPDATED: 19:04 15 January 2015
They toil behind the scenes to bring us the best gigs and keep the local music scene as healthy as it is. KINGSLEY HARRIS spoke to the people in the know about Norfolk music in 2014.
It’s been a good year for local music and for those who work hard behind the scenes, often beavering away, thanklessly, on a weekly basis.
They bring you everything from cover songs of your favourite bands - to innovative new music, in a multitude of different musical events. They are often unsung and in many cases their only reward is your enjoyment. We have had everything from established acts signed to major labels to those just starting out.
It all makes a pleasant mix for anyone that loves to mosh, twist, pogo, jive, twerk or simply fold their arms and contemplate.
Here’s how they enjoyed their year….
• Jay Lawrence, BBC Norfolk Introducing: This has been our busiest year ever, we’ve been inundated with amazing music from Norfolk, and that’s how we want it to be. Over 2,000 tracks came through our uploader many of which we sent on to be played on Radio 1 and 6 Music. Live we enjoyed watching Port Isla play Glastonbury and releases by Daisy Victoria, Claws, Ducking Punches and Montagues and Capulets stood out for us.
• Lee Bowyer, programme co-ordinator Epic Studios: Highlights at Epic were Norwich Sound and Vision Festival featuring Chase and Status, The Hold Steady and Public Service Broadcasting. We will continue to support the local music scene by offering local bands support slots and put on such great headline artists as BK & Dad, Wooden Arms and Das Fenster and the Alibis.
• Kate Roma, Future Radio: Musical highlight of 2014 was discovering the brilliant creative talent of our Next Big Thing Winner, Harry Edwards. Harry is a unique talent who has already caused a bit of a stir on 6 Music with Lauren Lavern choosing one of his tracks as her Headphone Moment. We also got to work with Richard Balls on the release of his tome to the Stiff record label – Be Stiff.
• Pete Warner, Stacked Promotions: Highlight of the year for me was the release of Feral Mouth’s album Nelson’s County followed by their UK tour, including playing seven festivals. It was also great to see the much needed Owl Sanctuary venue get off the ground and the release of the long awaited Killamonjambo album Fiesta Moon Landing.
• James Leeds, Ex C.O.R.D & John Peel Archive: I liked the resurgence of girl groups; The Pearl Harts (London-based on Gravy Records) and Let’s Eat Grandma breaking the posh-kid-folk mould and coming on strong with riffs and psychedelia. A welcome relief!
• Si Holden, Mustard TVs Music Mash presenter: Highlights for me are Daisy Victoria’s stunning debut release Heart Full of Beef. Metal to the masses winners Synaptik were a brilliant advert for the heavy rock scene. I’m also enjoying the Jug Jaw nights. We’ve seen a few videos here as well and for me COLL’s video Old Days stands out as does Hello Bear’s, Free Fall animation
• Errol Watson, Killer Promotions: For me the expansion of the Thrashersaurus festival after we moved it to The Brickmakers was a key milestone. Next year it will be two stages over two days, our biggest yet. My band the Killer Hurts finally got our debut album out and it was well worth the wait. There’s not much coming through on the young metal side at the moment but Iron Ram will be good if they can hold it together and watch out for the return of Insainiac next year.
• Annie Catwoman, wombatwombat: My highlight was getting the NME’s Britain’s Best Small Venue award at the NAC and the launching of Sonic Youths in August. Acts I enjoyed were Harry Edwards, Amazon Blu, Black Shuk, BK & Dad and Collider. A low-light would be losing Gerry from the wombatwombat team.
• Rick Lennox, OPEN music programmer: My favourite this year was Harry Edwards winning The Next Big Thing. I also enjoyed Port Isla supporting Rae Morris at Open and Jay Pop [sic] and Claws at The Bunker. Band to watch out for at the moment is Secret From Richard.
Ian Johnson, ATM Industry liaison manager: Lots of things stand out for me this year: Access opening its new centre; Let’s Eat Grandma packing out The Birdcage during Sound & Vision, they’ve now signed to Hand Of Glory. Also Diamond Eyes who have now signed to Disciple Records and are recording in LA with Christina Grimmie. I enjoyed Box of Light supporting The Polyphonic Spree at Open and many more – how much time have you got?
• Ash Woolnough, Hubs Records: My highlights of the year were putting out the Solko, Waxes. Wanes. EP followed by the Dr Clyde, Get On EP.
• Matt Beauchamp, Rad Times Promotions: I was chuffed when Ducking Punches got the Frank Turner tour. I also loved The Dying Breed’s farewell release Womb to Tomb and the Claws debut Fairground. I was also proud of our Norwich Mixtape compilation release. Lots more coming in 2015
• Craig Hill, The Tilting Sky: Through my Waterfront All Rooms shows I caught many bands live and those that truly impressed me included Ducking Punches, Horse Party and the immensely talented King Blood to name but a few. My standout songwriter, musician and live performer of 2014 and someone who I can’t wait to hear and see more of in 2015 is Birds of Hell, a truly exceptional and original talent.
• Phil Davison, ex-C.O.R.D/producer: As well as working hard with my function band Energy who are sounding as good as ever. I’m also involved in two new bands, a four-piece old school rock band The Black Dogs, and a trio (still to be named) who will be performing mainly contemporary songs. I’ve also been drumming, co-producing and mixing for the very exciting and original Shuck Shuck
• Iain Lowery, OST promoter: We had some great OST nights in the bar at Cinema City. Monkiboy (a.k.a. Mark Howe from The Neutrinos), Birds of Hell, Mari Joyce, Charly Morris, Max Taylor, Wooden Arms, Ben C Winn, Al Southgate and my favourite new local band would have to be Let’s Eat Grandma!
• Paul Ingelby, UEA/Waterfront events: We are always amazed by the support and effort many local bands put in when it comes to the UEA and Waterfront show. Local bands that we have really enjoyed are Walkway, Pout at the Devil, Wicked Faith, Burning Crows and Intent were among my favourites.
• Dan Hawcroft, The Owl Sanctuary: I think in this our first year we are proudest of the energy that has been put into breaking down the stigma that seems to exist around supporting local bands, every band is a local band to somewhere right? We ran an open mic contest to win the support slot to The Subways. It was eventually won by an awesome musician Shaun Church, however, the most rewarding part of that was the feedback from musicians saying that they got to check out other artists that they never knew existed.
• Alex Carson, Bare Feet Records/Wooden Arms: It’s been a hectic year for Barefeet along with all that’s happening with Wooden Arms, if I had to pick a favourite, and it’s always hard, I would have to say I’ve really enjoyed local outfit Real Life Charm.
• Charlie South, The Brickmakers: It’s been a great year for us. Doing up the bar has really improved the venue. Getting involved with Metal 2 the Masses has certainly been a highlight and the Thrashersaurus events have been a great new fixture to the calendar.
• Dan Reynolds, Oxjam Team: The 2014 Oxjam event was a fantastic success and all down to the gig-goers, bands and venues of Norwich.
• Rosie Arnold, Norwich Sound & Vision programmer & Gravy Records: We were all [NS&V team] really pleased with Sound and Vision this year, it was more concise and the feedback very positive. On the Gravy front it was great to get going again after our enforced sabbatical. We have some great releases coming up; look out for Popop, Bk & Dad and lots more Gravy nights.
• Kingsley Harris, East Anglian Music Archive, Eastzone Records: It’s been a quiet year on the release front but we have lots of projects going on behind the scenes. The Archive website attracted around 1300 hits a month which has been great at this early stage. It was fantastic to see so many of the local releases come out on vinyl, still my favourite format (fetch my pipe and slippers). Bands I really enjoyed were Khan, they don’t play often but it’s my kind of thing; also, thinking about it there wasn’t a gig I didn’t enjoy this year, so all of them.