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Live music coming to popular Norwich pub

Singer Doug Brown who will be starting acoustic sessions in the Murderers/Gardeners Arms on Timberhill. Photo: Steve Adams

Singer Doug Brown who will be starting acoustic sessions in the Murderers/Gardeners Arms on Timberhill. Photo: Steve Adams

Live music is coming to one of Norwich’s most popular pubs with the owner’s son returning from Tenerife to create a new venue for the city’s burgeoning acoustic scene.

The Murderers in Timberhill has not previously offered live music to its customers on a regular basis.

But Dougie Brown, son of owner Ivan Brown, is set to change that, with open mic nights starting at the pub’s top bar from tonight. The live music nights will run fortnightly at the Murderers from 8pm.

Dougie, who worked behind the bar at the pub as a teenager, has spent seven years as a singer-songwriter on the Spanish holiday island, where he also ran two record studios.

Now 32, he has brought his Swiss wife, Marie and son Rio, six, who is fluent in Spanish, back to Norwich, because he said he was missing his family too much.

He has just bought a house in Fifers Lane, Old Catton, and added: “I will be hosting the open mic nights and a friend of mine, a guitarist, William Philips, from Norwich will be accompanying me. We will be doing covers.

“I think they previously tried out a few live music events at the Murderers, but they were mainly just one-off bands.

“We want to create an atmosphere where unsigned credible artists can play and give them the opportunity to get used to performing live.

“It will be the same kind of atmosphere you would get playing at a club in London, with cool lighting and a bohemian atmosphere. It’s about making artists feel more important than if they were just playing in a dingy bar.

“There’s a great acoustic scene in Norwich with singer-songwriters, but there’s nowhere special for unsigned acoustic artists.

“We will make sure that people don’t speak when the performers are live. The top bar will be closed from the downstairs bar, where people can go if they want to talk.”

He is also looking to set up a record label in Norwich. His father said the venture was something fresh, and he was not particularly looking at it as profit-driven.

Dougie said: “It’s about getting the pub recognised as being artist-friendly. Hopefully, it will generate the kind of atmosphere that is so lacking in pubs nowadays. It’s something that we have really planning from the lighting to the sound angle.”

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