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A wall of noise in Norwich - exactly the gig the Arts Centre was made for

PUBLISHED: 13:46 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 05 June 2019

Gnoomes supporting Wooden Shjips at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve Hunt

Gnoomes supporting Wooden Shjips at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt

This is exactly the sort of gig Norwich Arts Centre was made for.

Gnoomes supporting Wooden Shjips at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve HuntGnoomes supporting Wooden Shjips at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve Hunt

Two exciting bands, creating a stunning wall of noise which is only enhanced by the acoustics in this former church turned gig venue.

This sold-out Monday night gig begins with a thrilling 45-minute set by Russian rock band Gnoomes. While I'd not come across them before, it later turns out this is their fifth visit to play our city, which perhaps would explain why there's is already a sizeable crowd to see them play. They knew it would be worth the early trip.

Their loud and brash psychedelic dance/rock reminds me very much of Scottish shoegazers Mogwai and goes down an absolute storm to an appreciative audience. You could easily imagine them headlining their own gig at this venue and it sets the bar high for the main act of the night.

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American four-piece Wooden Shjips have at least a decades worth of work to call on, but I only really became aware of them in the past few months thanks to some much deserved airplay on BBC6 Music.

Their latest album V. is an absolute corker and I'd been very excited to see it live since the gig was announced.

And they do not disappoint with an epic 90 minute set of experimental rock, which shakes the walls of the venue and would likely have left every person in attendance with more than just the songs ringing in their ears.

Much of the gig is made up of tracks from the latest release, which I'd compare to early Spiritualized. Most songs begin with a standout drumbeat, a riff or a bass line and simply build and build and build.

Wooden Shjips headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve HuntWooden Shjips headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Steve Hunt

While you might not be able to work out what he's singing, the shimmering, soaring guitar of lead singer/guitarist Erik 'Ripley' Johnson really stands out and gives each song the edge to take each one from being not just good, but great.

My highlights include Staring at the Sun, Eclipse and Ride On, while the excellent closer, a cover of Buddy by Snapper, sees the band exit stage left to deservedly positive levels of appreciation and love.

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