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Review: A night of power chords, boiler suits, mullets and wonderful rock and roll with Sunflower Bean at Open Norwich

PUBLISHED: 11:29 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:48 27 March 2018

Sunflower Bean are set to play Norwich Open

Sunflower Bean are set to play Norwich Open

Archant

You can't beat seeing a band on the up, in a venue the size of which they're unlikely to be playing for long.

And given New York trio Sunflower Bean arrived in Norwich just a couple of days after the release of their very highly-rated second album, Twentytwo In Blue, this was one of those gigs.

As they proudly announced halfway through the show, that album has already hit the top 40 in the UK thanks to some decent radio airplay and some rave reviews. And quite right too - it’s a corker.

At Open’s intimate club room, they treat an enthusiastic crowd to mostly songs from that latest release, but with a few from 2016s Human Ceremony thrown into the mix.

It really is a superb gig. The band, Nick Kivlen (lead guitar and vocals), Jacob Faber (drums), and Julia Cumming (bass and lead vocals) seem so at ease with each other and with their roles on stage.

In her very first words Cumming proudly states that ‘tonight were gonna play some rock and roll’ and that’s exactly what we get. An hour of triumphant, powerful and downright fun songs.

There’s more than a few nods to the 80s in both the look of this band (mullets (check), leather jackets (check), dodgy moustache (check), boiler suit (check)) and the sound (close your eyes and it’s easy to imagine Blondie or Fleetwood Mac coming back at you).

Yet despite the echoes of the past, they sound completely fresh and thrilling.

Highlights include the melodic I Was a Fool, a passionate Crisis Fest, complete with crowd chants of ‘no, no, no’, Twentytwo and the brilliant opener Burn It, which perfectly showcases Kivlen’s powerful rock chords and searing guitar solos.

They bring it all to a close with a brilliant rock out, before exiting the stage to rapturous applause.

I mean no disrespect to this excellent venue, but I’ll happily predict that in a years time we’ll be seeing Sunflower Bean grace even bigger stages than this as their star quite rightly rises.

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