Norwich residents share their memories of seeing Ed Sheeran perform in the city

Double Brit Award winner Ed Sheeran singing outside The Forum in Norwich to launch the Next Big Thin

Double Brit Award winner Ed Sheeran singing outside The Forum in Norwich to launch the Next Big Thing in 2009. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant � 2009

Before he was filling arenas around the world, Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran took centre stage in Norwich, playing at various places across the city. We asked local residents to share their memories of the shows and this is what they said:

Alex Carson of the Wooden Arms, who used to work at the Birdcage in Norwich back when Ed Sheeran wou

Alex Carson of the Wooden Arms, who used to work at the Birdcage in Norwich back when Ed Sheeran would perform there. Photo: Michael Clement - Credit: Michael Clement

In the late 2000s, Alex Carson, a musician who hails from Norwich, worked as a runner/sound technician at The Birdcage on Pottergate and can recall seeing Ed perform at the venue numerous times.

The 28-year-old, who now lives in London, said: 'He made a promise to himself that he would play 300 shows in a year, I have no idea whether he actually managed to do it but I wouldn't put it past him, he was such a grafter.

'He'd play anywhere that would have him and sometimes he'd even do several shows in one night, often there would only be four or five people in the room and they'd all be completely drunk, but that didn't stop him, he always played well and confidently.'

Mr Carson, who is a member of the band, Wooden Arms, says he performed at a few of the same shows as Ed but at the time would never have guessed he would go on to amass such success.

Ed Sheeran performing with Joe Man of Norwich band Killamonjambo at Bedfords in 2009. Photo: Vincent

Ed Sheeran performing with Joe Man of Norwich band Killamonjambo at Bedfords in 2009. Photo: Vincent Newman - Credit: vincent newman


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He commented: 'There's no denying he's got the talent, but he never brought people along to the shows or sold any merch afterwards. I never thought he would actually become famous and I think there are probably lots of people who thought that as well, but he's proved everyone wrong.'

MORE: Do you remember these Ed Sheeran shows in Norwich?Vincent Newman also had the opportunity to perform with Sheeran at Lip Sync 101 in The Crypt at Bedfords in 2009, he said: 'I spoke to him after the gig and he was very friendly and just a really nice lad.

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'I asked him if he had a Facebook Music Fan Page and he said he did, so I looked him up the next day and he only had about 50-60 fans or so and no pictures, so I posted some on there for him from the gig.'

He added: 'We only had a crowd of about eight to ten people that night but Ed was great and performed with a big smile on his face - it was the first time I had seen somebody use a loop peddle for vocals and guitar live before.'

Dave Hart, a former research scientist at the Institute of Food Research who now works with Strangers Coffee, also managed to see some of Sheeran's early shows.

'I saw him play many times - at the Next Big Thing heats and final, the Brickmakers and at Bar Noir,' he said. 'The crowd at Bar Noir were especially rude, the louder he played, the louder they talked. Eventually Ed turned it all off, got up on a table and started to play an acoustic set.'

Fast forward to March 2017 and the Suffolk superstar has just released his third studio album, ÷ (Divide), which looks set to become the fastest-selling album of all time after shifting a whopping 232,000 copies in just one day.

• Do you have any photos from Ed Sheeran shows in Norwich? Send them to courtney.pochin@archant.co.uk

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