Folk fiddling, thrash metal and husband-and-wife Americana duo, gigs not to miss this week in Norfolk and beyond

The Handsome Family - aka husband-and-wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks - are at Norwich Arts Centre.

The Handsome Family - aka husband-and-wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks - are at Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Brandon Soder - Credit: Archant

The Handsome Family, Fairground Attraction founder Mark Nevin, 90s indie band Space, Celtic Fiddle Festival and mosh-metal jokers Anthrax all feature.

Mark Nevin, founding member and songwriter of Fairground Attraction, brings his new album, My Unfash

Mark Nevin, founding member and songwriter of Fairground Attraction, brings his new album, My Unfashionable Opinion. Picture: Mark Arrigo - Credit: Archant

• Mark Nevin

Fisher Theatre, Bungay, February 17, 7.30pm, £15 (£12 cons), 01986 897130, www.fishertheatre.org

Mark Nevin came to prominence in the late 1880s as the founding member, guitarist and songwriter of Fairground Attraction, with whom he enjoyed the number one single Perfect and multi-platinum album, First of a Million Kisses – each received a Brit award. He went on to collaborate as co-writer to Morrissey (scoring four top 20 singles), Kirsty MacColl and Lloyd Cole, while his songs have been covered, among many others, by David Bowie, Joe Cocker and Ringo Starr. He has also produced a string of solo albums and here brings his band in support of his new album, My Unfashionable Opinion.


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• Anthrax

UEA LCR, Norwich, February 17, 7pm, £27.50, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

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New York metal veterans that were one of the so-called 'Big Four' of the 1980s thrash metal breakthrough returns to play not only new material from their 11th album, For All Kings, but also play their 1987 seminal album Among the Living in its entirety. Unlike the other 'Big Four' — Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, they always had humour to the fore, whether it was celebrating geekdom by immortalising Judge Dredd with I Am The Law or enthusiastically challenging unimaginative fans by collaborating with rappers Public Enemy. Support from The Raven Age.

• Phil Beer

Thrash metal pioneers Anthrax will be playing their classic album Amoung The Living in full. Picture

Thrash metal pioneers Anthrax will be playing their classic album Amoung The Living in full. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The Cut, Halesworth, February 18, 7.30pm, £14, 0300 3033211, www.newcut.org

One of the UK's most popular ambassadors for folk and roots music, multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer is perhaps best known for his highly successful partnership with Steve Knightley in top UK roots/acoustic outfit Show of Hands, voted Best Live Act at the BBC Folk Awards. He also features in the all-star line-up of Feast of Fiddles. However Phil is equally popular in his solo incarnation where he expertly demonstrates his virtuoso skills on slide, Spanish and tenor guitar, cello-mandolin, fiddle, mandolin and South American cuattro, not to mention contributing rich vocals to a range of traditional, roots and Americana material.

• Space

Waterfront Studio, King Street, Norwich, February 18, 7.30pm, £15, 01603 508050, www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

Nineties indie band Space, who scored hits with songs including Female of the Species, Neighbourhood and The Ballad of Tom Jones, arrive as part of a UK tour in the wake of their recent album Give Me Your Future, follow-up to Attack Of The Mutant 50ft Kebab, which had been their first album in a decade. Vocalist/guitarist Tommy Scott said: 'When we tour, we love playing the old stuff, but I always knew I wanted to record some new material. We know the fans like to hear the old classics, but we wanted to give them something extra.'

• Celtic Fiddle Festival

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, February 19, 8pm, £17, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

Three of the finest folk fiddlers Kevin Burke (Ireland), Christian Lemaître (Brittany, France) and Charlie McKerron (Scotland) will be showcasing a fascinating juxtaposition of international and individual styles. Celtic Fiddle Festival was originally conceived as a unique touring project in 1992 and proved such a success that a live recording was released. Four albums and numerous international tours later, they are joined by acclaimed guitarist Nicolas Quemener, from Brittany, for another evening of regional music and breathtaking performances.

• The Nightingales

Norwich Arts Centre, February 20, 8pm, £8, 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Wire-y and edgy polito-punks with wry humour, formed by former members of Birmingham's original punk group The Prefects following that band's demise in 1979 return. Having split up in the late 1980s they've embarked on a sporadic series of reformations. Featuring founder member vocalist Robert Lloyd, along with Andreas Schmid from Faust on bass, ex-Violet Violet drummer Fliss Kitson and guitarist James Smith, they visit on the back of a creative renaissance including 2015's album, Mind Over Matter, considered one of their best.

• The Handsome Family

Norwich Arts Centre, February 21, 8pm, £15, 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Husband-and-wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks' embrace a wide sweep of musical references, from medieval ballad and Appalachian holler to Tin Pan Alley and punk rock. Best known for their 2003 song Far From Any Road bring chosen by T Bone Burnett as the theme tune to the HBO TV series True Detective, their tenth album, Unseen, is steeped in the western gothic of New Mexico life with its unique mix of country instrumentation and intriguing surrealist lyricism.

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