Norwich Pop Underground Convention

VINCE YALLOP Now in its fourth year, the Norwich Pop Underground Convention (NPUC) returns in the first week of August, squeezing 40 bands, solo performers and a few DJs into Norwich Arts Centre in just four days.


Now in its fourth year, the Norwich Pop Underground Convention (NPUC) returns in the first week of August, squeezing 40 bands, solo performers and a few DJs into Norwich Arts Centre in just four days.

The event found a stable friend in the form of the arts centre last year after 2003 and 2004 weekends saw a daily jump between venues where things didn't always go to plan - leaving organisers Metal Queen Projects tearing their hair out.

Last year NPUC helped pull in £1500 for the art centre's auditorium appeal and this year's profits will go to the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, now in its 201st year, which is fundraising to provide a new community activity centre.

As ever, NPUC deliberately brings together a very mixed bag of styles - lo-fi acoustic, alternative rock, electronica (experimental and hardcore) and a tiny bit of alt-folk and alt-country. Each night both the main room and the bar will be full of music.

NPUC's opening night on Thursday, sees the return of Euros Childs (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci) to the arts centre with his psychedelic pop, supported by quirky DIY lo-fi popsters Bearsuit, plus, headlining in the bar, last year's EDP Next Big Thing II competition winners Le Tetsuo.

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Next Friday night (August 4) is much harder, with Glasgow rockers Part Chimp and Gameboy gabba man DJ Scotch Egg, while Next Big Thing II finalists Cortez headline in the bar.

Saturday night (August 5) is a space-themed fancy dress electro party with the first live performance in Norwich by Radioactive Man (aka Keith Tenniswood - of Two Lone Swordmen), supported by the rolling electric sounds of one-man laptop band Synapse, hip hop MC Chrome (Def Tex) with Ill Inspiried and scuzzy techno and heavy bass from Sukoshi (aka Mark Jennings, who is also the frontman of alternative British country band Master Solo, playing on Friday). There is also a mystery film screening.

Sunday evening sees accordion-wielding, mariachi-loving, instrument-swapping duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw, supported by Magoo (playing an acoustic set) and lo-fi electro-pop shenanigans from Alto45.

There are also two free daytime events - a “mosty acoustic afternoon” on the Saturday (headlined by the well-travelled experimental alt-folk guy knowns as Onions), then the traditional Sunday electro-picnic, where you can soak in some beeps and squeaks while-u-eat.

A barbecue will be running at most events.

It's the kind of variety that made John Peel's programmes such a joy to listen to and it follows that many of those playing have been featured on One Music shows that replaced his slot on Radio 1.

Presenters Huw Stephens and Rob Da Bank have become big fans of Rory McVicar (Huw picking him to play on his Latitude festival stage a few weekends ago) and have also featured tracks to download from Giant Robot and the City of Tokyo, The Bells The Bells!, Sukoshi and Tiger MCs (aka NPUC booker James Butcher). And a fortnight ago Rob Da Bank aired Magoo's latest Maida Vale session.

Wristband tickets are now on sale at Norwich Arts Centre, giving admission to all the evening performances, priced £16 - a saving of £7 on tickets for individual events. Box office P 01603 660352. Tickets for individual nights are also available from

Further details about bands, including links to their websites, at and


Thursday August 3

t 8-11pm, £6 advance: Euros Childs, Bearsuit, Giant Robot and the City of Tokyo, Le Tetsuo, Grand Prix '86, Rory McVicar, We'll Sell You... Ghost Meat.

Friday August 4

t 8-11.30pm, £5 advance: Part Chimp, DJ Scotch Egg, Fun! Yeah!, Cruiser Chimps, Cortez, Master Solo, Tell Me How..., Chihiro, Gerry! Taylor.

Saturday August 5

t 1.30-5pm, free: Onions, Tiger MCs, Depo, the Rebeccas, Lucky Jim (Alto45), Katnkowala.

t 8pm-1am, £7 advance: Radioactive Man, Synapse, Chrome and Ill Inspired, Sukoshi, Nham Nation DJs, The Bells, the Bells!, the Captain, Hoofus.

Sunday August 6

t 1.30-5pm, free: Acetone, Kid Atom, Forest Dialects, Luke Abbott (Output Recordings), the Helvetica Scenario, the Paperchip Trio.

t 8-11pm, £5 advance: A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Magoo (acoustic), Alto45, Happy J Fost DJs.

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