Review: First night of Norwich Sound and Vision

Animal Noise at Norwich Arts Centre for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry.

Animal Noise at Norwich Arts Centre for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry. - Credit: Sammy Merry

Now in its seventh year and spread across an impressive 10 venues, Norwich Sound and Vision is an annual highlight in the city's live music calendar.

Cabbage at The Mash Tun for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry.

Cabbage at The Mash Tun for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry. - Credit: Sammy Merry

Like a music festival without the hassle of camping and plastic toilets, this year's event boasts a superb, diverse line up.

So Thursday night begins at Norwich Arts Centre where the sound of Animal Noise is dripping out of the main room. I'm not sure which animal call the band are trying to emulate with their name, but it's a fine blend of delicate melodies and riff-heavy Black Keys noise. Finger picked guitars layered over swampy, strummed bass chords is a signature more bands should adopt as their brief frenetic set is gratefully received by an already substantial crowd.

Further up the road at The Mash Tun things are a lot more raucous with Norwich's own Bald Wife thrashing out a mighty rumble. Despite being a two-piece band of drums and guitar they manage to overtake the small upstairs room and fill it with an eardrum-shaking racket. If you can imagine the Lighthouse Family doing Coldplay covers that would be the exact opposite of Bald Wife. Loud, raw and enthralling from start to finish, even if their name is a bit suspect.

Speaking of peculiar band names, next up is Manchester's newest indie hopefuls who arrive with the surreal welcome of 'good evening Norwich we are Cabbage.' With gritty songs about dinner ladies and contactless payments, Cabbage are captivating, funny and look like the unruly northern band you always wanted to be in.

Bald Wife at The Mash Tun for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry.

Bald Wife at The Mash Tun for Norwich Sound and Vision 2016. Photo: Sammy Merry. - Credit: Sammy Merry


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Their show brings to mind the chaotic live energy of previous Sound and Vision indie heroes the Palma Violets as throughout the set instruments are swapped, microphones are shared and a turbulent psych-punk sound recalling the Happy Mondays and Public Image Limited fills the small room. While their name might be a bit mundane their music is anything but. Five boys full of youthful energy and killer tunes, Cabbage are surely set for bigger things very soon and a splendid moment for The Mash Tun. Also they have fantastic hair.

Sammy Merry

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