Talent crosses the generation gap

The Webb Brothers @ Norwich Arts Centre.Reviewer: Richard Fryer.

The Webb Brothers @ Norwich Arts Centre

By Richard Fryer

Merely being the offspring of famous musical parents does not always guarantee that you will inherit that talent. Many a fine songwriter has produced a sibling with the right breeding but the wrong songs.

However tonight at Norwich Arts Centre the Webb Brothers proved that their father's wealth of material had impinged itself upon their song writing. For Christian and Justin Webb are the sons of 60s songwriter Jimmy Webb.

Webb, penned of the 60s most memorable songs including Macarthur Park, Wichita Lineman and By The Time I Get To Phoenix. His sons already have a collection of possible classic songs in their repertoire.

Their sound however is more contemporary and less retrogressive than you would imagine. It would have been an easy route for them to take to have followed in their father's footsteps.

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True some songs do have their father's ear for haunting melodies and harmonies but on Summer People they sound more like Jonathon Richman just after he had left an American high school. Their image may have a hint of the Walker Brothers but their sound is more like an outgoing Ben Folds Five. Some of their rockier and psychedelic laden tunes are a whole continent away from their father's ideals.

Whether or not they will succeed in the harsh world of the music industry is another matter but one thing is for certain they have the ability to write memorable songs that their father would be proud of.

Support band I Am Kloot have in singer/songwriter John Bradwell a man who sounds and looks uncannily like lost one time popstar Lee Mavers of the La's. In Sunlight in the Snow with its lazy jazz laden guitar chords and the atmospheric Storm Warming they have songs that augur well for the band's future.

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