The six must-see gigs in Norwich this July

Latitude festival 2013 Saturday.

Latitude festival 2013 Saturday. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Music maestro Alex Flood picks out the best of the live gigs on offer in and around Norwich this month.

A host of cracking artists, new and old, are stopping off in and around the Mustard City this month. Alex Flood looks at July's gig highlights.

• Deacon Blue – Thetford Forest – July 13

The first of a number of events on this list taking place in the surrounding Norfolk area, is Scottish pop-rock band, Deacon Blue, and their July 13 concert at Thetford Forest. Taking their name directly from a Steely Dan song, the Glasgow quartet will play the leafy venue just after their sub-headline billing at Kent's Hop Farm festival on July 6. The gig is part of a larger tour in conjunction with the Forestry Commission, which will see different artists perform in spectacular woodland locations around the country. Other collaborators on the tour include James Blunt, Paul Weller and Jessie J.

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• Citizen – Epic Studios – July 16

Mid-western grunge outfit, Citizen, are an up and coming neo-punk band who combine thundering rock riffs a la Foo Fighters, with melancholic, rippling guitar lines to create their own brand of laid-back pop-rock of the same ilk as northern giants Elbow. Heading out on their debut full-length UK tour, the Michigan natives are sure to produce a performance over-flowing with youthful energy and raw talent.

• Latitude Festival – Henham Park, Southwold – July 17-20

East Anglia's annual music extravaganza returns this July, and with some of the most exciting acts yet already scheduled to play, this year's instalment of the Suffolk festival promises to be the best effort yet. An intriguing mixture of established acts and newcomers are on the bill, with former-Blur frontman, Damon Albarn, indie-rock band, Bombay Bicycle Club, and American blues duo, The Black Keys, named as headliners. Other standout names include Aussie sixties revivalists, Tame Impala, Leeds punk rockers, Eagulls, and Chicago-born blues man, Willis Earl Beal, as well as many more! A jam-packed weekend of sensational live music, hilarious stand-up comedy, good food and impressive literary exploits await any of those lucky enough to be in possession of a ticket.

• Slaves – Epic – July 18

Grunge-rock band, Slaves, play Norwich's Epic Studios on July 18, marking a big step up for the Kent two-piece. Purveyors of lo-fi, garage rock 'n' roll, the two childhood friends, Isaac Holman (Vocals, Drums) and Laurie Vincent (Guitar, Vocals), released their debut album, Sugar Coated Bitter Truth, through Girl Fight Records in July 2012 and are now signed to the prestigious Virgin EMI label. This date at Epic studios could be a last chance to see an act obviously destined for bigger things play in an intimate setting.

• Beach Boys – Newmarket Racecourse – July 18

Yet another event from slightly further afield than Norwich's fabled streets, but perhaps even more enticing to the music fan. West-coast superstars and sixties idols, the Beach Boys, make their Adnams Newmarket Nights debut this Summer at Newmarket Racecourse, bringing their near endless stream of pop-rock hits to East Anglia for a rare occasion. Classic tracks such as 'Good Vibrations', 'Surfin' USA' and 'California Girls' blasting out at a venue that attracts over 100,000 visitors per annum is surely too good an opportunity to miss out on?

• Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons – NAC – July 24

Representing a rather more chilled-out vibe are English slide-guitarist, Martin Simpson (renowned worldwide), and American banjo player, Dom Flemons (former member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops). The duo are set to perform new collaborative material at Norwich Arts Centre on July 24, and are sure to put on a wonderfully soothing and inspiring night of acoustic music from English and American folk traditions.

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