The one thing to know about the Norfolk music scene is that whatever your taste there are enough musicians and venues to keep you happy every night.
Over the last year there has been an explosion of new talent. From the raw energy of a band like The Renadeans to the amazing vocals of Lily-Ann Reeve fronting pop-rockers The Visitors. However hard you try, it seems impossible to keep a check on everything that’s going on, which is a good thing as it means there’s always something new to discover.
Norwich is the hub, boasting great venues large and small. From the award winning Norwich Arts Centre and Brickmaker’s pub to independents like The Owl Sanctuary. New larger venues like Epic studios and Open have joined long-timers The Waterfront and UEA to allow bigger acts the chance to play alongside those local bands. And all of them seeming to attract a healthy gig-going public to follow their favourite act.
And it’s not just the newbies that are breaking through, the Norfolk scene has started producing some big-hitters too. Mullally recently signed to Atlantic, Mammal Hands are making waves in the jazz world and Let’s Eat Grandma recently releasing Hot Pink shows they are working hard on a follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album I Gemini.
Things to look forward to in the near future. The release of the new Ducking Punches album – this post-punk band have grown from a solo project by front man Dan Allen to a band capable of touring Europe alongside the likes of Frank Turner. Maya Law has been working away on new material and has that great ability to slip between several playing styles – one minute reggae-tinged solo guitar, the next backed by cool glitch electro. Whatever she plays, though, her class comes through and it’s not surprising she’s beginning to get more and more national radio play. Peach Club have just punched back into vision with a classy EP full of riot-grrl lyrics and great tunes which is getting them on the bill of gigs much further afield than their home county. One bit of news to add to that list is that there could even be an album on the way from British rapper and Thetford’s Finest, Franko Fraize.
If you like your music with a more Americana feel, the New Country scene has blossomed of late with full-on bands like Morganway and Sam Coe and The Long Shadows, both of whom supported The Shires last year. Hot on their heels are solo acts like Yve Mary B, Jess Morgan, Vic Allen, Emily Frith – with teen Lucy Grubb recently winning Country EP of the Year from Belles and Gals.
So whether you like the loud, the quiet, the unusual, pure pop or experimental there’s plenty to explore in every sound right now – and of course the best place to catch up on what’s happening is with BBC Music Introducing in Norfolk Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 6pm.