ABC Taxis’ top Norwich Bands making us miss live gigs
Norwich has been left high and dry for live music. Besides the blissful couple months of awkwardly social distanced performances, it’s been nearly 10 months since we’ve had a gig – which leaves all of us with the lingering question: ‘Why did I ever do anything but say “yes” to every gig my friends tried to drag me along to?’ Yes, that’s all my friends: Yes to the craft-beer, suspenders-wearing indie snobs; yes to the glory-days big hair tribute-band mosh-pit crew; yes to the low-rumble coffee-shop and bar jazz masters; and no, I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to show up to my friend’s open-mic night at the Walnut Tree every once in a while.
While I’m sure we all miss the roar of stadiums, the epic pyrotechnics, the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimages to colossal concerts, many of my most vivid memories of musical experiences come from the more intimate setting of local gigs. Think the Brickmakers, the Wildman, the Rumsey Wells. The way sound bounces off the ageless bricks in Bedford’s Crypt. A moment of silence for The Open, where many of the bands who paid their dues touring bars and basements would have an evening of glory.
Music and the internet are two things I’m sure we’re all grateful for this pandemic. Without musicians keeping us entertained with livestreams and online releases, the monotony of lockdown would be so much harder to bear. The everyday walk to the corner-shop can feel like a whole new route depending on your choice of soundtrack. Is it a heavy-footed swagger to the heavy beats of a hip-hop tune or a pensive meander to your ex’s favourite folk song that you forgot to take off your playlist?
And yet, despite an infinite library of amazing music, here we are missing the unpredictability of live gigs. Sure, Woodstock was once-in-a-lifetime but so is the band’s lead singer taking off an article of clothing after every song, so is a punk band improvising a jazz cover of their own song because someone in the crowd requested it, so are two strangers playing Nina Simone together at an open mic because they were talking about her at the bar where they met an hour ago. These are examples of things many Norwich gig-goers have been lucky enough to bear witness to.
So today, ABC Taxis is taking a moment to promote the local bands we’re all waiting to return to once lockdown is truly lifted, the bands we’ll never take for granted ever again.
Starting off our list is a band whose dreamy, psychedelic songs sweep us further away with every twinkly strum and every wistful harmony. Their hit song Chamomile can melt sweat-soaked venue walls and take a crowded room far, far away with them. Despite being such a new and exciting sound, nostalgia pours from every tune.
Bag of Cans
Turning up the tempo to the max, Bag of Cans are Norwich’s resident show-stoppers. There’s talent, there’s stage-presence, there’s funky-punky-kitchen-sink-indie excellent song-writing and there’s just old-fashion having fun. Bag of Cans have released a fantastic discography of energetic tracks but their live shows is why lists like these exist. Just try and stop yourself from going berserk.
It’s not often that a band comes out with the confidence, experimentation and musical richness that it can take most bands years to accumulate. Racing out of the gates as a ferocious three-piece, they’ve since expanded into a refined junkadelic 6-piece band with a masterful control any venue’s atmosphere.
Going stir crazy in your room? This pop-punk trio just came out with a fantastic new banger of a single reminiscent of the kind of the teenage anthems that made up the soundtrack to our teenage angst. Made up of siblings Maddie and Frankie along with their BFF Rhiannon, their live gigs are a good time no holds barred.
We can’t wait to be arms linked and swaying the moody slow-jams courtesy of Kitty Perrin. Her soft voice enticingly disguising the sharp wit of her lyricism. Sometimes we want to mosh, but sometimes we want to witness a passionate performance from an authentic storyteller. See her while she’s still in Norwich because it won’t be long until she’s swept away on tour.
Shrouded in the mists of Ireland are Emma O’Reilly’s theatrical indie folk tunes. Her Twtich streams have been wonderful company during Lockdown. However, nothing compares to her magnetic presence live. A versatile performer, she’s ready for whatever the audience throws at her.
Bringing the energy right back up are high-energy rock band with dark, distorted bangers on full blast. Switching between the expansive vocals of Helena Lewis and thumping hip-hop of Will Calvert, their live shows have the roof collapsing with bassy riffs and face-melting guitar solos.
This list is by no means exhaustive and we’re sure more of Norwich’s amazing live bands will appear on another blog soon. We can’t wait until we can dance, mosh, sing to these amazing bands and artists at Norwich’s iconic venues. As always, ABC Taxis is the fastest, easiest and safest way to go to and from the once-in-a-lifetime moments from our city’s greatest shows.