Esben & The Witch
Norwich Sound & Vision brings a host of acts to the city this weekend, including goth-tronica outfit Esben & The Witch, Ipswich hip hop prodigy Dels and Jack Savoretti. Plus Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Fenech-Soler and Enter Shikari.
ESBEN & THE WITCH
Norwich Arts Centre, September 30
Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben & the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far and beyond any standard set of musical touchstones. Nature and literature, art and science, history and the unknown — the trio eschews the everyday for inspiration drawn from sources weird and wonderful, as well as the occasional Scott Walker and PJ Harvey record.
Captivating, haunting goth-tronica is made to sound very bleak on the trio’s debut album, Violent Cries, which despite the band being listed on the BBC’s Sound of 2011 shortlist is unlikely to feature on many Radio 1 playlists.
Though they draw on the usual goth tropes, the band do twist them into unusual shapes. Singer Rachel Davies’ vocals — part Siouxsie Sioux, part PJ Harvey — are given a backdrop of synths and guitars in their gloomy, chorus-fearing goth and post-punk-inspired songs. there are echoes of the more mournful strains of dubstep and, fittingly, the dance sub-genre, witch house.
This appearance, part of Norwich Sound & vision, will see them supported by Beth Jeans Houghton and Balaclava Kid & Dad. While in the Arts Centre bar, ‘BBC Norfolk Introducing presents’ will be hosting Girl In A Thunderbolt and more.
n Further listening: esbenandthewitch.co.uk
BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH
Norwich Arts Centre, October 3
After releasing his debut EP A Million Miles Out at the end of 2010, Yorkshire-born singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich has been garnering praise.
Radio 1 DJs Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton gave his track Atlas Hands significant support on their shows, and it was also added to XFM’s Evening Playlist. A live session for Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show saw him also cover Rebellion by Arcade fire with the track going on to be downloaded over 20,000 times.
‘Singer-songwriter’ is not a term embraced by many musicians, but for Leftwich it feels far from insulting. A self-taught guitarist, he had plenty of time to perfect his craft and started playing at the age of 10. Growing up on a diet of The Rolling Stones and Nina Simone, he also cites Kate Bush, Sigur Ros, Bruce Springsten and Ryan Adams as influences.
Pictures, his eagerly anticipated follow-up EP, has just been released and melds his flair for delicate and beautiful songwriting with hope strewn lyrics and delicate melodies.
n Further listening: benjaminfrancisleftwich.com
Waterfront, October 4
Though they could easily confused as being from over on the continent, Fenech-Soler are in fact an electro-pop outfit from Northamptonshire. they are sure to receive a warm reception at this date having had to rearrange it after singer Ben Duffy revealed he has been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The band called off a nine-date tour which had been set to begin on March 22 in Norwich. Duffy described his diagnosis as a “big shock for all of us”. but added: “On the positive side it has been caught very early and the recovery rate for this type of cancer is extremely high.”
Thankfully he is now recovered. The foursome, have been described by smitten critics as “the future of white dancefloor-scorching electro-funk” and “a band on the verge of very big things indeed”, released their debut album at the end of 2010. Their radio-friendly nous and festival verve saw their independently released single, Stop & stare, play-listed on Radio 1 and reach the top 10 of both the dance and indie singles chart before they were signed. they donated the proceeds from their last single Stop and stare to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
n Further listening: fenechsoler.co.uk
The outrageously popular St Albans screamo punks return with their unique blend of herky jerky hardcore and stabbing, Altern8 electronics, which they refer to as ‘trancecore’.
Having toured mercilessly since forming in 2003, Enter Shikari are now well known for powerful live performances with energetic breaks and interludes during sets. The band’s trademark sound encompasses hardcore, screamo and electronic beats.
It has been nearly two years since the band last undertook a full UK headline tour, so anticipation is high and you’ll be lucky to get a ticket.
Since their last tour there has only been occasional burst of activity the most pronounced of which being either the four headline dates in February 2010 which resulted in the Blackpool Empress Ballroom’s roof falling in, and ended with the band’s biggest headline show to date at London’s 5000 capacity Hammersmith Apollo, or the stint with 30 Seconds To Mars around arenas last December.
For this run of UK dates, they’ve invited friends and fellow Hertfordshire hardcore outfit your Demise, and explosive LA combo LetLive to join them.
n Further listening: entershikari.com
Norwich Sound & Vision: Esben & The Witch + more (indie) — Arts Centre
Norwich Sound & Vision: Jack Savoretti + more (acoustic/indie) — Bicycle Shop
Norwich Sound & Vision: Freya Roy + more (acoustic) — St Gregory’s
In Rapture (indie/rock) — Brickmakers
Masters of Pain (rock) — King Edward VII
The Planks (soul) — Blueberry
Rockin Devil Band (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Acaysha (folk/roots) — Brewery Tap
Daaron King — The Nelson
Rock‘n’Roll Kirk — Trowel & Hammer
Steve Moyse — The Farmhouse
Ricci — Quebec Tavern
Lisa Marie — The Perseverance
Norwich Sound & Vision: DELS + more (indie/hip hop) — Arts Centre
Norwich Sound & Vision: Ellen & The Escapades + more (acoustic) — Bicycle Shop
Norwich Sound & Vision: Magic Panda + more (indie) — St Gregory’s
Norwich Sound & Vision: Miserable Rich (pop/indie) — Hog in Armour
Forward: feat. Aba Shanti + more (roots/reggae) — Norfolk Showground
Dying Breeds (punk/rockabilly) — B2
Floating Greyhounds (rock) — Brickmakers
Pout At The Devil (glam rock) — Blueberry
The Divide (rock) — King Edward VII
Honeydripper (rock/blues) — Eaton Cottage
ABC Blues Brothers (tribute) — Lakenham Cock
Memphis Index — Arkwrights
Barry Lee— Heath House
Barry’s White — Quebec Tavern
Janie K — The Windmill
Peter Sisman — Trowel & Hammer
Kids in Glass Houses (rock) — UEA
Various Cruelties (indie) — Waterfront
Mucked up Funkies (rock/funk) — Boundary
Murphy’s Lore (folk/roots/2pm) — Brewery Tap
Rich Buddie featuring Turk (jazz) — Walnut Tree Shades
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Benjamin Francis Leftwich (acoustic/indie) — Arts Centre
Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers
Jazz N Jam: feat. Lee Vasey — Blueberry
Fenech-Soler (indie/electronic) — Waterfront
Breaking Belief (rock/indie) — Brickmakers
Simon Brown Trio (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man
Enter Shikari (rock) — UEA
Forever The Sickest Kids (pop-punk) — Waterfront
Chance McCoy/Old Sledge (indie/roots) — Arts Centre
The bad Apples + more (rock/indie) — B2
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Atongo Zimba (world) — Arts Centre
Limehouse Lizzy (tribute/rock) — Waterfront
Electric Youth Revolts (metal) — B2
Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Boney Fingers (country) — Royal British Legion
Energy (pop/rock) — Brickmakers
Againt The Grain (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Johnny Jump Band (blues) — Micawbers