Welcome to this brand new segment! In Gotta Catch ‘Em All! Anti Despair Machine shares with you the best live music tips for Norwich in the month ahead. March is a busy one folks, so make sure you pop your boots on and head down to your closest venue. You’ll see some familiar faces, and some fresh ones too. Read our top eight picks below, and head to the bottom of the post to hear all the mentioned acts in our official Spotify playlist…
Jade Bird plus Jack Vallier
Thursday 1st March, The Waterfront Studio
Kicking things off is singer-songwriter Jade Bird, who landed a place in the BBC’s prestigious Sound Of 2018 poll at the end of last year. Despite being just 20 years old, she has received praise from NME, Noisey, and even Rolling Stone Magazine who describe her sound as “A young Londoner’s spin on modern Americana, driven forward by killer pipes and an acoustic guitar”.
Everything Everything plus PumaRosa
Friday 2nd March, UEA LCR
Indie/art rockers Everything Everything released their fourth album ‘A Fever Dream’ in 2017, proving that the Mancunian group can still do weird as well as they ever could. Anyone who’s seen the band before will know to expect dazzling production, lively crowds, and an all-encompassing hurricane of oddball noises. Snap your tickets up ASAP and get there early to see PumaRosa; the group combine dance and performance aspects with their flowing, alt-rock songs.
Fickle Friends plus Swimming Girls, The Islas
Sunday 11th March, EPIC Studios
Tropical disco with a slick 80s twist is what Fickle Friends do best. Fronted by the ever cheerful Natti Shiner, the group have worked their way through the indie circuit in the past few years, and are now gearing up to release their debut album ‘You Are Someone Else’. Awash with bright colours and summery melodies, their show is the perfect antidote to cold and the grey outside. And the support’s good too – Swimming Girls, a delicious dream-pop group from Bath.
Mahalia plus Iyamah
Sunday 11th March, Norwich Arts Centre
If tropical indie isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. Also that night rising R’n’B/soul singer Mahalia makes her Norwich debut at the Arts Centre, for what promises to be an ‘I was there!’ show. Championed by Rudimental and Ed Sheeran (the latter of whom she opened for this month at a special Brit Awards gig) Mahalia is an innate talent with a refreshingly sweet vocal style. Fans of Jorja Smith and Loyle Carner should take a punt and see her before she blows up.
Tom Grennan plus Ten Tonnes
Sunday 18th March, The Waterfront
Lending his vocals to Chase & Status is what shot Tom Grennan to the limelight at the end of 2016, but ultimately it’s the Bedford rascal’s own swagger which has made him such a phenomenon. “Laddish but likeable”, as The Guardian describes him, Grennan’s debut album ‘Lighting Matches’ is slated for a May release. And you may have to wait until then if you want to see him; this run of dates is entirely sold out, so if you have a ticket, cherish it wisely. And get down for Ten Tonnes beforehand – the younger brother of George Ezra, his chirpy guitar-pop songs stick in your head after just one listen.
The Wombats plus The Night Café, Bloxx
Sunday 25th March, UEA LCR
Who’s up for a little Sunday night hormone-induced moshing action? You’d better be if you plan on seeing Liverpool indie heroes The Wombats when they roll back into town. Musical arsenal fully restocked with a brand new album (the succinctly titled ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’) this is the big one in the March calendar. It’s another sell out – if you don’t have a precious ticket, track one down, and quick. This will be a night you don’t want to miss.
Sunflower Bean plus Sorry
Monday 26th March, OPEN Norwich
You may have seen Sunflower Bean when they opened for Wolf Alice at the LCR last Autumn. The New York natives have made waves as cult faves for some years now, but as they gear up to release their second studio album ‘Twentytwo In Blue’ it’s clear they have world domination set firmly in their sights. Part of a four month tour spanning Europe and America, this will be a very special show indeed. Like a modern Fleetwood Mac, Julia Cumming’s honeyed voice drips over the trio’s glistening, 70s-sounding guitars, as much a delight for the ears live as on record.
Friendly Fires plus Franc Moody
Friday 30th March, The Waterfront
Finally, celebrate the long-awaited return of Friendly Fires at what will be (can you believe) only their second UK show in five years. Playing dance-oriented music with the feel of indie pop but the insistent pulse of disco, the St Albans group have been away since 2011. But with new material finally set to arrive this year you can expect the band to be ready and raring to go. And it’s a Friday night! What better way to bid farewell to March?