Sunday 31 January 2016

Kitty Daisy and Lewis and Bang Bang Romeo at Norwich Arts Centre

I missed Kitty Daisy and Lewis last time around at Norwich Arts Centre - it was June 2011, and they had just released their second album 'Smoking in Heaven'. I'd also copped out on their appearance at the opening night of Latitude in 2010, when they appeared as part of the Blues Brothers night in the Film Arena - I was too busy watching Nigel Kennedy flinging clocks at the audience with expletive-laden bonhomie, and Tom Jones refusing to sing any of his classic hits in one of the festival's infamous woodland lock-ins.

My first real exposure to them came, in fact, only last year when was researching some YouTube videos prior to reviewing their third album, the imaginatively titled  'Kitty Daisy and Lewis The Third'. It was then that the back story of the singing siblings from Kentish Town became known to me. According to the interviews, it appeared like something out of a bohemian fairy tale - two musical parents turn around one day and find that their three children have formed themselves into a little band and are playing down at the local pub. Babes in the Wood meets Cinderella.

That was back in 2000. Daisy was 12, Lewis was 10, and Kitty was only 7, but already the trio were spending Sunday afternoons (with the 'rents) at the 'Come Down and Meet The Folks' country and rockabilly club at North London's Golden Lion pub. When they got home after watching the bands, the three of them would start playing whatever instruments they found hanging around in the house. Soon they were themselves being invited up on stage at the Golden Lion.

In another early interview it is revealed that mother Ingrid would pick out vintage clothes in which to dress the children for school. 'Mum used to send me to primary school in old cowboy shirts with my quiff', recalls Lewis, whilst Kitty remembers being 'called a farmer's wife when I went to school in old fifties shirts'. They were teased for their quiffs, and got called 'Elvis' a lot.

Now depending on which parenting books you read, inflicting your own quirky fashion style on your children will either cause them psychological trauma from merciless playground teasing, or will toughen them up and teach them the importance of individuality. It takes a brave parent to successfully back their own convictions on that one.

And what about the advice on parenting that suggests that older siblings should not be made to share their toys with younger brothers and sisters, and that they should all be encouraged to have separate interests and friendship circles? How does a child learn how to interact and make friends if they only spend time with their own family? Once again, it would appear that the Durham children were lucky enough in having such eclectic parents that simply everyone wanted to be friends with them.

And Ingrid Weiss is one cool cookie. Back in the Eighties she was in a post-punk band called The Raincoats. They released four studio albums, and were allegedly one of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands. Father Graeme Durham owns and runs a mastering studio in London which has worked with, amongst others, Laura Marling, Chemical Brothers and Foals. His fascination with vintage recording equipment, together with Ingrid's interest in 40's and 50's fashion, has surely been instrumental (no pun intended) in helping to determine the children's musical path.

Which is why it was so interesting to watch Kitty Daisy and Lewis performing their set at Norwich Arts Centre, With father Graeme in the background playing rhythm guitar, and mother Ingrid switching between bass guitar and the 'not-so-easy-to-be-in-the-background-with' double bass, is this a genuine case of proud parents sharing the children's success, or does it suggest a moulding or manipulation process that started way back in 2000? Are they dining out on their children's success in order to feed their own fame addictions?

A lot of my overly cynical suspicion is admittedly the result of frustrated jealousy. How I wish my parents had been as idiosyncratic and as interesting. How I wish I had been encouraged to pick up an instrument at seven years of age, and encouraged to read music. I would have even put up with a quiff and the odd cowboy shirt - I was never going to be cool in the playground anyway, and would never have made the football team or broken the school 100m running record.

But I'm not sure, either, if at the age of 25 I would want to have spent my entire adolescence playing in a band with my parents and my two sisters. Just how do you finally go about telling your own parents that they are wrong when it is your band and you want to do things your way? And how does it feel performing on stage with your two sisters, knowing that the venue is full of 'men of a certain age' watching their every move - Kitty in her catsuit, and Daisy in thigh length boots and playsuit?
(NB 'Kitty in a Catsuit' ? - it could become a great rockabilly song)

No, perhaps my leaving the parental home to go off to university and become a boring pharmacist was really for the best for me (I am desperately trying to convince myself here). And my sister and I still lead very different lives, and it hasn't diminished the sibling rivalry.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a review, so I suppose I ought to tell you about the gig.

Although Norwich Arts Centre is sold out in advance, it is the usual problem of only about half the audience making the effort to come in and watch the support. Which is a real shame, because you probably haven't seen anything quite like Bang Bang Romeo in quite some time. Hailing from Sheffield this four piece is the nearest thing you will ever see to a Gothic Fleetwood Mac. Anastasia Walker has an explosive voice that could demolish a steel furnace. She truly personifies the 'voice of the Northern Powerhouse'. Together with Joel Phillips on bass in his black leather trousers and cowboy shirt, these two represent the 'dark side' of the band, whilst Ross Cameron on guitar does the Mick Fleetwood impersonation, and Richard Gartland concentrates on hitting the drumkit. Initially, they look like the result of a time-capsule malfunction that wouldn't get past the first auditions for X-Factor, but they are in fact bloody amazing. They rock with a passion and authenticity that is rarely seen on a UK stage. Remember the name, bar-hogs, and get in and watch them next time around.

This is the first night back on tour for Kitty Daisy and Lewis after a Christmas lay-off following their mammoth world tour that ended in Rouen at the end of November. It's a crowded stage, and they blew up their bass amp during soundcheck, so there are a few initial sound problems with feedback until everything settles down after opener 'Bitchin' in the Kitchen'. Most of the set draws from the 'Third' album although 'Don't Make a Fool Out of Me' from the second album gets a play, as does their cover of Johnny Horton's 'Mean Son of a Gun', which is dusted down for a final encore. Regular 'special guest' Jamaican trumpeter Eddie 'Tan Tan' Thorton joins in for three numbers. Father Graeme sits at the back and steadfastly plugs away on rhythm guitar. Mother Ingrid looks incredibly cool on double bass, and now electric bass guitar as well, surveying the stage with maternal satisfaction.

The girls look stunning, and Lewis has matured from geeky youth to handsome Christiano Ronaldo lookalike. The year of touring has given him a new confidence as front man and spokesperson for the band, and does most of the introductions between songs as he rotates from guitar to keyboard to drums and then back. Daisy also switches from keyboards and vocals to drums, and Kitty drums, plays guitar, sings and also plays a mean harmonica.

No, I take my hat off to them. As musical families go, this one seems to have got it sorted. Just a few more UK dates, culminating at London's Koko on February 11th (not the Golden Lion), and then they can start work on album number four. Mum and Dad must be so proud. This certainly appears to be a genuine case of  'the family that plays together stays together'.

PS None of my photographs on this blog entry I'm afraid. Had a senior moment and left my camera on the kitchen worktop. Hope the two bands don't mind me lifting photos from their websites.

Monday 18 January 2016

'And, I' - The Film That's As Long As A Working Day

Supported with funding from Arts Council England 'And, I' is a single-channel video work and a collaboration between film-maker Reynir Hutber and performance artist Marcia Farquhar. Think of it more as an installation than a feature film, as it is essentially an eight-hour 'talking-head' monologue. Farquhar reminisces and muses over stories and recollections from her past, and of times spent living in her mother's Chelsea boarding house during the 1970's. Hutber's video camera captures every word and every nuance of this endurance monologue. The pauses, breaks and prompts are all happening in real time, and thereby reflects, compares and contrasts a typical day spent within our own working lives.

'And, I' was conceived to be shown in a public space, with viewers accessing the work casually alongside those with a specific agenda and interest in performance art. Whilst some may stay for the entire eight hours, most will drop in and stay for a shorter time, in the same way that our own interactions punctuate a working day with various colleagues and clients.

As the film tours the UK, the variety of venues will experience differing degrees and patterns of interaction from audiences. Busy weekday atria, reception spaces and galleries within metropolitan city centres will gain large exposure from a passing footfall. Quieter, more off-the-beaten-track locations will be stumbled upon more by random passers-by. The collective and accumulative effect will mimic our own lives, with some locations and projects providing more stimulation and opportunities for interactive experience than others. Norwich Arts Centre on a cold Sunday afternoon in January (a time when the venue is not even normally open) possibly falls within the second category, but does not detract from the addictive, almost voyeuristic, experience of eavesdropping into Farguhar's extended musings and reminiscences. Surely this again is the nature of our own working days and weeks - some are infinitely more interactive than those de-stimulating and repetitive days when we can spend eight hours alone, or in the company of just one or two colleagues. Totally engrossing, and for those attending Marcia Farquhar makes for a compulsive subject to study - those who have seen her in conversation before will attest that the woman can talk for England.  Are her stories based on truth or fiction? How many of her third person recollections are accurate, let alone factual? How much does it actually matter? You decide.

I drop in twice during the performance, firstly two hours into the screening, when I stay for just over half an hour. I return later in the evening with just under half an hour to go. It is as if I have not been away. Marcia looks and sounds exactly the same, and even appears to be talking on the same subject as she was six hours previously. Like workers approaching the end of an eight hour shift, the concentration and attention must not be seen to drop. Only once we are discharged from our duty can we let down the guard and relax - be that with an exercise class, a coffee with a friend, or a stiff gin and tonic. And what did I miss during the interlude between my two visits? How much else do I miss during a typical day, or indeed when I am at work? Who can say.

Learn more about Reynir Hutber via his blog at
Learn more about Marcia Farquhar the artist from her own website

Honey and The Bear at The Bicycle Shop - That'll be a cover for two, then?

It may sound like the title of a pre-school reading book, but what you need to remember is that The Bicycle Shop in Norwich's St Benedicts Street is not a shop, and it does not sell bicycles, and that Honey and The Bear are not a fictional duo from children's literature, but a songwriting duo from Benhall, near Saxmundham. The Bicycle Shop is a bijou café bar on several floors that often uses the basement space for acoustic music nights. Now that we have cleared that one up, I can start to review the duo's return gig in Norwich on Sunday night.

Honey (Lucy Sampson) and The Bear (Jon Hart) were individually both singers and songwriters before they teamed up just over two years ago. Combining their talents added opportunities not only for composition collaborations, but also to introduce vocal harmonies into their performance and expand the instrumental range. They appeared at Folk East in both 2014 and 2015, and made their Bicycle Shop debut last year.

There is no support tonight, so Honey and The Bear will perform a back-to-back double set, a mixture of their own songs and selected covers. Starting off with Lucy on banjo and Jon on guitar, before introducing 'Bertha' the double bass, and later more guitars and even a ukelele, we soon work out that this is a couple that share more than just a love of of folk music. The chemistry between them is quite endearing, with each insisting that examples of the other's earlier songs are included in the set-list alongside the more recent collaborations. Individually, the voices have their own strengths, Lucy's having precision and range, contrasting with Jon's more laid-back 'surfer' sound. Put the two together and the harmonies work really well. Percussion comes via a drum pedal stuffed with an 'egg', used by Lucy against a beat box, sometimes whilst playing double bass at the same time.

My only criticism of their extended set was the high number of covers included. All in all, I counted seven, and whilst some, like George Ezra's 'Budapest' (I hated that song when Ezra sang it, but these two really nail it), and their folky version of Bob Marley's 'Is This Love' working really well, the Sting standard 'Fields of Gold' is far too cheesy for aspiring acts to tackle nowadays. 'Fat Bottomed Girls' was cheekily introduced as a Dumbfoundus number and 'Cold,Cold Heart' was attributed to Norah Jones before someone in the front row reminded them that it was actually a Hank Williams song.

The effect of so many covers was to unfortunately render some of their own songs less memorable to a 'Honey and The Bear' virgin, which is to do themselves somewhat of a dis-service. I can remember 'Winter Tide' set against a bleak beach at Sizewell, the catchy 'Snuggle Song' (reminded me a bit of Barry Louis Polisar's 'All I Want Is You', and the sentiment is very similar), and the ballad 'Sailor's Daughter', but the rest, although all eminently enjoyable, tended to blur into obscurity against the familiarity of other artists' material for anyone hearing their set for the first time.

I genuinely wish this couple well. They clearly have a loyal fanbase, some of whom had followed them into Norfolk from the wastelands of Suffolk. It would really be nice to see some tracks online - they have a really professional looking website at , but with, as yet, only a handful of videos to remember them by. A five-track EP is promised but, in the meantime, keep your on-line eyes peeled for future live appearances.

Keep up to date with all upcoming music evenings at The Bicycle Shop at their website , or from local listing site

Sunday 17 January 2016

Folk That with Haiku Salut

Another new year, and a brand new in-house night at Norwich Arts Centre with the first of their 'Folk That' evenings arranged for those fans of alt-folk who are open-minded enough to also welcome elements of anything from dream-pop to experimental electronica. As if to distinguish these nights from most of the more traditional folk gigs held at this esteemed venue, the seats have been removed, and the auditorium becomes standing-only, increasing the capacity and allowing the audience to get closer to the action.

As with the Arts Centre's 'Pony-Up' evenings, value for money is guaranteed with a line-up that consists of five acts for a door-busting price of £4.50. You couldn't even buy a pint of lager for that in trendier parts of London, or even some of Norwich's clubs and bars.

By juggling acts between the main auditorium and the smaller stage in the café-bar we are treated to an almost seamless evening of music, starting with Mat Riviere in the hall before Tom Eagle took a turn in the bar. 

Mat Riviere I had seen previously supporting East India Youth at the Arts Centre, and his work is often dark and deeply personal, electronic sampling and beats mixing with his angst-ridden moody baritone vocals. Anyone who calls their album 'Not Even Doom Music' is clearly looking for something, and that in itself lends itself to the traditions of folk, even if the end result appears about as far away from Hey Nonny-Nonny as it is possible to get.

After Tom Eagle in the bar it's migration time for all but the hardiest and determined of drinkers back into the hall for Inlay, a four-piece that met in Norwich a few years back, yet whom I have never before had a chance to see. Tonight I get to hear three-quarters of the band - accordion player and percussionist Andy Weeks is missing, leaving Ross Grant (violin), Nick Sanchez-Ray (banjo) and James Porter (guitar and vocals) to provide me with my first listen. It is more like folk music as we know it Jim, supplemented with the ubiquitous Nord keyboard and some electronic pads to give it a modernist flavour in keeping with 'alternative'. Nice enough, but I would have loved to have heard that accordion fleshing out the sound a bit more.

Inlay (well, 75% of them)

True Adventures in the Bar may sound like a Sunday morning recap of a bawdy Saturday night out with the lads, but for this evening 'True Adventures' is the alter-ego of a certain Samuel Leonard Keith Leonard (real name). It's the third time I've seen him play - last time it was to a perfectly behaved audience just up the road in The Bicycle Shop. Tonight it is a more challenging set to the backs of people's heads as they refil their glasses at the bar, so the brave thing to do is to encourage folk to move forwards. Better playing to the whites of their eyes than their balding pates. It's a good move and, with the attention held, we are treated to his songs with gentle storytelling atmospherically driven by the electric guitar. There's even a free promotional CD on offer, featuring the beautiful 'North Atlantic Ocean'. The 'Sound And Vision' tribute to Bowie was a nice touch.

True Adventures

Last, but certainly least, Haiku Salut emerge tentatively onto the main stage, almost without the audience noticing. They are three musicians hailing from the Derbyshire Dales, and their second album 'Etch and Etch Deep' got mostly 8's and 9's in the press reviews on its release last year. 

Referring to their own music as 'Baroque-pop-folktronic-neo-classical-something-or-other' may be slightly tongue-in-cheek, but it really is difficult to classify. When Louise Croft picks up the accordion we are in Yann Tiersen territory. Towards the end of the set, where all three are pushing the percussion whilst still playing their instruments, it reminds me of Woodkid. The glockenspiel is reminiscent of Jon Brion. In fact, the whole set is like a cinematic soundtrack, with the musicians far too busy scurrying around the effect pedals and swapping instruments to have time left over to acknowledge the audience with anything more than a mute smile. Some of their earlier gigs were supplemented with old charity shop lamps synched into a disco-box. Tonight we have nothing to watch except the three girls busying themselves. Addressing the audience is not essential, but for those of us unfamiliar with their work, a printed setlist would have been useful.

Haiku Salut

So, it can be concluded that the first 'Folk That' was a huge success - thanks to Will and Rosie for putting it together. The huge crowd was a fitting reward for all their hard work, and showing that when thinking of folk music it is most definitely possible to venture outside of the box, and still attract an almost full house. 

Sunday 10 January 2016

My Weekend of Lobster, Odd Boxes, and Sonic Youths

After a post-2015 week of stir-crazy Dry-January navel gazing my world starts to slip back into gear, and with a weekend packed with live music in Norwich to look forward to, my body was in danger of succumbing to something akin to Festival Dropsy, that feeling of tired legs, aching knees and cerebral exhaustion that comes from trying desperately not to miss anything, and adopting a belief that, somehow, surviving on about three hours sleep a night is completely do-able.

It was lovely to get back to Norwich Arts Centre on Friday although, as volunteer box office assistant, this was always going to be a case of keeping my wits about me rather than tripping off on some hedonistic orgy of beats and real ale. Heading the bill of Craig Hill's 'Tilting Sky' night was Lobster, the groundbreaking soul-funk-jazz ensemble headed up by Dominic Trevor on saxophone and Molly Holdom on vocals. Before challenging my definition of 'groundbreaking' just let me tell you that this nine-piece ensemble are all still in their teens. They are not only writing and playing the type of music that their parents would normally still be into (how bloody un-cool is that?), but they are getting all their friends and their friends-of-friends on board as well. As a result the Arts Centre is  packed out with 260 youngsters all up for a good time on some great live music. With Aphra, Gentlemen, and Perfect Mistakes providing backup on support, and the Lobster/Cabrakid DJ's spinning tunes in the bar, Craig's infamous £6 reduced admission deal to those in the know meant that this was always going to be a knockout event. Spend another £4 on Lobster's excellent debut CD, and you've probably had the best value for a tenner this side of Poundland's sale.

I didn't hang around at the end of my shift to catch Lobster's set (I know, I know, but I have seen them several times before, and they are competing in the first semi-final of Future Radio's Next Big Thing at Open on Saturday January 30th - tickets £4 in advance), so headed off instead to The Murderers to check out Host, a four-piece who describe their music as 'post-rock experimental'. It's another one of Odd Box Promotions' famous Friday night shindigs, and whilst I am too late to enjoy Hot Raisin or Mari Joyce, Host have only just started by the time I have negotiated my pint of Woodforde's Wherry and myself to a vantage point at the top of the steps and close enough to catch the action.


Post-rock means different things to different people, and often suggests instrumental or minimal vocals, but Host have a haunting vocalist in Lorna who can somehow carry off singing ethereally into a microphone whilst adopting the arms-behind-the-back stance of  a female Liam Gallagher. The only other person I have seen manage it is Beth Gibbons of Portishead, although tonally the voice has more the echoes of Sonja Kristina of 70's prog outfit Curved Air. Perhaps it is the Murderer's backdrop of posters from Pink Floyd, Doors and Led Zeppelin, but Host project an authentic retro feel that paradoxically goes hand in hand with their declared experimentalism. Steve's cross-legged synth playing, Dan's laid-back drumming (well, compared to his other band) and Jack's sweet guitar all combine to win me well over. £3 even buys me a two-track CD that is beautifully presented in it's own hand-crafted sleeve. I love them.


Saturday lunchtime back at the Arts Centre is my aim, and I manage it with flying colours, arriving just before the first act takes to the Café Bar stage for Sonic Youths, the Norwich showcase for musicians aged 14-19. Curated by the legendary Annie Catwoman, this is always worth making the effort to attend. Not only is it free admission, but you will become aware of the young musical talent that could continue to otherwise bubble away just underneath your radar. At the last one I experienced the amazing Midnight Zoo, who have since also made it through to the semi finals of this year's Next Big Thing.

First up is Maya Law, a 16 year old who has already played The Waterfront and The Birdcage, and whose maturity and style would not leave her out of place at one of the Art Centre's full Acoustic Showcases. Once again (I sense a theme developing here), Maya will be performing in the second semi final of the Next Big Thing on Sunday January 31st. As well as her own songs, there is a folk-reggae infused arrangement of Amy Winehouse's 'You Know I'm No Good' that is amazingly accomplished. Her own songs employ changes of pace and key that really take you aback. There are obvious flourishes of both Ed Sheeran and Luke Pritchard in her songwriting, whilst her own voice reminds me at times of Tina Dico. New song 'Fiction' is a real delight.

Maya remains on stage to collaborate on the first two numbers with hip-hop duo Cabrakid, back in the Arts Centre after their DJ set the previous night. With 19-year old Jake on vocals sporting a luxuriant beard such that I could only dream of (I can only wonder at what they are putting in the school milk these days) and some lovely mellow grooves from Gabriel on the decks, this is the happy summery hip-hop that takes you back to the days of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. However the mood can change, as with 'In The Family' when they tackle frustration with the politics of Cameron and the Tories, and '2003-2004' when Arsenal football club is celebrated (in spite of Jake sporting a Hellas Verona hoodie over his Gunners shirt). High Priest Cabrakan needs to concentrate on staying in character a bit more whilst on stage in front of his mates, and perhaps not have to rap the lyrics off his mobile phone, but otherwise I really liked them. Lots of tracks on their Soundcloud page, many of which are available as free downloads (

Jake from Cabrakid

Poppy Rae Read was the second female singer-songwriter of the afternoon, and again put in a very credible set. It's a crowded market for guitar-toting alt-folk acts at the moment, and sometimes it takes a while to carve a niche which enables you to stand out in the forest. Certainly the voice, which at times had touches of the more traditional Americana seemed capable of being stretched into an edgier, more individual identity. Certainly one to watch.

Poppy Rae Read

Finally, but by no means least, were the wind-him-up-and-let-him-go dynamo-fronted band that are served up as Dog's Dinner. I saw them support Kagoule about a month before Christmas, and even in that short time they have developed and gained self-confidence in their anything-goes rock and roll attitude, with frontman Josh writhing and contorting himself and his voice into all kinds of shapes whilst the band hit all the right notes. With foppish good looks reminiscent of The Vaccines' Justin Hayward-Young, but with the fuck-you attitude of the bad boys of punk Josh and these guys have all the right ingredients to win-a-lot of new fans. Did you notice what I did there?

Dog's Dinner

Thanks indeed to Annie for such a well contrasted afternoon of youth talent, and pleasing to see such a good audience turnout in the Café Bar. It left me just enough time to pop home and eat before returning later to the Arts Centre for the Plan-UK fundraiser featuring Jake Morrell, Kingdom Keys, and Addisons Uncle. But you'll have to read my review of that one elsewhere, at :-

And now, to check my balls, and catch up with some football!

Thursday 7 January 2016

Who Gives a Hoot about The Owl Sanctuary? - Well, I do for one!

This has all happened so suddenly that I keep thinking that I will pinch myself, wake up and find that it was all just a nasty lucid dream. A bit like 'Inception', but with Pork Scratchings and rock music instead of Somnacin and Parisian cafés.

Now I'm not about to bang on about how The Owl Sanctuary in Norwich's Cattle Market Street was my second home, or brag about how many great bands I saw there before they became famous because, to be quite honest, I've only been there about a dozen times. I spread myself about a bit, and even volunteer at the box office of another music venue in this fine city. Some of the bands that appear at The Owl Sanctuary are not exactly my mug of rosie lea, but when I have been I have come away full of love for the place.

So when word started to spread last night that the building itself had been sold to the same property developer who acquired planning permission in April 2014 to turn the historic Warings building next door into eight luxury flats, something started to smell quite nasty. The Owl Sanctuary owner Dan Hawcroft is claiming that he has only just been given notice to vacate the premises. Also, the building's very existence appears to be prejudicial to the successful development of the Warings site, due to certain issues over access to natural light, making it seem like the Owl Sanctuary has simply become another David standing in the way of Goliath. Or like Frank and Faye Riley in 'Batteries Not Included' in their New York apartment building.

Now it is obvious that we cannot rely on help from little creatures from outer space to sort out The Owl Sanctuary's dilemma, but we really do need to make a bit of a shit-stirring noise about this. Every time a pub in Norwich gets turned into a petrol station, a Tesco Express, or a nice set of Golden Triangular flats the Eastern Daily Press plays up merry hell, but this is so,so much more important.

According to the BBC, 40% of all small music venues in London have closed over the last ten years ( , and the same is happening throughout the UK. Even Boris Johnson, bless his golden locks, has got involved, setting up a task force to see how small venues can be protected. If a Conservative mayor of London is worried, then there really must be a bloody problem. Not only is it essential to continue to provide small-capacity venues for local and up-and-coming bands to hone their craft, but we do not want to be left with just the big boys like the O2 Arenas and Eventim Appollo's controlling all live music in this country.

Norwich is blessed with a number of excellent independent music venues, including the Norwich Arts Centre, winner of the 2014 NME Small Venue of The Year, and the Nick Raynes LCR and Waterfront run by the UEA Students Union. But The Owl Sanctuary is something special, and something that will be sorely missed if it goes. If not, it won't be long before every fat-pike property developer for miles around will be sniffing along King Street, Sprowston Road and Cowgate looking for the next little minnow to attack and annihilate.

No doubt there will be some hot air vented over the next few days and weeks, but surely music, culture and taverns can co-exist alongside fancy flats and restaurants? There has to be a way.

For more information check out The Owl Sanctuary's Facebook page at and join the 'Give a Hoot' campaign at
or even give some cash to the Crowdfunding campaign at

Not just for Dan. Not just for The Owl Sanctuary. But for the future of live music.