Crobot/Wolf Jaw/Kamensko

The Waterfront Studio, Norwich. 20 July 2019.

A Saturday night in The Fine City is the perfect time for a night of hip-shaking rock. Kicking off the night was Norwich stoner rockers KAMENSKO. It was reassuring to see a good amount of the local music community had come down early to catch the band’s groovy riffage. Playing tracks from their forthcoming EP and their current material, KAMENSKO blitzed through their set with guitar solos aplenty. Clearly humbled by the turnout and crowd response, the band stumped up the good vibes which continued throughout the evening.

Up next were the Midlands rock n rollers WOLF JAW. Last month saw this loveable trio play three sets at Download no less, and they treated The Waterfront Studio like any stage at Donnington. Spoiling us with new tracks from their forthcoming debut album as WOLF JAW as well as gems from their time as THE BAD FLOWERS, the band were addictive to watch; dungaree-clad Dale Tonk’s bass face, drummer Karl Selickis’ energetic drumstick twiddling and flying hair and front man Tom Leighton’s distinct gritty vocals and raucous guitar playing made for a blistering live show. WOLF JAW sounded huge and would give any headliner a run for their money, proving three is the magic number when it comes to making a monstrous impact on the live stage. Playing at the barrier and getting the crowd involved got everyone on side and in the palm of their hands. If these chaps continue the rest of the tour in this manner, they will and truly cement themselves in the music world as WOLF JAW.

After the riotous second set, tonight’s headliners CROBOT had a hard task to top what we had just witnessed, but the American groove rockers absolutely smashed it. It was impossible to take your eyes off charismatic front man Brandon Yeagley. His bejewelled waistcoat, allure with his mic stand tricks, and most importantly his talent as a rock vocalist will surely make him a legendary rock star. The chemistry between all members was something special and any interaction between each other was comedic, yet real. However, they made sure the crowd felt part of the family, even inviting one young punter to play the last riffs of the night.

Treating fans to lots of new songs from their soon-to-be-released album Motherbrain, CROBOT also entertained the room with snippets of BLACK SABBATH, TOTO and…Ghostbusters. In an age of super serious bands, playing their super serious music with super serious stage presence, it is so refreshing to watch a band who are both professional yet visibly still having the time of their lives. This sense of fun is infectious and dominates the atmosphere. Guitar slinging, harmonica solos and clambering on top of monitors (and each other), CROBOT are full of tricks and mischief which is a dangerous combination when coupled with the grooviest riffs. Their energy didn’t dip for one second ensuring everyone left the venue a hot and sweaty mess and a massive smile on their face. An absolutely blinding evening, tonight will go down as one of the best Norwich gigs of the year.   

My Vitriol + Marla + Kamensko

15 May 2017. The Waterfront Studio, Norwich.

It had been over 15 years since London’s “nu-gaze” masters had graced a stage in Norfolk’s fine city, but they had finally returned to fans both old and new. Last year eventually saw the release of the band’s highly anticipated second album, The Secret Sessions and a UK tour was always expected by fans. If the Norwich show was anything to go by then the rest of the UK tour would have been well worth the wait.

Supports for tonight’s gig were Norwich’s own KAMENSKO and MARLA, bands which prove the local scene is in safe hands. KAMENSKO warmed up the crowd with their classic sound but surprised with the odd cheeky breakdown, fresh yet funky. MARLA had an immense sound considering they were one member short, their stage presence and rich material more than made up for the absent member. A high-energy indie band in the same vein as THE EDITORS but bolder, there were lots of interesting and captivating sounds to pull the crowd closer to the stage. One band to watch for sure. 

There was a modest excitement before MY VITRIOL took to the stage. Remember, this is a band who performed on Top of the Pops and main stage Reading and Leeds back in the day, so to see the group in such an intimate venue as The Waterfront Studio is a special treat indeed. One striking component of their set was their impressive light rig, it made the small venue feel like a room triple its capacity and perfectly complimented the dreamy and melodic rock the band from London produce.

Kicking off with a few newer songs from The Secret Sessions, such as We’ve Lost Our Way and It’s So Damn Easy, the band, including frontman Som Wardner, looked relaxed and oozed professionalism on stage. The new songs nestled nicely amongst the old with fans greatly appreciating Finelines’ lesser known songs such as Infantile as well as the classic single Grounded. By the time the band finished with Always Your Way it felt like tonight had been a celebration of the band’s reunion but also a celebration of their unique material which had been sorely missed in the UK music scene. “Hopefully it won’t take us 15 years until we play Norwich again.” Hopefully Som, hopefully.