Thursday, 14 April 2011

Out on the Town, part two

Once a year, for the past year or two anyway, we have arranged a gig at Norwich Arts Centre as a showcase for the band. In the past we have invited other musicians including local heroes Cakes and Ale. This time we were joined by songwriter Alan Southgate and cabaret performer Lucy Enskat in her 'The Gypsy' persona. To add colour to the band, Paul brought along three batik shirts from his extensive collection of clothes and the whole evening passed off rather well, though I say so myself.

Alan Southgate has to be one of the most inventive songwriters around at the moment but, like many of the great artists I have met in my live, appears completely unaware of the fact. This makes watching him perform all the more rare and special.

Lucy's gypsy act has become far more assured since I first saw it when she and the Straynotes shared the bill at a burlesque night last year. She really inhabits the role and knows how to work an audience to comic, but never unkind, effect.

And of course Eastern Straynotes are rather good at this performance thing themselves.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Out on the Town, part one

It's not often the Straynotes play in public but recently we managed to do so three times in six days.

I wish I had a photo of us playing at the ShopArt! Live event, organised by Norwich Arts Centre in a disused estate agents' premises on King Street. We played behind a pane of glass each, on the other side of which was our audience. Highly conceptual, and making a big enough impression on guitarist Andy Kirkham to cause him to change the band's name. Fortunately The Manikins reverted to Eastern Straynotes as we cycled home.

Also on the bill was the legendary Bruce Lacey, pictured with a robot he built in the 1960s. The camera angle was poor so you may have to take my word for it. And there's Andy maintaining a safe distance behind.