Norwich has a little gem hidden away at Epic Studios on Magdalen Street. It’s called TMT – That Music Thing. Four bands, thirty-minute sets with minimum faffing about between bands. Studio lights, proper stage, TV cameras – a joy for both performer and audience alike. And get this, it costs just £3 to get in!
Last night we were treated to the first solo performance by Sam Coe who kicked the evening off in fine style. I had the privilege of seeing Sam’s first tentative steps as a solo performer alone at the keyboards back in June this year. My but the lady has progressed well. Now, I say solo, but Sam had a band with her, all seven of them! They sounded tight, almost as if they had been playing together for some time – hard to believe they only had their first rehearsal at 11am that morning!
Next up was a band new to me: Fisher & The Ferrymen playing a selection of new material. To me that didn’t matter it was all new to me! With regular vocalist Rob Arneil side-lined with an infection, instead Jack Fisher stepped up to take his place making it more a case of two Fishers and The Ferrymen. Also guesting with the band was Garth Coupland (front man with Norfolk band The Divide) adding a mean bit of blues harp to the mix. Their sound is a mix of County, Blues and Rock – well-presented and thoroughly enjoyable.
I’d not seen Little Red Kings live but I know them from their album Callous which I reviewed in Grapevine back in May in which I said: “Current favourite track on loop is Chaperone…” On reflection, whilst the recording is very good, played live it is stonkingly good! As indeed were all the numbers played by this cracking good band. If they are playing anywhere near you go see them, I enjoyed them so much I stopped taking pictures just so I could listen. (From a photographer that is high praise indeed!)
Last up were Morganway who get better every time I hear them live, and the last time was less than three weeks ago. Morganway as a band were but a year old when they played the Grapevine Stage at Ipswich Music Day back in 2015 – then with vocalist Yve Mary B who, as it happened, was in the audience last night. This is a band bursting with energy and talent. SJ’s vocals come from somewhere deep and gutsy, Nicole’s fiddle playing can be gentle and soothing or in your face rockin’ folk. None of the six can stand still, all enjoy the performance. Have I sold them to you yet? Go and buy their debut CD, you’ll not regret it!
The TMT format presents an amazing opportunity to see a selection of bands perform on a proper stage with good sound and lighting – taster sessions if you will. As someone who has a long list of ‘must see them live’ bands, these nights are just what I need. I’ll be back!