Epic Studios, Norwich April 13, 2023
by Jan Kelly
Colchester four-piece Pet Needs burst onto the stage full of punk energy on what is just their latest visit to Norwich.
With time for just eight songs to get their message across, they are straight in with Lost Again, which is loud, energetic and full of fun.
Frontman Johnny Marriott hurls himself about the stage, never running out of energy – windmilling, running from one side to the other, legs everywhere… the guy never stands still. It must be in the genes as his brother, George, on lead guitar is also full of beans.
There’s lots of banter between songs, and we’re treated to chatter about their merch and their up-and-coming hometown gig.
And after high-energy performances of Tracey Emin’s Bed and Toothpaste, former UEA student Marriott (J) tells some tales about the band’s hotel before they dive into more feisty tunes.
Pet Needs are fun, they are loud and their tunes are catchy. And with great two albums under their belt – Fractured Party Music and Primetime Entertainment, both produced by friend, fan and punk legend Frank Turner (who also has strong links with tonight’s headliners) – they’re well worth catching live.
“Punk isn’t dead, it’s just up for sale,” as their song goes – so buy a ticket.
Lottery Winners frontman Thom Rylance might be the most unlikely-looking rock star you can imagine.
Looking more like your granddad, in a tank top, a beanie and a pair of All Stars, he couldn’t be more of a contrast to blonde bombshell Katie Lloyd on bass – but, boy, he can belt out his lyrics.
Hailing from Greater Manchester, his quirky northern banter adds something to the live performance that you’ll never get from the albums.
They open with Worry from their new album, Anxiety Replacement Therapy, which will be released later this month.
After Little Things and The Meaning Of Life (nothing to do with Monty Python), Lloyd sings 85 Trips solo while Rylance gets out his paints and an easel to paint the daisy which appears on all their instruments and merch. This is later up for sale along with Polaroids and a selfie of the singer.
In between tracks, we learn a bit more about Lottery Winners – they hope to have a number one album, they don’t have rich parents, they never went to Brit School, they worked hard in the pubs, and none of their parents will ever voice Peppa Pig (a dig at Freya Ridings?)….
Favourite Flavour lives up to its name before Overthink Everything is a poignant tribute to Seymour Stein, who died last week. Phone torches light up the room as the band pay homage to the legendary record executive who was one of their supporters.
There are other household names with links to Lottery Winners. One of them is Boy George, who has just collaborated with them on Let Me Down. Tonight his part is sung by Rob Lally.
And Shaun Ryder also features on their new album on Money. Rylance finds someone in the audience wearing a Happy Mondays T-shirt and drags him on stage to be “Bez“ with a very small pair of maracas.
They might have been around since 2008, but with shows like this they give the distinct impression that they have the potential to go a lot further. Strap in for the ride!