Live: Red Wine Talk / Youth Killed It / South Arcade

Norwich Arts Centre September 16, 2022

by Sue Cusick

Unlike some gigs where the support acts are unknown, there are fans of all three bands on the bill here tonight, and it makes for a lively end to the week.

South Arcade take us back to the early 2000s, with lead singer Harmony Cavelle reminiscent of a young Gwen Stefani vocally and a cross between Avril Lavigne’s rock-chick style and Britney’s sultriness visually.

South Arcade get the night off to a great start (Picture: Sue Cusick)
South Arcade get the night off to a great start (Picture: Sue Cusick)

Full of enthusiasm and jumping around the stage, they have a great rock sound – catchy and a touch edgy. It’s a great way to start the night.

They are followed by Youth Killed It, who bring a complete contrast in style.

A rockier, more controversial version of The Streets, they rap about politics, Boris Johnson and the state of the country. And they aren’t afraid to tell it how it is, dropping the C-bomb numerous times in their introductions.

Youth Killed It: Telling it how it is (Picture: Sue Cusick)
Youth Killed It: Telling it how it is (Picture: Sue Cusick)

The drums drown out the vocals a little, but that doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm in the audience, who bang into each other during the set while some of us get out of the way and nurse our pints on the sidelines. (Yes, some of us sound bloody old…)

By the time five-piece alt-rockers Red Wine Talk come on, the whole place is revved up with somewhere to go.

Good though they are on record, it’s only when you see them live that the depths of their talent really shine through.

An impressive set: Red Wine Talk (Picture: Sue Cusick)
An impressive set: Red Wine Talk (Picture: Sue Cusick)

Frontman Ed Brookes sounds different depending on the song, and while this invites comparisons to different artists as the melodies change, he defies attempts to pigeonhole him into one style or another.

The guitar riffs by Cal Robb are beautiful, too, especially on I Found A Girl and I Love Her More Than She Loves Me, and they are given a real showcase in the instrumental Plague Island.

Ed Brookes: Impossible to pigeonhole (Picture: Sue Cusick)
Ed Brookes: Impossible to pigeonhole (Picture: Sue Cusick)

I Believe In You is an instant foot-tapper with an easy-listening vibe, and What A Shame is a heavier, more drum-based tune, with Adam Smith’s work behind the drums reminiscent of the beginning of GNR’s You Could Be Mine. And, yet again, Brookes’s voice sounds different.

With such a diverse range of styles in their armoury, there’ll be few here tonight who’ll doubt that this Norwich outfit will gain a large following further afield within the near future.

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