Arts section writer
Alex Day is an artist and journalist interested in the politics of dance music. Norfolk deserves inclusive music venues, that open late and are supported by the local council. Over a series of articles, Alex will investigate the ebbs and flows of Norfolk’s night time economy.
Clubs these days have it tough.
Gentrification, some say, is killing our venues. Student flats, noise restrictions, Dry January!
How does one make money with surging rents and a clientele streaming limitless online content from home, bed-ridden and booze-shy?
AND there’s the dubious authorities I imagine peering through the smoke and shadows, itching to close noisy night spots. One wrong move and they’ll surely revoke your license.
Dingy nests for underground music are being smothered into obscurity – the narrative goes.
Belinda twerks on stage, wearing glitter and a pink wig, and the crowd erupts into whoops and whistles. To the sound of Rihanna singing ‘bitch better have my money’, she makes it rain with cash hidden under her bra. Banknotes fly over our heads. The compère for the evening, Cynthia Road, tells us this is the first time Belinda has performed drag and the crowd, equally glitter-garnished, erupts once more.
(05.11.19) – We All Need A Junglist’s Utopia
Jungle, for those that don’t know, is a music genre that started in the early 1990s. It’s a combination of reggae and breakbeats – fast, moody and disorientating. This sound has, traditionally, been played in warehouses to pleasure-seeking ravers resistant to authority.
By 1996, a few years after its inception, the sound evolved, and the era of ‘jungle’ came to a close. Commercialised, disfigured by modern production techniques and stamped out by the 1994 Criminal Justice Act; drum and bass (a faster and more polished version of jungle) took its place.
(28.09.19) – Sihlabelela Review
An exciting commission, held at St Peter Hungate, features a sound installation responding to the history of the church and what these spaces mean in our secular times.
St. Peter Hungate, like many churches in Norwich, no longer conducts services. It is occupied by Hungate Medieval Art, who exhibit stain glass windows and icons, to a more secular public. It’s both a religious site and a heritage site. Throughout this year, a project called Heriligion has commissioned five artists to reflect on the history of this space.
From 19th July to the 25th August, Mira Calix presented ’Sihlabelela’, a sound installation. 12 tape machines (Sony cassette-corder TCM –939), suspended on plinths, play discordant, low quality sound – a collage of echoes. The recorded voices sing ‘we sing together’, over and over, like a ghostly choir. The tapes evoke the crowds that once sang here.
At 4 AM, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, a crowd assembled on the beach. On stage, Talvin Singh performed a 45-minute rendition of ‘Light’, from his Mercury Prize-winning album Ok. Waves of dreamy ambient sound flooded in. With impressive synchronicity, a soft blue light filled the sky.
It was the weekend of the summer solstice, a celebration of the arrival of Summer, and the longest day of the year, at Britain’s most easterly point. We were gathered for First Light Festival; an eclectic pageant of orchestras, electronic music, contemporary dance and workshops in honour of our closest star, the Sun. Free to enter and running continuously for 24 hours, First Light included attractions such as Gilles Peterson and Rosemary Lee. On the beach, locals and outsiders fused into a rosy heap under 30-degree temperatures.