BATS, BIKES AND BETRAYALS – THE FIGHT TO STOP THE WENSUM LINK

By Sophie Ciurlik-Rittenbaum

The Norwich Western Link, also known as the Wensum Link, is a proposed road that cuts through the Wensum River Valley. It would cut through a Site of Special Scientific Interest destroying critical habitat, most notably inhabited by one of the only colonies of endangered Barbastelle bats. The project is already over budget, and according to Stop The Wensum Link, may cost up to £300 million. The Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council is responsible for the Link and is pushing for its construction, whereas the Labour-controlled Norwich City Council has announced its opposition to the link.

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SPIRITED, RIDICULOUS, FUN – THE LOVELY EGGS LIVE AT THE WATERFRONT

by Kasper Hassett

The Lovely Eggs brought a buzz to an eager crowd at the Waterfront on a Tuesday night last April. Formed by the Lancaster couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell, the band delivers a charismatic hippie-punk sound which brings the room to life. Although there are only two members, there is enough going on to satisfy any noise-hungry gig-goer. Holly juggles vocals with the guitar, complemented by David on the drums, creating something which is lively, interactive, and absurd. 

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OUR SUBVERSIVE VOICE: 400 YEARS OF PROTEST SONGS

By Rowan Gavin

Last year, two-tone legends The Specials released an album entitled ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’. It featured covers of tracks by Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, Big Bill Broonzy and other legends of protest music – but not one song penned by a British person, despite the band’s Coventry origins. This, UEA Professor John Street tells me, was part of the impetus behind the project Our Subversive Voice: The History and Politics of the English Protest Song.

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‘IT MIGHT GET WEIRD’ – AN INTERVIEW WITH THE NEUTRINOS’ KAREN REILLY

by Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya

In November 2021, as Glasgow swirled with police, delegates and protesters during the COP26 conference, one sound art gallery was hosting a unique performance. There, Norwich band The Neutrinos performed Darkroom, their lockdown-inspired, one-audience member soundscape show which takes place – as the name suggests – entirely in darkness. I caught up with vocalist Karen Reilly about the show, the band’s partner project Klanghaus and their dream Darkroom performance venue.

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‘REAL INTIMACY’ – THE NEUTRINOS LIVE

by Rowan Gavin

Sometimes you go to a gig not quite knowing what to expect. I found out I would be covering The Neutrinos’ recent double-set Norwich Arts Centre show for the Norwich Radical at relatively short notice, and decided on a whim to perpetuate my ignorance of the band’s work until I could hear it live. What I discovered, one December Saturday evening in that beautiful converted church hall, was all the more delightful for my lack of expectation – in fact, I’m not sure that any amount of pre-listening could have quite prepared me for the experience of this show.

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THE NORWICH RADICAL IN 2021

by The Norwich Radical team

If we’ve learned one thing at The Norwich Radical this year, it’s that solidarity is our strongest tool. It has been for the past year, and it will continue to be for the year just started.

Solidarity is what is keeping most of us going on this fascist little island, filled with transphobia and xenophobia; this island in which the government is enacting destructive and violent repression of migration, of self affirmation, of any form of protest; this island in which the media and arts establishment are complicit instigators of a mental and physical retreat to the dying nightmare of empire and colonisation.

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2021 IN 21 GREAT RECORDS

By Rowan Gavin and Kasper Hassett

Yes, it’s been a weird old year, but you don’t need us to tell you that. What you do need – what we all need – is some great music to get you through and give you life. Luckily, 2021 delivered that in spades. The following is a not-at-all-comprehensive list of 21 records that we and other members of the Norwich Radical team loved this year, and think everyone should listen to. They’re not necessarily the best out there; they don’t necessarily all say or do anything particularly radical; but we promise they’re all great.

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WHEN SERIOUS MEETS SILLY – ROBIN GOOD THE POLITICO-PANTO REVIEW

by Ewa Giera

“You’re a socialist, how can you hate people?!”

The line is directed towards Marion, the genderqueer activist, café worker and counterpart to Robin Good.  

The audience laughs goodheartedly at the oxymoron. Taken aback, I find myself laughing along. Soon after, Marion decides to run in the election to oust the Tory-coded Sheriff of Norwich, alongside Robin, and their drag queen father, Stratton Strawless.

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UNIVERSAL CREDIT LIFELINE TAKEN AWAY FROM 70,000 NORFOLK PEOPLE

by Sean Meleady

Thousands of people across Norfolk are facing financial struggle after the government cut the £20 a week uplift to the Universal Credit benefit in October. Although it was intended as a temporary measure to help with the economic effects of the lockdowns, it has become a lifeline for many

It is estimated that 14,907 people in Norwich have lost £1,040 of their income with around 40% of them in employment. In June 2021 69,895 people were on Universal Credit in Norfolk alone.

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“FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH” – WILD PATHS FESTIVAL 2021

By Rowan Gavin

Since its foundation in 2019, Wild Paths festival has quickly become Norwich’s premier multi-venue live music event. The hotly anticipated 2021 edition of the festival will take place over four days from October 14th-17th, with headliners including Sports Team, Biig Piig and Palace as well as dozens of other acts playing at over 20 venues across the city. With just over a week to go until the festival began, I spoke to Ben Street, festival founder and director, about his experiences of organising the event.

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