Erika Goldring, Getty Images The four members of Little Big Town will…
- Posted on Aug 26th 2009 10:31AM by Spinner
Capacity: Standing 270, seated 130 with 80 standing.
Come to see: Bands, comedy, theatre, dance, film and art. Despite a reputation for being a little unfashionable and very much "out in the sticks", Norwich is equally far from being a cultural backwater. Thanks to venues like the Arts Centre, The Waterfront and the University of East Anglia's (UEA) venue many big name bands and up-and-coming starlets pass through.
The atmosphere: Somewhat spiritual thanks to the Arts Centre's home since 1980, St Swithin's Church. The tower-less church (it was demolished for safety reasons) had been used as a furniture store until the Arts Centre moved, in 1980, from its original base in a disused department store just up the road. Since then a National Lottery grant helped fund the refurbishment the centre in 1999, bolstering this already stunning space's reputation for putting on top class live events.
You saw them here first: An infamous live Nirvana bootleg was recorded here in 1989 and in the same year, just before Blackpool and Alexandra Palace, the Stone Roses took to the Art Centre's stage. Coldplay, Muse, Oasis, The Mighty Boosh and the late, great Bill Hicks have also performed on this sacred stage.
Claim to fame: It was at this venue that Manic Street Preachers' iconic guitarist Richey Edwards took a razorblade and carved the legend "4REAL" into his arm. After the band's set Edwards gave an interview to then NME journalist Steve Lamacq. The conversation became heated when Lamacq questioned the Manics' authenticity, so to ensure there were no doubts as to his own opinion Edwards performed this gruesomely famous act of self-harm.
You should also know: The saint who gave the Arts Centre's church home its name is a firm fixture in British folklore. St Swithin's day is on the July 15 and an old wive's tale has it that whatever the weather is on that day, it will continue for the following 40 days. This is because the saint, and former Saxon Bishop of Winchester, asked specifically to be buried outdoors when he died, so that he would be trodden and rained on. His wishes were followed for nine years, but on July 15, 971 when the monks of Winchester attempted to move him to a grand shrine inside the cathedral, the heavens opened.
Booking now: Neko Case, The Temper Trap, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Hockey, Health, The Twilight Sad.