“Head Out Not Home” returns to Norwich this summer, offering an eclectic mix of live music and street entertainment throughout the city centre. Performances are free, happening on Sunday afternoons from 24 July to 4 September. While the festival boasts 35 acclaimed acts, here’s a rundown of some gems that can’t be missed.
Act: Nebula Sun, Date: 24 July, Stage: Gentleman’s Walk
Nebula Sun are a Norwich-based psychedelic quintet blending Afrobeat, hip hop, and jazz. Renowned for their electrifying shows which combine structured arrangement with improvisation, the band have been “championed by BBC introducing, Lopa Kothari and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune”. Audiences will be excited by their soulful harmonies, frenetic saxophone solos, and intricate shuffle-grooves. Tracks like “Merchants of Spice” and “Through the Surface” alternate between syncopated Fela Kuti style instrumentals and catchy vocal interludes. Other songs like “Weight of Waves” are serene, drawing in listeners with repeated melodies. Their latest release, “The Start of Time”, is an infectious dance track seamlessly produced. With the tempo reaching 250bpm, the relentless pace will have you moving to the roving bass and reggae dub delays. If you’re looking for an energetic live performance, Nebula Sun will provide.
Act: Samia Malik, Date: 7 August, Stage: St Gregory’s Green
British Asian musician, Samia Malik, is known for her “compelling and highly original” sound. A singer, songwriter, artist, and teacher, she was raised in the UK by Pakistani parents. Her work addresses contemporary issues of identity through the traditional form of Urdu Ghazal, a South Asian type of lyric poetry usually set to music. Despite the language barrier, Malik’s emotive and expertly crafted melodies will resonate with all. Let the tampura’s celestial drone and hypnotic tabla patterns lull you to serenity while Malik’s rich alto voice soars over the drumming, in tandem with acoustic guitar. Her song “Kaash” is particularly dramatic, mournful in A minor key yet empowering in its propelling beat and commanding vocals. While Malik’s work is akin to the meditative soundscapes of Laraaji and Snatam Kaur, she is relatively unknown. Come to St Gregory’s Green on 7 August to see her talent for yourself.
Act: The High Points, Date: 7 August, Stage: Riverside
End your Sunday on a high with Norwich’s “Multi Funktional” three-piece. “The High Points” are a guaranteed crowd pleaser that will have audiences loosing their cool and boogieing in no time. Their 70’s funk sound is gorgeously cliched- think Bowie’s Young Americans, Bee Gees “Night Fever”, and a whole lot of Jamiroquai. The band’s 2021 album release Bust a Move is lined with catchy, feel-good tunes. “Play the Game”, with its witty lyrics and strutting pulse is classically groovy, while other tracks like “Another Day” have an indie rock sound, using staccato pop vocals and strong bass lines to structure songs. Bring your mates, some beers, and have an intense dance sesh in the summer sun this August.