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Acoustic folk and blues
Explaining Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra's music is like describing a remembered dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time it feels new. It's blues but not blues, folk but not folk, soulful but not soul.
Marty's voice is beautiful and distinctive, his lyrics stark yet lush over gritty electrified guitar. Chris Lynch's violin, Matt Goff's percussion and Ben Berry's rich bass meld beautifully. The chemistry of these friends is obvious. But one can also hear an urgency in the songs, expressing something elemental and perhaps contradictory: love and anger, joy and pain.
The live performance is at the core of this project: the band enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. They go from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs. They leave the stage out of breath, the ground littered with broken strings and bow hairs. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorise. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The visions might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.
The band formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012 and has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle. They invite you to join them.
"A band true to its name: soulful" - NPR
"Delightful, well crafted music" - SF Weekly
"Raw musical excellence, guitar, fiddle and double bass played to within an inch of their inanimate lives." - 4000 Miles to Nashville
"Definitely on the top of the Americana list penned by any serious connoisseur of roots music this year." - Portland Tribune
Internationally recognised and at the heart of Norwich’s cultural community, Norwich Arts Centre is a contemporary arts venue that delivers a daily programme of live music, theatre, dance, live art, visual art, literature and comedy. It is a small, independently run venue with charitable status with a mission to support the development of artists and nurture emerging talent across a range of art forms; Norwich Arts Centre really is the best small venue in Britain. Auditorium doors open 15 minutes prior to the advertised start time, however you are welcome to enjoy a pre-show drink from 7pm/7.30pm in the Bar.
In 2014 the venue received the prestigious NME Britain’s Best Small Venue award, having previously been shortlisted for the award in 2011, 2012, 2013. In 2014 it was also honoured with both a EDP People’s Choice Award for best small to mid-scale venue, festival or organisation and the Dr Frank Bates Musical Theatre and Dance Award. In 2015 and 2016 NAC received the LIVE UK Music Business Awards for Best Venue Teamwork.
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