The party was back in town last night, as Barenaked Ladies took to the UEA stage for the first time in what is far too many years, promoting their new album ‘Fake Nudes’, alongside the fantastically amusing Boothby Graffoe.

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Boothby Graffoe

Opening the night was Yorkshire-born comedian James Rogers, whom you may also know by his alter ego named after a Lincolnshire village, Boothby Graffoe. A man of many talents and years of experience behind him, Graffoe had the whole crowd in stitches within the first few seconds of him being on stage. He performed a brilliantly planned out set, with a clever mix of joke telling and comedic songs, touching upon the surreal side of an imaginary animal kingdom in songs like ‘Baseball Playing Spider’ and ‘Polar Bear’.

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As somewhat a jack of all trades, Graffoe wasn’t shy to burst into laughter and admit he’s tripped over his own teeth during the song ‘Hartlepool’ and with a fair bit of improvisation, he was constantly engaging the crowd to sing along as well. Before the end of his set, he was joined by Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan for an outstanding performance of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’

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Barenaked Ladies

Headlining the Norwich UEA was a a now four-piece Barenaked Ladies, however this did not affect the great energy and feel-good atmosphere this group can create. Starting off their 6-song acoustic set with ‘Thanks that was Fun’, all members were set up in line at the front of the stage – Tyler with a small drum set, Kevin on guitar and keyboards, Ed on guitar and last but not least Jim on double bass. The acoustic set made for a slow and relaxed start as they were building up to the main set, which mainly meant getting rid of Tyler’s ‘ridiculously tiny drum set’, as Ed described before they went off stage for enough time to ‘buy a drink if you’re already at the bar’. In between songs, lead singer Ed shared their experience from that morning as him and Kevin went to explore Norwich town, had breakfast at the Waffle House and were mislead by the crazy April weather.

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As they moved on to the main set, which included tracks from both their new album ‘Fake Nudes’ as well oldies-but-goldies that everyone knows and loves. This has also marked Jim’s switch from double bass to an electric guitar and he was absolutely loving life with the freedom to move about on stage. Backed by years of experience and knowledge, there is no doubt that these guys are not only insanely talented but also know how to put on a proper show! While Tyler and Ed stuck to drums and acoustic and electric guitars, Jim switching back and forth from an electric guitar to a double bass and Kevin was almost playing a different instrument in each song, including an acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, piano and even an accordion.

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When the main set finally kicked in it suddenly got the crowd moving and singing along to tracks such as ‘Brian Wilson’, ‘Canada Dry’, and what was definitely one of the highlights and the greatest songs of the night – ‘Be my Yoko Ono’ where they were joined by Boothby Graffoe. Of course, having saved the best for last, the end of their performance was becoming more imminent once we were singing and dancing along to the fantastic ‘Big Bang Theory’ theme song and the songs that followed after that.

All in all, it was a fantastic night filled with laughter brought by the surreal sense of humor of Boothby Graffoe, and a greatly energetic atmosphere created by the unmissable Barenaked Ladies.

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