It looks like this may be a vintage year for the Punch House Band

Things have been going on here since our last blog post, many good and exciting things, and the year ahead is looking positively fecund with top Punch House stuff; gigs, videos, new publicity pictures and the release of our six track CD. This is looking like a very big year for us, indeed a vintage year you might say.


Our work rate as a live band has gone ballistic in recent months, we’ve played more gigs since November 2018 than we managed in our entire career up to that point and this is no exaggeration. As well as returning to the Golden Star in Norwich (a damn fine hostelry by any way of measuring these things) we have also brought our show to The

Louis Marchesi, The Roseberry, The Rumsey Wells and the Butcher Bhoy (all in Norwich) and the Burston Crown. We have loads more coming up throughout the year with furhter appearances being added all the time so it’s worth checking out our gigs page on a regular basis to ensure you don’t miss out.


PHB Big sky booklet frontWe are very pleased to say that our first CD, the “Songs From The Big Sky” E.P. will be on sale at all our gigs starting this Friday 22nd February at the Rumsey Wells in Norwich. It’s a six track affair recorded and engineered by Chris Bond of Seaplane Studios and features songs which have become mainstays of our live set. The tracks are “A Box in a Hole in the Ground”, “The Big Sky in the East”, “The Ghost of Allan Smethurst”, “Back to the Dirt”, “The Bricks of Burston” and “Bedlam Boys” and we plan to have it available through mail order and also as a download before too long. We think it captures our energetic live performance rather well. You can preview some of the songs on our reverbnation page here.


…well, Youtube anyway. A couple of weeks ago we got in front of a video camera wielded by the entirely marvellous Al Pulford and committed our live performances of “Masquerade”, “The Ballad of Norwich Gaol” and “I Walk By Night” to videotape (or it’s digital equivalent). Did you know we have a Youtube channel? If you didn’t, you do now which means you have no excuse for not subscribing. It already featured a few “from the audience” videos but these three are first that we’ve done “on purpose” as it were.

We deliberately chose songs we hadn’t recorded which have become highlights of ourNch Gaol video screen shot live show. “Norwich Gaol”, written by Peter Bellamy, is one of the first songs we worked on when we first got the band together. It’s from Bellamy’s legendary (in folk circles) album “The Transports” which the Norwich theatre company Crude Apache has staged as a theatrical performance on a couple of occasions and Richard, Leighton and Tim were heavily involved in both productions.

“Masquerade” is another song with Crude Apache connections. Tim and Russell Turner, (you probably know him; most people do), wrote the song for the company’s 1998 production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The song then remained largely unplayed for twenty years(!) until Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company, a company with whom Tim does a great deal of work, staged an outdoor tour of “The Dream” last summer and used this song. Leighton, who was playing Oberon in this new production, got to make it his own and so in due course it went into our set where it has proved a very popular show-closer. The company, including Tim and Leighton, will be touring the show again this year and if you want to know more go here.

“I Walk by Night” is another song composed by Tim and it takes it’s title from a book of the same name which is the reminiscences of Frederick Rolfe, the “King of the Norfolk Poachers”. You can read more about this song here.

20190126_7508641_punchhouseband_shootYou can see the videos here and you may want to consider subscribing because there will be more to come. We also took some promotional photos as well which you can see all over our “online presence” and publicity material. Al is a fantastic photographer who (amongst many other things) is the go-to snapper for bands around here and his website is well worth a visit which you can do here. We can’t recommend him highly enough.


In other news, following our collaboration with Crude Apache on last summer’s “At the Turning of the Tide” we are going to be the “House Band” for the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary event in June this year and we’re really looking forward to that. At the moment it’s shrouded in secrecy but as soon as we’re allowed to do so we’ll let tell you more.

Quite a few of our songs were composed by Tim for Stuff of Dreams’ productions; “Back to the Dirt” and “A Bit of the White Stuff” from The Poisoners’ Pact (a play about the Burnham Poisoners), and “The Bricks of Burston” from the play of the same name about the famous Strike School. Now he’s about to tour “An Honest Gentleman” the latest show he’s co-written with the director, Cordelia Spence. It’s about an actual highwayman called Thomas Easter who lived in Aylsham and features eight new songs by Tim, some of which are pretty likely to end up in our set before too long. If you want to know more go here.

Finally, here are some live pics of us at the Roseberry last month. Once again we are indebted to Al Pulford for these most excellent shots.

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Son of Gossip From the Punch House Bar


It’s been an interesting summer here at the Punch House, very interesting indeed! There is much to tell you so pay attention; perhaps you might want to go and get cup of tea or coffee and maybe a biscuit before you settle down to read this, we don’t mind waiting… All done? Good! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

Allan and the PHB

A gig that sadly never happened


In an extraordinary and wholly gratifying turn of events, the greasy finger-marks of The Punch House Band are all over three nominations in the People’s Choice section of the Norfolk Arts awards. It’s not exactly complicated but it needs a little explanation, being tied up with our activities over the last year, so we’ll explain it category by category.


Some of you may know that PHB guitar punisher and backing shouter Tim Lane has worked for the Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company for the last few years. 


Leighton Williams as Oberon

Mostly as a sound designer, composer, writer and musician but also from time to time as an actor. Many songs originally written for the company’s productions have found their way into our set, “A Bit of the White Stuff”, “Bricks of Burston” and “Back to the Dirt” to name three. This summer saw both Tim and Leighton appearing in SoD’s outdoor touring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as Bottom and Oberon respectively. The show, featuring songs co-written by Tim Lane and Russell J Turner, was very successful and well-received, (you can read a review here), and may well be going out again next summer. One of the songs has already made it into the PHB set.

This was followed in August by the world premier of the musical play “An Honest Gentleman” co-written by Tim and featuring more of his songs. It tells the story of Thomas Easter, an actual Norfolk highwayman from the early eighteenth century. Stuff of Dreams did a one-night-only showcase performance at the excellent North Lodge Park in Cromer and, once Cordelia (company director and co-writer) and Tim have tinkered with the script a bit, this will also be touring next year.


Hayley Evernett as Puck and Tim Lane as Bottom

Stuff of Dreams have been nominated in the Small Arts Organisation category and, quite apart from our connections with them, we reckon they’re one of the best small professional companies in the region (well we would wouldn’t we?) and strongly advise you to follow this link and cast your vote for them before September 17th, and remember, a vote for SoD is (kind of) a vote for the PHB.


Crude Apache! We’ve mentioned before that the world has the Crude Apache Theatre Company to thank for the existence of the The Punch House Band, and we conti

at the turning of the tide

At the Turning of the Tide

nue to be deeply involved with this most excellent organisation. This summer saw the company touring “At the Turning of the Tide”, an outdoor show which told the story of the decline of the wherries in Norfolk over the latter half of the nineteenth century. The tale was brought to life through the experiences of one of the many families who who worked the broads in these magnificent vessels and was written by Punch House Pal Panda Monium, Jo Edye (more news about this fine gentleman below) and our own Tim Lane. Once again it featured a number of songs and the music for the show was provided by the good old PHB. We even did a short warm-up set at the beginning of each performance. Needless to say it went down very well at the many venues we visited and you can read a review here. The plan is to develop the script into a full length play to be performed next year.

So anyway, Crude Apache have been nominated in the Large Arts Organisation category, and deservedly so. We don’t think you can go far wrong if you follow this link a vote for them in this year’s awards, not least because the Punch House Band are practically the company’s house band.


Finally, the Punch House Band’s very own six-string mauler Tim Lane has been


Tim Lane at The Norwich beer Festival 2017

nominated in the individual category. He’s been tolerably busy with theatre and music stuff over the last twelve months or so: As well as everything outlined above it was only this time last year you that he was touring the cold war spy thriller play “Anglian Mist” with Stuff of Dreams. A play which he co-wrote, provided with sound design and “secretly” appeared in. The there was his turn as Mrs Slighcarp in the Wolves of Willoughby Chase at the Maddermarket, the ceilidhs with Happy Feet and the ongoing adventures of The Punch House Band.

He has no idea who nominated him but says he’s very grateful to them and we urge you to follow this link and add your vote. You want to go and check out his website as well.



The Punch House Band will be making their third consecutive appearance at this entirely excellent event. The Festival runs from Monday 22nd October to Saturday 27th and we will be providing the musical entertainment on Wednesday 24th in the 6 p.m. slot. We’re planning to bring a lot of new material, including songs from “At the Turning of the Tide” so come and join us.


joedye-smallWe have engaged the services of a manager! Crude Apache Founder member, Owner of Norwich Screen Art and all-round top geezer Jo Edye has been persuaded to take on the job of getting the Punch House Band “out there” playing gigs. He’s very good at that sort of thing and we’re looking forward to a busy few months.

Look out for news of up-coming gigs, awards results and anything else we think you might like by checking our Facebook page and all the other social media.

Yet More Gossip From The Punch House Bar

First off we should start by wishing you a happy new year. We’re quite excited by the prospect of all that 2018 has to offer in terms of Punch House Business and general shenanigans and we hope that you’re similarly animated about all the new year holds for you. Before we start going on about our plans for the next twelve months we should bring you up to date with stuff that has already happened.


The Punch House Band finished 2017 with a return gig at the Freemasons’ Arms in Norwich. As before we had a top night in this entirely excellent pub which has gained PHB “home venue” status. This is a proper public house, one which serves good beer, has a proper “local” feel to it and has no truck with any trendy nonsense of any sort.  Thanks for having us Liz and Chris and we look forward seeing you again in 2018.


We mentioned previously that we’ve been recording and now we are delighted to tell you that just before Christmas Mr Bond of Seaplane Studios saw to it that a plainly wrapped parcel containing an unmarked spool of tape was delivered to a prearranged dead-drop. Having taken possession of the package we brought it back to the Punch House, gleefully unwrapped it in a manner not unlike small children with a long-anticipated Christmas present, and now we are the proud owners of our first official recordings! There are six tracks in all, Bedlam Boys, A Box in a Hole in the Ground, The Ghost of Allan Smethurst, The Bricks of Burston, Big Sky in the East and Back to the Dirt, and our debut EP will be available in the very near future. In the mean time here’s a taster.


We’re in the process of booking gigs for 2018, although we won’t be doing much before March because sadly Richard “Banjo” Brook has broken his wrist! As well as being horribly painful (even for a tough norther like him) it make the whole business of playing the banjo a bit inconvenient.

The Punch House Band is now fully twitter-capable; tweet/follow us @PunchHouseBand

We also have a reverbnation page which you can find here: THe Punch House Band Reverbnation page

More Gossip From the Punch House Bar

Special Festive Gig

PHB Feemasons dec flyerYes, just when you thought you were going to have to see out the rest of the year without  that essential dose of Punch House joy and frivolity we are beside ourselves with pleasure to announce a SPECIAL FESTIVE PERFORMANCE. We would be delighted if you’d come and join us at the Freemasons Arms, Hall Road, Norwich on Saturday the 2nd of December for an evening of songs about murder madness and drinking beer (amongst other subjects!), and maybe a seasonal song or two. The Freemasons is a top pub serving good beer and we’re very pleased to be finishing our year  in such agreeable surroundings.

Norwich Beer Festival

We had a great time playing at the Norwich Beer Festival this year and it was great to see all of you who came along and said hello. We have a short “taster” video  which you you can see here. Hopefully we’ll be back next year! If you didn’t make it here are some pictures taken by our good buddy Tim Dew.

PHB Recordings

We reckon we’ll have the recordings we did earlier this year mixed and mastered in the next week or so and we’re looking forward to releasing them in the new year, maybe as a download and possibly as a CD as well so watch this space for news.

Gossip From The Punch House Bar

Recently the Punch House Band has been a bit like a duck. “Like a what?” you say and we reply, (almost defiantly), a duck, because like the aforementioned aquatic bird, there’s not been much going on up top but it’s busy, busy, busy below the waterline. We haven’t played in public for a while and we’re sorry that the Facebook page has been left unmolested for some time but stuff has been happening, the fruit of which you’ll begin to see over the next few months.


PHB norwich beer festival 2016Last year the Punch House Band made our official live debut at the Norwich Beer Festival and we’re delighted to say we will be appearing again this year on Friday the 27th October, (first half of the evening session). It was such a great gig last year that we’re really looking forward to this return date where we will be unveiling some new songs as well as bringing out all the old faves. If you’re there come up and say hi, we’d love to see you.


blueberry twofer flyerWe have one other gig before the festive season sweeps us up in a tsunami of goodwill and overindulgence and it’s going to be a good ‘un because we’re teaming with some mates of ours, Rose Lodge Crossing, to put on a double-header at The Blueberry Music House on November the 11th. The Crossing, (as they’re almost never referred to), are mates of ours who play classic seventies rock with a real leaning towards the “west coast sound” of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and others as well as songs by Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. d is Those of you who might be familiar with Tim Lane’s previous bands will recognize them as former members of Ubermodo, the southern blues and country rock band he was with a few years ago. Billed as “Two For the Price of None” the evening will kick off around 8.30 (rock ’n’ roll time) anabsolutely free entry!


In other news, we’ve just finished recording our debut mini album, (or e.p. Depending on your point of view). We’ve still got to mix it, think of a title and design a cover but it should all be done in the next few weeks and we’ll be previewing it right here before officially launching it early next year at a special gig, the details of which are so hush-hush that even we don’t know them yet. We actually recorded all the backing tracks back in June on one of the hottest days of the year. Chris Bond of Seaplane Studios is based in a top-secret underground bunker on the North Norfolk coast but for the purposes of this session he came to Norwich to capture the PHB sound. We used the excellent Plug Studios which are very well-appointed indeed but live recording doesn’t go well with the low growl of air-conditioning units so we had to switch them off. Needless to say it was all a bit sweaty but this impacted not one bit on the quality of either the playing or the recording and we managed to get six tracks down; Bedlam Boys, Hole in the Ground, The Bricks of Burston, The Ghost of Allan Smethurst, Big Sky in the East and Back to the Dirt all of which have now had the vocals added although we’re not at liberty to divulge the actual location for this part of the recording. But let it be recorded that the Punch House Band thinks Chris Bond is awesome and should have some kind of medal for his services.


As you’ll see below, all the Punch House boys have been quite busy doing non-Punch House stuff but, and at this point we refer you back to the duck thing at the beginning of this blog, rehearsals and writing are still going on and we are, if not actually sick with excitement, quietly stoked about the new stuff we’ve got for you. There’s a poaching song inspired by the book “I Walked by Night”  and a couple of dark folk tales, as well as some other numbers. We’re also looking forward to a much busier 2018 simply because we have the all-important demo that is such an essential part of getting gigs. Of course, if you know a venue where you think we might go down favorably please feel free to mention us to your contacts and get them to look at our website.


The Transports Geldeston FlyerThe Punch House Band’s most recent gig was at Jurnet’s Bar in Norwich back in June since when any number of non-PHB things have been going on. As many of you already know, Tim, Richard and Leighton originally met as members of the Crude Apache Theatre Company, and the Punch House Band was conceived when all three of them were in Singing the Postman, a play by Jo Edye about Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman. They are still very active in the company and August saw all three of them taking part in Crude Apache’s revival of Peter Bellamy’s Ballad Opera The Transports, an outdoor revival of a show they did a few years ago at Dragon Hall in Norwich. PHB fans will be aware that one of our most popular numbers is “The ballad of Norwich Gaol” which comes from this show.

AM autumnA number of songs in our set, namely “The bricks of Burston” “A bit of the white stuff” and “Back to the dirt” were originally composed by Tim Lane for the Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company. Tim co-wrote their play The Poisoners’ Pact and has written songs and been sound designer for many of their shows. This year he co-wrote and was sound designer for Anglian Mist the company’s major production for 2017. The show (a cold war spy thriller) made its premiere in June with an immersive theatre experience in the disused military installation on Orford Ness in Suffolk where the play is set. Currently the show is touring the Eastern Region and is taking up a lot of his time.

Leighton, who can act a bit (colossal understatement!), is currently rehearsing for his lead role appearance in Dial M For Murder at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich. The show runs from 17 to 25 November and you should go and and see it–he’s very good! Tim will also be appearing at the Maddermarket as Mrs Slighcarp in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, their Christmas show which runs from 16 to 31 December.

Back to music, although PHB have only a couple of gigs upcoming in this busy theatre period, you can see our bassist George live with both his other bands. They need the support, come on, support your live music! George plays with experimental improv band–there are tunes!–hymn (trumpet, loops, percussion & noise effects, bass), and with Joey Herzfeld Trio (voice & accordion/keys, trumpet, bass). All original music. More information here

  • October 21: hymn + Tolerance Manoeuvres, York Tavern, Norwich
  • October 22: hymn + Tolerance Manoeuvres, West Norfolk Radio, live, recording
  • October 26: Joey Herzfeld Trio, Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
  • November 24: Joey Herzfeld Trio, Jurnet’s Bar, Norwich.

So that’s the Punch House bar gossip for now, we hope we’ll see you soon!

In the studio

In early summer, on a very hot Sunday afternoon, we locked ourselves in the studio with engineer Chris Bond, to record four or five songs. We’re in the process of adding vocal lines, harmonies, and instrumental solos to the tracks, with the aim of releasing them later in the year. Do keep an eye out for these. On initial playback they sound pretty good (to us anyway–maybe that’s why we all look so happy below)!

Punch House in studion 2017