Friday 7th October 2016,  6:30 - 8:30pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Joe McCorriston 

This is how Kendal Calling described Joe in 2012:

"Joe McCorriston is a young Singer Songwriter from Lancashire. He already has two releases to his name, 2011's EP “One Day” and 2012’s LP “Try As You Might” which has recieved a number of great reviews. His musical influences range from Frank Turner, to Simon and Garfunkel, to NOFX and he gigs endelessley around the UK as he is building a following one-by-one. Despite just being armed with an acoustic guitar, his live show is flawlessly energetic and passionate. If he keeps his songwriting going at this pace, as well as constant touring, his hard work will surely pay off."

Joe's hard work is certainly paying off. He's played more, awesome stages, supported some mighty peformers since then and now chooses his own support as he continues to tour endlessly, with an ever growing fan base and repertoire of releases.

Of 2014's "Sick and Sand" album, Louder Than War said:

"One thing Joe has... is a fuck-load of raw talent. You probably can't polish a turd, but Joe doesn’t have to. He’s shitting golden eggs."

Joe invites you to place him in "whatever genre you wanna put me" on his facebook page. We say acoustic punk.


Saturday 24th September, 8:30pm - Special Show - John Fairhurst 

"John Fairhurst is possibly the finest guitarist you will ever see... brilliant songwriting and a gravel-swilled belter of a voice.” (BBC Manchester). We are delighted that this British rock guitar phenomenon is coming to The Norton from London to perform a solo show.

"John is the owner of one of the deepest voices we've ever heard, like Captain Beefheart but even more so. In this growly blues performance he sings about the bottom of the ocean and that's how deep his voice is" (Classic Rock Magazine). They were referring to his song Breakdown but also check out No Shelter to hear that voice.

Read John's biography, a plethora of acclaim inreviews from the most respected of publications, listen to more of his work and view his discography on his website

This dude is a distinguished guest to our town and certainly NOT TO BE MISSED. 

Friday 26th August 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Barry Fisher & Alan Forster

In the troubadour tradition Barry and Alan have a raft of much loved covers but Barry has also been writing. This is his new folk song "Knock Upon a Door" captured at our Open Mic in July. It's a lovely song, evocative particularly for those brought up in the 70s and 80s, and a comment on our technological age. 

Local legends with expert harmonies.


Saturday 20th August 2016,  8:30pm -Special Show - George Borowski & MORA

George may be familiar to you having played at The Norton previously and having introduced us to other wonderful performers. This time he brings us MORA making a name for herself this summer on the festival circuit. Hear her via links on her website

If you're not familiar with "Guitar George" (reference from Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing), know that he's played with some massive names from Meatloaf to Neil Young amongst many other high profile bands you'll know. However, George is a legend in his own right, with a phenomenal body of work spanning a long and amazing career in music. "I have never seen a rock n roll performer so completely connected with what he was doing on stage" says Frank Black of Pixies. "Great songs delivered with pure, believable passion" says Tony Kirkham of Stereophonics. Read snippets of his biography and more of what they say about him via his website.

Friday 19th August 2016,  *8-10pm -*Late Evening Acoustic Band Night- Acoustak

A wonderful three piece - guitar, banjo, madolin, harmonica, vocals - with influences of Dylan, Steve Earl, Hank Williams, Americana, a little Irish, not strictly Bluegrass and some classic pop at the later than usual time of 8-10pm.

Join the event on fb here.

Friday 12th August 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Dave Cannon & Junior Dayvis

Dave Cannon's vocal range is the probably the widest you will ever hear, live. 

Accompanied by Junior Dayvis, he'll perform some brilliant covers for us this evening. Seeing is believing! 

Friday 5th August 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Vanessa Murray

Upon seeing Vanessa at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Sandie Shaw said "It was stunning that such a young girl could come up with a spohisticated and emotive song and the performance touched people of many generations . Her musicality is astonishing." Come and hear Vanessa's great songs "with a vocal delivery reminiscent of Suzanne Vega... Catch her while you can - this girl is going places!" (Liverpool Media Academy). Indeed, Liverpool Institute for Preforming Arts have just awarded her a degree in the first class!

Saturday 30th July 2016,  8:30pm  -  Rock Night! 

GHOSTS of MEN,  plus BENN HELM (of Killaflaw)

Oof!  Of GHOSTS of MEN: "A truly massive guitar sound and huge groove laden drums mixed in with seductive vocals make for a musical experience that is at the same time as fresh and new as it is dirty and as old as time" and "Dripping with funky, sleazy riffs and primal choruses, less in this case really does mean more." Or more simply "That sound is fucking sick’ (Noise).

Here's a taste - Eye For an Eye - from their EP "Big Black Dog". Bring it on! 

Ghosts of Men will play a strong, raucous set of their original work and in addition we'll be treated to a solo set from Benn Helm with THAT voice. Hear Benn's voice with Killaflaw on Set Me On Fire. On this night he'll play some original work, interspersed with familiar, rock covers to hook us and make us move.

One of those nights that'll raise roof and rattle the bones of this old establishment! Be part of it.


Friday 29th July 2016,  6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Mel & Magnus of Tarantism

Brilliant, upbeat folk with a punky edge and strong celtic influence, driving grooves, original work and a dynamic take on familar covers. Mel is a fine flautist, vocalist and songwriter while Magnus is a great guitarist providing complementary vocals. Together they make for a delectable slice of their wider band, Tarantism, who are ever moving to bring their unique brand of celtic-ska-punk-funk-dub-dance to the grassroots festival scene. Hear Tarantism here but come it to feel the magic of Mel & Magnus at a more intimate gig for them.
Amongst their talents as a duo they specialise in keeping old English folk songs alive which may be heard on their album Memory of Love.


Friday 22nd July 2016,  *8:30pm - *LATE Evening Acoustic - Caputo

Matt McGurty on guitar and vocals with Dan Hickton on rhythmic bass and harmonies form a lively tangent on Matt McGurty & the Mnemonics.  In addition to Matt's fine, original, upbeat songs such as Give Me Back My Soul, we'll get a fabulous range of much loved covers, played as only they can. Here's a Johny Cash number from when they last played for us in March.Party!

Friday 15th July 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Rik Warren

Rik is a skilled bluesman with a curiously compelling, idiosyncratic voice, residing in Manchester. We were first blown away by him in performance with Gloom Flute at the Norton in November 2015 Rik's home ensemble is the very cool Walk but he is also a member of the mighty, ethio-trad, folk-hop band, Honeyfeet.  Rik solo is no less impacting. Check his beautiful, solo album with a lovely, folk feel and hear more of the full throttle, bluesy WALK via his website. We love how Rik can make for a rich and heady, "swaggering blues" set unaccompanied by nought else but his guitar and armed with songs such as Last Call. Don't miss him.

Friday 8th July 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Joe McCorriston with David Kay

This is how Kendal Calling described Joe in 2012:

"Joe McCorriston is a young Singer Songwriter from Lancashire. He already has two releases to his name, 2011's EP “One Day” and 2012’s LP “Try As You Might” which has recieved a number of great reviews. His musical influences range from Frank Turner, to Simon and Garfunkel, to NOFX and he gigs endelessley around the UK as he is building a following one-by-one. Despite just being armed with an acoustic guitar, his live show is flawlessly energetic and passionate. If he keeps his songwriting going at this pace, as well as constant touring, his hard work will surely pay off."

Joe's hard work is certainly paying off. He's played more, awesome stages, supported some mighty peformers since then and now chooses his own support as he continues to tour endlessly, with an ever growing fan base and repertoire of releases.

Of 2014's "Sick and Sand" album, Louder Than War said:

"One thing Joe has... is a fuck-load of raw talent. You probably can't polish a turd, but Joe doesn’t have to. He’s shitting golden eggs."

Joe invites you to place him in "whatever genre you wanna put me" on his facebook page. We say acoustic punk.

We've already had the great pleasure of David Kay when this double bill was originally planned some months ago but David took it on his own with a mightily varied and brilliant set due to laryngitis which took Joe. 

Catch them while you can at The Norton on this, their most recent, energy raising tour.

Friday 1st July 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Chris Tavener

Friday 24th June 2016,  9pm - Late Evening Acoustic - Blake's View

Friday 17th June 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Danny Smith

Funky Danny Smith playing his splendid brand of upbeat funky numbers, guaranteed to get you moving and grooving! 

Friday 10th June 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Little Jo & The Jumping Flea

First class jazz and blues from this awesome, local duo from Little Jo & The Misfits. 

Friday 3rd June 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Gary Hall

We're utterly delighted to present this wonderful singer-song writer who The Guardian describes as "A Celtic soul man, infused with the epic sweep of Springsteen.’

"Listen to Hall closely and hear touches of Dylan and Gram Parsons: straightforward with all the power of a freight train." (Folk Roots)

"Hall's contribution to shaping what we now refer to as 'Americana' should not be underestimated." (Whisperin' & Hollerin)

"Probably the best UK produced Americana album of the year." (Maverick) 

These are just some of Gary's reviews amongst the most prestigeous publications of the music press. For more about him and to hear his songs do go to his website.

 Friday 27th May 2016,  *8pm - Late Evening Acoustic - Lyons & La Zel

Jazz, ingenuity and class! This is a special, homecoming gig for the amazing Lyons & La Zel who have spent the last 6 months developing their sound and bringing the joy of it to south east Asia. As we welcome them home we'll be welcoming in the bank holiday weekend. *Please note the later time.

Don't miss this beautiful duo. Gorgeous, original and with a unique sound that is their very own. If you've caught them at The Norton before you'll be here. Lyons & La Zel virgins, check this for a synopsis of what they do or this for an example of a cover. More original songs can be heard on SoundCloud. Lea has a beautiful and dexterous voice and James is one clever guitarist and beatboxer - as soon as he picks up a mic, you feel the rounded sound of a four piece - but have you ever heard of flute boxing?!

Photo taken at Sihanoukville, Cambodia by Margaret Taylor.

Friday 20th May 2016,  6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Gareth Heesom

Rock and more! Since Gareth made his performance debut at The Norton he's gone from strength to strength. In addition to the amazing, rock covers he does so very well, with true passion and far more than competence, his bank of original songs is ever growing such as Mistold Lies. He's established status as a local legend!

Saturday 14th May 2016, 9pm - LIVE BAND NIGHT - Blackballed

We're proud to present to Runcorn one hell of an original rock band and if there's any semblance of rock in you, you're going to love them. "A well turned out, full tilt oiled engine with a ton of groove, rock power" who "play it like they mean it" .

Check them out for yourself on YouTube, starting here with Coat of Many Colours and Broke My Back. References to their links are found via the fat sound of Follow Me or we'll conveniently direct you to their facebook page and website.

We can't overemphasize this band's excellence enough. Serious power that gets you where it counts.

Photo by kind courtesy of Kenny Brown

 Friday 13th May 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Al Darley

In celebration of extraordinary local talent, we're very pleased to welcome back the subtly formidable Alex Darley. Alex has propagated his talent in various directions over 45 years, building upon the sturdy foundations achieved during his study of jazz which drew the attention of prestigious, inspirational players and educators. He went on to found and lead the funk/soul band Pride and Prejudice, who enjoyed great popular success in the 1980s. To date, Alex continues to develop his craft and is an active member of the nationally respected North Wales Jazz Society. Not content with his guitar mastery, Alex has incorporated clever use of loop peddles as part of his set, building a rich sound before your eyes with the depth of accompaniment while solo. Even more, Alex will intorduce his own vocals on some numbers which include his own, original work amongst less commonly played covers. Listen to Route 66 !

We're expecting a jazz biased set this evening - of the accessible and hugely gratifying kind - but also some old school and modern soul classics. Check out the skill in Alex' beautiful rendition of Autumn Leaves. For an example of his interpretations of popular songs listen to his creative take on Never Can Say Goodbye. Class!

Friday 6th May 2016,  6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Emma Lusby

Emma was riveting when we first heard her live, as a guest of the wonderful Saltcutters, who introduced us to her in February.

From Derry, Ireland, Emma sings in the old tradition of Sean-Nós; narratives of sufferance are sung unaccompanied, in Irish and in a highly ornamented style. Let your imagination run free while young Emma keeps the traditions of her native country alive. Of course, if you'd like her to translate these tales, do ask her afterwards .

Emma is also a fine, contemporary song writer and sings her own songs in English, accompanying herself with guitar. Listen here. This set will be a special and rare treat, particularly in England. Come and witness a peculiar talent and become haunted by her voice.

Also on Friday 6th May,  8:30pm - OPEN MIC with Neon

Always a brilliant night, The Norton's Open Mic, is nonhierarchical, welcoming and nurturing of new players. Just turn up to play - spots are organised on an ad hoc basis but everyone gets to play. As well as the fine, local talent we have in Runcorn, the open mic attracts players from further afield. Bed in for a really great time. 

Friday 29th April 2016, 6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Trish Watt

Trish is a sublimely talented guitarist, hailed as amongst "the very best" by the great George Borowski. Indeed, she is brilliantly versatile across all genres and her own writings demonstrate a plethora of influence. But blues is where we know Trish's heart lies. Get into the groove of the coolest sounds and bed in for a wonderful couple of hours as Trish sings the blues for us. Have a listen on YouTube, starting here. Class!

Friday 22nd April 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Le Verg

Our share of the great local talent for this month. Le Verg are Junior Dayvis on guitar with Deborah Studley leading vocals. We'll get a rich set of covers from this duo including Maroon 5, Shaun Mendez, Callum Scott, Amy McDonald amongst many others.

Saturday 16th April 2016,  8:30pm

BAND NIGHT - Dirty Vertebrae plus MC/DJ set from mini The Fire Beneath the Sea

The Norton is delighted to present one of the hottest and most interesting up and coming, wholey original bands in the UK. Each member of Dirty Vertebrae is as strong as the next, bringing together a genre defying sound and unique energy that is considerably more than the sum of their five parts. Fronted by two lead vocalists, one male, one female, hear quick-fire rap accompanied by harmonious melodies, against a driving rock, hip-hop, ska, funk, reggae and metal sound delivered with a healthy, punk attitude. Check Burial as an example and do get back to us if you can describe them any better.

WARNING - not for the faint hearted! This will be a banging night of epic proportions. If you want to see 300 year old beams being whipped by dreadlocks and feel the old bones of the Norton shake while witnessing an amazingly fresh, yet polished band that will go far, and for free, then you know where to be on this night.

In tandem with Dirty Vertebrae, we are also delighted to welcome three members of Liverpool institution, The Fire Beneath the Sea, performing an MC & DJ set. Two of this mighty, 12 piece collective will be familiar to Nortoners - James Lyons & Lea La Zel. Tonight we get our share of a mini Fire Beneath The Sea with Terbayte Mike, Joshy Slimfast and Doorag Jesus. For flavour, the full fat version of them can be heard hear - Phuxubtlety!  Epic night, we tell you!

Also on Friday 15th April 2016,  7pm -Runcorn Sons of the Desert

Quality projections of Laurel and Hardy classics, amongst other happenings, screened in our upstairs lounge and hosted by the fully chartered Runcorn branch of the international Sons of the Desert organisation.

This is a lovely evening for Laurel and Hardy fans where all are welcome. Check out the website for the full intinerary of these monthly evenings. This month's pre-show pays tribute to the late Ronnie Corbett.

Friday 15th April 2016,  6-8pm- Early Evening Acoustic - Joe McCorriston with David Kay

This is how Kendal Calling described Joe in 2012:

"Joe McCorriston is a young Singer Songwriter from Lancashire. He already has two releases to his name, 2011's EP “One Day” and 2012’s LP “Try As You Might” which has recieved a number of great reviews. His musical influences range from Frank Turner, to Simon and Garfunkel, to NOFX and he gigs endelessley around the UK as he is building a following one-by-one. Despite just being armed with an acoustic guitar, his live show is flawlessly energetic and passionate. If he keeps his songwriting going at this pace, as well as constant touring, his hard work will surely pay off."

Joe's hard work is certainly paying off. He's played more, awesome stages, supported some mighty peformers since then and now chooses his own support as he continues to tour endlessly, with an ever growing fan base and repertoire of releases.

Of 2014's "Sick and Sand" album, Louder Than War said:

"One thing Joe has... is a fuck-load of raw talent. You probably can't polish a turd, but Joe doesn’t have to. He’s shitting golden eggs."

Joe invites you to place him in "whatever genre you wanna put me" on his facebook page. We say acoustic punk.

Catch him while you can with David Kay at The Norton on this, his most recent, energy raising tour.

^^^ This gig was taken soley by David Kay due to Joe McCorriston being ill. Joe will be rescheduled.


Friday 8th April 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Cal Ruddy

Often considered one of the most exciting singer-songwriters presently emerging from the Liverpool music scene and likened to acts such as Richard Ashcroft, Paolo Nutini and Jake Bugg, Cal Ruddy mixes a range of genres in his emotive tunes delivered with his unique vocal style and quirky personality. Check out some of Cal's original songs: Maria, Little Town Anywhere & She's The One. His set will comprise some familiar covers too, such as Paolo Nutini's Candy. Give his facebook page a like for more. 

Certainly making waves in Liverpool, Cal comes to Runcorn to make his Norton debut this evening. 

Friday 1st April 2016, 6:30 - 8:30pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Mark Pountney

Purveyor of "some seriously western vibes that wouldn't be out of place on a Johnny Cash album" Mark Pountney is hailed as "a perfect example of the vibrancy on offer on the Liverpool music scene, an ambassador for quality and diversity" (Liam Pickup, Liverpool Acoustic). It's a pleasure for us to share a slice of such a vibrant music scene, right here in Runcorn, as Mark returns to The Norton . He has two quality albums under his belt, songs from which Billy Butler and Dave Monks have championed and which you can hear snippets of, along with video footage of whole songs to view via his website. He's a nice example of an original song, Make a Start, to check out. "A great find, a talented musician and wordsmith and one who frames the eagerness of appreciation in a new and hallowed way." (Ian Hall, Liverpool Sound and Vision)

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Also on Friday 1st April 2016,  8:30pm -OPEN MIC with Dave McCartney

Always a great night. New performers are welcomed into the fold and supported by established artists that regularly attend. Spots are allocated on an ad-hoc basis but everyone gets to play and the whole house gets to hear the mighty talent we have in our town. Listeners are as welcome as players. There may also me some jamming occurring!

Easter Sunday 27th March 2016,  9pm -Live Duo - Caputo

This new ensemble comprises the familiar faces of Matthew McGurty and Dan Hickton, integral parts of the original band Matthew McGurty & The Mnemonics, who need little introduction in Runcorn!

With Caputo, they focus on selective, familiar covers in which Matt's voice will be tested against benchmarks we know and love while on acoustic guitar, with Dan accompanying on bass for beef!

This will be a fun night to conclude Easter shenanigans.

Friday 25th March 2016,  * 9pm * - LATE Evening Acoustic - LIVE BAND NIGHT- Pastry Shoes

Swing into the Easter bank holiday weekend with Pastry Shoes, playing timeless and feelgood jazz, swing and pop favourites with female vocals, tenor sax and guitar.

Give them a listen here, check out their facebook page and website for more on this lovely trio from Northwich who will be great fun.

This is the first time that we've had a saxaphone in the house and we're looking forward to it tremendously!


Friday 18th March 2016,  6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic - Gus Glynn & Bongo Gaz

We give a substantive nod to Paddy's Day with the wonderful Irishman, Gus Glynn, this time with percussionist Bongo Gaz to up the ante on their set.

Originally from County Galway, Gus plays fingerstyle, folk guitar beautifully and writes narratives which he sings with a bona fide Irish accent ! He has a repertoire of lovely songs with a celtic folk feel such as The Piper.

Covers such as Blackwaterslide will be new to many so come and hear something a bit different. Gus's set will be one to cherish. Check out more of his original work here and go to his website for more on his biography.

Also on Friday 11th March 2016, 7pm -Sons of the Desert

Quality projections of Laurel and Hardy classics, amongst other happenings, screened in our upstairs lounge and hosted by the fully chartered Runcorn branch of the international Sons of the Desert organisation.

This is a lovely evening for Laurel and Hardy fans where all are welcome. Check out the website for the full intinerary of these monthly evenings.

Friday 11th March 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Random!

Great covers duo with John on acoustic guitar and Shelagh leading vocals, playing pop, rock, soul, R&B and indie covers from all decades. Check them out here and on facebook

Friday 4th March 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Stevie Joseph

Always a great night when Stevie's in the house bringing infectious songs and his contagious smile!

Here's a great piece of work by Stevie that is featured on our Live & Original at the Norton Arms cd -

Wonderland

Saturday 27th February 2016, 9pm - LIVE BAND NIGHT - The Drunken Monkeys

Rocking covers band delivering great songs to sing along to. 

Friday 26th February 2016, * 9pm * -LATE Evening Acoustic - LIVE BAND NIGHT - Saltcutters

We asked the illustrious violinist, Mikey Kenney if he would kindly oblige us for a solo set on this evening. Described in the music press as a "majestic singer" he's also a brilliant, multi-instrumentalist, making "music from the heart, for the heart". References to these reviews and more on Mikey can be found via his website. However, it transpired that the other three members of his Irish dance band, the utterly brilliant, Saltcutters could make it too! We couldn't let this opportunity go and we're making a special Acoustic Friday of it, at the LATER TIME of 9pm, as these guys are pretty boisterous, making people dance!

Here are the Saltcutters playing Pipe On The Hob for us a year ago. 100% quality, folk musicianship and we can't wait!

Friday 19th February 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Yarbo (solo) 

Always a great pleasure, Yarbo, otherwise known as Dan Pye, has been a favourite returner over the years since he played the first Acoustic Friday at The Norton over three years ago.  We've had some fantastic artists entertain us since then but Yarbo still gleams, with a voice you can recognise from miles away! Here are examples of his original songs: The Blind And The BraveMechanical and Silver Dust, though Yarbo incorporates many, much loved covers in his set from Dylan to the Beatles with a unique, folk sound. 

Keep abreast of Yarbo on facebook where you'll find opportunities to hear him accompanied by his band. 

Friday 12th February 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic - Cal Ruddy

Often considered one of the most exciting singer-songwriters presently emerging from the Liverpool music scene and likened to acts such as Richard Ashcroft, Paolo Nutini and Jake Bugg, Cal Ruddy mixes a range of genres in his emotive tunes delivered with his unique vocal style and quirky personality. Check out some of Cal's original songs: Maria, Little Town Anywhere & She's The One. His set will comprise some familiar covers too, such as Paolo Nutini's Candy. Give his facebook page a like for more. 

Certainly making waves in Liverpool, Cal comes to Runcorn to make his Norton debut this evening. 

(Photo courtesy of TrashMonkey)

Friday 5th February 2016, 6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic Session - Benn Helm

Killaflaw's front man returns with THAT voice, a set list comprising mostly of his own, excellent songs and the odd cover that he makes his very own from Howlin Wolf to Stevie Wonder. Have you heard Oasis' Wonderwall like this, recorded when Benn last played for us? Benn's voice lends itself to rock and is like none you've heard before. He has a wicked rasp and gravel, applied judiciously and has a powerful presence.

Tonight Benn will perform solo but you really ought to check out his band, the mighty Killaflaw, if the description "Led Zep meet the Chemical Brothers" intrigues you. Check Benn's voice on the club anthem Set Me On Fire.

Also on Friday 5th February 2016, 8:30pm -  OPEN MIC with Dave McCartney!

Always a brilliant night and newcomers always welcome to this friendly, supportive atmosphere. 

Be sure to catch Benn Helm beforehand though!

Saturday 30th January 2016, 9pm -LIVE BAND NIGHT - Little Jo & The Misfits

This band may need no introduction. They're probably Runcorn's most distinctive, not least for the rich, lead female vocals of Little Jo amidst the wealth of talent comprising four other, wonderful Misfits but for the rarity of what they play - jazz, blues, swing and perhaps a bit of rockabilly. Drawing on influences that include Billie Holiday, Louis Jordan, Imelda May amongst a plethora of others, audiences are drawn into a bygone age, not just by the fine songs seldom heard today but by the band's utter conviction and compelling revelry in them. Their rockabilly sound, including original work can be sampled here, More recently turning to jazz, Little Jo & The Misfits are seriously cool, albeit with uncompromising passion, examples of which are represented by the band's smaller, two piece outfit, Little Jo & The Jumping Flea here, along with their videoed rendition of Brother Can You Spare a Dime.

Testament to their growing popularity was selling out their show at The Brindley last November. If you're yet to see this class act, join us in savouring music parallel to the mainstream on this night. You'll be very glad that you did. Find Little Jo & The Misfits on facebook

Friday 29th January 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening (mostly!) Acoustic Sesssion - The Acoustic Souldiers;  Alex Darley & Jay Irving

In celebration of extraordinary local talent, we're very, very pleased to present the subtly formidable Alex Darley. Alex has propagated his talent in various directions over 45 years, building upon the sturdy foundations achieved during his study of jazz which drew the attention of prestigious, inspirational players and educators. He went on to found and lead the funk/soul band Pride and Prejudice, who enjoyed great popular success in the 1980s. To date, Alex continues to develop his craft and is an active member of the nationally respected North Wales Jazz Society. Not content with his guitar mastery, Alex has incorporated clever use of loop peddles as part of his set, building a rich sound before your eyes with the depth of accompaniment while solo. Even more, Alex will be joined this evening by soulful male vocalist, Jay Irving for some numbers which include his own, original work amongst less commonly played covers. 

We're expecting a jazz biased set this evening - of the accessible and hugely gratifying kind - but also some old school and modern soul classics. Check out the skill in Alex' beautiful rendition of Autumn Leaves. For an example of his interpretations of popular songs listen to his creative take on Never Can Say Goodbye. Alex and Jay are key members of the larger band Souled Out but together form an awesome duo - The Acoustic Souldiers. Do come along, we think you'll love them too. Class!

Friday 22nd January 2016, 6-8pm - Early Evening Acoustic Session - Danny Dunn

We're delighted to welcome the elusive Danny Dunn, making his Norton debut this evening. Danny has homegrown roots but spread his wings from a young age to develop considerable experience as a session musician across genres and his talent as an exceptional guitarist; he's seldom in the country. From jazz to classic rock, Danny can play the most challenging of pieces, beautifully. Here are some recent tributes to the late, great David Bowie that he's laid down while at sea: Space Oddity & Ashes to Ashes. Fancy a bit of Hendrix? Check All Along The Watchtower or this little montage of Danny playing electric, rock guitar, brilliantly.

We don't know what he'll do between 6 and 8 this evening but we may need to take poetic license on our usual "Acoustic Fridays" in case he cares to work magic with his Fender Telecaster or Gibson SG after a largely, acoustic set!

Catch him while you can.

Friday 15th January 2016, 6-8pm -Early Evening Acoustic Sesion - Thom Morecroft

Since Thom first played for us back in March of last year he's accrued a good handful of fans and friends in Runcorn and with good reason. Described as "addictive" by founding editor of Mojo magazine, Paul Du Noyer, winner of Best Album, Best Acoustic Band AND Best Solo Male in Liverpool Musicians' Awards 2014 and enjoying much Radio 6 airplay, here comes a veritable, folky treat at your local. With two albums and a stand alone single under his belt, Morecroft returns to The Norton with a brand new EP - Hand Me Down - fresh off the press, to be released on 13th January. Join his Runcornian EP Release event on facebook for more, give his fb page a like to track him and go to his website for biographical info and more links to his work. Or, just listen to Daisy for our choice of a very pleasing taste. 

Friday 8th January 2016 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Mark Pountney

Purveyor of "some seriously western vibes that wouldn't be out of place on a Johnny Cash album" Mark Pountney is hailed as "a perfect example of the vibrancy on offer on the Liverpool music scene, an ambassador for quality and diversity" (Liam Pickup, Liverpool Acoustic). It's a pleasure for us to share a slice of such a vibrant music scene, right here in Runcorn, as Mark plays at The Norton for the first time. He has two quality albums under his belt, songs from which Billy Butler and Dave Monks have championed and which you can hear snippets of, along with video footage of whole songs to view via his website. He's a nice example of an original song, Make a Start, to check out. "A great find, a talented musician and wordsmith and one who frames the eagerness of appreciation in a new and hallowed way." (Ian Hall, Liverpool Sound and Vision)

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Friday 1st January 2016 -OPEN MIC, 8:30pm - Neon

Junior and Neil will be testing constitutions on this evening whilst we start 2016 as we mean to go on - with live music, laughter and open arms to new friends. Join us! Always a great night with the healthy scene of local talent and often guests from further afield. 

Friendly, none-intimidating atmosphere - don't be shy, debut at the Norton!

See a round up of 2015 in pictures to a soundtrack of Our House by the wonderful George Borowski:

2015 at Our House

Thursday 31st December 2015 -New Year's Eve Party

Always a great night and the only ticketed event of the year.

Get your ticket from behind the bar throughout December.

Sunday 27th December 2015 -Live Band Night, 9pm -Matthew McGurty & The Mnemonics

Where better to see a great band than in their home town? Matthew McGurty is amongst Runcorn's very finest musicians and tonight, he'll be performing his ever growing repertoire of strong folk songs with a healthy dash of blues and boogie woogie and with his full band, The Mnemonics. Protest packs considerable punch. You may recognise where the video was shot and indeed, the location for I'll Try. Give Me Back My Soul is perhaps McGurty's anthem and it'll be difficult to sit still when he plays that number! Check out numerous other videos on Youtube and keep an eye on Matt via his facebook page.

This night conludes a year of band nights for 2015 at The Norton and will be one hell of a Christmas party. Don't miss out. Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Saturday 19th December 2015 -Christmas Disco Party Night, 8:30pm - Andy Guile, DJ

Dress up and get down to some cracking tunes!

Friday 18th December 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 7:30pm - George Borowski

It's been a great year of live music at The Norton and who better to perform the Acoustic Friday Finale of 2015, than the mighty Geroge Borowski. We've bent the time to later than usual to reduce the risk of you missing this magic. A reminder of when he last played at Our House

If you're not familiar with "Guitar George" (reference from Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing), know that he's played with some massive names from Meatloaf to Neil Young amongst many other high profile bands you'll know. However, George is a legend in his own right, with a phenomenal body of work spanning a long and amazing career in music. "I have never seen a rock n roll performer so completely connected with what he was doing on stage" says Frank Black of Pixies. "Great songs delivered with pure, believable passion" says Tony Kirkham of Stereophonics. Read snippets of his biography and more of what they say about him via his website.

We're delighted that he's coming back to us. Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Friday 11th December 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Eschuando Elefantes

It will be an honour to host this amazing, folk duo from Spain as part of their tour of Europe. Having caught the attention of the press and national television in their native country where they are much loved, it's England's turn for the experience of their wonderful and powerful, live performance. You're a Stone is a great example of one of their original songs - mighty! - or see what they do with a cover of Blowing in the Wind. There are numerous other videos to explore on YouTube, the link to which you can find on their website. We catch them just before they go to Ireland to win the hearts of audiences there. 

Don't miss out on something special and a rare treat for Runcorn. Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Friday 1st December 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - John Chatterton

Beautiful and skillfull fingerstyle guitar.

Saturday 28th November 2015 -Live Band Night, 9pm - Wasteland Paradise

These local young guns are great! Show them some support and nurture Runcorn's young talent as they bring us rock and indie covers, brilliantly. Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Kings of Leon, The Who, Pink Floyd are all in their set, amongst others. 

Friday 27th November 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Wes & Mog

Yet another Norton debut with this fun covers duo. Wes has played with his band before but we're excited to hear what him and Mog will do this evening. 

Whatever they play, it'll be a blast for sure! 

Friday 20th November 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Benn Helm 

Oof!  Original songs and a few covers from guitarist, vocalist and front man of the band, Killaflaw, who you really need to check out if you're curious about the description "Led Zep meet the Chemical Brothers". They've racked up some impressive gigs and series of brilliantly original EPs.

Solo, Benn has a great voice that lends itself to rock. Listen to one of his original songs (from 4:10), In The City or check out his cover of Hey Jude. This will be Benn's first performance at The Norton.

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Also on this evening,  Sons of the Desert,  7pm

Go to Runcorn Sons of the Desert website for more about this brilliant Laurel & Hardy film club based in our upstairs lounge. All are welcome to view the projected screenings of Laurel & Hardy classics in a friendly atmosphere. The main feature always comes with a pre-show of other, classic, comedy from any decade and the host does a great job at digging out some gems. There may be a "screen test" quiz and other antics to round an evening of good fun. 

Saturday 14th November 2015 -Live Band Night, 9pm - Gloom Flute (Noon) 

Contrary to our flyer in the pub, who we actually get on Saturday night is Gloom Flute, a variance on Noon featuring some of the same members and indulging us to a similar brand of space-psyche-boogie-blues of the most incredible kind. Gloom Flute are an elusive band from the Manchester underground scene. No website, no facebook page, no photos. Whilst understated, they are super cool, bringing together a myriad of influences that can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Listen to I Wish I Knew How to Sing to know what we mean! Their guitarist, Ellis Davies has played for us before with the awe inspiring Rioghnach Connolly (that was some show!). We take license with a photo of him to represent Gloom Flute, who we are delighted to bring you on this night. Don't miss out.  Live and Original at The Norton Arms! 

Friday 13th November 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Tom Blackwell

Tom makes his Norton debut this evening but is certainly no stranger to the stage. He is a prolific singer songwriter influenced by country, soul, blues, gospel and American folk music. He's delighted audiences all over the UK with his "wonderful, heartfelt music" (Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2) with a "talent as big as the sky" (Colin Hall R2 Magazine). 

With five solo albums to his credit the latest, Tyrone The Gun, is acclaimed as "easily one of the best things I've heard all year" by Mike Davies of Folk Radio UK. Here's the opening track to it, Broke, Bruised and Busted, recorded in Nashville and another lovely track from it, Raven's Eye. There'll be opportunity to pick up a cd or vinyl record for discerning collectors. 

Live & Original at The Norton Arms! 

Friday 6th November 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Louis Barabbas

Wow! Certainly, the most thespian of musicians you'll see at The Norton, a truly sublime songwriter and performer. Reverently referred to as "the dog man" by those who caught him here last time, Louis Barabbas is back and we're hoping he'll live up to his reputation by indulging us in The Tell-Tale Hound again! He's used to far bigger audiences with his band The Bedlam Six and Tom Robinson acclaims Louis Barabbas amongst the very best - "Unbefuckinglievably brilliant" no less. There isn't space on this page to represent the glorious reviews from the weightiest of music publications. Just watch this to see snippets from a few and get an introduction to the epic qualities embodied by this artist. 

To know what we mean by thespian, spend some unadulterated time exploring Louis Barabbas' many videos on youtube, starting here, with "Mother" - they're all massively entertaining. We heartily recommend any and all of his recordings which you can find on his website and we're looking forward to his solo album - Gentle Songs of Ceaseless Horror - being released later this year, tremendously. Check out the recent, teasing releases from it: You Did This To Me and The Stuff of Archive

On his own, as he will appear at The Norton, Louis Barabbas is formidable. Here's a nice example of a solo performance. Don't expect the comfort of covers - generally, he doesn't do them but see what he did with this commission of Relight My Fire - for a sense of his style. Expect to be disconcerted. Bring your wit, an aptitude for the quirky, the cynical and even the macabre, suspend your disbelief, and don't miss your chance to see and hear someone extremely special, right here. We feel very privileged to get him. 

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Saturday 31st October 2015 -Halloween! Monsters' Ball, 6-8pm - DJ

Halton village Millennium Green are running fantastic events for families on the Ghostly Green, just behind the pub. Meet on the green at 5pm for Bob Apples and a Spooky Treasure Hunt, then it's off to the Castle at 5.30pm for the Ghost Walk. Guardians of the castle, Norton Priory, will open up the grounds where the Ghost Walk tells the story of The Rise and Fall of Sergeant Higginbottom-Brown during World War 2 when 925 Squadron were based here in Halton. Very scary! The Lady of the Castle will give out goody bags to children in fancy dress.

Then it's back down to The Norton for the Monsters' Ball ! Here, the DJ will be playing the best of Halloween tunes from 6pm. There'll be hot snacks and beverages for sale and prizes for best lanterns and costumes will be awarded. This is all free but we encourage participants to buy raffle tickets from Halton Village Millennium Green to help fund this fantastic event and subsequent ones.

Live Band - Brown Bear in a Flaming Taxi,  9pm

From 9pm fun is reserved for adults. Brown Bear are a great
covers band, playing an interesting array of songs we know and love in innovative ways. They specialise in monsterously good mash-ups! 

Friday 30th October 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm  -  Gareth Heesom

Rock! And a hat-rick performance since Gareth made his debut with us!

Gareth has gone from strength to strength and in addition to the amazing, rock covers he does so very, very well, with true passion and far more than competence, his bank of original songs is ever growing. He's established status as a local legend!

Friday 23rd October 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Lyons & La Zel  

Jazz, ingenuity and class. We get James & Lea one more time before they disapear into the sunset of south east Asia on their travels. Simply, you just can't afford to miss this beautiful duo. Gorgeous, original and with a unique sound that is their very own. If you've caught them at The Norton before you'll be here. Lyons & La Zel virgins, check this and more original songs on SoundCloud. Lea has a beautiful and dexterous voice and James is one clever guitarist and beatboxer - as soon as he picks up a mic, you feel the rounded sound of a four piece - but have you ever heard of flute boxing?!

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Lyons & La Zel have a gorgeous and brilliant number on our LONA cd, £5, available behind the bar.

Friday 16th October 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6:30 - 8:30pm - Chris Tavener

We really enjoyed Chris's original, witty and satirical songs last time. This young, singer-songwriter from Northwich may well be going places, particularly after he played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year. He has several videos on YouTube such as I'm Better Than You but go to his website for more. If you like his quirky lyrics and well rounded songs as much as we do, take your chance to hear him here.

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Saturday 10th October 2015 -Live Band Night, 9pm - Rioghnach & Ellis

The Norton is very proud to present this amazing duo. Accomplished musicians Rioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies are individually, integral components to various ensembles that transcend genres from "Folk-hop, Ethio-trad, Cowpunk, Barrelhouse-pop" to the most sublime blues, soul, jazz and folk. The best known of these is perhaps their eight piece, Manchester based band, Honeyfeet. Check out Honeyfeet's brilliant video of Buried My Husband for an example of where Rioghnach's voice is jawdroppingly soulful, with attitude! Tender, erudite and the purveyor of exquiste harmonies listen too, to Rioghnach's voice with The Owl Dolls. Ellis is an awesome, inspiring guitarist and an utterly brilliant example of his work comes via this single take of a session with his other band, Noon.  As a duo, Rioghnach's skills as a flautist will also come to the fore and we can't recommend them strongly enough. Audio recordings and videos of them can be heard and seen on Analgue Sound's page.

Premium calibre musicianship, right here. “Seldom has conspicuous greatness been more accessible.” (Citylife) Come and see for yourself.

LIVE and ORIGINAL at The NORTON ARMS!

Friday 9th October 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Kalika

Kalika is an inimitable singer-songwriter who writes jazzy-good conscience-rhythmical folk that will uplift anyone’s day. Often compared to Kate Nash, Erica Badhu, Joni Mitchell and Billie Holiday, she plays a mix of covers and originals with a beautiful  album entitled And a Little Bit of Chutney available now. 

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Friday 2nd October 2015 -We Shall Overcome;  Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm

A trio of separate acts comprising Little Jo & The Jumping Flea, Nadine McGhee and Greg Oldfield.

To find out where the We Shall Overcome concept came from watch this video.

This gig will be part of a wider scheme of events across Halton and indeed, the whole country. Join the facebook group to find out what else is happening and for more information.

Whilst all live music at The Norton is free, we ask that on this evening you please bring a donation to our local food bank in exchange for this lovely event, to the value of at least £3. These musicians are not singing for their supper, rather the supper of the most needy amongst our community. Donated food stuffs must be none-perishable and have a good shelf life. In liaison with Runcorn food bank, UHT or powdered milk, tinned fruit and tinned spaghetti are cited as the most needed products. To find out how the food bank works and how you may make further donations go to the website

Please note, the regular, Norton Arms' Open Mic that usually happens on the first Friday of every month is cancelled due to WSO events.

Friday 25th September 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm  -  Gus Glynn

Another Norton debut tonight. Gus plays fingerstyle, folk guitar beautifully and has a repertoire of lovely songs with a celtic folk feel such as The Piper.

Covers such as Blackwaterslide will be new to many so come and hear something a bit different. Gus's set will be one to cherish. Check out more of his original work here.

Live and Original at The Norton Arms!

Saturday 19th September 2015 - LIVE BAND NIGHT,  9pm - Joe Symes & the Loving Kind

This brilliant, original, four piece rock band from Liverpool have been impressing audiences and the music press nationally and internationally since their coming together in 2013.  They've played some hugely high profile gigs, not least Noel Gallagher's after show party and being chosen to support Steve Craddock, The Blockheads and more, in huge venues along with their own headlining shows such as at The Zanzibar in Liverpool recently, which you can hear, along with an interview at this link. Reviews and more examples of their work can be accessed via their website and you should give their facebook page a like for live newsfeeds of what they're up to.

LIVE & ORIGINAL at The NORTON ARMS!

Catch this premium calibre band while you can and for free, right here, with us.

Friday 18th September 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm  - Vanessa Murray

Singer-songwriter, Vanessa is no stranger The Norton but in the considerable interim since she last played for us, way back in 2014, she's made some outstanding achievements, not least winning "Best Female Acoustic Act" of 2014 in the Liverpool Musician Awards.  "Vanessa Murray is definitely a name to watch! A talented guitarist, singer/ songwriter with a vocal delivery reminiscent of Suzanne Vega and a catalogue of songs that would be the envy of many female solo artists, Vanessa is going from strength to strength. Catch her while you can – this girl is going places!" (Liverpool Music Academy). She wowed Paul Carrack when she supported him to a packed out, Philharmonic Hall and overwhelmed his audience. There's no room here to list more of her brilliant reviews, achievments and gigs so please do go her webiste for audio and video links and to her facebook page for news.

Vanessa has a lovely song on our LONA cd - available behind the bar for just £5.

Live & Original at The Norton Arms!

Friday 11th September 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm - Mikey Kenney

Well, since Mikey and his fiddle last played for us in January, it's been a veritable challenge to get him back. He's so busy being a whole time musician and is presently working on two, new albums simultaneously: the first, his solo enterprise in which he plays all instruments (violin, guitar, banjo and more) to the songs he's written, the second with his Irish dance band, The SaltCutters. He's obliging us this month before he and his band perform extensively for Liverpool's Irish Festival in October, not least, playing Christy Moore's after show party. Solo, Mikey is formidable. Descirbed in the music press as a "majestic singer" he's also an impeccable, multi-instrumentalist, making "music from the heart, for the heart". Don't miss your opportunity to see him locally and relish him. 100% quality, folk musicianship and we can't wait!

A snippet of an orignal song and part of his most excellent set when he last played at The Norton is here and a reminder of when his band played for us is here. Other links and references cited above, can be found via his website and if you'd like to pre-order his new album go here. In addition to being utterly brilliant, we love him for his contribution to our very own community in Runcorn by donating a competition win of a brand new, quality guitar from Dawson's to Halton Community of Youth. You too can cotrinute to CoY via the purchase of the LONA cd - just a fiver, available behind the bar.

LIVE and ORIGINAL at The NORTON ARMS!!!

Go here to see footage of this gig.

Friday 4th September 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm  - Kim Jennett

Sadly, women are under represented within the circuit of professional musicians and our line up is a fair reflection of that. On this evening however, what a woman we bring you! It's a real pleasure for us to host this young, singer-songwriter from Warrington making her Norton debut this evening, not just in respect of her raising the profile of female, musical performance but because she's excellent! With rock influences that you can read about here, Kim will wow you with her amazing covers of great songs amongst her own, delivered with a unique, edgy style. Listen via SoundCloud, watch numerous videos on YouTube and give her facebook page a like to get the wonderful picture.

Sunday 30th August 2015 -Live Band Night,  8pm - Little Jo & ALL The Misfits

And to close thebank holiday weekend with a bang, we're proud to boast the full, 5 pieces of Little Jo & the Misfits band.

Amongst Runcorn's very finest, playing blues, jazz and swing, they raise spirits with an awesome set of less usual covers, together with their own songs.

Ace!

Give their page a like on facebook.

Little Jo & The Misfits have a cracking number on our LONA cd, just £5, available behind the bar.

Friday 28th August -Live Band Night,  9pm  - The Midnight Daisies

Kick off your bank holiday weekend with this gorgeous, female, 3 piece of fine musicians comprising jazz drum kit, ukulele, guitar, bass and vocals. 

They play a lovely set of classic and modern covers alongside their own material with a ragtime, gypsy jazz feel and a really engaging presence that will get you moving.

Listen via the Midnight Daisies website , Bandcamp or check them out on YouTube and do give their page a like on facebook.

Please note, there'll be no regular, early session on this evening in order to make room for The Midnight Daisies to set up.

Friday 21st August 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm  -  Yarbo

He's back! After many, many months since he last played The Norton, in which Yarbo has undertaken various enterprises, including a long residency in China, we're delighted to have this Liverpool talent back in our house.

A fine voice and a fine guitarist, he does beautiful, idiosyncratic covers but we hope he plays his own fine, folk songs too.

For those who have the LONA cd, you'll be familiar with this one, Mechanical. (If not, why not?! It's only a fiver and available behind the bar.)

Other, original songs from Yarbo can be heard via Bandcamp. Lovely! Live and Original at the Norton Arms.

Friday 14th August 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm  -  Donna & Alan

Donna Worthington & Alan Forster are a lovely duo, well established on the local circuit. Donna has one fine voice and Alan is a talented guitarist and purveyor of wonderful harmonies. 

Their set will be an eclectic mix of less usual covers that they perform so very well and we hear that they've got some new, storming numbers to share.

Friday 7th August 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm  -  Neon

Neon comprises two other, local legends - Neil Saunders and Junior Dayvis.

They'll play great tunes from The Rolling Stones, Poison, Johnny Cash the White Stripes and plenty more.

Friday 31st July 2015 -LIVE BAND NIGHT, 8:30pm - FUNKE & The TWO TONE BABY 

He's back! The one-man, mechanical alt-blues band from Kent will again audibly assault us, this time with new songs, a new guitar and a new album, Balance. DO NOT MISS THIS AWESOME PERFORMER. He truly is one of the hardest working acts on the live circuit. With over 40 festivals confirmed just this summer and many more, ticket only gigs this year, we're lucky to catch him before he plays Kendal Calling. If you caught him at The Norton last time you'll definitely be taking this rare opportunity to see him again in these parts and for free. Widely acclaimed, 100% brilliantly reviewed wherever he plays and "destined for international stardom", we like a Norton customer review that says it all - "a whole new level of sickness"! See this to understand how this solitary, clever and extremely talented dude sounds like a four piece and check other official videos via Funke's website to understand what the fuss is about. Here he is trying out his new guitar and here's the single from the album, I'm Not Well.

Don't just take our word for him. Some reviews of his new album, Balance, released 20th July:

"As close to perfection as it is possible to get." Louder Than War

"Unique as an artist Funke certainly is, a true maverick too and yet there's a relaxed, knowing maturity about his creations." FATEA

"Rough, raw and ready; it flows out the speakers and dominates the room" Artree

"A little ray of dark edged sunshine... A joyous racket..." The Midlands Rocks

"A cracking collection of superb musical vignettes" R2 Magazine

"What would happen if you got Jack White together with a beatboxer and asked him to come up with a soundtrack for Sons of Anarchy, with a bit of creative input from The Black Keys" Ferocious Blog

"There aren't many Funke and The Two Tone Babies this side of the asteroid belt" Medway Messenger


Friday 24th July 2015 -Early Evening Acoustic,  6:30 - 8:30pm - Danny Smith

This week will certainly be a Funky Friday.

High energy performance of great covers with a funky bias by this local musician with fine skills.

Friday 17th July 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Chris Callander

Chris is a singer-songwriter from Toxteth, Liverpool with a refreshing take on acoustic tuneage, a fine mellow voice and the purveyor of "Brilliant writing" (Alan Bean - Lunar Astronaut).  

Have a listen to Chris here and check out his lovely new album, Ghosts of Old Casartelli, which has been released to rapturous applause from critics. You can read reviews via his page on facebook and see how loved he is after smashing 2000 Trees festival last weekend. 

Friday 10th July 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic - 6-8pm, George Borowski

He's back! George has had an amazing career in music, playing with some massively famous people to huge crowds along the way. See him rocking out with Meatloaf at Wembley Stadium, here (from 42:45). Officially retired but too well loved to stay at home, we're honoured that he's playing for us here. "Great songs delivered with Pure Believable Passion" says Tony Kirkham of the Stereophonics. "A unique singer-songwriter with a righteous howl - George is one of the reasons I became a musician" says Jimi Goodwin of Doves. "I have never seen a rock 'n roll performer so completely connected with what he was doing on stage" says Frank Black of Pixies. For a taste, listen to one of John Peel's favourite songs, played over 40 nights on his BBC radio show - Who is Innocent - or more recently. If you were in the last time he played at The Norton, you'll know that he's not to be missed. 

A bit of footage from this lovely gig.

Friday 3rd July 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - James Turner

Powerful, folk rock from an independent musician from Liverpool who has achieved over 24,000 loyal fans around the world and rising.

“James J Turner is a superb talent, a strong, mature musician, with a great sound ” Classic Rock Society Magazine

“So right on every level, this is music that makes it’s mark – hard and deep ….Potent lyrics, a rich powerful voice, timeless acoustic rock-tinged folk … played live could easily attain anthemic status”  Tim Carroll, Folkwords

“Tremendous, strident vocals … music with oomph but also integrity” Pete Fyfe, UK Folk Music Magazine.

“It’s all quite irresistible. How could anyone fail to warm to James’ music?” David Kidman, Folk and Roots Magazine

How Could We Be Wrong? is probably the very best folk rock record of 2012. A must listen release, an album which quite simply puts others into the shade.”.  Ringmaster Review

Read other stunning reviews, read James' fascinating biography  and hear his songs via his website or join the 24k fans on facebook.

^^^

Regrettably cancelled due to ill health - IAN TURNER stepped up and treated us instead!

Friday 26th June 2015 - LIVE BAND ROCK Night! - She and The Junkies

All the way from Vienna, Austria, let's show these lads how we rock over here.

"First thing they did? Have a shot of Jägermeister. Second thing they did? Take off their shirts! Third thing? Play very loud and raucous Rock 'n' Roll!" (Nikki, Rockvideos, Austria, November '14)

Do check them out via their website, youtube and give their page a like on facebook. They're a bit exciting to say the least and nominated by Austrian television's GoTV, as  Austria's top Band of 2014. Sau geil!!!!

Please note that there will be no music at early doors (as there usually is) this evening - we're saving ourselves!

Friday 19th June 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6:30 -8:30pm - Jim Burke;  A Jumping Flea 

Local bluesman, Jim Burke with the fantastic company of Little Jo, Barny and Rob. Local legends, right here. Fabulous! 

Friday 12th June 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6:30 -8:30pm - Chris Tavener 

Chris is a satirical singer-songwriter from our neighbouring town of Northwich. His strikingly unique lyrics and diverse styles have attracted attention from national competitions such as Open Mic UK, local X Factor competitions, music radio. Gig promoters describe his music as both "hilarious" and "profound". 

He released an EP It's Only Human Nature in January 2014, his demo album National Identity Crisis in October 2014 and the acoustic EP The Project 9 Sessions in December 2014. You can here these via hiswebiste or watch him perform here. Do check him out and give his page a like on Facebook

We get him after he plays The Acoustic Festival of Britain, amongst some massive names, not least our Funke and the Two Tone Baby who is coming to us later in the summer. 

Friday 5th June 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Thom Morecroft 

Ooooffff!! Another, seriously hot artist comes to The Norton to play “Outstanding songs – very powerful.” (Paul Du Noyer, former editor of NME, Q, Mojo & Word Magazine) with “An amazing voice.” (Owen Jones, The Independent)

Taking the sweep at Liverpool Musicians' Awards 2014 for Best Album, Best Solo Male and Best Acoustic Band, enjoy “An urgent, energetic performance that holds your attention throughout and leaves you reaching for the replay button.” (Tom Robinson, BBC6) right here, with us. 

Listen to and watch his new single, On All Night, for a taste or another gorgeous andoriginal song, Daisy and see how busy he is via his facebook page and website. Class. 

Friday 29th May 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6:30 - 8:30pm - Matthew McGurty

Folk, blues and boogy woogy from this local legend! Since Matt last played at The Norton, he's made a splendid video of Rabbit Hole with his band, the Mnemonics. You may want to check out some local scenes in I'll Try and Protest or hear the mighty Give Me Back My Soul, which is track 3 on our LONA cd. Solo, as he will appear for our Acoustic Friday session tonight, Matt is no less impacting and Alien is a nice example. Amidst all of these wonderfully strong and original songs, he might just have time to squeeze in the odd cover. Local talent at its soulful best. Keep up with Matthew on facebook

Saturday 23rd May 2015 - Live Band Night, 9pm - The End

Pop, Rock & Pogo from this energy raising covers band. Find them on facebook

Friday 22nd May 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Barry Fisher

Barry makes his Norton debut this evening and we're looking forward to it.

A gentle set performed with true skill and with an amazing voice, Barry favours songs in the troubadour tradition, written for one man and a guitar. His session makes for a folky vibe with covers you love from Ed Sheeran to James Taylor.

He will guest Alan Forster for his harmonising talents and second, complimentary guitar, which will be a lovely embellishment on some songs. 

Friday 15th May 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6 - 8pm  -  Lyons & La Zel

We love this exceptionally original and creative pair. If you've not caught these guys at The Norton before then you really should on this day. You'll hear a beautifully rounded performance as James expertly and incredibly percusses with beatbox and accompanies Lea's gorgeous voice with a rich sounding guitar. Listen to Possibilities for example or Release Your Feather. They've written some wonderful songs and you can hear another, Papillion, on our LONA cd. We'll also get their remarkable version of the odd cover such as Portishead's Glory Box and if we're lucky, James might treat us to a bit of scorchingly unique Flutebox

Keep track of Lyons and La Zel on Facebook and don't miss them here.

Saturday 9th Mary 2015 - Live Band Night,  9pm  -  Brown Bear in a Yellow Taxi

Impromptu gig after Joe Symes & The Loving Kind had to cancel at short notice. 

Friday 8th Mary 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6 - 8pm  -  Trish Watt

Trish is a sublime guitarist and of all the guitarists that George Borowski has played with throughout his career, he sites Trish amongst the very greatest. Check this out and this

Her set has a bluesy bias, though not exclusively and she will play some of her own work alongside treasured covers in her own, unique style.  

Trish has a brilliant, funky number on our LONA cd (track 2). You need this cd in your life! Pick one up tonight.

Friday 1st May 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic,  6-8pm - Jim Adama

Intergalactic blues from the "Bluesman for the 21st Century" (Louder Than War).

"With unmistakably Mancunian tones riding gleefully over bluegrass slides, bends and voodoo backing vocals, he’s managed to make a tried-and-tested formula entirely his own" (Drowned In Sound)

"This is everything the blues should be, and everything a lot of people playing "blues" aren't these day. His bare bones style and innate sense of the perfect riff - the dirty distorting bass string rhythms, the bends on the high notes and the loosely picked chords - echo those legends of the pre rock'n'roll era" (Cath Aubergine - Manchester Music) 

We're delighted that he's coming to play for us.

See him on YouTube , hear more here and like his page on facebook

Friday 24th April 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm  -  Rufus Hok

"Rufus Hok’s haunting vocals absorb the raw acoustic atmosphere while taking the guitar as a semi-melodic and percussive instrument, and creating a band sound without a band. The fact that Rufus Hok can achieve such a full sound is a credit to his off-kilter playing style. Songs are pacey, lively with catchier than thou melodies. So much so that you would think you’ve been living with them singing in your head for years." (Liverpool Echo)

"Fantastic" ( Talk to Frank)

"One of the hardest working solo acts to ever come out of Liverpool" (Radio North Angus)

"Sounds like no other. Complete genius!" (Sensation Magazine)

Have a listen to Rufus here. Give his facebook page a like and go over to his blogspot to read a bit more about his new album, Rainbow Street, which will be released in time for his gig at The Norton. Finally, don't miss him and do bring some extra funds as we're sure you're going to want a copy of Rainbow Street after this! 

Friday 17th April 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 5:30 - 7:30pm - Ed Black

After being part of Ninetails, one of Liverpool's most enigmatic bands, Ed now establishes his solo career in London. He is a "songwriter with a keen ear for expression" (Joesph Viney, GetIntoThis) and now shares "his personal, stripped back style with the world" (Adam Lowerson, GetIntoThis). We're delighted that he'll be coming up from London on this day to play for us. Ed will perform a mix of his own songs such as this one - Stuck on Rewind - recorded live in Liverpool's Anglican cathedral, as well as some covers. You can hear Ed's most recent releases here, watch a video of another original song or read of his career and creative drive in this article in Bido Lito, music magazine. Give Ed's page a like on facebook.  

Friday 10th April 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6 - 8pm - Gareth Heesom

Gareth has a page for you to peruse here. Mixing his own work with brilliantly performed covers, we look forward to a rocking set from Gareth tonight. 

Friday 3rd April 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6 - 8pm - Stevie Joseph

Stevie's back this week with that smile and a raft of songs we love and that he does so very, very well. 

Stevie has an amazing, original song on our LONA cd.

Friday 27th March 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Thom Morecroft 

Ooooffff!! Another, seriously hot artist comes to The Norton to play “Outstanding songs – very powerful.” (Paul Du Noyer, former editor of NME, Q, Mojo & Word Magazine) with “An amazing voice.” (Owen Jones, The Independent)

Taking the sweep at Liverpool Musicians' Awards 2014 for Best Album, Best Solo Male and Best Acoustic Band, enjoy “An urgent, energetic performance that holds your attention throughout and leaves you reaching for the replay button.” (Tom Robinson, BBC6) right here, with us. 

Listen to and watch his new single, On All Night, for a taste or another gorgeous andoriginal song, Daisy and see how busy he is via his facebook page and website. Class. 

Friday 20th March 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - John Lowndes

John is the singer and writer of Salford band, Patchwork Rattlebag. Tonight will have an indie feel as John mixes his own stuff with familiar covers. 

 Saturday 14th March 2015 - Live Band Night, 9pm - The Bog Standards

A raucous cèilidh is going to be had on this mother's day eve and the mightiest of craic as we nod to St Patrick's Day later in the week. 

Not into folk music? We dare say that you'll change your mind if you come in for a listen. These are high energy, exceptionally skilled and fine quality musicians who'll get you stomping.

Have a listen via their website.  

Friday 13th March 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Donna Worthington  & Alan Forster

13 is Donna's lucky number so this Friday 13th will be a cracker! 

An eclectic mix of great covers, carefully selected from this soulful young woman who can apply herself amazingly well to any number, in any genre, that you could think of. With meticulous attention to detail, you can see the concentration on Donna's face, hear true quality in her voice and most importantly in making any live performer great, feel the passion in her heart. 

We also love how sassy she is!

Accompanied by another local legend, Alan Forster on guitar. 

Friday 6th March 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Le Verg

Le verge are Debbie Studely, accompanied by Junior Dayvis. 

Here we show off our local talent! 

Saturday 28th February 2015 - LIVE BAND NIGHT, 9pm - The Brothers Grim

You may be familiar with Wez as one of our resident DJs. See what he can do with a guitar and accompaniment from 4 brothers! Brothers Grim will please you with a great selection of faithfully performed covers and are sure to get you moving for they're a great party band. Make friends with them on facebook for more photos and news of gigs and listen here for a sample.

Friday 27th February 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Louis Barabbas

Wow! Certainly, the most thespian of musicians you'll see at The Norton and a truly sublime songwriter and performer. Louis Barabbas is used to packing huge venues and playing massive stages with his band, The Bedlam Six (not least The Etihad stadium last year, engaging thousands pre Man City v Cardiff). It must be nice to come home from the pub and hear yourself being played on BBC radio too; Tom Robinson acclaims Louis Barabbas amongst the very best - "Unbefuckinglievably brilliant" no less - and included him in his round up of the most excellent of 2014. There isn't space on this page to represent the glorious reviews from the weightiest of music magazines and publications. Just watch this to see snippets from a few and get an introduction to the epic qualities embodied by this artist. 

To know what we mean by thespian, spend some unadulterated time exploring Louis Barabbas' many videos on youtube, starting here, with "Mother" - they're all massively entertaining. We heartily recommend any and all of his recordings which you can find on his website and we're looking forward to his solo album being released later this year, tremendously. 

On his own, as he will appear at The Norton, Louis Barabbas is no less impacting. Here's a nice example of a solo performance. Don't expect the comfort of covers - generally, he doesn't do them but see what he did with this commission - "Relight My Fire" - for a sense of his style. Don't expect soppy romance. Rather, expect to be disconcerted. Bring your wit, an aptitude for the quirky, the cynical and even the macabre, suspend your disbelief, and don't miss your chance to see and hear someone extremely special, right here. 

Friday 20th February 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - James Lyons & Léa La Zel

It's an honour to host this gorgeous and massively creative pair. James' phenomenal beatbox and expert use of loop peddle, together with Léa's beautiful voice will leave you in awe. Here's one of their original songs and here's a sublimely done cover. You may have seen James busking in town or heard of their wider collective - The Fire Beneath the Sea - a tremendously hard working, energy raising and widely acclaimed band. These guys gig so hard that we're lucky to get Léa and James here. Don't miss them. 

This gorgeous song of their's is on LONA.   

Friday 13th February 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Yarbo

Another fine and accomplished musician and we've been dying for Yarbo to come back. Dan Pye's been busy, playing many gigs across the country in various arrangements from solo to with the full band. Here he is accompanied by Laura James, performing one of his original songs. We welcome him back to charm us with that idiosyncratic, folk style of his. Have you liked the Yarbo facebook page yet? 

Dan has another original song on the LONA cd, which if you still haven't purchased for a mere fiver, you surely should after this live performance. 

Friday 6th February 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Random

Shelagh and John are a duo who play covers from all genres and decades, hence their name, Random. Find them on facebook to see what they've been up to since they last played at The Norton and have a listen here

 Saturday 31st January 2015 - LIVE BAND NIGHT, 9pm - Slaughterhouse

Intense blues based Power Trio with 60/70s influences and rich improvised soundscapes, weavers of sonic tapestries and feel good hooks... and we get to hear the marvellous John Chatterton electrified with his band! Find Slaughterhouse on facebook.  

Friday 30th January 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - George Borowski & Netty Lawler  - VERY  SPECIAL  GIG

Yes, GEORGE BOROWSKI! "Great songs delivered with Pure Believable Passion" says Tony Kirkham of the Stereophonics. "A unique singer-songwriter with a righteous howl - George is one of the reasons I became a musician" says Jimi Goodwin of Doves. "I have never seen a rock 'n roll performer so completely connected with what he was doing on stage" says Frank Black of Pixies. "We're utterly delighted and humbled to host this premium calibre artist" says The Norton.

For a taste, listen to one of John Peel's favourite songs, played over 40 nights on his BBC radio show - Who is Innocent - or perhaps this one is familiar, Manchester Boys

This gig is even more special because George has recently, officially retired from the stage after 50 years with a plectrum. He will honour this gift of a very final performance, to give opportunity for fans who couldn't make his official, last gig in Bolton in December, at which these photos were taken. That was some night. George played for over 4 hours, with his band and a long line up of awesome collaborators on a big stage to hundreds of emotionally charged fans. However, the incredible Netty Lawler couldn't be there. George invites you to "come and watch one of the greatest singing and performing lasses of ALL time".

George is as legendary for his humility as he is for the veritable canon of work with which he leaves us. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of a very special, Acoustic Friday at The Norton and arrive early to get a good spec.

George has also kindly given us a wonderful song for our LONA cd, "Into the Light", which you really ought to have in your life by now!


Retrospective note:  This was a truly fine performance, with surprise guest, Gaynor Wilkinson, joining George and Netty. We feel honoured to have hosted such a historic night. 

Friday 23rd January 2015 -  Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Laura James

Laura is ever blossoming as a professional musician and her bank of excellent reviews are ever growing from performances far and wide, with and without her band, The Lyres.  She has recently accomplished a beautiful EP, that we're hoping she'll bring for sale. Go here to read the full review of its launch performance in Liverpool or trust that "This young woman... took the crowd... on a journey that seemed on one level a spiritual journey for her but also one in which the smile never once left her face" (Ian D Hall, Liverpool Sound & Vision). Her lyrics are poetic and her arrangements spot on. Live, she is "captivating.... her music sounds just as beautiful, if not more so [than her beautifully produced recordings] (Alex Brade, Back Street Mafia).  

Listen to "Every Little Amber" in this video, for a taste. To keep up with Laura, give her facebook page a like and check out her lovely website

Laura has another amazing song on the LONA cd, OUT NOW.


Friday 16th January 2015 - Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm - Mikey Kenney 

"Majestic singer, poetic songwriter and English folk, Irish, Celtic, Bluegrass and Americana style fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist" (Joel Rowan Morgan). "Truly this is music from the heart, for the heart" (Rocksucker). Mikey's music is no doubt nourishment for the soul and compelling, even if you think English folk isn't your bag.

***Not only is he a fine musician, he's also a wonderfully kind feller and should Bottom of the Bottle win an upcoming competition, he will donate the prize - a new guitar - to our very own Halton Community of Youth. Help it along by watching the video and giving it a share. Give Mikey's facebook page a like, check out his website and have a little listen to his band, The Bog Standards

***Mikey won said guitar for CoY on 1st February 2015!!

A clip of Mikey playing solo at The Norton can be found here


Friday 9th January 2015  -  Early Evening Acoustic, 6-8pm  -  Gareth Heesom

Tonight, Gareth undertakes his first ever gig and we're delighted that it's at The Norton. If you've heard this voice and that fine guitar playing at any of our Open Mics, you'd think he'd been gigging for years. Quality, with a rock bias and songs you love. Guesting Alan Forster for further accompaniment on some songs.