Home Features Blog Takeover Part 3. Guest Editor Amy Wragg (AKA Fan Girl) From...

Blog Takeover Part 3. Guest Editor Amy Wragg (AKA Fan Girl) From Soapbox

Hi I’m Amy Wragg, the founder of SoapBox, an independent (self-employed) music & arts events promoter, creative producer and freelance Artist Liaison.

I fell into being a promoter quite by accident 6 years ago and have been passionately promoting local original unsigned music ever since. I have run over 300 events, with very little, if any, funding or support. They always feature the very best of the original scene in East Anglia. I also have the privilege of saying I am the only person in the world to have ever started 2 Fringe Festivals from scratch and am currently developing my third, the first European Infringement Festival in Ipswich, inspired by meeting the Founder of the Montreal Infringement Festival at the first World Fringe Congress in Edinburgh recently. I started and directed the Norwich Fringe Festival from 2009-2011, and Switch Fringe Festival in Ipswich 2012-current. Both are annual events that promote the best of the local scene alongside our favourite national performers.

One of my favourite weird claims to fame is that I am also the co-founder of the Norwich Ukulele Society, started in February 2010, now with over 200 regular members. I am obsessed with local, original live music, which explains my nickname ‘Fan Girl’. If I was to go on Mastermind my specialist subject would be ‘Original living musicians in East Anglia’ and I reckon I could take anyone down. Yeah, I challenge ANYONE!

This is what we do:


Here are my picks of the best bands/musicians you have never heard of:

1 – The B Goodes – IPSWICH, SUFFOLK

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Why: Consistently great song writing; songs that have set up camp in my head and refuse to be evicted. They write the most god darn catchy vintage pop, with a twist of rock’n’roll and some incredible harmonies. A superb band to watch live, tons of banter and bucket loads of fun. I have known lead singer John Brett for the longest, having followed a succession of his bands over the years. It is with unadulterated joy I can say I genuinely love this band, the chemistry between the members is fantastic. They appeal to largest range of people I have ever seen with fans ranging from toddlers to pensioners, and the rest in between. I’m always surprised someone hasn’t picked up their songs for radio or TV they are just so god darn brilliant! Yes I REALLY do like them a lot. If the measurement of how much I like a band was assessed by how many times a year I pay to see them live, then this band is in my top three.

2 – The Future Of Music – NORWICH, NORFOLK

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Why: I have been booking this band for 5 years now and know all their songs, they are the most underrated band in the region, continually writing fantastic songs that become instant classics on the live scene. They are both brilliant songwriters, taking on politically and socially engaged content with humour and insight. Will Croft, the guitarist, is a technically accomplished guitar teacher and usually plays on a wicked 12 string, with a formidable voice, tone and range. Dan Buckland, the vocalist, is a respected MC on the hip hop scene, and he plays the guitar too! The Future Of Music are the most fun band to watch and everyone feels a part of their shows, they clearly love what they do and its infectious. I know the words to all of their songs and they have never even released a CD, and Im not alone in this statement. Seriously fun, seriously talented.

NB. This band used to be called ‘The Truth’ for a short period hence the Soundcloud name.

3 – Daisy Vaughan – HALESWORTH, SUFFOLK

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Why: Gosh, such a huge question. I first me this young lady when she was 14 years old and she came to play an open mic for me. Everyone in the pub took a large gasp when she started to play and sing. She is a truly exceptionally talented young musician and lyricist, I feel I should really say poet here! She is a self taught guitarist and singer who has been writing songs since she was 12 years old. Seriously! I have never met anyone so young with such a mature artistic output, subtle performance skills and warmth of character. If she doesn’t make it then I give up. Full stop.

4 – The Waxing Captors – IPSWICH, SUFFOLK


Why: This band make me wana pierce parts of my body and do shots. They are the best live band around the area, consistently taking the mic out in the audience and getting properly physical. They exude energy and are guaranteed to get any crowd moving, with or without consent. I love the mixture of pop, punk, indie and good old fashioned rock’n’roll. Their musicianship, song writing, attitude and performance is spot on, oh and they know how to have fun too! Another of those bands who all have individually successful alter egos and artistic endeavours, this amazing video was made by one of the band. Yeah you just HAVE to see these guys live to find out what all the fuss is about.

5 – Feral Mouth – NORWICH, NORFOLK

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Why: The East of England is having a folk resurgence with a whole crop of young bands reclaiming and reimaging the genre. Feral Mouth are at the forefront of this revolution with their distinctive brand of ‘New Grass’, which means they have a cellist not a violin (as in Bluegrass). When I moved from Norwich to Ipswich last year this was the band I had physical withdrawal symptoms from. I simply MUST see them live every few months, my ears, heart & soul demand it. The lead singer James Pearce (aka Jape) is a true artist. His strong, critical views on the music industry have earned him respect from every music lover in the region.  But it is their music that has cemented their place at the lead of the regional music scene. All individually brilliant musicians who play in multiple bands they have a particularly special artistic bond that means combined they create some of the best live music I have ever heard. Their vocal harmonies are soul stealing and their furious musicianship demands every audiences attention. The lyrics have genuinely moved me to tears and their insanely good melodies have moved my feet more times than I can remember. I have never loved a band more.

Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoyed just 5 of my favourite bands in the East. I hope this inspires you to check out the 100’s of world class bands and artists we are lucky enough to be fostering right now in East Anglia. I have been heavily involved in the scene for 6 years and it’s huge privilege to see so many regional artists grow, develop and go onto national (and sometimes international) success. Any article about my local scene wouldn’t be right without mentioning our biggest success story, yes, Ed Sheeran. He has played SoapBox (before he anyone knew who he was) and I convinced on a daily basis that we have many more of his calibre in our flanks right now.