Tiny Dancers had the job of warming up the crowd. With a pink backdrop and flowers ornamenting their amps, their country-tinged sunshine-pop provided the perfect tonic to a bleak January evening.
With his long blond hair and red jeans, their lead singer looked every inch the rock star as he hunched over his guitar.
Hailing from Sheffield, Tiny Dancers mix genres while retaining a fresh sound. Like a mixture of Beck and The Coral, their jaunty set grabbed the attention of the crowd - more than a support act usually hopes for.
Tiny Dancers roused the crowd enough to join in on one track. Abandoning all instruments bar drums and one guitar, they structured the song around the audience's rhythmic hand-clapping.
Bizarrely enough it worked and if released as a single, it could become a festival favourite this summer.
Cord are hotly tipped to become another Norfolk success story, having signed a deal with Island Records in 2004. With their first single out in April, they kicked off their 2006 tour with a home gig.
Cord have a large local following. By the time they emerged at 10pm, the arts centre was packed to the rafters. The late start, mixed with feelings of a cold Monday in January, gave the venue an atmosphere of anticipation - tinged with impatience.
The bands songs have progressed since they last played here. The songs sound polished and the most obvious comparison is with Muse. Their music has a dark, menacing sound and the use of electronic noises gives it an almost uncomfortable edge.
The next big thing?
Musically Cord have become tighter and their performance was one of a band who have perfected their songs in a studio atmosphere - perhaps this was the problem - it felt like they were going through the motions.
While undoubtedly talented musicians, there seemed to be a lack of connection with the crowd that I've witnessed at their past gigs.
Interaction was kept to a minimum as Cord powered through song after song. Having recently played second fiddle to Kubb, they need to reacquaint themselves with being the main attraction.
The affection the crowd has towards the band was apparent in a rare moment of in-between song banter. Confirmation of the release date of their debut single was greeted with rapturous applause.
What has been a roller-coaster year for Cord has also been equally frustrating for their fans. Now their career is finally on the verge of taking off, Cord should have opportunity to repay their fans' loyalty.
Cord played at the Norwich Arts Centre on Monday 23 January, 2006.
Photo credit: Anthony Reed