Trevor Locke presents his selection of the shows that have taken place in Leicester over the past year.
Gigs of the year
27th. Resin Events put on a show at Firebug, headlined by Ballsdeep. We said ‘There was an air of anticipation before Ballsdeep came on and it’s safe to say they brought the house down. Their hard-hitting classic riffs got everyone headbanging and the entire venue was feeling it, feeling “funky” as the lead singer put it. In-between songs there was a Ballsdeep chant that the band appreciated which was brilliant and funny at the same time! ‘
25th. More metal to start the year. This time at Duffy’s bar with Event Horizon, Dawn of Anubis and Seven Hells.
9th. Students took to the stage at Dryden Street for the Varsity battle of the Bands.
17th. We previewed the Download festival.
26th and 27th May. The days I spent at the Glastonbudget Music festival. Read my review of the whole event.
29th. The University of Leicester Big Band gives a superb concert at The Loaded Dog pub in London Road.
31st. At BrewDog, Lee Spencer, Mark Elliott, Siobhan Mazzei, The Simpletones and The Brandy Thieves. A memorable show. As I said in my review, ‘What a night! What music! OK. I want you to imagine that you went to a show at a pub in Leicester and saw Ed Sheeran, Adele, The King’s Singers and Gogol Bordello. Now that would be something! Well, tonight I did something similar. But better. ‘ Read it all.
8th – 10th. Download festival coverage.
16th. Foxton Locks festival included live music. One of the stages saw a performance by local rapper Jonezy.
29th. Scribble Victory played at the Soundhouse. We said ‘Seeing a performance by Scribble Victory is always one of the highlights of one’s musical experience. There are but two musicians but together they deliver more than most groups of four or more. They both sing. Two beautifully harmonised voices.’
6th. Jazz pianist Mike Sole gave a sensational concert at Attenborough Arts.
10th. At the Soundhouse, Day of the Moon, Ohana, Kynch and Mellor give great performances. Of Mellor, we said ‘Taught, sharp, infectious, their songs bounced along with verve and vitality. ‘
17th. At Duffy’s bar, a great show with Ohana, Event Horizon, and Smack Jack. ‘The night was headlined by Smack Jack & The Many Grams. I have come to admire their offering of memorable music. This is an outstanding band. They brought together a rich tapestry of riffs and rhythms. They mixed an intoxicating cocktail of musical ideas. ‘ We said about Smack Jack.
31st. Midnight Wire headlined an amazing show at The Soundhouse.
7th. The Shed with Brandon Neal, Not My Good Arm, 94 Gunships and Homeless Shakespeare.
30th. Regent Jazz. Swing Gitan band gave an outstanding performance. One of the highlights of this year’s jazz programme.
2nd. The Fazed played at the Shed with Midnight Wire.
1st. Old-timers Crazyhead played one of their legendary gigs, this time at The Donkey.
15th. Gazelle headlined a packed show at Dryden Street Social Club.
22nd. Old-timers again, this time with Diesel Park West playing at The Musician with support from Ferris.
Various mates have said to me, over the past year, that the music scene in Leicester was at its lowest ebb this year, in the entire decade. I saw what they meant. Even so, the year has given us many memorable gigs, some of them sell-out events where the bands played to packed audiences. ‘New’ bands made their mark, this year. Bands such as Ohana, Finches of Attica, Smack Jack, Barracuda, and others.
Old bands are still alive and kicking. Those that rose to fame in the 1980s are still around, still pulling big crowds and still showing that they have something to offer, decades later. Not just the bands. Solo singers like Steve Faulkner have been delighting audiences around these parts for decades. Siobhan Mazzei is still proving how much of a great singer and songwriter she is. So is Grace Petrie. Jonezy is keeping the flame alive for the hip-hop scene. Leicester is a city that has so much to offer. I have always said that. The diversity of our music scene is unequalled.
Not just the live music but also the recordings. Leicester’s bands and artists continue to churn out a regular supply of singles, EPs and Albums. I did a couple of record reviews during the year, including the one I published in December. Leicester is not just about rock and roll. Our city’s Jazz scene is also very enjoyable and, at times, exciting. Local jazz musicians have given some astonishing performances this year.
Wherefore music journalism?
Great Central is a magazine focused on the arts, which includes music, of course. Last year they announced they were giving up the ghost; that’s how I read it. In October, editor John Helps stated … ‘November’s issue of Great Central will be its last, with the website closing shortly after. ‘ There are still piles of the paper-based version going brown in various venues. Great Central is still online.
Music In Leicester, however, is still thriving and added a new gigs listing system to its offerings. A new style, design and layout was formulated during the later part of the year, the new formulation going life early in 2019. Several new writers joined the editorial team. Me. I took something of a back seat this year but I continued to write my column reporting on the live shows I went to. Trevor’s column.