Oliver Kidd-Martin with 8 Miles High Band Oxjam 2014

Friday 19th September

8 Miles High at The Shed

Glastonbudget Festival 2015 auditions.

On stage tonight: Dig Lazarus, Formal Warning, Violet Cities, 8Miles High.

An amazingly good line-up at The Shed tonight for the show that auditions acts for the Glastonbudget Festival in 2015. Have you ever walked into a venue and found a band playing you had never seen before? When I walked into The Shed tonight a band was playing its last song and it instantly grabbed me.

That band was Dig Lazarus. The song had fine, driving rhythms, simple, immediate beats; it was a tune you could not ignore. OK I did not see the first part of their set but if this last song was anything to go by, seeing them again would be very worthwhile.

Formal Warning stands out amongst the bands of Leicester – its members are the same five people were there when they started eleven years ago. They are still putting on the same quality performances, have the same vibrant stage-craft and an instantly recognisable sound that is their hallmark. What they deliver is that all-too-difficult-to-achieve music that lives on stage. This is a band that has worked consistently over the years to put on gigs that are worthwhile, write songs that are memorable and tonight they showed that they are just as good as they always have been. There are also one of the few unsigned Leicester bands that have played outside of the UK.

Violet Cities on stage at the Play@LMF final
Violet Cities on stage at the Play@LMF final

Some of you will remember the James Lewis Band. Renamed, reborn and revitalised they are now Violet Cities. The only person whose face appears in both is James Lewis. Tonight’s set of deliciously ear-pleasing pop rock songs went down well. James is one of the best band vocalists in town. This is a band that ticks all the boxes – good music, good playing, good singing, good stage performance. A very agreeable band. Violet Cities won the Play@LMF earlier this year.

It was good to The Shed packed full of people tonight. Even though that presented problems for me – nowhere to sit down, no light to see by, difficulty finding a space to write in. The audience was enjoying the show and that is what really mattered. The all-ages crowd was socialising, meeting up with mates, enjoying a drink or two, having and good time listening to bands they might not have seen before, relishing live music. Tonight offered something for everyone.

Oliver Kidd-Martin with 8 Miles High Band at the Soundhouse
Oliver Kidd-Martin with 8 Miles High Band at the Soundhouse

8 Miles High is a young band that has made its mark on the Leicester music scene. When I look back over the past decade of bands and their music, I see an endless processing of young bands getting up on the stage of The Shed and the other live music venues. They have been the life-blood of the scene and their music has pulsed through its veins. Some have survived long enough to to become established, some have disappeared without trace into the Universities, and some of their musicians are now playing in other bands but are still around. As 8 Miles High started their first song, the audience spontaneously started to clap along with the music. Now, that is something you don’t see very often. They played a set of their own original songs. This shows their musical talent; demonstrates what they are capable of. It all comes together in the playing, the instrumentation and their ability to make that music live.

8 Miles High
8 Miles High

In this band bassist Josh Pears does the continuity announcements. He always manages manages to introduce an element of humour into the proceedings. Despite their tender years, this is a band with a considerable number of flying hours of live gigs under their belt. During one of their songs the crowd was cheering the music – something we have not seen since the days of Kenworthy. If you want to give this band a credit then it must be for their ability to write a crackingly good song. 8 Miles High are: Josh Pears (bass), Oliver Kidd-Martin (vocals/guitar), Harry Clarke (rhythm guitar), Elliott Schlaphoff (drums.) They are based in Birstall.

A good night at The Shed. (The organisers of the Glastonbudget Festival will announce in December which bands have been hired to play at next year’s festival.)

See also:

The Amazing Snakeheads at The Musician

Live Music in September

Leicester Oxjam Festival 2014


Young bands showcases at The shed

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke