April2017

Music for the month of April 2017

Our monthly round-up of Leicester’s music offerings.

This is where we publish reviews (or links to reviews) of what we saw in April.

You can be on it

Yes. Your write-up of a gig or show that you went to can appear on this page. Just send us your words and any pictures you took – if you cannot get photos don’t worry – we have a huge library of pics of all the bands and singers in this part of the world.

You don’t have to write a huge, learned essay – just tell us who played, what they did and where they did it. And what you thought about it. How to contact us at Music in Leicester.

Help put Leicester’s music on the map.


Coming up

Friday sees the start of the Handmade Festival taking place at the O2 Academy in Leicester.  Many local bands and singers will be on-stage throughout the weekend of the event. The Friday shows take place at the LCB Depot in Rutland Street and at other venues around the city centre. On Saturday and Sunday stages will be at the O2 Academy on the grounds of Leicester University. See the schedule of shows on the Handmade website. Stuff coming in from Kevin Gaughan and Keith Jobey.

Our music roundup for the month of May

29th April

The Brandy Thieves at the Soundhouse

with One Suspicious Monkey, The Whiskey Rebellion, Colin Skinner, Rose Noir and an outdoor fire show.

Tonight’s show was compèred by magician and funny man Colin Skinner who appeared with a live fish called Frank. The LCFC’s resident magician noted how the French keep stealing all our words, like “compère.” Restaurant. Ballet. Biscuit. No he didn’t say all those, but he could have done. He warmed up the audience for the first act and introduced all those that followed. He also did a few magic tricks. Of course.

Colin Skinner on stage at The Soundhouse, 29th April 2017.

Opening the show tonight, The Whiskey Rebellion brought eight musicians to the stage. Adam, on the accordion, Ciaran on the violin, Jonny on the mandolin and vocals, Liz on vocals, Lon on guitar, Max on banjo and vocals and Robin on the double bass. Possibly. That is what was given on the band’s Facebook page. I recognised the ones that I knew. I think that makes them an octet. Anyway they delivered a storming set of fast-paced songs. Vibrant gypsy folk songs delivered with fire and energy. Lashings of engaging melodies. Compelling rhythms. Bouncing beats. It was all there. Music steeped in tantalising traditions. Roundly exhilarating.

The audience was entertained by belly dancer Rose Noir who danced to the ac

Rose Noir at the Soundhouse. Photo: Peter Treadwell.

companiment of music by Korn.

Sadly tonight saw the last ever performance by Leicester’s band One Suspicious Monkey. Tonight was the band’s send off. It was a one-off performance, for the very last time.

One Suspicious Monkey at The Soundhouse, April 2017.

It was been a long time since last we heard the music of this band. Take for example this comment from Tuesday 3rd September

‘Rhett Barrow’s open-mic night at the Soundhouse saw One Suspicious Monkey doing the featured act slot. OSM is a band with a difference; lead singer Georgio Maroder has oodles of style and pizzazz to front up the flamenco infused dark folk songs that have made the band famous on the Leicester scene. Drawn from both Leicester and Nottingham the seven members of the band are nothing if not stylish and the music they produce is far out of the ordinary. People who like their music with full-on flavour love this band.’ [Music in Leicester magazine]

One Suspicious Monkey at The Shed

One Suspicious Monkey at The Shed in August 2013.

Similarly, from August 2013, this time at The Shed,

‘One Suspicious Monkey was there with their highly colourful and distinctive stage presence and set of flamenco-infused folk songs, lead by the glittering presence of singer Georgio Maroder. Nice too to see Chris Swirls on the drums. OSM occupies a special place in our musical scene; a band that exudes colour and character. I compared them with Gogal Bordello for style and originality. ‘ [Music in Leicester magazine]

The Brandy Thieves at The Shed in August 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

It was those exotic flamenco-infused guitar riffs that brought it all back to me, tonight. The tin whistle adding a layer of sound to the overall mix.

It was very pleasant to see a venue full to the gunwales tonight with people eager for live music. Were those on the seething quarter-deck enjoying a gig or a party? Well, both. There was plenty to get excited about tonight, especially the infectious rhythms of OSM. It was a night of extraordinary music; in fact I would say, the best music that Leicester has to offer for few other gigs this year have offered such variety and unusualness of style and genre.

The Brandy Thieves at The Soundhouse, 29th April 2017.

Time for The Brandy Thieves. Time for Andrea Kenny. And what a time that was. Time for a large dose of frisky gypsy rock. Last year the band played at The Shed in August. As I said at the time and it worth repeating again for tonight’s show: ‘It was one of those nights; you know the ones – you come away thinking ‘this has got to be the gig of year.’ At least, one of them. Oh yes, for me, this was one for the history books. Tonight had an atmosphere, a feeling that this event was special. It’s not something that happens routinely in gig-going; in fact, it’s rare.’ [Music in Leicester magazine] See that page for many more photographs of Andrea performing with the ‘Thieves.

The Brandy Thieves at The Soundhouse, 29th April 2017.

Once more into the storming set dear friends. Once more into the breach of musical passion. The crowd packed into the front of the stage went mad. Many were able to joined in with the words and sing the lyrics themselves along with the band. This is a band that oozes oodles of originality magnetism. It was what the well spring of musical excitement is all about. This is a band that has thrilled the stages of Leicester for a long time.

The Brandy Thieves at The Soundhouse, 29th April 2017.

28th April

Chasing Cadence at The Shed

with Chasing Cadence, Beneath The Lights, Timmas, and the Hunting Circus upstairs
and in the Vault  ZAYK, Sepia Sun, Mythm and Jouska.

Chasing Cadence at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

On the main stage, the show began with The Hunting Circus. A group of three musicians, they were very good, and the drummer was Toby, better known as a singer.

The Hunting Circus at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

Their music was likeable, engaging, complete with with compelling phrases, grabbing beats and a sound that had plenty of umpf. To me it was pop-rock. They gave an animated performance. Many elements worked together so make an exhilarating set. Clearly a band one must see again.

The Hunting Circus at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

Downstairs, a performance by the two artists called Mythm – Carise Zangerle Murray: Hang Drum and Jenny Hibberd: Ukulele, Djembe. As they say on their Facebook page: “Ethereal, meditative duo journeying through mystical rhythms and mythical chasms.” I had seen them before. I recognised the unusual percussion instrument – looking a bit like a cross between a wok and a barbecue burner. Rather delightful music; intricate, subtle and enchanting. Here they are performing at the Simon Says festival in 2016

Mythyme at Simon Says festival 2016. Photo: Pascal Pereira.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

Timmas – a duo – lead vocalist on guitar and a drummer. Quite amazing. They opened their set with Feeling Good, a song that has been covered by many artists; they put their own, very individual interpretation on it.

Timmas at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

Blues delivered with an inspirational spirit of rock. Punchy, plenty of purchase, an impressive performance. It was a set that resonated with the audience and afterwards several people commented to me about how good they were. They appeared on Demon FM recently; Kevin Gaughan took a photo of them:

Timmas on Demon FM with Kevin Gaughan and Jas Minhas, April 2017.

During their set Timmas announced that they plan to go on a tour of Europe, during the summer.

Sepia Sun is a band I have seen several times before. They play music that we might call ambient, electronica. They attracted a considerable crowd of people into the Vault. Very clever music. A cocktail of sounds blended to produce an intoxicating cocktail of aural delights. A style of music that is relatively unusual on the Leicester scene but they do it so well that they must be one of the more predominant exponents. I enjoyed it very much.

Chris Varney of Sepia Sun at Simon Says 2015.
Photo Kevin Gaughan

On Facebook they portray their genre as: Post-rocktronica/Alternative/Noise.

Beneath the Lights at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

It was a great pleasure to see Beneath The Lights once again. Not a bad one would ever tire of seeing. A band that always delivers the wow factor.

Beneath the Lights at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

A set of super songs delivered with sparkle and plenty of punch. They play to their audience – their a palpable feeling of resonance in the room; songs that are full of happiness. This band I have followed for many years

Beneath The Lights at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Several of Leicester’s prominent rockerati were in the audience to see them. In their set tonight were several of their own songs that we have come to love. As a band they have written some very good songs over the years; songs that you can easily remember and at times the audience clapped along to the rhythms and joined in with the words. Always a good sign.

Beneath the Lights at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

Jouska, the Leicester that likes to Indie Rock, Post-punk, Psychedelia, Shoegaze, Soul, Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll mashup.

Jouska album cover from February 2017.

From Switzerland, ZAYK, gif-roc band signed to a record label.  I missed them unfortunately, being upstairs at the time they played.  Many people told me they were very good.

The headline was provided Chasing Cadence. Well do we remember the show on 3rd August 2015 when the Hartford indie pop-punk band played at the Shed and we said at the time that they played ‘a set that fizzed with stage presence and energetic playing, the band put on a remarkably good performance. I think just about everyone commented on how good they were.’ [Music in Leicester magazine]

Chasing Cadence at The Shed. 28th april 2017.

We can also track them back to 2013 when I noted their ‘resounding rhythms’ and ‘star quality’ lead vocalist. Back in Leicester tonight, Chasing Cadence put on a marvellous performance; one that deserves a place in the forthcoming gigs of the year round-up. This was the first time they had played in the new Shed and they liked it, according to what the lead singer said from the stage. This is a band that delivers a seismic level of energy. Their two vocalists wove together a vocal layer that was decidedly ear-licking. This is a band that you have to see – they gave us music theatre along with a set of rocket-propelled songs – they know how to put on a show. Pretty much the whole band jumped off the stage to play their instruments amongst the audience; every loved that. When you headline a gig that has provided so much in the way of top-class music, you want a band that is going to deliver a volcanic level of entertainment and Chasing Cadence certainly did this. They pulled off something rather spectacular. Good music and a show that was thrilling and exhilarating, they were incredible.

Another good night at the Shed. As I said tonight, this venue has done is pulling out a large crowd even though it was a bank holiday weekend and the opening evening of the Hand Made festival, here in the city. Two stages of quality music drew in fans and it felt like a party atmosphere. Well done Dreaming In Colour Productions. It just shows what can be achieved if you know how to book good bands that people want to see. It was one of those moments in the life of Leicester’s rock music scene.

22nd April

The Vibrators at the Shed

with Jonny and the Mental Breakdowns, Feral State, English Guns and Chambers, The Jav’lins, Ded Rabbit.

It was one of those nights. A night that stood out. A night that was out of the ordinary. A night when the music was good and the vibe was amazing. Two stages of music from some of Leicester’s top bands playing alongside big-named touring acts.

Upstairs, the main stage was launched with a riveting set by punkers Jonny and the Mental Breakdowns. This four-piece band, from Milton Keynes, packed plenty of punch, delivering a set of songs driven by compulsive beats laced with a jovial sense of humour.

Down in The Vault, a trio on stage comprising two vocalists delivered a set of their own songs. Chambers we saw at the Soundhouse on 17th February when they were on a line-up with The Harrowbrooks. Before that they had appeared at The Cookie. There are several reviews of previous performances by this trio, in our magazine.

Racketeers, from Leicester, delivered a set of rock and roll tunes laced with indie and folk. Their drummer was certainly busy. Their set was their own songs plus a cover. They went down a treat with the audience.

Upstairs, some familiar faces on the main stage for Feral State. These musicians are well known from previous local bands. There is Will from Common Side Effects. Back in 2009, Arts in Leicester magazine published this entry for this band in its catalogue of bands from Leicester:

Common Side Effects. Four member pop-punk band (two lads and two girls) with influences ranging from the Sex Pistols, Greenday and Blink 182 through to the Specials. After a year of working together, the band has written a set of catchy songs and is now out gigging, collecting fans and promoting their tracks. Their songs reflect strong rhythms, a punky sound and commitment to making enjoyable music.

Seeing The Jav’lins again was a big bonus. Why? Because we have said all along they are one of the best bands in Leicester. What they play is definitive blues rock. What they perform is with is the last word in passion and commitment; heavily dosed with entertainment.

The Jav’lins at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

Leicester band The Jav’lins released their CD Going Bad this year. Three tracks are on it:  Going BadWasted on a love that can’t be found and Let the rain wash it away represent all that is good about music in this city and I thoroughly recommend this EP to lovers of the finest blues rock around. You might have read some reviews of this band recently in this magazine.  We rate them very highly. This CD is a must have item for all Jav’lins fans. The vocals are clear and the recording of good quality.  But it is the songs that are what makes this such a desirable item to add to a collection of Leicester’s musical offerings. Recordings from this band, mentioned in an earlier article – previously released by The Jav’lins were When R Ya Gonna Find Us? (2012) and Jump The Tracks in (2013). [Music in Leicester magazine]

The Vibrators, from London, were described as ‘legends.’ Rightly so. Formed in 1976, by Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan, signing to RAK records shortly after. The band played their first gig in 1976 when they supported The Stranglers. The pioneering band recorded sessions for radio legend John Peel and went on to support Iggy Pop’s British tour in 1977 when David Bowie played the keyboard. The band became one of the notable stars of the British new wave punk scene. Now with a different line-up, they were at The Shed tonight and everyone who saw them felt that sense of elation that comes from seeing a legendary group of musicians performing on a small stage. They were at The Shed in April 2016 and we were there to see them.

The Vibrators at The Shed, April 2016.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

That show was part of the band’s 40th anniversary tour. Supporting them were Budgie Smugglers, IVMK and The Docs. That night a large crowd had gathered in the venue to see them. As we commented at the time

The Shed has hosted many great bands over the years; some of them have come from all over the world to play here – from Los Angeles and Tokyo to Sydney. This is a place with a history. Tonight we saw one of the great punk legends of our time.

The Vibrators at The Shed, April 2016.

I can echo what I said last year about seeing this band:

They gave us a set that throbbed with rhythms and compelling beats. Packed together on the floor, the crowd is pressed into the music. It was all rather marvellous; an intense experience that represented rock music in all its glory.

Vibrators at The Shed 2nd April 2016.

This was no ordinary night out, no run-of-the-mill gig; the whole evening had an air of excitement and celebration about it and is something that gives Leicester its quality, the moments that together make up a top-class destination for music and entertainment.

Friday 21st April 2017

JSP at Duffy’s

I went to Duffy’s bar to see Leicester band JSP. For those of you not familiar with this pub in Pocklington’s Walk, let me point out that it is an Irish-themed hostelry quite near to the Magistrates Courts. At one end is Firebug and Duffy’s is about in the middle.

JSP at Duffy’s Bar, 21st April 2017.

JSP. A Leicestershire band established earlier this year. The band’s members are Lewis Grewcock – Lead Vocals/Guitar, Gary Starie – Lead Guitar, Alex Wilkinson – Bass Guitar and Jack Astill – Drums. I would say their genre is pop-rock. And very good it is too.

JSP band at Duffy’s Bar, 21st April 2017.

Organised by Paul Collins of Wakeup Promotions, tonight’s gig was a sold-out success. Always good to see a full venue of people. The show was opened by Greg Poole and his band. Three very capable musicians; led by the impressive vocals of singer and promoter Greg. A set of first-rate songs. Ear-pleasing sounds that were full of vitality.

Greg Poole and his band at Duffy’s Bar, 21st April 2017.

As I said to Paul “These guys are f***ing awesome” having just seen the set by JSP. Most of the songs they played were their own, apart from one cover, I think. The musicians in this band have plenty of experience behind them, despite being fairly young. Some will remember Lewis Grewcock from his days with The Harrowbrooks. We saw them in January 2014 at Firebug on a line-up with The Deadshoot, Linear and Spartan Skyline. Reviewing that show, we said ‘Headlining tonight’s show was The Harrowrooks, four lads from Leicester who know how to rock. Lead singer Lewis Grewcock was in fine form tonight, helping the Leicester quartet to deliver a ripping set of rock ‘n’ roll songs fulled by their passion for Kasabian and Oasis, not forgetting the Stone Roses, The View, The Smiths… they certainly know where to get influences from. Topping off a night of solidly good music, The Harrowbrooks with strong vocals and plenty of rolling riffs, chanty choruses, thumping beats and enough power to light up a hosing estate. Music that rolls off the stage in waves you could surf. A set of varied songs with contrasting tempos and styles, they have a sound which is recognisable as their own. Excellent.’ [Music in Leicester magazine]

The Harrowbrooks – Lewis Grewcock – Firebug, 2014.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Tonight’s performance was no less excellent. A slightly different group of people from The Harrowbrooks, JSP demonstrated quality vocals and musicianship and they clearly have a following, judging from the packed room in which they played. Pop-rock, Brit-rock, bouncy melodies, vibrant tunes, it was a heady cocktail of musical delights. What they gave us was very good. This is a band, I think, that will graces the stages of Leicester more and more in the near future. They ticked all the boxes.

Greg Poole band at Duffy’s Bar, 21st April 2017.

Thursday 20th April 2017

The Shed

by Keith Jobey

The live music was in plentiful supply down at the Shed tonight as both stages each hosted three acts, with enough staggering of slot times to allow you to catch a bit of each one if you desired. And there was to be no doubt it would be value for money, because it was free entry!

Hanzo in the Vault were first to play so I caught a few songs by them. They’re a competent band with a mix of styles in the opening songs I caught.

Breaking off from Hanzo I headed upstairs for Meri Everitt’s two-piece band Tail. It was only their second gig together and there is a bit of tightening up to do, but with Meri’s knack for writing a well structered catchy tune they’re always going to be popular.

Crushed Out at the Shed – 20th April 2017. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Fortunately, Tail finished in time to catch the start of the next band downstairs, and considering they’d travelled from the USA it would have been a crime not to go see them. Crushed Out are a two-piece in the White Stripes style with Frankie covering guitar and vocals while Moselle is on drums and backing vocals. There’s a bit of bluesy surf rock sound, accentuated by the lit up palm trees they had set up. Quite a surprise to find a band from the US playing for free in Leicester, and not even top of the bill.

Tail at the Shed – 20th April 2017. Photo: Keith Jobey

The Lost Transmitters had a couple of songs left when I made it back upstairs. They display a lot of confidence on stage and played well. Back into the Vault for a little bit of Jitterz, a band who are non-confidently confident! Always seeming unsure of themselves between songs but have plenty to give during their songs.

The main draw for me this evening was Louise Distras headlining the main stage.

Louise Distras at the Shed- 20th April 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

She’d recently played the Soundhouse with her band (February 2017) but that had clashed with another event so I’d missed her. Here, tonight, she was playing solo, testing out some new songs from her next album. Essentially folk songs about modern day issues delivered with passion and backed by her punk fuelled electric guitar. It was a compelling performance from a very talented artist. She loved the venue and was full of compliments for all involved with it, stating how she rarely has such a smile on her face when playing somewhere.

It was a very positive first visit to the revamped Shed for me. The main stage is great, it has height, good lighting, clear sounds and the back screen is amazing.

16th April

Metal 2 The Masses

Firebug

with Ubiquitous, Seven Hells, Blood Oath, Jetset Killers and Metal Artois.

Metal2TheMasses Leicester reached its last quarter finals today.

Ubiquitous played at the first round heats on 5th February. Our report said ‘Ubiquitous, from the East Midlands, had three vocalists and their music was seismic (I could feel it through the floor.) The drums were pounding relentlessly like an anti-aircraft gun. It was thrilling stuff, if a little repetitive. Full of angry vehemence but the vocalisations were impossible to hear as far as words were concerned. No idea what he was singing about, if anything but I got the mood and feel of it.’

Ubiquitous at Firebug, 5th February 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

Seven Hells. They were chosen to play in the semi finals. They have tracks on Soundcloud.
They did their first round heat on 12th March.

Seven Hells at Firebug 12th March 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Our report commented: ‘Three vocalists. One thumping set. Something more muscular, more shouty, more growly, more screamy, as the band took us back to the vulcanism of vigorous metal to which we have been accustomed. Metal in large volume, deep-throated, pounding rhythms. The audience thickly gathered in front of the stage. They played Inferno.’

Blood Oath always makes an impact. Having seen them before I knew what to expect and I was not disappointed.

Blood Oath at Duffys, March 6th 2016.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Fury and fire. The success of the music rests on the resonance created between the band performing on stage and the audience. What they do, they do well. We saw them at the first round heat on 7th February. As we said at the time ‘In the song with which they began their set the atmosphere became supercharged, the hardcore fans moshing and head-banging at the front. In the intimate confines of Duffy’s there was an intense atmosphere.’

Jetset Killers were at Duffy’s for the first round heat on 26th February. The Hinckley band ‘delivered some powerful energy from the stage in a set that was laden with aggression and energy. Songs that offered plenty to listen to, the tempo was fast and furious as they launched the evening off to a frenetic start, making their presence felt in no uncertain terms.’

Jet Set Killers at Metal2TheMasses 26th February 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

At the same heat we heard Leicester’s Metal Artois. That elicited our comment ‘Thrash metal. A climax of yelling, shouting, adrenaline drenching, no-holds-barred bollicky music. The forest of fists and horns that went up said it all. They laid it on thick and hard.’

The crowd during Metal Artois at Metal2TheMasses 26th January 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

So, it’s onward and upward for all you metal heads out there.

Semi final 1 takes place on 7th May and the second semi final is on 14th May, both at Firebug. That then leaves only the final, on 27th May at De Montfort Hall. More details on Facebook.

15th April

Super73 at The Shed

with The World Can Wait and JNCTRE

Leicester’s music scene is offering up pretty good gigs lately.

You might remember Jnctre from the Oxjam Festival in 2016 when they performed at the Exchange Bar; we noted at the time: ‘This oddly named group plays music they describe as ‘electronica dark pop indie alternative’ and they are from Derby. They have various songs available on Spotify.’ [Music in Leicester].

JNCTRE at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The three-piece group provided sumptuous vocals and melodies and delicious songs with resonant rhythms. Delightful music; ardently atmospheric. Cleverly inventive phrasing, the ambient electro songs were controlled from the lead guitarist’s pedal board.

JNCTRE at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Beautifully orchestrated instrumentation. Enthralling.

The World Can Wait has been performing quite a bit recently but we still never time of seeing them. Tonight – what an amazing performance from lead singer Sully Archer. An artist who has grown in stature both in his vocals and the way that he performs them, delivering unconfined passion and extensive expression.

The World Can Wait at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The band’s music has progressed; you can see them many times but still be surprised and what they come up with.

The World Can Wait at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

I liked the way they slipped musical quotations into their songs. Brilliant.

Well, what can I say? Super73 were just that – super. From the carefully stage managed start of the performance, when the curtains opened, the lights shone out and the band launched into its first tune, this was a performance of theatrical proportions.

Super73 at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The band is celebrating the release of their new production: Monkey See Monkey Do.

I noticed the singing drummer Andrew Winfield putting in an amazing contribution, both on the drums and vocals; and in fact all of them had microphones but it was the plentiful presence of Mark Whinkless, the lead singer that caught most of our attention.

Mark Whinkless of Super73 at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

I was reminded of that memorable moment in February 2015 when they supported Omaha at the Soundhouse. What a gig that was! [Music in Leicester]

Mark Whinkless of Super73 at The Soundhouse in February 2015. Photo by RhinoFeroSs photography.

Back then I wrote ‘Tonight they demonstrated how to deliver a jet-propelled, incandescent half hour of driven music that created a totally electric atmosphere. Sounds that were full of explosive ordnances were relentlessly driven along by the vocals of Mark Whinkless, backed by Stephen Potter (when not himself leading the singing) and by Andrew Winfield on the drums.’

Super73 at The Shed. 15th April 2017. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Tonight they gave The Shed another powerful set of super-charged rock. Nice to see Adam Gent back on the stage of The Shed; a musician and singer I have known for many years and still going strong. A superb experience. A really great band topping off a first class gig provided by Dreaming In Colour Productions.

14th April

This Feeling at the O2

with The Lids, Aztec Temples, Sugarmen and Strange Bones.

It might have been raining but I still walked across Victoria Park to the O2. Could not miss two of my favourite bands playing on the same line-up. Lucky to have a large umbrella. Tonight’s show was presented by This Feeling, a national promoter that puts on gigs around the country and also here in Leicester, often at The Cookie. “Like a mad 60’s carnival” Sergio Pizzorno said of them.

The Lids at the Scholar Bar, 14th April 2017.

The Lids is a Leicester band whose development has been steady and many people said to me that each time they perform they get better. Hard work. Dedication. Commitment. The music of The Lids is contemporary, very now, very today, its getting sharper all the time and this is a band that is clearly going from strength to strength. The Lids played at the Soundhouse in January. I said “There is a brightness about their music, a sparkling vitality, a palpable energy that makes their songs compelling. “ [Music in Leicester]

Liam Butler of The Lids at The Soundhouse on 28th January 2017

Conor was on top form tonight. Aztec Temples plays a good set of their own songs; and a cover – Corner Shop’s Brimful of Asha. It’s an entertaining song and surprising how many people still remember it. AT put their own take on it. They have made it their own. Aztec Temples is one of our featured bands [Music in Leicester].

Aztec Temples at the Scholar Bar, 14th April 2017.

Indie band Sugarmen came from Liverpool to play here. Having been around since March 2013 the band is signed to Sire Records (part of the Warner group). The band has been getting some rave reviews; like this one from Nicholas Otaegui, in 2013, writing for Louderthanwar: ‘Sugarmen have the sound of a band that has a record collection, a JukeBox that should be touring. But like any great artist, they have the ability to be inspired by what they have listened too. That great riff from Orange Juice, that great bassline from Macartney, that great drumbeat from massive attack and vocal to fill a stadium. They don’t work in a cultural vacuum. They have a magic ingredient, a special recipe, they have each other, a chemistry that can’t be bought.’ The young band has been scoring some hits of late – they bagged a support slot with Blur, apparently.

I was caught by surprise. I was not expecting what happened next.

Strange Bones at the Scholar Bar, 14th April 2017.

Strange Bones started to play. The one thing that stands out about this band is the performance of their lead singer. A performance like this I had not seen since the heady old days of Great Imitation’s James Scott-Howes. Fans of that band will know what I mean. James was a crazy dude who stood on tables, hung from rafters, jumped around the room like a gymnast and everybody loved him. Likewise, Bob Bentham ripped off his top and nose dived into the crowd. It was a theatrical performance of considerable proportions. For his song devoted to “Theresa May the terrorist” he donned a balaclava and accused Leicester people to being “Tories.” Much to our amusement. Unlike any of the other bands, he got everyone to come down to the front and form a pack in front of him; he gets up front, intimidating in his Doc Martens and headgear, he screams at the people and, at one point, he crowd dived into the audience from the top of the crush barrier; not as spectacular a manoeuvre as the one he did at Koko back in March when there was a big crowd at the front to keep him aloft. Not so tonight; sadly by the end of the night most of the audience had gone home and certainly were not thick enough to support a good crowd surf. Even so, he carried on and, crazy as me night have seemed, he was very professional and cool headed in the way he conducted himself. What the band did was akin to keeping alive the original spirit of old-school punk, crazy, over-the-top antics and I, for one, loved it.

If you want to see Strange Bones in Action see this video on Facebook

Strange Bones at the Scholar Bar, 14th April 2017.

Good Friday, 14th April

Large crowd applauds Jonezy

Jonezy on stage, Leicester @ The Cross, 14th april 2017.

Loughborough-based singer Jonezy delighted a large crowd in Humberstone Gate today with his lively raps songs and stage performance for Easter event Leicester @ The Cross. Jonezy was back by popular demand after his performance at the Good Friday event in 2016.

David and the band on stage, Humberstone Gate, 14th April 2017.

Also back this year was Leicester singer and musician David Lewis who led the band. Attending the event was the new Bishop of Leicester, Rt. Revd. Martyn Snow and members of other faith groups. Jonezy put on an enthralling performance of his lively songs, watched by a crowd of over 1,000 people.

13th April

Kynch

at the Shed

with Young Jack, Fossette, OMYO, Caroline McLavy, and the Leathernecks.

Tonight’s show was presented by Gigmit, the bands and gigs website.

Caroline McLavy at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

Upstairs, in the main room, the show was opened by Caroline McLavy, the singer, whose songs were delivered to backing tracks. We reviewed Caroline’s work Electrostatic [Music in Leicester]

Down in the Vault, that’s the new name for the basement bar, we heard Fossette, from Bristol.

Fossette at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

They were very good; very likeable. The leader singer was accompanied by vocals from the drummer and the lead guitarist. It was a performance full of vitality; the band’s set of songs were sharp, tight and full of appealing beats and rhythms. Even though they were not a band we had seen before, they were an instant hit.

Fossette at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

Engaging songs delivered with plenty of commitment and fizz, this was a tasty musical experience.

For a long time we have followed Kynch – they played at the Shed in December 2016 when we commented ‘these three guys are excellent and bring to the stage an outstanding level of youthful vitality and musical ability. ‘ [Music in Leicester]

Kynch at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

When the band auditioned for Glastonbudget, we said ‘They delivered a set rich in rhythm and bursting with the fires of youthful energy, Their own songs were supplemented with a few covers, such as the Arctic Monkey’s widely covered number about looking good on the dance floor. ‘ [Music in Leicester]

Kynch at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

Tonight’ the band’s mainly played their own songs, interspersed with some well-known covers, lead by the strong and compelling vocals of lead singer Jack.

Kynch at The Shed February 2016.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Their set of tight, passion-laden songs was delivered with impressive skill and ability. A band that stands out, they continue to be one of our ‘must-see’ acts. Highly enjoyable.

Upstairs, Leatherneck gave us a fuelled performed or rock songs, full of traction and stomping beats. Not short of a few good songs, they were enjoyable. Visiting Leicester for the first time, from Rotherham, we liked the vocals from lead singer.

Leatherneck at the Shed. 13th April 2017.

Back in the Vault, Young Jack brought something different to the evening’s proceedings. The band’s musical offering was rich in funky sounds, vibrant beats and dancey rhythms. It was a set of songs that was very appealing and drew people into the vibe. Rather wonderful.

So, all in all, a very good night at the Shed. Nice to meet several friends and enjoy a night out with top class music.

9th April

Quarter finals 2 of Metal2TheMasses

Firebug

with Firenado, Final Coil, Gallows High, Dawn of Anubis, Mörti Viventi, special guest band From Eden to Exile.

Photos and video by Kevin Gaughan.

The second of three quarter finals were held at Firebug; I wasn’t able to be there but Kevin Gaughan was and his photos and video bring out the flavour of the event. All of the bands we have seen before, so links to previous reviews have been included.

Firenado at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Firenado is a death thrash band from Coventry. We saw them on 5th February when we said “The show came to a thunderous conclusion with a performance from Firenado – a band from Coventry. Only one word will do for what they did – exhilarating. They took the night’s music up to the next level. A roof-raising performance. Powered with plenty of passion. “ [Music in Leicester].

Final Coil at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Final Coil, from Leicester, played in Heat 5 on 5th March, and this was what was said: “Their first song made its way into the room, the vocals setting the mood and colour of the piece, backed by large statements from the strings – ponderous, dramatic, foreboding statements. What I heard was taut, stressed, gripping, evocative. Sounds that painted pictures, scenes, imagery, it made you see it in your head. I do so hope that, when the album comes out, it has the lyrics printed on the sleeve. Technically clever stuff this was an impressive performance “ [Music in Leicester].

Watch Kevin’s video on YouTube of Final Coil playing at tonight’s show.

Gallows High at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Gallows High, a quintet from Leicester, features the vocals of Emma Wale. They also played at the heat on 5th March. “What I heard from the stage tonight was listenable, melodic, fast-paced, intensely rhythmic and backed by soaring guitar parts. A very enjoyable performance. “ was what I said. [Music in Leicester]

Dawn of Anubis at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Dawn of Anubis, from North West Leicestershire, played at the heat on 12th March. Included in the review as the comment “Tonight, the band played their own songs. Featuring the powerful vocals of Billy Chamberlain on bass guitar. These are guys who know how to fuel a set. Sam Rossell gave some vocals from the drums. “ [Music in Leicester].

Morti Viventi at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

It was on 12th February that we saw Mörti Viventi and said “These thrash metallers are from Stamford in Lincolnshire. They have influences that include Slayer and Metallica. So that’s a good start. With the excellence of their guitar work, the band brought us the sound of thrash in kick-ass proportions. They blasted it. Plenty there to get excited about. “ [Music in Leicester].

From Eden to Exile at Firebug, 9th April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Special guest band From Eden to Exile played at this show. Launched in 2012, this metal band from Northampton is signed to Attic Records. Watch this video on YouTube of them performing their song Volatile.

Next

Final Coil and Mörti Viventi who progress to the #m2tmleicester semi finals. The last quarter final is next Sunday (16th April) with special guest band I Saw The World Burn. Resin Events will also announce the judges two wildcard bands who will be joining the semi finals along with next Sunday’s two winning bands. That will bring us down to 8 bands 5 of which will play the final at Uprising (27th May at DeMontfort Hall.)

Find out more about metal in Leicester.

See also:

Live music in March

8th April

Traps

at the Shed

with Frazer and Jackobins

My first gig at the refurbished venue after I was there for the opening night. A careful study of the printed drinks menu revealed several interesting points, such as pre-gig drinks on Fridays and Saturdays between 5 pm and 7 pm; so, an incentive to turn up early perhaps. Now they have a large window to let in day light, the main room offers a pleasant destination for meetings and coffees at very reasonable prices.

Signage in the smoking area at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

The show was opened by The Jackobins, a rising band from Liverpool, the five-piece group being led by the fizzing vocals of Dominic Bassnett. Some likeable, anthemic music and no shortage of energy on stage, this band provided a solid start to the evening.

Jackobins at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

Playing for the first time in Leicester, Frazer, a quintet from Sheffield, were a hit with me and, I guess, with many others who had not seen them before.

Frazer at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

Their three vocalists delivered a lively set of songs with plenty of beat and resonance; they made a good impression. Their set went down well with the audience – you could tell that from the enthusiastic responses they got after each of their songs. They performed like they really meant it, giving out a good vibe and connecting with the audience. Definitely worth seeing again.

Frazer at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

Traps was the star attraction of the night. What a remarkable band. There was anything up to three singers (including the drummer) at the mics at any one time – and their harmonies were stunning. Jamie Williams provided the lead vocals – amazing quality singing.

Curtains at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

A large band – with two keyboards – their songs were lyrical, rhythmic and highly appealing. Embroidered with electronic samples, the music was richly woven. Inventive compositions this cornucopia of musical delights was full of inventiveness.

Traps at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

As an encore they sang It’s True, one of the old favourites from back in the day. A crowd gathered in front of the stage to dance to the final number; oozing respect and appreciation. Traps has written a set of new songs; gone are the old favourites from the Booby days, except perhaps one which might pop up now and again in an encore as a fan-pleaser.

Traps at the Shed, 8th April 2017.

We reviewed Traps at the O2 in February; I said “Songs that were relentlessly compelling. Rhythms rich in musical content. Engaging dancy beats. Varied in pace and mood. Creative music-making of high calibre. Quality.” [Music in Leicester]

Ellie Golding poster at the Shed, 8th April 2017. With guitar strings.

The Shed has not lost its mojo.

7th April

Skam

Skam Steve and Matthew

Skam’s Steve and Matthew in 2013.

We were at the O2 Academy to see Skam and Hell’s Addiction.

2nd April

Metal2TheMasses first quarter final

Firebug

with James Cull and the Black Storm Nation, Lodestone, The World Can Wait, My Legacy and Fractions.

Photos by Kevin Gaughan.

Show promoted by Resin Events

The show began with James Cull and the Black Storm Nation. No mistaking the vocals. Serious guitar riffs. Stomping beats. A blues-inspired set of songs. This is metal with roots.

James Cull and the Blackstorm Nation at Firebug on 2nd April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Lodestone we saw at the first round heats on 19th February. Lots of distorted bass lines. Big statements. Melodic heavy metal. Compelling beats. Plenty of drama and atmosphere in the music. An exhilarating set.

Lodestone at Firebug on 2nd April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

From Leicester, The World Can Wait started life as an indie band. Lead singer Sulley Archer strikes me as being one of the outstanding young vocalists of the local music scene. He puts into his performance a considerable amount of passion and energy. This band writes its own songs.

The World Can Wait at Duffys Bar, 12th February 2917. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

News about this band. They have recently released a music video. You can see BLISS on YouTube.

The World Can Wait at Firebug, 2ns April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

My Legacy delivered a set that was unmistakably thrilling. One of the songs included in tonight’s set was Heart of Leviathan. This would be a fair example of what this band sounds like. Their set had ample aggression and passion. Fiercely shouty vocals. A great sense of presence and impact.

My Legacy at Firebug on 2nd April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

My Legacy have released a debut album; you can listen to ‘Heart of Leviathan.

Fractions got through in the February first round heat. A theatrical performance from lead singer. Musically very expressive, delivering considerable traction.

Fractions at Firebug on 2nd April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

News of this band:

My Legacy got through to the semi-finals of Metal2.

A pretty good night at Firebug; Metal2 continues with quarter finals until we come to the semi-finals.
Follow Metal2TheMasses Leicester on Facebook.

1st April

The Shed re-opens

A new sign over the ticket desk. 1st April 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

We were at the first night of the new Shed – Leicester’s longest-running live music venue. What a transformation!

Read all about it.

See more

Live music in March.