Leicester’s live music in August
Our round-up of gigs
in Leicester and Leicestershire
for the month of August 2016.
MIL’s team of reporters and photographers have been busy, getting out there to bring you their sample of what they have heard and seen this month.
But we need more! Write for us. Go to gigs, see bands and tell us about it.
Latest dates get added from the top.
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Coming up in September
31st August 2016
Touching Stones Tasting Rain album launch
by Keith Jobey
Let’s begin with some historical facts. Tonight concludes my third year of writing reviews. It was 1st September 2013 after watching Flying Kangaroo Alliance launch their debut vinyl single ‘Hit The Wall‘ that I looked around the room and thought there is nobody here that is going to write about this, so I did. By my reckoning, I’ve written up 100 gigs since that date and still find it hard to believe ‘Music In Leicester’ actually use them. [We are eternally grateful to Keith for his dedication and excellent work for us – Ed.]
So what has all this reminiscing got to do with tonight? Well there is a link. Because on that night three years ago, in this very venue, on that same stage, Kevin Hewick played. So there’s a completeness and order that appeals to my obsessiveness, three years, 100 reviews, Kevin Hewick and the Musician featuring in the first and last review (to date).
And there’s another sense of completeness, as tonight is about an album launch, an album that Kevin has been trying to get out for a long time, an album Kevin describes as his Physical Graffiti since it contains new songs alongside songs that he’s played for years. I recall Billion Pebble Beach being sung that night back in 2013. And now finally we are here. There are physical copies of the CD for sale, it has arrived, and now Kevin can move on… but only to the next album.
So, onto the launch show itself. A show the humble Hewick had never even thought of doing. ‘I’ve never done a launch show before’ he tells us, ‘who’d come to an album launch for one of my records?’ We have Ian Magic Teapot to thank for twisting his arm and making it happen.
It’s a seated candlelit Musician, and the proceedings are underway quickly with Jim Tetlow supplying some electronical ambience. Jim does arrangements on several of Kevin’s albums and is providing the interlude sounds tonight instead of the PA music.
Kevin acting as compere, introduces a good friend of his Stevie Jones, to the stage. There is only time for three songs from Stevie but that’s enough to get an appreciation of his talent. At the request of Kevin, he finishes with This Is My Church, a great song with lyrics that anybody who is devoted to music will immediately associate with.
Stevie is quickly followed by Tom Lewitt. We’re told Tom played bongos on the album, but of course he is an accomplished guitarist and singer too. And he’s writing some catchy songs. So if like me, you’re still pining for The Screening, why not get along and catch Tom sometime soon.
I’ve not come across the next band before, Bluebird Parade and I’m immediately taken aback by their style. It’s a melancholy, groove laden folk rock with some superb guitar fills. They’ve been hibernating we’re told, and they’re only 4/7ths of the band tonight, but they’ll soon be back in full band mode so expect to see a bit more of them.
Then, Kevin returns to play a few solo songs before the full band join him. A band consisting of Mark Haynes (drums), Dave Dhonau (bass) and Jon Read (keys and trumpet). As is the norm with Kevin, there are tales to tell when introducing each song, and there are songs from Kevin many previous albums, as well as the one we’re here to launch, and even some from the next album(s). The one about Plasmatic Wendy O’Williams get’s my seal of approval.
With the evening drawing to a close Ash Mammal squeeze onstage alongside Kevin and his band for a special performance of Neville Never. Kevin and band begin the song and then as it progresses Ash Mammal gradually proceed to take over the playing of it, until by the end they are left on stage by themselves to finish it. A symbolic handing over from the old to the young, or ‘abdicating the stage for the young lions of Ash Mammal’ as Kevin put it. Ash Mammal feature on the album in much the same way.
Ash Mammal then thrash out some of their own songs, intending to play three, but after being urged to play more they end up playing five. Closing with I Wanna Be Your No-one they show a crowd containing plenty who have never seen them before why they are touted by Kevin as one of the great young talents of the fantastic Leicester music scene.
Kevin then takes his final emotional bow, somewhat overwhelmed by the reception. It’s been a non-stop night of entertainment lasting about three and a half hours. They don’t launch albums like that very often.
Trilogy at The Musician
30th August 2016
at the Musician
with Kahu and Remy Turi
Presented by Magic Teapot
Tonight Leicester band Trilogy launched their new EP Pocket Watch; which we reviewed earlier this month.
Supporting Trilogy tonight was Kahu, a four-piece group with keyboard, lead singer and guitarist, bassist and drummer. Their members are Jacob Leeson (guitar and vocals); Ross Burns (bass and synth); Alex Jasper (keyboard) and Sam O’Neill ( percussion.)
Although Ross, Jacob and Sam have been playing together for almost five years, in a seperate band, this was actually their first ever gig as Kahu. They formed the band because Greg, the vocalist from Trilogy, is close friends and asked them to have a go at creating a sound that would fit well with Trilogy’s release gig. So the band has only been going for about a month and was originally just intended as a favour to their friends over at Trilogy, but given the positive reception from so many at The Musician Kahu plans on continuing and are also considering booking some studio time this year! I for one very much hope to see them again. They all from Loughborough; Jacob and Sam have been there for some time now, whereas Ross and Alex moved more recently. They all met because they went to the same school together and were very interested in music, Sam told us.
I can see why Trilogy invited them; their style of music complemented the headline band but had a take of its own.
Trilogy has some extra artists on stage with them tonight: Rebekah Azeez (vocals) and Jasmine Whalley (saxophone). One of the two female vocalists sang with the band when not providing backing vocals with her colleague.
What makes Trilogy so remarkable? Well, for one thing, it is the consummate skill with which they make music and the two singers whose have wonderful voices. Two of them play different instruments and change places according to which songs they are performing.
Their tunes have layers of mood and atmosphere; skilfully executed instrumentals add to the quality but it is their ability to make you feel the music that really makes them stand out. Their on stage chemistry is extraordinary. These are musicians who are in touch with each other and their music and that is quite remarkable.
Our county of Leicestershire has, over several years, produced bands, singers and artists of high calibre. Market Harborough, Market Bosworth, Melton Mowbray, towns with quaint names but they are brought some of the best local artists to the stages of Leicester.
Tonight, Trilogy provided us an evening of wonderful music.
Sunday 28th August
Trevor does Loughborough
It was my birthday today; so I decided to do something to make it special. I went out for the day; so I made a very rare trip away from Leicester – to Loughborough – just a short bus ride up the road. Easily done because Sky Link provides very a very good service from St. Margaret’s bus station into the centre of the town.
My day started with a visit to Phantomfest – at the Phantom public house for a dose of sunshine and cider. I have done this before. The line-up was impressive: W.A.G, Ian Waterhouse (I remembered him for when he was in a band called Subdude which I liked very much), Brandon Neal, Chris Quinn, Emily Carr, Rawkus Reds, Ronoc, Homeless Shakespeare, Scribble Victory, Easy Target, The Siobhan Mazzie Band, Super73, The Brandy Thieves, Guilty Pleasures and DJ Matt. An impressive line up. Some of those I had seen before of course.
In 2013 I did much the same thing going to Beacon festival and Phantom festival which I reported on here at the time.
Plenty of sunshine today, apart from a shower or two so it was a good day for being outside.
Duty called and I set off for Beaconfest with Jones the rapper. Similar outdoor event with a stage, tables and chairs, barb-e-cue and in this case lots of children’s slides and things for them to play on.
On stage at The Beacon Inn I saw The Almost Band and Dave The Rock Band.
Jonezy did a set of his songs with a big stage show that brought him quite a lot of attention and applause from the audience.
Later in the afternoon it was time for Jonezy to head off to his next gig and for me to head back to The Phantom for some more bands.
It was very nice to see Last Edition again; their of ska and reggae numbers went down well with the crowd.
Siobhan Mazzei and her band is always a highlight slot at any gig.
All in all a great day out and very pleasing to see Loughbourgh offering live music; not something that happens that often on this scale.
Today we published our latest round-up of Leicester’s recorded music.
and there is more to come on that page, soon.
Despite the rain we managed to catch a few aspects of today’s festival in Leicester city centre.
It was raining as the City Festival got underway today; not heavily but there was no sunshine, even though it was warm
A parade of dancers made its way down the pedestrianised area of the High Street.
Shortly afterwards a chinese dragon entertained people.
In Jubilee Square a group of singers were on the main stage.
Towards half past three, the rain increased and a thunder storm broke out, sending people indoors.
The Brandy Thieves played on the main stage at 7:30pm
MIL was at Firebug for the Casbah Music show headlined by The Carnabys with support from Kane Harlow, Stupid Boots and Aztec Temples.
Casbah Music management put on tonight’s show at Firebug. The resident comedian Mr. Mit was there as usual to introduce the acts. Launching the night was Leicester singer Kane Harlow. His performance was full of character and his voice had plenty of emphasis. The 21 year old presented a set of his own songs bringing his own style and vibrancy.
Stupid Boots was a rock and roll band that took us back to the 70s but giving the retro tunes their own twist. The Rugby-based group benefited from a strong performance by lead vocalist Chris Jelley backed by the energetic playing of the musicians. Their songs had plenty of bounce and traction and were well received by the audience. Next week, the band is supporting The Barratts at The Soundhouse.
One of the reason I was here tonight was to see Aztec Temples, one of my favourite Leicester bands. Any gig that has the ‘Temples on its line-up is bound to be a big draw for me. AT has appeared at Firebug only once before. Tonight they provided a 40 minute set of their own songs. When it comes to writing memorably melodies, AT wins the gold medal.
This is a band that has climbed the ladder of success more quickly than most. Whereas they used to be a support band keen to get slots with bigger groups, now they are more often than not the headliners and younger bands are keen to support them. Take their songs – Places – for example. What a hit song! They sang it tonight, along with many of their established songs that have become firm favourites with their growing fans.
I had not seen The Carnabys before tonight. As promoter Carol said in her introduction to the band, it took a year to get them booked to do this show, after she had seen them playing at support slot at a Blondie concert. That must have been in September 2014 when they played in Birmingham. “The best support band we’ve had in years” – according to Debbie Harry.
Their songs had plenty of punch and dynamism; big, vibrant songs laden with catchy riffs and fuelled by an infectious passion. The London rock band is led by Jack Mercer was formed in 2011. Since then they have opened for Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, Lenny Kravitz, Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes, supported Blondie (numerous times), Patti Smith, Imagine Dragons, Palma Violets, AllusonDrugs, StarSailor and The Coronas. Well, that’s impressive! So too was their performance tonight here in Leicester. The floor in front of the stage was thickly crowded with people, eager to get a close-up glimpse of a band whose music exudes sparkle and urgency.
Incidentally, The Carnabys are very concerned about the nation’s live music venues. As it says on the band’s website:
The Carnabys rely heavily on the live circuit as their core vehicle for reaching new audiences. We have joined forces with The Music Venue Trust in a proactive initiative to preserve our British music circuit called ‘Save Live Music’. In a bid to pull our live venues back from the brink of closure, The Carnabys are putting their album, ‘Too Much, Never Enough’ up for pre-sale 4-months in advance of its release in August and will donate all their earnings to The Music Venue Trust.
Having been to the Soundhouse to see Leicester’s singer/songwriter Calder McLaughlin, we today publish our apprecitation of his work in our feature article
Lilith’s Army at The Shed
with Brandon Neal, Fallacy and The Mocking Jays.
Photos by Kevin Gaughan.
I follow certain bands that I like and tonight I was at the Shed to see Lilith’s Army, a band I have been following for many years.
Brandon Neal opened the show tonight. He was very good. He sang a collection of his own songs. Vibrant, upbeat and very entertaining. His lyrics are insightful and amusing. He does, in song, what Poetman does in spoken word. One of the more unusual of Leicester’s circule of solo artists, Neal is an singer wongwriter I rate highly. One thing that that stands out is that when he sings you can hear every word. Important that; because what he sings about it worth listening to. A song writer whose roots run deep in the British tradition of song writing.
Lilith’s Army. Now a three-piece all female group, this is a band that really knows how to rock. Their music style harks back to punk, blues and grunge. I seem to remember them as coming from the Northampton area. The band’s lead singer is Sylvie Student, backed by bassist Cleo Cameron.
The thing I like about their music is its vibrancy – it’s a happy cocktail that mixes sounds that are rich in rhythms, bursting with beats and tat lovely engaging bounce. The band finished with their song reach out – one that was infectious and full of ear-pleasing immediacy.
Their single Got A Girl was releases on the 20th of August to coincide with the start of their Midlands Tour. The single will be available for ditigal download from most online stores and it being distributed by Ditto Music.
We saw Lilith’s Army in November 2015 [Music in Leicester magazine]
It was only a couple of months ago when I discovered Fallacy; on 16th June in fact. I was impressed by what they did and tonight was another chance to be equally impressed. This group of teenagers have their feet firmly on the ladder.
With their front man Tom Byfield and guitarist Jack Gittons, the four lads put on a splendid show. Their set included some of their own songs and covers from well-known bands. I think that in a couple of years time this band could well be playing songs that will blow your socks off.
Back in June I saw The Mocking Jays at Pi Bar [Music in Leicester magazine]. I certainly liked what they did. This four-piece band with their lead vocalist Jacob Smith led the band is a performance that was full of presence.
I particularly liked the way they blended guitar chords together into some really grabbing sounds. Their uplifting rhythms hade tons of traction and the kind of determined dynamics that make the songs dance. They kept up the momentum, poering their tunes with plenty of punch and pulling the audience into the action. The mark of a good band is that if you see them once, you would want to go and see them again. I would certainly want to see The Mocking Jays again.
They come from the Nottingham/Derby area. Their new single Sex On The Beach is out now.
Summer Art Trail
Keith Jobey was at The LCB Depot to see a variety of music acts assembled for the launch of the Summer Art Trail.
I dropped in to The Shed briefly to see Oskie’s new band Ashes In The Hourglass.
The three-piece band is new. Oscar Wright has been in several local bands before. Their style of music was post-punk, the kind of stuff modern teenagers would really enjoy. As you would expect, they were not short of a few glittering guitar passages. Definitely not run-of-the-mill stuff.
Also on the Shed’s stage tonight were House of Leaves, Exhailers and Blacklist.
I also caught a bit of the set by Ashby band The Exhailers. Impressed. Music that struck me as being avant garde.
Earlier, I had been to a party organised by music distributors HORUS Music, one of the few national music businesses to be based in Leicester.
I was at the Soundhouse tonight to see one of Leicester’s prestigious singers. Calder McLaughlin’s show was a celebration of ten years as a singer and band vocalist.
Firebug Garden Party
by Keith Jobey
The Firebug, or just Firebug, or even the old Lamplighters, whatever you call it, it’s surely one of Leicester’s prize possessions. An independent bar that has it all, right in the heart of the city. So who needs to go to a stuffy garden party at Buckingham Palace when you can attend a garden party at one of Leicester’s ‘royal’ palaces?
Raj (one half of Wiseass) gets the event underway with a string of blues songs. Raj tells us Wiseass has an EP out soon, and performs a song from it, Rattlesnake Blues. Should be a good EP.
It’s a little bit of comedy after Raj, with Graham Milton doing a very funny stand-up routine.
This is quickly followed by Dan Wallbank’s comedy/music . A bit of stand-up, followed by a couple of light-hearted songs, one about Princess Leia’s gold bikini outfit in a Mumford and Sons style for instance.
Emily Rose Teece of Kermes is next. As Emily states, the Kermes songs she performs today are a little less aggressive without the band. But that’s a good thing too. It’s great to hear the songs played in such a way, the rawness allowing the excellent song writing to be displayed. There are some new songs too, the one about being nobody’s fool sounding like it should be a fantastic Kermes tune.
Fallers are a perfect fit for a sunny afternoon. This band fills a niche that no other local band can fill. Who else covers the Andrews Sisters I ask? They go down really well with the crowd which is now filling the back patio.
Frank Sparrow was a new name to me. He appears to be one half of Jinjo, and the whole of Velvet Exit. But who knows for sure? Regardless of other involvements, he’s playing acoustic guitar and singing this evening and doing a great job of it. A very likeable performance.
Courtney Askey is the last act of the day and it’s a full band show… outside… what will the neighbours say? We’ve covered Courtney plenty over the last couple of years. so I’ll not go into too much detail here. Suffice to say, the band are heading to the studio soon to start recording an album with Blizzard Records. We get a couple of new songs, including a fast paced one driven by new guitarist Tiffany. Hopefully it will feature on the album.
So that was the birthday party. No doubt it continued long after I left, but I’m way too old to stay up late at a 12th birthday party. Here’s to next year though when Firebug becomes a rebellious teen!
Dreaming in Colour
at the Soundhouse
At full feature article has been prepared to celebrate Dreaming In Colour Productions; but here is a resume of what I saw at the Soundhouse tonight. It was a fabulous party and certainly a gig of the year.
with Matt Peach, Arc Isla, Beneath The Lights and UK:ID.
Lots of familiar faces greeted me as I arrived at The Soundhouse. It was quite a night for the gliterati. Outside a mild 18º c and a pleasant summer evening attracted people to this notable event.
The first act I saw today was Matt Peach. He gave us an amazingly good solo peformance. What a singer! Matt is also the bassist in Arc Isla.
If you look about through the line-ups of DICP’s shows, it reads like a roll-call of top bands and artists not just from Leicester but from the rest of the country too.
Arc Isla is a band we have seen before. We think they are totally awsome. Their set tonight was one of the best. A scintillating performance and a throbbing set of tunes, fuelled with lashings of power.
I was not at the afternoon part of the day-long programme but several people told me that it had been well attended.
Beneath The Lights. Another band I have followed for a long time. Many reviews of BTL have appeared in these pages. They are appeared at gigs and festivals galore. Their music fuses together the responance of rock, the pulsation of pop and the incandesence of Indie.
It was great to see Beneath The Lights again. One of the best bands in our local area and what a set they did! They just rocked, big time. Their whole set was fabulous. There was one moment when the band was bouncing to the beat of their tune and the entire room was jumping upand down with them. That was a moment that captured the passion and raw excitement of live music.
Tonight’s show was compered by drag artist Miss Crystal.
Compere for the show was drag artist Miss Crystal; she did her own set before the headline band and it brought the house down. So funny. She certainly knows how to work an audience.
Time for the night’s headline band.
Headlining the night UK:ID a very big electronic band with a hugely enjoyable set. What a way to round off a day! This band did a set that was exhilarating. Mixing together a plethora of genres, they wove together rhythms , beats and vibes to deliver a set that was sensational. They set the room alight with their engergy.
The day started at 3pm and went to well passed 11pm. Inside and outside there was a really top line-up of artists and bands.
It was a massively enjoyable event.
Greyhaven at The Shed
GreyHaven played downstairs. This five-piece band from London was awesome. Currently on tour, they put on their own show here in leicester. I am so glad they did. They gave us a stunning performance. Volcanic vocals from Sam Paterson combined with his flair for musical theatre were amplified by the rest of the band who danced around in the confines of the tiny area.
The band churned out enough megawatts of energy to power the whole venue; it’s a pity Nile didn’t have a set of jump leads. They threw themselves into their set; I would liked to have seen them on a vast festival stage somewhere; their performance would have so come to life. Their set of songs was bursting with great sounds and delivered with relentless enthusiasm. As good to watch as they were to listen to, this is a band we so need to come back to Leicester soon to get in front of a wider audience. You’re going to love them.
The other band that did it for me last night was Dead On Arrival. A rock band from Swadlincote (South Derbyshire) play all their own songs. I have to say: I sat through the whole of their set and I was completely captivated. It was music that was complex; I watched the guitar-players’ fingers going up and down the stems of their guitars. Great flurrys of notes pouring from the strings. It is one of the great mysteries of rock bands that they can make half an hours-worth of songs and memorise it all. It was thrilling music, it had shovel-loads of stamina. Yep, that was one good set.
We were at the Leicester Caribbean Carnical today for the music and the dancers.
Hot weather, huge crowds and plenty to see and hear.
at the Musician
Photos by Music in Leicester and Alan Moore
A welsh indie rock band formed in 1992, they have released nine albums; Stereophonics have appeared at most high-profile music festivals and have received five nominations for the Brit awards. One of the most well-known and widely admired UK bands of all time. The members of the band are: Kelly Jones (Vocals and Guitar), Richard Jones (Bass Guitars), Jamie Morrison (Drums) and Adam Zindani (Guitar and Vocals).
To present a tribute to them must be a daunting challenge but is one that Stereosonics has tackled with no little success. Stereosonics began as a covers band in 1999.
Lead singer Shane had a vocal range similar to that of Kelly Jones. Following a change of name in 2000, the band worked up a catalogue of songs by The Stereophonics and began playing regularly around the UK.
The band appeared at the Working Men’s Club in Cwmaman, where the Stereophonics played their first ever live show – Kelly, Richard and Stuart’s home town; they were joined onstage by Stuart Cable, the Stereophonic’s former drummer.
The members of Stereosonics are Shane Cross (Guitar and Vocals), Jake Priestley (Guitar and backing vocals), Ian Stichbury (Piano), Owen Moore (Bass and backing vocals) and Wayne Blyth (Drums.)
Tonight the band played an excellent set with strong vocals from lead singer Shane Cross. The set certainly went down well with the audience, many of whom were fans of the Welsh band.
Owen Moore, the bassist, was previously in Five2Three, a band from Leicester that we featured in July 2013 [Music in Leicester magazine] and prior to that Owen was a member of Living Mystery a local band that appeared at the Oxjam festival in 2012, playing on the Arts in Leicester stage.
Stereosonics is appearing at The Donkey, Welford Road, on 1st October.
A selection of the songs performed tonight included some of the Stereophonic’s greatest hits
I Wanna Get Lost With You
A Thousand Trees
The Bartender And The Thief
Graffiti On The Train
In all the band played 23 songs in their main set list.
Shoot The Symphony
Following a meandering line, I staggered from The Musician through the streets of the Cultural Quarter to The Shed. There is saw a band from Shrewsbury. Shoot The Symphony.
They were the last band of the night. I thought they were wonderful.
Full of Brit-Poppy sounds and Oasis-like vibes, the five lads put on a set that grabbed you by the ears.
Their set of bouncy, foot-tapping tunes really set the room alight and was the perfect ending to the Shed’s night of music.
The vocals of the front man were accompanied by backing from the bass player. All five of them were on the ball. So now I am one of their fans. Uplifting, vibrant, passionate music that had plenty of punch; if they come back to Leicester I would definitely want to see them again.
The Shed. The Brandy Thieves.
An unfortgettable night, reviewed by Trevor Locke with photos by Kevin Gaughan.