29th August 2014
Murmur, Casino Empire, Ash Mammal, Over The House @ The Soundhouse 29th August 2014
By Adrian Manning ∏
The Soundhouse is a great little venue. Tucked away in a Leicester backstreet it is unpretentious and dedicated to serving up some great gigs from many local up and coming bands. So it is tonight, as a clutch of young bands take the stage on this bill. The average age of the performers must have only been about 18 but they all played with the technical chops and confidence of many older musicians.
Murmur are first on and a small crowd has made early doors to catch them. A tight, driving four piece, they delivered a set of punchy, hard hitting indie songs. The sound was clear and the melodic vocals layered their wiry, staccato rhythms. Having heard of them but being unfamiliar with the music I was impressed by their songwriting and musicianship. One of their later tracks had a more rumbling, grinding riff which appealed to me particularly. A great start to the evening.
Soon to grace the stage were Casino Empire, five young men from Blaby. A dual guitar, bass drums and synth set up with enough energy to light the building. If this sounds familiar, then yes, this band are definitely following in the footsteps of Leicester’s current favourite sons. Singer Tommy Cobley swaggers onto and around the stage with a mod haircut, striped jacket and dark glasses. He instantly makes his presence known, gets the crowd involved and cranks the intensity and heat up a few notches. Having been quiet for a short time, they are definitely back and as serious as you can get. It seems they have quite a following and the crowd swelled upon their arrival.
Think mid period Stone Roses, on form early Oasis and a tip of the hat to the previously alluded to Kasabian and you get the idea. They deliver a strong set and even with those comparisons they do have an originality in their sound which I hope they develop more. ‘Shine On’ slowed the set down midway and included a really nice guitar solo. The band filled this stage and could easily fill a bigger one. Confidence and ability is not an issue and who knows maybe one day when Serge and co are retired, these guys could be heading to Vicky Park themselves.
Ok, let’s get this out there from the off – I’m a massive fan of Ash Mammal. If you have heard either their Ash Over Oaklands EP or the Bloodsugar album you will know why. Ash Mammal take so many influences and reference points, mash them up and serve them out in their own inimitable style. I consider them to be one of the most original bands in the city and singer Dan or Beaumont (the name changes as he feels like it) is an amazing frontman and takes up the challenge from Tommy Cobley to put in a great performance.
Taking off his shirt to reveal green painted words and patterns all over him, he is literally chameleon. He has this great skill of appearing out of our world as well as connecting with the audience in it – vocals ranging from the high pitched and melodious to dramatic shouts and rants appear within the songs. Before the green paint mixes in with sweat to cover his face and body I see the word “youth” printed down one arm – the theme of the evening. The rest of the band: George, Jeeves and Anya are tight and flexible – exchanging vocals, places and instruments. A set of great songs were aired – Halloween, Polyamorous Me and Bloodsugar itself among them. Always challenging, always entertaining and always exciting – fantastic! This band should be huge in any right minded world.
I was not familiar with tonight’s headliners Over The House before this gig. They mentioned that this may be their last gig in Leicester for a while and I wonder if the big city lights of our capital are beckoning? With a number of gigs and some releases to be found on bandcamp they have been building a steady following. With a guitar led upbeat sound and a vocal that brings to mind Alex Turner with less of an accent, the four piece have a catalogue of polished tunes that are good for getting you moving whilst being thought provoking and poetic in their lyrics. As with all the bands they showed their confidence and ability to headline this great bill of young bands.
Pete Townsend said “The kids are alright” but on tonight’s performance I would say “The kids are more than alright, they are bloody fantastic!
Follow these bands on Facebook