Not at the Musician
Monday 19th January 2015
by Trevor Cobbe of DVM Films
It’s cold and it’s the start of the week but the minute I walk through the doors at The Musician, any blues are blown away. The ever friendly Musician staff, Darren and Chris, relieve me of a modest sum which allows me to start tonight’s musical feast complete with Red Stripe refreshment.
It’s been an evolving bill centred around Sunderland indie rockers Cohesion. It just got better and better for me as French Leave, then Homeless Shakespeare and finally Trilogy joined the line-up.
We started with Homeless Shakespeare, aka Joe Doyle, who is carving out a niche for himself with his modest, self-deprecating ramblings, adding an extra dimension to his poetic, almost theatrical, folk-rock songs. Joe has an attention-grabbing singing style and he had an excellent rapport with tonight’s audience. Despite professing to have no friends in attendance, he had the audience in the palm of his hands as they laughed, swapped banter and sang along with his songs. My favourite Homeless Shakespeare song, Shanty, was the musical highlight of the set for me but the participatory Pirate Song had to be the overall highlight, with plenty of audience Oh Arring accompanying Joe’s singing. You can next catch Joe at the Soundhouse on the 27th, the Exchange January 29th and the Font on January 30th.
Next on stage, came Market Harborough trio, Trilogy. Harborough has treated Leicester to some excellent new music recently, most notably Tapestry who won last year’s OBS. Trilogy are Adam Marshall on Guitar/Vocals/Drums, Greg Burns on Drums/Vocal/Keys and Jake Bentley on Bass.
Describing themselves as a ‘jazz/blues/funk unit’, they are an incredibly tight and talented young band. They open with a superb instrumental number, Pocketwatch and mix their set up with both instrumental and vocal numbers. Adam and Greg twice swapped instruments and this dexterity and their natural rapport with the audience belies their youth. Their sound reminds me of a now defunct old Leicester favourite of mine, Mattayoux – slightly rockier and without the range of instruments and band members. Their sound is impressively rich and deep and if their development continues as it has so far, they will be a band to watch very closely.
I had been wanting to see the next band, French Leave for some time but gig clashes had made me miss them at the end of last year. Tonight I rectified that. French Leave are Chris on vocals and guitar, Olly on drums and Rich on bass. They describe themselves as ‘indie/alternative.’ I can’t disagree with that but I would add in a little bit of celtic rock influence as well – at least that’s what my ears told me. They’ve been around for over a year and already have an EP out, In our Youth. It was this EP which had first alerted me to the warm melodic sound of French Leave, particularly the track So, which I have played multiple times on Soundcloud. I was impressed with how closely their live sound matched the EP. Indie is an over-populated genre at the moment so French Leave’s take on it, which I would best compare to a mix of Foals and Pogues, is a welcome break away from pure indie. I look forward to hearing more material from French Leave and you can catch them supporting the excellent Ekkah at Sumo in Leicester, next Friday, January 30th.
Our headliners, Cohesion, were in Leicester as part of a national tour. Their drummer is related to Ian ‘Magic Teapot’, our promoter for the evening. Cohesion are a five-piece indie rock band comprising Matthew Watchman, lead singer and guitarist, Lewis Cooke, Guitarist, Jonathon Hall, guitarist, David Wright, Bassist, and Alex Baker performing as drummer.
Their Facebook page quotes a number of influences and a quite impressive CV of support slots. I wouldn’t try to specifically compare them to anyone. Rather, I would describe them as full bodied indie rock with a bit of North East attitude. Their songs had a really catchy feel and you couldn’t help but be drawn into their sound. Lead singer Matthew has strong distinctive vocals and added just a touch of reserved chill to their full, guitar heavy, indie/alternative sound. It’s a very hard genre to stand out in but I would definitely go to see Cohesion again. I’ll leave it in Mr Teapot’s very capable hands.