Music for the month of December 2017
Our monthly round-up of
Leicester and Leicestershire’s music offerings.
Too see other monthly reports for 2017, go to the Contents page on the main menu ↑.
Homeless Shakespeare’s Waves album launch
At the Soundhouse with The Ginhouse Gypsies, Dr. X and Timmas and a line-up of acoustic acts.
Photos and videos by Kevin Gaughan.
Joe Doyle. A phenomenon. Not an artist to deliver the expected. Having said that, he can be expected to deliver some good music. When it comes to artists, he knows his stuff. Tonight, he brought together a great line up of singers and bands to delight the substantial crowd that had gathered at the Soundhouse.
The show tonight commenced with a series of solo artists; they performed at the other end of the bar, the opposite end from the stage end. That was interesting. It created a more intimate setting.
Ben Casey. Singer from Leicester. A lively set of songs and a kick-ass delivery.
Jamie Brown. Band musician and singer. Capital. Champion.
Hibword. A remarkable young lady. She began her set by beat boxing into her loop system. Not a great success but the ingenuity was apparent. Many instruments appeared during her performance. One of the most intriguing was a sansula.
The row of metal prongs can be plucked and the sound plate can be used as a percussion instrument. Ukulele. Singing. Some instrumental passages. All rather enchanting. An impressive talent.
Then the focus switched to the stage. The first band of the night was The Ginhouse Gypsies. Three young women combing their vocals into ear-licking harmonies. Music that was captivating. Our ears were caressed with a fine cocktail of jazz, blues, gypsy folk, and vocals to wow! They were from Northampton.
Dr. X. is a duo comprising Markus Reeves and Rev. Art Pridmore. They are famous for their junk yard instruments. They really rocked. Amazing music that moved and enthralled.
Many very positive comments came from the listeners, particularly concerning Marcus Reeves, from people who have known his work over many, many years. Clearly, he made an impression.
Tonight’s audience included many of the local music rockerati; a star-studied turnout of the great and the good from the local music scene.
Timmas. Another duo. Tim Baker and Tom Carnell. Two singers who produced a big sound. By this time the party had really got going. Music packed with punchy passions. Explosions of sound. Compelling and exciting.
The Homeless Shakespeare band. Or was it an orchestra? Things took off and roared into the stratosphere.
A bountiful load of beats and rhythms. It was HS like you have never seen him before. Fabulous. This was the second album to be produced. ‘showcasing the matured songwriting and performance ability of the artist. Rap, electronica, orchestral, math, psychedelia, folk, jazz, funk, soul, rock, noise. ‘ “Mind blowing”. Yes. It certainly was. Two years of hard work that paid off. Big time.
The show was in support of One Roof Leicester, the charity that provides support for people who are homeless and a night shelter for rough sleepers. Many audience members brought bags of food and warm clothing for homeless people.
Resin Christmas Party
Photos and videos by Kevin Gaughan.
It was that time of year, once more, for metal fans to gather at Firebug for the annual Christmas party, presented by Resin Events.
With Resin, Mage, Ramage Inc., and Temple of Lies.
Starting tonight’s celebrations, our hosts Resin; one of Leicester’s great bands and one of its longest-running. Now with added violin.
Still going after many, many years and still making music massive. The spirit of Christmases past still lingers in the minds and memories of many who have been here before.
Great sounds, magical melodies and a goodly crowd of people there to enjoy the festivities of this prestigious occasion.
Mage has some fanatical followers. And you can see why. They really do know how to put out some banging tunes.
Mage. One of Leicester’s most prestigious metal bands. Very popular. Even though they were sired in 2010, it seems like they have been around much longer. Doom and most other flavours of metal. Full of sepulchral sounds. Rooted in stoner, their metal sucks on the paps of Anthrax, Entombed, Pantera and many more besides. Blissful? Yes. Blazing? Certainly. [Mage at Firebug, December 2016.]
What we heard from Mage tonight. Thunderingly good bass riffs. A set of volcanic sounds hot enough to roast several turkeys at once.
Mage has a new album – Black Sounds. They played the title track from it. They burned the Christmas decorations with some seriously sulphuric songs. What an incredible band!
Mage posted on its Facebook page: Last night’s raffle at The Resin Xmas Bash raised an amazing £213! Thank you all. Every penny goes to ThrombosisUK. Thank you, have a great Christmas!
Torqued join us tonight, all the way from Devon. The band describes its style of music as Groove Metal.
We saw Scottish band Ramage Inc. before; and commented:
Ramage Inc. Progressive Metal from Edinburgh. Lead singer Bryan Ramage – what a voice! Impactful, used to great effect, stunning vocal range and tons of technique. Earth Shaker was released last year. Glorious guitar solos. Quite an epic performance.
Back tonight, they got their set off to a good start. They wasted no time in pouring some big sounds into the room, backed by some pretty strenuous vocals. I’m not a metal specialist but I recognise impressive music when I hear it. Megawatts of energy are required to power a set of metal songs and this band were not short of a few shillings for their meter.
Temple of Lies. We knew this would be good; and we were not disappointed.
On 12th November the band played at Dryden Street Social in a gig that went down particularly well with the audience. No strangers to the Resin Christmas bashes, they were in his very hall in 2015.
Lead singer Si Shaw delivered plenty of drama, projecting the feeling of the songs into the room. Songs with a lot of punch and resonance and vocals with passion and traction – all good stuff. Volcanic in fact; in intensity.
Was what we said when we saw them back then.
Nothing like a bit of forward planning. The next Resin Christmas gig will be on Saturday 22nd December 2018.
Earls at The Vault
with Earls, Our City Fires, Gunk, Event Horizon and Aaron Dudfield
Photos by Kevin Gaughan
One good night at The Shed. Even though I had gone there to see Earls, I found that all the bands were good. Very good in fact. Also, the audience was good. Some audiences are better than others but tonight the fans excelled themselves. Not only did they turn up in large numbers but also they really got into the show. Unbridled enthusiasm.
During the closing set by Earls there was a mosh pit. Wild dancing. Pushing and shoving. Everyone enjoyed themselves – as they should. It was so good to meet musicians tonight that I had not seen for ages. Event Horizon. Fantastic. Fire, energy, sparkle, traction.
Upstairs, in the main room, there was some kind of hip-hop show going on. I didn’t see much of it but I went into there to look for someone. On the stage was a singer who I later learned was called Aaron Dudfield. I stopped to listen because what I was hearing was impressive. A good voice, intricate picking of the guitar strings. It was a piece of quality solo work. Worth seeing again.
Our City Fires do not have a Facebook page as yet; but they are planning one.
Gunk is a Hard Rock, Alternative, Grunge from Ashby de la Zouch; they started out in September 2015.
Metal-core, Alternative Metal band Event Horizon is from Leicester and have a page on Facebook where it says: ‘Atmospheric and heart-piercing singing, groovy percussion and rhythmic rides, gravitationally crushing riffs, progressive and fretless basslines, burning screams and solar yells, dark themes from an incomprehensible void.’ All good; all enjoyable; all worth seeing again.
This was a pretty good night at The Shed; two floors of shows, bands, singers and more besides. Bot a bad way to spent an evening.
Not bad at all!
Tyla’s Dogs d’Amour
at the Soundhouse
with The Main Grains and The Midnight Dogs
Tonight’s show was promoted by Crazy Cowboy Live Events
Photos and videos by Kevin Gaughan
Midnight Dogs was a band that I remember from the Simon Says festival, earlier this year.
Also, in 2016, they were on stage for the Metal2 The Masses, when I commented: ‘Midnight Dogs started their set with an extended guitar flourish before launching into stomping beats. It might not have been mainstream metal, as someone commented to me later, but it was defintely rock and roll. These guys rocked the room, relentlessly. They poured gallons of high octname fuel into the hall and lit it with rollicking rhythms and a swaggering set of songs that ignited the audience. ‘
A set that was exhilarating; sensational guitar playing, Driving energy of the tunes and strong vocals.
The Main Grains.
They were good. Very intense. Plenty to get excited about in what they were doing. Pounding beats and vibrant rhythms. Plenty of Punch. A set of tantalising tunes.
Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour.
This band features the musician Tyla J. Pallas. His earlier band The Dogs D’Amour was a rock and rock band from London that formed in 1983 and that made a name for itself in the 1980s. Since then Tyla has released several albums as a solo artist. So here tonight, in the Soundhouse, we have a legendary group of musicians. In 1989 the band’s release A Graveyard of Empty Bottles reached number 16 in the UK album Charts. Tyler was in a band called Bordello Boys back in 1982. So, to have a band with such status to play here in Leicester is surely an honour. Tonight we got a set of classic sounds, rock and roll at its best. The audience loved it. It was a blast.
Traps at The Shed
with Andy Griffiths, Homeless Shakespeare, The Mighty Gyrators and The Bombardiers.
No shortage of gigs to go to tonight, here in Leicester.
Tonight’s auditions show for the Glastonbudget Music festival, 2018, was opened by singer and songwriter Andy Griffiths.
Tonight’s audition show was opened by singer Andy Griffiths with his very pleasing selection of songs. Andy performed at the Simon Says Festival in 2016, on Sunday at the Bandstand from 6.30pm. A singer with a clear and strong voice, Andy delivered his songs with plenty of engagement. A fine singer, his set was mainly songs of his own.
Joe Doyle, better known for his stage name Homeless Shakespeare, was on stage with Lon Fisher and saxophonist George Mitchell. As eclectic as always, Doyle has established himself as a noticeable artist on the Leicester circuit. He is planning an album launch on 28th December at The Soundhouse. Stylistically diverse it was a set that was never short of vitality.
Some of the faces that appeared on stage were familiar. The Mighty Gyrators includes well-known faces, such as one of the musicians from that much-loved punk group Gandhi’s Flip Flop. I was reminded of a gig I went to in August 2012; this band was on the line-up. In 2016 they played a gig in honour of the outgoing manager of the Shed – Kevin Holyland – on 27th December with First Wave, The Docs, The Regenerators. My comments included
I went there (primarily to support the Mighty Gyrators with them being essentially one half of the Dogz of Rock band) but also to capture some of the essence of the Shed before it changed hands. The Gyrators came on first with their selection of punk-based covers. Their front man Mez has just the right stage presence to get the audience going, who by now numbered about 30 but were almost huddled together trying to keep warm, Mez in particular fully dolled-up with woollies and was not afraid to point this out on stage. The band delivered a cracking set and are clearly well rehearsed, which allowed Mez to ad-lib some jokes in with the set.
The MGs started their set with a brisk number brought alive by the five members of the group, which they followed up with a number by The Buzzcocks. What impressed me was that I saw up to four vocalists at the mics at a time. Well known tunes and a lot of recognisable riffs and a cover by White Stripes which everyone knew, not least because it has been used in the chant Ohhhh Jer-e-my Cor–byn. It was the riff from Seven Nation Army. All The Small Things got a look in with those memorable lines Say it ain’t so, I will not go/Turn the lights off, carry me home/Na, na, na, na etc. It was a set that got the audience dancing and created a party atmosphere. Good on them.
Another band I have seen before. August 2015. The Shed.
The Bombardiers played on the Libra stage at Glastonbudget in 2015 and we said
Dripping with attitude, passion and entwined with emotion is how the programme described the music of The Bombardiers, a quartet formed in 2014 and based in Northamptonshire.
Another comment from a previous review: From Daventry, The Bombardiers were a four-piece blues/rock trio lead by guitarist and singer Barclay Quarton. The band formed in 2012/14 they play covers and original songs. As one media expert commented to me “The lead singer has a good voice.”
Music that had plenty of punch and impact, the group had no shortage of energy. I heard some pretty fabulous guitar playing too. Much musicality, rich rock resonances including Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. You know the one – Generals gathered in their masses, just like witches at black masses. Evil minds that plot destruction, sorcerer of death’s construction.
And finally… it was time for Traps. It was a fantastic set and one that bore all the hallmarks of what we have come to expect from one of Leicester’s top-flight bands. The Shed was packed. No surprise there. It seems like yesterday that Traps supported Milburn at the O2 – in fact it was last month.
Tonight Traps were on stage with their now iconic light boxes and a sensational stage show that is hard to beat. Songs. It’s all about the songs and tonight we heard some real crackers. This is a band that never fails to please.
at The Cookie
with Escapade and Jimmy Amnesia. A gig presented by Anoa and Future Present.
On the lineup at tonight’s show was Jimmy Amnesia.
A band from Leicester that we have reported on before.
Also on stage tonight, at The Cookie, Escapade.
We saw them recently at a gig at The Shed. The band had played with Jimmy Amnesia before, in 2015 at Sumo; they also played at the Linear Gig at Firebug in December.
But the headliners for tonight was Leicester band Anoa. The publicity said ‘Local Lads have been making massive waves over the last few months and now we are delighted to announce that they Headline The Cookie on 2nd December.’
This is a band that has become very popular lately, in this city.
MIL saw them at the Simon Says… festival, earlier this year.
I am sure we will see a lot more of them in 2018.