Golden Age of Indie

The golden age of indie

Going to gigs round 5

Wednesday 2nd August 2017

Instalment 5

The Golden Age of Indie

by Trevor Locke

In this issue: we look back at the years when indie rock was at its height

Indie. It’s not a genre name you hear much these days. There was a time when it was all the rage. Back then, all the top bands played indie music. In fact, I had to look it up myself to see what people now think it is. Indie is a handle applied to certain types of rock and pop music. It is also applied to the way that music is produced. We used to have indie labels; record labels that were independent of the four main companies that dominated the world of records once. As a genre, we might now call indie music alternative. The indie rock genre of the 2000s grew out of the Britpop bands of the late 1990s. Some bands were more pop than others; musical tastes were leaning towards the edgier sounds of post-punk, garage and new wave; several groups that started with tuneful melodies went on to develop a hard rock style that had elements in common with metal. 2008 was a year when music fans would have listened to the likes of Oasis, Vampire Weekend, Mystery Jets, MGMT, Elbow… you know the rest. In 2009, Kasabian’s West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum reached number one in the UK.

Back when?

We are talking about a period in the late 2000s – around 2007 to 2008, roughly. Those were the days when fans went crazy for the bands with the best tunes. Bands like Autohype, The Heroes, Panda Youth, The Utopians, the Chairman, M48… Just a few. Quite a long list.

In October 2008, I confidently declared in an editorial:

Leicester is the indie capital of the UK

No other city or town in the UK has produced such a good crop of excellent bands as has Leicester. Leicester’s top bands are writing the best songs in the country. Local bands The Heroes, Autohype, Razmataz and The Utopians have written amazingly good songs which, if released into the UK charts, would go straight to the top and become classic hits. Bands such as M48, The Screening, The Dandilions, Project Notion and many others are putting on high quality sets with excellent musicianship, great vocals and, above all, highly listenable songs. They are good to watch live and have laid down incredibly good tracks in recording. [Arts in Leicester magazine, editorial comment, 2008 to 2009.]

I went on to argue why I thought this claim was justified. In my view the UK music industry should be swarming all over Leicester searching for the next big band to hit the country’s music charts. It never happened – such was the woeful inadequacy of the British music industry in those days. Men stuck in London who never went out. Fans from around Leicester flocked to the music halls of the city in those days to enjoy all the best that was on offer. Crowds like you would not believe came to the gigs. Bands from around the UK made a beeline for Leicester in order to get to play with our bands and enjoy the full-house nights that were on offer at the best gigs. Those were halcyon days.

A selection of indie bands

Let’s look at just a few of the Leicester bands that made the golden age of indie what it was:

The Utopians

The origins of this band lay in a previous lineup which played melodic metal – Nocturnal. Two of the leading members – Jason Westall and James Shaw – left Nocturnal and started their own group which they called The Utopians.

Jason Westall and James Shaw3 of The Utopians in 2007

Gifted songwriters and strong vocals from lead singer Jason Westall with the support of lead guitarist James Shaw. The Utopians have recorded a number of their own songs and now have a new drummer and bassist. They have written several songs that have all the feel of hit songs including There’s a Train and Pissed up in Prague. They were featured in a live interview on BBC Radio Leicester, with a live performance by Jason and James. The Utopians has an increasing popularity with young fans and is thought likely to get signed in 2008. They went on a UK Tour in January/February 2008 and produced a three part video of this, which can be viewed on You Tube. [Arts in Leicester, 2009]

Jason Westall of The Utopians

The band did get signed – to Red Skin Records. The song Pissed Up in Prague, hugely popular with fans, was based on a wild weekend some of the band members had in Czechoslovakia. In many ways it was a metaphor for what this band was all about – lads with attitude. Another interesting fact is that James Shaw wrote a tune called The Boys in Black and Gold which had a good chant to it; the song was adopted by Aloa Football Club and the chant played over the PA whenever they scored a goal.

The Utopians in 2008

Here is a typical review of the time:

The Utopians at the Firebug, Monday 10th March 2008
One Leicester band is surging upwards at a strong pace: The Utopians. A constant supply of new songs, strong live performances, publicity and promotion which really works, makes this a band which is clearly on the way up. The Utopians fired up the Firebig with a set of catchy songs that hit a bullseye with the audience. Much loved songs like “There’s a train” and “Pissed up in Prague” were interspersed with new songs such as “Boys in Black and Gold” and “Sort your rates out”. This is a band that stands out for their ability to write stunningly good tunes and edgy, challenging lyrics. Lead singer Jason Westall’s vocal style marks him out as future star and his performances get stronger each time he appears on stage. [Arts in Leicester, 2008]

The crowd at The Shed during a Utopians gig in 2007

Autohype

Autohype is one of, if not the biggest band in Leicester at the moment. They have been together as the current line up for ten months, with Seb, Martin, Ed, Mason and Nicci. Autohype have been creating a huge buzz in Leicester and are already playing to sell out crowds at their first single launch in March 2009 and at the recent Summer Sundae Fringe Festival. Their adrenalin-pumped stage shows almost saw singer Seb injured after grappling with a ceiling fan whilst running down the bar of their gig at this years’ Fringe festival. Autohype have a modern, distinctive sound which combines their edgy influences with pop sensibilities, described recently as a cross between the 80s and the future. This sound can be heard clearly on their latest recording, The Heartbeat E.P., which can be heard in full on the band’s MySpace.

Over the last ten months, Autohype have passed several milestones which most bands only aim for, including: releasing their first single through SiZe Records UK and selling out all 500 limited edition vinyl copies in the first week; having their home-made music video for the single deemed good enough to be made available on Virgin on demand TV, nationwide; selling out their 350 capacity launch show in Leicester; playing several ‘Skins’ parties around the Midlands where they were received emphatically by young, sweaty, screaming fans. In addition, they have played numerous festivals such as Cock Rock in Cumbria, and headlining The Mix 2009 where they managed to win over a crowd of music fans of nearly 1000. Seb’s theft of a ‘rude boy’s’ hat got a cheer from the crowd and a sour look from an embarrassed owner (Seb returned the hat after the show). They have also received extensive airplay on both local and national radio, such as The Beat with Dean Jackson on the BBC (transmitted across the midlands) where they were asked to play an intimate acoustic set live on air and Tom Robinson’s 6music show where they were chosen for his highly regarded podcast.

Autohype have managed this impressive list of achievements mainly due to their live shows, led by Seb’s charismatic style of performance and vocals, Martin’s cool guitar playing, Nicci’s stylish dancing behind her keyboards and the all important and distinct backing of an energetic rhythm section provided by Mason and Ed (drums). Autohype are currently writing, recording and gigging with an aim to become a household name in 2010. BIG things are in sight for Autohype. [2009]

Autohype

Autohype and Starko at the Charlotte, 14th October 2008
Having got their two new band members in place, Autohype returned to the gigs circuit with a superb set of their excellent indie songs. Some new arrangements of established classics, some totally new songs and some new features to their stage show made this a set to remember. Autohype puts on a show – great songs to whistle on the way home and a performance that is good to watch, puts this band ahead of many others. New band member Nicci Robertson plays synths and has her own percussion section which she uses to do some vigorous drum bashing; she’s also a very pretty blond girl. The band has some new recordings up which they laid down at top London studio Animal Farm. So the ‘Hype are back on their upward spiral, better than before and definitely targeted on stardom. Lead singer Seb was in good form but not quite as hyperactive as before and drummer Ed got naked and did some hot stuff on the skins. Thanks to Stayfree for putting on two great bands. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2008]

Autohype at the Maze, Sunday 3rd February 2008.
Leicester indie band Autohype put on a beltin’ly good show at the Maze in Nottingham. Playing a heat in the Mindvox Battle of the Bands, the indie kids played their latest songs, including their dance anthem Any Chance and recently recorded Stronger than Anyone. Sparkling stage performance, well blended guitar riffs and synth sounds, created a characteristic sound which will mark out the ‘Hypes as being one of the leading proponents of the art of indie.  Throwing themselves into the challenge, the five lads mopped the floor with the other bands. Only a few days earlier, Autohype played Yates in Nottingham and clearly outshone all the other bands for originality and x-factor star quality. Watch their MySpace for new releases as a string of new songs will be coming out over the next few weeks.

Autohype split up around the time that its members graduated from Leicester University. Several of them, including lead singer Seb went on to form a band called I Am In Love.

Many of these bands would have played with Ego Armalade.

Ego Armalade, The Charlotte, Friday 28th December 2007
The Charlotte gig saw a strong line up of local talent including The Utopians, The
Heroes, M48 and others supporting Ego Armalade’s headline slot. Ego have a
passionate following and this is the only place where you will see fans crowd surfing
ON the stage. The wildly enthusiastic fans surged on to the stage for the final song.
The lead singer had to perch precariously at the edge and the health and safety
man had to be given oxygen. But it was a super end to a night of quality music.
The support slots from the young bands went really well. The Utopians played a few
of their catchy songs including a couple of new ones and the Heroes and M48 put in
strong performances. Ego put on a great show; its full of passion and energy and
they know so well how to work an audience. Ego are decidedly a performance band;
being live on stage and creating a frenzy in the audience is what they are all about.
Leicester’s rock scene is booming with several bands becoming big in the UK and
beyond. Ego Armalade is established in the local rock band royalty.

By 2009 they had split up. Various musicians went off to play in other bands.

The Screening, Y Theatre, 22nd December 2007.
Drawing a big crowd to see a rock band play is not something that happens that often where our local bands are concerned. The Screening managed to fill the Y Theatre for their headline show. This is one of the most important and successful indie bands in Leicester and they do enjoy a sizeable following. When they played at the first Secret Skins Party, a thousand tickets sold in a short space of time (bearing in mind that Bloc Party were also billed to appear at that event.) The band played for an hour but then they have a considerable portfolio of songs. The audience clearly enjoyed their set, with one crowd of lads dancing and moshing continuously throughout the set. This was not a 16+ audience either; most of those who turned out on that Saturday night were 18 or over. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2007.]

The Heroes

The Heroes at the Shed in 2009

The one Leicester band that outshone all the others, at one time, was The Heroes. I wrote a book about them in 2015, so I won’t say much about them just now. There is a feature article about the band on this magazine.
in which it says

Between their first gig in 2007 and their last in 2010, The Heroes notched up a list of achievements that was second to none: they played at Glastonbury festival, they won the OBS, they opened Summer Sundae, they reached the national finals of Surface Unsigned… in their day they were one of the most successful and popular bands from Leicester.

On 5th September 2009, The Heroes played at Leicester Pride, with rapper boy band Blazin Squad and Leicester’s Vinyl Throwbacks. Their music was too rocky for the cheesy-pop-loving gays of Leicester and was not a great success.

Midnight Wire’s Alex Van Roose
Photo: Kevin Gaughan

The Heroes came to an end when Alex Van Roose left the band and started his own group – Midnight Wire.
The Heroes played a one-off reunion gig in July 2015, at The Shed, which was for many people one of the most members gigs ever held there. Farewell, The Heroes.

This was a band that fans really did get excited about; when they played a special gig the venue was always packed out. I remember once night they played at The Shed, with Autohype, the room was so packed that I had to sit on the bar top to see the stage. The band played in many parts of the UK and had several very successful trips down to London to play at the big venues there.

Panda Youth

CJ of Panda Youth

One of the first time I saw Panda Youth was at the Shed in May 2010. I said at that time

…On stage live, they are exhilarating. Lead vocalist CJ Pandit sings strongly and has a ear-pleasing voice. He is backed by two talented guitarists: Joe Phelan and Dan Balment, whose instrumentation is way above average. Live they are amazing. But please don’t listen to their Myspace tracks – they have two songs up there that are badly recorded and make the band sound complete rubbish. Which they certainly aren’t. I have joined the fan list for this band because they have real talent and are doing something original and different. Their large and enthusiastic following will hopefully carry them into some good gigs over the coming months. Hopefully they will be ready for next years OBS and perhaps even a stab at Summer Sundae. Artistically, no reason to think they will not be ready in time. Once they get their exams out of the way, they will hopefully spend the summer getting some much needed playing hours under their belts. That song with the celtic riffs – much more of that please! It’s unusual and could well become a brand that will sell well. [Arts in Leicester]

I saw them a few months later at Sumo.
Panda Youth have some delicious songs with convincing rhythms and melodies and a strong singer in the shape of CJ Pandit. The five piece from the Groby area has a strong following and are turning out new songs on a regular basis. A confident performance by all the band indicates they have loads of potential. Still playing covers, they plan to work on their own material and if they keep at it you can see them becoming something big in a couple of years time. Very enjoyable. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2010]

The Dandilions

Most of the audience was at the Charlotte yesterday, going crazy with the Revenue and the Dandilions; they must have exhausted themselves because tonight they stood turgedly like a set of mannequins. Ok, towards the end of the Elite set, there was a bit of half hearted moshing and crowd surfing but nothing like last nights rugby scrum at the Charlie. Several august looking parents stood at he back of the room anxiously watching the tightly packed crowd of teenagers lift up a lad towards the spinning fan which was wobbling precariously under the ceiling. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2008]

The Displacements

The Displacements at Abbey Park, Saturday 1st November 2008
By Dan of Razmataz
The Displacements started the second half of their set after the fireworks had finished. They opened with an instrumental (which dragged on, to be honest) and then they played more of their new songs, which seemed to be a lot softer and had quite a warm sound, with very impressive vocals. The best new ones that they played were ‘listen to me’, which has a catchy chorus and ‘bruises’. They had very good harmonies from the drummer (Bone) and the bassist (Nick). They played a song called ‘always’ which Andy (lead vocals) put his guitar down for and danced around in quite a groovey sorta fashion, to warm up the audience and get people moving … by the end of the set it was wet and cold and horrible and everyone had gone home, except for the 20 or so people who braved the foul weather for a while. Andy showed his appreciation to those who stuck around despite the wind and cold. Overall it was a good performance and had it been a fine night, it would have been a really good experience. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2008]

The Displacements and M48, 9th July, at Sumo
So after a year on the road touring the UK and Europe, The Displacements came home and played at Sumo. Lad rockers who came from Blaby, played at the local venues and then went national. They have made it to the top in only a year. There are plenty of young bands in Leicester that want to do the same thing. They came together in the summer of 2002. They attended the same college as Kasabian (Countesthorpe). Since their meteoric rise, they have played to a crowd of 6,000 at the Ricoh stadium in Coventry and have played to large crowds in Europe. They started playing in Leicester’s local venues – being put on with thrash metal bands and being thrown out for being underage. Only a year ago they got signed to Stiff Records and started selling singles by the cartload. Crowds of people attended their gigs in Leicester, with over 400 people turning up to the Charlotte for their EP launch !! It was only on August 1st last year that the Displacements appeared in the Leicester Mercury. The story headlined their signing to Stiff Records and being played by Zane Lowe on Radio 1. Later that month, they played at the Summer Sundae festival. They were featured in NME.  In 2006, at the Original Bands Showcase held at the Shed, the Displacements came second (it was won by Proud To Have Met You !!!). Four ordinary guys, genuine and not produced by a band factory, they just got together, taught themselves to play and quickly became one of the top bands in Leicester, just being being four endearingly nice but highly talented lads. Lauded by comments such as ” … the future of rock n roll” and “one of the most promising new bands in the UK” – they certainly have some fanatical admirers. Their admirers don’t see them as just another indie band. They clearly have had to work very hard but their mad-cap sense of humour has carried them through hard times and good. Apparently they sit in their local pub and play songs on their guitars for the regulars. Wow. Who’s up for a drink in Blaby then. Funny, charming lads – according to their fans – they make their own original music and are absolutely nothing like Kasabian. They played an impromptu gig at the Virgin Megastore. The band has toured with the Courteeners, The Twang and The Enemy. They played at the Camden Crawl in 2007. Now they have their own page on the NME web site and a feature on the BBC web site and can also be found in Wikkipedia. They have a professionally shot video of their single Down and Out which can be seen on You Tube. An inspirational band. So many other young bands would love to be where they are now. Several members of local bands were in the audience, maybe secretly admiring what the Displacements have achieved and itching to get to where they are now but realising that with a lot of hard work and generous helping of luck, it can be done. Last night SUMO was actually full. Quite a rare experience these days. They made an entrance to a darkened stage and played to a packed house. Bouncy indie songs played with fervour. Lead singer Andrew Stone (20) pushed the pace along with some solid support from bassist Nick Eversfield (20) – their live songs sounded so different to their recordings. Much much better live. They sounded much rockier and the crowd were clearly loving it. Not having seen them play for a whole year, some of their devoted fans were so pleased to see them back home again and playing in front of them. The packed throng at the front threw up a forrest of raised arms and a blow up doll, which ended up on the stage. They still look much the same as they did when they were playing the local haunts – four fresh faced boys from Blaby who reminded me of the bands from the 60’s, like the Beatles, who lived and breathed music and were a great bunch of fun loving people. A band that has written a massively attractive set of songs. Their vivacious indie melodies capture the essence of what enjoyable songs are all about. Catchy tunes backed by jolly guitar riffs. Breezy melodies that are easy to remember. Lazy Bones comes alive on the stage in way it doesn’t as a recording. Originally a song recorded by Gary Crosby and Louis Armstrong in 1956. The Displacements version of it was produced by Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve). Frontline Hearts was a real hit and Lazy Bones now has a strong following. Their homecoming was marked by passion from both the band and the audience. A band with a pack of fans who love them. A quality set, exciting and convincing. A great live performance band. Sweating in the heat of a packed house, they sang to the sea of waving arms. Having spent many, many nights of listening to dull bands playing to almost empty halls, this was a really rewarding experience. [Arts in Leicester magazine]

M48

One of the bands that Birtles was in. The only band I have heard that open their set with acapella vocals sung by three members of the band in close and well matched harmony. That is just one of the features of a band that plays quality music. Good vocalists backed by tight punchy rhythms and strong intense beats, their songs have wide appeal. It’s very enjoyable music. A set of songs that puts them out in front. M48’s songs stand out – it’s the way the whole thing blends together and the distinctive tone of the singers. They just pour out totally enjoyable music. This is one of Leicester’s strongest bands: from a city that is richer in talented bands than most. To those who say that Leicester has a lot of crap bands I say this: spend a day listening to bands from the rest of the UK!! You’ll know what I mean. I agree with the Displacements when they commented: “The scene in Leicester is picking up a buzz right now, but it just doesn’t get the recognition it deserves from the industry types “.

Jordan Birtles of By The Rivers,2014
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

Three well matched voices that blend together in a finely crafted harmony, M48 know how to write a good song. It’s the strength of their vocal talent combined with the energy of their rhythms and the compelling melodies worked into well structured songs that puts M48 at the top of the tree.

M48 and The Codes win the OBS Showcase 2008, The Shed, 21st June 2008.
M48 were the overall winners of the Original Bands Showcase 2008, with The Codes being the runners up. Happily both bands will go to play at the Summer Sundae festival. It must have been very difficult to decide between these two superbly good bands. Both performed very strong sets and are clearly popular bands who have had a good year for gigs and performances. M48 played a set of afro-beat songs, reflecting ska and reggae rhythms. Their three lead vocalists blended together well and lead singer Jordan Birtles is a natural performer. Deftly pulling the excited crowd together, the band stormed through its set of entertaining and enjoyable songs. The Codes is a rock band that writes quality songs which lead vocalist Will performs with flair and conviction. Their set of modern, indie songs clearly went down well with the mainly young audience but you could see the older people, standing at the back of the room, also captivated by the music and the strong show on the stage. It’s this confluence of good songs and star performance which gives these two fine bands their “x-factor” quality. I also enjoyed Starko’s set of powerpop, electro songs, again well performed. A band with originality and and a firm commitment to making engaging songs, with melody and excitement, Starko clearly deserved to be in the finals of the competition.  [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2008]

Razmataz

Razmataz, The Musician, Monday 29th September 2008.
Razmataz sang three songs at the Musician and wow what a great band with a set of songs that put a lot of older and more experienced bands to shame. These four young teenagers kicked off their set with Good Things, Nathan Lord taking the lead on vocals, they gave us a song with a classic indie sound. Chris Merriman (lead guitar) adding some nice backing vocals to the happy, catchy melody and Dan Holyoak put in some spirited bass beats. A well constructed song that flowed off the stage and showed off how tight this band is and how masterly they are at writing memorable songs. Next came Cold Shoulder, a song with an immediate appeal, that will stick in your head for ages afterwards. Not many bands can achieve that. Nathan Lord once again showed off his glowing vocals, with clear crisp articulation of the lyrics and a passionate commitment to the song. The whole group put on a confident and relaxed performance but one that deserved admiration and respect – these kids work like seasoned musicians. They finished their set with I’m only a friend, Nathan Lord’s song, marking him out to be a singer with style and panache. At 16 Nathan has a bright future ahead of him, if this song is anything to go by. Ably backed by Chris with occasional highlighting from bassist Dan, Razmataz clearly delighted the audience, on a lineup which included some veteran singers and highly gifted acoustic artists.  Razmataz stand out as not only one of the best young bands in Leicester but in the first division of all our local indie groups. [Arts in Leicester, 2008]

The Chairmen

The Chairmen

The Chairmen, five piece band from Hinckley, were formed in 2008. That year saw them put in some solid groundwork, spending time writing, recording and touring and building a strong and loyal regional following in Leicester and the Midlands. By the end of the year they had secured major festival slots, toured the UK and play support slots with major touring bands.

Jonny Gavin of the Chairmen

They describe their musical style as ‘ Electronica/Dance / Fever / Ray’ or ‘Alternative/Indie/Electro’

They won the OBS competition, held at the Shed in 2007. They were the national winners of the Surface Unsigned Festival 2008, beating ten thousand other UK bands for the coveted top prize for this important national competition. This win garnered them national attention and another UK tour followed in 2009. It seemed The Chairmen were set for a break through. However, various enforced line up changes around this period caused a few issues, and as a result they were almost forced into exile,while they searched for the correct combination of musicians. People came and went but the one constant throughout was the creativity at their core. The Chairmen barely played a show for 18 months but churned out a completely new set during this period. A new set with a strikingly different vibe! The Chairmen, five piece band from Hinckley, were formed in 2008. That year saw them put in some solid groundwork, spending time writing, recording and touring and building a strong and loyal regional following in Leicester and the Midlands. By the end of the year they had secured major festival slots, toured the UK and play support slots with major touring bands.

Jonny Gavin of The Chairmen at Sub 91

Late 2010 saw them return. Line up settled and chomping at the bit! They headed out on the road to play a host of UK shows, receiving a huge reception wherever they went. 2010 also saw them sell out a hometown show at The Y Theatre in Leicester, a show described as one of the best the city had seen that year. Newly signed to SiZe Records UK, The Chairmen are set to release a run of singles. First single Mona Lisa has been released to critical acclaim and has received airplay via BBC Introducing and other regional stations. The release was celebrated with yet another sell out Leicester show, at the 400 capacity Sub91 venue. The Chairmen continue to write, record and tour ceaselessly. The band makes what has been described as ‘potential indie anthems’. A get up and dance electric indie riot! All revved up and ready to go! They have supported top bands such as The Wombats, The Rumble Strips, Kula Shaker, Good Shoes, The Displacements, and The Young Knives. [Arts in Leicester, 2011]

So on came The Chairmen, with a theatrical entrance worthy of Queen. They sound like a grown-up version of The Heroes, who look up at them from the crowd like cute little puppies in awe, singing along in unison. The Chairmen certainly look the part, and have the correct insatiable energy to make them an unmissable indie band. Lead singer Jonny Gavin swaggers about barefoot like a true mental rock star with a good, solid Kasabian-esque voice that asserts his authority very well. Full marks during the performance for use of percussion and tambourine, constantly punctuated by screaming girls (and boys) and the odd wolf-whistle. During ‘Fat Tom’, Jonny dons a pair of unflattering retro sunglasses and a promotional badge, and in response to the crowd takes a handful of his bandmates sweat and flicks it on to the audience, as they practically lick it off the ground. The penultimate tune of the night is the Pigeon Detectives-sounding single A Week Long Romance, which was the perfect vehicle to exhibit the true extent of their Mick Jagger-ness, tambourine skills and fancy footwork to boot. This song is so good live that half the audience are so busy dancing they’ve actually stopped watching the band. The song quickly speeds up to a climax, in a long-awaited ‘turbo-folking’ manner that leaves you feeling slightly out of breath, a feeling that cannot be replicated upon first listen to the record, but once heard live it’s another story.They saved their best song till last, however, with the brand new 20/20 Vision. An upbeat, emotional, sometimes epic song that proved that, however sceptical I was at first, The Chairmen have me at their mercy now. Their Futureheads-inspired vocals and their authority over the room mean that when they hug it out at the end, we all know they have really proved their rightful place as one of the most exciting new local bands of the year. And maybe they aren’t ‘cool as folk, turbo-folk’, they’re just cool. What’s so bad about that? [Arts in Leicester, 2008]

Weekend Schemers

Weekend Schemers at The Shed

Weekend Schemers were our band of the month in October 2009. Young indie band, Weekend Schemers, has been rising steadily recently, with a series of well played shows, some thumpingly ear pleasing songs and the beginnings of a charismatic stage presence. They came second in the finals of the Winner Takes All competition at the Shed, with a star quality performance that suggests they could become the next Heroes. If the finals had been judged, they would certainly have got a strong response. As it was they were narrowly beaten into second position by another young super band, White Ashes.

Andy Cooper of Weekend Schemers at Sub 91, 2011

Young indie band, Weekend Schemers, has been rising steadily recently, with a series of well played shows, some thumpingly ear pleasing songs and the beginnings of a charismatic stage presence. They came second in the finals of the Winner Takes All competition at the Shed, with a star quality performance that suggests they could become the next Heroes. If the finals had been judged, they would certainly have got a strong response. As it was they were narrowly beaten into second position by another young super band, White Ashes. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2009]

Weekend Schemers at the Y Theatre in 2011

Next time: metal, punk, ska and reggae on Wednesday 9th August.

See also:

Round 4 of this series Going to gigs

Live music in July 2017

Introduction to the series Going to gigs