Our round-up of live music events in Leicester and Leicestershire. Our team of reporters and photographers have been to gigs and filed their thoughts and comment and pictures.
If a piece is not attributed to a named author, then it has been written by the editor.
Come back to this page regularly; it is updated throughout the month.
The latest dates get added at the top.
We have not been able to get to any of the obsUnplugged shows at The Musician yet but Pascal Pereira has. You can see albums of his photographs on Facebook.
Saturday 30th January
The Shed and The Soundhouse
Having shrugged off a cold that had been keeping me at home for several days, I ventured into town to spend a night with the bands. Tonight the weather was not so bad, after the recent storms, so I wanted to make the most of it. I started my night at The Shed. I checked the line-up: Coalescence, Corrupt Nation, The Lids, Harlequin’s Kiss and The Andy Knight band. My trip into town was actually to see Kynch at The Soundhouse but The Lids were on at The Shed, so I thought I be lucky enough to see two favourite acts in one night. There is always a lot happening in Leicester, especially at the weekend. The first performance was given by Coalescence.
Three clearly talented young musicians giving one of their first public performances. The two girls (Hannah Haley and Kat Florence) did the singing and James Ellingworth played the guitar. Very pleasing music, calming and delightful, a style that was out of the ordinary, likeable tunes. I am sure we will be seeing them again.
I was pleased to see Corrupt Nation again; if only because it reminded me what a good band they are. They played at the young bands night at The Shed on 10th December when I said ‘The four musicians from Melton Mowbray who form Corrupt Nation delivered a blistering set of their own songs, led by the magnetic performance of Ben Wilkinson. With the addition of some solidly good covers, Corrupt Nation gave us a glittering set. This is clearly a band with a bright future. Well worth seeing again. Ben’s rock star presence included some spectacular guitar work. Melton has spawned some of the county’s top bands over the years and I have a feeling that this will be another of them. Excellent.’ [Music in Leicester] At that gig they were followed by Leicester band Kynch (the one I had come into town to see tonight.)
I had to leave before The Lids came on; a shame but then I have written about them already this month (see below under 16th January) and I know I will be seeing more about them again and undoubtedly saying more good things about them. Sadly, by the time I got to The Soundhouse, Kynch had already played. On stage, when I arrived, were Northampton’s The Keepers, a band that was giving the room punchy music and a rock star quality from the lead singer Jordan Jones. Lively, robust songs, full of resonance and traction, they proved to be one band I would happily see again. I liked them.
Tonight’s show was put on by Casbah Music Management and Promotions and, as is usual at their shows, the night was compered by Mr. Mit, a touch that added an extra value to the night’s proceedings. I said hello to the lads from The Keepers.
The other thing that made this gig unusual was its being associated with Independent Venue Week, a national celebration of the culture of live music, supported by The Arts Council. More about this on the IVW website. Six venues in the East Midlands were on the list of official venues.
From Reading, Mellor was not a band I had seen before but they made an immediate impact with their songs, dubbed ‘Pop Smack.’ Lead singer (Gary?) gave a good performance and the music was ear-smackingly attractive. Another band I would not hesitate to see again. The show was completed by The Harmonics, an indie rock band from Nottingham, signed to Lime Digital Music. On Facebook they quote their influences as The Strypes, The Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Chick Berry, The Rolling Stones… well a pretty broad and hefty cross-section of top music. I would like to have seen them but the Leicester bus service is shockingly bad at the end of an evening out – even at the weekend – and I had to leave.
29th January 2016
Luminous Records Showcase
by Keith Jobey
Bringing my Independent Venue Week adventure to an end was a Luminous Records showcase event at the Cookie.
Sadly, Gloss were unable to play on the night, which was a shame since I was looking forward to hearing how they are progressing.
Instead we got The Lids, meaning I’d seen them twice in three days, a fact I wasn’t too unhappy about. Give these lads a bit of time and I’ll think we’ll have another class band playing the local scene.
Lacura have had a bit of time and are progressing nicely. Their sound’s filling out, new songs are being introduced and their crowd of followers keeps growing.
‘If you promise to go in hard we’ll play Slurs‘ Ellis says to the crowd. And as the intro begins the circle pit stands poised, ready and waiting to keep their end of the deal.
Midcity are one of my favourite bands to see and a weekend gig at a full Cookie is the best place to enjoy them. It’s been a few months since they played and although there are new songs being worked on, tonight was a ‘greatest hits’ show with all songs being played coming from material they have released. Not that that’s a complaint in any way, their released material is full of brilliant songs.
But sometimes it’s the crowd that makes the night, and tonight the crowd were bang on form. As Will sings ‘No one gets out of here alive’ during closing song Slugger, I look around at the melee and believe he could be right!
Watch the Music In Leicester Facebook slideshow of the crowd.
27th January 2016
by Keith Jobey
It’s Independent Venue Week and The Soundhouse has scored well in my eyes with their Wednesday night show.
It’s the first time I’ve seen The Lids. I’ve read positive reviews about them and had a quick listen to their stuff on soundcloud so was interested to see if they could live up to the hype. The brief answer is yes, they do live up to the hype. It took a couple of songs but by the end of their set I was taken.
Phobophobes are new to me, which isn’t surprising, as they’re probably new to most people. They’ve links with Fat White Family and play a psychedelic garage style rock. I suspect they’ll be back again soon pulling in a much bigger crowd.
Life are certainly not new to me. I’ve been following them closely since seeing predecessor band The Neat play the Orange Tree on the High Street one Sunday evening back in 2010. Frontman Mez Green was as captivating back then as he is now. Two members of the Neat survive in LIFE and latest single Popular Music was first aired by the Neat although it’s now developed and grown.
They’re based in Hull and they’re rightly proud of that fact. A much under-rated city, stuck out on the side of the country. It’s the city of culture this year, or shouldn’t I mention that around these parts, are people still bitter?
‘We’re LIFE, from Hull, but you can tell that ‘cos it’s sez it on the drum’, Mez tells us. LIFE, brewed in Hull is what it states on the drum, and on the t-shirts they’ve brought to sell. I’m pretty sure we’ll be hearing about LIFE and Hull a great deal more this year.
Friday 22nd January
with Evie Ward, International Acoustic Playboys, Scribble Victory, Hatter, Her Burden
Another night at The Shed. The first act I saw was The International Acoustics Playboys, three good guitar players two of whom sang; their set of covers was very entertaining and enjoyable. Scribble Victory was fabulous. As always. Two great singers. A duo full of verve and vivacity. A great set of songs. They are from Derby but they play in Leicester a lot. In the audience some people I knew: Cassius Povey and Alex Van Roose. Behind the bar Oscar Wright was dispensing drinks. The four-piece band Hatter I had seen before at The Shed. Young guys with a bit of life about them. The room was packed with people, always a good thing to see, they engaged them with their musical offering which was not short on catchy hooks and they had a singing drummer! So that went down well with me. Three guitarists at the front had plenty of presence; what’s not to like about Hatter? A good band that gave us a good set. Down in the basement people saw Signals, a band described as playing ‘math rock’, from Southampton or the Isle of Wight. Sadly I missed them; now I have to leave early to get the last bus home.
Tonight’s show was put on by Dreaming In Colour Productions as part of its series: Some Sort Of Showcase. This series of shows is about DCIP ‘looking for the next best act to manage’, according to the company’s website, which goes on to list what is on offer in the deal (for the winning act.)
Saturday 16th January
with The Lids, Rubberneck, Sunset Nebula, Red Munroes, Fall from Glory and Syncronix.
My first gig of the year at The Shed. Although it was a cold evening it started out dry although later sleet fell and by the end of the evening the world was coated with a blanket of white stuff.
Even so, a goodly crowd had gathered at the venue to enjoy a first-rate lineup of bands.
The night opened with a performance by Rubberneck the band that boasts a funky set of songs. The trio gave us a good start to the evening’s music with a set of funky sounds that was really enjoyable. Strong lead vocals from Cain Paisley, backed by bassist Dan Griffiths and drummer Greg Krysztofowicz, this was a band that played sparkling tunes supported with classy singing. Pretty damn good.
The Lids is a band that stands out for me. One of the best young bands to break into the scene recently. Tonight’s performance confirmed, for me, that The Lids is a band that are special.
Vocals from the bassist Liam Butler (with a big set of pedals for his instrument) shows that this is a band that can deliver volumes of power, fuelled by lashings of energy. They put out a fizzing vibe that is both cool and brilliant, laced with sparkling riffs and ear-licking rhythms. Superb.
Downstairs another set of bands kept the night going. This was the world of hardcore (or henchcore as they call it) and when it comes to this type of music, gigs in the basement of The Shed is Leicester’s hardcore scene. This little subterranean world provides a scene of its own. It is where bands and their fans gather to celebrate the heavy sounds and volcanic vibes of full-on rock; kids dance furious moves, flailing their arms in the arm, legs flying, heads banging, it is an experience with few parallels; a scene that has its own feeling, an intimate conjuncture of hardness and electricity.
Sadly, I had to leave early to get the bus home; now I live further away, I have to head for the bus stop and often miss the later bands.
16th January 2016
by Keith Jobey
After being impressed by Luke Broughton at the Winter Footprints event at the tail-end of last year, I decided I’d pop into the Criterion on Saturday afternoon to see him again.
Providing support was Sally Hossack, who I’ve not seen perform since the demise of her band Free Control. I really like her voice and style, so hearing her solo again was a big plus for me. Included in her set was a Bowie tribute, The Man Who Sold The World and also a nod to Star Wars with a song called Pull The Pin, which mentions the destruction of Alderaan (see Episode IV). Next on my hitlist are The Aurora and Sans, two bands that Sally is involved with.
After a short break it was time for Luke Broughton. It’s his birthday today so this is a birthday bash for him, and he’s managed to fill the bar with people. On hearing him again I’ll stick by my initial comment from last year ‘Wow, what a voice. Delicate, haunting, lo-fi folk’. He has a tremendous vocal range, spanning octaves while delicately picking the strings of his guitar. Like Sally, Luke adds a Bowie tribute, Heroes, getting the audience to sing along with the chorus. I’ll leave you with a comment from fellow crowd member Jen Saint, here is what she says of him: ‘I’m always dumbfounded when I hear Luke, he stops me in my tracks. I don’t think I’ve managed a whole set from him yet with dry eyes!’
The Criterion has free music events on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. They sell some of the best beer in the city and also make fantastic pizzas. So don’t be afraid to go there.
Monday 11th January
Manhattan34 with Joe Doyle, Rueben Wisner, Carol Leeming, Sally Hossack and Jacob Miguel Addico
It was the opening night of Cellar Sessions, the new open-mic night organised by Joe Doyle at Manhattan34. Not your average open-mic event; this was more like having a live music party in your own living room with a few friends. Joe Doyle aka Homeless Shakespeare showed us his impressive skills on the guitar, particularly when accompanying singer Carol Leeming during a session of jazz and blues. Performing his own songs, singer and songwriter Reuben Wisner was transporting, singing with his hallmark passion and lashings of expression. Another singer whose work is well known and widely admired is Sally Hossack. She sang, played guitar and had a go on the piano (a feature of the evening.) Carol Leeming is one of the great artists of Leicester, so to see her perform at this event was remarkable apart from being utterly mesmerising. Whenever Carol sings, it is a moment; one of the most celebrated artists of Leicester she is a poet, singer, writer and performer of considerable distinction.
Joe Doyle posted on Facebook: ‘Cellar Sessions at Manhattan34 was brilliant last night! It was lovely seeing some old faces again. I hope everyone enjoyed it! How couldn’t you with Reuben Wisner’s beautiful music, Jacob Miguel Addico’s alluring spoken word, Carol Leeming’s soulful voice, and Sally Louise Hossack’s soothing sounds (and dedication to Bowie – someone had to!) Huge thanks to everyone who came down to perform or watch! Next one is February 8th, event page (with a poster) is coming very soon! Cheers again’