Music for the month of June 2017

Our monthly round-up of Leicester and Leicestershire’s music offerings.

This is where we publish reviews (or links to reviews) of what we saw in June.

See our page on Music in May.

New items are added at the top of the page.

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Coming up

Eden Avenue makes a massive come-back at the Soundhouse.

with a line-up of ace supporting acts.

We report from the O2 on the night headlined by PYRVMIDS.

Pyramids at the O2, 17th June 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Our report is now live on Music in Leicester. Sorry for the delay.

9th June

The Shed

with Emily Carr, Toby Joe Leonard, Siobhan Mazzei and Joseph Knight.

Did I go to do a gig review? Or. Did I go out to drown my sorrows? Well, in the end it was a bit of both. Anyway, it was good to get out of the house and away from the endless election broadcasts. It was also good to hear some excellent music from talented artists.

Not been to The Shed in a long while. Emily Carr opened the show. A 19 year-old singer and songwriter from Leicestershire, she performed her own songs. Emily has a beautiful voice and she knows how to use it to good effect. Added to that she plays the guitar well.

Emily Carr at The Shed, 9th June 2017.

Toby Joe Leonard gave us a very good set. It hearkened back to the evening in which he launched his album Pain Relief back in the middle of May. [Music in Leicester]

Toby Joe Leonard at The Shed, 14th May 2017.

During the set Toby announced his engagement to Elisabeth Barker-Carley. She is head of Dreaming In Colour Productions. An outstanding singer and songwriter.

One artist I had not seen in a long time, so was delighted to hear her again and that was Siobhan Mazzei. She was magic. ‘Magic’ – a word I use only rarely and only to describe performances of the very highest calibre. It’s one of the those words that is reserved. Tonight Siobhan went solo; she also has a band of her own with which she plays. A flashback – 27th March 2015 at The Donkey.

Siobhan Mazzei at The Donkey in March 2015
Photo Trevor Cobbe

I said at the time: ‘Siobhan takes to the stage and immediately engages with the crowd in her effortlessly friendly manner. I’m guessing quite a few of this crowd haven’t encountered her before but her impassioned plaintive, powerful delivery soon draws everyone into her web of intimate, personal songs. The applause at the end of each song is prolonged and genuine and her rapport with the crowd is a sure-fire sign of a musician comfortable in her own skin and with her craft. ‘ [Music in Leicester]

Siobhan Mazzei at The Shed, 9th June 2017.

Now from Nottingham, Joseph Knight was not an artist I had seen before. His album Rediscover is out now on iTunes, etc. His singing was a pleasure to listen to; firm and well articulated. Songs full of passionate intensity and expressiveness. “This is my first time at The Shed since its refurbishment” he told the audience and he seemed to like it. A fittingly good finale to a good evening of acoustic music.

Joseph Knight at The Shed, 9th June 2017.

6th June

The Wedding Present
by Keith Jobey

I can tell you where I was when I first listened to George Best by The Wedding Present. I was driving through the old mill towns of Lancashire on a grey weekend as it was blasting out of the car cassette player. I was hooked immediately and it became one of my most played albums of the time. I could probably still sing along to all of it. Strangely, I never got to see them live at that time, that marker didn’t occur until quite recently. And of course those recent times have been in large venues. So seeing them play George Best, in its entirety in the small, intimate Firebug venue, offered some form of recompense, a throwback to the late ’80s, with only the door price and the ageing audience reminding you it was 2017.

The Wedding Present at Firebug – 6th June 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

It’s 30 years since the Wedding Present released their debut album George Best. A tour has been arranged (at much larger venues) to mark the occasion and this was a warm up for that brought to us by the Cookie. The band opened with 30 to 40 minutes of non-George Best material, which acted as a kind of support slot to the main event. The capacity crowd (all 135 of us) watched on appreciatively, but I think we were all there to hear the main feature really.

The Wedding Present at Firebug – 6th June 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

And when it came it was fantastic. Every track on the album played in order, the only bit missing was the little ‘discussion’ Gedge has at the start of Something And Nothing. Sure, they play songs from the album at other shows, but there’s something about hearing all of them in the order that’s ingrained in your mind. Closing with a couple of bonus tracks it was a well spent 90 minutes. No encore though; this is the Wedding Present, after all.

The Wedding Present at Firebug – 6th June 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

3rd June

Riverside fun and music in the sun

Lex Icon at Riverside festival 2017.

We made our annual pilgrimage to Leicester’s Riverside to see the bands and artists that make our city famous for its musical talent. Riverside Festival 2017.

2nd June

Bands at Firebug

with Thunderian Summer, Prime, Damage Protocol, Beneath the Lights, Weallfallsilent and The Albion.

Billed as ‘Pop Up Rock’ at Firebug, this was a night of bands, bands and more bands. The night was hosted by Phono Media UK, specialists in ‘social media management, marketing, sponsorship, promotions, event & gig management’, according to its page on Facebook.

Owing to the weather (why is it that buses run slower in the rain?) I missed The Albion. A great shame. This is a band I like a lot and have reviewed them several times already.

The Albion at The Soundhouse, 17th February 2017.

Weallfallsilent from Leicester. Indie folk rock. Melodic. Sanguin sounds. Electronica from the keyboards added a layer of colour.

Prime. From Nottingham. Normally a six-piece band. Tonight – just two of them, Lee Heir on vocals accompanied by one of the guitar players. They gave a forthright delivery. Left Lion magazine said of prime: ‘A British melting pot of infectious vocals, catchy guitars & heavy rhythms’ The two musicians showed their skills in an acoustic set, as all good band musicians do.

Prime at Echo Factory, 31st March 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

We saw them at the opening night of the Echo Factory in March.

Damage Protocol. Every time I see this Leicester trio, I am more and more impressed. Now they are heading up the ladder. Post-punk and metal blended into infectious sounds. Much traction in their tunes. Impressive guitar lines. A set that had pace, thrust and momentum.

Damage Protocol at Firebug, 5th February. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

I am a huge fan of Beneath The Lights and have been for many, many years. Excellent stage craft. A band worth seeing. Three vocalists at the front. Mainly original songs laden with bounce, beat and ear-licking rhythms. Songs that are seriously good. This is a band with an enormous repertoire of songs. Their playing is razor-sharp. One of this magazine’s featured bands.

Sam Lowe of Beneath the Lights at Simon Says 2015.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan

From Corby, Luna Rosa headlined. I remembered seeing them in September 2015. Back then I said: ‘Resonant songs blending sounds together in an ear-licking way. Rich in rhythm, they pumped out some really socking beats, A very good band.’ Strong vocals, compelling melodies and a set of contemporary-sounding songs.

A wet night so not a huge turnout but the music was good throughout.

1st June

with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Night Flowers and Weallfallsilent
at The Cookie

By Gav Squires

With their new album, The Echo Of Pleasure, due out soon, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart bring
their tour to The Cookie.

Opening the show are Leicester band Weallfallsilent. Usually a full band, they are playing as an
‘unplugged’ two-piece with just acoustic guitar and child’s Casio keyboard. They sound good as a
two-piece, all very Frightened Rabbit, especially the last song, All Hell Broke Loose. Although
they also have a song, Hair Of The Dog, which cribs Clint Boon’s keyboard line from This Is How
It Feels by The Inspiral Carpets.

Weallfallsilent at The Cookie. 1st June 2017. Photo: Gav Squires.

Night Flowers

Night Flowers (from London) have clearly been enjoying being on tour with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and they really are the perfect support band for the headliners. The song Embers sounds just like the headliners. They have that early Teenage Fanclub sound, slightly rocky but with the west coast sun kissed sound of erm, later Teenage Fanclub. They play lots of new songs from their forthcoming album, which is due in September. I thought that they were brilliant and the crowd clearly agreed as they bought the last of the band’s tour tapes that they had for sale.

Night Flowers at The Cookie. 1st June 2017. Photo: Gav Squires.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

A band from New York. Where the guitarist from Night Flowers was wearing a The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart t-shirt, the drummer from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart is wearing a Night Flowers t-shirt. Until The Sun Explodes is still a stone-cold classic, basically the poppier side of The Cure given an undue twist. This is followed by Heart In Your Heartbreak, a brilliant 1-2. They then get into some new songs, The Garret has a more angular 80s sound.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Cookie. 1st June 2017. Photo: Gav Squires.

Come Saturday, from their eponymous debut album, is introduced as a song about homesickness. Followed by Young Adult Friction, which has a definite sound of British Sea Power. New song Anymore, really rocks out, which counters the lyrics, “I wanted to die with you”, which bring to mind The Smiths.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Cookie. 1st June 2017. Photo: Gav Squires.

Then there’s still time for Kip to say how impressed that they are that The Cookie actually has cookies. Then it’s onto the encore. Due to the design of The Cookie they don’t do that thing where they  pretend to go off stage, wait a bit and then come back on again. Although they do ask us to imagine that they’ve gone off. Kip plays Contender in his own, while the rest of the band sit slightly awkwardly at the side of the stage. They rejoin him for one of the undoubted highlights of the set, an incredible rendition of This Love Is Fucking Right.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Cookie. 1st June 2017. Photo: Gav Squires.

So, an absolutely amazing show, one that has got me really excited for the new album. I just hope
that they come back touring after it’s been released.

See also:

Our report on the Glastonbudget music festival 2017

Our report on the Hand Made festival 2017