June2016

June 2016

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, comments and pictures.

Some gigs we did not attend are also mentioned.

If a piece is not attributed to a named author, then it was written by the editor.

Come back to this page regularly; it gets updated day by day.

The latest dates get added at the top.

We also have a page about bands and artists at national level.

So, here is June

25th June 2016

Royal Arcade
The Cookie

by Keith Jobey

It seems to have been a while, but here we are again, watching a local Leicester band play their first headline gig at the Cookie. It’s the turn of Royal Arcade tonight. A band that have been in the shadows for a while, but who are ready to step into the glare of the Cookie’s spotlights.

Openers are locals Wolfsburg who are relatively new to the scene, but have been getting some good support slots. They have a guitar driven indie sound, which from my first listen sounded good. I’ll be looking to catch these again as they’re certainly a band to keep an eye on.

Wolfsburg at The Cookie - 25th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Wolfsburg at The Cookie – 25th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Essex outsiders Freak came to gatecrash the party in style. The racket making three piece urged the crowd forward since they seemed a little scared of the band at first. Like a timid animal the crowd accepted and were soon enjoying themselves to the extent that a mosh pit started. Sometimes when you listen to a band for the first time they impress immediately. This was one of those times, they put a big grin on my face. A great set of tunes delivered with a great passion. Make sure you come to see them when they return to the Cookie. A word of warning though, I suspect it will be very hot and moshy.

Freak at The Cookie - 25th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Freak at The Cookie – 25th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

After the success of Freak, I was a little anxious that Royal Arcade may seem a little lightweight. But any thoughts that they’d be overshadowed by Freak, were quickly dismissed, for as soon as they started playing the crowd reacted and in true style didn’t let up until the end. The large crowd were certainly enjoying themselves. With three guitars the band pack a punch and it allows them to add plenty jangly riffs over a scuzzier backdrop. I last saw them at the tail end of 2014 supporting Jaws and thought they had an air of coolness about them back then. It’s great to see them back at the Cookie headlining, playing with confidence. The good news is you’ll be to hear some tracks online soon as they’ve recorded an EP with Alex Van Roose’s The Honey Label.

Royal Arcade at The Cookie - 25th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Royal Arcade at The Cookie – 25th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Also tonight

The 48Ks

Casbah Music Management held a gig at The Donkey

with The 48ks, The Rook, Jimmy Amnesia and Poetman.

We were not able to get there but we understand it went well.

We saw Jimmy Amnesia on May 13th at Duffys.

Jimmy Amnesia at Duffy's - 13th May 2016. Photo: Trevor Cobbe

Jimmy Amnesia at Duffy’s – 13th May 2016.
Photo: Trevor Cobbe

Friday 24th June 2016

Metal night

at The Shed

with Awaking Athena, No Ill Will, Icons and Borders.

A large number of people had turned out tonight to support this lineup of metal bands on this post-Brexit evening.

Awaking Athena opened the show. The five-piece band had a lead vocalist who led them in a set that was lacerating and siesmic. His hugely deep-throated voccals were powerful and what we got was ear-grabbing. Supercharged sounds that were rousing and turbulent.

No Ill Will’s set began with an recorded intro before the mayhem began. With its two vocalists, the band provided some heavy, pounding rhythms. What a kick-ass sound! It might have been raw, rough and rowdy but there was lot of skill behind it. An exhilarating set with no shortage of megawatts.

Icons is a band not seen much in recent times but no forgotten either.  From the first bars of the opening song, I knew we were in for something good. It was a sound that made the hairs on my neck stand up. Spine-tingling. The band’s four musicians were on the stage and the singer was down on the floor, levelling with the crowd. They threw themselves into it, big time. Not a band that goes in for half-measures when it comes to making music. It was head-banging and masterful. I loved it when the three guitarists all jumped in the air together. It’s all about living the music on stage.  Icon’s set was uterly awesome.

The night ended with a set from Borders. The four musos gave us a set of agressive songs that were volcanic and packed a punch. Ear-bleeding vocals driven by shattering vocals.

I dug back in the archives to see what I could find about these bands:

Sunday 29th January 2012.

Icons.
Formerly Leicester metal band Coritani, Icons has a new music style and a new Facebook page. Now playing Progressive/Metal/Djent/Melodic Hardcore. Icons was formed in February 2007 and has gone by a couple names in the past (Evangelion + Coritani). In 2011 they have had some major changes to the band. After one of the founding members of the band left they decided to completely re-launch the band and change our musical direction.
[Arts in Leicestershire Magazine, New Bands page]

Thursday 30th August 2012.

The Shed. Metal/Hardcore Night.
John Wray was there and sent us his report:

Next up are relative veterans Awaking Athena. A ragtag pit opens up almost instantly as the Loughborough five-piece’s brutal wall of noise is cranked up. Steven Geary’s guttural, grindcore-style growls are counterpointed by bassist Caleb Bee’s melodic backing vocals; and, flanked either side by some ridiculous shredding, they form a force to be reckoned with. The Collapse is a set highlight; it’s crunching bassline and spidering guitar athleticism making for an aural assault you could do with a sit down after. There’s no let-up though, as the band recruit a sixth member from the crowd for extra vocal duties and bring their set to a crushingly heavy close. Hail Satan, urges Geary as the band leave the stage; and, whilst devil-worship is conspicuous in its absence on a Thursday night in Leicester city centre, AA’s music has certainly left a menacing air behind.
Perhaps Icons sense that the mood needs lightening, and singer Neil Vernon is only too happy to oblige. Walking on stage to the strains of Jim Reeves’s Welcome to my World, he bemoans the relative youth of his audience (“I feel old, grow some beards!” He advises) before dealing out a hefty slab of the band’s vaguely prog-influenced hardcore. The squalling string-bending, coupled with the chunky bass and enormous drum parts, make for a sound reminiscent of Cemetery Gates-era Pantera, albeit with Vernon’s much rawer vocals; most effectively evidenced in Marshmallow is not a Fruit. The band treat us to some new material, most of which sounds like a song-long breakdown (no bad thing) then change the pace slightly with a more spacious, melancholic Meridian. The jarring guitar of a thunderous Hitch-22 ends their set. “You’re great,” Vernon says to the crowd. “Can I have all of your numbers?”

We saw Icons before:

Saturday 17th January 2015

Bloodshed

The all-dayer held at The Shed is a play on the name of the metal festival: Bloodstock.
Icons played on the main stage. The Leicester hardcore band comprises Neil Vernon – Vocals, Chris Riley – Bass, Alan Forrest – Drums, Nick Toutjiaris – Guitar and Joe Newman – Guitar. Their set of songs would aptly be described as thrilling and exhilarating, a totally head-banging performance of rocket-fuelled metal. Tense, taught tunes dripping with testosterone and sweat. Their set of heavy metal songs sparkled with kinetic energy. Having formed in 2011, they have played with bands such as I, The Breather, Bleed From Within, Heart of a Coward, Hacktivist, Martyr Defiled, Napoleon, Continents, Lock & Key and many more.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

28th February

Metal 2 The Masses

Leicester’s new competition kicked off on Sunday February 28th, when 30 bands entered and the first five up for the challenge were:

When The Wolf Comes Home

The Relinquished

The Midnight Dogs

My Legacy

Awaking Athena

James Hickling said:

First up were Awaking Athena, a Loughborough born metal band. With a heavy sound and an attitude to match, they oozed menace and matched their mythic name with considerably ambient metal, sounding like an ancient beast snarling awake from some hellish slumber. The front man stalked the small stage and attempted crowd interaction throughout, creating a great atmosphere that was lapped up by the early evening crowd. Awaking Athena were the right side of brutal, refraining from falling into complete sonic entropy and instead remaining melodic and fierce. Their guitars were something to be admired, and although the band seemed a little sheepish in the middle of their set, they stuck with it and proved themselves a relevant and mighty force. Head-banging was almost an involuntary response. Besides, any band with a track called “Legion Of The Serpent” that sounded like a throaty chainsaw was chewing rust and was about, I quote the singer: “Satan’s hordes walking the earth and all that type of stuff”, has my recommendation.

[Music in Leicester magazine]

Metal fans might want to check out our pages on Leicester’s metal scene.

23rd June 2016

Kermes
EP Release Party
Two Queens Gallery

by Keith Jobey

Kermes’ debut EP, You See Others Seeing You, came out on the 24th June via the Robot Needs Home Collective. To celebrate, they threw a little party the night before at Two Queens Gallery. It was a top notch line up of local bands, and if you opted for the pricier ticket you got a cassette and download of the EP included. How could I resist?

Indra’s Net got the party started which was pleasing. I’ve been wanting to hear them live once more after catching them at Western Park Festival last year. And again, as their indie anthems filled the whitewashed room I was left thinking they’re a decent band. New single My Friend is rather nice.

Indra's Net at Two Queens Photo: Keith Jobey

Indra’s Net at Two Queens
Photo: Keith Jobey

Jouska were next, a new band for me, and a band that impressed me, from the left handed Hendrix-like guitars, to the tribal drumming via the rave influenced bass. Edging towards a heavy sound at times then bringing it back to indie, all three members bouncing off each other.

Jouska at Two Queens Photo: Trevor Cobbe

Jouska at Two Queens
Photo: Trevor Cobbe

Next Ash Mammal, a band that Kermes have been likened to. I suspect most people who have seen both Ash Mammal and Kermes will see similarities between the two. I certainly have, but it’s less about the sound and more about the theatrics and captivating passion they both display. Musically they are different. Ash Mammal are maturing, they’ve been writing an album and the songs they are bringing to their gigs now are a little different to what they used to play. Some old ones have survived the cull, thankfully Little Bird Bones is still there. We’re looking forward to that album.

Ash Mammal at Two Queens Photo: Trevor Cobbe

Ash Mammal at Two Queens
Photo: Trevor Cobbe

And then it was time for Kermes to take to the stage. The trashpopsters quickly getting into the swing of things with an exhilarating set that obviously included the five tracks off the EP. In the accompanying ‘zine with the cassette Emily describes the songs as being a kind of an instruction manual, and hopes they may be of some use to people.

Kermes at Two Queens Photo: Keith Jobey

Kermes at Two Queens
Photo: Keith Jobey

That’s one of the great things about music, that ability to reach out and help via heartfelt, passionate lyrics, but at the same time just be a catchy tune. Listening to the EP as I write this, I can tell you it’s one of my favourite releases this year already, so damn good.

Go grab the download

Or if you’re quick grab one of the limited release cassettes from the band. Or just stream it if you must.

And may I just add what a great space Two Queens is. Suiting the DIY feel of the event brilliantly. And the Tres Bien brewery beers were a welcome bonus. Such a shame we woke up the next morning in a country that doesn’t want to embrace foreign languages.

Monday 20th June

Leicester folk guru dies

The Musician venue posted that local music legend Ken Last has died, we report on our news page.

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June

Foxton Locks Festival

The annual festival held at Foxton Locks, in Leicestershire, took place. MIL was unable to be there but we have trawled through social media to see what has been said about it.

Nicola posted: ‘Fantastic day today! Looking forward to next year!’ and Debbie ‘What a great day out!’ Singer Luke Broughton performed on Saturday. Carlos Stein commented ‘A big thanks to my small army of dedicated Lord of loops fans who came to Foxton to support me in the music marquee on Saturday.’

Folk rock band Flutatious, from London, played at the festival and a video by David Bayliss was posted on Facebook. Leicester’s Carlos Stein was there:  he said ‘The Lord of Loops (solo multi-instrumentalist) will be performing at the Foxton Rocks Festival for a 3rd successive year. I’ll also be hosting the bands.’

Carlos Stein at The Shed in 2014.

Carlos Stein at The Shed in 2014.

Bill Donaghue commented:  ‘A true gem of a family festival. 2 stages of live music , arena displays all day both days. A fun fair with something for the kids, large or small. There’s lots more going on have a look at our programme. We have a large craft marquee where you can browse under cover to your hearts content with a large variety of different crafts on display. Come along and pick up a bargain. We are once again holding our very popular Dog Show at the Festival but this time on both days.’

The poster for the event listed a range of acts and artists including Jersey Budd, The Brandy Thieves, Benjamin Bloom, Tensheds, Dr. X, Revival, The Hardy Band, Mia and the Moon, Matt Henshaw, Dexeter, Stevie Jones and the Wildfires and many, many more.

From our archives:

Steve Faulkner singing at Foxton Locks in 2014.

Steve Faulkner singing at Foxton Locks in 2014.

Singer Kevin Hewick on the Acoustic stage at Foxton Locks in 2014

Singer Kevin Hewick on the Acoustic stage at Foxton Locks in 2014

Kyle and Leon from Formal Warning, at Foxton Locks in 2014.

Kyle and Leon from Formal Warning, at Foxton Locks in 2014.

Friday 17th June

Strangling Vinyl presents Muncie Girls and Skating Polly

The Soundhouse

by Keith Jobey

Something is happening down at the Soundhouse. Sonic stirrings induced by Strangling Vinyl Promotions. In the past, Strangling Vinyl Promotions aimed to bring older, established bands to the city. Bands that Tony Ridley, the man behind the scenes, had liked in the past, bands such as Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones and the Sultans Of Ping. A formula that proved successful for him with sell-out shows. But in a step change, Tony is starting to look the other way, no longer into the past, instead gazing into the bright future of up and coming bands. But still sticking to the philosophy of booking bands he likes, bands that as he says ‘he can lose his shit to on the dancefloor’. Dilly Dally were amongst his first, the Canadian grunge band playing at the Soundhouse in May. And tonight we get not one, but two rising stars. As Skating Polly got added to the bill headlined by Muncie Girls.

Roboter at the Soundhouse - 17th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Roboter at the Soundhouse – 17th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Locals Robotor have the honour of getting things underway. They’ve a pop punk vibe, which is no surprise considering the exceptional CV of frontman Flav Giorgini. A band brimming with quality. It’s the first time I’ve seen them but they’ve had plenty praise previously from Music In Leicester’s fellow contributors.

Read our feature article on Roboter.

Unqualified Nurse Band at the Soundhouse - 17th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Unqualified Nurse Band at the Soundhouse – 17th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Derby-based Unqualified Nurse Band are next, making their debut appearance in Leicester. They are a much noisier affair than the openers, but it’s a good noise. A noise that certainly impresses our crowd. The three-piece have recently signed to Reckless Yes Records and their debut LP is due later in the year. They’re looking to play as many gigs as they can around the album launch time in September, so hopefully we’ll see them visit Leicester some more in the future.

Skating Polly at the Soundhouse - 17th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Skating Polly at the Soundhouse – 17th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Then it’s time for the first of the headliners, Skating Polly, from Tacoma, Washington, some 5000 miles away. Originally from Oklahoma, they consist of multi-instrumentalist step sisters Kelli and Peyton, who swap drumming, guitar and singing duties throughout their set. It’s not long before I realise why Strangling Vinyl couldn’t not add them to the bill. They are brilliant.

Muncie Girls at the Soundhouse - 17th June 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey

Muncie Girls at the Soundhouse – 17th June 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Fresh from appearances at Download Festival and the Great Escape are Muncie Girls, a punk band from Exeter. Appearing a little tame compared to Skating Polly they’re a great band nonetheless, who are working hard following the release of their debut album. I’m just getting in to them but it’s getting late and sadly I have to depart before they finish if I’m to make my last bus home.

There were plenty there, although there really should have been more considering the quality of the line-up. But unfortunately, when you put a gig on featuring new bands your average music fan hasn’t heard of, it takes effort to convince them to take a prior listen, and get them out to the gig. Something I could see Tony was trying to do via social media. Something I hope he has success with, since there is no denying the fact that the bands he selects are of the highest quality.

Friday 17th June

Urban Voodoo Machine

At The Donkey

© Paul Needham / www.mohawkvisuals.com

© Paul Needham / www.mohawkvisuals.com

Some of you might remember Simon Says festival in 2015: The Urban Voodoo Machine – Sunday – Indoor Stage – 6.30, so might have seen this band before.

Tonight a fair old crowd gathered at The Donkey tonight for the performance by The Urban Voodoo Machine.

The Donkey live music venue since 2005, the signage proudly proclaims.

Alex Smith, lead singer from Leicester’s de Sade introduced the band in fine style.

The members of the band filed in from the back of the crowded room and assembled on the tiny stage. I was standing at the back so I could not see all of them but I did notice a trombone, double bass, trumpet, cymbals, sax, drums, piano keyboard but there was a lot more besides.

This was a show stylistically somewhere between cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque. Musically it was jazzy, rock and rolly, bluesy, funky. No shortage of gypsy tunes. To say the room was packed would be an under statement. They could easily have filled an auditorium the size of Curve. It was a show, an event, a piece of musical theatre. It was a show that had to be seen and for those lucky enough to have got near to the front it was a spectacle worth seeing. Lots of audience participation.

Daniel Smith told us:  ‘I went and saw them again on Friday night, just gone, here in London and they’re absolutely on top of their game at the moment, it was a great show.’

The notice we got from the agent said: ‘The Urban Voodoo Machine were on tour here in Leicester Friday 17th June playing at The Donkey.  Their sound and live show is very reminiscent of ‘Rum Sodomy & The Lash’ era The Pogues.  There was 12 of them dressed in black and red and mixing their music with cabaret, one of the best live bands in the country. They also have a 4-page feature in the current issue of Vive Le Rock.

The Urban Voodoo Machine have garnered previous support from the likes of Radio 2’s Paul Jones &Huey Morgan, 6Music’s Gideon Coe & Chris Hawkins, plus reviews in the Guardian, Q Mag, Classic Rock…

Below is a link to a sampler of new album forthcoming album ‘Hellbound Hymns’ which is also available for review.
The Urban Voodoo Machine – ‘Hellbound Hymns’ 

The Urban Voodoo Machine – Hellbound Hymns
London’s bourbon-soaked gypsy blues, bob ‘n’ stroll band The Urban Voodoo Machine are back with their 4th album Hellbound Hymns and a UK wide tour to match. With love & support from Radio 2’s Paul Jones & Huey Morgan, 6Music’s Gideon Coe & Chris Hawkins, plus reviews in the Guardian, Q Mag, Classic Rock,Vive Le Rock and more

In the beginning, UVM main man Paul-Ronney Angel fled the fjords of Norway after a very short stint in the Norwegian army and travelled to London. After a period of selling the Big Issue and busking around Soho, P-R came up with the UVM sound. “I wanted to play rock’n’roll music with a different instrumentation” he says and after 13 years the band has played Glastonbury, Download, Latitude, Bestival and Hard Rock Calling, toured with The Pogues and the New York Dolls plus released a bevy of fine albums to date.

Hellbound Hymns

MP3 listening (and download) link.

What They’re Saying About The Urban Voodoo Machine:

‘Gleefully promiscuous – Like The Pogues, The Urban Voodoo Machine leaves you almost vicariously drunk & already dreading the hangover’ – Q Mag

‘Like an Elmore Leonard novel gate-crashing the most riotous party in town’ – Louder than War

‘The most exciting Technicolor racket since Gogol Bordello first hit the UK’ – Classic Rock

‘The Urban Voodoo Machine takes the spirit of Dr. John and blends it with stories of London’s underclass’  – R2

‘Albums this good only come along very infrequently, so get your copy while you can. This is the single one essential purchase of the year’ – Whisperin and Hollerin

Thursday 16th June

The Shed

with Brandon Neal, Fallacy, Fedic and Captain Louis.

At first when Brandon Neal started his set I thought to myself ‘a good singer.’ As I got further into his performance and his engaging and appealing lyrics, I began to realise that before me was an artist who ranks alongside Carlos Stein, Will Horspool and the long and greatly missed Dan White. What makes his set stand out is the lyrics – so very entertaining and full of character.  He is a song writer of unusual ability: musical, comical, poetical. It was a stand-out performance.

Brandon Neal, 16th June

Brandon Neal, 16th June

If you want to see for yourself he is appearing on 12th July at Pi Bar and there are some other dates coming up, on our Gigs Listing page.

There was a time, long ago, when new teenage bands there thick on the ground and coming out of the woodwork on a weekly basis. Today the emergence of a new band is an event. I made a point of being at The Shed tonight to check out Fallacy, having been tipped off that they would be there. The four young musicians played songs featuring two to three vocalists. They sang a song by Kasabian, in celebration of that band’s recent appearance in Leicester and the city’s football success. Otherwise, most of the songs they played were their own.

Jack Gittins of Fallacy, The Shed, 16th June

Jack Gittins of Fallacy, The Shed, 16th June

I asked guitarist Jack Gittins about the band; he told me “it all started in Brockington College and I stepped in as a guitarist for another band that was doing a school open mic night and the drummer I got on really well with. His name is Ed and we became best friends and still are ever since.” Jack was clearly one of the star attractions of the band, an instrumentalist of already impressive ability and of future promise. He sent on to say “About a year later we started going into the practice rooms together and just jamming to many songs and we found out we share the exact same music tastes and had similar ambitions of become rockstars! We played in the practice rooms at lunch times and pupils walked past the window an seemed to like what they were hearing until my other friend Mason said he wanted to be part of the band but couldn’t play any instrument! So I told him to pick up a bass and he went out and got one and worked incredibly hard to practice until he could play along with us. We were then a band and decided we should find a singer, another close friend Tom wanted to but we weren’t too sure. However he showed me what he had got and I liked it, that’s how the band was formed.”  It’s stories like this that I find fascinating;  the story of a band is something we do not always get from Facebook’s minimal profiles.

Ed Meek of Fallacy at The Shed, 16th June

Ed Meek of Fallacy at The Shed, 16th June

Tonight, Fallacy took to the stage and performed like they had been doing this for years. In fact they have been playing together for only two to three months. Back in the days when The Beatles were their age, it would have been so much easier. Fallacy gave us a nicely varied set, songs that had different space and mood and they had turned up at The Shed with a large phallanx of supporters. What they lacked in experience they made up for in enthusiasm and commitment.

Fallacy at The Shed, 16th June

Fallacy at The Shed, 16th June

Jack also told me:  “After that, I decided to set up a concert to raise money for our school South Africa project and for me to go in July to help people in need. That was our first gig and it was to about 250 people, we managed to raise £1100 by doing it and it took off from there. We have had a few gigs since and the shed was definitely our highlight so far. I write for the band and we are looking to record sometime soon and hopefully get the right people to listen to it so we can really push our music and classic rock out there. It’s our dream to become famous and for many people to like our music.”  I have a dream – that resonates with me. I wish Fallacy well in their musical career; memorable times could lie ahead.

Tom Byfield of Fallacy at The Shed 16th June

Tom Byfield of Fallacy at The Shed 16th June

Like Fallacy’s page on Facebook.

Heavy Math. It sounds like something you did at school on a wet afternoon. Math rock on a wet Thursday evening might not be everyone’s idea of a fun night out. The Lincoln three-piece began their set with the drummer on the stage and the other two with their microphone stands on the floor, in front of it. From that point on it was clear that Fedic was something completely different. The band’s set of screaming grimecore was full of the power and the glory that you get from bands that unleash all that they have within them. Music, it must be said, comes in all shapes and sizes. The vocalisations were spikey and the instrumentation furious and jagged. I have seen and heard similar stuff in the basement on Leicester Hardcore Nights. Their music was angry, penetrating and kick-ass.  The audience enjoyed it and that is all that matters.

Fedic at The Shed, 16th June

Fedic at The Shed, 16th June

You can listen to Fedic’s Different way to drown on Spotify (whatever that is.) I do know what YouTube is and it is on there as well.

Captain Louie is a four-piece band from Leicester playing original songs and covers. To the best of my knowledge, I had not seen them before tonight. Their lead singer was Ruby Walvin (guitarist) and three of them provided vocals. Musically they offered a diverse, melodic and funky set of tunes, were a lot fo fun on stage, and were clearly appealing to the audience.

Ruby Walvin of Captain Louie, 16th June

Ruby Walvin of Captain Louie, 16th June

Lively, likable and emanating warmth, they provided a suitably good ending to tonight’s show. This is a band that most people will enjoy. Good singing backed by skilled playing. What more could you ask for? The drummer and the bassist got nakid – now, that’s show business. It’s the middle of summer f.f.s. It was a happy night at the venue and this band added to that big time.

Ruby Walvin and Tom Dunphy of Captain Louie, 16th June

Ruby Walvin and Tom Dunphy of Captain Louie, 16th June

Tonnight’s show  saw four very different styles of music thrown together almost at random – but then nights at the Shed can be like that sometimes. I for one enjoy the serendipity of it all.

Cameron Thomson of Captain Louie, 16th June

Cameron Thomson of Captain Louie, 16th June

Wednesday 15th June

BBC

I took my artist Jonezy to a secret location in Leicester this evening. There he performed one of his songs for talent scouts from BBC Television in London.

Jonezy at Oddbar. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Jonezy at Oddbar.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

It’s what I get to do now and again. Short notice it might have been but we managed to make it happen, nonetheless. I also rounded up a small party of other singers and some of them might have got there too.

Friday 10th June

Tonight was Greenday night

at The Shed

The afternoon saw thunder storms and torrential downpours of rain around the city and county, so it was a damp evening out for me. Some of you might remember the recent show at Curve – American Idiot – when a sensationally good cast of singers and guitarists played the best-loved songs of Billie Joe Armstrong and his world famous band Greenday. What a night that was!  My review, published on Arts in Leicestershire magazine, opened by saying:  ‘Fifteen years ago I was watching Billy Joe Armstrong and his punk band Green Day performing live at The Reading Festival. I have been loving their music ever since. The audience in Curve Studio theatre tonight also loved it; they gave the performers a standing ovation at the end of the show. It was one of the best musical events I have seen at Curve, or anywhere else for that matter.’

Nathan Odell from F.R.A.N.K., 10th June

Nathan Odell from F.R.A.N.K., 10th June

Tonight gig was opened by a band called F.R.A.N.K. and they did a couple of Greenday songs in between those of their own. Good, yeah! So, if you think this is all about skinny jeans and post-punk, well, you would not be far wrong. Post-punk?  Greenday formed in 1986. But the purists among you will probably have something to say about that. So, let me explain that the phrase post-punk was one that I used in my novel about a live music venue and one of the leading bands to play there (and this was set in 1985) played what was then considered to be that style of music. Anyway, be that as it may, the aforementioned band all wore red shoes. Worth noting that is. Musically, they did a very good set and they came all the way from Northamptonshire to do it.  Well done them. It was jolly good stuff.

Class of 13 at The Shed, 10th June

Class of 13 at The Shed, 10th June

The Download Festival was taking place and tens of thousands of people were rowing from the campsite to the stages in Donnington as their tents disappeared under the flood waters, as happened a few years ago too and it’s a problem the site owners have clearly not done anything about. That probably explains why there were not many people here tonight.

festival flooding

Headliners and Greenday tributers Class of 13 rounded off the evening with a set that warmed up the audience.  (I nearly said crowd! ) The four Corby crooners gave us their take on Greenday’s songs and greatest hits.

Billie Joe Armstrong in 1994

Billie Joe Armstrong in 1994

According to what I have been told, this is a band that formed recently, possibly about a year ago or so. Whilst I would not see them as a tribute band, a good covers band specialising in Greenday is certainly how I see them.

If my memory serves me well, I saw the California punk band in 2001 when I was at The Reading festival. Since then they went on to release legendary albums like American Idiot (2004), Kerplunk (1992), Insomniac (1995) and ¡Tré!  (2012.)  The one song that stands out for me is boulevard of Broken Dreams, from American Idiot, a song I liked so much and which had absolutely the right sentiments in its lyrics that I used it almost as a theme song for the notorious seaside music venue of the 80s The Trench in my novel of the same name. Basket Case from the 1994 album, Holiday and pretty much all of the tracks from American Idiot, When I Come Around from the Dookie Album (which is about a long distance relationship, so a song that Reuben Wisner might well like.). Yes, I have my favourites. Interestingly there were four musicians on stage; which got me asking questions of the people I knew because I remember Greenday as being a three-piece; ah but then Jason White also joined the band.

Dave Halliday from Class of 13, 10th June

Dave Halliday from Class of 13, 10th June

All in all a very enjoyable evening.

Tuesday 7th June

The Voice comes to The Shed.

Singers took to the stage of The Shed tonight to audition for a place in the ITV programme The Voice.

Amongst those at the mic was Leicester’s Reuben Wisner,

Reuben Wisner at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

Reuben Wisner at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

Probably one of the best singer/songwriters in Leicester.

Jonezy from Loughborough,

Jonezy at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

Jonezy at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

A set that was marked by his usual split second timing and some really good new songs. A real entertainer.

Dan Wright, Mia and The Moon,

Mia and The Moon at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

Mia and The Moon at The Shed for The Voice, 7th June

and Dominique Brody, whose voice was quite amazing.

Good to see Mia and the Moon are still around;  I seem to remember them doing this sort of thing before. Two beautifully harmonised voices. Loughborough is a town that has been the base for several notable singers – Dan Wright being one of them and Jonezy another. Dan Wright took part in the obsUnplugged shows back in February.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright at Singers of Distinction in 2013

Plus many others. Auditions for The Voice 2017 are being held at venues around the UK. Originally broadcast by the BBC, the national singing competition is going over to ITV for next year. Leicester has no shortage of top-class talent to offer, so it will be interesting to see if any of the hopefuls from tonight (and from other Leicester audition shows) make it through to the next round.

This show got a mention in the Leicester Mercury.

Saturday 4th June

Uprising at the De Montfort Hall

Final Coil at the De Montfort Hall for Uprising 4th June

Final Coil at the De Montfort Hall for Uprising 4th June

Read our report on Uprising – the culmination of the Metal2TheMasses series of shows. Coming soon…

Metal is in full swing these days in Leicester’s music scene.  We covered the early shows of Metal2TheMasses. Then we went to cover several of the shows held at Firebug.

Today’s show at De Montfort Hall saw  five bands compteting for a slot at the Bloodstock festival which takes place in August.

Here’s a review of the day from TBFM online.

Simon Yarwood posted this comment on his Facebook page:

‘One thing about holding Metal 2 the Masses final as part of Uprising that I’ll be honest I hadn’t really thought about until now ..
How many “local” bands do you see with pictures like these ? It would cost thousands to replicate that light show and stage, in fact it would be impossible to get these pictures unless you were playing a 2,500 capacity venue with a major touring artist. Bloodstock M2tM – PRICELESS’

Now, I can agree with that – wholeheartedly.

Saturday 4th June

The Riverside Festival 2016

kyle jarvis riverside festival

KY performing with a choir at the Riverside festival in 2013

The annual Riverside Festival took place on Bede Island with two stages of music.

Watch out for our annual report on this key Leicester festival.

Billed: The Moderators, Most Ugly Child, Idle Empire, James Cull and the Black Storm Nation, Jessie Wright, Tim Baker and a showcase from Gateway College.

Saturday 4th June

The Dogz rock out at Pi Bar.

Well known Leicester singing entertainer Carlos Stein was among the musicians performing on stage tonight at Narborough Road’s Pi Bar.

The Dogz of Rock at Pi Bar, June

The Dogz of Rock at Pi Bar, June

The Dogz Of Rock band had the stage all to themselves tonight.

The Dogz of Rock at Pi Bar, 4th June

The Dogz of Rock at Pi Bar, 4th June

The five-piece band entertained the crowd with a selection of memorable melodies.

The Dogz of Rock, 4th June, Pi Bar

The Dogz of Rock, 4th June, Pi Bar

This free-to-enter show delivered a set of songs we all know with up to four vocalists at the mics and some feverishly good guitar solos. Bands that play cover songs in pubs is nothing new; in fact, it is one of the most established features of live music in towns and villages throughout the British Isles going back hundreds of years. For centuries, people have gathered in houses open to the public to enjoy an evening of drinking, socialising and listening to music. It has become an iconic features of lilfe in Western society. In other parts of the world music is widely provided at ritual gathering of tribal peoples.

Saturday 4th June

Uprising

at De Montfort Hall

The sound of Metal came to the DMH today with the one-day show that featured some of the best bands from Leicester and some of the top bands that will be heading to the Bloodstock festival in August.

Temple of Lies at the De Montfort Hall for Uprising 4th June

Temple of Lies at the De Montfort Hall for Uprising 4th June

We were there for part of the day (and oh man! what a busy it day it was for music in Leicester)

so, you can read more on our page Uprising at De Montfort Hall.

Thursday 2nd June

The Lids at The Soundhouse

with Rinse and Flesh

Leicester Band The Lids, Liam Butler, 2016

Leicester Band The Lids, Liam Butler, 2016

The big attraction (for me at any rate) at tonight’s show was another performance by Leicester band The Lids. This is a band I have seen quite a few times but, you know what, I don’t get tired of listening to their music. Each time I see The Lids I find something new in their music. For a three-piece they produce a phenomenal amount of power. It’s all about scintilating sounds, rich riffs and amazing melodies – pretty much what you would expect from a band that is rising to the roof.

Coming to town tonight from Stoke-On-Trent, was Rinse.

Soundhouse Rinse June 2nd

Not a band I have seen before. So, I did not know what to expect. I was however pleasantly surprised. I quickly warmed to the band’s cleverly crafted chords and vigorous rhythms. The drummer was doing a good job, I thought. A very now set of songs, well worth listening to. Only one singer and no backing vocals was a bit of a down-vote for me but his singing was good. The musicians all put their backs into it and what came out was not half bad. Their songs sounded like music I had neared somewhere before, which is no bad thing; it was easily recognisable and for me that’s a positive. So well done them. The acid test: yes, I would want to see them again.

Flesh is a band from Manchester. Listening to their songs, it seemed like someone had turned back the clock a few decades. They were something else. It’s not that I didn’t like them; they had a certain something all of their own. Three vocalists scored a vote with me. Britpop – or as someone said “snotpop”.

Here is an interesting interview with the band on the website Too Many Blogs.

There is a real buzz about this band amongst other music scribblers. I liked:  ‘Mixing the ‘Mad for it’ beats of their home town, with some grunge heavy guitars and the swagger that only true Northern scallies could pull off, Flesh are cutting themselves a new genre; Snotpop. Raunchy, debauched, and apathetic have all been used to describe the band.’ [Backseat Mafia]

Me, it went over my head. Probably too old now for that sort of thing. But I can see why kids would like them.

Nice to be back at the Soundhouse again.  Attendance this evening was poor. Those that were there enjoyed themselves but although the gig has been well advertised, very few people turned out for it. I thought that might have been due to the glut of festivals recently, emptying pockets. Perhaps.

New graffiti art has gone up at The Soundhouse, since last I was there

Soundhouse new artwork

See also:

Our roundup of live music in May.

History of Music feature article.

Punk in Leicester.