Live Music in Leicester
for the month of December 2016
Music in Leicester magazine’s reporters and photographers
have been out at gigs this month
and here is what they found.
Apologies to readers of this page; the editing this month has been a bit erratic. This is due to the editor of the page being a tad unwell and not firing on all cylinders. Touch wood, we will back to normal in January.
New Year’s Eve: 31st December 2016
The last gig at The Shed as we know it
On the line-up tonight
Poetman, The Whiskey Rebellion, TARRP (featuring three members of The Simpletones), Arc Isla, restless and Dedbeats.
We were at Firebug to bid farewell to one of Leicester’s all-time great bands.
But we found another one that made us prick up our ears.
Farewell to a legend
Because I was at Firebug I was not at The Shed for the punk night that was dubbed ‘Send off for Kevin…’ an opportunity to celebrate the work of a much-loved venue manager who so many bands and artists regard with fondness and respect.
But my good friend Carlos Stein was there and he saw First Wave, The Sedations, The Docs and The Mighty Gyrators. So this is what he said:
I went there (primarily to support the Mighty Gyrators with them being essentially one half of the Dogz of Rock band) but also to capture some of the essence of the Shed before it changed hands. The Gyrators came on first with their selection of punk-based covers. Their front man Mez has just the right stage presence to get the audience going, who by now numbered about 30 but were almost huddled together trying to keep warm, Mez in particular fully dolled-up with woolies and was not afraid to point this out on stage. The band delivered a cracking set and are clearly well rehearsed, which allowed Mez to ad-lib some jokes in with the set.
Next up were the Regenerators – (I think, according to the set list.) A fairly young band with three guitarists, very fast and with a lot of energy. Belting out their original songs including a song about aliens! [In fact, we think Carlos refers here to The Sedations. He might have got the name wrong. -ed]
Then we had The DOCs – another covers band, concentrating on classic punk – again well rehearsed three-piece.
Finally we got to First Wave – a well established punk band complete with merch sales, without being to pushy about it. These three lads delivered a complement of very catchy punk based original tunes which has us singing along to what we thought were the lyrics at the time! The musicianship of these three lads gelled perfectly. By now the place had filled to about 50. I made a point of checking the smoking area that everyone was accounted for and the fans were clearly loyal to the music!
In the mean-time I had got talking to a few people about the Shed in general. We all agreed that although sometimes it is a cold, dark and draughty everyone, both performers and fans had treasured memories of the Shed experience. In all everyone I spoke to felt confident that the new owners will keep the Shed “cult” alive – despite the general anticipation that no-one quite knows what they have planned for it! I also got an opportunity to give Kevin a big hug after he came in to witness the First Wave set at it’s peak and said to him “This is how I will remember the Shed mate”.
[The Shed’s last ever gig takes place on new years eve – after that it will be closed for refurbishment until it opens again in 2017 under new management. – Ed]
[The advertised lineup given on the Shed’s website for this gig billed –
27th December, Christmas punk party – Kevin’s big send off. with First Wave, The Sedations, The Docs and The Mighty Gyrators. The Facebook events page listed FIRST WAVE, THE REGENERATORS, THE DOCs, THE MIGHTY GYRATORS, Gonna be a great Xmas holiday bash in appreciation of Kev who has been promoting bands via the Shed venue for as long as any of us involved can remember!!!! Come down for an Xmas/New Year piss up with 4 great bands and raise a glass to one of Leicesters finest and mst dedicated promoters. Ave It……… -Ed.]
The Shed. Last ever night for young bands.
Throughout its long history, The Shed has been celebrated nationally as an incubator for new bands and many a Leicester musician has said they played their very first public performance on its stage. Ever since I first started to go to this – the longest-serving live music venue in Leicester – new acts and young bands have stood out as being a feature of this venue and of the role it has played over the decades in the musical life of our great city.
Tonight was therefore an especially propitious occasion presenting a wealth of talent including Kynch, The Scrubs, Matt Humphries, The Blacklist and Tori Sheard.
There have not been as many new bands this year as in previous years and the emergence of young Leicester acts has declined from the levels in the earlier part of the noughties. Those that have burst onto the local scene have, by and large, been quite extraordinary.
One of these has been Kynch. This trio of teenage musicians is one we have commented on before.
As we have said before, these three guys are excellent and bring to the stage an outstanding level of youthful vitality and musical ability.
A year ago they added a special sparkle to the young band’s night.
They have returned to The Shed regularly and always they have provided their audience with musical delights.
Let us hope that this band follows in the footsteps of The Heroes, Midnight Wire, Formal Warning, Flip Like Wilson, Flight15, 8Mileshigh, The World Can Wait and many other groups whose careers took off at nights at The Shed.
The Scrubs. Young teenagers. A lead singer who puts lots of effort into his part as they perform songs they have written themselves and covers, including RATM’s Killing in the name of… They were mentioned in our round-up for February [Music in Leicester]
Resin at Firebug
Resin Events 10th Birthday bash at Firebug; a full run down with photos by Kevin Gaughan.
Resin’s birthday bash
with Fractions, Ramage Inc, Mage, Silas and Resin.
A popular fixture at this time of year is the night at Firebug when Leicester band Resin features along with a well-chosen line-up of other bands. Tonight’s event was especially propitious because it marked the 10th anniversary of Resin, the band.
Next year it will be time again for Resin Event’s Metal 2 The Masses. Starting on 5th February the series runs though to May 27th. Then it will be time for Uprising 2017, on May 27th at the De Montfort Hall.
First band of the night was Fractions. Last year Fractions played on 27th March at heat 5 of the Metal to the masses show at Firebug. Well, I happen to think this band is pretty good.
The second band had come all the way from Scotland to play at this show. That’s impressive but not unusual. Many Scottish bands have driven all the way down here to play on our local stages.
Ramage Inc. Progressive Metal from Edinburgh. Lead singer Bryan Ramage – what a voice! Impactful, used to great effect, stunning vocal range and tons of technique. Earth Shaker was released last year. Glorious guitar solos. Quite an epic performance.
Mage. One of Leicester’s most prestigious metal bands. Very popular. Even though they were sired in 2010, it seems like they have been around much longer. Doom and most other flavours of metal. Full of sepulchral sounds. Rooted in stoner, their metal sucks on the paps of Anthrax, Entombed, Pantera and many more besides. Blissful? Yes. Blazing? Certainly.
They have been around since 2008. Their home town is London. The four member of Silas have played at Bloodstock, are working on a full-length album due out next year and their music is an inspiring cocktail of metal, rock, jazz, reggae, funk, soul blues and yet more. Now if that does whet your appetite… Down at the front the crowd was bouncing in time with the beats. On the stage the lead vocalist was giving an electrifying performance and the others were moving in time with the music. It was a set that resonated with the audience.
Resin. A band I have admired and seriously enjoyed for a long time. They might have changed faces over the years but the high standard of music has remained the same.
Tom Bem returned to the Shed with Ashmore. More soon.
Friday 16th December 2016
with James Cull, Chris Armson and Lisa, Traps, Thunder Hammer and Found in Ashes.
Tonight was all about seeing Traps. Well it was for me. The band members on the stage were Jamie Williams, Lewis Barrett , Matt Maile, Jack Pym, Scott Hopewell and Leigh Astill.
Traps gave a remarkable performance. Surprising. Not what we were expecting. What we saw was a new band with a re-engineered sound, a set of songs unlike anything that has been heard before. Stylistically modern, laced with electronica from keyboards and synths, performed with plenty of passion, scintillating rhythms and sumptuous melodies. Top notch.
Jamie Williams used to be the lead singer of Leicester band The Boobytraps. Many of those present tonight will remember the days when that band was one of the most popular in town. So. Was this The Boobytraps making a comeback? No. Not at all. What we heard tonight was the creation of something new. Entirely different. A new beginning. It was not the old band. It was a marvellous experience. Another ‘must see’ for my list at next year’s Glastonbudget festival.
Before we leave the subject of the Boobytraps let’s just take a brief walk down memory lane and take in a few random examples of what they were like back in the day:
From the old Arts in Leicester website
Gig reviews 2009
Thursday 8th October, The Charlotte
The Charlotte has re-opened.
So, did the Screening headline this show? I was left wondering, as the Boobytraps took to the stage and closed the night off with a rollicking good set of traditional rock. True the audience changed over as the core of Screening fans streamed out into Oxford Road, the crowd in front of the stage becoming somewhat older but it was nevertheless still a respectably large gathering. Traditional rather than contemporary but nonetheless enjoyable, the ‘Traps delivered a rock solid set of funky and compelling set of rock ‘n roll songs. Pumped up by the powerful vocals of front man Jamie Williams, assisted by guitarist and singer Scott Laywood, the band glistened with reflections of Oasis, Kasabian, the Pigeon Detectives and the Stone Roses (all of which have played on the same stage in times gone by.) A resounding conclusion to the opening night as the crowd downed their final pints and headed home feeling that they heard some of the best that Leicester has to offer.
Gig reviews 2010
Thursday 12th August at The Shed
This well known and popular band have a set of highly likeable original songs. Their time on stage brought us an ear pleasing half hour of catchy riffs and memorable melodies. They played first – unusual! They often headline shows. With their compelling rhythms and strong lead vocals from front man Jamie Williams, backed by some sparkling guitar work from Scott Laywood, the Boobytraps launched the night in fine style. As a band they have brought us some of the best songs of any of our local groups. Stomping, clappy, rock songs, full of vigour and immediacy, they put the rock into rock ‘n roll. Ranging from fast belting’ numbers through to the emotional, arm swaying ballad Tell your friends (it’s true), their set never tires. Offering music for all ages, their appeal is based on being able to write big solid numbers that everyone can enjoy. It’s the kind of music that stays in your head on the way home. A fine set of musicians and singers with a great set of songs.
Featured bands page on 11th July 2012
The foundations of The Boobytraps were laid late in 2007 with the current lineup having been settled since 2008. The ‘Traps’ have been described as ‘the next biggest thing to come out of Leicester since Kasabian.’ The BoobyTraps are: Jamie Williams (Lead vocal and guitar), Scott Laywood (Lead guitar), Lewis Barrett (Bass), Seb Kedziora (Drums). In June 2008, The ‘Traps recorded their debut EP at Deadline Studios Leicester. Entitled ‘Sooner Or Later’, it was followed by a launch night at The Charlotte Live Music Venue. That night saw the first live performance of the smash track ‘My Town.’ In October 2009, work commenced on the band’s second EP, ‘Estate Of Mind’. This EP would include three of the band’s best known tracks: ‘Don’t Even Matter’, ‘Tell Your Friends’ and their own massive anthem ‘My Town.’
Getting back to tonight’s show at The Shed…
The opening set by James Cull was a magnificent as ever. A commanding performance. Speaking between songs, James paid tribute to Kevin Holyland and the staff of the venue; he told the audience that he had been playing there since he was 14 and that the venue had been a special place for a large number of artists.
Chris Armson is a musician who goes back a long way; few Glastonbudgets have taken place without him being there. Tonight he was playing guitar to the singing of Lisa who gave us a selection of songs that engaged the audience’s attention.
The night was completed with performances by Thunder Hammer and then Found in Ashes. The set of heavy songs provided by Thunder Hammer was impressive. Metal with loads of balls. If, like me, you have not seen them before, they are certainly worth checking out. The last bus took me away after their set.
The Shed, Glastonbudget auditions
with Tony Tonkda, Duke Box Music, Chimp on a Bike, Quarry and Flip Like Wilson.
Another line-up of acts were on stage tonight, auditioning for next year’s festival.
Tony Tonkda opened the show. A veteran artist with a long track record of performances, his solo set tonight was music of a high standard. Tony has played at Glastonbudget before.
The two artists that were Duke Box Music played a set of cover songs.
A band I have not seen before. Chimp on a Bike performed classic rock covers. Four young men in their early twenties from Tewkesbury gave us a set of songs that were enjoyable. They seemed to take a while to get going but when they did, they hit the mark.
Sometimes you see a band for the first time and they hook you, straight away. Quarry did this for me. Their brand of hip-hop and pop rock songs did it me. They had a sound that was really appealing.
Songs that blossomed with vitality, richly rhythmic and delivered with pizazz. The lead singer backed by two other musicians caught the mood of the evening. A band I would dearly love to see again – and hopefully will at the festival next year.
Headlining the show, the local band that I had come to see. Flip Like Wilson, a band I have always liked; together they were buzzing.
Many times I have said good things about these guys. Rather than say it all again, let me just say that they tick all the boxes and they perform like a really top band – which, I my view, they certainly are.
A good night at The Shed. Another clutch of must see acts on my list for next year’s festival.
EP launch show at Jukebox
with Toby Joe Leonard, Jesse Wright and Abandon Her.
Jukebox. The last time I went there was in October 2015. Tonight’s show was produced by Dreaming in Colour Productions (otherwise known as DCIP.) If you have not been there before and do not know where it is, well, it’s just next door to Mosh and over the road from the BBC. Opposite, there is a huge illuminated ferris wheel at this time of year – you must have noticed that!
Tonight it was the occasion of the EP launch of Completely by Leicester band Abandon Her.
The show opened with Toby Joe Leonard singing a selection of his own songs. Always good to see him; and hear his voice. Music with meaning and melody. A pleasing start to the evening. The stage is in a back room; shielded from the noise of the main bar where people were congregating as they came in. It was a social soiree, groups of friends greeting each other, people hugging and kissing, some people meeting new faces for the first time.
Jesse Wright was on stage tonight with her band. Last time I saw her she was doing a solo set. A singer with a powerful voice, Jesse always delivers a superb performance. I seem to have known here for a long time and she has never failed to impress me with her musical skills. Some might remember her from her appearances at the Western Park Music Festivals. It was a set that drew people into the room and created a party atmosphere. Good. Really good.
“Abandon Her are brilliant”, Clare told me as we talked about the band. That summed it up. It was an exceptionally good performance from a band that tonight had added musicians. When I saw this band back in March 2015, they were headlining at The Cookie, I mentioned that they were a singing band; meaning that all of them sing. That means something to me.
Leicester band Abandon Her is a singing band – Olivia Bowles (vocals), Abby Mottram (guitar, backing vocals), Giles Urwin (drums, backing vocals), Sarah Jordan (keys, backing vocals) and that is one reason to like them a lot. Good vocals and harmonisations are worked with melodic melodies to provide an attractive and likeable sound.
This is a band I have liked for some time. Not only do they all sing but also they played very good music. Can you ask for more? Stage presence? Well, Olivia Bowles is not short on that too.
A really good evening out. Even though I was enjoying my time at the Jukebox I just had to see The Jav’lins. So, I got out my skateboard and headed down to the Shed. I am glad I did, because, I tell you what, the Jav’s put on a mind-blowingly super set. It was just awe-inspiringly superb. Here is the band when I saw them earlier this year.
Main stage: Glastonbudget festival auditions with Paul Walker, Paper Mountains, Dedbeats, The Albion and Novocaine.
In the basement: Nile McGregor’s birthday bash with Scribble Victory, The World Can Wait, Dedbeats, the Siobhan Mazzei band and Dead Question.
December came in with a bang. Two shows at The Shed tonight brought a host of bands and artists and some memorable music. Every Friday, the organisers of the Glastonbudget music festival hold their auditions at the venue, at which they select acts to appear at next year’s event.
Opening tonight’s auditions was singer and songwriter Paul Walker. His blues songs were appealing and he delivered them with a gravelly voice and used a slide on his remarkable guitar. He hails from Nottinghamshire.
Paper Mountains was the first band of the night, on the main stage. Four lads with a lead vocalist who played guitar.
Downstairs we were treated to Scribble Victory. I have said nice things about these two artists in the past. I love their songs and by the reaction of the audience I think I am not alone.
Back on the main stage we heard from Dedbeats, the band led by singer Rhett Barrow. A great backing group for a singer who is something of a local legend.
The Albion is a band we have seen before. The one from Leicester. Slightly confusing because there is also a band from Peterborough called Albion. This one had Bryn Williams as vocalist. Tonight they delivered a very acceptable menu of indie rock songs.
Downstairs it was a great pleasure to see Sulley Archer and The World Can Wait. What a star performance he put on. It was a marvelous set; crackling with static, pulsating with energy, this is a band that has a story – from their first tentative steps on to Leicester’s musical ladder to becoming a widely admired and well-accredited band.
Upstairs the trio called Novocaine brought us their exciting sounds. Lead singer on bass; they had an ear-pleasing set that delighted the crowd. Indie, rock and punk resonanted throughout the building and the three muscians rockeded it up on the stage. Just think of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Stereophonics, The Killers, The Clash, Idlewild, Maximo Park, Shed Seven, Muse…
Ther highlight of the show downstairs was an appearance by the Siobhan Mazzei band. One of the best rock bands in the city, led by a celebrates singer and songwriter, they gave us a superlative musical experience. It was one of those moments in musical life that demands to be treasured. Everyone in the band played to a high level of excellence but it was the performance by Siobhan herself that was the show-stopper. Simply extraordinary.