Our round-up of live music events in Leicester and Leicestershire during March.
Our team of reporters and photographers have been to gigs and filed their thoughts, comments and pictures.
If a piece is not attributed to a named author, then it as written by the editor.
Come back to this page regularly; it will be updated throughout the month.
The latest dates get added at the top.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to previous monthly reports.
The Shed with Poetman, Before The Crash, The World Can Wait and FourPointOh
I went to The Shed to help musician Oscar Wright celebrate his 21st birthday; I was only here for the beer. But the bands were so good I thought I would write it up anyway.
Poetman was phenomenal. Poetic, funny and musical, it was a superb performance by one of Leicester’s most unusual artists.
Before The Crash is a band we have celebrated many times before. On top form tonight, they gave us a set that was altogether enjoyable.
The World Can Wait is a Leicester band that we hold in high regard. A group of excellent musicians backing lead singer Sully Archer who is a rock star performer.
FourPointOh is another Leicester band that knows how to make magic hard rock music with an excellent performance by all the members and lead singer Becky Woolman.
at De Montfort Hall staring Alexandra Burke.
than you could shake a horn at
The final: it were rite grand
Some sort of showcase saw Once Vagrant Souls jubilant at becoming the overall winners.
The final of SSOS
At The Shed tonight the final of Some Sort of Showcase, presented by Dreaming In Colour Productions.
With Jonezy, The Ladz from BKK, Alligatr, Ceaux Fly, Little Dead Town and Once Vagrant Souls
Tonight’s show was opened by Jonezy. Another high energy performance by the rap artist who has had a busy weekend. His set included a couple of songs that he has not done for some time. After his warm-up set, Jonezy continued to act as compère for the show, with presenter Elisabeth Barker-Carley.
The first contestant took to the stage; the Ladz from BKK delivered at rocket-fuelled set with strongly vocaled songs, blistering beats and music that fizzed like fireworks. It was a sparky performance that got the crowd going.
We knew it would be a good line-up, having seen some of the bands before. The Shed was crowded throughout the night on this Easter Sunday evening. East Monday, providing a bank holiday and a good opportunity to go out and see a band on Sunday.
Another band we know well and have written about before is Leicester’s Alligator. This band has established itself in the local scene. Musically they have a set of attractive and engaging songs and they deliver with them with plenty of commitment.
This band has not shortage of talent and will, we think, go a long way; a band that works hard at what they do and this shows when they are on stage.
Two singers fronted the music of Ceaux Fly. In fact the band’s music included up to four vocals. Smooth, funky ear-pleasing music flowed from the stage with plenty of foot-tapping rhythms. It added up to a set that was full of flair and rich in razzmatazz. With the addition of some trumpet work, they delivered a distinctive sound. Popular music with good vocals, compelling beats and resonance held the audience. On stage they looked like they were enjoying themselves;that counts for a lot.
Another volcanic set was provided by Little Dead Town. A sensational performance by lead singer Danny Richardson, at least as good as the one he delivered at the Semi-finals on 27th February [Music in Leicester]
Enormous energy emitted in copious quantities resulted in a massive set of music making.
The last band of the evening took to the stage. Once Vagrant Souls led by singer and songwriter David Lewis. OVS is a band we have covered several times before in this magazine. When they are playing on stage they are as good to watch as they are to listen to. Musicians who look really into their music and their performances captures the ears as well as the eyes. OVS, like all the bands tonight, brought their music to life on the stage; they also have some very good songs. Tunes that ring round your brain after they have finished.
Dreaming In Colour Productions was pleased with the way the series of shows had gone. There was no shortage of bands to fill the available slots and attendance held firm throughout the shows. I asked Elisabeth Barker-Carley is DCIP would run the showcases again next year. Yes, came the emphatic affirmation. Having been involved in band competitions before, I know just how much they are a lot of hard work but can also be a lot of fun. So what was on offer for the winning act? Elisabeth ran me through the prizes: six months of Management by our team, including a label consult with our partners The Honey Label Ltd., a 4 track EP, 30 hours of free rehearsal time in our new rooms, a photo-shoot, a video-shoot, merchandise… and if that wasn’t enough they’ll arrange a seven day tour for your band to show off its brand new material!
So, all in all, a good night at The Shed; the venue was packed full for once, excellent music all night, a sense of occasion.
Everyone knew the judges would have a hard time making up their minds with this set of acts; they were all very good but there could be only one winner. Elisabeth took to the mic to tell the room that the band that had won SSOS 2016 was: Once Vagrant Souls. She congratulated all the bands that had taken part tonight and commented that not winning was no reflection on any band’s quality and ability; they had all done an excellent job and had provided a large crowd of music fans with some of the best of what Leicester has to offer.
Nik Turner night
Our page about national bands has been updated today with news about John Metcalfe, Vitamin, Eliza and The Bear, The Hunna and Lonely The Brave.
Leicester @ The Cross
Artists from Leicester were on stage in Humberstone Gate, this Good Friday, taking part in the Easter celebration of Leicester @ The Cross.
Savour the flavour of Green Day; we did
Here is a snippet:
So many things stood out for me in this show: all the cast members danced, sang and acted and played guitars; in fact in one scene they are all on stage playing guitars – en masse. You won’t see that again in a musical in a long time. The cast were very ably supported by a live band; some of the band guitarists were on stage, on a platform above the main performance area. The three principals sang songs accompanying themselves on guitars.
At Firebug, another heat in the series Metal 2 The Masses. Five fantastic bands were enjoyed by the large crowd; a review of the night with photos will be up very soon on our page: Leicester metal scene.
Keith Jobey liked Breakfast at Tiffany’s
We were at the Cookie to see The Skunk-Boy Project’s EP show. A feature article will be appearing here shortly. Also on stage tonight were Flex MB and The Aurora. The singer from Derby known as Felix MB is a rising star of the East Midlands music scene. The nu-folk-style singer, songwriter has been attracting attention at national level and tonight he certainly showed what a talented artist he is and what all the fuss is about. You can catch a snatch of his very likeable singing by listening to his songs Wasted One and Older now on YouTube. As soon as Sally Hossak arrived on stage I recognised her straight away. Performing tonight with her partner Greg, they formed The Aurora Project.One of the songs they performed tonight was A Hooded Man Runs, which is on Soundcloud. Sally accompanied herself on the guitar and also played the flute while Greg contributed vocals to some of the songs. A delightful performance that provided ear-pleasing music. Altogether, a very enjoyable night and the music was all top-notch.
Feature article: The Skunk-Boy Project.
Our test to see if a page on national music is interesting continues as today we update with news about Lonely The Brave and their new video release. See our page called Notes.
Students show their skills
Our two Universities gathered together tonight at Firebug for the combined battle of the bands. In a show rich in musical talent, instrumentalists, singers and bands competed for a trophy. Whilst the winning act came from De Montfort University, the competition as a whole was won by the University of Leicester. Judges included Trevor Locke from Music in Leicester and singer/songwriter Nile McGreggor; both were impressed by the quality of music and artists taking part. The event was jointly organised by the DMU Music Society and the UofL Band and Gig Society.
Metal marches on
Metal 2 The Masses continues at Duffys Bar. See which bands played tonight.
Leicester band Linear played at The Soundhouse. They support the main act which was a tribute to The Smiths. A lot of people attended this gig (we learn from Facebook) but unfortunately we were not among them. Find out more about Linear. Read about Linear on Music in Leicester.
by Keith Jobey
Ringo Deathstarr at the Cookie! Let’s just hear that again. Ringo Freakin’ Deathstarr at the Cookie! So there’s no denying I’m a fan of RDS and I’ve been looking forward to this event since the moment it was announced. Well, almost from when it was announced, once I got over the initial shock of hearing that Ringo Freakin’ Deathstarr were going to play at the Cookie!
Lacura get the privilege of being opening act. And its a key moment in the history of the band as it’s announced that it’s the last gig (for the forseeable future) that John Ives will play bass with them. Which is a shame as the trio have a great balance and are a band I’m always happy to watch. They regularly bring a decent crowd with them who fill out the front rows. Danny Peel is announced as the replacement, you may know him as the guitarist in Gloss. He’s in that front row crowd I mentioned, watching closely. He has some big shoes to fill but I’m looking forward to seeing what the mark II Lacura is like.
Courtney Askey is next, returning to the scene of her January single launch. She’s brought her band along too, which is good, as it’s a chance to hear again what is an effectively a condensed launch show. With the rhythm section in the seasoned hands of Andy and Dan there is a hint of Bocca, an old band of theirs, in the backing track to some of the songs. While closing song Infinity Theorem has an upbeat Twin Peaks sound about it. I foolishly thought that Courtney with band perhaps should have opened tonight, perhaps being influenced by her lo-fi solo performances. But as a band they pack a punch and are more than capable of holding their own in the middle of tonight’s bill.
I’ve been waiting to see Ringo Deathstarr live for about seven years, I’d say. They’re based in Austin, Texas so don’t get to be in the UK too frequently. They’ve passed through Leicester a couple of times in the past but I’ve always missed them. No way was I going to miss them this time. Sporting one of the best names around, they are a three-piece band – consisting of Alex Gehring (bass and vocals), Elliot Frazier (guitar and vocals) and Daniel Coborn (drums) – that ooze coolness. They were initially noted for being very loud and playing shoegaze in the style of Ride, My Bloody Valentine, et al, and by all accounts, they’ve turned the volume down over the years. It’s still loud tonight though, glad I brought my earplugs, as the 50 minute set passes quickly in a glorious haze of fuzzy, pedal distorted, blissful noise-pop.
So the Texan trio triumphed at the Cookie and as the sticker on Elliot’s guitar says, ‘Don’t mess with Texas’.
Lozza at The Shed
Trevor Locke was at The Shed to see the amazing Lorenzo Morandi’s work on the electric guitar.
Better known as a guitarist, from Leicester hard rock band FourPointOh, Lorenzo Morandi tonight did a set of solo pieces on electric guitar (and sang one number.) This was worth seeing if only for its rareity value. Lorenzo opened the show at The Shed tonight with a display of his instrumental virtuosity. Playing to backing tracks, he showed what a star guitarist he is. It was a spell-binding demonstration of skills with the strings. Catching all the splendour and colour of hard rock sounds, his technique was dazzling and his finger-work laden with dexterity. He also sang one song by Maroon Five.
Bands at the Soundhouse
At The Soundhouse Trevor saw The Jangles, Mountain Jam, Desert Planes and Once Vagrant Souls.
The Jangles crops up in previous reviews: in October 2015, we wrote: The music is upbeat and catchy and they deliver a pacey set, with quite distinctive vocals. I liked the occasional foray into more instrumental segments of songs, a bit of a departure from the norm in the crowded indie rock sector. A reference to a performance they gave in April of that year when they played support to Neon Waltz at the Soundhouse. Our reviewer added: Describing themselves as a band with a back pocket full of toe tapping riffs, it’s a description that fits well and their music goes down well with the crowd tonight. The music is upbeat and catchy and they deliver a pacey set, with quite distinctive vocals.
We heard from Mountain Jam; I thought they were very good. Strong lead vocals against a punchy backline gave a set of engaging songs that was not short of attractive sounds. This was a band with a cartload of skills and plenty of ability to apply it. Although I had not see them before, I responded positively to what I heard; one of tests of a ‘new’ band is to ask myself ‘would I want to see them again?’ For this band, a resounding yes. Keith Jobey would agree with me on that; when me missed them in November 2015 at a Cookie gig. They come from Hinckley and Tamworth area, apprently, and their members are Dean Dovey (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Andy Varden (Lead Guitar), Nick Roberts (Bass) and Pez (Drums). Pez. I think I have heard that name before.
Another band I had not heard before was Desert Planes. But I know a good band when I see one. With their strong lead singer – full of energy and presence – and their singing drummer, their music did it for me: lots of thrilling rhythms, compelling beats and breaks, vibrant and engaging sounds. This is what it’s all about. A newbie to to their music, they won me over. Songs that were pleasing to the ear and had plenty of traction. According to the band’s page, they are from London and play gigs all over the country. If you want to sample what they sound like check out their track Together Apart on Soundcloud.
Our night here at the Soundhouse concluded with a fine performance from Leicester band Once Vagrant Souls. They seemed to have attracted the largest body of fans because, for their set, the space in front of the stage was filled with people. They have come a long way since they started. They have definitely ‘arrived.’ They are a good choice for lovers of popular melodic song. They are one of our featured bands. When they played at The Soundhouse in May 2015, I commented: Launching their new single tonight – Big Clean Mansion – the band attracted a sizeable crowd to The Soundhouse. Adding ‘Lead singer David Lewis providing uncompromisingly clear and sharp vocals backed up by his band who provided the instrumental melodies with precision.’ Well tonight we were treated to another helping of marvellously good music. reason enough to conclude that they are a band that has become popular and widely liked. As I said back then in May: ‘Ear-lickingly good songs, infectious rhythms and impressive vocals, combined with a vivacious stage presence, delivered a set that was thoroughly enjoyable and music that was laden with colour and mood.’
Keith sees Eagulls
Nottingham Oddfellows Club
10th March 2016
by Keith Jobey
Despite it’s unusual and misleading name (Nottingham Imperial Order Of Oddfellows Club and Institute), the venue is in Leicester, on Humberstone Gate. It was chosen to fit in with the requirements of the tour. The tour is called ‘Gunnels, Alleys, Jitties and Snickets Tour‘ and sees Leeds band Eagulls playing unusual venues and clubs across the country.
It’s an impressive room (concert hall), the small entrance and frontage not giving much indication to the size of it (it must be at least 500 capacity). There’s a big wooden dancefloor with a carpeted area surrounding it, which has tables and chairs laid out, as if awaiting a wedding reception rather than a Northern post-punk band. The stage is high and large and I’m certain it’s hosted many a decent ‘turn’ throughout the years while the bar along the opposite wall dispenses ‘club’ price drinks to the shepherded punters. No queue jumping at bars of this sort. All in all it’s a great venue, well done team Cookie.
Touring support are Fear Of Men, a band who’s energy and vigour impressed me on seeing them a couple of years back. They’ve matured a little since then, newer material being a touch slower and more considered. But the energy and vigour is still there, occasionally manifesting into a good old thrash on stage. Their second album is due out soon and should they pass nearby on an album tour they are definitely worth catching live.
Eagulls first appearance in Leicester will always be remembered for the mass stage invasion during set closer ‘Possessed‘, in which about 30 people joined them on the Cookie stage. Their next appearance, the Queens Hall at Handmade 2015, lacked the atmosphere of the Cookie gig but looked and sounded great. Tonight’s Leicester appearance will be remembered for the venue as well as a great performance from a band that are really starting to hone their sound and style. It’s a storming first few songs, opening with new single Lemontrees and building up to the brilliant Nerve Endings. This is followed by newer stuff which begins slowly before again raising the intensity until the anthemic Possessed closes the set.
Here’s to the next gig at the Oddfellows.
Kevin Gaughan was at Brewdog to see Kelly Jenns, The Lids, Yoda Club and Dirty Scroungin’ Bastards.
Some of you might not have heard of Brewdog; a new bar in Leicester. Located in Friar Lane with a venue upstairs. Shows every second Thursday of the month, a lineup of artists.
Leicester band The Lids have featured before on MIL. We think they are great. A band that is fast becoming one of the star attractions of the local music scene. We wrote of The Lids:
Presented with lashings of energy and commitment, their songs had a modern feel and they plied the room with plenty of passion in a set that was foot-tappingly rhythmic and punchy. It was a very convincing performance that held the audience’s attention and won them enthusiastic acclaim from the crowd. [Music in Leicester]
From Mozart to metal
We were at Duffys Bar for the second heat of Metal 2 the Masses.
with The Mine Deep, The Loved and Lost, Blood Oath and Fear Boundary.
Saturday 5th March
Arts in Leicestershire was at the De Montfort Hall for the Loughborough Endowed Schools spring concert.
Friday 4th March
We were at The Musician for the first heat of the OBS
Tuesday 1st March
The Shed – Catalyst Introducing
Tonight’s show was put on by Catalyst Introducing, hosted by presenters from radio station Demon FM.
On stage tonight were James Cull, Poet Man, Earls and Gallows High.
It was a pretty good night of entertainment and music.
James Cull is a fine singer; an artist who is well liked by the broad cross-section of music covers in this city. His performance tonight was excellent.
Poet Man is an entertainer who is making his mark; his unusual (if not unique) act combines, comedy, poetry, rap and singing with looping pedals for sounds. Some of his work is reminiscence of John Cooper-Clarke. Well worth seeing. He has his own show coming to The Shed on 9th March.
Earls – were two guys who did amazing things; only their second gig. Anthony Lamb (lead vocals and guitar) and George Prosser (drums) did an amazing set of hardcore rock tunes. Very impressive.
A four-piece band from Leicester included Josh Chennery on drums and Jake Felstead on guitar. Altogether very pleasing.
Gallows High were joined on stage by James Cull for Killing in the name of. Absolutely splendid.