Trevor’s Out and about
Music for the month
of March 2018
Trevor Locke’s monthly round-up of musical events.
Leicester and Leicestershire’s music offerings.
Too see other monthly reports, go to the Contents page on the main menu ↑.
Entries will be posted below, as they come in.
17th March 2018
with The Hunting Circus, The Excellent Adventures, Her Burden, and Escapade.
Tonight’s show was present by Scruff of the Neck, promotions.
Three musicians. The Hunting Circus. The guitarist was the lead vocalist. He had plenty of voice. On the drums, singer and songwriter, Toby. Fast, furious and loud. They have played in Leicester before. They played at The Shed in April last year. I saw them then and thought they were good. So, nice to see them again. The band has an EP and they played some of the tracks from it. What they played tonight was a set full of punchy sounds and sparkling guitar riffs. At some points it had all the energy of metal. Musically inventive, it was creative music-writing and not your average stuff. Full of relishable rhythms. Great momentum to keep the songs moving. Outside the snow was falling; inside it was hot. A pretty remarkable performance, I thought.
The Excellent Adventures. Again. They keep popping up a lot, recently. Tonight the gig had a good vibe. You could feel it. The band played with a vitality that had certainly been there, in its previous performances, but tonight, I thought, it was more noticeable.
What I saw, on the stage were five musicians very committed to their music. They have clearly put a lot of thought into their songs, their own compositions. I listened intently to what they were playing; tonight I found it more stylistically intriguing then before. A very positive set.
I went down to The Vault. The Jav’lins had just finished playing. Damn! I missed them. As they said to me, they are playing a gig soon with Goldwater and they have an EP launch coming up. So, plenty of opportunities to see them again.
A band I have not seen for some time. Her Burden. They kept the vibe going. This was upstairs. Downstairs there was a different scene. The band put on a good set.
Headlining the main stage, Escapade. Exhilarating. Big, bouncy sounds. Relentlessly punchy rhythms. Dripping with dynamism. A bit Oasis-esq in some respects but much more lively. This is a band that has played with Jimmy Amnesia. They have come on well since I first saw them. Their lead singer stands out. I think. They have an enthusiastic following of fans.
Friday 9th March 2018
Dryden Street Social
Varsity battle of the bands
with William Bartholomew and the Reason Why we Cannot have Nice Things, Plato, Brian, Sorrell, The Excellent Adventures, Groove and the Bathtub Pings, Sweat Box and Jukebox Heroes.
Tonight bands from the University and Leicester and De Montfort University took to the stage to play their stuff to a panel of judges and an audience of fans and followers.
The evening started with a performance by William Bartholomew and his band. Playing mainly covers, they gave a really rocked up set of easily recognisable songs, high in energy, a set that was big on entertainment. They certainty owned the songs and made them their own but it was not unlike stuff we have heard before. They engaged with their audience and gave an impactful performance.
The Second band was Plato. A somewhat quieter approach, than the previous band, and one that gave more more scope to display their vocal qualities and instrumental ingenuity. Less stage presence but more musical variety to compensate. In many ways, more pleasing, less head banging and more in the style of blues and rhythmical sanguinity. The first band had set the bar but this band moved the goal posts. They played I Love to Boogie by T. Rex – that clinched it for me. One of my favourite songs of all time. They went on to give a very creditable version of Bill Withers Ain’t No Sunshine lacing in some electronic chords before going on to doing a real mash-up of melodies. They captured the mood and feeling of the numbers.
Brian. Not a single singer; but a band. With two female vocalists. I do not know if they played original songs or covers or a mixture of both. Nothing they played was recognisable, to me. But then I am not a musician. What they did, it was good. The sparkled. Their music was full of vitality. They drew a very enthusiastic response from the audience. There was much to like about this band. So far, the standard has been very high, I thought. There was much to catch the ear, in what they played. The previous two drummers had set high standards of musicianship and Brian’s drummer was no exception to this. Brian’s music was full of rhythm and strong beats. At the end of their time, they drew adulation from the crowd.
The fourth band of the evening – half way through the night – was Sorrell. Their music was nice. But it lacked the pizzazz of the previous bands. Even so, they gave us some very good vocals and instrumentals. Their set was engaging musically. Likeable music that was well constructed. Sometimes complex and satisfyingly paced. At the end of the day, it was all about playing music that was enjoyable.
The only band on tonight’s line-up that I had seen before was The Excellent Adventures. They had played at The Shed a few days ago, on 27th February. They certainly made an impressive start with songs that had a pop music quality. Leads singer with some backing vocals and a different style to what we had heard before. Plenty of punch and impact. Songs that pushed forward with a relentless beat and plenty of musical ideas. They knew how to make a great opening. Not a singing band, the vocal layer was provided by the lead singer. It was suggested to me that this band’s music owed a great deal to The Fontanas. Not a band I had ever of before. I later discovered that The Fontanas play ‘funky Brazilian and afro Latin vibes…Infectious and totally feel good’. Having listened to some of their music I felt they were a little in the style of Jamiroquai. But, that’s just my view.
Groove and the Bathtub Pings was the sixth band. I wondered if they were a sub-plot of the University of Leicester Big Band – I recognised some of the people on the stage. They had a big brass section and some marvellous vocalists. Now being a fan of the UOL Big Band, I found this to be the best act yet. Their set began with a rendition of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. It was all very enjoyable. A large ensemble, they up most of the space on the stage. A good mx of musical styles and genres.
Almost at the end of a long evening, it was time for Sweat Box. Even though this second half had been eclectic, this band provided even more that we had not yet heard. There were even some hip-hop vibes going on at times. Another large group of people but too much emphasis on the lead singer, in my opinion. I would have liked to have heard a more expansive vocal layer. At one point the crowd at the front formed a mosh pit. They certainly got the audience going. Exciting.
The final band of the night. Juke Box Heroes. Members of the band had dressed up for the occasion. It seemed a bit hippy; colourfully funky. They had gone to some trouble to create their vibe. I thought that Adam was the Jimi Hendrix of the night. They even had a singing drummer. Style: think 1970s, think psychedelic. Very interesting music; ear-licking. They played Easy by Faith No More. Or was it Lionel Richie? Or The Commodores? Whatever. I enjoyed it. A great take me back song.
The overall winners of the competition was De Montfort University. The winning band was Brian.