Music in August 2015
Our round-up of the live music events attended by our team of reporters and photographers during the month of August 2015 and some mentions of other events.
This new format takes over from our previous pages, such as
These postings will both record events that we attended and provide links to other pages that cover events in more detail.
This page will be updated frequently, please come back to it to see new entries.
In descending order of date:
Monday 31st August
Leicester City Centre
The Leicester Belgrave mela took place again this year and on the Clock Tower stage, rapper Dibbz was on stage with some of his collaborators.
Sunday 30th August
Tapestry played at the Musician and Kevin Gaughan went to see them
Ash Mammal was on the line-up
Saturday 29th August
Leicester city centre
City Festival 2015 and Cosmopolitan Carnival
Each year there is a city festival that runs for a week; this year it ran from 22nd to 31st August.
The ten days of the festival included a wide range of artistic activities and entertainments for the family. The festival is organised by Leicester City Council.
Today there was a main stage in Jubilee Square and some of the acts that played on it included Flight15, The Harrowbrooks, The Hardy Band, Goldwater, Sola Rosa and The Paradmines. There was also a performance by Angelica Baylor from Atlanta, USA.
At the BBC Radio Leicester building, a workshop too place on our musicians and singers can improve their presentation of themselves, particularly in social media. It was organised by Dreaming In Colour Productions and Arts in Leicester. Participants discussed how to present a music act in the social media when seeking bookings from venues and festival organisers.
The Cosmopolitan Carnival had a music stage outside Leicester Cathedral. Some of the acts we saw included musicians from the Confucius Institute playing Chinese music, the Kaine Mass gospel choir, Hari Trevedi playing tabla, a slot of comedian Ishi Khan Jackson and a performance by Jonezy.
In the evening Dreaming In Colour put on a show at The Shed, at which Jonezy performed.
Friday 28th August
On stage tonight were Stating The Obvious, Jonezy, Steve Faulkner, Once Vagrant Souls and Aztec Temples.
Five well chosen acts brought in a good number of people.
A superb line-up of first-class acts for Trevor Locke’s birth party bash. A good time was had by all.
Wednesday 26th August
Another article in the series History of Music in Leicester was published by Arts in Leicester magazine.
Monday 24th August
Dreaming In Colour Productions launched their new rehearsal rooms in Humberstone Gate, not far from the Shed and the Musician. Many artists performed and a large-cross section of the music industry were there to see them. A recording studio is also planned in the near future.
Saturday 22nd August
another of my ‘nights off’ when I end up working anyway. I was there for Revival’s EP launch. On stage tonight was Rhett Barrow with his band, now a duo, The Dedbeats. Anything with Rhett Barrow in it is bound to be good. He is a great singer and one of Leicester’s most engaging musical personalities.
I liked the set by No More Heroes, the three piece band that has three particularly good musicians including a drummer – Andrew – who work on the skins tonight was inspiringly good. Drummers often fail to get the acknowledgement they deserve; they sit at the back and people usually fail to notice them. I watched Andrew tonight and, as I said to their lead singer after the set, I have not soon drumming that good in a long time.
The headline set of the evening was Revival, with Daz Lynch in the lead role proving vocals that were packed with punch and delivered with plenty of presence.
Kevin Gaughan was at the O2 Academy for the Reckless Youth show with 8MilesHigh Dig Lazarus.
Oliver K-M, as he likes to be known, is one band singer who has always impressed me.
Most people must have heard of Dig Lazarus by now, since the won this year’s OBS.
Another of Leicester’s star singers is Ash Wright; if you want to know what ‘stage presence’ is just see him. Reckless Youth is a band with star guitarists too.
Leicester is fortunate in having so many first class bands and singers.
Friday 21st August
The organisers of the Glastonbudget music festival have started to hold auditions shows at The Shed for next year’s festival. I try to get along to as many of these as I can; for one thing it helps me to identify the bands on our ‘must see’ list if they get to play at the event. Tonight I particularly wanted to be there for Loughborough rap artist LackyC.
He was one of a group of hip-hop artists I got to know a few years back along with Jonezy, Dibbz and Ricky Smith. Glastonbudget is a festival that tries to cover all genres of music and rap and hip-hop have always been on the menu, which is good because there are some talented artists out there.
Also on the stage tonight were The Bombardiers and The Mininukes. Even though Bombardiers played at this year’s festival, they still had to audition for 2016. The Bombardiers played on the Libra stage this year and in our report we said
Dripping with attitude, passion and entwined with emotion is how the programme described the music of The Bombardiers, a quartet formed in 2014 and based in Northamptonshire. They band auditioned for its festival slot at The Shed in February. [Music in Leicester]
Similarly, The Mininukes also played at this year’s festival; we said
Leicester-based punk/ska band has a set of original songs and cheeky covers that feature bouncy riffs and catchy lyrics. The band performed at the OBS in March. [Music in Leicester]
I left The shed and made my way across town to Duffy’s Bar in Pocklingtons Walk. I have been to this pub before – it’s a nice, comfortable place and the beer is good. I was there to see Aztec Temples (again.)
I go to most of their gigs. This is a band that is going from strength to strength. A succession of performances this year has brought them to the attention of music fans and they are attracting a following. They are writing lots of new material and hope to get into the recording studio soon.
Saturday 15th August 2015
Demons of Ruby Mae
at The Cookie
with Megan Carlile, Prash Gor and The Vanishing Point
A remarkably good line-up; Luke Walker was also on it but had to withdraw due to a bad throat. We arrived too late to hear the set by Megan Carlile, which is a shame because I heard good things about her performance.
Prash Gor performed on the main stage at the Simon Says… festival, so it was good to see him again tonight at The Cookie. Prash has a voice that is wonderfully evocative and an astute guitar technique; he delighted the audience with his songs and his anecdotes, with added a note of amusement to this performance. When his career started he was often a little nervous and insure of himself but now he comes across as a seasoned performer. Prash moved fluently from a moody ballad to a lively and jaunty song finishing with one of my favourite Gor songs Black. An altogether impressive performance from an engaging artist.
Two musicians were on stage for the set by The Vanishing Point. The Leicester duo started in 2012; John Molnar, providing vocals, guitar, bass and synth and Sid Barrett on drums, pads and vocals. Danny Greet is also a member of the group but he is away at the moment. On its Facebook page the band quotes its influences as LCD Soundsystem, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, The Verve, Chemical Brothers and Underworld. so, you can image the robust sounds and incisive vocals that came from the stage. A set laden with rich rhythms and bursting beats they had the audience eating out of their hands.
A band that I have followed for some time is Demons of Ruby Mae; its lead singer Jonny Gavin is knew from his time with The Chairmen. Jonny began the first song with only minimal guitar chords from Adam Rowley; Jonny has one of the most impressive voices I have heard from a local artist; one of the power and strength of a an opera singer and he uses it with skill and ingenuity to colour his songs with lashings of emotion. The audience stood transfixed during the slow introduction to the first song. Then it took off as Jonny moved onto the drum kit at the front of the stage, while Adam provided the peddled guitar parts. For their second song they performed The Boy Who Cried Wolfe, the title track from their EP of the same name.
Demons of Ruby Mae performed at the Y, in Leicester, in May 2013. Adrian Manning was at that show and he said
All dressed in black, Demons take to the stage with the confidence and exuberance of a band playing much bigger venues. They are meatier and beatier than I recall and the word anthemic jumps into my mind when I hear some of the songs tonight. Revolving vocalists, full band and solo piano tracks plus the strings ensure a varied and impressive set. Opener Ribbons is rolling and crashing and sets the ball moving. The new single Beneath The Surface is great and well worth purchasing. Hope Is was performed beautifully with solo piano and the strings and the crowd were very happy to hear the wonderful, rousing Volcanic Mouth. Finishing their set with The Boy Who Cried Wolf it was evident that the local Leicester fans were impressed by tonight’s set and with this level of ambition it’s easy to imagine that Demons will go from strength to strength. [Music in Leicester magazine]
Prior to that I was at the Concordia Theatre, in 2012, when the band headlined to a packed house. That was a memorable night, the like of which has rarely been equaled locally. As I said in my review of that night
Set high above the stage was Ruby Mae – a young lady dressed in a specially designed gown with an elaborate horned hair-style – who sat perfectly motionless throughout the whole set. She was the band’s icon and when lead singer Jonny Gavin walked on stage – to a huge cheer from the crowd – the band launched into their opening song ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. [Music in Leicester]
I can remember that image vividly to this day. I went on to say
Jonny Gavin started on the baby grand piano and introduced a new song which he sang with his great rich, powerful voice. Jonny and Adam Rowley took it in turns to play either the piano or guitar, both of them superbly good vocalists and excellent musicians. [Music in Leicester]
The Boy Who Cried Wolfe is a ballad of sumptuous drama and atmosphere. Jonny Gavin gave a stunning performance and, with Adam Rowley, they represent two of the most creative music artists in our local area and beyond. They have set the bar for creativity, a standard few other groups can reach. Their songs are very adept at building up dynamics and Jonny’s phrasing is crystal clear. he plies so much feeling into every phrase that he sings. The band has been on tour recently and last night they were at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester and before that London. They are a great credit to Leicester and to their home town of Hinckley. Tonight Demons gave us something that we very special.
It was a mesmerising set of magical music, in an evening that gave us a line-up of highly talented artists.
Friday 14th August
Promoter Andy Wright put on a show at Sumo with Aztec Temples, Revival and a couple of other acts.
A feature of the tonight was it being invaded by a hen party and a TV camera crew who were filming them for a reality documentary.
My main reason for being there was to see Aztec Temples, the Leicester five-piece band that I am doing some work with. The Aztec’s have a good set of songs, compelling tunes and rich rhythms being the hallmark of what they do. With their two good front singers – Conor Simpson as lead, backed by Louis from the guitar – they provided a set of songs that rally worked, both the audience and me. The band performed some of their newer songs, including Places, with its catchy breaks and Retreat, with its lively, bouncing beats. Backed with sparkling guitar solos from Shay McDermott, they finished off their set with the enjoyable melodies of See you on the other side.
I was glad to see Revival; the lead singer is Daz Lynch and the bassist is Joe Doyle. It was during their set that a crowd of girls in orange T-shirts arrived and, hopefully, Revival will get to be on the telly at some point. They gave us a good set of songs with strong ovals and plenty of ear-grabbing sounds. Daz Lynch told me that the band has spent a long time preparing for its launch gig; they wanted to make sure they got it right and by the looks of tonight, that approach has certainly paid off.
Thursday 13th August
Even though it was raining, I went to The Shed to see Small Pond Big Fish, The Budgie Smugglers, Flight15 and IVMK. I missed Greystarr. It was my night off so I didn’t take notes but I remember everyone saying that Flight15’s set was particularly good.
Tuesday 11th August
Friday 7th August
I published the first instalment of my series of articles on The History of Music in Leicester. In this part I looked at music of today, covering the period from 2005 to 2014.
with Michael Vickers, Chris Moody and Dexeter
It is shameful that I do not go to The Donkey anything like as much as I should. It is a very nice and attractive venue that continually puts on good music. So, tonight I made a special effort to get there, especially as I wanted to see my old mate Mickey Vickers. An added bonus was that my friends Carlos Stien and Kevin Gaughan were also going. The Donkey is a legend on the Leicester music scene, having provided the city with live music since 2005.
Photo Kevin Gaughan
Michael Vickers is someone I have known for years, ever since he was the lead singer in Kicking Habits – one of my favourite bands at the time. I last saw him at the Simon Says… festival. When I did an article on the ‘stars of Leicester’ I made sure his photo was included.
Chris Moody is a fine singer whose work has impressed me; he has performed at several of the obsUnplugged show, including this year
and when I saw him there I noted
He had a vibrato in his voice that reminded me of Cat Stevens. His set list tended to be a bit down-beat but the addition of the harmonica lifted the performance at certain points. He sang with character and commitment but there were too many sad songs. He sang with his eyes closed for much of the time, delivering feeling but unable to focus on the faces of his audience, suggesting he was singing at them rather than to them. [Arts in Leicester magazine] Not a problem he had tonight I am pleased to say.
I had missed Dexeter before, so it was good to see them today. Dexeter is a modern country, rock and pop band.
A good night out (even if I did have to leave early to get the last bus home.)
Saturday 8th August
We were in Coalville today attending the event taking place at the Rugby Club.
We saw The World Can Wait, Jonezy and some other acts. A trip out by bus to the far flung ends of the county, to a festival where I went with my act Jonezy (I am still his manager) so I try to be at most of his live appearances (which are fewer these days because his work commitments.) I also saw of my most admired bands The World Can Wait, which was an added bonus.
Blessed with good weather and plenty of sunshine, the charity fund-raiser festival had attracted a good crowd of people. Jonezy performed a set of his own songs and was joined on stage by rapper LackyC (who appeared at the Loughborough Mela a few days later.)
Jonezy’s set went down well with the crowd, many of whom would not have seen him before. Sadly I had to leave before The Bench That Rocked came on.
Friday 7th August
with Michael Vickers, Chris Moody and Dexeter
It is shameful that I do not go to The Donkey anything like as much as I should. It is a very nice and attractive venue that continually puts on good music. So, tonight I made a special effort to get there, especially as I wanted to see my old mate Mickey Vickers. An added bonus was that my friends Carlos Stien and Kevin Gaughan were also going. The Donkey is a legend on the Leicester music scene, having provided the city with live music since 2005. Michael Vickers is someone I have known for years, ever since he was the lead singer in Kicking Habits – one of my favourite bands at the time. I last saw him at the Simon Says… festival [Music in Leicester]. When I did an article on the ‘stars of Leicester’ I made sure his photo was included [Music in Leicester]
Chris Moody is a fine singer whose work has impressed me; he has performed at several of the obsUnplugged shows, including this year [Music in Leicester] and when I saw him there I noted
He had a vibrato in his voice that reminded me of Cat Stevens. His set list tended to be a bit down-beat but the addition of the harmonica lifted the performance at certain points. He sang with character and commitment but there were too many sad songs. He sang with his eyes closed for much of the time, delivering feeling but unable to focus on the faces of his audience, suggesting he was singing at them rather than to them. [Arts in Leicester magazine]
Given that I had missed Dexeter at their previous appearances in Leicester, it was good to see them today. Dexeter are a modern country, rock and pop band from the Midlands.
A good night out (even if I did have to leave early to get the last bus home.)
Thursday 6th August
A good line-up at The Shed tonight. From Australia The Vans played. Our World Below?, very good.
Where the Indian ocean breaks on the shores of South West Australia comes band from the town of Perth. The Vans is an aspiring aural asset has come all the way to Leicester to play for us tonight. The Vans gave us a set of energetic music that was vibrant and entertaining that came from a noticeable chemistry on the stage. In August and September this year the band was on a UK tour. An unsigned, indie rock band, the band has been around since 2011, playing in Australia and touring internationally.
Metalers Our World Below? were totally awesome. Post-hardcore, head-banging, screamo that thundered from the stage like a volcano. Sick. The five-piece bands hail from the Shropshire, Birmingham area formed in 2013 and have been playing with bands such as Sylosis, Seven Deadly, Breed 77 and The Heretic Order.
Page published: 15th August 2015: last updated: 24th August.