17th December 2014
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Music diary for April 2014
Gigs and events this month that we were at
Curve: we went to see the new musical Water Babies; see our review on Arts in Leicestershire
Smokin’ The Profit album launch at Sumo with Smokestacks, Paddywax and Blunderbuster
Joel Owen and the Antoine Band at The Musician with The Brandy Thieves and Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos.
Black Mesa at the Soundhouse with Deep Red Thread, Headwire and FourPointOh.
Deep Red Thread
A seriously good performance from lead vocalist Sophie Garner was backed by fizzingly good guitar work by Oscar to produce rock with plenty of punch and a thrilling start to the night.
A good band to watch, they performed energetically and with commitment. They drew the crowd in and got them involved in the songs – which were laced with catchy breaks and memorable song-lines.
At several gigs this year, DRT has proved itself to be a band of standing and significance. The band has grown in strength and new songs have demonstrated that they really have something to offer.
Matt Fraine commentred to us: DRT – overall, good. A band to watch. They could be more active. Good vocals and sound, catchy breaks and memorable melodies.
The three members of Headwires included a guitarist, female bassist both of whom contributed to the vocals. Their music was not short on punch and attack. Their song ‘tarantula’ was a fastly-paced number with some scorching guitar solos and shouty vocals. Guitarist Callum Wimhurst entertained the crowd between songs with some good-humoured banter.
The band’s third song was a slow ballad which had plenty of colour and mood. After a slow introduction it took off thrashing out beltin’ sounds and blistering guitar work backed by plenty of crashing work on the skins by drummer Ben Parker.
For their fourth song the band played an amazing cover of Ricky Martin’s ‘La Vida Loca‘ which they punked up into a hard-core interpretation, like nothing you have heard before. If the Clash had been able to cover it, it might have sounded something like this. In some respects a parody of the original it was nonetheless enjoyable. ‘Bounce’ fused together metal hardcore and punk sounds in a head-banging, propane fuelled song that crackled with energy. The band was great at interacting with the crowd and showed off their stage-presence.
Matt Fraine commented: very energetic, interactive with the crowd, their cover song was amazing, great stage presence and they got people involved.
This might have been the last time we would see this band, at least in its current line-up as their star guitar player, Robert, is leaving the band. His technically brilliant work on the strings will be remembered for a long time. Lead vocalist Becky Woolman did some impressively good singing. It all hung together astonishingly well delivering a set of exhilarating songs performed with great gusto. One of the most impressive hardcore bands in the city.
Black Mesa headlined the evening. The Leicester quintet’s set of songs was modern in style, even though they did not have that one killer song that is the rare asset that can make a young band more than just another young band. Overall the musicians did a good job tonight. The vocals from James Voisey were adequate though I still think he tends to strain his voice when doing live performances, compared to the band’s recorded work in which he sounds much better. They could make themselves stand out more by improving the vocal layer, by bringing in more back vocals.
Young bands night at The Shed with Lydia Mason, Flight 15, The Pretty Goodbyes and The World Can Wait.
Ivory Yardsale, Jason Smith, Abandon Her, The Unknown and Neon Sarcastic did Play@LMF heat 7 at The Shed
Ivory Yardsale was a duo, from Kettering, that played experiment music. Comprising one singer/guitarist and a drummer they played a set of technically impressive songs that many thought were musically of quality. The combination of one guitarist and one drummer is not unique, although it is of course quite unusual. They pulled it off and went down well with the audience. Follow Ivory Yardsale on Facebook.
Solo singer Jason Smith had a strong voice, full of style and expression and his lyrics were not short on mood and imagery. Performing mostly his own songs he also did a cover of Marley’s Redemption Song that he made his own. Follow Jason Smith on Facebook.
The Leicester quartet Abandon Her had four female artists and all of them sang, including the drummer. Their set of original popular meldodic songs came with plenty of umpf and clever backing vocals. Enjoyable music that was easy on the ear. The band’s cover of the Rolling Stones Paint it Black was particularly enjoyable. Follow Abandon Her on Facebook.
The Unknown were a five-piece group from Leicester that included three female artists, two of whom contributed to the vocals. Their set of entertaining cover songs delivered rock with rhythm, strong on vitality and pop that got the crowd clapping along to their infectious rhythms. Follow The Unknown on Facebook.
The announcement was made tonight that UB40 had been booked to play at The Leicester Music Festival in July, alongside the previously publicised acts – Tinie Tempah, Labrinth, Professor Green, The Saturdays, Kool & Gang, Katy B and Billy Ocean, among others.
On stage tonight at The Shed: Abandon Her, Neon Sarcastic, Ivory Yardsale, The Unknown and Jason Smith
Ivory Yardsale was a duo, from Kettering, that played experimental music. Comprising one singer/guitarist and a drummer they played a set of technically impressive songs that many thought were musically of quality. The combination of one guitarist and one drummer is not unique, although it is of course quite unusual. They pulled it off and went down well with the audience.
Solo singer Jason Smith had a strong voice, full of style and expression and his lyrics were not short on mood and imagery. Performing mostly his own songs he also did a cover of Marley’s Redemption Song that he made his own.
The Leicester quartet Abandon Her had four female artists and all of them sang, including the drummer. Their set of original popular meldodic songs came with plenty of umpf and clever backing vocals. Enjoyable music that was easy on the ear. The band’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black was particularly enjoyable.
The Unknown were a five-piece group from Leicester that included three female artists, two of whom contributed to the vocals. Their set of entertaining cover songs delivered rock with rhythm, strong on vitality and pop that got the crowd clapping along to their infectious rhythms.
Watch out for our review of all the Play@LMF shows, to be published after the last heat on Saturday 10th May and before the first of the semi-finals on 30th May.
The re-opening of the Charlotte as a pub.
Stating The Obvious, Lost in Transition, Of Kings and Captains, Invictus, Piezo at The Shed
Leicester band Stating the Obvious was on the main stage of the Shed with their set of indie/alternative rock songs. From Stourbridge, Of Kings and Captains rocked the house with good vocals and ripping songs backed by splendid guitar solos. Downstairs it was good to see Invictus again; the Leicester band with front man Kristian Price delivered a mind-blasting set of their metalcore songs with goodly helpings of raw stage presence.
Ex Glory for a Dead Man band Piezo also put on a thumpingly good performance. They have some recordings coming out.
Emily and the Woods at The Cookie Jar
by Keith Jobey
A great local support line-up sees Emily and the Woods tour visit Leicester.
The irrepressible Nile McGregor is first on the stage. Anyone who follows the Leicester music scene will surely be aware of Nile already. Playing a mix of what he tells us are sad songs and happy songs he’s good entertainment. He closes with one of his happy songs, the up-tempo At The End Of The Day, leaving the audience smiling.
Fallers, despite having just appeared on the Leicester music scene, are not unknown. Their debut gig was in mid-March (this is their third full band gig) yet they already have a slot at next months excellent Handmade Festival. They feature Rosie Doyle, Anita Lindley, Chloe Kenna and Shanice Spicer. I’ve seen Rosie as a solo act a number of times and always thought she stood out amongst her peers. Now with Fallers she has the instrument to deliver. One of her old songs Sinking Ship being a great example of this. The music is folk based and at times gospel like with lots of harmonising. They are a great addition to the local scene and Elizabeth Cornish rightly describes it later as a ridiculous third gig.
Elizabeth Cornish return to the scene of their recent debut album launch. Although not in the spotlight as much tonight as they were that night, they are a well chosen support to the main act and are received well by those who have not come across them prior to this performance. Playing as a full band (Elizabeth Cornish, Adam Wykes, Jason Skinner and Matthew Russell) they add in a couple of new songs, although I recall first hearing Blueprint a few years ago. Other highlights are Tears With Tea, Harder and Above Ground with it’s whoops and hollows that wouldn’t be out of place in the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville. I do enjoy watching this band.
Emily and the Woods is a London based band fronted by Emily Wood with Benedict Wood (Emily’s brother) on guitar, Sam Brown on bass and Dave Bush on drums. Tonight sees them near the end of a UK tour. The band is tight unit and complement Emily’s fragile vocals wonderfully. Occasionally delicate and hushed and at other times letting loose, a little reminiscent of Sade. It’s a great performance which was sadly spoilt for some by a guy who thought it was fun to chat throughout their set.
Deep Red Thread and The Deli’s Mix at The Looking Glass
The Deli’s Mix is a local band that has given us some really good performances in 2013 but since then has not been active. Tonight was a come-back for them. Last year the band played at the O2 Leicester with Formal Warning. In 2012 we went with them to Birmingham for their appearance at the Flapper and Firkin and again when they were at the Birmingham O2 on 16th August. In the same year, they played at the Musician for the Artsin ‘Flash Gig’ on 2nd August. They ended the year on 29th December with a gig at the Exchange Bar. The Delis Mix was at the Glastonbudget Festival in 2012
‘Full of confidence and showmanship, they were very entertaining, while delivering their own flavour of original funky rock songs. Another band to be seen again. I really liked them.’ wrote Kevin Gaughan of Arts in Leicester.
What makes The Deli’s Mix stand out is the extraordinary showmanship of its lead singer Tom Zbaraski and its set of memorable, catchy songs. Seeing them in the particularly intimate setting of the downstairs room at the Looking Glass was rewarding but it is on the large stages of the festivals where they really come into their own. The band’s performance at the 2013 Glastonblaby festival was particularly enjoyable as was their set at the Glastonbudget festival, that year.
A band that is establishing a reputation in Leicester is the hard rock group Deep Red Thread. DRT was at the Shed on 28th February this year for the gig that featured several good local bands; we wrote ‘Tonight they showed what they can do and delivered an exhilarating set of songs that smashed it. DRT’s hard rock songs come with lashings of energy led by front singer Sophie Garner who added plenty of glamour to the show.’
At the Looking Glass tonight, Deep Red Thread put on a thrilling performance of their songs, led by the remarkably powerful vocals of Sophie Garner and the impassioned and eloquent guitar work of Oscar Wright. An all-round solidly good performance of songs that had an incendiary level of impact and energy.