Live Music in Leicester
for the month of November 2016
Music in Leicester magazine’s reporters and photographers have been out at gigs this month
and here is what they found.
To see previous months scroll down
Saturday 3rd December, Abandon Her, with special guests, EP launch at Jukebox, St. Nicholas Place (top of the High Street), Leicester, LE1 4LD. Doors 730, tickets £5.
26th November 2016
White Noise Festival
by Keith Jobey
Christmas came early when the White Noise sleigh landed at Firebug on Saturday. Bringing with it a sack full of winter warmers to spread cheer amongst the little helpers who had come to watch and listen.
It was a quiet opening as Deep Sleep tried to waken up the early doors crowd with their instrumental indie rock.
Moving downstairs it was the turn of Luke Broughton. Playing downstairs at Firebug is always a tricky gig, having to compete with the general bar noise, but fortunately it was quiet enough to appreciate Luke’s music.
Elizabeth Cornish played what is definitely her last gig in Leicester (unless she plays one when visiting) as she’s moving away before the year is out. I first saw Elizabeth play live at White Noise 2011 in pretty much the same spot, and between then and now, I’ve watched her band as it grew and developed, released a great debut album, then gradually shrank again to leave her last few shows playing solo again. Bon voyage and thanks Elizabeth.
Katie Malco often pops up at White Noise and Handmade. A few years ago she enthralled a quiet crowd at Bishop Street Church. Today she had to cope with the increasingly noisy downstairs bar, and despite an electric guitar and a strong voice, the bar seemed intent on making itself heard.
Courtney Askey signed off for the year with a very strong performance, completing what has been a definitive year in their development. Next gig we’re told, will be the album launch early next year.
Grace Petrie, like Katie Malco, had the main bar to contend with, but was aided by having a bigger crowd there to see her.
It’s been a great year for Kermes, relatively unknown at the beginning of the year they’re now a very credible band with some superb releases.
White Noise regulars We Three And The Death Rattle continue to test out the songs from their next album. Shrouded in dry ice and dark lighting, with a back projection of static, it was a very atmospheric performance.
Ash Mammal were the last band I caught and they were on fine form. The photograph shows the passion they put into their songs but that only captures a smidgen of the energy they have.
Let’s Talk Dagger, Wiseass, Alma, the Woahnows and Johnny Foreigner all played too but I didn’t catch their sets. But it was another brilliant White Noise and hopefully plenty cash was raised for local charity LOROS. Fourteen acts and a disco for £7, you always get value for money from a White Noise event.
Glastonbudget at The Shed
with Day of the Moon (Leicester), The Kut (London), Damage Protocol (Leicester) and Dead Frequency (Daventry/Rugby/Northampton)
Doing a night at the auditions for next year’s Glastonbudget festival is always a good night out; not least because you get to see some good bands and there are usually a lot of people there. Tonight was no exception.
Beginning tonight’s lineup was a new band from Leicester – Day Of The Moon.
This young six-piece band had a free-standing lead singer backed by vocals from the bassist and they also had a keyboard player. From the first bars of the first song my attention was riveted. Tight, sharp playing and strong vocals. These six young people played well together and the band’s performance was impressive. Most of what they played was songs they had composed themselves (original tunes) except for the last song, when they played a cover by Arctic Monkey’s Are You Mine. Well, at least it wasn’t Look Good On The Dance Floor. All in all, a very creditable performance.
The judges certainly thought so because they gave them a place at the festival. Band members Tom Davis – Vocals, Dan Youngs – Lead Guitar, Ben Pullen – Rhythm Guitar, Charles Carter – Bass Guitar, Harry Gilmour – Keyboard, and Mark Zanker – Drums are aged between 15 and 16. A very large posse of fans had turned up to support them. I was told the band members all come from the same college in Anstey. I think this is a band we shall see more of in the future.
The Kut was three women from London. The lead singer (and guitarist) was Princess Maha, Eli was standing in for their usual bassist and Diana Bar was on the drums.
Their style of music was “basement rock”, they told me; I was hearing punk, grunge and funk but hey that’s just me.
A set of lively, bouncy songs rich in rhythms and bursting with beats, The Kut engaged the audience in their music, kept the party going and had the crowd jumping to their feisty songs.
I met them after their gig. They told me the band had been going for six years and they had played in Leicester before and have performed at Glastonbudget in 2015 and this year. They are on a 37-date tour of the UK. Soon after that they go on to tour Germany, taking in places like Cologne and Stuttgart and Mannheim. The band also played at Download festival where they were the winners of the #Dogsbedstage and have been featured in Kerrang magazine. The band has recently released ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors‘ which available on iTunes. Another interesting fact is that they have played before with Lilith’s Army – a band we like very much.
The third band on stage tonight was Leicester’s Damage Protocol. This trio has come a long way since they first started out; and tonight was one of the best sets I have seen them play, a sentiment that earned agreement from other members of the audience. They were on top form.
A set that was varied in style and tempo, all three of them had vocal mics and the guitar solos, with their effects pedals, were top notch.
It was a performance that shone with energy and sparkled with electricity. They really came alive.
Another trio in which all of them sang, was Dead Frequency.
An exhilarating cocktail of glam, punk and rock, they delivered a resounding finale to the evening. Tuneful and full of life, they kept the audience in the room and had them bouncing with their ballsy, high octane songs.
Strongly driven vocals from Matti Fantasi, pounding skins from Sam Thorne and belting bass from James Bourne added up to a kick-ass set that capped the night.
Even before they had finished, Glastonbudget organiser Muz came to the mic to announce that all four bands had been accepted to play at the festival.
What a night!
Hitting Rock Bottom
Tonight Jonathan Eve hosted an ‘open-mic’ night at Leicester’s new venue Rock Bottom. You might recall that Jonathan is in the band Whiskey Rebellion. The headline act for the evening was magician Colin Skinner, whose act was amazing and funny. Artists sang and groups played and Poetman presented a set of his raps and songs. It was an altogether enjoyable experience.
Jonezy at The Shed
We report on Jones the rapper’s birthday party at the Shed.
Carlos Stein’s Lord of the Loops
Carlos Stein is also known for being the ‘Lord of the Loops’, having a unique style of music that made by live-looping bass guitar and drum beats using various instruments and backed with luscious vocal harmonies, amplified with dazzling harmonica solos and captivating hooks. It’s all rich in humour and cynical beat poetry.
singer Rob Newton from Loughborough entertained the audience with a selection of well known and enjoyable songs.
Since this Leicester band first hit the scene in 2015, they have gone to rise from playing support slots to headlining gigs and have toured outside of Leicester, playing in several key towns including Manchester.
The band gained a place on the roster of This Feeling one of the UK’s leading rock nights. At the start of this year the band was awarded a place in the top fifty of the Fred Perry/This Feeling’s Big in 2016 list.
Tonight, returning to the stage of the Shed in a long while, they were on top form, delivering a set of their own songs that have become popular among the local gig-going fraternity.
Jonezy is widely known for being a hard working music artist. Whether performing at gigs and festivals around the UK or promoting issues he believes in, such as his recent work anti-bullying – #Keeponfighting – the Loughborough-based rapper always has something new in store. Known for his positive vibe and uplifting messages, he mixes together rock, pop and hiphop rhythms and beats into an exciting cocktail of songs that are driven by his relentlessly energetic stage performances.
Supporting some of Jonezy’s songs tonight was fellow hiphop artist and long-time collaborator LackyC. The two artists have appeared together many times and their work complements each other musical and in terms of their lyrics.
Over the years Jonezy has played support slots with bands such as The Vamps, OPM, The trinity Band and Shystie, as well as local bands like Strike Up The Colours.
As it was Jonezy’s birthday party, the customary cake appeared
Fans from Norway, Denmark, Holland and Wales had come to Leicester specially for this event.
Also in the audience was singing star Alexandru, better known as a member of the signed band Suite16. Alexandru has been an artist who has worked with Jonezy many times in the past.
So, a party that brought together many old friends, some new ones and a selection of the rockerati of Leicester to enjoy some brilliant musical performances and have fun as you would expect to do at a Shed celebratory event.
Skam at The Musician
A night of running between venues to catch the most of what was going on. I could not miss a big show headlined by Leicester’s rock supremos Skam.
Even so, I was glad that I started my night at The Shed because I saw Impervious Mind. A very worthwhile experience.
These guys had come all the way from Rome just to play at The Shed tonight. It was worth it. They bagged themselves a slot at the Glastonbudget festival next year. I very much hope that I will see them there; they were fantastic. Rarely do I get so excited about a band I have not seen before. Before they went on I had a chat with the group. The members of the band are Singer – Andrea Furcas, Drummer – Gustavo Pizzini, Bassist – Matteo Battisti, Rhythm Guitarist – Federico Pecci and Lead Guitarist – Ryan Mahawili.
Although Impervious Mind had played in England once before, this was the band’s first time in Leicester. I asked the guys what kind of music they played: they said “energy”, “expression” and “sentiment.” They got it right. Their performance crackled with electricity, had a volcanic level of expression and has loaded with fine sentiments. They have been together for two years, they told me. They were here tonight because they longed to be part of an English festival. They had a lot of good things to say about music in England. I for one will be at the front of the queue to see them at Glastonbudget, if I get to go next year.
Also on stage tonight was The Mocking Jays. The band was featured in our round-up of live music in August.
Tonight they put on an impressive performance. A set of songs that had balls. Heavy rock that sparkled with dynamism. Jacob Smith packed the songs with passionate vocals.
A sparkling performance from a band that is increasingly popular; and it’s not difficult to see why.
Skam headline The Musician
If you do not know who Skam are; you can’t have been in Leicester for long.
This Leicester band is the longest-running rock band I know and I have been following them since very nearly the date they started.
Our local area has spawned a large number of rock stars; one of them is Skam’s lead singer Steve Hill
Bassists come in all shapes and sizes, colours and models but none of them is anything like Matt Gilmore
and as I have said before and delight in saying again, Skam has one of the best drummers in the business – Neal Hill, brother of the lead singer.
Tonight The Musician was rammed- bulging at the seams with fans of the one of the most popular rock bands in the city, over a long period of time.
Skam’s set of nothing short of sensational. It’s a total rock experience, the like of which you are unlikely to get from most other bands of their ilk.
As a band they have written dozens and dozens of songs over the years, some of which we still remember but they do not play anymore. Their back-catalogue is extensive.
As a trio their performances are marked with a sense of fun; they love playing; they love being a band and their loves love them back big time.
Also at tonight’s show, was Tequila Mockingbyrd
From Melbourne, Australia, doing a UK tour from October to December.
Dig Lazarus is a local band that will be family to readers of this magazine because we have covered quite a bit in recent times.
Tonight there was a buzz in the air, the kind of feeling not often found in local gigs, the whole event had an iconic feel to it. The lighting was spectacular; being amplified from the Musician’s usual setup by the technical wizardry of Jamie Borland. One of the nice things about tonight, for me personally, was meeting folks I had not met for a long time, fans, relatives of the band members, members of the local rockerati, it seems like everybody was there. Definitely a night to remember.
at The Musician with Kafkadiva
Tonight Xander Promotions presented Badfinger at The Musician. The support slot came from Kafkadiva.
Not a band I knew anything about before I saw them tonight. My musical experience does not go back very far. As a jobbing music journalist it’s about taking it as it comes. But first some background.
Signed to the Beatle’s Apple label in 1968, as an earlier group called The Iveys, Badfinger launched their career in 1970 with the Paul McCartney classic, Come And Get It. The original line-up consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. Pete Ham was a Welsh singer and song writer until his tragic death in 1975. Pete Ham has been credited as being an early founder of the power pop genre. Song writers in their own right, Badfinger followed with a string of hits: Come and Get it, made the Top 10, No Matter What, another Top 10 hit, Day after Day, Baby Blue charted in the UK, US and Canada and Without You was a number one hit on the worldwide charts.
A number one for Harry Nilsson, Mariah Carey and many others, Without You was a Badfinger original written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans.
Tonight we saw Bob Jackson on vocals, keyboard and guitar, Andy Nixon on guitar and vocals, Mick Healy on bass and vocals and Ted Duggan on drums.
Jackson was the only member of the band who was in the earlier line-up, the other have joined more recently.
The story remains one of music’s legendary tragedies. Nevertheless, the band’s popularity has not waned over succeeding years. Badfinger’s music continues to command critical acclaim with many of the songs featuring in the soundtracks of blockbuster movies and TV soundtracks. The smash hit series Breaking Bad being one which put Baby Blue in front of millions and it rocketed back into the Charts.
Since the 70s, Bob Jackson, part of the original line-up back then, has consistently driven the Badfinger legacy with various Badfinger-related releases, performances, interviews, activities and events; one of the most recent being a Blue Plaque Concert in Swansea celebrating founder member Peter Ham, which raised almost £3,000 for the Papyrus Charity in 2013.
Most recently, Badfinger (featuring Bob Jackson) completed a very successful UK Theatre Tour in the Autumn of 2015 playing to over 20,000 people. Looking now to build on the success of the re-launch, Badfinger are looking to promote their extensive back catalogue with live shows in the UK, Europe, Far East and USA.
There is still a huge worldwide fan base eager to hear the songs performed as they should be. In A Different World is the new song by Badfinger featuring Bob Jackson.
When Badfinger opened their set, the first thing that struck me was that they had three vocalists. That always impresses me. some readers will be aware of my predilection for singing bands. So, for me that was a good start. I sensed that the audience comprised people who had followed the band for some time and were familiar with their songs. It was very clear that the four musicians on the stage were all experienced singers and instrumentalists. I listened carefully to the way that Bob Jackson delivered his vocals; providing a richness of technique and expression; stylish and distinctive in sound.
The band’s long history and substantial back catalogue of music has sustained it and brought a new following. In a city where new bands and new music is the bedrock of our culture, Badfinger’s presence in Leicester is a welcome reminder of the persistence and tenacity of songs that people love.
The show was opened by Kafkadiva, a band whose home town is Leicester. Louise Wilson on vocals and guitar, Steve Chilton on bass and on the drums Tony Norris. The band’s set of lively pop rock tunes delighted the audience, me included.
Dreaming In Colour Productions presents a new venue – Rock Bottom – at Silver Street Leicester
with Leader, Aztec Temples, Ronoc and Steve Marsden.
It has been a long time since a new live music venue opened in Leicester. Tonight’s show – presented by Dreaming In Colour Productions – marked the introduction of Rock Bottom, a hip new basement venue in Silver Street, adjacent to the Lamp Lighters bar.
The first thing you notice about this place is the decor. It’s hip. Cool. Retro. Different. From the underfloor lighting of the stage through to the seating made to look like Cadillacs, the room has a New York 60s feel to it. There are plenty of places to sit, if you don’t want to stand at the front.
The sound system for the stage produced good quality music. The toilets were clean. The bar prices were not bad. All in all, a pretty good place to go to see bands and it will, I reckon, take over from The Shed if and when it closes for the early part of next year.
I had a really good night at Rock Bottom, I have to say. Not least because I met a load of people I knew, including my good ole friend Steve who opened the show. I remembered him from the days when he lived in Leicester and was the lead singer for Hot Frolics.
On the line-up tonight: Leader, Aztec Temples, Ronoc and Steve Marsden.
Opening the show, Steve Marsden began by saying he had just driven all the way down from Edinburgh – where he now lives – to sing his songs for us. Really nice to see him again after so many years since the days when we enjoyed him with his band Hot Frolics. I remember seeing the Hot Frolics on 9th March 2012 when they played the Original Bands showcase heat at The Shed. Steve’s set was really good; interspersed with anecdotes and comments that were funny; in fact I seem to remember he had a sub-career as comedian at one time. His performance was one of musical excellence and consummate professionalism. He knows how to play a guitar too – oh yes. A really good start to the night.
I kept thinking I had seen Ronoc before. It might have been at The Shed last year when they played in the basement. Everyone thought they were good. The rock/pop band from Loughborough is fronted by the singer Conor Dawson. I seem to remember seeing him at Leicester’s Got Talent in November 2015. Anyway, Ronoc was really good. Very enjoyable. Good vocals from Conor.
Time for Aztec Temples. Again. I go to all their gigs when they play in Leicester. It’s the songs that do it for me. Brilliant. They looked good on the dance floor.
Leader came from the Oxford, Buckinghamshire area. The five-piece rock pop band was fantastic.
Great music. Great singer. Very popular and successful by all accounts. There was a buzz in the room; clearly everyone was enjoying this set. Lots of positive comments from the Rockerati. Definitely want to see these guys again; come back soon.
A good night out; nice new venue; lots of mates to see; some to catch up with; must go again soon.
Wakeup Promotions at Duffy’s
with The Sedations, Budgie Smugglers and No More Heroes.
Paul Collins was buzzing around at Duffy’s Bar tonight; making sure everything ran smoothly for his show. Which it did.
One Leicester band that has been going for a long time is The Sedations. They played one of their own songs – Monkey Brains – which I remember from a previous gig. One of Leicester’s longest established punk bands, they gave us a set of fast and furious songs that raised the roof. This was a band that I saw on 15th February 2015 but that was just one of many.
Budgie Smugglers. What fun! always good to see this band; they are just so very enjoyable. They were our band of the month.
No More Heroes. Wow! These guys have certainly come on. As someone said to me “these guys are good.” Well, I wholeheartedly agreed with that. They scored a big hit recently when they headlined one of the Glastonbudget auditions. I always thought they were good. Now it looks like they have notched up a couple of levels.
Watch out for the band’s EP; look for it on Facebook.
at The Shed
Upstairs/Downstairs is a long-running series of shows put on at The Shed by Dreaming In Colour Productions.
Tonight’s line-up was Felix, Homeless Shakespeare, Vienna Ditto and The Surrealists. In the bottom bar Brandon Neal, Mind Step, Gunk and Waldorf.
It was a good night of music; the audience had a lot of variety from which to choose. Some acts were on the main stage; some downstairs, so people had to divide themselves between the ones they wanted to see. Two acts stood out for me.
Great moshing in the marsh. Heavy. What an atmosphere, Crazy guys. Wonderful.
They came on at that end of the evening when you just don’t care anymore. After the wall the death the audience was asked to do alien geometry, dancing. Moments of madness. It was electrifying. Mind-bending volcanic music. Not a band you could easily ignore. Utterly crazy and completely wonderful.
Two artists brought something quite unique to the stage. They were different. I liked what they did. It had a vibe. One vocalist and a guitar-playing operator of electro stuff. They had style.
They were hip. Producing music that was fresh and original. Interesting and intriguing. I like the kind of music that goes over the threshold. The stage looked like Jodderal Bank, there were so many wires and boxes.
Out of this tangled spagetti of electronics they produce incredibly good music. They were shit hot.
Brandon Neal – as awesome as ever. Good to see Waldorf again after so many years.
So there you have it; nights at the Shed. Drink, dance and be merry.
at the Soundhouse
with Freddie Webber, The Tom McCartney band and Ross Connor.
Tonight’s show was put on by Casbah Music Management and Promotions. They have been running shows in Leicester for some time and the name (or if you like the brand) has become established.
Opening the show, Freddie Webber did a solo set. He tours with The Graveltones. Originally from Wickford in Essex, Freddie now is based in London I think. Tonight he gave us the benefit of his fine, strong voice which he used with plenty of personality. His set of songs held the attention of the audience. Vibrant, rhythmic, full of engagement, his set made a good start to the evening.
Back in July I was at the Soundhouse when Casbah put on a young singer from Nottingham called Tom McCartney. That was a memorable experience; as I said at the time ‘He sings blues and country. At 16, McCartney’s performance was remarkable.’ His voice sounds very much older than he is. Tonight Tom was back with his full band and a set of songs rich in Delta blues and 12 bars. Very Feelgood. With a backing vocalist, the songs and including six musicians overall, it was an impressive set; a one that was most enjoyable.
Ross Connor plays guitar and sings; Carl Wallace plays the drums. Two-piece bands have been appearing around here quite a bit recently. Like tonight’s headline act, this duo makes music like a full band. As Ross said when he started “we’re gonner make a racket”; possibly true but their set of rocky songs was delivered with plenty of passion and gusto.
They have released a video which can be viewed on Facebook. It’s called I don’t care. Ross Connor is a blues guitarist and singer/songwriter, from Milton Keynes. I read that he started playing the guitar when he was 12. His songs had a heavy resonance but were firmly planted in the blues. Rich in compelling beats and rhythms, the audience lapped it up with relish. Think Clapton. Think Johnson. Think Hendrix. and you will be thinking about Connor.
When tonight’s headline band was introduced, the audience broke into sustained enthusiasm. Clearly, the bands were among their friends. The lead singer of the Graveltones had a distinctive voice; staccato style, edgy, raw, penetrating, jagged – the two musicians full the room with a considerable set of sounds. What they did was exhilarating and the audience crowded to the front to get as close as possible to the action.
Powerful, rocky, compelling, full of intense passion and delivered with a true rock-star quality performance, the vocals of Jimmy O were astonishing. Backed by Mikey Sorbello on drums.
It was an extraordinary set; one that people will not be likely to forget in a hurry. Full marks to Casbah for having the insight to book them and for putting on a night which offered something rather different.
On 2nd December The Tom McCartney band will be supporting Little Brother Eli with The Feverkicks, at the Soundhouse. Another CashbahMMP show.
3rd November 2016
Brix & the Extricated
by Keith Jobey
Sometimes you have to trust someone, believe them when they tell you to come along to see a band you’ve never listened to before. There were two other gig options I could had picked out, both brilliant options, but in the end I put my faith in my friend and went to see Brix & the Extricated at the Musician, a faith that was well rewarded.
Gestalt were first support, a band I’ve never seen live before but one I often listen to online. The four-piece have a punchy, abrasive punk style with a side order of electro and set the tone for the evening both musically and age wise. For it is fair to say the bands and the crowd are from an older era.
The inclusion of Jesuscarfish on the bill helped convince me to head to this gig. A band that never disappoint, and a band I’m always on the lookout to catch live. Richard’s Bones didn’t feature (dead and buried apparently) but the excellent Repetition was there along with a number of new songs. One that immediately stuck with me was Don’t Trust The Hollowman. They went down well with the decent size crowd who had come out to see the headline act, perhaps because of their similarities.
The history of the Fall is far too long and complicated to go into here, so I’ll only briefly point out that Brix was an influential figure in their history. She met and married Mark E Smith in 1983 and joined the band on guitar and vocals, remaining with them until their divorce in 1989. After numerous other projects, in 2014 she formed Brix & the Extricated with fellow former Fall members Steve and Paul Hanley.
Inevitably, there were some Fall songs in the set, songs from the period that featured Brix and the Hanley brothers. These were mixed with a number of her new Extricated songs, which without being informed by my learned colleague I wouldn’t have been able to say were from different times. In some ways this is the Fall gig that the Fall won’t do, featuring some of the more poppy accessible numbers from the earlier times. A very satisfying night for the avid fans who were there. The band have signed a record deal and an album is due soon, so hopefully they’ll be back in Leicester to promote it.