obs2016

Original Bands Showcase 2016

and obs Unplugged

are a series of live music events that we have covered in previous years.

In January the obsUnplugged shows took place at The Musician venue in Leicester. See, for example,

obsUnplugged 2015

February 2016 onwards

The Original Bands Showcase (OBS) for bands took place place at The Musician pub.

See all gigs at the Musician in March.

Saturday 7th May 2016

The grand final of the OBS 2016

The line-up of bands for this years final was

Kermes, Idle Empire, James Cull and the Black Storm Nation, Dead Question, Jimmy Amnesia and Stating The Obvious.

Photos:  If you like these pictures, please give a like to Pascal Pereira Photograpghy on Facebook.

Kermes, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

Kermes, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

On the night, the first band was Kermes. A local band with a contemporary sound, singing led by Emily Rose Teece. Musically there plenty in what this band does to get excited about. Punchy, vigorous and powerful, they ply their tunes with commitment and energy. With a well-supported vocal layer, they have some deliciously well constructed guitar lines. Their musical style defines easy categorisation – a mark perhaps of the band’s originality. Their set tonight was pretty darn good. They are the ‘new kids on the block’ compared to some of the other bands playing here tonight but they are gaining a positive reputation and I think they will become a star attraction.

Dead Question, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

Dead Question, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

The second band brought a very different style of music. Dead Question gave us something that was more shouty and raucous with a set of tub-thumping songs that was not short on stompy beats and raw edginess. Listening to the band’s set tonight I heard rock charged with a large dose of grunge, full of thrust but somewhat lacking in direction. We commented on Dead Question in September 2015 when we saw them at The Shed.

Stating The Obvious, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

Stating The Obvious, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

A band that I like and enjoy very much is Stating The Obvious. With a set comprising only original songs, their offering was immediately enjoyable, tuneful and full of ear-pleasing melodies. With three good vocalists at the front, they delivered their songs with a  smooth professionalism. I saw them last year when they played with Linear at Sumo. Also in 2015, they played at the OBS on the night featuring the work of young bands. I put them on at The Shed for my birthday celebrations.

Idle Empire, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

Idle Empire, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

On stage were a double bass, cajon drum and a violin with the usual guitars; this was Idle Empire. With some fine vocals from lead singer Alex Oxley, we were given a set that glistened with good sounds and plenty of musical ideas. A set of songs that stood out; richly resonating tunes, music that worked, and by now the audience had warmed up and were enjoying the vibes coming from the stage. They even managed to get a topical event into their last song with “Leicester City – we won the league” amplified by the chorus in the audience.  Outside, fireworks could be heard coming from the King Power area and cars were racing around tooting their horns.

Jimmy Amnesia, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

Jimmy Amnesia, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

I saw Craig Blockley on the drums; I remembered him when he played with The Heroes. Jimmy Amnesia is not a band I know well (it seems they have not played much recently and we missed them in the previous OBS heats.) The band’s set mixed indie, punk and Britpop with rocket-fuelled vocals from Ryan Jensson. It was a high octane set of songs that felt like Oasis in bed with Kasabian, so pretty hot stuff. The band was on the line-up  at the Western Park Festival in 2014.

James Cull and the Black Storm Nation, OBS Final 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

James Cull and the Black Storm Nation, OBS Final 2016.
Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography

The night came to a climax when James Cull took to the stage with his band Black Storm Nation. We saw them in the semi-finals on 16th April. We said then:  ‘James Cull is widely acknowledged as being one of Leicester’s greatest rock singers. Tonight he was on stage with a drummer and bassist who were Black Storm Nation. Cull is an exhilarating singer and celebrated solo artist and having two other musicians on stage with him tonight gave him an added level of magnificence. A set that was spangled with sparkling guitar parts and the huge power of Cull’s vocals.’  [Music in Leicester] Combining hard rock with country and grunge, the music of James Cull has attracted many positive comments and admiration from the music-going public of Leicester.

We covered the  first semi-final on 21st April, with James Cull and Black Storm Nation, Kermes and Stating The Obvious, in our April round-up of music.

Unlike some previous years, I failed to get to all of the first round heats and semi-finals this year. I still regard the OBS and its grand final as being part of Leicester’s musical calendar. Tonight the final had to compete not just with other gigs taking place at the same time but the local football team’s appearance at the King Power stadium to receive the Premier League trophy and the inevitable after-parties that took place all over the city. So this year, no long queues outside before doors opening. No coaches rolling up and large groups of fans pouring out. The line-up was interesting and all the bands were good, but, I think, perhaps not quite a strong as in previous years.  Even so, I enjoyed it and I could tell that the crowd was having a good time.

The musicians of OBS 2016. Photo: Philip Vernon Photography. (with permission)

The musicians of OBS 2016.
Photo: Philip Vernon Photography. (with permission)

Friday 4th March

OBS at the Musician

with Sonificade, Dead Question, and Velocity

Trevor Locke was there

This was my first visit to the 2016 Original Bands Showcase. Always a pleasure to be at The Musician. The first band to appear on stage had some familiar faces in it, faces that were once in one of the bands I liked a lot: The Procession. James Best (Vocals and Guitar), Martin Byrne (Vocals, Guitar and Keys), Paul Richardson (Guitar, Bass Guitar) and Rob Gill (Drums.) I remember The Procession playing at Glastonbudget in 2008 and gigs held at the old Pavilion on Victoria park. Sonificade’s music had a good vocal layer, punchy songs and exotic sounds that were out of the ordinary but doubtlessly having roots going deep into more than one musical tradition.

Sonificade, OBS, 4th March 2016

Sonificade, OBS, 4th March 2016

Dead Question had a bassist I immediately recognised, having seen him in several bands; a prolific musician. The band gave an animated performance, playing as established musicians, they delivered songs that had plenty of punch, passion and commitment. Songs that vibrated with verve and resonance. The band describes its genre (on Facebook) as blues, grunge, rock.

Dead Question, OBS, 4th March 2016

Dead Question, OBS, 4th March 2016

The finale of tonight’s show was given by Velocity. A fabulous band for popular, melodic songs. The band performed with enormous energy and their lead singer – Fionna Newbold – was the star attraction.

Velocity, OBS, 4th March 2016

Velocity, OBS, 4th March 2016

A band we have covered many times before:

At The Rainbows gig, 18th December 2014.

22nd April 2015, Teenage Cancer Trust show.

When they played at the OBS in 2015 I said:

Infectious, rocket-fuelled rock – this band has climbed to the top of the tree in the local forest. With their supercharged music they always put on a good show. That is what makes them stand out. Their lead singer – Fionna Newbold – has a performance that sparkles. Lead guitarist Darren Moulds is one of Leicester stars on the strings. This is a band that not only sounds good but also has a bubbly stage presence. Excellent.

A band with sensational stage presence, all of the members gave the set an equal degree of commitment and tonight they gave yet another blisteringly good performance.

This was the first heat of the OBS this year. There is still time to apply, I was told, if your band wants to be part of it. Those unfamiliar with the OBS might want to look at the links to previous events, given below.

Velocity, OBS, 4th March 2016

Velocity, OBS, 4th March 2016

Previously on Music in Leicester:

OBS 2015.

Dig Lazarus win the OBS in 2015.

Review of the OBS 2015.

OBS in 2014.

The OBS ‘callback’ heats of 2014.

Finals of the 2014 OBS.

Reports and coverage for obs in 2015

Ruben Wisner at the obsUnplugged in 2015

Ruben Wisner at the obsUnplugged in 2015

See our page about OBS in 2015 

See also:

Dates of all gigs at The Musician.

Notes about music and bands.

Our round-up of live music for March.

Reports from the metal scene.