October2017

Music for the month of October 2017

Our monthly round-up of

Leicester and Leicestershire’s music offerings.

See also: music for the month of September and music for the month of November.

Too see other monthly reports for 2017, go to the Contents page on the main menu ↑.


28th October

Goldwater

headlined the show at Dryden Street with Hells Addiction, Hubcap, with Siobhan Mazzei, Luke Broughton and Homeless Shakespeare.

Goldwater at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

 

It had already been a very long day – covering the Oxjam festival. But then we went to Dryden Street for a big gig. When we arrived, Siobhan Mazzei was in full swing on the outside stage. The acoustic gazebo, we might say. Always good to see Siobhan; her songs are amazing. Such passion. Such power. Such enchantment. Last time we saw her was when she was on stage with their band, in the main hall. Wonderful.

Siobhan Mazzei at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Two musicians comprise Hubcap. We saw these guys in 2016, at The Shed. They were auditioning for the Glastonbudget Festival. We said: ‘Only two of them on stage but their set of psychedelic blues rock was extraordinary. They turned out enough music to equal a full quartet. Lots of character and personality; they really rocked.’ Well, I am pleased to say they are still rocking.

Hubcap at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

In case you are wondering… pretty much everyone was doing the hallowe’en thing tonight. Even though it was not the eve of all hallows. But hey, who cares. Plenty of spirits abroad tonight; good ones. A lot of people had gone to a lot of trouble to play the part. Dressing up, face painting, it was all there.

Sing and songwriter Luke Broughton performed on the outside, acoustic stage. Atmospheric, broody, transporting, moody. He really did give us an amazing set of his songs.

Luke Broughton at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Hells Addiction. Quite appropriate for a night like this. And are they addictive? Oh, hell yes! Hard, heavy rock, full on full on yelling and screaming. Was it them playing the guitars? Or the devil? Well might well have been. This is a band I have seen many times before. We saw them in April this year when they performed with Skam at the O2 Leicester. ‘Nothing flaccid about what these guys do. They have played with Skam many times before. One of the great hard rock bands of our local area. Sensational vocals from lead singer Ben Sargent.

Hells Addiction at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

This is a band we have reviewed many times before; take for example the time we saw them at Firebug in 2013. A large audience had gathered at O2 tonight; very gratifying that there are bands from our local area that can fill a venue .’ Their lead singer had that characteristic sound to his voice. Taut, urgent and fired, with blistering guitar solos, this is one hell of a band. I have been following them for years. They can do with a pedalled guitar what some musicians can do with a violin. Stonkingly good stuff.

Hells Addiction at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Singer Joe Doyle – better known as Homeless Shakespeare – gave us a set of his songs outside in the smoking area.  Always good to see Joe at work.

Homeless Shakespeare at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Like many of the other artists at tonight’s show, Joe had got into role and dressed for the occasion.

Goldwater is a band I like. Not least because all four of them sing. They are stylistically different from hell’s Addiction. Grant Decker had dressed for the occasion. Looking a bit like Dracula when he came on stage, wearing a large black cape.

Goldwater at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Now we had rock music with a measured and deliberate pace. A rather more theatrical presentation. Not as frenetic, more operatic in some respects but always delivering stomping rhythms. It was a grand finale to an exciting evening.

Goldwater at Dryden Street, 28th October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

28th October

Oxjam takes over Leicester

Joe Doyle and Omar Emara at Manhattan34, Oxjam, 28th October 2017.

Read our report on the 2017 Oxjam Takeover event.

26th October

Dirty Orange at The Shed

with Chambers, Common Strays and Brandon Neal

Brandon Neal got the evening off to a very good start. His voice is distinctive and his style of presentation is individual and idiosyncratic. What he delivers is an act that is original and compelling. Lively and entertaining. Vibrant lyrics full of bite and humour. He has a knack of connecting with his audience, through his own songs.

Brandon Neal, 16th June 2016

Common strays was a band that we saw on 17th June at the O2 Academy when they supported Pyramids. [Music in Leicester 2017] I found them impressive and said: ‘They gave us a set of sounds that shone with vibrant passages, sizzled with riffs and wow what a rock-star performance from lead singer Matt Payne. A new band on the block and definitely one to watch. ‘

Common Strays on stage at the O2. 17th June 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

This Leicester band of four musicians has a lot to offer. The lead singer has a strong voice that he uses to good effect. A set that had plenty of punch and purchase. Musical style – indie, alternative rock. Songs that flowed with feeling. Immediate impact. Their own songs, some old some new including one from the band’s forthcoming EP. Songs laced with gorgeous guitar parts. Driven with dynamism. Racing rhythms and bouncing beats. If you have not seen this band before, I strongly recommend that you seek them out.

They have music you can listen to on Bandcamp.

From South West London, we were pleased to welcome Dirty Orange. A must-see for devotees of rock and roll. A trio with a gold medal level drummer. Musically what we heard tonight reflected The Clash, The Strokes, the Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines. So, let’s see. Is that post-grunge punk then? Someone said to me that the band has a “dirty” sound. I took that to mean that they had a rawness and energy to their songs. Songs that were gritty, real. They have not been going for all that long but even so have become pretty popular. Their name reminded of a band we used to have around here called the Dirty Backbeats. Rhythm, dance, vibe – it was all there.

Leicester band Chambers finished off the night. These three musicians provided a set that was amazingly immediate. Two singers provided the room with voluminous vocals. The band’s opening number galloped off at a fast pace. The second song rocked the room with passionate vibes. They brought lots of life and energy and strong vocals from Laurence Findley. Rock tastily flavoured with blues. A band that is always likely to get a positive response from its audience.

Chambers at The Shed. 30th June 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

23rd October

Francobollo’ live at The Cookie

By: Skye Chapman

Eccentric Scandinavian pop punk group Francbollo filled Leicester based venue The Cookie with their loud individual sound. Definitely a marmite band, the male group clad in denim playsuits, certainly looked at home at the intimate venue. Sporadic guitar lines and psychedelic piano patterns clashed with thrashing drums to create a song structure that certainly stood out to me. Consistent humor and enthusiasm helped glue the band together few a couple of technical hiccups, but to be frank a band with this much enthusiasm and pure creativity are set for great things. To describe their sound, well, some of it’s good for surfing and some of it’s good for thrashing your arms and rocking out to. But in a nutshell their sound revolves entirely around a crazy, wild joy that is just reflects the bands charisma. It’s also mirrored in the crowd that came out to support the bizarre band, fans went way out flaunting quirky attire and swaying to their favorite tunes. The Cookie was certainly the perfect venue for the upcoming band, giving them a special sense of intimacy with the small group of loyal followers that came out to support them. They certainly gave me a taste of a sound unfamiliar to my ears, and whilst their bold sound isn’t for everyone, I think I’ve become a lover of this marmite band. To get a flavor of their sound check out tracks Call the Breeze’ and  Wonderful’ and Kinky Lola.’

See Sky’s blog post for links.

21st October

Declan McKenna at the 02 Academy Leicester

by Skye Chapman

Pushing through the huge crowd to get closer to the stage, it was hard to get a good view of Declan McKenna, jamming out on stage. But the music that vibrated the arena did a good job of raising spirits. You didn’t need to see Declan McKenna to know that he was having the time of his life on that stage, hyping up the crowd and creating a fizzing atmosphere. By the chorus of his first song people in the crowd where clambering up onto each other’s shoulders to join in belting out the words.

Declan McKenna. Promotional photo. 2017. From Chuff Media.

It was made clear within seconds that Declan McKenna was a born performer. Along with his amazing band McKenna carried the night amazingly, dancing around with his guitar as the bouncy riffs travelled in waves over the audience. Every single track that he played stirred a great response from the crowd, ‘Paracetamol’ which starts of slow and builds into an indie powerhouse anthem had the audience going wild. Even with the dark emotive underlying lyrics McKenna has the ability to send out a powerful message to his fans whilst still leaving them head bopping.

Other crowd-pleasers included ‘Isombard’ which had everyone jumping up and down to that catchy chorus, even track ‘Brazil’, which talks of the underlying corruption in FIFA, had the ability to rock the crowd. There’s definitely a pleasing maturity to his sound, standing out from his peers, shining with his atypically socially aware lyrics. Exploring issues such as bullying, sexuality and suicide in a way that not many people would be able to.

After a short speech given to his screaming fans, McKenna hit everyone with a taste of his new album. I have never seen a crowd so excited for new music, playing new tracks of his album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ he whirled up an electric atmosphere which left everyone with a beaming smile on their face. After crowd favourites ‘Humongous’ and ‘Bethlehem’ the 02 Academy definitely was an ocean of teens that looked like they had just come out of the shower! Drowned in sweat and bouncing of the stage Declan McKenna thanked his fans once more for coming out to see him. Leaving the atmosphere buzzing with ecstatic excitement and joy.

The editor writes: Declan McKenna Announces Autumn UK Headline Tour Details.

A powerful love letter to the youth” **** NME
Has the youthful self-confidence to tackle material older songwriters rarely touch…What a cracking debut” **** The Guardian
A startling collection of big-picture pop” **** Evening Standard
The very definition of what under-25s call woke…It marks him out as one to watch” **** The Times
One of the sharpest, most engaging albums of 2017” **** DORK Magazine
Upbeat pop coupled with whip-smart lyrics” GQ.

For more tour dates see the Declan McKanna website.

21st October

The Shed

with Royal Arcade, The Hubbards, Alligatr and We Give In.

We Give In opened the show on the main stage upstairs. Music that was hard, vigorous and very modern. Plenty of energy from this five-piece band. This gave a sterling start to the night’s music. Pop punk in style this Leicester band likes PUP, Brawlers, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Can’t Swim.

We Give In at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Down in the Vaults, it was time for Earls. The Oi! duo. Think Cockney Rejects or The Vandals. Strong vocals, angry songs including two that were new tonight but not yet recorded. So, that’s something to watch out for. Delightful.

Earls. 13th May 2017 at Duffy’s Bar. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Back upstairs to see Alligatr. We saw quite a lot of this band once; oddly, it has been a while since we saw them. Still a young band, they have been going some time already. They are still doing good music. Sounds that are laden with likeable beats and tantalising melodies. This is a band that had written many good songs. The Shed has attracted a large crowd together and it looked like most of them had come to see Alligatr.

Alligatr at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Downstairs, Monachopsis. Fast, Furious and full of impact. The guitar work was sick. The music was complex, heavy and volcanic. Plenty of growling vocals. It was head-banging stuff alright. There would have been a full-on mosh pit but the room was too crowded; even so, some dancing occurred. You can’t keep a good crowd down.

Monachopsis at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Monachopsis at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Upstairs, the Hubbards, a four-piece with a guitar-playing lead vocalist was giving the room a set of engaging tunes, listenable songs delivered well. They sang their own songs and have a single coming out soon. They told us that they had played in Leicester before.

The Hubbards at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

On the main stage, Royal Arcade. Five of them. Pleasing enough songs, engaging melodies but some songs were a bit heavy on the ostenato riffs. The lead vocals were good. In my view the sound would have benefited from more backing vocals. I liked what I heard and I could see that the audience did too. They played at Handmade earlier this year but I missed that one, being somewhere else at the time. Keith Jobesy saw them at The Cookie in June 2016; he said then “With three guitars the band pack a punch and it allows them to add plenty jangly riffs over a scuzzier backdrop. I last saw them at the tail end of 2014 supporting Jaws and thought they had an air of coolness about them back then. It’s great to see them back at the Cookie headlining, playing with confidence.”

Watch this video by Kevin Gaughan of the band playing at tonight’s show.

Royal Arcade at The Shed, 21st October 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Tonight’s show was promoted by Club SOTN.

20th October

Glastonbudget at The Shed

with Revival, Ferris, Finding Georgia, Andrew Moran, Ska Finger, Hell on Heels, Electus.

Going to the audition gigs at The Shed is a good way to preview some of the acts that will be taking part in the 2018 Glastonbudget festival – if they are selected by the judges. Several already have been. It’s also a chance to see some of the established bands we know and love. It’s also often about discovering new acts and tonight was a case in point. Opening the show, on the main stage upstairs, was a sixteen-year-old singer who came to the mic and gave us all a jaw-dropping experience. Only a minute into this first song and everyone was spellbound by Andrew Moran.

Andrew Moran at The Shed, 20th October 2017.

I kept thinking – Shed – new talent – discovery and pictures came into my head from gigs long ago when I first saw new artists such as Jack Kenworthy; or the first solo gig of Charlie Drew; or the first time I saw Samuel Idwal or Martin Luke Brown. Definitely thought of the first time I saw Jake Bugg in Leicester. Andrew’s set was astonishing. He sang a song by George Ezra, Blame It On Me, from 2014. Ezra has of course been appearing in recent days on BBC One TV as part of the BBC Introducing promo. Andrew delivered a varied set of songs; mainly covers. I asked him, after his set, if he wrote his own songs; he told me he likes to write instrumental melodies and indeed his guitar work was of high quality. This was a performance that had the audience completely captivated. Moran is a naturally talented artist and I think we will be seeing a lot of more of him over the next few years. He might be raw, as of now, but the potential is huge. Andrew had a knack of selecting songs that were right for him. All of them were real crowd-pleasers. A new talent that definitely needs to be on people’s radar.

Tonight two stages were in operation; so it was a case of running up and down stairs. In the Vaults I saw Electus. A trio from Wolverhampton. Russell Peake was on guitar and vocals. Music that had plenty of punch and traction. A good band. Their hard rock, metally songs influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Opeth, EPICA, ludovico Einaudi to name but a few…

Upstairs to see the six musicians from Ska Finger. Founded in 2010, the Birmingham band was very enjoyable. Very entertaining. Ska is a popular genre in Leicester – it’s the vibe we like. The songs were a hit with the crowd.

Ferris. A band I have been following for many years. Many, many years. Still as good today as they always were. As soon as they started to play you could hear the difference. Songs full of melody and verve. Strong on stage presence and impactful vocals from Scott Grocock. In fact all of them sang. Even Nick Wale on the drums. A confidence that comes from years of experience. Fabulous guitar work. This is a band of exceptional ability. They really rocked; seriously good music. Indie, rock and pop blended into an ear-licking cocktail of sounds.

Ferris at The Shed, 20th October 2017.

Back upstairs. The room was rammed. Three girls and a guitarist on stage. Covers to get people moving. A room full of people enjoying themselves. A country rock band. Hell on Heels.

No time to stop and listen. Need to be back downstairs for Dirty Jane. Three guys from Birmingham. In the Vault. Rock and Roll. All three of them sang. Hard rock with plenty of penetration. These guys delivered melodies that were noticeable. Punchy tunes that set the room alight. Not a band I have seen before but one I definitely want to see again. The drummer was a force of nature; thrashing the skins and singing. An exceptional resonance. A contemporary sound. Roots that go deep into rock traditions brought up to date with fresh vibes. Simply ace.

Dirty Jane at The Shed, 20th October 2017.

Back upstairs. Time for Revival. The room is still packed with fans. Daz Lynch is on stage wearing dark shades and looking cool. This is one of Leicester’s longest-established bands but tonight appearing with a new lineup of musicians.

Revival at The Shed, 20th October 2017

Keeping alive the tradition of Brit Rock, British indie rock, Revival did one of the best sets, tonight, that I have seen from them. Lynch is a singer who marks his mark, with his band, so many boxes are ticked. They have a cool about them, a resonance, and their music was riveting. Their song Revelation hit the mark; it had all the hallmarks of a great indie classic.

Daz Lynch with Revival at The Musician, August 2015

Revival are appearing at Duffy’s Bar on 11th November with Shine. What a spankingly good finale to a great night of song at The Shed.

19th October

Singers of Leicester

Siobhan Mazzei, 7th June 2012, at The Soundhouse.

Going to Gigs looks at singers, song-writers and solo artists, in Round 8 of the series.

15th October

Dream Wife

The Cookie

by Keith Jobey

Jitterz were the only support band of the evening. They’ve had to say farewell to drummer Jamie but Beth Morris has recruited Jordy of Kermes to fill the void. He brings a power and a drive to the songs and there’s a confidence about the band hidden behind the kookiness they present.

Jitterz at the Soundhouse – 25th January 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

The other scheduled support, Anatomy, didn’t play but the bonus of that was that the headliners began at 8:30. It was a Sunday evening so an early finish was a bonus for some.

This was the first time Dream Wife have played Leicester and they appeared to totally enjoy the night.

Dream Wife at The Cookie. 15th October 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Formed as an art project a couple of years ago in Brighton they’ve quickly honed in on their style. There is an element of good old pop music in their sound but it’s smothered in a sweetly menacing approach of shrilling super catchy guitar riffs and ‘don’t mess with me’ vocals.

Dream Wife at The Cookie. 15th October 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

Attitude, substance and style delivering infectious tunes, a winning combination. Calling all of the females to the front towards the end resulted in singer Rakel joining the crowd for a bit of a mosh during radio unfriendly song FUU. Will we see them in Leicester again soon? My money is on a Handmade Festival appearance.

Dream Wife at The Cookie. 15th October 2017.
Photo: Keith Jobey

14th October

Dryden Street Social Club

with Broken Witt Rebels, Siobhan Mazzei band.

Broken Witt Rebels at Dryden Street. 14th October 2017. Photo by NKM Photography.

I have been to this building before. Last time I was here it was to see the auditions for the Leicester Music festival. Before that it was a gay club called Street Life. This was where we held the Secret Skins parties. Gigs based on the television series called Skins in 2007. Over a thousand teenagers turned up here for one of these events. Today, not much has changed. Still one large room with a stage at one end and a bar. A smoking area out back. It is still larger than most of the city centre venues.

When I arrived, the Siobhan Mazzei band was on stage. What a fantastic performance! What energy.

Siobhan Mazzei band at Dryden Street Leicester on 14th October 2017.

They have come a long way since the start of their career. Now it’s much harder, more dynamic but always impactful, exciting and highly listenable. It was a fantastic set. Incomparable. Superlative. Extraordinary. A brilliant start to the evening.

Siobhan Mazzei band at Dryden Street Leicester on 14th October 2017.

American artist Sonia Leigh came to the stage with her band from the USA. On Sonia’s website we learn: Sonia Leigh maintains an individuality that is so liberating, it extends beyond genre and ventures into a new world of self expression. From her country upbringing to her rebellious city lifestyle, changes have always been a catalyst for creativity. With past success writing songs for Zac Brown Band and touring across the world with country rockers like Eric Church, it seems that a chapter has been closed and a new one open in her story. Sonia’s most recent projects experiment with new sounds and collaborators, as her music develops into an ever-changing narrative on the human experience.

Sonia Leigh band at Dryden Street Leicester on 14th october 2017.

Reviewer Rudie Hayes said: “Sonia Leigh is always in black, almost always in shades, she is old school cool, sexy, sassy and oozes that rock and roll chic long sucked out the business to make music by the lowest common denominator. Sonia Leigh is the hoarse voice siren that is single handed sticking to the man one arse kicker of a song at a time. She takes no prisoners, she’ll rock you to your socks” – (Americana UK) [Sonia Leigh website]

Lively songs backed by plenty of beats and rich in resonance. Another gig with Broken Witt Rebels.

Broken Witt Rebels in Leicester, July 2016

We saw this back back in 2016 when they played at a Casbah show at The Soundhouse. Back then we commented: This quartet from Birmingham is led by the vocals of Danny Core, with vocals by bassist Luke Davis and James Tranter on Lead Guitar and on the drums James Dudley. Earlier today they had been on Graham Wright’s show on Radio Leicester and had been interviewed by the Leicester Mercury. … The band describes its genre as indie, alternative, blues, rock. So did they rock? Yes. They certainly did. They delivered an exciting big band sound with robust vocals, plenty of musical bite and keeping the vibe going very successfully. There was a lot of energy and vitality to their songs. [Music in Leicester magazine 2016]

Broken Witt Rebels at Dryden Street Leicester on 14th October 2017.

The band attracted a fair few people for tonight’s show; the room was comfortably full of fans who knew the songs and reacted warmly to the songs. The band is currently on a UK tour which started in Hartlepool on 6th October and ends in Nottingham on 9th December with a gig at Bodega. [Broken Witt Rebels website] They also have an album coming out soon. At one point the lead singer and the guitarist came down on to the floor and played, unplugged, to the audience. They then went back on stage and completed their set.

This gig was promoted by Casbah Music Management and Promotions.

Siobhan Mazzei. Photo by Nile McGregor. at Dryden Street Leicester on 14th October 2017

Photos: Trevor Locke and Nile McGregor

14th October

The Big Moon at The Cookie

By Beccy Rider

2017 is most definitely The Big Moon’s year. After releasing their highly acclaimed debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, this April, the all-girl powerhouse band have been unstoppable, with a multitude of festival appearances and a Mercury Award nomination now under their belts. With this in mind, I had high expectations for the gig and, after being a fan for so long, I was more than ready to see these girls live. Sitting in the venue with a pre-gig drink, you could actually sense the anticipation in the air, something that I’ve only ever experienced at much larger gigs. The audience demographic was impressively varied too, with some younger fans wielding as much ‘merch’ as possible, while other, older members of the audience remained secretly nonchalant. Whether this be due to their rising publicity or not, The Big Moon can certainly pull a crowd.

The Big Moon at The Cookie, 14th October 2017. Photo by Beccy Rider.

The Cookie itself is tiny, if not miniscule, with a capacity of only 200. Arguably, the venue was too small for the band but for fans, it was the perfect opportunity to see not only one of the most proficient acts on the indie circuit right now but also some lesser known band, with support from local band Superego and up-and-coming southerners Get Inuit.  The best way to describe Superego is loud. Mixing the style of Drenge with more psychedelic rock influences, they warmed up the crowd brilliantly. While possibly losing some of the audience mid-set, the band were extremely promising, despite having very little music available to listeners. Get Inuit brought a more indie, garage pop vibe, a sound and set that has been fine-tuned through a heap of supporting slots and festival performances. As a result of this, they know exactly how to hold a crowd, with the lead singer Jamie cracking jokes at the bass player’s expense and cheekily plugging their ‘merch. ‘ Although the support acts were equally as brilliant as each other, it was of course The Big Moon who stole the show.

The Big Moon at The Cookie, 14th October 2017. Photo by Beccy Rider.

Coming on to a raucous of applause, the band launched into the boisterous fan favourite  Silent Movie Susie, provoking the start of a sing-along that continued for the rest of the night. Addressing the crowd after ‘Nothing Without You‘, lead singer Jules Jackson expressed her gratitude to Gary Lineker for “inventing crisps,” while bass player Celia discussed the glamorous life of a rock star with an anecdote about standing under a leaky pipe just before going on stage. These interactions with the crowd made the gig feel even more intimate than before and you could sense the audience fully appreciating the girls as normal people, as well as a band. While the connection with the fans was applaudable itself, the live music was a different class. Delivering a tight and clean yet gutsy performance of every track, including a ridiculously good cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart, the on-stage presence of the group was electric and energetic, was infectious. By the end of the set, the audience were shouting back the lyrics, especially to the anthemic Cupid, the band’s breakthrough single. However, it was Bonfire that particularly got the band and crowd moving, with Jules launching herself into the unsuspecting spectators proceeding to initiate one of the sweatiest mosh pits I have endured while also singing and dancing with some overwhelmed fans. Her on-stage energy and obvious passion for the music was simply contagious, with fans of all ages joining the crowd in the pit and some even participating in a small yet joyful stage invasion. That was the best thing about this gig; everyone seemed to be having so much fun. There was no negativity or incidents that can and often do dampen larger gigs, with everyone seemingly there with a shared love and appreciation for the band and their music. Equally, the band seemed to genuinely appreciate their fans, with hugs and handshakes being exchanged at the ‘merch’ stand and countless photos being taken with everyone there. The girls came across as being some of the most grounded artists I’ve met in the industry and with talents to challenge the best, they won’t be playing venues like this for much longer. The Big Moon are heading for the stars.

The Big Moon at The Cookie, 14th October 2017. Photo by Beccy Rider.

Set List: Silent Movie Susie, Nothing Without You, Happy New Year, The Road, The End, Pull the Other One, Love in the 4th Dimension, Zeds, Hold This, Eureka Moment, Total Eclipse of the Heart (Cover), Something Beautiful, Cupid, Formidable, Bonfire and Sucker.

Friday 13th October

Auditions at The Shed

We report from the Glastonbudget auditions held at The Shed.

with International Acoustic Playboys, Quarry, Kynch and The Hoo Haas

by Trevor Locke and Harry Rogers

Tonight’s show was opened by the International Acoustic Playboys. The pair’s strongest song-choice came in their cover of Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me. Fine guitar work created a quirky version of the song, something that was apparent throughout the set. The duo definitely had their own sound which made the covers feel like their own tunes. Whether they make the festival next year will be down to the Glastonbudget judges.

International Acoustic Playboys at The Shed on 13th October 2017.

9th December 2016. I am at The Shed for the auditions show… On the line-up a band called Quarry. I wrote in my review of that night:

Sometimes you see a band for the first time and they hook you, straight away. Quarry did this for me. Their brand of hip-hop and pop rock songs did it me. They had a sound that was really appealing. Songs that blossomed with vitality, richly rhythmic and delivered with pizazz. The lead singer backed by two other musicians caught the mood of the evening. A band I would dearly love to see again – and hopefully will at the festival next year. [Music in Leicester 2016]

Quarry at The Shed, 9th December 2016

Tonight, the lead singer was strong for this Coventry four-piece band. They had some good songs just as they did when I saw them last. With up to three vocalists for some songs, they produced a listenable sound. Their mix of pop rock and hip-hop was vibrant and ear-pleasing.

A band I really like is Kynch from Nottingham. I have followed this band for a long time.

Kynch at The Shed on 13th October 2017.

They began their set with Kasabian’s song Clubfoot. That was good. That got things moving. The set that followed included some of the band’s own songs and some well-chosen covers. Tonight, it was the first time that their new bass-player had been with them. Big floor-filling numbers. If you have not seen this band before, here is what we have said about them before.

Kynch at The Shed February 2016.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Earlier this year, Kynch was on stage at Glastonbudget. Seeing them there we said: Kynch is one of our favourite bands. Their set on Sunday attracted quite a crown. Several people commented how good they were. They know how to excite a room; tear up the stage and general set the place on fire.

Tonight the Shed was full of Kynch’s fans, dancing at the front, shouting and screaming. Atmosphere. They were ace. We also saw Kynch earlier this year; 13th April at the Shed. Back then I commented: When the band auditioned for Glastonbudget, we said ‘They delivered a set rich in rhythm and bursting with the fires of youthful energy, Their own songs were supplemented with a few covers, such as the Arctic Monkey’s widely covered number about looking good on the dance floor ‘ and ‘Their set of tight, passion-laden songs was delivered with impressive skill and ability. A band that stands out, they continue to be one of our ‘must-see’ acts. Highly enjoyable.’

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

The thing about this band is that they introduce a real sense of excitement into the room, when they play. Whether performing their own songs or a cover or two, there is a buzz that is infectious. The got the audience dancing. The dynamics of their tunes and the energy of their stage presence flowed off the stage.

Kynch was a difficult act to follow. The Hoo Haas, from Coventry, brought their own brand of musical excitement with a really engaging set of indie covers.This five-piece band is fronted by Mark whose strong voice gave the music a rich vocal layer. The band started its set with Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back in Town. They soon got the audience swinging along. They made the songs their own. Always good to send the night on a high note.

Review: Coasts at The Cookie, Leicester

12th October
By Skye Chapman

Rising above a sea of sweating teens, Coasts music sends an electric wave through The Cookie. The sold out gig, hosted at one of Leicester’s most intimate venues was something truly special. Supporters Misfires took to the stage first, hyping up the already eager crowd, which was slowly growing with each song the indie super band played. The Swindon-based band played crowd pleasers, ‘Do you Wanna‘ and their second single ‘Come On Over‘ which earned them a surging applause. The main act of the night then graced the stage, Coasts, from Bristol, entered the now packed venue to a raw of applause and shouts from fans. Commenting on the heat coming off the crowd, lead singer Chris Cains didn’t miss a beat and fell straight into hit track ‘Tonight.’ This was followed by ‘Wolves‘ with its synths and anthem chorus which packed a punch. Slightly better than ‘You‘ which with it’s shamelessly repetitive chorus is more apt for the festival scene than an intimate gig. Tracks ‘Rush of Blood‘ and ‘Modern Love‘ did better in highlighting the bands vast musical abilities. But sometimes it just takes one song. ‘Oceans‘ which shot the five piece band to fame absolutely floored the crowd. The room just became a mass of hands raised to the sky, the atmosphere was an electric buzz. With his hair now plastered to his face with sweat Cains belted the irresistible lyrics ‘We fell in love, right by the ocean. Made all our plans, down on the sand.’ Fans joined in chanting the lyrics which shot the band to fame in 2015. As the last lyric rang through the crowds, Coasts, now topless and looking like they’d just come out of the shower thanked everyone one last time and left the stage. Not before crowing the Leicester gig as “the hottest one ever!” As people made their way outside of the venue I don’t think I spotted a single face that wasn’t grinning from ear to ear. Coasts certainly used the intimacy of the venue to their advantage and made the night a memory to treasure for those who had the pleasure of being there.

Wednesday 11th October

Festivals

Preacher and the Bear at the Riverside festival in 2012.

The series Going to Gigs is back with the story of how festivals changed the face of Leicester’s music.

Friday 6th October

The Shed for Glastonbudget

with Lady Rose, Rawkus Redz, Kill the Mammoth, The King Crawlers.

Friday night, the Shed, Glastonbudget auditions to select bands for the 2018 festival.

Tonight, Glastonbudget’s Murray Stewart announced that all four bands would be playing at next year’s event.

Opening tonight’s show, a duo called Lady Rose. Singer Joanne Lovatt was accompanied by James Mather on the guitar. The pair, from Nottingham, often perform at events such as weddings. Their set covered a wide range of musical styles including Soul, Pop, Rock, Blues, Reggae, Ska and Indie. Joanne’s voice was beautiful and their songs were delightful. Although they sang mainly covers, they did, if I heard correctly, do one of their own songs, too. All round good entertainment, I thought.

Now, one of the bonuses of going to these auditions is that it puts you in front of bands that you have not seen before and might never see. One such band was Rawkus Redz, from Shepshed.

Rawkus Redz at The Shed, 6th October 2017.

There was a lot to like about this band. Their offering of metally hard rock quivered with energy, the vocal layer was good and the performance by lead singer George Stackhouse was eye-catching and ear-grabbing. This band had plenty to make it stand out. They sounded good, they looked good. They gave out a vibe. This is a band I will want to see again. They are definitely on my radar.

George Stackhouse of Rawkus Redz at The Shed, 6th October 2017.

The vibe went up a notch when the room greeted the sounds of Kill the Mammoth. Another band I did not know before tonight. But, they did have a certain something. Something different. The lead singer was wearing shades and a leopard skin coat. Musically, they delivered a set that was worth listening to. Idiosyncratic sounds. Drive. Resonance. This is a band you could get to like. The four-piece from Leicester delivered a set that was good to hear. The leader singer said, I think, “this is our first gig, together, in this form.” If I heard him right. They played a set of covers. Very entertaining.

Kill The Mammoth at The Shed, 6th October 2017.

See also:

Metal, punk, ska and reggae part of our Going to Gigs series.

See our round-up of music in September.