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

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

Coming up

another amazing night at The Shed.  We discover new talent and celebrate established bands. Also to come, our night of varied music on 21st October.

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 its 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

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


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.