Live music diary July 2013
A diary of gigs that we visited.
Open-mic night at The Exchange with Jason Smith and Dan Freestone.
Jason Smith is a singer with a distinctive voice that he uses to give an characteristic edge to his vocals. His lyrics are striking but his set can be a little sombre.
Sixteen year-old Dan Freestone is making his debut on the Leicester song circuit. whilst his voice still sounds young, you could hear the power behind it and his vocal technique was reasonably good. A lot of potential there I think.
Open-mic night at the Soundhouse with Samuel Idwal.
I rate the work of Samuel Idwal very highly. His voice is beautifully well toned, his on-stage manner calm and confident and his guitar-work impressive. Tonight’s feature set allowed him to showcase his set of original songs that fall somewhere between folk and indie. What stands out is Idwal’s sublime ability to range between subtle and strong in his songs, at one moment projecting delicate emotions and following with a crescendo of power. Idwal is a good song-writer; his words have an extraordinary literary quality which he deploys with an agile knack of weaving them in to his highly listenable melodies. His complex and delicate picking of the guitar strings is a real pleasure.
The Glastonbudget Wrap party at Thurmaston
Chris Ostler and Oasish were the stars at this event held at the Harrow in Thurmaston, put on by the organisers of the Glastonbudget Music festival.
At The Shed, I saw a band that had come here on tour from their homeland of Cornwall. I very much enjoyed the songs of The Jonathan Stafford Band.
Their acoustic-folk was a great pleasure, well played and delivered with feeling. I read:
Described as a ‘singer-songwriter of exceptional talent’, Jonathan Stafford’s vocal elasticity, songcraft and meticulous arrangements are a breath of fresh air …
Nice one! I wish more people from Leicester had been there to enjoy the band’s musical talents! I have to say though their audience (me and Ian) did appreciate them very much.
A big day for live music in Leicester. Two big festivals on one day:
Launch night of the Singers of Distinction 2013 with Meri Everett, Ravel Lumba and Samuel Idwal. See our reviews of the Singers of Distinction shows.
The Brandy Thieves perform an acoustic set at the SoundHouse.
I have never before seen The Brandy Thieves perform an acoustic set. Tonight’s performance by Andrea Kenny was superb, accompanied by bassist Joe Carey. Equally as sensational acoustically as they are when playing as a full electric band.
The second Singers of Distinction show with Dan Wright, Beth Pearce, Ian Bourne, Jonezy and Rhett Barrow. Read our review.
Soft Touch Arts put on live music in Orton Square, where a variety of music styles were represented on stage.
Singers Ashley Phillipson and Jason Gilding delivered a good set of songs including jazz and beatboxing.
A number of solo artists were on the line-up
Singer Rosie Doyle was on stage with a lovely set of songs.
Members of Leicester’s Free Control band performed a set. We heard from The Bellatones and hip-hop artists Boo Nation.
Lola King and The Kickstarts headline at the Soundhouse with Leicester band Violet Cities and singer Michael Vickers.
Quirky songs with a vocal layer, plenty of personality and jaunty rhythms. Lola King and the Kickstarts
Violet Cities featured singer James Lewis. The band’s set of vibrant indie songs had plenty of catchy rhythms. Energetic and tight, their set was highly listenable. Plenty of style and verve made this an enjoyable set. Violet Cities.
Singer Michael Vickers is back in Leicester for the summer, during his vacation from Bristol. So it was good to see him again and enjoy his set of well-written original songs. He uses his strong voice and character-full stage presence to good effect. Michael Vickers.
Meri Everritt sings one of her songs live on Radio Leicester.
An outside broadcast from the Tennis Club in which Meri sang one of her songs live.
Leicester band The Jav’lins played their last gig at the Soundhouse to a large audience. Those guys were awesome.
Also on stage tonight was Mark Ryman. With his strong voice, Mark delivered songs with plenty of impact. It was an impressive performance. Mark Ryman.
The Soundhouse and Paul Collins put on a strong line-up of acts, providing a worthy night out for a Friday.
Young singer Dan Freestone opened the evening. Various people have spotted the talent of this artist and he is beginning to make a name for himself on the local acoustic circuits.
Samuel Idwal provided a set of highly impressive and enjoyable songs. As always his skills on the strings were mind-bogglingly good.
The first band of the night was Leicester’s The Dead Shoot. The band’s set of rock songs were very agreeable, full of immediacy and attack, they were roundly delivered and the singing of Craig Bennett kept it all going. Their rock songs had an edge and plenty of rhythms. The Dead Shoot.
The main attraction of the night was Son of Glenn. Normally a four piece, tonight three of them were on stage but the band’s music offering was still 100% as good as always. Their songs were melodic, full of ear-pleasing sounds, lead by the vocals of Josh Oakley. I have followed this band for a long time and what I heard tonight represents an impressive level of steady development. They have come a long way since they started and now rightly deserve to be recognised as one of Leicester’s outstanding young bands. The band has an EP out now, including two very good songs that ably demonstrate the qualities of their music. See them performing live on Takeover Radio. Son of Glenn.
At the Soundhouse, Dan Freestone began the evening’s line-up. Dan is a young singer who is setting out to make his mark on the local acoustic circuit. He was followed by established artist Samuel Idwal, one of the most distinguished singer/songwriters of Leicester. The first band of the evening was Dead Shoot. I had not seen them before but looking at what they did tonight, I would say they are worth seeing again. Their agreeable set of rock songs was well performed and their music immediate and likeable. Son of Glenn delivered an impressive set and their work has grown and developed since they launched in early 2011.
There are often nights when there is too much happening and this was one of them. At the Soundhouse, I went to see Empire. Their set of indie songs were very good, lead by the vocals of Andy Cooper.
This is a band that ticks all the boxes: good songs, strong musicianship from all the members and memorable melodies. They have sparkle and passion.
Flip Like Wilson came on stage to deliver a very enjoyable set of pop-punk music, again, delivered with energy and passion. When it comes to enjoyable and likeable music, you cannot go wrong with these two bands. They always put on a good show. Lead singer Jake Sterland is never short on stage presence and the rest of the team give him top support.
Sadly I had to leave to get to the O2 Academy to see Neon Sarcastic. I have followed this band pretty much since they started and have been to gigs with them outside of Leicester. This was the last performance with drummer Jamie Flanagan; sad to see him leave because he has been an ace drummer and a major part of the band. With lead singer John Willson the band gave us a completely satisfying set of their songs, old and new. Supporting NS was Leicester band FourPointOh; I was disappointed to have missed them; they are another of the top bands in the local area as far as I am concerned.
At the Singers of Distinction night, we had Nile McGregor, Theo Miller and Becky Edwards. A night of superbly good music. Read the review.
At the Soundhouse, I saw a new act that I liked. I thought their material was fresh and original. They were Lon Fisher and Celia Allsop.
Our Singers of Distinction night went really well; the line-up of five acts was superb. Read the review.
City Link-up show at the Music Cafe with a line-up of not notch acts. A review of this is on the way. Read our review of the City Link Up show.
I went to the Shed to see one of my favourite hardcore bands: Drowning Grace. I love this band. The music was head-banging, full of hugely good grinding bass-lines and face-melting blasts of storming, thunderous riffs. Ben Cotton put on another dazzling performance, jumping around the room and swinging from the ‘rafters’ and kicking the sh*t out of a beer crate. It was utterly rad. What a good band!
Something completely different! At the Guildhall, an ensemble of musicians and singers played songs from the time of King Richard III. Members of the Orpheus Project performed songs from the 15th century, playing on instruments similar to those in use at the time, including lutes and recorders. See the article about Arts and Music from the time of Richard III in Arts in Leicester.
Went to see singer Josh Kemp at the Soundhouse. He is a particularly good solo artist. He’s so sharp. I really liked his songs. he also uses a loop pedal to beef up some of his backing music. Whether playing his own songs or covers, Josh delivers a sparkling act. I liked his high-speed rap song.
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