September 2016

Leicester’s live music

in September

Our round-up of gigs  in Leicester

MIL’s team of reporters and photographers have been busy,  getting out there to bring you their sample of what they have heard and seen this month.

But we need more!  Write for us.  Go to gigs, see bands and tell us about it.

Here is our list of gigs coming up.

Latest dates get added from the top.

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30th September

Gaye Bykers on Acid

at The Donkey

One of the great legendary bands from the 1980s performed at the Donkey tonight.  It was a celebration and an event that brings back the history of live music in Leicester.

Gaye Bykers on Acid at The Donkey, 30th September 2016. Photo: Gaz Birtles.

Gaye Bykers on Acid at The Donkey, 30th September 2016. Photo: Gaz Birtles.

Read our report on the work of Gaye Bykers On Acid, part 1 in our series History of Leicester bands.

30th September

The Shed

I went to the Shed tonight; I know this because I wrote about in my music notebook. It was a Friday; it was an auditions night for the Glastonbudget festival 2017. I made a note of the acts that were on the bill: Elysian, Out Of The Blue, Of Kinds and Captains, The Mini Nukes and Now Now Cato.

What I thought of them I wrote about in my book.

Elysian played music that was engaging and enjoyable. Their songs were played with engagement and were very enjoyable. The lead singer had a good voice and the instrumental accompaniment was also good. Popular music much appreciated by the audience.

Elysian at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Elysian at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Singing duo Elysian were on good form; always good to hear them.

A five-piece group played popular songs. Out of The Blue was a true entertainment band. One that would make any wedding go with a swing. The band had brought a large number of people to the show to support their appearance; they applauded enthusiastically when the band had finished its set.

Two guys on guitars both of whom sang and played. This was Of Kings and Captains. Two cheerful and likeable personalities; they might have been singing some of their own songs, I don’t know and I might have missed the song announcements. But it was good music.

Of Kings and Captains at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Of Kings and Captains at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Luke Wassell from Of Kings and Captains at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Luke Wassell from Of Kings and Captains at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Downstairs, in the basement, there was also a gig. With its own line-up. This offered a totally different experience. According to the Shed’s website this event was put on by Dreaming In Colour Productions. The bands were Friars Lantern, Jitterz, Barefoot In Baltimore and Crouching Tiger. That is not to say that they were the bands that actually played.  But then an event page on Facebook gave a totally different picture according to that the line-up was Healer, Lightfinder, Nagasaki Birth Defect, Flour Body Autopsy and Damage Protocol. Only ten days ago but already the data is confusing. Healer said that playing in Leicester was ‘super fun’. According to the band’s Facebook page they play melodic hardcore and the five members of the band are based in Bristol. They have a debut EP out now on all digital stores and a page on Bandcamp.

Kurt Gibson from The Mini Nukes at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

Kurt Gibson from The Mini Nukes at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

The last band of the night on the main stage was Not Now Cato, a rock and pop covers band from Loughborough. The lead singer had plenty of presence. There is a video of the band performing at The Shed on its Facebook page.

Previous to them The Mini Nukes had given a set with plenty of momentum. The three-piece ska/punk group certainly were turbo-powered. Watch out for the band’s debut album ‘Hysterical Fun To Come.’ The two singers – Micky and Kurt Gibson – were with their drummer Tommy Wilkinson who was also a singer.

The Mini Nukes at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

The Mini Nukes at The Shed on 30th September 2016.

A good night at The Shed. Plenty of music styles to choose from. A selection of bands and singers who provided entertaining music. For me it was a good conclusion to a month of live music that had poured rewards in good measure.

September has been a formidable challenge; Leicester is a city with so much to offer lovers of live music. All I can hope to do is to scratch the surface of thus city’s music delights.

27th September 2016

Natalie McCool

The Cookie

by Keith Jobey

There are quiet gigs and then there are quiet quiet gigs. But to be fair, Leicester City FC were probably responsible in part for tonight’s meagre attendance.

Elizabeth Cornish performances have been a bit of a rarity lately, and sadly, they’re likely to become even rarer. The artist whose debut album was called Displaced because of her numerous moves through her life, looks set to move on once again. Playing solo to a quiet, attentive handful of people was a far cry from her sold out album launch show, but it was a treat for those present.

Elizabeth Cornish at The Cookie. 27th Sept 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Elizabeth Cornish at The Cookie. 27th Sept 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey.

With unintentional irony, she was due to close the set with Displaced, we won’t dwell on why it didn’t happen, but instead, much to the pleasure of certain audience members, we got Above Ground. So was that the last time we’ll see her perform in Leicester? She’ll never say never, and there’s still time for a final performance before she moves on, so you may be lucky. On a positive note, she doesn’t intend to quit music and still loves writing songs, and hopes to keep putting her music online. So hopefully we can keep in touch with her via cyberspace.

Natalie McCool at The Cookie. 27th Sept 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Natalie McCool at The Cookie. 27th Sept 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey.

I’ll be honest, I initially wasn’t going to stay to catch the headliner. The dual prospect of an early night and avoiding the football traffic tempted me to want away. But in the end, I was there, and more importantly, hardly anybody else was, so I stayed put to help swell the numbers. I counted 9 in the crowd, 10 if you included Elizabeth. Hey, that’s not the least attended gig I’ve been to. What was great though was that Natalie McCool didn’t let it phase her. And although the crowd were few, they made plenty of noise, including a raucous singalong session to Fortress. This was her debut album tour so naturally she played all the songs from it. It’s called The Great Unknown and from what I heard tonight, it’s definitely worth a listen to.

24th September 2016

Colleen Green & Cassie Ramone
The Cookie

by Keith Jobey

It’s a Saturday evening and two of the coolest alternative artists have flown in from the US for a European tour. But as Colleen Green sets out her merch stand before the gig she’s sat there on her own. It’s going to be a quiet one tonight.

One of Leicester’s own cool kids, Courtney Askey was the obvious choice to open the show. With Tiff settled in nicely on guitar and the album currently being mixed, the  Courtney Askey musicians are a slick, polished act. New song Anna Bundance is damn catchy and looks set to be the next single. You can catch Courtney on October 8th at the Queens Hall (Academy 2) where they support their friends Ash Mammal along with Kermes and Gleam.

Courtney Askey at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Courtney Askey at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey.

Cassie Ramone, a scene setter from Brooklyn, is known for her role of vocalist/guitarist in the Vivian Girls. We head down to the stage to see a dishevelled figure, sitting on her amp with a bottle of JD at her side. A rock and roll star who already looks like she’s lived the rock and roll life. She encourages the thin crowd, who are standing back, to come forward and asks them to sit and then she gets to work. There’s not much chat, but the songs have enough bite to catch your attention and she delivers a commanding and enjoyable set.

Cassie Ramone at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Cassie Ramone at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey.

After a Ramone in name, we get a Ramone in style. Colleen Green has been described as Ramone-core because of her use of Ramones-style guitar playing. It certainly comes through in the songs but there’s a lot more to them, with additional riffs and pop style lyric delivery. With a pre-recorded backing track delivering bass and drums, that great guitar sound, the casual approach plus the sunglasses, she has an air of coolness about her.

Colleen Green at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016. Photo: Keith Jobey.

Colleen Green at The Cookie. 24th Sept 2016.
Photo: Keith Jobey.

So thanks to all Colleen, Cassie, Courtney and the Cookie for a cool evening.

26th September

End of Trail Records

The Shed, promoted by End Of Trail Records

with The UltraViolet, Chimpanzees, Michael Vickers, The Jav’lins and Brandon Neal.

Photos by Kevin Gaughan

End of Trail Records is a business based in Hastings that has been going for ten years; apart from distributing records, they also manage bands. Several of their client bands are signed to established record labels and some have recently headlined the BBC Introducing stages at Reading and Leeds festivals. “We are distributed by Rough Trade Records. We signed with them last year. Nice to be associated with such a brand”, owner Kelly Munro told me.

Brandon Neal opened the show. Another brilliant performance but this widely acclaimed artist. Brandon uses his voice very intelligently to bring out the mood and feeling of the songs. We saw him on Saturday at The Donkey.

Brandon Neal at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Brandon Neal at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

What a great pleasure to see The Jav’lins again. Always a great experience to see this band. Their mastery of songs is truly amazing. Tom Illiffe’s singing and his performance that drives it is rarely equalled among local bands and is always inspiring. Accompanied on the side drum by bassist Bryn Stilgoe; they put on a spectacular performance; one that was was thrilling to see and very satisfying.

The Jav'lins at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Jav’lins at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

This band is the life and soul of blues rock. The energy that flows from the stage  is electrifying. Each time I see them play it becomes harder to put into words how great they are as musicians. Stamping in the floor in time with the beats, Tom squeezes every last drop of energy from himself, his face clearly expressing the emotion he feels as he sings. Completely enthralling.

Tom Illiffe of The Jav'lins at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Tom Illiffe of The Jav’lins at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Michael Vickers had attracted a very large crowd of people to see him perform tonight.  It was like a reunion – former band mates and friends from years ago – there was a sense of occasion in the air. Now one of Leicester’s established solo artists, Vickers enjoys a following and much acclaim for his song-writing skills as much as his stage presence.  His lyrics have a voice that draws people in, lyrics that speak of life and experience and he has a knack of knowing how to get a message across, how to find the spots in people’s emotions that engage them in his songs.  Tonight he had a room full of delighted and enthusiastic fans who responded warmly to all his songs. He has that gritty voice, that Noel Gallagher charm, that Alex Turner vivacity that holds audiences spellbound until the end of the songs when the whole room erupts in applause.  A truly momentous performance  – except that this is what he usually does.

Michael Vickers at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Michael Vickers at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Chimpanzees is a trio of musicians that includes two vocalists and a large bank of keyboards. They play their own songs. Basing their brand and image around primates, this electro-psych-rock band from Leicestershire performed a song about evolution which repeated the phrase “Apes, monkeys” many times. Tonight’s set mixed a cocktail of electro-, pop, blues, punk and psych- into a heady libation to their influences of DEVO, The Cramps, Kyuss, Pavement, Captain Beefheart and Big Black. Bothers Aaron and Craig were joined on the stage by drummer Jean Paul. Since they started in 2006 a variety of other musicians have played with them but tonight it was the core trio. Tracks worth listening to include Elephantom, Beef Jerk-off and many more. Lots of traction from their music, compelling rhythms, clever instrumental arrangements, inventive song writing… all pretty good really.

The Chimpanzees at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Chimpanzees at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The headline band assembled on stage; I looked at them trying to figure out if I had seen them before. It was way afterwards that I discovered that I had. Back in January 2015 when they played at The Shed and I said

The Ultraviolet, from Lincolnshire (Boston), was a band I had not seen before. They were good. The quartet of lads had two good vocalists and a set of punchy songs that won me over.  A pleasing mash-up of musical styles brought energy and vibrancy to their set. They played a cover of a song by Bring Me The Horizon. One band I would like to see again.

The Ultraviolet at The Shed in 2015

The Ultraviolet at The Shed in 2015

So, I see them again, tonight. The four guys from Boston and their set of indie, poprock sounds. They plied considerable megawatts of energy into their performance.  Lead singer Ben Thorn danced around the stage, lay down on it, knelt on it, was all over the place but determined to display the mood of what the songs were about. Ultraviolet has a film on YouTube called Wake Up Dead, so you might want to take a look at that.

It will give you a pretty good idea of what they are like. Fabulous.

The Ultraviolet at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Ultraviolet at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

 

The Ultraviolet at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Ultraviolet at The Shed, 26th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Find out more

End Of The Trail Records on Facebook

24th September

Budgie Smugglers

at The Donkey

with The Mini Nukes, The Docs and Brandon Neal.

For two years now The Budgie Smugglers has been entertaining the people of Leicester with their very own brand of musical fun; a punk band that loves to party, they have a huge repertoire of songs that they play at their shows, often on request. Tonight the band celebrated its second birthday with a show that featured specially created cakes, fireworks and line a lot of dancing. It was a night to have fun, enjoy musical lollipops and let your hair down.

Tonight’s show was opened by Brandon Neal. Brilliant. That is the only word I think of to sum up this remarkable artist. The lyrics he sings are iconic.  The strength and vitality of his performance is awe inspiring. I regard him as being one of the unique artists on the Leicester music scene. Some of the songs he sang before I have heard before. Weddings and Wars, cover of a Will Varley song. Compelling and intriguing words delivered with the sharp, taught and bristling performance that we have come to expect from this increasingly popular solo artist.

Brandon Neal at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Brandon Neal at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

I have seen The Docs before. It was good to see them again. Back in May, The Docs played at The Shed, supporting The Lurkers. Phrases like ‘raw grit’ came to mind; they have a style that makes they stand out. The Docs were on the lineup when the Vibrators headlined at The Shed on 2nd April on the band’s 40th anniversary tour.

The Docs at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Docs at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

It has been a long time since I last saw The Mini Nukes. They played at the Soundhouse on 10th July 2015; having seen them back then I said ‘Good musical entertainment delivered with lashings of passion.  Songs that have oodles of drive and relentless energy. Their set was delivered with infectious good humour and a limitless supply of infectious rhythms. ‘ The band played at the Western Park Festival in 20915 and Keith Jobey saw them there; he said ‘The Mini-Nukes were about to explode. This turbo powered three-piece picked up the pace with a bit of ska, some punk and a whole lot of energy. I’m sure it wasn’t just the mix of sunshine and beer, I really enjoyed their set. ‘ As before I noted that this band has three singers. The band’s genres is ska punk, a heady mixture of compelling beats. As the drummer explained, the band have been going for about seven years. Their set was full of songs performed at a feverishly fast pace.

The Mini Nukes at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Mini Nukes at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Budgie Smugglers headlined the show with their intoxicating cocktail of chart-topping covers and conviviality. This was a song party and a lot of people turned up at The Donkey to dance to the music. The lead vocalist – Spanky Van Dyke – walked around the room, singing to the audience, went behind the bar and then disappeared outside of r a new moments. Crazy. Great fun. A real laugh. Not to be taken seriously,  this is a band that plays to make people happy. And that they did tonight, very well.

The Budgie Smugglers at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Budgie Smugglers at The Donkey, 24th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

While we were at The Donkey, we interviewed the band members and now we can tell their story – how they started, what they have achieved and how did they come by that funny name.

Read our feature article on The Budgie Smugglers.

The Donkey.  I really should go more often; in fact I have a date coming up – 8th October – when Aztec Temples will be playing there, supporting JAM DRC (The band that plays tribute to The Jam.) For those of you who have not yet been there – and yes there are some of you out there – you don’t know what you are missing.  It’s an iconic music venue that has plenty of character and puts on shows that are unmissable – like the upcoming return of the legendary Leicester band Gaye Bikers on Acid. Already sold out I’m afraid.

Broken Jaw at The Donkey In may 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Broken Jaw at The Donkey In may 2016.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

See what it is coming up at The Donkey and resolve to check it out.

23rd September

Glastonbudget auditions

at The Shed

with Kynch, Justice Beach, Fiona’s Run and Strategy.

Another Friday. Another round of auditions for the Glastonbudget Festival 2017. Another inspiring night of music.

Strategy. An unusual combination of an acoustic singer with a  guitar and a beat boxer with a microphone. They were from Chesterfield. What stood out, apart from the unusual combination, was that the singer – David Kaho – had a very good voice with the accompaniment of a beat boxer – Curtis Roberts –  made this a stand out act. Vibrant. Entertaining.

Fiona’s Run. A four member band from Chesterfield, Mansfield and Derby, in which the lead singer – Ben Boulton –  also played guitar. I would say it was melodic indie music (another way of saying soft rock/alternative). They said they had a video on YouTube; you can see them playing Roofspace live. Music played with technical skill; and even though they had only one vocalist for most of the songs, they played their own music. They said they have an album that is due to come out soon.

Last week we saw Shezza Wileman fronting her band Before The Crash;  this week she is back on stage as Justice Beach performing tonight as a solo singer. ‘Shezza like you have never seen her before,’ I thought as I watched her, spell bound and not a little awe struck.

Shezza Wileman of Justice Beach at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Shezza Wileman of Justice Beach at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Shezza sang a selection of bluesy, jazzy songs with a considerable degree of mastery, captivating the room with her powerful voice, delivering her act with plenty of personality and traction, treating the audience to an enthralling performance.  Shezza shone; whether covering a big ballad like Sky Fall or a lesser known piece she brought to the delivery a high level of artistry. The biggest the song, the better she is; like her rendition of Queen’s Somebody to love

Shezza Wileman of Justice Beach at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Shezza Wileman of Justice Beach at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

She certainly has talent.

Kynch. We have talked about these three young lads many times before. We saw Kynch in February this year when we wrote

They play some of their own songs and do some covers, like Monkey Wrench by Foo Fighters. The musicians play with fervour and this is one of the young bands that has come on really well in recent months. It was a brilliant performance from a group that has brought us so many first class appearances. [Music in Leicester magazine]

Wow! Do they know how to play rock music! 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.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

They might be only sixteen but they have a real sense of vitality and they are adept at playing guitars; lead singer Jack gave an convincing and enviable performance that many an older musician would find hard to equal. Bassist Ollie added some vocals in some of the songs.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

It was a set that sparkled with energy and you could sense the chemistry between them. A joyous experience.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

Kynch at The Shed, 23rd September 2016.

17th September

It’s all in a good cause

Tony Webster band at The Y Theatre, September 2016

Tony Webster band at The Y Theatre, September 2016

Fund-raising events can be a bit tiresome sometimes – but not this one! This was one hell of a party – or should I say ‘one heaven of a party’. Bands, singers and a rapper were on hand to get people dancing, singing and having a really good time – all in a good cause.

Read about the Heart & Soul of Leicester.

 

16th September

Auditions for Glastonbudget Festival 2017
at The Shed

with Rebecca Woolman, Before The Crash, Beneath The Lights, The Enthused, The Night Crawlers.

A good crowd had turned out to the Shed tonight for the auditions show organised by the  Glastonbudget festival to select acts for the 2017 festival. A regular weekly occurance at The Shed during the autumn months.

Opening tonight’s show Rebecca Woolman sang for the audience. Better known as the lead singer in FourPointOh, she has taken to performing solo in recent times.

FourPointOh on stage in 2014

FourPointOh on stage in 2014

Becky’s selection of well known songs captivated the crowd.

Becky Woolman at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Becky Woolman at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

A Leicester band that we have covered in this magazine times before is Before The Crash. The Western Park festival, in July, saw the band on stage in the open air.

Before The Crash playing at the Western Park festival 2016. Photo: Pascal Pereira photography.

Before The Crash playing at the Western Park festival 2016.
Photo: Pascal Pereira photography.

Tonight, what stood out was the powerful voice of leader singer Shezza Wileman. On top form tonight, BTC put on a performance that excelled even the high standards that we have grown to appreciate. Guitar work from Oisin George was also pretty impressive. This is a band that has been going for a few years now, often appearing at gigs and festivals around town and always much appreciated by those who have seen them.

Before The Crash at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Before The Crash at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Another band that is a ‘household name’ in the live music circles of Leicestershire, is Beneath The Lights. One of this magazine’s featured bands, they appear in many gigs reviews. Tonight the role of lead guitar was taken by Oliver Kidd-Martin, standing in for the usual musician in that place, Brandon Long who is “still poorly.” Many of us still remember Oliver from when he was the lead singer from the much-acclaimed band 8Miles High; so it was good to see him back on the stage again. I recognised him from the last time I saw Beneath The Lights when they played at The Soundhouse on 13th August. [Music in Leicester magazine]

Oliver Kidd-Martin of 8 Miles High at The Soundhouse in 2014

Oliver Kidd-Martin of 8 Miles High at The Soundhouse in 2014

This is a band that ticks all the boxes that have ever been invented. Great music, great songs, phenomenal performance, volcanic outpourings of energy; they have got it all. Tonight they included in their set one of my most loved songs:  Bastille’s Pompeii.  Lovely. Let us keep our fingers crossed that we will see them again at next year’s festival.

Oliver Kidd-Martin with Beneath The Lights at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Oliver Kidd-Martin with Beneath The Lights at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

 

Beneath The Lights at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Beneath The Lights at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

[Beneath The Lights feature article in Music in Leicester magazine]

The Enthused was good. Four musicians, playing a variety of rock covers with loads of razz. If your band is going to play covers (and Glastonbudget is after all, the kind of place where such would go down well) then you might as well make a good job of it; and yes, they did. Plenty of our best loved Green Day songs. Very OK. Very enjoyable.

The Enthused at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Enthused at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

When The Night Crawlers started their set, I recognised three of the musicians on the stage.  There is Harry Pentony from The Reckless Youth and on the drums his colleague Kieran Langley. There is Will Hayter from Eden Avenue. They have been brought together for this new group by the lead singer Mike Curran. Someone told me that Mike had come from California and had started a band over here and, as we can see, has chosen wisely. What they gave us was a set of solid cover songs, including the Rolling Stones Paint It Black. That got the room dancing. Great fun. With the strong vocals from Mike were some ravenous guitar solos. It was all very good.

Night Crawlers at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Night Crawlers at The Shed, 16th September 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Check out Nightcrawlers on Facebook.

Another good night at The Shed. Long may it reign.

See all of Kevin Gaughan’s photos from tonight’s show.

13th September

The Alchemy

At The Shed with Saltlake, Red Spektor, Damage Protocol and The Relinquished.

I didn’t plan to go to The Shed tonight.  I had been to a literary evening nearby to hear readings from established authors. That over, flushed with excitement, I walked round to Yeoman Street for a quick drink. It’s impossible to go into The Shed and see bands without getting the urge to write about them; tonight was no exception.  On stage was a band called Saltlake. Not one I had seen before. A three-piece playing heavy music that was bristling with energy, raw and throbbing. I liked what I heard and was soon scribbling notes into my book and taking photos. Saltlake were on tour with The Alchemy and had played at The Shed before, though not when I was there.  I was particularly keen on what the drummer was doing. I think he was called Pip.

The Alchemy played at The Shed on 17th February this year.

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

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

Back then I wrote

the music was heavy, loud and stunning. From their volcanic opening number through to the end they produced one explosive song after another with the vocalists adding plenty of punch to the songs. Personally, I heard sounds  from of the old-style pop-punk days of the Hertford bands but mixed with lashings of big metally music. Fantastic. [Music in Leicester magazine]

The Alchemy gave us some brilliant sounds brought to life by some fine musicians. Large, explosive passages full of pounding drama. They said they had recently released an EP – so that would be worth looking out for. Taught and tense with traction, the songs had the drummer pounds his skins with the power and the glory of an Olympic gold medallist. In the midst of all this there were some moments of melodic magic. I would have loved to have seen this band playing in front of a massive audience moshing like mad, hair twirling and going nuts. The would have been worthy of that.

Damage Protocol, a trio of local musicians, gave us some scintillating guitar solos and growly, shouty vocals. One of their songs ‘Adrift’ was inventive and possibly one of their more experimental numbers; anyway, it was moody and engaging. They introduced their song ‘while this city rests’ and said it was about moving from the countryside into Leicester.  This is a band that has a life of its own and a presence that is unique to them and that stands for something.

M2M, March 13, Damage Protocol. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

M2M, March 13, Damage Protocol.
Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Relinquished had a lead singer who had gone to some lengths to paint his face but the others would not follow suit. A band with a distinctive genre. I would like to have seen the whole of their set but, sadly, I had to leave early to make the last bus; I couldn’t face a long walk about up the hill to Victoria park.

10th September

Alligatr at The Cookie

with Gloss, Royal Arcade and a lot of extremely happy and excited fans.

They said it was a really good night; and by the looks of it it really was.

Alligatr at The Cookie. Photo: Kevin Gaughan, 2016

Alligatr at The Cookie. Photo: Kevin Gaughan, 2016

Read about Alligatr at The Cookie in July when they played with Arc Isla and Caro.

Alligatr at The Cookie.

See Kevin Gaughan’s photos from this gig.

Watch this video on YouTube of Alligator at The Cookie, by Kevin Gaughan.

Also tonight

What you sayin’

Poetman presented an evening of spoken word in the basement of the Shed.

One of those nights when I wished there were two me; downstairs an engaging line-up of poets, rappers and people doing amazing stuff with words. Upstairs a stage-load of singers and acts providing good music. You simply didn’t know where to be. On the main stage Brandon Neal, Sophia Dady Ritchie Lamson, Elysian, Attila Viral, Of Kings & Captains and Wolfe Sunday. Ah yes, Wolfe Sunday.  I have seen him before.

Wolfe Sunday at The Shed in 2015

Wolfe Sunday at The Shed in 2015ay played at The Shed.

January 2015 Wolfe Sunday played at The Shed at the Roboter CD release show.

My presence there was prompted by the appearance downstairs of Mellow Baku, an artist I have been following for a long time. I see Mellow as being one of the top creative artists in Leicester.

Mellow Baku at the Shed

Mellow Baku at the Shed

Her performance tonight was outstanding.  She read some of her work and I was immensely impressed.  Another of the spoken word artists who stood out for me was Jamie T; he really had a presence and a message. I liked that. Many performers were on the line-up tonight, all of whom were good. If you like spoken word (or if you just like a night of entertainment) and want to try something different, then the What You Sayin’ shows at the Shed I would highly recommend.

6th September

Flip Like Wilson

at The Shed

Tonight I was here to see Leicester band Flip Like Wilson with A Higher Demise, Torre Valley, All That We Are and Entwives. Kevin Gaughan took the photos.

It was a warm though muggy evening as I made my way into town for The Shed. It was a Tuesday, so I wondered what would be in store for me.  As it turned out there was a fair audience tonight for the line-up of bands.

A Higher Demise had five musicians on the stage who gave us plenty of vocals.

A Higher Demise at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

A Higher Demise at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Sounds of heavy metal, powered with strong guitar riffs filled the room and the band was not short of action. I noticed that their free-standing lead vocalist has a wireless mic. Tiny, insignificant detail but I noticed it. Not convinced they were always in tune. I think they said they were from Dartford in Kent and on the second day of their national tour. Impressed to see a bevy of musicians in the room from other bands who had turned up to see what was going on. Anyway it was a good set and they gave us a lively and engaging performance.

Torre Valley was just two musicians. Nothing wrong with that; two person groups are well-known around here and over the years we have seen some spectacular examples of duos.

Torre Valley at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Torre Valley at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

In this case the lead vocalist was on the guitar and the drummer sang. So that caught my attention. Olympic levels of drumming and he could sing too! All highly impactful. There might have been only two of them but they pumped out enough vibe and resonance for a full band.

All That We Are. Plenty of bounce and energy from this band, currently on tour. Big bubbly beats from a band that did their own songs; they fired out salvos of vibrant sounds into the room.

All That We Are at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

All That We Are at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Though the audience had, by this time, thinned somewhat, they were all down the front, fully engaged, lovin’ it. They also threw in a few covers.

Flip Like Wilson is a local band that I have been following almost since they started.

Flip Like Wilson at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Flip Like Wilson at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

I still love what they do – exhilarating music, sounds that move you, beats that make you bounce, the kind of tunes that make you want to ‘dance like a nob.’ (Where did I get that phrase from?) This is a band that buzzes with energy; when they are on stage the air crackles with electricity. Joe’s vocals are scintillating.

Flip Like Wilson at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Flip Like Wilson at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Not to be confused with the covers band from Philadelphia of the same name.

Read our feature article on Flip Like Wilson from July 2015.

Entwives. A three-piece band where the lead singer is also the bass player.

Entwives at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Entwives at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Their songs had rhythms that got their fans moshing at the front. I remember seeing this band in September last year; I said ‘We heard a set by Entwives, they were good. The young three-piece had some heavy sounds, full of impact, with solidly good guitar work.’ I was rather more impressed by what I heard tonight and I know that the rest of the crowd enjoyed it a lot.

Entwives at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Entwives at The Shed, 6th September. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

2nd September

Whiskey Rebellion

at The Shed for Glastonbudget

Well some nights in Leicester are really busy; sometimes we are lucky enough to get a few people out there at various venues. It would be a real shame if we missed a top gig at a venue simply because we did not have enough people to go out there and capture it.

Tonight I was at the Shed to see Whiskey Rebellion. There were seven musicians on the stage to deliver a stunning set of gypsy rock and Irish folk vibe songs. I tell you what – I absolutely loved it.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Put a violin and an accordion into a band and you have got my attention.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

This is a band that has a rich vibe, an ear-grabbing sound and all the resonance and traction you need for a top set of throbbingly good tunes.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Together with The Brandy Thieves and a few other bands, Whiskey Rebellion is making Leicester live. They gave us a marvellous performance and it was a superbly good finale to an evening of top-notch music.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Whiskey Rebellion at The Shed, 2nd September 2016.

Also on stage tonight for the Glastonbudget 2017 festival auditions: Kian Irin, The Mojo Filters and the Insiders. And if that wasn’t enough, downstairs in the basement there was a line-up of bands that included The Sedations – one of my favourite punk bands.

Kian Irwin opened the show on the main stage. He was good. But not outstanding.  He lacked presence. We think he is from the East Midlands and gives the impression that he is a dedicated artist who is going places. Undoubtedly talented but he failed to grab my attention.

The Mojo Filters was a five-member group with a free-standing lead vocalist. Their set had plenty of punch. Now, if I have got the right band I see they are from my home town of Portsmouth. Well! They came a long way to be here tonight. Singer Al Harris put on a strong performance. Good guitar riffs supporting the band’s set of Brit Rock tunes.

The Insiders was a four-piece band; I tried to find them on Google but there was several bands with the same name; so my hunt was inconslusive. I think that most of their set was comprised of covers. Fairly enjoyable but nothing outstanding. The lead singer performed with considerable energy and the band as a whole worked hard to give their set some fire. Some of their songs were original (as in, their own) but to me they lacked originality. They played a song by The Sterophonics – Dakota – but I couldn’t get an interpetation, any take on it, they didn’t sound like they made it their own. All the same, the audience enjoy their set and  that stands for a lot.

Altogether it was an enjoyable night of music. My opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of  the judges from the Glastonbudget festival. Galstonbudget selects acts from auditions held where bands from around the country can present what they do for the festivals’s selectors. More about this is available on the festival’s website.

2nd September

Jimmy Amnesia

at Sumo

Jimmy Amnesia record cover

Jimmy Amnesia record cover

Wake Up Promotions was proud to present the launch show for Jimmy Amnesia’sSpread It On Thick‘ EP.

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Jimmy Amnesia was at Sumo recently and Kevin Gaughan was there to photograph them.

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

 

Emily Carr at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Emily Carr at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Singer Emily Carr presented a selection of her songs; she is a well known artist on the Leicester circuit, mentioned before here at Music in Leicester.

Kane Harlow made an appearance again; we saw him  recently at Firebug.

Kane Harlow at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Kane Harlow at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Leicester Britpop band Escapade brought some vibrant sounds to the stage.

Escapade at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Escapade at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Escapade were on stage at Duffy’s in May; Trevor Cobbe commented ‘Escapade is a four piece from Leicester/Loughborough and they played a confident set of catchy tunes.’  Jimmy Amnesia also played at that show and Trevor Cobbe said of them:  ‘Another Leicester four-piece who deliver Britpop/Indie Rock, there’s a definite Oasis swagger to frontman Ryan as he leads the band through a fast-paced set of 90s influenced pop, punk, indie songs. The crowd are fully immersed in Jimmy Amnesia’s music and banter and the song Beautiful seems to particularly resonate, perhaps their anthem song. With a midset swap of guitars between the Alexs and then back, the sounds kept pumping out.’ [Music in Leicester.]

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Jimmy Amnesia at Sumo, 2nd September 2016. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

They were also on our page of live music gigs for August when they supported The Brandy Thieves.

2nd September 2016

Meri Everitt and Alligatr
The Cookie

by Keith Jobey

I wasn’t going to go out tonight. I had a full weekend ahead of me. But some last minute changes in circumstances led to an opportunity that couldn’t be refused. A lift in and out of town, plus the addition of Meri Everitt and Alligatr to the bill at the Cookie. Yep, that was enough to tempt me out.

Meri Everitt entertained the early doors crowd with her usual confidence and good humoured banter, encouraging whooping instead of clapping and inviting them to choose song styles to play. It was a set list a little loaded with favourites of mine, well I had helped her choose it, so there was a little bias towards songs Flying Kangaroo Alliance would usually play.

Meri Everitt at the Cookie - 2nd Sept 2016 Photo: Keith Jobey

Meri Everitt at the Cookie – 2nd Sept 2016
Photo: Keith Jobey

On to Alligatr. There’s a thing happening here, a scene developing. A maturing of three bands that have been around for a year or so, Alligatr, Royal Arcade and Gloss. Intertwined and interlinked and all involved with The Honey Label. Tonight was effectively a dry run for Alligatr, a late edition to the bill and only a week before they headline the same venue. If tonight was anything to go by it’s going to be a brilliant night. Get involved!

Alligatr at the Cookie - 2nd Sept 2016 Photo: Keith Jobey

Alligatr at the Cookie – 2nd Sept 2016
Photo: Keith Jobey

The three bands are playing three gigs at the Cookie over the next couple of months, taking it in turn to headline while the other two support. Here are the dates:
Friday 9th September – Alligatr
Friday 30th September – Royal Arcade
Monday 31st October – Gloss

These are three bands to watch out for.

See also:

Live music in August.

Record reviews.