De Sade

Saturday 9th April 2016

Trevor Locke joined

De Sade at The Musician

A large crowd gathered at the Musician pub tonight for an event of historic importance: to hear a band that had given us all so much pleasure in the past but whose presence on Leicester’s stages has been missed for almost a decade. That band was De Sade.

Opening the show, a fantastic warm-up from Zed Rock.

Zed Rock at The Musician 2016
Zed Rock at The Musician 2016

This four-piece group of rockers gave us a set of fired-up songs, pretty much most of which everyone would have heard before. They stormed their way through some of the all-time greats from the world of rock, leavened with some lollipops from punk such as Blink 182’s All The Small Things. Now, even I know that one. Even Kasabian got a look in with Clubfoot. It was like rock of ages.

As the adulation died down and Zed Rock left the stage we knew it would soon be time for what we had been waiting for. The return of De Sade. So, what is all the fuss about? Other bands have made a one-off come-back. The Heroes did it last year.

And we all remember when The Rolling Stones doing it (though some of us are still trying to forget.) Well, as far as I can recall the last time I saw De Sade was in 2008. I also saw them the previous year when they played at the Musician with another band I liked (in those seemingly far-off days) Exit 21. Referring to the said band I commented ‘High energy classic rock sounds with exciting lyrics and awesome performance from their lead singer.’ De Sade split up as various of its members went off to other bands, including Hell’s Addiction. I said ‘Ben Sargent’s staccato vocals were like Zack de la Rocha meets Kurt Cobain. He nearly blew his chords out! What a stunning performance.’

Bands that become a legend in their time invariably have one outstanding feature and where De Sade is concerned this is Alex Smith. He is a rock god. He is a rock star personality, when he is on stage in front of a mic. Despite a long period of absence from the stage, Alex got up there tonight and rocked out, giving us a sensational performance.

Marcus Mason tells the story of the band:

Formed around 2001. Marcus, Jason and Dave from the last Atomic Babies line-up ask Alex, former drummer for Gaye Bykers on Acid, to try out on vocals. Many, many beers later a self-released single ‘Libertine’ is produced and the band organise a massive debut gig at Leicester Y Theatre. Due to a planned move to Australia, Dave Freeman departs the line-up. Using session drummer Lawrie Malen and with the addition of keyboard player Ian Mansfield the band demo an album of material, and self-release another single ‘All About The Love’ in December 2004. In 2005 Lawrie is replaced permanently by Lee Wood and the band record and release the album ‘Infamy’ in 2007. Towards the end of the band’s career Ian leaves the band. Liam Sargent is recruited as a second guitar player, and stays with the band up to the end, apart from the last two performances as a four-piece. The band split in 2009.

Marcus Mason.

De Sade at The Musician in 2016
De Sade at The Musician in 2016

Oddly enough, the Internet offers up little of the great golden days of De Sade. I found the band’s page still there on Myspace with the track Libertine. A copy of the band’s album, from around 2004, All About The Love is in the collection known as The Leicester Music Archive. It has three tracks: All About The Love, One More Time and Libertine (all of which were in tonight’s set list.)

In its time the band played to packed houses. Many will remember them at places like Out of the Vaults, The Musician, The Coalville Queen Vic, The Victory, Time Bar (I remember that one in 2006) and more. De Sade played its final gig at The Criterion in 2009.

Alex Smith of De Sade at The Musician in 2016.
Alex Smith of De Sade at The Musician in 2016.

The members of De Sade (according to the band page on Facebook)

Alex Smith (vocals)
Marcus Mason (guitars)
Jason ‘Big Daddy’ Green (bass)
Ian Mansfield (keys)
‘Easy’ Lee Wood (drums)
Nick Atkins (guitars)

De Sade at The Musician in 2016.
De Sade at The Musician in 2016.


Obsession (2002?) – One track demo recording

Libertine (2003) – 3 track single (Libertine/Feel You/Words)

All About The Love (2004) – 3 track single (All About The Love/One More Time/Libertine)

Live At The Shed (2005) – 2 track live recording, unreleased (Life Goes On/Hot Summer Night)

Infamy (2007) – 10 track album

Booty (2008) – One track demo

Hot Summer Night (4:03)
Released: 26/04/2014 – EIA Records

The songs played by De Sade tonight were:

Took me Down
Wicked Game
All about the love
Feel You
One More Time
Life Goes On
Fire & Water
Hot Summer Night

De Sade at The Musician in 2016.
De Sade at The Musician in 2016.

See also:

Live music in April

Leicester bands month

Nik Turner in Leicester.

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke