Thursday 23rd July 2015
We saw: Chasing Deer, Ladies, French Leave and Rebel Westerns.
Emperor Penguin Productions put on the show tonight and Nile McGregor was on the sound desk. Pi Bar, in Narborough Road, is a popular venue and its free entry shows are a draw people who like good live music. It always seems to be full.
I saw Chasing Deer at The Shed in June and noted: ‘Chasing Deer played Pompeii – Bastille’s much-loved song that I have heard from many acts before. Many of you will be able to sing
And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above
Even though I have heard this before – for example from the acapella group The Simpletones – I have to say that Chasing Deer gave it their own take and delivered one of the better covers of this famous song, that I have ever heard; they gave it a new interpretation in which multi-levelled instrumental orchestration enriched the tone and flavour. Rob Hodkinson provided very pleasing vocals, backed by the rest of the band in a performance that led me to add When this band comes back to Leicester, I will be first in the queue to see them.’
So, I was there, as promised at tonight’s return visit of the band to Leicester. They came from their home town of Stratford-on-Avon to play for us; I asked myself ‘what is that I like about this band?’ Well, quite simply, they play good music; they play well and their songs have been selected with good taste and judgement. Their lead singer has a good voice and they have a pleasing stage presence – all dressed in grey shirts and black trousers. This is a band that goes to some trouble to be successful. Their songs have bite and resonance; what they gave us was a set of listenable melodies, vibrant tunes, scintillating stops and breaks and when you watch them perform you see a group of young men who are really enjoying what they are doing on stage; they clearly have a chemistry among them. Now, for me that all adds up to one thing: a really good band. I rate them highly.
Leicester band Ladies got through to the finals of the 2015 Original Bands showcase (which was won by Dig Lazarus.) Writing about them at that show I said ‘Another trio took to the stage, a band founded in March last year, based in the Oakham/Stamford area, they describe themselves as a ‘guitar pop band.’ Their songs had plenty of attack, lively rhythms and strongly entertaining sounds.’ Tonight, Ladies gave the Pi Bar audience a strong set lead by their lead singer Chas Moody; playing their own songs, they delivered music which had character and engaging sounds. Coming from the Oakham/Stamford area, they were founded in March 2014 and have gone on to performance at various UK venues and, on their Facebook page they say ‘Ladies play a variety of crafted pop tunes which, whilst taking inspiration from the past, give a clear indication of music that is yet to come.’ This is clearly a band that deserves more attention; must see them again.
[In a previous version of this page, I commented on the performances of two bands. Having received feedback on those comments I made and having read them again, I see they were not of a high standard and failed to do justice to the performances given by them. I have therefore withdrawn these paragraphs and apologise to both sets of artists for not having done my job properly in the first place. Editor]
All in all a very good night