Banner in front of the main stage at the Riverside Festival

13th June 2014

Riverside Festival

The Leicester Riverside Festival took place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June, at Bede Park.

MIL went to the festival on Saturday 7th June and this is our report.

Photos from the Riverside Festival 2014 are no longer available.

A wet morning must have put people off but in fact the rain stopped just as the first band started. Under an overcast sky, the 2014 Riverside Festival got underway. As in previous years, there was a main stage and an area for acoustic artists.

Chris Armson was in the acoustics gazebo entertaining the crowd with a variety of songs accompanying himself on his celebrated travel guitar. Even though the crowd at this time was thin on the ground the redoubtable artist carried on. Armson has been performing in Leicester for many years and is a veteran of the local gig and festivals circuits.

Mia and the Moon came to the main stage at one thirty and a crowd began to form to enjoy the well-harmonised vocals and soothing sounds of this Leicester duo. The two singers were joined by a cellist and Sam Winterton on the hand drums.

On the main stage Leicester’s Beneath The Lights served an enjoyable menu of tunes to the now growing audience. Out came the sun and everything began to look good. Lead vocalist Sam Lowe’s voice was strong and clear and the whole band performed with a lively stage presence. Sam was backed by vocals from the guitarist Brandon Long and together they delivered a very enjoyable set of songs which included a new cover song, for them, Bastille’s Pompeii, which was very well received by the listening public. BTL delivered an impressive set of songs, played with real passion and this won them enthusiastic appreciation from the crowd.

Half past two and the sky is clear blue, the sun shining with a hot June radiance and the crowd is getting ever more substantial.

Chris Moody was singing in the acoustic area, giving a set of his stirring folk songs to the increasing audience – which included quite a few musicians.

Chris was followed by the celebrated singer Pamella Moo, with drummer and guitarist, and she sang a sunny set of rhythm and blues songs which were uplifting and much enjoyed by those sipping their drinks and sitting on the grass.

Acoustic area fans also enjoyed the superb guitar playing of Sam Brandshaw.

One of Leicester’s finest blues rock bands took to the main stage for an exhilarating performance of their songs. The Bobcats delivered a stunning set, lead by the vocals of Stu Crown, with Dan Fraser-Betts on 12-string bass and the legendary Boppa on the drums. It was a busy day for the Bobcats because they went on to play at the Shed later in the day. Now established as one of the city’s finest bands, the Bobcats delivered a storming set.

Singer Joe Connor gave the acoustic area a very nice set of his own songs. His ear-pleasing voice and well articulated lyrics were very enjoyable.

Joe was followed by acoustic artist John Fryer who performed a set of atmospheric and passionate songs. An experienced singer and song writer, John kept the audience fully on board for his set of vibrant songs.

On the main stage Tapestry was the headline band. Winners of the Original Bands showcase this year, the trio from Market Harborough have impressed many people with the inventiveness and creativity of their music. Lead vocalist Elliott Buchanan had a strong voice and also played the saxophone in some of the songs which had an electro-layer generated from some kind of synth. The audience was spell-bound; unlike most of the previous bands this was music of a style that many of them would not have heard before. Tapestry is now also now through to the finals of the Play@LMF competition in which bands are vying for a place at the Leicester Music festival in July. Impossible to pigeon-hole, Tapestry’s music is very contemporary in style and lies somewhere between the work of Park Bench Society at The Anteloids. Bouncy pop songs combined with mood eletro sounds, masterly dynamics and distinctly different from most other bands around our local music scene, they had an ‘x-factor’ quality that marked them out. Excellent.

Riverside is not just a music festival; it also including a wide variety of stall and on the river canoeists were demonstrating their skills and barges and boats sailed by.

The full programme over the two days

Main stage Saturday

12.30pm – 1.15pm Gateway College music showcase – A musical showcase of rock and pop performed by the college’s BTEC students.
1.30pm – 2pm Mia and the Moon – Set to release their debut album this summer, sibling harmony duo Mia and the Moon write and perform acoustic music together. Inspired by folk festival roots and modern influences such as Lana Del Rey, Ben Howard and Emilie Sande.
2.15pm – 3pm OBS runners-up Beneath the Lights – presenting the runners-up from this year’s Leicester Original Band Showcase.
3.30pm – 4.15pm Stu Crown & The Bobcats – The Bobcats’ music is the definition of truly honest blues. Real life experiences and emotions scrawled down on paper and then blasted through vintage amps.
4.30pm – 5.30pm OBS winners Tapestry – Between March and May 40 bands competed in the Leicester Original Band Showcase. Playing live on the main stage are the newly crowned winners. Many congratulations on a great achievement!
6pm – 7pm Johnny and the Goodtime Boys – This band are far too young to remember the 60’s and 70’s but they love classic soul and Motown and play this music with real passion. One of the best party bands around.

Acoustic tent Saturday

Featuring live acoustic sets from top local musicians across the weekend.
12.30pm Kevin Hewick, 1.00pm Chris Armson, 1.30pm Sam Bradshaw, 2.00pm Dan Harrison King, 2.30pm Chris Moody, 3.00pm Pamela Moo, 3.30pm Jonezy (replaced by Joe Connor), 4.00pm John Fryer, 4.30pm Dr. X, 5.00pm Les Eastham – Dust & Debris, 5.30pm Egg Ladies.


Main stage Sunday

12.30pm – 1.30pm Speakeasy Jazz – Easing you into Sunday with some cool tunes and classic songs and featuring the sweet soul of Anetha on lead vocals.
2pm – 3pm Sing for Water – The annual charity performance for Water Aid, featuring choirs and singers from across Leicester.
3.30pm – 4.30pm The Tony Webster Band – Latin big band finale of red hot rhythms and songs to get everybody in the party mood, ready for the Brazilian World Cup.

Acoustic tent Sunday
1.30pm Les Hayden, 2.00pm James Heathen, 2.30pm Laura Ratcliffe Group, 3.00pm Laura Ratcliffe Group, 3.30pm Racketeers.
(adapted from the official website)

More about Riverside Festival

in 2013

Leicester Riverside Festival 2012

See also:

The main page of our festival section

Download reloaded

Glastonbudget 2014


About The Editor 536 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke