Music fans, we’re here with your weekly Leicester music guide featuring news and interviews from across the local scene.
This weekly music update is brought to you in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd. Big thanks for their ongoing support of local acts and venues.
Belle & Sebastian – De Montfort Hall
Friday 4 February 2022
Glasgow indie darlings Belle and Sebastian’s star has steadily risen from humble yet precocious beginnings. Their cult debut album ‘Tigermilk’ was devised as a school project in 1996, but it was follow up ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ that brought them to mainstream attention with their heartfelt and quirky lyrics appealing to lonely teenagers and music completists alike. Belle and Sebastian are an exciting and accomplished live act, and with a huge back catalogue of songs including hits ‘The Boy with the Arab Strap’ and ‘I’m A Cuckoo’ that sit comfortably next to obscure b-sides and special releases. Tickets on sale on Friday 18 June.
Echobelly – Firebug
Monday 11 October
With a few line-up changes over the years and even a temporary name change (sometimes performing as Calm Of Zero), Sonya Madan and Glenn Johansson remain at the core of Echobelly. Still giving us plenty of ‘great things’ from their Britpop heyday, plus new material. TICKETS.
The Soundhouse Summer Sessions
Following the government restrictions this week The Soundhouse will be continuing with their Summer Sessions every weekend for the foreseeable. Free entry, live music throughout the afternoon on the outdoor stage. 2pm – 5pm.
INTERVIEW: TOM CARNELL
This week’s government announcement has meant more late changes for venues getting ready to reopen after a long period of closure. One of those venues is The Shed and we caught up with venue manager, Tom Carnell, to find out how they’ve been managing everything.
What have you missed most about The Shed during closure?
The people. Our customers. The Shed Crew and everyone who has supported us over the past few years are the life and soul of the venue. I miss the vibes and the passion everyone brings in every single week without fail. I am so looking forward to opening our doors and seeing all the familiar faces once again. To anyone reading this who is part of the groups of people I mentioned, know this: I love you, miss you, fully appreciate you and can’t wait to see you again.
How much has the latest announcement affected your plans?
In short, it’s been hard. I was fully prepared for the potential situation of having to reschedule the shows we had planned over the next four weeks. What I was not prepared for was the toll it has taken on mine and Elisabeth’s mental health. It’s been 15 months since I last ran a show and it feels like a huge chunk of my life has been missing. I’ve been coping fairly well with it but this seems to have affected me a lot more. Hopefully it’s only four more weeks until I can start doing what I love again but lets not forget the £35 million financial hit the grassroots industry has taken just by having to shut for four more weeks!
What can people look forward to when you reopen your doors?
Well to start with, a very overwhelmingly emotional venue manager! I am just so ready to get the doors back open and I am so excited to see everyone again. We have a whole new lighting system upstairs in our main room and downstairs in The Vault… well let’s just say it has had a complete overhaul and that’s all I am saying for now! Our club night, ‘Ambush’ will be running again amongst some other favourites such as ‘Alternativ Karaoke’ and of course, some absolutely stellar bands, artists and musicians.
You had a big sale of lots of The Shed’s equipment to raise funds, how has the task been of getting the venue ready to reopen?
It’s been a very long, difficult and tiring process but we are nearly there. We have had to replace our entire roof, as it was on the verge of collapse which then bought on other issues, like the venue getting absolutely filthy. I don’t want to spoil too much about what we have been up to but honestly, the months of hard work have been so worthwhile and we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I’d like to take the chance to give a big shout out to Kieren Bradbury-Arthur, Toby Leonard and Laura Barsby for the amazing help they have given us with giving the venue a fresh new vibe!
What cool shows and events do you have lined up?
So many, I don’t know where to start. We are working with a few more external promoters around Leicester including Arclight Promotions and HQ Familia who are doing a great job, check them out on Facebook to see what events they have in store. I am currently in the process of rescheduling shows so I won’t give dates right now as they are going to be changed. Some great bands we have coming up though are: Hobo Disco; Phantom Isle; Oceans Apart; Celestines; AudioRage; Steal This Band and so many more!
What’s your favourite thing about working at The Shed?
To put this simply, I absolutely love my job. I am working my dream job and 5 years ago I didn’t even know it was my dream job. I never have a day where I don’t wake up feeling so grateful for the opportunities Elisabeth and The Shed has given me over the years. Running a music venue has to be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love seeing people having a great time at an event that I have been a part of running. Nothing is better than seeing the smiles on 200 peoples faces when they are connecting with a band they have never heard before or dancing to some of their favourite songs and having the best time. As long as The Shed is around I will always be there making sure everyone is having an incredible time listening to music and dancing with their friends and loved ones.
As we wait a little long for full live shows to return, which local artists and bands should our readers be checking out in the meantime?
Lots!! I can’t not promote my own bands: The Surrealists; We Give In and Homeless Shakespeare and The Pigeon Theatre (yes I also play in three bands!). There is also Earls, Sweet Amber, Piston Slap, Chambers, Running With Knives, Mouth Culture and Ohana.
If you could pick any artist and any venue for your first gig back, who would you choose?
The dream would be Enter Shikari at The Shed. My favourite band at my favourite venue, simple. We had them performing as the Shikari Sound System at Ambush which was one of the best nights of my entire life.
Each week we bring you a selection of favourite local acts to give you a flavour of the incredible range of upcoming talent.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.