Weekly Music Guide – 06.08.2019

homeless Shakespeare Joe Doyle

Welcome to this week’s Cool As Leicester Weekly Music News, which is brought to you every week in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd.

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Pop Will Eat Itself – O2 Academy Leicester
Friday 20 December

pop will eat itself leicester

In 1987, Pop Will Eat Itself surprised the independent music world by morphing overnight from two minute, three chord indie pop wonders into hip-hop rock crossover pioneers. Years ahead of their time, PWEI produced “Box Frenzy”, a furious mix of beatboxes, metal riffs, MC’ing and pop songs. The album brought the band a whole new audience and opened them up to as much praise as it did ridicule amongst a perplexed music press. The band has maintained a large fan base, as well as being noted as influencing acts such as The Prodigy and Nine Inch Nails. TICKETS.

Nordic Giants – The Y Theatre
Friday 20 December

nordic giants leicester

Hidden behind feathered masks and effortlessly changing between instruments, this post-rock duo performs live original soundtracks to a backdrop of award winning short films. This gig is part of The Robot Needs Home Collective’s 15th anniversary celebrations and the audience can expect to experience dreamy ambient swells, epic builds and huge moments of power to a combination of dark, funny and beautiful short films. TICKETS.

Funk Nation announce line-up

norman jay junk nation

Normal Jay MBE, Smoove & Turrell and Hannah Williams have been announced for Funk Nation, which is bringing the finest, funk, soul and disco back to the O2 Academy on Saturday 7 December. TICKETS.

*Sold Out*

sea girls

Hoping to see Keane, Sea Girls, The Orb or Gerry Cinnamon on their upcoming tour dates in the city? All shows are now sold out. There’s plenty more to keep you going through – keep an eye on the latest news each week to get the first run at tickets.



Open Mic – The Soundhouse
Tuesday 6 August (and every Tuesday)

bring the paint

The weekly open mic happens at The Soundhouse every Tuesday night from 7.30pm. The night is hosted by Rhett Barrow and acts are encouraged to arrive early if hoping to get a slot. Each week there’ll be a featured artist play from 9.30 – 10pm, so if you’re wanting to play a longer set then get your name down. Discover some brilliant new acts. The Soundhouse is on Southampton Street in the Cultural Quarter.

Emma King – The Musician
Tuesday 6 August

Emma king

Emma King has a musical style that has its roots in country and its growth in contemporary melodic rock, Emma King & The Heartsets are quickly establishing themselves as the sound of ‘New Country’. TICKETS.

Bring Your Own Vinyl – The Globe
Tuesday 6 August

the globe leicester

Head to The Globe on the first Tuesday of every month for Bring Your Own Vinyl night in their back bar room. A great night to talk to like minded people who love music and have a go at spinning your favourite records.

Imarhan – The Musician
Wednesday 7 August


Imarhan, meaning ‘the ones I care about’, started out around 2008 as a loose collection of friends who began to play together. Their style reflects their cultural and generational background; dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and pan-African rhythms which draw on traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and the modern pop and rock the band heard growing up. TICKETS.

Luke Doherty – The Musician
Thursday 8 August

Luke doherty

Luke Doherty is a young blues guitarist who is rapidly making a name for himself on the blues scene, having been gigging since the age of 12 in various blues clubs around the country. TICKETS.

Armageddon – Duffy’s Bar
Friday 9 August


There’s something for everyone of the alt-grunge-rock-metalhead persuasion at Armageddon. From Nirvana to Weezer, plus loads of drinks deals and it’s free entry.

Glastonbudget Auditions – The Soundhouse
Friday 9 August

Join acts including Ellé Robertson as they bid to secure their place on the line-up at Glastonbudget 2020. Tickets are £5 on the door.

Pizza & Live Music – Mill Hill Cask & Coffee
Friday 9 August

myles knight

Pizza kings, Martin Bros Pizza, are returning to Enderby’s lovely micro pub, Mill Hill Cask & Coffee, this Friday night and you’ll also be treated to live music from Myles Knight. Music from 7.30pm, free entry.

Uptight – The Cookie
Friday 9 August

Mod, Northern Soul, Psych, Freakbeat and more, all spun on 45rpm vinyl.

The Houndogs and Hog Roast – Buttercups Tea Room, Billesdon
Friday 9 August

Enjoy Friday night in the countryside with this event in support of Coping with Cancer in Leicestershire and Rutland. The Houndogs are a 3-piece Wild Rockabilly and Rock n Roll band playing their own songs alongside covers of classics by the likes of Elvis, Buddy Holly and The Stray Cats. Tickets £20 – Includes Entry and Hog Roast (Vegetarian/Vegan option available), must be purchased in advance. TICKETS.

Daily Commute DIY presents – The Cookie
Friday 9 August

DCDIY returns to The Cookie to present Dusker, Boarder and Real Teeth. Enjoy a special Friday night of DIY goodness! TICKETS.

Guns 2 Roses – The Musician
Friday 9 August

guns 2 roses

The world’s most successful Guns n Roses tribute band and the only GNR tribute to have performed with 4 different members of Guns N Roses. Many tributes have tried but not one comes close to the looks, authenticity and natural charisma Guns 2 Roses has to emulate GNR. They have appeared on stage and in media worldwide and have played to thousands throughout the UK, Europe, India, Middle East and USA. TICKETS.

Last Orders Day Party – 2Funky Street Kitchen
Saturday 10 August

Last Orders is back, and this time it’s all about Disco & House! Over 300 party people, set on a new terrace, which is partly under cover so rain or shine, the party will keep going. Indoor and outdoor bars plus food traders. Doors open at midday. TICKETS.

The Retro – O’Neills
Saturday 10 August

the retro

One of Leicester’s finest covers bands will ensure you have a brilliant Saturday night singing along to your favourite indie tunes. Music from 9.30pm, free entry.

Sound Mind Charity Events – The Soundhouse
Saturday 10 August

vietnam flashbacks

Raising money for The Samaritans, head down to The Soundhouse on Saturday for the Sound Mind Charity Event. Bands include Vietnam Flashbacks, Two Whole Quails, Adrian Manning, Kitten Fang, The Surrealists and guest DJ sets. £5 donation on the door.

Fake Festival – Victoria Park
Saturday 10 August

Now sold out! Leicester’s Fake Festival takes over Victoria Park with some of the UK’s best tribute bands, from Kasabian to Vicky Jackson P!NK.

80s club night – 2Funky Music Cafe
Saturday 10 August

80s night leicester

Expect to hear the very best hits of the 80s from Wham! to Bon Jovi. TICKETS.

Bodega – O2 Academy 2
Saturday 10 August

The art-rock quintet from New York will be in Leicester during their UK tour. Expect tongue-in-cheek and politically motivated lyrics alongside their razor sharp guitars. They proved to be a huge hit at last year’s Great Escape Festival and have been dubbed “New York’s brightest new band“. TICKETS.

Summer Sessions – The Soundhouse
Saturday 10 August and Sunday 11 August (2-6pm)

soundhouse summer sessions

If you haven’t been down to a Summer Sessions yet then it’s about time you do. The Soundhouse is hosting free acoustic acts all afternoon every weekend this summer. Take a seat in the brand spanking newly revamped Soundhouse beer garden, and enjoy drinks offers, free entry, and plenty of dog friendly and kid friendly fun.

The Della Grants – The Donkey
Saturday 10 August

della grants

The Della Grants are, above anything else, a group of close friends. Max Manning and Tom Best front the band on stage; sharing out the vocal, guitar, and harmonica duties, whilst the band’s rhythm section consists of Andy Boulton on bass & Tom Walker on drums. Since 2017 the band have been frequently joined on stage by highly accomplished musician & good friend Tony Robinson; who provides organ, piano, & trumpet. TICKETS.

Oceans Apart – The Cookie
Saturday 10 August

oceans apart

A five piece alt-rock band from Leicester who formed in 2018. Oceans Apart pride themselves on producing heavy rock music that still has a strong poppy vibe, whilst using modern electronic techniques to produce a high energy, fun show. TICKETS.

Simon Waldram – The Musician
Sunday 11 August

simon waldram

Indie folk, psych-rock and experimental, Simon is a fascinating member of the Leicester music scene. TICKETS.

Drinks & Jams – The Shed
Monday 12 August

drinks jams

Every Monday it’s open mic night at The Shed as they host Drinks & Jams. It kicks off at 7.30pm but you can arrive from 7pm to sign up to play. Each week there is a featured act on at 9.15pm. Friendly atmosphere, drinks offers and a great way to start the week.



BC Camplight – Jubilee Square
Monday 19 August

bc camplight

There’s not long to go until The City Festival kicks off with a series of gigs in the transparent dome on Jubilee Square. Kicking off the line-up will be American singer-songwriter, BC Camplight. Falling somewhere between Ben Folds and Badly Drawn Boy, the multi-intrumentalist moved from America to Manchester in 2012, where his brand of quirky indie-pop to new audiences has delighted new and growing audiences. Support from Leicester’s Charlotte Carpenter. TICKETS.

An Evening at the Musicals – Leicestershire County Cricket Club
Sunday 18 August

Summer’s coming, which means more outdoor concerts! Join cast leads from hit West End musicals backed by a fantastic 9-piece band, coming together to perform a one night only ‘Evening of Musicals’. Featuring songs from Wicked, Sound of Music, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and many more. TICKETS.

Uprising – O2 Academy
Saturday 14 September 

Join Napalm Death, Acid Reign, Ohhms and Krysthla, for a day of metal madness at Leicester’s O2 Academy. Also joining them will be death metal legends Memoriam, who head to Leicester having played pretty much every metal festival in Europe and doom crew Alunah, among others. An opening party (Friday 13 September) and closing party (Sunday 15 September) will also be happening at Firebug and entry is free to anyone with an Uprising ticket. TICKETS.


Homeless Shakespeare
homeless shakespeare
Credit Lee Allen Photography

Homeless Shakespeare have been on the Leicester music scene since 2014, now with a new release on the horizon we caught up with Joe Doyle about the journey from solo to gyp-hop band.

How long have you been performing as Homeless Shakespeare?

I started Homeless Shakespeare in 2014 as a solo act, initially just using my name (Joe Doyle) but after a hangover and descriptive comment from my brother, Homeless Shakespeare was born. After playing in bands of various styles over years, I wanted to start a project that had no musical boundaries. The freedom of becoming a solo act was liberating after years of playing bass in pigeon-hole bands.

Tell us a little bit more about your music to those who aren’t familiar…

So, after performing and writing as a solo act for a while, I started making something I called ‘Gyp-hop’, which is a whimsical combination of gypsy-swing, funk, blues, rock and hip-hop. The open field of constructing my own style made it a blank canvas, and now with the band (The Pigeon Theatre) we have so much fun putting the arrangements together. The first ‘gyp-hop’ song I wrote, Worm Right Through, is on the upcoming album and we had loads of fun with that one, we’ve even managed to get a metal-esque breakdown at the end!

homeless shakespeare leicester

You have a new album coming out soon, how long has this been in the pipeline?

Apart from Worm Right Through, all of the songs on the new album were written between when we were recording the previous album (Caravan O’Funk) last September. I’m always writing, I’m just a bit picky about what we actually use but we’re really excited to get this one out there! The most recent is Suits & The Streets, a gypsy-jazz and ska track lyrically parodising grime and drill, I think I wrote that as recently as May or June.

What have been some of the highlights of your music career so far?

Music career is a broad term as I do so much outside of being an artist, as do all of us in the band. That makes this a very hard question to answer, but I suppose as far as the band is concerned it’d have to be supporting Electric Swing Circus. They’re a great band (and we’re supporting them again in October!) and lovely folks who loved what we do, so it was quite endearing. Other than that, we had a lot of fun shooting a music video for Gyp-Hop Sound last year. Sadly the footage isn’t the best so we’re unlikely to use it, but we had a great time doing it!

You’ve done a lot of gigs this summer, including local festivals such as Barefoot, how do you find the local crowds when you’re playing live?

The crowds are usually great! Barefoot was a little quiet this year but we still had a full tent of people up and dancing. It’s one of the perks of doing upbeat music, people will pick-up on the sound and get moving, it’s a great feeling. Of course, with our niche style I never know what to expect of a reception, but so far our audiences have absolutely loved us, from young to old. We get told a lot of the time that it’s refreshing to see a band doing something different.

homeless Shakespeare Joe Doyle

Who have been some of the biggest influences on you as a musician?

I’ve always had a broad taste in music, and being a bassist first I naturally found myself inspired by bands with incredible bassists (Led Zeppelin, Primus, Funkadelic, Tool). Gorillaz were my first favourite band, shortly followed up by Arctic Monkeys (they never repeat an album sound-wise, which too many great bands fall victim to); I think they’re some of my main influences when it comes to lyrics too, Turner is an absolute poet!

When I started playing guitar I listened to a lot of blues, until Django Reinhardt really inspired me to study and take on the challenge of learning Gypsy-jazz. 

What do you have planned for the next year and where is Homeless Shakespeare heading next?

Ooft, next year is going to be fun! We’ve already got plans to get working on album number 3 as soon as we can, and with the progress we’ve made this year we really hope to be hitting some of the bigger festivals next year. On top of gigs, we really want to branch out in regards to how we are entertainers, so who knows, you may be seeing some short comedy sketches or other stuff from us. Definitely music videos, expect music videos!

homeless shakespeare leicester

What are your favourite things about the Leicester music scene?

The community spirit; the whole scene is so in touch with each other and it’s beautiful to see everyone working together like clockwork. Leicester itself has pockets of cliques, and the music scene is of no exception to that, but there’s no animosity or rivalry, it’s a healthy competitive landscape. And of course, ripe with talent! There’s such variety and exceptional skill in our blessed music scene that, in my opinion, goes really undervalued by the general public. I feel that the council could be more supportive of our music and arts, I remember seeing a recent article interviewing a few people who said nothing’s going on here – it’s bollocks to say nothing’s happening here, just get off your arse and go and find the diamonds in the rough!

Where can people hear your music and find out more?

Our first album Caravan O’Funk is on Spotify, but you can find links to our Soundcloud and Bandcamp on our Facebook page or website. Though I would suggest you come to a show and hear our music raw and real, and find out more by simply talking to us! We love interacting with our audiences on and off stage, with or without the infamous Joke Book.

Follow Homeless Shakespeare on Facebook or visit the website.




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