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.
Blossoms – 02 Academy
Monday 6 September
After topping the charts with new album, Foolish Loving Spaces and smashing through their extensive UK tour, Blossoms return in 2021. This show has been rescheduled from Thursday 9 July 2020, Saturday 20 March 2021 and again from Friday 17 September. If you’ve already got tickets, they’ll still be valid, so hang on to them. TICKETS.
Ben Ottewell – The Soundhouse
Friday 6 August
Ben Ottewell is best known as a member of Gomez, a British rock act whose debut album, Bring It On, won the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. TICKETS.
INTERVIEW: MUZ STEWART
Amidst uncertainty over live events this year’s Glastonbudget has been postponed, but plans are very much underway for 2022. After what’s been an unbelievably difficult time for festival organisers we caught up with the man behind Glastonbudget, Muz Stewart, to find out about upcoming plans and industry recovery.
How hard a decision was it to postpone this year’s Glastonbudget?
It was devastating for all concerned. We were being conflicting information from various agencies on what measures would be required, but none of them would confirm exactly what the procedure would be. This made it impossible to plan and budget for. We agonised over it, but had to make a decision that would safeguard our visitors and our business. It was disappointing for everybody; contractors, performers, contributors, but thankfully everybody saw that we were in a difficult position and supported us when we sadly had to postpone again.
How are plans going for 2022?
We have begun to book our headliners for 2022, and are currently looking at the broader line up, and the site design. We are hopeful that we will be completely free of restrictions, and can deliver the event that everybody expects and deserves. It’s been a long wait, and we know our supporters are eager to get back in the fields, and enjoy a return to live music.
Has the lockdown changed anything about your love of working in live events?
I think our industry has been diluted of talent by the lockdown. So many people have moved into other jobs and we may not see them return. It has always been an industry with risk, but the lockdowns have shown us how vulnerable we are and how insecure the industry can become in quite a short space of time. But we have always been resilient and creative as an industry and we are determined to bounce back stronger than ever.
You’re now helping out with the reopening of The Soundhouse? How has that been on a grassroots level?
The restrictions in place have reduced the capacity of the venue, whilst increasing the cost of operation. This has been disastrous for many venues, and without support from The Music Venues Trust and the available funding, could have proved fatal. We have an extremely supportive customer base at The Soundhouse, some very hard working promoters and musicians, all of whom have contributed in some way to help the venue continue operating. Its difficult, and tough decisions have to be made by the owners, Sue and Martin, but with their experience and knowledge, and the support of their customers, promotors and friends, The Soundhouse will emerge strong and be able to showcase amazing talent once this awful pandemic is over
What are the biggest challenges?
Immediately it is consumer confidence. Visitors to all hospitality venues have to be sure that they will be safe within the environment, and that the customer experience will reach expectation. With everything being scaled back over the last year, we have to ensure that our program of events and gigs delivers the value and diversity that the Soundhouse has always been known for.
Who are some of your favourite local acts?
There are so many to choose from, and all for different reasons. For performance, Fu Fu Sailors are a superb local act, as are One Town Over and Elysian. I also really enjoyed a recent show by Homeless Shakespeare and The Pigeon Theatre, which showcased some terrific talent and was very much appreciated by a sell out audience.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is that I have never considered it a job. To have the opportunity to work with creative thinkers and performers is an absolute pleasure, and has been the thing I have missed most during the pandemic.
If you could pick any artist and any venue to see when venues fully reopen who and where would you choose?
Obviously, I would choose Glastonbudget as my venue. I don’t really care which act is performing, I just look forward to the return of live gigs and events. The Soundhouse has some great shows coming up, and the Summer Sessions on Saturday afternoons are always very entertaining. Once we can fill these venues, and put on capacity shows with no restrictions, I think we, as music lovers, will just be happy to get our social freedoms back. Its amazing how much you miss something that you previously took for granted, and I hope that people gain more appreciation for venues and performers, and come out and support them in their recovery.
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.