Weekly Music Guide 13.01.2022

the howl and the hum

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Diary Dates

Cast – Sunday 16 January
O2 Academy

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of their magnificent debut album, All Change, Cast will be performing the record in its entirety, followed by a set of greatest hits.

Scarlet Rebels – Thursday 20 January
The Musician

scarlet rebels

Scarlet Rebels are a 5 piece band from South Wales. Powerful, anthemic and melodic Scarlet Rebels deliver emotional guitar music that has soul & feeling crossed with raw power with big choruses that stick like super glue.

The Howl & The Hum – Friday 21 January
The Soundhouse

the howl and the hum

York-based four piece The Howl & The Hum combine rumbling, melodic dark pop with haunting, evocative lyrics, and a hypnotic yet energetic live show, With a magpie mentality they cut their teeth playing in and learning from local bands and busking, with a strong songwriting core and an inventive, progressive view on what place guitar music has in today’s culture. Their inspirations ranging from Leonard Cohen and Phoebe Bridgers to Lizzo and Kendrick Lamar, and have been likened to Massive Attack, Radiohead and Alt-J.

Deco – Wednesday 26 January
Firebug

deco band

A alternative / indie pop duo from the Midlands and London consisting of members Max (vocals) and John (synths). Their romantic-inspired synth hooks are in the vein of Friendly Fires and Years & Years, along with taking inspiration from Duran Duran.

The KVB – Friday 28 January
O2 Academy

Dark wave, post punk, shoegaze from London.

••••

INTERVIEW – Vijay Mistry

2Funky turns 25 years old this month! We’re catching up with the man behind it all, Vijay Mistry, to find out about how they’re celebrating and just how much the Leicester scene has changed in that time.

2funky leicester

Where did the idea for 2Funky come from 25 years ago?

I’ve always been passionate about music and enjoyed being entrepreneurial. In 1997, I came up with the idea of setting up a record shop. 2Funky Records began life on Narborough Road and moved to Belgrave Gate a year later. It became a vibrant community hub, until changes in the music industry made the retail business unviable. In 2012, by the time it closed, I had exciting new plans for 2Funky.

How has the brand changed in that time? 

My passion for ‘music and arts of Black origin’ evolved from the record store. Once 2Funky Records was established, it quickly became ‘more than a record store’. It was a hangout for DJs, artists and music fans alike. We began selling tickets for events, managing our own club nights/ music gigs, and putting out our own compilations. In 2007, we set up 2Funky Arts, moving into arts workshops in education, as well as festivals, comedy events and heritage projects. Radio2Funky and Festival2Funky were two big developments that came about around the time of the record store closure. This was followed by the opening of our first venue – 2Funky Music Cafe – in 2015. Now we have 2Funky Complex, home to 4 connected venues.

2funky leicester

Tell us what you have planned for the birthday celebrations?

We just wanted to celebrate 2Funky in all its glory and throw a massive party. So, we have booked a number of impressive artists to mark this anniversary, that encapsulate our brand – including DJ Spoony, Rampage (1Xtra), Robbo Ranx and a live PA from Kele Le Roc. A variety of local DJs will also feature, across 4 rooms.

Can you pick out some highlights from the last 25 years?

There are so many, but for me some of the major highlights include setting up 2Funky Complex, selling out a comedy show at De Montfort Hall and holding Midlands’ Best Dance Crew at Curve Theatre. Also creating ‘Spectrum’ – a feature length documentary on the history of Black music in Leicester. It all comes back to 2Funky Records however – as this was regarded as one of the best European record stores of its kind. We couldn’t have built such a successful and well-known brand without it.

2funky leicester

How has Leicester’s music scene changed over that time?

Obviously there has been a big change in the way people consume music at home. But what hasn’t changed is the appetite for seeing live music. Leicester is a great place to experience new, emerging artists.

2Funky Complex now comprises multiple venues in one, what’s your favourite thing about it?

My vision was always about making it the most diverse independent venue In Leicester and I think we have achieved that! We have hosted Julian Marley, Grandmaster Flash and many other great acts. The venue now features festivals, live music, student nights, international touring shows, workshops, and private parties. Oh, and 2Funky Complex converts to a church every Sunday morning!

Who are some of your favourite local artists?

Two of my favourites and definitely ones-to-watch are Jafro and Queen Millz. They will be putting Leicester on the map very soon, so make sure you follow them! Queen Millz starting working on projects with 2Funky when she was at school, so it’s been great to see her confidence and talent develop

How do you hope to build 2Funky even further over the coming years?

I think putting on even bigger projects. We recently developed an Arts Council funded Midlands artist tour (And Still I Rise), so I’m hoping to build on that and maybe start managing more national touring events. We have more ideas up our sleeves, so watch this space!

2funky leicester

Where can people buy tickets for the Birthday Bash?

Tickets can be purchased on skiddle.com

For the latest news and event listings visit the 2Funky Complex website.

••••

WEEKLY PLAYLIST

Our weekly playlist this week is looking at some of the best live acts you can catch in Leicester over the coming weeks.

Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.

MORE MUSIC NEWS NEXT WEEK

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