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.
Twin Atlantic – O2 Academy
Saturday 21 August
The Glaswegian quartet are back with the charming style of vocalist Sam McTrustry and their much loved heavy rock anthems. This is the rearranged date from their previously announced tour. REMAINING TICKETS
Live Jazz – Every Friday & Saturday
Brick & Beam
One of Leicester’s best roof terraces in one of the city’s nicest bars and they’re bringing you live jazz every Friday and Saturday night. Book a table or limited walk ins also available with music from 7.30pm. Head down early for happy hour deals. Email for bookings – [email protected].
The Bluetones – Thursday 26 August
O2 Academy 2
Mark Morriss and the boys continue to go from strength to strength more than twenty years on. On this tour you’ll hear them performing Expecting to Fly in full as well as some of their greatest hits. TICKETS.
Steal This Band – Friday 27 August
System of a Down tribute band rip things up to start Bank Holiday weekend at The Shed. TICKETS.
The Primitives – Thursday 2 September
Probably best known for their 1988 top 5 hit ‘Crash’, The Primitives continue to tour across the UK and Europe with their popular power blend of noisy, jangly pop. TICKETS.
Sea Girls – Thursday 7 October
Sea Girls are a London-based four-piece (originally hailing from Kent and right here in Leicestershire), who deliver simple storytelling songs and arena-ready anthems. The band play tightly honed tunes, with their fans chanting back every single word. They’ve gone from The Cookie, to Academy 2 and now to the main room at O2 Academy, don’t miss them as their rise continue. TICKETS.
INTERVIEW: AZIZ IBRAHIM
This weekend sees the return of ‘Lord of the Strings’ and ex-Stone Roses guitarist, Aziz Ibrahim, to The Soundhouse. With such an incredible past career and electric live solo shows, we caught up with him to find out more. Tickets to Saturday’s show are priced at £11 and are on sale now.
Tell us a little about you and your music for anyone who isn’t already familiar?
Guitar geek, composer, songwriter & sometimes singer but I’d give it all up to be in the NBA. I started my professional career in Simply Red. Started writing as a band member when I joined Asia. toured as MD with Hot Chocolate then joined The Stone Roses in 96. After the demise in 97 I took up song co-writing duties with Ian Brown for his solo albums co-writing songs like My Star. Corpses, Getting High, Solarized and others. I released my first album Lahore to Longsight in 2000 featuring the Stone Roses, The Smiths, Denise Johnson from Primal Scream, Paul Weller, Steve White & others. My 2nd album was Rusholme Rock which as Paul Weller described was like ‘ The White Stripes from Bombay’. Because of my heritage there’s always a eastern or punjabi influence to my music as well as a mancunian. Listen to my voice on God by Paul Weller on 22 Dreams. I later recorded and co-wrote with Paul Weller on several of his albums. I’ve toured with Jah Wobble, Steven Wilson, Donovan and many reggae bands. I’ve also written music for MC Akala & many others.
Can you even begin to pull out a few career highlights?
Meeting Robert Mitchum when he hosted and we played Saturday Night Live. Playing Stadiums in Brazil in the middle of the night. Roses in 96 at 4 Festivals across Europe. Playing guitar live with Paul Weller as a special guest at the Wiltern Theatre LA in 2008. My award from the Queen and the visit to Buckingham Palace but really it was visiting the toilets where allegedly Lennon & McCartney had a biffter. My best gigs solo were in Libya, Syria, Darjeeling & Jerusalem. Uncharted territory!
In terms of your solo tours and live set, what can people expect from the show?
A load of guitars! A full on show. No punches pulled, no expense spared. The same show I would deliver in a stadium or large venue would be the same show I’d deliver to a pub. Songs & Instrumentals I’ve written for myself, for others and some fun covers done in my own EDM style. Maybe some space for a bit of banter if anyone has something they wanna get off their chest lol.
How did you manage to stay creative over lockdown?
Near the end of me, lockdown. Mental Health and Wellbeing were at their lowest. But, I started retraining watching gamers, Youtubers and Tiktok content creators. Learnt a lot about broadcast from them and upped my game. Once I was back on my feet I’ve been prolific in writing and content creation. Digital is my new world.
What bands are favourites on your playlist at the moment?
I don’t have time to listen to music, I’m always writing and listening to recordings. I try not to be influenced by outside music unless I’m in the car and I’ve got the radio on and that’s mostly, drill, grime, hip hop & r&b/neo soul. Actually I have been listening to a lot of bands from South Asia as I’m part of a South Asian guitar collective on Facebook.
Have you been to any gigs since venues reopened?
I went to the opening of Night and Day in Manchester, watched a few bands but my partners band were playing so hence why i was there. I always go to the local to support local bands.
How different is it touring as a solo artist to being part of a big touring crew?
It’s a lot more difficult, a real challenge. But that’s why I do it. I want to test myself that I can carry a show on my own. Talk, sing, tap dance, play guitar all at the same time plus set up, pack down. It’s graft but it’s good for me.
What’s next for Aziz Ibrahim?
Loads of new releases, more content to upload, building my YouTube Spotify & especially my TikTok. Recording with Nasi a famous singer in Brazil & with a great band called OS Spoilers also from Brazil. some other co-writes and developing my solo show with the electronica element. I’m working on a lot of cultural, heritage projects and the Arts Council so I got a tonne of musical work in museums, art galleries, mills and libraries. Working with a charity in Longsight for teaching young kids music and singing. I’m launching an Asian Blues band soon and lastly launching a new channel called DesiGuitR for all this work outside the rock n roll bs. Oh and of course, more gigs!
Where can people hear more of your solo material?
You can also visit my website at www.aziz.co.uk
Insta, Twitter, Pinterest, Tiktok are all @azizibrahim56
Aziz Ibrahim plays The Soundhouse on Saturday 21 August. GET TICKETS.
Each week we bring you a brand new playlist selection. This week enjoy some the brilliant 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.