With no shows taking place we’ve had to switch around our weekly music news just a little bit. However we will still be here every Tuesday with a Leicester music update for you in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd.
The Mysterines – The Cookie
Friday 19 February 2021
Whilst keeping a relatively-low profile, Liverpool trio The Mysterines have managed to gather a fair buzz for their impressive, punchy live shows, and support slots with the likes of Miles Kane and fellow Introducing-alumni The Vryll Society. Their songs are fierce, high-energy affairs underpinned by relentless bass and drums, and bolstered by lead signer Lia Metcalfe’s snarling vocals. TICKETS.
The Blinders – O2 Academy 2
Friday 5 March 2021
This three-piece alternative group from Doncaster will attempt to be in your face at all times, smelting loud and visceral political punk rock with enigmatic, psychedelic poetry and tones. Their diverse, unique combination of raw music creates the ‘Punkadelic’ sound which forces the trio to give everything they’ve got in their frenzied performances. TICKETS.
INTERVIEW: ANDREA KENNY
Flying the flag for Leicester’s female musical talent is Andrea Kenny. Known by many as the lead singer of The Brandy Thieves, Andrea is now working on solo projects and has a live stream coming up later this week to raise funds for her brand new album. We chatted to her about staying creative during lockdown and what’s coming next.
How have you found the last few weeks/months of lockdown?
Really good question with a mixed answer, there have been times when I have felt very low and struggling in a cycle of despair and hopelessness. My partner is in Australia right now and due to covid our time apart has been lengthened by quite a bit, theres lots of uncertainty. And I think that’s what’s getting to a lot of people… the not knowing. Not knowing what the next few months will look like, suddenly having all your plans thrown up in the air, your ‘normal life’ being suddenly blasted away. It creates an existential crisis in a way! However.. and this is a big HOWEVER, I have discovered so many positives out of this that I never would have even considered or been available to me had it not been for this crisis. The space and time for self reflection, self improvement, enhancing creativity, writing new material, collaborating with other artists, learning how to use recording software, challenging fears and pushing myself out of my comfort zone in so many ways! creatively and with my life and my relationship with myself and others. Also discovering whats really important to me, my time, my friends, communication, I have reconnected with lots of old friends, affirmed and taken new friendships to a deeper level and reached out when I needed to and reached out to those who need it also… I have massively grown as a person through this. Also saved loads of money! Which is great.
Have you been able to stay creative during these weeks?
YES! I have written new material and collaborated with artists via software platforms and file sharing, getting to grips with using logic and recording. I have a whole album’s worth of songs ready to go and be recorded when I’m able! Its really exciting! Some are songs that I’ve been performing solo for a long time, some are old and there are new tracks written during lockdown and during the height of BLM protests so there will be something that anyone can relate to.
Of course The Brandy Thieves have been a big part of your musical career, how are things with the band?
Well at the end of last year I decided to part ways with the ‘thieves. It was amicable and we are all still friends. I wanted to concentrate on my development for my career (I want to be a music therapist) and also concentrate on my own life for a while. I loved every second of being in The Brandy Thieves and I love the boys still and wish them well in whatever they decide to do next. Turns out this year would have been awkward anyway with what’s happened…we haven’t ruled out an official ‘so long’ show so keep your eyes open in future!
You have a big Facebook livestream fundraiser taking place on 24 July, can you tell us a little more about it?
Yeah! What an amazing thing the internet is! Due to Covid 19 the music industry has taken an absolute battering but many of us have been adapting and getting creative in order to still bring live music to the world! Thank goodness for live streaming! I have done several live streams now and at the start it was kinda out of my comfort zone but I’m used to it now and its a great way to reconnect with friends and fans and bring them the live music they have been craving and missing out on.
I will be streaming live from my music facebook page from 7-9 pm on Friday 24th July and there will be a 15 min intermission for a catch up/ Q&A. I realised during previous streams people try and communicate with you and you want to chat back and it can be hard and a bit distracting when your playing so I thought why not treat it like a gig in a real life setting where I would have a break and be able to go round and chat to people !
Any money I make from these streams is going directly toward recording my album and video. I have a target of £600 and I’m just over halfway. Anyone who contributes £5 or more will receive the album in hard copy or download when its done. Kinda like a gofund me but the viewer is getting a live performance there and then for their contribution. A pay what you feel scenario. I understand the situation we are all in and the hard times we are facing that why I’ve kept it open so people can continue to enjoy and feel the benefit of music and if they can chip in its their choice
How can people watch it and donate?
People can watch via my Facebook page or follow the Facebook event. You can donate via Paypal (www.paypal.me/andreakennymusic) and please include your address in the PayPal message if you’d like to receive the a cd when it’s done.
What music have you been listening to during lockdown?
My new favourite band, Jinjer – the last live music I saw before lockdown, saw them in Melbourne in February when I was visiting Charlotte.
Christine and the Queens
Zeal and Ardor
Dillenger Escape Plan
I have a very eclectic taste!
Who are some of your favourite acts from Leicestershire at the moment?
I just got turned on to Humble He! what a beautiful sound…kinda like the love child of Nick Drake and Radiohead. I think Harri Georgio and the Well Behaved Gentleman are on for big things also!
As a female performer who’s involved heavily in the local scene how do you find it in terms of opportunities for women in music in Leicester?
Im not pretending the music industry isn’t still a very male dominated world. When I was trying to put on the LARA festival (which was due to take place back in March but couldn’t due to Covid) it was clear that there were simply just more male acts and bands then there were female. I think this needs to be balanced up and I think that is starting to happen. We have Siobhan Mazzei, Jessee Wright, Celia (Elysian) to name a few but there needs to be new blood too! Hopefully there are women of all types and ages waiting in the wings to break out as they are learning to hone their creativity during lockdown!
The opportunities are there to be seized i think you have to create the opportunities not wait for them to land in your lap!
What are you most looking forward to when the lockdown is over?
Seeing my love Charlotte, travelling, playing gigs, long long hugs with my friends and people starting to not be so angry and judging of everyone. We are having to live a lot more via facebook and other social platforms at the moment and due to covid, fear, uncertainty, restriction, the media playing us off each other and a confused government making a right tit of things, there is a perfect storm is being created. I see people daily pointing fingers and judging other people’s choices and piling guilt and shame everywhere. The word ‘selfish’ is being thrown around a lot at the moment because people are scared. This crisis is causing a lot of division. Respect people’s boundaries and use common sense. People need to understand we are in the same storm but not the same boat. Compassion is key. I’m looking forward to a future where we don’t forget the good things we have learned through this about ourselves, each other and the world and where we put those things into practice to be a better society.
Follow Andrea on Facebook for regular updates and to watch Friday’s live stream.
Enjoy this week’s best of Leicester playlist! Each week we’ll be pulling together some of our favourites as well as recommendations to highlight some top local talent.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.