Due to current events we’ve had to move around our weekly music news, however we will still be here every Tuesday with a Leicester music update for you in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd.
The Bluetones – O2 Academy Leicester
Thursday 11 February 2021
The Bluetones, a huge part of the Britpop era, will be touring their debut album, Expecting To Fly in full, a record that stormed the UK album charts at No. 1, with singles including “Bluetonic” and “Slight Return” entering the Top 20. TICKETS.
Declan McKenna – O2 Academy Leicester
Wednesday 24 March 2021
Declan McKenna is heading out on a headline tour across the UK in support of his second studio album Zeros. Recorded in Nashville, it’s the brilliant follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed debut, What Do You Think About The Car? TICKETS.
Fenne Lily – The Cookie
Monday 17 May 2021
Alt-folk songs of love and loss have won Fenne Lily a growing army of fans. Her folk-tinged music is woven with integrity and sincerity; grit and soft understatement in equal measures. TICKETS.
INTERVIEW: Homeless Shakespeare and The Pigeon Theatre
In this week’s Music Guide we catch up with Joe Doyle to chat all about Homeless Shakespeare, their new video release, staying creative during lockdown and what they’re looking forward to in 2021..
Tell us a little more about Homeless Shakespeare for anyone who isn’t familiar?
So Homeless Shakespeare was my artist name when I was doing acoustic and electronic music with a ‘no boundaries’ ethic, and formed a band upon my 2nd album release where we found most fun playing the ‘gyp-hop’ style (a whimsical fusion of gypsy-swing and hip-hop styles). We’ve been playing together for about 3 years now and are soon to release our 2nd EP. We’re sitting on it for now as we’ve started making our own music videos and want to stagger the release until we can do a full, proper live show to launch it.
You’ve got a new video out now, what was the inspiration behind it?
Well the song, Suits & The Streets, was written as a kind of satire, or parody, of some urban styles. A lot of the lyrics can be boastful and big-headed, so I wanted to play on that, but it’s also very poetic and metaphorical so I tried paying homage to that too. That being the theme, I wanted to do a music video similar to that of grime or underground hip-hop, very urban and dark and ‘gang-gang’.
What can people expect from your new material?
It’s much more clean-cut than our first EP, which was recorded and produced by myself when I first started recording bands. We recorded most of this one at the Conservertoire in Birmingham when Adam, our trumpet player, was just finishing his course there. He’s taken it away, with his degree in the field, and has made it sound like a really professional product. These are all songs that I wrote after the band was formed too, and you can hear the difference in how the songs are arranged. It’s still got that IDGAF attitude, and although some of the lyrical content may be a bit past it’s use-by date, there’s still some humorous nostalgia in there.
What have you missed most over lockdown?
Oh my god. So much. Gigging, and going to gigs, for one. Working the sound desk at The Shed, for another. Session work and recording people… I guess the music industry. It’s been a tremendously difficult year for the arts and I’m of no doubt that next year will be a struggle too, what with the impending not-that-oven-ready… erm… January, we have coming up…
I’ve certainly missed working with the great people of Leicester, and seeing them galavanting around town at 11:30pm with an unmarked, third-full pint glass, and the unmistakable smell of star-dog swirling from the not-at-all suspicious BMW parked in the taxi bay.
And hugging friends.
And my savings.
How have you managed to stay creative during this time?
With a lot of struggle. When lockdown first kicked in in March it had a huge impact on my mental health, but me and my housemate decided to do occasional challenges where we would spend 3 hours producing music for each other to spend 3 hours writing and recording vocals to it. We got some great tunes out of it! I’ve also been sure to keep my chops up playing guitar, learning songs, writing songs and music (plenty of new Homeless Shakespeare material in the works!), and of course with video. I even made a weird short video with an absurdist poem called ‘Banana Feelz’. Yes, it’s on Youtube.
Did you manage to get to any shows when venues re-opened? How was the experience?
HA! Well, we did. At The Soundhouse. For 7th November. 3 days after Lockdown: The Sequel. We were so gutted when we went back into lockdown, the gig was pretty much sold out and we know The Soundhouse’s gigs have been on point given the restrictions. Luckily it’s just been postponed and we’ll be there in the new years.
We have been booked for a few more shows in December at Orton’s, but we’re waiting until Leicester’s tier is announced before we push it out there.
Who are some of your favourite local performers?
Siobhan Mazzei has to be on there. Her impassioned performances always manage to hit me right in the feels, but she has a great personality to balance things out and get a grin out of you between songs. I think it would be rude not to mention the band members’ other bands (not least because they’re in them, but they’re all really good too!). The Whiskey Rebellion, who are good knees-up friends of ours. We Give In hone the ‘90s emo style with a modern hardcore and punk force.
Who would you list in your “for fans of” section
Ooft, that’s quite a difficult question. We’re quite experimental stylistically, it’s a bit random but I guess we’re along the lines of; The Specials, Gorillaz, The Streets, Dutty Moonshine Big Band, Electric Swing Circus, Diablo Swing Orchestra. Lon, our lead guitarist, suggests we’re like if The Streets covered Frank Zappa.
What’s next for Homeless Shakespeare?
Well we’ve got some really interesting stuff in mind for next year, including a lot more filming for music videos and short comedy skits. We’re yet to release Suits & The Streets on streaming platforms so keep your eyes out for that, and the EP will be coming hopefully early next Summer!
Sooner than that, tier-2 or less provided, we will be playing a number of shows at Ortons Brasserie, which sound exciting beyond us playing!
Enjoy this week’s best of Leicester playlist packed full of suggestions, recommendations and top local talent.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.