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Diary Dates

The Soundhouse Summer Sessions – Every Saturday
The Soundhouse

The Soundhouse Summer Sessions are back every Saturday afternoon throughout the summer. Join them for an afternoon of outdoor music from some of the best local live acoustic acts, with free entry, outdoor stage, dog friendly and family friendly.

Sunday afternoon gigs at The Donkey

Another one for a sunny weekend, don’t miss the free Sunday afternoon gigs at The Donkey on Welford Road. Starting from 3pm, when it’s sunny the music will move to their outdoor stage so you can soak up the tunes and the sun with a few beers and a bite from their food menu.

Gaye Bikers on Acid – Saturday 5 August
Duffy’s Bar

An explosion of sounds and styles, Leicester’s Gaye Bykers on Acid were among the leaders of the short-lived ‘grebo’ scene, which proved instrumental in bridging the gap between rock and hip-hop. Formed in 1987 they’ve had major label deals, world tours, break ups and make ups.

Descendents – Sunday 6 August
O2 Academy Leicester

The Descendents are a punk-rock band from California who formed in 1977. Some of their members have also played in Black Flag and ALL. They became major players in the hardcore punk scene in L.A. and their influence has been huge for bands such as Blink 182, NOFX, Green Day and The Offspring, to name just a few. Their album artwork is distinctive for the caricature drawn of the band’s singer Milo who has appeared on five of the band’s seven albums. In 2002, the original four-piece lineup – Frank Navetta, Tony Lombardo, Bill Stevenson, and Milo Aukerman – got back into the studio to finally record their first-ever songs. The songs were written by the band from 1977 through 1980, before recording the Fat EP (1981) and the Milo Goes to College LP (1982).

Gerry Jablonski Band – Saturday 12 August
The Musician

Scintillating Rock/Blues from Scotland’s premiere live band. Packing killer riffs and striking solos, Jablonski and his explosive band redefine rock blues on their own terms. Gerry is master guitarist with the well honed stagecraft of a seasoned performer. Blending blues roots with the influences of Classic Rock, Gerry and the boys make this a blistering powerhouse of a British Blues band.

Magpie Arc – Thursday 17 August
The Musician

A cross-border, five-piece, folk-rock band, featuring Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson, Adam Holmes, Tom A Wright and Alex Hunter.

Weller v The Who featuring Heavy Sol – Friday 18 August
The Donkey

Heavy Sol are a 5 piece live band from Leicester covering top tunes from the likes of Paul Weller, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene, The Who, The Jam and Small Faces!

Ginger Wildheart – Saturday 19 August
The Musician

Ginger Wildheart remains one of the UK’s most prolific singer/songwriter/guitarists. Best known through his work with The Wildhearts, Ginger Wildheart has spent the last twenty years writing and recording some of Britain’s best rock music and building a fanatical following.

You Me At Six – Tuesday 22 August
O2 Academy Leicester

Pop-punk heroes, You Me At Six are back with their huge album, ‘Truth Decay’ and intimate warm-up shows ahead of their appearance at Reading and Leeds 2023.


INTERVIEW: PUNK: Rage and Revolution

Taking place at Leicester Museum on New Walk this summer, don’t miss out on seeing Punk: Rage and Revolution, whilst the exhibition is on display. As well as the exhibition, organisers are also putting together a Punk Weekender Festival in the city centre. We caught up with Chris from Soft Touch Arts to find out more.

What inspired the Punk exhibition?

In 2019 the partnership team of Soft Touch Arts, Arch Creative and Shaun Knapp created our first major community heritage project and exhibition, Mods: Shaping a Generation which told the story of the Mod youth subculture in Leicester and Nottingham. It was a huge success attracting an audience of 35,000 people from across the UK and beyond to Leicester’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts. During the exhibition we had lots of requests for a follow-on Punk exhibition so that’s where the idea came from initially. Projects like this take a big investment of time in research, interviews and securing content and, of course, realising the funding to make them happen. Then just as we were making progress Covid came along and thwarted our original planned start date for the exhibition.But here we are in 2023 – better late than never -and the exhibition is going down a storm with a whopping 12,000 visitors in the first month and rave reviews from visitors, alongside national press coverage.

Tell us about what visitors can expect to see?

The exhibition tells the story of UK Punk and the social and political climate of the late 1970s, through a visceral and colourful multi-sensory journey through the Punk years of 1976-79.  We’re showcasing the Punk era fashions of Dame Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, the first UK retrospective since she passed away in December 2022.  Visitors will hear a soundtrack of seminal Punk 45s, film footage of the time and interview clips from 35+ interviews we carried out, alongside photographs, objects and clothing loaned by Leicester Punks.  We’re honoured to be able to show the legendary artist Jamie Reid’s giant mural which tells the story of the Sex Pistols as one of the highlights.   It’s not a minimalist exhibition so allow plenty of time to fully enjoy the show!

The  creativity and contribution to the national Punk scene by a number of Leicester people such as Steph Raynor, who founded Boy, has proved really popular, alongside the commentary and contributions from young people who have been working with Soft Touch Arts.  Their views on what Punk means today and what they have learned from the Leicester Punks demonstrates how their commentary and comparisons of the late 1970s with political and social issues today is particularly relevant in 2023. More than anything though, it’s a joyful and beautifully designed exhibition which really impresses and leaves an impression. Whether people like Punk or not they leave learning something with smiles on their faces.

How important has music and different music styles been to Leicester’s history?

Leicester has been a melting pot of diverse people and communities for many, many years and that brings with it a huge diversity of culture including music.  We’re lucky to have this as part of Leicester’s contemporary DNA and all the different music styles and genres that brings.

Which past musical genre do you think has influenced Leicester the most?

That’s a hard question to answer, so I’m relating it to the Punk years, when the DIY and community ethos of music inspired so many young people to feel like they could have a go and pick up, beg and borrow instruments and form a band.  At that time there were lots of small venues that supported a thriving local music scene with Leicester Polytechnic (now DMU), Leicester University Queen’s Hall and De Montfort Hall hosting the bigger bands.  Leading on from the Punk years the legendary Charlotte music venue emerged and was part of the national circuit of venues which hosted up and coming bands, now sadly demised and reinvented as a Chinese supermarket – a fabulous and much missed venue lost to gentrification.  The Punk years also embraced and went hand in hand with Reggae music and the Soundsystem culture.  Many of the Leicester Punks talk of being welcomed into Blues parties in Highfields and being introduced to Reggae music, and of course the Rock Against Racism movement was formed in those years and very much a part of the Punk sensibility and activism at the time.

You’re also planning a Punk Weekender Festival as part of the summer activities, tell us a little more about that?

Part of what we wanted to achieve through this project and exhibition was to bring more people to Leicester to see the exhibition and boost the local economy, so we decided to put on a weekend of Punk and counterculture events supported by BID Leicester.  The weekend will host bands in popular venues such as Firebug and Duffys on Friday and Saturday, talks and films at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, Phoenix and Highcross, we’ve got a free outdoor music event on Jubilee Square from 12-8pm on Saturday 19th August Scooterama v Punkorama. The day starts with a display of vintage scooters from clubs across the Midlands, with DJs from 2-stroke soundsystem and Ska Punk band, Last Edition, followed by local Punk bands including The Wonky Portraits and Tri-Subversion.  We’ll also have the first festival appearance from a new all-girl Punk band, Spabnia, formed by young women at Soft Touch during the project. 

Then on Sunday 20th August at O2 Academy Leicester there’s a weekend finale all-dayer featuring legendary Punk bands Buzzcocks, UK Subs, 999 and Chelsea, with a second stage featuring many of the Unglamorous Women music project’s bands. Other highlights around Leicester include John Lewis and many charity and vintage shops dressing their windows in a Punk style for the weekend!

How long is the exhibition on for and how/where can people visit?

The main Punk: Rage and Revolution exhibition runs at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Soft Touch Arts on New Walk runs every day 11-5pm until Sunday 3 September. 

A sister exhibition of Jamie Reid’s political works  – Taking Liberties compliments the main exhibition at Leicester Gallery in the Vijay Patel Building on the De Montfort University Campus, Mill Lane, Leicester running until 2 September.

A third exhibition of De Montfort University art and design and fashion student work which responds to an activism in design brief to tie in with the Punk: Rage & Revolution exhibition opens on Thursday 3rd August at LCB Depot running until 18 August.

Entry to Punk: Rage and Revolution is free of charge. Get all of the information from



Check out this week’s playlist to discover the best of Punk: Rage & Revolution.

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